Foreign News: Operation Spud

Neapolitan legend has it that Austrian Emperor Franz Josef's chief regret over World War I was that it cut off his supply of Naples' famed potatoes. For more than 400 years, peasants have been growing the small, delicious variety in the rich volcanic soil of Naples province, and as harvesting began three weeks ago, it was evident that this year's crop was the best ever. But the price was wrong—a less-than-break-even 1¢ a pound to growers, although the Naples retail price was 7¢. In the town of Marigliano last week, the farmers' frustration turned to violence.

Carrying picks, mattocks and hoes, some...

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