National News

Golden Gate Bridge To Get Suicide Net

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-28 03:49

San Francisco officials approved $76 million to install suicide prevention nets around the Golden Gate Bridge. NPR's Scott Simon notes that last year a record 46 people jumped to their deaths.

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Region's Leaders Promise To Protect Iraq's Holy Sites

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-28 03:49

Last week, Iran's president vowed to protect Shiite holy sites in Iraq, but will that be possible in the midst of a civil war? NPR's Scott Simon talks to Karim Hendili, an Arab specialist for UNESCO.

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Sarajevo Celebrates WWI Centennial With Joy And The Macabre

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-28 03:49

Saturday marks 100 years since the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. NPR's Scott Simon talks with correspondent Ari Shapiro about how Sarajevans are commemorating the event.

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In Argentina, Pope Francis' Legacy Is Complex

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-28 03:49

The pope was a young priest during his nation's "Dirty War." Journalist Alma Guillermoprieto talks with NPR's Scott Simon about Francis' controversial history and her article "Francis's Holy War."

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Oklahoma, Arizona Inmates Sue To Stop Executions

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-28 02:05

The suits take aim at the kind of multi-drug execution procedures that resulted in botched executions in Oklahoma and Ohio, calling them a form of human experimentation.

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Tech Week: Google's Plans, Aereo's Loss And Occupied Stalls

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-28 01:13

Google rolled out a slew of new products and ideas at its annual developers conference, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to a TV startup, plus more headlines in this week's tech news roundup.

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A Rogue Libyan General Tries To Impose Order With An Iron Fist

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-28 01:10

Khalifa Hifter was one of Moammar Gadhafi's top generals who eventually fled to the U.S. Now he's back in Libya, a polarizing figure waging a harsh crackdown on Islamist militants.

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A Rogue Libyan General Tries To Impose Order With An Iron Fist

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-28 01:10

Khalifa Hifter was one of Moammar Gadhafi's top generals who eventually fled to the U.S. Now he's back in Libya, a polarizing figure waging a harsh crackdown on Islamist militants.

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Older Moms Take Heart: You May Be More Likely To Live Longer

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-28 01:08

There's mounting evidence that women who have children later in life are also more likely to make it to 95 or 100. But delaying childbearing just to live longer is not a good idea.

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Soul Singer Bobby Womack Dies At 70

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-27 17:04

The legendary singer rose to prominence with such hits as "Lookin' For A Love" and "It's All Over Now."

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In The Stands At World Cup, It Was The U.S. That Beat Germany

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-27 16:09

In the David and Goliath match, American fans dominated the cheering section.

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Court Stays Decision Striking Down Indiana's Gay Marriage Ban

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-27 16:05

The appeals court decision puts a halt to gay marriages in the state pending an appeal of the lower court ruling.

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Ukraine Extends Cease-Fire With Pro-Russia Separatists

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-27 14:56

A hiatus in fighting was set to expire Friday, but Kiev says it's extending the deadline for three days.

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Armed Drones Over Baghdad To Protect U.S. Forces, Pentagon Says

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-27 14:25

The decision to arm some of the unmanned planes flying over the city was made to protect American advisers deployed to assess the security situation.

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SCOTUS On Cellphones And The Privacy Of Poetry

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-27 14:12

To put a literary spin on the Supreme Court's recent decision to limit warrantless cellphone searches, author Craig Morgan Teicher turns to A.R. Ammons' book of poetry, Tape for the Turn of the Year.

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Norway Does A Ctrl+Alt+Delete On E-Voting Experiment

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-27 13:52

After trying out online balloting in elections in 2011 and 2013, Oslo has concluded that it didn't improve turnout and might undermine the democratic process.

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Got Leftovers To Share? In Germany, There's A Website For That

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-27 13:35

Europeans throw away about 90 million tons of food each year. A new German website aims to ratchet that number down a bit by connecting people with leftovers to spare with people who could use them.

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Are European banks feeling more heat than U.S. ones?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-27 13:26

According to the New York Times and other reports, next week the European bank BNP Paribas will pay almost $9 billion in penalties to U.S. regulators and plead guilty to criminal charges. That follows other recent actions against bankers at Credit Suisse. But why are actions like these seemingly so infrequent?

"It's not that the regulators are only focusing on the European banks. I think you could make the a strong case that the penalties that they're seeking are may be a little bit disproportionate to the crimes, at least if you compare them to how much as a share of profits the American banks are having to pay," says Cardiff Garcia with the blog FT Alphaville. "But I don't think it's that the regulators are singling out the Europeans. I think this is more just that the regulators sense a few issues where they can take some scalps and so they're going for it."

