National News

Illinois Declares Truce In Cupcake War

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-06 08:16

When a girl's business got shut down for lack of a license, lawmakers decided the rules went too far. With states regulating so many professions, even consumer groups wonder if they should cut back.

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70 Years After A Crucial Invasion, World Honors D-Day

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-06 07:39

Some 150,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy and began the liberation of France from Nazi occupation during World War II. World leaders, including President Obama, gathered to mark the anniversary.

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PODCAST: 217,000 new jobs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 07:24

More on the numbers from the jobs report for May. Plus, despite being a prize-winning horse, California Chrome isn't expected to fetch top dollar. Why bloodline determines price more than prizes. Also, hear what businesses should learn from professional soccer teams when it comes to diversity.

3, 2, 1… 3.5 million?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 06:45

Seven years ago I stupidly blew all of my savings on a backpacking trip to Asia. I was 26-years old and had planned to come back in three months. Instead I was gone for a year, returning to New York only when I was completely broke and a little tired.

I had a few contacts and started trying to make my way as a freelance writer, but I struggled at first. I was earning a pittance and moved into a crappy apartment with a couple of friends.

A year later I had landed my first full-time journalism job and was making enough to leave the place and the two roommates (who were themselves moving into their own new apartments) and move into a slightly less crappy place with just one. And two years after that, I accepted another new, much better job, which I still have now – and I could finally afford to live alone.

At the risk of sounding like a crank, I've never enjoyed living with others, so I was thrilled that the size of my household had quickly gone from three to two to one.

In a healthy economy, this would be a typical experience shared by many young adults in their 20s and early 30s as they climb their way up the employment ladder.

The economic recovery since the recession of 2008 has been profoundly unhealthy, of course, but especially for young adults. Unemployment for those without college degrees – and that’s a majority – has been brutally high. And a historically big share of recent college graduates have also been forced to accept low-paying jobs for which they’re overqualified. There simply aren’t enough good jobs to absorb them all.

This is a huge deal for the entire economy, and not just for young people.

Think about it this way. Both times that I parted ways with ex-roommates, each of us had to buy some of the usual stuff that goes with moving into a new place: furniture, kitchenware, lighting, cleaning equipment.

When enough people do this, the extra spending on these items gets money flowing through the economy, generating activity in the industries that make them. If a lot of people are moving into new homes at the same time, the construction sector also reacts by building more houses or apartments. And as neighborhoods get more crowded, restaurants and barber shops and laundromats pop up in response to serve the newcomers.

The virtuous cycle means more jobs in those peripheral sectors, higher wages, more people getting their own place, and so on.

Yet since the start of the recession, the percentage of people aged 18-34 who were still living with their parents has climbed dramatically – a result of their difficult economic circumstances. According to estimates from Goldman Sachs economists, there would have been 3.5 million fewer young adults living with their parents at the end of 2012 if that percentage had stayed the same. It started to fall very slightly just last year, but it needs to decline much further.

Young adults in the post-recession period entered a much tougher labor market than people in earlier generations. That they have little wealth and low incomes (when they even have jobs) has resulted in the abysmally slow pace at which new households have been formed.

The recovery has been poorer because of it – for all of us.

Goldman Sachs report that asks, "Will the Kids Move Out of the Basement?"

Sword Fights Break Out In A Clash At India's Golden Temple

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-06 06:44

Ceremonial swords and staffs were swung in anger, resulting in injuries and panic during a commemoration of a military raid on a sacred shrine in Amritsar, India.

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How much tech in the classroom is too much?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 06:42

Earlier this year, I audited a computer-science course at Pomona College, my alma mater. And I was shocked, when on the first day, the professor told us it would be a closed-laptop class. Computer science without the computer!

That's how concerned some teachers are about distractions created by digital devices.  But the  temptation to text, email and play Candy Crush isn’t the only concern. It’s digital note-taking itself.  A recent Princeton University study showed that students remember information more effectively through handwritten notes.

LearningCurve surveyed teachers and professors from kindergarten through graduate school to learn about their policies on laptops, tablets, smart phones and other technology in the classroom.  

Very few teachers had a blanket-ban on tech in the classroom: only 13 out of 219. By contrast, 102 said that students are allowed to freely use technology,  and 104 said they allow it "under limited circumstances."

