National / International News

Adult Obesity May Have Origins Way Back In Kindergarten

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:00

Overweight kindergartners are much more likely to be obese by eighth grade compared to their normal-weight peers, a study finds. The solution may be for women to avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy, researchers say, as well as helping kids get exercise and eat healthy foods.

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Meet The myRA — Obama's New Retirement Plan

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:00

On Wednesday, President Obama directed the Treasury Department to create a new retirement plan called "myRA." The decision, a circumvention of Congress, follows through on one of the promises made by the president in his State of the Union. As Yuki Noguchi reports, the success of the plan may depend on its ability to move beyond the limitations of existing retirement plans.

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Welcome To Homs, A Syrian City Under Siege

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:00

Among the many issues in contention at the Syrian peace talks is the possibility of humanitarian relief for cities and villages under siege. No place is in greater need of assistance than the city of Homs in western Syria. One of the first regions to rise up against President Bashar al-Assad, Homs is now the site of an ongoing humanitarian aid crisis. Approximately two to three thousand people find themselves trapped in a disputed district and in increasingly desperate circumstances.

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Atlanta Officials May Have To Dodge Some Snowballs

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:00

Snow and ice continue to plague parts of the Deep South, including Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala. As Rose Scott reports from Atlanta, city and state officials were surprised by the strength of the storm, and many people found themselves stuck on interstates highways.

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A Fond Farewell To Fed Chairman Ben

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:00

Federal Reserve policymakers are wrapping up a two-day meeting as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke prepares to step down later this week. Investors expect the Fed to stick with its plan to "taper" bond purchases and keep short-term interest rates where they are.

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The State Of The Union Goes On Tour

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:00

A day after delivering his State of the Union, President Obama is beginning a four-city road trip. He plans to use the trip to push the priorities he emphasized during his address, with a focus on a raise to the federal minimum wage.

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Oil Rush A Cash Cow For Some Farmers, But Tensions Crop Up

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:00

North Dakota's oil sector is booming, but agriculture remains the state's largest industry. And while many farmers and ranchers are profiting from the oil beneath the prairie, others complain that drilling is interfering with their business — and changing rural life as they know it.

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South Sudan coup charges 'baseless'

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:51
South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar tells the BBC that the treason charges laid against him and some of his allies are "baseless".

Weather Experts: It's 'Wrong' To Call Atlanta Storm Unexpected

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:48

Meteorologists are used to people faulting their weather predictions. But when Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal called Tuesday's crippling winter storm "unexpected," he drew responses from several forecasters. One answer came from the head of the American Meteorological Society, who lives in the state.

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Obama tours for minimum wage rise

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:47
US President Barack Obama takes his campaign for a minimum wage rise to the streets, after his State of the Union address.

Neanderthal Genes Live On In Our Hair And Skin

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:44

Scientists know that a small percentage of humans' genes came from Neanderthals. But they were surprised to find that one-fifth of Neanderthal genes are in modern humans living today. That includes genes associated with diseases including Type 2 diabetes, Crohn's disease and lupus.

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Neanderthal Genes Live On In Our Hair And Skin

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:44

Scientists know that a small percentage of humans' genes came from Neanderthals. But they were surprised to find that one fifth of Neanderthal genes are in modern humans living today. That includes genes associated with diseases including Type 2 diabetes, Crohn's disease and lupus.

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myRA retirement plans, explained

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:37

President Obama unveiled the new "MyRA" plans in his State of the Union speech last night. He stumbled a bit over the name, and there's still some confusion about what they'll be called -- some of the folks we talked to are pronouncing it "Myra," like the name. But the idea behind the accounts is simple, according to Karen Friedman, executive vice president and policy director of the Pension Rights Center. 

"It’s a starter plan," she says. "It at least enables people to save in a secure, government-backed account."

The new accounts are aimed at low-income workers, who have few retirement saving options.

"Roughly half of the workforce right now doesn’t have a pension plan at work," says David Certner, legislative counsel with AARP. "Which is where most people prefer to save -- by having these monies deducted automatically from a paycheck."

And that’s how the new accounts would work. Employers and their workers have to volunteer to participate in the plan. But once they do, money will be deducted automatically, and invested in safe, government bonds. The initial investment could be as little as $25.

"The little amounts are what end up being the big amounts later on," says Stuart Ritter, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price. "So we shouldn’t be poo-pooing the smallness of getting people started."

In fact, the Obama administration already has plans for when the accounts get big. Once they hit $15,000, they have to be transferred into a private-sector IRA. 

Ukraine 'on brink of civil war'

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:37
Ukraine is "on the brink of civil war", the country's first post-independence president warns parliament as they debate an amnesty for protesters.

Nigerian senators in mass defection

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:31
At least 11 Senators from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's party defect to the opposition, the latest in a series of desertions.

Carney warning over Scots pound plan

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:29
The Bank of England governor says an independent Scotland would need to give up some power to make a currency union with the rest of the UK work.

Scientist To W.Va. Lawmakers: 'I'm Not Drinking The Water'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:29

An environmental scientist from Marshall University said water samples taken from a downtown Charleston restaurant had traces of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. "It's frightening, it really is frightening," he said.

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Bullying head teacher struck off

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:24
A former Cardiff head teacher who bullied staff and threatened parents is struck off the professional register.

US Fed further tightens stimulus

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:21
The US Federal Reserve reduces its monthly bond purchases from $75bn to $65bn in the second straight month of winding down stimulus efforts.

On A Roman Street, Graffiti Celebrates 'SuperPope'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 12:21

What can't Pope Francis do? First he's Time's "Person of the Year," then he's a Rolling Stone cover story. Now, graffiti art in Rome is depicting the pontiff as a comic-book caped crusader. Even the Vatican approves.

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