National News

Federal Ferguson Investigation Will Remain Independent, Holder Insists

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 06:02

The federal probe is examining whether Darren Wilson intentionally violated Michael Brown's civil rights. Justice Department veterans say proving he violated federal criminal law will be difficult.

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Turning 21? Here's How To Avoid A Big Hike In Health Premiums

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 05:52

Coming of age can also mean a whopping 58 percent jump in the cost of your insurance. Shop carefully to pick a plan that strikes the right balance between benefits and cost.

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Ferguson Documents: What The Witnesses Saw

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 04:32

The big question in this case is whether police Officer Darren Wilson felt threatened and whether Michael Brown had his hands up. Witnesses differ on what they say they saw.

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Quiz: How to start college with good habits

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-25 03:45

Students who meet with their advisors are more likely to enjoy college, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement.

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Thought Bubbles And One-Liners From An Ohio Classroom

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 03:23

Art imitates life for Chris Pearce — English teacher by day, comic artist by night. Inspired by his students, the material practically writes itself.

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Grand juries usually decide to pursue charges

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-25 03:00
11 in 162,000

The number of cases in which federal grand juries declined to issue an indictment in 2010, FiveThirtyEight reported. The federal investigation into Michael Brown's death is ongoing, but it's clear the county grand jury's decision not to pursue charges is very rare. The site's research showed one exception to the trend: when the cases involve law enforcement.

8 years

After eight years of sponsorship, Sony Corp announced it would not renew its contract with FIFA, the organization behind world soccer. As Reuters reports, Sony says the move is the result of a restructuring of divisions and a concerted effort to grow its electronic devices division.

80 percent

The portion of cities with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 nationwide that have SWAT teams at their disposal, up from 13 percent since the early 1980s. In light of this summer's protests in Ferguson the New York Times' Retro Report looked back at the proliferation of SWAT teams in the U.S. The squads have their roots in late 1960s shootouts with the Black Panthers but are now commonly implemented in drug raids.

30 percent

Americans spend about half their food dollars outside the home and consume around 30 percent of their calories outside. Strikingly, when children eat out their calorie consumption doubles. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced rules requiring an additional set of food merchants to disclose caloric content: theaters, amusement parks, convenience stores, pizza chains, and the prepared food sections of grocery stores. It's significant, especially when you consider that a study found purchased calories fell an average 6 percent in Starbucks with calorie signage.

28

The number of cabinet members President Barack Obama has had so far, Quartz reported. Even with four secretaries of defense, including Chuck Hagel's successor, the Obama administration is in the middle of the pack. Cabinets are rife with turnover. George W. Bush and Harry S. Truman each had 35 cabinet members.

PODCAST: Counting calories

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-25 03:00

First up: the government's calculation of economic growth July through September. It was revised upward beyond what most forecasters were expecting. Couple that to new signs of strength in the housing market. More on that. And the Food and Drug Administration will come out with new rules requiring restaurants with more than 20 locations to list the calories of the food that's on the menu. So how will this change what we see? Plus, a famous venture capitalist who says monopoly, not competition is the way to go. Peter Thiel was a co-founder of the electronic payments system Paypal and was the first outsider to put money into a little social networking site called the Facebook. As part of our ongoing discussions on this program about the innovation economy, Thiel's advice to entrepreneurs is to find a niche and dominate the heck out it. Actually, he put it more strongly than that.

The decision not to pursue charges is a rare one

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-25 03:00
11 in 162,000

The number of cases in which federal grand juries declined to issue an indictment in 2010, FiveThirtyEight reported. The federal investigation into Michael Brown's death is ongoing, but it's clear the county grand juries decision not to pursue charges is very rare. The site's research showed there was one exception to the trend: when those cases involve law enforcement.

8 years

After 8 years of sponsorship, Sony Corp announced it would not renew its contract with FIFA, the organization behind world soccer. As Reuters reports, Sony says the move is the result of a restructuring of divisions, and a concerted effort to grow its electronic devices division.

80 percent

The portion of cities with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 nationwide that have SWAT teams at their disposal, up from 13 percent since the early 1980s. In light of this summer's protests in Ferguson the New York Times' Retro Report looked back at the proliferation of SWAT teams in the U.S. The squads have their roots in late 1960s shootouts with the Black Panthers, but are now commonly implemented in drug raids.

30 percent

Americans spend about half their food dollars outside the home, and consume around 30 percent of their calories outside. Strikingly, when children eat out, their calorie consumption doubles. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced rules requiring an additional set of food merchants to disclose caloric content: theaters, amusement parks, convenience stores, pizza chains, and grocery store prepared food sections. It's significant, especially when you consider that a study found purchased calories fell an average 6 percent in Starbucks with calorie signage.

28

The number of cabinet members President Barack Obama has had so far, Quartz reported. Even with four secretaries of defense, including Chuck Hagel's successor, the Obama administration is in the middle of the pack. Cabinets are rife with turnover; George W. Bush and Harry Truman each at 35 cabinet members.

