National News

Yemen Descends Into Chaos As Foreign Minister Seeks Help From Neighbors

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-23 07:18

Britain reportedly has withdrawn its remaining special forces, days after a similar U.S. move, in response to the worsening security that the U.N. envoy for Yemen described as the "edge of civil war."

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Ted Cruz Makes It Official

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-23 07:05

The Texas senator is looking for a boost, as he trails other GOP presidential hopefuls. So he took the bold move of becoming the first to officially declare his candidacy.

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Is Ted Cruz Allowed To Run Since He Was Born In Canada?

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-23 07:03

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz became the first major candidate to declare for president, but some question whether he's eligible since he was born in Canada. Legal scholars, though, believe he can.

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Paris Bans Some Cars For A Day To Battle Smog

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-23 05:38

According to one company that measures air quality, the French capital last week briefly dethroned New Delhi and Beijing as the world's most polluted city.

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How a poison pill works

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 05:33

For months, the biggest mall operator in the U.S., Simon Property Group (SPG), has been trying to buy the third largest, Macerich.

SPG has tried everything: SPG asked the board of directors from Macerich nicely, it has thrown money at shareholders, and now it's waging a nasty campaign in the press against the company's directors.

It's a classic example of a hostile takeover, and as SPG has gotten more and more hostile, Macerich has responded with some hostility of its own: a "poison pill."

A poison pill is essentially a deterrent designed to make a buyout very unpleasant for the acquiring company. Poison pills come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and have a variety of effects.

Poison pills come in two basic forms: They can either make an acquisition very hard to swallow, or they can have awful side-effects.

The Macerich poison pill falls into the first camp. If SPG attempts to buy up a huge chunk of Macerich — specifically 10 percent or more of the company — current shareholders will be able to buy one preferred share for every share of Macerich that they already hold. This will dilute the value of SPG's 10 percent stake, and also make it doubly expensive to buy Macerich.

Pretty hard to swallow, right?

There is one antidote to this poison, though, and that's money — and SPG has buckets of money. The company may decide it wants Macerich so badly it is prepared to spend the money and swallow the poison — with Macerich right along with it. 

How a poison pill works

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 05:33

For months, the biggest mall operator in the U.S., Simon Property Group (SPG), has been trying to buy the third largest, Macerich.

SPG has tried everything: SPG asked the board of directors from Macerich nicely, it has thrown money at shareholders, and now it's waging a nasty campaign in the press against the company's directors.

As SPG has gotten more and more hostile, Macerich has responded with some hostility of its own: a "poison pill."

A poison pill is essentially a deterrent designed to make a buyout very unpleasant for the acquiring company. Poison pills come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and have a variety of effects.

Poison pills come in two basic forms: They can either make an acquisition very hard to swallow, or they can have awful side-effects.

The Macerich poison pill falls into the first camp. If SPG attempts to buy up a huge chunk of Macerich — specifically 10 percent or more of the company — current shareholders will be able to buy one preferred share for every share of Macerich that they already hold. This will dilute the value of SPG's 10 percent stake, and also make it doubly expensive to buy Macerich.

Pretty hard to swallow, right?

There is one antidote to this poison, though, and that's money — and SPG has buckets of money. The company may decide it wants Macerich so badly it is prepared to spend the money and swallow the poison — with Macerich right along with it. 

Media Dissect Sen. Ted Cruz's Presidential Prospects

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-23 04:46

The Texas Republican's early focus will reportedly be fundraising and the caucuses. He faces what's likely to be a crowded Republican field for the 2016 presidential nomination.

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SpaceX Puts Its Images In The Public Domain

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-23 03:42

CEO Elon Musk's decision was prompted by a Twitter follower who asked him why SpaceX had merely placed its images on Flickr and elsewhere with a Creative Commons license.

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What You Need To Know About Ted Cruz

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

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced his presidential bid Monday on Twitter. If the early campaign trail is any indication of how 2016 will play out, he'll be exactly who he's always been.

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A Donation Site Where Schools Can Pass The Hat

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

DonorsChoose.org replaces classroom bake sales with online crowdfunding.

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PODCAST: Protecting student privacy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 03:00

The long-awaited student privacy bill from the Feds is expected to land Monday. Early indications are it will be better for the Ed tech industry than for student-data privacy advocates and parents. Plus, the National Association of Realtors will release existing home sales on Monday. That number is expected to be up by around 2.5 percent. Will that make up for the disappointing January number when existing home sells fell by almost 5 percent. And it can be very expensive to run for office. Turns out, winning that office can also come with some unexpected expenses. 

