National News

The long arms of the right to be forgotten

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:00

A year ago, a European Court said people had a right to demand Google take down certain search results about them. The right to be forgotten was born.

“That idea is spreading in some areas,” says Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties for the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

Most recently, Google is challenging a ruling by Mexican authorities that Google Mexico must remove embarrassing—but true—search results about a prominent businessman there.

Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea are also considering questions involving the right to be forgotten. Post dictator democracies in Latin America, says Granick, have resisted the notion.

“The real question,” she says, “is as nations adopt a right to be forgotten in their countries how will that affect the internet and search engines as a whole?”

European regulators want Google to take down search results on all versions of Google, not just the European ones. Google has balked at this for now, but it isn’t inconceivable that Europe’s views could reach beyond its borders.

“It surely could,” says Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “Right now, when something is taken down because its alleged to be copyright infringing, Google doesn’t take it down when an American complains under American law from Google.com it takes it down from all Google portals.”

He says Google might try to restructure to get out from certain jurisdictions, “or you might even see the American legislature adopt a law telling google not to obey certain orders of a certain kind coming from overseas.”

Google has said it’s received a quarter of a million requests for removal in Europe, from victims of crimes trying to protect their personal information, to politicians trying to cover up misdeeds. Google has rejected 60 percent of those requests.

How tobacco tax revenues affect free preschool

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:00

Tobacco tax revenues that pay for California preschool and other early childhood services are steadily declining as users give up smoking, and a scramble is on to find another source of funding.

The tale of the shrinking funding source — now down to $350 million this year from $650 million in 1998 — starts at tobacco shops like Drive Thru Cigarettes. Tucked inside a strip mall on Huntington Drive in Duarte, the business and other nearby shops have seen sales drop to a trickle. 

Customer Eduardo Hernandez said he used to smoke a lot, but he’s down to a pack a day and looks forward to quitting — and relishing the money he could save from his Little Cesar’s Pizza server salary.

Customer of Drive Thru Cigarettes Eduardo Hernandez said one day he will quit smoking. Declining tobacco tax revenues is leading to less money for early childhood programs. (DEEPA FERNANDES /KPCC) 

“I know smoking is bad,” he said.

But for now, Hernandez’s habit is helping fund free preschool for disadvantaged families and other early childhood programs. 80 percent of tobacco taxes go directly to fund programs for children under five.

For the full story, go to KPCC.org

How tobacco tax revenues affect free preschool

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:00

Tobacco tax revenues that pay for California preschool and other early childhood services are steadily declining as users give up smoking, and a scramble is on to find another source of funding.

The tale of the shrinking funding source — now down to $350 million this year from $650 million in 1998 — starts at tobacco shops like Drive Thru Cigarettes. Tucked inside a strip mall on Huntington Drive in Duarte, the business and other nearby shops have seen sales drop to a trickle. 

Customer Eduardo Hernandez said he used to smoke a lot, but he’s down to a pack a day and looks forward to quitting — and relishing the money he could save from his Little Cesar’s Pizza server salary.

Customer of Drive Thru Cigarettes Eduardo Hernandez said one day he will quit smoking. Declining tobacco tax revenues is leading to less money for early childhood programs. (DEEPA FERNANDES /KPCC) 

“I know smoking is bad,” he said.

But for now, Hernandez’s habit is helping fund free preschool for disadvantaged families and other early childhood programs. 80 percent of tobacco taxes go directly to fund programs for children under five.

For the full story, go to KPCC.org

The risks and rewards of selling dinner reservations

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:00

The Eddy, in New York’s East Village, is the kind of place that manages to make tater tots feel fancy — they're made with bacon and topped with an English pea puree. The décor is modern, but also a bit rustic, and since its dining room only has 30 seats, reservations tend to book up.

Nearly every week, owner Jason Soloway says he gets an inquiry from some startup hoping to help The Eddy solve problems, both real and imagined. The restaurant industry, like many others, is in the midst of a tech makeover. Tablets are replacing waiters at some restaurants, startups want to streamline tasks from hiring staff or ordering food. Restaurant goers have long been able to book reservations online, but a handful of apps and services now offer up often difficult reservations for a price.

The Eddy has partnered with Resy, an app that sells reservations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C. Soloway sets aside a table or two at peak hours for the app to sell for $5 per person, a fee he splits with Resy. On a $10 reservation, after the Resy’s cut and fees, Soloway estimates he’ll take home $4 or $5. That additional revenue is part of the appeal, as is the marketing and promotion he gets from being on the app.

“The risk is we have to hold that table for [Resy] up until usually 6 o’clock the day of the reservation,” Soloway says.

If the reservation doesn’t sell, he then scrambles to fill the table or lose money.

But Resy’s not the only app selling reservations at The Eddy. Unbeknowst to Soloway, tables at The Eddy are also listed for sale on Shout, a marketplace for many of different things, including restaurant reservations in New York City, in-demand sneakers, and event tickets.

Unlike Resy, Shout doesn’t work directly with restaurants. Rather, an individual user makes a reservation they then sell to other users on the app. Shout runs basic background checks on its users, processes payments and holds their funds in escrow until after the time of the reservation to ensure their legitimacy.