Does caloric transparency really change behavior?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-25 03:00

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration releases rules requiring an additional set of food merchants to disclose caloric content: theaters, amusement parks, convenience stores, pizza chains, and grocery store prepared food sections.

Today, Americans spend half their food dollars outside the home, and consume around 30 percent of their calories outside. Strikingly, when children eat out, their calorie consumption doubles.

Does transparency change behavior? One of the largest studies on this followed Starbucks users, at stores with calorie signs and without.

“People were systematically underestimating their calories in food items,” says study co-author Bryan Bollinger, who teaches marketing at Duke University. “So when they saw the information on the board, they were surprised and then reacted accordingly. Consumers can and will use this information if it’s useful to them.”

Listen here for more from Bollinger's interview:

The study found purchased calories fell an average 6 percent, and that changes in behavior stuck with Starbucks consumers, even when they visited outlets without calorie signage.

There’s also evidence that merchants required to post calorie counts start to offer more low-fat choices.

These finalized FDA arise from the Affordable Care Act and are scheduled to take effect in one year.

Ferguson Docs: Officer Darren Wilson's Testimony

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 02:52

Wilson told a grand jury in September that Michael Brown punched him twice in the face and "the third once could be fatal if he hit me right." The grand jury declined to charge him in Brown's death.

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Ferguson Docs: How The Grand Jury Reached A Decision

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 02:41

The grand jury was presented with hours of testimony and thousands of pages of documents. Their job was to decide if there was enough probable cause to bring charges against officer Darren Wilson.

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Clashes, Protests In Ferguson, Mo., Following Grand Jury's Decision

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 02:01

St. Louis County's police chief said the unrest was "much worse" than the violence in August, when officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, 18. A grand jury declined to indict Wilson.

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Peter Thiel on keeping salaries low at the top

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-25 02:00

Now, a moment of reflection about America's innovation economy. We know that in technology hubs like Silicon Valley, it's cool to fail. That's the mark of a seasoned, risk taking entrepreneur: having tried, failed, and tried again. It may also be cool to draw a mediocre salary.

That's the argument of  one of America's leading technology venture capitalist, who says he looks for low salaries at the top of start ups when he's thinking about investing. Peter Thiel was a co-founder of Paypal and the first outside investor in Facebook. He's also the author of a new book, "Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future."

Thiel also says monopoly, not competition, is the way to go. His advice to entrepreneurs is to find a niche and dominate it. Actually, he put it more strongly than that.

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

What do foreign investors see in U.S. housing stock?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-25 02:00

The housing sector continues to dig out of the deep, deep hole we call "the Recession."

Some markets are seeing particularly strong growth thanks to foreign investors.

So, what do foreign investors see when they check out U.S. housing stock?

“Affordability, straight up. With multiple exclamation points,” says Stan Humphries, Chief Economist with online real estate firm Zillow.

A report from the National Association of Realtors earlier this year found international investors spent more than $92 billion on U.S. homes, a 35 percent increase over last year.

Humphries says some of the hottest markets in the country are Miami, New York, and Orange County.

He says they can thank their housing recoveries, in part, on this foreign cash.

“We’ve got a lot more international buyers in the U.S. right now than we did eight years ago. And that’s been increasing since 2011,” he says.

Still, all that Chinese and Russian money has a downside, says USC’s Richard Green — Like how it can make it harder on first-time home buyers.

“They are pushing up the price of housing and making less housing available to others,” he says.

Prices are so high in some places — hello, San Francisco — it's forcing some communities to consider workforce housing, which if the price is right may make a good bet for a Canadian or Chinese investor.

As Ebola Ping-Pongs In Liberia, Cases Disappear Into The Jungle

NPR News - Mon, 2014-11-24 23:51

A woman is thought to be spreading Ebola in a remote village. So health workers spend four hours trekking through the bush to track her down. By the time they make it, it's too late.

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Plan To Use Gulf Oil Spill Funds For Beach Hotel Stirs Debate

NPR News - Mon, 2014-11-24 23:51

Environmentalists are suing to stop Alabama from using nearly $60 million in BP oil spill recovery funds to build a new hotel on the beach. The project is one of dozens underway across the region.

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Ferguson Businesses Burn, Crowds Confront Police In Overnight Chaos

NPR News - Mon, 2014-11-24 22:26

Vandalism and violence broke out in pockets of St. Louis County in the tense hours following a grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.

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Want A Calorie Count With That? FDA Issues New Rules For Restaurants

NPR News - Mon, 2014-11-24 19:34

Years in the making, the new rules will require chain restaurants with 20 or more locations to post calorie information on their menus. Even movie theaters and vending machines are covered.

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Obama Discusses Ferguson Jury Decision In Michael Brown Case

NPR News - Mon, 2014-11-24 18:09

President Obama will speak less than an hour after it was announced that a grand jury found "no probable cause exists" for an indictment against police officer Darren Wilson in Michael Brown's death.

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As Hackers Hit Customers, Retailers Keep Quiet About Security

NPR News - Mon, 2014-11-24 13:46

Leading companies are keeping tight-lipped about what they're doing to protect customers from similar attacks that have hit Target, Home Depot and other major retailers.

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