National / International News

Coaching the Coach

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-15 12:02

Executives: They get the good offices, the good health plans, the good stock options AND they get to decide whether you keep your job.

But that doesn’t mean life’s easy. "There are actually CEO support groups that have popped up all over the country," says Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science at the Stanford Engineering School and co-author of "Scaling Up Excellence". Sutton says a lot of CEO’s end up suffering something akin to the Justin Bieber problem: No one around them will tell them if the company’s on the rocks or if all the employees despise them.

"It is exactly the Justin Bieber problem and actually in some ways it's worse," says Sutton. "Everybody around you has every incentive to tell you how wonderful you are and give you no bad news." Sutton says Executives Coaches often come in order to tell CEOs what people actually think of their management style.

Female executives often need help navigating a certain amount of non-acceptance.

"Women are just beginning to step into big roles, so the whole world is watching," says Nancy Koehn, a professor at the Harvard Business School. She says female CEOs often use executive coaches to help them deal with skepticism. "How do women get done what they know they have to get done, when they’re leading people that haven’t necessarily been responsive to a leader or guide who’s female?"

Whatever particular issues they face, CEOs are getting help in greater numbers. Last year, U.S. companies spent more than $1 billion on executive coaching.

The story behind red M&M's

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-15 12:00

Remember when red M&Ms weren't a thing?

It was all thanks to a little misunderstanding back in the day, and a little substance called Red Dye No. 2.

"It was a $10 billion dollar industry. It was used in everything from hot dogs to ice cream cones," says Zachary Crockett, writer at Pricenomics.com.

A Russian study found that this same dye caused tumors in lab rats. Cold War politics being what they were at the time, the FDA refused to acknowledge Russian research, and conducted their own study which, as Crockett puts it, ended up being "an absolute nightmare."

"The lead scientist left midway through, the rats were all mixed up in the lab, it was just wholly inconclusive," he said.

Not wanting to get tangled into the whole mess of Red Dye No. 2--which actually wasn't in red M&Ms in the first place--Mars, M&M's parent company, pulled the red M&Ms anyway to prevent customer confusion. Red was out, and orange was in.

Flickr

Nearly a decade later, just in time for Christmas 1985, red was back, thanks in large part to Paul Hethmon, a freshman at the University of Tennessee who started the "Society for the Restoration and the Preservation of the Red M&M."

"He kind of sparked a 'red-olution,' if you will," said Crockett. "All of these people who loved and adored the red M&M back in the '60s and '70s really came out of the woodwork and joined in this cause."

The animated spokescandy--who was once voiced by John Lovitz--has all those people to thank for thrusting him back into the spotlight.

Housing Is Perking Up, But Realtors Worry About Young Buyers

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:59

Homeownership rates are depressed for people under 35. Economists say nearly 3 million more young adults are living with their parents, compared with 2007.

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Three guilty of machine gun murder

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:53
Three men are facing life sentences after pleading guilty to killing Mohammed Abdi with a sub-machine gun in Duddingston last year.

Medicare Backs Down On Denying Treatment For Hepatitis Patient

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:48

Two new drugs for hepatitis C can save lives. They are also wildly expensive, costing $66,000 to $84,000 per person. Insurers face paying billions for treatment, or explicitly rationing vital care.

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YouTube in 2015 election debate bid

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:45
YouTube, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian are making a joint bid to host a leaders' debate before next year's election.

At A New Orleans High School, Marching Band Is A Lifeline For Kids

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:34

Reporter Keith O'Brien spent a year following the Edna Karr High School marching band. Being a member is more than just a way to be popular; the band offers students a pathway to college.

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Meet The High School Student Who Took Down A State Lawmaker

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:26

A week before graduating from high school, 17-year-old Saira Blair won the GOP primary in a conservative West Virginia district. Even the incumbent she defeated concedes she outworked him.

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US trio return $40,000 found in sofa

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:19
Three friends in New York find $40,000 (£24,000) in an old couch they bought but return it to the woman whose name was written on the envelope.

Homes on floats call after UK floods

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:15
Developers should consider building "floating" houses to combat the risk of flooding, the chairman of the Environment Agency suggests.

The Turkish Mine Disaster: How Could It Happen?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:10

The accident that has claimed hundreds of lives appears to have causes that are all too familiar to mining experts in the U.S. and around the world.

