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FROM THIS EPISODE

In New Mexico, kids are missing their white-flour tortillas. In Tennessee, it's bring back the biscuits. In Georgia, it's fried chicken. Nutritional standards for the federal school-lunch program don't always go down easy — and the processed food industry's not ready to swallow financial losses either. We hear about a dispute that goes from school cafeterias to Capitol Hill. Also, President Obama's "solidarity event" in Poland, and the man who fights fraud, waste and corruption in rebuilding Afghanistan.

Banner image: reed-sandridge

Producers:
Benjamin Gottlieb
Evan George
Caitlin Shamberg

Obama's "Solidarity Event" in Poland Is Aimed at Russia 7 MIN, 51 SEC

President Obama is touring Europe, in part to bolster security in the aftermath of Russia's aggressiveness in Ukraine and its takeover of Crimea. In Warsaw, Poland today he said he'll ask Congress for a $1 billion "European Reassurance Initiative." "We'll increase the number of American personnel army and air force units continuously rotating through allied countries in central and eastern Europe. And we will be stepping up our partnerships with friends like Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia as they provide for their own defense."

Guests:
Margaret Talev, Bloomberg News (@margarettalev)
Peter Spiegel, Financial Times (@SpiegelPeter)

More:
Talev on the President's Europe Security Fund
Spiegel on the US strengthening military presence in Europe

School Lunches, the Food Lobby and the First Lady 32 MIN, 41 SEC

First Lady Michelle Obama may not be lecturing kids about obesity and heart disease, but she does want them eating their fruits and vegetables. Nationwide, most districts are complying with nutritional standards she's pushed for the federal school lunch program, even though it's not easy. But in some districts, kids are throwing the healthy stuff into the trashcans and, now, the multi-billion dollar processed-food industry is raising its voice. Congress is considering "waivers" for schools to opt out. Is it Washington's role to save a new generation from obesity and heart disease? Why has the School Nutrition Association changed sides? Will kids get the last word on what goes into their bodies?

 

 

 

Guests:
Tom Hamburger, Washington Post (@thamburger)
Lyman Graham, New Mexico School Districts
Donna Martin, Burke County Board of Education (@BCPS_Bears)
Daren Bakst, Heritage Foundation (@darenbakst)
Sam Farr, House Agriculture Appropriations Committee (@RepSamFarr)

More:
Hamburger on the backlash over the school lunch program
Bakst on the Obama Administration’s battle over school meal programs
Farr on keeping school lunches healthy

John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction 10 MIN, 47 SEC

The US has made a major commitment to help rebuild Afghanistan after more than a decade of warfare. That means billions of future taxpayer dollars, in addition to the $103 billion already spent. Fraud, corruption and waste are so prevalent, that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has no less than 340 ongoing investigations. In the past two years. SIGAR John Sopko has scored 42 convictions and saved $256 million -- and that's just the beginning.

Guests:
John Sopko, Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

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