National / International News

High-school graduation rate hits 80 percent for first time

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 13:10

For the first time, high school graduation rates in the U.S. are above 80 percent. That’s according to a report called “Building a GradNation.” The study was released today by a coalition of education groups, including Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates CenterAmerica’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education.

The news represents a significant improvement since 2001, when 71 percent of American teenagers graduated from high school. Researchers say several things have changed since then. One, there is better data, so the public is more aware of the problem. Two, the accountability movement in education: think "No Child Left Behind."

Robert Balfanz,  co-director of the Everyone Graduates Center and a research scientist at Johns Hopkins University, says when researchers started digging into the numbers, it showed that just 12 percent of the nation’s high schools were producing nearly half of the dropouts. Those high schools are known in education circles as “dropout factories.”  

John Bridgeland, CEO of Civic Enterprises and one of the principal authors of the report, says some of those “dropout factories” have closed. “But many of them were re-tooled or re-designed,” Bridgeland says. “Smaller learning environments have been created. More personalized, engaging, rigorous classrooms that keep these young people in school and on track to graduate.”

Some states have raised graduation rates dramatically. North Carolina went from a 68 percent graduation rate in 2005 to over 82 percent today.

Jim Key, area superintendent for high schools in Durham, North Carolina, says his district now starts tracking students who are potential dropouts while they are still in middle school. Then the district sends them to ninth grade a few weeks early.

“That gives them a chance to become more acclimated to high school, to build some positive relationship with a few teachers, administrators and counselors,” Key says. It just gives those students a leg up, if you will, on being prepared for high school, to understand the expectations and what’s at stake.”

 What’s at stake is earning power, among other things. John Bridgeland says a high school graduate “will make $1 million more over his or her life time, than a high school dropout.”

 College graduates, of course, do even better. The latest statistics, however, show that fewer high school graduates are applying to college. Just under two-thirds of the class of 2013 attended college in the fall.

By Shea Huffman/Marketplace

What Can The NBA Do With Donald Sterling?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 13:10

As the NBA playoffs are overshadowed by racially inflammatory remarks attributed to the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, the league's options range from fining Sterling to expelling him.

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Higher Doses Of Antidepressants May Raise Teen Suicide Risk

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 13:10

Antidepressants have been associated with a higher suicide risk in children and young adults, but this study found that there's even more danger when people start off taking higher doses.

» E-Mail This

Clippers owner Donald Sterling suspended, fined

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 13:05

UPDATE: The NBA has banned Los Angeles' Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life. He was also fined $2.5 million.

At a press conference, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed that Sterling's voice was heard making racist comments. He said the financial impact on the Clippers franchise is yet to be seen. Several sponsors have already withdrawn support.

"I'm outraged and I understand other people are outraged," Silver said.

As an NBA owner, Donald Sterling is a franchisee, but his influence is far greater than that of his counterparts in, for example, the fast food business. 

Typically, in a franchisor-franchisee relationship, it is the franchisor that holds most of the power. Jill Pilgrim, a sports attorney and business consultant, says sports franchises like the NBA "do a little twist on that general concept." In the case of the NBA, Pilgrim explains, team owners decided collectively to coordinate their business operations. 

"The owners are like members of a club," Pilgrim said. "They are a club who have a common business interest in the development of sports, but also revenue generation."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will use the NBA's bylaws and constitution to determine if - and how - Sterling is to be punished. Those documents aren't public, but Jill Pilgrim says the constitution probably includes a morals clause that forbids an owner from doing anything that might hurt revenue. 

"There is no doubt," Pilgrim said, "however that provision is worded, that this has definitely hurt the brand of the NBA." 

If an investigation shows the tapes to be authentic, Sterling could face at least a fine, and, at most, a suspension.

"A fine would likely be $500,000 or a million dollars," said Michael McCann, director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. "That would be a significant move for many, but Donald Sterling is reportedly worth $1.9 billion, so a fine of $1 million...wouldn't send as strong a signal as the NBA likely wants to send."

