National News

World Cup Fever: Despite Protests, Partying Mood Takes Over Brazil

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:04

The World Cup is in full swing and American fans are celebrating victory over Ghana. Host Michel Martin gets the latest — both on and off the field — from Ricardo Zuniga of the Associated Press.

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O.J. And Oscar Trials: A 'Combination Of Celebrity, Wealth And Murder'

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:04

O.J. Simpson's Ford Bronco was chased by police 20 years ago, marking the start of what was dubbed the "trial of the century." But how does its coverage compare with the Oscar Pistorius trial?

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Man Freed After Confessing To Killing Son During Interrogation

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:04

After years in prison, Adrian Thomas was found not guilty for the murder of his infant son. His story was told in Scenes of a Crime. In this encore broadcast, the film's co-director explains the case.

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Democrats Unveil A Bill To Ban Internet Fast Lanes

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:01

Lawmakers are stepping into the ongoing tussle over whether companies should have to pay more for faster Internet service to consumer homes.

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U.S. Captures Suspected Ringleader Of Attack In Benghazi

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 07:34

Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured by American troops after coordinating with U.S. law enforcement. Khattala was charged last summer.

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A Native American Take On Tornadoes

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 07:13

What causes deadly twisters? The Native Americans of Oklahoma offered one answer.

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Man Emerges From Picasso's Painting 'The Blue Room'

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 07:03

The painting's surface depicts a scene in Pablo Picasso's studio in Paris, with a woman bathing between a window and a table. But the canvas holds a different scene underneath.

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Obama Proposes Creation Of World's Largest Ocean Sanctuary

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 06:57

President Obama proposed expanding a sanctuary created by President George W. Bush. The proposal would affect the ocean surrounding the Pacific Remote Islands south and west of Hawaii.

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After His Game-Winning Goal, We Ask, Who Is John Brooks?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 05:54

The 21-year-old rookie defender became an instant sensation when he scored the game-winning goal versus Ghana, giving the U.S. a chance to advance in the tournament.

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Twin Tornadoes In Nebraska Leave 2 Dead, Others In Hospital

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 04:58

The last tornado deaths in the area came 10 years ago, the National Weather Service says. Residents who were evacuated Monday have been allowed to return to sift through the destruction.

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Montana Mom's Ab Challenge Becomes A Phenomenon

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 04:41

Working your abs hard for 30 days may tone those muscles, but don't count on an exercise program by itself to take off belly fat. Staying motivated after a month is over is another problem.

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ISIS Rebels Drive Closer To Baghdad; U.S. Considers Options

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 03:48

Extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is attacking the strategic city of Baqouba, less than 40 miles from Baghdad. The U.S. is sending military personnel to its embassy in the capital.

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PODCAST: The state of the Argentine economy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-17 03:00

First up, Juli Niemann, analyist at Smith, Moore and Company, stops by to talk inflation. Plus, more on Apple's settlement in its suit over e-books. Last up, Russell Padmore of the BBC, talks about the current state of Argentina's economy in light of the U.S. court ruling regarding the country's payments to creditors. 

Travel company bets on learning over leisure

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-17 03:00

What do you look for in a vacation destination: food, culture, sandy beaches? 

Nicholas Wood, founder of the travel company Political Tours, hopes social and economic change are high on your list. Wood, a seasoned foreign correspondent who’s filed for the BBC, New York Times, and Marketplace, aims to give travelers a deeper understanding of the places they see and hear about in the news, such as Ukraine, Israel, or China. He joins Marketplace Morning Report David Brancaccio to discuss.

Click on the audio player above to hear more.

Live from under the sea, it's Fabien Cousteau

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-17 02:00

For Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed explorer Jacques Cousteau, under the sea is a pretty comfortable place to be.

No, not like this. Not this, either. 

Marking the 50th Anniversary of his grandfather's 30 day underwater stay at Continental Shelf Station Two, aka Conshelf Two, Cousteau plans to spend 31 days in the Aquarius lab, "the only underwater marine habitat and lab in the world." Called "Mission 31," Cousteau and a team of scientists will explore the effects of climate change, pollution, and the consumption of natural resources.

Also unique to the venture: the team is broadcasting the entire event live. Check out the livestream of Mission 31 below:

Coal's share of global energy is growing

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-17 02:00

BP’s annual world energy report is out, and it turns out coal has its largest share of the global energy market since 1970.

Just because coal use is going down in the U.S. doesn’t mean it’s not popular in other parts of the world.

