Financial writer Philip Coggan traces the current global financial crisis to the 1970s, when the U.S. went off the gold standard.
"Up till then, every form of money had some link to precious metal: gold or silver," Coggan, author of a new book, Paper Promises: Debt, Money and the New World Order, tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne.
During his pending trip to the United States, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping hopes to reunite with Iowans he met back in 1985, during an agricultural mission to America. Here, Xi attends a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden last August.
China's Vice President Xi Jinping is coming to America. Next week, he'll meet with President Obama at the White House. He'll lead a trade delegation to California. And he also plans to make a stop in Muscatine, Iowa.
Why Muscatine? It turns out that Xi wants to catch up with old acquaintances — he first visited the town (population 22,886) in the 1980s, as part of an agricultural mission.
Back then, the man who is likely to soon become China's president had dinner with Sarah Lande and her husband.
In the central Mexican state of Zacatecas, 76-year-old Genaro Rodarte Huizar rides his donkey along a dry riverbed. On his left is a dried out pasture; on his right is what used to be a cornfield; now it's just long furrows of gray, dusty dirt.
Rodarte says that for the past two years, the crops that he's planted here have failed. Normally, he plants beans and corn to feed his family, and oats to sell. He says he hasn't harvested anything because the land is too dry and there's no water.
Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:51 am
Credit Ariana Cubillos / AP
Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles (center) waves to supporters on Oct. 12, 2011. Capriles is the front-runner in the opposition primary election to pick a candidate to run against President Hugo Chavez. The primary is scheduled for Feb. 12.
The opposition to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has tried everything to end his long rule: huge protests, a coup and an oil strike. Nothing has worked, but now opposition leaders have coalesced into a united and focused movement that is preparing to choose one candidate to run against the president, posing the strongest electoral challenge to Chavez's populist rule.
GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is reaching out to social conservatives in a new way. At a rally in the gym at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., Monday night, Romney rolled out some new material: the rights given to people by God.
"I am just distressed as I watch, as I watch our president try and infringe upon those rights," Romney said to the capacity crowd. "The first amendment of the Constitution provides the right to worship in the way of our own choice."
Iranian-born Menashe Amir (shown here in 2006) hosts a call-in show on Israel Radio's Farsi service, one of the few forums for direct discourse between Iranians and Israelis.
Credit Vahid Salemi / AP
Iranian Jews look at the Torah scroll during a morning service for Shabbat, on the Jewish festival of Passover, at the Pol-e-Choubi Synagogue, in Tehran, Iran, April 23, 2011. Iran has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside Israel. Growing conflict between the two countries is affecting Iranian Jews in both places.
As tensions between Israel and Iran ratchet up, one community is caught in the middle: Iranian Jews living in Israel. There are some 250,000 people of Persian descent living in Israel, and they maintain strong ties with their homeland.
As a result, they are uniquely conflicted over the possibility of war between the two countries.
In a small cluttered apartment in Jerusalem, Naheet Yacoubi cooks a traditional Persian meal for her Shabbat dinner. Originally from Tehran, she came to Israel when she was a child.
Chris LoCascio, a junior at UC Riverside, feared that there was no end in sight for tuition increases at the University of California. The state kept cutting subsidies, students kept protesting, but no one had any answers. So he and other students decided to turn the discussion on its head.
What if, he says, "instead of charging students upfront for their education, students would attend the UC with no upfront costs whatsoever"?
Under the Fix UC proposal, the bill would not come due until students graduate and start making money.
Whoever said "all P.R. is good P.R." probably never had dozens of protesters gathered in front of the office calling them "Hitler."
That's what happened during a recent lunchtime in the Birmingham, Ala., business district, as students from several local colleges held a mock funeral in front of a bank. They accuse the company of funding private detention centers where they claim illegal immigrants have died.
Engineer Roger Boisjoly examines a model of the O-Rings, used to bring the Space Shuttle into orbit, at a meeting of senior executives and academic representatives in Rye, New York in Sept. 1991.
