National / International News

Strong auto sales without big cash rebates

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:00

Domestic and foreign automakers report their U.S. sales for May 2015 on Tuesday, and sales are expected to show an improving trend for the year. April’s annualized sales of cars and light trucks hit the 16.5 million level. The consensus among economists is for May’s sales to hit 17 million.

U.S. auto sales have been rising since bottoming out at 10.4 million in 2009. If the anticipated pace for 2015 continues, it will be the best year for vehicle sales since 2000.

Auto industry equity analyst Ephraim Levy at S&P Capital IQ says automakers are not driving sales by massive discounting. “We’re close to near record-levels in terms of average transaction prices for vehicles,” says Levy. “And recently, the incentive levels have been declining year-over-year. Higher prices and lower incentives is good.”

That scenario is good for automakers, because it supports higher profits and demonstrates consumers are being enticed to buy with quality and new features, not cash rebates and below-market financing.

Consumers can do well in this environment too, says Greg McBride at Bankrate.com. In addition to low interest rates for car loans, says McBride, “with more people working, and gas prices down from one year ago, we continue to see a robust car-sales environment. Those that had put off buying a car in recent years jump back in the market.”

SUVs and pickup trucks are hot right now—Jeeps, Ford F-150s, and Chevy Silverados. That reflects a strengthening construction industry—contractors need big vehicles—and consumers’ expectations that gas prices will remain low for a while.

In Hollywood, a history of homelessness

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:00

As the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County grows—12 percent in the last two years—some businesses are feel the consequences. That's true in Hollywood, where tourists come expecting to see a celebrity, but are more likely to find a panhandler.

The situation isn't new.

Red Line Tours offers historical walking tours of the old movie palaces lining Hollywood Boulevard. As the tour guide explains, actors in the 1920's had a bad reputation.

"It was so bad that landlords would not rent to them. These actors would show up to apartment buildings, looking for housing, and all they found were signs in windows that read, 'NO DOGS, NO ACTORS ALLOWED.' It was such a problem for the studios that many of them had to build housing facilities of their own because many of their actors were homeless on the street."

Today, homelessness in Hollywood is still a problem.

"In the last couple of years, I've seen a pretty dramatic increase in homelessness on the street," says Tony Hoover, who owns Red Line Tours. He says Hollywood has gotten a bad reputation, partly due to aggressive panhandlers. And it has hurt his business.

"Our walk-in business—the people just coming here, that we would get randomly—that's probably dropped off a huge percentage, probably close to 50 percent," he says.

Businesses have hired a former policewoman, Courtney Kanagi, to help deal with the people camped out on Hollywood Boulevard.

"People want to see the Walk of Stars," she says. "They don't want to be stepping over people who are panhandling, asking for money, sleeping on the sidewalk. People may not want to go inside their business to buy products if they are being hassled on the way in."

Standing beside his homeless buddy, a 24-year old who goes by the street name Solo says he understands the tension between the homeless and wealthy business owners.

"They're walking around with a $40,000 Rolex, you know, for an accessory," he says. "That amount of money would change both of our lives."

For many tourists, the sight of panhandlers and the mentally ill sitting on the sidewalk is not what they expected.

One tourist from Israel says, "I didn't know so many people could live in the streets like this. I was shocked."

A man from India also noticed the homeless. "There's like quite a few over there. It doesn't look good."

But a family from Memphis says that the situation didn't hurt their experience. Instead, they say it inspires them to spend more time volunteering at a homeless shelter when they get home.

Blatter deputy denies bribe claims

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:59
Fifa president Sepp Blatter's top lieutenant Jerome Valcke denies allegations that he made key payments in a bribery scandal engulfing world football.

Marketplace Investigates: Homeless in L.A.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:59

The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County has grown 12 percent in the last two years. Why is this happening, and who are the people behind this statistic? Reporter Jeff Tyler investigates.

Produced by Preditorial | www.preditorial.tv Reporter: Jeff Tyler Director, Editor and Camera Operator: Rick Kent Cinematographer: Anton Seim Producer: Mimi Kent   PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) |  www.epath.org   Music Credits:   "Dirt Rhodes," "Intractable," "Backed Vibes," and "Mesmerize"  Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

 

Video: Marketplace Investigates: Homeless in L.A.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:59

The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County has grown 12 percent in the last two years. Why is this happening, and who are the people behind this statistic? Reporter Jeff Tyler investigates.

