National / International News

How Food Hubs Are Helping New Farmers Break Into Local Food

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 05:01

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the infrastructure for local food is lacking but growing fast. "Food hubs respond to that call," one official says.

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‘Am I crazy?' Deciding to work for the government

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:56

The government job has lost some of its luster. There have been pay freezes, hiring freezes, and on top of that, there was the shutdown just a few months ago. 

Norm Ornstein, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, recalls giving a speech to a group of Presidential Management Fellows -- young men and women who he says are among the government’s best and brightest.

“And when we got to the Q&A, it was all about: ‘Am I crazy?’ ‘What am I doing here?’ ‘Can I count on this as a reasonable and productive career?’” Ornstein recalls.

Questions like that aren’t unreasonable on the heels of a government shutdown. Ann Porter, a law student at George Washington University, notes federal salaries had been frozen.

“I’m not applying for a government job because they don’t pay as well as private sector positions do,” she says.

And according to her classmate, Austen Walsh, a lot is up in the air.

“It’s certainly not a sure shot whether you are going to get hired, or whether you are going to get a raise or be able to advance if you are hired, which is scary,” he says.

Maggie New deals with that anxiety directly every day. She is the associate director of career services at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs. You can see the State Department from her office window, but it has gotten harder and harder for students to land jobs there.

“You have to have two people leave or retire or resign for one person to be hired,” New says.

As the head of career services at the Harvard Kennedy School, Mary Beaulieu has heard about that partial hiring freeze too. “When you get a sequester situation or a shutdown situation, where people’s budgets are cut, what it means is they can’t do any hiring,” Beaulieu explains.

Kennedy School students want to make a difference, she says.

“And certainly, when the government is shut down or opportunities are more limited because budgets are cut in a sequester situation, it’s frustrating for them.”

Beaulieu says she finds herself telling students this: You can tackle big problems in the public sector, but also in the private sector and at nonprofits.

Bopara support for captain Cook

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:55
England all-rounder Ravi Bopara backs Alastair Cook to continue as the side's Test and one-day captain.

VIDEO: NZ quake prompts Hobbit eagle landing

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:53
Wellington residents have described the moment a 6.3 magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island.

Murder home could be knocked down

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:50
A flat where a pregnant teenager was raped and murdered could be demolished.

Panama Canal row deadline passes

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:44
A Spanish-led consortium backs down on its threat to halt work on expanding the Panama Canal - but says a stoppage remains an option.

Another ratings agency. Woohoo?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:41

Count the big three U.S. credit rating agencies among those companies that could have been, but weren't hurt by the financial crisis.

Moody's, S&P, and Fitch were all accused of giving inflated ratings to mortgage investments that helped trigger the financial crisis. Yet the Big Three still control nearly 97 percent of the industry. But competition may be coming.

Five international credit ratings agencies from around the world have opened Arc Ratings. Arc's strategy is to focus on mid-size companies in emerging markets like in Africa and India. 

"We believe we know better than the local conditions to judge about the conditions of the risk," ARC chief executive Jose Esteves says. He adds that the big agencies cater to the world's largest corporations and banks.

But William Cohan, author of the book, "Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World,says breaking into the business is a long shot.

"While Arc has a chance and there is a real need to dislodge these three guys, it's frankly like trying to dislodge OPEC out of the oil market," he says. 

Cohan says he doesn't expect much of a shakeup in the $5 billion U.S. credit rating business unless the federal government demands it. And Cohan says that's a long-shot too.

Mikaeel's mother to appear in court

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:38
The mother of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular is due to appear in court in Edinburgh in connection with his death.

Low Hopes, High Stakes For Syria Peace Conference In Geneva

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:31

The conference, set for Wednesday, will bring together a delegation representing President Bashar Assad and the Western-backed, exiled political opposition. A lot of diplomatic capital has been spent to make this happen, but it's unclear whether there will be a meaningful outcome.

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VIDEO: Julie on saying goodbye to Hayley

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:30
Coronation street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh talks about leaving Coronation Street and saying goodbye to her character Hayley Cropper

999 wait man 'could have survived'

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:30
A man who lay dying waiting over 40 minutes for an ambulance would probably have survived if it had arrived within its eight-minute target time, says a coroner.

SA platinum workers set to strike

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:29
South Africa's platinum workers are set to down tools this week, halting production at the world's top three platinum producers.

Venue change for England's NZ match

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:19
England's Tri-series match with New Zealand at the Copper Box Arena is moved because of "damage inflicted to the floor".

EE rushes to fix broadband box risk

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:11
Network provider EE is to issue an emergency upgrade to broadband customers after a security flaw was discovered.

Link benefits to skills, says Labour

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 04:05
Unemployed people who lack basic English, maths and computing skills should be stripped of benefits unless they take up training, Labour says.

Paisley says party told him to quit

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 03:56
Ian Paisley and his wife speak for the first time about events surrounding his departure as DUP leader and first minister.

Hospital withholds death findings

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 03:37
A hospital where a girl bled to death withholds the findings of an inquiry from the BBC for fear of "endangering the mental health" of its staff.

Family 'shocked' at St Lucia murder

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 03:33
The sister-in-law of a British man who was murdered after attackers boarded his boat in the Caribbean says the family is 'shocked and shattered'.

VIDEO: Assad: 'Talks must combat terrorism'

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 03:27
Syria's President Assad has told the AFP news agency that any outcome of planned peace talks in Switzerland would be "worthless" if they did not "combat terrorism".

Malone and Adie voice BBC WW1 guides

BBC - Mon, 2014-01-20 03:24
Broadcasters including Gareth Malone, Kate Adie, Dan Snow and Radio 1's Greg James voice an interactive series of guides for BBC iWonder, as part of World War One season.

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