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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Syrians attend a Feb. 4 burial ceremony of what activists say are victims of shelling by the Syrian army in the central city of Homs. The city has been the scene of the bloodiest fighting in Syria in recent days.
A Syrian rebel gunman stands guard as demonstrators pray on the street in Reef Damascus, an area north of Damascus, on Feb. 4. The demonstrators were protesting a government crackdown in the central city of Homs that left scores dead.
President Obama says it's time for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. Yet Monday's decision to shut down the U.S. Embassy in Damascus reflected the deteriorating conditions in a country that appears locked in a protracted conflict with no end in sight.
"The closing of the U.S. Embassy is a clear signal to the international community that it's not safe for diplomats in Syria," says Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat.
Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 9:09 am
Polica's sound is crisp, minimalist and mesmerizing. Singer Channy Leaneagh plays her voice like an instrument, using AutoTune both in the studio and at live shows to manipulate her vocals. Against the sliding violins, saxophone solos, relaxed bass and dueling drums of Polica, it's hard to believe that before this, Leaneagh sang folk music for six years in her previous band, Roma di Luna.