Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 10:17 am
Party platforms are like contracts: No one bothers to read them until something bad happens.
We all know that parties to any agreement should study the fine print in advance, and surely that applies to the national political parties. The delegates really ought to spend some of their time in the host city studying the document they are voting to adopt.
But hey, it's a convention. It's a party. Who wants to sit in their hotel room and read?
Though Brazil's Amazon has been the focus of environmental groups for decades, the deforestation rate there has fallen dramatically in recent years as clear-cutting of Amazonian jungle in eight other countries has started to rise.
As a result, the 40 percent of Amazonia located in a moon-shaped arc of countries from Bolivia to Colombia to French Guiana faces a more serious threat than the jungle in Brazil. The culprits range from ranching to soybean farming, logging to infrastructure development projects.
OK, over in Europe there's been a lot debate on what to do about the troubled currency. And today the European Central Bank announced a new plan to bolster the euro at a meeting in Frankfurt. Bank president Mario Draghi is under immense pressure to prevent the collapse of Europe's monetary union. The bank did not lower interest rates, as some investors hoped, but did unveil steps to ease the eurozone's debt crisis. NPR's Jim Zarroli is in Germany, following the events, and he joins us now. Good morning.