National / International News

Violence Returns To Eastern Ukraine

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-26 12:59

A day after Ukraine's tumultuous elections, pro-Russian militants in the country's east took over part of an airport in Donetsk, prompting airstrikes by the government.

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Mass Collection Of Student Data Raises Privacy Concerns

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-26 12:59

States are centralizing record-keeping and tracking student progress, while online educational software sheds light on how students learn. But many worry about how this information could be misused.

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VIDEO: 'Eighth wonder of world' rare access

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 12:55
BBC News has been granted rare access to the Thames Tunnel - which was once known as the eighth wonder of the world.

Harrington fails to qualify for US Open

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 12:47
Ireland's Padraig Harrington misses out on the US Open for the first time in 15 years, but Shane Lowry will play at Pinehurst.

Clegg: Exhausted, red-eyed and pale

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 12:43
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg left heartbroken and exhausted

US dog scared by hero cat 'put down'

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 12:40
The cat in California caught on video saving a boy from a dog is invited to "throw" the first pitch at a baseball game, but the dog is reportedly destroyed.

The Man Who Brought G.I. Joe To Children Dies At 86

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-26 12:28

Donald Levine brought the first G.I. Joe action figures to U.S. shelves 50 years ago after rejecting other possible names for military figures, like Salty the Sailor.

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The Blind Woman Who Sees Rain, But Not Her Daughter's Smile

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-26 12:07

When Milena Channing was 29 years old she was blinded by a stroke. But the injury left her with connections from her eyes to the part of the brain that detects motion.

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In California, Life With Parole Increasingly Leads To Freedom

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-26 12:06

Until recently, inmates with life sentences — most for murder — were rarely released from prison, regardless of their behavior. But a 2008 court case and a new governor have changed their odds.

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VIDEO: Cheese-rolling contest back on menu

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 11:57
Thousands of people have gathered for an annual cheese-chasing competition on Cooper's Hill near Brockworth in Gloucestershire.

Just sit back and enjoy it - Coulthard

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 11:43
The rivalry between Mercedes team-mates Louis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is a once in a generation show, says David Coulthard.

Pope visits Jerusalem holy sites

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 11:02
Pope Francis visits the most important holy sites for Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem's Old City on the final day of his Middle East tour.

Murray aims for good run in Paris

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 10:56
Wimbledon champion Andy Murray plays Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev in the French Open first round on Tuesday.

Brad Paisley Leaves 'Southern Comfort Zone' For Troops In Afghanistan

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-26 10:54

The country music star rescheduled an Iowa gig so he could travel to Bagram Airfield with the president. Paisley's change of plans turned out to be a boon for vendors at the Tree Town Music Festival.

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VIDEO: Ukraine battle at Donetsk airport

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 10:52
Ukrainian troops have launched air attacks to regain control of Donetsk airport from pro-Russia rebels.

Eamon Gilmore to resign as leader

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 10:23
The Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) in the Republic of Ireland, Eamon Gilmore, announces he is to stand down as leader of the Labour Party.

Why a lot of military vets like farming

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-26 10:11

The first time Sonia Kendrick got out in her fields of tomatoes, cucumbers and corn, something magical happened. “It was as if the earth had grounded me,” she says.

Kendrick served in the Army and National Guard for nine years, including eight months in Afghanistan. She has PTSD. Around 2009, she started farming in her hometown near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Kendrick says veterans like her don’t want office jobs. She says, when you’ve almost lost your life repeatedly, it’s hard to care about office rules. So farming’s perfect.

“You're not in a cubicle playing bureaucratic rules, I don’t think we enjoy,” she explains.

So many veterans have turned to farming, the Agriculture Department has created special programs to help them. The department says 45 percent of service members are from rural areas. Non-profits are springing up to teach them how to farm -- groups like Growing Warriors, based on a 286-acre spread in eastern Kentucky.

Kevin Lanzi is the farm manager. He’s been farming for about five years. He’s a former Marine who spent almost 10 months in Iraq. He’s also got PTSD. He says he spent years trying to find himself after leaving the military.

