The Salt
2:18 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Small Cuts To Food Stamps Add Up To Big Pains For Many Recipients

The farm bill proposes a $1 billion cut to food stamps, which would affect nearly 850,000 struggling families who already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:00 pm

In a rare display of bipartisanship, the House of Representatives Wednesday approved a massive five-year farm bill that costs nearly half a trillion dollars.

The bill includes some reductions to food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, to the tune of nearly $1 billion a year. It's far less than what many Republicans had wanted. But the cuts are large enough to worry some Democrats and many food stamp recipients.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Amanda Knox Guilty Verdict Reinstated By Italian Court

Amanda Knox speaking during a taped interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer in New York in April.
Ida Mae Astute AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:52 am

An Italian court has reinstated the original guilty verdict against U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of her British roommate.

In 2009, Knox was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, but the verdict was overturned two years later. Last year, Italy's Court of Cassation overturned the acquittal and sent the case back to an appeals court in Florence.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Utah School Draws Ire For Taking Kids' Lunches; Debt Cited

Uintah Elementary School in Salt Lake City, where up to 40 students were served lunch Tuesday — only to have it discarded. They were told they didn't have enough credit on their accounts.
Google

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:41 am

Two state senators are paying a visit to an elementary school in Salt Lake City on Thursday, after reports emerged that the school had served meals to dozens of students — only to throw them away after a cashier confirmed their accounts had an outstanding balance.

Anger and frustration followed the incident, which affected up to 40 students Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

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Parallels
12:30 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Report: Syrian Government Has Demolished Entire Neighborhoods

The complete demolition of the Masha' al-Arb'een neighborhood in the Syrian city of Hama. The group Human Rights Watch says the Syrian government army destroyed at least seven neighborhoods since the middle of 2012 because they were opposition strongholds.
DigitalGlobe

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 1:58 pm

As the Syrian government and opposition forces try to make peace in Geneva, the group Human Rights Watch has issued a new report that accuses the regime of demolishing entire neighborhoods that were considered opposition strongholds.

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Parallels
12:28 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Scarlett Johansson's Middle East Flap ... Over Soda

Scarlett Johansson recently became SodaStream's spokeswoman and appeared at an event at the Gramercy Park Hotel on Jan. 10 in New York City. The actress soon found herself engulfed in controversy because of her affiliation with a company that has a factory in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Mike Coppola Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 5:55 am

When celebrities get drawn into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, wittingly or not, controversy is sure to follow.

American actress Scarlett Johansson is the latest to discover this ironclad law of Middle East politics. And the issue is soda.

Johansson has for the past eight years been the celebrity representative for Oxfam International, the global aid organization.

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All Tech Considered
12:25 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Small Cinemas Struggle As Film Fades Out Of The Picture

The Roxie Theater in San Francisco still has two 35 millimeter projectors, but the switch to digital is inevitable.
Laura Sydell NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:00 pm

Cinema owners who don't have a digital projector in their movie house can't show Paramount Pictures' latest release: The Wolf of Wall Street. This year Paramount became the first big studio to distribute a major release in the U.S. entirely in a digital format, and other studios are likely to follow.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Maine's High Court Rules In Favor Of Transgender Student

Nicole Maines, center, with her father Wayne Maines, left, and brother Jonas, speaks to reporters outside the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, Maine, in June.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Maine highest court has ruled in favor of a transgender student who sued her former school district after being required to use a staff bathroom instead of the bathroom of her choice.

Nicole Maines is a biologically a boy, but identifies as a girl.

The Associated Press reports:

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World Cafe
11:33 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Dumpstaphunk On World Cafe

Dumpstaphunk.
Silverback Music Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 12:42 pm

Dumpstaphunk has thrived in the New Orleans funk scene alongside some of the best in the business. The group's new album, Dirty Word, features a number of guest stars, including Ani DiFranco, who lives in New Orleans, and Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The record hints at gospel, blues, R&B and rock while still preserving Dumpstaphunk's funky musical heritage. Here, the band performs in the studio for World Cafe.

It's All Politics
11:13 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Policymaking By Pen: Obama's New Twist On Old Strategy

President Obama prepares to sign an executive order mandating that federal contractors be required to raise the minimum wage they pay their workers to $10.10, at the end of a Jan. 29 appearance at the US Steel's Mon Valley Works in West Mifflin, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 2:48 pm

The reviews are in for President Obama's stepped-up use of executive powers to carry out policies he can't get through Congress.

Republicans think the idea stinks.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann threatened to sue Obama over his announced intent to use his "unilateral authority" to change rules regarding, for instance, the minimum wage paid to employees by federal contractors.

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The Edge
11:05 am
Thu January 30, 2014

American Barista Fulfills Olympic Dream — On Swiss Hockey Team

Jessica Lutz is heading to the Winter Olympics from her job at a coffee shop in Washington. Recently, her fellow baristas made a latte in her honor.
Lauren Katz NPR

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:59 am

Jessica Lutz is on her way from making arty designs in coffee cups to carving Olympic ice in Sochi. And although she grew up in the U.S., Lutz will compete for the Swiss hockey team. Her story is an example of the sacrifices and strategies many athletes rely on to get to the games.

For most of the past year, Lutz, 24, crafted latte art as a barista in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in the D.C. suburb of Rockville, Md., Lutz had a chance to compete for Switzerland because of her father's nationality (she's a dual citizen).

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