National News

Hey commuters, your taxes are going up next year

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2013-12-30 05:00

Lots of companies, especially in big cities, have plans that let workers put aside pre-tax money for transit. Starting January 1, a change in the tax code will lower the amount they can put aside by more than 45 percent, costing the heaviest users more than $1,000 a year.  

It amounts to a small cut in public support for transit -- the public policy equivalent of an insult to Mom and apple pie. 

"Taking public transportation is good for everyone," says Robertson Williams from the Tax Policy Center in Washington, DC. "It takes cars off the road. It reduces pollution. It reduces transit times for almost everyone."

So people like Williams get annoyed that this transit tax break gets reduced, but a corresponding break for parking gets a little bump up.

One survey shows the transit benefit does get people on buses and subways:  About a fifth of those who signed up said they’d previously driven to work.

The maximum amount you can set aside is dropping from $245 a month to $130, which some riders may not even notice: A monthly pass on the New York subway only costs $112. People with long rides on commuter trains will feel the hit.

The Association for Commuter Transportation, which is supported by companies that administer the transit-benefit program, wants the tax break extended.  Jason Pavluchuk, a lobbyist for the group, says he doesn't get pushback on policy.  However, getting Congress to act can take heavy lifting.  "People aren’t, you know, marching on Washington to have their transit benefits," he says.

Doctors Unsure Whether Michael Schumacher Will Survive

NPR News - Mon, 2013-12-30 04:50

The Formula One racing legend was critically injured Sunday when he hit his head while skiing in France. Doctors are "working hour by hour" to save him, but can't predict what will happen. At his peak a decade ago, Schumacher was among the most famous and highest-paid athletes in the world.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Assessing Bloomberg's Legacy Is A Complex Task

NPR News - Mon, 2013-12-30 04:04

On Tuesday, Michael Bloomberg ends his three terms as mayor of New York City. His 12 years in office were groundbreaking, locally and globally.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

'Blood On The Snow' After Second Suicide Blast In Russia

NPR News - Mon, 2013-12-30 03:58

An explosion Monday tore apart a bus, killing more than a dozen people and injuring many others. It followed Sunday's bombing at a train station in the same city, Volgograd. Suspicion is falling on Chechen extremists who want to create a separate Islamist state.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Cinnamon Can Help Lower Blood Sugar, But One Variety May Be Best

NPR News - Mon, 2013-12-30 00:47

For years, there have been hints that adding cinnamon to your diet can help control blood sugar. And a recent spate of studies adds to the evidence that the effect is real. But if you want to incorporate more of this aromatic spice in your diet, the variety may matter.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Hot On YouTube: Videos About Video Games, And Science, Too

NPR News - Mon, 2013-12-30 00:24

Many people watched other people playing video games on the video-sharing site in 2013. But it wasn't all about games; educational videos, particularly those that explain science concepts or use fun animation, were also big hits.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Can Robots Manage Your Money Better Than You? Startups Say Yes

NPR News - Mon, 2013-12-30 00:23

A handful of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs say it's time to turn your finances over to bots. Algorithms can monitor a person's financial behavior better than most advisers, they say, and aren't biased by commissions or complex fee structures.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

$1,000 Pill For Hepatitis C Spurs Debate Over Drug Prices

NPR News - Mon, 2013-12-30 00:22

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved a class of drugs that can cure most hepatitis C infections. That's great news for the more than 3 million Americans infected. But the high cost — $84,000 per course of treatment — means some patients could miss out.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Films With Black Actors, Directors Go To 11 In 2013

NPR News - Mon, 2013-12-30 00:21

This year's 11 top-grossing films starring black actors and by black directors almost doubles the number of last year's slate of comparable films. Industry watchers say Hollywood needs a stronger infrastructure of support for black filmmakers to sustain this level of racial diversity on and off the screen.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Wet Snow Complicates Power Restoration In Maine

NPR News - Sun, 2013-12-29 23:21

A band of heavy, wet snow is causing renewed concerns for utility companies in Maine just a week after an ice storm left parts of northern New England in the dark.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Report: 70 Journalists Died On The Job In 2013

NPR News - Sun, 2013-12-29 23:06

At least 70 journalists were killed on the job around the world in 2013. That includes 29 who died covering the civil war in Syria and 10 slain in Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life. Renew here or visit KBBI by April 21 to enter to win one round-trip airfare with Era between Homer and Anchorage. Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

ON THE AIR
Hearts of Space
Next Up: @ 12:00 am
Echoes

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4