National / International News

What Burritos And Sandwiches Can Teach Us About Innovation

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-09 12:12

Is a burrito a sandwich? The answer may sound simple to you ... but the question gets at the very heart of a tension that's existed for ages.

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Rape victims 'vilified' online

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 12:11
Rape victims are being named and "vilified" online because laws to protect their anonymity are too weak, a House of Lords committee hears.

Corruption Convictions Spell 10 Year Sentence For Former NOLA Mayor

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-09 12:11

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other corruption crimes. The counts on which he was convicted cover a span that includes much of his two terms in office.

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The Plight Of Mosul's Museum: Iraqi Antiquities At Risk Of Ruin

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-09 12:11

Christopher Dickey, foreign editor for the Daily Beast, speaks to Melissa Block about the dangers facing antiquities in a museum and other archaeological sites in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

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In Germany, A Case Against Another Alleged American Spy

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-09 12:11

U.S.-German relations were further strained Wednesday over reports that prosecutors in Germany are investigating a German soldier accused of spying for the U.S. It's the second such case in a week.

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Lawmakers Unearth Failures To Investigate Campus Sex Crimes

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-09 12:11

According to survey results released by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., many American colleges are breaking the law by failing to respond to sexual assault allegations on campus.

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PM condemns public sector strike

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 12:09
People should go to work instead of joining Thursday's public sector strike, David Cameron says, as he pledges to change strike laws.

Husband murdered wife who left him

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 11:53
A man is found guilty of murdering his wife - the mother of their two children - by shooting her twice in the back because he could not accept she had left him.

Air checks: What do passengers think?

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 11:46
What passengers think of new airport security checks

'Unresponsive' pitch helps no-one

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 11:37
England's bowlers battled manfully on an unresponsive Trent Bridge pitch, says correspondent Jonathan Agnew.

VIDEO: Pesticide threat to wild birds

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 11:34
New research suggests that a farm pesticide which has been blamed for impacting Britain's bee colonies may also be harming the nation's wild birds.

NSA and FBI 'spied on US Muslims'

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 11:26
The US spied on emails of five high-profile Muslim Americans to try to identify security threats, documents leaked by Edward Snowden show.

Neymar recovery going 'very well'

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 11:09
Barcelona say Brazil playmaker Neymar is recovering "very well" from the fractured vertebra which ended his World Cup.

Golden Road bets big on craft beer

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-09 11:03

The craft beer industry keeps getting bigger. The Brewers Association reports that in 2013, the market share of craft beer in the United States had grown to 7.8 percent. Breweries are popping up all across the country including in Los Angeles, where Golden Road Brewing has enjoyed three years of tremendous growth.

Meg Gill and Tony Yanow launched Golden Road in 2011. Their facility now includes a large brewing space, canning line, and a pub. Their beers can be found in grocery stores and restaurants in the area. Their most recent deal puts Golden Road beer in airports across the country, rolling out this summer.

The brewery has been able to find the niche within craft beer with their Los Angeles-based business, Gil says.

“This market is enormous” she says. “We’re already too big for our boots in some accounts.”

Yanow says even with all their growth in the past three years, Golden Road is still far away from achieving the size of the Boston Beer Company, the brewers of Samuel Adams. Gill says craft brewers owe a lot of their success to Boston Beer.

“I think that Jim Cook and that company is one of the most talented businesses in America and they have brought craft beer back to America,” she says.

Yanow acknowledges the number of new breweries opening will slow. “At some point, the rate of growth, of expansion into new breweries has to stop because eventually," he says. "You have more breweries than people.”

But Yanow’s not too worried about a craft beer bubble. “The real question is, can you put the toothpaste back into the tube?... People who like our beer and people who like craft beer like our beer and they’re not going to stop liking our beer.”

How resorts ended up in those oval car decals

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-09 10:54

In 1994 Earle F. Williams was on Martha’s Vineyard when a sticker on the back of a car caught his eye. “I saw an oval decal with an MV on it,” remembers Williams.

At the time he sold sports-imprinted decals and memorabilia to colleges. His first thought when he saw the sticker was, I wonder if that thing is copyrighted. “I wanted to make sure we wouldn’t step on somebody’s toes.” Luckily for Williams, it wasn’t.

A few months later he started making his own stickers with the initials VT for Vermont. It being the Green Mountain State, he sold them in green. Since then he’s made countless versions of the white oval. This year he sold a little over a million decals, out of his house in Stowe, Vermont. That’s about half as many as he sold at the peak of his business, pre-recession. 

Though Williams markets his stickers as the Original Ovals, they were actually created by the United Nations in the 1940’s, as “Distinguishing Signs Used on Vehicles in International Traffic.” They were a way to identify the country of origin on automobiles traveling through Europe.

In the U.S., they became a status symbol. EH for East Hampton, or ACK for Nantucket, secret codes that said, the driver of this car lives or vacations in America’s most elite resorts.

“I think the temptation is to be a little disdainful when you see those,” said Cornell economics professor Robert Frank. “If people were really confident of their position in life, they wouldn’t feel a need to advertise it.”

Frank says these bumper stickers in and of themselves aren’t a big deal. But they are an indicator of larger economic trends. The wealthiest Americans are building larger and more ostentatious homes. “They’re not bad people because they do that," he says. "That’s what everyone does when they get more money. But the fact they build bigger houses shifts the frame of reference for the people just below the top, they build bigger too,” And that trickles down the income ladder. Meanwhile lower and middle class wages have stagnated. So everyone ends up spending more of their income to keep up.

There is a similar competition to get into the prestigious educational institutions, not just universities, but increasingly grade schools, even preschools. “When a parent’s child gets into a prestigious institution, the first thing that happens is a decal on the back window of the car, announcing that fact to the world,” Frank says.

As for the white oval decals, David Ewing isn’t a fan. He grew up in Swampscott, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. His father was a lawyer at a Boston law firm and his roots go way back in New England. “My dad’s ancestor was one of the founders of Northampton, Massachusetts, so it was the 1600’s,” Ewing says.

He spent his summer vacations in southern Maine and Nantucket. But he says his family would never have put a sticker on their car advertising that fact. “It was against their sensibility to show off, to the world at large anyway, he says. “There was a distaste for ostentation and a distaste for -- the term when we were growing up was status symbol.”

Today Ewing lives in California and he understands the impulse to put a sticker on your car that shows where you are from. “If you are a long way from home you’re sort of waving your hand going, 'anybody else out there?'” But he says if he saw a white oval with an MV for Martha’s Vineyard or an MH for Marblehead in his neighborhood, he wouldn’t go up to the owner of that car and strike up a conversation. “I’d avoid ‘em like the plague,” he said.

Fed plans to end stimulus in October

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 10:45
The Federal Reserve plans to end its stimulus programme in October if US economic growth continues at its current pace, meeting minutes released on Wednesday reveal.

Sainsbury's against longer Sundays

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 10:31
Sainsbury's former chief executive Justin King tells the BBC that the company is against relaxing Sunday trading rules.

Bell Labs claims net speed record

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 10:19
A team of researchers says it has transmitted data over traditional copper telephone lines at a record speed of 10 gigabits per second.

Nigeria are suspended by Fifa

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-09 10:17
Nigeria are suspended from all international football amid allegations of government interference.

What Happens When Israeli Mourners Visit A Palestinian Family

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-09 10:17

The scene was predictably awkward, even painfully so. But as NPR's Ari Shapiro reported for today's Morning Edition, the visit also brought a moment of grace for many of those involved.

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