A college student getting help from his parents may be below the poverty line. The mother who earns $23,000 a year is not.
A college student getting help from his parents may be below the poverty line. The mother who earns $23,000 a year is not.
It looks like Donald Trump has landed back in the hot seat. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing the real estate mogul for fraud and violating consumer protection laws. The suit stems from complaints dating back to 2005 over Trump University, now known as the Trump Entreprenuer Institute, a school of sorts, to teach people the finer points of the real estate business.
The attorney general's office alleges that students, who paid anywhere from $1,500 - $35,000, would work with handpicked instructors to land real-estate deals. According to the lawsuit, once students entered the so-called university, they were encouraged to enroll in additional mentorships that cost tens of thousands of dollars. Students thought they’d meet Trump, but all they got was their photo taken with a life-size picture of the man. Trump’s lawyers say the case is politically motivated, and that really Schneidermann is just upset because Trump didn’t write a his campaign a big enough check when he was running for office.
Both for-profit or not-for-profit higher education institutions are facing more government scrutiny lately. There’s a lot of concern that schools are luring students in, getting their tuition, and then delivering a less than stellar product.
Last week, the Obama administration issued a proposal that would rate schools on some measures like graduation rate, debt, and earnings of graduates. If you believe what New York's attorney general is saying about Trump’s school, it’s pretty easy to guess where Trump Entrepreneur Institute would fall.
Also: Blaze near Yosemite continues to spread; orders for durable goods plunged in July; trial of former Chinese politician ends; Nelson Mandela nears his 100th day in a hospital.
The young singer's twerking at Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards is getting tons of attention. Was her performance boring, offensive or great (or possibly all three)?
The feud continues between Time Warner Cable and CBS over how much the cable provider should pay the network to carry its shows. CBS has been dark since early August for millions of Time Warner customers. With the NFL football season starting Sept. 5, there’s pressure on both companies to work out their differences.
“If I am a customer and I’m a significant NFL fan, I’m going to start thinking about alternative platforms,” Brannon says.
Brannon says fans might switch to another cable provider. But Time Warner Cable spokesman Jon Gary Herrera says there’s no need for that.
“CBS is still delivered over the air for free in all these markets,” Herrera says.
So the cable company is offering some customers free antennas.
A CBS spokesman declined to speak on the record. But analyst Erik Brannon says the network is losing money -- possibly millions -- in payments from Time Warner Cable while its channels are dark.
“They’re giving up possible revenue,” he says, “holding out for more later.”
But with football season starting next week, Brannon says he doesn’t think either side can hold out for long.
Women make up about 16 percent of equity partners at big law firms -- a number that has barely budged in a decade. This despite the fact women graduate from law school in almost the same numbers as men. Women partners also earn on average just under $500,000 a year, while men earn $734,000, according to a recent survey of lawyers' compensation. Some female lawyers have had enough of these discrepancies, and they're pushing for change.
Women lawyers at top firms hate drawing attention to their gender. "We've been told for decades that if we talk about women's issues we're whining," says Victoria Pynchon, a litigator for 25 years and co-founder of a consultancy called She Negotiates. She says a new generation of women is realizing they can't get to the top just by working hard and following the rules.
"Women lawyers in these major law firms are saying good bye to all of that, and they are exercising power without being given the authority to do so," she says. "And this is something that men do without even thinking about it."
For example, she says at one large firm, when they vote for a new equity partner, women partners now come together to support the best female candidate.
That may sound like a small thing, but by bloc voting, they improve that candidate's chance of getting elected. Women at that firm didn't want to talk on the record because what they're doing is not official firm policy.
Some men within firms are also trying to change the status quo. Beth Kaufman heads the National Association of Women Lawyers. She says in-house attorneys at client companies are on the case as well.
"One general counsel raised her hand and said I'm just going to call up my law firms and say I want you to have 30% of your equity partners women within some reasonable amount of time," Kaufman says.
But even if you become a partner, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll become a top moneymaker. Marla Persky is currently general counsel for a global pharmaceutical firm. Next year she's starting a company to teach female lawyers how to be financially savvy -- knowledge she says many sorely lack.
