National / International News

In an age of equality, who should pay for dates?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-30 02:00

Over the past 50 years, women have made great strides towards equality in the workplace. But when it comes to dating, most men still pay for the majority of expenses at the beginning of a relationship. In a day and age where women make as much as or more than men, why are they still not picking up the dinner tab?

Porscha Kazmierzak is one of the many women who still think that men should pay on a first date, even though she identifies as a hard core feminist.

“If somebody offers to pay for my meal, I’m thinking this person is considerate and they are maybe going to take care of me,” she says.  “If I insist on paying on a first date, it’s because I’m not interested.”

The tradition of paying for dates is a “short cut to figure out what the other person is thinking," says Rita Seabrook, a PhD student in women's studies and psychology at the University of Michigan.

Seabrook says when a men pays for dinner, it sends clues to the other person such as I like you or I want us to be more than friends. It makes things seem comfortable and certain when dating can feel so uncomfortable and uncertain. So the tradition has stuck around. But so has its other—more subtle—message.

“Men are expected to make a lot of money,” says Seabrook. “And women are expected to value men who make lots of money.”

Evan Major used to think these ideas never really affected him. Then he lost his job at the same time he was dating someone new. When they went out, sometimes he would pay as much as he could. Other times, his girlfriend would cover his half. This challenged his sense of self.

“There is such a tight link between financial security and the identity of a man” he says.

But after the beginning of a relationship, men and women usually start to do things differently.

“Couples start to split somewhere in the first six months” says Dr. David Frederick, a professor of psychology at Chapman University.  

But when it comes to changing gender norms, things move slowly.

“Causing those to change, I think, is a very long process that we’ve seen starting over the past 50 years," says Frederick. 

But Frederick says as long as we continue to see a shift towards more gender equality in the workplace, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t also see the same shift at the dinner table.








Northeastern's Silicon Valley campus

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-30 02:00

Northeastern University announced on Monday its plan to launch a series of educational hubs embedded directly in select companies in Silicon Valley.

The announcement comes a few months after the Boston-based university opened a branch campus in tech-heavy Seattle.

There is a reason colleges rarely open branches on the opposite side of the country. They tend to be expensive and hard to pull off. But that is not stopping Northeastern.

“When you have people who are in the workforce already, then we don't expect them to come to Boston, we have to go to them,” says University President Joseph Aoun. "People who are in the workplace who want to retool or advance and their knowledge is becoming obsolete." 

Northeastern has partnered with the San Jose company, Integrated Device Technology (IDT), to offer a mixture of long-term internships and classroom instruction.

Scott Jaschik is the editor of Inside Higher Ed. He says it’s still too soon to tell how students will respond.

"We'll either be seeing a lot of people going into the program and coming out and getting good jobs and having their careers advance, or not," says Jaschik.

Jaschik says other schools might offer similar programs at a lower cost but might not have the same industry connections that Northeastern has.

Atlanta puts roads and bridges on its to-do list

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-30 02:00

In next year’s budget, President Barack Obama is asking for nearly $500 billion to fix up the country’s transportation infrastructure. But some cities are starting to spend their own money on roads and bridges, after putting it off during the Great Recession.

Take Atlanta. With crumbling sidewalks and potholed streets, that city needs work. Now it’s actually going to get some. Voters recently approved a quarter of a billion dollar infrastructure bond package.

A couple weeks ago, before the vote, about 40 people who wanted to add their concerns to the list of the city’s infrastructure needs gathered in a community center.

“We never got our final paving,” says Jerry Hicks. He lives in a subdivision that the developer didn’t finish building. “All of the manholes are above the ground. As a matter of fact, people have ruined their cars, because they hit those man covers.”

The bond package will raise money to repave streets, fix up fire stations and deal with things like the Courtland Street Bridge, in downtown, which needs to be replaced.

“The original structure is approximately 105 years old,” says Richard Mendoza, Atlanta’s commissioner of public works. “About 50 years ago it was reinforced with steel beams.”

Now there are signs posted on those beams, warning that pieces of the bridge might fall on passersby.

Mendoza says the city put off repairs during the great recession. Now, it’s racked up an infrastructure backlog of about a billion dollars. “I think what we’re doing is trying to stop the bleeding, if you will,” he says.

“Atlanta’s not alone in having a large pot of issues to tackle,” says urban planner Heather Alhadeff. Decrepit infrastructure is a problem for cities all over the country, she says. Like many other urban centers, Atlanta’s population doubles on weekdays. But half of those people aren’t paying to keep the place up, she says.

You know if I came to your house and used your driveway and flushed your toilets and used your mail and your garbage, and everybody on the block did, you know your infrastructure would wear down faster,” Alhadeff says.

The bonds will only raise enough money to address a quarter of the city’s needs.

