Horse meat is the now not-so-secret ingredient found in processed food products throughout Europe. In the latest revelation, the Czech State Veterinary Administration tested two batches of frozen meatballs from Ikea and found that one pack contained horse meat. Meatballs from the same supplier have been sent to 12 European countries, ensnaring the popular furniture store in Europe’s increasingly complicated meat scandal. (Ikea’s North American branches receive its frozen meatballs from an American supplier.) In 2011, Brian Palmer examined why Americans do not eat horse meat.
Steven Brill’s 24,000-word magnum opus in Time on health care billing practices in the United States is remarkably easy to summarize: American health care costs a lot because the prices Americans pay for health care services are very high. And hospitals charge those high prices for the same reason any other business would—because they can.
Three episodes into the new season of Community, it’s become apparent that the show doesn’t really know who its characters are anymore. Understandably, Pierce has grown more and more obsolete, probably due to Chevy Chase’s impending exit from the show. But what about Greendale’s other characters, who are sticking around at least until May? In last week’s Halloween episode, for instance, Troy was reduced to a clueless infant, a grown man who seemed oblivious to anything relating to sex. In “Conventions of Space and Time,” it was Annie’s turn to play the dimwit.
International affairs can be complicated, but sometimes a case comes along that’s so simple it’s almost absurd. In 2010, the United Nations made a horrendous mistake that, so far, has claimed more than 8,000 lives. Its officials tried to cover it up. When the evidence came out anyway, lawyers for victims’ families petitioned the U.N. to end the crisis, pay damages, and apologize. For a year and a half, the world’s leading humanitarian organization said nothing. Then, last week, it threw out the case, saying, “The claims are not receivable.”
In the 18th century, the word deadline described the point, a certain number of feet from a prison building, at which guards could shoot escaping prisoners. Today, deadlines still carry potentially fatal consequences, as two Supreme Court cases being argued Monday demonstrate. In McQuiggin v. Perkins and Trevino v. Thaler, two defendants are fighting for the chance to present evidence that could call into question their convictions, even though they have both missed deadlines to make their claims.
In 2009, Zinedine Zidane, the legendary soccer player, participated in a coaching clinic in Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Children and parents filled the stands. The mood was jovial. Zidane was a once-in-a-generation sort of player, a kind of mad genius remembered today as much for his ball skills as for the infamous 2006 World Cup headbutt. The parents in attendance hoped some of those skills, like his signature pirouette (not the headbutt), would rub off on their children. But as Zidane and the gathered coaches began their lessons, something strange happened. The children in the audience began to chant. They weren’t chanting “Zidane,” although people occasionally shouted for his autograph. The children chanted “Tomsan,” the nickname of a 52-year-old retired player from upstate New York who never won a Champions League title, a World Cup Golden Ball, or a FIFA World Player of the Year award: Tom Byer.
After spending three years working on a book about imperiled red wolves, I was talking with a colleague who asked me: "So, is the red wolf completely screwed?" She lowered her voice and continued in the hushed tone one reserves for discussing the dying. "Should we just, you know, let them go?"
This article arises from Future Tense, a partnership of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University. On Feb. 28-March 2, Future Tense will be taking part in Emerge, an annual conference on ASU’s Tempe campus about what the future holds for humans. This year’s theme: the future of truth. Visit the Emerge website to learn more and to get your ticket.
India’s tallest buildings, the missile-shaped Imperial Towers, rise up through the smoggy haze of the nation’s financial capital, Mumbai, like a shimmering vision of Oz. The most dramatic view of the towers comes from gazing at them down Falkland Road, a diagonal avenue that cuts through the heart of the island metropolis and dead ends right before the buildings. But the luxury high-rises’ promotional photographs never show this view because, to Mumbaikars, Falkland Road is synonymous with prostitution and is best known for the infamous cages that display the human merchandise. On Falkland Road, rates for services begin at $1; just up the street, in Imperial Towers, the penthouses go for $20 million. The economic vertigo is even more intense than the actual vertigo one gets staring down at Falkland Road from the penthouse balcony.