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Soup in the News

(Archive Dateline: May 1999)

Date Item
Deutsche Press-Agentur
On the heels of the democratic election of Nigerian President Obasanjo, a Nigerian high official responds to the new president's anti-corruption briefing enthusiastically, saying, " I pray God chooses his advisors for him. During the late General Abacha's regime, we had lots of sycophants parading as government functionaries, but who were ready to sell their conscience for a pot of soup."
Associated Press State & Local Wire
On the occasion of Memorial Day, former World War II POW at Markt Pongau recalls that his five months of watery barley soup during winter in the Austrian prison camp reduced his weight to 98 pounds. A lifelong Nebraskan, George Lynch is commander of the Cornhusker Chapter of the American Prisoners of War.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Mariner third baseman Russ Davis was forced to miss last night's victory game with Tampa on account of ill health, but is back on base after a bowl of soup, which he was able "to eat and get my energy back."
Associated Press State & Local Wire
North Pole trekker saves the life of his partner with hot soup. Randy Swanson was one of 10 paying customers who hired Wintergreen Dogsledding Inc. for a once-in-a-lifetime trip...when he found his expedition mate collapsed on the ice. Despite frostbite, both persevered, ultimately reaching their destination on April 26th.
Associated Press State & Local Wire
A San Jose, California, freeway excavation project located lost 8-block historic Chinatown district dating from 1887 along the Guadalupe River when it dug up an identifiable porcelain soup spoon and other cooking artifacts.
The Houston Chronicle
87-year-old mother laments the murder of her son, who used to cook her favorite soup with rice for her. Jessie Carrington was shot while defending his handicapped girlfriend from the sexual advances of a drunken bully and ex-con, 71-year-old Allen Nichols.
The Allentown Morning Call
Redi-Base announces Internet sales of 35 new soupbase (and other) products, including lobster, shrimp, and crab bases as well as low-sodium bases, accessible at
South China Morning Post
Roger Dean Du Mars reports from Seoul that, to the horror of animal rights activists, South Korean legislators are trying to curry favor with voters by legalising the butchering and eating of dog meat, prime ingredient in poshintang--a dog meat soup that is said to enhance a man's sexual performance.
San Francisco Chronicle
Mick LaSalle reports that Al Jolson fans celebrated the 49th anniversary of the entertainer's death by eating his last meal of fish soup at Tarantino's, the very place itself. The story goes that 64-year-old Jolson was playing cards when he complained of indigestion that turned out to be a fatal heart attack. "I'm going, I think I'm going," were Jolson's last words.
BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific
A recent article in North Korean newspaper Nodong Sinmun' appeals to citizens to strengthen the national agricultural initiatives in the name of "the respected and beloved Comrade Kim Chong-il. With this policy "lies the road for brilliantly realizing the fatherly leader's desire during his entire life, which was to make sure our people have white rice and beef soup."
The Denver Post
Have a craving for the most expensive soup in the world? Go to Lespinasse in New York City where a bowl of Leek and Potato Soup will set you back $35. Of course the leeks are flown in from Holland...and the potatoes from Idaho...and the garnish of Sauteed Langoustines and Black Truffle from Texas and Italy, respectively.
Los Angeles Times
James Gertenzang reports from New York that President Clinton drummed up little support at a Democratic $10,000/plate fundraiser featuring cold tomato soup. Gertenzang opines that the wrong Clinton came to town....
The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune
Petula Dvorak reports from Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovinia, that New Orleans police officer Barry Fletcher, unarmed United Nations peacekeeper in Bosnia, subsists on pots of noodle soup as he tries to link his efforts with those of democratically oriented young police officers who are untainted by the old security force police.
USA Today
Tom Squitieri reports from Little Rock on the trial of Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie, on trial for obstructing a Senate investigation of the 1996 campaign fund-raising scandal. It was Trie who opened a Chinese restaurant in Little Rock and made friends with rising politician Bill Clinton by serving him the house signature dish, hot-and-sour soup.
The (London) Guardian
In Maureen Paton's interview with Roger Michell, film director of Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, Michell recalls his lean years in the 70s and 80s when he actually rented a flat in the then hippy ghetto of Notting Hill "where he would buy potatoes and parsnips for 'ghastly soups' from the Portobello Road market traders featured in his film."
