The Night Note: 1/15/10

News you need to know.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The following stories are brought to you by the fine folks on the News4 assignment desk.

    140,000 POSSIBLY DEAD, VIOLENCE BREAKS OUT
    Haitian authorities said on Friday they believe 140,000 people died in the earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation and that three-quarters of the capital, Port-au-Prince, would need to be rebuilt.

    Three days after the quake, gangs of robbers had begun to prey on survivors living in makeshift camps on sidewalks and streets strewn with rubble and scattered decomposing bodies, as quake aftershocks rippled through the hilly neighborhoods. (Reuters)

    GREAT CASTLES AT LOW, LOW PRICES
    They can be remarkably touchy, the Bordelais. Some weeks ago, I incurred the wrath of Château Palmer for suggesting in these pages that the excellent 2006 Margaux listed by online merchant From Vineyards Direct (FVD) was made at that mighty Margaux estate.

    Bernard de Laage, director of Château Palmer, posted a comment beneath the online version declaring that the only wines made at Château Palmer were Palmer itself and the second wine, Alter Ego de Palmer. (The Telegraph)

    GARLIC PRICES SOAR IN CHINA AMID FLU FEARS
    BEIJING — Wrapped up in earmuffs and a heavy jacket to fight the Beijing winter, Liu Zhan shows little sign of soaring wealth. Until he removes his gloves — and reveals a large gold ring. At the Chinese capital's biggest vegetable wholesale market, other traders call him "Millionaire Liu."

    The pungent root of that nickname is stacked in bags on and around Liu's haulage truck. Garlic prices have jumped so high in China that the crop has outperformed gold and stocks to be the country's best performing asset this year.
    (USA Today)

    FLOOR CAVES UNDER WEIGHT WATCHERS WEIGH-IN
    As a Weight Watchers group gathered for a routine weigh-in, the dieters got an idea of how far they still had to go: The floor underneath them collapsed, a Swedish newspaper reports.

    "We suddenly heard a huge thud; we almost thought it was an earthquake and everything flew up in the air," one of about 20 group members said to the Smalandsposten newspaper. "The floor collapsed in one corner of the room and along the walls." (MSNBC)