National News

Conflict Continues In Gaza Strip, With No Cease-Fire In Sight

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 03:36

More than 120 people have been killed by Israeli airstrikes since the current Israeli military operation began, and nearly a dozen Israelis have been seriously injured by rocket fire from Gaza.

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What Could $100 Million Buy You — Besides Campaign Ads In Kentucky?

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 03:36

Spending on the Kentucky Senate race might reach $100 million. So what else could that get you in the Bluegrass State? NPR's Tamara Keith finds out when she calls up some local business owners.

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Rio's Statue Is Restored, But Brazil Team's Redemption Still Ahead

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 03:36

Restoration work on Rio's famed "Christ the Redeemer" statue is now complete. But can Brazil get redemption after not making it to the World Cup finals?

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Governors Talk Infrastructure At Annual Meeting

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 03:36

The National Governors Association held its annual summer meeting in Nashville, Tenn. this week, and the collapsing highway trust fund was the centerpiece issue.

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What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 01:38

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.

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How Private Colleges Are Like Cheap Sushi

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 01:37

Fifty percent off? That doesn't sound like such a good deal for sushi or a college degree. We ask some economists: Why not?

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Israel And Gaza Struck By Rockets, Bombs And A Sense Of Deja Vu

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 01:37

For the third time in five years, Israel has bombed Gaza in response to Hamas rocket fire. As Israel considers a ground invasion, Israelis note the grisly repetition, skeptical things will change.

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How Private Colleges Are Like Cheap Sushi

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 01:37

Fifty percent off? That doesn't sound like such a good deal for sushi or a college degree. We ask some economists: Why not?

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Tech Week: Google's World Cup Play, Amazon Sued And Kids Tracked

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 01:36

Also in this week's roundup, a tech company that may not exist, using sensors to keep your plants alive and what the debate over sandwich taxonomy teaches us about innovation.

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Tech Week: Google's World Cup Play, Amazon Sued And Kids Tracked

NPR News - Sat, 2014-07-12 01:36

Also in this week's roundup, a tech company that may not exist, using sensors to keep your plants alive and what the debate over sandwich taxonomy teaches us about innovation.

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Tech IRL: The 'right to be forgotten'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-07-11 15:54

Citizens in the European Union can ask to be removed from search engines if the results are "inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive." Google recently removed a news article from the BBC due to one reader's complaint. Marketplace Weekend host Lizzie O'Leary and Ben Johnson of Marketplace Tech look at what that means for individuals in the EU and themselves. Could the decision lead to a slippery slope of censorship?

Click play above to hear Lizzie and Ben discuss what the ruling means

Feds Tighten Lab Security After Anthrax, Bird Flu Blunders

NPR News - Fri, 2014-07-11 14:06

The sloppy handling by federal scientists of the world's scariest germs must stop, says the dismayed head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Are his new rules enough?

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Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors' Orders

NPR News - Fri, 2014-07-11 13:59

There's overmedicating and self-medicating, but some vets are "de-medicating." Prescribed multiple drugs to deal with PTSD and pain, they've stopped taking them — without authorization.

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Florida Ruling Is A Primer On Redistricting Chicanery

NPR News - Fri, 2014-07-11 13:55

What makes the judge's opinion such fun reading for students of politics is the highlighting of how political operatives tried to avoid leaving fingerprints on the maps.

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House GOP Plows Forward With Plans To Sue Obama

NPR News - Fri, 2014-07-11 13:35

While House Republicans move ahead with their lawsuit alleging executive branch overreach, Obama is using the challenge to score political points of his own.

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Remembering Jazz Legend Charlie Haden, Who Crafted His Voice In Bass

NPR News - Fri, 2014-07-11 13:23

Polio damaged Haden's voice when he was young, but as a bassist and composer, he helped shape the sound of jazz and spanned country and gospel. He died Friday at 76.

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Fate Of The New N.C. Voter ID Law Now Rests In A Judge's Hands

NPR News - Fri, 2014-07-11 13:18

North Carolina's voter ID law has come under fire in the courts. A judge will soon decide whether parts of the law should be implemented or delayed.

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How Eileen Ford made modeling a real profession

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-07-11 13:13

You might not recognize the image of Eileen Ford, who died this week at the age of 92. But you surely know some of the faces she made famous: Christie Brinkley, Naomi Campbell and Elle Macpherson, to name just a few.

She also made them rich. Ford and her husband Jerry created Ford Models, which was for decades the most influential modeling agency in the world.

When they launched the enterprise in the 1940s, modeling wasn't really a business. Some held it in low regard.

"First of all models were one step above showgirls and showgirls were one step above prostitutes," says Michael Gross, author of Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women.

Gross says Jerry and Eileen Ford made modeling a true profession and revolutionized how models were paid, by setting up a fee structure.

"A model would take a picture, but her pay depended on how that picture was used. So if it was used in an ad she would get one check. If it was used in a tag hanging off a dress she would get another. The Fords were amazing at doing that and at raising the daily rate and the hourly rate of models," he says.

Gross says by the 70s models were pulling in as much as $100,000 per fashion show. Today, supermodels like Naomi Campbell make millions.

Some of Ford's discoveries went on to big successes in other professions, including media mogul Martha Stewart, who was a Ford model in the 1960s.

Despite the fact that Eileen Ford built an empire, she regarded herself as a woman of limited talents, which she wryly noted in a documentary.

