A triple stabbing at a Chinese hospital is the latest in a string of attacks against doctors by disgruntled patients. Policies intended to improve and expand health care have led to overcrowded facilities, overwhelmed doctors and corruption.
A big reelection win for moderate Republican Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey, and Tea Party loss in Virginia governor's race raise morning-after questions about the path forward for the GOP.
Called the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the Astrodome was the first fully air-conditioned, enclosed and domed stadium. But it hasn't been used for years. Voters rejected a referendum that would have raised money to turn it into a convention center. Now, lawmakers are expected to say the dome should come down.
A likely change in obscure rules governing the Affordable Care Act could save unions a bundle. A fee that starts at $63 for each person covered by union insurance in 2014 would be waived if the administration proceeds as expected.
During the last few decades the average American has lost and hour and a half of sleep per night. Sleep researchers at Harvard say the workplace is suffering to the tune of $63 billion a year as a result of insomnia, and all the health and productivity problems that go with it.
Gail DeBoer knows something about that. She is the president of a large federal credit union in Omaha. Her restless nights began when she got her first smartphone a few years ago. She’d look at email just before she went to bed. But it didn’t end there.
“I’d wake up at two or three in the morning thinking about work situations,” says DeBoer. “I’d start sending emails because it was on my mind.”
After that, she never really got back to sleep. She began having regular headaches. Still, she told herself she was fine on about five hours a night. Russell Sanna is executive director of the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School. He hears that all the time. “There’s a cultural norm that says sleep is for losers in the United States,” says Sanna.
Harvard is on a mission to change that. It wants companies to take sleep as seriously as they do obesity or smoking. Sanna says sleep deprivation has been shown in clinical settings to have “the equal cognitive impairment as alcohol consumption. Nobody’s particularly interested in having their employees show up intoxicated,” he says. “But unless they’re paying attention to sleep deprivation that’s what’s in fact happening.”
Some businesses are already tackling the issue. Casey Smith is head athletic trainer for NBA team the Dallas Mavericks. The players have just started wearing wristwatches that measure the duration and intensity of their sleep. “It’s a sport but it’s also a business,” says Smith. “Our business is to win games, to win matches, and anything that can make our athletes perform at a higher level, react quicker, recover better, that’s something that we would obviously be interested in.”
In Omaha, Gail DeBoer finally realized she wasn’t performing at her best. Her headaches were getting worse. And she was mortified to discover some of her staff were exhausted too. “Even if I didn’t say it, I think the impression was if I was working they should be working so we had to evaluate -- I had to evaluate -- the message I was sending,” says DeBoer.
She ended up getting rid of smartphones for everyone except her senior team. She also trained herself not to check email before bed. She’s sleeping 8 hours a night -- and she hasn’t had a headache for months.
Ashley Milne-Tyte is the host of a podcast on women in the workplace called The Broad Experience.
Bill de Blasio will be the 109th mayor of the city of New York, becoming the first Democrat to lead the nation's largest metropolis in nearly a quarter century. De Blasio defeated his Republican opponent Joe Lhota, scoring 73.3 percent of the vote.
"A tale of two cities" was the theme of de Blasio's campaign that carried him to victory. The idea that there are two New York Cities, one for the rich and one for the poor, was attacked as a divisive idea on the campaign trail, but resonated with voters living in an increasingly expensive city with higher income inequality than any other metropolitan area in the U.S. Marketplace reporter Sabri Ben-Achour tells MMR host David Brancaccio about the divided city Mayor-elect de Blasio will inherit on January 1.
If you missed any of our kids and technology coverage last week, now you can listen to all the stories in one podcast.
In the past, TV companies like CBS used to make most of their money from advertising. Now they’re getting a lot of their revenues from content license fees charged to cable companies. That’s what the stand-off with Time Warner was about.
“CBS especially has been a leader in developing this licenses fee -- monthly license fee retransmission consent payment. And it can add up to hundreds of millions of dollars,” says Hal Vogel, who follows the industry for Vogel Capital Management.
Other TV networks see those millions, and want in on the action. But too much of a good thing could backfire for broadcasters.
“Investors shouldn’t necessarily assume that these revenue streams are going to continue forever,” says David McAdams, an economics professor at Duke University.
When networks charge cable companies higher fees, those costs get passed along to consumers. If fees get too high, consumers are more likely to disconnect their cable and use other technology to view TV shows.
“You can actually go to CBS’s website and watch some programs for free,” says McAdams. “More people are likely to do that as cable costs go up.”
For the time being, CBS has the advantage. But it may not last.
“Right now, the networks have the cable companies over their knee. If their channel is blacked-out, the cable company loses subscribers,” says McAdams. “But in the future, if it becomes much easier for consumers to access those network channels even without cable, there will be much less bargaining power [for the networks].”
In an interview, the Pentagon chief says adjustments need to be made soon so that spending on health care, retirement benefits and related programs don't leave the nation with "a military that's heavily compensated, but probably a force that's not capable and not ready."
Inspired by the multi-billion settlements currently being negotiated between federal regulators and JPMorgan Chase, there is a campaign afoot on Capital Hill to block big companies from being able to take a tax deduction when they settle cases with the government. JPMorgan has agreed to pay a $5.1 billion settlement over mortgage securities -- all of which is apparently tax deductible, and could save the country's largest bank an estimated $1.5 billion in taxes.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has a petition drive to stop the deductions, and two House Democrats have proposed a law. But Allan Sloan, senior editor-at-large at Fortune Magazine is having none of this. He says in the case of JPMorgan owing $5.1 billion to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, there's a big difference between a settlement-tax deduction and a fine, which is something else.
