Topic: Economics

Oranges.square

Current Event January 23, 2015

Florida Citrus in Crisis

Life Science Economics Agriculture

As you drink your morning orange juice, you might not think about where it comes from. Oranges and other citrus are an important base for the Florida economy. The citrus industry and the related jobs in Florida are under threat from a new insect borne infection known as “citrus greening.” Listen to learn more about this disease and how citrus farmers are coping with this changing landscape.

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Current Event January 14, 2015

Death Penalty Debate

Civics/Government Life Science Economics

The highest level of punishment for committing crimes in the United States is death. Since 1976, lethal injection, or death by poison, has been the most common way the death penalty is enforced. In recent years it has become more difficult for prison systems to get access to these lethal poisons. States are trying new drug formulas that are not always successful. Listen to learn why pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell drugs to prisons and how this is affecting the implementation of the death penalty.

NOTE: THERE IS A DISTURBING DESCRIPTION OF A LETHAL INJECTION EXECUTION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY

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Solarpanels.square

Current Event January 11, 2015

Solar Power Payments

Civics/Government Economics Climate Change

Solar power is becoming an attractive alternative to traditional electric as solar panels become more affordable. This shift away from traditional electricity is worrying utilities companies that provide energy and the electric grid itself. Listen to learn how this battle between electric and solar is playing out in sunny California and Colorado.

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Trucks.square

Current Event December 30, 2014

Trucking Rules

Civics/Government Economics

Our economy relies on long haul truckers driving goods across the country. But the pressure to make deadlines and earn money can come at the expense of sleep. In 2012, 3,500 people died as a result of large truck crashes and in many cases it’s because the driver fell asleep. Congress recently rolled back a regulation that increases the sleep requirements for drivers. Do these regulations fight driver fatigue or do they just push truck traffic to rush hour? Listen to learn more about these regulations and their effect.

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Current Event December 24, 2014

Kindness: An Offering

Economics Storytelling

We meet new people everyday but it is rare for someone that you’ve just met to change the course of your life. When Ron Jones got to know Samantha and Joseph, people he met in a local coffeehouse, and heard about the challenges they had faced, he invited them to live with him. Listen to learn how Ron changed the course of the lives of people who were almost strangers.

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Cozyroom.square

Current Event December 23, 2014

Kindness: A Home

Economics Storytelling

What makes your house feel like home? What would you do if those things disappeared? How would you help a friend or stranger who lost their sense of home? Listen to hear how the kindness of new roommates helped one woman cope with death, divorce and losing her job.

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Divestment.square

Current Event December 22, 2014

Divesting from Fossil Fuels

Life Science Economics Climate Change

College students are turning to a new way to fight global warming. They are encouraging their universities to take a stand against climate change and remove the school’s money from investments in fossil fuel companies - like coal and oil. Listen to hear from students at Harvard University why they are fighting for divestment.

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Oilbarrels.square

Current Event December 17, 2014

World Impact of Falling Oil Prices

Civics/Government Economics Geography

While Americans are enjoying low gas prices, oil producing nations are feeling the squeeze as the value of their biggest commodity continues to decline. Why is the price of oil dropping and who is it impacting? Listen to learn more about the international consequences of low oil prices and the interconnectedness of the international economy.

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Gelt.square

Current Event December 16, 2014

Hanukkah Coins

Economics Immigration Religion Geography

Today marks the first night of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights. Hanukkah comes with many traditions both ancient and modern. This story explores the historic origins of foil wrapped chocolate coins given during Hanukkah, known as gelt. Listen to hear how migration to urban areas to and to America changed the traditions of Hanukkah.

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Current Event December 12, 2014

Cyberattack on Sony

Civics/Government Economics Technology World History II

Cyberattacks on businesses have the power to shut down day to day operations and compromise security. A recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures, in which five movies were leaked and sensitive information was disrupted, is believed to be a result of North Korea’s cyberwar capacity. Sony Picture’s upcoming comedy “The Interview” in which two American journalists go to North Korea to interview and kill its leader, is not considered funny by the North Korean government. The North Koreans are believed to have conducted the cyber attack on Sony to retaliate for the release of the movie. Listen to learn more about this attack and evidence that points to its North Korean origins.

