National News

Judge Says Florida Clerks Have Duty To Issue Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-02 05:10

The clarification to a previous opinion means gay marriages will begin in the state next week. The judge says the issue of gay marriage is settled.

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How Will You Work Out When CrossFit's No Longer Hip?

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-02 03:38

Fitness programs typically don't have much staying power. People are already saying adios to Zumba and Pilates. The cheapest and simplest routines are more likely to be keepers. Think down dog.

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PODCAST: Maybe don't hit the gym

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-02 03:00

First up, a look at the great foreign currency shift of 2015. Plus, the children of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. have been criticized for overly protecting his speeches and writings but also commercializing them for profit. One result: you can watch the “I Have a Dream” speech on YouTube, with a Doritos commercial. And January is the busiest month for health clubs to sign up new members, as people resolve once and for all to get fit in the new year. But many people don't go to the gym often enough to justify the expense. Economists have some theories about why that's the case.

WATCH: Mario Cuomo's Speech At The 1984 Democratic Convention

NPR News - Fri, 2015-01-02 02:39

The speech catapulted Cuomo onto the national scene and cemented the three-time New York governor as one of the last avatars for New Deal liberalism.

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'I Have a Dream,' served with tortilla chips

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-02 02:10

When the movie "Selma" comes out in wide release Jan. 9, the speeches given by Martin Luther King Jr. will not be historically accurate. The studio didn't have the rights to use King's actual words. The King Estate, which controls his intellectual property, is known for aggressively pursuing those who use his speeches without permission. But not always. When someone posted the entire "I Have a Dream" speech on YouTube, it stayed online, preceded by a Doritos ad.

Jennifer Jenkins, a copyright expert, says that's probably YouTube's Content ID system at work. Under that system, the holder of a copyright can block an unauthorized video, or collect the ad revenue from it.

Click the media player above to hear more.

 

 

"I Have a Dream," served with taco chips

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-02 02:10

When the movie "Selma" comes out in wide release Jan. 9, the speeches given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will not be historically accurate. The studio didn't have the rights to use King's actual words. The King Estate, which controls Dr. King's intellectual property, is known for aggressively pursuing those who use his speeches without permission. But not always. When someone posted the entire "I Have a Dream" speech on YouTube, it stayed online, preceded by a Doritos ad.

Jennifer Jenkins, a copyright expert, says that's probably YouTube's Content ID system at work. Under that system, the holder of a copyright can block an unauthorized video, or collect the ad revenue from it.

Click the media player above to hear more.

 

 

Pinterest opens a door to advertisers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-02 02:00

2015 is the year that Pinterest users out there might notice more “promoted pins." The social media site has launched a way for more retailers to get their products pinned and shared.

But will users be happy when Pinterest takes a turn toward online mall?

Click the media player above to hear more.

 

 

 

Gym plans in the New Year? Economists think otherwise

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-02 02:00

January is the busiest month for health clubs to sign up new members, as people try to make good on their New Year’s resolutions. But few show up often enough to justify the expense. 

Economists have some theories about why that's the case. 

“The cost of getting out of bed, driving to the gym, and so forth, weighs more heavily than the long-term health benefits,” says Dan Acland, a behavioral economist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Acland says when people consider whether to hit the gym, the payoff might seem too remote. Instead they focus on the immediate barriers, a tendency called “present bias.” (A yet fancier term, “quasi hyperbolic discounting,” describes the tendency through a mathematical model).

Acland says when folks plunk down money on new gym memberships to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions, they're often overly optimistic that the current barriers to working out will go away. 

“We say that they are naive with respect to their future self control problems,” Acland says. 

The result is that about half the people with health club memberships are no-shows, according to Justin Sydnor, an economist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He says a lot of people think the money they spend on gym memberships will push them to exercise more. But Sydnor says the gym might be part of the problem. 

“Is the gym the easiest place, is it the place that you're not going to struggle as much on a daily basis to go to?” he asks. 

That’s a question that Jenel Farrell of St. Paul, Minn. has been facing as she considers a gym membership at her local YWCA. Farrell has cancelled a membership at a yoga center across town because she couldn’t drag herself there often enough to get her money’s worth. But she hopes to hit the Y more regularly and meet one of her recurring New Year’s goals. 

“It's always fitness,” she says. “And the other thing is chew my food slower.”

 

Silicon Tally: Hello, 911? My PlayStation doesn't work

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-02 02:00

It's time for Silicon Tally! How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

This week, we're joined by science and technology reporter, Rose Eveleth.

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Illinois faces sudden drop in state tax

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-01-02 02:00

The new year brings profound budget challenges for the state of Illinois, which has the worst credit rating of any state in the U.S. and is dealing with the expiration of temporary tax increases.

