The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a document yesterday that got no attention on the nightly news, or almost anywhere, really. Its title, I'm sure you'll agree, is a snooze: National Nutrient Management Standard.
Yet this document represents the agency's best attempt to solve one of the country's — and the world's — really huge environmental problems: The nitrogen and phosphorus that pollute waterways.
Christmas without cookies sounds like something the Grinch would dream up. But that may be the sad fate of many Norwegians, with a national butter shortage less than two weeks before the holiday. No krumkaker. No Berlinerkranser. No sandbakkel. In short, no delicious, butter-infused treats.
U.S. Army Lt. Adam Wilson from Ontario, California, shakes hands with Sheik Mahmood Al-Ghizzi, possibly for the last time, on December 5, in Nasiriyah, Iraq. The two men met for a final lunch as the U.S. military prepares to leave Iraq after a nearly nine-year presence.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (second from left) participate in a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday. Maliki was in Washington for talks ahead of the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq this month.
There's a nice contrast among the three quintets heard on Dave Douglas' Three Views, sketching out some of his interests. There's no overlapping repertoire or personnel. The Orange Afternoons session features the elastic rhythm trio of pianist Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh on bass and drummer Marcus Gilmore.
There are "new insights into the murky sources of Hezbollah's money," The New York Timesreports this morning, that point to "the direct involvement of high-level Hezbollah officials in the South American cocaine trade."
Here's the story's money quote:
"One agent involved in the investigation compared Hezbollah to the Mafia, saying, 'They operate like the Gambinos on steroids.' "
This was a terrific year for fiction and a particularly strong year for first-time novelists. Some of the literary debutantes who glide through this "10 best" list are so young, their wisdom teeth probably haven't had time to become impacted yet. Majestically bringing up the rear of the procession are some much-decorated veterans whose sustained achievements in fiction should ensure that the young 'uns don't rest too comfortably on their laurels.