"It's kind of the shareholders, in many cases, that have been held to account and not so much the actual people who are making the bad-guy decisions," adds Catherine Rampell, a columnist and blogger for the Washington Post. "And I think that has a lot of people very angry and understandably so."

Bank penalties weren't the only thing being discussed on Wall Street this week, even though the business world slowed down as we approach the July 4 holiday. A terrible GDP report out this week had many wondering about economic growth in the U.S., especially earlier this year.

"Certainly things looked a lot worse in the end than they started in the beginning," says Rampell. "It could turn out that the quarter was better actually than we thought.... and there are a lot of other data points in the U.S. economy that demonstrate that actually we're doing better than the GDP number, at face value, suggests."

And what about all the American attention paid to the 2014 World Cup and the U.S. men's national soccer team?

" We're all just exciteable enough to get into it while the U.S. is winning, and yet the minute we lose or we get knocked out," Garcia says, "we'll just say, oh well, whatever, it's just soccer anyways."

Are European banks feeling more heat than U.S. ones?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-27 13:26

According to the New York Times and other reports, next week the European bank BNP Paribas will pay almost $9 billion in penalties to U.S. regulators and plead guilty to criminal charges. That follows other recent actions against bankers at Credit Suisse. But why are actions like these seemingly so infrequent?

"It's not that the regulators are only focusing on the European banks. I think you could make the a strong case that the penalties that they're seeking are may be a little bit disproportionate to the crimes, at least if you compare them to how much as a share of profits the American banks are having to pay," says Cardiff Garcia with the blog FT Alphaville. "But I don't think it's that the regulators are singling out the Europeans. I think this is more just that the regulators sense a few issues where they can take some scalps and so they're going for it."

"It's kind of the shareholders, in many cases, that have been held to account and not so much the actual people who are making the bad-guy decisions," adds Catherine Rampell, a columnist and blogger for the Washington Post. "And I think that has a lot of people very angry and understandably so."

Bank penalties weren't the only thing being discussed on Wall Street this week, even though the business world slowed down as we approach the July 4 holiday. A terrible GDP report out this week had many wondering about economic growth in the U.S., especially earlier this year.

"Certainly things looked a lot worse in the end than they started in the beginning," says Rampell. "It could turn out that the quarter was better actually than we thought.... and there are a lot of other data points in the U.S. economy that demonstrate that actually we're doing better than the GDP number, at face value, suggests."

And what about all the American attention paid to the 2014 World Cup and the U.S. men's national soccer team?

" We're all just exciteable enough to get into it while the U.S. is winning, and yet the minute we lose or we get knocked out," Garcia says, "we'll just say, oh well, whatever, it's just soccer anyways."

'TV Everywhere' is sometimes TV nowhere

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-27 13:26

At its peak during Thursday’s US-Germany World Cup game, ESPN was serving up a record 1.7 million streams of its channel over the internet. It was not without hiccups. 

A number of users had issues logging into the service. 

When I tried today — not a peak time for viewership — I, too, got an “authentication error” on my first attempt. 

All this logging in to prove we pay for cable is part of something the industry calls “TV Everywhere." It’s used by HBO GO, CNN, and others. 

It’s designed to give consumers what we want — the ability to watch live TV on computers, tablets, and smartphones — but also keeps us paying the cable company. 

But it’s rarely an easy experience.  

“it’s a huge issue,” says Daniel Frankel, editor of Fierce Cable, and online trade publication. “The problem is that it’s just not fully baked yet. It’s such a hugely complex initiative involving so many rights deals and so many technology deals, it’s bound to not work seamlessly for the consumer.” 

It’s a far cry from services like Netflix, Hulu, even the now illegal Aereo that all let you log in once and keep using the service. 

“The key to TV Everywhere’s future is removing authentication altogether,” says Michael Greeson, President of The Diffusion Group, which consults for the industry.  

TV Everywhere has been slow to catch on. After five years, most cable subscribers don’t know it exists. And, he says the industry has been so afraid of people stealing its content that it’s made it too hard to use. 

Similarly, the music industry initially put far more restrictions on downloads than it does today. Many predict the cable industry will relax its rules. 

ESPN says its working with cable companies to simplify things. Its own president, earlier this year, called today’s TV Everywhere setup, “clunky.”

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