Speculators in the agricultural commodities markets are forcing grocery prices to rise too quickly and erratically, according to some top economists marking World Food Day on Sunday.
"Excessive financial speculation is contributing to increasing volatility and record food prices, exacerbating global hunger and poverty," wrote 461 economists, from more than 40 countries, in an open letter.
American composer Steve Reich turned 75 this week. The so-called "minimalist" credits jazz, African drumming and Balinese gamelan for inspiring his signature style. His music, from experimental tape loops to the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Double Sextet," has inspired the generations of composers who followed.
In the early 1960s, when Reich was beginning his composition career, the contemporary classical music scene was dominated by atonal music like the works of Pierre Boulez.
"It fell to my generation to basically say, 'Basta! Enough!' " Reich says.
On Labor Day weekend a bustling sea of music fans in their late teens and early 20s were stuffed onto a grassy, open field in New York. One of them stood out, dancing in a sweat-drenched black T-shirt that read, "Sex, drugs and dubstep."
From the outset of the Syrian uprising last spring, Syria's president, Bashar Assad, offered promises of reform. Activists, meanwhile, documented abuses by his security forces, including video footage of shootings against unarmed protesters.
Now, the Assad government appears to be relying exclusively on brutal repression, giving free reign to the security services to crush the revolt, according to analysts inside and outside the country.
On-Air Challenge: Identify the objects described in a series of riddles from A New Collection of Riddles by Jesse Cochran.
Last Week's ChallengeFrom Listener Sandy Weisz:Name something that is part of a group of 12. Change the first letter to the next letter of the alphabet to name something that is part of a group of nine. What are these things?
Answer: "Cancer" is one of the 12 astrological signs, and "Dancer" is one of Santa Claus' nine reindeer, including Rudolph.