At first, health officials in Germany pointed the finger at cucumbers grown in Spain as the source of a deadly E. coli outbreak. Then they said it was sprouts grown on an organic farm in northern Germany. Linda Wertheimer talks to Brooke Unger, Berlin Bureau Chief for The Economist, about the economic impact of the outbreak.
A worker welds at the China-Kazakhstan pipeline junction in Xinjiang, China, in 2008.
Credit Carlos Spottorno / Getty Images
The Eurasia Land Bridge, financed in large part by China, will pass through Kazakhstan and is now under construction. The railway will link Western Europe with China. This section is being constructed near the China-Kazakhstan border.
Credit David Greene / NPR
Nurlan Akhmetalin, 38, stands in front of a Chinese-owned oil processing facility near Aktobe, Kazakhstan. Now a cab driver, he worked for the China National Petroleum Corporation from 1996 to 2009. He made good money, but became less comfortable with how Chinese bosses treated employees and suspicious of China's intentions in his country.
As China grows in power and influence, few countries are feeling the effects more than neighboring Kazakhstan.
Having broken from its past as a Soviet republic, Kazakhstan now has an up-and-coming economy and a desire to be a player on the world stage. China seems to be offering just what Kazakhstan needs — billions of dollars in foreign investment and deeper political ties with real-world powers.
But many people in Kazakhstan have a plea: not too fast.
Cash-strapped states are rethinking how much health care coverage they can afford to provide for their neediest residents. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to cut $500 million in Medicaid spending — in part by freezing more than 20,000 state residents out of the program. Critics say the cuts would hurt those who can least afford it.
For years, New Jersey expanded health care coverage for low-income residents — people like Deborah Shupenko of Passaic. But last month, after 10 years of state-funded health insurance, Shupenko got a letter in the mail.
First Lady Michelle Obama received a lot of attention for her vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House. The garden, which provides vegetables both for the first family and for state dinners, was also meant to provide Americans with an example of how to eat more healthfully.
As it turns out, Washington has a long tradition of trying to guide the American diet, going back over 200 years. Founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin brought plants like rice and olives from their missions abroad to see how they would fare in their own country.