National News

Are Yemen And Somalia Good Examples Of U.S. Anti-Terror Strategy?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-12 04:13

President Obama says the strategy the U.S. would pursue against the Islamic State would be similar to how it targets al-Qaida affiliates in Yemen and Somalia. But both countries are deeply unstable.

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Ukraine, Rebels Swap Prisoners As Part Of Cease-Fire Deal

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-12 03:42

The late-night prisoner exchange, involving dozens of captives on both sides, comes as the European Union has stepped up sanctions on Moscow for its involvement in the conflict.

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PODCAST: Walmart's new wardrobe

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-12 03:00

Almost two years after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, killing 72 people and causing $50 billion in damage, thousands of people may be asked to return some or all of the money they received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA. And Walmart is putting in a new dress code for its employees, but they're not calling it a uniform. And that can create hardships for employees expected to pay for their new clothing. Plus, as Marketplace celebrates its 25th birthday this year, we are looking at the weird, delightful and destructive ways that prices have changed during that quarter century. But before our series gets to those, let's get a snapshot on what inflation is, exactly. 

Pistorius Found Guilty Of Culpable Homicide

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-12 02:57

The double-amputee track star showed no emotion as the verdict was read in a South African courtroom. He faces a maximum of 15 years on the charge, which is roughly equivalent to manslaughter.

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The price of smoked salmon hasn't swum upstream

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-12 02:00

As Marketplace celebrates its 25th birthday this year, we'll be taking a look at what our dollar bought in 1989, and what it buys today.

Saul Zabar, president of the famed Upper West Side establishment Zabar's, can't remember what he was charging for smoked salmon 25 years ago. But a magazine from 1989 lists a Zabar's sale price: $15.95 a pound for Scotch salmon, pre-sliced. Sounds like a bargain, but as we'll be reminding ourselves during this series, you have to remember to adjust for inflation. $15.95 is more than $30 a pound in today's money.

Today, routinely, with no special sale, Saul charges under $24 a pound. In real terms, that's a 22 percent decline in 25 years.

Dr. Gunnar Knapp, a professor of economics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, is an expert on the raw material that goes into smoked salmon. He points to the rise of farmed salmon as part of the explanation. 

Now, we shouldn't forget that farming salmon can have environmental costs. And as Knapp points out, there are two parts to the price equation — not just supply, but also demand.

Click the media player above to hear Dr. Gunnar Knapp in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.

Walmart draws criticism for its new dress code

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-12 02:00

Walmart is introducing a new dress code for its employees, but they’re not calling it a uniform. And that’s got some Walmart employees riled up.

The retailer says customers are having a hard time figuring out who works at the store, so it’s put in place a dress code. Employees have to wear black or khaki pants and a blue or white collared shirt.

Judith Conti of the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit that advocates for low-wage workers, says employees are upset about this because they have to pay for the clothes.

“Walmart employees are among the lowest paid in the entire country,” Conti says. “And Walmart is asking them to buy new clothes to wear at work.”

Walmart didn’t respond to an interview request, but it has said that most of the feedback about the dress code has been positive.

Reuel Schiller, a professor at UC Hastings Law School, said it’s significant that Walmart isn’t calling this a uniform.

“There’s a legal difference between a uniform and a dress code,” says Schiller. If the cost of the uniform will actually pull your wages below minimum wage for the week that you bought it, then under federal law that’s illegal.  

Schiller said Walmart skirts the issue — and passes on costs — by going with a dress code.

Silicon Tally: Get on the Google bus

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-12 02:00

It's time for Silicon Tally! How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

This week, we're joined by Marketplace reporter Queena Kim in the heart of Silicon Valley.

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Let's inflate like it's 1989

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-12 01:30

As Marketplace celebrates its 25th birthday this year, we are looking at the weird, delightful and destructive ways that prices have changed during that quarter century.

For instance, I noticed that the real price of electricity is essentially the same as it was in 1989, adjusted for inflation. In fact, electricity costs the same as it did in 1960, when I was born, adjusting for inflation. Prescription drugs, however, are a different story. The examples we're looking at for the Marketplace Inflation Calculator all have a unique story about how prices have changed since our show got started 25 years ago.

But before our series gets to those, let's get a snapshot on what inflation is, exactly.

Greg Mankiw is chairman of the economics department at Harvard, and if his name sounds familiar it might be because it's on the front of your macroeconomics textbook from college. 

Click the media player above to hear Dr. Greg Mankiw in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.

 

Judge: Pistorius Guilty Of Culpable Homicide In Girlfriend's Death

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-12 00:44

A judge in South Africa has found Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

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ISIS, ISIL Or Islamic State: What's In A Name?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 23:36

The disparities in naming are partly because of translation difficulties, and partly a sign of a propaganda war. The group calls itself the Islamic State; the Obama administration goes with ISIL.

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Expanding ISIS Fight Scrambles GOP Plan To Extend Budget And Get Out

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 23:34

House Republicans were hoping for a smooth two weeks before hitting the campaign trial, but a request to arm Syrian rebels has muddled that, as well as the one bill that must pass before they leave.

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20 Years Later, Parts Of Major Crime Bill Viewed As Terrible Mistake

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 23:32

In 1994, Congress passed the most significant crime-fighting legislation in a generation. Now, policymakers are dialing back Clinton's tough-on-crime policies.

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Changing Tack, GOP Candidates Support Better Access To Birth Control

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 23:30

A string of Republican Senate candidates are getting behind over-the-counter birth control, a move that could draw women voters.

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Changing Tack, GOP Candidates Support Better Access To Birth Control

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 23:30

A string of Republican Senate candidates are getting behind over-the-counter birth control, a move that could draw women voters.

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A Dozen Puffins Will Get You 800 Mackerel: Inside The Weird Economy Of Zoos

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 23:29

Zoos and aquariums almost never buy or sell animals. But trade is thriving.

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Convicted School Shooter Apprehended After Ohio Prison Break

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 22:06

T.J. Lane escaped Thursday night with two other inmates from the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima. Lane was convicted of killing 3 students at a suburban Cleveland High School in 2012.

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CIA Doubles Its Estimate Of Islamic State Fighters In Iraq And Syria

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 17:22

The Central Intelligence Agency says the Sunni militant group can "muster between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters." Earlier, the agency had estimated ISIS had at least 10,000 fighters.

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Court Documents Show How NSA Leaned On Yahoo, How Yahoo Fought Back

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 16:53

Newly released court documents reveal details of a battle between Yahoo and the Obama administration. The government pressured Yahoo to disclose some users' data for a secret NSA surveillance program.

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U.S. Threatened To Fine Yahoo $250K A Day If It Didn't Release User Data

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-11 16:24

The company says it fought the order in a secret court and lost. Today, that same court finally unsealed documents of a pivotal decision that allowed the U.S. to spy on Internet users.

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