National / International News

The economics behind a celebrity's book

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:00

Sales of Hillary Clinton’s most recent book, “Hard Choices,” slipped significantly after its first week on sale. 

Clinton was reportedly paid a multi-million dollar advance by her publisher Simon & Schuster, raising questions from some about whether the publisher’s bet will pay off.

“I do think it’s doing well,” Kate McKean, vice president at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency, says of the book. “She’s not going anywhere, so this book could potentially sell, and probably will sell for years and years.”

Still, even with books by celebrities that seem destined to be best sellers, publishers are taking a gamble, says Brian DeFiore, a New York-based literary agent.

“How much do we believe in this person?," DeFiore says. "How much do we believe the public wants to hear from this person and hear more about this person? And then, how much will that person’s voice resonate for years to come?”

Something else publishers taking into account: global sales. And given Clinton’s fame, DeFiore says it’s book that should sell around the world.

Indonesia sees massive deforestation

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 01:58
A new study using satellite images shows that Indonesia has surpassed Brazil in deforestation rate for the first time.

KLM sorry for Mexico departure tweet

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 01:36
Dutch plane operator KLM apologises for sending out tweet making a joke out of Mexico's defeat to the Netherlands at the World Cup.

Could flexible working for all backfire?

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 01:35
Could new rules extending rights for all backfire?

Isis rebels declare 'Islamic state'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 01:35
Jihadist militant group Isis declares the establishment of a caliphate, or Islamic state, on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria.

Dog walkers stabbed in two attacks

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 01:13
Two women are stabbed in the chest while walking their dogs in separate, unprovoked incidents in Portsmouth, police have said.

VIDEO: Pistorius 'had no mental disorder'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 01:05
Oscar Pistorius did not have a mental disorder when he killed his girlfriend, a psychological report says at the resumption of his murder trial.

10 things we learned at Glastonbury

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 01:00
10 things we learned at Glastonbury 2014

Obama's VA pick resigned under pressure from P&G

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 01:00

President Barack Obama is expected to nominate the former head of Procter & Gamble as secretary of Veterans Affairs, following Eric Shinseki’s resignation last month. A West Point graduate, Robert McDonald spent 33 years with the company that sells Crest toothpaste, Duracell batteries, and Charmin toilet paper

After his time in the army, McDonald spent his entire career at Procter & Gamble, where he oversaw 120,000 employees.

His four years running the company were difficult ones. When McDonald took over in 2009, P&G was deep into a strategy that emphasized charging premium prices for brand name products —  a strategy that became less effective after the financial crash of 2008. McDonald’s retirement from P&G last year was under pressure.

The new assignment could bring new challenges. Even though Procter & Gamble is the world’s biggest consumer-products company, it’s actually smaller than the VA. The company reports sales of $84 billion — a bit more than half of the VA’s $154 billion budget. The VA also has more than twice as many employees as P&G.

Transgender female workers face added discrimination

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 01:00

For transgender people, work isn’t always an easy place to be – They often face discrimination, and are twice as likely to be unemployed as the rest of the population. Many who do work are under-employed. But transgender experiences at the office can tell us a lot about the status of men and women at work.

Sociologist Kristen Schilt has spent years talking to transgender men and women about their work lives. One guy she interviewed is named Thomas. He’s a lawyer. He’d begun working at his law firm as Susan. Everyone in his firm knew about his transition, but clients and others outside the firm were told Susan had been let go.

Schilt says some time after his transition, his boss told Thomas that a lawyer at another firm said, “He was so glad they had fired Susan, who he had found to be very incompetent, but that he really loved this new guy, Thomas.”

That lawyer had no idea Thomas and Susan were the same person. But they were the same person, with the exact same abilities – Thomas just looked like a man.

Schilt says two-thirds of the transgender men she interviewed found workplace life easier once they left their female days behind. They’d say things like, “I don’t have to back up the claims I’m making. People listen to me more.” They reported having more authority than they’d ever had in their old work lives.

Chris Edwards has experienced that first hand. He’s a transgender man who works in advertising. He now perceives his workplace differently, too.

“As a creative director, and as a male creative director, I started to notice differences with the way women were treated,” he says. “But when I was a woman I didn’t really notice.”

Now he’s quite conscious of the pay gap at his firm. And he says it’s always a woman who’s expected to take the notes in meetings – no matter how senior she is.

Lisa Scheps knows all about that difference in status. When she was living publicly as a man, Scheps ran a business with three male partners. At 40, she told them she was going to start living openly as a female. She wasn’t prepared for their responses.

“One person said to me, ‘How do you expect to deal with business when all you’re going to be thinking about is nail polish?’,” says Scheps.

Her partners pushed her out of the company. Scheps has been an entrepreneur all her life. She thought she’d just start something else as a female business owner.

“My 40 years as man in the business world, I did not know failure,” she says. “Success came very easily to me.”

Not any more. Scheps, who is the co-founder of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, says administrative work is pretty much all she’s been able to find. Her income has fallen dramatically. 

“It’s a very different world that I have discovered for women in the United States versus men in the Unites States,” she says. “It’s just that much harder, you just have to be that much better.”

Like everyone else who’s underemployed, Scheps says she just wants a job that matches her experience.

Ashley Milne-Tyte is the host of a podcast on women and the workplace called The Broad Experience.

VIDEO: Survivor pulled from India rubble

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 00:45
At least 17 people are now known to have died when a building collapsed in the southern Indian city of Chennai, but rescuers are still finding survivors in the rubble.

First day-night Test planned for 2015

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 00:30
Australia and New Zealand announce plans to stage the first day-night Test match with a pink ball in 2015.

Costa Ricans celebrate historic win

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 00:29
Tens of thousands in Costa Rica celebrate the national team's dramatic qualification for the quarter-finals of the football World Cup in Brazil.

More Ukraine talks amid clashes

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 00:26
Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France are to hold more talks over the conflict in east Ukraine as the end of a ceasefire with separatists nears.

Job fears worry some black children

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 00:22
About one in five black children believe their skin colour could damage their job prospects, research for BBC's Newsround programme suggests.

First day in job for new PSNI chief

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 00:21
The new chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will mark his first day in the job by meeting members of the Policing Board.

EU steps in to help Bulgarian banks

BBC - Sun, 2014-06-29 23:53
The European Commission approves a request from Bulgaria to provide funding for its banks following a suspected plot to undermine the banking system.

In Shetland, Oil Shapes Debate Over Scottish Independence

NPR News - Sun, 2014-06-29 23:43

Offshore oil and gas money is central to the debate over whether Scotland should break off from the U.K. — especially in the remote Shetland Islands, where North Sea oil has transformed the economy.

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Dad Of Fallen Arizona Hotshot Hopes To Make Better Fire Shelters

NPR News - Sun, 2014-06-29 23:28

The father of one of the 19 firefighters who died a year ago in the Yarnell Hill Fire wants to create shelters that better shield against direct flames.

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Preschoolers Outsmart College Students In Figuring Out Gadgets

NPR News - Sun, 2014-06-29 23:26

When researchers asked young children to figure out an experiment using cause and effect, they did a much better job than young adults. That may be because their thinking is more flexible and fluid.

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