National News

Banned From The Ride-Share Business In Spain, Uber Turns to Food Delivery

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 06:53

The ride-share company Uber has decided to try its luck arranging rides for takeout food after it is prohibited in Spain from carrying passengers.

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Banned From The Ride-Share Business In Spain, Uber Turns to Food Delivery

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 06:53

The ride-share company Uber has decided to try its luck arranging rides for takeout food after it is prohibited in Spain from carrying passengers.

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Canadian Lawmaker Uses 'Tight Underwear' Excuse To Explain Absence

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 06:17

Blaming his absence during a vote on too-small underwear that makes him uncomfortable, a member of Canada's House of Commons earns applause from his colleagues.

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Thailand Moves To Outlaw Surrogate Services To Foreigners

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 06:12

The law comes after high-profile scandals have shed a negative light on the practice. In one case, an Australian couple refused to accept their Down Syndrome child born to a Thai surrogate mother.

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UCLA Outbreak Highlights Challenge Of Curbing Infections

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 06:09

The lethal bacterium that sickened people at a Los Angeles hospital is one of three types the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said hospitals should most urgently monitor and prevent.

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Twin Cyclones Slam Australia's North Coasts

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 05:06

Cyclone Marcia made landfall north of Brisbane as a powerful Category 4 storm but has since been downgraded. Cyclone Lam hit in sparsely populated Arnhem Land.

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Eurozone Ministers Weigh Greece's Bid To Extend Bailout

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 04:55

Greece made its latest proposal Thursday, just over a week before the bailout is due to expire. Friday brought reports of a German-led bloc that's willing to have Greece exit the Eurozone.

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U.S.: Major Offensive Planned Against ISIS In Mosul This Spring

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 03:42

Looking to take back a city with strategic and symbolic value, the Iraqi military is preparing to launch an offensive against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, a U.S. military official says.

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An American Dream, A Cuban Soul: Poet Richard Blanco Finds 'Home'

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 03:33

While immigration is a subject of some of the most intense political debates in this country, inaugural poet Richard Blanco says it also drives his art. He shares his journey to becoming an American.

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PODCAST: Architecture finds its place in Shanghai

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-20 03:00

First up, we'll talk about planning for what had been previously unthinkable: if Greece leaves the euro zone. Plus, Shanghai is the financial heart of China, and it has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. And over the last couple of decades, real estate developers have been going full bore, building skyscraper after skyscraper. That has been good for architects - including American architects. And with the Oscars on Sunday, it's interesting to watch the nominated feature documentaries through the prism of the business beat. Virunga, one of the nominated documentaries, is about conflict, oil and gorillas in a national park in Congo. We turn to the BBC for more.

At Baseball's Spring Training, Giants' Bochy Has Heart Surgery

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 02:38

For defending champions the San Francisco Giants, the excitement of spring training is tempered by concern for manager Bruce Bochy, who underwent heart surgery Thursday.

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Life After Death

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 02:03

The world is starting to forget about Ebola. The village of Barkedu can't.

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The economy of the red carpet

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-20 02:00

We all know designers dress stars for free, and the stars thank them by dropping their name on the red carpet. At least that used to be the deal. Now, there’s the mani cam, the clutch cam. And questions like: Who did your hair? Your jewelry?

The red carpet has become an industry unto itself.

It’s a moneymaker. It’s a moneymaker for the actresses, it’s a moneymaker for the networks cause they’re selling the ads,” says R. Couri Hay, a celebrity publicist. “It’s a moneymaker for the designers, because everybody is aspirational and wants to wear Dior.”

The red carpet, says Hay, offers an irresistible combination for advertisers: movie stars, plus tens of millions of TV viewers and millions more on social media.

“In fact, some actress even talked about her underarm deodorant. It was like unbelievable,” he says.

Actress Kat Graham describes her dress and her Degree deodorant to E’s Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet at the Grammys:

Now some actresses are starting to push back against all the promotion.

At the same awards show as Graham, Nicole Kidman refused to tell Ryan Seacrest who she was wearing. And at the Golden Globes, instead of showing off her manicure, Madmen actress Elizabeth Moss flipped E’s mani-cam the bird.

Hay says the problem might have been a lack of cash changing hands between jewelery companies like Chopard, Tiffany & Co., and Bulgari, and the stars that are paid to hawk their brands. But, then again, he says, the problem might literally be in stars’ hands.

“That mani cam. I hate being cynical, I don’t really want to be catty but, the first thing to go on a woman, is her hands.”

