National News

Your Wallet: Mobility and the American Dream

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-06 09:25

Next week, we're talking about mobility--in your economic life, in the world.

Do you feel like you are upwardly mobile? How is the American dream working out for you?

Share your stories of mobility here. You can also visit us on Marketplace's Facebook page, or on Twitter @MarketplaceWKND.

My Money Story: What happens when you cheat

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:52

"You start cheating because you want to please people," says Aaron Beam, "you want to deliver good numbers to Wall Street, sometimes the public thinks you just do it because you're dishonest ... but I think in my case, that was pretty far down the list of why I did what I did."

When Beam founded HealthSouth in 1984, business was doing well. The company is the largest owner of rehabilitation hospitals in the U.S., and was bringing in consistently good numbers on the New York Stock Exchange. Beam was the CFO -- his wealth and reputation were tied up in HealthSouth, and after more than a decade on the job, the market pressures began to feel heavier. 

"We were missing our numbers," he says, "we were not doing as well as we told Wall Street we would do."

So, "out of fear of disappointing Wall Street, out of fear of losing my wealth ... out of not wanting to disappoint other people, employees," Beam started to cheat, to "cook the books ... You sort of learn to lie, you become evasive."

His involvement with the scandal lasted about a year before he left HealthSouth. "I found that I couldn't live with myself, but six years after I left the company, the fraud broke."

Once the scandal hit the news, Beam turned himself in. And he told the truth, and plead guilty. He even testified in the trial of the sitting CEO, who plead not guilty, and walked away. 

"I got three months in federal prison," he said, "I'm very fortunate that I got only three months."

The HealthSouth fraud changed Aaron Beam's life. These days he speaks at conferences about ethical business and has written books, including "Ethics Playbook," about how to be ethical.

And money is less important to him now than it used to be. "Right now, I'm 71 years old, my health is real important, my marriage survived, I've been married 44 years and that's very important to me," he said, "Truly, I think I'm happier and more focused and have a better handle on life now than when I was running in the fast-lane, literally making millions of dollars every year."

To hear Aaron Beam's full story, listen using the audio player above. 

My Money Story: What happens when you cheat

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:52

"You start cheating because you want to please people," said Aaron Beam, "you want to deliver good numbers to Wall Street, sometimes the public thinks you just do it because you're dishonest...but I think in my case, that was pretty far down the list of why I did what I did."

When Beam founded HealthSouth in 1984, business was good. The company is the largest owner of rehabilitation hospitals in the U.S., and was bringing in consistently good numbers on the New York Stock Exchange. Beam was the CFO -- his wealth and reputation were tied up in HealthSouth, and after more than a decade on the job, the market pressures began to feel heavier. 

"We were missing our numbers," he said "we were not doing as well as we told Wall Street we would do."

So, "out of fear of disappointing Wall Street, out of fear of losing my wealth...out of not wanting to disappoint other people, employees," Beam started to cheat, to "cook the books."

"You sort of learn to lie," Beam said, "you become evasive."

His involvement with the scandal lasted about a year before he left HealthSouth. "I found that I couldn't live with myself, but six years after I left the company, the fraud broke."

Once the scandal hit the news, Beam turned himself in. And he told the truth, and plead guilty. He even testified in the trial of the sitting CEO, who plead not guilty, and walked away. 

"I got three months in federal prison," he said, "I'm very fortunate that I got only three months."

The HealthSouth fraud changed Aaron Beam's life. These days he speaks at conferences about ethical business and has written books, including Ethics Playbook, about how to be ethical.

And money is less important to him than it was. "Right now, I'm 71 years old, my health is real important, my marriage survived, I've been married 44 years and that's very important to me," he said, "Truly I think I'm happier and more focused and have a better handle on life now than when I was running in the fast lane literally making millions of dollars every year."

To hear Aaron Beam's full story, listen using the audio player above. 

Quiz: Where cafeteria food doesn’t come cheap

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:25

Federal K-12 funding fell 21.5 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to the Department of Education, but schools still have mouths to feed.

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ISIS Claims U.S. Hostage Was Killed Friday In Jordanian Attack

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:25

The claim was made on Twitter and reported by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activity.

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What Microbes Lurk In The Subways Of New York? Mysteries Abound

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:22

Think expedition to the rain forest, but one where you'll need a MetroCard to get around. The microbial life of the New York subways turns out to be as rich, odd and confounding as the city itself.

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Outrage Over Government's Animal Experiments Leads To USDA Review

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:07

Lawmakers also introduced a bill to strengthen laws protecting farm animals used in research. Both moves come out of a New York Times investigation of animal suffering at a federal research center.