"With everything, you've got to follow the money," says Persky. "At the heart of power and influence within firms is the ability to make rain. You've got to be able to bring in clients."
When women do more of that, she says, both their compensation and status within firms will increase.
The huge fire is threatening some of San Francisco's power and water services. Southern California Public Radio has put together a multimedia tool to follow the fire and the fight to bring it under control.
Greece's finance minister announced that the economically blighted nation might need around $13 billion to keep itself afloat, setting up the possibility of a third bailout.
Despite the nearly $320 billion that has poured into Greece in two previous bailouts, the Greek economy continues to get smaller. While some of its neighbors in the euro zone have clawed their way out of recession, the Greek economy shrank by 4.5 percent in the second quarter.
"Will it get the third bailout? A decision will be made in the fall, but the answer is probably yes," says Marketplace's Stephen Beard from London. "The cost of letting Greece go to the wall in terms of losses on its government bonds and the contagion effect are probably too horrendous for the rest of the euro zone -- and Germany, in particular -- to contemplate."
We talk from time to time on Marketplace Tech about the "Internet of Things" -- the world where every thing is connected together, from appliances to cars to us. The concept can be a bit abstract, but Kevin Roose, writing for New York Magazine, makes it more concrete. For a week he plunged in to the Internet of Things and tells Marketplace Tech's Mark Garrison why the future is almost here.
At a recent cocktail event hosted by the Centre for Social Innovation in New York, crickets were on display everywhere. Their constant chirps provided a faint soundtrack for the evening and reminded those mingling why they had come: Outside, crickets may be pests; in this room, they were dinner.
“There’s a golden opportunity here,” says organizer Aruna Handa, founder of Toronto-based food company Alimentary Initiatives, who is passionate about the global benefits of eating insects. “We just have to figure out how to convince people to give it a try.”
Eat more bugs. That’s Handa’s mission and the message of a recent United Nations report. The world’s growing population needs protein. But beef, pork and chicken eat up valuable resources. Insects offer protein that can be farmed at a fraction of the price.
“They require less water, they require less space and they require a small amount of food,” says University of Georgia entomologist Marianne Shockley.
The challenge is getting squeamish consumers to eat them -- and entrepreneurs to raise them. On a pedestal in the room, thousands of crickets hopped around inside a clear plastic contraption about the size of a vacuum cleaner -- kind of a steampunk Habitrail. It’s a prototype for a compact cricket farm.
“This piece would farm about 2,500 crickets every eight weeks,” explains creator Jakub Dzamba, the event’s featured speaker. He says a farm this size is an easy, cheap way to provide enough protein for two full meals a week.
Giving a tour of his creation, Dzamba paused to tend to it. A rebel cricket escaped, prompting him to dart in and tape up the breach. “I think I found the leak,” he says.
The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that two billion people -- mostly in Asia and Africa -- already eat insects regularly. Typically, the bugs are either ground into flour or cooked whole and tossed into a variety of dishes.
But to make an impact on global nutrition and the environment, many more people will have to get over deep reservations about eating insects.
The New York crowd on this night bought tickets to a cricket-eating event, so they’re bolder than most.
“I’ve been told it tastes like popcorn,” says Michelle Catanzaro, laughing uncomfortably while eyeballing a raw cricket on a skewer. “I don’t know. I guess it’s a little off-putting just looking at that one, but I’m down.”
After finally popping it in, she pronounced it “actually quite good.”
I visited the buffet table for a taste of what Cookie Martinez made with the critters. She is normally a baker, which means tonight’s assignments posed some unusual challenges. The crickets she got for the event came frozen, but as they thawed, Martinez realized they were still alive. Chasing her ingredients around the kitchen was a new experience, but she managed.
For tonight’s event, crickets got gourmet treatment, winding up in a spread on crostini, inside sweet almond brittle and in a falafel-like ball on a skewer, which Martinez dubbed a “kribab.” I first tried a cricket on its own, or as Martinez playfully described it, cricket sashimi.