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VIDEO: Hong Kong burns Ivory stockpile

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:04
Kong Kong says it will burn 30 tonnes of ivory over the course of a year to help combat the illegal trade.

Oil booms have to be good for rural towns, right?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:03

New Mexico is the nation’s sixth largest oil producer. The industry is creating thousands of jobs in the southeast corner of the state. But all that activity is straining basic services. Housing is limited, classrooms are crowded and roads are more dangerous. Now cities are struggling to catch up.

At Puckett Elementary in Carlsbad, New Mexico a first grade class sang along with their teacher. They gather inside a portable classroom. Schools in Carlsbad are running out of space. Superintendent Gary Perkowski said in the last two years the district has enrolled 200 new students.

"All of a sudden it's going up and going up really quickly and very drastically," Perkowski said.

Carlsbad sits atop the fuel-rich Permian Basin. Dozens of new companies have come here to take advantage of high oil prices. That's attracted a bigger workforce. Crowded classrooms are not the only concern.   

"Last year we lost ten teachers that came to Carlsbad, signed contracts...and could not find housing," Perkowski said.

This town of 27,000 people is growing twice as fast as the rest of the state. Teachers are competing with other newcomers looking for a home.

"We had one guy that was trying to live with his family in a motel at a hundred and something dollars a night and that didn't last long," Perkowski said.

Because of the high demand, major hotel chains in Carlsbad charge rates comparable to New York City.  

At a popular Mexican restaurant Mayor Dale Janway digger into a plate of green enchiladas. He had just come from the oilfields himself where he works as a safety consultant.  

"This is one of the hot spots in the country right now and there are a lot of challenges," he said.

Janway said developers can't build fast enough. New apartments have waiting lists. Workers live in outlying RV parks. But it's not just the oil industry. This region is a major producer of potash, a component in fertilizer. A new mine should start construction this year. The U.S. Department of Energy also runs the country's only permanent nuclear waste facility just outside town.

"Anytime you have growth like we do you have more urgency calls, more fire calls, more police problems," Janway said.

Yet another issue is the traffic. It's especially busy along the 70 miles that separate Carlsbad from the neighboring town of Hobbs. Trucks hauling long cylinder tanks and heavy machinery are non-stop on weekdays mornings.

Ten people have died in traffic accidents this year, a high number in this mostly rural county. Carlsbad native Andrew Perez lost his brother in an accident two years ago.   

"My brother worked for an oilfield company, driving trucks and he worked very hard, long hours, didn't get sleep and ended up crashing his truck," Perez said.

His brother left a job in a corrections facility to become a trucker, Perez said. Before that he was Marine who served in Iraq.

"The day he died was the day that he found out he was going to be a father," Perez said.

An investigation by the Associated Press this year found that in some oil-rich states traffic fatalities have quadrupled in the past decade. In Southeast New Mexico, a coalition has formed a task force to address roadside deaths. A state representative is also pushing legislation that would fund highway improvements in oil-producing counties.

In Idaho, A Debate Like You've Never Seen Before

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:50

When two long-shots joined the top Republican candidates for governor at a debate Wednesday, they produced a night to remember.

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Chinese Nationals Flee Vietnam As Unrest Intensifies

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:46

Vietnamese mobs are destroying foreign-owned property and hunting down Chinese nationals in an angry response to Beijing's push to place an oil rig in disputed Southeast Asian waters.

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Two dead in five-vehicle M11 crash

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:38
Two people die in a crash on the M11 motorway involving three cars, a lorry and a horsebox carrying five horses from trainer Brian Meehan's stables.

PM says No vote 'not for status quo'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:33
The prime minister calls for "cross-party consensus" on further devolution if there is a No vote in the referendum on Scottish independence.

Extradition couple taken to hospital

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:31
A couple due to be extradited to the United States on Thursday to face fraud and money-laundering charges are taken to hospital after police force entry to their home.

Murray to face Nadal in Rome last eight

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:16
Andy Murray beats Jurgen Melzer to set up an Italian Open quarter-final against world number one Rafael Nadal.

Sunken body clue to American origins

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:14
The ancient remains of a teenage girl discovered in a flooded cavern in Mexico are providing additional insights on how the Americas came to be populated.
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