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Showing posts from February 4, 2014

Century of Violence: What World War I Did to the Middle East

By Bernhard Zand

James Francis Hurley/ Ullstein Bild

World War I may have ended in 1918, but the violence it triggered in the Middle East still hasn't come to an end. Arbitrary borders drawn by self-interested imperial powers have left a legacy that the region has not been able to overcome.

Damascus, year three of the civil war: The 4th Division of the Syrian army has entrenched itself on Kassioun Mountain, the place where Cain is said to have slain his brother Abel. United Nations ballistics experts say the poison gas projectiles that landed in the Damascus suburbs of Muadamiya and Ain Tarma in the morning hours of Aug. 21, 2013 were fired from somewhere up on the mountain. Some 1,400 people died in the attack -- 1,400 of the more than 100,000 people who have lost their lives since the beginning of the conflict.


Baghdad, in the former palace quarter behind the Assassin's Gate: Two years after the American withdrawal, Iraqis are once again in full control of the so-called G…

Season's eatings: mango roses with chilli, lime and salt

In the first of a new fortnightly series featuring Australian seasonal recipes, a savoury Mexican kick brings out the sweetness of a fruit that evokes Queensland childhood summers

Words by Romy Ash; recipe by Sarah Trotter and Romy Ash; pictures by Lauren Bamfordwith styling by Sarah Trotter

Monday 3 February 2014 22.11 EST

Mango rose: a pretty and delicious dessert with an extra chilli heat Photograph: Lauren Bamford

A box of mangoes is always a summer treat. Right now they’re as reasonably priced as they are going to get, and the scent of them fills the local greengrocer's. There are boxes of cheap overripe mangoes too, which are still delicious but should be kept for something like a mango lassi or a smoothie. You can’t make this recipe with an overripe mango.

When selecting your mango it should be ripe but still firm. Choose one that is plump, firm and smells delicious. 

Pick up the mango, press it gently. It should give a little but not too much; make sure it smell…

USA & FOOD SAFETY : Farm bill passes after three years of talks


February 4 at 3:03 pm

Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a sweeping overhaul of a broad range of federal farm and nutrition policies affecting what farmers grow, how food is packaged and sold and how the government helps poor people pay for their groceries.

(Washington Post photo via Tony Thompson)

The Senate voted 68 to 32 Tuesday afternoon to approve a new, five-year farm bill that the House passed last week. The measure heads next to President Obama, who is expected to sign it in the coming days.

After nearly four years of haggling between Democrats and Republicans, the $956.4 billion package was unveiled last week and sailed through Congress in just a matter of days.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) described the agreement Tuesday as "a major bipartisan jobs bill that makes sure that 16 million people who work in agriculture... have the support that they need."

The 959-page bill authorizes the end of billions of dollars in d…


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