National News

Which Countries Are The Most Corrupt?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 19:04

North Korea and Somalia are perceived to be the most corrupt countries, according to the Corruption Perception Index released today by Transparency International. Denmark is seen as least corrupt.

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Microsoft Says Goodbye To Clip Art

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 16:40

Microsoft announced that it is eliminating clip art libraries from its suite of Office productivity software, and replacing it with Bing Image search. But the iconic illustrations may live on.

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Twitter Targets Trolls With New Rules On Abuse

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 14:36

One woman who has experienced abuse on Twitter calls the change "a big step up," as the company changes how it handles harassment and the ability to block other users.

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The Sony cyber-attack: Whodunit?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-02 14:23

Why would North Korea be mad at Sony?

Well, maybe because of Sony Pictures Entertainment's new movie:

Some speculate the North Korean government was mad enough to carry out the recent cyber-attack on the Sony Pictures Entertainment network. 

But Kim Zetter, a senior staff reporter at Wired, says she's not buying it. 

"Nation State hacks aren't generally noisy like this, and they don't generally start with a picture of a skull on computers," Zetter says. Instead of a covert national effort on North Korea's part, Zetter thinks the attack on Sony probably came from hacker group Guardians of Peace.

The FBI stresses that businesses should take caution due to the recent hacking incidents. But according to Zetter, plenty of individuals within the company also might find themselves victims of malicious software attacks. While Sony has yet to confirm what the hackers acquired, Zetter says it could be Social Security numbers of Sony employees, passport information from celebrities and employee salary information.

What can companies do to safeguard against hackers?

"Everyone is going to get hacked," Zetter says. "The question is: What is your game plan for dealing with a hack once you discover it?"

Holiday Shoppers Are Filling Their Carts, Online

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 14:09

In-store purchases on Black Friday fell this year, but online sales have seen a big increase. Easy comparison shopping and widespread free shipping have sweetened the deal for many online shoppers.

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House OKs Measure Stopping Social Security Payments To Former Nazis

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 13:51

A loophole in the law meant suspected Nazis who were forced out of the country continued to receive benefits. The House vote was unanimous. The Senate votes on a similar measure in the coming weeks.

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FDA Considers Allowing Blood Donations From Some Gay Men

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 13:36

The lifetime ban on blood from any man who has had sex with men dates to the 1980s, before there was a good test to screen for HIV. Critics say the policy is outmoded and needlessly discriminatory.

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One Village's Story: How Ebola Began And How It Ends

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 13:07

A father brought his teenage son back from the capital. The boy fell ill. The parents blamed an attack by a magical leopard. But it was Ebola.

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Shucking Oysters By The Thousands, With A Steady Smile

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 12:59

For 40 years, Maryland's George Hastings has been shucking oysters at festivals and competitions around the U.S. And while the work can be grueling, he says he'll only quit when it stops being fun.

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York & Fig: Marc Maron on Highland Park

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-02 12:40

Comedian Mark Maron lives in Highland Park, California, the subject of our York & Fig gentrification project. He produces his popular podcast, "WTF with Marc Maron," out of his garage. He also shoots his autobiographical cable television show, "Maron," in Highland Park.

Read the rest of this interview at York & Fig.

FIFA Chief Rejects Responsibility For Welfare Of Workers In Qatar

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 12:24

Sepp Blatter, who heads soccer's governing body, said the companies that employed the migrant laborers building the infrastructure for Qatar's 2022 World Cup were responsible for their safety.

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A #SadTree Lot: Your Photos Of The Charlie Browniest Trees

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 12:23

To mark 50 years of A Charlie Brown Christmas airing on American televisions, our readers are sharing photos and memories of Christmas trees that reflect the spirit of that TV classic.

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Should We Rue Rob Portman's Decision Not To Run For President?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 12:22

Why oh why, the question goes, aren't there more candidates like...you know, that guy everybody likes...what's his name...Rob Portman?

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York & Fig: The House on York

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-02 12:18

Our Wealth and Poverty team has been working on a project about what happens when the economy that we live in changes. We opened a pop-up news bureau in a neighborhood 8 or 10 miles from downtown LA, called Highland Park, that's basically gentrifying. 

People have moved into the area, and their money has too, which means other people have moved out ... and not always because they wanted to. Housing costs have gone up, a lot.

But if you've lived in the neighborhood a while, it's an opportunity to sell high, because the newcomers can and will pay top dollar. Marketplace's Noel King looks at one house on York Boulevard and three generations of its owners.

Apple's Success Continues Under Tim Cook, But Steve Jobs Still Looms Large

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 12:14

The company's market capitalization hit a record last month under Cook's leadership, nearing $700 billion. But by one measure, the legacy of Jobs still dominates.

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Deals and pent-up demand fuel auto sales

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-02 12:00

Auto sales recorded their strongest November in a decade, selling a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of around 17 million vehicles.

Kelley Blue Book senior editor Karl Brauer says there's millions of cars worth of pent-up demand because of the great recession. Plus, this is the best lineup from the Big Three American automakers in a long time, he says.

“They’re not just strong in the large truck and SUV categories, where they have been strong for decades, but they also have very compelling cars — small cars, mid-sized SUVs,” he said.

Things were also helped by old fashioned bargains and promotions. Kirt Frye, who operates the Sunnyside Automotive Group near Cleveland, had a gift card deal going over Black Friday weekend.

“We had them from 9 a.m. through 11:00 a.m. on a website, and at 9:05 all five of the $500 gift cards were already spoken for,” Frye said. “We sold five cars in about 15 minutes.”

Compare that to an average day of three cars sold.

In addition, gas prices have been falling, and cars are more fuel efficient than they were years ago. But Frye said gas prices are “probably not that much of an economic factor.”

“But for someone who is looking at a $12,000 to $15,000 used car, and they can buy an $18,000 new car and that new car gets 30+ miles per gallon, now that math really matters,” he explained.

“The market is up for grabs amongst anybody,” said George Magliano, senior principal economist at IHS Automotive. “So you have to have the product and you have to fight for your marketshare,” he said.

So, consumers who have been waiting for the right time to buy are finding that time is now.

Emergency Rooms Often Skip The Epinephrine For Severe Allergies

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 11:48

Mom may be more up to speed on the right treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions than doctors, a study finds. Epinephrine should be the first and fastest choice for treatment.

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Bobby Keys, Who Played Saxophone For The Rolling Stones, Dies At 70

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 11:09

During the course of his long career, Keys played with everyone from John Lennon to Eric Clapton, but it was work with the Stones for which he was most famous.

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Fill 'Er Up: The Joys Of Good Gas Station Food

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-02 11:08

Forget dried-out doughnuts and creepy-looking hot dogs. In cities across the U.S., patrons can fill up on gourmet grub and top off their tanks in one stop.

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A first: National debt passes $18 trillion

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-02 11:00

Here's a big number: $18 trillion. 

That's the national debt of the United States of America. Yesterday, we surpassed the $18 trillion mark for the first time.

Partisan and or political inferences will not be entertained.

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