Robert Siegel speaks to Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University and an expert on contemporary Greece, about the tensions between democracy and the need for decisive action in dealing with the euro crisis. Mazower says that the speed of financial markets, and the slowness of the democratic process, has increased this tension during the crisis.
The Greek government is teetering on the brink of collapse Thursday, following the decision of Prime Minister George Papandreou to call off a referendum on the Europe bailout package for his country. The finance minister and other party colleagues have turned against Papandreou, amid talk of a national coalition government to prepare for new elections. Guy Raz talks to Joanna Kakissis, who has the latest from Athens.
President Obama speaks with (from left) French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, on Thursday. The talks were dominated by Greece's financial woes.
Greece's decision to scrap a referendum on new austerity measures added a note of urgency to the G-20 summit meeting that began in Cannes, France, on Thursday. President Obama and other G-20 leaders are trying to prevent the Greek debt crisis from spreading to the rest of Europe and beyond.
Before the G-20 summit formally got under way, Obama met privately with the leaders of France and Germany — Europe's two biggest economies. They're also the architects of a continental debt rescue plan.
Twentieth-century Russian music is often thought of as dark and brooding, a reflection of life under the thumb of a brutal state. When it was funny, it usually had a kind of gallows humor.
Yet many of the same composers whose concert works often reflected a dark reality also wrote cartoon music for kids. Thursday night, the Brooklyn Philharmonic is playing some of these cartoon scores in Brighton Beach — the heart of the Russian-American community in New York City. For some of its creators, cartoon music offered a certain kind of escape.
To us it sounded like the premise of a particularly cruel reality TV show: Six men are picked to live in a windowless, cramped mock spaceship for 18 months to see how humans would react to conditions similar to what one would expect on a mission to Mars.
Tomorrow, after 520 days of isolation, the hatch will finally be open and the volunteers will return to normal life. With a cost of $15 million, the project, dubbed Mars500, is a serious experiment commissioned by the European Space Agency.
Beginning Nov. 10, citizens and permanent residents in Cuba will be able to buy and sell residential property on the island. The move is one of the more major acts of reforms instituted by President Raúl Castro.
NEAL CONAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. If the threat of prison is supposed to deter crime, it's not working; record numbers are behind bars. And while all those bad actors off the street may contribute to lower crime rates in recent years, many believe there have to be better ways.