Police To Release Findings Of Probe Into Rape Claims Made In 'Rolling Stone'

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-23 02:51

Also, the magazine will publish an outside review of its reporting that resulted in the flawed story about the University of Virginia student who said she was raped during a fraternity party in 2012.

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Proposed legislation would protect student data

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 02:01
A student privacy bill long in the works is scheduled to be introduced in Congress today, by U.S. Representatives Luke Messer and Jared Polis.

The legislation is expected to prohibit companies from selling students’ personal information to third parties, or from using data for non-educational purposes, like marketing.

Khaliah Barnes, director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Student Privacy Project, says there are not enough current restrictions when it comes to student data.

"We're in, unfortunately, the wild west when it comes to student privacy," she says. "We're hopeful the upcoming legislation will correct the current wrongs."

The proposed bill would not prevent states from passing even tougher laws themselves, making some industry giants worried, though so far 125 companies including Google and Apple have signed the Student Privacy Pledge, vowing, among other things, not to sell student data.
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Student data privacy laws around the nation

In 2014, many states considered or passed new legislation protecting student data. You can see which states responded to which issues by clicking on the icons below. You can also click on each state for more details about its laws.

Cloud-computing restrictionsStates which have passed or considered legislation restricting cloud-computing services and vendors.

Limits marketing to studentsStates which have passed or considered legislation restricting the use of student data for marketing

Limits data sharingStates which have passed or considered legislation restricting how student data is shared.

Increases transparencyStates which have passed or considered legislation making the data-collection process more transparent.

Limits data collectionStates which have passed or considered legislation limiting the kind of information that schools and agencies can collect.

Reset view

Laws:

Bills:

  • States with new privacy laws
  • States with legislation introduced in 2014
  • States where legislation was defeated
  • States which rely solely on federal laws
  • New laws or legislation restricting cloud-computing services and vendors.
  • New laws or legislation restricting the use of student data for marketing
  • New laws or legislation restricting how student data is shared.
  • New laws or legislation making the data-collection process more transparent.
  • New laws or legislation limiting the kind of information that schools and agencies can collect.

Sources: Marketplace research and Data Quality Campaign data

var icons = [] var cloudicon = '' var marketingicon = '' var sharingicon = '' var transparencyicon = '' var collectionicon = '' var stateData2 = [] var law = document.getElementById('law'); var bill = document.getElementById('bill'); var billinfo = document.getElementById('billinfo'); var statespan = document.getElementById('state'); sorting(dandata, "cloud") var clouddata = syncData(dandata,statesData); sorting(dandata, 'collection') var collectiondata = syncData(dandata,statesData) sorting(dandata, 'sharing') var sharedata = syncData(dandata,statesData) sorting(dandata, 'transparency') var transparencydata = syncData(dandata,statesData) sorting(dandata, 'marketing') var marketingdata = syncData(dandata,statesData) //function to sort JSON object by filters function sorting(json_object, key_to_sort_by) { function sortByKey(a, b) { var x = a[key_to_sort_by]; var y = b[key_to_sort_by]; return ((x < y) ? -1 : ((x > y) ? 1 : 0)); } json_object.sort(sortByKey); } //displays description of each bill function billPanel(state){ var i = 0; var firstlaw = true; var firstbill = true; law.innerHTML = ""; bill.innerHTML = ""; bill.style.visibility = "hidden" while(databills[i].State != state){ i++ } if(databills[i].State != null){ statespan.innerHTML = '

' + databills[i].State + '

'; do{ if(databills[i].billlaw == "law"){ if (firstlaw){ law.innerHTML = '

' + "Laws:" + '

'; firstlaw = false } law.innerHTML += '

' + databills[i].BillNumber + '

' + databills[i].Summary + '
' + '

' + databills[i].Status + ", " + databills[i].Date + '

'; law.style.visibility = "visible"; }else if (databills[i].billlaw == ""){ if (firstbill){ bill.innerHTML = '

' + "Bills:" + '

' + "This state considered legislation at some point in its 2014 legislative session. The bill, or bills, were neither passed nor voted down. Many states are near the conclusion of their legislative year, but some of these bills could still be passed. Many states considered multiple bills. The types of issues that the legislation addressed are described by the icons accompanying each state on the map." + '

' + "To read the legislation in full, click on each bill‘s number." + '

