National News

Do today's veterans really have trouble getting jobs?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-03-18 04:30

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases annual figures on employment for veterans every March. There’s a familiar story that veterans from the post-9/11 era have had an especially hard time finding work. However, the numbers supporting that premise turn out to be elusive. 

There is this striking graph from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University:

This chart from Syracuse University shows that veterans ages 20-24 have higher unemployment rates than older veterans, and than the general population. But other data isn't broken out.

Courtesy:Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Affairs

"If you look back to about ten years or so you start seeing a real spike," says Nicholas Armstrong, the Institute's research director. "A gap in terms of unemployment being higher for vets that are ages 20 to 24."

However, that’s a small group — small enough that the gap isn't always statistically significant, according to Jim Walker, an economist who tracks veteran-employment numbers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "That group, there's very few of them," he says. "It has a very high error rate."

The Syracuse chart also leaves out other numbers that seem like they would make a useful comparison, For instance: What about 25 year-old vets? What happens when those younger vets turn 25? Armstrong’s group hasn't tracked those stats over time.

It’s not that the data undercut the familiar narrative. Only that I haven’t seen an analysis that demonstrates that story.

Neither has Kate Kidder, a researcher who looks at veterans issues at the Center for a New American Security. She says veterans groups, lobbying for resources, do push stories about out-of-work veterans. 

"Individual stories are compelling," she says. "And it’s also — a number of these folks were coming back as the economy was tanking."

Serbia Arrests 8 Accused Of Direct Roles In Srebrenica Massacre

NPR News - Wed, 2015-03-18 04:30

War crimes prosecutors ordered the arrests, believed to be the first that are directly linked to the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

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Common Core Means Three Tests In Three Years For Michigan Kids

NPR News - Wed, 2015-03-18 03:08

Partisan bickering and lots of stress for kids and teachers as Common Core exams begin.

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Letter To White House Tested Positive For Cyanide, Secret Service Says

NPR News - Wed, 2015-03-18 02:57

The envelope arrived Monday; the agency did not announce to whom the letter was addressed. Further tests are being conducted to confirm the results.

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Would Automatic Voter Registration Increase Turnout?

NPR News - Wed, 2015-03-18 02:03

A new law in Oregon is designed to make voting easier. Advocates are looking to it to increase turnout, but that might not necessarily be the result.

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Fighting the "nerd" stereotypes

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-03-18 02:00

HBO's "Silicon Valley" is about a lot of things: being an underdog, funding a business, succeeding in a competitive field. But it's also about being a techie, and the way in which the world sometimes labels you a "nerd." And as actor and comedian Thomas Middleditch points out, television and film have not always been kind when portraying nerds. 

 

We caught up with him on the streets of Austin during SXSW Interactive. For his part, Middleditch is proud of the research that goes into accurately portraying Silicon Valley. For him, it means the poking fun at the people in the tech industry is earned. And if anyone engrossed in start-up culture is paying attention, he also points out they can learn a lot from improv comedy when it comes to improving their approach to working with others.

Click below for an extended cut of our conversation with Thomas Middleditch:

Silicon Valley premiered at last year's SXSW Interactive conference, and is gearing up for a season 2 premiere on April 12th. 

Even if it's not "123456", change your password

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-03-18 01:30
19

The age Rep. Aaron Schock was elected to the Peoria school board, shortly after graduating. He would become board president at 22 and eventually represent Peoria's district as one of the youngest lawmakers on Capitol Hilly. Schock resigned Tuesday amid a spending probe, and the Washington Post has traced the congressman's rapid rise and the never-too-big attitude that may have been his undoing.

9 minutes

The gap between when students were alerted to a shooting at Florida State University via Yik Yak and when the school's emergency notification came through. The app, popular on college campuses, is part of a theme the Marketplace Tech team has seen running through SXSW Interactive this year: Users want more than just data privacy, they value anonymity too.