Many college professors felt it was not their place to tell students to shut down their screens.:

College students can make the decision about whether or not it is worth their time and money to attend class, pay tuition, and then spend the class period browsing through Facebook. - Lee Cornell, professor, Computer Information Science, Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The first night of my policy analysis class, I demonstrate with a comparison of possible classroom policies on laptops and their potential impacts on learning and other outcomes. Students get the idea! - Marieka Klawitter, professor, Policy Analysis, Social policy and Statistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Some teachers with open-use policies had mixed results:

Theoretically, I allow my 8th graders to listen to music in their headphones if they're working, but have found it almost impossible to stop them from going onto other social media aps and playing games on their phone, so often have to retract the privilege. - Gina Beavers, 8th-grade teacher, Art, Brooklyn, NY. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I am always surprised that students will text, or leave their ear buds in during a lecture. - Janet Peterson, professor, Nutrition and Exercise Science, Linfield College, Newberg, OR.

There were strong feelings on both sides of the issue:

Frankly, I find restrictive device policies ridiculous. If we expect college students to become mature adult thinkers, then holding them to prohibitionary rules seems to undermine that effort. - Tim Mahoney, professor, Teacher Education, Millersville University.We allow laptop/device usage only with direct, explicit teacher permission. Otherwise, students are expected to keep them closed. Frankly, any other policy, in my opinion, would be complete foolishness, no matter the educational level. As it is, the teachers at our school must police diligently the student use of devices. - Craig Copeland, teacher, Humanities, McDonogh School, Parkton, MD.

Some teachers got creative:

Laptops and tablets can be used by students only if they sit in the front row. My teaching style is to walk around as I teach, so if they are in the front row, I can see the screen from time to time as I pass their desks. - Sylvia McGeary, professor, Religious Studies, Felician College, Lodi, NJ. I know they will use them, and frequently for something that is far from chemistry. I don't wish to foster ill will; therefore, instead of banning them, I "commandeer" them using the wireless network by sending them questions that they can answer for extra credit points. - Vanessa Castleberry, professor, Chemistry, Baylor University.

One teacher feels his classroom is a good place for students to learn the life skill of appropriate technology-use behavior:

The kids need to learn when and how to use their phones appropriately. High school is the perfect place for this. If a student is clearly playing a game or having a long conversation via text, I remind them that it's disrespectful, and potentially detrimental to their learning. I frequently say "If you need to use your phone, then use it. Don't make a big deal about it, and don't take too long." - Jeff Castle, teacher, Graphic Design, Film Production, Computer Science, Albany High School, Albany, CA.

A few teachers just felt their subject was not one where technology should be used at all:

Philosophy classes call upon people to listen and discuss. It is not information driven. Technology tends to divide people's attention and draws them away from active listening and participating. Thus, it actively works against the very habits necessary to critical and philosophical practices. One might as well be holding a smart phone during ballet training--it's that diversionary - David Hildebrand, professor, Philosophy, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO.

Others though, argued that all teachers need to give students access to classroom tech:

It is a moral imperative, not only to provide equal access to all students regardless of socio-economic background, but also to prepare students for the technology skills expected in the world today. - Jerred Erickson, teacher, Social Studies, Spanaway Lake High School, Puyallup, WA.

If you are a teacher, parent or student, we want to know what you think. Tell us if you think technology should be used in the classroom in the comments section below, or tweet at us @LearningCurveED.

What the work place can learn from professional soccer

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 05:41

Diversity is good for team performance in soccer, according to a new study by political scientists Edmund J. Malesky and Sebastian M. Saiegh. With the World Cup just days away, we take a look at the benefits of diversity in the field and what the world's biggest businesses can learn from the sport. Sebastian M. Saiegh joins Marketplace's Mark Garrison to share more on their findings.

Click on the audio player above to hear more.

Heroes Among Us: When Ordinary People Become Extraordinary

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-06 05:40

There are heroes on the battlefield, but there are also heroes like Seattle Pacific University student Jon Meis, who tackled a gunman and, with other students, held him down until police arrived.

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Silicon Tally: Tetris turns 30 and we all feel old

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 05:31

It's time for Silicon Tally. How well have you kept up with the week in tech news? This week we're joined by New York Times Tech columnist Jenna Wortham. var _polldaddy = [] || _polldaddy; _polldaddy.push( { type: "iframe", auto: "1", domain: "marketplaceapm.polldaddy.com/s/", id: "silicon-tally-tetris-is-30-we-all-feel-old", placeholder: "pd_1402062055" } ); (function(d,c,j){if(!document.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=('https:'==document.location.protocol)?'https://polldaddy.com/survey.js':'http://i0.poll.fm/survey.js';s=document.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);}}(document,'script','pd-embed'));

$1.7 Million can buy a lot of Monster Energy drinks

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 04:56

The Beastie Boys have been awarded $1.7 Million in a case against Monster Energy Corp for copyright infringement. The disputed Youtube video, posted by Monster in 2012, featured several remixed Beastie Boys hits like "Sabotage" and "Make Some Noise." Beastie Boys members Adam Horovitz "Ad-Rock" and Michael "Mike D" Diamond were on hand for much of the trial, having originally asked for $2.5 Million. While Monster claims that it was an internal mistake -- claiming an employee thought the company had permission to use the music -- the jury still sided with the Boys, awarding them an amount significantly above the $125,000 initially offered by Monster.

