National News

The Native American Side Of The Thanksgiving Menu

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 08:36

The first Thanksgiving was something of a joint venture between pilgrims and Native Americans. Chef Richard Hetzler shares a menu that celebrates the first settlers and the country's first tribes.

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Weekly Innovation: A Seat That Fits In Your Pocket

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 08:31

The Sitpack is a compact seat shaped like a monopod that fits in your pocket when folded up. Creator Jonas Lind-Bendixen says the product could be used during travel or while waiting at a concert.

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If High Court Strikes Federal Exchange Subsidies, Health Law Could Unravel

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 08:28

A decision against subsidies would undermine the government-run insurance marketplaces that are backbone of the Affordable Care Act.

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A Warning For Latin America's Faltering Economies: 'Innovate Or Die'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 08:23

Latin economies thrived when prices for raw commodities soared. But with those prices down sharply, the region is hurting due to a lack of high-tech and other cutting-edge industries.

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A Somali Aid Worker Would Rather Give Out Cash Than Free Food

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 08:04

Degan Ali, a Somali humanitarian, tells us about her organization's efforts to fight famine in Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan.

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Hissing And Sighing: The Lament Of Sex Workers In Sierra Leone

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 08:02

Ebola has made it harder for the prostitutes who issue a come hither "hiss" along Lumley Beach. Customers are hard to find, pay is down and, like everyone, the women are scared of the deadly virus.

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Justice Ginsburg Has Heart Procedure; Is Resting Comfortably

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 06:34

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the leader of the court's liberal wing, is 81-years-old. Doctors inserted a stent in her right coronary artery to address a blockage.

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EPA Proposes New Rules To Curb Ozone Levels

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 06:12

The rules would lower the threshold for ozone from 75 parts per billion to between 65 ppb to 70 ppb. They are likely to be opposed by industry groups as well as Republicans.

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Patient Safety Journal Finds Violations, Tightens Standards After Scandal

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 05:30

Kickback allegations against its former editor prompted the Journal of Patient Safety to review his writings and adopt new rules for disclosing commercial conflicts of interest.

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After 50 Years, An Olympic Medal Dispute Is Resolved

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 05:16

The International Olympic Committee recognized that American figure skaters Vivian and Ronald Joseph won the bronze medal at the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

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University Of Virginia Apologizes To Student Who Says She Was Gang Raped

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 05:05

Rolling Stone magazine published a harrowing account of a campus rape that's shaken the university. "Nothing like it should ever happen again," UVA president Teresa Sullivan said on Tuesday.

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In Ferguson, A Trove Of Evidence — But No Trial

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 04:57

As photos of officer Darren Wilson spread on social media, so did skepticism about his testimony.

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Winter Storm Threatens Thanksgiving Day Travel

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:43

Some parts of the Northeast could see up to 12 inches of snow. The system will bring rain and snow throughout the day Wednesday.

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Supreme Court to hear case on plant emission rules

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:00

In a victory for coal-fired power plants, the Supreme Court has accepted a case challenging plant emission rules. At issue: emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants. 

There are about 600 power plants that burn coal or oil and send such toxins up their smokestacks. The EPA rule, expected to take effect next year, limits how much. Plants have to install expensive equipment to comply, or shut down.

It costs an estimated $10 billion dollars a year. Industry groups and more than 10 states argue EPA did not appropriately consider those costs during the regulatory process. They counter that they did, and that benefits to society in lives saved and illness averted outweigh the costs by at least 4:1.

If EPA wins, observers say it may embolden the agency to pursue more ambitious air quality rules in the future. If industry prevails, the implications may be less clear. More than 6 in 10 plants already have installed pollution controls that would comply with the rules.

And the bigger threat to coal plants is not the government, but cheaper natural gas.

“The fundamental challenge is just this massive supply of natural gas now coming out of the ground in the U.S affecting the price of electricity,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Ethan Zindler says. “That is the overriding trend that will be impossible of the coal industry to escape from.”

An industry win may have significant legal effect, potentially exposing all EPA pollution rules on pollutants such as soot, sulfur and carbon dioxide.

“Other air rules will be challengeable based on EPA’s process being improper,” says Brandon Barnes of Bloomberg Intelligence. “And utilities challenging these rules will be able to go back to the courts on existing rules and proposed rules.”

Separately, on Wednesday, the EPA issues new, more aggressive limits on ozone emissions, also known as smog. The coming year may bring CO2 limits on existing and future plants. Put together, EPA’s air pollution standards are considered a signature environmental initiative for this administration.

