National / International News

Spider-Man vs. the box office

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-02 13:07

The new Spider-Man sequel has a lot riding on it for Sony Pictures. It sets up two spin-off movies, plus the third and fourth installments of the franchise.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already earned more than $150 million overseas. But critics have hammered the flick in the U.S.

“I think Sony is hoping that this movie will gross a billion dollars. And I don’t think that’s going to happen,” says Jeff Sneider with the entertainment news website, TheWrap.com.

He describes the new movie as “the worst Spider-Man movie that I have personally seen.”

Other fans may shy away because of superhero overload.

“Part of it just might be some amount of fatigue from the audience. This is going to be the fifth Spider-Man movie in 12 years,” says Albert Ching, an editor at Comic Book Resources.

And if audiences aren’t happy, investors won’t be either.

Sneider says, “Sony has come under fire from its investors, namely Daniel Loeb, who’s like a big hedge fund guru.”

If The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn’t clobber the competition, expect that fire from investors to heat up.

Why washing machines die young

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 13:01
Why washing machines are no longer built to last

Georgia latest state to drug-test welfare applicants

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-02 13:01

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal earlier this week signed legislation that will require some people applying for Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) benefts to submit to drug testing. Georgia is one of more than a dozen states proposing - or trying out - laws that require welfare recipients or applicants to take drug tests. 

Governor Deal's Deputy Chief of Staff Brian Robinson said in a statement to Marketplace: 

"Governor Deal has said drug abuse poses a major barrier to getting and keeping a job. He understands that many users are suffering from the disease of addition. He believes we as a state have a duty to help those who want to help themselves by providing an option for treatment. He's also led on diverting people with drug addictions out of the criminal justice system into treatment programs with strict accountability so that people are able to be taxpayers instead of being tax drainers. But if people choose to reject treatment and choose a lifestyle that renders them unemployable, taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize that."

But in some cases, drug testing does not appear to be catching many drug users.

"In Oklahoma, 29 people out of 1,300 were denied benefits," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy coordinator at the Center for Law and Social Policy. "And then Utah. Twelve people out of 4,730." 

Advocates of the testing say the low numbers are likely due to deterrence. 

"By having the testing requirement in place, you screen out individuals who have a drug addiction who never go through the process to begin with, because they know they won't recieve benefits," said Tarren Bragdon, CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative think tank.

Lower-Basch isn't certain that deterrence is the best thing for needy families. 

"These are very poor families and they have children," Lower-Basch said. "You don't want to scare them off and not getting help. You want the kids to get help so they can have clothes and housing. And you want the parents getting treatment so they can get jobs and be better parents. Scaring them off is a terrible outcome."

Many welfare researchers say drug tests are sometimes necessary. However, mass testing can also cost a state money. In 2011, Florida required welfare recipients to pay for their own drug tests. More than 97% passed and the state had to reimburse them to the tune of more than $100,000.

Map of 2012 Legislative Proposals to Screen for Drug Use Among Welfare Recipients

Courtesy of National Conference of State Legislatures.

Museum to take 'exploding' whales

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:58
Canada's Royal Ontario Museum will take two blue whale carcasses that washed up on the coast of western Newfoundland.

New Anonymous Facebook Login Hides Info, But Not From Facebook

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:51

Facebook has introduced a way for users to log into apps anonymously as a way to build trust and protect privacy. User info would be protected from app developers, but visible to Facebook.

» E-Mail This

Police inquiry over Peaches' death

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:50
Police launch a criminal inquiry after it emerges that heroin was likely to have played a part in the death of Peaches Geldof.

FBI Director: Radicalization Of Westerners In Syria Is Of Great Concern

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:49

"All of us with a memory of the '80s and '90s saw the line drawn from Afghanistan to Sept. 11," says James Comey.

» E-Mail This

Afghan landslide 'kills hundreds'

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:47
At least 350 people have been killed and many more are missing, the UN says, after a landslide hit the Afghan province of Badakhshan.

Gay gets one-year ban for doping

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:36
American former 100m and 200m world champion Tyson Gay is banned for a year after testing positive for a banned substance.

