National News

From Genes To Fangs: Snake Venom Recipes Remain Mysterious

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 07:17

The search for a universal treatment for snakebites is complicated by the fact that each species has a very different cocktail of toxins. Even knowing a snake's DNA might not help much.

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Western Countries Issue Warnings; Kenyan Tourism Gets Pummeled

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 07:11

Kenya is heavily reliant on tourism, but advisories by the U.S., Britain and others have contributed to fewer visitors and job losses. Kenyans say the West is punishing them as much as the terrorists.

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With Concern For Environment, Illinois Bans Microbeads

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 06:51

The tiny, plastic bits are used in consumer products such as skin exfoliants and soap. Environmentalists say when microbeads wash down the drain, they become food to fish and other wildlife.

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Drones Approved: FAA Gives OK To First Commercial Use Over Land

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 06:12

Under a waiver, energy giant BP will use a drone to conduct surveys over large oil fields in Alaska. FAA regulations ban the commercial use of drones in America's skies.

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Insurgent Group Claims Large Part Of Major Iraqi City

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 05:22

The run on Mosul was a reminder of the precarious situation of Iraq's central government and raises serious questions about the government's ability to fight terrorism in Iraq.

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Gunmen Stage Second Assault Near Karachi Airport

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:56

A short-lived attack near Karachi's airport interrupted prayers for security officers who died in Sunday's violence at the facility. Flights were halted temporarily.

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Possible Friendly-Fire Incident Kills 5 Americans In Afghanistan

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 03:00

Afghan media are citing a local official who says the troops' air support mistakenly bombed their position. NATO says the attack is still under investigation.

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'Greening' construction jobs for energy efficiency

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-10 02:00

When politicians talk about the future of employment and how to get the American economy back on track, there is one phrase that will inevitably flow from their lips: "Green jobs." But what exactly is a green job and where does it come from?

California is a good place to find the answer -- it has some of the most ambitious energy conservation goals in the nation. State building codes will require all new residential and commercial construction be zero net energy by 2030. That means every building will have to produce as much energy as it consumes.

To accomplish that, lots of construction workers will be needed.

“They are not, quote-unquote, green jobs. They are just ordinary professional and blue collar work in the building and construction industry,” says Dr. Carol Zabin, chairman of the Don Vial Center for Employment in the Green Economy. Zabin thinks a better way to describe this transition is the "greening" of existing jobs, not the creation of entirely new kinds of jobs.

For example, one of the key technologies needed to achieve California’s energy conservation goals is advanced lighting controls.

“A typical building will save anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of current energy by just controlling the lighting and using it when they need it, have the right amount of light,” said Doug Avery, an expert in lighting controls.

You are probably familiar with advanced lighting controls if you ever walked into a bathroom and the lights automatically came on. Or maybe they didn’t. When advanced lighting isn’t installed properly, building owners often override the systems, which compromises energy savings.

To ensure that electricians install these systems properly, a statewide initiative called the California Advanced Lighting Control Training Program,  or CALCTP, was created.

Inside a warehouse-sized classroom at the Electrical Training Institute of Southern California, certified electricians are working in groups of two, installing miniature lighting systems on pegboards. Fernando Martin and Mary Nagler were working together at one of the boards. They both said they're starting to see more of these types of lighting control systems in the field.  “As long as you are fairly experienced with this type of thing it's not that bad. But it definitely requires a class, if not some studying on your own part,” said Martin.

Tim Rainey, executive director of the California Workforce Investment Board, says demand for these skilled workers will rise significantly as older utility and construction workers retire over the next five to ten years, leaving big skill gaps in every industry, but especially in the utilities sector. "In fact two out of every three job openings will be because of retirement -- what we call replacements,” said Rainey.

Replacing those skilled workers is a big challenge, Rainey added, “but it’s also a big opportunity.”

PODCAST: Turning blue collar "green"

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-10 02:00

A look at the current state of part-time unemployment. Plus, in attempting to meet ambitious conservation goals, states like California are turning blue collar jobs "green." Also, Radio Shack has a new service called "Fix It Here," which allows customers to bring their busted smart phone to be repaired in store. The real question is whether or not the service will fix the franchise's business woes.

Time Warner considers buying a stake in bad boy media

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-10 02:00

On Monday, Time Warner spun off its namesake, Time magazine. Now, it is reportedly considering buying a stake in Vice Media.

It is safe to say Time’s founder, Henry Luce, wouldn’t have known what to make of Vice. First, it was an outsider magazine, published in Montreal; today, it is a global news empire.

“It is bad-boy media,” says Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with The Altimeter Group. “It is sex and drugs, and rock and roll, and going to far-flung corners of the earth in wildly irreverent ways.”

Surprise! That’s pretty popular.

“They have really hit the sweet spot for reaching perhaps the most elusive audience in media – the 18-35-year-old male audience,” Lieb says.

According to Tony Wible, a senior analyst with Janney Capital Markets, Vice has embraced new media, and it is making money.

“I think Time Warner is focused around TV and movies, and I think that anything that may complement that they may look at,” he says.

If this deal goes forward, analysts say, it will be interesting to see what effect, if any, being owned by a big media giant could have on Vice.

Time considering buying a stake in bad boy media

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-10 02:00

On Monday, Time Warner spun off its namesake, Time magazine. Now, it is reportedly considering buying a stake in Vice Media.

It is safe to say Time’s founder, Henry Luce, wouldn’t have known what to make of Vice. First, it was an outsider magazine, published in Montreal; today, it is a global news empire.