Roger Boisjoly was a booster rocket engineer at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol in Utah in January, 1986, when he and four colleagues became embroiled in the fatal decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Boisjoly was also one of two confidential sources quoted by NPR three weeks later in the first detailed report about the Challenger launch decision, and the stiff resistance by Boisjoly and other Thiokol engineers.
Professional golfer Kyle Stanley will forever remember Super Bowl Sunday 2012. And not because he's an over-the-top New York Giants — or Madonna — fan.
But because he won the unglamorously-named Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday. And for Stanley, there was nothing trashy about his final round 65 that secured a one-shot victory and his first on the PGA tour.
IMF representative Bob Traa is seen inside an elevator as he arrives a government office building before meeting Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Athens on Monday.
Much to the dismay of the economic world, Greece said it was delaying negotiations on the terms of its bailout package today. Basically, Greece's political leaders could not agree on accepting tough, new austerity measures that are tied to receiving the 130 billion euro bailout.
An attendee holds American flags during a rally Saturday for Mitt Romney in Colorado Springs, Colo.
At the upscale Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Scott Kardos, 24, is shopping with his girlfriend and her parents. The recent college graduate with an electrical engineering degree said he's not so interested in being either a Democrat or a Republican.
"I don't really identify with either party. A lot of the things I agree with the Republican side and a lot of things I agree on the Democrat side. So, can't really decide on either one and I flip flop pretty much every other election on who I'd rather vote for," explained Kardos.
Hear Marianne McCune's Report On 'All Things Considered'
When she was 16, Tyrieshia Douglas was arrested for street fighting. As she remembers it, her juvenile court judge recommended she take up boxing. Now she's a 23-year-old living in Baltimore with her heart set on winning one of the first gold medals in women's boxing, a sport that will make its Olympic debut this summer.
Egyptian police raid a nongovernmental organization office in Cairo last December. Egyptian investigating judges on Sunday referred 43 NGO workers, including 19 Americans, to trial before a criminal court for allegedly being involved in banned activities and illegally receiving foreign funds, security officials said.
In a rapidly escalating dispute between allies, 43 people, including 19 Americans, are to face trial in Egypt for their work in promoting democracy. They include the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Sam LaHood was running the Cairo office of the International Republican Institute. The case against him and others has caused a furious reaction in Washington — with lawmakers threatening to hold up U.S. aid to Egypt.
According to the libertarian social scientist Charles Murray, America is "coming apart at the seams." Class strain has cleaved society into two groups, he argues in his new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010: an upper class, defined by educational attainment, and a new lower class, characterized by the lack of it. Murray also posits that the new "lower class" is less industrious, less likely to marry and raise children in a two-parent household, and more politically and socially disengaged
For millions of people in the developing world, one thing stands between them and a job or an education: a good pair of glasses. Quality eye care is often a luxury in areas where health services are scarce. So researchers and entrepreneurs are looking for breakthrough technologies to bring the cost of glasses and eye exams way down.
The U.S. government has restricted travel to Cuba for a half-century. However, the Obama administration has gone back to a Clinton-era policy that eased some limitations, and some 400,000 Americans visited Cuba last year.
Cuba is the only country in the world the U.S. government restricts its own citizens from visiting. Americans can go to Burma, Iran, even North Korea if those places give them a visa.
The Obama administration has now relaxed travel rules for Cuba, leading to a surge in U.S.-government approved tours to the island. But in the U.S., some lawmakers staunchly opposed to the Castro government say the travel programs are filled with heavy doses of propaganda.
So-called helicopter parents first made headlines on college campuses a few years ago, when they began trying to direct everything from their children's course schedules to which roommate they were assigned.
With millennial children now in their 20s, more helicopter parents are showing up in the workplace, sometimes even phoning human resources managers to advocate on their child's behalf.
Megan Huffnagle, a former human resources manager at a Denver theme park, recalls being shocked several years ago when she received a call from a young job applicant's mother.
The Super Bowl party is over, and that means refrigerators around the country today are jammed with uneaten Frito pies, fried chicken, and seven-layer dips – remnants of one of the most gluttonous days of the year.