VIDEO: Ballpoint pen paintings on display

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:27
This famous image of Audrey Hepburn, shows her in one of her most famous roles as Holly Golightly in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's.

MERS Virus Comes To U.S., But Risk To Public Is Deemed Low

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:27

An American health care worker who worked in Saudi Arabia is the first confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in this country. Health officials are concerned but not panicked.

» E-Mail This

Deaths And Downed Helicopters In Eastern Ukraine Offensive

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:13

The Ukrainian government says it has begun an operation to retake the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk from pro-Moscow militants. Militants there have already shot down two government helicopters.

» E-Mail This

Female breadwinners are rising

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:10

According to the Pew Research Center, women are not only enrolling and graduating from college at higher rates than men, but are also obtaining higher levels of education than men. And that could lead to higher salaries than men, too.

Farnoosh Torabi, author of "When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women," says the recession pushed many women into higher earnings brackets than their significant others. For some, those changes can cause tension within the relationship.

Torabi, who is the breadwinner in her own marriage, says money issues arise within most relationships because when women are the higher earners, there are more complexities. “Money has always been a point of contention in relationships, but when she makes more the stakes are higher. Money can sometimes wrongfully equal power and she’s holding the bigger paycheck it can easily make the man feel less than like he’s not providing [or] like he’s emasculated,” Torabi says.

Torabi says that open communication is the way to level the financial playing field and to address the emotions that arise when the woman makes more.  And the first line of defense for women is to “cater to the male brain,” she says.

 “Just as we women like to be communicated to in a specific way to feel engaged and to feel like we want to step up and help, men have a similar vocabulary they like to hear”, she says.

According to Torabi, being a female breadwinner not only carries financial responsibility, but women who are high earners tend to feel the need to be better homemakers. “As breadwinning women, surveys show that we actually take on more housework than women who make less. The domestic domain has been up until now, even still, led by women,” Torabi says.

According to the author, this is a recipe for disaster. 

“You can’t go through your life juggling work, focusing on the paycheck, and then coming home to deal with cleaning toilets. You’re going to burn out,” she says.

Torabi suggests that both partners that take on household duties in a way that feels equitable and for everything else she says “buy yourself wife.”

“It’s not about getting to 50-50 but how to feel you’re putting in what you feel is right and fair, and what your partner feels is right and fair. And whatever either of you doesn’t want to manage or take care of, how to outsource it affordably,” Torabi says.

Does it matter to you who’s the breadwinner in your family?  Email us or Tweet at us @LiveMoney

Outrage Out Of Moscow As News Of Ukrainian Offensive Spreads

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:10

Moscow has accused the U.S. and EU of destroying hopes for peace in eastern Ukraine by supporting the interim government's attempts to retake towns occupied by pro-Russia militants.

» E-Mail This

Making it to the 1 percent is more common than you think

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:09

The "1 percent" and the "99 percent" have become household phrases in the last few years. But in the course of moving discussions of income distribution percentiles beyond economic text books and in to the popular discourse of sound bites and protest signs, the nuances can get lost. Which brings us to some interesting new research about the 1 percent, discussed in a recent book called “Chasing the American Dream.” 

Back when the Occupy Wall Street movement was fond of chanting “We are the 99 percent” the book’s co-author, Mark Rank, got curious about some of the assumptions buried in that chant. Who exactly is the 99 percent? What’s their relationship to that remaining, increasingly notorious 1 percent?

The whole debate struck Rank as very us versus them. “There’s this image out there that those two groups do not cross over -- that they're static groups,” he says. 

Rank is a professor of social welfare at Washington University in St. Louis, and so he had the tools to see if this static image of the 1 percent versus everyone else was true. He and his co-author, Thomas Hirschl of Cornell, combed through four decades of survey data that followed the lives of thousands of Americans to see how much money they made each year.  And what they found surprised them.

The top-earners club isn’t quite the bastioned, unreachable world it's been painted out to be. “There actually is this really strong sense of fluidity in terms of folks entering the top income percentiles,” Rank says.  According to Rank and Hirschl’s research, one in five Americans are in the 2 percent at some point in their lives. And one in eight spend at least a year in the one percent.

So who are these visitors to the 1 percent? Some might be your neighbors.

