National News

Gunfire, Explosions Rock Thai Capital Ahead Of Polls

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 06:39

At least seven people, including an American photojournalist, have been wounded in the clashes ahead of Sunday's parliamentary elections.

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Sam Cooke And The Song That 'Almost Scared Him'

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 06:30

Cooke recorded "A Change is Gonna Come" 50 years ago this week. The story of the song is as amazing, and unsettling, as the song itself.

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Scout Leaders Who Toppled Ancient Rock Formation Are Charged

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:38

The men videotaped themselves as one of them pushed over a Jurassic-era sandstone pillar at Utah's Goblin Valley State Park.

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Tainted Heroin Warnings Blanket Pa. As Overdose Deaths Swell

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

Pennsylvania public health officials say at least 22 have died from using heroin laced with a more powerful drug called fentanyl.

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British Royal Household Needs To Beef Up Reserves

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

The British royal family is in financial trouble, according to a report by members of the British Parliament. Castles are crumbling and the family is down to its last million in reserves. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with London correspondent Ari Shapiro about ways in which the royals could bring in more money.

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State Department: Keystone XL Would Not Worsen Warming

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

The Keystone XL oil pipeline proposal cleared a significant hurdle Friday. The State Department concluded the project would not significantly worsen the problem of climate change. The decision has angered environmentalists, who don't want the project to go through.

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Ex-Aide: Christie Knew About Lane Closures As They Happened

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

Former Port Authority Director David Wildstein says there's evidence to show that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about lane closures on the George Washington Bridge while they were in place. Christie has said he didn't know about the politically motivated closures until later, as Monmouth University Polling Institute's Patrick Murray tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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Republicans Retreat To Regroup On Immigration, Debt Ceiling

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

A year ago, House Speaker John Boehner used a Republican retreat to make peace with the Tea Party caucus. This week's retreat saw Boehner bring up for discussion two divisive issues — the debt ceiling and immigration — with much more self-assurance. Political correspondent David Welna joins NPR's Scott Simon to explain the transformation.

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Obama Pushes Employers To Consider The Long-Term Jobless

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

Long-term unemployment is one of America's most pressing problems, with 4 million people out of work for six months or more. That number has remained stubbornly high, even as the overall unemployment rate has fallen. President Obama met with business leaders at the White House on Friday and urged them not to overlook qualified job applicants just because they've been out of work for a while.

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U.S. Figure Skaters Are Underdogs In These Games

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are just days away, and some 230 athletes will be representing the United States. Representing team NPR is Sonari Glinton. He gives NPR's Scott Simon a rundown of who to watch on the ice.

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Foreigners Still Vulnerable To NSA Snooping

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

Mikko Hypponen is a "white hat" hacker in Finland who breaks into security systems to test network safety. Hypponen tells NPR's Guy Raz of the TED Radio Hour that Americans may be protected under NSA reforms, but foreigners like himself aren't.

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Finding The Sum Of True Love On The 88th Try

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

Mathematician Chris McKinlay wasn't having any luck finding love, so he used an algorithm to crack the dating website OkCupid. After a mountain of data mining and more than 80 first dates, he finally met his fiancée.

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The High Cost Of Testing For College

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

You think college is expensive? How about the cost of SAT and AP tests? Ben Tonelli, a senior at Garfield High School in Seattle, wrote an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal complaining about the costs. NPR's Scott Simon talks to Tonelli about the sticker shock.

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Will A Military Leader Become Egypt's New Strongman?

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 05:00

Egyptian Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi rose to power swiftly after the Arab Spring ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak. Al-Sisi, who is the head of Egypt's military, appears to be next in line for the presidency. Middle East expert Samer Shehata tells NPR's Scott Simon that Egyptians find another military leader reassuring, but his election wouldn't bode well for democracy.

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Kerry: 'Disturbing' Trend Of Authoritarianism In Eastern Europe

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 04:57

The secretary of state singled out Ukraine as an example of a growing trend of governments willing to "trample the ambitions" of their people.

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Tech Week: 'Leaky' Angry Birds And Digital Invades Cinemas

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 04:01

The NSA is said to collect data from apps like Angry Birds, small movie theaters struggle to go digital, and a Silicon Valley mogul offends a whole bunch of people. If you missed this week's news, All Tech has you covered.

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Germany's New Defense Minister: More Peacekeeping Missions Welcome

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 01:56

Ursula von der Leyen is the first woman to hold the job. She has no military experience and is best known for social policies such as expanded parental leave. But she has already said that Germany should play a more active role in foreign missions, and that could involve sending troops into conflict zones.

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Booming Oil Fields May Be Giving Sex Trafficking A Boost

NPR News - Sat, 2014-02-01 01:55

The oil rush in and around North Dakota has brought an influx of mostly male workers flush with cash. Law enforcement agencies and activists say that's creating ample opportunity for organized crime — and that more must be done to prevent women from being forced into prostitution.

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Ask Carmen: Lightning round listicle edition

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-01-31 15:32

Here at Marketplace Money we get a ton of questions, and we love to answer as many as we can. That's why we created the Lightning Round: 5 personal finance questions, 5 personal finance answers, in 5 personal finance bullet points.

This week, Carmen was joined by Ben Johnson from the Marketplace Tech Report.

1. Matthew from Yonkers, NY asks a question on the minds of many. What steps should I take to avoid identity theft?

Carmen says: “Don’t carry your social security card.” Also, check your credit card statements online everyday. One last tip, “don’t use your debit card to buy things online, please?”

2. Marion from Cincinnati, Ohio says her and her spouse are in their early 60s, and invested completely in stocks. They’d like to put all of their money in a total bond market fund. Should they?

Carmen says: “Any investment at a point in time can be a bad investment.” But being heavily invested in stocks close to retirement means you don’t have time to recover if another stock crash happens. “You should not be more than 50 percent in the stock market.” And diversify! Some stocks, bonds, etc.

3. Jill from Flagstaff, AZ asks, “What happens to the debt of a person that dies without a will? If a blood relative of mine dies, who is responsible for the debt they've accumulated such as a line of credit or mortgage?”

Carmen says: “This is one of my favorite questions of all time, since people don’t ask until it happens to them.” Whatever debt a person has gets taken out of their estate, which could affect your inheritance but “you are not liable for their debt.”

4. Mary in Tuscon, AZ wants to know: “What are the current tax laws regarding capital gains for a home sale?”

Carmen says: “You can make a sweet $250,000, tax free, on the gains on a primary residence.” if you own it as a couple, you’re up to $500,000.

5. And Christian in Duluth, MN decided at the end of this year (New Years resolution!) to contribute more to retirement. His employer 401(k) is already maxed out, should he look for another investment vehicle?

Carmen says: Yes, yes he should. Roth IRA ideally, if Christian is under the income limit, or check out for other ideas.

Time's up!

Ask Carmen: Leaving a career for love

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-01-31 15:01

More folks are getting married -- or remarried -- later in life and there's something about blending more-mature finances that can bring up a lot of questions.

We're going to head over to Connecticut and talk to Susi who is 54 years old.

She is engaged to someone who, let's just say, has done very well in his career. But Susi also has a great corporate job that pays six figures and has done well with some of her investments, so she wants to know what the next step should be when it comes to merging money, pre-nups, or if she should leave her job.

“I want to make sure I am doing the best that I can with the assets that I have,” Susi says.

Carmen says: “If he’s asking you to drop a career, and to give that up, there’s a price you’re paying for that … for every year that you’re giving up your corporate year. It’s not just one year salary. It’s pensions and [retirement accounts].”

To hear more of Susi’s questions and Carmen’s advice, hit the play button above

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