National News

Tech Week That Was: Obama Rocks The Net Neutrality Debate

NPR News - Sat, 2014-11-15 01:30

The president took a stand on net neutrality this week, saying the idea that traffic is treated equally should be protected like a public utility. Critics called it "Obamacare for the Internet."

» E-Mail This

Doctor, Put On Your PPE And Go Into The ETU, Stat!

NPR News - Sat, 2014-11-15 01:20

The world of global health is an acronym soup. And the Ebola virus has generated its own list.

» E-Mail This

Common Core Reading: Difficult, Dahl, Repeat

NPR News - Sat, 2014-11-15 01:18

Backers of the Common Core say it's important for kids to tackle complex texts. Critics argue that reading shouldn't be a struggle for kids. We'll visit one classroom that borrows from both sides.

» E-Mail This

Common Core Reading: Difficult, Dahl, Repeat

NPR News - Sat, 2014-11-15 01:18

Backers of the Common Core say it's important for kids to tackle complex texts. Critics argue that reading shouldn't be a struggle for kids. We'll visit one classroom that borrows from both sides.

» E-Mail This

No Woman Has Led A Larger U.S. City Than Jane Byrne, Who Died Today

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 17:53

Her up-and-down relationship with the Daleys and their Democratic machine led her into and then out of the top office in Chicago. She was 81.

» E-Mail This

Comet-Hugging Lander Sends Back Data, Despite Dying Battery

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 16:13

Mission Control re-established contact with the Philae lander, which has been unable to recharge by solar power. Its bumpy landing left it in the shadow of a cliff. Still, it continues to send data.

» E-Mail This

Tory Burch talks business and social responsibility

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-14 15:06

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talks to fashion designer Tory Burch about her new book, "Living in Color," her clothing line and her foundation for female entrepreneurs. 

On the success of her line:

I think we hit a place in the market that there was a need.  It was a pretty simple idea. It was designing beautiful clothing that didn’t cost a fortune. It was something that I was personally missing and then we found out it was a wide space in the market. I think, you know listen, we’re never patting ourselves on the back. We’re always looking forward and evolving and thinking of what we could be doing next.

Burch with her mother, Reva.

Courtesy:Tory Burch

On social responsibility:

I was told never to talk about business and social responsibility in the same sentence and I went the opposite of that.

The foundation has always been a part of the conversation and the storytelling and the idea. When we were finally able to launch the foundation, it has turned out to be so extraordinary for the company.

Any millennials we interview, it’s such an important part of the interview process. They want to be working somewhere where they’re making a difference.

Burch with her son Sawyer in the Bahamas.

Courtesy:Tory Burch

On the importance of having women in business:

I think women are part of the answer to the economy and we have to bring men and boys along for the conversation.

Women are great entrepreneurs. They’re great business minds.

Burch with her three boys at Machu Picchu.

Courtesy:Tory Burch

Workers Say Employers In Ailing Atlantic City Hold All The Cards

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 14:32

A bankruptcy judge has approved pay benefits cuts for workers at the ailing Trump Taj Mahal casino. But in the city's grim job market, better-paying opportunities elsewhere are few and far between.

» E-Mail This

Nike dominates basketball shoes. Adidas wants in.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-14 14:20

There's nothing quite as motivating as a good rivalry. Think about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Coke and Pepsi, Ford and Chrysler.

Nike and Adidas are two of the biggest sports brands in the world, yet there is one area where Adidas is a decided underdog: basketball.

Scanning a public court in Manhattan, it’s clear Nikes are the preferred shoe at a weekend pickup game.

“I collect basketball shoes,” says accountant Lester Narcisse, after finishing a game in Nikes. “I still have my Jordans, the first ones. I still have a brand new pair, in the box.”

“I haven’t worn anything but Nike’s in 10 or 15 years,” says Thomas Smith, an online retailer. “I like Adidas, too, though.”

That’s a spark of good news for Adidas, but Nike has a very high share of the basketball shoe market – well over 90 percent, according to data from SportsScanInfo.

But in recent years, Adidas has been making a push to try to take on Nike on the hardwood. They made basketball a priority a few years ago by becoming an official sponsor of the NBA, says Chris Grancio, the general manager for Adidas’ global basketball division.

“But I would say as a brand that has aspirations to be the leading basketball brand in the world, we haven’t grown fast enough,” he says.

To get that growth, the company wants to build shoes around some of the league’s biggest players, though choosing the right players can be as uncertain a process as picking stocks is for investors. Adidas signed megastar Derrick Rose back in 2012, but he’s been plagued by injuries.

So this summer, Adidas got particularly aggressive, signing four of the top six picks in an especially strong draft class: Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Dante Exum, and Marcus Smart.

