National News

No Easy, Reliable Way To Screen For Suicide, Specialists Say

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 00:58

Clinicians correctly predict a suicide attempt about half the time — no better than a coin toss. Certain tests of involuntary responses, although still experimental, aim to improve the odds.

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With 'Single-Stream' Recycling, Convenience Comes At A Cost

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 00:58

Many Americans now have access to a commingled recycling system, which lets users mix plastic, glass, paper and metal together in one bin. It's much easier, but not nearly as efficient.

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After Snowden, The NSA Faces Recruitment Challenge

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 00:58

To keep its code-breaking prowess, the NSA must recruit scores of the brightest students in math and computer science each year. But the Snowden revelations are hurting those efforts.

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The Ascent Of Afghan Women

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 00:58

Afghanistan is a mountainous land where mountain climbing is rare among men and virtually nonexistent among women. An American is now preparing young Afghan women to scale the country's highest peak.

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With UConn, Maryland Wins, Women's Final Four Has 4 No. 1s, Familiar Look

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 20:50

Connecticut is back for the eighth straight year and Maryland will make a repeat trip, joining Notre Dame — making a fifth straight trip — and South Carolina. UConn is after a third straight title.

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Venezuela Cuts Oil Subsidies To Caribbean Nations

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 18:06

For a decade, Venezuela offered cheap oil at favorable rates to 13 neighbors, including Cuba. But tumbling oil prices have hit Venezuela's economy hard, forcing it to trim those subsidies.

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Despite Protestation From Brazil, Trial For 840-Pound Emerald Will Continue

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 17:05

The Bahia Emerald has been hotly contested for years. A judge in California has decided to continue with a trial about its ownership even though Brazil says it was illegally exported.

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Pharmacists Group Votes To Discourage Members From Providing Execution Drugs

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 15:23

The measure could make it harder for states using made-to-order execution drugs to buy them. The American Pharmacists Association voted on the policy at its annual meeting.

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Mass Tax Foreclosure Threatens Detroit Homeowners

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 13:59

Tuesday is the deadline to begin what many call the largest U.S. mass tax foreclosure. With the city counting on tax revenue, the owners behind on payments may be forced out of their homes.

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California's Death Row, The Nation's Largest, Runs Out Of Room

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 13:34

The death-row population in the state is growing because no one has been put to death in nearly a decade. Gov. Jerry Brown is asking for more money to open 100 more cells.

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Airstrikes In Yemen Intensify, Hit Refugee Camp

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 13:29

Airstrikes intensified as Houthi rebels advanced on the port city of Aden. Aid agencies say one airstrike killed dozens at a refugee camp, while Yemeni officials blamed rebel shelling.

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Why Are Chinese Artists Representing Kenya At The Venice Biennale?

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 12:46

Kenya will participate in the Venice Biennale, the prestigious art show that opens on May 9. But only two of the artists representing Kenya will be Kenyan. Most aren't even African — they're Chinese.

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Cholita, An Abused Bear In Peru, Gets A New Home In Colorado

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 11:59

An animal rights group says it now has permission to bring the Andean bear to a sanctuary in Colorado along with more than 30 lions that have been removed from circuses.

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Money Rules: Candidates Go Around The Law, As Cash Records To Be Smashed

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 11:44

More money is expected to be raised and spent in 2016 than in any election in U.S. history. But, as candidates ditch old ways of campaigning, more of it is expected to be undisclosed and untraceable.

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Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 11:41

More than a dozen federal agencies play a part in keeping food from making Americans sick. Critics say the system has gaps, and we'd all be safer if federal food safety efforts were under one roof.

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Judy Woodruff Recalls Assassination Attempt On President Reagan

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 11:28

John Hinckley Jr. tried to kill President Reagan on March 30, 1981. Reporter Judy Woodruff, then with NBC News, was there.

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Rhodes Trust plans global scholarship expansion

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-30 11:12
In China, if you go abroad to study you are called an "overseas turtle" — because you swam away to college.

