National News

Senator Asks Red Cross To Explain Its Finances

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 10:07

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wants the Red Cross to explain inaccuracies in how it has said it uses public donations, citing questions raised by an NPR/ProPublica investigation.

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2015 Congress passes first bill: Terrorism insurance

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-09 09:49

The first bill passed by the new Congress in 2015 means the government will continue to be a backstop businesses that offer terrorism insurance. The U.S. got into that business after the Sept. 11 attacks out of fear insurers would stop offering it altogether.

The bill approved Thursday doubles the losses insurers must face to $200 million, before the backstop kicks in.

Why Pygmies Aren't Scared By The 'Psycho' Theme

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 09:41

Deep in the Congolese rainforest, a group of Pygmies lives in near isolation from Western music. When a team of scientists played them music from Star Wars and Psycho, the results were surprising.

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My Money Story: Frugality and cheese

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-09 09:31

One of our listeners, Amelia Rosenman, wrote us about inheriting frugality, then taking that lesson and making it her own.

Tell us your own money story here

My Money Story: Waiting on Inheritance

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-09 09:19

As we know from everyone from Jane Austen to Henry James, an inheritance can do unexpected things to a family.

Kerry Reif is counting down the seconds, minutes, hours, and days to when she can access the inheritance her parents left her. 

Reif has been waiting quite awhile. She describes the day she found out what plans her parents had put in place, and how that has affected her life.

Vintage Beer? Aficonados Say Some Brews Taste Better With Age

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 09:15

Aging in the bottle isn't just for wine anymore: It can also bring out sweet, caramel tones in some high-alcohol, smoky or sour craft brews. Don't believe us? You, too, can try this at home.

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Is Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy public or private?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-09 09:04

Some people whose lives and work leave an inheritance of for more than just their families. If you go to the movies this weekend, you may witness part of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy in the movie Selma, which goes into wide release this weekend. But it's only part. David Garrow wrote the King biography "Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference", which won a Pulitzer prize.

Lizzie O'Leary speaks to Garrow about the version of Dr. King that moviegoers will see in Selma, and what part of his legacy is public.

Your Wallet: Financial Gaps

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-09 08:49

We're exploring gaps, in our economy and in our lives. We want to know, have you had a gap month, a year, or more?

Maybe you needed money before school, or you were unemployed for a while.

Tell us about that financial gap in time and how it affected your life.

Send us an email, or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND

In France, Simultaneous Standoffs Erupt In Violence

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 08:45

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley and Lauren Frayer speak to Renee Montagne about the standoffs between police and gunmen, both at a kosher market and in a warehouse north of Paris.

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A Review Of The Day's Violent Tumult In France

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 08:38

Two standoffs involving armed men in and around Paris have ended with the deaths of three suspects. The violence concludes days of strain and tumult after shootings at a French satirical magazine.

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In The Midst Of A Violent Morning, Parisians Seek To Cope

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 08:34

Sylvie Kauffmann, editorial director of the French newspaper Le Monde, speaks to Renee Montagne about the impact of the events unfolding in Paris and its nearby suburbs on the French people.

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Reports Of Boko Haram-Led Massacre In Captured Nigerian Town

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 08:25

Baga, in the country's northeastern Borno state, was seized a week ago. Amnesty International says that as many as 2,000 people may have been killed by the Islamist extremists in recent days.

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Tech IRL: Digital inheritance

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-09 08:08

 Inheritance can be financial, physical, personal, intimate. But only recently have we begun to think of it as digital. Here are five questions to address the idea of digital inheritance: 

