Today we start with a panel discussion about America’s disappearing middle class. A new report says that less than half the population is now middle class; what does it mean for the future? In our weekly web and digital news roundup, Xeni Jardin discusses the heavily criticized new toy Hello Barbie. Then, the second installment of our two-part look at drones; this time, the ethics. And finally, the rise, fall and purchase of K-Cups.
FROM THIS EPISODE
According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, America has reached a tipping point when it comes to the middle class. For the first time in decades, slightly less than half the population is now middle class. That’s because more Americans have moved into the upper or lower income brackets, leaving fewer people in the middle. We get a primer on the study and an up close look at what it means for people in cities
Drones are now very much a part of how we think about warfare. Between civilian casualties and the issue of waging war without ever sending an army into a country, there are many moral and ethical questions when it comes to drone warfare. We heard yesterday about the international rules or lack thereof when it comes to drones. Today, how the United States went from being dubious about armed drones to mounting hundreds of drone attacks each year.
MQ-9 Reaper, a hunter-killer surveillance UAV
Photo: US Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson/USAF Photographic Archives
Sarah Kreps, Cornell University
You’re probably familiar with K-Cups, those plastic containers that deliver caffeine in whatever flavor you want. Those little pods made Keurig Green Mountain Coffee a brand beloved by consumers, until those consumers turned on the company. Because aren’t all those K-Cups bad for the environment? And is the K-Cup coffee actually good? Private equity to the rescue! A European firm bought the Green Mountain Coffee company this week for nearly $14 billion. We look at the rise, fall and purchase of Keurig.
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
Trevor Noah on his brand of political comedy On Tuesday night, Trevor Noah spoke to Omarosa Manigault Newman, who’s been on the TV circuit promoting her anti-Donald Trump book. Trevor Noah has hosted The Daily Show for nearly three years. Now he’s nominated for an Emmy for the first time. We talk about that Omarosa interview, and using comedy to affect politics.
How bees play a crucial role in our food chain Much of the food we eat -- fruit, vegetables, nuts -- are all pollinated by bees. But bees are dying, and their hives are disappearing. Bees now have to be sent around the country to pollinate crops. We learn more about the nature of bees, and what’s at stake if their numbers continue to plummet.
Are short-term rentals taking over LA? When you think of short-term rentals like Airbnb, you might picture someone renting out a back house or a spare room. However, some LA property owners are turning entire apartment buildings into de facto hotels. That’s an issue for a city struggling with a housing shortage.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Healing sexual assault through cabaret On a recent Saturday night in Hollywood, a bar was packed with 20 and 30-somethings drinking, talking have having a good time. They were here to see a variety show,… Read More
Without China, who will take our recycling? China’s new recycling policies have upended recycling programs all around the country and here in LA. During the first quarter of 2017, California exported 54,000 tons of mixed plastics. In… Read More