TAMMY BALDWIN, the Senator-Elect from Wisconsin, will become the first openly gay person ever elected to Senate. MAZIE HIRONO, the Senator-Elect from Hawaii, will become the first Asian-American woman in Senate. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, the Representative-Elect for Illinois, will become the first disabled female veteran elected to the House of Reps. (she lost both her legs in the Iraq War).
Breaking News of the Day: Pussy Riot To Go Free: About time — Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced today that the three imprisoned members of Pussy Riot will be freed, saying further time behind bars would be “unproductive.”
The band members’ case comes up for appeal October 1.
The women already had spent more than five months in jail when they were convicted in August of “hooliganism driven by religious hatred” and sentenced to two years in prison.
India has a surplus of food, yet 250 million people Indians are dying of hunger. It’s a problem of distribution and lack of political will to fix to the system. Excellent coverage by the NYTimes on an agricultural issue that will dominate ag-press in the coming years - distribution.
“The reason we are facing this problem is our refusal to distribute the grain that we buy from farmers to the people who need it,” said Biraj Patniak, a lawyer who advises India’s Supreme Court on food issues. “The only place that this grain deserves to be is in the stomachs of the people who are hungry.”
After years of neglect, the nation’s failed food policies have now become a subject of intense debate in New Delhi, with lawmakers, advocates for the poor, economists and the news media increasingly calling for an overhaul. The populist national government is considering legislation that would pour billions of additional dollars into the system and double the number of people served to two-thirds of the population. The proposed law would also allow the poor to buy more rice and wheat at lower prices.
It would not be hard at all to make higher education completely free in the USA. It accounts for not quite 2% of GDP. The personal share, about 1% of GDP, is a third of the income of the richest 10,000 households in the U.S., or three months of Pentagon spending. It’s less than four months of what we waste on administrative costs by not having a single-payer health care finance system. But introduce such a proposal into an election campaign and you would be regarded as suicidally insane.
Picture of the Day: Tahrir Square in Cairo. Several thousand protesters filled the famously revolutionary Tahrir Square on Monday night to protest the presidential election, angry at being given a choice only between a Muslim Brotherhood candidate (Mohammed Morsy) and Mubarak’s former prime minister (Ahmed Shafiq). Many are torn between a reluctant vote for the MB and not voting at all. Shafiq’s nearby office was set on fire. Protests were also held in Alexandria, Port Said and Suez.