National / International News

Supreme Court Rules Against Homeowners In Superfund Case

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-09 14:20

The justices made it harder for residents in a handful of states to sue companies for contamination that wasn't discovered until long after it took place.

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Comedian and actor Rik Mayall dies

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 14:03
British comedian and actor Rik Mayall dies at his London home, at the age of 56.

US teen's 'captor' pleads not guilty

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:58
A man accused of kidnapping a teenager and holding her captive for 10 years, and forcing her to marry him pleads not guilty in a California court.

Sterling's name in the frame for England start

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:57
Judging by the frequent name checks he receives from his manager, Raheem Sterling is in line for an England starting spot against Italy, says Phil McNulty.

Contemplating the short suit

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:52

Not for the first time, I am thanking my lucky stars that I'm in radio, and that, therefore, you all can't see what I'm wearing.

Because apparently there's a new thing in mens fashion this year: A short suit. Not a suit that's cut a little bit short, but a suit in which the pants are actually shorts.

Bermuda shorts, to be sure, but still... above the knee.

J. Crew thinks people are going to pay $358 for something called "the Ludlow short suit in rope stripe Italian wool-linen."


For those of you who have said that yes, you would wear shorts with a suit -- and there were more than a couple of you -- it's time to put up or shut up.

Tweet us a picture @Marketplace... or it didn't happen.  

Are there more of you? MT @AndrewConte: Thanks @kairyssdal, @Marketplace and @jcrew Saving up for #ShortSuit.

— Marketplace (@Marketplace) June 10, 2014

At $18 billion, Uber isn't just competing with taxis

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:52

The latest venture-capital investment in Uber, a mobile app that allows users to hail a ride in a town car or taxi, pegs the company’s value at more than $18 billion. That's more than United Airlines or Sony, just shy of what car-rental Avis and Hertz are worth together. That may seem high for a company with direct competition like Lyft, Sidecar and the entire taxi industry.

For Uber to be worth what investors are betting, the company might need to capture half of the worldwide market for taxis, says Andy Brennan, author of a recent report on that industry from IBIS World Research.  “I can’t see that ever happening,” he says. “Generally taxi customers are quite price-conscious.”

A ride in one of Uber’s town cars costs more than a cab. “The average person who gets a taxi is not necessarily going to use Uber on a regular basis,” Brennan says.

However, competing with taxis isn’t Uber’s goal. The company’s CEO has identified a much bigger competitor: The personal automobile.

The idea of Americans parting with their cars may sound wild, but younger people may not feel as strong of an urge to own one. “Someone who’s 20-years-old today may be much less concerned with whether their car expresses their personality than with whether their phone or their tablet expresses their personality,” says analyst James McQuivey of Forrester Research.

He sees a future where people could subscribe to Uber like a service. Uber cars—with robot drivers, of course--may deliver their packages, or shlep their kids to piano lessons.

Ultimately, Uber may not just replace a taxi, or a car, but something that hasn’t even been invented yet. “We’ve all been waiting for that personal helicopter, that personal jetpack,” McQuivey says. “But really, you don’t need to move around as much as the stuff in your life needs to move around. And someone will help you do that much more efficiently than waiting for that jetpack.”

Maybe a company with that market is worth at least $18 billion dollars -- because the competition in that scenario is something like Amazon— currently valued at about $150 billion.

Why the celeb mag market is still worth something

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:51

We've heard again and again that the magazine industry is dying as readers increasingly turn to websites for news and gossip. So, expect a tough road ahead for Time Inc. which has split from its parent company, Time Warner, the owner of money-makers like Warner Bros Studios and HBO.

And while Time's prospects as a magazine company may look grim, Time has something of a trump card in the celebrity magazine, "People." It is Time's top title. Although sales of People have dropped off in the past decade, the magazine, with its mix of celebrity news and human interest stories, still has a weekly circulation of around 3.5 million readers, nothing to sniff at in an age of shrinking readership. 

By Shea Huffman

England ready for Pirlo - Wilshere

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:50
Jack Wilshere says stopping Andrea Pirlo will be central to England's plans in their World Cup opener against Italy.

Another plan to ease the student-loan burden

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:49

President Obama made an announcement Monday about a popular subject. Or unpopular really: student loans. Under the new plan, if you took out a student loan before 2007, you may be able to cap your loan payments at 10 percent of your discretionary income. That'll add millions more students to a pay-as-you go plan that was passed in 2012.

“This might impact, oh, maybe five million borrowers, but there are 40 million people who have federal student loans,” says Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Then, he says, there’s the trillion dollars in outstanding student debt, in which  the latest plan will barely make a dent.

Borrowers may see things differently. 

“It could provide for some people, perhaps $50 or $100 a month of relief, which is, for a low income person, is material," he says.

The plan expands an earlier one and will now include students who took out loans as far back as 2007.  It  will also allow borrowers to apply for forgiveness after 20 years of payments.

But it doesn't apply to private loans, says Terry Hartle, senior vice president for the American Council on Education. 

The mount of money that people can borrow for an undergrad education from the federal government has not changed all that much in recent years, and the increase that we’ve seen in borrowing is in part attributable to the large number of private lenders,” he said.

Even so,  Hartle says he's in favor of the new plan. But Vedder says there's a more fundamental problem. The new plan, he says, is "dealing with symptoms, not the disease -- rising tuition fees. 

"What the president is proposing," says Vedders, "might be some help to past borrows,  but it’s going to do nothing to deal with the problem in the future."

Beijing Denounces Vietnam, Philippines 'Farce' On Disputed Islands

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:28

China's Foreign Ministry said a get-together between soldiers of the two countries on the Spratly Islands was an effort to "pick quarrels and cause trouble" with Beijing.

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BP loses bid to freeze spill payouts

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:23
The US Supreme Court has refused to allow BP to stop paying compensation claims while it awaits a review of its settlement with businesses over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

'Hamilton faster, hungrier than Rosberg'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:17
David Coulthard on the rivalry at Mercedes, Daniel Ricciardo's maiden win and Sergio Perez's crash with Felipe Massa.

Cole set to join Aston Villa on free

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:14
Aston Villa are set to sign former England midfielder Joe Cole on a free transfer pending the results of a medical.

A Reason To Smile: Mexican Town Is A Destination For Dental Tourism

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:04

Los Algodones is tiny, but with help from the Internet, the Mexican border town has become a virtual dental factory, drawing patients from across the U.S. and Canada.

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Turkish PM vows to punish protester

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:03
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to make a Kurdish protester who took down the national flag "pay the price".

Arrests after racist attack on man

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:02
Two men have been arrested after what police are treating as a racially-motivated assault in west Belfast.

SA platinum strike talks fail again

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:02
The South African government has pulled out as mediator, as talks between platinum miners and striking workers fail again.

'Tomato in a pill' for heart disease

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 13:00
Taking a daily pill that contains an important extract from tomatoes could help keep heart disease at bay, say scientists.

Bell wins England Player of the Year

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 12:54
Batsman Ian Bell is named England Cricketer of the Year, with Charlotte Edwards winning the Women's Cricketer of the Year award.

School cheating scandal in Cuba

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-09 12:45
Eight people are arrested in Cuba for selling university entrance exams, forcing thousands of pupils to resit their tests.
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