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Post Mortem: January 2, 2011 - January 8, 2011

Gerry Rafferty, 'Stuck in the Middle' songwriter

Gerry Rafferty, a Scottish singer-songwriter who, as a member of the '70s band Stealers Wheel, co-wrote the hit song "Stuck in the Middle With You," died Jan. 4 at the age of 63. Rafferty retired from the limelight many years ago and had a drinking problem, but his two big...

By Matt Schudel  | January 8, 2011; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Matt Schudel  
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The Chicken King of Arkansas

In today's paper, I wrote about Don Tyson, an aw-shucks Arkansas farmhand who turned his father's single-truck poultry-hauling business into a worldwide protein empire: Tyson Foods Inc. For his poultry supremacy, Mr. Tyson earned the title of America's "Chicken King." During my research, I came across some rather interesting tidbits...

By T. Rees Shapiro  | January 7, 2011; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  T. Rees Shapiro  | Tags:  Chicken King, Don Tyson, Tyson Foods Inc.  
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Vang Pao dies; Hmong leader led secret war in Laos

Vang Pao, who led a secret CIA sponsored insurgency in Laos during the Vietnam war, has died age 81 in California. Gen. Pao was a longtime resident of the Fresno area of California, where he was considered the de facto leader of the Hmong people who lived there. As a...

By T. Rees Shapiro  | January 7, 2011; 10:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  T. Rees Shapiro  | Tags:  Laos, Vang Pao, Vietnam War  
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Donald Tyson dies: Retired poultry company executive was 80

Donald Tyson, who built his family's business into a poultry-producing behemoth, has died. Besides producing meat for TV dinners and McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, Tyson Foods was known in Washington for giving illegal gifts to Clinton-era agriculture secretary Mike Espy. In 1997, the company was fined $4 million after pleading guilty...

By Emma Brown  | January 6, 2011; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Emma Brown  
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The (Digital) Afterlife

What happens when that tweet from late last night becomes your very last? What if that awkward Facebook status update -- such as admitting that Glee's rendition of "Lucky," like, totally melts your heart -- is your final shout out to the world? A couple of stories within the past...

By T. Rees Shapiro  | January 6, 2011; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  T. Rees Shapiro  | Tags:  Facebook, Twitter, digital afterlife  
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Dick King-Smith, author of "Babe: The Gallant Pig," dies

Dick King-Smith, a British farmer-turned-writer whose beloved children's book "The Sheep-Pig" -- better known in the U.S. as "Babe: The Gallant Pig" -- was later turned into a popular movie, has died. Mr. King-Smith died yesterday at his home in southwest England. He was 88. Mr. King-Smith had written more...

By Emma Brown  | January 5, 2011; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Emma Brown, Movies  
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Remembering activist Judy Bonds

"If coal is so good for us hillbillies, then why are we so poor?" Judy Bonds, a West Virginia native who fought her state's most powerful industry, didn't mince words. She was a waitress and a convenience store clerk who found her voice as an activist in her 40s, when...

By Emma Brown  | January 5, 2011; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Emma Brown  
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Veteran Republican official John P. Wheeler III found dead in Del. landfill

John P. Wheeler III, a veteran of Washington politics who had worked in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and played a key role in establishing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, has been found dead in a Delaware landfill. His death was ruled a homicide after his body...

By Emma Brown  | January 3, 2011; 3:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Emma Brown, Military , Washington DC-area people  
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