National News

'Stronger Than Ever' Sundance Docs Tackle Scientology, Campus Rape

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 23:39

Critic Kenneth Turan says Going Clear and The Hunting Ground are among the films that "blew people away" at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

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Threats From Russia Underscores Europe's Need To Boost Military

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 23:37

A series of military confrontations and growing tensions between Western Europe and Russia means armed conflict in northern Europe seems plausible — and shows how ill-prepared the region is now.

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'Crippling' Snowfall Predicted As Storm Hits Northeast

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 17:24

In areas such as New York City, the worst of the snow is expected to hit around midnight. The next time the city will have less than a 50 percent chance of snow won't come until 3 p.m. ET Tuesday.

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Argentina's President Dissolves Intelligence Agency, Citing Prosecutor's Death

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 16:07

A week after an Argentine prosecutor was found dead on the eve of his testimony about an alleged government cover-up of a terrorist attack, President Cristina Fernandez unveils a new plan.

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Backed By U.S.-Led Coalition, Kurds Take Kobani From ISIS

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 15:11

The Syrian town was not seen as militarily important, but Islamic State propaganda bumped it up the list of targets.

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Obama's Arctic Refuge Drill Ban Won't Change Much, For Now

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 14:52

Oil industry representatives are criticizing the decision, but analysts say the shale revolution will buy the industry time to develop safe technology in the threatened environment.

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Shanghai's mayor shifts focus away from GDP

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-01-26 13:46

Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong announced he's not going to target a specific gross domestic product growth rate this year. It's a statement that seems out of place in a country that's grown so rapidly over the last few decades, but growth in China is slowing down.  

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Marketplace's China correspondent Rob Schmitz to get some context.

"It was really surreal to hear the mayor of China's wealthiest city start a speech off by saying, 'We're not too concerned about GDP,'" Schmitz says. "For the past couple of decades GDP growth has been the be-all, end-all obsession for China's government."

According to Schmitz, there's much more to the health of the Chinese economy than just GDP numbers. Chinese officials were so eager to boost GDP that they didn't care how the numbers were achieved. "Up until now, a lot of government spending has been inefficient and wasteful, only benefiting the rich and the powerful," Schmitz says.

But slower growth doesn't mean no growth.

"It's important to remember here that China's economy is not imploding," Schmitz says. "We're still looking at growth here of above 7 percent ... Making this 7 percent go further for everyone in China is what the government now seems to be focused on."

Cost of melting icy roads ... is heating up

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-01-26 13:28

All that salt and brine and sand that's being sprayed on the roads and highways in preparation for the big storm is getting more expensive.

Statewide in New York, the average price of road salt hit $58 a ton last fall. 

That's up 27 percent from a year ago.

Medicare Looks To Speed Up Pay For Quality Instead Of Volume

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 13:14

The administration wants to tie more of Medicare's spending on health care to quality and to encourage doctors and hospitals to be more frugal in their spending.

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Jeffrey Sterling, Former CIA Officer, Is Convicted Of Espionage

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 13:13

Jeffrey Sterling was fired from the CIA in 2002. His case has drawn wide attention in part because he was accused of giving secret information to James Risen of The New York Times.

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Accused Bomber's Lawyers Say Boston Jury Pool Is Too Biased

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 12:41

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's attorneys are again asking that his trial, now in the jury selection phase, be moved. Lawyers say they have data showing that enough impartial jurors cannot be found in the city.

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An Asteroid Is Passing Very Close To Earth Today. Here's How To See It

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 12:19

At its closest point, asteroid 2004 BL86 came within about 750,000 miles from Earth — or almost three times farther away than the moon.

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At Koch Summit, A Freewheeling Debate Among GOP Hopefuls

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 12:07

Do billionaires have too much influence in both major parties? Three top Republican presidential prospects say no.

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Bitcoin gets its first major U.S. exchange

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-01-26 12:04

On Monday, Bay-Area startup Coinbase launched the first major U.S.-based licensed exchange for the online currency bitcoin.

Other major exchanges are based abroad, and other U.S.-based exchanges have limited liquidity and are not able to handle transactions in as many states as Coinbase can. Coinbase is backed by more than $100 million in investment from banks, venture capital firms and the New York Stock Exchange.

Coinbase says it will allow money managers, institutional investors, businesses and individuals to trade bitcoins with a degree of price stability and reliability that has so far been lacking for the up-and-coming virtual currency.

“We’ve got this respected exchange, that’s in the U.S., that isn’t in Slovenia or someplace in Japan,” says Campbell Harvey, a Duke University finance professor. “It will provide a benchmark for pricing and presumably will lead to lower volatility. Given that bitcoin is still a nascent technology, a lot of people don’t fully understand it or trust it. This gives a degree of comfort.”

Sandwich Monday: Girl Scout Cookie Coffeemate

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 11:57

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try Girl Scout Cookies in a new form. Coffeemate has somehow blended them into nondairy creamer, so you can start your day the disturbing way.

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Intended For Millennials, Dish's Sling TV Is A Cord Cutter's Dream

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 11:23

Dish Network soon debuts its Sling TV streaming service, with a small group of cable channels for $20 a month. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans tried it and says Sling TV is a welcome challenge to cable.

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Just Plane Sad: A Show Of Support For SkyMall

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 11:20

News last week that SkyMall's parent company has filed for bankruptcy protection inspired an outpouring of odes to the kitschy in-flight catalog.

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Syrian Rebels Want To Fight Assad, But Now They'll Face ISIS

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 11:20

Moderate Syrian rebels took up arms to topple President Bashar Assad. But the U.S. is planning to train them to fight against a different foe, the self-declared Islamic State instead.

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2015 Will Continue Streak Of Shrinking U.S. Budget Deficit

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-26 11:20

The federal budget deficit will fall in 2015, the sixth consecutive year of decreases relative to the overall economy, according to new figures by the Congressional Budget Office.

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Dish Network's Sling: A shot aimed at cable

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-01-26 11:03

Dish Network rolls out its streaming service, Sling , tomorrow. Twelve channels, 20 bucks a month plus live sports and news. It's upped the ante for everyone looking to lure the cord cutters to their streaming service.  

Click the media player above to hear more.

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