Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:34 am
Credit Martin Bureau / AFP/Getty Images
When French peasants stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, they weren't just revolting against the monarchy's policies. They were also hungry.
From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, high food prices have been cited as a factor behind mass protest movements. But can food prices actually help predict when social unrest is likely to break out?
And here in the U.S., for retailers, the cost they pay for consumer fraud is going up. Merchants who sell their products using mobile devices or sell internationally are seeing their costs climbing higher still - almost 40 over last year.
NPR's business news starts with Iran's currency plunging.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Iran's money hit another record low today. Depending on who's trading, a single American dollar in Tehran can now cost around 38,000 Iranian rials.
Western sanctions, intensified this year by the Obama administration, have been wrecking Iran's economy. It's also harder for Iranians to get their hands on dollars, which are vital for international trade.
And that brings us to today's last word in business, which is Blossom One. Blossom One is not the name of a new car, though it's nearly as expensive as some.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
It's a coffee-maker, designed by some folks who've worked for the likes of BMW, Tesla Motors and NASA. Coming in at a little over $11,000, the coffee-maker does have the whiff of rocket science about it.
'Tis the season for new car buying. Fall is when automakers roll out their latest models - with new technologies and better fuel efficiency. And to talk about the latest trends, we reached Michelle Krebs in Detroit. She's a senior analyst at the auto information website Edmunds.com.
Housing continues to be a big issue for the economy, and for many voters. But so far it hasn't been a major issue in the presidential campaign. Perhaps that's because both sides agree that there's no easy fix for the problem of millions of troubled mortgages.
Cathy Busby and her husband co-owned a realty office in Denver when they bought their house in 2006. The next year, the market for houses dried up, leaving them with little income as their house lost value.
Now, she says, she considers herself "poverty level."
The cloud's vast computing power is making it easier and less expensive for companies and clinicians to discover new drugs and medical treatments. Analyzing data that used to take years and tens of millions of dollars can now be done for a fraction of that amount.
Most of us know Amazon as the world's largest online retailer. But its cloud computing business is booming too.
After studying details of the tax changes now set to take effect for 2013, the researchers were struck by "how big the tax increase is," said Eric Toder, one of those researchers. "It's a huge, huge number."