Xing Wei, who raises pigeons for lucrative races in China, is shown in Beijing with his favorite bird, Ike. He sells Ike's offspring to wealthy buyers for $15,000.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
These pigeons belong to Yang Shibo, who breeds them in an enclosed balcony on the 13th floor of a Beijing apartment building. His best bird cost him $1,000; its descendants have earned him $150,000 in prize money.
To the average observer, they look like ordinary pigeons, caged into a balcony in a high-rise Beijing apartment. But make no mistake. These cooing birds, according to breeder Yang Shibo, are like top-of-the-line sports cars.
"These are the Ferraris of the bird world," he says. "They're the most expensive, and the fastest."
The price of racing pigeons is soaring sky-high, pushed up by wealthy Chinese buyers.
It isn't folksinger Dar Williams' first time performing at one of WXPN's Live Friday concerts — she was on the stage with country star Allison Moorer last year — and it won't be her last. Williams began her foray into folk music while in Boston, making the coffee-shop rounds and recording her own demos.
The only constant is change. It's the most basic fact of human existence. Nothing lasts, nothing stays the same.
We feel it with each breath. From birth to the unknown moment of our passing, we ride a river of change. And yet, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, we exhaust ourselves in an endless search for solidity. We hunger for something that lasts, some idea or principle that rises above time and change. We hunger for certainty. That is a big problem.
Americans Elect, the nationwide effort to launch a credible third-party presidential campaign, has money, media attention and — most importantly — access to the ballot in dozens of states.
What it doesn't have is a candidate for president.
So if it follows its own rules, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization won't field a presidential candidate alongside President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Nov. 6, it announced Tuesday.
But the group also left the door open to bending those rules.
Two soundbites from CEO Jamie Dimon at today's shareholders meeting
The Justice Department has begun looking into JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion-and-counting loss from a hedge account, The Wall Street Journal reports. It cites "a person familiar with the matter" as its source.
The Journal adds that "the probe is at an early stage and it isn't clear what possible legal violation federal investigators may be focusing on."
The desire to adopt has taken some would-be parents around the world. Now, the East African nation of Ethiopia is second only to China when it comes to international adoptions to the U.S. Host Michel Martin speaks with three parents about understanding Ethiopian adoption.
And now, we turn from getting a start in the job market to getting started investing and call us crazy, but we are guessing that, even if you never read the business pages or watch those cable shows where people are talking really fast over a stock ticker, then you still might have heard that the social networking site, Facebook, is offering stock for sale to the public for the first time on Friday. It's called an initial public offering and shares would cost at least $34 apiece.
The school year is winding down, and lots of young people are in the market for a summer job. But finding one in this economy can be hard, especially for teenagers. Host Michel Martin speaks with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis about what the Obama Administration is trying to do to help.
With the economic troubles of the past few years, it's no surprise that the number of people using food stamps is soaring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an average of 44 million people were on food assistance last year; that's up from 17 million in 2000.
What might be surprising, though, is one subgroup that's taken a particularly hard hit.