National / International News

VIDEO: Zero hours like 'Victorian conditions'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 05:28
Labour leader Ed Miliband has promised end zero hour contracts, if his party wins the next election.

Young people want to ditch the boss and strike out on their own

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-25 05:25

In a recent survey of working adults, Harris Poll and CreativeLive — an online education company — found that many more young workers than older workers want to jump ship from their traditional jobs and become self-employed. 67 percent of employed Millennials (aged 18 to 34) want to go off and start their own business, compared to 45 percent of workers aged 35 and over.

More than a quarter of Millennials consider it more likely that they’ll start a business now that the Affordable Care Act has made health insurance easier to obtain and more affordable without having an employer that offers coverage. Only 15 percent of older workers feel that way.

This week, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) brought a few dozen bright young entrepreneurs to Washington, D.C. for the educational organization’s annual gala. Many of the students (from the U.S. and abroad) planned or launched their businesses in high school. Here are a few of their pitches:

“Most people don’t have the budget of a McDonald’s or a Folgers or a Kit Kat. That’s why I created Superb Tune jingle production company, that tends to the young entrepreneur and growing businesses.” -- Annie Nirschel, Stamford, Connecticut

“My business is a software developer company. We have created a game called Better Than History, it allows players to step into the shoes of historical figures, so they can answer the timeless question—what if we could change the past?” --Juan Ramos, Dallas, Texas

“'Modesty', which is a clothing line, is aimed at targeting women who feel comfortable in the skin that they’re in, and allows them to show their inner beauty and confidence through wearing modest and trendy and fashionable clothing.” -- Deena Kishawi, Chicago, Illinois

Interest in studying entrepreneurship in programs like NFTE's, and at the college level, is growing, says Dane Stangler, vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “The Millennials would certainly appear to be more predisposed to entrepreneurship than prior generations,” says Stangler. And yet: “The 20-to-34-year-old age cohort still has a far lower percentage rate of entrepreneurship than older cohorts, and that rate has actually fallen in the last couple of years.”

Stangler offers at least one possible explanation: “No matter how badly you want to be an entrepreneur, no matter how low the cost of starting certain kinds of companies, if you come out of school with $60,000 in debt, entrepreneurship may not be as attractive an option.”

At the University of Portland, business- and non-business majors participate in the school’s popular entrepreneurship program. Many students explore launching a startup during or after college, though the draw of more traditional paid work is strong, given the financial pressures recent graduates face.

Eileen Kannengeiser is a political science and Spanish major, and hasn’t decided yet what she’ll do after graduation. “None of us wants to be living in a cardboard box after we graduate just to be able to pursue whatever we would like to pursue,” she says.

History major Danielle Knott is jumping right in. She says like many young people, she needs a way to pay student debt and bills, and pursue her creative dreams. “I have a receptionist job, but I’m also starting a feminist food magazine," titled "Render", says Knott. "I definitely identify more as an entrepreneur. And I think a lot of liberal arts majors don’t understand that in the current job market, you have to be really entrepreneurial with your degree. And with things like Kickstarter, instead of trying to create the next Apple, people are being entrepreneurial about projects that they’re starting, to improve their quality of life instead of making them millions of dollars.”

Marketing major Alex Gatewood says there’s the hype, and then the reality and sacrifice, of entrepreneurship.

“Being an entrepreneur has kind of become like our generation’s professional athlete or musician,” says Gatewood. “You know exactly who Mark Zuckerberg is. But what it takes to actually be that person? When it comes to paying the bills, those things just fall by the wayside.”

This may be the generation that knows the most about entrepreneurs, but doesn’t have the wherewithal to actually join their ranks, at least not for a while.

Issues of entrepreneurship and first jobs aren't just illuminating for Millenials. We asked people here at Marketplace about their first job and any experience starting their own business:

Kai Ryssdal, host and senior editor

First job? If you don't  count mowing lawns and painting for the school district,  my first actual job was lifeguarding at a hotel on Waikiki Beach. Summer after junior year in college. And yes, it was as great as you think it was.

Have you ever run your own business? Not an entrepreneurial bone in my body.

