National News

Dropping its NFL sponsorship pays off for Radisson

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-17 11:42

When was the last time you thought about Radisson Hotels? Probably about a day ago, when the company pulled its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings.

What about before that? Hmm.

Turns out the hotel is already benefiting hugely from its decision, getting them more attention than they've had in a while.

According to research firm Amobee Brand Intelligence, Radisson got "enough social, Web and mobile impressions to account for 58 percent of its total online consumption (impressions plus mentions) for the last three months," Adweek reported.

That's a long time.

CORRECTION: The broadcast version of this story incorrectly identified “Amobee Brand Insights.” The company is called Amobee Brand Intelligence.

From Quebec To Kashmir, Separatists Watch Scotland Vote

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 11:19

Scotland's referendum on independence has implications beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. We take a look at several other regions with breakaway movements.

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Kids' Perception Of Parents' Favoritism Counts More Than Reality

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 11:13

Mom always liked you best. But is that enough of an excuse to start smoking dope? It depends on how teenagers perceive parental preference, a study finds. And also how warm the family is overall.

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3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 11:12

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

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Iran's Foreign Minister: U.S. 'Not Serious' About Defeating Islamic State

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 09:47

In an interview with NPR, Mohammad Javad Zarif says the U.S. has been hesitant and contradictory in its approach to defeating the Islamist insurgency.

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Who's Giving What: Nonprofits Step Up Anti-Ebola Efforts

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 09:40

Nonprofits have an important role to play in fighting Ebola, Obama said yesterday. Indeed, they are now donating millions, dispatching doctors and sending over critical supplies.

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Obama Rules Out Another Ground War In Iraq

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 09:06

The president said U.S. airstrikes, combined with military expertise, would be more effective in defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State.

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Colorado Tries Hard To Convince Teens That Pot Is Bad For You

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 09:01

Do you want to be a lab rat? That's what teenagers are doing when they smoke marijuana, the state of Colorado says. But since hard evidence of marijuana's harms is scanty, it may be a tough sell.

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Things have changed since Leonard Maltin started reviewing

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-17 08:58

If there’s one guy who knows movies and television, it’s Leonard Maltin. Maltin says he has been reviewing films since the age of 15, and was hired to write the first volume of "Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide" when he was 17 -years-old.

"The book was aimed at people who watched old movies on local television," says Maltin. "And old movies filled the airwaves of local television, in those days."

From the 1950s through the late 1980s, the networks ABC, CBS and NBC dominated.  But, Maltin says, the biggest difference in television between now and then is that there is a lot more content today.

"Walt Disney was on one of the three big networks," says Maltin. "He used to command a weekly audience that was roughly equivalent to the Super Bowl audience in television today. If anybody was on the Ed Sullivan show, chances are something like a third or more of the country was watching. And that was a regular event, it was not special, it was a regular weekly event."

Films have changed over the years as well. Maltin says that although the film making industry has always been a business, the nature of it has changed. Movie studios weren’t always owned by large corporations, like Sony and Comcast. Some owned themselves, and others were owned by movie theaters.

"So now they’re dealing with reporting to people who don’t necessarily care about movies that much, know about movies that much and they are also reporting to shareholders. So there are a lot of people to satisfy," says Maltin.

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

Mistura Food Fest Gives Peruvian Cuisine A Chance To Shine

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 08:20

Every September, top chefs from around the world gather to celebrate the diversity of Peruvian cuisine. But not everyone is convinced the food boom is the answer to the country's historic challenges.

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How Catholic Insurance Companies Outsource Contraceptive Coverage

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 08:02

For years Catholic health plans have been arranging for independent insurance firms to provide contraceptive coverage to their enrollees.

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For Scotland's 16-Year-Olds, The First Vote Will Be On Independence

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 07:55

Scotland has lowered the voting age from 18 to 16 for Thursday's referendum on independence. But it looks like the youngest voters won't be casting ballots in the way that many had initially expected.

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The numbers for September 17, 2014

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-17 07:26

Thirty-two out of 60 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict that the Federal Reserve will announce plans to keep interest rates near zero for a "considerable time" in a statement expected Wednesday afternoon. In general, Fed-speak-watchers are split on whether the bank will drop that language, which could rattle the markets.

