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In brief: Dalai Lama making White House visit

Washington – Months after he postponed their first meeting in a gesture to China, President Barack Obama will sit down today at the White House with the Dalai Lama – two Nobel Peace Prize winners with a mutual interest in coaxing changes from the Chinese and keeping peace in the region.

The men will meet privately in the Map Room and an official photo will be released, said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, but the leaders will not make a public appearance or jointly answer questions.

For the Dalai Lama, the meeting nevertheless adds pressure on China to grant Tibet greater autonomy. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of Tibet’s failed uprising against Chinese rule and the Buddhist spiritual leader’s exile to India.

Italian TV host discusses cat stew

Rome – Italian state TV has suspended a cooking show host who shocked the nation by saying cat stew is a Tuscan delicacy he swears he has enjoyed many times.

RAI TV confirmed on Wednesday that it had suspended Beppe Bigazzi, the 77-year-old host of a popular morning program that offers food tips and recipes in a country fiercely proud of its cuisine.

When his 27-year-old female co-host looked stunned as Bigazzi said he has eaten cat stew “many times,” the white-haired, grandfather figure defended his tastes.

Bigazzi claimed cat stew was a Tuscan specialty near the Arno river valley, but co-host Elisa Isoardi looked so embarrassed she ducked behind a cart of fresh salad greens whose healthy virtues the two were supposed to be chatting about.