National / International News

Lena Dunham, Vogue, and the end of Photoshop?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:53

It’s no secret that fashion magazines use Photoshop on most of their spreads. 

“They have definite conversations about it, and they definitely have a preconceived idea of how they want the picture to look,” says Kate Betts, author of Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style, and a former fashion editor herself.

So perhaps the editors of Vogue were surprised when the retouched images of Lena Dunham in their latest issue sparked a social media firestorm, led by the blog Jezebel

And Betts says that’s exactly the reason Millennials may have disliked Vogue’s spread of Dunham: “Millennials really want the real image and that’s what the conversation about the Lena Dunham cover was really about. She’s part of that generation and she’s baring it all on her TV so, so maybe people were confused that she was suddenly going Vogue on us and they wanted her to be herself.”

When it’s easier to find retouched images, the real ones stand out. 

Did Google punish Expedia for pulling a Rap Genius move?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:48

Investors are worried about's future, following news that the website has been demoted by Google in search engine results. The travel price comparison company's visibility in search results has reported dropped 25 percent, which on the Internet is the equivalent of moving your company's billboards from downtown Manhattan to Antarctica.

Neither company has said why yet, but there's speculation that Expedia may have engaged in the dubious practice of trying to buy links. That's what happened to rap lyrics website Rap Genius recently.

It could just be a tweak in Google's algorithm, which is constantly being updated by engineers. But there have also been rumors that the tech giant is experimenting with its own travel price comparison product.

And there are growing questions -- as the company faces an antitrust case in Europe -- about whether the company might have too much influence about how we access information on the web. 

Gulf over Assad blights Syria talks

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:48
The first day of a major Syrian peace conference in Switzerland ends amid bitter divisions over the future of President Bashar al-Assad.

Should Farmers Give John Deere And Monsanto Their Data?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:45

Farmers can now deliver data from their fields, minute by minute, to big agribusiness companies like Monsanto or John Deere. Those companies promise to use the data to help farmers make money. But some farmers worry that it could threaten their privacy and give the big companies too much power.

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Football fans warned about language

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:38
Tottenham Hotspur warns its fans to be "mindful" of language after three men are charged over allegedly chanting "yid".

How India acid attack victim found love

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:37
How India acid attack victim found love

The decline of the Australian in the UK

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:34
Once moving to the UK was a well-worn path for many young Australians. Now their numbers are falling. Why?

How A Little Chill In The Air Could Help You Lose Weight

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:34

Researchers in the Netherlands suggest that something as simple as lowering temperatures in the office or at home can help people burn calories as they keep their body temperatures steady. Chilling out to shed pounds works best in combination with diet and exercise.

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Putting The Brake On Who Can See Your Car's Data Trail

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:29

Many cars can now track where we are, how fast we go and lots of other nuggets of information that can be accessed and mined. Some lawmakers and at least one car company say it's time to set some rules on driver privacy.

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US policeman killed by colleague

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:14
Police are investigating why a San Francisco-area police officer shot and killed a colleague during a search of a suspect's home on Tuesday.

Wrestling Fans Mourn Mae Young, 90 — A Pioneer Of The Ring

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:10

For years, she was known simply as The Great Mae Young. She started out in high school, wrestling boys and challenging top female wrestlers. Decades later, she took on far younger opponents and demanded to be "powerbombed" into folding tables by huge men.

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Venezuela tightens currency controls

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:02
The Venezuelan government announces changes to its foreign currency system, restricting the sale of dollars at the official rate for essential goods.

Sears, Roebuck: The 19th Century's Amazon

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:00

Sears, Roebuck put out its first catalog in the 1890's. You could buy a watch, jewelry and, later on, saddles, sewing machines, silk stockings, even live singing canaries. “The Sears catalog was a bit of a godsend to rural consumers,” says Art Carden, an economics professor at Samford University’s Brock School of Business.

Hello, consumer economy!

The Sears catalog gave people easy access, good quality, good prices, delivered to their doorstep. “The Sears catalog was even good for urban consumers because it meant they didn’t have to shop at the even pricier department stores,” says Carden.

