Comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo's populist Five Star Movement is soaring in the polls ahead of elections this weekend. His rallies have attracted tens of thousands of Italians tired of a poor economy, widespread corruption and political patronage. But there are concerns that no one knows what Grillo's movement stands for.
Bees and flowers communicate in colors, scents and shapes. Now scientists have discovered that bumblebees can also sense flowers' electric fields. This sixth sense helps them remember and recognize nectar-rich blooms while foraging.
Treating people for HIV isn't just beneficial for those infected but also helps the entire community. Two studies show that where HIV drugs are widely available, the risk for new HIV infections drops dramatically and overall life expectancy increases by more than a decade.
At the height of the housing boom, condominium towers popped up on the Miami skyline faster than you'd believe. Once the market crashed, those towers sat vacant. Now, led by foreign buyers, condos are selling again as developers try new, more stringent financing rules.
In China, authorities can send people to re-education through labor camps for years without trial. Beijing says it is considering reforms to the notorious system, though it's not clear what that might mean. The people who know the camps best — former prisoners — say closing them is long overdue.
Today, Rowena Gore-Simmons runs a center for formerly incarcerated women. But Rowena once served time herself, when her now-teenage daughter was 4. While she was in prison, Rowena dedicated herself to being a better mother when she got out.
Using American slavery to make a point about contemporary politics can be downright tricky business, as some public figures have recently learned firsthand.
CNBC is far and away the ratings leader in the financial cable news business — and its executives, producers and reporters are working hard to keep it that way. They're telling some guests they can't appear on rival channels amid breaking news.
The company said their mission is to "measure video content however consumers access it." The company had been pressured to make the move by the TV industry.
The New York Times Company owns the Boston Globe. It has for 20 years. Now, it wants to sell The Globe. And that got Marketplace thinking: What would it take to expand our media empire, starting with the Boston Globe? Now, we're not going to do a public radio pledge drive to raise money to buy the paper. But if we could? I asked media analyst Ken Doctor, who writes the blog Newsonomics, if we should try.
"This is a great buy," Doctor says, without hesitation. He points out that the Globe's newsroom hasn't been gutted, like other papers. It's 365 staff members strong. Plus, adding The Globe would let Marketplace try for the golden fleece of media: convergence. We could be pioneers who bring words, audio, video and digital everything together in one company. In addition, the paper still makes money -- about $20 million a year. So, what should we pay?
"A hundred million would be about four to five times that annual profit, and that is what these newspapers are going for these days," Doctor says.
So I had Kai Ryssdal call our company's chief operating officer in Minnesota, Dave Kansas.
He said no.
"A hundred million is a steal? For dead trees?" he said.
Maybe just as well, since journalism professor Jeff Jarvis at City University of New York says the Globe, while a great brand, also has major downsides. Debt, pension, big, old facilities, unions and "other difficulties of life" being just a few on his list. Jarvis says we'd have to be prepared to be the bad guys.
"Could you go through the painful process of reducing the Boston Globe to boston.com?"
Massive layoffs and axing the printed paper edition are inevitable, he says, as the Globe undergoes the same digital march so many other papers have taken. Besides, we don't have that $100 million to invest anyway. Let's just ensure our own survival first.
The secret section of the prison is nestled in the crevice of a hill at Guantanamo Bay. It is considered so secret that that the only time outsiders see it is on approach to the airfield at the naval base.
Emergency contraceptives like Plan B and ella are effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. Claims that the pills are tantamount to abortion, however, aren't supported by science, say researchers. The only way the drugs work is by stopping a woman's body from ovulating.
Algerians received a double blow when an oil and gas plant was taken over in the desert last month. Algerians thought those kinds of attacks were a thing of the past, and many were angry when Western countries criticized the way Algeria's security forces responded.
In the debate over immigration, many politicians seem to agree that people now in the U.S. illegally should wait at "the back of the line" for legal residency. But the backlog in processing applications means even those already in line face decades of waiting.
It appears that the current batch of flu vaccine is only about 9 percent effective in protecting people 65 and older against the H3N2 flu strain that's causing the most illness. Even so, health officials still recommend vaccination.
When it died last month at the hands of a sluggish economy and a Federal Reserve intent on maintaining interest rates at zero, inflation was thought to be several thousand years old -- although a specific age has not been released by the family.
The immediate cause of death was this morning's report on the consumer price index: 0.0 percent.
Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the Fed who had a troubled relationship with inflation while it was alive, had this to say about its passing: "There was a perception that inflation and growing inflation was a big problem, and I couldn't have gotten by with the policies we followed unless there was a feeling in the country that somebody ought to do something."
Volcker famously broke inflation's back in the early 1980s, an injury from which it never recovered.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman had harsh words for the departed: "It's very hard to get inflation in a depressed economy."
Inflation is survived by cousins, most of whom live overseas. Family in Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Argentina and Iran tell us they are not doing interviews.
Participant Media says it only makes a certain type of film. Only ones that “invoke social change,” as Participant Media CEO Jim Berk says.
Participant Media made its name creating thought-provoking films like "An Inconvenient Truth," "Fast Food Nation" and "Waiting for Superman." This weekend, Participant Media is part of the production team nominated for an Oscar for "Lincoln," the film starring high-profile actors like Daniel Day-Lewis. Which makes one think: Has the company changed its vision over the years? Jim Berk says no.
“It’s an evolving of the vision. It’s always been about a story well told,” says Berk.
With all this talk about invoking social change and making films with a purpose, it would be hard to deny the fact that winning an Oscar would be nice. Still, Berk says changing the world is much more important than standing on stage at the Academy Awards.
“It’s all about social impact. The wins for us with 'Lincoln' were when you have the Senate and Congress screening it. When you have the president screening. When you have thousands of teachers asking us can we use the film as part of the curriculum. We do like the recognition, but at the end of the day, the company’s existence isn’t for anything but social impact,” says Berk.
But Berk says he’s still excited about "Lincoln" potentially winning an Oscar this weekend, even though he won’t get to stand on stage.
Despite what they said was a healthy 2012, industry leaders worry that in 2013, upcoming spending cuts will hit already-battered airlines hard.
As concerns grow over competition to Indian gambling, many tribal nations are putting casino profits into other business ventures. Native American tribes say diversifying their business is the only way to make sure they have a future.
The $600,000 represents 20 percent of the senator's operating budget. Last year, he returned $500,000.