National / International News

Malaysian MP in Hitler controversy

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 02:11
A Malaysian MP sparks controversy after he expresses admiration for Germany's win over Brazil in a World Cup semi-final - and Adolf Hitler.

EU leaders to push for Ukraine truce

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 02:10
The leaders of France and Germany are to press Ukraine's president to agree to a new truce in eastern Ukraine when they speak by phone on Wednesday.

Brazil thrashing breaks Twitter records

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 02:08
World Cup thrashing breaks Twitter records

Bringing a smarter approach to American healthcare

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-09 02:00

In the debate over improving American healthcare, one issue that has come into focus is how hospital record-keeping is largely stuck in the past. It's something Dr. David Bates, Senior Vice President for Quality and Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has thought a lot about. He recently published a study on the most effective ways hospitals should be using big data to reduce healthcare costs.

According to Bates, one of the major elements of a big data approach is having an algorithm.

“A triage algorithm is a tool that helps you predict how sick a someone is going to be,” he said.

One of the bigger issues that’s prevented the implementation of these strategies is hospital record-keeping procedures.

Two years ago, only 20 percent of hospitals in the US were using electronic records. Now, the number is 80 percent. However, electronic records don’t equal big data approaches; the data itself still needs to be analyzed.  

Aging prisoners bring healthcare cost headache

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-09 02:00



Normal
0




false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE













MicrosoftInternetExplorer4













Healthcare for prisoners has long taken a bite out of state budgets, but a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts says prisons have cut back on those costs. They’ve outsourced some health services, used tele-medicine, and simply incarcerated fewer people. But the aging of the inmate population threatens to drive those costs right back up.

According to Pew's Maria Schiff, during the same period -- 1999 to 2012 --  the number of prison inmates 55 and older jumped 204 percent, while the number of inmates younger than 55 increased only nine percent.

Schiff says stiff sentences delivered in the 1980’s and an uptick in older felons drive this trend of what’s often called the graying of America’s prisons. Prisons are forced to make accommodations.

“Ramps going into a dining room, elimination of bunk beds, officer training to address things like hearing and vision loss, dementia,” she says.

And taxpayers are picking up the tab.

In 2009, Michigan spent $11 thousand on prisoners in their mid-to late 50’s, four times what the state spent on inmates in their 20’s. University of California San Francisco Professor Brie Williams says efforts to parole older, sicker prisoners are unpopular.

“Many times people say you’ve done the crime, serve the time,” she says.

But given the cost of that time, Williams says many states are now reconsidering and trying to make it easier for these inmates to be released.

 













































































































































/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

 

Healthcare for prisoners has long taken a bite out of state budgets.  A new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts says prisons have cut back on those costs.  They’ve outsourced some health services, used tele-medicine and simply incarcerated fewer people. But the aging of the inmate population threatens to drive those costs right back up.

DG: Here’s a stat to chew on; since 1999 the number of prison inmates 55 and older has jumped 204%.

Schiff: While during that same period, the number of inmates younger than 55 increased only nine percent.

DG: Pew’s Maria Schiff says stiff sentences delivered in the 80’s and an uptick in older felons drive this trend.

She says prisons are forced to make accommodations.

Schiff: ramps going into a dining room, elimination of bunk beds, officer training to address things like hearing and vision loss.

DG: And taxpayers are picking up the tab.

In 2009 Michigan…spent $11 thousand dollar for prisoners in their mid-to late 50’s…four times what the state spent on inmates in their 20s.

University of California San Francisco Professor Brie Williams says efforts to parole older, sicker prisoners are unpopular.

Williams: Many times people say you’ve done the crime, serve the time.

DG: But given the cost of that time, Williams says many states are now reconsidering…trying to make it easier for these inmates to be released.

I’m DG for Marketplace.

 

U.S. companies shell out more for business travel

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-09 02:00

When the Great Recession hit, business travel was one of the first things to go as companies looked for ways to cut back. But a new report from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) shows employees are taking to the rails, roads, and skies again, as confidence in the economy continues to grow.

The group says American companies are booking more business trips than they were this time last year by 2.8 percent, and their employees are spending 7.6 percent more money on the road. The GBTA expects both numbers to keep going up as the economy rallies.

That pleases Harvard Business School Professor Tsedal Neeley, who studies global collaboration and co-authored a 2009 report on the potential negative consequences for business relationships when companies skimp on travel.

"I think we’re going to have healthier, more functional teams, more effective work," Neeley explains. "You can have similar effects without the face-to-face contact but it takes much longer."

So where does that leave video calls and other high tech tools for connecting remotely?  

"I think a lot of companies got their toes wet with teleconferencing thinking it would eliminate travel, and really what it’s turned out to be is an extra tool for businesses to compete," says Kevin Mitchell, Executive Director of the Business Travel Coalition, an advocacy group.

The report’s most encouraging finding, Mitchell believes, is that companies are spending 7.1 percent more on conventions and other group travel  – an investment that pays off longer term.

 

Note to bees: do not stop and smell the roses

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-09 02:00

Note to bees: do not stop and smell the roses.

A new study released by the environmental consulting firm Pesticide Research Institute and nonprofit group Friends of the Earth says about half of the garden plants sold at big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot, and Walmart contain neonicotinoids (neonics for short), a pesticide highly toxic to pollinating insects – like bees. 

Heather Leibowitz, director of Environment NY, a statewide citizen based environmental advocacy organization, says home gardeners are buying plants, completely unaware that they're laced with poisons.

