The nation's largest group of nutritionists is urging the FDA to reject the dairy industry's petition to change the definition of milk. The petition aims to allow aspartame or other alternatives to be used to sweeten milk in an effort to boost consumption in schools.
Douglas Shulman, who led the IRS during the years when agency workers targeted tax-exempt applications from conservative groups, did his best to deflect accusations from unhappy senators.
When Margot Adler learned that a cousin had hidden from the Nazis in Amsterdam, she was stunned. Adler started digging around and discovered that like Anne Frank, 25,000 Dutch Jews hid, and two-thirds of them survived. Her cousin was one of them.
Microsoft unveiled its new Xbox One Tuesday, displaying a device that takes new steps in game consoles' journey into becoming all-purpose entertainment and communication devices. The new console replaces the Xbox 360, which has been on the market for more than seven years.
Hipsters may just be discovering the joys of backyard chickens, but in African megacities, people have been bringing their animals into the slums with them for decades. That's creating a new ecosystem of animals and huge numbers of people living closely together like never before.
Rewards to policyholders for claims that don't meet the annual deductible can be a boon for healthy people. But the approach might not pass the smell test in 2014 when the federal health law bans discriminating against people based on their health status.
A pair of sandals, a shawl and a drinking cup that were used by the Indian independence leader are among the objects going under the hammer in the U.K.
Architects have come up with spectacular concepts for vertical farms that would grow crops in city skyscrapers. But many horticulturists think the future of vertical farming isn't in skyscrapers, but rather in large, indoor warehouses lit up magenta by superefficient LEDs.
The high school in Moore, Okla., wasn't badly damaged by Monday's tornado. But a special ed teacher stayed with her own students there rather than hunting for her own daughter at a wrecked elementary school.
Sens. Tom Coburn and James Inhofe have become the faces of pushback on federal emergency spending. Now the deadly and devastating tornado in their home state has put them in an awkward position.
People in the path of the tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., yesterday had about 16 minutes warning to find shelter. A lot of money is going into research to improve that lead time and predict where tornadoes might touch down.
Scientists have been trying to figure out how to forecast tornadoes in the U.S. since the late 1800s.
"You might think by now we would actually understand how tornadoes form and why tornadoes form, but that's still a very open area of research," explains Glen Romine, who studies tornadoes at the federally funded National Center for Atmospheric Research. "We're still actively trying to go out and look at what's going on in those storms that do and don't produce a tornado and figure out what's different about them."
Romine is working with researchers who are flying over the Great Plains this spring to sample the atmosphere where storms might form. Their goal: better forecasts up to a day in advance.
Other researchers are trying to give people more lead-time to get out of a tornado's path. They know where to start -- building thousands more Doppler RADAR stations.
Scientist David McLaughlin, with the Collaborative Adapting Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), says existing stations are too far apart, and forecasters can't get information fast enough. "You can't really tell which streets and individual neighborhoods those vortices are going down, unless it happens to be a well-behaved, mile-wide storm that everybody can see."
CASA is developing a new network of shorter-range RADARs that would give more accurate and specific information. "There is this need for higher resolution, better observations close to ground, now the question is who has a couple billion dollars to deploy this across the entire country," McLaughlin says.
A grant from the National Science Foundation paid for testing of the system in Oklahoma. Now the prototype is set up in the Dallas-Fort Worth, where cities are helping to pay for it.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company pays all the taxes it legally owes. Tuesday, he was on Capitol Hill to face questions on some $100 billion that Apple holds overseas, safe from American tax collectors.
Apple, of course, is hardly the only American firm that moves money around the globe to lower its tax bills. And there are surely Washington bureaucrats who would love to get their hands on a potential new source of revenue. But getting that money into America and onto the tax rolls would solve some problems and create new ones. The issue of corporate taxation underscores just how difficult it is to change the tax system.
It helps to first get a sense of just how much U.S. corporate money is overseas.
“The scale is gigantic,” says Ed Kleinbard, former chief of staff of Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation and now a USC law professor. “That number is about $2 trillion right now.”
Tax that at the top corporate rate and suddenly America has an extra $700 billion. That's as much as the financial crisis bailout in 2008. In reality, hardly any companies actually pay the full 35 percent tax rate. Our hefty tax code is filled with loopholes that companies fight hard to keep. But the tax revenues on this foreign money could still be hundreds of billions of dollars, which would be some shopping spree.
“It would have a tremendous impact on improving the federal budget, reducing the deficit and of course it’s money we could be investing in our future,” says David Cay Johnston, a Syracuse University law professor and columnist for Tax Analysts.
America’s armchair budgeters could take their pick and spend the haul on education, health, or the military. Or new corporate tax revenue could be used to cut taxes for actual humans.
Whether by funding programs or cutting their taxes, most Americans would probably choose to help people over companies. But it’s not quite that simple, because people’s income and savings are connected with companies, whether they know it or not.
In today’s hearing, Republican Senator Rand Paul said companies like Apple are being wrongly vilified for following the law. Then he started talking about the man in the mirror.