It has the crunch and somewhat unsettling gooey center you might expect. The taste is slightly nutty. That characteristic makes it a nice addition to the almond brittle and works well in the “kribab.” The overall flavor is mild, which means bug chefs can incorporate crickets into a variety of dishes without overpowering them.
But many people have trouble getting past eating something with legs and eyes. Insect-farming supporters point to more subtle ways to blend insects into food. Dried crickets can be ground into flour and made into any number of foods. Chapul is a start-up company using cricket flour to make energy bars targeting a sustainability-conscious crowd. The product has a flavor similar to other energy bars and only a close examination of the packaging reveals them as a cricket product.
Enthusiasts of insect eating remind skeptics that eating raw fish was unthinkable for many people just a couple decades ago. But now sushi is a globally popular dish.
That kind of widespread acceptance doesn’t seem likely, but bug believers—including the U.N.—say if even a few more people eat just the occasional insect, the world will be better fed and better off.
Ready to try cooking with insects in your own kitchen? Longtime bug chef David George Gordon offers these recipes from his latest book, “The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, Revised: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes, and Their Kin.” He says he often gets his crickets from Fluker Farms. (Photos by Chugrad McAndrews)
Yield: 6 servings
Orzo, a rice-shaped pasta, gets its name from the Italian word for barley, but we all know that orzo looks exactly like juvenile bugs. Needless to say, it’s a perfect complement for crickets, especially three- or four-week-old nymphs, which are of a comparable size. At this stage in life the young crickets lack wings and ovipositors, the chitinous tubes through which the adult females pass their eggs. Their limbs are skinny, so there’s no need to remove them before cooking. Likewise for the antennae, which, at less than a quarter of an inch, should pose no obstacle to enjoying this meal.
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup orzo
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup frozen two- or three-week-old cricket
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Bring the broth to a boil, then stir in the orzo.
2. Continue boiling the orzo until it is tender, about 10 minutes; drain any extra liquid, then quickly add the carrot and red and green peppers. Mix evenly and set aside.
3. In a separate skillet, melt the butter and add the garlic, onion, and crickets. Sauté briefly until the onions are translucent and the garlic and crickets have browned.
4. Combine the cricket mixture, including any liquid, with the orzo and vegetables, top with the parsley, and serve.
Deep-Fried Tarantula Spider
Yield: 4 servings
2 cups canola or vegetable oil
2 frozen adult Texas brown, Chilean rose, or similar-sized tarantulas, thawed
1 cup tempura batter (page 84)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1. In a deep saucepan or deep-fat fryer, heat the oil to 350°F.
2. With a sharp knife, sever and discard the abdomens from the two tarantulas. Singe off any of the spider’s body hairs with a crème brûlée torch or butane cigarette lighter.
3. Dip each spider into the tempura batter to thoroughly coat. Use a slotted spoon or your hands to make sure each spider is spread-eagled (so to speak) and not clumped together before dropping it into the hot oil.
4. Deep-fry the spiders, one at a time, until the batter is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove each spider from the oil and place it on paper towels to drain.
5. Use a sharp knife to cut each spider in two lengthwise. Sprinkle with the paprika and serve. Encourage your guests to try the legs first and, if still hungry, to nibble on the meat-filled mesothorax, avoiding the spider’s paired fangs, which are tucked away in the head region.
1 medium egg
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1. To make the batter, beat the egg in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Slowly add the cold water, continuing to beat until evenly mixed. Add the flour and baking soda and beat gently until combined; the batter should be a bit lumpy.
2. Let the batter sit at room temperature while heating the oil.
Mark Garrison: At the Centre for Social Innovation in New York, they’re getting drinks and snacks ready for an event. The main course also provides a faint soundtrack to the evening.
Outside, these chirping crickets are pests. In here, they’re dinner. The crickets hop around in a clear plastic contraption about the size of a vacuum cleaner, kind of a steampunk Habitrail. It’s a prototype for a compact cricket farm. Jakub Dzamba created it.
Jakub Dzamba: This piece would farm about 2,500 crickets every eight weeks. Sorry, can I just, do you mind if I. . .
A rebel cricket is escaping. Dzamba darts in, taping up the breach.
