National News

A 10-Year-Old Makes A Video So We 'Don't Forget Nepal'

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 12:08

Lucas Zutt has lived in Nepal since 2013. It's "where I belong," he says. He made a video so the world will have a close-up — and personal — view of the earthquake's impact.

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60 Percent: Record Number Of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage In Poll

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 12:08

It's a far cry from 1996, the first year in which Gallup posed the question to Americans. Back then, 68 percent of respondents said same-sex marriages should not be valid.

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As Congress Haggles Over Patriot Act, We Answer 6 Basic Questions

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 11:44

If you haven't been paying attention, here's a primer on the changes Congress is considering making to U.S. surveillance practices.

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Takata Agrees To Declare Air Bags In Nearly 34M Vehicles Defective

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 10:39

The problem lies with Takata air bags that can potentially explode, sending metal shards flying into the compartment. The recall is believed to be the largest in NHTSA's history.

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Reporting On Rape Kit Backlog Leads To New Law And Arrests In Ohio

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 10:04

While researching sexual assaults for Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, Rachel Dissell unearthed a backlog of untested rape kits dating back to 1993. Ohio has since mandated the testing of these kits.

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Patriots To 'Accept Reluctantly' NFL's 'Deflategate' Punishment

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 09:52

The NFL fined the team $1 million and stripped it of draft picks in connection with the scandal involving underinflated footballs. Quarterback Tom Brady is appealing his four-game suspension.

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An English 'Family Business,' Dedicated To A 2,000-Year-Old Roman Fort

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 09:08

Andrew Birley first visited Vindolanda, a Roman fort near the Scottish border, when he was still in his mother's womb. Now, he's the latest Birley to lead excavations at the site rich in artifacts.

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Dense Breasts Are Just One Part Of The Cancer Risk Calculus

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 09:06

Women with dense breasts are more likely to get cancer and less likely to catch it early on a mammogram. But degree of density matters too, a study finds, as do other factors like family history.

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Saving The Sweetest Watermelon The South Has Ever Known

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 09:03

The Bradford boasted sweet flesh so coveted, 19th-century growers turned to guns and poison to thwart thieves. The melon all but vanished by the 1920s. Now a descendant of its creator is reviving it.

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Plan Bee: White House Unveils Strategy To Protect Pollinators

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 08:35

The national strategy addresses the alarming decline in honeybee populations. It calls for more bee habitat and more research into ways to protect bees from disease and pesticides.

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Biker Shootout Update: 7 Remain In Hospital; Uninvited Gang Had Come To Meeting

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 08:30

Giving an update on Sunday's violence, Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton dismisses media reports that law enforcement officers had killed four bikers.

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British Police Arrest 7 Over Audacious Easter Jewelry Heist

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 07:00

"A number of large bags containing significant amounts of high value property have been recovered from one address," Scotland Yard says.

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How Medicare Advantage Investors Profited From Loose Government Lips

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 06:54

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a memo to insurers saying government audit policies could be relaxed, investors privy to the news pounced, sending shares upward.

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The Repast Is Not Even Past: Old L.A. Menus

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 06:33

Culling through the culinary offerings of thousands of old menus in the collection of the Los Angeles Public Library, we can learn a lot about a city and its history.

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Longtime 'Charlie Hebdo' Cartoonist Announces He's Quitting

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 05:33

"I will no longer be Charlie Hebdo, but I will always be Charlie," says Renald Luzier, the cartoonist known as Luz.

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Supreme Court: employers must monitor 401(k) plans

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-05-19 03:00

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that employers have an ongoing obligation to monitor the 401(k) plans they offer their workers. The court also established a more flexible reading of the statute of limitations on when employees can sue should they believe their employer failed to uphold its responsibilities. 

The case, Tibble v. Edison, originated as a dispute between current and former workers for Edison, a public utility company in California. The workers argued that the retirement plan included several retail-class mutual funds with high fees when the company, as an institutional investor, could have invested in nearly identical plans with lower fees. 

“The reason fees matter is that over time the power of compounding is very significant. That can make the difference between a retirement that is comfortable and one that is not,” says Marcia Wagner, principal at The Wagner Law Group.

The Supreme Court didn’t pick a winner between the workers and the employer, sending the case back to a lower court instead. But it did say that employers can’t just set up a 401(k) plan and forget about it. They must pay attention to it over time, and that obligation doesn’t ever go away. Wagner says it’s a significant ruling that could impact where pension plans invest their money and what fees retirees pay.

“When the Supreme Court rules unanimously, people listen. Now there are many various factors leading to fee compression in the 401(k) industry. This will be one more factor.” 

PODCAST: American cars in Russia

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-05-19 03:00

First up, we'll talk about the Supreme Court's ruling on 401(k)s, and what it means for workers. Plus, we look at the job ahead of Keith Hall, the new head of the Congressional Budget Office. His role is meant to be a non-partisan scorekeeper, but we look at the difficulties of remaining independent in a charged political atmosphere. And America's car makers are struggling to keep their businesses in Russia on the road as the country's economy stalls. However as we find out, car factories in Detroit are not the only ones feeling the cold winds of Russia's troubled economy.

Judge Sends 11 Afghan Policemen To Prison Over Mob Killing Of Woman

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 02:49

The case of Farkhunda has prompted outcry over violence against women in the country. It has resulted in rare sentences. Eight police officers implicated in the case were released.

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What Do You Do With A Student Who Fidgets?

NPR News - Tue, 2015-05-19 02:38

Stress ducks, Hokki Stools, and other classroom strategies for students who need to move to learn.

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The Congressional Budget Office: staying above the fray

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-05-19 02:00

Keith Hall, director of the Congressional Budget Office, will offer his first Senate testimony Tuesday since taking the helm of the nonpartisan agency in early April. It’s also the first oversight hearings for CBO in over three decades, according to the Senate Budget Committee.

The primary focus will be the agency’s 2016 budget, drafted under Hall’s predecessor.

While Congress often uses a director’s testimony to question the assumptions and findings of CBO reports, the agency refrains from offering policy recommendations, says Phil Joyce, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland.

“I heard someone at CBO say once, 'If you ask us how much something costs, we’ll tell you how much it costs. If you ask us whether it’s a good idea, we’ll tell you how much it costs,'” he says.

In fact, Joyce says it’s often members of the director’s own party who are most disappointed with the agency’s reports.

“It’s very much like being the referee in a college basketball game,” agrees Douglas Holtz-Eakin , who led the CBO from 2003 to 2005 and is now president of the conservative think tank American Action Forum. “There’s always a coach standing on the sidelines screaming at the referee, and it’s not usually over the call the referee just made. It’s over the next call. 'Can we soften him up for the next call?'”