Illlinois also has a divided government: a newly-elected Republican governor Bruce Rauner who campaigned against making the state's temporary income tax increase permanent, an unfunded pension liabilities of about $100 billion (or possibly more), and a solidly Democratic state legislature.

The state has a flat income tax. Everyone pays the same rate regardless of income. Lawmakers had hiked that rate in 2011 from 3.75 percent to 5 percent to deal with the effects of the recession, promising that the hike would be temporary and would expire in 2015. But they spent the money on the state's pension obligations instead of helping local municipalities deal with the recession, says Laurence Msall of the Chicago Civic Federation, a non-partisan budget watchdog group.

"There has been a willingness to ignore longterm financial repurcussions of short-term politically-attractive answers," says Msall, whose group earlier in 2014 had proposed fixing the state's budget woes by gradually reducing the income tax rate down to 4 percent while also consolidating various branches of state government to cut spending.

Msall's organization also proposed taxing retiree income, at least to some extent. Illinois is one of only three states — out of 41 that impose income taxes — that doesn't tax pension income, the Chicago Civic Federation said in a report.

Instead, before Rauner's election, Illinois' Democratic Governor Pat Quinn proposed making the temporary tax hike permanent — a plan Msall says would not have solved all of the state's fiscal woes anyway.

Rauner ran a successful campaign that criticized Quinn's proposal. And now, the Democratic-controlled legislature is waiting on the new governor to propose how to close the budget gap while accounting for about $2 billion in tax revenues that will disappear in the current fiscal year, and another $4 billion revenue reduction in the fiscal year starting in June 2015.

"There is no plan right now," says Msall. "The budget that they've passed is going to run up the unpaid bills ... The state is borrowing from its own resources and it's relying on accounting gimmicks"

Richard Kaplan, an expert in tax law at the University of Illinois, says there are other revenue sources the state could draw upon outside of the state income tax.

"There are a variety of these excise taxes on gasoline, telephone service, alcohol and tobacco products," says Kaplan, who adds that the state could also expand its sales tax to apply not only to goods purchased but also services such as hair cuts, medical care and others.

If such taxes are enacted, it could mean Illinois tax payers who see additional money in their paychecks now, may soon end up paying higher prices for daily expenses in the near future.

Why Buy When You Can Borrow? App Connects People And Stuff

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 23:27

Millions of people use apps to share their homes and their cars. Now Peerby, an app developed in the Netherlands, helps people to share things like power drills and bicycle pumps with people nearby.

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Age 85 And Still Stylish On The Streets Of Berlin

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 23:26

In Berlin, street fashion's trendiest figure is Ali Akdeniz, age 85. His dapper attire is the focus of a blog that went viral. Its creator, Zoe Spawton, won Germany's most prestigious design prize.

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Where Could Ebola Strike Next? Scientists Virus Hunt In Asia

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 23:24

A handful of ecologists knew for years that West Africa was at risk for an Ebola outbreak. Now they're figuring out where else in the world the virus could be hiding. Many signs point to Asia.

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Ohio State Beats Alabama, Will Play Oregon For Championship

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 17:15

Ohio State advanced to the College Football Playoff championship game against Oregon by beating Alabama 42-35. Earlier, Oregon defeated Florida State 59-20.

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Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo Dead At 82

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 16:21

Mario Cuomo, who served as governor of New York from 1983 to 1994 and who was considered for a time a leading Democratic presidential option, died Thursday at the age of 82, news sources report.

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Tesla Battery Factory Could Be A Boon For Nevada

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 14:02

Tesla Motors recently chose Nevada for its massive battery factory in exchange for one of the biggest incentives packages in recent history.

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A 40-Day Vegan Fast, Then At Last, A January Christmas Feast

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 13:43

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church observes Christmas on Jan. 7, and the 40 days prior are observed as a vegan fast. That means no dairy and no meat until the traditional dish of doro wat on Christmas Day.

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Florida's Gay Marriage Advocates Fighting A Battle They Thought They'd Won

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 12:21

Gay and lesbian couples in Florida are waiting to hear whether Jan. 6 will be the day they can get start getting married. It's a battle gay marriage advocates thought they'd already won, but continues to be mired in legal wrangling.

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Net Neutrality Debate Forces FCC Chairman Into The Spotlight

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 12:21

Tom Wheeler is a former cable TV lobbyist and the president's appointee as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

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Turbulent Season Puts The NFL On Notice

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 12:21

Charges of abuse against high profile players and the leagues response to those charges angered many. We look at how the league is working to restore its tarnished brand.

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