National News

Your Wallet: The cost of elder care

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-08 13:14

The cost of elder care continues to rise, along with the number of people who need it.

Are you taking care of an older relative? Or planning to?

Tell us on Twitter @MarketplaceWknd or email us, we'd love to hear your story.

Researcher Urges Wider Genetic Screening For Breast Cancer

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 12:24

Genetic tests are recommended for women with a family history of breast cancer. One researcher says all women should be screened, but others say there's not enough evidence that they are at risk.

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CDC Warns Of Fast-Spreading Enterovirus Afflicting Children

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 12:02

A spike in severe respiratory infections in children has the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking doctors and patients to act quickly if children have difficulty breathing and wheezing.

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New Option For Getting Rid Of Old Drugs: The Pharmacy

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 11:52

The Drug Enforcement Administration is loosening up its rules so that people will have more ways of disposing of drugs that can be risky to keep around after they're no longer needed.

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Hawks Seek Buyer After NBA Team's Owner Reveals Racially Charged Email

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 11:36

Controlling owner Bruce Levenson said he had voluntarily told the league about the 2012 email. In it, Levenson asked if the Atlanta Hawks' black fans were keeping white season-ticket holders away.

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It's not you, it's my cost-benefit calculations

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-08 11:24

Companies have lots of ways of optimizing for the best results. Big data, customer satisfaction and good old cost-benefit analysis are, of course, the buzz words of the moment

As writer Josh Freedman made clear in a story at McSweeney's Internet Tendency, they are popping up everywhere

Susan, we need to talk. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. About us. I really like you, but ever since we met in that econ class in college I knew there was something missing from how I felt: quantitative reasoning. We can say we love each other all we want, but I just can’t trust it without the data. And after performing an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of our relationship, I just don’t think this is working out.

Listen to his piece adapted for the radio in the player above. 

 

Susan, we need to talk. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. About us. I really like you, but ever since we met in that econ class in college I knew there was something missing from how I felt: quantitative reasoning. We can say we love each other all we want, but I just can’t trust it without the data. And after performing an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of our relationship, I just don’t think this is working out.

Please know that this decision was not rash. I just made a series of quantitative calculations. The calculations are fairly simple. Sex with you grants me seventeen utils of pleasure, but I derive negative utils from all of the cuddling afterwards.

Meanwhile, I could be doing plenty of other things. I could be drinking at the Irishman with a bunch of friends from work. I derive between 20 and 28 utils from hitting on girls at the bar. However, most of those girls don’t laugh at my jokes, which drives down utils gained. 

I know this breakup might come as a bit of a shock to you. I have included in my calculations the fact that as a courtesy I will have to pay for this dinner in its entirety, which, given the gender parity we have previously expressed in our relationship, would normally cost me only half that.

In the meantime, I need to get back home. My utility calculations tell me that the best thing I can do right now is strip down to my boxers, microwave a quesadilla, and watch a bunch of episodes of The Wire. It might seem strange and horribly unproductive, but it’s not me — it’s just my utility function.

Healthy Food? Huddle House Won't Be Serving That Anytime Soon

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 10:53

Huddle House says its customers don't want healthy options or calorie counts. But by defying healthy trends, the chain seems increasingly — and unapologetically — out of step with the competition.

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From A Chinese Apartment To Wall Street Darling: The Rise Of Alibaba

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 09:54

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's initial public stock offering in New York is expected to be one of the biggest ever. It's come a long way since a former English teacher founded it in 1999.

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In The County Where Ebola First Struck Liberia, A Cry For Help

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 09:43

The virus reportedly crossed the border from Guinea into lush Lofa County in March. Health workers risk their lives to care for the sick — and are "flabbergasted" at the lack of international aid.

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After A Tumultuous Summer, Ukrainian Kids Return To School

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 09:42

With Ukraine in an uneasy cease-fire, schoolkids returned to class this month and attempted to resume normal life. They tell what back-to-school feels like when their country's been at war all summer.

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NFL's Baltimore Ravens Cut Ray Rice After New Video Surfaces

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 09:32

The video apparently shows Rice's then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, being hit in the face. The running back was initially suspended for two games; now the league has suspended Rice indefinitely.

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Harvard To Get $350 Million Gift From Hong Kong Group

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 07:22

The School of Public Health will be renamed in honor of H.T. Chan, whose son, a longtime university benefactor, received two degrees from Harvard in the 1970s.

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Chick-Fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy Dies At 93

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 07:14

S. Truett Cathy's Chick-fil-A has now grown to $5 billion in annual sales, and its stores still close on Sundays, reflecting its founder's religious beliefs.

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Electrolux gets a deal, GE Appliance finds a home

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-08 07:00

Swedish consumer appliance company Electrolux announced its plan to buy GE Appliances for $3.3 billion. GE, parent company of GE Appliance, is probably breathing a great big sigh of relief.

