National News

It's Hard For These Dads To Talk About Love ... But They Do

NPR News - Sat, 2015-06-20 03:03

Three fathers in India talk about the struggle to express affection for their kids and how they feel about having daughters vs. sons.

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North Korea Announces Cure For MERS (As If)

NPR News - Sat, 2015-06-20 01:44

The drug can also allegedly wipe out AIDS and TB and just about every other disease. The state-run media announced the news, so exaggeration is to be expected.

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North Korea Announces Cure For MERS (As If)

NPR News - Sat, 2015-06-20 01:44

The drug can also allegedly wipe out AIDS and TB and just about every other disease. The state-run media announced the news, so exaggeration is to be expected.

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Tobacco Is Smokin' Again In Zimbabwe

NPR News - Sat, 2015-06-20 01:39

Tobacco production took a nosedive after the economy collapsed and the government seized white-owned farms. A decade later, the industry is booming once more.

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Tobacco Is Smokin' Again In Zimbabwe

NPR News - Sat, 2015-06-20 01:39

Tobacco production took a nosedive after the economy collapsed and the government seized white-owned farms. A decade later, the industry is booming once more.

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Courted By Candidates, Faith Voters Say They Want To Hear More

NPR News - Sat, 2015-06-20 01:03

Attendees of the Faith & Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority conference say they want to hear the candidates talk about higher education, defense and gun rights.

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Leaving Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders Found Home In Vermont

NPR News - Sat, 2015-06-20 01:03

Sanders grew up a city kid, dreaming of a life in the Green Mountain State. Now, a friend says, "I think he needs his fix of Vermont."

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Cat Wins 'Hero Dog' Award

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 16:57

Tara body-slammed the neighbors' dog to save her then-4-year-old owner. When a Los Angeles shelter prepared to present its annual trophy, no dog's heroics could match the cat's.

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Obamacare Repeal Would Add Billions to Deficit

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 14:29

A new report adds to the debate over the economic impact of the Affordable Care Act in advance of a much-awaited Supreme Court ruling.

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Guess Which Country Has The Biggest Increase In Soda Drinking

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 14:20

It's Cameroon, closely trailed by Vietnam and India. Sugary fizzy drinks are making inroads in the developing world.

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Mexico's Sugary Drink Tax Makes A Dent In Consumption, Study Claims

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 14:00

Few countries or cities have dared to try a "sin" tax on soda, so no one really knows if a tax would actually get people to drink less. Preliminary results suggest that the tax in Mexico is working.

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Predictably, Democrats, Republicans Don't Agree On Charleston Causes, Solutions

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 13:46

The shooting at a historically black church in Charleston briefly put a pause on the campaign. But eventually politics crept back in, and both sides, as usual, took different lessons from the tragedy.

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Confederate Flag 'Has To Come Down' In S.C., NAACP Leader Says

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 13:40

Calling Wednesday's killing of nine black church members in Charleston, S.C., a hate crime, the head of the NAACP says it's not appropriate for South Carolina to keep flying the Confederate flag.

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Fatherhood programs pair job training with therapy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 13:33

If you work in social services in a town like Cheyenne, Wyoming, guys like Michael Peña are a big chunk of your budget.

“I’ve been in and out of prisons and jails,” Peña, 35, says. “Drug possessions, drug charges. It's been a rough one, man.”

Peña’s not a tall guy, but he’s encased in thick muscle, and he has tattoos running all the way up to the top of his bald head. Up until a few years ago he sold drugs with a local gang. Taxpayers shelled out a lot of money to pay for his prison stays and frequent trips to the local emergency room. He worked some shifts at McDonald's and on construction sites, but nothing really stuck. He was too ticked off all the time, something he says he got from his dad.

“He would go to the bar all night,” Peña says. “So I would never really see him unless he was pissed off or angry. Everything I learned, I learned from the streets.”

But then Peña’s sister got locked up, and he got custody of his 5-year-old nephew, Elijah. He was working construction at the time, and one of his buddies told him about Dad’s Making a Difference — a federally funded training program for low-income fathers.

