National News

Weekly Wrap: Conflict in Iraq

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 13:50

The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy and Redfin's Nela Richardson sit down with Kai to discuss this week's events for our Weekly Wrap:

Conflict in Iraq

"The makrets clearly don't care. The markets clearly haven't cared about a whole lot for a while... They're certainly on the watch for any trouble out there. You've seen potential trouble in Iraq, you've seen potential trouble in Syria, you've seen potential trouble in Russia and Ukraine, and the markets have been able to brush that off pretty easily...though it's clear that this situation is worse and doesn't have a very clearly outcome any time soon," says Reddy.

Rising oil and gas prices:

"We've seen gas prices be basically pretty stable and high and now with this uncertainty they're about to become unstable and higher," says Richardson.

Eric Cantor's defeat:

"The environment is certainly marginally worse. The big question is whether anything will get done in 2015," adds Reddy.

Debt limit:

"We lost a deal maker... There are three potential scenarios: there's a 'good' solution where the debt ceiling is extended with the budget, there's a 'will do' sollution where it's just extended for short term, and then theres this catastrophic -- not a solution -- where you see this kind of thing where markets go crazy and we don't know what happens next," says Richardson.

Future of price-rises:

"Growth. It takes growth to produce some price increases and we just haven't seen it," adds Richardson.

Eric Cantor And A Defeat Of Biblical Proportions

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 13:27

As part of our series "This Week's Must-Read," poet David Lehman recommends a book for those still surprised by Eric Cantor's political upset.

» E-Mail This

Ethereal Jazz Singer Jimmy Scott Dies

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 13:11

The beloved musician had a slight frame, an almost feminine voice and a late revival after a promising start and years of neglect.

» E-Mail This

Online poker could get a second chance in U.S.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 13:01

Amaya Gaming, a Canadian company, is buying Oldford Group, the parent of popular sites like PokerStars. Amaya is the smaller of the two, but it’s the acquirer. And, one of the biggest selling points for the $4.9 billion deal is that many top officials from Oldford will be leaving the combined company completely. 

This could bring sites like PokerStars back to the U.S., and bring back memories of the era from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, when online poker was a free for all, and sites like PokerStars were making players like Chris Carlson rich. 

“I started making so much money from playing online that I left my really paying, secure job to play professionally. And, I played most of my hands at PokerStars,” he says. 

But in 2006, the Justice Department said a 1960s era law banned many online gaming transactions. Sites like PokerStars started operated in a kind of gray market. And, started crossing some lines, such as, “incorrectly coding the transactions so they were not obvious to the credit card issuers as gambling transactions,” says Mark Hichar, chairman of the gaming law practice group at Hinckley Allen.

PokerStars allegedly labeled some as golf purchases. There’s another way to put this, he says, “Fraud and money-laundering.” 

That was the accusation against top officials at PokerStars and other sites on a day in 2011 that became known as Black Friday. PokerStars quickly left the U.S. Popularity in online poker plummeted. 

Later that year, the Justice Department ruled that states can legalize online gambling, after all. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada did, but kept PokerStars out, while its officials remain indicted or under suspicion. That’s why it’s a big deal they’re leaving the combined company.

“Given that this deal basically results in the removal of all those entities from PokerStars as a corporate entity, it seems as if New Jersey regulators won’t have any objection to PokerStars now entering the market,” says Christopher Grove, editor of Online Poker Report, who adds this deal could be the start of a new era of online poker in the U.S.

4 Takeaways From Hillary Clinton's 'Fresh Air' Interview

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:58

Rare is the politician who has publicly admitted to holding or changing a position out of political expedience. In that respect, Clinton was no different in her interview with Terry Gross.

» E-Mail This

Cliffhanger: Authorities Set Fire To House Teetering On The Brink

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:55

The ground under a $700,000 home overlooking Lake Whitney, Texas, began giving way last year. Officials decided the best thing to do was burn it down.

» E-Mail This

Fido, your big day at the office is here

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:34

Here's an extended look at the Marketplace Datebook for the week of Jun 16:

We begin with Monday, everyone's favorite day of the week. In Washington, the Federal Reserve reports on industrial production for May.

The State Department hosts a two-day "Our Ocean" conference on protecting the vast bodies of water that cover almost three quarters of our planet.

And in Michigan on June 16th, 1903, Ford Motor Company was incorporated.

Start thinking about broccoli, beets and carrots. Tuesday is Eat Your Vegetables Day. Don't argue with me.

The Commerce Department tells us how many new homes were built in May.

On Wednesday, a Senate Committee holds a hearing on "Aggressive E-Cigarette Marketing and Potential Consequences for Youth."

The Federal Reserve wraps up a two-day meeting on interest rates and the economy.

Then we slow down on Thursday ... maybe wear something fetching for World Sauntering Day.

