National / International News

A pep talk for the self-employed

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-30 09:17

Trust exercises, after work softball games, the obligatory happy hour. It’s all part of everybody’s favorite office activity: team building.

But what do you do if you work in an office of one?

The freelance writer Anne Brinser Shelton has some tips. Here’s an excerpt from her recent post on McSweeney’s: Team Building for the Self-Employed.

I bet I’m wondering why I’ve called this meeting today. As CEO of this business, it is my responsibility to ensure that all of our employees are working efficiently in their day-to-day operations and finding their roles fulfilling. It has come to my attention, as I review the figures from our last profit-and-loss statement (which seems to be written on the back of a Wendy’s receipt? Come on, me in Accounting, can’t we at least try to make these things look professional?), that perhaps morale is a little low around here, which might be impacting the bottom line.

While I hate to pick on any one individual, I’ve noticed some patterns of behavior in a number of key areas. Our manager of operations (me) is not doing a great job motivating her direct reports (also me). To be frank, I am a pushover, and I allow myself to get away with a lot that might not fly at other, more professional organizations. For instance, while I’m impressed with my progress in Candy Crush Saga, when I took me on as administrative assistant, I was expecting some actual administrative work to get done, but I’m clearly not taking this role very seriously. I’m still waiting for me to get around to drafting those emails I promised to send out two weeks ago.

 

 

VA And Military Health Care Are Separate, Yet Often Confused

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 09:17

The health systems serving veterans and military members are different. But both are being scrutinized closely amid allegations of access and quality problems.

» E-Mail This

Protesters read US books at DfE

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 09:11
A small group of protesters has occupied part of the Department for Education to protest at the removal of American books from English GCSEs.

Health Advocates Lament GOP Move To Relax School Lunch Rules

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 09:10

A House committee Thursday approved a measure that would give schools a way to opt out of new, federal healthy school lunch standards. But advocates say kids' health should take precedence.

» E-Mail This

Richard III: Not The Hunchback We Thought He Was?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 09:08

Scientists say 3-D skeletal modeling shows the English monarch had a common form of scoliosis. The physical condition of King Richard III has been a subject of debate for centuries.

» E-Mail This

Cancer waiting time targets slip

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 09:03
A key government target for treating people diagnosed with suspected cancer has been breached for the first time since it was introduced in 2009

New Orleans District Moves To An All-Charter System

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 09:03

Charter schools have lifted test scores and graduation rates in New Orleans, but racial disparities remain a problem as charters are given responsibility for nearly all the city's children.

» E-Mail This

Saracens' Vunipola misses England tour

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 08:53
Saracens prop Mako Vunipola misses England's tour of New Zealand following knee surgery and is out until next season.

'Google should forget me'

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 08:48
One BBC reader's plea for a second chance

Monaco's royal couple expecting baby

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 08:36
Monaco's Prince Albert II and his South African wife Princess Charlene have announced that they are expecting their first child.

Nigeria traditional leader shot dead

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 08:28
A northern Nigerian traditional leader, the emir of Gwoza, is shot dead after his convoy comes under from suspected Boko Haram militants.

VIDEO: Could the way we move be a password?

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 08:10
The way we move, talk and even how we interact with our computer could be used as an alternative to passwords.

VIDEO: The handheld cancer detector

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 08:08
A device consisting of a smartphone, lens and some lights could help detect tumours.

Democrats Plan Ad Buys In Some Rather Blue Places

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 08:03

Part of the $44 million that House Democrats plan to spend on TV ads this fall is allocated to places like California, Illinois and Massachusetts.

» E-Mail This

VIDEO: The migrant horror behind white walls

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 08:00
The BBC's Quentin Sommerville found illegal immigrants being held in squalor in Libya, after they were captured trying to make the crossing to Europe.

Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki Resigns

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:57

VA Sec. Eric Shinseki resigned Friday after meeting with President Obama. Obama praised Shinseki, but said the retired general feels that new leadership is needed to address the department's problems.

» E-Mail This

The man behind Fannie and Freddie

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:54
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 04:50 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden ceremonially swears in Mel Watt as the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency as his wife Eulada Watt, looks on

In the world of real estate, few people are more powerful than Mel Watt, the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Together, the two mortgage giants guarantee about 60 percent of all new home loans. 

Watt hasn’t made a lot of public appearances since he was appointed head of the FHFA in January. In fact, his first major speech wasn't until May 13, at the Brookings Institution. 

“We’re balancing, in a number of instances, contradictory mandates,” he told the audience.

For example, the mandate to protect the taxpayers while trying to get banks to lend more but not make risky loans, which Fannie and Freddie would still have to guarantee. After the speech, Watt hung around outside Brookings and chatted for a while -- Maybe not what you’d expect, but perhaps a throwback to Watt’s previous job. He served in Congress for more than two decades, representing the banking hub of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

The Senate Banking Committee has passed legislation that would gradually wind down Fannie and Freddie, something Watt’s predecessor also tried to do, but without input from Capitol Hill.  

But Congress isn’t likely to act this year, leaving Watt in charge of Fannie and Freddie’s fate.  

“I think he’ll work cooperatively with Congress,” says David Stevens, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, who adds that he thinks Watt will let Congress decide what to do with the mortgage giants.

“He gets it.  Mel understands his role," Stevens says. "He understands the role of Congress.”

Watt’s role also involves dealing with a lot of money. Since Fannie and Freddie were taken over by the government in 2008, their profits have gone to the U.S. Treasury.

“Even in this town, $25 billion a year is a lot of money,” says Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending, a homeowner advocacy group.   

Sitting in Calhoun's Washington office, I ask him whether all that money led to pressure on Watt, maybe from people in the White House who don’t want to change Fannie and Freddie because they’re afraid of cutting off the spigot of cash. But Calhoun doesn't think that'll happen.

“They know he is going to be independent.  He’s in his mid 60s," Calhoun says. "He’s quite comfortable standing his ground.”

Marketplace Morning Report for Wednesday June 4, 2014 Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt spoke at the Brookings Institution on May 13.

by Nancy Marshall-GenzerPodcast Title The man behind Fannie and FreddieStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

VIDEO: Celebrating the life of Stephen Sutton

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:50
Speaking to the BBC the Dean of Lichfield, Very Reverend Adrian Dorber said there was a "touch of the Princess Di syndrome" with a showing of public grief.

£40,000 fine for bay boat crash

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:48
A yacht club is fined £40,000 after two motor boats crashed in Cardiff Bay, leaving a schoolgirl brain damaged.

No verdict in teen terror retrial

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:46
The jury in the retrial of a teenager accused of plotting a terrorist attack at his Leicestershire school again fails to reach a verdict.
ON THE AIR

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life.Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4