National News

5 Things Jon Stewart Reminded Us About Politics

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 11:10

When comedian Jon Stewart announced he was leaving The Daily Show that sound you heard was 2016 hopefuls breathing a collective sigh of relief.

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Why Hot Chocolate Might Be More American Than Apple Pie

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 10:43

George Washington drank hot chocolate for breakfast, according to historians. His version was flavored with chili powder, vanilla and allspice and contained less sugar than the cocoa of today.

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Costa Concordia Captain Found Guilty Of Manslaughter

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 10:33

Captain Francesco Schettino was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in the disaster in which the Italian cruise ship hit rocks in 2012 and sank, killing 32 people.

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Dietary update: Cholesterol-rich foods aren't so bad

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-02-11 09:42

The government is set to withdraw warnings about cholesterol. According to the Washington Post, those dietary guidelines that we all know and love, the ones that provide rules for school lunches and nutrition advice and the same guidelines that tell us to limit our cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams a day are about to see a big change that could whip up business for the egg industry.

If we were writing a blockbuster movie about the egg industry – just bear with me – the villain would be cholesterol.

“It certainly has been an issue that has been on every single agenda, topic for every single meeting we’ve had in egg industry over the last 30 years,” says Kevin Burkum, a senior vice president of the American Egg Board. “Cholesterol is really the reason the American Egg Board was invented," he says.

In 1976, there was an egg crisis. American’s consumption of eggs had plunged from around 400 eggs a year in the 1940s to about half that a few decades later, and egg producers were concerned.

Phil Lempert, editor of Supermarketguru.com, says the industry still hasn't completely recovered: “Fast forward to 2012, and it’s down to 250 eggs.”

After years of mixed messages about nutrition, even if the government does publish new guidelines extolling the virtues of eggs, it could be tough to persuade consumers that the product is actually considered healthy again, Lempert says.

“Because what we’ve seen before – whether it’s about obesity, or heart disease, or cholesterol, or sodium or sugar – is lots of confusion. This message has to be really clear," he says.

And heard, says Mark Cotter, CEO of the Food Group, a food marketing firm. If the government publishes new dietary guidelines they probably won’t have much affect on their own, he says.

“To be quite frank, the understanding of the dietary guidelines, in terms of awareness, is under 10 percent – in the country,” he says.

It’s up to the egg industry, says Cotter, to sell itself. Last year, egg sales increased by half a billion dollars, according to Burkum.  Consumers, he says, are already embracing the egg.

“The incredible edible egg – even more incredible,” he says.

What it takes to get a soldier's boots on the ground

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-02-11 09:42

President Obama wants Congress to authorize a U.S. military-led operation against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

The president says he's not committing the country to another drawn-out, costly war. But getting just one pair of boots on the ground costs a lot of money.

It's not just bombs and bullets: It's all the civilian support required to sustain a deployment of any size for any period of time. In this case, the main weapon used may be airpower, and the footprint may not be as large as it was in Afghanistan or Iraq at the height of the war. But there will be plenty of work for civilian contractors.

For the full story, click the audio player above.

Falling asleep and other things you do during meetings

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-02-11 09:42

This final note comes with this personal observation: I once had a boss in the Navy who only held meetings standing up — helped keep 'em short and on target, he said.

That wasn't a bad way to go, because a report from Atlassian had this to say about the average workplace meeting attendee:

- 39 percent slept during meetings.
- 45 percent felt overwhelmed by the number of meetings they have to go to.
- 73 percent said they did other work during those meetings.  

 

The Fall And Rise Of U.S. Inequality, In 2 Graphs

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 09:05

Since World War II, inequality in the U.S. has gone through two, dramatically different phases.

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Australia To Compete In The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 08:53

This is the first time an Australian will compete in the song competition that brings in nearly 200 million viewers. The big question is: who will represent Australia at the event in May?

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PHOTO: Rosetta Sends 'An Impressive New Perspective' On Comet

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 08:42

The European Space Agency probe has sent a new image of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from about 77 miles away.

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'The Shark' Has Died: Coach Jerry Tarkanian Was 84

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 08:39

Famous for his ever-present white towel and what seemed to be a perpetually worried expression, former college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian has died.

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Quiz: College completion gap widens

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-02-11 08:25

According to The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, college completion rates for Americans with the highest family incomes have been rising, but the rates for lower families incomes have not changed.

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One Of The Chapel Hill Victims Was Raising Funds To Help Syrian Refugees

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 08:01

Following the shooting at Chapel Hill that left three young Muslims dead, a donation fund created by one of the victims is receiving a flood of contributions.

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Panel Says Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is A Disease, And Renames It

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 07:41

"Systemic exertion intolerance disorder" might not fall trippingly off the tongue, but an Institute of Medicine panel says it better matches the symptoms. The disease, they say, is real.

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Boston's massive snowfall brings in business

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-02-11 07:34

Boston is getting pummeled by snow. More than 78 inches have fallen on the city this winter, making it one of the snowiest winters in the city's history.

But it's not over yet. The city is bracing for more snowfall Thursday night.

The winter weather has turned out to be a blessing for entrepreneurs in the snow-clearing business.

Frank Ippolito, who owns Ippolito Snow Services in Boston, offers "flake-to-flake" services for some lucky customers.

"The first flake falls, we have a team there, in front of a retail store or a high-end residence where we're there for the entire storm," he says. "Just pushing snow to the curb, and keeping them clean for the whole time so it doesn't build up."

Ippolito says his company is fielding up to 70 calls a day. But it'll cost to hire him. Ippolito charges around $4,000 to clear a small parking lot.

From The Cold Depths Of Space, A Smile Emerges

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 07:17

In the Hubble image of a galaxy cluster, two bright galaxies resemble eyes, NASA says, "and the misleading smile lines are actually arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing."

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Kayla Mueller's Death Underscores Risks For Aid Workers Abroad

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 07:15

Humanitarian groups say the world's more dangerous than 15 years ago. How can they keep their staff safe in places of turmoil?

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At Least 300 Migrants Feared Dead Off Italian Coast

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 07:09

The refugees and migrants had tried to cross the frigid Mediterranean in open vessels without food and water. The estimate comes from the U.N. refugee agency, which spoke to survivors.

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Little League Strips Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Of U.S. Title

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 05:50

Little League International said the team violated residency rules. The U.S. championship has been awarded to Mountain Ridge Little League from Las Vegas.

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An Arrest, But No Motive Announced In Killing Of 3 Muslims In N.C.

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 05:13

Police in Chapel Hill, N.C., have arrested a suspect and charged him with first-degree murder in the shooting of three young Muslims. There's no word on a possible motive.

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Texas Insurance Brokers Play Bigger Role In 2015's Obamacare

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-11 04:17

Though insurance agents say they initially felt sidelined by the Affordable Care Act, many are working hard this round to help uninsured Texans find a good plan through the federal website.

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