National News

The Rise of Women Gamers at E3 2015

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:34

E3 — video games, gamers and traditionally lots and lots of men. But there are signs that the total male domination is changing.

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After Verses Turn To Versus, Poet Emerges With Renowned Oxford Post

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:33

If you didn't know better, you might mistake the hubbub for American politics. But, amid the fickle endorsements and dustups, poet Simon Armitage won election as the newest Oxford professor of poetry.

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The Neighs Have It: Horse Outruns Man, But Just Barely

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:31

The annual Man v. Horse Marathon in Wales sounds like a lopsided contest favoring racers with four feet. But scientists say that Homo sapiens evolved to be incredible endurance athletes, too.

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There's a new festival circuit for diehard TV fans

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:24

It's been said we’re in a second golden age of television. There’s more content on more platforms than ever before, but the sheer volume of TV shows can make it hard for new programs to stand out. Enter the television fest. It’s like a film festival but for episodic content. Elizabeth Wagmeister writes for Variety, and she recently covered the TV festival circuit in a piece called "Why Television Is Hitting the Road for Festivals." 

On why TV shows are turning to festivals: 

 Festivals make sense for television because the TV industry is booming … festivals are a great place for new shows and returning shows to get exposure. The best fans for TV are the ones that are going to these festivals…. When they’re there, they’re going to go on Facebook. They’re going to go on Instagram, and then the buzz spreads. 

On how TV festivals operate: 

Some of them will have different screenings at a time, so you have to choose. A big example of that is Comi-Con, which of course is film and TV, but there’s so many fans that want to go that every room is jam packed. Other ones, they’ll just have one screening at a time and it depends on how mature these festivals are. 

Kansas City Royals Are Running The Bases In All-Star Game Balloting

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:07

Major League Baseball has invalidated millions of online ballots for next month's game. Officials say ballots are invalidated every year, but the Royals' strong showing this year has raised eyebrows.

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#NPRreads: Wealthier Grays And The Intersection Of Race And Guns

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 11:21

This week's selection of articles and essays covers a surprising economic fact about seniors, the psychological damage done to juveniles in solitary and a look at the South Carolina church shooting.

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$1 Million Bond For Church Shooting Suspect

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 11:10

Dylann Roof appeared via videolink for a court hearing today, where he stood expressionless as victims' family members poured out their emotions.

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Why Ebola Won't Go Away In West Africa

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 10:26

Over the past few months, case tallies have dipped toward zero, only to bounce back up. Health officials worry the outbreak could never end if people keep hiding cases and dead bodies.

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Jon Stewart, Jamelle Bouie, And Others Weigh In On The Charleston Massacre

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 10:24

We rounded up a few sharp thoughts in the wake of Wednesday night's horrific attack on a historic black church.

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Jon Stewart, Jamelle Bouie, And Others Weigh In On The Charleston Massacre

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 10:24

We rounded up a few sharp thoughts in the wake of Wednesday night's horrific attack on a black church.

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In Bid To Reshape Violent Image, Juárez Dismantles 'No More Weapons' Sign

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:56

The sign was erected by former Mexican President Felipe Calderón as a protest to the illegal trade of weapons with the U.S. In recent years, the drug violence in the city has receded.

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Brazil Arrests Heads Of 2 Construction Giants In Petrobras Probe

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:32

The two executives, at Odebrecht SA and Andrade Gutierrez, were taken into custody in early morning raids linked to a scandal involving Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras.

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The hidden costs of marriage

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:16

Couples hoping to walk down the aisle this summer may incur some hidden expenses. From tax penalties to prenups, navigating your new life can be a tough row to hoe. In many cases, getting married might not make financial sense.

CBS News Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger joins Lizzie O’Leary to talk about what you need to know.

The big business of Indian weddings

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:12

For Indian millennials living in the U.S., a wedding may be the biggest party of their lives. Combining ancient tradition and American extravagance, these events can last for weeks and run well over six figures. It’s a booming industry, and venues across the country are all vying for a piece of the action.

