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World in brief

by The Concordian November 22, 2011

Congress deems pizza a vegetable

On Thursday, the U.S. Congress passed a bill which allows pizza to continue being counted as a vegetable in school lunches. The move comes after the legislative body blocked proposed changes on Monday to the U.S. school lunch program intended to combat childhood obesity. As they stand, the current rules count a quarter-cup of tomato paste as a vegetable serving. The frozen food industry thought that the new rules, which would have required that more tomato paste be included on a pizza to earn vegetable status, would have made the food unappetizing, according to The New York Times.

Two arrested in connection to Craigslist murder scheme

A man and a teenager from Akron, Ohio have been arrested in connection with a plan to murder respondents to job search advertisements on Craigslist, the BBC reported. The teenager has been charged with attempted murder, while the man has yet to face charges. A first victim escaped from a remote, wooded Ohio property with a wound in the arm after having a gun pointed at the back of his head. The South Carolina man had responded to an ad on the website for a job as a farm-hand. After the incident was reported, a woman called police to say that she hadn’t heard from her brother, who had also responded to an ad for help on a farm, in weeks. A body of a Florida man was subsequently found in a grave nearby; the cause of death is currently unknown.

Brazil oil spill might be bigger than expected

An oil spill that has been leaking off the coast of Brazil since Nov. 8 could be bigger than estimated, Rio de Janeiro state environment minister Carlos Minc said on Friday. Federal police said Chevron, the oil company which owns the well, drilled 500 metres deeper than allowed. The spill has not yet been contained, and its exact cause is not yet known, the Canadian Press reported. While Minc did not disclose how much oil had been spilled, Chevron has said the damage hovers between 400 and 650 barrels of oil, a figure contested by the National Petroleum Agency and nonprofit group SkyTruth. Chevron has 18 ships working to collect oil off the surface and is currently working on plugging the well.

PM turned pop star

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has announced the impending release of his album of love songs, according to ANSA, an Italian news agency. Nov. 22 will mark the release of “Il Vero Amore,” or “The True Love,” his fourth studio album with singer Mariano Apicella. Berlusconi wrote the Neapolitan love songs sung by Apicella. The billionaire, who once held a job as a singer on a cruise ship, had originally planned to release the album in September, but it was pushed back, reportedly due to his efforts to stave off an impending debt crisis in the country. However, Apicella denied those rumours. Berlusconi stepped down from his role on Nov. 13.

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