National News

'Deliberate Action' Took Malaysian Airliner Off Its Route

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 04:00

Malaysia's prime minister said Saturday that the missing airline left its planned route as the result of deliberate action by someone aboard. Reporter Anthony Kuhn gives NPR's Jacki Lyden the latest.

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New Zealanders Search For Symbol Of Identity, Independence

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 04:00

The Union Jack may not last long in the New Zealand flag. NPR's Jacki Lyden talks to journalist Tim Watkin about the flag, which some see as a symbol of British colonialism.

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Week 2 Of Pistorius Trial Gruesome, Disturbing

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 04:00

Oscar Pistorius' calm demeanor cracked this week. The paralympic champion is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend. NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks with The Guardian's David Smith.

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Author: Putin Has Always Been A 'Playground Bully'

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 04:00

Is Vladimir Putin insane? Not at all, according to Masha Gessen, author of the political biography, The Man Without a Face. She talks to NPR's Jacki Lyden about Putin's world view.

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Tension, Violence Build One Day Ahead Of Crimea Vote

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 04:00

Crimea will hold a referendum on Sunday about whether to leave Ukraine. With reports of intimidation ahead of the vote, correspondent Gregory Warner gives NPR's Jacki Lyden the latest from Yalta.

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Economic Sanctions Play Out In Strange Ways In Iran

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 04:00

Upscale Iranian malls still sell iPads and iPhones and its shops and cafes are stocked and full, but chemical weapons victims have trouble getting medicines and prices for food basics have gone up.

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House Passes Payment Fix For Medicare Docs, But At What Cost?

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 02:00

A bipartisan compromise years in the making came apart this week when House GOP leaders inserted into a Medicare bill language that would delay part of the Affordable Care Act.

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The Passengers On Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 01:01

American Philip Wood was returning to his girlfriend in Beijing after a visit to Texas. He was among the 239 people on board the flight that's been missing since last Saturday.

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Rethinking The Five-Second Rule: With Carpet, There's No Rush

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 01:01

Looks like the old adage about when it's safe to eat dropped foods may actually be effective for wet, sticky stuff like candies. For carpet-dusted snacks, you can take your sweet time, a study finds.

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A Tragic Disappearance (Mostly) Solved In 'Savage Harvest'

NPR News - Sat, 2014-03-15 01:00

In a new book, journalist Carl Hoffman lays out the case that when Michael Rockefeller disappeared on an art-collecting trip to New Guinea in 1961, he was likely killed by the local Asmat people.

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Prime Minister: 'Deliberate Action' Disabled Missing Jet's Systems

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 23:50

Malaysia's prime minister says he is now certain that someone disabled the communication systems on the airliner, but he stopped short of calling the disappearance a hijacking.

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Man Widely Known As The 'Kissing Sailor' In 1945 V-J Day Photo Dies

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 16:37

While the photographer of the iconic image never identified Glenn Edward McDuffie, a renowned forensic artist positively identified McDuffie.

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Breakthrough On Jobless Benefits May Lead To Blind Alley

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 15:49

A bipartisan group of senators has reached a deal to extend insurance for the long-term unemployed. But the road to final passage is full of partisan obstacles.

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Hispanic Activists Vow To Keep Pressing White House Over Deportations

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 15:27

Amid pressure to slow deportations and after meeting with Hispanic congressional leaders, President Obama said he would look at more humane ways to enforce immigration laws.

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Weekly Wrap: Hurray for Washington?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 15:18

Kai spoke with Bloomberg Government's Nela Richardson and the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy in Washington, D.C.

 

And in Washington they begin:

 

Kai: Is it possible that Washington has decided to get the way out of the economy?

 

Nela Richardson: "At least with this emergency funding, I think there is some positivity. I say 'hurray for Washington!' for getting this done. Overtime pay... that's a whole different issue. It adds to President Obama's phone and pen strategy, trying to get as much done on inequality and raising income without asking Congress."

 

Is it working? Is President Obama getting traction income inequality? He's been raising the minimum wage for federal contractors, and now the overtime thing. 

 

Sudeep Reddy: He getting traction on this, not just nationally, but globally. The IMF was latest to sound the alarm on inequality around the world. It really is a defining issue of our time... But if the White House didn't have enoguh businesses and people annoyed by regulations and rules, they're on their way.