'; firstbill = false } bill.innerHTML += '

' + databills[i].BillNumber + '

' + '' + '

' + databills[i].Status + '

'; bill.style.visibility = "visible"; }else if(databills[i].billlaw == "dead"){ if (firstbill){ bill.innerHTML = '

' + "Bills:" + '

' + "Legislation was considered in this state, but was voted down. To read the rejected legislation in full, click on each bill’s number." + '

'; firstbill = false } bill.innerHTML += '

' + databills[i].BillNumber + '

' + '' + '

' + databills[i].Status + '

'; bill.style.visibility = "visible"; }else{ law.innerHTML += '

' + "This state follows federal laws governing student data. The two main student data laws are the Federal Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children‘s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA)." + '

' + "FERPA limits how, and with whom, a student‘s educational records are shared. It also gives parents the right to look at their child‘s records."+ '

' + "COPPA limits the data a company can collect online from a child under the age of 13, and would be the main source of restrictions for any company that receives student data." + '

' + "A bill was introduced in Congress in July to update FERPA with new restrictions on using student data for marketing, a mandate for more transparency on what data is being collected, and new requirements for data security." + '

' } i++ } while (databills[i].State == state) } } var buttonpushed; //create the map if(parseInt(window.innerWidth) < 786){ var zoom = 3 }else{ var zoom = 4 } var map = L.map('map').setView([39.8, -97], zoom); L.tileLayer('https://{s}.tiles.mapbox.com/v3/dabendschein.j88bdg63/{z}/{x}/{y}.png', { attribution: 'Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA, Imagery © Mapbox', maxZoom: 13 }).addTo(map); map.scrollWheelZoom.disable(); // control that shows state info on hover var info = L.control(); info.onAdd = function (map) { this._div = L.DomUtil.create('div', 'info upright'); var emptystate = " " var emptyicons = [] this.update(emptystate, emptyicons); return this._div; }; info.update = function (state, icons) { this._div.innerHTML = '' + state + '' + '
' + icons[0] + " " + icons[1] + " " + icons[2] + " " + icons[3] + " " + icons[4]; }; info.addTo(map); function filter(criterion) { buttonpushed = criterion if (criterion == 'cloud'){ stateData2 = clouddata }else if (criterion == 'collection'){ stateData2 = collectiondata }else if (criterion == 'sharing'){ stateData2 = sharedata }else if (criterion == 'marketing'){ stateData2 = marketingdata }else{ stateData2 = transparencydata } map.removeLayer(geojson) geojson = L.geoJson(stateData2, { style: restyle, onEachFeature: onEachFeature }).addTo(map); } function reset(){ map.removeLayer(geojson) geojson = L.geoJson(statesData, { style: style, onEachFeature: onEachFeature }).addTo(map); } //puts map geographical data in same order as map information data function syncData(dandata, statedata){ var newlist = [] for(i=0; i < dandata.length; i++){ var x = 0 while(statedata.features[x].properties.name != dandata[i].State){ x++ } newlist.push(statedata.features[x]) } return newlist; } // get colors from JSON data function getColor(d) { var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } return dandata[i].fill; } //new state colors for filter buttons function reColor(d) { var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if(buttonpushed == "cloud"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].cloud }else if(buttonpushed == "collection"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datacollection }else if(buttonpushed == "sharing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datasharing }else if(buttonpushed == "marketing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].marketing }else{ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].transparency } var fill = dandata[i].fill; if (fieldvalue == "x"){ return dandata[i].fill; }else{ return "#6B6B73"; } } function getLineColor(d){ var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if(buttonpushed == "cloud"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].cloud }else if(buttonpushed == "collection"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datacollection }else if(buttonpushed == "sharing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datasharing }else if(buttonpushed == "marketing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].marketing }else{ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].transparency } if(fieldvalue != "x"){ return "white"; }else{ return "yellow"; } } function setWeight(d){ var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if(buttonpushed == "cloud"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].cloud }else if(buttonpushed == "collection"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datacollection }else if(buttonpushed == "sharing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datasharing }else if(buttonpushed == "marketing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].marketing }else{ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].transparency } if(fieldvalue != "x"){ return 2; }else{ return 4; } } function setDash(d){ var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if(buttonpushed == "cloud"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].cloud }else if(buttonpushed == "collection"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datacollection }else if(buttonpushed == "sharing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datasharing }else if(buttonpushed == "marketing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].marketing }else{ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].transparency } if(fieldvalue != "x"){ return '3'; }else{ return ''; } } function style(feature) { return { weight: 2, opacity: 1, color: 'white', dashArray: '3', fillOpacity: 0.6, fillColor: getColor(feature.properties.name) }; } function restyle(feature) { return { weight: setWeight(feature.properties.name), opacity: 1, color: getLineColor(feature.properties.name), dashArray: setDash(feature.properties.name), fillOpacity: 0.9, fillColor: reColor(feature.properties.name), }; } function highlightFeature(e) { icons = [] var layer = e.target; var panel = document.getElementsByClassName("upright"); if (layer.feature.properties.name != null){ panel[0].style.visibility = "visible"; layer.setStyle({ weight: 5, color: 'yellow', dashArray: '', fillOpacity: 0.7 }); displayIcons(e) } function displayIcons(e){ var i = 0; while (layer.feature.properties.name != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if (!L.Browser.ie && !L.Browser.opera) { layer.bringToFront(); } if(dandata[i].cloud == "x"){ icons.push(cloudicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } if(dandata[i].marketing == "x"){ icons.push(marketingicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } if(dandata[i].datasharing == "x"){ icons.push(sharingicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } if(dandata[i].transparency == "x"){ icons.push(transparencyicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } if(dandata[i].datacollection == "x"){ icons.push(collectionicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } info.update(dandata[i].State,icons ); } } function displayInfo(e) { document.getElementById("billinfo").style.display="block"; var layer = e.target; var i = 0; while (layer.feature.properties.name != dandata[i].State){ i++ } billPanel(dandata[i].State); displayIcons(e) } var geojson; function resetHighlight(e) { geojson.resetStyle(e.target); var panel = document.getElementsByClassName("upright"); panel[0].style.visibility = "hidden"; info.update(); } function zoomToFeature(e) { map.fitBounds(e.target.getBounds()); } function onEachFeature(feature, layer) { layer.on({ mouseover: highlightFeature, mouseout: resetHighlight, click: displayInfo }); } geojson = L.geoJson(statesData, { style: style, onEachFeature: onEachFeature }).addTo(map); map.attributionControl.addAttribution('Population data © US Census Bureau'); var legend = L.control({position: 'bottomright'}); legend.onAdd = function (map) { var div = L.DomUtil.create('div', 'info legend'), labels = []; // labels.push(' ' + "Bill"); // labels.push(' ' + "Bill Defeated"); // labels.push(' ' + "State Law"); // labels.push(' ' + "Federal Law"); div.innerHTML = labels.join('
'); return div; }; legend.addTo(map); document.getElementById("billinfo").style.display="none"; function closeModal() { document.getElementById("billinfo").style.display="none"; // document.getElementById("state").style.visibility="hidden"; // document.getElementById("bill").style.visibility="hidden"; // document.getElementById("law").style.visibility="hidden"; // document.getElementById("statecontent").style.visibility="hidden"; }

