Mullah Fazlullah is said to have ordered the attack on Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who campaigned for girls' education. Inside Pakistan, Fazlullah rose to prominence several years ago through his fiery religious radio broadcasts, which earned him the nickname "Radio Mullah."
Mayor Rob Ford has now admitted that he smoked crack in a drunken stupor and that he was drunk when he was videotaped threatening to kill someone. He's still saying he won't resign.
Just like people with individual health insurance polices, small businesses are grappling with unexpected changes to their policies and premiums because of the standards set by the Affordable Care Act.
In Arizona, Drs. Courtney and Matthew Dunn own DunnOrthodontics in central Phoenix. It’s a small but profitable practice, which they’ve had for about seven years. They don’t have to offer health insurance, but Matthew Dunn says, they choose to.
"We’ve always offered health insurance. It was easy in the beginning because we only had one employee, now we have 13 full-time employees."
On Tuesday, the Dunns received a letter from their health insurer, Humana. It was labeled, "Important information regarding your coverage." It informed them that they would not be able to continue with their current medical plan in 2014, as it did not meet all of the ACA requirements. The letter included information on a new Humana medical plan did comply with the ACA's standards, but it would raise the Dunns' premiums by 60 percent.
Courtney Dunn says she was shocked.
"I got a text from Matt letting me know, and my heart just stopped."
She thought they had a good plan. Their employees have used their existing plan to cover surgeries, births and emergency room visits. Dunn says she'd figured they could keep their plan, hang onto it for a year and see how the Affordable Care Act played out before jumping into the marketplace.
Now the Dunns have about six weeks to figure out what their plan lacks and what they want to do. In the meantime, they’re meeting with their employees to explain the situation and get input.
Karen Yant is Dunn Orthodontic's receptionist. She has a bad back. She wondered whether, if her employers no longer offered health insurance, employees would get extra money to pay for it themselves.
Courtney Dunn told Yant that was one option they were talking about, but it's still early and they just don't know.
"We still need to weigh what's going to be the best for you guys and what's going to be fair."
Dunn says they're talking to their insurance broker and reaching out to other small businesses owners for advice.
"I wish I could just say, 'It’s going to be OK. It’s all going to work itself out,' but it’s just the unknown at this point. We're still hoping that we can go on the marketplace and find something better, but this is the first time that I’ve been really nervous."
Her husband trying to be open about their situation since they still have limited information.
"I’m trying not to over-react to it," he says. I’m trying to figure out what’s best for us and our employees, but I just don’t know right now."
As the NFL investigates, a player who was with the team in recent years writes that "the most outlandish lie" is that Dolphins coaches didn't know what was happening. If Richie Incognito had been hazing teammate Jonathan Martin it would have been known, writes Lydon Murtha.
In 2003, U.S. forces discovered a trove of Jewish documents in a flooded Baghdad basement. They tell the tale of a once-thriving Jewish community. The painstakingly restored documents will be exhibited in the U.S. before they are returned to Iraq. But some Jewish groups are trying to prevent that.
The FDA is looking to ban trans fats from our food. For you label readers out there, we’re talking partially hydrogenated oils.
Why? They kill us. The FDA says cutting trans fats could prevent as many as 20,000 heart attacks a year.
But what foods have trans fats these days?
I took $4 to the vending machine and tried to buy some trans fat. Jumbo honey bun: no trans fat. Cinnamon roll: no trans fat. Cheez-Its: no trans fat.
I wandered around the office, asking people to study their snacks. I checked out pretzel chips, protein bars, granola bars – no trans fats.
“There’s been tremendous progress in the food industry getting rid of trans fat,” says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “I’d estimate that roughly 75 percent of the trans fat is gone."
He says you can still find it at restaurants, especially non-chains. You can also find partially hydrogenated oils in some microwave popcorn, piecrusts, refrigerated biscuits and frostings. A listener pointed out on Twitter that tootsie rolls have trans fats.
UC Davis food science professor Bruce German says, in some cases, companies struggle to find just the right replacement. Other times, it’s about cost.
“The majority of food in the marketplace competes to a very substantial extent on price," he says. And trans fats often cost a little less than replacements.
The most common substitutes are palm and coconut oil.
“The investors in those are smiling,” says German. And, so am I, because now I can eat those Cheez-Its without any partially hydrogenated guilt.
