National News

When Federal Privacy Laws Protect Hospitals Instead Of Patients

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 07:43

A 1996 law has been cited to scold a mom taking a picture of her son in a hospital and to keep information away from police investigating a possible rape at a nursing home.

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Ukraine's Prime Minister Quits After Allies Withdraw From Coalition

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 07:42

The Svoboda and Udar parties pulled out of the governing coalition, prompting Arseniy Yatsenyuk's decision. Parliament's speaker said it was up to the two parties to name a temporary prime minister.

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Globe-Trotting Virus Hides Inside People's Gut Bacteria

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 07:32

Scientists have discovered what may be the most common virus in people worldwide. The tiny critter doesn't make us sick but may be involved in obesity and diabetes.

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European Court Rules Against Poland In CIA 'Black Sites' Case

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 07:08

The European Court of Human Rights said Poland broke the European human rights convention by allowing the CIA to imprison and torture two terrorism suspects in secret prisons on its soil.

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U.S. Database Glitch Delays Passport, Visa Processing

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 07:01

The problem in the U.S. State Department system could cause problems for millions of people worldwide who are awaiting travel documents.

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Shades Of The Middle Ages: The Plague Popped Up In China And Colorado

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 06:47

Is this 2014 or 1348? The plague — yes, the infamous Black Death — was reported in China and Colorado. It's the same disease as the Middle Ages pandemic. Only now we know how to treat it.

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Israeli Artillery Hits U.N.-Run School In Gaza

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 06:44

More than a dozen people have been killed at the school used as a shelter in Beit Hanoun, according to Palestinian officials.

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Montana Sen. Walsh Says PTSD May Have Played A Role In His Plagiarism

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 05:28

Sen. John Walsh lifted at least a quarter of his United States Army War College master's thesis, according to a report in The New York Times. Walsh was appointed to the Senate in February.

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Iraq Elects Kurdish Politician To Ceremonial Post Of President

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 05:27

Fouad Massoum, who has a long history in Iraqi politics, took the oath of office vowing to protect the constitution and the unity of the country.

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Saving Lives In South Miami, One Pool At A Time

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 04:04

Swimming pool drowning rates among school-aged black children are more than five times higher than they are among white kids the same age.

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A Simple Way To Reduce Stroke Risk: Take Your Pulse

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 03:57

Most people can't tell when they're having the irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation that puts them at risk of stroke. Simply learning to take your own pulse could help, researchers say.

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Gaza Conflict Day 17: Here's What You Need To Know

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 03:24

For the first time since Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration is allowing flights to Israel. The death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 700.

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PODCAST: Breaking the glass ceiling

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-24 03:00

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has voted to change the way money market funds work. More on that decision. Plus, more on a new study shows that women and minority leaders tend to be punished for focusing on diversity, while white men are rewarded for the same behavior. Also, with the influx of young migrants detained at the Southwest border this year, we take a look at the countries from which most are fleeing: Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Debating corporate tax inversions

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-24 03:00

Corporate tax inversions are the latest topic of debate on Capitol Hill. Allan Sloan, senior editor at large for Fortune magazine, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday to talk about  international taxation and ways to reverse American companies reincorporating overseas.

Click the media player above to hear Allan Sloan in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to explain the maneuver, why it’s happening, and what government should do to regulate it. 


Some bond insurers oppose Detroit's bankruptcy plan

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-24 03:00

Retirees and employees have voted to accept benefit cuts under Detroit’s bankruptcy blueprint, but not all creditors are on board. Two of the biggest holdouts are bond insurers.

Some are cooperating with Detroit’s plan, but not Syncora Guarantee Inc.

“They’re fighting tooth and nail against the city’s proposed settlement, because it’ll cost them money,” says Alan Schankel, a municipal research analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott.

Syncora and Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. (FGIC) insured almost $1.5 billion of Detroit’s pension debt. The city is offering ten cents on the dollar, or less. That may not be enough.

“Bond insurers got in a lot of trouble in the 2008 crisis. A lot of them were investing in some very exotic derivatives and other things,” says Eric Scorsone, a public finance economist at Michigan State University.

Syncora was insuring mortgage backed securities and other complicated financial products, says analyst Alan Schankel. As the housing crisis hit, Syncora lost capital and its AAA rating.

This all comes at a time when fewer muni bonds are even getting insured. Schankel says before the financial crisis, more than half of new bonds got insurance.

“This year to date that percentage is 4.85 percent,” he says, calling it a precipitous drop.

He believes marketshare will improve over time. The question is whether it will happen in time for Syncora. 

Air Algerie: Jet Likely Crashed In Mali With 116 Aboard

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 02:34

The MD-83 aircraft was about an hour into its flight from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers. It was carrying 110 passengers and six crew members.

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A Strange Political Dustup Clouds Kansas Governor's Future

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 02:05

An open revolt among moderate Kansas Republicans has clouded Gov. Sam Brownback's re-election hopes and focused national attention on the tax-cutting experiment at the heart of his "red-state model."

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In Detroit Porch Shooting Trial, It's Murder Vs. Self-Defense

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 02:01

The murder trial is underway for Theodore Wafer, the Detroit homeowner who shot Renisha McBride, an unarmed black teen, on his porch. Wafer claims self-defense; prosecutors say there was no threat.

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Iowa Mayor Calls For 'Caring Cities' To Take In Young Immigrants

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 02:01

The governor of Iowa says he's empathetic but doesn't want to host any of the unaccompanied and undocumented children from Central America. But advocacy groups and other officials in the state are urging Iowans to welcome them.

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New Rules Proposed For Oil-Carrying Trains In Wake Of Fiery Crashes

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-24 02:01

The Obama administration is proposing new safety rules for railroad oil tank cars, after a series of fiery derailments. The rules would phase out thousands of older cars in two years.

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