"There was a business dispute between Fannie and Freddie and JP, JP settled the business dispute for $5.1 billion -- it is the classic definition of a business expense," Sloan says.
Sloan points out that the settlement negotiated between Fannie and Freddie and JPMorgan was not punitive in the eyes of the law -- unlike a fine, which is not deductible from taxes.
Sloan says that allowing JPMorgan to take a deduction on the settlement is still a win for American taxpayers because of where the money will end up.
"It's going to end up in the Treasury," Sloan explains. "It's going to taxpayers, because of the way Fannie and Freddie work, every extra $5.1 billion that wanders in the door wanders out the door fairly soon to the Treasury. So, we taxpayers are getting all $5 billion. JPMorgan is getting to deduct $5 billion, but it's still out of pocket 65 percent of $5 billion, and it's a lot worse off than it was, and we taxpayers are better off than we were."
Following other tech giants, Apple, Inc. revealed on Tuesday the number of official data requests it receives from governments around the world. During the first 6 months of 2013, the U.S. alone made 3,500 requests -- and those are just the ones Apple is disclosing.
Many of those requests appear to be related to lost and stolen devices, or to aid in missing persons investigations. While the U.S. has made the largest number of requests, the U.K. was second with just 141.
Apple, and other companies like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, are now making the disclosures as part of an effort to rebuild public trust, and repair damage from the perception that they were working with the U.S. government as partners.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe wins a squeaker in Virginia. Republican Chris Christie enjoys a laugher in New Jersey. A "big business" Republican defeats a Tea Party challenger in Alabama. Those are among Tuesday's highlights.
In less than 24 hours, Twitter will go from the privately held microblogging service-that-could to a publicly traded social media juggernaut. At least, that's what the company's executives are hoping.
As Wall Street waits to see if investors will line up for Twitter's initial public offering, the rest of the tech world is watching with anticipation. Many see Twitter's IPO as an important moment for their industry.
"Frankly, it's all anyone can talk about" in Silicon Valley, says Zach Seward, senior editor at Quartz. But while Twitter's employees and investors are likely about to become very wealthy, the IPO brings with it a likely sea change for the scores of users who have catapulted Twitter to popularity.
"For the 230 million users of Twitter, it's sort of the end of Twitter's creative phase," Seward says. "Think about Facebook -- went public last year, and since then, I think you'd be hard pressed to say that the service has improved if you're a user. Certainly, if you're a user, you see a lot more ads -- and the stock price is way up as a result -- but, as a service, I think, you have to say it was a much more interesting company pre-IPO."
In the build up to Thursday's IPO, Twitter has been rapidly expanding and attempting to move into new markets. Seward says Twitter thinks a key to future revenue lies in television advertising.
"One big bet that Twitter is making right now is that it can siphon off a large portion from TV advertising," Seward says.
But Twitter isn't the only social media platform competing for those dollars.
"Facebook, for one, is racing to match Twitter's claim that Twitter is where you go to talk about television,” Seward says. “They're like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa -- wait a minute -- more Americans, more people worldwide are using Facebook.' Twitter's leg up is simply that everything you do on Twitter -- as they endlessly remind us now -- is public."
Eager investors can get their share of Twitter tomorrow. To get ready, the company's made a number of interface changes in recent months. These moves to gather advertising dollars have brought rumors of employee unrest about Twitter going public.
“It's a very common dynamic,” says Susan Etlinger, a tech industry analyst with Altimeter Group in San Mateo. She says that when companies like Twitter go public, some employees "feel that the original mission is shifting, or they used to have a lot more autonomy than they do now.”
But she thinks the hand-wringing has been overblown. “I don't see any indication,” she adds, “that strategy has changed in any meaningful way in the last three months from where it was you know a year ago.”
Jeremy Levine is a partner with Bessemer Venture Partners in New York. He says that as Twitter increases it's focus on revenue, it risks becoming less innovative.
“As you become successful,” he says, “you go from being the attacking disruptor to a target for other disruptors. And that's really nerve-racking for an executive team.”
That could be Twitter's next real challenge -- nurturing new ideas at the same time it nurtures an income stream.
Tax-exempt social welfare groups have become the vehicle of choice for big political contributions. NPR, in partnership with the Center for Responsive Politics traces the money moving through a Washington, D.C., group, and the law that makes this activity possible.
Charlie Trotter was one of the country's most influential chefs. His death comes just a year after he closed his namesake restaurant in Chicago. Authorities plan to conduct an autopsy on Wednesday.
For months, I got calls from around the world offering me short-term loans. I had fallen into the world of online lead generation.
For months, I got calls from around the world offering me short-term loans. I had fallen into the world of online lead generation.
The coffee giant says it will hire at least 10,000 veterans or their spouses over the next five years. It joins companies ranging from JPMorgan Chase to Walmart to Boeing in trying to bring down a stubbornly high unemployment rate for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Does a citizen of any country — not just the good ole U.S.A. — have an obligation to support its national teams? According to Frank Deford, in our world of global entertainment, passports don't matter and taste should trump nationalism.