“It is exactly the late 19th and 20th century predecessor to Amazon,” says Daniel Raff, a professor of management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

So where did things go so wrong for Sears? When they are going so right for Amazon? “The large reasons have to do with the rise of internet commerce and the decline of the attractiveness of physical stores,” says Raff.

In 1925, Sears opened its first store. Today, Sears and its sister store Kmart, have twice the retail square footage of JC Penney.

But shoppers don’t want stores. More and more want to shop without leaving home. A model that Sears, at least in the old days, was really good at.

A Growth Factor Heals The Damage To A Preemie's Brain — In Mice

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:00

Scientists have shown that damage to the brain's "white matter" is responsible for many of the developmental problems that very premature infants often face. Now researchers have also demonstrated that it's possible to prevent that sort of damage in mice.

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Happy 5th anniversary, bull market?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:00

The fifth anniversary of the bull market is right around the corner. The Dow Jones Industrial average is worth nearly triple what it was at its lowest point (that's 6,447 in March 2009).

Of course, the fifth anniversary of the bull run comes amid lots of talk about a market correction on the horizon. For a true correction to happen, the stock market has to drop at least 10%. That would mean the Dow Jones Industrial Average would have to fall 1,600 points (ouch).

Turns out, we're due for a fall. "The S&P 500 has averaged a correction every 18 months, and currently we haven’t had one since 2011. So we’re about 28 months overdue," says Alec Young, global equity strategist with S&P Capital IQ. 

"The rally is long in the tooth, but it is also a unique circumstance on a lot of levels," says Max Wolff, chief economist at ZT Wealth. Even so, Wolff still expects a correction. He says unemployment is high, economic growth has been slow, and then there’s the Federal Reserve: It's been pumping billions into our economy every month for years, and it’s hard to know what will happen as the Fed slows down the stimulus.

"We’re about to see, over the next six months, how much of the market’s rally was Fed policy, and how much of the market’s rally was the economy," says Wolff. "That makes everybody nervous and it should."

But a correction would probably not turn into a crash, says Gary Thayer, Chief Macro Strategist with Wells Fargo Advisors. He says corporate earnings are strong and most companies’ stock is not overvalued if you look at how much they’re taking in.  

"So, we’re expecting it would just be a temporary pullback in the market, not a reversal in the trend."

 So, even if the market’s bull run is over, we don’t necessarily have to brace for the bears.

Shorter Lines? For Elections Commission, It's Common Sense

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:00

President Obama last year appointed a commission to recommend ways that local election officials can shorten lines at the polls. On Wednesday, that commission is releasing its final report, offering suggestions on how to make improvements in the voting experience.

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Ahead Of World Cup, Brazil's Delays Have FIFA Concerned

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:00

Months before Brazil hosts the World Cup, preparations are going at breakneck speed to host the hundreds of thousands of tourists who will pour in to watch the extravaganza. Still, construction on several of the proposed stadiums is behind schedule, and infrastructure upgrades have been delayed, as well. Will Brazil be ready for the games?

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Turkish Opposition Eyes Its Oppurtinity In March

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:00

Voters in Turkey go to the polls on March 30 to elect local officials, and the election is seen as the first chance for Turks to weigh in on a number of major controversies. These include Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's increasingly autocratic governing style, the growing repression of free speech and a corruption scandal that has claimed the jobs of three cabinet ministers thus far. The race for Istanbul mayor is seen as the best hope for Turkey's secular opposition to lift itself off the political mat and become a contender again.

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Pentagon, White House Are At Odds Over Afghanistan

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:00

The Pentagon is saying that it needs to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to train Afghans and maintain a counterterror mission. But military officials are once again running into interference from Vice President Joe Biden. That's nothing new: Biden in particular has for years pushed for a counterterror option of only several thousand troops, though the military says that number is far too small. The Pentagon argues that Biden's proposal would mean the U.S. forces would be largely consigned to their bases.

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Obama Launches Task Force To Combat Sexual Assault

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-22 13:00

At the White House on Wednesday, President Obama's Council on Women and Girls presented its report on sexual assault, calling it an epidemic especially on college campuses. The report claims that one in five women will experience a sexual assault in their lifetimes. Only 12 percent of victims actually report it, though.

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