National News

What's your type?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 10:04
Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 16:55 http://helvetica-the-perfume.myshopify.com/

Someone loved Helvetica so much, they made it into a perfume.

The break-up of a graphic design duo has resulted in a lawsuit of $20 million – over fonts. Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler worked together for 15 years to create some of the most famous and ubiquitous fonts around– used by GQ, Martha Stewart, the New York Jets and Saturday Night Live. They won awards for their typefaces - before the relationship turned sour. So now we want to know: How much do you care about fonts? Take our survey! (function(){var qs,js,q,s,d=document,gi=d.getElementById,ce=d.createElement,gt=d.getElementsByTagName,id='typef_orm',b='https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/share.typeform.com/';if(!gi.call(d,id)){js=ce.call(d,'script');js.id=id;js.src=b+'widget.js';q=gt.call(d,'script')[0];q.parentNode.insertBefore(js,q)}})()Marketplace for Thursday April 10, 2014by Sally HershipsPodcast Title What's your type?Story Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

In Turnaround, More Moms Are Staying Home, Study Says

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 09:41

The number of "stay at home" moms in the U.S. has been on the decline for decades. But a newly released Pew Research Center survey shows a 6 percent increase from 1999 to 2012.

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Detroit Reaches Bankruptcy Deal With Some Bondholders

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 09:40

The plan shifts $100 million to pension funds and resolves one of the record bankruptcy's most contentious issues.

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When the coal layoffs trickle down

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 09:25
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 06:40 Lorri Shundich

Kae and David Fisher opened their store in downtown Whitesburg last year.  

Coal communities in eastern Kentucky are feeling the effects of a relentless wave of mining layoffs the past few years. Competition from cheap natural gas and high production costs have hurt the mining business here. That, in turn, is hurting Main Street.

Take Whitesburg, Kentucky, population 2,000 give or take. At the Railroad Street Mercantile, owner Kae Fisher surprises visitors with an eclectic mix of merchandise. Homemade jellies, aromatherapy oils, snack chips, and jalapeno eggs fill the shelves. In the back of the store, she’s selling used LP’s and consignment quilts.

“These are from ladies across the county who try to earn a little extra money because a lot of them, their husbands have lost their jobs,” says Fisher.

Fisher and her husband David opened their “corner market” last year, as mining employment in eastern Kentucky plunged. Inauspicious timing, but Fisher believed the downtown needed at least one store. “We’re able to pay the bills,” says Fisher. “But have we got our money back that we’ve invested? Not yet.”

A midday stroll down Main Street, Whitesburg can be a lonely experience. The courthouse is the busiest place in town, but tables at the Courthouse Cafe across the street are fairly empty. On a weekday afternoon co-owner Laura Schuster worked the kitchen by herself. She can’t afford an assistant right now. “Once the layoffs started we immediately knew what would happen, that people would be afraid that they also would lose their jobs and they would cut back anyway they can,” says Schuster. “And one way to cut back is to not eat out. I’d say business is down 50 percent, if not more.”

Whitesburg and other coal towns in the region are also suffering from a steep drop in coal tax revenue. The money goes to counties and was originally intended for an economy beyond coal. In Whitesburg’s Letcher County, coal tax revenue is half what it was just a few years ago.

Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, says over the years coal severance taxes have been diverted for other uses. “Local governments in eastern Kentucky have gradually become dependent on the coal severance as just a general fund source for operations,” says Bailey “For them to pay for police, to do basic road repair. So they’ve had a really hard time because there’s the lack of a tax base outside that as well to generate revenue.”

Justin Maxson, president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, says the transition to a “low-coal” economy will be “slow, hard and expensive.” He points out the region was poor, even while coal boomed. “So there will be no easy fix.”

Marketplace Morning Report for Friday, April 11, 2014 Lorri Shundich

Kae and David Fisher opened their store in downtown Whitesburg last year.  

Check out all our Coal Play stories.

