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Food crisis; MLB drug testing...

Behind The News
April 11, 2008 12:56:00 PM PDT
The latest world crisis: the high price of food. The United Nations today is appealing to its members to immediately ante up $1.7 billion to avoid what officials say is a global food crisis in the making. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization today said in a disturbing report that 37 countries are now facing a food crisis - with prices of cereal in the world's poorest countries rising 37% last year, and expected to rise another 56% next year.

The increase could be up to 74% in Africa's poorest countries.

We've seen riots in several countries, over the price of food.

The people of Haiti have made it clear this week that they're willing to destroy what little they have to make themselves heard. It doesn't make sense, of course; but that's how desperately some people now view their situation.

Haiti is already the poorest country in this hemisphere, and it's become a dangerous place for Haitians and foreigners alike.

Americans who are there are having a hard time getting out, including a group of local medical aid workers -- doctors and nurses from New Jersey. The group has been trapped in a remote part of the country; this afternoon, finally, they were able to make their way out and they're now trying to get to the airport.

We profiled their plight last night on Eyewitness News at 11. Tonight, we await their return. You will meet them, if they make it out. Jeff Pegues is on the story for us.

Sports is also making news, with baseball players and owners agreeing to test players more frequently for steroids. But in exchange, the players named and implicated in last year's Mitchell Report will not be disciplined. And the agreement eliminates 15-day suspensions already imposed but not yet carried out against two players -- Jose Guillen and Jay Gibbons.

Is this a strengthening or a weakening of the anti-drug campaign in baseball? We'll look at that tonight. We're also looking at the game itself -- with the Yankees taking on the Boston Red Sox, the first of their 18 meetings this year.

Jessica Taff, in for Scott Clark, will have the highlights.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER


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