The World's Biggest Challenge: Feeding Humanity
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Some 800 million people around the world are already hungry and millions more face starvation due to the rising price of food. We look at the causes and possible solutions to a problem that will plague humanity for years to come. Also, a possible government bailout for two mortgage lenders, and we talk with a former Secretary of State about the President, the Congress and the power to declare war.
Banner image: A woman checks her bag of cheap government rice at a market in Manila on July 4, 2008. Rising food prices in the Philippines pushed its June inflation rate to 11.4%, the highest level in 14 years. Photo: Jes Aznar/AFP/Getty Images
Fannie May and Freddie Mac Struggling ()
The two mortgage lenders at the heart of America's system of housing finance may need a government bailout. Shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac today dropped to their lowest prices in 17 years. Michael Mandel is chief economist for BusinessWeek magazine.
- Michael Mandel: Chief Economist, BusinessWeek
The World's Biggest Challenge: Feeding Humanity ()
The G-8 leaders took heat from Britain's Guardian newspaper this week for discussing the world's food crisis over a 19-dish dinner prepared by 25 chefs in Hokkaido, Japan. Meantime, the World Bank reported that 75% of the rise in food prices is due to bio-fuels. The rising prices of food and fuel are being called "the first real economic crisis of globalization." In the past three years, increased food costs have pushed 400 million into the ranks of the world's poorest, those who live on less than a dollar a day. Other factors include global warming, meat consumption, politics and financial speculation. We look at the worldwide food chain, stressed so thin that any disruption means it can't keep up with growing demand.
- Raj Patel: Fellow, Food First
- Adam Lerrick: Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
- Tom Slayton: Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development
- Josh Ruxin: Professor of Public Health, Columbia University
National War Powers Commission Report ()
The Constitution gives the Congress the power to declare war and names the President as the Commander in Chief. But Truman intervened in Korea and Johnson went to war in Vietnam without even consulting Congress. In 1973, the War Powers Resolution was passed to require such consultation, but everybody agrees it has not been effective. Now, the National War Powers Commission, chaired by former Secretaries of State James Baker (R) and Warren Christopher (D), says there's a better way. They want a law requiring consultation for "significant armed conflict," creating a new, joint committee with permanent staff and time lines for up-or-down votes on whether to go to war.
- Warren Christopher: former Secretary of State
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