Lorri Shundich

Laura Schuster, co-owner of the Courthouse Cafe in Whitesburg, KY, says business is down 50 percent, if not more.

by Sarah GardnerPodcast Title When the coal layoffs trickle downStory Type FeatureSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

The loaded meaning behind 'What do you do?'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 09:08

Jim and Deb Fallows of the Atlantic continue their travels across the United States, in partnership with Marketplace. This week, the Fallows are taking a break from exploring different towns across the country to examine something we all do – introduce ourselves.  

Or more precisely, they're examining the thing we say right after we introduce ourselves. It’s different in every part of the country.

In New York or D.C., the first question after an introduction is often “What do you do?” – meaning, what’s your job? But careful asking that question in Burlington, Vermont, says Fallows. People are more likely to respond, “I ski or I run a lot or I have a little boat.”

Deb Fallows says “It’s a question that matters. It’s something we say all the time." She was caught off guard when, in Greenville, South Carolina, she was asked what church she went to. In cities like Chicago or Boston, it’s not uncommon for people to ask "Which parish do you live in?" In midsized cities, it's often "Where did you go to high school?"

Fallows says the questions are meant to tease out socioeconomic status, political viewpoints, and cultural background.

“You know that somebody’s kind of digging for information to put you into their world – how do you fit into my world?

Debate: In An Online World, Are Brick And Mortar Colleges Obsolete?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 09:00

Proponents of online education say it's flexible and economical. But skeptics say "college by Internet" is a pale substitute for real-world exchanges with instructors and peers inside the classroom.

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The New Age: Leaving Behind Everything, Or Nothing At All

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 08:21

Older generations might have left behind physical letters, photographs and journals. But much of that is digital now. Saving and organizing it all is a new challenge for librarians and writers alike.

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9-Month-Old Boy Charged With Attempted Murder In Pakistan

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 08:17

Musa Khan was arrested along with his family at a violent protest in Lahore where police said the boy threw stones at them.

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Food Scraps To Fuel Vertical Farming's Rise In Chicago

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 07:14

As vertical farming takes root in cities around the world, critics fear it's leaving a big carbon footprint. An experiment in Chicago turning garbage into energy aims to prove them wrong.

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PODCAST: Medicare's pay-data dump

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 07:01

As of today, we know a whole lot more about how much Medicare pays doctors. The government has released huge amounts of data on which doctors, got paid how much, for what procedures. The data show payments to more than 800,000 doctors and health care organizations. It includes information for thousands of procedures.

Also, some mergers have relevance to people’s lives says antitrust attorney Allen Grunes, and the proposed Time Warner-Comcast deal is one of them. Grunes, with the firm GeyerGorey, says the internet will be a focal point as the combined company would have at least 40 percent, and as much as 50 percent, of the fastest high-speed internet service market.

Coffee is the single-most popular food item — solid or liquid — that Americans consume at breakfast, according to the NPD Group. And although American coffee consumption has been more or less flat since the 1980s (and has fallen since peaking in the 1940s), one category is booming: single serve. The dominant player in the domestic market is Green Mountain’s Keurig machines and their K-cup pods but Switzerland-based Nestle and its Nespresso machines are hoping to muscle in to U.S. market.

On Heels Of GM, Toyota Recalls More Than 6 Million Vehicles

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 07:01

The recall involves some of the Japanese automaker's top-selling vehicles, including some model years for the RAV4 SUV, Corolla, Yaris and Matrix.

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Lost Malaysian Plane Could Land In Cultural Lore

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 06:17

The plane's vanishing is a tragedy and an unsolved mystery. The desire for answers means the event could retain attention for decades, as have the disappearances of Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart.

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WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 05:54

About 150 million people worldwide have hepatitis C, and all should be assessed and treated, the World Health Organization says. The cost of screening and drugs means that won't happen soon.

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Many Students Stabbed, Cut At Pennsylvania High School

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 05:19

One suspect — a 16-year-old sophomore boy — is in custody after Wednesday's incident at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, near Pittsburgh. At least 19 teenagers and one adult were hurt.

