Transgenics: AquaBounty Salmon and the Enviropig
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A fast-growing salmon may be the first genetically altered animal on American dinner tables. If it's approved, there will be more to come. What are the benefits? What are the risks to human beings, the environment and the animals themselves? Also, the Israelis and Palestinians agree to talk, and a court in Thailand has ordered Viktor Bout extradited to the United States. We hear why he’s called "the man who makes war possible."
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Israelis and Palestinians Agree to Talk ()
President Obama took a diplomatic gamble today by inviting the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to Washington next month to begin the first direct peace talks in almost two years. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement. Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will be joined by Egyptian President Mubarak, Jordan’s King Abdullah and Tony Blair, special representative of the US, the UN the EU and Russia, the so-called Middle East Quartet. Gideon Lichfield is deputy editor of the Economist Online and former Jerusalem correspondent for the magazine.
- Gideon Lichfield: Deputy Editor, Economist magazine
From Genetically Modified Crops to Fish and Farm Animals ()
In much of the world, genetically engineered crops, including soybeans, corn and canola, are part of the basic diet. Nearly half the fish consumed worldwide are now farm-raised, and aquaculture is an $86 billion business, one that might be about to get bigger. The FDA is reportedly on the verge of approving a genetically engineered salmon that grows faster than the natural kind. It could be the first transgenic animal sold in American markets. What if mutants get into the sea? A so-called “enviropig” might be good for the environment, but is the modification good for the pig or for human consumption? What are the benefits and risks of genetically engineered food? Are there ways of keeping a powerful technology from getting out of control?
Viktor Bout, Merchant of Death, to Be Extradited to US ()
Former Russian air force officer Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand two years ago, allegedly talking to rebels from Colombia who turned out to be American agents. Today a Thai court has ordered his extradition to the United States, over angry objections from Russia. The US claims he was negotiating to sell illegal weapons to the rebels. His wife says he was interested in “tango lessons.” Douglas Farah is a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. His book about Bout is The Merchant of Death.
- Douglas Farah: Senior Fellow, International Assessment and Strategy Center
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