National News

Showdown At The UT Corral

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 14:59

In a dispute between the University of Texas president and Gov. Rick Perry, the governor may have lost the battle — but he may yet win the higher education reform war.

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Israel Accepts Cease-Fire Proposal From Egypt

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 13:27

Israel's Security Cabinet has accepted Egypt's proposal for a cease-fire with Hamas in Gaza. Hamas has not yet formally accepted the plan.

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Lindt Chocolate just snapped up Russell Stover

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:30

Russell Stover, maker of the fabled Whitman Sampler, just got bought out by Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli, a.k.a, Lindt.

The merged company should hit an estimated $1.5 billion in sales per year.

This made me wonder how companies find each other for these sorts of deals. It would be great if they had to write personal ads the way people do. What is the professional equivalent of candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach? What is the corporate translation of a hardworking, athletic non-smoker?

In the audio player above, I imagine how the Russell Stover/Lindt relationship would start off...

Incidently, to help research this article, I purchased a Whitman Sampler and a bag of Lindt truffles from Duane Reade. After doing my necessary background research, I put these both in the communal kitchen. The Lindt truffles are gone and the only chocolate left in the Whitman Sampler is Raspberry Cream (Thank you, chocolate map).

Also, Russell Stover has a chocolate hack available on its web site.

You won't be sorry. The words "butter fudge" appear.

Hopes And Hazards Of A Cease-Fire: A View From Gaza City

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

For a Gazan perspective on the prospect of a cease-fire, Robert Siegel talks to Mukhaimer Abu Sada, a political scientist at Al-Azhar University. They discuss the Israeli air strikes in Gaza and what must happen before fighting settles.

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Hopes And Hazards Of A Cease-Fire: A View From Israel

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

Robert Siegel talks to Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., about the Israeli air and missile strikes in Gaza and what would need to happen to bring about a cease-fire.

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Between Hamas And Israel, An End Game Remains Unclear

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on what it might take to forge a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.

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Between Hamas And Israel, What Might An Endgame Look Like?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

Both Israel and Hamas say they are unwilling to sign on to a bare-bones cease-fire. Some say the key to peace may be empowering the moderate Fatah party, but it's unclear who could broker such a deal.

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Over 2 Years Since Its Wreck, The Costa Concordia Floats Again

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

The Costa Concordia cruise crashed into a reef and capsized over two years ago. On Monday, the most complicated part of the operation to refloat the ship was completed successfully.

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West Bank: Strewn With Broken Glass And Caught In The Crosshairs

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

For the first time, rockets from Hamas caused damage in Palestinian areas of the West Bank. Reporter Daniel Estrin surveys a damaged home and asks Palestinians how they feel about getting caught in the crossfire.

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In Europe, Google Stumbles Between Free Speech And Privacy

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

Europe's highest court left Google with the responsibility of balancing the privacy rights of citizens with the public interest — and it's a tough balancing act.

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For Most Kids, Nice Finishes Last

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

A Harvard researcher says teens feel their parents prioritize success and feeling good over kindness — and so they do, too.

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This Is Your Stressed-Out Brain On Scarcity

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

When we don't have enough of something — love, time or money — we spend extraordinary effort worrying about how to get by, research shows. The stress of poverty changes the way people think.

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Citigroup Agrees To $7 Billion Fine For 'Egregious' Misconduct

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle claims that it committed fraud when it sold mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis. Most of the money will be paid to the U.S. Treasury, but some will be used to provide mortgage relief to struggling homeowners.

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The 3 Scariest Words A Boy Can Hear

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 12:06

"Be a man" — it's a mandate most boys hear at least once in their lives. Former NFL player Joe Ehrmann says it can leave boys ill-equipped to face life's real challenges.

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How tough is it to sell steel?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-14 11:33

After much speculation of the South Korean steel case — which found steel tubes are being illegally dumped in the U.S market — the Department of Commerce found unfairly priced imported steel could harm the U.S. market and cost jobs.

