National News

Billions Spent On Flood Barriers, But New Orleans Still A 'Fishbowl'

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 12:01

People in New Orleans say the city finally has the storm defense system it should have had before Hurricane Katrina — at a cost of $14.5 billion. Now someone needs to cover the cost to keep it strong.

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After Mysterious Absence, Dallas DA In Treatment For Mental Illness

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 11:58

Dallas District Attorney Susan Hawk announced she is being treated for depression after three weeks of questions over her whereabouts. Her staff had said she was on a long vacation.

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One photographer, 35 years of campaign history

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-08-28 11:48

Jim Cole has photographed every New Hampshire primary since 1980. He's snapped photos of everyone from George H.W. Bush sticking his head out of an airplane to the Lobsterman who ran for president in 2000. He's back at it this time around for the Associated Press.

On how to get a good shot:

I’ve done so many primaries now that I try to concentrate on what they’re doing instead of what they look like.... I try as hard as I can not to touch another photographer when I’m taking a picture … I try and foresee what possibly can happen and where my best chance is of getting something that’s different and unusual.

On shooting newbie delegates:

The ones that are going through it the first time, at least this time around, they’re the ones that in my opinion are doing it right. They’re doing the hands on. They’re doing the small venues, the coffee shops and these town halls. The so-called veteran campaigns have everything all set up in stage where the candidate comes into the room, grabs the microphone, gives their 20-minute, 30-minutes speech and then says, "I’ll take questions, take questions," and then they go out the same door, say goodbye.

On knowing when he has a good picture:

If there’s something that happens and I press the button, I do feel good about what I have. I was taking pictures of Marco Rubio in Littleton, and when he was done talking, he went to speak with this woman who was in a wheelchair. There was a really nice moment of her holding with both of her hands, holding both of his hands and the two looking at each other right in the eye. And it made for a nice shot, and I got it, and I knew I had it.

Indicted Congressman Challenges Limits On Contact With Colleagues

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 11:47

Rep. Chaka Fattah was indicted on on conspiracy, bribery, and fraud counts, and now says restrictions on his ability to meet with his colleagues is an "undue and unnecessary burden."

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University Of Illinois Fires Football Coach Over Handling Of Player Injuries

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 11:46

Illini Director of Athletics Mike Thomas fired Tim Beckman on Friday; a school statement says the decision was made "in the best interests of student-athletes."

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China's Tricky Economic Transition: From Steel Mills To E-Commerce

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 11:39

Shanghai's stock market rose Friday and investors are relieved. That doesn't change the fact that China's economy is undergoing a wrenching transition away from manufacturing, with more pain to come.

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Jack Lew is a fan of both Hamilton and "Hamilton."

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-08-28 11:13
115

That's the number of preschool students now enrolled in McMillan's First Steps, a New Orleans academy that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Owner Linda McMillan says the campus was under 7 1/2 feet of water, but with the school system in disarray, she saw a chance to expand through fifth grade. She did just that after taking advantage of 10,000 Small Businesses, a Goldman Sachs program that partners with local colleges to give small business owners. "I got to know who I was. What kind of business owner I was," McMillan says.

6

It's the number of years the market has been in a bull run, and a reason for the volatile week. Prices have gone steadily up, so the market would be more volatile even without this week's swings, experts told Marketplace reporter Gigi Douban. With the new economic reality, we're likely hear a lot more of the V word.

August 6, 2015

Because it's Friday: That's the date "Hamilton" — the smash hit musical based on life of first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton — opened on Broadway. Current Secretary Jack Lew attended a performance this week and told New York Magazine he loved it. He also chatted about Hamilton's legacy and place on the $10 bill, in light of Lew's own announcement that the bill would be redesigned to feature a woman.

$9

And... also because it's Friday. That's what you'll pay for your very own Kai Ryssdal. That is, the sandwich named for our host at new LA eatery Wax Paper Co. Eater notes that the Kai comes on a sesame seed roll with "pole-caught tuna, potato confit, celery, lettuce, and black olive aioli." Yum.

Do you care how much a barrel of oil costs?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-08-28 10:38

We're going in depth on oil, and its role in our lives and the global economy.

We want to hear how oil prices impact your life. Send us an email, or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND

 

Joseph Kim's escape from North Korea

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-08-28 10:11

Joseph Kim escaped from North Korea, one of the most isolated economies in the world, to the U.S. when he was 15 years old. Kim, now a college student in New York, recently wrote a book about his experience called "Under the Same Sky."

 

He was interviewed by Marketplace host Lizzie O'Leary. 

 

Lizzie O'Leary: Just before we started this interview, I asked you what you had for lunch, just to check our sound levels, and it really struck me that you had something pretty moving to say about that. Tell me what your reaction was when I said that to you.

 

Joseph Kim: I didn't mean to throw you a heavy topic at the beginning. Growing up in North Korea, my father died of starvation when I was 12 years old. I became homeless around that age. So back then, the world — the entire world and dream and everything was associated with food. But now that I came to the states, I just didn't realize that I hadn't eaten anything until today, until you asked me... I think it's a very ironic that I forget. The fact is that even at this moment, there are so many other North Korean boys and girls who are still — the dream is still to be able to have a full three meals a day. 

 

 

 

 

Joseph Kim (Copyright Martin Bentsen) 

 

O'Leary: You escaped North Korea, you went to China and you made your way here. What does the idea of security mean to you? There's been so much insecurity in your life, until now. What is security?

 

Kim: My world, in a sense, was very narrow. Like as long as I had a full meal per day, I didn't have to go starve. I think that was my ideal, perfect, I guess Utopian world.