If Sterling is suspended, McCann said, the owner would be prevented from having any contact with Clippers players or coaching staff. "It would really be like a restraining order from his own team," McCann said. "And the thinking is that during that time he would try to sell the team."

That the 30 NBA owners, including Sterling, appoint the commissioner who is charged with investigating and handing down punishment, raises questions about just how independent Silver can be.

Gabe Feldman, director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane Law School, says NBA owners make a tremendous financial investments in their teams, and those investments appreciate over time.

"Even if the other 29 owners here are unhappy with what Donald Sterling has said, and how it impacts the value of their franchise," said Feldman, "they don't want, down the road, someone to say, 'well, we don't like what you said, so we're going to take your franchise from you.'"

In the NBA, power lies with owner-franchisees

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 13:05

As an NBA owner, Donald Sterling is a franchisee, but his influence is far greater than that of his counterparts in, for example, the fast food business. 

Typically, in a franchisor-franchisee relationship, it is the franchisor that holds most of the power. Jill Pilgrim, a sports attorney and business consultant, says sports franchises like the NBA "do a little twist on that general concept." In the case of the NBA, Pilgrim explains, team owners decided collectively to coordinate their business operations. 

"The owners are like members of a club," Pilgrim said. "They are a club who have a common business interest in the development of sports, but also revenue generation."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will use the NBA's bylaws and constitution to determine if - and how - Sterling is to be punished. Those documents aren't public, but Jill Pilgrim says the constitution probably includes a morals clause that forbids an owner from doing anything that might hurt revenue. 

"There is no doubt," Pilgrim said, "however that provision is worded, that this has definitely hurt the brand of the NBA." 

If an investigation shows the tapes to be authentic, Sterling could face at least a fine, and, at most, a suspension.

"A fine would likely be $500,000 or a million dollars," said Michael McCann, director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. "That would be a significant move for many, but Donald Sterling is reportedly worth $1.9 billion, so a fine of $1 million...wouldn't send as strong a signal as the NBA likely wants to send."

If Sterling is suspended, McCann said, the owner would be prevented from having any contact with Clippers players or coaching staff. "It would really be like a restraining order from his own team," McCann said. "And the thinking is that during that time he would try to sell the team."

That the 30 NBA owners, including Sterling, appoint the commissioner who is charged with investigating and handing down punishment, raises questions about just how independent Silver can be.

Gabe Feldman, director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane Law School, says NBA owners make a tremendous financial investments in their teams, and those investments appreciate over time.

"Even if the other 29 owners here are unhappy with what Donald Sterling has said, and how it impacts the value of their franchise," said Feldman, "they don't want, down the road, someone to say, 'well, we don't like what you said, so we're going to take your franchise from you.'"

Ranger charged with criminal damage

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 13:02
Footballer Nile Ranger is charged after a door and lift was damaged at flats in Swindon.

What if you found out your boss made racist remarks?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 13:00
Monday, April 28, 2014 - 13:46 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Team owner Donald Sterling of Los Angeles Clippers talks with team owner Peter Holt of the San Antonio Spurs as the SPurs host the Memphis Grizzlies during Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 19, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

On Tuesday night, twelve guys are scheduled to show up at work – a short shift where they'll collectively earn millions of dollars for themselves and their franchise, the Los Angeles Clippers.

But the job could prove tougher than usual in the aftermath of racist remarks allegedly made by team owner Donald Sterling released over the weekend.

The NBA is still investigating the legitimacy of a recording that appears to show Sterling making racist remarks about African-Americans, but the controversy made us wonder: What's it like to work for a boss who you believe harbors prejudice against you and others?

We asked people on Facebook and Twitter to share their experiences:

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One tip for employers – if there is a prejudiced person calling the shots, experts say it's best to give them the boot. "Workplace Discrimination Has Real Economic Consequences" begins one section of a 2013 study by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee. Some of those consequences include lower profits for companies, a high turnover rate and decreased employee productivity at work.

The NBA has not yet decided what, if any, action it will take against Sterling. However, workplace consultant Virginia Clarke has advised employers on how to handle prejudice when it surfaces in the workplace.

