National News

A Hermaphrodite Goat Could Be The Ultimate Scapegoat

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:05

It lives in Gaza. It has male private parts and udders. People think its milk might have special powers. The government think it's a scam and wants to kill the goat. We'll find out its fate on Sunday.

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Homeboy Industries helps former gang member start over

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:04

Javier Chavez was only eight years old when he began getting into trouble. By the time he was 11, he was involved in a gang in Los Angeles.

He's been arrested multiple times, on charges ranging from selling drugs to weapon possession.

Chavez's longest stint in prison was for four years. He's 33 now, and says he's getting a second chance at life.

Chavez works as a mentor, navigator, and recovery group facilitator at Homeboy Industries. Homeboy provides job training positions and free social services for formerly gang-involved, and previously incarcerated, men and women.

How hard is it to start over? Listen to the full story in the audio player above.

What happens when two bank accounts get married

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:02

It's officially wedding season. It's a romantic time of year, but it can be a pricey one too, whether you're dressing up and shelling out for a hotel and a gift, hosting a bridal shower or bachelor party, or planning (and paying for) the wedding itself. 

"I do" also means ka-ching — for venues, flower ships, bakers, caterers, the list goes on and on and on. 

Money isn't the most romantic topic of conversations, and some couples may want to put off the financial talk until after the honeymoon. But is that the best bet? Probably not, according to Louis Barajas. He's a certified financial planner who works with many couples as they approach marriage. Barajas stresses the importance of transparency — from financial history, debt and credit scores to goals for a financial future. He says it's important to have these conversations early and often, to keep things open.

That's exactly what Rob Luchow and Jessie Rosen did before they got married almost a year ago. For Rob and Jessie, talking money before tying the knot was a natural part of the process; they already lived together and had been splitting their expenses pretty evenly, but as Jessie changed career paths to become a full time writer, Rob took on more of the financial burden.

The couple decided to meet with a financial planner shortly before they got married to help ease the process. Keeping the business talk separate from the emotional part of their relationship (and mediated by an objective third party) was a relief for Rob and Jessie. 

A year into marriage, they've settled into a rhythm with their finances, keeping their money active in savings and investments, and working together to work out their priorities in the short term and the long term.

That's meant sacrificing a little bit now to invest in the future — Luchow and Rosen put off their elaborate honeymoon and a potential move to a new apartment in order to save. That means they can maintain their current standard of living without a strain and also save up for their future house. And according to their financial planner, stasis at the beginning of a marriage can be good, at least when it comes to spending. 

Hear Jessie and Rob's full story, and more advice from Louis Barajas, in the audio player above.

Putting a price tag on looking pretty

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:01

Plastic surgery is nothing new, but the trend has been on the rise again in the last few years. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 13 percent of facial plastic surgeons surveyed saw an increase in requests for celebrity look-a-like procedures in 2014.

 Nearly 16 million people went under the knife last year alone, up 3 percent from the year before.

 To ask for a Rob Lowe-nose of his own, guest host David Lazarus (left) paid a visit to Dr. Lloyd Kreiger, a plastic surgeon on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

He sat for a consultation in Dr. Krieger's exam room, exploring the big picture trend but also seeing what can be done to improve his own looks.


Scoring a home run with a spring renovation

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:00

With warmer weather and flowers in bloom, it's time for a fresh start — for your home?

Yes, it's remodeling season, and spending on everything from new kitchens to complete domicile makeovers is on the upswing, as shown by a recent surge in mortgage refinancing.

A brand new bathroom or even just a fresh coat of paint can be costly, but can also be a smart investment whether you're staying put or looking to sell.

What happens when your dream home needs a little sprucing up? Tom Silva, general contractor with "This Old House," passes on some words of wisdom. Plus, Shawn Kravitch, a public interest lawyer in Los Angeles, tells us how he went about his own DIY remodel in East Hollywood. 

To hear their stories, tune in using the player above.

Cool Atlantic, Warm Pacific Could Mean Few Hurricanes

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 10:56

A cool Atlantic Ocean and a mild to moderate El Niño in the Pacific equatorial region has forecasters predicting only four or five Atlantic hurricanes this year.

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Your Wallet: Fast money

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 09:00

What's the fastest money you've ever made? 100 bucks in under a minute? More?

Tell us your story of making fast cash. Write to us, or tweet us — we're at @MarketplaceWKND.

A Forgotten Generation: Half Of S. Korea's Elderly Live In Poverty

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 08:22

In a country known for its tech advances and rapid economic rise, the generation responsible for the growth isn't faring so well. Half of South Korea's seniors live below the poverty line.

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President Obama Spoke To Raul Castro By Phone; Leaders May Meet Today

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 08:07

It's only the second time in the past 50 years that the heads of the U.S. and Cuba are known to have spoken. The two leaders are expected to meet Friday, at a regional meeting in Panama.

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Molossia Heads Up Big Micronation Summit In California

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 08:05

In the first gathering of its kind, representatives from such micronations as Slabovia and Westarctica will attend Saturday's meeting at the Anaheim Central Library.

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Cooking With Emoji: We're Taking Eggplant Back From The Bros

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 06:58

The eggplant emoji has become a favorite of salacious sexters. To rescue its sullied rep, we turn to our emoji keyboards and conjure recipes to highlight the fruit's, ahem, culinary attributes.

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Bundle Of Joyful Microbes: Mom's DNA Alters Baby's Gut Bacteria

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 06:40

Babies have a microbe in their gut that prevents infections and helps the immune system. But not all infants get the bacteria at the same time, or in the same amount. Scientists have figured out why.

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