"Let me point out to you that I have absolutely no talent. I could only do one thing. I could find models," she said.  

Ford Models is no longer owned by the family, but it's still big in the business of multi-million dollar faces.

Big companies help small ones by paying them sooner

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-07-11 13:07

President Obama has announced a new initiative meant to help small businesses. It's called SupplierPay and it’s designed to get big companies to pay their smaller suppliers faster. 

The White House says 26 companies — including big guys like like Apple and Coca-Cola — are participating in SupplierPay.  They’re promising to pay the small businesses they hire for parts or services more quickly, ideally within 15 days.  That sounds like heaven to small business owner Rexanne Metzger. 

Now, she says, “There’s a very few corporations that will pay in 30 days.  It’s more like 45 days.”

Metzger is president of Davis Interiors, in Norfolk, Virginia, which makes custom interiors for Navy ships. They're a supplier for the big defense contractors, but she’s had to take out a line of credit to cover her bills.  Even if those companies paid her just a few days faster, she says, it would provide some relief.

“It does help because then we don’t have to pay that interest on our line of credit," she explains.  "Every day that we don’t get paid costs us money.”

Small businesses across the country are feeling the pinch of late payments.  Janet Sanders sees it every day.  She’s CEO of Incom Direct, which helps small businesses process credit card payments. Sanders says now, her average client needs the day’s charges fast.

“At the end of the day he wants those electronic transactions converted to cash as quickly as possible – put back in his bank account," she says.

Big companies have been taking longer to pay their small suppliers since the recession.

“It’s free money, basically,” says Charles Mulford, who teaches accounting at Georgia Tech. 

Mulford says big corporations are taking 35 to 40 days to pay, a few days more than before the economic downturn.  He understands why they do it.

“The larger companies can essentially borrow from the smaller companies and not pay interest, in effect,  on that money,” he says.

Will the president’s SupplierPay initiative help?  Mulford says that’s not clear.  But at least it’ll call attention to the problem. 

INTRO: Small businesses play a vital role in the economy.  Creating nearly two out of every three new jobs in the US, according to the White House.  When they hurt, the rest of the economy suffers.   So today President Obama today announced a new initiative meant to help the little guys.  It’s called SupplierPay.  And it’s designed to get big companies to pay their smaller suppliers faster.  Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.

 

 

MARSHALL GENZER 1

 

Twenty six companies are participating SupplierPay.  Big guys like Apple and Coca Cola. They’re promising to pay the small businesses they hire for parts or services quickly.  Ideally within 15 days.  That sounds like heaven to small business owner Rexanne Metzger.  Now…

 

ACT REXANNE METZGER :05

“There’s a very few corporations that will pay in 30 days.  It’s more like 45 days.”

 

MARSHALL GENZER 2

 

Metzger is president of Davis Interiors, in Norfolk, Virginia.  They make custom interiors for Navy ships. Working as a supplier for the big defense contractors. She’s had to take out a line of credit to cover her bills.  She says, even if those companies paid her just a few days faster, that would help.

 

ACT REXANNE METZGER  :07

“It does help because then we don’t have to pay that interest on our line of credit.  Every day that we don’t get paid costs us money.”

 

MARSHALL GENZER 3

 

Small businesses across the country are feeling the pinch of late payments.  Janet Sanders sees it every day.  She’s CEO of Income Direct, which helps small businesses process credit card payments. Sanders says now, her average client needs the day’s charges, fast.

 

ACT JANET SANDERS :08

 

“At the end of the day he wants those electronic transactions converted to cash as quickly as possible – put back in his bank account.”

 

 

MARSHALL GENZER 4

 

Charles Mulford teaches accounting at Georgia Tech.  He says this is a trend.  Big companies have been taking longer to pay their small suppliers since the recession.
ACT CHARLES MULFORD :02

“It’s free money, basically.”

 

MARSHALL GENZER 5

Mulford says big corporations are taking 35 to 40 days to pay.  A couple days more than before the economic downturn.  He understands why they do it.

 

ACT CHARGLES MULFORD :08

 

“The larger companies can essentially borrow from the smaller companies and essentially not pay interest on that money.”

 

MARSHALL GENZER 6

Will the president’s SupplierPay initiative help?  Mulford says that’s not clear.  But at least it’ll call attention to the problem.  In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

 

Newports and Camels are a smoking combination

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-07-11 13:07

The second-largest cigarette maker in the U.S., Reynolds American, is trying to acquire the third-largest cigarette company in the U.S., Lorillard. The deal speaks volumes about the current and future state of the tobacco industry.

While smoking has declined in the U.S. (18 percent of adults smoke here), the U.S. remains a major profit center for the tobacco industry – while it accounts for only 5 percent of volume, it produces 14 percent of all revenue globally. Tobacco firms have been raising prices to offset declining demand. Consolidation helps cut costs, and a duopoly could make raising prices in the future even easier.

Also factoring into the deal: Lorillard owns Blu e-cigarettes, a market leader in a small but persistent cigarette alternative. Finally, Lorillard also owns menthol-flavored Newports. Premium menthol-flavored cigarettes like Newports are the one area of the industry where sales are flat or barely declining, and Newports have very strong brand loyalty.

If the cigarette industry is slowly burning out, Reynolds is buying a few extra years on its life.

Graphic by Shea Huffman/Marketplace

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