National News

In Nigeria, Boko Haram Continues Its Campaign Of Terror

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 03:43

World attention has focused lately on terrorism in Paris, but meanwhile Boko Haram has murdered thousands this month. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with journalist Alex Perry about the Nigerian group.

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Falling Oil Prices: Good For Drivers, Bad For Banks

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 03:30

Lending money to energy companies can be pretty profitable. But if oil prices drop enough, the threat of bank defaults becomes real, Portales Partners analyst Charles Peabody tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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Supreme Court Will Rule On Gay Marriage Nationwide

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 03:30

The Supreme Court announced Friday it would hear appeals this term from four circuit courts that ruled on gay marriage last year. NPR's Nina Totenberg and Scott Simon discuss the implications.

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Split By War, Siblings Reunite As Refugees

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 03:30

Three Syrian refugee siblings manage to reunite branches of their family after years of displacement and separation — in Germany. But one of them is gravely ill.

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An Early Lineup Emerges For 2016 Presidential Race

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 03:30

The 2016 Republican presidential field is getting crowded. Is the Democratic field already filled by one? NPR's Scott Simon talks presidential politics with politics editor Ron Elving.

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Europe's Massive Task: Tracking Extremists By The Thousands

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 03:30

Police in Western Europe have rounded up suspected terrorists this week. NPR's Scott Simon talks to Raffaello Pantucci of the Royal United Services Institute about how countries track extremists.

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Hollande's Approval Soars After Terror Attacks

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 03:30

Police in France continue operations aimed at capturing people suspected of involvement in the recent terror attacks in Paris. Correspondent Eleanor Beardsley shares the latest with NPR's Scott Simon.

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Fire Doors And Sprinklers Debut At Garment Factories In Bangladesh

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 03:30

In April 2013, the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over 1,100 workers employed in the garment factories in the building. Now there's an effort to make sure all garment factories are safe.

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Lower Gas Prices, Faster Economy Float Boating Industry

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 01:27

With hiring up and fuel prices down, a sales rebound is in the boating forecast. For power boaters, gas prices make a big difference: They measure fuel consumption in gallons per hour.

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Do You Harp A Slib Of The Ling? One Small Town's Opaque Language

NPR News - Sat, 2015-01-17 01:27

Tiny Boonville, California, is known for a few things. Its wineries, its tight-knit community, and its very own language. Boontling was created in the late 1800s as a way to gossip covertly.

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A quasi-healthy job market for 2015

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-16 14:56

The economy is now consistently producing more than 250,000 jobs per month. Unemployment hit 10 percent at the pit of the recession, but it has now fallen to 5.6 percent – and there's no reason to think it won't keep  improving for a while.

Yet the labor market still has some pain points: Long-term unemployment is higher than at any time since World War II, millions are not even looking for work and real wages are stagnant for most Americans.

Still, it's hard to call it a "sick" or "still-recovering" economy with unemployment this low and job-creation this strong.

"Unfortunately, for many, the purpose of work is survival," says William Rodgers, a Rutgers University economist who studies the changing American workforce. The economy  is producing too many jobs that pay the bare minimum, Rodgers says, and don't offer a way up the economic ladder. Work should offer more, he says.

"If we're creating workplaces where people aren't paid enough to meet their families' needs, aren't able to enjoy themselves, be creative – that's lower productivity, that's lower economic growth," Rodgers says. 

The post-recession employment landscape has been fundamentally altered because of the financial crisis, labor-saving technology and perpetual corporate cost-cutting, according to Susan Lambert, a University of Chicago professor of social work. 

One key change, Lambert says: the rise of part-time low-paid jobs, often temporary, with unpredictable schedules and too few hours. She says this "just in time" type of staffing is spreading in retail, manufacturing, academia, journalism and beyond.

"People have a greater sense of insecurity," says Lambert. "It makes it very difficult for people with unpredictable, unstable schedules to maintain employment. Because at some point often they have to decide: their kids or their job."

But these employment trends are not some post-recession "new normal," counters Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist with the American Action Forum.

"The degree to which the world is fundamentally different – this gets floated about every five years, and it's always overstated to a great extent," Holtz-Eakin says. "A very bad recession and financial crisis didn't change the fundamentals of how economies grow and the way people benefit from economic growth." 

Maybe Obama should just 'Shake it Off'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-16 13:33

It's a time-honored Washington tradition – the president's rivals offer rebuttals to the State of the Union before the president has even delivered it. That's even easier this year, because the president has spent the last few days previewing his speech as he introduces new policy proposals at events across the country.

House Speaker John Boehner attacked Obama's "free college" proposal in a novel way this morning, in an email with this subject line: "12 Taylor Swift GIFs for you."

He used a different GIF of Taylor Swift to illustrate his argument that the presidents plan will cost taxpayers too much money. 

You can find the whole list here.

 

Apparently John Boehner is a Taylor Swift fan.

 

 

'Critical Mass' Of Rape Allegations Prompted NBC To Cancel Cosby Project

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-16 13:22

NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt said it was "safe to say" there won't be any future projects with the comedian who starred in the network's iconic The Cosby Show.

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French Immigrants To Israel Bring Part Of Home With Them

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-16 13:21

French Jews, many with roots in North Africa, have immigrated to Israel since the country's founding. Unlike previous generations, the latest wave of arrivals is retaining more of its French identity.

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A German Plan: House Refugees In An Old Concentration Camp

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-16 13:03

With refugees streaming in, Germany is running short of places for them. One city has proposed housing refugees in a barracks on the grounds of the notorious Buchenwald camp.

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'Championship Sunday,' When Four NFL Teams Become Two

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-16 13:00

Cue the music — two more games determine which NFL teams will head to the Super Bowl. Melissa Block gets previews the Conference Championship games with Jane McManus of ESPN.

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Poor children, a new majority in public schools

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-16 12:57

We’ve passed a sobering milestone in this country. For the first time in at least 50 years, the majority of students in public schools are considered poor. That’s according to a new report from the Southern Education Foundation, which found that more than half of students in 2013 qualified for free and reduced-price lunch at school – a widely-used, if imperfect, measure of poverty.

“This is a defining moment,” says Steve Suitts, vice president of the foundation.

We tend to think of poverty as a problem concentrated in rural areas or the inner city, he says. Those boundaries are falling away.

“Even in the suburbs, low-income students are now 40% of the student population in the public schools,” Suitts says. “It’s everyone’s problem.”

WATCH: SpaceX Booster Crashes On Barge

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-16 12:53

The company's resupply mission to the International Space Station went off without a hitch last week, but an attempt to land the spent booster on a floating platform didn't go as well.

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In 'Silk Road' Trial, FBI Paints Picture Of 'True Drug Empire'

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-16 12:45

The Silk Road was an online anonymous black market for buying and selling illegal drugs. The FBI shut it down in 2013 and now the man accused of running that billion-dollar drug market is on trial.

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Satellite Photos Reveal Wider Destruction In Nigeria

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-16 12:40

Audie Cornish talks to Adotei Akwei, managing director of government relations for Amnesty International, about the NGO's analysis of satellite photos taken over Nigeria.

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