12:54pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Arts & Culture

The Black Brothers

Photo courtesy of www.black-brothers.com

This song sounds Irish – and it is. But the Black Brothers, who perform it, live in the Bay Area. Brother Michael is a lecturer at San Francisco State University, and brother Shay has a weekly Irish show in Berkeley.

This Saturday the Black Brothers will be at the Larkspur Theater, in Larkspur, for St. Patrick’s Day!  Their performance begins at 8pm, following a documentary about Irish Step Dancing. 

12:43pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Asia

Provocative Chinese Cartoonists Find An Outlet Online

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 3:40 am

In this illustration by a Chinese cartoonist who goes by the name Rebel Pepper, an anglerfish, representing the Chinese Communist Party, hypnotizes smaller fish, representing the Chinese people, with the glowing image of a famous, model soldier — with the implied intention of devouring them while they're distracted.
Courtesy Rebel Pepper

Chinese cartoonists have used the Internet in recent years to take aim at the Communist Party. Using Twitter-like microblogs, they try to slip past censors and skewer their government in ways that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.

One of their targets this month is an old-fashioned Communist propaganda campaign extolling the virtues of Lei Feng, a model People's Liberation Army soldier who was devoted to his fellow workers and China's leaders — and who has been dead for half a century.

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12:37pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Salt

USDA To Give Schools More Ground Beef Choices After Outcry Over 'Pink Slime'

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 12:16 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will give schools alternatives to ground beef made with what critics have called "pink slime."
mcnsonbrg@yahoo.com iStockphoto.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has weighed in on the use of so-called pink slime in beef served in the government's free and reduced-price school lunch program.

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12:32pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Middle East

Along Syrian Border, Turks Torn By Divided Loyalties

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 2:59 pm

Syrians and Turks show their support for Syrian President Bashar Assad in Turkey's southern city of Antakya on Feb. 19. Assad is a member of the minority Alawite religious sect, and many Alawites on both sides of the border support him.
Zohra Bensemra Reuters /Landov

The Syrian regime's heavy crackdown on dissent has led to a sharp plunge in relations with neighboring Turkey. But the regime does have its Turkish supporters — mainly members of the Alawite minority, the same Islamic sect Syria's ruling Assad family comes from. And that has resulted in complicated loyalties among some Turks, especially those along the border in southeastern Turkey's Hatay province.

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12:07pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Mitt Romney

For Appeal To Future, Romney's Rhetoric Looks Back

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 2:59 pm

A homemade bumper sticker on the back of a car during a Tea Party rally in Concord, N.H., Romney appeared on Sept. 4.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Every good political campaign has a motif, from President Obama's "hope" to John McCain's "maverick."

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12:00pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Blagojevich Arrives In Colorado, Reports To Prison

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, center, walks with attorneys as he arrives at the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colo., on Thursday.
Ed Andrieski AP

A day after delivering a defiant speech in which he proclaimed his innocence, disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich flew to Colorado and reported to prison to begin serving his 14-year sentence.

The AP reports:

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11:59am

Thu March 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Blackouts Predict Which Binge-Drinking Students Will End Up In ERs

Half of college students who drink say they have blackouts.
iStockphoto.com

Eighty percent of college students drink, and schools have had little success reducing those numbers, or the problems caused by excessive alcohol.

Targeting students who suffer blackouts from drinking may help, a new study says, because they are more likely to end up in the emergency room.

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11:50am

Thu March 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney's Wins In Obama's 2008 Counties Doesn't Necessarily Mean Much

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 3:20 pm

Mitt Romney shakes hands with hotel staffers in the Cleveland suburbs in February.
Gerald Herbert AP

What does it mean that in 2012 Mitt Romney has, during the Republican presidential primaries, done well in some of the same Ohio and Michigan urban-suburban counties that President Obama won in 2008 — a pattern likely to be repeated in some upcoming primaries?

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11:40am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

NAACP Takes Voter I.D. Laws To U.N. Rights Council

Like they've done in the past, the NAACP has argued before a United Nations panel that laws passed in some states that require voters to show identification suppress the votes of minorities.

Fox News reports the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People made its case in Geneva yesterday:

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11:20am

Thu March 15, 2012
Economy/Labor/Biz

X-Prize CEO on Work with Marty Nemko

With molecular biology and aerospace engineering degrees from MIT and an M.D.from Harvard, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Diamandis, founded the X-Prize Foundation to award up-to $10-million prizes to scientists that could make serious inroads into the world's greatest problems: poverty, energy, disease, etc. 

Not surprisingly, he has received all sorts of proposals. He has synthesized what he learned plus his current thinking and predictios in the just-published Simon & Schuster book, Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think.

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