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4:07am

Sun October 16, 2011
Economy

Betting On Food Prices May Sell The Hungry Short

For speculators, food is a commodity to trade, not eat.

Scott Olson Getty Images

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.

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3:41am

Sun October 16, 2011
Deceptive Cadence

At 75, Steve Reich Is Still The Center Of Attention

Steve Reich turned 75 this month.

Jay Blakesberg

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.

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3:40am

Sun October 16, 2011
The Record

Electronic Music Festivals In The Media's Cross Hairs

Revelers at Electric Zoo in New York City Labor Day weekend.

Scott Kowalchyk Courtesy of Electric Zoo

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."

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2:39am

Sun October 16, 2011
Middle East

Syria Keeps Pressure On Protesters, Ignores Critics

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 4:00 pm

Mourners surround the hearse carrying the coffin of Kurdish opposition leader Meshaal al-Tammo during his funeral last Sunday in Amuda, in northern Syria. Supporters blamed the Syrian government for his death.

Reuters HO/Landov

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.

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10:01pm

Sat October 15, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

A Puzzle Riddled With Objects

On-Air Challenge: Identify the objects described in a series of riddles from A New Collection of Riddles by Jesse Cochran.

Last Week's Challenge From 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.

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