Peña signed up for the free welding lessons. But the first week of class is spent with instructor Chuck Skinner, a psychotherapist. During one session Skinner has the class trained on a big paper chart. A black line divides it horizontally, and the top half is filled with words like “gratitude,” “create” and “chose.” Below, red letters spell out a different kind of vocabulary: “anger,” “fear” and “pain.”

“We can call them ‘life shocks,’ ” Skinner says as he squeaks his marker across the paper. “They are just going to happen.”

From there it's on to Freud and a brief overview of psychoanalysis. No welding tools in sight.

Michael Peña and his nephew Elijah. 

Miles Bryan

It may seem like a college psychology lecture, but lessons like this one on how to handle your emotions are more than 50 percent of the Dads Making a Difference curriculum. Since 2010, the Obama administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars funding similar fatherhood programs around the country. 

Chris Wiederspahn, the Dads Making a Difference director in Cheyenne, says most guys are drawn in by the promise of job training, but the softer stuff often turns out to be just as important to long-term stability. Wiederspahn says the skills you need to deal with a crying kid aren’t so different from what you need to deal with a frustrating boss.

Almost all of the guys who enroll in this program are felons or recovering addicts. But nine out of 10 in the Cheyenne program found jobs after graduating in the last few years, and most saw their wages go up by more than 50 percent.  

“You can’t separate being a better dad [from] being a better employee,” Wiederspahn says. “And a better citizen, and not going back to prison. They are connected, it's all connected."

This is a pretty big shift from when fatherhood programs took off back in the 1990s.

“A lot of the initial work was really focused on getting these guys jobs to pay child support,” says David Miller, a manager with Fatherhood.gov

But Miller says even if those dads could land jobs, they often struggled to keep them, or didn’t end up spending any of their paycheck on their kid. That’s why Miller hopes that combining job training with life skills is a smart bet in the long term for the dad and for the taxpayer.

“Addressing the anger, addressing the poor parenting is really important. Those are the kinds of things that, if we can address, we increase the likelihood that this man can be gainfully employed. And keep [his] job.”

Peña graduated from the Dads Making a Difference program last month, and he just landed a welding gig. It's good money to help raise Elijah.

“I won’t be upset or upset with myself because I can now provide for him,” Peña says.

Peña says he owes their close relationship and his new job to the program — the welding classes and the Freud.

Police Investigating Whether Man Found Dead In London Fell From Plane

NPR News - Fri, 2015-06-19 13:11

The man's body was found on a rooftop shortly after a flight from Johannesburg landed at Heathrow. Another man who stowed away was found hiding in that plane's undercarriage.

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Weekly Wrap: Greece, Federal Reserve and consumerism

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:57

Joining Adriene to talk about the week's business and economic news are Linette Lopez of Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy. The big topics this week: Greece nears default, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen releases a message this week about the possibility of a rate hike and Pope Francis criticizes consumerism. 

 

Weekly Wrap:

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:57

Joining Adriene to talk about the week's business and economic news are Linette Lopez of Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy. The big topics this week: Greece nears default, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen releases a message this week about the possibility of a rate hike and Pope Francis criticizes consumerism. 

 

Socially anxious? Try some kimchi

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:56

I'm delivering this to you — I'll admit it — with some amount of skepticism.

But it's kind of amazing.

And it's about pickles — one of the world's great foods.

Researchers at William & Mary and the University of Maryland say they've discovered a connection between eating fermented foods, such as pickles and kimchi, and feeling less anxious.

Just think, loading up on sauerkraut could help you ace that job interview. (Maybe.)  

Researchers still need to run experiments to see if they can prove any actual causation. 

Independent record labels push back against Apple

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:54

Taylor Swift’s smash album "1989" will not be available on Apple’s new music streaming service when it launches on June 30.

Swift has pulled the album from both Apple Music and Spotify over concerns the streaming services do not provide fair compensation for artists.

