January 11, 2013

Dispatches

LOS ANGELES

Half the food produced worldwide gets wasted

Up to half of the food produced worldwide never makes it into a consumer's mouth, according to a new report.

That's as much as 2 billion tons of grub that's wasted, according to a study released Thursday by Britain's Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Part of the problem is in the supply chain, in which inefficient agricultural practices, inadequate infrastructure, limited transportation options and poor storage capacity lead to squandered harvests and misused land, water and energy resources, according to researchers.

But consumers and retailers are also to blame, according to the group.

Overly strict sell-by dates means food is often thrown out before its time, the study says. The preponderance of buy-one-get-one-free offers causes households to buy more food than they can eat before it spoils. And customer demand for cosmetically perfect fruits and vegetables results in piles of scratched or misshapen - but still nutritious - produce ending up in the trash.

WASHINGTON

Asteroid thought to be deadly no longer a threat

Upon further review, a big scary-sounding asteroid is no longer even a remote threat to smash into Earth in about 20 years, NASA says.

Astronomers got a much better look at the asteroid when it whizzed by Earth on Wednesday from a relative safe 9 million miles away. They recalculated the space rock's trajectory and determined it wasn't on a path to hit Earth on April 13, 2036 as once feared possible.

At more than 1,060 feet wide, the rock called Apophis could do significant damage to a local area if it hit and perhaps even cause a tsunami.

BELLEFONTE, Pa.

Sandusky lawyer says more time wouldn't have mattered

Jerry Sandusky's lawyer testified Thursday that he did not have a chance to fully analyze 12,000 pages of discovery materials he got before trial, but said now that he has reviewed them, nothing that would have changed his defense strategy.

Joe Amendola took the stand as part of a hearing for Sandusky's defense to outline their claims of getting a new trial on the grounds they were deluged by documents they had little time to review to build their case. Senior Judge John Cleland did not immediately rule from the bench.

Amendola said he made 50 requests in the months before the June trial but by mid-May, with trial imminent, he called off his private investigators from tracking down witness and evidence.

But on cross-examination, when pressed by prosecutor Joseph E. McGettigan III about whether any of the discovery materials would have changed the defense strategy, Amendola said no.

Many were irrelevant, Amendola said.

Prosecutor Frank Fina told the judge that Amendola did a "very professional" job of cross-examining their witnesses.

 

-- From news service reports

 

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