The other thing to go, when stars don’t play along, is what’s known as a red carpet credit — when beauty brands pay stylists a fortune to get their products onto actresses, and mentioned in the pages of beauty magazines.

“It means that you get to say, for example, Angelina Jolie used our brand on the red carpet,” says Tyler Williams, a beauty publicist in New York.

A star’s look, says Williams, can pay off for them too. He says look no farther than Lupita Nyong’o, the young actress who won an Oscar for 12 years a Slave, nailed it on the red carpet, and scored a contract with Lancome. Jennifer Lawrence landed a multi-million dollar deal with Dior.

Then there are the mocktresses.

Merle Ginsberg, who covers style for the Hollywood Reporter, came up with the term.

“Someone like Jessica Alba and Kate Bosworth I don't think have been in movies for years,” she says. "People pay them to go to parties wearing great clothes and then they send out press releases.”

And we eat up every bit of it. If you have any doubts about the financial future of the red carpet, Tyler Williams says, just look at the magazines lining the checkout aisle at the grocery store.

Silicon Tally: Let's go to space!

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-20 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 Janet Vertesi, a sociologist and historian of science and technology at Princeton.

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The economy of the red carpet

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-20 02:00

We all know designers dress stars for free, and the stars thank them by dropping their name on the red carpet. At least that used to be the deal. Now, there’s the mani cam, the clutch cam. And questions like: Who did your hair? Your jewelry?

The red carpet has become an industry unto itself.

It’s a moneymaker. It’s a moneymaker for the actresses, it’s a moneymaker for the networks cause they’re selling the ads,” says R. Couri Hay, a celebrity publicist. “It’s a moneymaker for the designers, because everybody is aspirational and wants to wear Dior.”

The red carpet, says Hay, offers an irresistible combination for advertisers: movie stars, plus tens of millions of TV viewers and millions more on social media.

“In fact, some actress even talked about her underarm deodorant. It was like unbelievable,” he says.

Actress Kat Graham describes her dress and her Degree deodorant to E’s Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet at the Grammys:

Now some actresses are starting to push back against all the promotion.

At the same awards show as Graham, Nicole Kidman refused to tell Ryan Seacrest who she was wearing. And at the Golden Globes, instead of showing off her manicure, Madmen actress Elizabeth Moss flipped E’s mani-cam the bird.

Hay says the problem might have been a lack of cash changing hands between jewelery companies like Chopard, Tiffany & Co., and Bulgari, and the stars that are paid to hawk their brands. But, then again, he says, the problem might literally be in stars’ hands.

“That mani cam. I hate being cynical, I don’t really want to be catty but, the first thing to go on a woman, is her hands.”

The other thing to go, when stars don’t play along, is what’s known as a red carpet credit — when beauty brands pay stylists a fortune to get their products onto actresses, and mentioned in the pages of beauty magazines.

“It means that you get to say, for example, Angelina Jolie used our brand on the red carpet,” says Tyler Williams, a beauty publicist in New York.

A star’s look, says Williams, can pay off for them too. He says look no farther than Lupita Nyong’o, the young actress who won an Oscar for 12 years a Slave, nailed it on the red carpet, and scored a contract with Lancome. Jennifer Lawrence landed a multi-million dollar deal with Dior.

Then there are the mocktresses.

Merle Ginsberg, who covers style for the Hollywood Reporter, came up with the term.

“Someone like Jessica Alba and Kate Bosworth I don't think have been in movies for years,” she says. "People pay them to go to parties wearing great clothes and then they send out press releases.”

And we eat up every bit of it. If you have any doubts about the financial future of the red carpet, Tyler Williams says, just look at the magazines lining the checkout aisle at the grocery store.

American architects find creative freedom in Shanghai

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-20 02:00

Shanghai, which is the financial heart of China, has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Its population is around 23 million, and over the last couple of decades, real estate developers have been going full bore, building skyscraper after skyscraper. That has been good for architects – including many American architects.

The Huangpu River curves through Shanghai on its way to the East China Sea, and architect William Paluch is sitting on its western bank, on what is called The Bund. There is a wide promenade and there is “a series of about 28 buildings from the early twentieth century – mostly constructed between 1910 and 1930,” he explains. 

The buildings that line The Bund, across the Huangpu River from Shanghai's modern Pudong district, feature classical-looking columns and gray stone.

David Gura/Marketplace 

The buildings couldn’t look more different from what is across the river, in a part of Shanghai called Pudong. It is “the new city, the new district,” Paluch says. “It is where all the super high-rise buildings are, and where all the intense development has been focused over the last 20 years.”

