National News

Texas Tea Party Gives GOP Establishment The Blues

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:26

This was starting to look like a bad year for the Tea Party, with primary losses to GOP establishment candidates beginning to pile up. Then came Texas.

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Study Questions Need For Employer Health Care Requirement

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:19

The component of Obamacare that requires employers to provide health insurance has been delayed twice. Now, groups on both sides of the political spectrum are arguing to get rid of it altogether.

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Obama Calls For Further Support Of Syrian Rebels: What's Changed?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:13

Steve Inskeep of NPR's Morning Edition spoke with President Obama shortly after the president's speech to West Point graduates. He offers a brief preview of that conversation.

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Today's Heroin Addict Is Young, White And Suburban

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:08

Heroin became notorious in the 1960s as an urban drug of abuse, but its resurgence is fueled by young people in rural and suburban areas, a study finds. Most first used prescription opioids.

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A Peat Bog As Big As England, And A Rare Glimpse At Earth's History

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:06

Dr. Simon Lewis of the University of Leeds has discovered a vast peatland in a remote part of the Republic of Congo. The bog covers an area the size of England and is thought to contain billions of tons of peat. Scientists say that investigating the carbon-rich material could shed light on 10,000 years of environmental change in this little-studied region.

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Finding The Fine Line Between Isolation And The 'Allure Of Normalcy'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:06

Robert Siegel speaks to Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution and Michele Flournoy, the former undersecretary of defense, about President Obama's commencement speech to West Point graduates.

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Force And Fear In The Air, As Syrian Refugees Go To Polls In Lebanon

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:06

Syrian refugees in Lebanon are already voting in an election that's seen as Bashar Assad's rigged bid for legitimacy. Many refugees believe that if they don't vote, they'll never be allowed back home.

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Report Finds Systemic Problems With VA Wait Lists

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:06

In a new report released Wednesday, the inspector general for the Department of Veterans Affairs says that the department has frequently manipulated records to hide medical care delays. Investigators focused their probe on a hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.

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Obama Auditions Foreign Policy Speech Before Graduating Cadets

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:06

President Obama visited the U.S. Military Academy Wednesday, delivering a commencement speech to West Point cadets. He used the occasion to lay out a foreign policy vision based in pragmatism.

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Church Group Announces Boycott Of NPR Over 'Tell Me More' Cancellation

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:03

The National Black Church Initiative is calling for its members not to give money to NPR, telling the network it "has abandoned the African American community, and we must turn a deaf ear to you."

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Goodbye driver's ed, hello self-driving car

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:00

Google has released a new prototype in its long mission to put self-driving cars on the road. Proponets of the technology say it has the potential to free up parking lot real estate in cities, make delivery services more efficient, and make roads safer. Though, certain features (or lack thereof) make others uneasy: This latest Google car doesn't have a steering wheel, or break pedals.

It's hard to be nervous about a vehicle that's so adorable, though. Michelle Krebs, an analyst at Auto Trader, says the minimalistic look of the car reminds her of a Volkswagen Bug. The retro design makes sense when considering the fact that, at least in its debut outing, the audience for the self-driving car is largely baby boomers, says Krebs:

"I think absolutely the older generation will be interested, because you get older, you're driving is not as good, and people are very reluctant to give up their driver's license."

Krebs also points out that the technology could be very popular with millenials for a completely different reason:

"On the opposite side of the spectrum, you've got the millenials, who haven't...shown much of an interest in driving. Although, this isn't going to be inexpensive technology right away, so whether they can afford it or not is the question."

Krebs says that while the technology is largely there for self-driving cars to be a reality, the stumbling blocks of regulation and legality still remain. In her mind, the next step is most likely cars that give the driver an option of driving, or letting the vehicle take control. 

 

Newtown Dad Posts Open Letter To Father Of UCSB Victim

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 11:48

Mark Barden, whose son was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, said he and Richard Martinez are now "part of a family born from horrible circumstance."

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Solving Detroit's blight, one scary poster at a time

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 11:43

Good news has been in short supply in Detroit, of late.

There’s the bankruptcy, of course. And then there is the blight. Which, according to a new federal report, is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars more to clean up than anyone thought. Its a huge challenge, but you don’t need to tell that to Erica Gerson.

“It’s 330 pages, that is a lot of digesting,” said Gerson, Chair of the Detroit’s Land Bank Authority, which is in charge of dealing with the broken down properties the city owns. “One of the problems here is there are houses that having been sitting empty for three to five years and they are not getting any better. So we have to get our hands on them faster.”

Gerson says sometimes a direct approach is the best way to deal with neglectful landlords.

“I have a staff of attorneys who go out and put big posters on [abandoned] houses that say ‘Call this number within 72 hours or your property will be seized by the Detroit Land Bank.' That tends to get the landlord’s attention.”

Gerson says that, yes, the task before her can seem daunting. But she doesn’t have to look far for signs that the city is getting better.

