National News

Obama's No-Win Immigration Predicament

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 15:07

The president's announcement that he would shift immigration enforcement resources to the Southern border failed to placate anyone.

» E-Mail This

Skip The Stirrups: Doctors Rethink Yearly Pelvic Exams

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 14:34

The American College of Physicians says annual pelvic exams aren't necessary for healthy women and could be harmful. But not all doctors agree, and the new recommendation is stirring up debate.

» E-Mail This

How Many Companies Will Be Touched By Court's Contraception Ruling?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 14:23

The Supreme Court says owners of closely held corporations may exercise their religious beliefs. That covers a majority of firms, but experts question how many would want to assert religious views.

» E-Mail This

BNP Paribas Agrees To Nearly $9 Billion Fine And Admission Of Guilt

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 14:20

The French banking giant BNP Paribas will pay a penalty of nearly $9 billion and plead guilty to criminal charges for doing business with countries sanctioned by the U.S.

» E-Mail This

Why Bob McDonald is a big departure for the VA

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:40

Today, one month to the day after Eric Shinseki resigned as the Secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs, President Obama announced his pick to replace him: Bob McDonald, former president and CEO of Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer products company.

In the past, the VA has been led by generals, a colonel, and a congressman, in addition to lobbyists and lawyers. Alan Simpson, who used to chair the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, praises the president for picking someone who hasn’t spent his career in the military or government service: “Oh, that’s big,” he says. “It’s huge and it’s critical.”

It's definitely different -- check out this list of McDonald's forbears: 

Ed Derwinski attended Loyola University, a private university in Chicago, and graduated in 1951. Before he became a Republican congressman, he served in the U.S. Army.

Anthony Principi, a Naval Academy graduate, served in Vietnam before attending law school at Seton Hall. He was a Navy JAG and a lawyer for the Department of the Navy before he became deputy secretary of the VA.

Jesse Brown graduated from City College of Illinois, then served as a marine in the Vietnam War. From 1973 until 1983, Brown was the supervisor of the National Service Office, National Appeals Office, Chief of Claims, National Service and Legislative Headquarters, and Deputy National Service Director.

Hershel Gober served in Vietnam, before he became the director of the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs and the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Togo West went to Howard University for college and law school, before he became a U.S. Army JAG. He went on to become a corporate lawyer, then the Defense Department’s general counsel.

Jim Nicholson, a West Point graduate, received a master’s in public policy from Columbia University, and a law degree from the University of Denver School of Law.

Gordon Mansfield, a Villanova University graduate, served two tours of duty in Vietnam. Injured by an enemy solider, he received the Distinguished Service Cross.

James Peake went to West Point. After he served in the Army, he became the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Project Hope; then, QTC’s chief medical officer and CEO.

Eric Shinseki, who went to West Point, received a master’s degree in English literature from Duke Uiversity. He received a purple heart for his service in Vietnam, and was the director of several major corporations.

Sloan Gibson, another West Point grad, led the USO. He was an Army Ranger.

'Family-like' Hobby Lobby has religion, Court rules

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:33

Corporations have religious beliefs -- or, at least some corporations do. That’s one takeaway from the 5-4 ruling of the Supreme Court today in the "Hobby Lobby" case.

The victory for the Oklahoma City-based crafts store Hobby Lobby and dozens of other businesses who filed suit means “closely held” companies can deny contraception coverage to their employees. The question in front of the Supreme Court was fairly straightforward: Can Hobby Lobby be forced to offer contraception coverage as part of its health insurance, if that contraception violates its religious beliefs?

Specifically, the company opposed covering certain forms of contraception, such as some intrauterine devices and products like Plan B One-Step, because it believes they amount to abortion.

In writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito went out of his way to focus on certain businesses, says Duke Law professor James Cox.

“The Justice was fairly clear in saying he’s talking about a closely held, family-dominated corporation with no outside owners and no diversity of opinion,” Cox says.

It’s not clear how many businesses meet that definition. Some 9 out of 10 corporations are “closely held.” That includes everything from mom and pop shops to giants like Koch Industries and Cargill, which employ hundreds of thousands.

The bright line the court draws is about religious intent.

George Washington law professor Robert Tuttle says you can imagine how two or three owners (who may be related) share religious views. Publicly traded companies like Apple and IBM and their armies of shareholders are a different animal.

“It’s just really hard to see how they can have a sincere religious objection to anything,” says Tuttle.

While this verdict is aimed at a class of corporation, Boston College’s Kent Greenfield – who filed an amicus brief in the case – expects companies of all shapes and sizes to try to squeeze through this new opening.

“This opinion gives companies the opportunity to ask for a waiver for regulation, and usually regulation costs money, he says. "And if they can avoid those costs by asserting a religious waiver, then they will.”

Greenfield says this decision could give certain companies a competitive advantage on the basis of religion.

BNP Paribas Agrees To Pay $8.83 Billion In Sanctions Probe

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:13

The U.S. alleges that the French bank violated U.S. sanctions laws by facilitating transactions involving Sudan, Cuba and Iran.

» E-Mail This

New York City extends paid sick days to more workers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:05

Workers of New York, July 30 is the first day you can use your earned sick days under New York City’s new paid sick day law.

How are you feeling - can you make it?

Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work,  a network of coalitions in 21 states that work for policies like paid sick days, says come the end of the month, don’t expect to see a sick day bubble where workers all over the city call in with hives.

“No, what we’re going to see is fewer people going to work sick and making co-workers and customers sick," she says. "Fewer people losing jobs and paychecks.”

On average, Bravo notes, workers use fewer sick days than they earn.

