National News

Despite Lower Oil Prices, IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecasts

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 21:44

The International Monetary Fund lowered its growth forecasts over the next two years. It warned on Tuesday that weakness in most major economies will trump gains from lower oil prices.

» E-Mail This

Should Judicial Candidates Be Allowed To Solicit Campaign Money?

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 21:03

Once, judicial elections were a pretty tame affair, with relatively little money spent. Not anymore. On Tuesday the Supreme Court hears arguments on how candidates should be allowed to gather funding.

» E-Mail This

Highway Overpass In Cincinnati Collapses, 1 Dead

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 20:14

Interstate 75 was closed southbound after an overpass north of the old Hopple Street bridge collapsed, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

» E-Mail This

Markets May Stumble Or Skyrocket, But This Economist Says Hold On Tight

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 13:59

It's been more than four decades since Burton Malkiel published A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Eleven editions later, Malkiel hasn't wavered in his mantra of patience and broad investing.

» E-Mail This

Paddle Boarder Who Wanted To See Orcas Gets An Up-Close Look

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 13:04

A pod of five orcas swam around — and even under — Rich German while he stood on his paddle board off of Laguna Beach, Calif. He videotaped the encounter.

» E-Mail This

Suspected Israeli Strike Kills Iranian General Advising Syrian Troops

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:38

When a general in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard and several ranking members of Hezbollah were killed Sunday, they were within 10 miles of Israel's northeastern border.

» E-Mail This

On Championship Sunday, A Blowout, A Scandal Brewing And A Game For The Ages

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:09

The NFL's conference championships featured an instant classic between the Packers and Seahawks, as well as yet another accusation of cheating against the New England Patriots. ESPN's Jane McManus goes over the day's events with Robert Siegel.

» E-Mail This

Obama Can Expect An Unfriendly Audience — But There's A History Here

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:09

When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday, he'll be speaking to a Congress dominated by Republicans. At least he can take comfort in the fact that the moment has precedent: Second-term presidents have often found themselves addressing a chamber stocked with the opposition.

» E-Mail This

As Elections Approach, Greece Teeters On Austerity Question

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:09

Six days from parliamentary elections, Greece is weighing whether to continue its EU-imposed — and unpopular — austerity program. Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou discusses the issue.

» E-Mail This

What's Most Likely To Kill You? Hint: Probably Not An Epidemic

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:09

Noncommunicable diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease are now the biggest killers on earth. They account for 68 percent of deaths — and have an even greater impact in the developing world.

» E-Mail This

U.S. Solar Industry Sees Growth, But Also Some Uncertainty

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:09

The solar industry employs nearly 174,000 workers in the U.S., up 22 percent from a year ago. But the industry's future is murky, as government subsidies are set to expire within two years.

» E-Mail This

After Aurora Shooting, A 'New Way Of Responding' To Mental Crises

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:09

In response to the 2012 theater killings, Colorado added clinics, hotlines and mobile units to support early crisis prevention. At the heart of the initiative are 13 walk-in crisis centers.

» E-Mail This

As Students Go Back To School In Guinea, Ebola Fears Mix WIth Daily Routine

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:09

Schools in Guinea have been closed since the summer, when they were closed due to the Ebola outbreak. As schools finally re-open Monday, one family in the capital, Conakry, is striving to revive its early-morning routine.

» E-Mail This

On Eve Of Bombshell Testimony, Argentinian Prosecutor Found Dead

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:09

Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor investigating Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has been found dead. He'd accused Kirchner and others of covering up Iran's involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish Community Center. Haley Cohen of The Economist speaks with Robert Siegel about the story.

» E-Mail This

Chipotle's Pulled Pork Highlights Debate Over Sow Welfare

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:07

Wondering why your local Chipotle is no longer serving pork? It's because a big supplier was housing pigs in confined quarters. But there's debate about whether that's really worse for the animals.

» E-Mail This

NFL's Wilfork Lifts Driver Out Of Crashed Car, Hours After AFC Title Game

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:06

Massachusetts State Police say New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork stopped at an accident Sunday night and helped lift a woman out of a crashed car "with one hand."

» E-Mail This

Whistleblowers Say DOJ Grants Failed To Protect Kids Behind Bars

NPR News - Mon, 2015-01-19 12:03

A Senate panel is investigating the use of federal grant money to states that incarcerated children alongside adult criminals. Whistleblowers have spent years flagging problems with the program.

» E-Mail This

Want to track a snowplow? There's an app for that.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-01-19 11:22

When a couple of inches of snow fell a few weeks ago in Washington, D.C., the new mayor took some heat – as mayors often do – for the poor condition of the city streets.

Now Chicago, New York and Seattle are among the cities to have smartphone apps that can be used to track snowplows in real time using GPS data, according to an AP report.

It is "a way to show skeptics that plow drivers are working hard and not just clearing the streets of the wealthy and well-connected," the report says.

But the data can be misleading. One woman in Chicago said the app indicated a snowplow had gone down her street. It had ... but the plow had its blade up.

The rich get richer, with no end in sight

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-01-19 11:12

In a new report, Oxfam says that by 2016, the wealthiest 1% of people may control more than 50% of the world's wealth.

Inequality has proven to be a durable and thorny problem, and economists are divided over how to tackle it. Some argue for the "redistribution" of wealth, in the form of higher taxes on the rich, or increased subsidies for the poor.

Some say it's better to tackle the root causes of inequality, like the millions of Americans stuck in low-wage jobs. They argue that better education and training are needed to prepare workers for better-paid jobs in science and technology.

Others, meanwhile, argue there's no problem. And while politicians and experts debate the issue, inequality is likely to grow.

How Obama plans to tax the biggest banks

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-01-19 11:11

President Obama will address both houses of Congress and the American people Tuesday to discuss the State of the Union.

The address is expected to touch on tax reform, including new tax credits for families with two working parents; bigger, simpler tax credits for child care, college and retirement; and a plan to pay for it all with higher taxes on what the administration calls the "wealthiest." That includes the wealthiest people, with tax hikes on capital gains and inheritances, but also the wealthiest financial institutions: Those with at least $50 billion in assets.

More specifically, it's a tax on bank debt. Stanford professor of economics and finance Anat Admati explains this could help push back perverse incentives in the current tax code, which encourage banks to do business with borrowed money. But it's an approach that has been proposed before, as recently as 2010 when it was called the "Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee." It failed back then, and Joel Slemrod, professor of economics and director of the Office of Tax Policy Research at the University of Michigan, says with Republicans in charge of Congress, it doesn't have a chance.