Just in time to ruin your summer fun, "Jaws" was released to movie-going audiences June 20, 1975.

And finally, Friday is Take Your Dog to Work Day. Yeah, do that. (And don't go into the water.)

Chicago 'Heroin Highway' Bust Shows A 'New Face Of Organized Crime'

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:22

Chicago has seen spikes in shootings as gangs have splintered and rival factions battle. But authorities say they've also seen a recent trend of gangs aligning to form new drug-dealing factions.

» E-Mail This

Cantor's Defeat Brings An End To Prickly Relationship With Obama

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:11

As the dust settles on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary defeat, some have begun to reflect on his relationship with President Obama. From the very start, it was a prickly one, with divisions only deepening throughout Obama's time in office.

» E-Mail This

Even Amid Onslaught, Hints That Violence In Iraq Could Escalate

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:11

NPR's Alice Fordham speaks to Melissa Block about the extremist militant onslaught in Iraq, as well as the possibility of escalating violence there.

» E-Mail This

As Bergdahl Touches Down In Texas, Reintegration Begins

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:11

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is back in the U.S. The former Taliban prisoner is now undergoing treatment at an Army hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

» E-Mail This

Obama Rules Out Ground Troops; What Else Can U.S. Do In Iraq?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:11

President Obama said that he will help the Iraqi military break the momentum of the militants on the march to Baghdad. The Pentagon said that one possible option could include airstrikes. But the president said that any military help must include political solutions from the Iraqi government, which has helped fuel the unrest by failing to reach out to its Sunni minority.

» E-Mail This

"Ivory Tower" and the crippling cost of college

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:10

College tuition is more expensive than ever. In fact, the cost of tuition has risen 1,120 percent since 1978. That's higher than any other good or service during that time. Nevertheless, just under 70 percent of 2013 high school graduates started attending some form of college this past fall.  

Andrew Rossi is the director and producer of a new documentary called "Ivory Tower" that examines the cost of higher education in America. He says the reason college is so popular even though the sticker price keeps rising is that for now, it's keeping its financial promise.

"Higher education is still an engine of social mobility, even as it has grown so expensive. Those who have a college degree actually make in their median lifetime earnings about a million dollars more than those who just have a high school diploma. And that's a really powerful statistic that helps drive the continued demand."

But the average student now graduates with more than $25,000 in loans to pay off, and the nation's graduates owe a cumulative $1.2 trillion. Rossi says the cost is unsustainable, and its a symptom of the corporatization of higher education.

"In an effort to compensate for a reduction in state funding, in an effort to bring students and their student loan dollars to their campuses, many institutions are behaving like big businesses rather than treating their students as pupils. " 

Many of the subjects in Rossi's film argue that the system is unsustainable and headed for a crash, and it could bring down much more than colleges. 

"One of the most devastating consequences would be a sort of macroeconomic one. When young people are saddled with that kind of burden they decide not to form a family, not to buy a house, not to buy a car. It's not just about the constriction of life choices in terms of career and happiness, but it has broader macroeconomic effects on the country."

To hear the full, unedited interview, visit Marketplace's education page "Learning Curve."

An Opera Remembers The Tragedy Of An Asian-American Soldier

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 12:02

Army Pvt. Danny Chen fatally shot himself in Afghanistan in 2011. The real-life tragedy has inspired a new production by Washington National Opera with a libretto by playwright David Henry Hwang.

» E-Mail This

Tract Issued By Theologians Takes On Money In Politics

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 11:55

A group of 11 theologians has offered up a faith-based analysis of money's role in politics, pitting voices of the pulpit against the courtroom.

» E-Mail This

ISIS: An Islamist Group Too Extreme Even For Al-Qaida

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 11:46

Al-Qaida said in February that it has no links with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. But since then, ISIS has only gained ground — and members. It's now making inroads across Iraq.

» E-Mail This

How to pronounce 'GIF'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 10:48

President Barack Obama, as you might have heard, did a town hall thing on Tumblr this week. In the process he met Tumblr founder David Karp and they, it seems, did a fist-bump of which a gif was created. Except when the president mentioned it, he did so mistakenly. 

Here at Marketplace, we've already settled the burning question of how you pronounce these three little letters: G I F.

The guy who invented the graphics interchange format, which lets images on your computer screen move, kind of like animation, got a Webby lifetime achievement award in May of 2013.

Steve Wilhite is his name. He's had a stroke, so he can't speak. But you can check out the video of his acceptance presentation last night, in which he laid down the law.

It's 'jif,' people, like the peanut butter.  Speaking of which, even the peanut butter maker got in on the debate.

Man Exonerated By DNA Faces New Murder Charge

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-13 10:47

DNA evidence prompted the 2012 release of Andre Davis, who served 32 years on charges that he raped and killed a 3-year-old girl. Two years later, he's facing new murder charges.

