National / International News

Eileen Ford, Creator Of The Supermodel, Dies At 92

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 11:14

As co-founder of the Ford modeling agency, she was instrumental in promoting such superstars as Lauren Hutton and Christie Brinkley.

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Why HIV Spreads Less Easily In Heterosexual Couples

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 11:10

People in heterosexual relationships are about 20 times less likely to pass HIV to their partners than homosexual men. Now scientists have found a clue to why this disparity exists.

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Why HIV Spreads Less Easily In Heterosexual Couples

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 11:10

People in heterosexual relationships are about 20 times less likely to pass HIV to their partners than homosexual men. Now scientists have found a clue to why this disparity exists.

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Stabbed NHS worker 'deeply missed'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 11:03
An NHS worker stabbed to death at the mental health hospital in Gloucestershire is described as "highly compassionate".

Boeing projects global air travel will double

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 11:00

Boeing has raised its projection for aircraft sales. The company expects the number of airline passengers to double in the next 20 years, creating demand for nearly 37,000 new planes and a $5.2 trillion market.

Many of those new planes will go to developing countries, especially in Asia, where air travel is taking off as incomes rise. The boom also means a lot more jet fuel will be burned, with an increase in CO2 emissions.

Much of the increased air travel over the next few years will be domestic flights within Asia on smaller, single-aisle planes like Boeing’s 737.

“When you have a smaller aircraft like that and shorter flights, you see an increase in emissions per head,” says Worldwatch Institute project manager Mark Konold.

Emissions from the airline industry could double by 2020 and quadruple by 2050, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

It’s difficult to predict the exact amount of fuel that a 737 burns on each trip. There are nine variants in the equation, says aerospace engineer Magdy Attia. “A good estimate for the fuel burn is between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons of fuel per hour at cruise."

Attia says new advances in engine technology could increase fuel efficiency by 12 to 15 percent. That would mean substantial savings for airlines. Fuel makes up about half their expenses. But the reduction in emissions would likely be offset by increased air traffic. Air travel currently produces between two and three percent of global CO2 emissions.

Randy Tinseth is vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. He says Boeing has made gains in fuel efficiency with recent  models. “We are building 737 next-generation airplanes which we call the 737 MAX.”

The 737 MAX is 14 percent more fuel efficient than the previous generation of 737’s. But it’s unclear how many of the new planes Boeing sells will be the more efficient model.

Graphic by Shea Huffman/Marketplace

How contagious is Europe's troubled economy?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 11:00

Worries over one Portuguese bank Thursday very quickly became worries over Europe’s broader financial health. Trading was suspended in one of Portugal’s’ largest banks, Banco Espirito Santo, after its stock price dropped 17 percent on news of missed debt payments and preexisting concerns about its parent company.

But why the jump from this one bank to concerns over Europe as a whole?

All it takes is one teetering financial institution to remind investors that Europe’s troubled past is still very much a part of its present, says Kent Hughes with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

“Clearly, memories are still fresh about a very difficult situation in Europe,” he explains. “All you have to do is get a couple people moving and you don’t want to get left behind.”

Fears about Banco Espirito Santo cast doubt over other banks as the  European Central Bank (ECB) reviews the assets of its major financial institutions,  says Robert Kahn, a senior fellow for international economics with the Council on Foreign Relations.“Because there’s so much uncertainty about the bank review, any single event, in a sense, is extrapolated by markets.” 

And more generally, it reminds investors that European growth remains too slow, says Kahn. “Their process of cleaning up their banks has a long way to go and the policies the Europeans are doing are far from ideal from a U.S. perspective.”

However, while Europe is America’s largest trading partner, it’s unlikely that today’s market anxiety will translate into tangible impacts in the U.S, says Clay Lowery with Rock Creek Global Advisors, unless this trend continues or worsens in coming weeks and months.

“If the European economy is not growing as well as one would hope, then that could harm [U.S.] exports,” say Lowery. “People don’t have as much money to buy things. Companies don’t have enough money to buy things, etc.”

Companies heavily invested in Europe might also suffer. But for the most part, the interdependency of American and European economies is a good thing, says Lowery.

Don't call it a Crumback

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 11:00

In which we learn once again that stock markets are stupid: 

Ticker symbol CRMB today? Up more than 1,000 percent. You read that right.

That's interesting since we learned Wednesday cupcake chain Crumbs Bake Shop has shut everything down and will likely go out of business. Apparently some guy on CNBC said he'd save it – that is, throw some money at it – hence the spike. 

 

What Cleveland's winter did to a local toy store

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 11:00

The Northeast's rough winter storm a few months back hit big business, federal workers, and Wall Street traders. But small business owners felt the cold impact as well.