“Yesterday people saw a man who they thought was scrapping--tearing down the gutters on a beautiful old house that seemed abandoned. When the police got there, instead of arresting the man, they started laughing...turned out that it was one of the houses we had postered. And [the man] was putting up brand new gutters. A lady in the neighborhood said she hadn't seen anyone do that in 20 years.  That’s what keeps you going.”

SnapChat CEO's Emails Didn't Disappear, Come Back To Shame Him

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 11:34

The CEO of the self-destructing messaging platform Snapchat says he's "mortified" his misogynistic fraternity emails were made public.

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55 Convicted In Public Trial In China's Northwest

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 11:09

The "sentencing rally," which occurred in a sports stadium before a crowd of 7,000, is reminiscent of the open-air trials of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and '70s.

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Report Finds Evidence Of Secret Wait Lists At VA Hospital

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 10:27

The inspector general's interim report said some 1,700 patients at the Phoenix VA hospital were put on unofficial wait lists and subjected to treatment delays of up to 115 days.

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Increase your v-o-c-a-b-u-l-a-r-y

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 10:26

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at what's coming up Thursday, May 29:

John F. Kennedy was born 97 years ago. He was the youngest man elected President.

In Washington, the Commerce Department releases its second estimate for first quarter domestic product.

The National Association of Realtors issues its April Pending Home Sales Index.

Wisconsin joined the Union on May 29th, 1848.

And kids compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship Finals. You can watch it live on ESPN while gripping your dictionary.

Goodbye driver's ed, hello self-driving car

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 09:43
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 15:00 Google

This illustration depicts a very early version of a prototype of the Google self-driving vehicle. 

Google has released a new prototype in its long mission to put self-driving cars on the road. Proponets of the technology say it has the potential to free up parking lot real estate in cities, make delivery services more efficient, and make roads safer. Though, certain features (or lack thereof) make others uneasy: This latest Google car doesn't have a steering wheel, or break pedals.

It's hard to be nervous about a vehicle that's so adorable, though. Michelle Krebs, an analyst at Auto Trader, says the minimalistic look of the car reminds her of a Volkswagen Bug. The retro design makes sense when considering the fact that, at least in its debut outing, the audience for the self-driving car is largely baby boomers, says Krebs:

"I think absolutely the older generation will be interested, because you get older, you're driving is not as good, and people are very reluctant to give up their driver's license."

Krebs also points out that the technology could be very popular with millenials for a completely different reason:

"On the opposite side of the spectrum, you've got the millenials, who haven't...shown much of an interest in driving. Although, this isn't going to be inexpensive technology right away, so whether they can afford it or not is the question."

Krebs says that while the technology is largely there for self-driving cars to be a reality, the stumbling blocks of regulation and legality still remain. In her mind, the next step is most likely cars that give the driver an option of driving, or letting the vehicle take control. 

 

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, May 28, 2014by Ben JohnsonStory Type News StorySyndication PMPApp Respond No

The Sochi Effect and the unwanted Olympics

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 09:37
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 05:36 Paul Gilham/Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach (3rd L), Russian President Vladimir Putin (4th L) and Claudia Bach (L) attend the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

The number of countries bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics is dropping fast. Call it the Sochi effect -- this year’s winter games hosted in Russia, which cost a crushing $51 billion. 

Poland was the most recent country to drop its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Voters soundly rejected the idea in a referendum. Switzerland, Sweden and Germany were all former contenders, but they too have dropped their bids.

"It’s not like the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny just dropped a buttload of money in your lap," says University of Chicago’s Allen Sanderson says countries lose money because the games are run by a monopoly -- the International Olympic Committee. "Countries tend to lose money on these things."

Ukraine, Norway, Kazahkstan and China all say they’re still interested in hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics.

But not all host cities come away from their hosting gig with massive debt. Here are three cities that bucked the trend

Marketplace Morning Report for Thursday May 29, 2014LIST: Three Olympic host cities that finished the games with a sweet profitby Conrad WilsonPodcast Title The Sochi Effect and the unwanted OlympicsStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

The cost of concussions

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 09:32
Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 05:30 Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

This really might not be enough to prevent a concussion.

The White House hosts a summit Thursday about the perils of concussions in youth sports.

Researchers have been racing to find a fix, but gels and extra padding in helmets may not do the trick.

“Helmets stop skull fractures," says professor Dennis Molfese at the University of Nebraska's Developmental Brain Laboratory. "But we think it’s the primary rotation movement to the head that produces the concussion.” 

He’s working with electrodes to diagnose concussions. Other academics experiment with blood samples or voice patterns that can reflect brain damage. But it will be years before any reach the market.

Sports teams have an economic incentive to find a solution. The NFL is finalizing a more than $700 million settlement, which was rejected by a judge earlier this year, related to ex-players’ brain injuries. And experts anticipate more concussion-related law suits at all levels of the game.

Marketplace Morning Report for Thursday May 29, 2014by Jeff TylerPodcast Title The cost of concussionsStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No
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