» E-Mail This

Soccer stickers: "I have a lot of Greece but I need Nigeria."

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 10:37

Of the millions of fans around the world now glued to the World Cup, my favorite is an endlessly mischievous 4-year-old in Brooklyn. My godson. He and his equally impish 7-year-old brother have been so excited for the World Cup that a game of full-speed kids vs. grownups soccer (pardon me: football) nearly had me wobbling for days after.

The boys are American soccer nuts with a Colombian dad, a mother with Brazilian relatives and a grandmother who grew up in Messi's hometown in Argentina. So they could be loyal to any of those teams.

But the real object of their devotion is a book of stickers that lists all the players, stadiums and even mascots.  They are on a mad dash to collect all the stickers and fill their books. Every morning, almost the first thing that comes out of their mouths is what stickers they need, and whether there's any possibility to get them that day.

"See? I have a lot of Greece," the 7-year-old explains to me. "But I need Nigeria. Don't have a lot of them."

Long pause with studied, plaintive gaze directed at his mother, "When can we get more?"

The Panini sticker book album has become the must-have item for kids (and a LOT of adults) who are following the World Cup. With spots for players, stadiums and mascots, it would take 640 stickers to complete your album… if you magically bought packs of stickers with every player you needed. But of course it never works that way (as my godson with multiple Lionel Messi stickers can attest).

In the U.S., a pack costs $0.99, but of course, you probably need somewhere close to 1,400 packs to get a complete set. Why?

Well, The Economist broke down the amazing "stickernomics" recently, explaining just how nuts people can get about securing the ones they need (a note to that correspondent: I know a child who will trade you a Messi).

There's a rapid sticker trade on the internet, and in stores that sell Panini stickers, too.

Upper 90, a store in Brooklyn devoted to soccer, is sticker central. You can bring in your "extras" – that is, the players you already have – and trade them for the extras they have on hand. My two favorite fans have done it twice, "with great success," reports their mother.

The stickers are such a hot item that the Guardian reported a heist of 300,000 stickers in Brazil.

Mind-boggling, when you think about all the other economic stories around the World Cup.

But I can assure you, that to two small boys I know, a complete set would be absolutely priceless.

LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images

A peddler shows Panini's collectible stickers for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 album, in Bogota, on April 28, 2014.

 

Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-13 10:31

Following a series of attacks in which the radical Islamist group "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant," seized major cities in Iraq and threatened the country's capital of Baghdad, President Obama aknowledged in an address Friday that the situation demanded U.S. assistance for the Iraqi government.

In light of the situation, we are reminded of our 2013 interview with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who oversaw military operations for the Bush Administration for much of the Iraq War.

Original interview posted May 16, 2013:

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld published his memoir, “Known and Unknown” in 2011. His latest book, “Rumsfeld’s Rules” suggests he still has lessons to share after a lifetime in politics and business.

The book is a collection of advice that he started collecting through a habit taught to him by his schoolteacher mother. He has about 300 or so in the book.

“If I didn’t know a word she’d say, 'Well write it down and look it up,'" he says. "Then I started writing down various other thoughts and rules and anecdotes.”

The anecdotes Rumsfeld recounts are pulled from his time in office with the Bush, Reagan and Nixon administrations.

Here are three of many Rumsfeld Rules you can find in the book, and the stories behind them:

It’s easier to get into something than it is to get out.

“I thought of that when I was President Reagan’s Middle East envoy and we had 241 Marines killed in Beirut, at the airport. And I concluded then that the United States has to be careful about putting ground forces in because we’re such a big target. And I also, over the years, came to the conclusion over the years that the United States really wasn't* organized, trained and equipped to do nation-building.”

Rumsfeld says this was on his mind as the United States entered Afghanistan and Iraq, but there was "mission creep."

“When you do something, then someone wants you to do something else and then something else and over time, the mission, historically, creeps into something else that was initiated at the outset.”

But in the end, “it’s not easy for countries to evolve and grow, but I think that both of those countries are a whale of a lot better off today than they were before.”

“I’ve been mistaken so many times, I don’t even blush for it anymore.” – Napoleon 

“You see things that don’t turn out the way you hoped.”

Monitor progress through metrics.

“I think that history over time will probably be a better judge than you or I, but I’ve been struck by the amount of criticism that the Bush administration has received and President Bush personally and the attempts to assign blame to him and I think it’s probably not going to sort out that way.”

He says President Bush’s decision to enter Iraq is “something that over time will be better understood.”

 

AUDIO EXTRA: Kai Ryssdal asks Donald Rumsfeld about a reputation for not tolerating dissent.

ON THE AIR
BBC World Service
Next Up: @ 05:00 am
Democracy Now

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life.Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4