National News

From the botanical to the economic, spring's iconic vegetable still harbors surprises.

Top 5 Ways Asparagus, A Rite Of Spring, Can Still Surprise

As the snow melts, even in Minnesota, and daylight lingers into evening, people who like to eat with the seasons know what's coming: asparagus.

"Asparagus means the beginning of spring. It's spring!" says Nora Pouillon, chef and founder of Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C. Later this month, she'll revise her menu, and it will certainly include asparagus with salmon, and asparagus soup.

It's an elegant vegetable, Pouillon says, and unique: "Sweet and bitter at the same time."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his testimony Thursday before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

As Vote In Crimea Nears, Kerry Has Words Of Warning For Russia

Among the latest developments related to the crisis in Ukraine:

The University of California, Davis, recently founded a Coffee Center dedicated to the study of the beloved brew.

A Major In Coffee? UC Davis Might Be Brewing One Up

Many of us have those friends who insist that they're coffee connoisseurs and drink exclusively drip brews. But really, there aren't many academic programs that train people in the taste and science of coffee.

That might all change soon. The University of California, Davis, recently founded a Coffee Center dedicated to the study of the world of java. This week, the center held its first research conference.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. (from left), Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., met on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS

With members of the House and Senate scrapping over a Ukraine aid bill, Republicans say a magic bullet could break the logjam.

It has nothing to do with the former Soviet republic, its ability to withstand Russia's military intervention in Crimea, or this weekend's referendum in the Ukrainian territory.

It has everything to do with conservatives' fury at the IRS, which they say has waged a partisan, and unconstitutional, war against President Obama's opponents.

The charred tail section of Delta Flight 191 sits near a runway at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in August 1985 after it crashed on approach. Delta quickly retired the '191' designation.

When Bad Things Happen To Planes, Flight Codes Get 'Retired'

Malaysia Airlines announced Thursday that it will stop using two flight numbers associated with the plane that disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand on March 8, following a long-standing practice of retiring codes after similar incidents.

Flight MH370 mysteriously vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard. That number, which Malaysian Airlines uses to denote that particular route, will no longer be used after Friday as a "mark of respect" for the passengers and crew. MH371, the code used for the return flight, also will be retired.

Forget Speed-Reading. Here's Speed-Writing

Speed-reading all rage. Suddenly many speed-reading apps. Spritz. Spreeder. Others.

Some inspired by method RSVP — rapid serial visual presentation.

"Rather than read words

from left to right,"

says Marc Slater, managing director of Spreeder parent company eReflect.

"RSVP

Statins are widely prescribed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but we may not be getting a clear picture of side effect risks.

Statins Might Not Cause Aching Muscles, But Diabetes Risk Is Real

People taking cholesterol-lowering statins often report having muscle pain and other side effects. Many quit taking the pills as a result.

But the statins aren't to blame, according to an analysis that found muscle problems no more likely with statins than with a placebo pill.

A FootGolfer, in argyle socks.

FootGolf: A New Sport Explored In 19 Questions

Springtime. And our thoughts turn to Augusta and lush green courses and a tradition unlike any other.

No not The Masters tournament — FootGolf.

Attorney General Eric Holder appearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, in January.

Holder Backs Reduced Sentences For Some Drug Traffickers

Attorney General Eric Holder is backing a proposal to shorten sentences for nonviolent drug dealers in an effort reduce federal spending on prisons.

Holder appeared before the United States Sentencing Commission on Thursday to announce his support of the panel's recommendations to trim federal guidelines for sentencing of drug traffickers to 51 months from 62 months.

JuJu Harris is the author of <em>The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook. A</em> former recipient of government food assistance, she now teaches healthy eating skills to low-income families in Washington, D.C.

Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There

JuJu Harris didn't set out to write a cookbook, but then again, she didn't set out to raise seven children or accept public assistance to feed them, either. Harris always wanted to work with nature.

"My dream job was, I was going to grow up and be a national park ranger," she says. It didn't quite work out that way. She drifted from job to job in Oakland, Calif., where she was born. At 32, she joined the Peace Corps, traveling to Paraguay to help local farmers improve their crops.

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