French colonists planted cacao in Vietnam in the 1800s, but the crop was outpaced by coffee and cashews. Now French expats are helping the country become a respected producer of high-end chocolate.
How much would your boss have to pay you to get you to quit your job?
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos offered the company’s full-time warehouse employees $2,000 to $5,000, depending on tenure, to quit. In a letter to shareholders, Bezos explained:
“The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”
This deal is especially healthy for the company’s bottom line says Nancy Koehn, historian at the Harvard Business School. She says Bezos is taking a line from the Zappos playbook.
“It is as much a financial and strategic issue as it is an image or PR issue,” Koehn says.
She notes how difficult it can be to get rid of an employee that doesn’t fit in well with the company. If handled poorly, a lawsuit would be much more expensive than $5,000.
But don’t expect all employers to offer the same deal. Koehn thinks it’s unlikely to become a new trend in working America.
Realtors are seeing reasons for optimism in the housing market. As Kaomi Goetz of WSHU reports, one historic home sale suggests the high end of the market is booming again — in Connecticut, at least.
In Chile, a fire that started in the hills above Valparaiso continues to burn. The blaze has killed 15 people and destroyed 2,500 homes in the area that surrounds Valparaiso. Reporter Alexandra Hall looks at some of those affected.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said his country would respond if its citizens or interests came under attack in Ukraine. At the same time, the interim Ukrainian government has called for a new offensive on pro-Russia militants holed up in government buildings across eastern Ukraine. Western diplomats are scrambling to find a way to de-escalate the crisis.
Prompted by calls for violence on the radio, South Sudanese rebels have slaughtered hundreds of civilians. As Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International explains, details are just starting to emerge.
Palestinian leaders say they're close to a deal that would end the seven-year division between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
The Obama administration is reviewing its deportation policies in an effort to conduct enforcement more humanely, according to the White House. As part of the effort, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is listening to recommendations from a range of groups.
President Obama is visiting East Asia, stopping in Japan and three other countries. The trip aims to assure U.S. allies that they're not forgotten, even as China gets more bullish with its neighbors.
The Justice Department is considering clemency for thousands of people who are incarcerated on nonviolent drug charges and who have also served at least 10 years of their sentences.
Pharmaceutical companies are suddenly trading entire divisions the way sports teams swap players. Glaxo, Novartis and Ely Lily are all involved in a complicated deal announced Tuesday, and so far this year, five deals exceeding $2 billion have been announced. What's driving the deal-making?
Rick Warren, author of the best-seller "The Purpose-Driven Life," is expanding his Saddleback Church from the Los Angeles suburbs to 12 global cities. Last weekend, a campus in Los Angeles joined Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Manila and Berlin. Moscow, Tokyo, and Accra are among those coming soon.
Scott Thumma, an expert on mega-churches from the Hartford Seminary, isn't surprised: He says the megachurch is a global phenomenon. Of the world's top 20 megachurches, only one is in the U.S.
"If you just look at it in the United States, you see it as a suburban reality," he says. "It's kind of recreating a kind of small-town connectedness with people who have like values and interests," he says. Around the world, he says, that's "what we're all longing for, in the anonnymous urban setting."
Seoul is the world leader in mega-churches. Its Yoido Full Gospel Church boasts almost a half-million churchgoers per week. And it's not the only one.Top 20 Megachurches, Worldwide Rank Attendance Church Name City Country 1. 480,000 Yoido Full Gospel Church Seoul Korea 2. 75,000 Deeper Christian Life Ministry Lagos Nigeria 3. 75,000 Mision Cristiana Elim Internacional (Elim Central Church) San Salvador El Salvador 4. 70,000 New Life Church Mumbai India 5. 65,000 Onnuri (All Nations) Community Church Seoul Korea 6. 60,000 Pyungkang Cheil Presbyterian Church Seoul Korea 7. 55,000 Victory Metro Manila Manila Philippines 8. 50,000 Living Faith Church (Winner's Chapel) - main campus Lagos Nigeria 9. 50,000 Apostolic Church Lagos (Ketu) Nigeria 10. 50,000 Yeshu Darbar (Royal Court of Jesus) Allahabad India 11. 50,000 Nambu Full Gospel Church Anyang Korea 12. 50,000 Bethany Church of God Surabaya Indonesia 13. 50,000 Igreja de Paz Santarém Brazil 14. 45,000 Evangelical Cathedral of Santiago (formerly Church of Jotabeche) Santiago Chile 15. 43,500 Lakewood Church Houston U.S.A. 16. 42,000 Comunidad Cristiana Agua Viva (Living Water Christian Community) Lima Peru 17. 40,000 Redeemed Christian Church of God Lagos Nigeria 18. 35,000 United Family International Church Harare Zimbabwe 19. 35,000 Kwanglim (Burning Bush) Methodist Church Seoul Korea 20. 35,000 Word of Hope Church Quezon City Philippines
A lot of mega-churches now have multiple locations.
"You get to a point where it becomes a franchise model," says Thumma. "It's easier and more cost-effective to plant several campuses around town."
Like McDonald’s, the experience is the same wherever you go, including a variety of more-intimate worship settings in a single campus, with the pastor beaming in his sermon via closed-circuit.
Warren has an advantage for someone growing a church: worldwide fame. His book has been translated into 85 languages.
Here's a map of mega-churches in North America, based on a database Thumma has compiled.
Does Rep. Allyson Schwartz's pro-Affordable Care Act television ad signal a new thinking among Democrats running in statewide races?
The U.N. reports that hundreds of civilians were hunted down and killed. NPR's Gregory Warner explains the roots of the conflict in a nation that's not yet 3 years old.