As of Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Gingrich blasts GOP strategists
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says President Barack Obama’s campaign was “eight, maybe 10 years, ahead” of the Republican Party last year in understanding the rapidly changing face of the American electorate.
Gingrich tells “CBS This Morning” that GOP strategists have failed to respond effectively to the new demographic landscape.
Gingrich, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination, says poor strategy and questionable consulting cost the Republicans at least nine U.S. Senate seats that “we should have won.”
He says, “You can’t just be an opposition party. You have to be a party that has a better alternative.”
Gingrich says Democrats have more readily adapted to a voting public that is “in many ways younger, more Latino, more African-American, than Republican strategists are capable of dealing with.”
Quinoa shortage likely in Bolivia
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — The growing global demand for quinoa by health food enthusiasts isn’t just raising prices for the Andean “super grain” and living standards among Bolivian farmers. Quinoa fever is running up against physical limits.
The scramble to grow more is prompting Bolivian farmers to abandon traditional land management practices, endangering the fragile ecosystem of the arid highlands, agronomists say.
Quinoa currently fetches as much as $3,200 a ton, up nearly threefold from five years ago — a surge fed by “foodies” making quinoa a hot health-food product based on its high content of protein and amino acids. It’s also gluten free. Though used like a grain, quinoa is actually an edible seed.
Demonstrations hit Greece
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Tens of thousands of anti-austerity demonstrators took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday as unions staged a general strike to protest government spending cuts and tax hikes, which some predict will push unemployment to an alarming 30 percent.
Police said up to 40,000 people were participating in two separate marches in central Athens. Limited clashes broke out when hooded youths threw fire bombs and stones at riot police, who responded with tear gas. No arrests or injuries were immediately reported.
“We are protesting about (reduced) pensions, emergency taxes, the high cost of life,” said retired factory worker Kyriakos Anastassiadis.
Unions are pressing for the renewal of binding collective labor contract deals that allow employers greater leverage in defining salary levels. They are also asking the government to support the crumbling labor market, where roughly 1,000 jobs have been lost daily since 2010.