7:03am

Tue July 31, 2012
Book Reviews

'The Chocolate Thief': A Delectable Summer Bonbon

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 5:03 pm

Laura Florand's new novel concerns a romance between a French chocolatier and an American candy-bar magnate.
Nikki deGroot iStockphoto.com

Some despair at the idea the world will end in fire or ice. To my mind, given that the earth is our only source of chocolate, it hardly matters how the supply is cut off. I think woe and joy are best addressed with chocolate, whether it is shaped into a kiss or comes from an Ecuadorian plantation.

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5:49am

Tue July 31, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Medical Technician Might Have Exposed Hundreds To Hepatitis C

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 3:24 pm

After five years of crisscrossing the country as a traveling medical technician, David Kwiatkowski landed at New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital in the spring of 2011. A full-time job in the hospital's cardiac unit soon followed.

It was at Exeter that federal prosecutors say the 33-year-old began to divert syringes of the drug Fentanyl. They say Kwiatkowski, who was arrested July 19, would inject himself with the painkiller, and then refill syringes with a saline solution. He is hepatitis C-positive, meaning those tainted needles might have spread the liver-damaging virus.

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5:07am

Tue July 31, 2012
Dead Stop

Rediscovered Headstones Hold Clues To Earthquake

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 8:55 am

The Gilliam Cemetery, near Sebastopol, Calif., received its first grave in 1852. Many of its older headstones have disappeared over the years.
Cindy Carpien NPR

The Gilliam Cemetery, which lies 60 miles north of San Francisco, appears to be gaining residents lately. But it's not only because new people have been interred there. Instead, headstones that wound up being buried a century ago have been found and resurrected.

The cemetery's story begins in 1850, when a wagon train of pioneers left Missouri and settled near what is now Sebastopol, Calif. The Gilliam Cemetery was started in 1852, when Polly Gilliam Sullivan and her husband, Isaac, needed a place to bury their stillborn son.

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5:07am

Tue July 31, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Is Housing Recovery Real? Not Everyone Is Convinced

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 5:08 pm

A construction worker carries lumber while working on new homes in San Mateo, Calif., in March. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Housing, the sector that led us into the recession, now looks to be one of the brighter spots in the economy. Homebuilding is at its highest level in nearly four years. More homes are selling, and at higher prices.

The question, of course, is whether this is a solid enough foundation to sustain a full housing recovery.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says housing woes are largely behind us.

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5:06am

Tue July 31, 2012
Politics

Romney Goes After Obama On Alleged Leaking Of Secrets

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 8:25 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney meets with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars after his speech at the VFW National Convention in Reno, Nev., on July 24.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

The latest national security issue to figure in the presidential campaign has little to do with Iran, Afghanistan or other foreign policy challenges. Mitt Romney is instead focusing on what he and other Republicans allege is the Obama administration's record of leaking classified information for political purposes.

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5:04am

Tue July 31, 2012
Space

Telescope Targets Black Holes' Binges And Burps

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:45 am

The NuSTAR telescope, seen in this artist's illustration, will soon be sending back data that researchers will use to study black holes.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's newest space telescope will start searching the universe for black holes on Wednesday. Scientists hope the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, which launched about six weeks ago and is now flying about 350 miles above the Earth, will help shed some light on the mysteries of these space oddities.

Mission control for the telescope is a small room on the University of California, Berkeley, campus, where about a dozen people with headsets rarely look up from their screens.

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5:03am

Tue July 31, 2012
Europe

Italy Worries Sicily's Woes Could Have Ripple Effect

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 5:09 pm

Raffaele Lombardo, the governor of Sicily, speaks to reporters after his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Rome last week. Lombardo has been accused of having ties to the Mafia in Sicily.
Alessandro Bianchi Reuters/Landov

In antiquity, Sicily was known as Greater Greece. Now, the eurozone crisis has led to sharp spending cuts and, with an economy based on public sector wages, Sicily is being called Italy's Greece. The central government fears the region's debt of more than $6 billion could further endanger the country's financial stability.

Worried about contagion, the Rome government is dictating on Sicily tough bailout conditions similar to those international lenders imposed on Greece.

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7:23pm

Mon July 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney's Foreign Trip Hits Right Note For Some, Potholes For Others

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 2:01 pm

Mitt Romney, right, meets Monday with former Polish President Lech Walesa in Gdansk.
Charles Dharapak AP

As Mitt Romney nears the end of his seven-day trip abroad, it's safe to call the results mixed at best.

The trip to Great Britain, Israel and Poland had several goals. It was meant to show that Romney has the gravitas and acumen to be this country's top foreign affairs policymaker; to remind U.S. voters of his success running the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics; to appeal to certain voters in battleground states, especially Jewish and Catholic voters of Polish heritage, and to raise campaign cash.

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6:25pm

Mon July 30, 2012
Poetry Games

'Olimpicamente': In Praise Of Feistiness And Big Feet

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:14 am

Ron Tanovitz

A poet and editor of BOMB magazine living in Brooklyn, Monica de la Torre was born in Mexico City. Her poem "Olimpicamente" is told in the voice of the Mexican taekwondo champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza, who was born in the village of La Brecha, in the state of Sinaloa, where her father was a fisherman. Though of limited means, her parents supported her passion for taekwondo, and in 2008 Espinoza fought her way to a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics. "I am," says the poet, "dumbfounded and positively moved by Maria del Rosario's improbable story."

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6:03pm

Mon July 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Texas GOP Senate Runoff Gives Tea Party An Opportunity To Flex Its Muscles

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 9:45 am

Ted Cruz, left, and David Dewhurst shake hands before their Republican Senate debate in Dallas on June 22.
LM Otero AP

The Republican race to succeed retiring Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison wasn't supposed to be tough. But it's become one of the hardest-fought and most expensive intraparty races in the country.

Early this year, the race was expected to be a coronation for Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, 66.

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