National / International News
A TV comedy Bill Cosby was developing for NBC has been canceled, after new allegations of rape against the comedian. Netflix made a similar move late Tuesday, shelving a comedy special.
Out of the twelve banks in the Federal Reserve system, only New York has a permanent spot on the interest-rate-setting Federal Open Markets Committee.
Only New York oversees the critical Wall Street institutions like Goldman Sachs, and only New York is under congressional scrutiny this week for its cozy relationship with the institutions it is supposed to regulate.
After This American Life and ProPublica published stories using secret tapes that seemed to demonstrate regulators deferring to the institutions they regulate, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio called for hearings, which will take place this Friday. Brown plans to hold NY Fed President William Dudley accountable, and push him to prioritize regulation as highly as interest rates.
Meanwhile, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island has put forward legislation that would change how the next William Dudley would be selected. Reed would take the decision out of the hands of boardmembers - mainly business people - and put it in the hands of the President. MIT economist Simon Johnson says that's exactly the right approach.
In the past five years, pancake mix sales dropped 1.5 percent, according to Bloomberg.
The report said we spend on average $1.16 a year on pancake mix. If you do the math, that's about the same as buying one box of Bisquick every three years.
It turns out hotcakes aren't selling like hotcakes after all. Maybe it's time to update the idiom for modern times.
Sadly "selling like kale" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
The rich maritime history dates back more than a millennium. There's a group dedicated to reviving it by making boats the old-fashioned way: with coconut palm fiber, shark liver oil and no nails.
Pumpkin spice is the flavor of the season, but does anyone think there's real pumpkin in the "science goo" in our lattes? Turns out flavor companies have come up with a simple chemical recipe for it.
"My Toilet," a new photo exhibit in London, documents how commodes — or the lack of a proper one — affect the health, safety and education of girls and women around the world.
The foundation invested at least $100 million in the research for the drug Kalydeco, which granted the non-profit a share of the profits. The drug has proven successful in treating some cystic-fibrosis patients.
But it's also very expensive, costing a reported $300,000.
The Foundation’s big payday has raised some eyebrows about whether it's profiting from a drug that’s a financial burden for the very patients it's supposed to help.
"I don’t know whether to celebrate or not...It’s going to take a while to sink in,” says David Orenstein who treats cystic fibrosis at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “The scale of the money that's involved here is phenomenal."
When Vertex first came out with the new drug, Orenstein took issue with the price. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation says it’s had no influence over the price of the drug, and the research it funded was essential to getting the drug developed.
"On the big picture, it’s very similar to what almost all disease foundations do,” says George Annas, a health law and bioethics professor at Boston University. “Most of them fund research by academics, but it’s not a big leap to fund research by a biotech company on the theory that they are more likely to actually translate their research into a product.”
But so far foundations have not seen returns on their investments anywhere near the scale of billions. And Doctor Peter Bach of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center says he won’t be surprised if he sees big paydays again in the future.
“This will be an outlier until it happens again,” Bach says, “Drugs that get approved even for rare conditions can command essentially infinitely high prices.”
And if foundations benefit from those prices, he says, they could face a conflict of interest.