UPDATE 12.18.14 - Sony Pictures has pulled the release of the movie "The Interview." In a statement Sony said "Sony has no further release plans for the film."

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Husbands.square

Current Event December 10, 2014

Curbing Population

Civics/Government Economics

For developing countries, population growth can threaten its development. China famously instituted a one child policy to ensure that the state could support all of its citizens. Most nations are not willing to tell people how many children they can have, but some nations are getting creative. Niger, a country in West Africa, is one of the poorest nations in the world and it has the highest birth rate in the world. The average woman will have 7 children. The government of Niger and the United Nations teamed up to educate men about the benefits of family planning with a “School for Husbands.”

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Groceries.square

Current Event December 2, 2014

Grocery Food Waste

Economics Health Nutrition

The produce sections at grocery stores are full of fresh fruits and vegetables ready to buy. But what happens to the produce that isn’t purchased? Spotted bananas and wilted lettuce become food waste every day, whether it is in grocery stores before it is sold or in your own refrigerator afterwards. Listen to learn why 86 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year and what some stores and organizations are doing to cut down on this waste.

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Current Event November 13, 2014

Giving Directly to the Poor

Civics/Government Economics

Traditional charity models give people in need food, clothing, job training, or health care. But they don’t typically give cash. This is changing with a new charity called Give Directly, which gives money directly to recipients, no strings attached, and then lets them choose what to spend it on. This public radio story takes you to Kenya to hear how the process works and what people spend their money on.

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Current Event November 5, 2014

Homeless Student

Civics/Government Economics Education Psychology

Being the top student in your high school class is difficult under the best of circumstances. This audio tells the story of a remarkable young woman, Rashema Melson, who graduated as valedictorian of her high school, despite six years of homelessness. Listen to learn more directly from Rashema herself.

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Current Event October 29, 2014

Living in a Drought

Civics/Government Economics Earth and Space Science Environment Weather and Climate

California is in the middle of a four year drought. The city of Santa Cruz has stepped up its conservation efforts with tough water restrictions. Water use is rationed by household, pushing residents to conserve in every way possible. This public radio story takes you to Santa Cruz and sheds light on how the city uses high penalties and water school to get people on board with water conservation.

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Gasstation.square

Current Event October 27, 2014

Gas Prices Drive Growth

Civics/Government Economics Transportation

The price of a gallon of gas is dropping dramatically, in some cases more than 25 cents a gallon. This drop in price will mean people have more money to spend on other things. This public radio story analyzes the true economic impact this price drop could have on the economy as a whole.

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Nutella.square

Current Event October 17, 2014

Nutella Drives Nut Production

Life Science Economics Ecosystems

The creamy chocolate, hazelnut spread called Nutella is experiencing a surge in popularity. Kids eat it on bread for breakfast, adults snack on it with bananas and restaurants serve nutella crepes. The increase in demand is putting pressure on the world’s hazelnut crops, which are primarily in Turkey. Listen to this public radio story to learn about the history and current day economics of Nutella.

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India.marsmission.square

Current Event October 15, 2014

India Goes to Mars Cheaply

Civics/Government Economics Earth and Space Science Space Systems

India successfully sent a spacecraft and probe to orbit Mars in September. The United States also has a probe orbiting Mars- but their mission costs ten times as much as the India mission. Why is that? From spacecraft, to orbit shape, to payroll - this public radio story explores why these price tags were so different.

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Whitehouse.square

Current Event October 14, 2014

Protecting the White House

Civics/Government Economics

The Secret Service has been under scrutiny this month for high profile failures to protect President Obama and the First Family. First there was the successful attempt of fence jumper Omar Gonzalez to enter the White House with a knife. Then an armed man was found on an elevator with the president. Now there are calls for the Secret Service to tighten up its efforts to keep the President safe. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about these lapses and what can be done to strengthen the Secret Service.

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