1:49pm

Thu January 3, 2013
U.S.

For Many Kids, Winter Break Means Hungry Holidays

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Tamara Burney's kindergartners eat lunch in the Hillview Elementary cafeteria in Jefferson County, Ala.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Holidays are typically a festive time, with breaks from the routine, meals with loved ones, maybe even some gifts. But for many families across the U.S., the season comes with intense stress: Roughly 1 in 5 families with children are not getting enough food.

For some, free or reduced-price school meals have become a major source of basic nutrition. When schools close for the holidays, many of those families struggle to fill the gap.

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1:48pm

Thu January 3, 2013
The Salt

Drought Puts The Squeeze On Already Struggling Fish Farms

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Catfish swim in a tub outside the Osage Catfisheries office.
Kristofor Husted KBIA News

This year's drought delivered a pricey punch to US aquaculture, the business of raising fish like bass and catfish for food. Worldwide, aquaculture has grown into a $119 billion industry, but the lack of water and high temperatures in 2012 hurt many U.S. fish farmers who were already struggling to compete on a global scale.

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1:20pm

Thu January 3, 2013
U.S.

The Phantom Tax That Made The Deficit Look Better

The alternative minimum tax created a "useful fiction," as one analyst says, by appearing to shrink budget deficits.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

As Americans continue to sort out the contents of the fiscal cliff legislative package passed by Congress Tuesday, they are finding elements they like and some they hate.

There's one exception. Everyone is glad Congress finally found a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

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1:00pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

Pap Tests For Cervical Cancer Often Are Wasted

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:10 am

Cells gathered during a Pap test. Those on the left are normal, and those on the right are infected with human papillomavirus.
Ed Uthman Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to testing women for cervical cancer, the nation sure could be doing a better job.

Too many women who don't need them are getting regular Pap tests. Other women who could benefit from the tests aren't getting them, often those are women without health insurance.

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12:46pm

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Transocean To Pay $1.4 Billion In Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

The Transocean Discoverer Enterprise drill ship collects oil from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil well as workers try to stem the flow of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, June 12, 2010.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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12:35pm

Thu January 3, 2013
The Salt

Hold That Mini-Burger: Restaurants Forecast Food For 2013

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:42 am

Sliders. We're over them, the National Restaurant Association says.
Bob Ingelhart iStockphoto.com

Still ordering gazpacho and sliders at your favorite restaurant? Not pre-screening restaurant menus before you make a reservation? Well, hop in the DeLorean and set the chronometer to 2013: You're really behind the times.

Technology is in and bacon-flavored chocolate is out, says a recent survey of 1,800 chefs across the nation.

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12:16pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Television

'Downton' Returns With Aristocratic Class And Clash

Social changes, romantic intrigues and financial crises grip the English country estate in the third season of Downton Abbey, starting Sunday on PBS. Shirley MacLaine joins the cast as Cora's wealthy American mother, Martha Levinson.
Nick Briggs Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for Masterpiece

Downton Abbey, the drama series about the residents and servants at a grand estate in early 20th-century England, has done for PBS what the commercial broadcast networks couldn't achieve last year. It generated a hit show — one with an audience that increased over its run and left fans hungry for more. And that's a lot of hunger because when the second season was televised here in the states, it averaged 7 million viewers, more than most TV shows on any network, cable or broadcast.

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12:16pm

Thu January 3, 2013
Africa

Northern Mali: A Violent Islamist Stronghold

A Malian troop member checks bushes after a military raid in the Wagoudou forest.
Serge Daniel AFP/Getty Images

This past spring, Islamic extremists allied with al-Qaida took control of northern Mali after a coup destabilized the country. Adam Nossiter, the West Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, has been reporting on the Islamist takeover in the north — but has had to do so by telephone. The kidnapping threat for reporters covering the conflict is virtually 100 percent, he says.

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11:47am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

FTC Closes Google Inquiry; Tech Giant Makes Changes And Avoids Antitrust Charges

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:25 pm

Google has agreed to change some of its business practices, in an agreement made with the Federal Trade Commission that will end the U.S. agency's antitrust probe of the search and technology company.

In the terms of the deal, Google agrees not to appropriate content such as users' reviews from other sites for use in its search and mobile offerings. The company also pledged to make it easier for advertisers to compare the value of running ad campaigns through Google compared to advertising on rivals Yahoo and Microsoft.

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10:39am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Two-Way

Boehner Not Being Challenged In Vote For Speaker

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:29 pm

A thumbs-up in thanks: Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the floor of the House today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who has come under criticism from some conservative members of his Republican caucus for — in their opinions — conceding too much in negotiations with the White House, was reelected Thursday as speaker of the House.

The speaker, known for showing his emotions, later choked up several times during a mid-afternoon address to the House. He challenged members to "do the right thing" and come to their jobs "humbled."

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