National News

Your Brain's Got Rhythm, And Syncs When You Think

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 12:06

Scientists have evidence that beats in the brain — in the form of rhythmic electrical pulses — are involved in everything from memory to motion. And music can help when those rhythms go wrong.

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The Would-be Ambassador To Norway, Who's Never Been There Himself

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 12:06

President Obama nominated George Tsunis to the post of ambassador to Norway. But after a cringe-worthy confirmation hearing, Norwegian-Americans are aiming to block him as unqualified for the post.

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Study Delivers Failing Grades For Many Programs Training Teachers

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 12:06

The NCTQ study is the second in two years that argues that schools of education are in disarray.

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'Pink Slime' Is Making A Comeback. Do You Have A Beef With That?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 12:06

Since beef prices are going up, food processors are once again looking to cheap "lean finely-textured beef." But this time, they're preparing for consumers' concerns about the so-called pink slime.

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Most Cuban-Americans Oppose Embargo, Poll Finds

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 11:59

The Florida International University poll, conducted since 1991, also showed a large majority want to reestablish diplomatic ties with the island.

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Foreign banks ask China: Where's our copper?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-17 11:24

As if confidence in China’s cooling economy wasn’t bad enough, big foreign banks are now worried they’ve fallen victim to an elaborate commodities scam.

When a U.S. bank decides on whether to give you a business loan, it looks at things like profitability and future cash flow. In China, banks focus on one thing: collateral.

"So that means you have something valuable and you give it to the bank provisionally, and they can take it if you don’t pay back your loan," says J-Capital’s Anne Stevenson-Yang.

Chinese companies often use things like copper or aluminum as collateral. It’s helped secure $160 billion worth of loans in the past few years. But in the Chinese port of Qingdao recently: a discovery of commodities-backed loan shenanigans.

"People found out that the same batch of copper had been taken to more than one bank to take out a loan," says Sijin Chen, commodities analyst for Barclays.

Chen says China’s government has tried to clean up this practice in the past, but "these government-driven initiatives are never going to be successful if the banks don’t think it’s a risky business."

They do now.

Foreign banks like Standard Chartered and Citigroup have sent their people to Qingdao to see if these warehouses of copper actually exist. So far, the government is too busy with an investigation to let them check. Stevenson-Yang says this fake-commodities scam is just the latest problem for China’s economy.

"China is deflating and everybody’s running around trying to make their particular asset valuable or shore up their particular loan, but the fact is it’s like taking your kickboard and holding it up against a tsunami."

Her message to foreign banks in China: You’re going to need more than a kickboard.

Pipeline Explosion In Ukraine Could Be 'Act Of Terrorism'

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 11:12

A section of the main conduit for Russian natural gas going to Europe exploded and caught fire on Tuesday, a day after Moscow and Kiev failed to reach a deal on gas payments.

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Post GM recall: How heavy is your key chain?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-17 10:42

General Motors has announced yet another recall, this time for 3.4 million vehicles with a defect in the cars' ignition switches. According to the company, the keys can come out of postion if they carry too much weight.

The seemingly small defect could have deadly consequences for affected drivers. A statement from GM said the ignition switches could switch out of the "run" position if the key has excess weight and the car "experiences some jarring event," like hitting a pothole. In that circumstance, the vehicle's engine would shut off, potentially disabling power steering and causing drivers to lose control. To top it all off, the defect could also disable the vehicle's airbags.

GM says it will fix the issue, which covers seven models from years ranging between 2000 and 2014, by issuing new keys that are resistent to the problem.

Car Talk has addressed this problem. So has the urban legend-debunking site snopes.com.

But really, how many car keys are too many? Do you have some unsusually large or heavy keyrings of your own? Maybe you make up for your lack of a key collection with some creative fobs?

Show us or tell us about your keychain by tweeting a pic to @Marketplace or commenting below.

Here are some of the responses we recieved on Twitter:

[View the story "Show us your keys" on Storify]

The Maker Movement makes it to the White House

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-06-17 09:53

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at what's coming up Wednesday, June 18:

In Washington, a Senate Committee discusses "Aggressive E-Cigarette Marketing and Potential Consequences for Youth."

The Federal Reserve wraps up a two-day meeting on interest rates.

FedEx releases quarterly earnings.

A House subcommittee on Aviation holds a hearing on "Airport Financing and Development."

And it's a celebration of tinkerers and their cutting edge tools. Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all ages are at the White House for its first-ever Maker Faire.

Red Fish, Blue Fish: Where The Fish Flesh Rainbow Comes From

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 09:37

From ruby red tuna to turquoise lingcod, the fish we eat can span the color spectrum. Flesh color can also tell us something about where a fish came from, its swimming routine and what it ate.

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Lost IRS Emails Spark Republican Ire

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:40

House Republicans are demanding to know what happened to missing emails belonging to Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting controversy.

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How Does The Federal Health Law Affect Insurance Price Hikes?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:13

The health law requires insurers to disclose price increases of 10 percent or more, but states have widely varying powers to regulate those hikes.

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Educate And Ask: Key To Living With Sickle Cell Disease

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:04

It is one of the most common inherited blood disorders in the U.S., and most people who have it are African-American. Host Michel Martin learns more from pediatrician Dr. Leslie Walker.

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Coupling Finances: The First 'I Do' For Newlyweds?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:04

As couples get married this summer, financial and relationship experts say they should talk about money before the big day. Host Michel Martin learns more about making your finances live happily ever.

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World Cup Fever: Despite Protests, Partying Mood Takes Over Brazil

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:04

The World Cup is in full swing and American fans are celebrating victory over Ghana. Host Michel Martin gets the latest — both on and off the field — from Ricardo Zuniga of the Associated Press.

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O.J. And Oscar Trials: A 'Combination Of Celebrity, Wealth And Murder'

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:04

O.J. Simpson's Ford Bronco was chased by police 20 years ago, marking the start of what was dubbed the "trial of the century." But how does its coverage compare with the Oscar Pistorius trial?

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Man Freed After Confessing To Killing Son During Interrogation

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:04

After years in prison, Adrian Thomas was found not guilty for the murder of his infant son. His story was told in Scenes of a Crime. In this encore broadcast, the film's co-director explains the case.

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Democrats Unveil A Bill To Ban Internet Fast Lanes

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 08:01

Lawmakers are stepping into the ongoing tussle over whether companies should have to pay more for faster Internet service to consumer homes.

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U.S. Captures Suspected Ringleader Of Attack In Benghazi

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 07:34

Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured by American troops after coordinating with U.S. law enforcement. Khattala was charged last summer.

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A Native American Take On Tornadoes

NPR News - Tue, 2014-06-17 07:13

What causes deadly twisters? The Native Americans of Oklahoma offered one answer.

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