And exactly what will be fixed isn’t decided. Atlanta basically asked voters to support the idea of infrastructure repairs. The city council is supposed to finalize the project list soon.

U.S. allies rush to join World Bank alternative

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-30 02:00

One likely agenda item during U.S. Treasury Secretary's meetings with Chinese officials at the end of March: the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that China is launching to supplement existing global development funds like the World Bank. The United States tried to keep its allies from joining the project. 

The U.S. warned other countries that China’s new institution might not give enough attention to things like environmental concerns or fairness in awarding contracts. 

"I think there’s a lot of concern on the U.S. side that this institution would become an instrument of Chinese foreign policy," says Robert Kahn, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The U.S. didn’t prevail. Founding members of the Chinese-led bank include most Asian countries, and key European allies like France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The U.S. should join too, says C. Fred Bergsten, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He doubts the governance issues will be a problem.

"Because the Chinese have been suspect on these issues, they will lean over backwards to follow international best practices," he says. "My guess is, they’re going to be holier than the Pope."

A dingo ate my international leader's passport

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:59
6,500 stores

That's how many stores diet and herbal supplement juggernaut GNC owns nationwide, as reported by the NY Times. In response to recent accusations of  potentially hazardous inclusion of unlabelled ingredients, the company announced Monday that it would enact new testing procedures that go above and beyond what is required by federal law. 

105 years old

That's the approximate age of the Courtland Street Bridge's framework in Atlanta, GA. With repairing transportation infrastructure a national issue, some cities are starting to take charge of funding themselves.

8,000 square feet

That's how much space Inte­grated Device Tech­nology will provide for Northeastern University to open educational hubs embedded directly in select companies in Silicon Valley. The satellite locations will offer some long-term internships mixed with in class curriculum. 

31 international leaders

That's how many international leaders' personal info —including passport numbers, and visa grant numbers — was leaked by the Australian immigration department following the last G20 summit. As reported by the Guardian, the info was accidentally sent to the organisers of the Asian Cup football tournament.


That's the cost of a small media player, known as a "notel," that is reportedly in up to half of all North Korean households. Able to play DVDs and content stored on USB sticks, the device is an outlet for contraband material to make its way into the country. As Reuters reports, notels were legalized by the North Korean government last year, but are still illegally smuggled in from China.

VIDEO: LIVE: Labour launches business plans

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:57
Ed Miliband sets out his party's policies on business at an event in London.

Varoufakis: End 'toxic blame game'

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:45
The Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, calls for an end to the "toxic blame game" between Greece and Germany.

Vettel has aced transition - Coulthard

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:42
Sebastian Vettel has handled his transition from Red Bull to Ferrari well, says BBC Sport's David Coulthard.

Miliband warning over EU referendum

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:24
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils his party's business manifesto, warning that David Cameron's pledge to hold an EU referendum is "a clear and present danger" to jobs.

French elections see swing to right

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:24
Local elections give a big boost to France's conservative UMP, led by ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, and inflict a bruising blow to the ruling Socialists.

Paris Muslims struggle to feel accepted

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:20
Two months on from the Paris attacks, Shaista Aziz found the Muslim community in Paris still struggling to come to terms with the fallout.

How Many Crimes Do Your Police 'Clear'? Now You Can Find Out

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:11

Police say a crime is "cleared" when they make an arrest or identify a suspect. Clearance rates vary widely by city, but you can use our tool to look up how the police are faring where you live.

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Mystery surrounds shirtless burns man

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:10
Images of a shirtless man found walking the streets after he suffered serious burns have been released in a bid to solve the mystery of his injuries.

Open Cases: Why One-Third of Murders In America Go Unresolved

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:04

Police today are identifying fewer murder suspects than they did a generation ago. One criminologist says that may be because departments are more focused on preventing crimes than on making arrests.

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In New York's Multinational Astoria, Diversity Is Key to Harmony

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:04

The neighborhood in Queens has become a kind of urban United Nations, with people from 100 countries living there. The more diverse, the better its residents get along.

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Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-30 01:03

In 10 states, injured workers are finding it more difficult to get or keep medical treatment their doctors prescribe because of reforms to workers' comp laws.

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VIDEO: Dissolving Parliament - in 15 seconds

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-30 00:31
BBC News looks at what it means to dissolve Parliament ahead of a general election - in 15 seconds.

Kingfisher fails to nail French deal

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-30 00:21
The owner of B&Q, Kingfisher, has abandoned its planned purchase of French DIY chain Mr Bricolage.

'Few second chances for black bosses'

BBC - Sun, 2015-03-29 23:59
Former England and Liverpool forward John Barnes says black managers struggle to find a new job after being sacked by a club.

Battle lines set as campaign begins

BBC - Sun, 2015-03-29 23:48
The general election campaign gets under way in Wales with Conservative and Labour launches.