Barrett Yeretsian, 34, lives in the southern California suburb of Glendale, CA in a totally non-descript condo — the same one he grew up in. Yeretsian says growing up, he was solidly middle class. His mom, a widow, owned an Armenian book store in Los Angeles, and money was sometimes tight. Scholarships and help from family got him through college at UCLA.

When he graduated, he turned down acceptance at two top law schools in favor of trying to make it in the music industry, as a song-writer and producer. After years almost making it, a few years ago, a song he wrote in his bedroom, became this smash hit, Jar of Hearts, after it debuted on the reality show “So You Think You Can Dance.”

 

Literally over night, “everything changed,” Yeretsian says. Including his income.  That year he catapulted in to the 1 percent. But, he says, tries not to live like he has. “Keep the overhead low. Enjoy life,” is his philosophy. (He was a philosophy major in college, and traces his non-lavish lifestyle back to reading Thoreau’s Walden.)

“Don't get me wrong, I go to Hawaii every year,” he says. And he’s bought several rental properties as investments. “Financially, I’m in a comfortable position. I think that's the big difference is you have that comfort.” 

Jason Laan is another recent arrival to the 1 percent, who made the leap after his iPhone app made it big. For him, the surprising thing about being at the top is that it doesn't always feel like the top. 

“The 1 percenters we think of spend $10,000 on a commode,” Laan says. “If you make $340,000” — the approximate household income needed to break into the 1 percent in the last few years — “you're not going to waste money on something like that.”

Laan says the year he made enough to qualify as a “1 percenter,” he asked his accountant about whether he should consider trying to take advantage of tax loop holes or off-shore accounts, to protect some of his money. His accountant laughed and told him he wasn't rich enough.

“You’re not connected enough to try to hide your assets in such a way,” Laan recalls his accountant saying. “You can’t afford the overhead.” 

Another thing about the latest research on the 1 percent from Rank and Hirschl: While one in eight Americans might visit the 1 percent for a year, only one in a hundred stay there for a decade or more.

How much you have to earn in order to make it into the "1 percent" by year.

Year Household
Income (USD) 1967 171,737 1968 191,151 1969 193,437 1970 191,119 1971 200,383 1972 217,578 1973 226,942 1974 222,524 1975 213,235 1976 234,114 1977 217,740 1978 229,473 1979 228,014 1980 222,287 1981 216,483 1982 211,998 1983 219,320 1984 235,775 1985 229,477 1986 240,388 1987 254,770 1988 277,464 1989 257,154 1990 257,815 1991 248,205 1992 262,715 1993 333,888 1994 308,292 1995 301,423 1996 320,269 1998 364,160 2000 440,253 2002 363,702 2004 362,315 2006 379,511 2008 376,608 2010 332,300

Source: Mark R. Rank, Thomas A. Hirschl, Is it just the One Percent, or is Affluence a Normal Life Course Event?, Cornell Univeristy

Making it to the 1 percent is more common than you think

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:09

The "1 percent" and the "99 percent" have become household phrases in the last few years. But in the course of moving discussions of income distribution percentiles beyond economic text books and in to the popular discourse of sound bites and protest signs, the nuances can get lost. Which brings us to some interesting new research about the “1 percent,” discussed in a recent book called “Chasing the American Dream.” 

Back when the Occupy Wall Street movement was fond of chanting “we are the 99 percent” the book’s co-author, Mark Rank, got curious about some of the assumptions buried in that chant. Who exactly isthe 99 percent? What’s their relationship to that remaining, increasingly notorious 1 percent?

The whole debate struck Rank as very us versus them. “There’s this image out there that those two groups do not cross over -- that they're static groups,” he says. 

Rank is a professor of social welfare at Washington University, and so he the tools to see if this static image of the 1 percent versus everyone else was true. He and his co-author, Thomas Hirschl of Cornell, combed through four decades of survey data that followed the lives of thousands of Americans to see how much money they made each year.  And what they found surprised them.

The top-earners club isn’t quite the bastioned, unreachable world it's been painted out to be. “There actually is this really strong sense of fluidity in terms of folks entering the top income percentiles,” Rank says.  According to Rank and Hirschl’s research, one in five Americans are in the 2 percent at some point in their lives. And one in eight spend at least a year in the one percent.

