National / International News
Until recently, freezing human eggs was reserved for young women at risk of infertility due to cancer treatments. But some companies now pay for it for healthy women who want to delay motherhood.
Chris Deschene's run for president of the Navajo Nation has been challenged because he's not fluent in the Navajo language. The dispute highlights a split among Native Americans over language issues.
The number of complaints about private student loans filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau climbed 38 percent in the past year, according to a new CFPB report.Most private student loan complaints sent to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau relate to which of the following?
The last time Venezuela tried for a seat in 2006, the United States successfully lobbied against it. The U.S. expressed disappointment about Venezuela's inclusion.
The state's attorney general says nearly three-quarters of Airbnb's listings in New York City are illegal. The company says local laws should be changed to accommodate the sharing economy.
What might make us pay attention to calorie information on menus? Researchers think that including how many miles of walking or minutes of running it takes to burn off the calories ordered would help.
Labels like "organic" and "grass-fed" don't capture the beef industry's true environmental impact, researchers say. Why not have a label that assesses water use, land use and greenhouse gas emissions?
Commander Chris Hadfield is arguably the most famous astronaut of the modern era, not just because of his trips to space. He won a massive following using Twitter and Instagram, and even singing David Bowie covers on YouTube.
Now, he's gathered thousands of photographs he took from space, and whittled them down into a book called "You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes."
Here are some highlights from our conversation:
You’ve got more than 1 million Twitter followers. They seem to love what you do. Why do you think that is?
Such a tiny little group of people have had a chance, not just to leave the Earth, but to spend half a year off the Earth. Using the capability of social media, with all those followers, [I was able to say], “Hey, if you’re interested, look what we can see from here. Look how you look. You are here.”
At one point, my son sent a note, he said, “Hey, why don’t you ask everybody what they want to see?”
Everybody said, “I want a picture of my home town.” Which made me laugh, because it’s kind of like narcissistic. But then I thought about it. People are proud of where they’re from but also want to see where I’m from a perspective and in proportion to everyone else. I want to see how I fit in.
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) October 15, 2014
What’s next for you? Will we see you piloting a commercial space mission?
I know several of the guys flying… Virgin Galactic. It’s a very interesting commercial first step. It goes straight up and falls straight back down, so it really is just the first step. Sir Richard admits that. But he’s looking for ways to apply it. Maybe it can go straight up and land somewhere else. Maybe we could get from New York to LA in 30 minutes or something.
I don’t think I’m going to be the pilot of it. I’ve been a pilot my whole life and I’ve had such a richness of experience. I flew in space three times, and helped build two space stations, and commanded this one that’s up there.
A little taste of a ride like that would be like a Formula 1 driver going for a quick ride in somebody else’s car, but if someone gives me the opportunity, I”ll go for sure. But I don’t think I’m going to be the pilot.
What’s your favorite space movie?
I really like Galaxy Quest. But I also like 2001: A Space Odyssey. Those are my two favorites.
This year’s holiday shopping spree will be preceded by a strong holiday hiring spree.
As big-box and online warehouse retailers announce their seasonal employment plans, economists are predicting 2014 will be the best year for holiday jobs since 1999, with more than 800,000 temporary hires in the final three months of the year. Retailers hired 786,200 seasonal workers in 2013, according to the annual forecast published by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Individual companies that serve the holiday trade have more robust hiring plans than last year. UPS has announced it will double its seasonal employment boost to 95,000. Amazon announced Thursday it will add 80,000 temps at fulfillment and sortation centers across the country, as it staffs up an expanding nationwide delivery network.
“Last year, Amazon converted thousands of seasonal employees into regular full-time roles after the holidays,” Amazon spokesperson Nina Lindsey says. “And we’re really excited to be expecting to do the same this year.” Last year, about 15 percent of temps who got holiday work were brought on for full-time, permanent jobs, according to the company’s press release.
Lindsey would not provide an average wage. According to one staffing agency, these jobs appear to offer above the minimum wage, in the $11 to $15 per hour range.
“In this kind of economy, with this lack of safety net, any job is often better than no job,” says Stephanie Luce, professor of labor studies at the City University of New York. But she also pointed out that many job-seekers are underemployed in this economy — working temporary or part-time jobs and wanting full-time permanent work.
“You’re taking this job — it might even be your second job or third job — but you’re just trying to patch together many temp jobs, seasonal jobs, part-time jobs to make a living,” Luce says. “And it’s not really not a sustainable model.”
Georgetown University public policy professor Harry Holzer, who served as chief economist in the Labor Department during the Clinton Administration, said many of these jobs don’t deliver a significant long-term benefit to job-seekers.
“If the job is really short-term, I doubt that anyone’s going to be impressed by it when they look at someone’s work experience,” said Holzer. “If it’s a little longer, and if you can argue that you picked up a skill on the job, then potentially it could have a positive effect.”
Holzer said that during the 1990s, when the U.S. had full employment, most people taking temporary seasonal jobs for the holidays probably wanted to work short-term to make extra money—either because they were semi-retired, or simply didn't want year-round work. Now, he said, temporary seasonal workers are more likely to be people struggling with unemployment or underemployment.
Bono has apologized for a recent self-promotion stint, albeit in a video promoting his new album release on CD and vinyl.
The U2 frontman apologized to everyone who was annoyed after the band's new album "Songs of Innocence" just showed up in their iTunes accounts last month. All 500 million iTunes users received the free download.
In a Facebook video posted Oct. 14, Bono said he got carried away with the "beautiful idea" of the auto-download, but artists are "prone to a drop of megalomania" and he feared the album wouldn't be heard.
The download was announced Sept. 9 at the Apple event unveiling the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch. Apple automatically sent the album for free to active iTunes accounts, and for some people with certain settings, that meant an automatic download too.
Billboard reported last week the album had been downloaded 26 million times, and 81 million people had listened to at least one song — it's not clear how many actually meant to.
Health officials transferred Dallas nurse Nina Pham to the National Institutes of Health facility in Maryland Thursday.
Now both Dallas nurses infected by a patient with the disease have been sent to specialty hospitals with biocontainment units. There are four such hospitals in the U.S., with sites in Maryland, Georgia, Nebraska and Montana.
Given mistakes in Dallas, health officials are talking about whether certain hospitals should be designated to treat Ebola cases. But there really aren’t any Ebola experts, no super doctors who have special tricks. Doctors say treating Ebola is actually pretty straightforward business.
“Most of the treatment issues really are the generic treatment of very, very sick people with multiple organs that are failing, and most reasonable-sized hospitals can do that competently,” says Dr. Bob Wachter of University of California-San Francisco.
Wachter says with Ebola, what matters more than medical brilliance is organizational acumen, where everyone from the hospital CEO to the top nurse to the waste hauler knows how to handle something this infectious.
“That’s really, really hard, and I don’t think every single hospital will be able to sort that out,” he says.
The events over the past week in Dallas drive that home, but what’s happened there shouldn’t come as a shock. Remember, estimates suggest nearly 100,000 people die from hospital acquired infections every year. Mistakes in hospitals happen; they’re expected. With the danger of Ebola there’s increasing talk in the healthcare world that these cases should go top hospitals.
But Dr. Ricardo Martinez, who oversaw EMS efforts for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says every hospital needs to be better prepared.
“There are other diseases coming, so we should be able to provide some level of protection that not only care for the patient but contain the spread,” he says.
Martinez says if Doctors without Borders can protect many of its workers in field-like settings, U.S. hospitals should be able to do the same.