While we wait for the Fed's statement, here are the other numbers we're keeping an eye on:

59 percent

Mobile ads are a moneymaker for Facebook, accounting for 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter of 2014. The Wall Street Journal reported that most of that money isn't coming from big consumer brands, but from mobile gaming companies who will pay out the nose for targeted ads and users who hit the "install" button without leaving Facebook –sometimes up to $20 per ad and another $10 per install. That investment becomes worth it once users shell out money for in-game add-ons, but many are concerned the market for "free-to-play" games will bust soon.

$500 million

That's how much the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is seeking in a suit against the troubled for-profit Corinthian Colleges. The suit alleges that Corinthian used predatory lending tactics and harassed students to claim payments, all the while messing with its own job placement numbers by paying employers to temporarily hire its graduates. Corinthian disputes the allegations.

53 percent

The parents of over half the students at the Children's Creative Workshop in Malibu have filed "Personal Belief Exceptions," allowing their children to attend school without certain vaccines. Many of the wealthiest schools across California are seeing a huge drop in vaccination rates, according to an investigation by the Hollywood Reporter, and cases of whooping cough are skyrocketing.

Growing Business — Show Us Your Desk Plant

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 07:11

New research shows that foliage can be beneficial in the workplace. Now show us your pet desk plant.

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NFL sponsors chime in on recent scandals

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-17 07:00

The start of the National Football League’s season has been more about incidents off the field than on.

Minnesota Vikings have placed running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt/commissioner's permission list, telling him to stay away team activities while he faces child abuse charges. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is appealing his indefinite suspension after video surfaced of him hitting his then-fiancé.

Responding to these incidents and others, the NFL’s big-money sponsors are pushing the league to take a bigger stand against this behavior.

“We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season,” Anheuser Busch said in a statement. “We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code.”

Cover Girl and Pepsi also released statements expressing the desire to see more action from the NFL.

In turn, the league announced its taking steps to address its domestic violence policy. It also hired Cynthia Hogan to be the league’s senior vice president of public policy and government affairs. Hogan was an aide to Joe Biden in the Senate when he wrote the Violence Against Women Act.

“This is one of the first times we’ve seen sponsors threaten to walk away from the entire league,” says Victor Matheson, a sports economist at the College of The Holy Cross.

He says sponsors typically rethink their contracts with the individual players in these types of circumstances. This time, it’s more about the league’s response, though teams can be targets too.

Raddison, the hotel chain, has suspended its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings, referring to charges against Peterson by saying, “Radisson takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children.”

The Vikings reversed a previous reinstatement and have now kept Peterson from playing.

“We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right,” the Vikings said in a statement. “At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community.”

But for now, despite registering their discontent, most sponsors are staying put.

“For now, I think it’s just piling on,” says Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College. “[Sponsors are saying] ‘We’re good guys, don’t boycott us.’ And when the storm blows over, which I believe it will, then they’ll be back on board.”

Zimbalist says the NFL enjoys strong viewership, more so than other professional sports leagues, which is a big draw for sponsors.

Despite the backlash, fans are still watching. Over 22 million people tuned in Sunday when the Chicago Bears’ played the San Francisco 49ers, according to NBC.

Bangladesh Court Commutes Islamist Leader's Death Sentence

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 06:22

Delwar Hossain Sayedee will instead spend the rest of his life in prison. He was convicted last year for his role in the violence surrounding the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

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Wildfire Threatens More Than 1,500 Homes In Northern California

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 06:00

The largest, spreading through the Sierra Nevada forest east of Sacramento, has engulfed more than 18,000 and is only 5 percent contained.

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These People Can Make Student Loans Disappear

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 05:14

A group called Rolling Jubilee has "abolished" more than $3 million in private student loans from the for-profit Corinthian Colleges. And it's just getting started.

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Police Hunt For Armed 'Survivalist' In Pa. Trooper Shooting

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 04:32

Eric Frein, 31, has been identified as a suspect in last week's fatal shooting of one state trooper and the wounding of another.

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House Poised To Vote On Arming, Training Syrian Rebels

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:32

The expected vote on whether to authorize the Obama administration's plan to arm and train moderate fighters comes as the president meets with military officials at U.S. Central Command.

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