National News

Consumer prices slip in the eurozone

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-01-07 01:30
730,000 workers

President Barack Obama  is in Michigan on Wednesday to highlight the resurgent automotive and manufacturing sectors. The auto industry employs over 730,000 workers in the U.S. (according to the Center for Automotive Research), back to levels not seen since before the recession. But others aren't sure its time to celebrate, as the quality of jobs is lower than it once was.

0.2%

That's how much consumer prices in the eurozone fell last month in comparison to December of 2013, according to the European Union’s statistics agency. As the WSJ reports, it's putting pressure on the European Central Bank to bolster its stimulus program sooner than later.

6 hours

On average, unemployed women spend that much time each day caring for others or doing housework, according to the American Time Use Survey. Men averaged less than half that, and were far more likely to spend the majority of the day watching TV or relaxing. The Upshot has a breakdown in several beautiful charts.

$15 a pound

That's the (all-time high) cost of scallops coming out of Maine this season. It's largely due to the state's newly implemented catch limits to protect the valuable fishery after stocks reached historic lows. This year, fishermen who operate Maine’s 400 day boats say they’ll probably exhaust quotas by late January, well before the season officially ends.

440

That's how many extra calories Americans tend to buy during the holidays, the Washington Post reported. But after the holiday, that number doubles and the extra food becomes less healthy, flying in the face of most folks' go-to New Year's resolution.

4,369

Amazon's sales ranking for Moisés Naím's "The End of Power," before Mark Zuckerberg put it at the top of his reading list a few days ago. Now it's in the top-ten and being restocked after initially selling out, Quartz reported. Turns out Zuck might be the new Oprah.

U.S. Court Weighs Texas Law's Burden On Women Seeking Abortions

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 23:40

The law — which mandates stricter building codes for clinics that perform the procedure — has already forced the closure of dozens of clinics that provide abortion.

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A Bed Of Mouse Cells Helps Human Cells Thrive In The Lab

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 23:37

Researchers have developed a powerful method for growing human cells in the laboratory that has led to some unusual findings. Cell tests suggest a malaria drug might work against cervical cancer.

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Divers Spot Tail Of AirAsia Plane In Java Sea

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 21:48

It's the first confirmed sighting of any major wreckage 11 days after Flight 8501 disappeared with 162 people on board, an official said.

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Gunmen, 1 Victim Dead In Shooting At Texas VA Clinic

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 21:35

An unidentified gunman opened fire at the El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System clinic Tuesday afternoon. The shooter and an unidentified victim are dead.

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Construction Begins On California's $68 Billion High-Speed Rail Line

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 18:53

Once completed, the line could travel faster than 200 miles an hour and get people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours. But the project only has a fifth of the funding it needs.

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Two Small Earthquakes Shake Dallas; Jokes Ensue

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 17:12

Some residents said they felt nothing; some worried about the effects of fracking; others joked about it all.

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Botched Lethal Injection Executions Reignite Death Penalty Debate

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 13:45

Capital punishment and lethal injection were in the news quite a bit in 2014. Unable to secure certain drugs, states began using new ones, and that caused a number of executions to go awry.

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Republican Majority Makes Boehner's Job Easier — And Harder

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 13:39

Republicans formally took full control of Congress for the first time during Barack Obama's presidency on Tuesday. Republicans took over the Senate and added to their majority in the House.

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Kirby Delauter, Who Didn't Want His Name In A News Story, Is Now A Story

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 13:23

Frederick County, Md., Council Member Kirby Delauter threatened a local reporter with a lawsuit for using his name in a story without permission. The Frederick News-Post responded in an editorial.

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An Army Chaplain, First Tested By War, Finds His Faith Renewed

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:54

When David Peters went to Iraq as an Army chaplain, his relationship with God faltered. But after years of feeling adrift, he eventually found that the trauma of war had actually deepened his faith.

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DishTV's New Service Targets Cable Cord Cutters

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:53

DishTV is offering a new digital service for cord cutters — ESPN and a dozen other channels for just $20 a month. Does it lead to a cable-less future?

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Record lows on bond market: A cause for concern

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:50

It was a day of record low yields in the global bond market on Tuesday. In the U.S., the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell below 2 percent, while in Europe record lows were set in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France and the Netherlands. Germany and Japan both have 10-year bond yields under 0.5 percent.

But what do these record lows tell us about the real economy? 

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers says that the low yields are surprising, especially during a recovery. Steven Major, head of fixed-income research at HSBC and one of few analysts to predict that 10-year U.S. Treasury bills would remain at 2.1 percent at the end of last year, says it may seem like a contradiction to those watching short-term indicators like quarterly gross domestic product growth, because bonds pay off over many years.  Steven Englander, global head of G-10 foreign exchange strategy at Citigroup, agrees that the bond market is hinting at something deeper and more long-term.

Summers identifies the deeper trend as one of "secular stagnation": High savings and low investment. It's not a cause for panic, but he says it is a cause for concern.

NYPD Union Leader: Apology From De Blasio Would Go A Long Way

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:48

Patrick Lynch, the head of the big New York City Police Department union, the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, has been a outspoken critic of Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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Baseball Hall Of Fame Elects Three Pitchers, Second Baseman

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:37

Pitchers Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez, and second baseman Craig Biggio were elected to the Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Robert Siegel talks to Tom Goldman about the selections and some of the notable ballplayers who did not get in, like Don Mattingly.

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Bess Meyerson Was An Author, TV Personality, Civil Servant

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:37

Bess Myerson was crowned Miss America in 1945 and was the only Jewish-American woman to ever hold the title. She went on to have a long career in public affairs though it was sometimes marked by scandal. She died Dec. 14 at the age of 90.

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Freshman Representatives Start First Day In Congress

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:37

Robert Siegel talks to Republican Congresswoman Mimi Walters of California and Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona about starting their first term in Congress.

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Lawyers Try To Fight Death Penalty With New PTSD Understanding

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:37

A 66-year-old Vietnam vet is due to be executed next week for the 1998 murder of a deputy sheriff in Georgia. There's no question that he shot the officer thanks to a grisly dashcam video. But the man's lawyers say PTSD and mental illness were not taken into consideration at sentencing.

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Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell Sentenced To Two Years In Prison

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:37

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will spend two years in federal prison. McDonnell was sentenced on Tuesday. He and his wife were convicted of using the governor's office for favors to businessman Johnnie Williams in exchange for over $170,000 in loans and gifts.

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Keystone XL Pipeline Gets Another Chance With New Congress

NPR News - Tue, 2015-01-06 12:37

With the new Congress sworn in and the GOP in charge, votes to advance the Keystone XL Pipeline are the first order of business.

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