The Beastie Boys have long opposed the use of their music in advertisements. The group’s Adam Yauch, who died in 2012, prohibited the use of his music in advertisements in his will.

And in case you were wondering, we crunched some numbers on what $1.7 Million looks like for all parties involved:

813,397

That's how many Monster Energy Drinks you could buy with $1.7 Million

154,826

That's the number of CD copies of "Hot Sauce Committee Part II" you could purchase with the same amount of money. "Make Some Noise," one of the disputed tracks, comes from this album.

The U.S. Finally Gets Past Pre-Recession Jobs Total

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-06 04:15

With today's monthly jobs report meeting predictions, the U.S. has surpassed the number of jobs before 2008. But the recovery has been slow and long, economists say.

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In San Antonio, Spurs Beat The Heat Twice In One Game

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-06 03:02

The air conditioning in San Antonio's arena broke down, leaving the host Spurs and the Miami Heat sweating in 90-degree temperatures as the NBA Finals began.

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The strategy behind Hillary Clinton's book release

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 02:42

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's new memoir, “Hard Choices,” hits store shelves on Tuesday. It’s the latest in a string of tell-alls by former members of the Obama administration, including Robert Gates’s “Duty” and Timothy Geithner’s “Stress Test.”

You’d think memoirs like these could sell themselves. Well, think again, says Jim Milliot, editorial director at Publisher’s Weekly.

“You could say it is one of the great ironies of book publishing that the bigger the author, the bigger the publicity campaign,” he notes.

This campaign kicked off on Mother’s Day, with an exclusive excerpt in “Vogue” magazine: Hillary Clinton, reflecting on motherhood. The excerpt was share-able, the idea being each retweet or Facebook like will translate into sales.

“Social media is a big component of all this,” Milliot says.

In fact, “Hard Choices” has its own Twitter account, managed by Simon & Schuster. Plus, there are more excerpts on a website, as well as YouTube videos.

According to Josh Baran, who managed the publicity campaign for “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore’s bestseller, “You want your message out.”

That kind of message machine can cost millions. We don’t know how much this one is going to cost, because the publisher declined our request for an interview. We do know that the publicity team for a big book starts with what Paul Bogaards calls a “communications blueprint,” which includes “television, radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs, big mouths.”

Bogaards, who manages media relations for Knopf Doubleday, has drawn up blueprints for former Gates’s memoir, and for President Clinton’s autobiography, “My Life.”

Rollouts may be more intricate than ever, but one thing is still true: If a reporter gets ahold of the book early, it can throw all that timing, all that money, and all that planning off track.

Still, Journalists were eager to get their hands on Bill Clinton’s memoir before it was published.

Says Bogaards: “I mean, one had them actually had the gall to call me and say, ‘Hey, can you help me out here?’ I was like, actually no, I cannot help you out.”

Publicists play defense and offense. Leaks aren’t all bad, and sometimes they are done strategically. Politico, for example, got it hands on a chapter from Hillary Clinton’s book early, and yesterday, CBS News, which is one of Simon & Schuster’s corporate siblings, obtained a copy of “Hard Choices.”

So far, these leaks have done what every publisher wants: they ginned up interest, they got people talking, and Simon & Schuster hope, that will lead to buying.

