National / International News

Experimental Malaria Vaccine Blocks The Bad Guy's Exit

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-22 10:01

Most attempts at a malaria vaccine have unsuccessfully tried to keep the parasite from breaking into red blood cells. But a new twist that keeps the parasite from escaping the cells may work better.

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Bombers target Shia pilgrims in Iraq

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:58
At least 24 Shia Muslim pilgrims have been killed and dozens wounded in three bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, officials say.

Ex-Sussex pair charged with fixing

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:53
The England and Wales Cricket Board charges former Sussex players Lou Vincent and Naved Arif with match-fixing.

Moffett forces extraordinary meeting

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:51
Welsh Rugby Union prepares to call an Extraordinary General Meeting after challenger David Moffett gets enough backing from clubs.

Malawi poll marred by 'rigging'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:50
Malawi's elections were marred by "serious irregularities", including computer-hacking, President Joyce Banda says, as one of her ministers kills himself.

'Boko Haram' destroy Nigeria village

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:48
Suspected militant Islamists kill more than 25 people and burn nearly all the homes in a village in north-eastern Nigeria, residents say.

VIDEO: Nile Rodgers collects Ivor Novello

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:46
Nile Rodgers and London Grammar are just two of the winners at the Ivor Novello Awards 2014.

Lightning strikes Shard skyscraper

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:43
Several bolts of lightning hit London during a brief thunderstorm, including one captured over the Shard in south London.

Cardiff striker Bellamy retires

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:43
Former Wales captain Craig Bellamy retires from football following Cardiff City's relegation from the Premier League.

Why population growth isn't always an economic boon

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:40
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 16:39 Shea Huffman/Marketplace

A map showing the seven cities in Texas with the greatest rate of population growth between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Texas is leading the way in U.S. population growth. The Census Bureau said Thursday that seven of the top 15 fastest-growing cites are in Texas. They’re clustered around big oil and gas boomtowns like Dallas and Houston, or tech hubs like Austin.

Sometimes population equals prosperity.

“They go hand in hand,” says Luis Bettencourt, who studies cities at the Santa Fe Institute. “You add a person, and you get more money per capita.”

Income growth in the booming suburbs of Austin is high because of the types of jobs there. But Bettencourt says there are caveats. This past decade wrecked all the economic models; the housing bubble was making people move.

“There was cheap housing available, and the actual construction of that housing created jobs,” says Robert Puentes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, which monitors cities' economic growth. But some economists say even without the housing bubble, the theory that growth begets growth is off. Consider Las Vegas. People are moving there for jobs.

“Naturally if there’s a lot of hiring you would expect people to migrate in," says Paul Gottlieb, an economist at Rutgers. "But the jobs have not necessarily been very high paying.”

Gottlieb says, sure you have new people and new jobs, but they don’t have fat wallets. They don’t bring growth and prosperity. Gottlieb says, in some big, northeastern cities, income is rising much faster than population.

Marketplace for Thursday May 22, 2014by Nancy Marshall-GenzerPodcast Title Why population growth isn't always an economic boonStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Don't wash your jeans, freeze them.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:39
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 16:39 Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A customer looks at Levi jeans hanging on display at a Levis store in 2003 in New York City. CEO, Chip Bergh, stated you can clean your jeans by freezing them rather than washing them in an interview today at Fortune's Brainstorm Green.

Two pearls of wisdom from big time corporate CEOs in the news:

Pearl number one comes from Chip Bergh. He runs Levi Strauss and Company, famous of course for its blue jeans. Mr. Bergh says that it's OK to not wash your denim garments.

He's trying to save the world. Levi's has been upfront about wanting to cut back on the water used in the making of its jeans. Bergh and Levi says you can freeze 'em, instead. Which will kill the bacteria... and the smell.

Pearl number two comes from Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. He's a tad upset about American rules forcing car makers to build a certain quota of battery powered electric vehicles. Speaking about the Fiat 500e, Marchionne says, "I hope you don't buy it, because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000."

So, okay. I won't.

Marketplace for Thursday May 22, 2014by Kai RyssdalStory Type BlogSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Ragu: the way many of us learned to love 'Italian' food

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:38
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 16:33

Back in 1937, if you wanted to buy Ragu pasta sauce, you would have had to buy it out of the trunk of a car from its creators -- a married couple named Giovanni and Assunta Cantisano. Back then pasta and red sauce was not a staple of the American diet like it is today.

“It didn’t happen overnight, but sometimes these things can," says Wharton marketing professor Leonard Lodish. As Americans’ attitudes about Italian immigrants changed, Italian food became popular, and Americans’ perception of Italian food was built on tomato sauce. Ragu was a big part of that.

Today, Ragu is the number one pasta sauce brand in the U.S., but sales are down 18 percent since 2009 as more shoppers turn to private label sauces.  This could be one reason Ragu’s parent company, Unilever, is selling the iconic brand to the Japanese company Mizkan for $2.15 billion.