Scott Tong, senior reporter, sustainability

First job? Made conversational English-language tapes for Taiwanese kids in a Taipei studio. "Orange is a color and a fruit. Okay now, again, but slower." Age: 11. Compensation: obscenely good.

Have you ever run your own business? Freelance radio and TV journalist. Age: 34. Compensation: meager.

Nancy Marshall-Genzer, senior reporter, Washington

First job? Stall mucker: I mucked out stalls at a local stable in exchange for free horseback riding.  I eventually saved up enough from babysitting and a paper route to buy my own horse. Honest-to-god, her name was ‘Pokey.’ 

Have you ever run your own business? I was a freelance reporter for a time so I guess that qualifies as running my own business.

Tommy Andres, producer, Marketplace

First job? My first job was being a ballboy for the Detroit Pistons, working in the visitors locker room, picking up sweaty towels and staying up well past my usual weeknight curfew. Charles Barkley once called me the ugliest kid he’d ever seen. I think he was joking, but I did have bright blue braces and all the physical trappings of a teenager (zits). I shagged balls for Michael Jordan when he returned to the NBA out of retirement. He came early—it was just Michael, me and 25,000 empty seats. I’ll never forget that.

Have you ever run your own business? I've never run my own business. I'm a slave to the man.

Mitchell Hartman, senior reporter, entrepreneurship

First job? Cashier, 7-Eleven, New Jersey. I was nearly fired for making up prices on the fly when the line got long and the customers got ugly—this was before bar codes.

Have you ever run your own business? Freelance reporter in Europe and the Middle East, filing for BBC, CBC and Pacifica. I spent more on travel and fancy meals than I made for my stories, but I did once get Marcel Marceau to speak on tape for a BBC story about an arts festival in Southern France. I also reported on a band from the Sioux Nation coming to a little village in France to receive a donation of one chestnut orchard from a French lover of Indians atoning for his nation's age-old sins.

Meg Cramer, producer, Marketplace Tech

First job? Cafeteria server, Summer Place Retirement Residence. I applied for this job because it was walking distance from my house, and because I thought it would look good on my resume when I was old enough to apply for a waitressing job at Bertucci’s, which was also walking distance from my house.

Have you ever run your own business? I've never run a business, but not for lack of trying. (see photo to the right)

Sabri Ben-Achour, reporter, New York

First job? Shoveling manure at a plant nursery. 

Have you ever run your own business? Ran (and run) a ceramic art business.

Dave Shaw, senior editor, Washington

First job? Clerk, Blockbuster Video, Store No. 92531. I applied because I liked how they always said hello when customers came in the door. I eventually clawed my way up to be a part-time assistant manager.

Have you ever run your own business? Never run my own business, though I’ve done plenty of freelance and contract work, including a gig writing questions for pub trivia.

Sally Herships, reporter 

First job? Babysitter! I ran a summer camp out of my parent's attic and backyard and even outsourced additional help (younger kid to help me watch all the kids).

Have you ever run your own business? In addition to my summer camp dynasty--freelance reporter.

Dan Szematowicz, senior producer, Marketplace Money

First job? I gave “guided star tours” at the Museum of Science and Industry’s planetarium in Tampa, FL. In high school. I was often single. Coincidence?

Have you ever run your own business? My freshman year in college, I started a sports marketing business with a dorm neighbor of mine. At the time though I knew little about marketing, and less about sports business, so that didn’t work out so well.

Ben Johnson, host, Marketplace Tech

First job? Waiter at a seafood restaurant, Stonington, Connecticut. I was great with people but generally a horrible waiter. Side work—all the extra little things you do when you’re not serving or taking orders--was not my strong suits. Neither was the credit card machine.

Have you ever run your own business? Paper route. I had about 30 houses. I delivered papers on bicycle for all the old rich ladies in my town. I organized it all myself—chose the rates and mapped the route, picked delivery deadlines, worked with the newsstand guy, etc. It taught me the value of a quarter.

Sarah Gilbert, managing editor

First job? Frying fish and chips in a British seaside town. Haven’t felt the same about that particular delicacy since – and I still have the scars to remind me.

