National / International News

Most kangaroos are 'left-handed'

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 13:44
Scientists report that wild kangaroos tend to favour their left hands in common tasks - the first example of non-human, species-wide "handedness".

When BBC Sport did drug testing

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 13:42
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce recalls the trials and tribulations of the 'whereabouts' system used to drugs test athletes.

McIlroy seven off early US Open pace

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 13:35
World number one Rory McIlroy is seven shots behind early leader Dustin Johnson on day one of the US Open at Chambers Bay.

US and China try to build alliances

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 13:32
China-US fight over chairs and power

VIDEO: 'We can forge a good agreement'

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 13:24
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis says the eurozone is "dangerously close to a state of mind that accepts an accident" after EU finance ministers fail to reach a deal on Greece's debt.

Stephanie Savage and 'The Astronaut Wives Club'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-06-18 13:00

In May of 1961, Americans huddled around their televisions as Alan Shepard completed a 15-minute space flight, making him the first American in space. His story isn't the subject of ABC's new mini-series "The Astronaut Wives Club." The show centers on his wife, Louise Shepard, and the other women whose husbands were part of NASA's Mercury Seven — the first American men chosen to go to space.

The mini-series is based on the Lily Koppel book of the same name, which Stephanie Savage brought to the television screen. Her credits include "Gossip Girl" and "The O.C."
 
"I feel like we have a real responsibility to tell something that is truthful to these people's points of view and who they were," she says. "At the same time, we've got to fit it into 10 episodes."  
 
As if that wasn't enough of a challenge, "The Astronaut Wives Club" is also about women's history, something that hasn't often been recorded extensively. That required additional focus on her source material for the show.

"The work that Lily Koppel did in her book is really important. She did a real oral history," Savage says. "She went out to women's homes all across the country, sat in their kitchens and took down their stories."

Inside Stephanie Savage's production company Fake Empire, founded by Savage and "The O.C." creator Josh Schwartz. (Bridget Bodnar/Marketplace) 

Savage also hopes that the show will encourage viewers to go out and research the history that "The Astronaut Wives Club" covers, even if it means important plot details are revealed to the audience too soon.
 
"Nothing would make me happier if people got curious enough to actually go online to and start looking and researching the Apollo 1 fire...That would be amazing to me if people would actually go through the trouble to figure that stuff out," she says. 
 
Savage acknowledges that the show is different from the series she's known for.
 
"I'd love to do something like this again," she says: telling the stories of strong women. "There are so many amazing untold women's stories, that I'd be happy to do one of these every summer for the rest of my life."

Astronaut Wives premieres Thursday on ABC at 8 p.m. 

Pope Francis: climate, economics, and values

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-06-18 13:00

Pope Francis released his much-anticipated encyclical, "Laudato Si'" ("Praise Be To You"), on Thursday, calling on all nations and all peoples to take action on climate change. He came down with the overwhelming majority of scientists, who say global warming is caused by the activities of man.

And he was pretty critical of two of those activities: capitalism and consumerism. The quest for too much profit, and for too much stuff, harms the planet, he said.

In going there, the pope staked out territory that most economists make a point of avoiding: a moral interpretation of our economy.

This isn’t the first time a major faith has put forth a moral interpretation of economic prosperity — even within the Catholic Church, from popes going all the way back to Leo XIII. 

Leo XIII wrote an encyclical titled “Rerum Novarum,” taken from the Latin for “of revolutionary change,” which was meant as a push back against some of the negative aspects of the Industrial Revolution. 

More recently, even Pope Benedict XVI wrote about the need for “adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth.”

“Consistently the popes have spoken that the marketplace is not God; that it’s not going to solve all of our problems,” says Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and senior analyst at the National Catholic Reporter.

Reese notes that economists tend to view their subject as “value free” — a matter of the efficient allocation of scarce resources— but that the Pope feels that approach isn’t addressing the needs of the poorest and weakest among us.

“The realm that he deals with, and the morality of life, is one that economics has struggled with," says Maureen O’Hara, a professor of finance at Cornell University. "I think that economics is beginning to rethink that a little bit.”

In talking about issues like climate change and the environment in terms of “values,” the pope is entering territory many economists tend to avoid.

“The closest we tend to get is things are ‘inefficient’," O’Hara says. “I think many people kind of feel that may not tell the full story, and that's where I think the pope is trying to blend both the pieces from the economics perspective and the moral perspective together."

O’Hara says she agrees with much of what the pope said in his encyclical, but not his opposition to trading carbon credits. Cap and trade, she says, can be an effective tool for reducing pollution.

Elephant poaching hotspots identified

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 12:54
Most illegally poached African elephant ivory can be traced back to just two areas of Africa, research shows.

England U21 v Portugal U21

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 12:37
England fail to score for the first time in 18 matches as they lose to Portugal in their European Under-21 Championship opener.

VIDEO: Winehouse documentary angers family

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 12:33
A documentary about the life of the late award-winning singer, Amy Winehouse has its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Nasdaq index closes at record high

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 12:27
The tech-heavy Nasdaq index closed at a record high on Thursday, with the Dow Jones and the S&P also closing sharply higher.

Woman killed in beach incident

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 12:26
A woman dies in an incident on Llantwit Major beach in the Vale of Glamorgan.

One Teacher's Quest To Build Language Skills ... And Self-Confidence

NPR News - Thu, 2015-06-18 12:26

For our 50 Great Teachers series, we profile Thomas Whaley. With his second-graders on Long Island, he's teaching English ... and a lot more.

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Justices Give Officials More Say On Cars' Plates, Less On Roadside Signs

NPR News - Thu, 2015-06-18 12:26

Justices on Thursday upheld the right of Texas to ban the Confederate battle flag from official license plates, but struck down the regulations an Arizona town imposed on churches' road signs.

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What we talk about when we talk about the grid

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-06-18 12:08

What is the grid? It dates back to Edison and it gets power from plants to homes and businesses accross the nation. But it's also vulnerable and aging.

The Greeks are getting tired of crisis talks

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-06-18 12:07

Most Greeks back the government, but weariness is the mood. They are tired of the meetings, crisis talks, deadlines, and living up to the next critical moment.

In Central Athens, there isn't much evidence of the economic crisis. However, Nick Voglis, the owner of a sandwich bar, says, “If one person in Greece right now goes to the ATM, and tries to remove money and money does not come out, this place will go on fire. It will explode. There’s no doubt about that.”

There hasn't been a bank run yet, but since October, $33 billion has been withdrawn from the Greek banking system. Wealthy people are taking their money out and putting it overseas. The less well-heeled are taking their money out and keeping it at home. Marketplace’s Stephen Beard explains from Athens.

Killer son 'cannot remember attack'

BBC - Thu, 2015-06-18 11:55
A man who sexually assaulted his mother before killing her when he was high on drugs tells a court he has no memory of it.

What We Can Learn From A Herd Of Hungry Goats

NPR News - Thu, 2015-06-18 11:40

They didn't quite break the internet, but the video of 700 goats on their way to a snack is definitely having a moment. We wanted to hear the story behind the herd.

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In Search Of Edible Weeds: Adventures In Urban Foraging By App

NPR News - Thu, 2015-06-18 11:19

An expert forager has a video and an app for finding weeds to make the ultimate locally grown salad. But even a master foraging app might not lead an amateur to success.

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Kids' Art Show Takes Over Two Billboards In Times Square

NPR News - Thu, 2015-06-18 11:16

Through the weekend, art by 23 public school students will be seen on two large billboards in the heart of New York City.

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