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Monkey See
10:55 am
Wed January 15, 2014

'Idol' Takes A Hugely Unexpected Step Toward Being Much Less Terrible

Judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. appear on a surprisingly non-terrible American Idol opener on Wednesday night.
Michael Becker Fox

It's just me now, I thought this morning. All alone. I could almost hear the desert wind. I could almost see the tumbleweeds.

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Music Reviews
10:54 am
Wed January 15, 2014

The Soul Singer Who Never Quite Made It

James Govan (left) with producer and engineer Mickey Buckins in the studio.
Courtesy of Ace Records

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 2:46 pm

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Wed January 15, 2014

$500M From Kuwait Among Pledges For Syrians Affected By War

Syrian refugees sit by their tent in a camp on the Lebanese border town of Arsal on Dec. 15.
Ahmad Shalha Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 11:50 am

Several donor nations have each pledged tens of millions of dollars for civilians affected by Syria's civil war.

The pledges, including $500 million from Kuwait and $380 million from the U.S., came Wednesday at the start of a conference in Kuwait City to raise money for the humanitarian suffering caused by the more than two years of fighting. The U.N. wants $6.5 billion for the effort to assist Syrian refugees. It's the largest-ever appeal for a single crisis.

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The Salt
10:40 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Where In The World Is The Best Place For Healthy Eating?

The U.K. has plenty of fresh produce available, such as these vegetables on display at a garden show in Southport, England. But these healthy options cost more in the U.K. than in any other country in Western Europe.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:03 pm

The Dutch are known for their lax drug laws, tall statures and proficient language skills.

Perhaps we should add stellar eating habits to that list, as well.

The Netherlands ranked as the easiest country in the world in which to find a balanced, nutritious diet, the advocacy group Oxfam reported Tuesday.

France and Switzerland shared the second slot. And Western Europe nearly swept the top 20 positions, with Australia just edging into a tie for 8th.

Where did the U.S. land?

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Piracy On High Seas At Lowest Level In 6 Years, Report Says

Troops from the EU Naval Force warship FS Aconit intercepting a group of suspected pirates off Somalia in March 2012. Multinational naval patrols in the area have been partly credited with reducing incidents of piracy.
Danile Costantini Maxppp/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 11:37 am

Piracy at sea has hit a six-year low, thanks largely to a steep drop in attacks by Somali pirates operating in the Indian Ocean, according to a new report by the International Maritime Bureau.

The maritime watchdog says there were 264 strikes against shipping worldwide last year — a drop of 40 percent since attacks peaked in 2011. And there were just 15 attacks off the coast of Somalia; by comparison, that same area saw 75 attacks in 2012 and 237 the year before.

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