National News

Aereo files for Chapter 11 reorganization

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-21 04:15

On Friday, the beleaguered television-streaming service Aereo announced it would file for Chapter 11 reorganization. Founder and CEO Chet Kanojia wrote in a blog post that doing so would, "permit Aereo to maximize the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn out litigation in several courts."

It's been a long journey since the cloud-based television streaming company got started three years ago—Aereo's promise to change the way we watched television was immediately met by a lawsuit brought on by major TV networks.

Aereo celebrated some victories: this year, when ABC's live-stream of the Oscars failed where Aereo's succeeded. But ultimately, a 6-3 vote from the Supreme Court found that the company violated federal copyright law by retransmitting copyrighted programs without paying a fee. In other words, the court didn't buy Aereo's technological argument.

The company was considered a favorite among cord cutters—people who favor streaming services over cable—and there's been a rise in networks jumping on the streaming bandwagon since Aereo lost in the high court. And in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision, there have even been companies looking to take Aereo's place.

 

Who's Dreaming Now? Obama Opponents Do A Weapons Check On Immigration

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-21 03:55

At the Republican Governors Association meeting in Florida, 2016 presidential contenders vied to be the most outraged. But here too, the focus was less on the policy than on the unilateral process.

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Still Reeling From SCOTUS Decision, Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-21 03:37

The streaming company's founder said fallout from a Supreme Court ruling in favor of TV networks proved "too difficult to overcome."

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Gauging the crush of college debt, major by major

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-21 03:00
11

Beleaguered TV-streaming company Aereo announced Friday it would file for Chapter 11 reorganization. When asked about his company's lasting impact, CEO and founder of Aereo Chet Kenojia said: “I think we struck a chord in a lot of people’s hearts that there was something arcane about how television was distributed and watched.”

25 percent

That's the portion of earnings college graduates typically devote to paying off student loans in their first year out of school. That number comes from the Hamilton Project, which has just released new data on income and loan payments in the years after college. They found different fields see very different paths to repayment. The New York Times' Upshot is hosting their new debt calculator.

2 hours

That's the window Comcast gives customers waiting for a visit from a technician, though it's not clear how consistently they arrive in that timeframe. The company says their new app, expected out next year, will alert subscribers when service is 30 minutes away. The Verge notes the company might have bigger problems though, as reported in the four-part "Comcast Confessions" series.

25 percent

The portion of the world's sapphire Apple uses in its iPhone screens and camera lenses. The company build a $1 billion facility in Arizona for supplier GT Advanced Technologies to produce the material. But GT completely imploded not long after, finally filing for bankruptcy last month.  The Wall Street Journal takes a deep dive into just what went wrong, and the "promise and peril" of supplying iPhone parts.

6 percent

Research shows that granting legal status to immigrants increases wages by 6 percent, creating spillover benefits for many. That's especially good news for cities like Detroit, where immigration is viewed as one of the few tools available to bring the city's economy back from the brink.

Gauging the crush college debt according to major

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-21 03:00
11

Beleaguered TV-streaming company Aereo announced Friday it would file for Chapter 11 reorganization. When asked about his company's lasting impact, CEO and founder of Aereo Chet Kenojia said “I think we struck a chord in a lot of people’s hearts that there was something arcane about how television was distributed and watched.”

25 percent

That's the portion of earnings college graduates typically devote to paying off student loans in their first year out of school. That number comes from the Hamilton Project, which has just released new data on income and loan payments in the years after college. They found different fields see very different paths to repayment. The New York Times' Upshot is hosting their new debt calculator.

2 hours

That's the window Comcast gives customers waiting for a visit from a technician, though it's not clear how consistently they arrive in that timeframe. The company says their new app, expected out next year, will alert subscribers when service is 30 minutes away. The Verge notes the company might have bigger problems though, as reported in the four-part "Comcast Confessions" series.