Mizkahn is the largest producer of vinegar in the world, along with other food products that, according to the company’s website, are revered throughout the world for bringing flavor to life TM.

Overall, the food industry is a slow-growth market.

“So if you are looking for high growth, food is a tough place, it’s going be a market share bet,” says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst with the NPD Group.

If Mizkan wants to grow Ragu’s market share, says Balzer, it will have to take it away from a competing sauce.

Check out these other Ragu sauces from across the ages:

When you hear "Ragu," you might think of simple, old-fashioned red sauce. But like every other food product that's been around for a while, the brand has tried several other variations on its staple which did not stand the test of time. Here's a few memorable -- or unmemorable, as it were -- Ragu products:

1. Ragu Pizza Quick - For those who want something between the DIY of Boboli and the ready-made Bagel Bite

2. Ragu Chicken Tonight Simmer Sauce - Everyone of a certain age knows the accompanying dance to this ad

3. Ragu Beef Tonight Simmer Sauce - Because chicken wasn't enough

4. Ragu Fresh Italian Sauce - The selling point of this sauce was its inclusion of more comparison to other Ragu sauces

5. Ragu Chunky Garden Style - It was like the chunky peanut butter of pasta sauces

Marketplace for Thursday May 22, 2014by David WeinbergPodcast Title Ragu: the way many of us learned to love 'Italian' foodStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Fishermen 'survived on two biscuits'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:36
Two fishermen feared lost at sea off the Aberdeenshire coast survived on two biscuits and a bottle of water in the two days before their rescue.

Oh Canada... the black hole for U.S. stores

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:32
Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 16:29 Thivierr/

A Sears store at Chinook Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Sears Canada today posted a steep fall in quaterly sales.

Sears announced today that it lost more than $400 million in the first quarter and is planning to close more than 80 locations. One of the big losses for the company was in Canada, where Sears saw its biggest sales dive in five years. But Sears isn’t the only retailer that got a curveball from our neighbor to the north. This week, Target sacked the head of its Canadian operations after losing nearly $1.5 billion on its Canadian stores. Wal-Mart and Lowe’s have also had trouble finding their footing in the Canadian market. 

"We are different. People forget that we are different in terms of how we buy," says Debi Andrus, Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business. "We buy the same items and we’re still looking for value, but we have different purchasing behaviors."

Take Target, which charged into Canada last year, opening more than 100 stores. That might sound like over-reach, but Target was already popular with Canadians, who had been crossing the border to shop at its stores for years.

"I don't want to call it arrogance, I wouldn't want to say that," says Brian Yarbrough, an analyst with financial services firm Edward Jones. "There was too much complacency. They thought, 'We can go up to Canada and open these stores just like in the U.S. and people are just going to flock to stores. That didn't occur."

Yarbrough says part of the problem was Target tried to stock its Canadian stores the same way it stocked those in the U.S. "We have financial advisors up in Canada and we get these calls that are like, 'It’s the middle of October and it’s winter up here already and they don’t even have gloves in their stores."

Canadian retailers also upped their game in anticipation of Target coming to Canada, by lowering prices, stepping up marketing… with one notable exception. "Sears Canada wasn't changing as the other Canadian retailers were changing with the other American companies coming in," says Andrus. She says Canada is a competitive market. Although the country is huge, its population is relatively small. There are 35 million Canadians, compared with more than 300 million Americans. And there are only so many loonies to go around.

Marketplace for Thursday May 22, 2014by Stacey Vanek SmithPodcast Title Oh Canada... the black hole for U.S. storesStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Does Smuggling A Cow Into School Make You A Creative Genius?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:25

Before graduating, some seniors take time to pull off the perfect prank. But it's not just childish behavior. Journalist Annie Murphy Paul says pranks showcase creativity and attention to detail.

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In Charge Of Nearly $20 Trillion, Are Women The New Global Players?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:25

A new report Harnessing the Power of the Purse: Female Investors and Global Opportunities for Growth points out that women create and influence more than a quarter of the world's wealth.

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Poor People Can Pay Twice After Committing A Crime

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:24

NPR Investigative Correspondent Joe Shapiro tells host Michel Martin about the growing use of fines in the criminal justice system.

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Congresswoman And Veteran 'Appalled' By VA Scandal

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:22

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth lost her legs in combat during the Iraq War, and still gets health care from Veterans Affairs. She discusses allegations that agency hid how long veterans wait for care.

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Teenage Mischief Can Lead To Jail Time In Tennessee

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:22

Teenagers get in trouble for skipping school, breaking curfew or buying cigarettes, but in one Tennessee county, that can mean jail. Susan Ferriss reported on this for the Center for Public Integrity.

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Ex-DJ charged with 41 sex offences

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-22 09:16
Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning is charged with 41 sexual offences, after an investigation by Operation Yewtree.

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