 

And what about pushback?

 

Nela Richardson: "'Here's a new set of regulations.' -- there's definitely pushback."

Sudeep Reddy: "These are ways to move the pieces around as we're going through a moderate growth approach to the economy. Nobody is really counting on big changes to the economy from Washington... This is really just to tread water, and tread water in a different way than we have been doing before.

 

The referendum in Crimea. Why is the market just watching this and saying, "Yeah, yeah, ok, fine'?

 

Nela Richardson: "The market feels pretty confident that the U.S. is isolated enough from the events in Russia and Ukraine... the worst case scenario is a stepping up of sanctions."

 

Sudeep Reddy: "It's impossible... to plan for an actual war in a region... but to plan for an economic war, to discuss sanctinos and all of the possibilities that come out of this, there are three or steps down the line that have to occur."

U.S. To Relinquish Remaining Control Of The Internet

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 14:37

The U.S. government is asking the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to gather global stakeholders and come up with a transition plan.

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Top students turning down Wall Street life

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 14:26
Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 18:24 Mark Garrison/Marketplace

Princeton students study for midterms at a campus café

Wall Street is starting to lose a war it has long dominated: The battle for talent. Elite schools that once sent hordes of brainy undergrads to big banks aren’t sending quite so many these days. A growing number of America’s top students are joining tech companies to seek their fortunes, or choosing to improve others’ fortunes in the non-profit world.

There’s a snapshot of what’s happening nationally at Princeton University, one of Wall Street’s favorite hunting grounds. As one of the America’s most selective schools, the university has already done some of recruiters’ work for them by bringing the nation’s brightest to campus. Year after year, banks and consulting firms arrive on campus to make their pitch. Students don ties and pantsuits for interviews, and not just economics majors. The banks pull from across campus.

Any bank recruiter would love to snag senior Malik Jackson. Wall Street prizes Ivy League athletes and Jackson plays quarterback. That means there’s a front row seat reserved for him on the train that has long carried Princeton grads to banking.

But he’s not taking it.

He’s going back to his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida to teach middle school social studies via Teach For America.

“As a student body, we all have such distinct interests,” Jackson explains. “It would be a disservice if all those interests were only focused on one field.”

He’s one of a growing number of students resisting the lure of finance and choosing to work in the non-profit sector, a big change from years past.

“I saw just about everyone headed to banks and consulting firms,” says Wendy Kopp, who graduated from Princeton in 1989.

Seeing so many of her classmates students sucked into finance frustrated her. She felt their talents could be put to better use elsewhere. That led her to starting Teach For America, the non-profit which steers talented undergrads to teach in needy classrooms. The program has grown rapidly, drawing heavily from Princeton and other selective schools. Kopp is now CEO of Teach For All, a global network of educational non-profits.

Non-profits got a big assist from Wall Street during the financial crisis. Banks blew up, cut jobs, and students questioned working for the firms that wrecked the world’s economy. Occupy Wall Street grew popular on campuses. When JPMorgan’s recruiters came to Princeton in 2011, a group of Occupy protesters disrupted the meeting. It wouldn’t be the only such protest.

“When I was a freshman, a lot of my upperclassmen friends would tell me about how their friends were going into finance and consulting,” says junior Damaris Miller, one of the Occupy protesters disrupting that recruiting session. “I find that a lot of my friends are not.”

Among Princeton’s 2006 graduates, 45 percent with full-time jobs worked in finance, according the Princeton University Office of Career Services, which surveys where students land a few months after graduation. That number nosedived after the financial crash. By the time the class of 2013 had entered the world, only 24 percent of those with full-time jobs were in finance. (The University’s data include finance and insurance in one category.)

[Note: For the Classes of 2006-2010 there was a 3-month survey follow-up period following graduation. In 2011, the follow-up period was changed to 6-months after graduation.]

Figuring out what students want and how to get them there is the challenge for Pulin Sanghvi, who runs Princeton’s career services office. A veteran of both Morgan Stanley and McKinsey, he understands that today’s students aren’t as easily swayed by the giants of banking and consulting that have traditionally had dibs on elite graduates.

