National News

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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Abuse of human growth hormone on the rise in teens

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-23 08:36

Use of human growth hormone is on the rise among teens in the U.S., according to a new report from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Human growth hormone (HGH) occurs naturally in the body and stimulates growth. But in recent years, a synthetic version of HGH been abused by professional athletes to enhance their performance, much like steroids.

While abuse of other drugs is flat or falling, the number of teens who say they’ve used HGH has doubled since 2012, to 11 percent, according to the survey.

But it’s not just teen athletes looking for an edge.

"A lot of kids are very interested in body image,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Young girls want to be lean and toned, young boys want to be muscular and impressive.”

That desire has been met with aggressive marketing efforts for over-the-counter supplements that claim to boost HGH levels in the body.

Because the study is based on teens who self-report using HGH, it’s unclear whether the respondents were using these supplements or injecting the pharmaceutical-grade drug.

Shaun Assael, a senior writer at ESPN and the author of "Steroid Nation," believes the high cost of the pharmaceutical version would limit its use.

“The idea that [HGH] is being passed around in gym locker rooms, I’m not going to say it never goes on, but I’m highly skeptical of that,” he said.

Either way, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids finds the data troubling and potentially dangerous for teens, since supplement manufacturers don’t need approval from the Food and Drug Administration before marketing a new product. Rather, it’s the company’s responsibility to make sure the supplements are safe and effective.

However, even if the supplements aren’t dangerous, they are a waste of money, says Chris Cooper, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Essex and the author of the book "Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat."

“In general, a lot of pills that claim to effect human growth hormone in the body do nothing of the sort,” Cooper says. “Probably they just have a bad effect on your bank balance rather than your health.”

But Cooper cautions that injecting the wrong dose of synthetic HGH or using it without the supervision of a doctor can have much more serious health implications on teens’ growing bodies, including increased risk of diabetes.

Legalizing Prostitution Would Protect Sex Workers From HIV

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 08:36

When the police clamp down on female sex workers, the women may end up taking more risks — and making themselves more vulnerable to HIV.

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Part-Time Work, Unpredictable Schedules: What's The Fix?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 08:24

Many part-time workers have to manage unpredictable hours and schedules, which can take a toll on employees. Host Michel Martin learns about how some government officials are addressing the concern.

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The Epic 2,200-Mile Tour De France Is Also A Test Of Epic Eating

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

Tour de France cyclists need to eat up to 9,000 calories a day to maintain their health and weight during the race. But many teams hire chefs to elevate the meals to gourmet status.

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An Animal Makes A $10,000 Deposit, But Not At The Bank

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 08:03

A Beverly Hills auction house has an unusual fossil for sale. It's not an ancient animal. It's something an ancient animal left behind — and it's very, very long.

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Ukraine Says 2 Military Jets Shot Down Over Rebel-Held Area

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

The two jets were downed less than a week after a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people.

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States Help New Mothers Get Birth Control Through Medicaid

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 07:44

New York and five other states are helping women on Medicaid get contraception immediately after giving birth. New moms can get an IUD or long-acting implant before leaving the hospital.

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WATCH: Wreckage Of Costa Concordia Begins Its Final Voyage

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 05:47

More than two years after the luxury liner wrecked off the Italian island of Giglio, it is finally being moved to a salvage yard in the port of Genoa.

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A Plan To Untangle Our Digital Lives After We're Gone

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 05:34

In the digital age, our online accounts don't die with us. A proposed law might determine what does happen to them. But the tech industry warns the measure could threaten the privacy of the deceased.

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White House Adviser: Cease-Fire Should Include Demilitarization Of Gaza

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 04:49

In an interview with NPR, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken endorsed Israel's demand that before the conflict ends, Gaza must be demilitarized. It's a demand Hamas is unlikely to agree to.

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Dutch Day Of Mourning, As Remains Of Some MH17 Victims Come Home

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 03:49

In its first national day of mourning in more than half a century, the Netherlands came to a standstill as two planes carrying the remains of some victims landed in Eindhoven.

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Many Kids Who Are Obese Or Overweight Don't Know It

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-23 03:29

A significant percentage of obese kids think their weight is just fine. But do they need to know the truth to get healthier?

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Gaza Conflict Day 16: Here's What You Need To Know

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

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were in Israel meeting with leaders, attempting to broker a cease-fire.

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