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Analyst: Ex-Exec's Testimony Attempts To Humanize Jonnie Williams

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In Virginia, a close associate to businessman Jonnie Williams is adding dimension to the relationship between him and former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell.

Paul Perito, a former executive of Star Scientific, testified that he would have stopped Jonnie Williams' gift-giving if he had known about it at the time. On the stand today, Perito recalled how Williams called him sobbing after federal and state investigators first interviewed him.

"They want to rehabilitate Jonnie Willaims a little bit," says Rich Kelsey, assistant dean of the George Mason Law School. He says prosecutors called Perito to the stand in an attempt to humanize the government's star witness, who has been granted immunity for his testimony. "They want to make him look like he undertook some activities he regrets. That he's a little more human than this guy who was just trying to ruthlessly buy access."

Perito also testified that he intervened to prevent Maureen McDonnell from taking a high-paying position on the corporate board of Star Scientific, the nutritional supplement company that was seeking scientific studies from the government.


An Exuberantly Dark First Novel Explores The Chaos Of Central Africa

Fiston Mwanza Mujila's novel, Tram 83, is a freewheeling tale about life in an imaginary place inspired by the author's home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Critic John Powers has a review.
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Marion Nestle: "Soda Politics: Taking On Big Soda (And Winning)"

Changing public attitudes have led to a decline in U.S. soda sales. But health expert Marion Nestle believes many people still consume unhealthy amounts of sugary drinks. She argues beverage companies are spending millions on research that misleads consumers.

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Exploring The State Department Diplomacy Museum

The nation's has lots of monuments to military heroism. Now the first museum of diplomacy is under construction at the State Department. We learn more about diplomacy in the 21st century.


How Skyscraper Construction Ties Into Tech Bubbles

There's a lot of talk in Silicon Valley about a tech bubble.Our Planet Money podcast team examines one possible indicator of a bubble: architecture. Very, very tall architecture.

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