Steve Presser, who owns of Big Fun Toy Store in Cleveland, Ohio, says sales were lower than expected.

“Mother nature was not nice to us over the winter," he says. "You know, when you have zero degree temperature and you have a foot of snow, the person who’s looking to buy a collectable toy just doesn’t venture down the street. “

Cleveland also saw record-breaking rainfall in June, which prolonged Big Fun Toy Store’s dry spell . But Presser says he’s an optimist and tries to avoid layoffs.

“In fact I don’t think... in the 23 years I’ve been in business [I've] laid off anybody," Presser says. "I’ve gone with the approach of spot hiring, obviously during seasonal… you know, holiday season and summer. So, I’ve added a couple part-time positions and I’m looking to develop more of a web presence. So I’m able to pick up more hirees that way.”

Regardless of the weather, Presser says Cleveland is making a comeback.

“We’ve always had a strong medical environment. We’re getting stronger in the technology industry. And Cleveland – they use the word ‘comeback’ – but we really are getting stronger.”

Cleveland’s strengthening industries and business has also made it a more appealing place to live, Presser says, and he's been able to expand to a new location in Columbus.

Presser is getting older, and he says he knows there’s an option to sell Big Fun. But for the meantime, he plans to stick around and watch his store flourish. 

Good news for security firms: our data's not safe

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 11:00

Another day, another data breach. This time, the federal government was the target. It came out today that Chinese hackers broke into the database containing information on federal workers back in March. The hackers seemed to be looking for people who had applied for high-level security clearance. It’s unclear how much data they got.

But this and other high-profile data thefts — like the breaches at Target and Chase bank — illustrate how much hackers have evolved. They used to be bored teenagers or shut-in conspiracy theorist types. That's definitely not the case anymore.

"These are people that sometimes have two Ph.Ds in things like quantam mechanics and physics," says Larry Ponemon, Founder Chairman of the Ponemon Institute, a reseach think tank that specializes in data security. "They can pretty much get anywhere they want to if they put their minds to it."

Ponemon says cybercriminals could be bankrolled by companies, drug cartels or even governments, and they often work in teams.

"The bad guys... will find talent and there’s an underground market for it that’s global," says Ted Julian of CO3 Systems, which helps companies respond to data breaches. He says companies and government organizations need to assemble teams of their own to secure everything from financial transactions to email and mobile apps. And they’ll have to keep investing.

"The problem is whatever solutions we create today, within a matter of months, they figure out an end run around that technology," says Ponemon. Even with organizations spending around $44 billion a year on cyber security, cyber crime costs consumers an estimated $110 billion annually.

 

No Criminal Charges In Senate-CIA Spat, Justice Department Says

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 10:59

The decision brings a muted end to a power struggle that had undermined relations between the intelligence community and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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VIDEO: Why Garth's Irish comeback was axed

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 10:50
Garth Brooks has criticised the handling of his five concerts in Dublin after they were cancelled earlier this week.

Philadelphia Judge Denies Former Nazi Guard Bail

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 10:31

Johann "Hans" Breyer, 89, is awaiting extradition to Germany. His defense lawyers argued he is in poor health. A hearing to extradite him to Germany is scheduled for Aug. 21.

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US sues Amazon over app spending

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 10:27
The US Federal Trade Commission sues Amazon, alleging it allowed millions of dollars of unauthorised purchases by children in its mobile app store.

He Never Really Liked Soccer Until He Made A Movie About It

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 10:23

Juan Rendon was not a fan. Then he co-directed This Is Not a Ball, a documentary that took him to the slums of Brazil and to an amputee league in Sierra Leone.

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Dress Codes Are Open To Interpretation — And A Lot Of Contention

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 10:17

Recent incidents of customers being denied access to nightspots in Minneapolis and Austin have sparked conversation anew about the meaning and intent behind dress codes.

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Taliban 'fled' Pakistan offensive

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 10:09
A Pakistani army commander in North Waziristan says that senior Taliban militants managed to flee before an offensive began in mid-June.

Ukraine separatists target airport

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 10:07
Ukrainian government forces clash with pro-Russian separatists near Donetsk airport as the rebels vow to prevent a blockade of the eastern city.

VIDEO: Teachers strike closes schools

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 10:07
Members of the National Union of Teachers stayed away from work on Wednesday closing 20% of schools in England and Wales.

Bergdahl 'captivity photo' surfaces

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 09:56
A photo of Sgt Bowe Bergdahl posing with a Taliban leader during his captivity in Afghanistan has been dismissed as "propaganda" by the US.

Yo app warns of missile strikes

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 09:55
A missile notification app called Red Alert is using unlikely hit app Yo to alert Israeli citizens of incoming missile strikes.

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