What a school science project looks like in 2015

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 02:00

Students from across America will be demonstrating science projects at the White House’s fifth annual science fair on Monday. With technology transforming what’s possible in the classroom, President Barack Obama will be introduced to a rather impressive line-up, which includes research that seeks to identify cures for cancer and ebola, as well as an “urban” wheelchair with parts from a 3D-printer.

“A lot of the change has come through the use of technology, and really, through the apps that have been developed for tablets and cell phones,” says Norm Brennan, a science teacher at the Mirman school in Los Angeles. Brennan, who was the California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year in 2014, has been teaching for 20 years now.

“I had one group of boys who used an iPhone app for G-forces," he says. “They were testing the impact of helmets and concussions and putting jell forces to see how that would lessen the effect using an app on an iPhone.”

Then there was a student who used a 3D printer to print a prosthetic arm, which was robotically controlled by putting hooking it up to a glove. Another student developed an app that microbiologists can use to count the number of microbes in a given colony. "Instead of counting them by hand you can take an image through an ipad and it counts for you,” says Brennan. 

Funding is sometimes an issue, he admits, but since he teaches at a private school, parents sometimes help out. The school is also planning on applying for grants that fund science or STEM-based projects, Brennan adds.

Science fairs, he says, have certainly come a long way since he was a student. Back then, he was studying the impact of magnetic waves on a colony of ants on the move, so he placed magnets in an ant-infested area and waited to see what would happen.

“It had no effect on them,” he says. “They walked right by.”