"I advise companies to not tolerate bias or discrimination at any level," she says. "Boards of directors must hold senior leaders accountable for such transgressions. Senior leaders need to start making leaders and owners accountable for their behavior and the development of their subordinates."

Clarke, a partner with executive leadership recruiter Amrop Knightsbridge, continues, "Leading in a multicultural world is a leadership competency that needs to be learned in some cases. In order to be a real competency the learning must transcend tolerance; it must require a demonstration of true understanding and empathy."

Have you ever had to work for someone you believed harbored prejudice against you or others? How did that experience affect your ability to do your job? Leave a comment below, on Facebook or tweet us @MarketplaceAPM.

Marketplace for Monday April 28, 2014In the NBA, power lies with owner-franchiseesCarMax, Virgin Air, others abandon Clippers' shipby Lindsay Foster ThomasStory Type BlogSyndication PMPApp Respond No

Can pandas jump the shark?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:55

You know that in Washington, DC we like politics. What may surprise you is how much we love pandas.

At the National Zoo, there was my favorite: Rusty, the red panda. And now there's always a long line to see Bao Bao, the baby giant panda. We even have panda related press conferences.

The National Zoo sent an email to donors this morning advertising a "$6,000 VIP Bao Bao Tour package." That'll get you a private, behind-the-scenes tour to meet the giant panda cub, five valet parking passes and admission to a panda-themed cocktail reception.

 

Washington City Paper has decided we may have hit "peak panda" -- like "peak beard," but it looks more like this:

 

Baby Bao Bao at the National Zoo.

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

 

For Your Eyes Only

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:53

[2014-04-28 13:00:00] Clandestine communication has been a tactic of spies for as long as espionage has been part of war. We’ll talk about the history of secret messages this hour with Georgia Institute of Technology professor Kristie Macrakis. Her new book is Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al-Qaeda (Yale University Press).

Equality For Everyone

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:53

[2014-04-28 12:00:00] Marriage equality has advanced at a rapid pace both in the court system and in the court of public opinion. We’ll talk this hour about how we got here as a nation with New York Times reporter Jo Becker. Her new book is Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality (Penguin Press).

Border towns hit hard as fewer migrants cross

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:37
Monday, April 28, 2014 - 15:26 Jude Joffe-Block

Pharmacist Maria Jaime Peña with the products she sells to migrants, including black water jugs that don't reflect in the moonlight.

The rain pours down in the Northern Mexican town of Altar, as local priest Padre Prisciliano Peraza drives down a bumpy dirt road. The road leads to the border town of Sasabe, some 60 miles away. 

Peraza has been the priest here in Altar, Sonora for a decade. In that period, this small town boomed as a staging area for migrants preparing to cross the border. But now it appears on the verge of a bust.

Fewer migrants are trying to sneak across Arizona’s border these days. And that means some towns on the Mexican side that rely on the smuggling economy have been hit hard. Local businesses sprouted up to feed, house and sell supplies to migrants on their way up to the Arizona desert.

Peraza says among those entrepreneurial endeavors are van businesses that drive migrants on this very road.

“They use old vans, and have taken out the seats so they can fit more people,” Peraza says in Spanish.

Much of this business is controlled by organized crime.

But migration from Mexico has been on a downward trend for the last several years, as smuggling routes have changed. 

For the first time in 16 years, the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson sector – which covers Southern Arizona – lost its designation as the busiest place to catch migrants last year.

It was surpassed by Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where agents made almost 155,000 apprehensions last year, a 58 percent uptick from the year before. The Border Patrol’s Tucson sector made 120,939 apprehensions last year, down from 491,771 ten years ago.

“Before, many more people used to come through here,” says local pharmacist Maria Jaime Peña in Spanish. She has been selling migrants items like caffeine pills and electrolyte packets for years.

Altar’s local government estimates that four years ago, several thousand migrants passed through a day. Now? A couple hundred.

“There’s a lot of Central Americans,” Jaime Peña says of the migrants she’s seen lately. “And I’ve seen women some come through with their babies.”

