National / International News

In Wake Of Iran Deal, Defense Secretary Embarks On Middle East Tour

NPR News - Fri, 2015-07-17 12:03

The loudest objections to the recent Iran nuclear deal have been coming from Israel. U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is traveling there this weekend, in a bid to reassure the riled American ally.

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US shooting victims named by Marines

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 11:53
The four US Marines shot dead by a gunman in Tennessee are named by officials as investigators focus on suspect's visits to the Middle East.

Brazil speaker leaves government

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 11:41
The speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress says he is leaving the governing coalition, in a blow to embattled President Dilma Rousseff

Marine Corps Identifies 4 Service Members Who Died In Chattanooga Attack

NPR News - Fri, 2015-07-17 11:29

Their homes ranged from Georgia to Wisconsin, but their lives converged in Thursday's deadly attack on a military facility in Tennessee.

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UCLA Health Says 4.5M May Be Affected In Data Breach

NPR News - Fri, 2015-07-17 11:20

Attackers accessed parts of the computer network that contain personal and medical information, but there is no evidence they accessed or acquired any personal or medical information, UCLA said.

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U.K. Prime Minister Wants 'Big Conversation' About Seagull Attacks

NPR News - Fri, 2015-07-17 11:14

Seagulls have reportedly menaced people and animals in Cornwall, England. The public outcry has gone all the way up to 10 Downing Street.

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Beyond Fat-Free And Frozen: The Myriad Ways The World Uses Yogurt

NPR News - Fri, 2015-07-17 11:05

Across the globe, the culinary culture of yogurt is ancient, thriving and incredibly diverse. From camel's milk yogurt to yogurt vodka, fish marinades to baked goods, yogurt is a versatile superstar.

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VIDEO: New Pluto images 'tip of the iceberg'

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 10:47
New images of Pluto from Nasa's New Horizons probe has revealed icy plains on the surface of the planet.

Two trains collide near Johannesburg

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 10:46
At least 120 are injured as two trains collide near Johannesburg in South Africa, medics tell BBC.

NASA's New Pluto Images Point To Geologically Active World

NPR News - Fri, 2015-07-17 10:46

The latest photos show ice plains that appear to be only 100 million years old and a hilly region that could be what is left when surrounding material is eroded away.

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Americans are taking fewer vacation days

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-07-17 10:34

Though summer can conjure images of vacations, resorts and road trips, fewer Americans are actually taking time off from their jobs to go on those vacations. 

Katie Denis is senior director at Project: Time Off, an organization that researches paid time off in the U.S and its effects. The company is powered by the U.S. Travel Organization, which represents many companies in the travel and tourism industry.

In a recent report, Project: Time Off found that the declining American vacation is actually a relatively new problem. "When you look at how much vacation we've taken historically, there's this idea of the storied American work ethic, and that's always been part of the fabric of our country. But we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that starts back from the '70s to about 2000, we have this really static trend line of taking about 20.3 days vacation."

Courtesy of Project: Time Off

"And then we start to drop off. And the drop off has not slowed. In just the last 15 years, not even 15 years, we've managed to lose almost a full work week of vacation," Denis says. "Most people when we talk about this say, 'Well, you know, we're not going to be France.' No one says we have to be France. We can be the U.S. 15 years ago. It doesn't have to be a massive, massive overhaul of everything we can consider normal."

Denis mentions that the traditional thinking that as hours worked goes up, productivity must follow, is also an inhibitor to why we don't take time off.

"I was actually looking at the typical hours per week that [people in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries worked. Germany has one of the lowest hours-per-week-worked countries out there. And I think everyone really highly regards their economy— Greece in particular. They're highly productive, but they're on the lower end of hours. 

"I think that if you're overworked, your productivity drops off. There's tons of studies that show that. It's one of those things. I know I went through that when I had my first child. I put way more hours before, but day care does not care about your work life. My productivity, if anything, went way up."

Most people who eschew taking time off worry that work is going to pile up if they leave the office or that they don't want to be seen as replaceable. 

Denis, though, says this is the wrong mindset. "As much as we've talked to employees, we've also talked to company leadership, managers, [human resource] leaders, trying to get a sense of what they think about the issue. And what we're finding is they are overwhelmingly positive. They know all the benefits and taking time off. They know it's good for their employees, but they don't talk about it. When we ask employees, 'OK, what do you hear from company leadership, management, about this issue?' two-thirds say, 'I don't really hear anything.'"

The skydiving destination that sells adventure

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-07-17 10:33

In a small plane climbing quickly to 12,500 feet, 20 skydivers are packed like sardines, waiting to jump.

At Skydive Perris in Perris, California, this is one of many planes to take off today, packed with professional skydivers and first-timers looking for a thrill.

Divers line up to board a plane at Skydive Perris. (Bill Lancz/Marketplace)

Skydive Perris is a destination for skydivers: it's one of the largest skydiving facilities in the country, one of only two with a wind tunnel. The facility operates seven of its own planes, runs it own tiny airport and is home to a well-known skydiving school. On the ground, there is a pool, a restaurant and a bar (no drinks before jumping, only after). 