25 percent

The portion of the world's sapphire Apple uses in its iPhone screens and camera lenses. The company build a $1 billion facility in Arizona for supplier GT Advanced Technologies to produce the material. But GT completely imploded not long after, finally filing for bankruptcy last month.  The Wall Street Journal takes a deep dive into just what went wrong, and the "promise and peril" of supplying iPhone parts.

6 percent

Research shows that granting legal status to immigrants increases wages by 6 percent, creating spillover benefits for many. That's especially good news for cities like Detroit, where immigration is viewed as one of the few tools available to bring the city's economy back from the brink.

PODCAST: Predicting truancy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-21 03:00

First up, China's central bank this morning surprised market players by dropped two key interest rates to stimulate the economy. More on that. Plus, student loan debt has topped $1 trillion, with less than 10 percent in private debt, i.e. not through the federal government. Those private lenders have been pressured to work with struggling borrowers to modify the terms of their loans. Now, it seems Wells Fargo has heard that message. And speaking of students, schools are gathering data on kids, and as student databases grow, so does the ability of technology to predict how or what a kid might do next. We take a look at the ways student data is being used to try to see into the future to predict, and change, school attendance . 

U.S. Transfers 5 Guantanamo Detainees To Georgia, Slovakia

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-21 02:36

Four of them become the first Yemeni detainees to be transferred since 2010. There are still 143 men at the American prison in Guantanamo.

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Cutting interest rates on student debt

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-21 02:00

Wells Fargo has launched a loan modification program for student loan customers who are delinquent on their loans or facing a new financial hardship.

The bank’s John Rasmussen estimates, 600 to 1,000 borrowers will qualify to have their interest rates cut by the end of 2015. He says the company wants to have long-term relationships with its customers.

Kevin Jacques, a professor at Baldwin Wallace University, says the program makes financial sense, too, since it may mean borrowers will continue to make payments instead of defaulting. 

For more on this story, click the media player above.

Inflating art ... No, not Koons' balloon animals

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-21 02:00

In honor of Marketplace's 25th anniversary, we're looking at some of the surprising ways prices have changed over the last quarter century.

Today, we're looking at art. Specifically, the prices of art considered so fine it's worth millions. 

Blake Gopnik is critic-at-large for Artnet News, and a contributor to the New York Times. He joined us to talk about thinking of art as an investment, and how some works have seen their value jump by 700 percent in 25 years.

Click the media player above to hear Blake Gopnik in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.

For troubled Detroit, could immigration help?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-21 02:00

On Thursday evening, President Barack Obama announced a plan to use his executive authority to roll out major reforms to the nation’s immigration policy.

Among other things, the action offers temporary legal status to some 5 millions illegal immigrants, along with an indefinite reprieve from deportation.

In the Midwest, immigrants have been sought after as a way to sustain metro economies winnowed by decades of out-migration.

Earlier this year, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan sent a letter to President Obama to earmark 50,000 visas for workers agreeing to live in Detroit.

Immigration is viewed as one of the few tools available to bring Detroit’s economy back from the brink.

“Immigrants, including those who don’t have a formal education, can really be important to the labor force and to sustaining and revitalizing Detroit neighborhoods,” says Steve Tobocman, Director of Global Detroit, and economic development non-profit.

Tobocman says immigration reform could help reverse the trends of population loss and a rapidly aging workforce. Other outcomes would directly affect future workers.

“It could have a huge impact is on kids,” says Sherrie Kossoudji, an economist at the University Of Michigan School Of Social Work.

“One of the things some of us have always argued is that immigration reform could be on the biggest anti-poverty programs we’ve ever had.”

Kossoudji says granting legal status has been show to increase wages by 6 percent, creating all kinds of spillover benefits for families, consumer spending and tax revenue.

 

 

Silicon Tally: Tweetin' Turkey

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-21 02:00

It's time for Silicon Tally! How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

This week, we're joined by Marty Van Ness, supervisor of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, for a food-themed Silicon Tally.

