Marin Cogan

According to a report issued by the Stockholm International Water Institute last week, as much as half of all the food produced globally is either wasted or lost as it makes its way through the food chain—a stunning figure given the 850 million people in the world who are malnourished. The causes vary: In developing nations, most of the waste occurs because of poor harvesting techniques or insufficient storage facilities that leave crops susceptible to infestations or rot.

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I somehow missed the New York Times report that former vice president Al Gore will address the convention on its last night, and not in Pepsi Center (20,000 odd seats), where the hum drum of Democratic business will take place, but at Invesco Field (75,000 seats) where on the last night of the gathering Barack Obama will be anointed.My guess is that Bill Clinton is not happy about the arrangements. He has been relegated to being an opening act for the vice presidential nominee Joe Biden about whom he must have mixed feelings. After all, Biden was the one Democrat who finally got the U.S.

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As Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced his departure from office today, TNR correspondent Nicholas Schmidle was on the ground to report:  This afternoon, not long after Pervez Musharraf announced that he'd had his fill after almost nine years of ruling Pakistan, I wandered across Islamabad, to the headquarters of the Pakistan People's Party. The headquarters, which include a residence and a secretariat, are referred to collectively as the Zardari House, named after Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's widow.

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If you needed any proof that Barack Obama was prepared to negotiate (generously, by the way) with the most vicious and meretricious of enemies all you have to have done is watched his high-stake transactions with the Clintons.

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Superbugs In Space!

Apropos of Dayo's earlier post on superbugs, the tiny microbes often referred to as “extremophiles” that scientists are studying for their crafty energy-processing skills, comes this piece from the Washington Post, which places the bugs at the nexus of another modern scientific challenge: the search for extraterrestrial life.

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The New Class

Amidst all the statistics clamoring for attention during the last six weeks of 24/7 Pennsylvania primary coverage, there's one key number that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves: 306,918. That's the number of new Democrats added to the voter rolls in Pennsylvania between January 1 and the voter registration deadline on March 24. 146,166 first-time voters joined the party and 160,752 switched their registration from Republican or Independent to Democrat.

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First Ladies

Imagine the following scenario: After eight long years, a Republican vacates his office. The Democrats, sensing the seat is theirs to win, put forth a number of strong, well-known candidates. Despondent Republicans lament a far-from-outstanding pool of candidates, including a would-be populist campaigning from his red pickup truck. One Democratic candidate emerges well-poised from a narrow primary win to become the first woman ever in the seat. The Republican Party, on the other hand, struggles to unify after a divisive primary.

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Precarious Gems

This past fall, the world watched in horror as brutal military rulers reasserted their control of Burma by chasing protesting monks from the streets of the country's capital. And the junta had help from a powerful ally: the American consumer. Burma produces more than 90 percent of the world's ruby and jade. According to Human Rights Watch, the state-controlled Myanmar Gems Enterprise pocketed nearly $300 million from the gem trade last year. That represents a 45 percent increase in profits from the previous year.

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French Politics

In the seven months since its launch, Arthur Goldhammer's blog French Politics has become an absolutely invaluable resource for anyone interested in France. In fact, I'd go farther. I think Goldhammer has a fair claim to be offering the best commentary on France available in the English language today. It is a good example of how the Internet has been transforming the news media.

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Tnr On The Candidates

We've anthologized our profiles of the presidential contenders just in time for Channukah...well, Christmas. Our election guide, published by Yale University Press, collects some of our classics into one pleasurable volume: Mike Crowley on Hillary and the War; Ryan Lizza on Bill Richardson and Barack Obama; Michelle Cottle on Fred Thompson; Jason Zengerle on John Edwards; Tom Edsall on Rudy. It has new essays by John B. Judis and Franklin Foer. Stick it by the john for perusing. Stuff it in stocking. Your Uncle Sammy will love it! --The Editors

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