When the economy entered its downward spiral in 2008, most everything related to housing hit the skids, including the lawn and garden industry. But one sector escaped the pinch — food gardening. In fact, sales spiked 20 percent and stayed there. While many households started growing food to be more budget-conscious, some are deciding vegetables and fruits can be beautiful, too. Blake Farmer
Among the more than 12 million Americans out of work, almost half have been out of work for more than six months. In its latest issue, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine profiles 12 people among these long-term unemployed who have managed to get back into the workforce. Host Guy Raz talks with Josh Green, senior national correspondent with Bloomberg Businessweek.
With violence escalating and journalists barred from the country, it's becoming harder to know how far and fast Syria is slipping into chaos. Host Guy Raz speaks with Paul Wood, world affairs correspondent for the BBC and one of few western journalists to have visited in the country in recent weeks. Then Raz speaks with Marwa Daoudy, visiting professor at Princeton from Oxford University, and Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, about the stakes of Western intervention to halt the violence.
Sometimes, politicians eat their words. This week, the British government reversed course on a plan to place a 20 percent tax on all foods sold hot — with no exemption for pasties.
Pasties are hand food, baked for Cornish miners to eat when they could put aside their pickaxes. People eat pasties today as they sit on a bench for a few minutes' respite or walk along the street between chores. They have become comfort, convenience, pub-crawling and football-watching food.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There's a showdown between American sisters and the Vatican. The Vatican is cracking down on the largest organization for U.S. sisters, called the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Pope Benedict has appointed an archbishop to oversee and reform the organization, accusing it of what amounts to doctrinal dissidence. Now, the sisters are fighting back - at least verbally. We're joined by NPR's religion correspondent, Barbara Bradley Hagerty. Barbara, thanks for being with us.
So, why is job growth slowing? Well, part of the problem, as we just heard, appears to be in Europe. The economic turmoil there is looking worse, and that has ripped into the U.S. economy and slowing down hiring. NPR's Chris Arnold has more from Boston.
CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: The weather this week was beautiful in Boston, so it's perfect for tourists having lunch outside by the harbor or taking a trolley bus around to do some sightseeing.
You know, if Facebook were a Broadway show, they'd be firing the director and rewriting the script. Facebook share price closed this week at $27.72. That's more than a 25 percent drop from its initial public offering price. The social networks debut as a publically traded company last month has been panned, questioned and trouble by a Securities and Exchange Commission probe and shareholder lawsuits.
For more on possible options in Syria, we're joined by Thomas P.M. Barnett. He is a former Pentagon analyst who's written in support of military intervention in Syria on Time magazine's Battleland blog. Mr. Barnett's also chief analyst at Wikistrat, a consultancy firm on geopolitical analysis. He joins us from his office in Indianapolis. Mr. Barnett, thanks for being with us.
Last night in Syria, the third massacre in a week. This time a dozen workers were found shot to death, their bodies dumped in a field. The United Nations has called for an investigation into the mass killings last weekend in Houla of more than 100 people, many of them women and children. We're joined now from the United Nations in New York by Kieran Dwyer. He's the chief spokesman for the U.N. Peacekeeping Department. Mr. Dwyer, thanks for taking the time to speak with us.