National News

Fed Slows Pace Of Bond Buying, Keeps Rates Steady — For Now

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 11:03

The Federal Reserve said that it was curtailing its bond purchases to $15 billion per month. It gave no hint when interest rates would rise.

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How an Illinois company does businesses in Iraq

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:39

Jason Speer, President of Quality Float Works Inc., a float metal ball manufacturing company, has travelled several times to Iraq since their expansion into the troubled country:

"People still don’t even believe me, I have to show them some pictures," says Speer, about his business trips to Iraq.

Speer says he saw investing in Iraq as an opportunity.

"The country needs to be rebuilt," says Speer. "Everything has been destroyed over the years of neglect. I think there are a lot of opportunities for American businesses especially."

Doing business in Iraq is definitely not easy. Just shipping the float metal balls can be a tricky process. Speer says they work with a local business man that assists with the logistics of getting their product into the country, but sometimes their products sit for weeks at a time, just waiting for the paperwork to be handled and to be cleared.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Amazon Unleashes Fire Phone To Compete With Apple, Samsung

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:34

The new entry into the smartphone arena offers unlimited cloud storage for photos and a 3-D camera with image stabilization.

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Is The World Cup Commentary Racist?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:27

While most of the World Cup attention is on the field, Felix Sanchez of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, says broadcasters' racist commentary should be getting more attention.

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What Does Body Ink Say About NBA Players' Pain And Personalities?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:26

According to Ethan Swan's blog 'NBA Tattoos,' 55 percent of basketball players in the league are tattooed. Swan shares what he's learned about the athletes from tracking their body ink.

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Violence And Chaos Continue In Kenya And Nigeria

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:25

Recent attacks in Kenya have left as many as 57 people dead. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the search for hundreds of missing schoolgirls continues amid more violence in the north.

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When Unaccompanied Children Cross The Border, Judges Can't Always Help

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:25

With thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, immigration judges are faced with deciding who stays and who goes. Host Michel Martin examines the court process.

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A time to be leisurly en route to your next engagement

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:22

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at what's coming up Thursday, June 19:

In Washington, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a closed hearing on Iraq.

The Conference Board is scheduled to release its monthly index of leading economic indicators.

Let's all slow down and maybe wear something fetching for World Sauntering Day.

And "The Rocky Horror Show" stage production opened on June 19, 1973 at a small 63 seat theatre in London. Wider audiences were exposed to the film version. A toast!

Some Paramedics Doing Less Transport, More Treatment At Scene

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 09:38

Cities and towns call it community paramedicine, and say the goal is to lower hospital costs by training emergency crews to do more treatment at the scene. But who actually pays for these house calls?

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Kids In Juvenile Detention Face Risk Of Violent Death As Adults

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 08:49

Young delinquents are much more likely than their peers to die violently as adults. And girls are at particular risk. Lack of access to preventive care is partly to blame, researchers say.

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House Panel Grills GM CEO And Investigator Over Switch Recall

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 08:23

Questions about a potential cover-up dominate a congressional hearing about General Motors' handling of a deadly safety flaw. "How could they not know?" one congressman asked.

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The Twisty Tale Of The World's Most Expensive Stamp

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 08:17

The British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta begins its journey in a young Scottish boy's collection and passes through the hands of a delusional killer. It was auctioned Tuesday for $9.5 million.

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What's Next For Iraq?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 07:54

Until the past few days, no one was talking about renewed U.S. military action in Iraq. Here's a look at the ways the latest crisis could play out.

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Goats In The City? Making A Case For Detroit's Munching Mowers

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 07:54

Goats aren't allowed in Detroit, but billionaire Mark Spitznagel thinks they could help revitalize blighted neighborhoods. Goat raisers in other cities say the animals can be eco-friendly landscapers.

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Washington Redskins' Federal Trademarks Cancelled

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 06:43

The agency ruled in a case brought by five Native Americans. The decision does not require the football team to change its name; the team confirms it will pursue an appeal.

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Japan Bans Possession Of Child Pornography

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 06:41

The country's new law makes the possession of child porn punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine of nearly $10,000. But it excludes manga, animation and computer graphics.

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U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Area Would Nearly Double Under New Plan

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 05:18

The U.S. Department of the Interior says the new Massachusetts Wind Energy Area would be auctioned off in four leases. It includes more than 1,000 square miles of ocean.

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Fewer Women Are Having Labor Induced Early

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 05:03

Government data show that fewer women are having labor induced before 39 weeks for nonmedical reasons. Advocates say that change is good for the health of babies.

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Ukraine's President Announces Plan For Unilateral Cease-Fire

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 04:25

The break in action is to give armed separatists time to lay down their weapons, President Petro Poroshenko says.

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Amazon likely to unveil new smart phone

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-06-18 04:00

The online retailing giant Amazon is expected to unveil a smart phone at a media event in Seattle today, with tech observers buzzing over the anticipated bells-and-whistles-like 3D features.

But many think the phone will largely function as a handheld shopping cart that you can then fill with more of Amazon's stuff.

“They want you to interact with them five, ten times a day, and the mobile phone is a great way to ensure that Amazon is there whenever you might need something,” says James McQuivey, a media analyst with Forrester Research.

McQuivey says an Amazon phone might also include a built-in payment system that could be used with any retailer.

Colin Gillis, senior technology analyst with the brokerage firm BGC Financial, thinks the phone might well be free. Same goes for the data if you're, say, downloading music from Amazon.

“It's the classic razor and blades. You can have the razor for free as long as you keep buying blades from us,” Gillis says.

Even so, Gillis thinks a smart phone won't bust Amazon out of its low profit margins.

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