Paluch left the United States four years ago, to head the architecture firm HOK’s China practice. He says in Shanghai, so much is new, and that appeals to many American architects.

“It is the great place to be on earth, I think,” says Dan Winey, regional managing principal for Gensler’s U.S. Northwest and Asia Pacific offices. He has lived in Shanghai for more than a decade.

At a time when critics lament the sameness of new architecture in the States, China offers opportunities to be bold, Winey says. He and his colleagues designed the Shanghai Tower, which is scheduled to open in a few months. It will be the second-tallest building in the world.

The head of the tower’s design team, Jun Xia, who is a regional design director at Gensler, is eager to point out how innovative the building is. For one, it has this standout curved shape. “Asymmetric,” he says. “That’s very important.” And Xia, who was born in Shanghai, but studied and practiced in the U.S. before he moved back home, says air is cleaned in a giant pocket between the building’s windows and another glass façade that hangs from cables and moves with the wind.

“The glass skin, it’s just like a silk dress,” Xia says. Winey jumps in to say, “It’s more like an Armani suit.”

China’s growth has been slowing recently, but that doesn’t seem to faze American architects, including William Paluch. “Seven percent growth is still a lot of growth,” he notes.

He sees the slowdown as an opportunity to re-focus on architecture that could tackle some of China’s biggest problems, including air pollution and population density. Architects could pioneer solutions in China that they could bring back to the U.S.

Wal-Mart to workers: we'll give you a schedule

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-20 02:00

In announcing it's raising wages for its lowest-paid workers, Wal-Mart also said it's offering some employees better scheduling at a time when more retailers are relying on “just-in-time scheduling." 

Scheduling employees for partial shifts, only when needed, saves employers money. But for workers, it’s a huge problem, says Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

“Having their hours be different from one week to the next, from one day to the next, can be very difficult, particularly for working parents who need child-care for their kids at different hours of the day every week,” she says. 

Barry Eidlin, a sociologist at the Rutgers School of Management, says Wal-Mart’s not the only company that’s been criticized for scheduling employees this way. Now, he says, other retailers might follow suit in restoring set schedules.

“If people follow them in one direction, they might follow them back in the other direction,” he says. 

After all, Eidlin says, they are all competing for the same group of employees. 

What do you do when your hit show ends its run?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-20 01:45

The CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men airs it’s 262 and final episode last night, long after its star was pushed in front of a train and its half-man grew up and left. After 12 years and 47 Emmy nominations, the show – by all accounts has enjoyed a spectacular run.

But now for the writers, camera crew, the set designers and hairstylists, the cushiness that comes with being a huge hit gives way to a tougher, busier television world than the one they may remember.

Click the media player above to hear more.

U.S. West Coast Port Dispute Forces Shippers To Find Alternatives

NPR News - Fri, 2015-02-20 01:32

Global shipping companies are looking for other seaports to unload their goods, including those in Canada and along the East Coast of the U.S.

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That's the sound of people lining up for an Apple car

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-02-20 01:30
2020

That's the year Apple will begin production on its top-secret car project, Bloomberg reported. That's just three years after Tesla and General Motors are set to release their bids at affordable, practical electric cars. It's a huge project and a big change for the company, but Bloomberg notes Apple has the money to spend. Quartz has a poem lampooning journalists for constantly comparing Apple's war chest to other huge companies – while listing companies Apple is worth more than.

2,073 feet

That's how tall the Shanghai Tower will be when it is completed in a few months, making it the second tallest building in the world. At a time when critics lament the sameness of new architecture in the U.S., many are finding that China, with its need for rapid expansion offers opportunities to be bold.

4

The number of football stadiums being proposed in Los Angeles right now, with three teams weighing a move. The latest comes from both the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders, who are seeking to share a joint $1.7 billion arena in the LA area after failed attempts to drum up a new stadium in their respective markets, the LA Times reported.

262

That's how many episodes the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men aired as of its series finale last night. By all accounts, it was a hugely successful run. But those involved with the series behind the scenes are likely to find that starting over in this new hollywood landscape is very different than working on a hit TV show.

46

The median age in the U.S., and the median ages of ABC News, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC are within a couple years, while NBC Nightly News has a median age of 52 and the largest audience. The New York Times' Upshot notes that while network news ratings have declined amid cable and social media's rapid rise, the big three still have a sizable viewership that reflects the public and other platforms haven't, in general, come close to matching yet.

100

That's how many finalists were named this week by MarsOne. If chosen, participants will go on a one-way trip to Mars in 2024. But you already knew that didn't you? So why not head over to Silicon Tally, our quiz on the week in tech news, and prove your prowess.

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