National / International News

Road trip nostalgia

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-26 10:35

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at what's coming up Friday, June 27:

The University of Michigan releases its final June consumer sentiment survey.

Fashion designer Vera Wang turns 65. She's famous for those gorgeous wedding gowns.

On this date in 1985, Route 66 was decertified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

And all across the country people eat popcorn in the dark. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" explodes onto the big screen.

Matt Lauer asks Mary Barra about being a mom and GM CEO

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-26 10:34

I'm reluctant to criticize other broadcast journalists for questions they ask in interviews, because I've been on the receiving end enough times.

Still, check out this clip of Matt Lauer interviewing Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, this Thursday morning.

Boy missing for 11 days found at home

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-26 10:25
A 12-year-old Detroit boy missing for days was found in his own basement, as his father learned of the boy's discovery live on television.

Supreme Court Rules On Obama Appointments, Abortion Protests

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-26 10:18

The court ruled on cases involving some of President Obama's recess appointments and a Massachusetts law that created a buffer zone to keep protesters a certain distance away from abortion clinics.

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VIDEO: Monfils hits 'genius' winner

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-26 10:11
Watch the best shot of Wimbledon day four as Gael Monfils hits a ridiculous spinning volleyed winner in his loss to Jiri Vesely.

Odours distract insects from flowers

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-26 10:08
Insects find locating their favourite flowers gets harder when there are competing smells around, new research shows.

A Shocking Fish Tale Surprises Evolutionary Biologists

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-26 10:03

Unrelated lineages of electric fish all use the same small set of genes to create their voltage, a genetic search shows. Maybe the same genes could one day power pacemakers, bioengineers suggest.

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Excessive Drinking Causes 10 Percent Of Deaths In Working Adults

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:59

Drinking too much alcohol is a big factor in deaths of adults under age 65, CDC researchers say, from obvious risks like vehicle accidents to more subtle effects like higher rates of breast cancer.

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Concern as health boards £60m in red

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:56
Serious concerns are raised by the auditor general over the finances of the NHS in Wales after three health boards plunged £60m into the red.

Training call after RAF man's death

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:55
An RAF serviceman died in Afghanistan after being crushed by an armoured vehicle with defective brakes operated by an unqualified driver, a coroner rules.

Big jump in Mers cases reported

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:52
More than 100 more cases and 34 deaths from the new respiratory disease Mers has been reported by officials in Saudi Arabia.

VIDEO: Highlights: USA 0-1 Germany

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:52
Thomas Muller's fourth goal of the 2014 World Cup proved enough to give Germany a 1-0 win over USA in their final 2014 World Cup Group G game in Recife.

Cameron 'unapologetic' over Juncker

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:51
David Cameron says he is "unapologetic" about arguing against ex-Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker for EU Commission chief.

VIDEO: Police link 'attempted murders'

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:50
A "hit-and-run" and a shooting in Luton are being linked and treated as attempted murder, police say.

In A Remote Corner Of Pakistan, A Mass Exodus

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:50

Pakistan's military is waging an offensive against the Taliban, and the outcome is uncertain. But nearly a half-million civilians have already fled their homes in an area that has few resources.

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What Not To Serve Buzzards For Lunch, A Glorious Science Experiment

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:48

This bird likes livers, kidneys, entrails — anything it can pluck that's freshly dead. But what if you served it ... a painting?

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Business Owners Have 'A Special Challenge' To Help Working Families

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:47

Business leaders and policymakers gathered at the White House to discuss how working families can get ahead. One participant explains how he feels companies can stay competitive and help families.

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Sen. Tim Scott's Mission: Build Wealth Among 'The Most Vulnerable'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:47

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott has become a leading conservative voice focused on building wealth among people of color. Scott tells host Michel Martin about his ideas for growing the economy.

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Political Chat: Primary Results, Boehner's Obama Lawsuit

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:47

Several primary elections wrapped up this week. Host Michel Martin speaks with two seasoned political analysts to learn more about the primary results and the races to watch later this year.

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U.S. steelmakers battle against cheap imports, again

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-26 09:47

Inside U.S. Steel's plant in Lorain, Ohio, steel tubes are cast, trimmed, and threaded. The freshly-cast tubes are a dazzling, neon orange -- like a light saber from "Star Wars" -- you can feel their heat from more than 20 feet away.

"Here at Lorain Tubular, we've made significant investments over the last three to four years, to about $200 million,” says plant manager John Wilkinson.

Wilkinson says that's largely in response to the oil and gas boom from the Marcellus shale development. But another big reason was China had backed off from dumping its steel into the market. That happened in 2009, after several trade cases were filed. Wilkinson says after that, the company was feeling pretty good about things.

But since then, he says, “we have now seen the Korean imports start to take the place of the Chinese, and actually exceed the levels of where they were during that timeframe."

In other words, it's now South Korea that's doing the dumping.

And the oil companies are all too willing to buy this cheap steel. Wilkinson says because of that, production at U.S. Steel's Lorain plant is just a third of what it could be. There's just not enough demand for its steel tubes.

"This facility here would usually run around the clock, 24-7,” he says. “A lot of these countries that are dumping into our market, I can't even make the product for what they're selling." 

The Economic Policy Institute looked at this trend, and saw that steel imports shot up 26 percent in the first three months of 2014. Right now, there are nearly 34,000 steel jobs in Ohio. But if this dumping continues, there's concern that plants will close.  

"China, South Korea, India, and others, have been investing in surplus steel capacity,” says Rob Scott, an economist with the EPI. “We now have over half a billion tons of surplus steel production capacity, much of that is generating steel that's being dumped on the United States. And as a result, steel producers have begun to lay off workers."

U.S. Steel blames dumping for its decision to idle plants in Texas and Pennsylvania.

"Once you lose a steel mill and it shutters, it's pretty hard to bring it back,” says Ned Hill, an economist at Cleveland State University.

Hill says not only are foreign companies selling cheap steel here in the U.S., there are claims that they're also making knockoff steel for global buyers.

"Every piece of tube that comes out of a U.S. steel plant, has a stamp that indicates the quality, and there have been charges that those stamps have been forged internationally. And if you have a weak piece of pipe, that can cause problems,” says Hill.

Meanwhile, U.S. Steel has filed suit against South Korea for circumventing fair trade laws, with the U.S. Department of Commerce expected to hand down a ruling by mid-July.

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