National News

Strutting in style at the Grammys doesn't come cheap

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-01-24 05:05

Singer, actress, and model Colette Falla moved to Los Angeles five years ago, and is used to the ups and downs that accompany life as an emerging artist in a city chock-full of emerging artists.  She’s also used to the expense that her career incurs. 

“When I was a kid I had singing lessons and piano lessons,” Falla said. “I did summer workshops for acting. Then, I went to university and and a course which was theater studies and English.” There was also private vocal coaching and music school in LA. These days, she shells out for studio time, PR, and U-Haul vans to get her to gigs.

So while being invited to an awards show is an honor, it’s not necessarily an excuse to splurge. Falla gets her hair styled at the popular but inexpensive Blow Dry Bar, opts for makeovers at the MAC store (free with a purchase) and even tries to save money on clothes.

“I can wear something simple like a little black dress,” Falla said. “Every girl has one in her closet.” Asked if she ever feels intimidated at events where A-list stars are wearing one-of-a-kind gowns, Falla, always good-natured, laughs.

“I think I get a secret boost out of being like, ‘my dress is from Forever 21,’” she said.

Colette’s wardrobe stylist Catherine Joubert is living her own kind of Hollywood dream. After years working for big movie studios, she struck out on her own, following her passion for fashion. Joubert says the competition in LA can be fierce, but she stays focused and has no trouble making a living. She admits that every stylist dreams of taking on a young client who becomes a superstar. That’s why she’s sometimes willing to reduce her hundred-dollar-per-hour fee.

“In LA, anything can happen,” Joubert said. “You can be working with a fresh, new, young face. And they might land a big role on a TV series and all of a sudden, they take you with them.”

Joubert’s philosophy is that no matter how broke the struggling artist, there is no excuse to look like anything other than a million bucks. For clients with more aspirations than cash, she’ll search department stores for something stunning and, hopefully, on sale.

“A singer’s going to take singing lessons,” Joubert said. “Actors will take workshops. It’s important to think about investing in your image as much as the other parts of your career.”

Days before the Grammys Colette Falla was still hoping to snag an invitation.

“’Im in a relationship with a really successful songwriter/producer,” she said. “He might get an invite and I could be his plus one, which would be great for me.”

She paused a second, apparently realizing how such a statement could be interpreted in a land of vaulting ambition. “I’m not in it for that,” she said with a laugh. “He’s my boyfriend. I love him.”

Mediator: Syria, Opposition Will Have Face-To-Face Meeting

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 04:11

The two sides are expected to be in the same room on Saturday. Only the international mediator is expected to speak.

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Mobs Blame Muslim Brotherhood After Bombs Rock Cairo

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 03:40

A huge explosion outside a security headquarters killed at least four people and wounded dozens. Three smaller explosions later left at least two more people dead. Cairo is on edge this weekend, which marks the third anniversary of protests that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak's regime.

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Life-Support Battle Over Pregnant Texas Woman Heads To Court

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 00:43

Marlise Munoz's husband says she is brain-dead and the health of the fetus in question, but the hospital says state law compels it to keep the woman alive. A judge hears the case Friday.

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Giving Thanks For Two Bonus Decades Of Life And Love

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 00:42

Most people born with the genetic CHARGE syndrome don't live past age 5. Alexis D'Luna lived until she was 25 years old and, as her family explains, filled those years with her boundless energy.

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When A $65 Cab Ride Costs $192

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 00:40

NPR's Lisa Chow was in the car for about an hour, rolling around Manhattan in the middle of a snowstorm. She got the car through Uber, the new service that charges more when demand spikes.

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At 30, The Original Mac Is Still An Archetype Of Innovation

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 00:35

In January 1984, Apple aired one of most iconic commercials in Super Bowl history — introducing the Macintosh computer. The marketing helped position Apple as a plucky upstart, and the machine fundamentally changed the way people interacted with computers.

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Russians Fear A Sochi Legacy Of 'Black Widows,' Not Gold Medals

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 00:35

Two weeks before the Winter Olympics, Russian security forces are reportedly searching for potential suicide bombers, at least one of whom may already be in the host city of Sochi. The suspects are thought to be linked to Islamist militants who want to create a fundamentalist Muslim state in Russia's North Caucasus Mountains.

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At 30, The Original Mac Is Still An Archetype Of Innovation

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 00:35

In January 1984, Apple aired one of most iconic commercials in Super Bowl history — introducing the Macintosh computer. The marketing helped position Apple as a plucky upstart, and the machine fundamentally changed the way people interacted with computers.

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Eight Republicans And A Nunn Battle For Georgia's Open Senate Seat

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 00:34

The retirement of Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss has unleashed a scramble for the job. Eight Republicans are trying to out-conservative one another in battling for the nomination. And Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, has emerged as the likely Democratic nominee.

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Deadly Bombings Rock Cairo, Raising Fears Of More Militancy

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-23 22:44

Three bombings hit high-profile areas around Cairo on Friday. That included a suicide car bomber who struck the city's police headquarters, killing five people. It's the first major attack on the Egyptian capital as insurgents step up a campaign of violence following the ouster of the Islamist president.