Those are the same recent trends the Border Patrol has reported, too.

About two thirds of Altar’s restaurants and half the convenience stores have closed in the past four years, according to estimates from the local government.

Still, Jaime Peña’s store shows some evidence of the force behind the migrant economy. Like the gallon-size black water jugs she sells for about a dollar.

She says when migrants used the regular clear water jugs they reflected in the moonlight, and made it easier for Border Patrol to spot them. And voila – a business opportunity was born. A local water bottling company came out with a black water jug and that is what most migrants use, Jaime Peña says.

But now that bottling company says it has had to diversify its clientele.

On the outskirts of Altar, local families gather to celebrate a quinceañera, a girl's 15th birthday. A band plays in spite of the rain. Many here are worried about the town’s future.

“It’s as if we’re waiting adrift for something miraculous to happen,” says Juan José Corona Moreno, a doctor at the party. “And really if we as citizens don’t do something, this isn’t going to change.”

Corona Moreno thinks the town should return to its roots in ranching and agriculture.

The local government is trying to recruit a maquiladora to provide manufacturing jobs.

That could be the only chance for new employment here, unless another wave of migration picks up.

Marketplace for Monday April 28, 2014 Jude Joffe-Block

A mural in the center of Altar, Mexico pays tribute to the migrants who make the perilous journey across the desert.

Jude Joffe-Block

Padre Prisciliano Peraza, Altar's priest, reads notes migrants left on a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe at his church before they departed for the Arizona border.

by Jude Joffe-BlockPodcast Title Border towns hit hard as fewer migrants crossStory Type FeatureSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

German diplomat 'injured' in Yemen

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:35
A German diplomat has been injured in a suspected kidnapping attempt in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, security officials say.

NBA Weighs Penalties After Sterling's Alleged Race Remarks Surface

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:35

Controversy is swirling around racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The NBA is exploring its potential responses as it investigates the allegations.

» E-Mail This

Cameron 'won't be PM' if no EU vote

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:29
David Cameron says he will not lead a government after the 2015 election which is unable to deliver an EU referendum.

Back From Recess, Congress Opens With Scandal

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:29

Monday was a rough day for House Speaker John Boehner: One of his members was indicted on federal charges, and another announced he wouldn't seek re-election after an alleged affair.

» E-Mail This

Border towns hit hard as fewer migrants cross

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:26

The rain pours down in the Northern Mexican town of Altar, as local priest Padre Prisciliano Peraza drives down a bumpy dirt road. The road leads to the border town of Sasabe, some 60 miles away. 

Peraza has been the priest here in Altar, Sonora for a decade. In that period, this small town boomed as a staging area for migrants preparing to cross the border. But now it appears on the verge of a bust.

Fewer migrants are trying to sneak across Arizona’s border these days. And that means some towns on the Mexican side that rely on the smuggling economy have been hit hard. Local businesses sprouted up to feed, house and sell supplies to migrants on their way up to the Arizona desert.

Peraza says among those entrepreneurial endeavors are van businesses that drive migrants on this very road.

“They use old vans, and have taken out the seats so they can fit more people,” Peraza says in Spanish.

Much of this business is controlled by organized crime.

But migration from Mexico has been on a downward trend for the last several years, as smuggling routes have changed. 

For the first time in 16 years, the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson sector – which covers Southern Arizona – lost its designation as the busiest place to catch migrants last year.

It was surpassed by Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where agents made almost 155,000 apprehensions last year, a 58 percent uptick from the year before. The Border Patrol’s Tucson sector made 120,939 apprehensions last year, down from 491,771 ten years ago.

“Before, many more people used to come through here,” says local pharmacist Maria Jaime Peña in Spanish. She has been selling migrants items like caffeine pills and electrolyte packets for years.

Altar’s local government estimates that four years ago, several thousand migrants passed through a day. Now? A couple hundred.

“There’s a lot of Central Americans,” Jaime Peña says of the migrants she’s seen lately. “And I’ve seen women some come through with their babies.”