THE ROLLOUT, planned and unplanned

Sunday, May 11

Vogue.com posts “An Exclusive Excerpt from Hillary Clinton's Upcoming Book, ‘Hard Choices’” 

Tuesday, May 27

Simon & Schuster releases Hillary Clinton’s “author’s note

Friday, May 30

A Politico reporter gets her hands on a “much-anticipated chapter” from “Hard Choices” about what transpired in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012

Hillary Clinton meets with booksellers at BookExpo America, in New York City

Wednesday, June 4

“People” publishes Hillary Clinton’s “first at-home interview since the end of husband Bill's presidency in January 2001”

Thursday, June 5

CBS News obtains a copy of the book

Monday, June 9

Diane Sawyer, of ABC News, interviews Hillary Clinton during an hour-long, prime-time special

Tuesday, June 10

“Hard Choices” hits store shelves

Hillary Clinton does her first live interview, with Robin Roberts, of ABC News, on “Good Morning America”

She kicks off her book tour at a Barnes & Noble in New York City

Tuesday, June 17

Hillary Clinton sits down with Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren of Fox News

The strategy behind Hillary Clinton's book release

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 02:42

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's new memoir, “Hard Choices,” hits store shelves on Tuesday. It’s the latest in a string of tell-alls by former members of the Obama administration, including Robert Gates’s “Duty” and Timothy Geithner’s “Stress Test.”

You’d think memoirs like these could sell themselves. Well, think again, says Jim Milliot, editorial director at Publisher’s Weekly.

“You could say it is one of the great ironies of book publishing that the bigger the author, the bigger the publicity campaign,” he notes.

This campaign kicked off on Mother’s Day, with an exclusive excerpt in “Vogue” magazine: Hillary Clinton, reflecting on motherhood. The excerpt was share-able, the idea being each retweet or Facebook like will translate into sales.

“Social media is a big component of all this,” Milliot says.

In fact, “Hard Choices” has its own Twitter account, managed by Simon & Schuster. Plus, there are more excerpts on a website, as well as YouTube videos.

According to Josh Baran, who managed the publicity campaign for “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore’s bestseller, “You want your message out.”

That kind of message machine can cost millions. We don’t know how much this one is going to cost, because the publisher declined our request for an interview. We do know that the publicity team for a big book starts with what Paul Bogaards calls a “communications blueprint,” which includes “television, radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs, big mouths.”

Bogaards, who manages media relations for Knopf Doubleday, has drawn up blueprints for former Gates’s memoir, and for President Clinton’s autobiography, “My Life.”

Rollouts may be more intricate than ever, but one thing is still true: If a reporter gets ahold of the book early, it can throw all that timing, all that money, and all that planning off track.

Still, Journalists were eager to get their hands on Bill Clinton’s memoir before it was published.

Says Bogaards: “I mean, one had them actually had the gall to call me and say, ‘Hey, can you help me out here?’ I was like, actually no, I cannot help you out.”

Publicists play defense and offense. Leaks aren’t all bad, and sometimes they are done strategically. Politico, for example, got it hands on a chapter from Hillary Clinton’s book early, and yesterday, CBS News, which is one of Simon & Schuster’s corporate siblings, obtained a copy of “Hard Choices.”

So far, these leaks have done what every publisher wants: they ginned up interest, they got people talking, and Simon & Schuster hope, that will lead to buying.

THE ROLLOUT, planned and unplanned

Sunday, May 11

Vogue.com posts “An Exclusive Excerpt from Hillary Clinton's Upcoming Book, ‘Hard Choices’” 

Tuesday, May 27

Simon & Schuster releases Hillary Clinton’s “author’s note

Friday, May 30

A Politico reporter gets her hands on a “much-anticipated chapter” from “Hard Choices” about what transpired in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012

Hillary Clinton meets with booksellers at BookExpo America, in New York City

Wednesday, June 4

“People” publishes Hillary Clinton’s “first at-home interview since the end of husband Bill's presidency in January 2001”

Thursday, June 5

CBS News obtains a copy of the book

Monday, June 9

Diane Sawyer, of ABC News, interviews Hillary Clinton during an hour-long, prime-time special

Tuesday, June 10

“Hard Choices” hits store shelves

Hillary Clinton does her first live interview, with Robin Roberts, of ABC News, on “Good Morning America”

She kicks off her book tour at a Barnes & Noble in New York City

Tuesday, June 17

Hillary Clinton sits down with Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren of Fox News

How much is California Chrome worth?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 02:40

California Chrome goes for horse racing's Triple Crown this weekend at the Belmont Stakes. Even if he wins, the horse won't likely sell for the top rates -- as high as $60 million -- that we've seen in the past.

So here's a look at some of the other numbers around the horse:

1978

The last year there was a Triple Crown winner. The horse was named Affirmed.

11

The number of horses that Daily Racing Forum says have been in a similar position to California Chrome since 1978.

$15 million

How much Peter Bradley III, one of the top bloodstock agents in the country for thoroughbred racing, guesses California Chrome is worth today. Others in the horse racing industry say he's worth a few million more, or a few million less.

