National News

The Administration's College Ratings: How It Looks On Campus

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 23:59

The Education Department's unveiling today of a controversial ratings system has fueled a debate over what this kind of system can — or should — measure.

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Two Of Colorado's Neighbors Sue State Over Marijuana Law

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 17:23

Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit against Colorado with the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that its law legalizing marijuana isn't constitutional.

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Once Written Off, Kepler Telescope Finds New Planet

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 16:05

The Kepler space telescope, which cost some $600 million, was feared to be at the end of its useful life in 2013. But NASA says it just found another exoplanet.

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'Team America' Is Benched: Won't Return To Theaters, Reports Say

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 14:47

One day after some U.S. theaters vowed to screen Team America: World Police in the place of The Interview, whose release was canceled, word has emerged that Team America has also been pulled.

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How an oil rush made LA the city it is today

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-12-18 14:25

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talks to oil historian Char Miller about Los Angeles' role in greasing America's economy with oil.

In 1892, the first oil well in Los Angeles was drilled and started an oil rush that first launched the city.

“I think the oil industry has really faded in Los Angeles in terms of its presence. You look up at old photos of Huntington and Seal Beach, up Santa Monica beaches until the '50s… they were littered with oil derricks," Miller says. "It was the symbol of the city and that’s all disappeared.”

Oil drilling is still going on though. About 3,000 densely placed pumps are still working underground, but the landscape of the city makes the oil industry invisible.

“The culture of the United States is driven by oil. The built landscape is created because of petroleum," Miller says. "And so Los Angeles, at once in its sprawl and its density is the perfect example of the petrol economy.”  

How an oil rush made LA

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-12-18 14:25

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talks to oil historian Char Miller about Los Angeles' role in greasing America's economy with oil.

In 1892, the first oil well in Los Angeles was drilled and started an oil rush which launched the beginnings of the city.

“I think the oil industry has really faded in Los Angeles in terms of its presence. You look up at old photos of Huntington and Seal Beach, up Santa Monica beaches until the 50s… they were littered with oil derricks," Miller says. "It was the symbol of the city and that’s all disappeared.”

Oil drilling is still going on though. There are 3,000 densely placed pumps still working underground, but the landscape of the city makes the oil industry invisible.

“The culture of the United States is driven by oil. The built landscape is created because of petroleum," Miller says. "And so Los Angeles, at once in its sprawl and its density is the perfect example of the petrol economy.”  

Opportunity, Caution Seen For U.S. Banks As Cuba Rules Ease

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 14:08

President Obama eased restrictions on Cuba this week, including a relaxation of rules barring U.S. banks from doing business there. But banks are awaiting details and are likely to proceed cautiously.

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No Fracking In New York? That's OK With Pennsylvania

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 13:43

Environmental groups cheered New York's decision to ban the practice, and some in the industry say when it comes to good-paying jobs, New York's loss is Pennsylvania's gain.

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What The Change In U.S.-Cuba Relations Might Mean For Food

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 13:06

The decision to normalize relations is driving all kinds of speculation about American food companies opening up shop in Cuba. But analysts say: Don't expect to see McDonald's there anytime soon.

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In List Of Changes For Secret Service, A New Fence Comes First

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:56

In independent review panel calls for changes ranging from a better fence at the White House to a new approach to training and leadership within the Secret Service.

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U.S. Announces Protections For Transgender Workers

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:55

The Justice Department's move is a reversal from how the Bush administration interpreted Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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New Popularity Of L.L. Bean Boots Sparks Scramble To Fill Orders

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:50

L.L. Bean's iconic rubber and leather boots have swung back into fashion with young people and are more popular than ever. The backlog stands at nearly 100,000 pairs; it will take months to catch up.

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Sarah Koenig On Serial: 'I Think Something Went Wrong With This Case'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:45

Serial, the hugely popular (and sometimes controversial) podcast spun off from This American Life, wraps up its first season today. Audie Cornish speaks with Serial creator Sarah Koenig.

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Lower gas prices, but spending stuck in neutral

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:28

The average two-car household is saving about $50 a month on gasoline, according to Bankrate.com. So where is that extra money going? Not as much is flowing into malls and restaurants as you might think.

“Consumers are very quick to pull back on spending when gas prices rise, but very slow to ramp up spending when they fall,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst with Bankrate.

At an Oceanic gas station in Baltimore, Maryland, cab driver Waylen Hawkes estimates he’s pocketing an extra $1,000 a month, thanks to lower prices. He’s saving it, he says, “because it’s not going to stay this way.”

“I do worry about them going back up,” says Margurite Copper, a human resource manager with a security company. “I wish that I could take some gas and just store it somewhere in my house, but it would be unethical.”

Still, Copper was on her way to the mall after filling up, where she planned to spend a little extra on Christmas presents. 

Where your extra gas money goes

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:28

The average two-car household is saving about $50 a month on gasoline, according to Bankrate.com. So where is that extra money going? Not as much is flowing into malls and restaurants as you might think.

“Consumers are very quick to pull back on spending when gas prices rise, but very slow to ramp up spending when they fall,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst with Bankrate.

At an Oceanic gas station in Baltimore, Maryland, cab driver Waylen Hawkes guesses he’s pocketing an extra $1,000 a month, thanks to lower prices. He’s saving it, he says, “because it’s not going to stay this way.”

“I do worry about them going back up,” says Margurite Copper, a human resource manager with a security company. “I wish that I could take some gas and just store it somewhere in my house, but it would be unethical.”

Still, Copper was on her way to the mall after filling up, where she planned to spend a little extra on Christmas presents. 

Administration Won't Rule Out Raul Castro Visit To White House

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:24

The remarks come a day after President Obama announced the U.S. and Cuba would begin talks to normalize relations and open embassies following more than five decades of hostility.

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The future of oil and gas after the boom

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:20

What effects will oil have on the global economy?

“If there’s too much oil in the world, we can have low prices for a while. That could be the problem," Marketplace Sustainability Correspondent Scott Tong says. "There’s a lag in the effect in the oil patch, but each day already brings another announcement of a company cutting back on their drilling because prices are too low.”

If prices stay below $60 a barrel, Goldman Sachs estimates producers could lose a trillion dollars. But Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve Board, says she thinks low oil prices are a net good for the global economy.

The contrast reflects what a lot of people think – in the short term, it is an absolute economic stimulus. Longer term, there are a lot of questions. If you’re an investor, the financial market is taking a big hit, particularly stocks that are exposed to energy and the bond market. Different parts of the economy could end up feeling the pain.

And, if we look farther into the future, the question of climate change comes up.  There have been demands for a carbon tax, but Tong says: “Cheap oil is basically a carbon subsidy.”

Immigration Driving Broad Demographic Shifts In U.S., Report Says

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:10

An analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts shows that immigrants are increasingly moving from "gateways" such as New York and Texas into states in Middle America.

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In Latin America, Not Everyone Is Thrilled With The U.S.-Cuba Thaw

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 12:05

Cuba and Venezuela are close allies who often seemed to speak with a single voice when it came to bashing the U.S. But now they may be out of synch.

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And The Award For Most Offensive Fund-Raising Video Goes To...

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-18 11:56

If you're a charity that wants to help the developing world, you really, really, really don't want to win a "Rusty Radiator."

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