“Is there a Mr. Apple out there? No, it’s us,” Senator Paul said. “If you have a mutual fund, you probably own some Apple shares. If you’re a teacher with a pension fund, you own Apple shares. If you’re a fireman with a pension fund, you probably own Apple.”
Boost a company’s tax bill and the hit to the stock price can hurt ordinary people’s retirement savings. Or it might jeopardize the jobs of people who work for and with the company. Changing any tax law squeezes somebody. That’s why simplifying taxation is so hard, and why Apple and other companies have such big lobbying bills.
Kai Ryssdal: Mr. Cook went to Washington today. Apple CEO Tim Cook spent some time in the company of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations talking taxes. Specifically, how much Apple is paying on the $100 billion or so in cash that's held by its overseas subsidiaries.
Cook was the unlucky CEO taking a turn in the barrel, but the topic du jour was really all American companies that keep profits abroad to lower their tax bills. We asked Marketplace's Mark Garrison what difference that money makes anyway.
Mark Garrison: First, let’s get a sense of how much corporate money’s overseas. Ed Kleinbard is the former chief of staff of Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation and now a USC law professor.
Ed Kleinbard: The scale is gigantic. That number is about $2 trillion right now.
Tax that at the top corporate rate and America has an extra $700 billion. That’s as big as the 2008 financial crisis bailout. In reality, hardly any companies actually pay the full 35 percent. You know, loopholes. But the tax revenues could still be hundreds of billions, which would be some shopping spree.
David Cay Johnston: It’s a lot of money.
David Cay Johnston is a Syracuse law professor and columnist for Tax Analysts, who’s made a career of investigating gaming the tax system.
Johnston: It would have a tremendous impact on improving the federal budget, reducing the deficit and of course it’s money we could be investing in our future.
Take your pick: spend it on education, health, military. Or use corporate tax revenue to cut taxes for actual humans. Most Americans would choose to help people over companies. But it’s a little more complicated. Cook testified Apple pays everything it legally owes. In today’s hearing, Republican Senator Rand Paul said companies are being wrongly vilified. Then he started talking about the man in the mirror.
Sen. Rand Paul: Is there a Mr. Apple out there? No, it’s us. You know, if you have a mutual fund, you probably own some Apple shares. If you’re a teacher with a pension fund, you own Apple shares. If you’re a fireman with a pension fund, you probably own Apple.
Boost a company’s tax bill and the hit to the stock price can hurt your retirement savings. Changing any tax law squeezes somebody. That’s why Apple and other companies have such big lobbying bills. In New York, I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.
Finding a restaurant that delivers, say, Chinese food is a lot easier in the Internet age. Online services allow you to enter your address, pull up the menus for local restaurants and place an order. Now, two of the better known food-ordering services are breaking bread together, as GrubHub and Seamless merge.
Ordering food to-go is big business. In 2011, Americans spent $69 billion on take-out, according to Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney.
“Almost all of it was placed over the phone. From paper menus,” says Maloney.
His counterpart, Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky, agrees.
“Our competition is the paper menu. Because less than 5 percent of U.S. diners use services like ours to order take-out,” says Zabusky.
Together, GrubHub and Seamless expect to take a bigger bite out of that market. Peter Krasilovsky is an analyst with the research firm BIA/Kelsey.
“As smartphones become part of the culture and everybody has their credit card kept inside their phones, and they’re able to even keep tabs on what kind of tips they want to give people automatically, this is going to become really big,” says Krasilovsky.
GrubHub and Seamless provide their services to consumers for free. Restaurants pick up the tab. To participate, restaurants pay at least 10 percent from each order. Some pay more.
“If you have a pizza place, say they're willing to give 10 percent for the incremental business, and then you have a sub shop down the street. Well, they’re willing to give eleven percent. And so we create this local competitive marketplace,” says Maloney.
Restaurants that pay more get listed higher in search results. Though Maloney says the rankings are also set by customer reviews. And he tells restaurant owners that he doesn’t want to eat their lunch. That is, profit-wise.
He reassures owners, “We don’t make a dime unless you make a dollar.”
Analysts say the combined company could prove attractive to Wall Street. Many observers say the merged company stands a better chance of going public in the future.
A rare piece of America's military history was located this spring, when dolphins from the Navy's Marine Mammal Program located an unusual artifact: a torpedo from the 19th century. Discovered during a training exercise in the ocean near San Diego, the torpedo will eventually make its way to a museum.
The government has argued that the classified images could spark violence against Americans abroad.
China has been building museums with abandon, opening about 100 annually in recent years. Two of the biggest opened on the same day last fall on opposite banks of Shanghai's Huangpu River. But filling these museums — with both art and visitors — is proving more challenging.
After eight years of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles voters will pick a, shall we say, more charismatically-challenged successor.
Newspaper columnist Regina Brett and her daughter Gabrielle share a genetic risk factor for breast cancer. It's the same one that led Angelina Jolie to have a preventive mastectomy. Before Jolie's very public decision, the Bretts struggled with their own.
Trenda Purcell searched for her 8-year-old son Kamden after Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla. When she found him, their reunion was emotional. The Oklahoman was there to capture the moment.
Some shareholders said splitting the roles would lead to better governance. The proposal received only 32 percent of the vote.