$30 million

How much California Chrome's trainer, Art Sherman, says the horse is worth.

1

The number of shoe companies sponsoring California Chrome. This week, Skechers announced they were going to sponsor the horse. Though, don't get excited for a horse in sneakers -- California Chrome's trainers will be the ones sporting Skechers' shoes.

May Jobs Report likely to show moderate hiring

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 02:36

Employers likely added 213,000 new jobs in May, according to the consensus estimate of economists cited by Bloomberg, while April’s job gain was 288,000. The unemployment rate likely increased 0.1 percent in May to 6.4 percent, after sharply declining in April (from 6.7 percent to 6.3 percent).

If these expectations pan out, May’s performance would confirm a return to steady, modest growth in the economy and the labor market. That follows a volatile winter with multiple severe storms that pushed the overall economy into a surprising quarterly decline in GDP. A projected increase in the unemployment rate in May would likely be caused by people returning to the workforce as job-hunters. April’s drop in unemployment was attributed to a steep decline in the size of the workforce.

“We’re back on track right now,” says Bernie Bauhmolh at the Economic Outlook Group in Princeton, New Jersey.

The economy has now been creating an average of 237,000 jobs per month since February. First-time claims for state unemployment benefits are at a seven-year low.

“The economy is looking better,” says Baumohl. “We’ve seen better performances in manufacturing and services and auto sales. Confidence levels are also higher among consumers and business leaders. It’s going to encourage employers to accelerate hiring.”

Paul Osterman at the MIT Sloan School of Management says the next signs of significant progress in the employment recovery would be improvement in workers’ real wages, and an increase in the employment-to-population ratio, which measures how many adults are working compared to the total population of potential workers. That ratio fell sharply in the recession and has not rebounded significantly since.

As jobs get more plentiful at all wage levels, employers can be expected to compete to attract and retain workers. In response, they might begin raising wages.

“Over the last twelve months real wages have gone up by a little bit under 2 percent," says Osterman. "That’s better than zero, but it’s below productivity gains.”

In other words, employees have been producing more for their bosses, driving profits up, without getting much extra in their paychecks in return.

The 'Cool War' With China Is Unseen, But Comes With Consequences

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-05 23:47

Dueling charges of cyberspying between China and the U.S. are escalating in this new conflict, which could have huge stakes for American industry and trade secrets.

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From Coffee Futures To Bulk Buying: A Year Of Adventurous Investing

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-05 23:46

Last year NPR's Uri Berliner took money from a savings account that was losing value to inflation and bought a range of assets that included a painting and a haul from Costco. So how'd his money do?

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Do you still call yourself middle class?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-05 23:31

Do you still call yourself middle class?

I put that question to an online network of people willing to be interviewed on Marketplace. It's a fascinating question to me, because it gets at both where we are five years after the recession, and to our definition of "middle class" itself. Recent research shows that while the economy as a whole is improving, more and more of us aren't using the term "middle class" anymore.

One woman, DeeDee in San Diego, wrote that she now considered her family poor. She said her income has been declining since 2002. Here's what being middle class would look like to DeeDee:

"I could step into the 21st century and get a cell phone; it would mean that I could spring for my children's meal at In-N-Out Burger instead of saying, 'If you pay for it, you may go.'"

Across the six dozen or so responses I received, most people felt that being in the middle class meant the ability to educate children, provide a home for them, and plan for a comfortable retirement. And many said they're not sure they can get there.

Jamie from New Hampshire wrote:

"If I had kids, we'd be poor, but since I don't, I'm somehow able to get by and have an occasional social life and such."

I posed the question and I still want to hear from people in the form below.

A Pew poll that came out in January shows a decline in Americans who call themselves middle class. Personally, I think there's more here than just the hangover from the recession. It's a wariness, perhaps, about what it takes to pay for a life better than the one your parents had. It's tangled up with the cost of college and health care. 

It's something that we're going to be exploring on my new show, Marketplace Weekend, both from an economic and fiscal angle, and from a psychological one. It also touches on the nature of work.

I came back to this idea again Thursday when I saw this great New York Times visualization about the industries that have suffered (and thrived) since the recession. I suspect buried in here are the keys to what a new middle class might look like. Or perhaps whatever our new term is that someday becomes both simultaneously aspirational and everywhere.

 

 

Explaining The Bergdahl Swap Hasn't Been Obama's Finest Hour

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-05 16:26

Some aspects of how Obama and his team told the world about the trade for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have raised eyebrows, even among congressional allies, prompting questions like: What were they thinking?

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