Short Takes: News From All Over: December 16, 2004

Vegetarian Beers
By Geraint Bevan
There’s something fishy going on in the world of beer. Unbeknownst to most consumers, many small and large breweries use a fish-bladder extract called isinglass to clarify their beers. Consult this exhaustive list of vegetarian beers to see if your favorite brew is really the vegan elixir it appears to be. — Brendan Themes

Sisters Who Sip
By Sarah Gonzales, Ms. Magazine
Breaking down color and gender barriers over a glass of Chianti, the group Divas Uncorked is shaking up the male dominated world of wine. Consumer advocates, wine scholars, and good old-fashioned revelers, these adventurous women are spearheading a renaissance for women in the wine industry. — Brendan Themes

Talking With Anthony Papa
By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, The Nation
When Draconian drug laws took away his freedom, Anthony Papa polished the lump of coal that is prison life into an artistic diamond. After winning a pardon from New York Governor George Pataki in 1997, Papa embarked on a career to reform the unjust Rockefeller laws that steamrolled him and his fellow nonviolent drug offenders. — Brendan Themes

World Bank Puts Money into Women’s Work
By Ann Moline, Women’s eNews
While the World Bank is best known for catering to the interests of large multinational corporations, it has also created the Grassroots Business Initiative, a microcredit organization designed to encourage small business ventures that prop up the poor. Recognizing the crucial role of women in alleviating a nation’s poverty, the organization is beginning to provide support for entrepreneurial ventures that empower and aid impoverished women. — Brendan Themes

The Day the Clave Stopped
By Aurora Flores, The Village Voice
Even as the nation’s Latino population expands, public radio’s Latin music programming in major cities is either staggering or falling off altogether — leaving listeners lamenting the bygone days when jazzman Symphony Sid Torin or ‘Radio Rey’ would blast beloved salsa across New York City and give voice to the voiceless. ‘If you look at NPR, Latino USA is its only nationally syndicated program tackling the myriad of issues we face daily as a community in half an hour,’ says Alfredo Cruz, a veteran of public radio and professor of jazz. ‘Radio administrators have lost the connection to the soul — which is what this music is.’ — Elizabeth Dwoskin

China Pulls Plug on TV Sex Talk Show
By Staff, Reuters
Two weeks before it was slated to run, the Chinese government has cancelled The Masks, the first national television program devoted to breaking the long-standing social taboos that have stifled public discussions about sex. The educational program, during which participants were to expose their sex lives while wearing masks, was created in response to surveys which revealed that Chinese citizens were not only dissatisfied with their sex lives, but exhibited a level of ignorance that is contributing to the spread of HIV. — Elizabeth Dwoskin

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