123456

Speaking of privacy, that's the most common password among 15 million put online by a security analyst and Russian hackers, Quartz reported. That seems obvious, but interestingly that pattern of keystrokes is also the most common, accounting for passwords like "qwerty," "asdfgh" and any other combination of six adjacent keys to the right. Here are the other most common combinations:

Courtesy:WP Engine via Quartz 20-24 years

The age group researchers at Syracuse University found a sizeable gap in employment between veterans and non-vets. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence showing veterans from the post-9/11 era have more trouble finding employment, Marketplace's Dan Weissmann learned hard numbers are difficult to come by.

Kentucky Right-To-Work Battle Shifts To Counties

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 23:24

While 25 states have passed right-to-work laws, Democrats in the Kentucky Legislature have long blocked attempts to pass legislation. Now there's a county-by-county effort to pass these laws locally.

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After Toxic Ash Spill, Energy Company And Locals Struggle Over Solution

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 23:22

A storage failure at a coal-fired Duke Energy plant sent tens of thousands of tons of ash into a North Carolina river last year. They want to move the waste to two abandoned clay mines.

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Do TV Cooking Shows Make Us Fat?

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 23:12

Women who cooked the meals they saw prepared on television weighed more, on average, than those who simply watched, a study shows. The findings challenge the notion that home cooking is always best.

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News From The Charity Stripe

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 23:09

Commentator Frank Deford talks about efforts to rattle NCAA basketball players taking free throws.

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Netanyahu Defeats Center-Left Rival In Israel's Parliamentary Election

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 22:06

If he succeeds in forming a coalition government Netanyahu would begin a historic fourth term as prime minister of Israel.

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Kraft Recalls 6.5 Million Boxes Of Macaroni And Cheese

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 20:45

Kraft Foods is recalling about 6.5 million boxes of original flavor Kraft Macaroni & Cheese because some of the boxes contain small pieces of metal. The company said it knows of no related injuries.

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Largest Group Of U.S. Presbyterian Churches Allows Same-Sex Marriages

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 19:34

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which includes more than 4,000 ministers and 1.8 million members, will let individual churches decide whether to perform gay marriage ceremonies.

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Old Land Battle Resurfaces In Georgia Between The Gullah Vs. Government

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 16:18

The Gullah people, who are descendants of West African slaves, want to return to land the U.S. government took away during WWII. But the land has been a wildlife refuge for 40 years.

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Cervantes' Remains Have Been Found In Madrid, Scientists Say

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 16:07

Almost 400 years after his death, researchers have found bone fragments that seem to match what they know about the celebrated author's burial.

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More San Francisco Police Officers Accused Of Sending Racist Texts

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 15:28

The investigation started with a sergeant accused of wire fraud and other federal charges. It has expanded to involve offensive messages and more than a dozen officers.

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Breast-Feeding Boosts Chances Of Success, Study In Brazil Finds

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 14:34

A study with more than 3,000 babies found those who were breast-fed had slighter higher IQ test scores, stayed in school longer and earned more money as adults.

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U.S. Loses Control Of Drone Over Syria

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-17 14:25

The Syrian government said it shot down the drone. A Pentagon official said though it wasn't clear that had happened, the claim was being investigated.

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Snapchat worth as much as Campbell's Soup?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-03-17 14:03

Pinterest is the latest company to get a multi-billion dollar valuation. But how do investors and the startup founders decide what a company is worth in the first place?

Marketplace host David Gura spoke with Sarah Frier of Bloomberg Business to find out.

“The founder will go out and take meetings with venture capitalists, sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors like the big banks who are trying to get in on these big deals and they’ll negotiate,” Frier says. 

Take Snapchat, for example. The company is valued at almost $15 billion — which might be proof that a messaging app is worth about as much as Campbell’s Soup, a company that actually makes food.

“What you don’t hear is the steps that it took to get there,” Frier says.

Companies are realizing how easy it is to get funded by venture capitalists. And investors are eager to provide that cash.

“It’s easy to go to investors who have fear of missing out on the next Google or Facebook. They want to get in your company early,” Frier says. 

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