National News

Dov Charney seeks $40 million in lawsuit

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 09:01

Earlier this week, the now former CEO of American Apparel, Dov Charney, decided to move forward with a $40 million wrongful termination lawsuit.

Charney, you might remember, was fired after much strurm und drang and questionable conduct, I think you could say — much of it sexual in nature.

The interview I did with Charney was from almost a year ago ... you gotta hear it to believe it. Really.

American Apparel CEO Dov Charney on pushing boundaries and his biggest weakness

 

 

 

He, She Or Hen? Sweden's New Gender-Neutral Pronoun

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 09:01

The latest edition of the dictionary of the Swedish language contains a new pronoun among its 13,000 new words — hen, to go along with he (han) and she (hon).

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Commercial drones have tailwind overseas

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 08:54

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, put up a post yesterday confirming that his company has been testing drones over in the United Kingdom.

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As part of our Internet.org effort to connect the world, we've designed unmanned aircraft that can beam internet access...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, March 26, 2015

The basic idea is to beam internet service down from drones that will eventually have a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737. Amazon, meanwhile, is also looking to the U.K. to develop its drone delivery service.

In the U.S., the FAA has proposed rules that would allow some commercial drone use, such as only flying during the day and at certain heights. The agency says it needs to balance safety and privacy with the economic potential these drones might represent.

While waiting for the rules to be finalized and implemented, permission to use unmanned aircraft commercially has to be given on a case by case basis. That’s largely grounded the real estate agents, photographers, farmers, and other professionals who might want to use drones at work, says Jon Resnik with DJI, a company that makes drones for personal and commercial use.

U.S. regulations are lagging behind European countries, Australia, and Canada, says Brendan Schulman, head of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice at the law firm Kramer Levin. But the FAA’s proposal is a good start, says Brian Wynne, the president of Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Still, he says the sooner drones can get off the ground, the sooner the industry can start contributing to the economy.  

Quiz: Masters of the classroom

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 08:48

Most public elementary school teachers have some kind of post-secondary degree, according to the Department of Education.

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Fun Fact Friday: A driverless battle

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 08:47

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talks to Catherine Rampell from the Washington Post and Felix Salmon of Fusion to discuss the week that was.

Here's what else we learned at Marketplace this week:

Fun Fact: Freight railways spent $26 billion in private money to maintain Amtrak tracks last year.

The battle over rail space between Amtrak passenger trains and freight trains carrying the products we consume continues. While federal law mandates that passenger trains get priority on the rails, it's freight railways that are contributing heavily toward keeping the tracks intact.

The fight over America's rails

Fact: 90 percent of car crashes in the United States are due to driver error.

Good news, though! That number is expected to plummet by half as driverless cars go from science fiction to fact. As a consequence, the insurance industry will also have to reassess its business model.

If cars don't need drivers, do drivers need insurance?

Fun Fact: Dayton, Ohio, had the most patents per capita of any American city by the early 20th century.

This week, in our series collaboration with the BBC, Six Routes to a Richer World, we visited Dayton, Ohio. A place where start-ups flourished, making brilliant engineers and scrappy entrepreneurs fabulously wealthy. Sound familiar? Check out our short list of inventions that came from this area:

Finding the beta version of Silicon Valley

Fun Fact: Writing something damning about high-frequency trading will anger the richest people on Wall Street.

Michael Lewis sat down with Kai Ryssdal this week to talk about a new afterword for his book 'Flash Boys.' He discloses the negative reaction he received from "all the people who were making lots of money off the problems" he uncovers and leaves us with a sobering prediction:  "If the market continues to be structured as it is, you're looking at the next financial crisis."

America's next financial crisis?  

Fun Fact Friday: A driverless battle

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 08:47

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talks to Catherine Rampell from the Washington Post and Felix Salmon of Fusion to discuss the week that was.

Here's what else we learned at Marketplace this week:

Fun Fact: Freight railways spent $26 billion in private money to maintain Amtrak tracks last year.

The battle over rail space between Amtrak passenger trains and freight trains carrying the products we consume continues. While federal law mandates that passenger trains get priority on the rails, it's freight railways that are contributing heavily toward keeping the tracks intact.

The fight over America's rails

Fact: 90 percent of car crashes in the United States are due to driver error.

Good news, though! That percentage is expected to plummet by half as driverless cars go from science fiction to fact. As a consequence, the insurance industry will also have to reassess their business model as we near closer to this futuristic reality.

If cars don't need drivers, do drivers need insurance?

Fun Fact: Dayton, Ohio, had the most patents per capita of any American city by the early 20th century.

This week, in our series collaboration with the BBC, Six Routes to a Richer World, we visited Dayton, Ohio. A place where start-ups flourished, making brilliant engineers and scrappy entrepreneurs fabulously wealthy. Sound familiar? Check out our short list of inventions that came from this area:

Finding the beta version of Silicon Valley

Fun Fact: Writing something damning about high-frequency trading will anger the richest people on Wall Street.

Michael Lewis sat down with Kai Ryssdal this week to talk about a new afterword for his book 'Flash boys.' He discloses the negative reaction he received from "all the people who were making lots of money off the problems" he uncovers and leaves us with a shocking reality. "If the market continues to be structured as it is, you're looking at the next financial crisis."

America's next financial crisis?  

New York City To Teens: TXT ME With Mental Health Worries

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 08:42

In an effort to connect teenagers with mental health services, New York is testing counseling via text for high school students. They join a growing trend.

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Saudi Arabia Pounds Rebel Targets In Yemen On 2nd Day Of Air Campaign

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 07:59

Airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire rocked the capital, Sanaa, while Houthi rebels continued their push into southern Yemen. Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers gathered in Egypt.