 

PODCAST: Turkey-to-go

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:00

First up on today's show, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-federal mortgage companies, are making it easier to buy back their houses after a foreclosure. The news is some homeowners will be able to buy the house back not at the original pre-real estate crisis high price but at the new, presumably lower market price. And amid ongoing intense debate about President Obama's executive order to stop millions of deportations of unauthorized immigrants, there's a new focus on the future of authorized immigration, from more skilled workers or entrepreneurs from abroad. Plus, what once seemed odd is becoming commonplace in our less-connected society:  Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant. The holiday has become one of the busiest days of the year for dining out. 

Making a statement by spending – or not

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:00
2.17

After the St. Louis County grand jury declined to charge a officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing teenage Michael Brown, two social media campaigns began to take shape: "Donate to Ferguson's Public Library" and #BoycottBlackFriday. Both have financial implications, but how much? If you look at multipliers, which measure how much money spent and invested stays local, giving money to local government (think: funding for the public library) leads to a sales multiplier of 2.17. Spending money at stores typically frequented on Black Friday (such as big department stores) has a lower sales multiplier of 1.97.

17

At least that many major Canadian newspapers put the grand jury decision in Ferguson and the protests that followed on their front page Thursday. Quartz has a roundup of reaction abroad to the protests, from heavy coverage in Britain and Canada to thinly veiled criticism in China and Russia.

109

That's how many children died during last flu season due to complications. Yet the Centers for Disease Controls estimates that fewer than half of Americans get a flu shot. The reason? Some say it's because we don't think of the flu as being all that scary.

$32.9 million

That's the amount of budget shortfall projected for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District over the next five years. One proposed solution involves a toll for pedestrians and bikers to cross the Golden Gate Bridge

7

The number of potential Twitter acquisitions identified by Re/Code after CFO accidentally tweeted a private message about buying another company. The most likely contender is Shots, a selfie-sharing app backed by Justin Bieber and used by many high-profile users of the Twitter-owned video app Vine.

$40 billion

That's where Uber's valuation could top out after a new round of funding, sources told Bloomberg. The ride-sharing app would not only double its current valuation, but exceed Twitter's capitalization, putting Uber in the same neighborhood as Delta and Kraft Foods. 

 

Making a statement through spending

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:00
2.17

After the Ferguson, MO grand jury decided not to indict a white cop for shooting and killing Michael Brown, a black teenager, two social media campaigns began to take shape: "Donate to Ferguson's Public Library" and #BoycottBlackFriday. Both have financial implications, but by how much? If you look at multipliers, which measure how much money spent and invested stays local, giving money to local government (think: funding for the public library) leads to a sales multiplier of 2.17. Spending money at stores typically frequented on Black Friday (i.e. Supercenters) has a lower sales multiplier of 1.97.

17

At least that many major Canadian newspapers put the grand jury decision in Ferguson and the protests that followed on their front page Thursday. Quartz has a roundup of reaction abroad to the protests, from heavy coverage in Britain and Canada to thinly veiled criticism in China and Russia.

109

That's how many children died during last flu season due to complications. Yet, the Centers for Disease Controls estimate that fewer than half of Americans get a flu shot. The reason? Some say it's because we don't think of the flu as being all that scary.

7

The number of potential Twitter acquisitions identified by Re/Code, after CFO accidentally tweeted a private message about buying another company. The most likely contender is Shots, a selfie-sharing app backed by Justin Bieber and used by many high-profile users of the Twitter-owned video app Vine.

$40 billion

That's where Uber's valuation could top out after a new round of funding, sources told Bloomberg. The ride-sharing app would not only double its current valuation, but exceed Twitter's capitalization, putting Uber in the same neighborhood as Delta and Kraft Foods. 

$32.9 million

That's the amount of budget shortfall projected for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District over the next five years. One proposed solution involves a toll for pedestrians and bikers to cross the Golden Gate Bridge

Forget Grandma's house. Hit a Thanksgiving restaurant.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:00

It was a busy Wednesday morning on the week before Thanksgiving for Tom Meyer, president of Clyde’s Restaurant Group in Washington.  

He’s just had a Thanksgiving planning meeting, telling his chefs to be sure to order enough turkey.

“There’s nothing worse than to run out turkey on Thanksgiving,” he says.

That actually happened to Meyer one year. 

Clyde’s has been serving Thanksgiving dinner continuously since the 90s, getting busier every year.