U.S. Newswire
Drug Czar Barry McMcCaffrey urges parents to involve their children in soup kitchens and other "positive, adult supervised activities" during summer vacation from school this summer.
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Maggie Ahmaogak, executive director of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, reports that the Makah tribemembers will be making soup of the gray whale they killed on 5/17/99. This is the first whale caught by tribespeople in 70 years and they are trying to remember how they cooked this rich, oily meat in years past.
Detroit News
B. G. Gregg reports on frivolous prison inmate law suits, including the case of one inmate suing after his soup was served cold. Michigan is coming to grips with the problem by introducing legislation that will make prisoners pay $100 to $150 filing fees--and cap their ability to file after 3 suits are thrown out by a judge...excepting suits pertaining to real physical or sexual abuse to their persons.
the Gazette (Montreal, Canada)
Dina Kraft reports from Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon, Israel, that Ehud Barak's parents continue to spoon out chicken soup at the kibbutz as son Ehud solidifies his lead over Binyamin Netanyahu for Prime Minister--reminiscing on his wayward days when he was "smart but not always diligent."
AAP Newsfeed
In Melbourne, Australia, World Vision launched its 40-hour campaign against famine with the help of some 350,000 young Australians. Two hundred students from Carey Grammar simulated conditions in Kosovo refugee camps and all ate soup and bread "as a symbolic last meal before they start their famine tonight."
International Herald Tribune
Mary Blume reports on the death of 88-year-old Mouna Aguigui (aka, Andre Dupont), the last "public prankster in Paris" who began his public life at the age of 40 when, running a restaurant in Montmartre across the street from a funeral parlor, he "saw my life floating away in bowls of fish soup"--and took happily to the streets. At one point Mouna apostrophized, "I could lead hundreds of people, but where to? And what for?"
Agence France Presse
Celebrity human rights activist Bianca Jagger responded to the plight of Kosovo refugees in Macedonia. The Nicaragua-born former actress and ex-wife of Rolling Stones vocalist Mick Jagger joined the UN's World Food Programme picnic at Senekos refugee camp to serve bean soup to the displaced refugees.
AP Worldstream
Matti Huuhtanen reports that Finnish President and Mrs. Ahtisaari entertained French President and Mrs. Chirac at Helsinki's presidential palace on morel and ptarmigan soup.
The Atlanta Constitution
Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary, spices up Emory University Commencement speech by recalling his first meeting with President Clinton, who offered him chicken soup when he was a seasick Rhodes scholar: "Just the sight of the chicken soup made me want to vomit. So I declined the offer, thanked him and shut the door in his face. A quarter century after that, he asked me to be in his Cabinet.".
The Scottish Daily Record
Angela Dewar reports that American writer Faith D'Aluisio traveled to Guangzhou, China, to eat scorpion soup. "The soup is succulent but tasted mostly of pork and Chinese dates," she said. "I grabbed a scorpion and ate the whole thing in one bite--except for the tip of the tail."
The Calgary Herald
Canada's Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Stephane Dion had just taken his place to serve lunch at a Montreal soup kitchen when, wham!, he got hit in the face with a pie. Dion was not amused. He is considering legal action against the pie thrower, who raced off--shouting "He's making political capital on our backs" while at the same time fixing a big red nose on his own face.
Australian AP Newsfeed
Wood and Baillie, the Hobart catering firm that has secured the Defense contract for feeding Australia's first Kosavar refugees, has planned a first meal of hearty soup and crusty bread for them at Tassy, former army camp, where they will be living.
The Atlanta Constitution
Charles Holmes reports from Landstuhl, Germany, that the 3 freed American servicemen POWs, were fed a sparse diet of soup and bread in solitary confinement in Yugoslavian military prison, following their capture on March 31 by Serb forces on the Macedonian border. All lost weight, as much as 14 pounds.
The Sun Sentinal (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Luisa Yanez reports from Miami that 4 Cuban reports concluded their hunger strike against the INS for detaining their sons by celebrating the sons' promised release with chicken soup...after losing as much as 32 pounds over 47 days.
New York Times
Carol Kaesuk Yoon reports that the world's great centers of turtle and tortoise diversity--Laos, Vietnam, and other Southeast Asian locations--are being fatally depleted by collectors supplying the Chinese soup markets. Dr. John Behler, turtle group chairman at The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, says, "The China markets are a black hole for turtles."