National / International News

New York City extends paid sick days to more workers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:05

Workers of New York, July 30 is the first day you can use your earned sick days under New York City’s new paid sick day law.

How are you feeling - can you make it?

Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work,  a network of coalitions in 21 states that work for policies like paid sick days, says come the end of the month, don’t expect to see a sick day bubble where workers all over the city call in with hives.

“No, what we’re going to see is fewer people going to work sick and making co-workers and customers sick," she says. "Fewer people losing jobs and paychecks.”

On average, Bravo notes, workers use fewer sick days than they earn.

Sherry Leiwant, co-president and cofounder of A Better Balance, a legal advocacy organization based in New York that does advocacy around paid sick days, says more often than not, workers treat sick days like insurance.

"They save them because they know they’re going to maybe need them to take care of their kids, or take care of themselves if they get sick, so don’t want to waste them," she says.

New York City estimates there are about half a million employees who had no paid sick time before the new law. Leiwant notes the lack of sick leave cuts across sectors, so the list of industries where workers are currently without sick time includes retail, child and health care, leisure, hospitality and dining.

Andrew Rigie, executive director of the *New York City Hospitality Alliance, and a personal recipient of sick day leave, says restaurant owners understand that people get sick and they want to take care of their teams, but that the new policy does present challenges for business owners in the dining industry. 

“A lot of business owners believe it’s going to be expensive, it’s also going to be tricky, especially in restaurant industry or nightlife industry if an employee calls in sick, you need to replace them," he says. "There are some office jobs, where if someone comes in sick, they’ll come in the following day and their work will be there on their desk. But if you’re working in a restaurant and you’re short a line cook, you need to bring in an additional line cook.”

Ellen Bravo notes that paying employees for a handful of sick days a year is much cheaper than spending the thousands of dollars it costs to replace even low wage workers. While it would be more convenient if no one got sick, she says, from a business perspective sick days make sense.

"You certainly don’t want to be the restaurant that gets in the headlines for having a norovirus, as a number of them had, because the worker felt obliged to come in for fear of losing their job, or simply because they couldn’t afford the time."

*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified the affiliation of Andrew Rigie, a hospitality executive. He is executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance. The article has been corrected.

Toronto mayor: Rehab saved my life

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:03
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford returns to work after "intensive treatment" for drug and alcohol abuse, speaking of a "long road to recovery".

Abducted Israeli teens found dead

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:03
Three Israeli teenagers abducted this month in the West Bank have been found dead near Hebron, the Israeli military says.

Nominating New VA Chief, Obama Says 'We Have To Do Better' For Vets

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:03

President Obama nominated the former chief of Procter & Gamble to take over the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert McDonald said he wanted to make the system more efficient and effective.

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Klinsmann has concern over referee

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 13:00
United States boss Jurgen Klinsmann criticises the appointment of an Algerian referee for their meeting with Belgium.

Obama shifts resources to US border

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:59
President Barack Obama has directed immigration resources to the US border with Mexico as he promised to fix the "broken immigration system" without an "obstructive" Congress.

Dominant Djokovic into last eight

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:56
Novak Djokovic beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the quarter-finals as Grigor Dimtrov books a last-eight date with Andy Murray.

English explodes in India

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:55
India is using English like it has never been used before

Lead Exposure May Cause Depression In Chinese Children

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:51

Lead exposure lowers children's IQ and causes aggression. But children exposed to low levels of lead show different symptoms, including more depression and anxiety, a study of preschoolers finds.

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An Algorithm Is A Curator At The Sept. 11 Museum

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:50

Curators at the September 11 Memorial and Museum came up with a novel solution to the problem of interpreting the tragedy. They put a computer algorithm in charge of an exhibit. But is it objective?

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Between Israel And Hamas, 3 Killed Teens Escalate Tensions

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:42

Three Israeli teens who have been missing since June 12 were found killed in the West Bank. Israel blames Hamas and is expected to take action against the militant group.

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High Court Allows Some Companies To Opt Out Of Contraceptives Mandate

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:38

In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held companies can defy the Affordable Care Act mandate to cover some forms of contraception if they object on religious grounds.

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Hobby Lobby Ruling Cuts Into Contraceptive Mandate

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:35

The Supreme Court says closely held corporations may be exempted from the health law's contraceptive mandate. Here are some questions and answers about the ruling.

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More than 85% of the seafood Americans eat is imported

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:34

Once upon a time, America relied on its own shores for seafood. The state of New York was famous for their fresh oysters; Louisiana and Mississippi were famous for their shrimp. The clean coastal waters allowed us to farm our own stuff. But things have changed.

"More than 85 percent of the seafood Americans eat is imported," says Paul Greenberg, author of "American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood".  

Greenberg says the biggest shift has been the exchange of oysters for foreign shrimp. Americans used to be able to farm and bring in billions of pounds of oysters per year. But we then lost our natural productive estuaries and traded them for foreign ones. Now, Americans eat more pounds of shrimp per year than tuna and salmon combined.

Although the majority of our seafood is imported, America fisheries export about one-third of what they catch.

"Primarily, it’s Alaska. They send tons of salmon," says Greenberg. "In fact, we actually send as much salmon abroad as we import. The only thing is, we are sending all the wild salmon abroad, and importing all their farmed stuff."

A consequence? Since we are not eating from our own waters, Greenberg says we aren’t taking great care of them -- one reason we have seen so much environmental degradation since the 1950s. However, Greenberg says there has been more hope since the Clean Water Act was passed in the early 1970s.

"We have seen a marked improvement in water quality," says Greenberg. "But the problem is, we’ve turned our markets around so much that we can’t even really seem to figure out how to get our own fish back onto our plates."

VIDEO: 'One of the greatest returns of all time'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:32
Watch Novak Djokovic's stunning return to win his fourth-round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-5) on Centre Court.

A Role Model Pipeline For Young Black Men

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:29

Young male African-American teacher trainees learn to "embody hope" for their students.

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Obama Taps Former Procter & Gamble Chief To Helm VA

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:17

President Obama has picked Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald will face a difficult task. The VA is is embroiled in a controversy over falsified and lengthy wait times for veterans.

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Ecuador's President Tests The Waters On Wiping Away Term Limits

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:17

Fiery Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa had sworn that his current term, his third, would be his last. But his ruling party is now moving to remove constitutional term limits, potentially opening the door to a fourth term.

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Detroit's Crackdown To Collect Owed Money Means Thousands Lose Water

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:17

Melissa Block speaks with Steve Pardo, a reporter with The Detroit News, about how and why Detroit is aggressively shutting off water service to residents.

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Supreme Court Deals A Blow To Unions, But It's Not Quite Mortal

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 12:17

By a 5-4 majority along ideological lines, the Supreme Court has ruled that Illinois can't compel home health aides to pay union dues because it violates the First Amendment. The ruling is a defeat for unions, but it falls short of the kind of sweeping denunciation that could have derailed unions' fundraising and organizing efforts.

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