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3 Dead, 20-Plus Hurt In I-94 Pileup In Indiana

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-23 22:16

More than 40 vehicles, many of them semitrailers, collided amid whiteout conditions in a massive highway pileup that left three people dead and more than 20 others injured in northwestern Indiana, police said Thursday.

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Conservative Writer D'Souza Indicted On Campaign Fraud Charges

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-23 17:34

Author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, a vocal critic of President Obama, is accused of making illegal contributions in a 2012 Senate race. Authorities say he also made false statements about the contributions.

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Latest 'Rising Stars' Highlight GOP's Outreach To Women

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-23 16:38

As if to underscore GOP efforts at outreach to women voters, a breakout session of the Republican National Committee's latest "rising stars" at the group's winter meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., entirely comprised young women.

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Welcome To The Edge: NPR's Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-23 15:47

During the 17 days of the Olympics, we'll bring you the most interesting things we see and learn from the Sochi Games. We hope you tell us what you're seeing, too.

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High stakes question: How many times will Peyton Manning say 'Omaha'?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-23 15:43

You have heard, no doubt, of Peyton Manning's affinity for the word "Omaha." As he brings the Denver Broncos to the line of scrimmage.

It could be a decoy. It could be serious. He's not telling. But come Sunday next, at Super Bowl XLVIII, guessing how many times he's going to say it could win somebody some serious money.

The over/under on "Omaha" has been set at 27 and a half by the online betting firm Bovada.lv. It's just one in a series of what are called proprietary bets, that get set up around the game.

You choose "over" and he says it  28 or more times: You win. On the other side, if you choose "under" and he says it 27 times or less: You win.

 Kai says over. 32, to be specific. He also says: Broncos by a touchdown.

A Baby Didn't Bump These Moms Out Of Competition

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-23 15:39

Not that long ago, female elite athletes thought they had to retire if they wanted to have kids. Now, they're competing throughout pregnancies and getting right back to training once they deliver. In some cases, they're even making the most out of sponsorship deals they might have once lost.

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'Is it just me, or are we raising campaign money earlier?'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-23 15:28

Hillary Clinton has not declared her candidacy for 2016. 

 That, of course, has not stopped Priorities USA Action – the largest liberal SuperPAC – from fundraising for her campaign.

 If you are shocked, don’t be.

 “We’ve had a permanent campaign for many, many years. Really, decades,” says Larry Sabato, professor of politics at the University of Virginia.

But even if fundraising isn’t happening any earlier, there is more pressure to get organized sooner. In part, that’s because outside groups or ambitious billionaires can throw money into a race at any time.

Bob Biersack, senior fellow at the Center for Responsive Politics, says you basically have to have your guard up. “In a world where one or two people can decide they really want this [or that] person to be the next president, and they’re going to invest tens of millions behind that effort, and that can come at any time, you can’t afford to wait,” he says.

What about the amount of money that’ll be spent in 2016? Candidates in 2008 spent $1.7 billion, in 2012 they spent just over $2 billion. Sabato say there are a few things that may push 2016 to break a new record.  

“With every additional cycle you have new technologies that have to be funded,” Sabato says. For example, Obama pioneered voter data mining and tracking technology in ’08 and ’12, now every candidate will feel they need that.

But, Sabato says, "they don’t do away with the television advertising, they still have all of that and the radio advertising and the direct mail and the polling and everything else they do.”

 Still, there is a limit to how much campaign spending can grow, and Steve Ansolabehere, professor of government at Harvard, thinks we’re reaching it. “In general, over the long stretch of American history, the amount of money that goes into campaigns tracks with the amount of money in society, the real GDP.”

 So the $3 billion presidential race may be a ways off.

Study: Upward Mobility No Tougher In U.S. Than Two Decades Ago

NPR News - Thu, 2014-01-23 15:20

Contrary to widespread belief, it's no harder to climb the economic ladder now than a generation ago. But the study did find that moving up that ladder is still a lot harder in the United States than in other developed countries.

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Ukrainian economy goes from bad to worse

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-01-23 15:10

Vice President Biden got on the phone today with Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich.

The vice president said there would be "consequences" for the U.S.-Ukraine relationship if the violence and protests in Kiev continued. Demonstrations have been going on for months now.

David Stern is the BBC correspondent in Ukraine.

He says no matter what shakes out politically in Kiev, the economic damage has been done:

"It's difficult to see how they can extract themselves out of this situation. What Mr. Yanukovich seems to have done with his deal with Russia where he got $15 billion in prospective loans and also cheaper gas is to have fended off an economic disaster. And I've been told it was possibly just weeks away. Now he's managed to buy himself a little bit of breathing room. But he's definitely not bought himself a successful economy. Ukraine is in recession right now. It doesn't look like it's going to get out. And the turbulence doesn't make it look like a very (economically) attractive place. But let's be honest, if the turbulance wasn't there it wouldn't be that attractive of a place."

 

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