“Knowing that we’ve got half the starting point guards in the NBA now wearing Adidas and the fact that we’ve got five or six or eight guys that we think could be not only All Stars but could be really special players, that has to be part of our approach,” says Grancio. “There is no silver bullet for us.  We have to be continuously be looking for the next great player.”

“What that actually reminds of me is exactly what Nike did about 20 years ago,” says Victor Matheson, a sports economist at the College of the Holy Cross. “Nike wasn’t a player at all in the soccer markets around the world and they started to make a concerted effort in about the mid-1990s to become a  big player worldwide in soccer and they started to try to sign the top stars and the top teams around the world.”

Mathesons says the roles were reversed back then; it was Adidas who was dominant in soccer, Nike was the underdog. This World Cup? They were neck and neck.

Going back even further, signing a megaplayer worked for Nike in basketball, too.

“The biggest piece that threw Nike into basically national prominence was the Air Jordan,” says Matheson of Nike’s deal with Michael Jordan.

Everyone wanted to be like Mike – and they still do. Air Jordans are owned by Nike, but on their own, they're still are nearly half of the basketball shoe market.

“You want your brand associated with top players,” says Jack Plunkett, CEO of Plunkett Research. “You want your logo seen on those top players.”

Rocket science, it is not. But Plunkett says endorsements work, so Adidas is making the right moves.

“I think Nike’s so far ahead, though, in some ways that they’re presenting a huge challenge to the industry,” he says. “I mean I would hate to be in a position of taking Nike on head on.”

But he’s not saying Adidas shouldn't try.

“I know they’re a global brand with great financial power and they’re smart people. I just think it’s a big challenge for them.”

Board Decision Revives Discussion About Religion In Public Schools

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 14:16

One of the largest public school systems in the U.S. dropped religious affiliations for holidays on its school calendar. The decision represents a classic church and state battle.

» E-Mail This

Court Rejects Challenge To Obamacare Rules On Contraceptives

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 13:32

At issue were regulations to accommodate religious nonprofits that object to including birth control in their health insurance plans. Catholic groups said the regulations don't go far enough.

» E-Mail This

How Bacteria In The Gut Help Fight Off Viruses

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 13:29

Rotavirus kills more than a half million kids around the world each year. Now scientists have evidence that the secret to stopping it is hiding in the trillions of bacteria of our microbiome.

» E-Mail This

Your Wallet: Making Thanksgiving work for you

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-14 13:05

This week, we're discussing how you make Thanksgiving work, financially. 

We want to hear about your holiday budget, how you pick a turkey, whether you have plans for your leftovers. 

Let us in on the secrets of your Turkey-day economics. 

Send us an email, or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND

Tech IRL: Do you go to the bank?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-14 12:56

This week, we took an informal survey by asking people in the financial district of LA "When was the last time you went to the bank?" 

Lizzie O'Leary and Ben Johnson, Host of Marketplace Tech, go to that place where apparently a lot of you aren't going.

Listen to the full story in the audio player above.

Balancing work and life in 4 quadrants

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-14 12:51

When we talk about transitions in our daily lives, often it's a question of finding 20 minutes in a busy day to do the thing you love most. It's about transitioning from work life to home life, navigating the way we spend our personal time. 

The whole work/life balance question. 

It's a phrase that comes with baggage: questions about work/life balance can have a gendered element to them, implying that women are somehow supposed to ask for a raise, pack lunch for the kids, and take a bubble bath, all in the same day. Or these questions oversimplify the idea of balance, putting things on a since axis where work makes you unhappy and only "life" -- as in life outside of work -- brings you joy. 

Business coach Lauren Bacon sees things a bit differently. She considers work/life balance on a matrix with four quadrants, a customizable gauge of happiness and energy. 



WATCH: Orphaned Sea Otter Pup Has Snack, Playtime

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 12:40

Found in late September along the California coast, "Pup 681" spent a month at the Monterey Aquarium before being transferred to her new home at the Shedd in Chicago.

» E-Mail This

U.S. Spy Program Targeted Cellphones Of U.S. Citizens

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 12:23

In the search for criminals, the government has been scooping up data from thousands of Americans through their cellphones. Audie Cornish talks to Devlin Barrett, who broke this news in The Wall Street Journal.

» E-Mail This

Pentagon Plans To Spend Billions Upgrading Nuclear Program

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 12:23

After a major investigation into America's nuclear forces, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says that he will be investing billions of dollars into the system, and changing to the way it's managed.

» E-Mail This

Victims Of Online Threats Say Perpetrators Aren't Being Caught

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 12:23

Women who turn to law enforcement for help are often frustrated that authorities aren't doing enough. Police say tracing the culprits can be a complicated and time-consuming process.

» E-Mail This

Why These Kids Love Kale

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 12:18

With childhood obesity rates high, one program in a handful of Washington, D.C., schools is trying to change kids' lives — one vegetable at a time.

» E-Mail This