National News

New Rules Force Big Banks To Keep A Bigger Cushion

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Banking regulators at the FDIC and the Fed are voting on whether to impose tougher rules on big banks. Analysts think that the new regulations, which are expected to pass, will hurt growth prospects.

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Natural Disasters Are Rare, But So Is Mudslide Insurance

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Dozens of people lost their homes in the massive slide in Oso, Wash., but few are likely to see an insurance payout. That's because mudslide coverage is not included in a typical homeowner's policy.

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History And Hatred In A Battle Of Basketball Unbeatens

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Michelle Smith, a women's basketball writer for ESPNW, offers a preview of Tuesday's NCAA women's basketball final.

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Al Sharpton, FBI Informant? New Claims Revive '80s Mob Story

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Rev. Al Sharpton's past work for the FBI is under new scrutiny. On Monday, the website The Smoking Gun published documents that it claims detail Sharpton's work as a confidential informant during mafia investigations in the 1980s. Sharpton admits recording conversations with alleged mobsters for the FBI, but he denies doing anything wrong.

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Pistorius Trial Adjourns Early For Day Amid Runner's Sobs

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

In the second day of testimony from Oscar Pistorius, the former Olympic runner broke down in sobs on the witness stand. David Smith of The Guardian was in the courtroom, and he details the testimony.

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In Donetsk, Demands For A Vote Boil Into Aggression And Arrests

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Pro-Russia demonstrators have taken over government offices in Donetsk and other major cities in eastern Ukraine. They're demanding a vote on whether the region should leave Ukraine and join Russia.

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Holder Plays Asparagus Card Against GOP Antagonist

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:56

When a Texas Republican congressman criticized Eric Holder Tuesday, the attorney general hit him with a dose of snark.

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An English village, 30 years after its mine closed

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:47

American coal mines are closing. Do the miners have anything to learn from their British counterparts who lost their jobs in a wave of mine closures 30 years ago?

There’s nothing left of Cortonwood coal mine. All traces of the mine, which had thrived for more than a century, sustaining the small village of Brampton in Yorkshire, in the north of England, have been erased.

Today there’s a shopping center and office complex on the site where the pithead and the slag heaps used to stand. Cortonwood was where one of Britain’s bitterest labor disputes - the national miners’ strike - erupted in 1984. And Cortonwood was one of the first mines to be shut after the strike against pit closures ended in failure one year later.

There may be no physical trace of the pit, but the village still apparently bears the psychological scars of the loss of the mine.

“Coal was this community, it was that important,” says Denise FitzPatrick, whose husband and son worked in the mine. “Coal was the community. Not just here, but in all mining villages. Everything revolved around the pit. It was a terrible loss.”

Financially, as well as socially. 1.200 men worked at Cortonwood. Denise FitzPatrick’s daughter, Denise Lelliott, says when the pit closed, those who could find work usually made barely half what they earned underground. Many others languished on welfare.

“It’s ripped the soul out of this community,” she says. “I love my community. And it absolutely destroys me what it’s done to it. People says it’s recovered. It hasn’t. And I don’t think it ever will."

Even today, nearly 30 years after the pit closed, and after many of the pitmen have retired or died, the unemployment rate among the ex-miners of Cortonwood is still 12 percent. Andy Lock, who works for a charity which has tried to mitigate the effects of mass unemployment caused by the shutting of coal mines, says too little was done by the government to soften the blow of the pit closures.

“In my opinion there was a lack of support at the time," he says. "So when you have over 100,000 people becoming unemployed, with the lack of infrastructure and lack of support, you get problems.”

Belatedly, the British government did pump money into places like Cortonwood. The shopping center and office complex on the site of the mine opened for business some 15 years after the pit closed. It has been a big success. It has brought prosperity to the village and it is a significant employer, but not, says Denise Fitzpatrick, for the dwindling band of ex-miners.

“There isn’t a miner I know in this village or any other village that would be content to go and stand at the back of a counter –in a shop– because their life were down the pit, working, laboring, very hard down the pit,” she says.

To the outsider, this enthusiasm for deep pit coal mining is not easy to understand. Why did the British miners fight so hard to save such a difficult, dirty and dangerous job?

“Because it were my job," says Mike Clarke, who worked at Cortonwood for 29 years. "That’s what it were. It were my job. That’s the most important thing when you’re a working man. You’ve got pride. You’ve got your family. And you look after them the best you can. And coal mining was the best way I could.” 

Since Cortonwood closed Clark has thrived in the very different career of nursing. But he still misses the camaraderie of the pit, doesn’t regret resisting the closure and urges American miners to do the same.

“Yeah there is life after coal,” he says “Because you’ve got to make a life after coal. But just don’t lay down and die. Go down fighting, go down kicking and screaming. Make it as hard for them as you possibly can."

Tired of your name? A one day solution

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:40

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's what's coming up April 9:

  • In Washington, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee discusses international cooperation and space exploration at a hearing titled, "From Here to Mars."
  • A Senate Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on travel closer to the ground, assessing railway safety.
  • The Commerce Department reports on wholesale inventories and sales for February.
  • The House Committee on Small Business discusses "The Biggest Tax Problems for Small Businesses." It is tax season.
  • He's sold a lot of magazines. Hugh Hefner turns 88.
  • And someone who hates their name must have come up with this one. It's National Name Yourself Day. Just for a day, people. You turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Call me Beatrice.