Dzamba: I think I found the leak, though.
He says a farm this size is an easy, cheap way to provide enough protein for two full meals a week.
As people mingle, University of Georgia entomologist Marianne Shockley says bugs provide protein at a fraction of the cost of beef.
Marianne Shockley: They require less water, they require less space and they require a small amount of food.
All three are scarce in the developing world. Some cultures already eat insects, either ground into flour or whole. But many people feel like Caitlin Kelley.
Caitlin Kelley: Seeing the insect and its eyes and its legs, it’s just kinda those kinda gross aspects of insects.
Aruna Handa enjoys eating bugs. She organizes events like this to get squeamish consumers and entrepreneurs interested too.
Aruna Handa: There’s a golden opportunity here and we just have to figure out how to convince people to give it a try.
Like me. Cookie Martinez, normally a baker, shows me her cricket cuisine.
Crosstalk: I’ll try just a cricket, what would you call it, cricket. . . Cricket sashimi. You leave the legs on and everything? Everything, you take it all over. It’s crunchy. It’s not a bad little snack. Do I have any legs in my teeth? I feel like I have a leg in my tooth right now. You’re fine.
Bug believers, now including the U.N., say if enough people eat the occasional insect, the world will be better fed and better off. In New York, I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.
American officials say there's little doubt the Assad regime used chemical weapons to kill scores of people last week. As U.S. Navy ships close in, analysts say it's likely that cruise missiles will be fired at Syrian "command and control" centers in coming days. The goal? Alter Assad's behavior.
This final note today, in which Google's quest to take over the world moves another step forward.
I direct you now to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office -- specifically patent number 8,510,166, issued 10 days ago for a "Gaze Tracking System."
Or, to paraphrase, Google Glass is gonna be watching you while you're watching it.
And then how about this, buried deep down in the fine print: A pay-per-gaze advertising system.
The thing's gonna measure pupil dilation so see how invested you are in the ad.
Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been tense for years. A recent soccer game seemed to ease the friction, at least temporarily.
The flavors may be sweet, but it's still tobacco. That's why tobacco control advocates are trying to restrict sales of candy- and fruit-flavored tobacco products, which they say lure in teenagers.
The election is still 15 months away, but the negative ads are already flying as Sen. Mark Pryor tries to hold on to his seat. His GOP challenger, Tom Cotton, is a freshman congressman who is hoping to help the Republicans take control of the Senate.
Children with multiple medical problems are a huge expense for state Medicaid programs. Critics say that care could be managed better, saving money and reducing unnecessary tests and treatments.
From Warsaw to Wuhan, people around the world love dumplings. They're tasty little packages that can be made of any grain and stuffed with whatever the locals crave. But where did they come from? Some think prehistoric people may have been cooking them up.
Joseph Burden and Martin Niverth, officers with the segregated D.C. police department, were both assigned to patrol the March on Washington. Burden, who is black, worked while wishing he could participate. And Niverth, a white man, was surprised to be assigned a black partner for the day.
The U.S. Open tennis tournament, which starts Monday, bills itself as the biggest annual sporting event in the world. It draws some 700,000 spectators. But where does it rank in terms of bucks?
When it comes to money, the U.S. Open serves a wallop. It's generates roughly $750 million for New York’s economy, according to the U.S. Tennis Association. That’s $200 million more than the Super Bowl. Of course, the tournament lasts two weeks and those numbers may be a little loose.
"They’re not being conservative," says Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a sports management professor at George Washington University. She says the U.S. Open counts not only tourists, who bring in new money, but also New York tennis fans, who might be spending anyway. "It's called expenditure switching," she says. "Instead of just going out to dinner, now maybe they’re going to the U.S. Open."
For one-time ad dollars, the Super Bowl wins, says Kenneth Shropshire of the Wharton School. But while Super Bowl ads hawk razors and fast food, the U.S. Open appeals to consumers with pricier tastes. "The Rolex, the Lexis. This is the demographic, you can reach them," he says.
They’re also more brand loyal. But, Shropshire says, naming the money champion is really a toss-up.