National News

VA Secretary Shinseki Steps Down Amid Reports Of Systemic Problems

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 12:14

Gen. Eric Shinseki is stepping down as the secretary of veteran's affairs. The decision comes in the midst of growing outrage over scheduling issues in the VA health system.

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An American Suicide Bomber In Syria

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 12:14

The U.S. State Department has confirmed that an American was involved in carrying out a suicide attack. The man, who was fighting in Syria against President Bashar Assad's regime, had ties to Florida.

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Spelling Co-Champs Beat The Bee, Leaving Judges Without Words

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 12:14

For the first time since 1962, there are co-champions at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Teens Ansun Sujoe and Sriram Hathwar tied when the pair exhausted the official list of words.

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How the recession shaped a more humble generation

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-30 12:06

Every generation thinks they're better than the next, and the "you kids get off my lawn" attitude has been particularly tough on Millennials. They've been called entitled, lazy and self-involved.

But, they're also young people who came of age during a recession. According to a study done by Dr. Emily Bianchi of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, recession is an event that could mitigate characteristics of narcissism.

"We don’t know a whole lot about where narcissism comes from, but what we do know seems to suggest that narcissism is tempered by adversity and to some extent by failure,” she says.

Do you think Millennials are more likely to be narcissists?

The word narcissist is one that is often misused to describe people who are vain, rude, or plain old self-centered. In psychology, narcissism has distinguishing characteristics other than self-admiration.

“Hallmarks of narcissism are lack of empathy, a sense that one is better than other people around them, a heightened sense of self-importance. Even a willingness to exploit other people to achieve one’s own gains,” Bianchi says.

While narcissistic tendencies can wreak havoc in one’s personal relationships, these qualities have conflicting implications in the workplace.

“On the one hand, narcissists tend to be very charming, people tend to be drawn to them, they tend to be very charismatic, and they tend to be very inspiring leaders. On the other hand, they tend to be very difficult to work for; they tend to take credit for anything that goes well and tend to assign blame for anything that goes poorly. They don’t tend to make terrific mentors and people often feel out on their own when working for a narcissist,” Bianchi says.

According to Bianchi, "Narcissism is cultivated by allowing egos to expand unchecked by adversity and humbling setbacks or failures." This goes to the pervasive attitude that children of today would be more successful if they weren’t praised as much or didn’t receive a trophy simply for participating, as opposed to actually winning or excelling at something.

Millennials are more likely to graduate college with student debt than those in preceding generations, they are having a harder time finding a job when they do graduate, more than one-third of them are living at home with their parents, and according to Washington Post personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary, Millennials “may be the first cohort to end up worse off than their parents.”

Despite the negative ways in which this generation has been affected by the economy, Bianchi says that there may be a small, bright side to the recession. “We know that their careers have been affected, or likely to be affected in all sorts of negative ways, but I think most people would probably be pleased to hear that this might temper narcissism in the workplace."

Oklahoma's Extreme Drought Has Wheat Farmers Bracing For Worst

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 12:04

Four years of crippling drought has withered the agricultural economies of Great Plains states like Oklahoma. The USDA forecasts this year's wheat crop will be half what it would be in a good year.

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Happy anniversary, federal gas tax!

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-30 11:48

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's an extended look at what's coming up the week of June 2:

On Monday, the Commerce Department issues construction spending data for April. On Tuesday it reports on factory orders for April.

Have you been doing some spring cleaning? Maybe cleaning out the garage to make room for a new car? Automakers are slated to report sales for May.

On Wednesday, the Senate Budget Committee holds a hearing on "The Impact of Student Loan Debt on Borrowers and the Economy."

On Thursday, chain-stores are scheduled to release sales figures for May.

That brings us to Friday when all eyes will be on the May jobs report.

On June 6th, 1998, HBO's "Sex and the City" premiered. It ran for six seasons and (fortunately) remains in syndication.

It's also the anniversary of the first federal gasoline tax, enacted in 1932. One penny per gallon. That's where it began. Today we pay 18.4 cents per gallon, and state tax too.

And finally, June is National Candy Month. You may ask "why?" But I think the real question is, "Why not?" We'll wrap on that.

U.S. Confirms American Carried Out Suicide Bombing In Syria

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 11:47

An affiliate of al-Qaida fighting against the Syrian government tweeted the "martyrdom" of the U.S. jihadi earlier this week.

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Thailand's Military Ruler Says No Elections For At Least A Year

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 11:14

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power last week, also warned anti-coup protesters, saying they lack a "true understanding of democracy."

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