National News

Global Bankers Meet To Resolve A Two-Speed World Economy

NPR News - Sat, 2015-04-18 03:30

The IMF and World Bank meet this weekend. Likely on the agenda: the Iran deal, ISIS and Russia. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks with Foreign Policy's David Rothkopf about the state of the global economy.

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Latest Mediterranean Incident Highlights Italy's Migrant Crisis

NPR News - Sat, 2015-04-18 03:30

Italian police detained 15 Muslim migrants this week accused of throwing 12 Christians off a smuggling vessel in the Mediterranean because of their faith.

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20 Years Later, Oklahoma City Bombing Victims Fight Stigmas

NPR News - Sat, 2015-04-18 03:30

Twenty years after the Oklahoma City bombing, nearly one in four survivors has markers for PTSD. Counselors are still opening up new cases for first responders as a result of the bombing.

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Frustrations Fuel Violence Against Immigrants In South Africa

NPR News - Sat, 2015-04-18 03:30

Mobs with machetes attacked immigrants in Durban, South Africa, Thursday, hoping to drive out foreigners looking for work. NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with the BBC's Milton Nkosi about the attacks.

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As Greeks And Germans Negotiate Debt, Reparations Issues Resurface

NPR News - Sat, 2015-04-18 03:30

Greece says Germany owes it billions of dollars for its World War II occupation by the Nazis. The German government says it has already paid, but some Germans feel more should be done.

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From Losers To Possible Kingmakers, A Scottish Party Come Back Strong

NPR News - Sat, 2015-04-18 01:16

No party is expected to win a majority in the upcoming U.K. elections. That means the Scottish National Party, after losing a vote on independence last year, could determine the country's next leader.

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In 'Song Of Lahore,' A Race To Revive Pakistani Classical Music

NPR News - Sat, 2015-04-18 00:56

In 1977, classical music virtually died in Pakistan when the government banned live concerts. Seven musicians are working to bring the art back, and a film premiering Saturday documents their quest.

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The Cat-And-Mouse Game Of The Great Clinton Chase, Iowa Edition

NPR News - Sat, 2015-04-18 00:03

Hillary Clinton's campaign went to great lengths to keep her events in Iowa this week intimate. That's easier said than done when the candidate is one of the world's most famous politicians.

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Michigan Billionaire And Mall Developer A. Alfred Taubman Dies

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 23:02

Taubman's philanthropy and business success — including weaving the enclosed shopping mall into American culture — was clouded by a criminal conviction late in his career. He was 91.

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Suicide Attack Kills Dozens At Afghanistan Bank

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 22:51

A suicide bomb attack on a bank branch in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad has killed at least 30 people and wounded more than 80, officials said.

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On Links As In Life, D.C. Bipartisan Relations Are Deep In The Rough

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 18:05

Golf is a sport that's been enjoyed by both Democrats and Republicans through the decades, but bipartisan golf outings may be disappearing like a shanked tee shot into a water hazard.

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Weekly Wrap: Inflation, Greece and IPOs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-17 16:58

Joining Kai to talk about the week's business and economic news are Fortune Magazine's Leigh Gallagher and John Carney from the Wall Street Journal. The big topics this week: inflation at the retail level and consumer sentiment, Greece's debt problems and the eurozone, and Etsy's and Party City's stock market debuts. 

 

A Ticking Clock Threatens Obama's Immigration Plan

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 16:48

A New Orleans federal appeals court case may determine whether the President can implement his immigration plan before his term is up.

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How The Food Industry Relies On Scientists With Big Tobacco Ties

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 14:38

Critics of the system that ushers food products to market say it is rife with conflicts of interest. When scientists depend on food companies for work, they may be less likely to contest food safety.

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Hillary Clinton Supports Amendment To Get Hidden Money Out Of Politics

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 13:57

Clinton called campaign finance reform one of the "four big fights" of her campaign. But does this idea of a constitutional amendment to restrict or eliminate big money stand a chance?

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Oklahoma Approves Nitrogen Asphyxiation For Executions

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 13:57

The new method was proposed after the botched execution by lethal injection last year of an Oklahoma inmate.

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Hillary Clinton Supports Amendment To Get Hidden Money Out Of Politics

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 13:57

Clinton called campaign finance reform one of the "four big fights" of her campaign. But does this idea of a constitutional amendment to restrict or eliminate big money stand a chance?

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First-Place Fake-Out: Woman Who Didn't Run Marathon Stripped Of Title

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 13:20

Race officials say Kendall Schler faked her win at last Sunday's GO! St. Louis race. They say she also cheated in last year's race where she finished third.

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German luxury carmakers make a mass-market push

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-17 13:13

The German luxury carmakers BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are reporting record levels of global sales after the first quarter of 2015.

The news marks a bit of a turning point for an industry that was founded on notions of exclusivity.

As entry-level prices drop, more and more car buyers can hope to buy a piece of fine German engineering, but the move does come with a few risks.

It used to be the case that owning a luxury car was something to aspire to. These days, luxury carmakers are even targeting millenials buying their first car.

“They're more concerned about keeping you in the fold and making sure that there is something there for each of your life stages,” Huge Marketing Director Megan Malli says. “That's really where they're headed with respect to the marketplace.” 

Lower starting prices and a broader range of models may translate into higher sales, but it also risks diluting the brand’s cache.

They are now competing against the Hondas and the Fords of the world, and frankly, often those other vehicles can really beat them on options and pricing,” Malli says.

That’s where marketing strategy comes in to play. If would-be buyers still believe that BMW equates with say, “performance,” then being more mass-market is actually a good thing.  

"They really preserve their brand messaging, even if they produce cars that are less expensive," says NYU Stern School Professor Thomaï Serdari. She also notes that the German's mass-market strategy won’t work for every luxury car brand.

"Cadillac is a brand that had a lot of cache a few years ago, but also it was associated with people of a specific type and background, perhaps much much older," says Serdari.

In recent years Cadillac has had little to tout besides its high end Escalade SUV. In order to become relevant again, Serdari believes the brand needs to cut back its offerings, and go upmarket to firmly re-establish itself on the high end of luxury, a place BMW, Audi and Mercedes already occupy.

"Then perhaps they can reverse their strategy and start targeting the mass market with less expensive models."

As Ebola Cases Dwindle, West Africa Turns To Economic Recovery

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-17 13:13

International banks are promising nearly a billion dollars in aid to the three countries hardest hit by Ebola. The number of weekly cases has dropped below 40 — the lowest level since last May.

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