Lisa Goldenberg, president of Delaware Steel Company in Pennsylvania says her company is not doing as well as she hoped they would be this time of year, but business is moving along slowly. Job openings are a bit scarce too.

"We have not hired a lot, but I’m always looking for talented salespeople," says Goldenberg. "And that is very difficult in steel."

Being a steel sales person requires a strong sales personality, she says, and a lot of experience in the industry. However, Goldenberg hopes to hire an intern to help bring the company up to speed with new technology.

Goldenberg feels the pressures of a slow economy and says she tries to stay positive for a better 2015.

"We’re going to come out better on the other side, but with some bumps and bruises," says Goldenberg.

Giant African snails seized at Los Angeles airport

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-14 11:30

Straight from the wires of the Associated Press; customs inspectors seized a live shipment of 67 giant African snails at Los Angeles International Airport this month.

They took 67 snails with a total weight of 35 pounds. That is more than two pounds apiece. Of snails.

The mollusks apparently arrived from Nigeria.

Experts the AP spoke to say the species of snail is prohibited because, A: ew, but also, B: they pose a serious threat to agriculture, public health and the economy.

Giant African snails seized at Los Angeles airport

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-14 11:30

Straight from the wires of the Associated Press; customs inspectors seized a live shipment of 67 giant African snails at Los Angeles International Airport this month.

They took 67 snails with a total weight of 35 pounds. That is more than two pounds apiece. Of snails.

The mollusks apparently arrived from Nigeria.

Experts the AP spoke to say the species of snail is prohibited because, A: ew, but also, B: they pose a serious threat to agriculture, public health and the economy.

Accounting Giant To Pay $4 Million After Improper Lobbying

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 11:25

The SEC announced Monday that auditing giant Ernst & Young will pay $4 million to settle charges a subsidiary lobbied Congress inappropriately. The firm neither admitted nor denied the charges.

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Do We Choose Our Friends Because They Share Our Genes?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-14 11:08

You and your friends may have more than music and movies in common. Friends typically have more genetic similarities than strangers, researchers say. That may have evolutionary advantages.

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When is joining a bull market asking for trouble?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-14 11:04

Wouldn’t it be great if the stock market was just more straightforward? When individual investors wait out an iffy market until stocks seem strong enough to buy, a decline could be imminent. Or, says James Angel, an associate professor of finance at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, "since there are still plenty of people still on the sidelines, it could be a sign that the great bull market is going to get even stronger.”

Angel notes that participation in the stock market is still far below where it was five years ago, which means there are still many investors left to start buying stocks again. And he says, figuring out exactly when the market will peak is, at its very easiest, difficult.

"When the market goes up it’ll often overshoot and go above the fair value of the market," he says. "And when the market goes down it’ll overshoot on the way down and often go below the fair value of the market. Calling the turning point is the hardest thing to do."

Scott Wren, senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisers, says a flood of individual investors entering the market can be a sign a bull run is over, but that's not what's happening here.

“Money is starting to move in, but I would not agree – when you read some headlines out there that money is pouring in from retail investors – we’re not seeing that from our clients,” he says.

Wren notes while we may see more volatile trading, there’s only a slim chance of another recession in the next couple of years. He expects the bull market to continue through 2016 – though a little less bullish. Gregory Miller, chief economist with Sun Trust Banks, agrees that the market may continue its course, though tempered slightly.

“Now, the prospect of continued 20 percent annualized returns may be coming to an end,” he says.

If you are looking for a safe place to park your cash, says Miller,  look for stocks that are tied to the economy, like industrials.

The worst thing to do," says James Angel, speaking about potential individual investors who may only now be buying into the stock market,  "is to chase what was hot last year."

If a stock was really hot last year, notes Angel, chances are it’ll have cooled off by now. Instead of looking to the past, he says to focus on the future -- thinking about investment objectives, time horizons and risk tolerance, especially while interest rates are so low. 

"Right now," he says, "we’re in a low-return environment, so making sure you don’t do something stupid is the most important thing. "

 

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