National News

Common Ground Between Iraq's Rebels May Be Crumbling

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 13:14

The radical Islamic State and former associates of Saddam Hussein have fought together against Iraq's government. But the fault lines between the unlikely partners are beginning to show.

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Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 13:08

Around the U.S., food assistance agencies are trying to come up with new ways to feed hungry kids in the summer. In Hopkins County, Ky., they're using mobile vans to take food to where kids live.

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Insurance For Fake Identities The Latest Skirmish Over Obamacare

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 13:06

Republicans say a sting in which false identities were used to sign up for health care has revealed a major problem. Democrats question the premise that people would try to steal insurance.

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Federal Health Exchange Stays Busy After Open Enrollment Ends

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 12:52

Federal data, obtained by ProPublica under the Freedom of Information Act, show that nearly 1 million insurance transactions have taken place since the middle of April.

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'Tahrir Harassment' Trials End In Sexual Assault Convictions

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 12:16

Sexual assault convictions have been handed down to some Egyptian men, after several women were attacked during celebrations for incoming President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

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N.Y. Man's Death Prompts Police Introspection On Use Of Force

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 12:13

Funeral services are being held for Eric Garner, a New York City man who died in police custody. The incident is prompting the NYPD to rethink how it trains all its officers in the use of force.

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Kerry Claims Progress In Gaza Cease-Fire Talks

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 12:08

Secretary of State John Kerry met separately Wednesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to try to ease tensions in the Gaza Strip.

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Glenn Beck Takes His Campaign Against Common Core To The Big Screen

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 12:08

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck hosted a live, interactive "night of action" against the Common Core State Standards. He has long fought against the learning benchmarks in reading and math now being used in 43 states. Events such as these, and the Common Core itself, could continue to play a role in the 2014 midterm campaigns.

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Faced With Undocumented Minors, Iowa Is Wrenched By Stark Divide

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 12:08

The governor of Iowa says that unaccompanied minors from Central America should not find shelter in his state. But the mayor of Des Moines and many religious leaders are at odds with the governor.

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‘Economic patriotism’: Rhetorical, not economic, policy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-23 11:58

Recently, President Obama has been traveling around the country, trying to shift focus back onto the economy. We talked to him about that a few weeks ago, at the White House.

You may have noticed a refrain in some of the president’s most recent speeches. Here is an example from a speech he delivered in Denver: “That’s what makes this country great – a sense of common purpose and patriotism, an economic patriotism.”

President Obama may have cribbed that term from a speech by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He was talking about the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney.

“Mitt has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport,” Strickland said. “It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands, and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps.”

Obama used the phrase in a TV ad soon after, and it became the title of the president’s economic plan. So, almost two years later, how does Strickland define “economic patriotism”?

“Companies, corporations, CEOs need to understand that this country has provided them, and continues to provide for them, the means to be successful,” he says.

“Economic patriotism” is more of a rhetorical device than an economic theory. There is no textbook definition. President Obama has used it to talk about infrastructure investment. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew used it in a letter to lawmakers about corporate taxation.

Economic historian Gavin Wright, who teaches at Stanford, suggests “economic patriotism” is a broad brush. It refers to appeals to make economic behavior or economic policy based on “American values.” And, he adds, that has happened throughout history.

“During the Cold War era, I don’t recall hearing the term ‘economic patriotism,’ but it was more or less taken as a given,” Wright says.

In the 1790s, Alexander Hamilton asked the government to support manufacturers. It was an appeal to a special interest group, Wright notes, “but he also thought that this would be essential for the credibility of the American economy, the American nation.”

The phrase “economic patriotism” has been used by Democrats and Republicans, including Pat Buchanan and Amb. John Bohn, who ran the Export-Import Bank during the Reagan era. Bohn defines “economic patriotism” as understanding our economic policy as it compares to the economic policies of other countries.

“We need to have a kind of partnership between the government and the private sector if we are going to maximize our economic growth,” he says.

Over these last few weeks, the phrase has attracted criticism. Wright summarizes one complaint: “There is a market out there, and the market operates and reaches its outcomes, then the government wants to intervene and change that.”

So, Wright says, the debate over the definition of the term “economic patriotism” is really a proxy for a much bigger debate over the role government should play in the economy.

 

A Doctor Leading The Fight Against Ebola Has Caught The Virus

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 11:56

Hailed as a "national hero," Dr. Sheik Umar Khan has treated more than 100 Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. Now the 39-year-old is fighting for his life in an isolation ward.

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GM Recalls Nearly 718,000 Vehicles For 'Varying Safety Issues'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 11:13

GM says no deaths and only two crashes have been linked to the recalls. While many of the vehicles have relatively minor issues, thousands of others have potential problems with their steering.

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Palestinian's Death Provokes Israeli Debate On Defining Terrorism

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 11:07

Israel says the recent killing of a Palestinian teenager was an act of terror and his family is eligible for state benefits. This doesn't sit well with one group that assists Jewish victims of terror.

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Small Business remains hopeful during slow season

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-23 10:37

As the economy continues to grow and unemployment drops to 6.1 percent in the U.S., we check in with a small business owner to see how things are on the ground level.

Olalah Njenga is the CEO of YellowWood Group based in Raleigh, North Carolina and says her business is doing okay, but it gets a little slow during the summer.

"We had a little bit of a bump from June to July and I think that’s pretty indicative of what’s happening to the general morale of small businesses right now," Njenga says. "I think that optimism is there. I’d like to say that we’ve hopeful but, you know, across the area of the business, hope doesn’t get employees paid."

In terms of hiring, Njenga says it’s been difficult to hire the right person to join the core team at YellwWood Group:

"And I’m not alone," she says. "There’s a lot of small businesses out there looking for that superstar person who is flexible and creative and only needs to be groomed against the values and the culture of the company, but they come in the door with a really nice set of skills."

Njenga says she stays optimistic and is excited for what’s in store for the future of her business.

"We have things in the works right now that we are productizing one of our flagship services," she says. "So we’re excited that we maybe able to take something that has traditionally been of service and translate it into a product. And it is launching this quarter."

Does Your Dog Feel Jealous, Or Is That A Purely Human Flaw?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 10:32

Dog owners don't doubt that their pooch has feelings. But scientists aren't so sure. An experiment found that dogs act upset, dare we say jealous, when their owners ignore them for a stuffed animal.

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Plane Crash In Taiwan Kills Dozens, Leaving Some Survivors

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 10:15

A Taiwanese domestic flight that was attempting to land in bad weather related to a strong typhoon crashed near the runway Wednesday on an island off Taiwan's western coast.

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This Aspiring Astronaut Might Be The World's Most Amazing Teen

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 10:03

He lived in a village in Tanzania. He dreamed of being an astronaut. Now he's studying in a Florida flight academy — and hoping his secret potato salad recipe will bring support to pay the tuition.

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Nazi War Crimes Suspect Dies In U.S. One Day Before Extradition Order

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 09:33

A Philadelphia judge issued an order today granting a request for Johann "Hans" Breyer to be extradited to Germany. But Breyer's lawyer said the 89-year-old former Auschwitz guard died Tuesday.

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After Two Disasters, Can Malaysia Airlines Still Attract Passengers?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 09:12

Even before the double calamity of its two downed flights, Malaysia Airlines was trying to adapt to momentous shifts in Asia's aviation industry. Now, it faces either bankruptcy or privatization.

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FAA Extends Ban On Flights To Tel Aviv For Another 24 Hours

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 08:40

The Federal Aviation Administration banned flights to the region on Tuesday after a rocket landed about a mile from Ben Gurion International Airport.

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