 

Starbucks amends (but doesn't end) race initiative

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 02:00

Starbucks is ending the most controversial piece of its 'Race Together' initiative—Baristas will no longer be encouraged to write or place stickers on customers' cups, and engage them in conversations about race and ethnicity. CEO Howard Schulz said in an open letter that the company will continue to hold forums on race, and commit to hiring 10,000 "opportunity youth."

Paul Argenti, a professor of corporate communication at Dartmouth's Tuck School, says the widespread online mockery Starbucks endured will likely dissuade other companies who might have considered launching similar initiatives. 

"What Starbucks does is not something that everyone else is going to do unless it's wildly successful," Argenti says. "And unfortunately I think this is a setback for something that was a fairly bold idea and will make other companies cautious."

 

What a school science project looks like in 2015

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 02:00

Students from across America will be demonstrating science projects at the White House’s fifth annual science fair on Monday. With technology transforming what’s possible in the classroom, President Barack Obama will be introduced to a rather impressive line-up, which includes research that seeks to identify cures for cancer and ebola, as well as an “urban” wheelchair with parts from a 3D-printer.

“A lot of the change has come through the use of technology, and really, through the apps that have been developed for tablets and cell phones,” says Norm Brennan, a science teacher at the Mirman school in Los Angeles. Brennan, who was the California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year in 2014, has been teaching for 20 years now.

“I had one group of boys who used an iPhone app for G-forces," he says. “They were testing the impact of helmets and concussions and putting jell forces to see how that would lessen the effect using an app on an iPhone.”

Then there was a student who used a 3D printer to print a prosthetic arm, which was robotically controlled by putting hooking it up to a glove. Another student developed an app that microbiologists can use to count the number of microbes in a given colony. "Instead of counting them by hand you can take an image through an ipad and it counts for you,” says Brennan. 

Funding is sometimes an issue, he admits, but since he teaches at a private school, parents sometimes help out. The school is also planning on applying for grants that fund science or STEM-based projects, Brennan adds.

Science fairs, he says, have certainly come a long way since he was a student. Back then, he was studying the impact of magnetic waves on a colony of ants on the move, so he placed magnets in an ant-infested area and waited to see what would happen.

“It had no effect on them,” he says. “They walked right by.”

 

Los Angeles finally ends a century-old water war

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 02:00

California is known for its water wars, but they usually don’t end during a drought. That’s what’s happened in the Owens Valley in the eastern Sierras. Los Angeles and air regulators in that scenic rural valley recently made peace in an ongoing dispute rooted in the city's century-old “water grab.” If your history’s failing you, think “Chinatown,” the movie.  

When William Mulholland masterminded the Los Angeles aqueduct 100 years ago, he had no idea of the environmental disaster that would follow. The aqueduct drained Owens Lake, once 12 miles top to bottom, eight miles wide. Owens turned into a salt flat, and when the winds kicked up, the dust storms were phenomenal. At one time, Owens was the biggest single source of dust pollution in the country.

“The dust would completely fill the Owens Valley here,” says Ted Schade, who recently retired as air pollution control officer for the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District. “It was actually really eerie because you would actually feel the hair rising up on your arm, the hair rising up on the back of your neck, and dust levels so high they literally could kill you if you didn’t have the ability to protect yourself.” 

Schade pushed Los Angeles for years to better control the toxic dust storms. Today the winds still blow in the Owens Valley, but those hair-raising storms are a thing of the past. For over 15 years now, Los Angeles has spent well over a billion dollars on the biggest dust control project in the U.S.

Ratepayers have paid a big price for it. “Two months out of their whole years’ worth of payment on a bill towards water goes to Owens Lake,” says Richard Harasick, director of water operations for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

But that’s about to change. Over the years the city’s flooded, gravelled and planted vegetation on nearly half the lake, but frequently fought with local air regulators over how much more the city needed to do. “L.A. always hoped they could get away with less control, less money,  less water than more,” says Schade.

The city agreed to fix the dust problem, "but never agreed on where’s the finish line,” Harasick says. A new agreement settles that question, once and for all, requiring the city to mitigate dust on no more than 53 square miles of the lake. That gives the city certainty regarding its liability, something it had been seeking for years. 

Both sides agree the valley’s dust problem is nearly fixed. “There’s nothing to argue over anymore,” says Harasick. “And so both sides can take all the energy that was going to the courts or arguing orders and really get to just geek out and figure out how to do Owens Lake better, cheaper, faster.”