The Redbull is flowing freely, and Perris is full of skydivers wearing brightly colored flight suits and heavy parachute packs. Seasoned pros land at high speeds, chutes flapping behind them, and sprint in to swap packs and hop on the next plane. Behind them come first-time jumpers, legs still wobbling a little from fear or adrenaline, beaming and hardly able to speak. 

Even in the summer, Skydive Perris' low season, you might see 80 first-time jumpers on a weekend day. Full-time skydivers frequent the facility too, paying $26 per jump once they have their own equipment, a steep discount from a $199 first-time tandem jump.

"We are a recreational facility the same way a ski slope would be ... a tennis club, a golf course," Skydive Perris Manager Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld says. "There are people here from 18-85 years old, from every conceivable walk of life, every economic background, every different kind of job, every ethnicity — quite a wide range of people."

Brodsky-Chenfeld has seen whole families come in to jump and even hosted a man jumping for his 100th birthday who came back for his 101st. 

Keeping the busy facility running takes a lot of work. According to Brodsky-Chenfeld, "about 100 people earn their living at Skydive Perris." That includes instructors, pilots, parachute riggers and a full-time maintenance crew for the planes. The restaurant, bar and wind tunnel have full-time staffs, and freelancers travel to Perris to teach lessons. 

The business of adventure isn't always lucrative. "You're not necessarily going to buy a Mercedes or a mansion," says pro diver and instructor Lawrence de Laubadere, "but, you're going to be happy, and when you wake up, you're happy and you get to make people happy."

De Laubadere makes money teaching people to dive. He got hooked during college and has been with Perris for four years, ever since he left work at the United Nations for what was supposed to be a three-month skydiving vacation. 

Wingsuit skydivers hang out the window of the plane preparing to perform a trick jump. Two divers will fly together, one on the other's back, while a third diver films. (Bill Lancz/Marketplace)

Professional skydivers like de Laubadere make money doing demonstration dives, jumping into stadiums and for big events. They can also make money coaching, teaching new jumpers or, if they invest their own time and money, honing their skills to the point where they can instruct wingsuit skydivers and teach more skilled specialties. 

Most of the instructors at Skydive Perris make $40 to $50 per jump. Most of them say it's not really about the money — one wingsuit diver, a tourist from Iceland, says his goal is to make enough money teaching skydiving to support his own skydiving.

De Laubadere agrees. "The other day I jumped onto Santa Monica beach, and I got 200 bucks for it," de Laubadere says, "and frankly, I would have paid 500 bucks to make that jump, because it was awesome."

Repeat skydivers, whether or not they're making their living jumping from planes, seem to be chasing something other than a thrill. The real reason so many of them keep jumping? Flight, freedom and the sense of complete focus and calm they feel right when they exit the plane. 

Skydivers parachute down towards the landing strip at Skydive Perris. (Bill Lancz/Marketplace)

"People think that skydivers are just here for the adrenaline rush, but I've got over 26,000 jumps," Brodsky-Chenfeld says. "If I still had the same adrenaline rush as I did on my first jump, I'd have had a heart attack by now. It's not about that ... you learn to fly ... and it's that sensation that we're all in love with, and there's nothing like that feeling at all." 

England face fight to avoid defeat

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 10:13
England face a fight to avoid defeat in the second Ashes Test after collapsing on the second evening at Lord's.

Anders Breivik, Norwegian Mass Murderer, Admitted To Oslo University

NPR News - Fri, 2015-07-17 10:12

The far-right gunman, who killed 77 people in 2011 and is serving a 21-year prison sentence, will study political science. The university's rector says Breivik met the admission requirements.

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Where do you find financial shelter?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-07-17 09:45

Next week on the Marketplace Weekend, we'll be looking at the places where we seek shelter in our cities, lives and in our wallets.

We want to hear from you! Where do you seek financial shelter? Tell us your story.  

Write to us! Reach out on Marketplace's Facebook page, send us an email or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND.

First UK FGM protection order secured

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 09:13
The first female genital mutilation protection order in the UK is obtained by police, preventing two girls thought to be at risk from travelling abroad.

Sponsor Coca-Cola demands Fifa reform

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 09:11
Fifa sponsor Coca-Cola wants an independent third-party commission to oversee reform of the organisation.

Greek bailout talks given go-ahead

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 09:10
Greece and its creditors can formally start talks on the country's third bailout after the necessary eurozone parliaments gave their backing.

Little Mix score third number one

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 09:00
Little Mix get their third number one with new single Black Magic, as Years and Years' debut Communion tops the album chart.

De Gea staying unless Ramos joins

BBC - Fri, 2015-07-17 09:00
Manchester United are prepared to let goalkeeper David De Gea leave for free next summer rather than give in to Real Madrid.