"Gardeners are putting these in their homes," she says, "and there’s no warning they could actually have a negative effect on bees."

There are no federal requirements necessitating that plants treated with neonics be labeled. Leibowitz says the lack of labels on plants is a big problem. Just imagine, she says, that you’re a bee and all that yummy nectar you’re drinking, and the pollen you’re carrying back to the hive is laced with poison and you don't know it. 

For bees, this is akin to a plot twist from a horror film. “The flowers," says Leibowitz, "are killing the bees...They just had a little snack, had a little drink and they’re going back to their hive and they’re poisoning the queen.”

Leibowitz says it’s not just farmers, but home gardeners who also now need to pay attention to pesticides.

Tim Brown, an Associate Scientistis with the Pesticide Research Institute and one of the authors of the new study, gets "super science geeky" when he explains how a neonic pesticide works. 

“It targets the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors,” he says.

For all the non scientists out there, those are within the teeny, tiny bee brain. But Brown notes, we humans have a lot riding on the wellbeing of the tiny brains of bees.

"A lot of the foods we enjoy eating," he says, "almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries -- there are a number of crops that are pollinated by bees and if we’re not protecting their health then we’re going to see impacts. Either we’re not going to get the supply that we want or it’s going to be a lot more expensive to get these foods."

Joe Bischoff, Regulatory & Legislative Affairs Director for AmericanHort, a horticultural industry association, says the pesticide question is a thorny one for growers. If we stop using neonics we’ll also have a problem he says. Think of the white fly, or the asian long-horned beetle. Not all bugs, notes Bischoff, are helpful to plants.

If you throw only one chemical class at many of these insects, they overcome it," he says. "In the long run this is a dangerous situation."

Bischoff says growers are worried about controlling problem insects, but he says we should remember that growers are businesses -- they wouldn’t buy pesticides if they didn’t have to.

And the study, he says, could be flawed. The research was based on the presence of pesticide in plant tissue - like flowers. "Bees don’t consume flowers," says Bischoff, "they consume pollen and nectar."

The pesticide also has a half life, meaning it decays and loses its potency over a certain period of time. Instead of banning neonics outright Bischoff says growers should use it more wisely.

But some big box stores are taking anti-neonic action. BJ’s Wholesale Club says it's working to sell plants that are neonic free and Home Depot will require all its suppliers to label plants that they have treated by the fourth quarter of 2014.

Brown says there aren't a lot of studies that look at how long the toxicity of a neonic lingers. One complication is that different varieties of plants metabolize poisons according to different time frames. A lot, he says, depends on the method of application. When a pesticide is sprayed on the surface of a plant the residue won’t necessarily be broken down by enzymes, but the sunlight can cause its strength to fade. But still, a poison may linger for months or years presenting a harmful dining option for bees.

"We know for a fact," says Tim Brown, that if the pesticides are in the tissue of the plant, "it’s in the pollen and nectar too."

Why American Apparel is no longer sexy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-09 02:00

We’re gonna pause in our regularly scheduled host-blogging for something a little different today: video, not text. Pictures, not words.

The subject at hand is the weirdest CEO interview I’ve done in 13 years at Marketplace – the founder and now ex-CEO of American Apparel, Dov Charney.

He’s trying to claw his way back into the company. The company, meanwhile, looks like it’s trying to move on.

And with that… here you go:

Video produced by Preditorial 

Brazil defeat breaks Twitter records

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 01:50
Brazil's shock 7-1 defeat to Germany becomes the most discussed sports game on Twitter so far, with 35.6 million tweets sent during the match.

India MP in burglary embarrassment

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 01:40
A controversial Indian MP is investigated after he said $800 was stolen from his home, but police recover nearly $200,000 in cash, watches and jewellery from the alleged thief.

South Sudan's unhappy birthday

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 01:16
What happened to the high hopes of South Sudan's independence?

Minister's actions 'reprehensible'

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 01:13
The behaviour of sacked environment minister Alun Davies is branded "reprehensible" by senior civil servants' union, as he apologises to staff for actions which led to his dismissal.

Iraq confirms chemical site seized

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 01:04
Rebels control a disused factory with deadly nerve agents, Iraq's government confirms, warning it cannot fulfil commitments to destroy the weapons.

Wishaw street brawl: 20 people held

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 00:50
A child aged 12 is among 20 people arrested by police following a street brawl in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.

VIDEO: Will.i.am: Dangers of a digital life

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 00:33
One of the founding members of The Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am, has warned about the dangers of living a digital existence.

In Google Newsroom, Brazil Defeat Is Not A Headline

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-09 00:21

Google is mining its search data from the World Cup games, trying to make factoids that go viral. Its "newsroom" is focused on happy thoughts, not sad ones — like Brazil's brutal defeat.

» E-Mail This

VIDEO: 'Covering up child abuse is a crime'

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 00:17
The head of the NSPCC, has said that people who cover up child abuse should face criminal prosecution.

Roadshow Van Dyck fails to sell

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 00:06
A painting revealed to be a Van Dyck portrait on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow fails to sell at auction in London.

Big rise in abnormal drug test results

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 00:05
Abnormal drug test results in sport increased by 20% in 2013, according to a report by world anti-doping body Wada.

Time for Brazilian football to find its missing mojo

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 23:37
If there is consolation in a World Cup rout, it is that Brazil must now ditch the pragmatism stifling their game, says Tim Vickery.
ON THE AIR
Beggar's Banquet
Next Up: @ 12:00 am
Echoes

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