Those are the same recent trends the Border Patrol has reported, too.

About two thirds of Altar’s restaurants and half the convenience stores have closed in the past four years, according to estimates from the local government.

Still, Jaime Peña’s store shows some evidence of the force behind the migrant economy. Like the gallon-size black water jugs she sells for about a dollar.

She says when migrants used the regular clear water jugs they reflected in the moonlight, and made it easier for Border Patrol to spot them. And voila – a business opportunity was born. A local water bottling company came out with a black water jug and that is what most migrants use, Jaime Peña says.

But now that bottling company says it has had to diversify its clientele.

On the outskirts of Altar, local families gather to celebrate a quinceañera, a girl's 15th birthday. A band plays in spite of the rain. Many here are worried about the town’s future.

“It’s as if we’re waiting adrift for something miraculous to happen,” says Juan José Corona Moreno, a doctor at the party. “And really if we as citizens don’t do something, this isn’t going to change.”

Corona Moreno thinks the town should return to its roots in ranching and agriculture.

The local government is trying to recruit a maquiladora to provide manufacturing jobs.

That could be the only chance for new employment here, unless another wave of migration picks up.

Iraq suicide bomb at rally kills 30

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:22
A suicide bomber kills 30 people at a campaign rally in north-eastern Iraq, as militants target polling centres in advance of Wednesday's polls.

In the NBA, power lies with owner-franchisees

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:08
Monday, April 28, 2014 - 16:05 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Team owner Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers watches the San Antonio Spurs play against the Memphis Grizzlies during Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 19, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

As an NBA owner, Donald Sterling is a franchisee, but his influence is far greater than that of his counterparts in, for example, the fast food business. 

Typically, in a franchisor-franchisee relationship, it is the franchisor that holds most of the power. Jill Pilgrim, a sports attorney and business consultant, says sports franchises like the NBA "do a little twist on that general concept." In the case of the NBA, Pilgrim explains, team owners decided collectively to coordinate their business operations. 

"The owners are like members of a club," Pilgrim said. "They are a club who have a common business interest in the development of sports, but also revenue generation."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will use the NBA's bylaws and constitution to determine if - and how - Sterling is to be punished. Those documents aren't public, but Jill Pilgrim says the constitution probably includes a morals clause that forbids an owner from doing anything that might hurt revenue. 

"There is no doubt," Pilgrim said, "however that provision is worded, that this has definitely hurt the brand of the NBA." 

If an investigation shows the tapes to be authentic, Sterling could face at least a fine, and, at most, a suspension.

"A fine would likely be $500,000 or a million dollars," said Michael McCann, director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. "That would be a significant move for many, but Donald Sterling is reportedly worth $1.9 billion, so a fine of $1 million...wouldn't send as strong a signal as the NBA likely wants to send."

If Sterling is suspended, McCann said, the owner would be prevented from having any contact with Clippers players or coaching staff. "It would really be like a restraining order from his own team," McCann said. "And the thinking is that during that time he would try to sell the team."

That the 30 NBA owners, including Sterling, appoint the commissioner who is charged with investigating and handing down punishment, raises questions about just how independent Silver can be.

Gabe Feldman, director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane Law School, says NBA owners make a tremendous financial investments in their teams, and those investments appreciate over time.

"Even if the other 29 owners here are unhappy with what Donald Sterling has said, and how it impacts the value of their franchise," said Feldman, "they don't want, down the road, someone to say, 'well, we don't like what you said, so we're going to take your franchise from you.'"

Marketplace for Monday April 28, 2014What if you found out your boss made racist remarks?CarMax, Virgin Air, others abandon Clippers' shipby Noel KingPodcast Title In NBA, power lies with owner-franchisees Story Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Teacher stabbed to death at school

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:05
A 61-year-old teacher is stabbed to death in an attack witnessed by pupils inside a school in Leeds.

If We'd Only Known About The Impending Spam

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:01

Twenty years ago, NPR alerted staff members that they would soon have access to a new form of communication: "A collection of computer networks that is connected around the world."

» E-Mail This

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