National / International News

WATCH: Groundhog In Wisconsin Bites Mayor's Ear

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:44

Perhaps because of the bite, the mayor of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, also apparently got the little critter's prognostication all wrong. Winter will end early this year, he said. So, we'll take it.

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Federica Marchionni goes from high-end to Lands' End

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:30

Former Dolce & Gabbana executive Federica Marchionni is the new CEO of American brand Lands' End, but why would Lands' End need a CEO with high-fashion experience? 

"Lands' End, I guess, needs a little shot of fashion," says Kate Betts, a fashion journalist.

The Lands' End brand was lost in the shuffle, leaving many confused as to what separates the American clothing maker from other similar staple brands. "It's definitely been in the shadow of very authentic American brands like L.L. Bean for awhile," Betts says.

What can Marchionni do to differentiate Lands' End's style?

"She's going to pick a merchandiser, and that merchandiser is going to be instrumental in making the floor of any sales space look unique in a way that catches the consumer's eye," Betts says. " And keeps the consumer coming back."

Hunting For Big Planets Far Beyond Pluto May Soon Be Easier

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:29

Construction is starting in Chile on a new sort of telescope. One aim is to survey huge swaths of sky for faint signals of a "Planet X" that may be lurking on the farthest edges of our solar system.

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Nationwide Has A Hit And A Miss With Super Bowl Ads

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:28

Audie Cornish talks with Quartz and AdWeek contributor Jason Lynch about this year's best and worst Super Bowl ads — and why many of them felt so morose.

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Big Oil cuts back, but not on dividends

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:26

Profits at ExxonMobil are down this quarter, 21% below a year ago.

Like the other big oil companies, ExxonMobil has been hurt by falling oil prices, and has been cutting jobs and investment as a result. But neither ExxonMobil, nor the other Big Oil firms like Shell and BP have cut back on dividends. 

Josh Peters, director of equity-income strategy and editor of Morningstar's Dividend Investor newsletter, says "dividend investors" aren't just retirees, but a variety of investors who manage risk by buying stocks that provide a regular income, not just growth.

Brian Youngberg, senior energy analyst at Edward Jones, says dividends are the only reason to invest in the big oil companies right now. 

Douglas Skinner, professor of accounting at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business,  says once companies start paying a dividend, they're unlikely to reverse themselves, because investors not only depend on them but see them as a signal of stability.

Gov. Scott Walker Eyes 2016, But Can He Get Past Labor's Loathing?

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:17

Unions don't like any of the 2016 GOP presidential prospects so far. But organized labor's loathing for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker runs especially deep.

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White House May Close Loophole That Sends Billions To For-Profit Schools

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

It helps for-profit schools capture billions from the new GI bill — including the University of Phoenix, a school with no sports program that had bought naming rights to Sunday's Super Bowl stadium.

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Like Groundhog Day, There's A Routine To White House Budget Debut

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

What's the point of a White House budget besides using up a lot of paper and ink? So the administration can lay out its political priorities and draw contrasts with the Republicans.

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Low Draft Picks, No-Names Stand Out At Super Bowl

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

Many of the stand-out players in last night's Super Bowl were relative unknowns going in to the game. That's all changed now.

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Despite Political Resistance, Florida A Leader In ACA Sign-Ups

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

Florida's governor and its Republican-led legislature opposed the Affordable Care Act and have resisted calls to expand Medicaid. But aided by non-profit groups and strong interest among Hispanics, Florida is one of the leaders in signing residents up for Obamacare.

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A Look At What's Inside Obama's Budget Proposal

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

President Obama's budget proposes more government spending and more taxes on the wealthy. How will Republicans respond?

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Cash Is Definitely Not King For Card-Carrying Swedes

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

In a world moving toward cashless economies, Sweden is leading the way. More than 95 percent of transactions are already digital; some churches now pass a card reader instead of a collection plate.

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Detained Reporter Becomes Unlikely Star Of Venezuela Tourism Ad

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

Miami Reporter Jim Wyss tells us why he was surprised to see a Venezuela tourism ad using a photo of himself looking happy. He was happy because at the time the picture was taken in Miami, he'd just been released from 48 hours in detention.

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Critics Say Abe's 'Interventionism' Made Japan A Target For ISIS

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 12:15

The beheading of two Japanese nationals by ISIS has created political problems for Japanese President Shinzo Abe back home, from those who blame his rollback of Japanese pacifist policies in place after World War II.

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Egyptian Court Condemns 183 To Death In Mass Trial

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:57

Those convicted were accused of attacking a police station, and killing and mutilating at least 11 security officers. But critics of the verdict say many of those arrested were not even at the scene.

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'Low severity' bird flu case at farm

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:50
A case of bird flu has been confirmed in chickens at a farm in Hampshire, government scientists say.

The budget as a starting point for tax reform

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:30

Republican lawmakers called President Obama’s budget “top down” and “backward looking.” They said it “contains no solutions to address the drivers of our debt.” So where is the room for compromise?

"The one point Democrats, Republicans and the president can agree on is the tax system is a mess,” says Richard Kaplan, the Peer and Sarah Pedersen Professor of Law at the University of Illinois. “That you wouldn’t design it this way from scratch, that many of its key features are unjustifiable and that you ought to fix it.”

Kaplan points out you don’t see that kind of agreement on financial reform or healthcare reform. The president’s plan goes after money that companies have made and stashed overseas. He has proposed a one-time tax of 14 percent on that money.

“He’s hitting a popular theme,” says Thomas Cooke, a distinguished teaching professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “I think there is general consensus that we need to do what we can to get money back from offshore.” Cooke also sees says room for compromise on how the government taxes interest on investments.

But it is easy to say you are in favor of tax reform, says  Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “It’s like saying we are all in favor of mother and an apple pie, but what does that really mean?  And it means very different things to the president and congressional Republicans.”

The president wants to raise more revenue through reform, to spend on things like improving infrastructure. Republicans insist tax reform not raise any new revenue. “And that is a point of major disagreement between the president and congressional Republicans,” Gleckman says.

The president’s budget is a starting point. It will be months before we get detailed plans for tax reform from Democrats and Republicans.


Acupuncture May Help With Nasal Allergies, Doctors Say

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:22

Over-the-counter remedies can help a lot if your stuffy, drippy nose is caused by allergies, new guidelines say. Acupuncture might help, too, but there's no evidence that herbal remedies do a thing.

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'Death threats' over French reform

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:12
France's Economy Minister, Emmanuel Macron, says he has received death threats over his attempts to reform the legal profession.

Less Than A Day Old, Bahrain News Channel Is Yanked Off The Air

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-02 11:12

The new Middle East broadcaster, Al-Arab, went on air Sunday. But it was shut down before dawn on Monday, apparently for airing an interview with an opponent of Bahrain's monarchy.

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