“I would say it’s probably tripled. It’s gone from being not busy to packed,” Meyer says.

Why? We’re all time-strapped.

“We just haven’t been able to pull it together,” says Mary Chapman, senior director of product innovation at the food industry research and consulting firm Technomic., whose family, yes, is going out for Thanksgiving.  

But, she says, some consumers are splitting the difference — buying a prepared turkey but making the sides.

“They’re doing some from Grandma’s recipe and some from the Krogers,” Chapman says.

What about Christmas dinner? Nobody wants to cook then, either. But so far, Meyer has refused to open his restaurants on Christmas Day. This in spite of growing demand.  

 

 

 

 

 

Why don't more people get flu shots?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:00

Ebola seems so scary, even when there's little to no chance of an American outbreak. But what about the flu? It kills children, puts thousands of adults in the hospital, and sickens 10 percent of us every year. Yet lots of Americans don’t get flu shots.

Rick Monier is standing right outside a grocery store; the kind of place where you can get a flu shot in two minutes for $28, even less if you have insurance.

And Monier is a senior citizen — a group for whom the flu can be fatal.

But Monier says he while he gets all the rest of his vaccinations, he does not get the flu shot.

““I don’t believe in it because we’re injecting something into our body that necessarily I don’t need," he says. "So I try to stay away from people that have it. Or if I get it, we’ll just go through the motions.”

Tina Dale makes sure her kids get the shots … but she doesn’t. “I got it once and got sick and now I will never get it again,” says Dale.

Fewer than half of all Americans actually get the flu shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s despite the fact that flu shot does not contain a live virus or anything else that can give you the flu.

Last flu season, 109 kids died from complications.

But let’s say you’re a healthy adult, you don’t have kids. Do you really need the flu shot?

"The more people that get shots, the safer the group will be," says Andrew Maynard, a professor and the director of the University of Michigan's Risk Science Center. He says even if you don’t care about getting sick, getting the flu shot protects others.

“Especially those kids that haven't got shots, they're the one who are really vulnerable," he says. "So this is really a social duty."

Maynard says our brains just aren't built to be smart about risk. We're way more scared of the unfamiliar, like Ebola. But something so common, like the flu? It’s tough to be scared of that.

"That doesn't make sense on an emotional level," he says. "So at the end of the day, we just have to make the plunge, and we just have to trust somebody that this is going to be good for us."

Still, public health experts agree that until flu shots are good for years, rather than something you have to get every 12 months, we’re just never going to get everybody to get that shot.

Would #BoycottBlackFriday help Ferguson, or Wal-Mart?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:00

After the Ferguson, MO grand jury decided not to indict a white cop for shooting a black teenager, an idea for economic protest started circulating on Twitter: #BoycottBlackFriday. If lots of consumers decide to sit out what's traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year, what might the economic impacts be? It depends. 

A Black Friday Boycott could hurt low-income consumers more than anyone. Surveys show this group represents a disproportionate number of Black Friday shoppers, looking for deals.

"If people boycott these sales, I think it’s probably good for the retailers," says Georgetown University economist Kurt Carlson, who runs a survey of how shoppers plan their Thanksgiving-weekend shopping.

Assuming those shoppers don't toss out their shopping lists, retailers could just sell the same stuff later, at higher prices. 

"No big deal," he says. "Unless people say, 'I am not spending this holiday season.'"

And that is something they might do if they pay attention to another protest suggestion circulating on social media: Donate to Ferguson’s Public Library.

To run the numbers on that scenario, I talked with Rob Sentz from Economic Modeling Specialists, a company that looks at how dollars spent in different sectors benefit a local economy; the "ripple effect."

At first, he doubted the library would compare favorably to Wal-Mart. "I'm sure the retail 'ripple effect' is higher, from a sales and jobs perspective," he said.

But he humored me, and l0oked up a key number called a "multiplier" — how much of the money spent on a given enterprise stays local.

First, he looked at the multiplier for big-box retail in the St. Louis area.

Then he looked at local government, like the library. The number popped: "Whoops!" he said. "There, you got a higher multiplier. So, all the money’s going to stay in the region."

He also looked at how much workers got paid, and how many jobs got created. Advantage: Ferguson library.  

"You've got a decent argument that it does have a better local impact," he said.

Data from Economic Modeling Specialists shows the \"multiplier\" effects of dollars spent at super-center stores like Wal-Mart.

Economic Modeling Specialists, 2014

EMSI data show higher mulitpliers for local government spending.

Economic Modeling Specialists, 2014

 

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