1:44pm

Wed December 1, 2010
Shots - Health News Blog

Drug Lobby's Tax Filings Reveal Big Spending In Health Debate

It's official. The drug industry's chief lobbyists -- the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America -- raised and spent at least $101.2 million in 2009 on advocacy efforts during the contentious health care overhaul debate, according to tax documents the group filed last month.

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1:40pm

Wed December 1, 2010
Latin America

Rio Sweeps Slums Ahead Of Tourism Rush

In Rio de Janeiro, police and military on Sunday successfully retook one of the city's largest and most dangerous favelas, or slums, from drug lords. The military-style invasion involved more than 2,500 police and was carried out with relatively little violence.

It was in sharp contrast to the scene at a different slum earlier last week, where drug-trafficking gangs blocked roads, set cars and buses on fire, and attacked police posts.

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12:50pm

Wed December 1, 2010
The Two-Way

'Trillions Of Earths' Could Be Orbiting 300 Sextillion Stars

If only Carl Sagan were still with us. We can just hear him saying "sextillions and sextillions."

There's word from some scientists today that there may be three times more stars in the universe than was previously thought -- and many, many planets that could support life.

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12:30pm

Wed December 1, 2010
Food

Saffron: You Can Have Too Much Of A Good Thing

Saffron is a prized, expensive spice -- but when it comes to cooking it, you can have too much of a good thing.

That's according to food writer Monica Bhide, who was born in India and now lives in Washington, D.C., where she writes a syndicated column called "Seasonings."

Bhide recently demonstrated two recipes with saffron -- a carrot-leek soup and an Indian dessert.

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12:00pm

Wed December 1, 2010
Shots - Health News Blog

Plan To Cut Deficit Would Sock Seniors On Medicare

Apparently the president's blue-ribbon panel on reducing the federal debt didn't get the memo about Medicare being the third rail of politics. You know, touch it and die.

There are two proposals in the bipartisan group's new draft for reducing the federal deficit that sure to draw yowls from a constituency key to both political parties: the nation's seniors.

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