“Coal is still a fairly fast growing fuel globally," says James Stevenson, director of North American coal at IHS Energy, a global research and consulting firm. “We have fairly strong growth in countries like China.”

The use of coal is also expanding in Latin America, parts of the Mediterranean, and Africa, though more slowly. Even Germany is burning more coal, partly because it’s shutting down its nuclear power plants.

Kristoffer Inton, an equity analyst with Morningstar, says coal is easy to come by.

“That’s the main advantage of coal," he says, "that it’s cheap and it’s available.”

And even with the EPA’s newly proposed regulations for carbon, it still expects coal to generate 30 percent of the power in this country. Inton notes, globally, coal is probably one of the easiest ways to get power.

“So what we’re seeing right now is that even though there’s high coal usage in China and growing usage in some other countries, there’s a significant amount of supply out there,” he says.

 

Report says too many teachers-to-be are poor students

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-17 02:00

Higher education institutions are training some of the weakest students to lead the nation's classrooms.

That’s one of the conclusions of a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality. On top of that, the advocacy group says fewer than 10 percent of the teacher training programs it's assessed are doing a stellar job.

One of the criteria the group uses to assess schools is their admissions selectivity.

“The education school is often the easiest program on a campus to get into,” says Kate Walsh, president of The National Council on Teacher Quality. Walsh says three out of four of the teacher prep programs her group examined lack rigorous admissions standards and accept students with lackluster grade point averages or scores on college entrance tests.

Walsh says mediocre students use education as a fall-back major. She wants schools to raise the bar and make teaching a more elite profession.

But Peter Cookson with the American Institutes for Research says another important way to do that would be to raise teachers' pay.

“It's a good salary, but it isn't really competitive in the long-term,” he says.

Cookson says the stakes are high for attracting and retaining good teachers. He says students perform much better with strong instructors.

How the U.S. pays for its involvement in Iraq

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-17 02:00

The Obama Administration says 275 troops are deploying to Iraq to protect the U.S. Embassy and other interests. We don’t yet know the full cost of any U.S. action in Iraq, but we can lift the curtain a bit on the economics behind military intervention, and what the Pentagon gets for its half trillion dollar baseline budget.

What’s included and what’s not?

Let’s start with the USS George H.W. Bush. That’s the aircraft carrier that sped to the *Persian Gulf this weekend (other ships are joining too).

Is the Bush covered in the defense budget?

“On any given day, we have about three aircraft carriers floating about the world in order to respond to crises,” says Janine Davidson, senior fellow for defense policy with the Council on Foreign Relations. “That money is already paid for. It’s the operational account for what we would call posturing our military forces abroad.”

Todd Harrison, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says the U.S. routinely rotates carriers.

“But if you actually take it a step further,” he says, “and you start conducting things like air strikes, then that picks up the pace of operations of the aircraft operating off the aircraft carrier, which is an additional cost. And then you’ve got the cost of munitions that are expended – you know, bombs and missiles and the like.”

But here’s the thing about bombs and Tomahawk missiles: You don’t have to pay for them when you use them. Payment comes later, to replenish them. That provides flexibility.

Mackenzie Eaglen, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says President Obama would rather fund operations like no-fly zones by moving money around than asking Congress for more.

“That’s what we saw happen in Libya, when there was a multi-month no-fly zone which the US participated in and the Pentagon paid for that out of hide,” she says.

That operation cost about a billion dollars.

Todd Harrison says the costs of intelligence sharing, air support, and limited air strikes are probably small enough for the regular defense budget to absorb. He says the big potential cost for the Department of Defense is troops on the ground.

“So when you start putting in 10,000, 20,000 troops, that’s when DOD would need to request supplemental funding to pay for those operations,” he says.

Those are the kinds of numbers last seen from the US for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So far, the force committed this time around is much, much smaller.

*NOTE: An earlier version of this story used the term Arabian Gulf, which is used by the military, to describe the Persian Gulf.

Tensions Still High In 'Nevada Land' Over Cattle Dispute

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 00:42

Many of Cliven Bundy's supporters are gone, but the rancher is as defiant as ever since an armed standoff with the U.S. government. For now, it feels like each side is waiting for the other to blink.

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In Yabbies And Cappuccino, A Culinary Lifeline For Aboriginal Youth

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 00:41

Australia has a long, dark history of racial discrimination against the Aborigines. A cooking and hospitality program tries to help youth discover their culture and build confidence and competence.

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