For respite from the harshest Winter days, turn to the simple yet satiating Northeastern staple known as clam chowder. Not only will this soup provide you with warmth in the most bone-chilling weather, but its shellfish base will remind you that balmy Summer days at the beach aren't but several months away. This balanced, nutritious, one-pot meal can be made with shortcuts like bottled clam juice; or, for an extra-special soup, make the seafood base from scratch. To make either version of this New England classic, read more
- A classified US order from 2004 authorized the US military to attack al Qaeda anywhere in the world. The order has allowed the US to secretly attack militants in Syria, Pakistan, and other places. — New York Times
- President-elect Barack Obama will meet President Bush in the Oval Office today, to begin the transition of power. The two are expected to discuss the economy, the war in Iraq, and national security. Laura Bush will give Michelle Obama a tour of the White House. — CNN
- Three bombs that exploded moments apart in Baghdad, Iraq yesterday left at least 28 people dead. Two of the explosions were car bombs and the third was a suicide bomber who blew himself up in the crowd trying to rescue people. — BBC News
- An argument over Sunday's Alabama-LSU overtime football game ended with an Alabama couple shot to death. — Alabama Press-Register
- A backlash against California's Proposition 8 has erupted. This weekend, same-sex marriage supporters protested the new law outside churches around the state, including a Mormon tabernacle. — San Francisco Chronicle
This week Noteworthy Nibbles includes an international chocolate show complete with chocolate-inspired runway designs. In sunny Florida, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival should be quite the spectacle. Folks who live in Virginia have the great fortune of two oyster events this weekend. Personally, I'm looking forward to San Francisco Wine Week!
Know of anything we've left out? Drop us a line in the comments below!
- Orlando, FL: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival — Nov. 4-9
- Philadelphia, PA: Celebrity Chef Tour — Nov. 6
- St. Helena, CA: CIA Worlds of Flavor International Conference — Nov. 6-8
- Palm Desert, CA: The Art of Food & Wine — Nov. 6-9
- Ann Arbor, MI: Save a Heart Celebration of Wine and Food — Nov. 7
To see the rest, read more
Sometimes a news story doesn't allow for any ducking and covering, and this is one of those: the possibility of al-Qaeda acquiring nuclear weapons. While nuclear weapons in countries like Iran and North Korea are worrisome, CIA Director Michael Hayden said yesterday that the agency's top nuclear threat is al-Qaeda.
Hayden said, "There is no greater national security threat facing the United States than al-Qaida and its associates." The concern of course, is that al-Qaeda is more likely to use them. Talking about North Korea's off-again on-again nuclear relationship and Iran's complicated situation, Hayden said with them, "The question is not of capability, but intent."
The intent of course is clear with al-Qaeda. Hayden says, "Bin Laden has said repeatedly that he considers acquisition of nuclear weapons a religious duty. And we know that al-Qaida remains determined to attack our country in ways that inflict maximum death and destruction." It's believed that Osama bin Laden is no longer overseeing the day-to-day operations of al-Qaeda. Hayden added that the best thing the next president could do to help the CIA wrestle with these problems is to step aside and allow the agency to work.
To see the complicated state of Iran's program, read more
- Julia Child Was a Spy:
Newly released files show that famous chef Julia Child was a World War-II era spy. The CIA declassified 35,000 top-secret personnel files that detailed the huge spy network run by the OSS, which later became the CIA. Former OSS agents are pleased with the release of the information, a list which includes other notables like Ernest Hemingway's and Teddy Roosevelt's sons.
- Inflation Hits Major High:
Consumer prices rose at twice the rate expected to post the fastest rate of growth in 17 years. Costlier energy and food made the Consumer Price Index balloon. Food alone is six percent more expensive than a year ago.
- Lebanon Bombing Kills 15:
A briefcase bomb detonated in a bus packed with Lebanese soldiers on their way to work, killing 15 and wounding more than 40 people. The bombing distracted from the news from Damascus that Syria and Lebanon were to establish diplomatic relations for the first time since both won their independence from France in the 1940s. The bombing is the deadliest attack in Lebanon in more than three years.
Does an interrogation class covering "coercive management techniques" like sleep deprivation, prolonged constraint, and exposure sound like something that would be conducted in modern America, or 1950s communist China? The answer is both!
During the Korean War, the US Air Force studied Chinese "torture" tactics used to obtain often false confessions from captured Americans. Recently, CIA and Guantanamo interrogators have become students of the tactics, according to the New York Times. Specifically, an entire interrogation class taught at Gitmo in December 2002 focused on the coercive techniques. To find out how the teachers explain the purpose of the class, read more
Google is helping the CIA get its blog on. The internet search engine giant will supply the technology for a Wikipedia-style intelligence site: Intellipedia.
Agents will post information about targets on a secure internal forum where they can read, edit, and tag their own content, as well as the content of other spies. There will be three levels of access: top secret, secret and sensitive, and sensitive but unclassified.
This is just one of the many lucrative contracts secured by Google's "Federal Government Sales Team." It is reassuring that the government is willing to look to the private sector for innovative national security technology.
But, does it make you at all nervous that Google, a company with unimaginable access to information about private citizens, is getting nice and cozy with the federal government?
CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress that waterboarding was necessary, but probably not legal under the current statute, on Thursday. Hayden confirmed that the technique of simulated drowning is not currently part of the CIA's interrogation program, but was used five years ago on three top al-Qaeda suspects.
On the same day, US Attorney General Michael Mukasey told lawmakers he would not open a criminal investigation into the CIA's use of waterboarding. He maintained that because the Justice Department authorized the program, it cannot prosecute someone who followed that advice.
The US continues to face international ridicule for not rejecting waterboarding, the technique that entails strapping a suspect down and pouring water over his cloth-covered face to create the sensation of drowning. Just Wednesday, the United Nations' torture investigator harshly criticized the White House for defending waterboarding, calling it absolutely unacceptable under international human rights law.