Have you ever run your own business? Nope, not unless you count a mercifully short stint at freelance-producing. I found out there are a lot of freelance producers out there.

Glasgow 2014 chief to leave post

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 05:22
The deputy chief executive of Glasgow 2014 is to leave his post just three months before the Games begin.

Couch & Barrow win silver in London

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 05:22
Great Britain's Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow win silver in the World Series synchronised 10m platform in London.

Russia's credit rating downgraded

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 05:19
Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's cuts Russia's rating as foreign investors continue to take money out of the country amid tensions over Ukraine.

VIDEO: At White House, Girl Hands Father's Resume To First Lady

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-25 05:14

"My dad's been out of a job for three years," the 10-year-old told Michelle Obama. The youngster's mother says the family didn't know the girl would do that.

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'Giant rats' in family's house

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 05:10
A County Down father-of-four appeals for help after catching more than 60 rats in his home over the past four years

General Mills says, you can like us and sue us

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-25 05:09

If you download a coupon for Yoplait or for any of General Mills food products, you can still sue the company.

The food maker reversed a privacy policy it introduced last week, which forced consumers into arbitration, that’s a way to settle disputes outside of court and through a mediator. The privacy policy appeared to say that if you downloaded a coupon or interacted with any of General Mill’s online communities you gave up their right to sue the company. But after consumers voiced their objections on social media, General Mills backed down.

This is a big win for consumers says Imre Szalai, a professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. 

"If you arbitrate you have very little discovery rights, so you can’t demand documents from the opposing party. And so it’s harder for a consumers to win in arbitration.

Big food companies say they’re being hit by growing number of class-action lawsuits and arbitration is more efficient than litigation, said Jim Angel, a professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. He said it’ll be interesting to see whether consumers will tolerate this strategy.

"You know slipping this into the fine print, just erodes the trust you have in a food company," Angel said. 

And it can cause a social media black eye all the more likely.

Prison officer arrested over drugs

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 05:01
A 50-year-old prison officer has been released on bail after being arrested over drugs offences at Maghaberry Prison.

Are hours of football practice a job?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:58

Football players at Northwestern University are scheduled to vote on Friday whether to join a union.

Student athletes on scholarships are expected to spend 40 hours a week performing and practicing their sport. Some argue that makes them employees, which opens the door to unionization. 

And if players can form a union, "it's possible that the student-athletes' union could negotiate scholarships or other forms of payment," says Gerald Berendt at the John Marshall Law School.

The issue could spread to other private universities and other college sports. But first, the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. must decide whether student athletes on scholarship qualify as employees.

By Shea Huffman/Marketplace

Uzi and AK-47 among weapons find

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:57
A "significant" weapons find at a house in a Suffolk village included an AK-47 and Uzi machine gun, police say.

VIDEO: Osborne: RBS has 'a long way to go'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:46
Royal Bank of Scotland abandons attempts to pay bonuses twice the size of salaries after being told the move would not be approved by a Treasury body

VIDEO: Mother in court over child deaths

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:42
Tania Clarence has appeared at Wimbledon magistrates court charged with murdering three of her children.

Probe over Hillsborough insult posts

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:42
The government says it is making "urgent inquiries" into reports Whitehall computers were used to make insulting comments about the Hillsborough disaster.

Wembley bid to host Euro 2020 final

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:39
The Football Association submits a bid for Wembley to host either the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final, or some group matches.

Facebook buys fitness app firm

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:31
The latest acquisition for Facebook is a fitness app firm as it looks for a piece of the burgeoning health tech market.

Fresh Avalanches On Everest Appear To End Climbs In Nepal

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:15

One week after 16 Sherpas were killed, new ice falls have likely ended the chances of any summit attempts this year on the mountain's south side. Expeditions continue from the north.

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AUDIO: Labour to tackle zero-hours contracts

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:13
Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna discusses Labour proposals to prohibit exploitative zero-hours contracts

Day in pictures: 25 April 2014

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:01
News photos from past 24 hours: 25 April

Mine flood sounded like 'jet engine'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-25 04:00
A miner who almost died in a Swansea Valley pit says the moment 650,000 gallons of water flooded the mine sounded like a "jet engine".
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