1. What happens on the Internet when someone dies?
We see the basics of this secondhand – Facebook pages come down or are turned into memorials. Twitter pages come down or go silent. Email addresses work the same way – if a password is left behind, relatives can set up automated messages that relay the news and set up a timeline to delete the account. This can also be done by an account holder using Google Will and other sites that will check to make sure you’re alive and delete the account after predetermined periods of inactivity. Some tech companies will allow relatives to obtain passwords to access files, or will terminate an account after someone dies. But all of this is much easier if people make accommodations for their digital assets in their will.
2. What could you inherit, or leave behind, digitally?
Anything, really. Photos, bitcoin, passwords, writing. Some people joke that if they die, they’d like their friends to clear their history – and theoretically, you could leave or receive instructions to do just that. But more seriously, banking info and things tied to offline lives will be sorted out by heirs, but digital-only things like subscriptions and social-media accounts may fall into the category of "things that need to be specifically addressed in a will."
3. Who has access to information, files and social networks?
It depends a lot on where you live. Some sites will allow anyone to report someone as deceased (they do attempt to confirm this). Some sites will give information to relatives or a spouse to handle an account. A few states have laws allowing relatives to terminate, access or control various types of accounts. In Delaware in 2014, a law was passed making digital assets part of the general estate and applying the same instructions. In most states, this should be addressed more directly in a will.
4. How can you prepare to bequeath your digital legacy?  
Use sites that hold all your account information and files in one place, like Cirrus and Chronicle of Life. You can make a Google Will. You can specify who you want to receive your digital information. If you receive digital information, you hold the power of whether to delete or preserve a social-media account, take pictures offline or create a memorial.
5. What does the future hold for this kind of information?
As digital information becomes more integral to everyday life, more states will likely introduce legislation related to digital assets after death, and digital material could be absorbed more frequently into an entire estate. It makes sense that as our online lives become more intertwined with our offline lives, accommodations will be made to allow family and friends access the same way they would to boxes in the attic or tangible belongings. Similarly, people may begin making their own provisions and laying out specifics for what they want deleted or saved, and who they want in control. As algorithms become more advanced, there are some potentially strange ways to use digital information. You can currently tweet from the afterlife, and on the show Black Mirror, re-create a personality based on online history. 

The Threats And Violence At A Kosher Market In Paris

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 08:08

Renee Montagne speaks with Andrew Higgins of The New York Times. Higgins was on the scene at a kosher grocery store, where an hostage situation unfolded for hours.

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Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi Flogged For Insulting Islam

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 08:05

The punishment meted out comes despite calls from the U.S. and others to cancel the punishment. Badawi's sentence partly calls for him to receive 50 lashes a week for 20 weeks.

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The next generation of Social Security

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-09 07:40

Inheritance is not just personal. It's factors into the broader economy: what we leave behind for future generations, what one generation saves for itself, and for the next.

As Americans, we spend most of our careers paying into social security, with the promise that we'll get a little money from the country in our old age. But as Baby Boomers age and retire the Social Security reserves are strained.

Baby Boomers expanded the workforce on their own -- add into the mix a major influx of women into the workplace, and the dwindling reserves in the disability program and the retirement programs make sense. These are problems that have been predicted for years, and since Social Security was introduced, Congress has adjusted and reallocated budgets to keep the programs solvent and keep benefits stable. 

Without any changes, Social Security's disability reserve fund will run out next year. The retirement trust fund will exhaust in 2034. The facts sound a bit scary, but Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, says there isn't much reason to worry. Even if Congress did nothing to reallocate funds, the money coming into the Social Security program through payroll taxes would keep benefits going at 77 cents to the dollar for retirement, and 81 cents to the dollar for disability. 

Still, half of millennials don't think there will be any money left for them in social security when they retire, according to a Pew poll.

Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, agrees with Goss that Social Security will bounce back. So why the concern? Is Social Security a strained part of a larger retirement system desperately in need of overhaul? 

Stephen Goss and Alicia Munnell speak with Lizzie O'Leary to talk about how and when Congress needs to act to keep Social Security solvent, and how current generations should approach retirement in order to maintain benefits for the future. 

The French Perspective On 2 Desperate Days Following 'Hebdo' Shooting

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 07:22

Renee Montagne speaks with Sylvie Rottman, senior producer at France 24, for the latest on the mood of the French people, who have been rocked by the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices.

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What U.S. Officials Know Now About The Standoffs In France

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 07:18

For the latest on Friday's tense situation in Paris, NPR's counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston offers information she has learned from U.S. officials who are following the standoffs.

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Negotiator On The Scene In Standoff Outside Paris

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 07:12

Steve Inskeep talks with Chris O'Brien of the Los Angeles Times to focus on just one of the standoffs now unfolding in France — the one at the building of a printing company northeast of Paris.

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Poll: Most Americans Would Share Health Data For Research

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-09 06:38

The topics for study didn't matter much to people who said they were willing to share. Every category — ranging from safety issues to health costs — scored at least 90 percent in the NPR poll.

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