Karina Bolanos, a vice minister in Costa Rica, was let go after a video of her claiming her longing to her lover while clad in underwear was made public on YouTube; Americans apparently throw away nearly half of their food; meanwhile, a 15-year-old used the Internet to create an advanced cancer test. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Feminist Nudity? Video Consent? Moral Panic? Until the end of July 2012, Karina Bolaños was a vice-minister in the government of Laura Chinchilla Miranda, the President of Costa Rica.

Unquiet Riot The trial of three members of the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot and their subsequent sentencing to two years in prison for performing a song calling for the ouster of Russian leader Vladimir Putin at an impromptu flash concert in Moscow’s largest Orthodox cathedral has garnered a tremendous amount of attention all over the world.

Elderly parisioner’s touch-up to 19th century church fresco turns Jesus into cartoon The unidentified woman, in her 80s, was upset at the damage that moisture was wreaking on the 19th century fresco in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza.

The Bain Files: Inside Mitt Romney’s Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes Mitt Romney’s $250 million fortune is largely a black hole: Aside from the meager and vague disclosures he has filed under federal and Massachusetts laws, and the two years of partial tax returns (one filed and another provisional) he has released, there is almost no data on precisely what his vast holdings consist of, or what vehicles he has used to escape taxes on his income.

Social Media & the Olympics Unofficially, the 2012 London Olympics was referred to as the “Social Media Olympics” or the “Twitter Olympics”.

America trashes 40 percent of its food supply Americans are throwing away 40 percent of food in the United States, the equivalent of $165 billion in uneaten food each year, according to a new analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

China’s Graduates Face Glut China’s labor market has so far proved resilient despite a slowing economy, but that means little to recent college graduates.

Netanyahu ‘determined to attack Iran’ before US elections Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is determined to attack Iran before the US elections,” Israel’s Channel 10 News claimed, and Israel is now “closer than ever” to a strike designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive.

Ohio GOP Official’s Racist Remarks: Oops … After Ohio’s Secretary of State Jon Husted announced last week that early-voting sites across the state would only be open on weekdays, many felt the restriction would unfairly impact “working people” in general, and minorities in particular.

Teenage Googler Invents Advanced Cancer Test Fifteen-year-old high school student Jack Andraka likes to kayak and watch the US television show Glee. And when time permits, he also likes to do advanced research in one of the most respected cancer laboratories in the world.

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.