Better and cheaper, meaning using less water, for one. After all, California is in the middle of a historic drought. So flooding trouble spots now seems wasteful. The latest dust control method is tilling the lakebed. “This is basically zero water, and it’s just creating a rough surface with large clods that the wind can’t erode,” says Nik Barbieri, director of technical services for the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District.

The patchwork of dust control methods on Owens Lake makes for one of the most surreal landscapes in the United States. But surreal is relative in this neighborhood. Death Valley lies straight east.

Some political offices come with a rent bill

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 02:00

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s office in the state Capitol has wood paneled walls, heavy drapes, a massive wooden desk dominating the room - and a rental charge of $110,000 a year.

If you’re surprised to hear that, you’re not alone. So was Newsom.

“Absolutely surprised,” says Newsom. “Tried to get a reduction in rent, didn’t work so well!”

It turns out Newsom’s situation isn’t unique. Ray Walton is the former Executive Director of the National Association of State Chief Administrators.

“It’s pretty common for states around the country to charge what might be termed rent, but is more accurately probably characterized as maintenance and custodial care for the space,” he says.

But Newsom says he wasn’t aware he’d have to rent the office when he was first elected. And with a budget of just about one million dollars, he had to find savings in other places. So a few years back, Newsom closed his satellite offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles and rented a desk at a co-working space for tech startups in San Francisco called "The Founders Den."

He pays $500 a month. Along with the desk, there’s also a chair and a filing cabinet. But there's something missing: a computer.

“I have no computer, I have a smart phone. Laptops seem so 20th century,” Newsom says.

It should be noted there’s no computer in his Capitol office either. Not that he spends much time there. Newsom is only in the Capitol about one day a week. Which can make that $110,000 a year rent seem pretty high. But he says he’d never give up the office.

“No, 'cause I love going up there,” he says. “I don’t like it, I love it. I mean I really do. It’s so much fun.”

Newsom has announced he’ll run for Governor in 2018. If he wins, he’ll get to move into the office across the hall, which, aside from its other obvious benefits, has one more selling point: the Governor doesn’t have to pay rent.

 

 

 

A sneaking suspicion that Adidas is in trouble

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-23 01:55
91 years old

Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, passed away Monday morning at the age of 91. Serving from 1959 to 1990, Mr. Lee was severe, but effective as a leader. In an interview with the NY Times, he described his country's pragmatic attitude towards policy: "Does it work? If it works, let’s try it. If it’s fine, let’s continue it. If it doesn’t work, toss it out, try another one.”

12 miles

That's how many miles, North to South, Lake Owens in California used to be. That is, before the Los Angeles aqueduct drained it completely, effectively creating a giant salt flat. Now, the name of the game is dust control. Los Angeles has already spent over a billion dollars over the last 15 years fighting dust, all the while arguing over how much responsibility it has to take on as a city. Well, now there's an answer. A new agreement says the city must mitigate dust on no more than 53 square miles of the lake.

40%

That's the percentage of the world sneaker market held by the U.S. More importantly, the American sneaker industry is said to have most if not all of the influence over global tastes. Adidas, while popular in Western Europe where it is based, has had a hard time staying competitive in the U.S. market. And missteps like passing up on sponsoring a young Michael Jordan back in 1984 have certainly not helped. The WSJ takes a look at what the company is doing to try and get back its cool.

125 companies

That's how many companies have signed a pledge not to sell student data (among other things). It's a growing concern as education technology gets more sophisticated, gathering data on students along the way. On Monday, U.S. Representatives Luke Messer and Jared Polis plan to introduce a bill that will limit how data on kindergarten to 12th grade students can be used by education technology companies.

$110,000

That's how much California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom pays in rent for his office in the state Capitol. In fact, it's not uncommon for states to charge such fees for maintenance and care of the space. For Newsom, that cost meant shutting his offices in L.A. and San Francisco, instead opting for a $500 rented desk space at a co-working space for tech startups. 

$7.7 billion

That's how much Pirelli, the Italian tire company, will be bought for by China National Chemical Corp. Currently the fifth largest producer of tires, Pirelli's purchase is another instance of foreign buyers taking advantage of the weak euro, as reported by Reuters.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly described the size of Lake Owens. The text has been corrected.

5 Reasons Cruz Announced His Candidacy Early

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-23 01:03

Cruz has not been the buzz candidate so far in the GOP's 2016 discussions — nor the media's. In fact, he has seemed at times a bit of a faded rose, a skyrocket that had spent much of its sparkle.

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