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Blind From Birth, But Able To Use Sound To 'See' Faces

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-21 00:19

The area of the brain that recognizes faces can use sound instead of sight. That recent discovery suggests facial recognition is so important to humans that it's part of our most basic wiring.

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Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Put To The Test At Amish Market

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-21 00:18

A woman on the Eastern Shore of Maryland said she'd love to make and sell Susan Stamberg's mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish. Naturally, Stamberg had to inspect the operation and try it out.

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Colleges Straddle Line Between Assault Prevention And Victim Blaming

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-21 00:17

When it comes to raising assault awareness among would-be-victims, figuring out what to say has been complicated for schools. Some that have tried have been criticized for putting the onus on victims.

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Snowed-Out Buffalo Bills To Play Jets In Detroit

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-21 00:10

The Bills were to play at home on Sunday against the New York Jets. The NFL moved the game to Monday night, and the two teams will face off in Detroit.

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'I Will Not Sit Idly By' And Other Congressional Tweets On Immigration

NPR News - Thu, 2014-11-20 17:14

Congress is out of session until the first week of December, so many members are weighing in on the president's speech on Twitter and other platforms — with mixed reactions.

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WATCH: President Obama's Speech On Immigration

NPR News - Thu, 2014-11-20 16:39

Obama defied congressional Republicans by announcing a plan that shields up to 5 million immigrants from deportation.

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How immigration reform can change immigration

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-11-20 15:45

On Thursday evening, President Obama announced his executive order for immigration reform:

We’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is.

Now let’s be clear about what it isn’t. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive. Only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.

To get a little context on how the President's plans might affect some of the various immigration constituencies in this country, we spoke with Barbara Hines, Co-Director of the Immigration Clinic and professor at the University of Texas, and Emily Lam, vice-president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group for Health Care & Federal Issues.

McDonald's is not lovin' GMO potato

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-11-20 14:58

The United States Department of Agriculture has approved a new genetically-modified potato.

Among other things, the new spud is supposed to give off fewer carcinogens when cooked at high temperatures, like when it's french-fried. Still its biggest potential customer, McDonald’s, is not lovin’ it.  The burger-and-fries giant seems to be listening to the many consumers out there who worry GMOs are bad for them.  Never mind the Big Mac itself. 

New York University food researcher Marion Nestle has seen this kind of thing before in England. Supermarket chains opted out of carrying tomato paste made from genetically-modified tomatoes.

"The retailers said, ‘You know, we don’t have a dog in this fight. We don’t need to be in the middle of this,’" Nestle says. "Similarly, McDonald’s has plenty of potatoes."

So the company doesn’t need these new potatoes, just like it doesn’t need any new grief from consumers about serving unhealthy food.

Meanwhile, consumer attitudes have changed about what makes food healthy or not. Analyst Harry Balzer has been tracking Americans' eating habits for decades, at consumer-research company NPD.

"I think the move is to, 'I want natural foods' — whatever natural, means to you," he says. "Now, I think part of that process is, 'I don’t want you to make my foods better for me. So, don’t remove the fat, don’t remove the sugar. That way you’re changing the food — you’re altering the food.’"

Balzer says sales of foods designed to be healthy — lower in fat, or lower in sugar — have been declining for years.

He also says the three most-ordered restaurant items are still soda, a burger and fries.

But even if that’s what we’re ordering, health is still — well, call it an aspiration.

Mary Chapman is with the food-industry consulting group Technomic, which polls consumers about their preferences. "We asked specifically, 'Do you want restaurants to offer healthy items, even if you’re not going to eat them?'" she says. "They still want them offered."

So is it the presence of the salad on the menu that makes us feel better about the Big Mac that we're actually ordering?

"It’s true," she says.

As long as the salad isn’t genetically modified.

Moderate Drinker Or Alcoholic? Many Americans Fall In Between

NPR News - Thu, 2014-11-20 14:23

A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that 1 in 3 adults drinks excessively. That means eight or more drinks per week for women, and 15 or more drinks a week for men.

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