An awsum feed reader for magento based on Zend_Feed supporting atom and rss feeds.
<default> <reference name="left"> <block type="feedreader/sidebar" name="left.feedreader"> <action method="setUri"><uri>http://rss.cnn.com/rss/edition.rss</uri></action> </block> </reference> </default>
HTML code is escaped by default. Including 3rd-party HTML code in your site can lead to major cross-site-scripting issues. You can adjust the behaviour in the template. The safe way of handling HTML is to simply string the tags before escaping. If you really want to print out foreign HTML code, you can do that too, but you also have to adjust the truncate function (see http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1193500/php-truncate-html-ignoring-tags).