National News

The Future Internet Is Not So Free Or Open, In Pew's New Survey

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-03 05:58

Pew surveyed more than 1,400 tech industry leaders and academics to find a troubling consensus: By 2025, the Internet will be more balkanized, more surveilled and less open.

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Saudi Arabia Reportedly Moves 30,000 Troops To Iraqi Border

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-03 05:54

The reported deployment comes amid reports that Iraqi forces have abandoned their positions in the region amid a Sunni-led insurgency.

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Finding a job isn't just a young person's problem

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-03 05:30

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that the U.S. added 288,000 jobs in June, with the unemployment rate falling to 6.1%.

Those numbers are influenced by -- as has been predicted, but hasn't really happened yet -- people returning to the job hunt after having given up in spite of having the need and want to work.

Marketplace reporter Mitchell Hartman has been looking at one group of workers where there's likely a lot of people in that category: workers who are 55 and older.

Click the media player above to hear reporter Mitchell Hartman in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.

Olympian, WWII Hero Louis Zamperini Dies At 97

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-03 04:34

Zamperini, whose life story was chronicled in the best-seller Unbroken, survived the brutality of a Japanese POW camp after his bomber crashed in the Pacific during World War II.

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U.S. Added 288,000 Jobs In June, Labor Department Says

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-03 04:16

This is the fifth consecutive month that American employers have added more than 200,000 jobs. Last month, the U.S. job market hit a milestone, finally surpassing pre-recession levels.

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President Obama's job in 19 words

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-03 04:00

Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal had the opportunity to ask President Barack Obama seven questions on Wednesday.

It took fifteen minutes or thereabouts for the entire interview.

In that same spirit of conciseness, Kai asked the President: "In five words or less, what's your job?"

President Obama answered: "My job is to keep the American people safe and to create a platform for hardworking people to succeed."

For those counting, that means the president used 19 words:

Kai has used the "5 words or less" question before. The first time was quite by accident, during an interview with Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman in late 2012. Kai asked Whitman to cut the "marketing gobbledy-gook," to explain "what, exactly, HP is":

Whitman's answer wasn't particularly clarifying...:

...so a few minutes later, Kai tried again:

Eventually, Kai gave Whitman a word limit. At the very end, he tried asking what HP is "in five words or less". Whitman used 22 words, with the caveat that "it's a big, complicated company."

A month later, Kai interviewed AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong about his business. Armstrong also was unable to keep his company's mission to five words. He eventually whittled it down to 12:

In an interview with Stephen Friedman, the president of MTV, Kai tried the question again. Friedman got close - just six words:

Only one interviewee so far, Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good, has managed to answer the question as succinctly as requested. Good described Duke Energy as: "Industry leading innovative energy company." Five words and counting:

Brevity is the soul of Marketplace. (...count 'em)

So, in brief: We want to see how many of our listeners can beat the President's word count. How would you describe your job in five words or less? Comment below, tweet @Marketplace, or send us an email at marketplaceweb@marketplace.org

Now A Hurricane, Arthur Steams Along Eastern Seaboard

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-03 03:22

Arthur is now packing maximum sustained winds of 75 mph; it could bring hurricane conditions to North Carolina tonight.

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PODCAST: Jobs are up for June

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-03 03:00

With the jobs report for June looking strong, more on how the last couple months became some of the strongest in recent memory for job gains. Plus, a look at a demographic of unemployed workers that are often overlooked: those over 55 who are looking to get back into the workforce. Last up, Kai Ryssdal interviewed President Barack Obama on the state of the U.S. Economy. Hear a preview of the full interview airing later today.

Pop-up bus service looks to reinvent mass transit

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-03 02:00

Big data has already changed how we interact with many aspects of our cities, as well as how cities deliver services and enforce regulations. In New York, for example, the city has had success using public data to find restaurants illegally disposing grease waste, and stores selling untaxed cigarettes. In the realm of public transit, agencies have been able to make their data easily accessible online for app developers, adding value to the commuter.

Matt George, the founder of the Massachusetts-based startup Bridj, is looking to apply the potential for big data to transit. The service, which launched last month with three bus routes in Boston, takes the self-reported home and workplace data of each of its subscribers, as well as data from other sources, including census data and municipal data, and plots out potential bus routes accordingly. While the service is still in its infancy, there are plans for more dynamic routing in the future, such as routes to special events in areas not normally served by public transit. These more direct routes are capable of significantly reducing commute times over public transit. 

Aside from the innovative, purportedly faster routing, Bridj is one of a number of transit startups — perhaps most controversially symbolized by ridesharing service Uber — that aims to provide a luxury experience, complete with wi-fi enabled busses with plush seats. There is a price to that: the cost of a ride on Bridj ranges from $5 to $8, over double the fare range of Boston’s public bus operator. Though, anecdotal evidence suggests that the Bridj buses are faster than standard transit.

With many of these services, there have been fears in some quarters of a “two-tier” transit system — one of luxury for the technologically savvy elite, another, underinvested public system for the poor. Bridj has not faced these complaints yet, but it is an issue that may arise as the service expands elsewhere.

Another area that has bedeviled transit startups has not yet been an issue for Bridj -- According to founder Matt George: “One thing we thought would be a bigger challenge would be municipal cooperation.”

However, at least in Massachusetts, there has been a relatively welcoming response from local governments.

Five million stick to private health insurance

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-03 02:00

We all know people have signed up for insurance through the healthcare exchanges, or enrolled in Medicaid.

But a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine shows about five million people bought coverage straight from an insurance company.

There’s nothing new about people buying insurance policies directly from insurers; it’s been happening forever.

But Harvard’s Ben Sommers says not for everybody.

“It’s a good market if you’re healthy, but if you have pre-existing conditions, you either faced really high premiums or were denied coverage,” he says.

The Affordable Care Act blocks insurers from doing that anymore. Plus, the ACA requires most everyone to have insurance.

Because of all that, Sommers estimates 20 percent of the people who bought directly from companies are newly insured.

It could be the start of a dominant trend.

“As the marketplace matures, it will be folks with higher incomes that won’t be subsidy eligible that will be buying insurance in the future,” says Paula Sunshine with Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia.

She says her company has invested heavily to make it as easy as possible for consumers to buy policies.

Ultimately, Sunshine says her industry will grow as employers stop buying coverage for their workers, and workers start shopping for their own insurance.

In Iraq's Sacred City Of Najaf, Clerics Call On Shiites To Fight

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-03 01:18

Senior Shiite Muslim clerics usually stay out of politics. But they've broken with tradition and issued a call to arms. Shiites are now volunteering — and dying — in the fight against Sunni Muslims.

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In Iraq's Sacred City Of Najaf, Clerics Call On Shiites To Fight

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-03 01:18

The Shiite Muslim clerics usually stay out of politics. But they've broken with tradition and issued a call to arms. Shiites are now volunteering — and dying — in the fight against Sunni Muslims.

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