“It is bad-boy media,” says Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with The Altimeter Group. “It is sex and drugs, and rock and roll, and going to far-flung corners of the earth in wildly irreverent ways.”

Surprise! That’s pretty popular.

“They have really hit the sweet spot for reaching perhaps the most elusive audience in media – the 18-35-year-old male audience,” Lieb says.

According to Tony Wible, a senior analyst with Janney Capital Markets, Vice has embraced new media, and it is making money.

“I think Time Warner is focused around TV and movies, and I think that anything that may complement that they may look at,” he says.

If this deal goes forward, analysts say, it will be interesting to see what effect, if any, being owned by a big media giant could have on Vice.

'Greening' construction jobs for energy efficiency

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-10 02:00

When politicians talk about the future of employment and how to get the American economy back on track, there is one phrase that will inevitably flow from their lips: "Green jobs." But what exactly is a green job and where does it come from?

California is a good place to find the answer -- it has some of the most ambitious energy conservation goals in the nation. State building codes will require all new residential and commercial construction be zero net energy by 2030. That means every building will have to produce as much energy as it consumes.

To accomplish that, lots of construction workers will be needed.

“They are not, quote-unquote, green jobs. They are just ordinary professional and blue collar work in the building and construction industry,” says Dr. Carol Zabin, chairman of the Don Vial Center for Employment in the Green Economy. Zabin thinks a better way to describe this transition is the "greening" of existing jobs, not the creation of entirely new kinds of jobs.

For example, one of the key technologies needed to achieve California’s energy conservation goals is advanced lighting controls.

“A typical building will save anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of current energy by just controlling the lighting and using it when they need it, have the right amount of light,” said Doug Avery, an expert in lighting controls.

You are probably familiar with advanced lighting controls if you ever walked into a bathroom and the lights automatically came on. Or maybe they didn’t. When advanced lighting isn’t installed properly, building owners often override the systems, which compromises energy savings.

To ensure that electricians install these systems properly, a statewide initiative called the California Advanced Lighting Control Training Program,  or CALCTP, was created.

Inside a warehouse-sized classroom at the Electrical Training Institute of Southern California, certified electricians are working in groups of two, installing miniature lighting systems on pegboards. Fernando Martin and Mary Nagler were working together at one of the boards. They both said they're starting to see more of these types of lighting control systems in the field.  “As long as you are fairly experienced with this type of thing it's not that bad. But it definitely requires a class, if not some studying on your own part,” said Martin.

Tim Rainey, executive director of the California Workforce Investment Board, says demand for these skilled workers will rise significantly as older utility and construction workers retire over the next five to ten years, leaving big skill gaps in every industry, but especially in the utilities sector. "In fact two out of every three job openings will be because of retirement -- what we call replacements,” said Rainey.

Replacing those skilled workers is a big challenge, Rainey added, “but it’s also a big opportunity.”

That college essay on Proust could land you a job

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-10 02:00

Katie Jacobson recently finished college at the University of Minnesota-Morris and is ready to punch in at her dream job. Where exactly? And doing what? She's not sure.

"Ideally I'd like to have the power big-kid job. I want to dress to impress. I would like to have a cool office. I'd like to earn the big bucks," Jacobson says.

For help, she turned to the job search site Collegefeed. It's a free service that helps young people spin their college experiences into something that sounds more like work experience. That type of help separates Collegefeed from rivals job sites like LinkedIn, where users create their own profiles.

Jacobson has a profile up on the Collegefeed site that lists her accomplishments, like triple majoring in economics, management, and Spanish.

On a conference call with Kathy Cardozo, vice president of client engagement with Collegefeed, Jacobson learned that the draft version of her profile lacked focus.

"A hiring manager or recruiter would have a hard time figuring out what you want to do," Cardozo tells Jacobson.

Cardozo explains that Jacobson needs to play up the promotions she got working for the school's office of residential life, where she eventually became a hall director.

"You will show career trajectory-- meaning, you took on one role and you did so well that they hired you in the next role," Cardozo says.

Most graduates don't have a network. That's where Collegefeed steps in as matchmaker. It has 1,000 firms that pay to be in its database, including big names like Cisco Systems and eBay. Companies pay an average of a $1,500 per quarter to get a "feed" of candidates.

Though, Collegefeed, which is about a year old, has yet to turn a profit.

HR expert Jason Averbook of the consulting firm Appirio says droves of baby boomers will retire in the coming years. He says they'll need help finding replacement workers. So he thinks it makes sense for job search sites to specialize in the college grad demographic.

"We're going to have many new entrants into the workplace, and because of that, both businesses and these college graduates need tools to help them move forward," he says.

Demand does appear to be rising for the young workers in the Collegefeed markets. According to unpublished data from the Bureau of Labor Statistic's annual survey of recent college graduates, the unemployment rate for new college grads was 11 percent in October, its lowest level since 2007.

 

 

Hillary Clinton: I Helped Restore U.S. Leadership In The World

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 01:53

To hear the former secretary of state and once and maybe future Democratic presidential candidate tell it, her new book, Hard Choices, isn't the kickoff to a 2016 campaign.

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Clinton Sought 'Tougher Deal,' But Won't Second-Guess Bergdahl Swap

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 01:50

NPR's Renee Montagne sat down for a conversation with Hillary Clinton. Clinton's new book, Hard Choices, will be published on Tuesday.

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Pakistan: Karachi Airport Training Center Attacked

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-10 01:05

The firefight came on the heels of a brazen siege by the Taliban who on Sunday night stormed Karachi's Jinnah International Airport in an attack that killed more than two dozen people.

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