National News

Israel Intensifies Airstrikes In Wake Of Gaza Cease-Fire

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 04:36

Dozens of targets have been hit since the 3-day truce ended on Friday, while Hamas has launched 70 rockets into Israel.

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You Asked Questions About Ebola — And We Have Answers

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 04:03

Where did it start? Why are some patients able to survive? Shouldn't we be more concerned about malaria? Dr. Darin Portnoy of Doctors Without Borders answers your queries.

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U.S. Continues Aid Drops, Airstrikes In Iraq

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 03:58

In the latest humanitarian drop, U.S. cargo planes supplied Yazidis trapped by the fighting with tons of food and water.

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Undocumented Drivers Wary Of License Program

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 03:49

Eleven states and Washington, D.C., have passed laws to grant driver's licenses to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. But applicants face hurdles, like language barriers and fear of deportation.

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Hagel The Salesman Makes A Trip To India

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 03:49

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is in India. The visit is part of a broader U.S. strategy to strengthen alliances in Asia and the Pacific.

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Hate Crimes Against Jews On The Rise In Europe

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 03:49

Some Europeans say anti-Semitism has increased in the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro talks with correspondents Eleanor Beardsley and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson.

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Privacy Is Serious Business At Black Hat Security Conference

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 03:49

Hackers and cybersleuths abound at two tech conferences in Las Vegas. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro talks to correspondent Aarti Shahani about what new technological threats are lurking.

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For Second Day, U.S. Strikes Targets In Northern Iraq

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 03:49

Kurdish peshmerga forces are fighting Islamic militants threatening the region. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro talks to Qubad Talabani of the Kurdistan regional government about U.S. aid.

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Without A Truce, Strikes Resume In Gaza

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 03:49

Their hopes for peace dashed, Palestinians in Gaza are returning to UN shelters — despite the discomfort and uncertain safety — as fighting between Hamas and Israel resumes.

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Tech Week: Hackers Meet, FCC's 1.1 Million Comments, Gmail Scans

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 03:23

The FCC made more than 1 million net neutrality comments available, hackers gathered to talk about home appliances that might be spies, and Google scans your "Gmails" for child pornography.

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Should Kids Get A Trophy For Showing Up?

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 00:55

NPR Ed takes on the question that has long divided parents and experts alike.

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Advice For Dating With Asperger's: Don't Call 100 Times A Week

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 00:54

Jesse Saperstein says he made lots of mistakes while dating as a young man with Asperger's. He hopes his hard-won experience will help others tell the difference between enthusiasm and stalking.

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New Mexico's Northern Landscape Gets A New Burst Of Color

NPR News - Sat, 2014-08-09 00:53

An unusually wet monsoon season has painted the desert, normally dusty brown, a lush green. It has been a welcome respite from the years of devastating drought that have plagued the state.

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NCAA Loses Court Ruling In Athletes' Antitrust Case

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 16:38

A federal judge sided with college football and basketball players who say they're being used to help sell video games, TV broadcasts, and other content without being paid.

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Federal Judge Rules Some College Players Are Entitled To Payment

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 16:02

College athletes scored a victory in court. A federal judge issued a ruling that the NCAA violated antitrust law by prohibiting athletes from payment for the use of their names, images and likenesses.

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A Top Immigration Judge Calls For Shift On 'Fast-Tracking'

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 14:47

A call to stop fast-tracking deportation hearings of unaccompanied minors comes from an unusual source: a judge who says the current practice could lead to many appeals.

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James Brady's Death Is Ruled A Homicide

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 14:33

His wounds were inflicted 33 years ago, but James Brady died from John Hinckley Jr.'s attack on President Reagan, according to Washington, D.C., police who cite a Virginia medical examiner's report.

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Local mismanagement, dry conditions causing a global freshwater crisis

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 13:54

For drivers in Southern California, drivers will be reminded over and over again they are living through a drought. On radio, there are ads urging people not to wash their cars or water their lawns, along with billboards telling people to be on the lookout for water wasters. Meanwhile, electronic road signs used for Amber Alerts and accident warnings have defaulted to reminders the state is in severe drought warnings.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An electronic sign near the 280 freeway warns of serious drought conditions and encourages people to use less water in San Francisco, California. The message is part of a statewide educational campaign that the California Department of Transportation. Now in its third straight year of unprecedented drought, California is experiencing its driest year on record dating back 119 years, prompting California Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a statewide drought emergency last month.

How bad is it in California? Well, agricultural groups estimate some $5 billion will be lost this year because of the dry conditions.

But dry conditions and water shortages are happening on every continent except Antarctica, and that’s presenting a serious global challenge for small and big companies, according to Financial Times Environmental Correspondent Pilita Clark. She recently wrote a series called a World Without Water, and she says mismanagement and dry conditions are causing a significant crisis around the globe.

“In other words, water is really poorly distributed,” Clark says. “And then, it’s long been taken for granted … it’s been polluted. So what we’re seeing in country after country is growing competition between farmers and industry. And that growing competition between two groups is becoming more and more intense.”

Of course, a crisis can create opportunity. In Las Vegas, a public-private partnership is looking to take their expertise in handling drought. The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance is looking to sell that knowledge to other governments and groups around the world.

“What this is a unique partnership, taking all of the research and all of the technology, and turn it into a commercialization opportunity,” says LVGEA CEO and President Tom Scancke. “This is a whole new marketplace that hasn't been looked at or inspected properly.”

Weekend Brunch: 'Too big to fail'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 13:52

This week, Lizzie O'Leary sits down for brunch with New York Magazine contributing editor Jessica Pressler and Business Insider's Executive Editor Joe Weisenthal to discuss the economic news of last week and what's on their plate this week (get it?).

Topics:

Politico: Bank of America to pay nearly $17 billion in mortgage pact

Bloomberg: Big Banks’ ‘Living Wills’ Get Failing Grade

Why medical debt is different from other debt

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 13:46

People with lots of unpaid medical bills could be getting a break on their credit scores

Fair Isaac Corp., otherwise known as "FICO",  says it is changing its calculations to ease the impact of medical debt that’s gone to collection. 

So what is it about medical debt that makes it different from all other kinds of debt?

“When you go to the Gap to buy jeans, you ultimately know at the time of purchase exactly what the cost of that is going to be,” says Ken Brevoort, senior economist with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. When you pay for your "1969 ultimate panel cuffed always skinny jean," you are the only person paying the bill.

When you go to the doctor – usually – it’s you and your insurance company.

“When you have the insurance involved, you don’t necessarily know what’s going to be your portion and what’s going to be the insurance’s portion,” says Brevoort.

Here’s the thing: paying medical bills is so complicated sometimes the consumer doesn’t even know when they still owe money. FICO senior consumer credit specialist Anthony Sprauve says ignorance isn’t a good reason to give someone a lower FICO score.

“We recognize that it’s not an indicator of a person struggling in most cases when it’s happening by itself,” he says.

The federal government estimates about 7 percent of consumers have unpaid medical bills that have gone to collection agencies. Those consumers could see a 25 point or better score under FICO’s changes, says Sprauve.

“They are going to have access to more credit and they are going to be able to get credit as a lower price,” he says.

That’s the good news. The bad news is more and more consumers must wade into the byzantine world of healthcare billing.

Which means if you want to make sure you’re up to date on your bills, it’s still on you.

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