“It’s entirely peer-to-peer,” says Zachariah Reitano, one of Shout’s founders. Some users are just looking to sell a reservation they made and now can’t use, while others, “the power sellers, sort of see themselves as personal concierges.”

The same way powerful executives might have their assistants book reservations for them, Reitano says, for a small fee, other people can get a similar service. If restaurants don’t want to be on the platform, Shout won’t remove them, but it’ll let users know they’re going against the restaurant’s wishes. They also ban buyers who no-show.

“We really don’t want facilitate new types of exchange that hurt other people’s business,” Reitano says, adding that there is a market here; people are willing to pay for these reservations.

Growing up Zuckerberg

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:55
12

That's how old Florida teen Rachel Zietz was when she started her company Gladiator Lacrosse, which she says will likely reach $1 million in sales next year. Zietz is following the example of her father, an entrepreneur himself. The New York Times followed the Zietz family and others who are raising young business people, enrolling them in after-school programs and occasionally binge-watching "Shark Tank."

$22

Need a last minute reservation at a popular restaurant? No problem... but it will cost you. At a notable places like Scarpetta in New York City, a table for two at 7:30 p.m. will set you back $22 via a new app called Resy. Restaurants that partner with Resy save one or two tables during the busiest service hours. Resy sells those tables to diners looking for a last minute spot, with the restaurant receiving some of those funds.

1,200

That's how many migrant workers have died in Qatar since the country was selected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, according to estimates from the International Trade Union Confederation. Exact numbers are difficult to parse out, and many of those deaths may be unrelated to the Cup, but the Washington Post points out that even conservative estimates would be far higher than the worker death toll around recent Olympics and World Cups.

12

Speaking of FIFA, that's how many women's national teams will be available on the next iteration of the popular FIFA video game franchise. Set for release in September, FIFA 16 will mark the first time women have been included in the game.

680

That's how many students there are at VIDA Middle School in Vista, California, and all of them were recently issued iPads with 4G connections. That's a lot of expensive hardware, and more tech than many kids have had access to before. VIDA is integrating the devices throughout the day. But the initiative comes with plenty of practical challenges.

Are Black Voters Ready For Hillary Clinton?

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:00

African Americans are going to be key to a Hillary Clinton presidential run. After a tense 2008 primary fight with Barack Obama, she's trying to win them over.

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The Future President Will Need To Wrestle With Debt From The Past

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:00

The federal government has issued trillions of dollars in IOUs. And just the interest on that massive debt could be a serious constraint for the next president.

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Their Life In A Refugee Camp Might Be Better Than Life Back At Home

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 23:30

In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled war and found a new home — and new opportunities — in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya.

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The Technology Of Books Has Changed, But Bookstores Are Hanging In

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 23:29

The debate over whether digital books are better continues. But in the age of Amazon, the number of independent booksellers is up. The revival is fueled, at least in part, by digital natives.

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Golden State Beats Houston, Will Face Cleveland For NBA Title

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 21:02

The Warriors return to the Finals for the first time in 40 years with a convincing 104-90 victory over the Rockets.

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Scientists Discover Evidence of a 435,000-Year-Old Murder

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 17:15

Scientists say it's not just a murder from another era, but also part of one of the earliest mass graves.

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Fact Check: 3 Questions Answered About Bill Clinton's LLC

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 16:10

Does Bill Clinton have a secret corporation that he is using to hide money? Is it intended to pay a lower tax rate? Or is it something else entirely?

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Tracy Morgan, Wal-Mart Settle Lawsuit Over Truck-Limousine Crash

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 15:56

The actor sued the retail giant for negligence last year after he was seriously injured in a crash in which his limousine was struck by a Wal-Mart truck traveling 20 mph over the speed limit.

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Danish Broadcaster Says Killing Of Rabbit On Air Highlighted Hypocrisy

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 15:44

The rabbit was clubbed to death during a debate on animal cruelty. Radio24syv says it wanted a debate about the hypocrisy toward perceptions of cruelty toward animals. Critics aren't buying it.

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Map: Where (And How) The Government Can Execute People

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 14:08

Nebraska just repealed its death penalty. Here's a look at where the law stands in your state.

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On The Road To Recovery, Detroit Property Taxes Aren't Helping

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 14:02

Even with cheap rent, the cost of doing business is high. With the nation's highest commercial property taxes, one business mogul says this stunts entrepreneurship in a city that needs more jobs.

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Nebraska Repeals Death Penalty, But U.S. Isn't Quite Ready To Abandon It

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 13:52

Cost and lethal-injection complications have led some states to reconsider the death penalty. U.S. support for the practice has declined over the last two decades, but three-in-five still support it.

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Bugs: Not What's For Dinner — Until They're Tastier, Maybe

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 13:34

A U.K. researcher says the environmental argument for eating bugs isn't working on its own. She says chefs and policymakers must "make insect dishes appeal as food, not just a way to save the planet."

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For Next President, The Fight Against Extremism Will Hit Closer To Home

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 13:24

The so-called Islamic State is endlessly creative in trying to get young men and women to leave home to Syria and Iraq. It's something the next president will have to wrestle with from Day 1.

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Rick Santorum Announces Presidential Run

NPR News - Wed, 2015-05-27 13:20

The former Republican senator from Pennsylvania appeals to his party's social conservatives. Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses in 2012, but this time around he faces a crowded Republican field.

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