National / International News

How A Person Can Recover From Ebola

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-11 09:52

The stricken are most likely to die within 10 days. But those whose bodies produce antibodies may survive — and be sent home with a clean bill of health. That's happening now in Guinea.

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Wal-Mart: Everday low (organic?) prices

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 09:50
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 16:29 Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jon Tester holds a handful of his organic wheat on his farm October 15, 2006 in Big Sandy, Montana.

Walmart has announced a new line of prepared organic foods — ketchup, pasta sauce, breakfast cereal — marketed under the name Wild Oats. And cheap: Wild Oats spaghetti sauce will cost the same as Ragu brand. But it's one thing to try to grow demand for organics by offering lower prices. Supplying that demand could be tough, especially at low prices. Already, supplies of commodities like corn, wheat and soybeans are tight.

"There’s not as many acres," says Tim Daley, who buys and sells organic soybeans for Stonebridge, a brokerage in Iowa. "Maybe three or four percent of the marketplace is organic. And a lot of that is still coming in from offshore."  

If not for imports, he says, prices would be even higher. "And they’re already high. So if you’ve got $14 soybeans on the Chicago Board of Trade, you’ve easily got $24 or $28 soybeans."

That's conventional beans, versus organic beans. 

Increasing supply can’t happen overnight. 

"It takes three years for a producer to achieve organic certification," notes Kellee James, CEO of Mercaris, a company that supplies market data on organic commodities. "So even if tomorrow prices go up and a producer decides he wants to grow, say, organic wheat, it’s going to take three years for that supply to come online."

Walmart says it plans to keep prices in line by locking in five-year contracts with producers.

Which may not work, says Paul Mitchell, who teaches agricultural economics at the University of Wisconsin. If market prices go up everywhere else, he thinks producers will want to re-negotiate.

"They’re going to ... say, 'Look, WalMart. We sold you our can of corn at $1.50 a can, organic. And now the market price is $2. Well, we don’t want the $1.50 anymore. We want to sell it for $2.'"

And if they don’t get it? Tim Daley, the soybean broker, says beans under contract might “disappear, magically" when market prices climb. "That has happened out here, more than a few years in a row.”

Marketplace for Friday April 11, 2014by Dan WeissmannPodcast Title Wal-Mart: Everday low (organic?) pricesStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

US warns of Heartbleed bug danger

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 09:50
The US government warns of the risk of hackers trying to exploit an internet bug and suggests that users change passwords after sites are patched.

Erasing paedophile photos 'illegal'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 09:47
Dorset Police say it would be "unlawful" to delete photos of a young abuse victim and her family from a paedophile's computer before it is returned to him.

VIDEO: CCTV shows incinerator murderer

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 09:45
A bank worker has been jailed for life for murdering his wife in a bid to stop her revealing his homosexuality.

'If you can run the OMB, you can run anything.'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 09:41
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 16:29 Mark Wilson/Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama (2ndL), U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget Sylvia Mathews Burwell (L) applaud outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for her service during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House, on April 11, 2014 in Washington, DC.

President Obama has nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. The OMB is something of a proving ground. 

Past budget directors have gone on to become White House chiefs of staff and cabinet secretaries. 

"It isn't such a big agency, but the subject matter covers everything that the government does," says Alice Rivlin, who led the OMB when Bill Clinton was president. "If you can run the OMB," she adds, "you can run anything."

And it seems to be true, given the resumes of recent OMB directors:

Jacob Lew: Director, OMB (twice) then White House Chief of Staff then Secretary of the Treasury

Rob Portman: Director, OMB then U.S. Senator

Joshua Bolten: Director, OMB then White House Chief of Staff

Mitch Daniels: Director, OMB then Governor of Indiana then president of Purdue University

Alice Rivlin: Director, OMB then Federal Reserve vice chair

Leon Panetta: Director, OMB then White House Chief of Staff then CIA Director then Secretary of Defense

Marketplace for Friday April 11, 2014by David GuraPodcast Title "If you can run the OMB, you can run anything."Story Type News StorySyndication Flipboard BusinessSlackerSoundcloudStitcherBusiness InsiderSwellPMPApp Respond No

'God' Files Suit In New York To Resolve Credit Dispute

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-11 09:19

God Gazarov, a Russian immigrant who owns a jewelry store in Brooklyn, says Equifax won't give him a credit history, suggesting he change his first name to resolve the problem.

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What if you could kill your stolen phone?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:59

 Thieves want your smartphone. They really, really want it. Consumer Reports estimates 1.6 million smart phones were stolen in 2012.

"In some cities, a majority of the reported thefts are for smart phones and other mobile computing devices," said Rob D'Ovidio, a criminal justice professor at Drexel University.  

He thinks a kill switch, which would allow you to disable your phone remotely, could make a lot of sense. A stolen phone that doesn't work isn't worth much. But the ability to kill a phone could be worth a lot to its owner.

"People who formerly had their phones stolen, they won't have that happen anymore so they won't have to go out and buy a new phone," said William Duckworth, a statistician at Creighton University.

And if there's a lot less theft, he said, insurance for phones wouldn't cost as much. All together, he estimated, kill switches could save consumers $2.6 billion a year. That doesn't include the time that police officers spend on smart phone thefts.

"When you look at the rate of thefts of smartphones in major metropolitian areas in the United States," D'Ovidio said, "it's just taxing law enforcement resources.

He thinks it's just a matter of time before all phones come with kill switches. Apple's newest operating system allows users to shut down a phone remotely. And according to Duckworth's research, that's something 99 percent of smart phone owners want.

Cyclone Ita barrels into Queensland

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:59
Cyclone Ita, a powerful storm with winds of up to 170km/h, has hit the northern coast of Australia's Queensland state.

Rodgers to 'unleash crowd' on Man City

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:59
Brendan Rodgers plans to use the Anfield crowd to help his Liverpool side beat title rivals Manchester City on Sunday.

Pope asks Church abuse forgiveness

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:55
Pope Francis asks for forgiveness for the "evil" damage by priests who sexually abuse children, in what is seen as his strongest statement yet.

President moved by UK reception

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:52
Irish President Michael D Higgins says he was moved by the reception he received as his four-day state visit to the UK ends.

Singer-Songwriter Jesse Winchester Dies

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:47

Revered by other musicians, Winchester began recording in 1970. He had a hit of his own with "Say What." Artists such as Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Elvis Costello covered his songs. He was 69.

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Police to recoup 'palace' tax cash

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:38
Police aim to recoup money from a tax fraudster who was building a £2.3m mansion in Pakistan which was as big as Buckingham Palace.

VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 20 - in 60 secs

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:25
Oscar Pistorius faced another day of intense cross-examination at his trial on Friday - and said he "was in a panic" in the moments before he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Casting the vote in India and Afghanistan

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:23
William Dalrymple on elections in India and Afghanistan

News of the World 'a force for good'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:21
Rebekah Brooks is "a really sweet girl" and the News of the World was "a force for good", the mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne tells the Old Bailey.

I considered suicide, says Bradley

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:10
Timothy Bradley says he "considered suicide" after receiving death threats following his points win over Manny Pacquiao.

'No' campaign 'is in deep trouble'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:09
Scotland's deputy first minister attacks the campaign to keep the Union, saying it is in "deep trouble", ahead of the independence referendum.

Gay man jailed for murdering wife

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 08:08
A bank worker is jailed for life for strangling his wife and burning her body in a garden incinerator to stop her revealing his homosexuality.
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