The Salt
3:51 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

FDA Officials In China To Plug New Food Safety Law

A worker monitors the loading of containers on to a ship at a harbor in China's Shandong province. Under a new U.S. law, Chinese food exporters will now have to share more food safety information with American food importers.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Fifteen percent of the food Americans eat is imported, including 80 percent of the seafood, and two-thirds of the fruit and vegetables. Our current food safety system can't even begin to keep tabs on the 24 million shipping containers loaded with food that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates arrived this year from overseas. Increasingly, that food is coming from China, which has suffered a series of scandals involving tainted food.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Scientists Unveil Fossil Of 'Saber-Toothed Squirrel' That Lived Among Dinos

Reconstruction of Cronopio dentiacutus in its native environment at La Buitrera locality, Patagonia, Argentina, during the early Late Cretaceous (approximately 94 Million years ago).
Jorge Gonzalez Courtesy of Guillermo Rougier

Imagine a critter about the size of a squirrel. Imagine it with big eyes and a long snout. Now imagine it with canine fangs about one-fifth the length of its head. That's the kind of a mammal that scientists said today was walking among dinosaurs more than 100 million years ago.

Scientists found the fossils in Argentina and the find is significant because scientists say it closes a 60-million-year gap in what they knew about mammals in South America during the late Cretaceous period.

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Radio Theater
3:27 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Unquestioned Integrity

Sun. 11/06 6:00p: The Hill-Thomas Hearings 20th Anniversary Special, by Mame Hunt. In October 1991, millions of Americans watched Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas fend off charges of sexual harassment by his one-time colleague, Anita Hill. Who was telling the truth?

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Politics
3:13 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

An Inside Look At The 'Dark Art' Of Politics

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain wipes his brow during a discussion on health care Wednesday in Washington. The former head of the National Restaurant Association has been under fire in recent days over sexual harassment allegations and his response to them.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

No one seems to be talking about Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan this week — including Herman Cain. Instead, he's had to deal with allegations that he committed sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association.

On Wednesday night, he accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign of planting the story. Perry's campaign flatly denied it, and Cain has backed off.

Regardless, some political consultants have seen the invisible hand of opposition research during this campaign season — what's known as the "dark art of politics."

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It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Cain Accuser Won't Release Name As New Details Of Harassment Emerge

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain spoke in Virginia on Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

One of two women who settled sexual harassment complaints against GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain when he headed the National Restaurant Association will know by Friday whether the group will release her from a confidentiality clause that prevents her from speaking about the agreement.

The woman, however, is unlikely to go public even if the lobbying group lifts the confidentiality requirements imposed as part of the 1999 cash settlement, her lawyer says.

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National Security
2:59 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

China, Russia Top List Of U.S. Economic Cyberspies

A poster warns U.S. companies of the threat of cyber-espionage. A new report released Thursday names China and Russia as the top culprits in the theft of U.S. intellectual property and technology.
Courtesy of the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive

Privately, U.S. officials have long complained that China and Russia are out to steal U.S. trade secrets, intellectual property and high technology. But in public they've been reluctant to point fingers and instead have referred obliquely to "some nations" or "our rivals."

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Crisis In The Housing Market
2:36 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

As Foreclosures Surge, Help Is Often Hard to Find

Residents pack an auditorium during a town hall on mortgages organized by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, in Northern Virginia.
Todd Parola Todd Parola Photography

President Obama's new plan to help millions of people stay in their homes by refinancing their mortgages at low rates raised hopes of easing the housing crisis.

But federal budget cuts have sharply reduced the number of housing counselors who can help distressed homeowners in the nation's hardest hit communities. Banks that own the properties are slow to pick up the tab.

"We are definitely concerned about counseling capacity," says Lemar Wooley, a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Native America Calling
2:33 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

What Does Native Heritage Mean to You?

Fri. 11/04 11a: November is Native American Heritage Month, and who we are as Native peoples is fuel behind the celebrations, events and even feasts that will be taking place in our communities. It is also an opportunity to educate those outside of the Native circle about who we are, and why we have pride in our culture. 

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Report: Many Large Corporations Are Paying No Income Taxes

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 2:31 pm

As the U.S. faces a presidential election in the middle of tough economic times, taxes have been firmly in the spotlight. A study (pdf) released today is bound to add more fuel to the fire.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:47 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Insurance Penalties For Smokers Draw Wide Support

A woman smokes outside an office building in New York City.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 2:19 pm

When it comes to improving health, there are carrots and there are sticks.

One way to try to influence people's habits is by tying how much they pay for health coverage to their behavior.

Starting next year, for instance, Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, will charge workers who smoke a penalty ranging from $260 to $2,340 annually on health insurance. That's a pretty big stick. As for a carrot, the retailer will offer free smoking-cessation help.

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