“When hotels hear ‘Indian weddings’ they think, ‘cha-ching!’ ” says Ani Sandhu, owner of Ace of Events in the District of Columbia. He’s one of the area’s most successful Indian wedding planners. In order to plan a successful Indian wedding, he says you must first understand the cultural significance of the event. “In the Indian community, there are two things on their mind: one is education and one is marriage,” Sandhu says. “It’s not just the bride and groom getting married, it’s two families coming together … it’s a party that lasts a very, very long time.” Understanding the context, however, is just the prerequisite. The real heavy lifting happens when bringing together hundreds and even thousands of different elements to make each wedding a unique experience for each couple.

As lavish South Asian weddings grow in popularity, more venues are rolling out the red carpet to the wealthy client base. “On an average … we’re usually over a quarter-million dollars when it’s all said and done,” Sandhu says. Three-hundred- to 400-person guest lists are just the start. “By the time you are flying back and forth from India, you have jewelry that’s coming in, then you have all these events that are happening, all these traditions that need to take place, the total value that clients are spending towards weddings adds up to be a quarter million, three-hundred thousand plus.” Many hotels have started training their staffs in Indian traditions and customs in an effort to make families feel more welcome.

Sandhu often gets some pretty out-of-the-box requests. One groom asked to arrive on the back of an elephant. Another asked to arrive in helicopter. But when a groom came to him two years ago asking to make his entrance on a jet ski in the Maryland harbor, Sandhu had to do some brainstorming. “And I’m like, 'How do you expect to get off a jet ski, take off your wet suit, and be in your traditional Indian gown and not need it to be ironed or anything?' ” He managed to talk the groom out this idea and found a compromise: “For that specific client then we rented a private yacht that could accommodate about 30 guests, and the groom and his groomsmen made their entrance on the yacht.”

The price of the American wedding

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:06

At the courthouse and beyond, the American wedding is more than just a legal act or even a big day— it's a massive business. The wedding industry brings in about $80 billion a year. 

Businesses across the country reap the benefits: venues and florists, caterers, tent rental companies, dressmakers — they're all making big money. 

David Wood, president of the Association of Bridal Consultants, spoke about the wedding industry and how to make the price of a wedding fit into a budget. 

To hear the full interview, tune in using the player above. 

Ordinary Heroes: Urban Volunteers To The Rescue

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:03

When disaster strikes in a country like Bangladesh, first responders are often regular folks who happen to be on the scene. Now they're getting training so they can face the risks and save lives.

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The weird and wonderful world of elopements

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 09:02

If the economy is sluggish, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the wedding business. Alan Katz started his 24-hour elopement chapel 11 years ago, and business has been booming ever since.

Great Officiants in Long Beach, California, sees a steady stream of weddings daily, “and they come in for a variety of reasons,” Katz says. Price and convenience are two major selling points. Because Katz can perform services and dispense licenses in-house, his company has established itself as a bona fide “one-stop shop” for couples hoping to tie the knot. “I’m doing more weddings than ever before. I’ve assembled a team of 33 officiants to do weddings because I couldn’t handle them all,” Katz says.

Over the years, Katz has helped more than 5,000 couples tie the knot, but there is one service that gives him a special joy: same-sex couples. “I specifically love marrying couples that have been denied the right to marry in the past,” Katz says. “When I see couples walk into my office who have been denied all their lives and get them to say ‘I do,’ it’s the most amazing feeling.”

Katz likes to think of his services as the cure for the common wedding. With a little advance notice, you can be married by Elvis, Austin Powers or even Marilyn Monroe. Other popular themes include Harry Potter and the Princess Bride. With a new Star Wars movie slated for release later this year, Katz is already buying new costumes to meet the expected spike in demand.

As one of the most creative wedding chapels in California, Katz says, couples come from miles around to tie the knot. Katz says business is good, and it doesn’t show any sign of slowing. “In tough economic times, people get married, and in affluent times, people get married. What does change is the size of the wedding and the perks.” And at about $300 a pop, couples aren’t too afraid to splurge a little.

Doctors, Nurses Among 243 Charged In Million-Dollar Medicare Schemes

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 08:59

One doctor alone is accused of causing nearly $23 million in fraud losses, including "over 1,000 expensive power wheelchairs... that were not medically necessary and often not provided."

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Administration Proposes New Truck Emissions Rules To Reduce CO2

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 08:27

The new rules, yet to be finalized, were expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter by the year 2027.

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Settlement Reached To Overhaul Mississippi Juvenile Courts

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 08:27

The Justice Department deal follows a scathing report that uncovered systemic violations of due process rights of young people.

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