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Indiana Suspends Ban On Needle Exchanges To Combat HIV Outbreak

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 06:57

The state's governor says he would temporarily OK a program in one county after dozens of new infections were reported stemming from the injection of the prescription drug Opana.

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Is There Any Way To Screen The World's Pilots For Suicidal Tendencies?

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 05:27

There are questionnaires that aim to identify people at risk of killing themselves. But the tests are flawed — and it's not at all clear they'd be effective in assessing the mental state of pilots.

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Airlines Worldwide Rush To Adopt '2-Person' Cockpit Rule

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 05:21

In the wake of the apparently deliberate crash of a German airliner, carriers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia say they will emulate a U.S. rule requiring two people in the cockpit at all times.

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Sen. Harry Reid Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 03:59

The Democratic leader in the Senate announced his decision in a video. "My friend Sen. [Mitch] McConnell, don't be too elated," he said. "I'm going to be here for 22 months."

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WATCH: Obama, A 'Wire' Superfan, Talks To Show's Creator David Simon

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 03:38

The president called the show "one of the greatest, not just television shows, but pieces of art in the last couple of decades." Their conversation was about the effects of the war on drugs.

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Stretching One Great Teacher Across Many Classrooms

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 03:03

A Nashville middle school is test-driving a big idea: To put a great teacher in charge of multiple classrooms.

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PODCAST: Are you going to eat that?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 03:00

The loved ones of people lost on that Germanwings flight in France this week, along with every thing else, will be confronted with issues of financial liability. With authorities pointing to a deliberate act by a member of the crew, the company's liability could rise. More on that. Plus, the European Union is looking at whether e-commerce sites across its 28 countries are putting up illegal barriers to cross border purchases.  The investigation, which will last more than a year - will look at online retailers including the big ones... like Amazon, which accounts for a large chunk of Europe's online commerce. And there's a fancy New York restaurant where you can pay...to eat garbage. Really good tasting garbage. The menu consists of items made either entirely or in part from food waste, an effort to interrupt the supply chain, find value and make a point about what we throw away.

Report: Germanwings Co-Pilot Treated For Depression

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-27 02:51

The report in the daily Bild comes as Duesseldorf police searched Andreas Lubitz's home Montabaur. Lubitz appears to have deliberately crashed the plane carrying 150 people into the French Alps.

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New York chef turns food scraps into fine cuisine

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 02:00

Americans love a good food trend, whether it’s boneless wings, or eating like a locavore. In New York, one establishment is breaking new ground with a menu that consists only of dishes made from food waste.

Dumpster dive vegetable salad. Fried skate wing cartilage. Meatloaf made from beef usually fed to dogs. These are among the specialties at wastED, a popup in the space that’s usually occupied by Blue Hill, a farm-to-table restaurant where President Obama and the first lady once ate.

Like a lot of food-conscious people, Blue Hill’s chef, Dan Barber, is appalled by waste. Not just the meals people leave on the plate, but the food that never even makes it into the kitchen.

For example: the leftover pulp from cold-pressed juice. Barber figured out how to turn it into veggie burgers. And he says the guy who runs the juice factory is delighted.

“I mean, he said, ‘I’ve thought about this a lot and I hate that we’re trucking this to other states to dump or to compost, it makes no sense,’” Barber says. “But is it his fault? I don’t think so.”

Barber believes it’s the chef’s job to find a use for everything, so the supply chain sends less food into the trash.

In his kitchen, Dan Barber picks up what appears to be a thumb-sized piece of plywood.

“After you press the pistachio for the pistachio oil, this is what’s left. But here we made it into a cookie,” Barber says.

Dipped in chocolate, it is actually pretty good.

A peek inside the kitchen trash can reveals a tangle of latex gloves and plastic wrap. Nevertheless, Dan Barber reaches in, and pulls out some useable vegetable matter.

“See that’s a no-no,” Barber says. “I’m glad you caught me. These are beautiful ends of shallots. We should probably do a dish with this.”

WastED runs through the end of the month. All plates cost $15, and reservations are recommended.

 

 

 

 

The ins and outs of 'zero-based budgeting'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 02:00

It looks like Kraft will be put on a strict diet after its merger with Heinz.

That diet could come in the form of zero-based budgeting which the parent company behind the deal – 3G Capital Partners – uses as part of it's cost-cutting playbook.

It involves  managers justifying spending plans from scratch every year, and not just carrying over the last year’s budget.

“Every department within a large organization would have to justify their existence,” says Shane Dikolli, a professor of management accounting in the MBA program at Duke University.

He says when 3G Capital Partners took over Heinz, it saved money by getting rid of corporate jets, and even limited use of company printers.  

But there are drawbacks. Zero-based budgeting is time consuming, and can hurt morale. That's why many companies just do it every few years.

But it is catching on, and not just in corporate suites. The Iowa governor’s budget office uses snippets of zero-based budgeting to examine government programs. And Iowa lawmakers are considering legislation to bring the state even closer to a zero-based budgeting system. 

 

 

 

 

European Union investigates e-commerce

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 02:00

The European Union plans to investigate whether there is anti-competitive behavior among e-commerce sites across the 28-nation bloc.

The investigation, which will last more than a year, will examine a number of online retailers and websites, including giants like Amazon, which accounts for a large chunk of Europe's e-commerce.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission antitrust chief, says she wants to investigate why cross-border purchases make up only 15 percent of the EU's online sales.

Ricardo Cardoso, a spokesperson with the European Commission, says the investigation is aimed at a broader goal. "There is an overarching ambition of the commission to make sure that we have a single market in online in general," says Cardoso.

Silicon Tally: Facebook Drones

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-27 02:00

It's time for Silicon Tally! How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

This week, we're joined by Ben Richmond, contributing editor to Vice’s Motherboard.

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