Now, independent artists and record labels are crying foul, too — upset over Apple’s contract stipulation of not paying artists’ royalties during the initial three-month roll out. Apple plans to charge customers $9.99 a month for the streaming service.

The Beggars Group is the parent company of indie labels such as Matador and 4AD, as well as popular artists such as Alabama Shakes, Adele and Radiohead. The company put up a blog post outlining its disagreement with Apple.

Still, Apple is a company that is very close to the hearts, and wallets, of many musicians, many of whom use Apple technology to produce their product, while also making a decent living selling music in its iTunes store.

But is all of that enough to convince independent artists to give away their music for free on Apple’s new streaming service?

“Maybe,” says Jim DeRogatis, co-host of Sound Opinions on Chicago Public Radio. 

“The models are changing so quickly, I don't know of any label, independent or major, that really has a clear idea of what Apple Radio, Apple Music or Beats Music is going to end up being,” DeRogatis says.

He notes that independent labels are right to be wary of any business model that devalues their product, but saying no to a company with the clout and reach of Apple is not an easy call.

“You know, many artists say, 'It's better to have people listening to my music, even if I'm not making any money, than not listening.' ”

But others say the fact that Apple spent months and months hammering out special arrangements with major labels, only to give independents a “take it or leave it” offer, just isn’t fair.

Jesse Von Doom is the CEO of Cash Music, a nonprofit tech startup that provides business tools for musicians.

“You're talking about a significant portion of the market that is dealt with as an afterthought, and that happened again with Apple,” Von Doom says.

“They're coming to people saying, 'Look, we're going to do this streaming product, we're the biggest company in the world, we have more money than God, and we're going to ask you to take the financial hit while we onboard customers.’"

Von Doom worries that Apple’s move into streaming and away from retail risks killing a really important source of income for musicians.

"I think it feels to a lot of artists like Apple is trying to make music just another feature of a phone." 

Indpedendent record labels push back against Apple

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 12:54

Taylor Swift’s smash album "1989" will not be available on Apple’s new music streaming service when it launches on June 30.

Swift has pulled the album from both Apple Music and Spotify over concerns the streaming services do not provide fair compensation for artists.

Now, independent artists and record labels are crying foul, too — upset over Apple’s contract stipulation of not paying artists’ royalties during the initial three-month roll out. Apple plans to charge customers $9.99 a month for the streaming service.

The Beggars Group is the parent company of indie labels such as Matador and 4AD, as well as popular artists such as Alabama Shakes, Adele and Radiohead. The company put up a blog post outlining its disagreement with Apple.

Still, Apple is a company that is very close to the hearts, and wallets, of many musicians, many of whom use Apple technology to produce their product, while also making a decent living selling music in its iTunes store.

But is all of that enough to convince independent artists to give away their music for free on Apple’s new streaming service?

“Maybe,” says Jim DeRogatis, co-host of Sound Opinions on Chicago Public Radio. 

“The models are changing so quickly, I don't know of any label, independent or major, that really has a clear idea of what Apple Radio, Apple Music or Beats Music is going to end up being,” DeRogatis says.

He notes that independent labels are right to be wary of any business model that devalues their product, but saying no to a company with the clout and reach of Apple is not an easy call.

“You know, many artists say, 'It's better to have people listening to my music, even if I'm not making any money, than not listening.' ”

But others say the fact that Apple spent months and months hammering out special arrangements with major labels, only to give independents a “take it or leave it” offer, just isn’t fair.

Jesse Von Doom is the CEO of Cash Music, a nonprofit tech startup that provides business tools for musicians.

“You're talking about a significant portion of the market that is dealt with as an afterthought, and that happened again with Apple,” Von Doom says.

“They're coming to people saying, 'Look, we're going to do this streaming product, we're the biggest company in the world, we have more money than God, and we're going to ask you to take the financial hit while we onboard customers.’"

Von Doom worries that Apple’s move into streaming and away from retail risks killing a really important source of income for musicians.

"I think it feels to a lot of artists like Apple is trying to make music just another feature of a phone." 

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