National News

Sizing Down Food Waste: What's The Worst Thing To Toss?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 14:41

Americans throw out a lot of food. And a lot of meat. That means our waste has a bigger impact on the global food supply than vegetarian discards. Why? Blame it on hidden calories.

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A Day Of Tumult, Tragedy And Violence In Europe And Middle East

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 13:57

A Malaysia Airlines flight crashed in eastern Ukraine, possibly shot down by a missile. And in Gaza, Israel has launched a ground offensive against Hamas forces.

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Yes, Facebook is sucking your soul

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 13:44

Once again, social science has done what it so often does: Proven that which we already knew deep in our souls.

In this case, it's that Facebook is bad for us.

In the June edition of the journal Computers in Human Behavior actual peer reviewed studies proved that thesis.

The first showed that the longer people are on Facebook, the worse the mood they were in afterward.

The second showed that that's in part because being on Facebook leaves people with a feeling - and this is a quote - "of not having done anything meaningful."

'Bad' housing numbers might reflect good news

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 13:44

The Census Bureau's new monthly report on housing starts shows they were down in June —  by more than 9 percent. Headlines asked, "where's that housing recovery?" But it's a big country, and housing trends vary a lot from place to place. That was especially true with these numbers: Housing starts actually rose in most of the country — except in the South, where they fell hard.

Experts weren’t sure why. “I think some of us are still scratching our heads over what this really means,” says Dave Ellis, executive vice president of the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association.

He offers one possible reason: Building lots are harder to come by than they were in the wake of the financial crisis. For a while, banks had a big supply of land that had been poised for development. “The lots were pretty much ready to go,” says Ellis. “Now, in most markets, those lots have gotten pretty much worked through, and they’re beginning to develop land again.”

That’s in line with observations from Brad Hunter, chief economist for the housing-market research company Metrostudy. He thinks North Carolina’s harsh winter got in the way of development: the work that needs to happen before home construction in a new subdivision. “You have to create the backbone of the subdivision, pave in the roads, put in the electric and water— all that infrastructure,” he says. “So that is what really got slowed down in the winter.”

David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Homebuilders, thinks the big issue is a shortage of labor, more than land. He talked with homebuilders in Texas and Oklahoma, where the energy industries— oil and gas— are taking every available worker. “They were just having an awful time getting labor,” says Crowe. “Texas is a big state anyway, and so movements for that state would affect totals for the whole South.”

So, bad news — fewer housing starts— sounds like good news from another perspective: lots of jobs.

QUIZ: Which Of These State Fair Foods Are Faux?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 13:43

Combinations of batter, cheese, bacon and sugar at state fair food concessions seem to get more elaborate and outrageous every year. So we were inspired to put our state fair food sense to the test.

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Latest Wrinkle In The Jobs Debate: Blame The Boomers

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 13:36

Half the drop in the labor force can be explained by retirements, a White House economic report concludes. And the other half of missing workers may yet be lured back, but only with better policies.

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White House Urges Lawmakers To Address Popular Tax Dodge

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 13:24

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has signaled his intention to push for legislation shutting down "corporate inversions," techniques commonly used by companies to dodge the corporate income tax.

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Some Airlines Say They Are Avoiding Ukrainian Airspace

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 13:24

After a Malaysia Airlines flight crashed in Ukraine, several airlines have said they are now operating with caution in the area. The U.S. believes the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

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U.S. Officials Believe That Malaysian Airliner Was Shot Down By Missile

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 13:09

U.S. officials are saying that the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed in eastern Ukraine was shot down by a missile. Thomas Erdbrink of The New York Times explains.

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The UN In Gaza: A Glimpse Of The Ground Invasion Firsthand

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:57

To learn more about the Israeli ground invasion in Gaza, Audie Cornish turns to Robert Turner, who's in Gaza City. Turner is director of operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

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As Immigration Crisis Grows, A Protest Movement Gains Steam

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:41

Several hundred protests will begin Friday in cities across the country, as activists rail against the Obama administration's efforts to temporarily house migrant children detained at the border.

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Israel Launches A Ground Campaign Against Hamas In Gaza

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:41

According to a statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Defense Force has been instructed to begin a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip.

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Months From Water Crisis, Leaking W.Va. Tanks Are Demolished

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

As Dave Mistich of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports, Freedom Industries is demolishing the site responsible for the leak that contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians early in 2014.

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Amid Roiled Landscape Of Border Politics, Obama's Plans May Change

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

The White House's request for more funds on immigration could get a congressional vote soon. Meanwhile, the border crisis is complicating Obama's plan to take unilateral action to ease deportations.

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What Brought Down The Malaysian Airliner?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

Shortly after news broke that a Malaysia Airlines flight crashed in eastern Ukraine, suspicions began to swirl that the plane had been shot down.

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To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

The traditional Japanese art of folding paper is now adding grace and ease to the deployment of fragile solar panels, seismometers and other vital instruments in outer space.

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Lawmakers Call For GM's Top Lawyer To Step Down

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

Delphi, the company that made the defective ignition switch in General Motors vehicles, has stayed out of the harsh glare in the recall scandal. But that changed Thursday, as Delphi's CEO joined GM CEO Mary Barra and GM's top lawyer for a grilling on Capitol Hill.

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Senate Re-Authorizes Government's Role In Terrorism Insurance

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

The Senate has voted to reauthorize terrorism risk insurance, to help businesses stay solvent in the event of attacks. The bill faces a tougher road in the House, where some Republicans want to reduce the potential price tag for taxpayers.

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Malaysian Airliner Crashes In Eastern Ukraine

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying nearly 300 people has crashed in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border. It's unclear why it crashed, but the Ukrainian president is calling for an investigation.

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Microsoft Announces Largest Job Cut In Its History

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

Microsoft plans to eliminate as many as 18,000 jobs over the next year — about 14 percent of its global workforce. The cuts would be the largest in the company's history. Microsoft recently acquired Nokia's mobile phone business, which boosted its head count by 25,000 and most of the cuts will be in that area.

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