So what food items USED to have trans fat but don't anymore? Some examples below:
photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Girl Scout cookies
photo credit: John Moore/Getty Images
photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
photo credit: Amy Stephenson/Flickr
photo credit: Roadsidepictures/Flickr
photo credit: Eric Schmuttenmaer/Flickr
Did you hear the pop? Twitter started trading on the Big Board today. It was priced at $26 a share but it closed at $44.90. That “pop,” in part, means investors assume that we’re going to see a lot more people using Twitter. With a bigger audience, Twitter can get advertisers to pay more.
The only problem is that Twitter is having a growth problem. According to a Reuters/Iposos poll, 36 percent of the people who join Twitter, don’t use it. That’s because they don’t get it. But that doesn’t mean Twitter can’t reverse that trend, says Pinar Yildirim, a marketing professor at the Wharton.
She says, you know that notion of “supply and demand,” that is, that consumer demand drives what’s sold. Well, marketers don’t really believe that.
“So essentially we believe in marketing consumers don’t know what they really want,” Yildirim said.
And business history is full examples of companies that have created products and then sold us on the idea that we need them, says David Stewart, who teaches marketing at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles
“The microwave oven is a great example of a technology that did not find initial market acceptance,” he says.
When microwaves first came out in 1947, Stewart says people didn’t see the need for them. They were doing fine with their conventional ovens.
“The microwave oven essentially was a product that required people to learn how to cook all over again,” Stewart says. “You couldn’t use your metal pots and pans.”
And people didn’t know what to cook in them. So marketers had to teach them what to do. They did in-store demonstrations and paid for people to have microwave dinner parties. Today, few homes are without a microwave.
Twitter could take a page from history, says Charles Byers is a marketing professor at the Santa Clara University.
“They do need to do some marketing as to why you should be on Twitter, what do you get from Twitter?” he says.
Buyers says most consumers think of Twitter like Facebook, a place to talk to friends and share pictures with family. But when they find out it’s not really like that, they walk. To keep them, Buyers says Twitter needs to promote its TV tie-ins and videos and it’s role as a go-to site for breaking news. And with its share price soaring, that education starts today.
Twitter learned a lot from its users. Now they have to get more of them on board. From #Twitter to $TWTR:
July 2006: Twitter's official public launch day was July 15, 2006. Ahh, the old innocent days of Twitter's birth. Here's co-founder Biz Stone sharing his promo of the service to the world on YouTube.
November 2006: The @ sign was initially used on Twitter just as a shorthand for "at." What peasants we all were. On November 2, 2006 Twitter user Robert Andersen (@rsa) threw this game changer into the world:
@ buzz - you broke your thumb and youre still twittering? that's some serious devotion
— Robert Andersen (@rsa) November 3, 2006
Using the @ sign to reply to another user grew to became the informal standard. Now, it's hard to imagine Twitter without the function.
April 2007: The first documented retweet (used in the way we think of the term today) was on April 17, 2007 by the user @ericrice. Although the move didn't spread like wildfire at first, it eventually gained steam. But the actual shorthand, "RT" didn't come until 2008 when @TDavid put the letters in a tweet about a Las Vegas fire. Now, Twitter lets users automatically retweet with a button (without having to manually type "RT" before the message), which helped content creators count and track how much something was shared. But it also angered many who felt the button restricted the way they could share and add their own commentary to other tweets.
August 2007: The Twitter #hashtag was born. Twitter use Chris Messina was the first to use # in a tweet on August 23rd with the message:
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina™ (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
Twitter made hashtags an official feature of their site in July 2009. The rest, as they say, is #history.
June 2009: You know how we still debate about the pronunciation of GIF (here at Marketplace though, it's not a debate at all. It's with a soft 'g.' Sorry Obama). Back in 2009 there was some similar uncertainty around Twitter's words. If you posted a message on the site, did you "tweet it" or did you "twitter it?" And did you go on "Twitter" or "twitter?" In 2009 Twitter's popularity in the common discourse got AP to weigh in. On June 11th, AP added Twitter terms to its AP Stylebook.
October 2013: There was some speculation about what Twitter's ticker symbol would be. Nope, not "TWTRQ". The company revealed on October 3rd, that it would trade under the symbol "TWTR" and on November 7th, Twitter officially started trading on the NYSE.
The Pacific storm Haiyan is expected to make landfall in the Philippines within the next 12 hours, bringing top sustained winds currently measured at more than 190 miles per hour. Classified as a super typhoon, it's the most powerful storm yet of 2013.
The European Central Bank is defying expectations by moving more aggressively than expected to boost its member nations' economies and head off potentially dangerous deflation. "Super Mario" Draghi, the ECB's president, is getting much of the credit.