National / International News

Fast-Track Trade Measure Clears Key Senate Hurdle

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 11:32

The 65-33 vote comes two days after senators rejected a measure to take up the bill giving President Obama fast-track trade authority.

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Nurse Visits Help First-Time Moms, Cut Government Costs In Long Run

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 11:23

The Affordable Care Act has made available more assistance to new mothers so they can raise healthier kids. But critics say the standards for those programs are too lenient.

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VIDEO: On the road, helping people in crisis

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 11:17
The BBC's Ed Thomas has been given access to a team in Cheshire, where police officers and mental health specialists work together to help people in crisis.

Historian Says Don't 'Sanitize' How Our Government Created The Ghettos

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 11:16

Historian Richard Rothstein studies residential segregation in America. His conclusion: "federal, state and local governments purposely created racial boundaries in these cities."

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Face-to-face transactions at the farmer's market

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 11:01

Transactions are getting quicker, easier, more digital, less personal. At convenience stores and even grocery stores you can check yourself out. In a growing number of stores, you can pay with your phone

Sometimes, simple transactions come at a cost.

But one marketplace remains mostly unchanged by technology and mostly un-marred by fees: the farmer's market. There, you can still find tables piled high with fresh fruits and veggies, see the same familiar faces selling flowers or handmade soaps, try hummus and dips made the day before, and interact with the farmers who grew your food. 

Even though an increasing number of market's accept food stamps, prices are higher than what you'd find at a typical grocery store. Still, there are deals to be had — sometimes if you're willing to haggle a little bit, other times if you're willing to buy in bulk. 

At the farmer's market in Los Angeles, we brought $20 and left with pounds of strawberries -- enough for two pies -- seven avocados, a half-dozen eggs, two nectarines and two donut peaches, the first stone fruit of the season. 

A few tips for how to make the most of your money at the farmer's market:

  • Buy in bulk: if you have a vendor you like, buy a few things from them, they're more likely to throw in something extra or knock a dollar off the price
  • Don't pick out your own fruit: ask the farmer what's ripe, and if they have time, have them pick out what you're looking for. You'll end up with the best tasting fruit, and if you ask for "$4 worth of ____" instead of picking it out yourself and having them weigh it later, you'll stay on budget. 
  • Buy in season. Produce is cheapest when it's in season, no matter where you're buying. 
  • Try things! Take advantage of free samples and deals on new products or seasonal specials. 

What NATO Diplomats Do On Their Downtime: Sing 'We Are The World'

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 11:00

NATO foreign ministers in Antalya, Turkey, were persuaded at the end of their meeting this week to join in a rendition of the '80s-era pop anthem. At last check, they were all keeping their day jobs.

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Greece Says It Won't Take U.K. To Court For Return Of Elgin Marbles

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:41

Athens says taking the matter to the International Criminal Court would take too long and the outcome would be uncertain. Instead he says Greece will use diplomatic channels for their return.

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Kay Cannon on writing the hit 'Pitch Perfect'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:35

When "Pitch Perfect," the film about a female college a cappella group came out in 2012, it was considered a surprise hit at the box office. When its writer, Kay Cannon, heard that the studio wanted to do a sequel, she says she was not only terrified, but,  "I thought I was going to barf.”

Cannon has a background in improve. She performed at Second City in Chicago, and later in Las Vegas. She credits Tina Fey for launching her career as a writer.

“I started writing because I wasn’t getting things as an actor," she says. "I wasn’t like pretty enough to be the ingénue, I wasn’t 'character' enough to be the goofball sidekick, I’m kind of ethnically ambiguous.”

She says she decided, “I’ve got to literally write my own ticket.”

And that’s where Fey comes in. Fey read some of Cannon’s work and asked her to be a writer on "30 Rock." It came with a caveat though. Fey asked Cannon if they’d still be friends if Fey had to fire the unexperienced writer. Cannon replied, “I look forward to the day you fire me.”