 

O'Leary: Coming as a teenage boy from a place where you were thinking about daily things like food, and now you're in college in the US, I wonder what you think about money, financial success. And what you think about Americans' sort of obsession with it.

 

Kim: I shared earlier that my life was about finding food. But then coming to America, that was provided. I didn't have to work to like fight for it as I did in North Korea, so I was really struggling.... In a sense my dream was achieved. And I didn't know what to do with my life. I didn't know what else to look for, so that was a hard. Now that I live in the states, I think insecurity is probably what everyone struggles [with], whether you're rich or poor, more so with wealthy people. I think they're more insecure.

 

O'Leary: You think so?

 

Kim: Yeah,  I can see some of that patterns from — not my friends, but in the movies, like the more rich you are, the more you're kind of a slave to your entitlement, and money. I understand. 

 

O'Leary: And yet you don't seem ... angry at us, or frustrated at us for taking so much for granted.

 

Kim: I wanted to be angry, but I also know it's not [the] right thing to be. I can't hate because, they worked hard to get that too. And also, it was not their choice — it was not like they're like, "Oh let me born in America." It was never their choice. So, I can't really like hate them, or be mad about it ... for being who they are. But I would love to remind them that ... it's OK to not be billionaires. Like, you still get to live.

Can You Use That In A Sentence? NPR Readers Can

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 09:36

We solicited sentences from our readers using Oxford Dictionaries' new words and were impressed by the responses.

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Polish Official Says Secret Nazi Treasure Train May Have Been Found

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 09:30

Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski says images from ground-penetrating radar have him "99 percent convinced" of the location of the hidden train, which may containing gold, gems and other loot.

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PODCAST: Mixed stock market indicators

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-08-28 09:23

First: The stock market has been in flux this week, but the overall U.S. economy seems to be doing well. Are the markets actually a solid marker of an economy's health? We take a look at the relationship between the two. Next: World trade has declined, raising the question of whether we've reached peak globalization. Plus: Economist George Chouliarakis has been named Greece's interim finance minister. 

 

Virginia Governor: 'Clearly Too Many Guns In the Wrong Hands'

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 09:23

Gov. Terry McAuliffe promised to introduce gun-control legislation. McAuliffe spoke two days after a gunman killed two journalists during a live broadcast.

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When He Says Yoga Saved His Life, He's Not Exaggerating

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 08:40

A boy loses his father. A family loses its livelihood. The boy runs drugs and picks pockets so his siblings can eat. He is convinced he will die. And then ... he takes a yoga class.

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Is Donald Trump Nice Enough?

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 08:25

The GOP frontrunner is happy to pile on criticisms and jabs at his fellow rivals, but he gets testy if you criticize him.

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NLRB decision pushes 'employee' debate

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-08-28 08:23

Businesses, labor unions and pretty much everybody in between is still trying to parse out what a big decision by the National Labor Relations Board is going to mean to them.

The board smoothed the way yesterday for subcontractors and maybe franchise workers to organize and negotiate not only with the companies they get their checks from, but also with the bigger companies that are contracting for their services in the first place. And this is just one of the things that's changing these days, about what it means to be an "employee" and an "employer" in this American economy.

Franchising and subcontracting labor haven’t always been the norm. 

“You had a situation over the last three decades where there’s been an effort by many major employers to offload large segments of their operations," says Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "And part of that was no doubt for efficiency reasons."

He says the other part was companies trying to avoid efforts by workers to unionize. Baker says that’s what the NLRB ruling is trying to target.

“We don’t want to create a situation where we create a whole set of labor laws, and then we tell companies, 'But if you don’t want to follow those, just call people independent contractors and you’re cool,'" he says.

Over the past few decades, whole business models have built up around this system. And those, according to corporate lawyer Elizabeth Sigety of Fox Rothschild, have now been upended.

“It flies in the face of economic reality, business reality for franchised businesses,” she says. Franchises like fast-food restaurant are worried about what the decision means for them.

And there’s another trend here, too. Just as more business were using contractors, new technology made it easier for independent workers to connect with companies. Think online temp agencies or, more recently, Uber.  

Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business and an expert on the digital sharing economy, says the way to protect employees isn’t by making everyone a traditional employee.

“Instead we should sort of translate ... the rights that full-time employees have to a broader spectrum of the economy,” he says.

But the NLRB decision makes clear the board’s ready to change the system, saying in a statement that the current standard has failed to keep pace with the way people work. Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute thinks this decision is bad for U.S. businesses.

“So the NLRB decision actually fits in with some other guidelines and rules that the Labor Department has issued within the past couple of months,” she says.

Furchtgott-Roth says we should expect many legal challenges to this ruling.

Freezing Eggs May Reduce A Woman's Odds Of Success With IVF

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 08:06

Women who used frozen donor eggs instead of fresh for IVF had lower odds of having a baby, a study finds. But frozen eggs remain a good option for many women, doctors say.

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U.S. Appeals Court Overturns Decision That NSA Metadata Collection Was Illegal

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 07:37

The three-judge panel threw out a lower court ruling that found the practice unconstitutional. Congress has passed a law that will change the collection process in a few months.

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George W. Bush Returns To New Orleans To Remember Katrina

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 07:32

A decade after the storm that irreparably damaged his presidency, Bush visits with one of the schools that was nearly wiped out in the tragedy.

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It's A Boy! National Zoo Reveals Surviving Panda Cub's Gender

NPR News - Fri, 2015-08-28 07:26

Genetic testing also showed that he was sired by Tian Tian, the zoo announced.

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