“I finally found farming and, ever since I’ve never looked back," Lanzi says. "Just seeing what you’re making. The responsibility is all you. It’s awesome.”

Why does farming seem to help veterans with PTSD?

“They’re distracted. They’re engaged in something that’s fun and they don’t necessarily have to think about or it’s easier to avoid those memories and thoughts of the traumatic event,” says Craig Bryan, head of the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah.

But Bryan says farming offers only temporary relief from PTSD symptoms. Veterans suffering from it still need therapy. Those I talked to all have done therapy. They say it helps.  But only if they can farm, too.

Parents Of Elliot Rodger Heard Of Attack As They Tried To Stop Him

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-26 10:03

The 22-year-old's parents were rushing to stop him from hurting anyone Friday night when they heard news of a shooting and feared their son was involved.

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Starting the craft beer revolution

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-26 09:49

Fritz Maytag, an heir to the Maytag family fortune, saved the Anchor Brewing Company from bankruptcy back in 1965. And he did it by making beers that were, shall we say, more complex than what was widely available back then.

Steve Hindy credits Maytag with starting, "The Craft Beer Revolution." That's the title of his new book.

And Steve isn't just an author; he's the co-founder of the Brooklyn Brewery.

Click play on the audio player above to hear the whole interview.

Showcasing different lifestyles through advertising

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-26 09:48

There’s only so much excitement you can squeeze out of an ad for a mop, says Jen Drexler, Senior Vice President of Insight Strategy Group, a market research firm.

“You can only show how many after-pictures of a clean floor and a dirty mop,” she says.

But Swiffer, the company that promises it’s “built smarter”, is taking a swipe at reinvigorating its advertising with a new campaign featuring real married couples, one of which is biracial with a husband who lost part of his arm to cancer. 

When you only have one hand,” he says in an online spot, “you’re not doing anything as fast as you used to. Which is funny cause I still do it better than her.”

Swiffer says the Rukavinas, the couple in the ad, represent the evolution of the American family. 

The ads, says, Drexler, show something a different side than a typical commercial does.

“A real like, advertising catching up with demographics, of these interesting families,” she says.  “There’s something so great about the emotional connection that goes way beyond what the product benefit is of a mop.”

Ads, says Drexler, used to be testimonials, but that’s old. Now they have to move beyond the functional – like Swiffer’s do - to emotionally connect with consumers.

“This is so different,” she says. “It’s not testimonials, it is real life situations, that have humor and a level of gravity to it that reflect what’s happening for all of us.”

Cheerios also has an ad with a bi-racial family. And fashion brands are aiming for more reality too. New ads for “Diesel” feature a model with Muscular Dystrophy in a wheelchair. And Barney’s NY uses transgender models. The company even shot a half hour film telling its model’s stories. In the beginning of the trailer for the film we meet a models, Arin Andrews who explains how he came to be he is today.

“I am a guy,” says Andrews. “I just happen to be born a girl.”

The campaign was shot by renowned fashion photographer Bruce Weber. And if you didn’t know the models are transgender you’d think it was just another high fashion photo shoot, but because of all buzz around the campaign, you know it’s not.

Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, says that’s part of the strength of the ads.

“What the Barneys ads are doing is making you pause and look. And that is a real challenge for any brand,” she says.

But against the backdrop of a typical fashion magazine where, as Corlett describes the models they might as well be clones, “just about all the of the models are Caucasian and most of them blond,” she says,  Barney’s models will stand out.

The store says it wants to help break stereotypes. But when you use a model in a wheelchair, or with only one arm,  who really benefits?

Ryley Pogensky, an event promoter, blogger and one of Barney’s new models says, the situation is win-win.

“I think before people are quick to judge what this might mean for Barneys sales, he says, what they should really recognize is that 17 people stepped forward and said, you’re going to accept us for the people we are. Your consumers are going to accept us for the people we are.

Swiffer says we should expect to see more ads with real families. By using everyday people Drexler says brands hope to create a new kind of aspiration -- to live a happy life on our own terms.

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