Sherry Leiwant, co-president and cofounder of A Better Balance, a legal advocacy organization based in New York that does advocacy around paid sick days, says more often than not, workers treat sick days like insurance.

"They save them because they know they’re going to maybe need them to take care of their kids, or take care of themselves if they get sick, so don’t want to waste them," she says.

New York City estimates there are about half a million employees who had no paid sick time before the new law. Leiwant notes the lack of sick leave cuts across sectors, so the list of industries where workers are currently without sick time includes retail, child and health care, leisure, hospitality and dining.

Andrew Rigie, executive director of the *New York City Hospitality Alliance, and a personal recipient of sick day leave, says restaurant owners understand that people get sick and they want to take care of their teams, but that the new policy does present challenges for business owners in the dining industry. 

“A lot of business owners believe it’s going to be expensive, it’s also going to be tricky, especially in restaurant industry or nightlife industry if an employee calls in sick, you need to replace them," he says. "There are some office jobs, where if someone comes in sick, they’ll come in the following day and their work will be there on their desk. But if you’re working in a restaurant and you’re short a line cook, you need to bring in an additional line cook.”

Ellen Bravo notes that paying employees for a handful of sick days a year is much cheaper than spending the thousands of dollars it costs to replace even low wage workers. While it would be more convenient if no one got sick, she says, from a business perspective sick days make sense.

"You certainly don’t want to be the restaurant that gets in the headlines for having a norovirus, as a number of them had, because the worker felt obliged to come in for fear of losing their job, or simply because they couldn’t afford the time."

*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified the affiliation of Andrew Rigie, a hospitality executive. He is executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance. The article has been corrected.

Nominating New VA Chief, Obama Says 'We Have To Do Better' For Vets

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:03

President Obama nominated the former chief of Procter & Gamble to take over the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert McDonald said he wanted to make the system more efficient and effective.

» E-Mail This

Lead Exposure May Cause Depression In Chinese Children

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:51

Lead exposure lowers children's IQ and causes aggression. But children exposed to low levels of lead show different symptoms, including more depression and anxiety, a study of preschoolers finds.

» E-Mail This

An Algorithm Is A Curator At The Sept. 11 Museum

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:50

Curators at the September 11 Memorial and Museum came up with a novel solution to the problem of interpreting the tragedy. They put a computer algorithm in charge of an exhibit. But is it objective?

» E-Mail This

Between Israel And Hamas, 3 Killed Teens Escalate Tensions

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:42

Three Israeli teens who have been missing since June 12 were found killed in the West Bank. Israel blames Hamas and is expected to take action against the militant group.

» E-Mail This

High Court Allows Some Companies To Opt Out Of Contraceptives Mandate

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:38

In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held companies can defy the Affordable Care Act mandate to cover some forms of contraception if they object on religious grounds.

» E-Mail This

Hobby Lobby Ruling Cuts Into Contraceptive Mandate

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:35

The Supreme Court says closely held corporations may be exempted from the health law's contraceptive mandate. Here are some questions and answers about the ruling.

» E-Mail This

More than 85% of the seafood Americans eat is imported

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:34

Once upon a time, America relied on its own shores for seafood. The state of New York was famous for their fresh oysters; Louisiana and Mississippi were famous for their shrimp. The clean coastal waters allowed us to farm our own stuff. But things have changed.

"More than 85 percent of the seafood Americans eat is imported," says Paul Greenberg, author of "American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood".  

Greenberg says the biggest shift has been the exchange of oysters for foreign shrimp. Americans used to be able to farm and bring in billions of pounds of oysters per year. But we then lost our natural productive estuaries and traded them for foreign ones. Now, Americans eat more pounds of shrimp per year than tuna and salmon combined.

Although the majority of our seafood is imported, America fisheries export about one-third of what they catch.

"Primarily, it’s Alaska. They send tons of salmon," says Greenberg. "In fact, we actually send as much salmon abroad as we import. The only thing is, we are sending all the wild salmon abroad, and importing all their farmed stuff."

A consequence? Since we are not eating from our own waters, Greenberg says we aren’t taking great care of them -- one reason we have seen so much environmental degradation since the 1950s. However, Greenberg says there has been more hope since the Clean Water Act was passed in the early 1970s.

"We have seen a marked improvement in water quality," says Greenberg. "But the problem is, we’ve turned our markets around so much that we can’t even really seem to figure out how to get our own fish back onto our plates."

A Role Model Pipeline For Young Black Men

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:29

Young male African-American teacher trainees learn to "embody hope" for their students.

» E-Mail This

Obama Taps Former Procter & Gamble Chief To Helm VA

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:17

President Obama has picked Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald will face a difficult task. The VA is is embroiled in a controversy over falsified and lengthy wait times for veterans.

» E-Mail This

Ecuador's President Tests The Waters On Wiping Away Term Limits

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:17

Fiery Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa had sworn that his current term, his third, would be his last. But his ruling party is now moving to remove constitutional term limits, potentially opening the door to a fourth term.

» E-Mail This

Detroit's Crackdown To Collect Owed Money Means Thousands Lose Water

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:17

Melissa Block speaks with Steve Pardo, a reporter with The Detroit News, about how and why Detroit is aggressively shutting off water service to residents.

» E-Mail This

Supreme Court Deals A Blow To Unions, But It's Not Quite Mortal

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:17

By a 5-4 majority along ideological lines, the Supreme Court has ruled that Illinois can't compel home health aides to pay union dues because it violates the First Amendment. The ruling is a defeat for unions, but it falls short of the kind of sweeping denunciation that could have derailed unions' fundraising and organizing efforts.

» E-Mail This

ON THE AIR
Celestial Iguana
Next Up: @ 09:00 pm
Elevations

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life.Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4