National / International News

New Year's Day flood warnings for UK

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 11:52
Flood warnings are issued across England and Wales as forecasters predict more heavy rain and strong winds for the first day of 2014.

Coffee beans are cheaper, so why isn't my Starbucks?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2013-12-31 11:48

2013 was the year commodities prices dramatically took a dive after a long period in the clouds. Corn, coffee and more have dropped substantially. The reason why isn’t terribly complex. Corn and coffee prices are down largely because there’s an awful lot more corn and coffee in the world. Supply has exploded without a similar growth in demand.

News of lower commodity prices is of little comfort for shoppers frustrated with the persistent cost of breakfast cereal or Starbucks drinks. Unfortunately for consumers, lower commodity prices don’t instantly translate into cheaper prices at the cash register.

“People don’t eat commodities. What they do is they eat food,” says Iowa State University economist Bruce Babcock, who watches corn prices professionally and coffee prices personally. “I do know I’m spending 14 dollars a pound on Peet’s coffee and it bears no reflection whatsoever to the price of Arabica beans down in Brazil.”

There are many additional and separate costs involved in transforming commodities to food, from transportation to manufacturing to marketing. Food prices may come down for shoppers, but probably not for a while. And some consumer brands are strong enough that they don’t have to pass the savings on to you.

“The raw commodity, which is coffee, is going down. So your costs are going down, your revenues are staying about the same, which means your profitability is gonna go up,” says Duke University business professor Campbell Harvey.

It’s not just edible commodities that are seeing price decreases. Metals are dropping too, with always volatile gold in a free fall. Then there’s copper, which is sinking as China’s growth slows.

“They’re gonna be pulling back a little bit on some of the spending they’ve been doing to build factories and homes,” says Paul Christopher, chief international strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors. “That’s gonna reduce their demand for copper.”

And in turn, copper’s price will suffer, like so many other commodities these days.

Mark Garrison: Corn and coffee prices are down largely because there’s a lot more corn and coffee in the world. In New York, I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.

I’m kidding of course. We’ve got 90 seconds, so let’s try a different question, perhaps one you’ve pondered while buying your favorite cereal or a pricey drink at Starbucks. If commodities prices are dropping for companies, how come we’re still paying basically the same price in stores?

Bruce Babcock: People don’t eat commodities. What they do is they eat food.

Iowa State University economist Bruce Babcock points to all the other expenses that go into making food, from transportation to manufacturing to marketing. Professionally, he thinks a lot about corn prices. But personally, coffee.

Babcock: I do know I’m spending 14 dollars a pound on Peet’s coffee and it bears no reflection whatsoever to the price of Arabica beans down in Brazil.

Duke University finance professor Campbell Harvey says some brands are strong enough that they don’t have to pass the savings on to you.

Campbell Harvey: The raw commodity, which is coffee, is going down. So your costs are going down, your revenues are staying about the same, which means your profitability is gonna go up.

Food prices may come down for shoppers, but probably not for a while. And it’s not just edible commodities. Metals are dropping too, with always volatile gold in a free fall. Then there’s copper. Paul Christopher at Wells Fargo Advisors says it’s lower because China’s growth is slower.

Paul Christopher: They’re gonna be pulling back a little bit on some of the spending they’ve been doing to build factories and homes. That’s gonna reduce their demand for copper.

And consequently, its price. I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.

Sebelius Touts 2 Million Obamacare Enrollees

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 11:37

The Health and Human Services Secretary, who has spent months fending off critics of the Affordable Care Act rollout, is touting the improving numbers.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Icing On The Puck: Hockey Fans And The NHL Winter Classic

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 11:36

New Year's Day has become its own holiday of sorts for some hockey fans. The Detroit Red Wings play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Wednesday in front of more than 100,000 people. The game time weather forecast: about 18 degrees, with an 80 percent chance of snow.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Romney's black grandson mocked on TV

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 11:32
A US cable news presenter apologises for jokes about former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's adopted black grandson.

Haass proposal document published

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 11:29
The final draft of the proposal document given to Northern Ireland's political parties by Richard Haass has been published.

Schumacher's condition improves

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 11:18
Seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher's condition improves slightly after an operation to relieve pressure on his brain.

Does Champagne Actually Get You Drunk Faster?

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 11:13

Search for "Champagne, bubbles and drunk," and you'll get headlines like "Why Bubbles Make You More Giggly." But when we took a close look at the science supporting the urban legend, we weren't impressed. The effect doesn't happen to everyone, and when it does, it's just temporary.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Twelve in court on manslaughter charge

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 10:59
Twelve men have appeared in court charged with manslaughter of Kevin McDaid in Coleraine in 2009.

Seven dead in Argentina heatwave

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 10:54
The worst heatwave in northern Argentina since records began has killed at least seven people since Christmas Eve.

Romania dismisses UK 'invasion' talk

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 10:28
The Romanian foreign ministry has ridiculed talk of an "invasion" of the UK when work restrictions are lifted on Wednesday.

In Russia, A Soviet-Era Movie To Ring In The New Year

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 10:24

The Irony of Fate is the country's favorite holiday movie. Like classic American films such as It's A Wonderful Life, it captures the magic of the holidays, but in a way that is quintessentially Russian.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

VIDEO: Fireworks mark new year around world

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 10:09
New year celebrations have been taking place across the world, welcoming the start of 2014.

VIDEO: 'Fat suit' shows effects of obesity

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 10:08
Hospital staff have been learning how to deal with obese patients by wearing a so-called "fat suit".

Broadcaster Geoffrey Wheeler dies

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 10:01
The broadcaster Geoffrey Wheeler, best known for presenting BBC quiz show Top of the Form and Songs of Praise, has died aged 83, his son confirms.

Chelsea report £49.4m loss in 2013

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 10:00
Chelsea reveal a £49.4m loss for the year to 30 June 2013 - but say that falls within Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules.

Run collapse MP 'seriously ill'

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 09:55
Labour MP Paul Goggins is "seriously ill" in hospital after collapsing while out running in Greater Manchester.

House-sitter murder victim named

BBC - Tue, 2013-12-31 09:54
A woman who was found murdered while house-sitting in West Sussex is identified by police.

Despite Health Law, Many People May Be Left Underinsured

NPR News - Tue, 2013-12-31 09:50

Even for people who get insurance that complies with the Affordable Care Act, there are potential trouble spots. Those include expensive prescription drugs, specialist care and services such as physical therapy that typically require a course of treatment over weeks or months.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Why 2014 will be the year of the small deal

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2013-12-31 09:33

Riding on the momentum of its first bipartisan budget deal in decades, Congress still has plenty of issues on its plate. So how much momentum is there?

“This deal doesn’t solve all of our problems,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said after the agreement was reached in December. “But I think it is an important step in helping to heal some of the wounds in Congress, to rebuild some trust, and show that we can do something without a crisis right around the corner.”

Congress could use the model of that budget deal in 2014. If lawmakers do that on immigration, it might mean a piecemeal approach. On tax reform, it could mean closing some loopholes. But the size of the Congressional compromise in late 2013 suggests big changes aren’t likely to come soon.

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. Renew here or visit KBBI by April 21 to enter to win one round-trip airfare with Era between Homer and Anchorage. Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

ON THE AIR
Live Wire
Next Up: @ 12:00 am
Blues before sunrise

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4