So who are these visitors to the one percent? Some might be your neighbors.

Barrett Yeretsian, 34, lives in the southern California suburb of Glendale, CA in a totally non-descript condo — the same one he grew up in. Yeretsian says growing up, he was solidly middle class. His mom, a widow, owned an Armenian book store in Los Angeles, and money was sometimes tight. Scholarships and help from family got him through college at UCLA.

When he graduated, he turned down acceptance at two top law schools in favor of trying to make it in the music industry, as a song-writer and producer. After years almost making it, a few years ago, a song he wrote in his bedroom, became this smash hit, Jar of Hearts, after it debuted on the reality show “So You Think You Can Dance.”

 

Literally over night, “everything changed,” Yeretsian says. Including his income.  That year he catapulted in to the 1 percent. But, he says, tries not to live like he has. “Keep the overhead low. Enjoy life,” is his philosophy. (He was a philosophy major in college, and traces his non-lavish lifestyle back to reading Thoreau’s Walden.)

“Don't get me wrong, I go to Hawaii every year,” he says. And he’s bought several rental properties as investments. “Financially, I’m in a comfortable position. I think that's the big difference is you have that comfort.” 

Jason Laan is another recent arrival to the 1 percent, who made the leap after his iphone app made it big. For him, the surprising thing about being at the top is that it doesn't always feel like the top. 

“The 1 percenters we think of spend $10,000 on a commode,” Laan says. “If you make $340,000” — the approximate household income needed to break into the 1 percent in the last few years — “you're not going to waste money on something like that.”

Laan says the year he made enough to qualify as a “1 percenter,” he asked his accountant about whether he should consider trying to take advantage of tax loop holes or off-shore accounts, to protect some of his money. His accountant laughed and told him he wasn't rich enough.

“You’re not connected enough to try to hide your assets in such a way,” Laan recalls his accountant saying. “You can’t afford the overhead.” 

Another thing about the latest research on the 1 percent from Rank and Hirschl: While one in eight Americans might visit the 1 percent for a year, only one in a hundred stay there for a decade or more.

How much you have to earn in order to make it into the "1 percent" by year.

Year Household
Income (USD) 1967 171,737 1968 191,151 1969 193,437 1970 191,119 1971 200,383 1972 217,578 1973 226,942 1974 222,524 1975 213,235 1976 234,114 1977 217,740 1978 229,473 1979 228,014 1980 222,287 1981 216,483 1982 211,998 1983 219,320 1984 235,775 1985 229,477 1986 240,388 1987 254,770 1988 277,464 1989 257,154 1990 257,815 1991 248,205 1992 262,715 1993 333,888 1994 308,292 1995 301,423 1996 320,269 1998 364,160 2000 440,253 2002 363,702 2004 362,315 2006 379,511 2008 376,608 2010 332,300

Source: Mark R. Rank, Thomas A. Hirschl, Is it just the One Percent, or is Affluence a Normal Life Course Event?, Cornell Univeristy

Positive April Jobs Report Blows Past Expectations

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:08

The April jobs report shows a labor market on the mend. Employers added 288,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, partly because of a decline in the size of the labor force.

» E-Mail This

In South Sudan, Peace Sought In Bringing Two Leaders Together

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:08

While on a one-day visit to South Sudan's capital, Secretary of State John Kerry said the country's recent conflict could devolve into genocide. He and regional leaders voiced support for a U.N.-sanctioned force to keep civilians safe.

» E-Mail This

Out Of White House Meeting, Obama And Merkel Emerge United On Russia

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:08

President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House Friday, in an effort to present a united front on the Ukrainian crisis. The pair held a joint press conference discussing the prospect of further sanctions on Russia.

» E-Mail This

An End In Sight For Siege Of Homs, As Syrian Rebels Plot Retreat

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:08

A deal is in the works to draw the long battle at Homs to a close. The deal would let the rebel fighters evacuate their stronghold in the Syrian city, at which point the Syrian government would enter.

» E-Mail This

ON THE AIR
Afropop World Wide
Next Up: @ 12:00 am
Echoes

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life.Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4