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Donations Roll In For Detroit Man Who Walks 21 Miles To Work

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:06

More than $300,000 has been raised in less than a week for James Robertson, who had to commute to his factory job by foot.

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Tech IRL: When hacking does good at Google

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:06

The word "cheating" typically carries a negative connotation, but there is a such thing as "good" cheating. Guest host Lisa Desjardins speaks with Parisa Tabriz, hacker and security manager for Google, about hacking to do good.

Listen to the full interview in the player above.

Tech IRL: When hacking does good

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:06

The word cheating typically carries a negative connotation, but there is a such thing as good cheating. Lisa Desjardins talked to Parisa Tabriz, hacker and security manager for Google, about hacking to do good.

Listen to the full interview in the player above.

2 nods, 1 category: Alexandre Desplat on scoring big

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-06 08:00

Saying Alexandre Desplat is a busy man is one heck of an understatement.

The French composer has 158 film scoring credits to his name, and he has become Hollywood's go-go guy for soundtracks. Last year alone he composed scores for “Godzilla,” “The Monuments Men,” “Unbroken,” “The Imitation Game” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Those last two earned Desplat his seventh and eighth Oscar nominations.

Desplat’s success is not due to talent alone. He also has a reputation as someone who can deliver on tight deadlines, often scoring a film in less than three weeks. He says the ticking clock can make for some sleepless nights and nervous mornings.

Our work is really related to a deadline, always, because there is a release date and you can’t deliver the music too late. So every morning you think, ‘Hmm, will I find what I’m seeking this morning?’ And it takes a few years before you’re strong enough to be able to get over this fear. But after a while your brain is used to pressure. You have to write some music every day, and that’s become a discipline. You throw a bucket in the well and you bring the water out. There’s no other way. You have to do it.

Desplat has worked with many directors — Wes Anderson, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Stephen Frears, Kathryn Bigelow and Nora Ephron, to name a few — and says even though his name is on the scores of the films he works on, the process is a truly collaborative one.

I sit down with the director in my studio, I play piano, I make little electronic demos with the orchestration already laid out, and we discuss. We try to picture what the movie is calling for and what the director is aiming for. I’m here to collaborate. I’m not here to create my own piece of music.

Desplat has yet to win an Oscar. With double the chances, will this be his year or is he destined to be the Susan Lucci of the scoring world? Desplat doesn’t seem too hung up on it one way or the other.

 You do movies because you love movies and you write music because you love writing music, and sometimes there’s this magic combination. The vibration of the music is so strong that when people hear it and they watch the film, they want to nominate you. But there’s no guarantee and that shouldn’t be the goal ever. The goal is to make a great piece of music that will serve the movie and can stand alone at the same time. That’s the only way I can think about it.

More Questions Emerge About Brian Williams' Comments

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 07:57

A pilot who partly backed the NBC anchor's account of being on a chopper that took fire is revising his story. Also, a newspaper is questioning what Williams said he saw during Hurricane Katrina.

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Thailand's Military Moves Closer To China

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 07:45

An agreement for stronger ties with Beijing comes after last year's coup in Thailand soured relations between Bangkok and Washington.

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Oil Industry Sees Layoffs, Even As Jobs Numbers Rise Elsewhere

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 07:07

The energy sector is laying off workers, as falling oil prices have slowed drilling. Analysts are sifting through the January employment report, which showed American employers added 257,000 jobs.

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Canadians Have A Right To Assisted Suicide, High Court Says

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 06:53

The court said the existing ban denies people the right "to make decisions concerning their bodily integrity and medical care" and leaves them "to endure intolerable suffering."

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Yemen's Houthi Rebels Dissolve Parliament, Seize Power

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 06:53

A televised statement said the group was forming a presidential council that would run the country. It called the takeover "a new era that will take Yemen to safe shores."

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Measles Vaccination Rates: Tanzania Does Better Than U.S.

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 06:34

A map from the World Health Organization reveals show something interesting: Many poor countries have higher vaccination rates than rich ones.

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Kansas Will Cut Education Funding To Help Close Budget Gap

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 06:25

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, whose aggressive tax cutting measures helped trigger the financial crisis, said the schools' funding levels are unsustainable.

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Officials Predict More Measles Cases After 5 Babies Are Diagnosed In Illinois

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 04:54

Because the Chicago-area patients are all under a year old, they can't be vaccinated. Saying that more cases are likely, a Cook County health official warns, "The cat is out of the bag."

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Economy Adds 257,000 New Jobs; Unemployment Rate Up Slightly

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-06 04:38

The jobless rate ticked up to 5.7 percent despite robust job growth that exceeded economists' expectations.

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