National News

Ebola 101: The Facts Behind A Frightening Virus

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 09:22

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest and deadliest on record. But many may not understand how the virus works, how painful the symptoms are, and why some victims are able to recover.

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Samsung Faces Allegation That A Chinese Supplier Used Child Labor

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 09:10

But the South Korean electronics company's own recent report on conditions at about 100 Chinese suppliers' factories found no child labor, though it did find other violations.

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Twitter Turns World Cup Into A 'Global Sports Bar'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 08:39

The Brazil vs. Germany World Cup semifinal created more activity on Twitter than any other sporting event had. Host Michel Martin learns about how social media has changed the tournament experience.

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Nigeria Schoolgirls Still Missing, President Seems Detached

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 08:39

More than 60 women and girls escaped Islamic extremists in northern Nigeria this week. Host Michel Martin catches up on the latest news from the country with the BBC's Tomi Oladipo.

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In Central America, Attempts To Cross U.S. Border Like 'Feeding Frenzy'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 08:39

Thousands of Central American children are crossing the border and ending up in detention facilities. Host Michel Martin learns more about why so many children are fleeing Central America.

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A Snapshot Of Indonesia: The Country Behind The Election

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 08:29

In the wake of the highly contested presidential election in Indonesia, we look at the country's health and development profile.

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Number Of Registered Democrats In W.Va. Drops To Historic Low

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 08:27

Republicans still trail by a wide margin in party registration, but the percentage of Democrats in West Virginia is lower than 50 percent for the first time in more than 80 years.

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HBO And 'Game Of Thrones' Haul In The Most Emmy Nominations

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 07:35

HBO got 99 nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards, the most of any network. HBO's Game of Thrones got 19 nominations, one ahead of FX's miniseries Fargo.

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Germany Asks Top U.S. Spy In Country To Leave

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 07:31

The move comes in the wake of two cases of espionage allegedly involving the U.S. and amid the fallout from the mass surveillance of Germans by the National Security Agency.

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The difference a half second makes

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 07:00

A new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago calls for change in the world of high-frequency trading, where firms use superfast computers and connections to buy and sell. Fed senior policy adviser John McPartland is only the latest to weigh in on a debate about the pros and cons of high-frequency trading that has drawn in Wall Street, Congress, and regulators. The fight got the attention of a wider audience after the publication of the best-selling Michael Lewis book “Flash Boys.”

The debate may sound like fodder for Wall Street alone, but it has broad implications for all Americans. Few trade stocks on a regular basis, but many are counting on a pension or 401(k) to be there for them later in life. The companies that manage America’s retirement money deal with the speed trading issue daily, and they disagree whether it’s good or bad overall. Supporters credit high-speed technology with enabling cheaper trading for large and small investors alike. Critics say that same technology is now being used to take advantage of investors.

Among the changes the Chicago Fed paper proposes is to divide trading sessions into half second periods. That’s fast for humans, but a relative lifetime for powerful computers. The hope is that a move like this could end the growing arms race between companies to create ever faster computers and data connections. Variations on this idea have been proposed before, including a 2013 paper from researchers at University of Chicago and University of Maryland recommending a similar policy, with a few key differences.

“That enormously simplifies the market because the incentive to race is gone,” says Peter Cramton, University of Maryland economics professor and a co-author of the earlier study.

Slower and simpler would seem to go hand in hand. But some question whether such a system is feasible in the contemporary financial markets, where trading happens across a myriad of different public and private venues.

“There are some definite advantages to it,” says University of Houston finance professor Craig Pirrong. “My concern is when you have multiple exchanges operating the same way, it’s a very complex interaction.”

High-frequency trading is a deeply complex and polarizing topic, with some of the loudest voices dug into hardened positions, each side waving fistfuls of data and academic studies at the other. Today’s discussion is far from the last word.

Mark Garrison: This debate matters to you. Even if you don’t trade stocks for a living, you’ve probably got a pension or 401(k). Companies managing your retirement money deal with the speed trading issue daily, and they disagree whether it’s good or bad overall. One side points to cheaper trading enabled by high-speed technology. Critics say that same technology is now being used to take advantage of investors. In this new paper, a Fed senior policy adviser calls for trading in half second periods. That’s fast for humans, but a lifetime for computers.

Craig Pirrong: The idea is that there’s too much racing going on, that there’s too much need for speed and this will cut down on that.

University of Houston finance professor Craig Pirrong says a move like this could be positive, but making it work everywhere trading happens would be tricky. Today’s call from the Fed is the latest in a long and sometimes nasty debate, made more prominent following the best-selling Michael Lewis book “Flash Boys.” But it won’t be the last word. In New York, I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.

Singapore Anti-Gambling Council Loses Big On World Cup Ad

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:43

The country's National Council on Problem Gambling has been airing a cautionary spot featuring a boy whose father wagers his son's savings on Germany.

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Israel's Netanyahu Says No Cease-Fire In Gaza

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:28

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says a cease-fire with Hamas is "not even on the agenda," as the U.N. Security Council prepared for a special session on the renewed violence.

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Math Nerd Or Bookworm? Many Of The Same Genes Shape Both Abilities

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 05:46

About half the genetic contribution to a child's reading ability also shapes how math-savvy she is, a big study of twins finds. But there's still no telling exactly which genes are involved.

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Results Of Indonesia's Presidential Election In Limbo

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 05:37

Most unofficial counts give Jakarta Gov. Joko Widodo a slight lead over his opponent, but authorities have cautioned against celebrating until a full tally is released in about 10 days.

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The dangers of temp work

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 05:00

There are now more than 2.9 million temp workers in the U.S., as the temp staffing business remains one of the fastest growing industries. But the work can sometimes be dangerous, especially if employees are not properly trained.

Univision has partnered with ProPublica to expose the sometimes deadly conditions temp workers are exposed to, often with very little, if any, training. The undercover investigation reveals the obstacles the Occupational Safety & Health Administration faces in its temp worker safety initiative.

Click the media player above to hear Univision’s Tomas Ocana in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.

4 Children, 2 Adults Killed In Apparent Domestic Dispute In Texas

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 04:41

The suspect in the shootings in Spring, Texas, engaged police in a three-hour standoff before surrendering.

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Kurdish Leaders Boycott Iraqi Government Meetings

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 04:04

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused Kurds of sheltering terrorists and Saddam Hussein loyalists. Kurdish ministers withdrew from meetings, calling on Maliki to resign.

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From Calif. Teachers, More Nuanced Views On Tenure

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 04:03

Some teachers say they want to preserve tenure, but add that it's time for a look at the rules.

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