He says today’s students want jobs that have meaning to them. That can mean non-profits, but not necessarily. The day Sanghvi showed me around his offices, Kayak was there interviewing students. Tech companies and startups are scooping up many who might have gone to Wall Street. The percentage of grads finding work at tech companies is soaring as the numbers for finance sag.

“Many [students] are getting excited by the opportunity to disrupt industries, and create new enterprises, and build organizations that may create thousands of jobs,” Sanghvi says.

Part of the reason banks had such a tight grip on elite schools for so long was their hefty recruiting budgets. Many students who weren’t sure what to do just defaulted into finance. Now, they’re going elsewhere.

Plenty still go to Wall Street, of course. Those who are most certain about it gathered recently for an evening meeting of the Princeton Corporate Finance Club. Sophomore economics major Darwin Li is president. Though most undergrads do just one finance internship after junior year, he did his first straight out of high school. He’s now looking ahead to his third, and says he already has a summer offer from a hedge fund.

Li doesn’t come across as careerist or greedy, just genuinely passionate about finance. Someone who should be a banker.

“Growing up I’ve been very numbers oriented, competing in math competitions. I’ve had a very quantitative mindset. I played chess,” he says. “The thought process to accomplish those things is pretty much the same thought process used in a lot of financial fields.”

The campus doesn’t give the impression of disdain for students who go to work for banks. It’s more of a suspicion of those who seem to be doing it for the wrong reasons.

“I wouldn’t say that people are very antagonistic toward people who are pursuing careers in finance, but are more antagonistic to people who originally give the impression that they wanted to work for a non-profit and then switch over,” explains Prianka Misra, an associate editor of the student paper’s opinion section. “It seems like their intentions are entirely at odds with each other.”

Soon-to-be teacher Malik Jackson has no problem with friends going into finance, tech, non-profits or whatever, as long as they’re following a passion, not just a routine.

“You could be a company man and that is totally cool,” he says. “Or you could maybe start your own company. Or you could maybe just try to make the world better. There are so many ways to do it.”

Wall Street is freaked out about elite students passing it by. Banks are changing their recruiting pitch and work environments to compete. But it may be the students they can easily get are the ones who really want to do banking. That could be good for the banks. It certainly seems good for the students.

Marketplace for Thursday, March 20, 2014by Mark GarrisonPodcast Title: Top students turning down Wall Street lifeStory Type: FeatureSyndication: SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond: No

Boeing 777 Pilots: It's Not Easy To Disable Onboard Communications

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:48

Four commercial jetliner pilots say they would need to pore over checklists and other aircraft documentation to figure out how to disable radios and a text-based automatic communication system.

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FDIC Sues 16 Big Banks, Accusing Them Of Fixing Interest Rates

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:40

The lawsuit claims the banks' manipulation of the London interbank offered rate caused failed U.S. banks to suffer substantial losses.

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For-profit colleges and concerns over 'gainful employment'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 13:38

The Obama Administration has unveiled proposed new regulations on for-profit colleges and vocational programs. They're known as the "gainful employment" rules because career colleges are supposed to prepare their students for gainful employment.

That means jobs that pay enough to pay off those sizeable loans so many students take on. This isn't the first time the administration has tried to crack down on the multi-billion dollar for-profit college business.

Here's a look at some of the numbers involved in the rulemaking:

841 Pages

The number of pages in the U.S. Department of Education’s new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which spells out new guidelines on for-profit colleges and vocational programs. A previous version of the so-called "gainful employment" rule was tossed out by a federal judge, so the latest draft is an attempt to be "as legally bullet-proof as possible," says New America Foundation policy analyst Ben Miller. 

$150 Billion

The approximate size of the federal student aid program. Career programs that don’t meet the proposed new guidelines could lose access to this huge source of revenue. 

30%

The maximum default rate for career programs eligible for federal student aid. Under the proposed rules, programs risk losing eligibility for federal student aid if more than 30 percent of their former students are in default after three years of leaving school, or if graduates have to spend more than 8 percent of their earnings (or more than 20 percent of their discretionary income) on student loan payments.

16%

The estimated percentage of programs that would fail under the new guidelines. Most of them are at for-profit colleges. Programs would have time to improve before becoming ineligible for aid.

60 days

The number of days the public has to comment on the draft regulations before they're finalized.

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