The Politics Of Equal Pay: It's More Than A Women's Issue

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:26

The pay equity issue, which President Obama and Democrats are using as a central campaign theme, could also gain traction with male voters.

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NCAA Women's Final Matches Two Undefeated Teams

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:28

For the first time in history, two teams meet in the NCAA women's title game with perfect records. Not for the first time in history, two coaches face off who don't like each other.

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Calif. Lawmaker Leeland Yee Pleads Not Guilty To Corruption

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:11

Yee, a Democractic senator who advocated for more gun control, was arrested on gun trafficking charges. He denied those charges in a federal court on Tuesday.

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Flight 370 Vanished A Month Ago. What Happens Now?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 09:59

An international search team has spent weeks combing the Indian Ocean for signs of the missing Boeing 777. Here's a summary of where we are with the hunt for the jetliner.

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The Hilton name, from Conrad to Paris

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 09:27

In his new book “The Hiltons: The True Story of an American Dynasty,” author J. Randy Taraborrelli traces the path of the hotel empire from founder Conrad Hilton’s childhood home in San Antonio, New Mexico to the Beverly Hills mansion of Paris Hilton. Here are a few of the questions that didn’t make it into our radio interview:

Did ‘Mad Men’ get Conrad Hilton right?

“I thought that was very realistic. I thought they made him a little more shark-like than he actually was, but for the purposes of drama they needed to amp that up. But I loved it and I know that the Hilton family loved it too. In fact, the Hilton family, the Hilton Foundation and the Hilton Library assisted ‘Mad Men’ and gave them the photographs and the material they needed to be able to recreate Conrad’s suits and the Stetson hat, and they gave them speeches so they would understand how Conrad spoke. They were very involved.”

The more contemporary Hiltons are famous for maxing out credit cards (or at least they would max out the credit cards of most of us). But the Hilton family actually had a hand in ushering credit cards into American society in the first place.

“Conrad and Baron Hilton were responsible for Carte Blanche, which in the 50s, 60s and 70s was the credit card. I remember the ads when I was a kid and I remember my parents wanting one very badly. Back in those days before credit cards were a novelty, it wasn’t easy to apply for a credit card and get one. And the Hiltons were one of the first to popularize the idea of credit cards. (While Diner’s Club beat them to the punch, Carte Blanche built the first global credit network). I remember Baron Hilton saying in a speech that cash money is out, now credit is in.”

What would Conrad Hilton think about Paris?

“I tend to have a very positive opinion of Paris Hilton. And the reason that I feel that way is that Barron Hilton, her grandfather and Conrad’s son, inherited the enterprise. Paris Hilton didn’t inherit anything except the name Hilton. (When Barron Hilton dies, Paris is expected to inherit about $5 million). The family mandate is this: You can do anything you want with the family name except go into the hotel business. She built her own empire independent of the hotel business and made $50 million doing so just because of her ingenuity, her personality and her persona. There are many Hiltons, many cousins, nieces, nephews. I met probably 50 Hiltons, none of whom we’ve ever heard of. She took the name and turned it into something huge. Whatever you think about Paris Hilton, you have to admit you know who she is.”

Conrad Hilton (1887 - 1979) the Chairman and President of the eponymous hotel chain, tips his hat in 1964.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Fists Fly In Ukraine's Parliament After Lawmaker's Speech [VIDEO]

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 09:06

A speech in Ukraine's parliament sparked violence Tuesday after other lawmakers took exception to a communist leader's speech that criticized the government and those who ousted the president.

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Why Chocolate Is A Bargaining Chip In The Ukraine-Russia Conflict

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 09:01

Russia banned chocolate made by the leading Ukrainian presidential candidate at a time when political tensions are high between the countries. And we wanted to know: Is the chocolate any good?

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PODCAST: (Not) talking about pay

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 08:45

President Obama plans to sign an executive order stopping federal contractors from punishing workers who talk about their paychecks. It's about enlisting transparency to narrow the gap between what women and men are paid. But keeping your pay to yourself is deeply rooted in the culture, as Kate Davidson reports.

And, Banco Popular is shifting eastward from Los Angeles and Chicago, according to the newspaper Crain's Chicago Business. Marketplace's Dan Weissman has more on prospects for the bank that went from Puerto Rico into neighbhorhoods around the U.S.

Meanwhile, there's you, in the workplace. You give and give some more, because that's the giving person you are. And then there's all those other people who take. Take, Take, Take.  Adam Grant is a professior at the Wharton school at the University of Pennsylvania who has a book called "Give and Take."

NASA Image Shows Volcanic Island Has Annexed Its Neighbor

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 08:28

NASA says the Western Pacific island of Nishino-shima has merged with its newly created volcanic companion, forming one larger landmass.

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Global Aid For Health Hits Record High As Funding Sources Shift

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 08:01

The $31.3 billion given by wealthy nations, aid groups, charities, large foundations and others in 2013 reflects the shifting mix of donors backing international health projects, an analysis suggests.

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