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Monday July 12, 2010

Congress Returns For A Tough Sprint

Lawmakers are back on Capitol Hill today for a short session, with both parties looking to placate angry constituents ahead of November’s elections. On the agenda: Extending benefits for the unemployed; new regulations for financial markets; Elena Kagan’s nomination for the Supreme Court; funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; and, ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning gays in the military. We speak with Gail Chaddock, Capitol Hill Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.

Did Wall Street Cause A Food Bubble?

Between 2005 and 2008, the price of food worldwide rose by 80 percent, causing food riots in more than 30 countries. Frederick Kaufman writes in July’s cover story in Harper’s Magazine that Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks may have had something to do with it- by causing a food bubble by creating new commodities index fund in the 1990s that may have led to excessive speculation. Kaufman is a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine, he’s also professor at the city University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.

Bahamian Police Capture ‘Barefoot Bandit’ In High Speed Boat Chase

Colton Harris-Moore exits a plane handcuffed as he is escorted by police upon arrival to Nassau, Bahamas. (AP)

The young man known as the “Barefoot Bandit” is in jail in the Bahamas today.  19 year-old Colton Harris-Moore is thought to be behind a string of crimes in Washington state during his two years on the run.  He was caught Sunday during an alleged attempt to steal a boat. Bob Friel wrote a profile about Harris-Moore for Outside Magazine and is in the Bahamas covering the story.

Haiti Is Still Reeling Six Months After The Earthquake

Police patrol in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti in July. (AP)

Six months after a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake rocked Haiti, the pace of rebuilding is slow.  In the capital Port au Prince, some 300 trucks are working each day to remove the rubble left behind, but still 98 percent of the ruins remain. And bodies buried under debris are still being found. The number of people in relief camps has doubled since the quake to 1.6 million, and transitional housing barely exists.  Most of the $3.1 billion pledged for humanitarian aid has paid for field hospitals, supplies and relief workers. Most Haitians didn’t have running water and electricity before the quake, and still don’t. The BBC’s Mark Doyle reports on the continuing effort to rebuild Haiti.

Latin Music To Liven Up A Summer Night

Radio host José Massó introduces a song during the bilingual "Con Salsa!" radio show on WBUR 90.9 FM in Boston. (AP)

José Massó, who hosts the “Con Salsa” program on our mother ship WBUR, brings us some of his favorite Latin music offerings, including new CDs by Juan Luis Guerra, Rubén Blades and the Cuban band Pupy y Los que Son Son. “Con Salsa” is celebrating 35 years on the air this year.

Music From The Show

  • Kar Kar Madison, “Boubacar Traore”
  • The Wee Trio, “About a Girl”
  • The Funk Brothers, “Keep Me Hangin’ On”
  • Talking Heads, “This Must Be the Place”
  • Moby, “Inside”
  • Freddie Hubbard, “Little Sunflower”
  • Juan Luis Guerra “A Son De Guerra”
  • Ruben Blades “Cantares Del Subdesrollo”
  • Pupy Y Los Que Son Son “Tranquilo Que Yo Controlo”
  • Eddie Palmieri “Sentido”
  • Juan Luis Guerra “Bachata En Fukuoka” and “La Calle”
  • Ruben Blades “Las Calles” and “Segunda Mitad Del Noveno”
  • Pupy Y Los Que Son Son “Si Me Quieres Conocer” and “Se Parece A Aquel”
  • Eddie Palmieri  “Puerto Rico”
  • Frog

    “Food Bubble”…besides Goldman Sachs, it seems to me the farmers must have been major beneficiaries with windfall profits when the price of wheat skyrocketed. Even if they sold their wheat on the spot market farmers would have made a killing.

  • jryan

    Hello Frog,

    We also wondered if farmers benefitted from the high prices, but Frederick has told us that they didn’t make windfalls- because as food prices rose, farmers also faced huge surges in their inputs– fuel, seed and fertilizer prices.
    -Jill Ryan, Here & Now

  • Jan

    I am glad that the Goldman Sachs letter of rebuttal mentioned the rising levels of populations, especially in Asia (China), who are eating meat frequently.

    Indeed, Frances Moore Lappe, in her seminal study of food shortages, “Diet for a Small Planet, 1971, realized that our food system is created for the affluent: the vast majority of grain grown here and elsewhere is fed to animals.

    Only when people start making meat the side dish and eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds primarily will there begin to be enough grain for our growing world population.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 29 Comment

World Championship Tug-Of-War Is ‘A Thing Of Beauty’

This weekend's competition in Wisconsin is a bit more intense than it was in your grade school gym class.

August 29 Comment

Repelling Mosquitoes With A Natural Sticky Patch

The Kite Patch releases odors that block the bug's carbon dioxide receptors, sending them in another direction.

August 28 Comment

Catching Up With The Polyphonic Spree

The choral rock band out of Dallas, Texas, has been thrilling audiences with its live performances for over a decade.

August 28 5 Comments

‘Enormous’ Growth Of Ocean Garbage Patch

The oceanographer who discovered the floating island of trash in 1997 says he's shocked by how much it's grown.