GE is a very large company with subsidiaries in aviation, oil and gas with net profit margins in excess of 15 percent, whereas its appliance division is only making around 5 percent. 

“Relatively speaking, it’s been neglected for years and financial performance has been poor,” says Brian Langenberg, principal at Langenberg & Company. “General electric is selling it for at least a third less than what they should be selling it for; they just want out.”

Electrolux, on the other hand, is getting a deal.  

“It gets them into the American market, which is a market where they haven’t been much of a factor,” says Erik Gordon, professor of business law at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. “That’s important because the American market is growing at 6, 7, 8 percent, but Electrolux’s main market, Europe, is not growing at all; less than 1 percent.”   

Electrolux also gets a 48 percent stake in Mexican appliance company Mabe, extending its reach in North America even further. 

Meteor Leaves 40-Foot Crater Near Managua's Airport

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 06:20

The space rock, thought to have broken off from an Earth-passing asteroid, left a hole 16 feet deep just outside the international airport in the Nicaraguan capital.

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Arab League Chief Urges 'Confrontation' With Islamic State Militants

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 05:08

In apparent backing of the U.S., Nabil Elaraby tells the 22-member organization that it needs a "comprehensive confrontation" with the extremist group.

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Poroshenko, On Visit To East, Vows Mariupol Will Stay Ukrainian

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 04:05

The Ukrainian president, speaking in the embattled region, says: "This city was, is and will be Ukrainian."

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Royal Couple Kate And William Expecting Another Baby

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-08 03:13

A second child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be fourth in line to the throne, pushing Prince Harry down in the royal hierarchy.

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PODCAST: Millennials aren't building credit

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-08 03:00

First up, a new report that millennials are avoiding credit cards. A study out today by Bankrate.com finds that younger adults--the ones who hit the workforce around the year 2000 and younger--are avoiding credit cards. That's in part because they don't want more debt beyond their student loans. And when members of Congress get back to work in Washington today, Republicans and Democrats expect to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open. The lack of drama on that score is connected to the election year. Plus, more on the growth in popularity of Latin music among non-hispanic people.

What's next for Atlantic City?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-08 02:30

Around dusk on a recent sticky summer night, Mark Gawel and his son took turns taking photos of each other standing in front of the big silver letters marking the entrance to the Revel, Atlantic City’s newest casino.

He wanted to “get a couple shots of it, just in case it doesn’t exist [soon],” he said.

In late August, the city was still hoping a last-minute buyer would swoop in and keep the bankrupt casino open. But the Revel closed in early September and workers took down those silver letters. Three other casinos have already closed or will close this year, leaving roughly 6,000 casino workers unemployed and the city searching for a new path forward.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will host a summit on the future of Atlantic City on Monday, with local officials, congressmen, and gambling industry stakeholders all pondering the fate of the faded gambling mecca.

“Reinvent Atlantic City again,” advised Gawel, a housekeeping supervisor at a nearby casino. “It’s a shame. After 35 years of having casinos here, we should have been bigger, more like Vegas.”

He thinks the city needs to capitalize on its ocean location and to better cater to families.

“We’re going through a transitional time,” said John Palmieri, the executive director of the state’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. “There are 20 new casino operations within a couple hours' drive now, and five years ago they didn’t exist.”

He agrees that Atlantic City needs to bolster its non-gaming options.

“Our role is to create these other reasons for visitation, mostly driven by tourism, but the convention trades and some of the destination retail and the hotel activities that can survive beyond gaming,” he explained.

Gaming revenue peaked in 2006 at over $5 billion, but it’s been on a steep slide since. A few years ago, Atlantic City started using the slogan “Do Anything. Do Everything. Do AC,” trying to market itself as more than just casinos.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian wants the city to host more events, concerts, and conferences.

“What we’ve lost is the older people who used to come,” he says. “The blue-haired Italian ladies aren’t coming here anymore [to] the casinos. What we have is a young crowd, because the casinos that have nightclubs are doing real well.”

He’s hoping a new campus for a local university will open by 2016, attracting even more young people.

But the city could take another hit if plans move forward to build new casinos in northern New Jersey.

Del Rowley was a regular at one of Atlantic City’s closed casinos. Standing on a street corner in Manhattan, he says if a casino opens closer to New York with similar games and “comps,” he’d switch in a heartbeat.

“Atlantic City’s two and a half hours [away],” he said. “So it’s a lot easier to go someplace closer.”

Moreover, all the press over Atlantic City’s troubles doesn’t help its fight for business.

There’s a famous quote often attributed to Mark Twain: “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Atlantic City is hoping to be able to say something similar.

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