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Dose Of Caution Prescribed When Evaluating New Medicare Data

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 04:54

Fresh figures show that a relatively small number of doctors received a significant share of Medicare payments in 2012. But analysts warn against jumping to conclusions about what that means.

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What Does Sound Look Like?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 04:37

A clever photography trick allows you to see the invisible: the rising heat from a lighter, the turbulence around airplane wings, the plume of a sneeze ... and even sound waves.

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UConn Women Win, Making School Center Of College Hoops World

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 03:55

Both the men's and women's teams are Division I basketball champions this year. Only once before has a school done that in the same year: UConn, in 2004.

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New Pings Have Head Of Search Optimistic Jet Will Soon Be Found

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 03:00

But searchers aren't declaring success just yet. And if what they're hearing aren't signals from the plane's black boxes, they may not get a second chance. The boxes' batteries are due to run out.

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When England walked away from coal

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 02:26

Former mining communities around Britain have been marking what is for them a grim anniversary: it has been 30 years since the start of a national miners strike that convulsed the U.K. and its coal industry. The year-long strike over mine closures failed. After the strike, scores of mines were mothballed and a work force that once comprised more than a million men dwindled to a few thousand. Today, only three deep mines remain in operation in the U.K., and two of them are marked for closure.

Why did Britain decide to stop digging 30 years ago? Was this solely about coal, or was it political?

Ex-miner Mike Clark has no doubts. "It was political," he says firmly. Margaret Thatcher – the Conservative Prime Minister at the time – "she would do everything she could to break the working class of Great Britain. That's why she decided to close the pits. Don't forget that at the time, the coal mines were publicly-owned. It was a nationalized industry."

The miners believed Thatcher targeted them for reasons of political revenge. The National Union of Mineworkers had humbled a previous Conservative government in the 1970s by going on strike and triggering a general election which that government lost. But Thatcher may have had a more practical motivation for taking on the miners in 1984: They were Britain's most powerful and militant workers, the shock troops of a labor movement that Thatcher was determined to weaken.

"She wanted to redress the balance back in favor of capitalism," argues Christine Rawson, who grew up in a mining village in south Yorkshire. "Thatcher was determined that the unions would not gain strength, and would lose strength."

Quite right, too, says Dieter Helm, a professor of energy at Oxford University Dieter Helm. When Thatcher came to power, British labor relations were in chaos; the country was crippled by more than 2,000 strikes a year. "There was a general consensus that union power had reached a level where the British economy could no longer really function," says Helm. "And there was a very good economic case for closing the pits as well because of the high cost of deep pit mining. The contraction of the U.K. coal industry was economically correct. It had to happen. It was going to happen. It would have happened anyway."

Britain's deep mines could no longer compete on price with cheap imports of high quality coal from open cast mines in South Africa, Australia, and the United States. And, furthermore, the Thatcher government believed that those imports improved the country's energy security. Margaret Thatcher claimed that it was safer to rely on foreign coal than on the output of British miners. During the strike she called them: "The Enemy Within."

In focus: A merged Comcast-Time Warner

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 02:10

Some mergers have relevance to people’s lives says antitrust attorney Allen Grunes, and the proposed Time Warner-Comcast deal is one of them. Grunes, with the firm GeyerGorey, says the internet will be a focal point as the combined company would have at least 40 percent, and as much as 50 percent, of the fastest high-speed internet service market.

There are concerns the deal would make it harder for the next Netflix or Hulu to stream content, because it would have to pay the combined company more. But there are also concerns about what the deal will mean to individual access to the internet.

"We need to make sure these companies are more accountable to consumers around other things as opposed to the future of the internet," says Nicol Turner-Lee, with the Minority Media and Telecom Council.

Comcast, in a filing ahead of the federal review, says as part of the deal it would expand its program to provide more access to low-income communities.

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