National / International News
For less than $10, you can order Ebola online and take it home — not the disease itself but rather, a cuddly, worm-shaped mock up of the virus.
"GIANT Microbes" are stuffed animals that resemble tiny microbes, only at one million times their actual size. The website says the characters are designed to be “appealing personalities” which can engage any audience. And yes, there is one for Ebola.
The toys are based on a real microscopic image of an actual microbe, sans the googly eyes. The Ebola virus plush sells for $9.95, but is currently sold out. There are also "gigantic" and Petri dish versions of the toy.
The Ebola doll has a positive five-star review on the website, which calls the disease the “T. Rex of microbes." Reviewers note the toy is the "perfect prop" for a Halloween costume, with others commenting they didn't realize the virus was "so cute."
McDonald's and Coca-Cola both reported disappointing earnings Tuesday morning, with 30 percent and 14 percent drops in revenue respectively. Both companies saw declining sales in the U.S. and Europe, and the fast food chain is still grappling with a scandal in China.
Here are some more stories we're reading, and other numbers we're watching, Tuesday.5
Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, last year. Pistorius' lawyer said the Olympian could only serve 10 months before being placed under house arrest. The sentence was handed down by the second black woman to become a high court judge in South Africa, Thokozile Masipa.7
The number of YouTube stars appearing in a new collaboration between Google and Lionsgate to promote the studio's new "Hunger Games" movie, AdAge reported. It's a high-profile push into branded entertainment for YouTube, and just the latest example of a big corporation exploring the value of Internet celebrities.$50 million
That's how much Kansas City could potentially make once business from the run-up to the World Series and the games themselves are all totaled. But other expenses, like the $225,000 parade thrown by San Francisco when the Giants won in 2012, have some questioning whether the costs involved in hosting a large sporting event mean the benefits are more modest than projected.2
That's how many "Notorious R.B.G." shirts Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has given to NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg. Ginsberg is apparently relishing in her meme status, and has collected "quite a large supply" of the shirts.
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died at age 82 on Monday. His clothes were well-liked by celebrities, by politicians, and also by many professionals who admired his sensibility and his style.
Vanessa Friedman, fashion critic and the fashion director for The New York Times, is someone who closely followed de la renta's career, and joined us to talk about his lasting legacy.
Click the media player above to hear Vanessa Friedman in conversation with Marketplace's David Gura.
Fast Food juggernaut McDonald’s released its earnings Tuesday. The company’s share price is less than super-sized. Comparative global sales dropped 3.3 percent in the third quarter. The Q3 report comes on the heels of the company’s troubles in China, where suppliers reportedly sold expired meat to stores.
As a result sales were down significantly in Asia, and the company upped spending on marketing to reassure customers that its food was safe.
But the bigger threat to McDonald’s is the drop U.S. and European sales, says Sara Senatore, a senior research analyst at Sanford Bernstein: “Same store sales declined pretty meaningfully in both regions."
Analyst Howard Penney attributes much of the sales slump to McCafe, the company’s rebranding of the old fashioned hamburger stand into something more Parisian shall we say. “They over indexed themselves to beverages in McCafe and that really changed the structure of the business and complicated the back of the house,” says Penney.
CEO Don Thompson acknowledged the company’s troubles in Asia the U.S. He also blamed the diluted earnings on a higher effective tax rate.