Top of the Morning: White House Unveils Food Aid Overhaul

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White House Unveils Food Aid Overhaul

The White House budget proposal, released yesterday, contains a massive transformation in the way the US approaches food aid. “The budget proposes the most sweeping change in US food aid in decades, with a plan intended to feed more people and deliver food more quickly. It would end a practice of buying food from American farmers and shipping it overseas. Under the plan, Washington would donate $1.1 billion to a disaster relief account for food vouchers that would be used to buy food from suppliers located near areas of need. Shipping can double food aid costs because, by law, supplies must be transported on US-flagged vessels.” The wonky details from USAID can be found here: (AlertNet

Amnesty International Report: Getting Closer to a Death Penalty Free World

Only 21 countries were reported to have carried out an execution in 2012. That’s progress, says AI in its annual report. “Only 21 of the world’s countries were recorded as having carried out executions in 2012 – the same number as in 2011, but down from 28 countries a decade earlier in 2003.  In 2012, at least 682 executions were known to have been carried out worldwide, two more than in 2011. At least 1,722 newly imposed death sentences in 58 countries could be confirmed, compared to 1,923 in 63 countries the year before.” (Amnesty