National News

As Labor Market Advances, Millions Are Stuck In Part-Time Jobs

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 07:52

Payrolls have grown by more than 200,000 for six months in a row — the longest stretch since 1997. But 7.5 million people are working less than 40 hours per week even though they want full-time jobs.

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Ebola Moving Faster Than Efforts To Control It, WHO Chief Says

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 07:25

WHO announced a $100 million response plan to combat the spread of the virus that has killed more than 700 people. Meanwhile, efforts are underway to evacuate two Americans who have contracted Ebola.

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Slow Walkers May Be On Their Way To Dementia

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 07:11

New research shows that older people with cognitive problems who walk very slowly may be at greater risk for dementia.

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During Transport, A Giraffe In South Africa Hits Head On Overpass, Dies

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 05:55

The truck was carrying two blindfolded giraffes on a busy highway. The journey captured the attention of drivers but came to a tragic end.

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Simmering Online Debate Shows Emoji Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 05:48

A report from a local Philadelphia TV station is re-igniting a debate and getting people all up in arms. (Or should we say, up in hands?)

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Cantor To Step Down This Month To Make Room For Successor

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 05:24

After relinquishing his House majority leader post, Eric Cantor, who was defeated in a stunning June primary upset, says he will give up his seat in Congress effective Aug. 18.

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Unemployment Ticks Up To 6.2 Percent; 209,000 Jobs Added

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 04:38

The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the rate for July was little changed from June's 6.1 percent.

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Court In Uganda Throws Out Anti-Gay Law

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 04:09

The decision was a technical one. The court said there was no quorum when Parliament voted on the measure, which made some acts of homosexuality punishable with life in prison.

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Caffeine Gives Athletes An Edge, But Don't Overdo It

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 04:03

Studies show the caffeine in just a few cups of coffee enhances performance in a wide range of sports. But more isn't better, and concentrated caffeine can be lethal.

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The next generation to get corporate attention

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 04:00

Brands and corporations pay good money to people from Generation X to figure out how to get folks from Generation Y, the Millennials, to open their wallets. Now, a new group is getting corporate love: Generation Z (at least that's what they're called until someone finds a better name). Marketplace’s Mark Garrison spoke with Dan Gould, senior cultural strategist at market research firm Sparks and Honey, which is studying Generation Z and its growing buying power.

Click the media player above to hear Dan Gould in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report guest host Mark Garrison.

Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Millennials from sparks & honey

PODCAST: Marketing to Generation Z

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 03:00

First up, more on the jobs report for the month of July. Plus, it used to be that business travelers would hop into a taxi and stay at a hotel. Now they're using Uber to hire drivers and staying in stranger's apartments through Airbnb. But these companies don't have the same taxes and regulations as their traditional competitors. And we’ve talked a lot about Generation X and Generation Y. But, what about Generation Z? What are the spending habits of this new generation and what can companies do to appeal to them?

Fighting Resumes In Gaza, As Israeli Military Says Cease-Fire Is Over

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:28

Just hours into what was supposed to be a three-day cease-fire, Israel and Hamas traded fire in Gaza. Palestinian officials said one attack killed scores of people.

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Suing soldiers for their debt

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:00

ProPublica recently co-published a report with The Washington Post about a company called USA Discounters that offers easy credit to military service members. The catch? If a service member falls behind, the company aggressively goes after them by suing them in courts near its Virginia headquarters, making it incredibly difficult for service members to show up in their own defense.

Click the media player above to hear ProPublica Senior Editor Tracy Weber in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report guest host Mark Garrison.

 

Silicon Tally: Gameboy becomes a Gameman

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:00

It's time for Silicon Tally. How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

This week, we're joined by Nilay Patel, Editor-in-chief of The Verge.

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What the Concur partnership means for Uber and Airbnb

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:00

It used to be that business travelers would roll into town, hop in a taxi, and spend the night at a hotel. Now, some are using Uber to hire drivers, and to search Airbnb to stay in the apartments of strangers.

Both companies are part of the so-called “sharing economy,” and that non-traditional status has helped prevent them from being taxed and regulated in the same way as their traditional competitors. At the same time, both companies are now taking steps to become regular fixtures of corporate travel.

Airbnb just launched a new web portal for business travelers. On the front page is a picture of a loft with brick walls, high ceilings, and what looks to be a nice stereo system. This is not your everyday workingman's motel.

“Sometimes it's nice to come home to a place that feels a little more like yours," says Lex Bayer, head of global payments and business development at Airbnb.

Last year, Bayer says 8 percent of the travel done through Airbnb was for business. That, he says, lead it to partner with Concur, a logistics service that manages employee travel for 70 percent of all Fortune 1000 companies.

If employees want to stay at Airbnb properties, Concur helps smooth out the process so it conforms with corporate travel procedures. Tim MacDonald, Concur's executive vice president of platform and data services, says use of Airbnb by employees has increased: "We've seen 27 times growth in expense reports with Airbnb listed." 

MacDonald says alternative business models like Airbnb have grown too big to ignore. Concur also works with Uber — a “rideshare service” with cars operated by regular people. It too escapes regulation by falling into the "sharing economy" gray zone. The exemption of these companies irks established players in the lodging and transportation fields.

“If you are going to look like a hotel and act like a hotel, you should be treated like a hotel," says Vanessa Sinders, senior vice president for governmental affairs at the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Right now, she perceives a double standard. “Hotels have to abide by so many different safety, security, health code, accessibility requirements, and we think that that should be applied fairly and equally across the board.”

So far, over 30 companies have partnered with Airbnb to make it an official travel option for employees. Many of those happen to be start-ups themselves.

As housing recovers, a shortage of skilled workers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:00

The housing crash sent many construction workers fleeing to other industries. Now that housing is recovering, builders are struggling with a shortage of skilled workers. That’s delaying housing starts and driving up home prices.

The housing market continues to recover along with the overall economy, but the construction workers who left the industry in droves during the recession aren’t exactly flocking back. Meanwhile, a shortage of skilled workers is getting worse. But can you blame them for leaving in the first place?  

The National Association of Home Builders reports that unemployment among construction workers peaked at 22 percent during the recession.  

No wonder so many found jobs in other industries, says the group’s chief economist, David Crowe, adding that housing still seems too unstable for them to come back.

"More than half of builders are now telling us that they’re having trouble finding construction workers – carpenters, brick masons, painters and so forth," Crowe explains.  

60 percent of builders the group surveyed say the shortage forced them to delay projects in the last six months, or raise home prices.

That’s not putting much of a drag on the housing market yet, says Kermit Baker, with Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies: "But with growth coming down the road in all likelihood, certainly we’re going to have serious problems in the future if we don’t train and attract more workers in the construction industry."

Baker adds that builders need to revive some of the training programs they scrapped during the long downturn, and get their “muscle memory” back for growing their workforce.  

Minnesota's Minimum-Wage Workers Get 75-Cent Increase

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 01:48

Workers and advocacy groups praise the hard-fought change, from $7.25 to $8, but opponents warn it will wreak havoc on business balance sheets.

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CDC Chief On West African Ebola: 'We Know What To Do, But It's Not Easy'

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 01:00

Renee Montagne talks with the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, for the latest news about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

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Militants In Iraq Seek Control Of Precious Weapon: Dams, Waterways

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 01:00

There is fierce fighting at several dams in Iraq. The extremists of the Islamic State have already deliberately flooded some areas, displacing people, destroying crops and polluting the water supply.

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