Since then, Cannon’s added credits for "New Girl" and "Cristela" to her resume. "Pitch Perfect" was her first feature film.

“In a practical sense, it was absolutely easier to write the second one than the first one. On a personal level, I lost my father and had a baby,” Cannon says.

The first film took her four years to write but with the sequel, she was on deadline.

“I was just happy the first one got made," she says. "And then to see the reactions of everybody, it does feel like there’s an anticipation for this movie. It’s very exciting.”

Kay Cannon on writing the hit Pitch Perfect

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:35

When "Pitch Perfect," the film about a female college a cappella group came out in 2012, it was considered a surprise hit at the box office. When its writer, Kay Cannon, heard that the studio wanted to do a sequel, she says she was not only terrified, but,  "I thought I was going to barf.”

Cannon has a background in improve. She performed at Second City in Chicago, and later in Las Vegas. She credits Tina Fey for launching her career as a writer.

“I started writing because I wasn’t getting things as an actor," she says. "I wasn’t like pretty enough to be the ingénue, I wasn’t 'character' enough to be the goofball sidekick, I’m kind of ethnically ambiguous.”

She says she decided, “I’ve got to literally write my own ticket.”

And that’s where Fey comes in. Fey read some of Cannon’s work and asked her to be a writer on "30 Rock." It came with a caveat though. Fey asked Cannon if they’d still be friends if Fey had to fire the unexperienced writer. Cannon replied, “I look forward to the day you fire me.”

Since then, Cannon’s added credits for "New Girl" and "Cristela" to her resume. "Pitch Perfect" was her first feature film.

“In a practical sense, it was absolutely easier to write the second one than the first one. On a personal level, I lost my father and had a baby,” Cannon says.

The first film took her four years to write but with the sequel, she was on deadline.

“I was just happy the first one got made," she says. "And then to see the reactions of everybody, it does feel like there’s an anticipation for this movie. It’s very exciting.”

VIDEO: Migrants Adrift In Andaman Sea After Thailand Turns Them Away

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:33

Malaysia and Indonesia have also turned away the Rohingya who have fled persecution in Myanmar. The migrants also include Bangladeshis who are escaping poverty in their country.

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Lawmakers Spar Over Whether Amtrak Funding Cut Matters

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:27

"It's not about funding. The train was going twice the speed limit," said House Speaker John Boehner. Democrats advocated for an amendment that would fund advanced technology.

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Did Prince Charles's letters change anything?

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:15
Did Prince Charles's letters change anything?

Avon shares seesaw amid bid hoax

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:07
In a wild session of trading, shares of cosmetics firm Avon whipsaw after mysterious reports of a takeover offer.

Why A Philadelphia Grocery Chain Is Thriving In Food Deserts

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 10:04

Brown's Super Stores operates seven profitable supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The founder says it's because he figured out what communities needed in a neighborhood store.

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Union boss blames Tory win on Murphy

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 09:52
Union boss Len McCluskey calls for Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy to resign after "making certain" the Conservatives won the general election.

Jeb Bush Fully Walks Back On Iraq: 'I Would Not Have Gone Into Iraq'

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-14 09:51

After days of shifting positions on whether he would have gone to war in Iraq, even knowing what we know now, Jeb Bush did an about-face, saying definitively that he would not have gone in.

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VIDEO: Farage: You watching Question Time tonight?

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 09:50
Nigel Farage has left UKIP's London headquarters after a day of internal rows within his party.

Misconduct case for Watkins officer

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 09:31
A third officer from South Wales Police is being investigated in relation to the force's handling of complaints about paedophile Ian Watkins.

Iran 'fires warning shots' at ship

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 09:28
Iranian gunboats fire warning shots at a cargo ship in the Persian Gulf, the second incident of its kind in recent weeks.

'Street triage' to help the vulnerable

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 09:28
The team helping vulnerable people avoid custody

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