National News

Rep. Henry Waxman, Ferocious Liberal, Says He Will Retire

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 09:34

After four decades on Capitol Hill, the California Democrat plans to step down at the end of the year. He leaves a deep legacy in health and environmental law, including clean-air rules and tobacco restrictions.

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Access To Toilets And Books Improves Life For Kids Across The Globe

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 09:25

Since 1990, nearly 2 billion people have gained clean toilets, or at least decent outhouses. And many more children in the developing world now eat better, go to school and get medical treatment. The advances mean that fewer children are dying of preventable diseases.

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Your Nose Knows Which Foods Are Fattiest

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 09:24

Low-fat ice cream just won't cut it for you? Maybe it's your nose telling you it's not the real deal. Researchers have found that people can actually smell differences in dietary fat in food. It's an ability that might have helped our ancestors find the best foods to survive on.

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Rep. Henry Waxman stepping down after 20 terms

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-30 09:08

Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman just announced this morning that he is retiring after 20 terms. Waxman was a powerful player when it came to regulation of the Telecom industry. He also was on the record for supporting what he called a "free and open internet." Tony Rahm, a technology reporter at Politico in Washington DC, discusses Waxman's career. Click the audio player above to listen to the interview.

Air Force Cheating Scandal Widens; 92 Nuclear Officers Linked

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 08:48

The scope of the scandal has grown sharply. Now, nearly 20 percent of the 500 officers in the nuclear weapons corps are implicated. The secretary of the Air Force says there are "systemic problems" in a command that has control over nuclear missiles.

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U.S.: Syria Behind Schedule On Dismantling Chemical Stockpile

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 08:47

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel echoed concerns expressed by the international watchdog group overseeing the operation that Syria is not meeting deadlines for handing over dangerous chemicals.

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Grade Inflation In The Maple Syrup Aisle: Now Everything Is An 'A'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 08:33

If you like richer, darker, more intense maple syrup, you should pick Grade B. But the idea that B beats A seems counter-intuitive to lots of consumers who are just looking for something sweet to pour on their morning pancakes. So the syrup industry has revamped its grading system.

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Grade Inflation In The Maple Syrup Aisle: Now Everything Is An 'A'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 08:33

If you like richer, darker, more intense maple syrup, you should pick Grade B. But the idea that B beats A seems counter-intuitive to lots of consumers who are just looking for something sweet to pour on their morning pancakes. So the syrup industry has revamped its grading system.

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At GOP Retreat, House Members Regroup On Immigration

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 08:30

Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is expected to present fellow Republicans with a one-sheet document that lays out principles for rewriting immigration laws. His caucus is split on the issue, so it's unclear whether he has the support to move forward with legislation.

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Sports Writer Ray Didinger On The Myth Of The 'Dumb' Football Player

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 08:00

Didinger, who has been covering football for decades, says there's a lot of thought that goes into successfully executing a football play. He tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, "I really don't think you can be truly a dumb guy and play this game at the NFL level."

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Ron 'Jaws' Jaworski On What It's Like To Play The Super Bowl

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 08:00

Jaworski spent 16 years in the NFL, most of them with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team he took to the Super Bowl in 1981. Now the former quarterback works as a football analyst for ESPN. He tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies about what it feels like to play in the big game.

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PODCAST: Cuba seeks foreign investment

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-30 07:50

Investors are pulling out of places like Turkey and South Africa, and putting their money into older markets. How much does the Fed have to do with it?

The president didn’t say much about college affordability in his state of the union address this week, unlike in previous years, but some members of Congress are pushing the issue. U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) introduced a bill Wednesday that would waive tuition at public universities. Instead, students would pay a percentage of their incomes after graduation.

Cuba is trying to lure foreign investment with a multi-million dollar shipping port. The $957 million overhaul of the port of Mariel, in west Havana, is being financed by Brazil, and is in the heart of a special economic development zone.

Putting Yankee Stadium on ice

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-30 07:29

All this week, Marketplace Tech has been talking about sports and technology for our "Gaming the System" series. Today, we take you to a hockey rink right about the spot that A-Rod usually stands -- that's right, Yankee Stadium. On the eve of a big outdoor hockey game at New York's Yankee Stadium, Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson finds out how the NHL is converting a baseball field to a hockey arena. Click the audio player above to hear his interview with Kris King, senior vice president of hockey operations for the NHL.

Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attack

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 07:14

Men who take testosterone supplements double their risk of heart attacks, a study finds. That was true for men over 65 and for younger men with heart disease. Testosterone supplements have become increasingly popular as a way to counter flagging libido.

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Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attack

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 07:14

Men who take testosterone supplements double their risk of heart attacks, a study finds. That was true for men over 65 and for younger men with heart disease. Testosterone supplements have become increasingly popular as a way to counter flagging libido.

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Oh Toronto! New Accusation For Mayor And New Charge For Bieber

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 07:11

Mayor Rob Ford is accused in a lawsuit of conspiring with others to have a former family friend beaten up. Meanwhile, pop star Justin Bieber has appeared in the city to face charges related to an alleged assult on a limo driver.

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How free is free enterprise?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-30 07:10

Think about what freedom means to you at work. If you've got an old fashioned boss, does it seem like a foreign concept? Or do you want more autonomy, more independence?

The firm LRN has been surveying companies to see how free they are. While freedom may not be a concept you associate with business, LRN CEO Dov Seidman explains it this way: 

“Business, after all, is about free enterprise. And we’ve looked into, in fact, how free is free enterprise and surprisingly, business is still more shackled than free, and successful companies are flattening. People are more free to contribute their character, ideas and free to innovate. And those who can harness that kind of freedom are the ones that are winning. But 50 percent of companies still show very low levels of such freedom.”

To hear Lizzie O'Leary's interview with Dov Seidman, click the audio player above.

 

Sick Ship Sets Dubious Record For Royal Caribbean

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-30 07:06

Nearly 700 passengers and crew fell ill aboard the MS Explorer of the Seas — more people than any other cruise ship monitored by the CDC in the past two decades.

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Cuba makes bid for foreign investment with a multi-million dollar port

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-30 06:58

Cuba is trying to lure foreign investment with a multi-million dollar shipping port. The $957 million overhaul of the port of Mariel, in west Havana, is being financed by Brazil, and is in the heart of a special economic development zone. The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Cuba says the upgrade of the port is the biggest project there for many years. Click the audio player above to hear her story.

Americans who have bought Obamacare are getting a good deal

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-30 05:49

Over the past several months, some 3 million Americans have bought health insurance through a state or federal exchanges. According to a new report out this morning from PricewaterhouseCoopers, contrary to many initial concerns, consumers might actually be getting a pretty good deal.

PWC’s Ceci Connolly says the average premium on an exchange is lower than the average premium of an employer-sponsored health plan, and that when the exchanges opened in October, there was concern these new products might be flimsy and expensive.

“That’s one of the misperceptions out there. That somehow they are barebones or you are not really getting adequate medical insurance,” she says.

Connolly says even when you factor in all the out-of-pocket costs, the average top tier gold and platinum plans are similar to employer ones.

And that’s just how insurers want it.

“They see an opportunity to capture new customers. We believe part of the strategy was to be competitive,” she says.

But Matt Eyles with Avalere Health says there is an important difference between employer and exchange plans. “One of the big ways insurers have achieved this is by having a more limited choice or narrower network of providers,” he says.

Restricting doctor choice is a key way insurers keep costs down.

Eyles says if exchanges do well, he can imagine the 156 million people who get insurance at work may one day find themselves shopping on private exchanges a lot like the public ones. 

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