Produced by Preditorial | www.preditorial.tv Reporter: Jeff Tyler Director, Editor and Camera Operator: Rick Kent Cinematographer: Anton Seim Producer: Mimi Kent   PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) |  www.epath.org   Music Credits:   "Dirt Rhodes," "Intractable," "Backed Vibes," and "Mesmerize"  Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

 

VIDEO: What if we put Moon race effort into renewables?

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:58
A group of scientists and economists is calling for the equivalent of the Apollo Space programme to produce cheap, clean energy.

UK Navy sailor dies in Seychelles

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:55
The death of a UK Royal Navy sailor during an operation in the Seychelles is being investigated by police.

VIDEO: Tributes paid to Charles Kennedy

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:53
Politicians from all parties have been paying tribute to former Liberal Democrat Party leader Charles Kennedy, who has died aged 55.

John Oliver is having a very interesting day

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:51
1998

That's when Sepp Blatter was first elected president of FIFA, and he announce Tuesday morning he would resign just a few days after being re-elected for fifth term. The world soccer organization has been rocked by more than a dozen arrests and corruption charges in the past week, with more reportedly on the way.

$45,984

That's how much Tyson Foods has given to Rep. Steve Womack's campaign since 2010. The chicken processor's headquarters are in Womack's Arkansas district, and the Republican was called out last month on John Oliver's HBO show "Last Week Tonight." Oliver reported on chicken farmers who are allegedly mistreated by several suppliers that make up 95 percent of the market. The story ruffled some feathers in the industry and on Capitol Hill, Politico reported, where longtime advocates say Oliver's report has given the issue more attention than it's had in years.

700,000

That's about how many individuals and couples filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year. And according to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling, those filers will no longer be let off the hook from a second mortgage. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the ruling concerns consumer advocates who worry it will only further hamper struggling homeowners.

$25,249

That's how much "Bob’s Burgers" writer Wendy Molyneux raised in a GoFundMe campaign as of Tuesday morning. The cause? Get her to see the "Entourage" movie. What started as a joke — Molyneux said someone would have to pay her $10,000 to see the film — escalated into a successful fundraiser for CureSearch, an organization focused on finding cures for children’s cancers.

7.72 percent

The average fee for sending remittances as of the first quarter of this year is on the decline but still quite high according to the World Bank. It's a huge business, larger than some countries' GDP, and still largely controlled by two companies. As technology has made crossing boarders easier and easier, sending money is still quite complicated.

$25

That's how much a "Future Voter Onesie" costs on Hillary Clinton's online campaign store. Emblazoned with the campaign logo, it's not even one of the stranger items you can purchase as candidates gear up for the upcoming presidential election. What else can you buy from presidential wannabes? We looked into it for you.

The Charles Kennedy Story

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:47
The life and times of the former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy, who has died age of 55.

Samson replaces Bain in Scots' squad

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:47
Kilmarnock keeper Craig Samson is called into Scotland's squad for their double header after Dundee's Scott Bain pulls out.

Police face rape complaints 'burden'

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:44
Police and prosecutors need to change they way they handle rape complaints after a report says there is an "overwhelming burden" on officers.

In Turkey, Violence Against Women Is Often A Private Family Matter

NPR News - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:44

Women's rights advocates say more than 100 women have been killed in Turkey so far this year, most by male relatives.

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Eurozone inflation rate up to 0.3%

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:38
The eurozone's inflation rate turned positive in May after five months of falls or stagnation, reviving hopes of an economic recovery in Europe.

Scottish tributes to Charles Kennedy

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:35
Tributes to the former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy are made by figures from across Scottish politics.

Care leavers housed in B&Bs

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:30
Local authorities are putting care leavers in bed and breakfast despite new rules intended to restrict this.

Williams estate settlement delayed

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:08
Robin Williams's wife and adult children are given two more months to resolve a dispute over the division of the comedian's estate.

VIDEO: Could a wi-fi kettle put you at risk?

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 00:55
Rory Cellan-Jones examines whether connected household objects like a wi-fi kettle could put your personal security at risk.

England yet to comment on Cipriani

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 00:54
England are waiting for more details to emerge before commenting on the arrest of fly-half Danny Cipriani.

Eight held in child sex dawn raids

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 00:50
Eight men are arrested in a dawn operation in Oxford on suspicion of offences related to child sexual exploitation.

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