"They call local people who have never been educated overseas 'local turtles,'" says Bei Bei Bao, an analyst with the economic research firm Rhodium Group.

What kind of turtle you are, and where you swim, can have a lot of impact in China. And the Rhodes Trust knows it. For the first time, it's offering students on mainland China the the chance to apply for a prestigious Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University. Educators, parents and students are taking note.

In China, Bao notes, education is seen as a sign of social status. And a new market has sprung up — offering classes to help students apply for elite education abroad.

"Parents are willing to spend whatever those programs are charging to help their kids get an edge," Bao says.

Tim Katzman, director of summer and extended programs and China outreach for Francis Parker, a private day-school in San Diego that helps prep Chinese students for foreign programs, just returned from China yesterday. He says the Chinese appetite for Western academic training is growing.

"Any leg up or advantage that they feel — or their parents or school administrators feel — they can capture by coming to the U.S. for an abbreviated summer program, a midterm program or for an entire year, is extraordinarily attractive to students and their parents in China,” Katzman says. For Western prep schools, he continues, the interest from China is a gold rush.

Expanding to China may be attractive financially to the Rhodes Trust too, says Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown’s center on education and the workforce.

“If the Rhodes people want to extend, they’re going to have to reach out to other parts of the world and include them — both in funding and in finding the scholars themselves,” he says.

The Rhodes Trust says it is eager to expand. And as it begins that process among China's population of 1.3 billion, it's possible it may find itself in receipt of a few new applications.
Rhodes Scholars you might not have known about

The Hidden Costs Of Teacher Turnover

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 11:10

Constant churn costs billions. Professor Richard Ingersoll says schools can fix this without spending a dime.

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Franchising pies without losing the secret ingredient

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-30 11:08

The economy was in iffy shape at best four years ago, and that might not seem like a great time to open a pie shop. But Lindsay Heffner, her husband Matt, and their friend Sean Brennan did it despite the recession.

"We really thought the perfect anecdote was comfort food." Brennan says.

The idea for The Pie Hole was a long time in the making. It traces back to Lindsay Heffner's mother-in-law, Becky, who had always dreamed of opening a pie shop. The idea got legs one Thanksgiving.

"I said with a mouth full of her lemon meringue, we should open a — expletive — pie shop. She doesn't love the way I said it, but she does love that I said it" says Heffner.

Four years later, The Pie Hole is doing well. The pies they serve are sometimes familiar, like the Apple Crumble or the Steak & Ale. Others are more unique, like an Earl Grey pie, the Mexican Hot Chocolate and the Maple Custard.

They've grown from the original downtown LA location to a spot in Pasadena, and another at the Los Angeles International Airport. The next expansion could be much bigger. Heffner and Brennan are thinking franchises.

"Franchising has such a bad connotation to it" Lindsay Heffner says. "People hear that and they think everything is going to go away, all of the mom-and-pop touch is going to go away and we have been tirelessly trying to assure them that that is not our intention."

They've been exploring different models for spreading Pie Holes around the world in a way that still feels authentic to the original shop.

"We would not feel the same way if all of a sudden we're dealing with a monolith of pie," Brennan says.

"You have to take that opportunity if it comes to you," Lindsay Heffner says. "You're crazy not to."

But at the same time, the Pie Hole still has to answer to mom.

"This is my mother-in-law, Becky, this is her dream." Lindsay Heffner says. "And we have to answer to her because we have somebody's dreams in our hands."

Pie-making tips from the Pie Hole's executive chef, Jeffrey Froehlich:

  1. Water, Fat (i.e. butter or shortening) and Flour should be mixed in ice cold.
  2. Don't over-mix your dough!
  3. Par bake your pie shell to avoid a soggy bottom.
  4. Bake seasonally; never use frozen fruit
  5. Mom always said pie is messy, and that's OK! Don't expect it to plate perfectly. It's really the taste that counts, right?

Elizabeth Warren On Hillary Clinton And Running For President

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 11:03

The darling of the left again denied any interest in running for president in an interview with WBUR's Here & Now. But her politics — and followers — will have an influence on Hillary Clinton.

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