Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:44 pm
The revered Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, 72, announced this weekend at the Venice Film Festival that he's retiring from making full-length feature films. (He previously went into "semi-retirement" after directing Princess Mononoke in 1997.)
It was 20 years ago that Samuel Huntington's essay on what he termed "the clash of civilizations" was first published in the journal Foreign Affairs. The essay predicted the next frontier of global conflict would occur along cultural cleavages — most prominently between the Islamic world and the West. Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose and Robert Siegel discuss how perceptions of the essay have changed over time.
South Florida-based Spirit Airlines is known for being cheap. It boasts "ultralow" base fares and then charges for items such as carry-on luggage or printing out your boarding pass at the airport.
That thrift carries over to Spirit's advertising. Even compared with other low-cost airlines, Spirit spends almost nothing on ads. And yet the company makes a surprising splash with its campaigns. A visit to Spirit headquarters reveals the secrets of its marketing.
President Obama pauses after speaking to media in the White House on Tuesday before a meeting with congressional leaders to discuss the situation in Syria. With the president: House Speaker John Boehner (from left), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 7:14 pm
President Obama cleared one of the most important hurdles Tuesday in his effort to win support in Congress for taking action against Syria: Both of the top Republican House leaders — Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia — said they would support such a resolution.
In Colorado, two state senators face recall elections next week. The recalls are the first ever for state lawmakers there. Just one issue is motivating the historic efforts: gun control. Robert Siegel talks to Denver Post reporter Kurtis Lee about the recall campaigns.
Mexicans are outraged over allegations that the National Security Agency was spying on President Enrique Pena Nieto even before he was elected Mexico's leader. The charges were broadcast over the weekend in Brazil and claimed the NSA spied on Brazil's leader, Dilma Rousseff, as well.
A civet cat eats red coffee cherries at a farm in Bondowoso, Indonesia. Civets are actually more closely related to meerkats and mongooses than to cats.
Credit Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images
A coffee "bean" is actually the seed of a cherry-sized fruit that grows on the coffee plant. Civets eat the whole fruit. The seed is separated from the pulp in the digestive process.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Capitalizing on the fact that civet coffee can fetch a pretty penny, small producers have started farming it. That is, keeping civets in captivity and feeding them coffee fruits once a day.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Civet feces are collected and cleaned for the beans, which are naturally fermented during digestion.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
At a coffee shop in Indonesia, one cup of Kopi Luwak can go for around $9 U.S.
Credit Adek Berry / AFP/Getty Images
In captivity, civets don't choose what they eat. "It's unripe and it's robusto," says coffee connoisseur Oliver Strand, dismissing it: "That's of zero interest." Robusto coffee, he explains, is indigenous to Africa, and not what the animal would eat in the wild.
Credit Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP/Getty Images
In the wild, the civet "cat" is naturally drawn to the best, ripe fruits on the coffee plant; that's why, effectively, they would produce the best beans, in small batches.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Much ado about nothing? Left: civet poop coffee beans. Right: a cup of java brewed from the stuff.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 1:25 pm
From gross to gourmet. That pretty much sums up civet poop coffee.
The beans are literally harvested from the feces of the tree-dwelling civet cat in Indonesia. The idea is that a trip through the animal's digestive tract partially ferments the beans and imparts a much-sought-after flavor to the coffee.
New reports allege that the NSA spied on Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, seen here walking with President Barack Obama in June, when he was a candidate for office. Mexico and Brazil have demanded a response to charges of U.S. spying on their internal affairs.
Allegations that U.S. agents spied on Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto when he was a candidate during last year's campaign have led Mexico to summon U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne and demanded "a thorough investigation."
Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:40 am
The United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says if his inspectors find that chemical weapons were used in Syria, it would represent a "serious violation of international law and an outrageous war crime."
"Our common humanity compels us to ensure that chemical weapons do not become a tool of war or terror in the 21st century," Ban said before departing for a G-20 meeting in Russia. "Any perpetrators must be brought to justice. There should be no impunity."
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:31 pm
Houndmouth is a rootsy rock band from New Albany, Ind., right across the river from Louisville. In an age of loops, samples and all things digital, Houndmouth is a refreshingly straightforward rock band with guitars, B-3 and all members singing in harmony.
The group recently released its debut album, From the Hills Below the City. Hear Houndmouth perform four of its songs on this installment of World Cafe.
Migrant workers from Myanmar return to a trawler after unloading fish following a fishing trip in the Gulf of Thailand in Samut Sakhon province Tuesday. A new report details "deceptive and coercive" labor practices in the Thai fishing sector, which relies heavily on workers from Cambodia and Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 4:20 pm
If you eat fish on a regular basis, chances are some of it is coming from Thailand. The Asian country is the world's No. 3 exporter of seafood (after China and Norway), and the U.S. is its top destination.
The Thai fishing industry has grown dramatically, and it is now coming under increased scrutiny. A new report details "deceptive and coercive labor practices, and even forced labor and human trafficking within" the Thai fishing sector.
President Obama met with more than a dozen lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, at the White House on Tuesday to press his case for a military strike in Syria.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 2:30 pm
President Obama's call for Congress to give him the go-ahead to strike targets in Syria has put House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the same side of an important issue for one of the few times in recent years.
Calling Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons "a barbarous act," Boehner emerged from a meeting at the White House to say he supports Obama's request.
The uncertain future of American military action in Syria is causing ripple effects in the world market. Host Michel Martin speaks with economic reporter Sudeep Reddy of The Wall Street Journal, about the relationship between the Syrian conflict and oil.
While President Obama is trying to convince members of Congress that action is needed in Syria, one Washington-based group is already aiding opposition forces. Host Michel Martin talks with Dan Layman of the Syrian Opposition Group about their efforts to fund the Free Syrian Army.
Update, Sept. 4: We added the audio for David Kestenbaum's radio obituary of Ronald Coase.
If you created the world as a simple economic thought experiment, companies wouldn't exist. Instead, everybody would work for themselves, and they'd be constantly selling their labor (or the fruits of their labor, or use of their tools, or whatever) to the highest bidder. Wages would rise and fall every day (every hour! every second!) depending on supply and demand. That's how the market works, after all.