National / International News

Gabriel Garcia Marquez returns home

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 14:12
Renowned Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 87, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature, leaves hospital in Mexico after treatment.

21st Century Energy Outlook: Quite Similar To The Last Two Centuries

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 14:06

Anthony Alexander, the chief executive of FirstEnergy Corp., says coal and nuclear energy will continue to play a central role in this country's energy future.

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Miller 'devastated' by expenses row

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 14:04
Culture Secretary Maria Miller says she is "devastated" that she has let her constituents down, amid growing pressure on her to resign.

McGuinness toasts Queen at banquet

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:55
Northern Ireland deputy first minister and former IRA leader Martin McGuinness joins in a toast to the Queen during a state banquet at Windsor Castle.

Putting Student Data To The Test To Identify Struggling Kids

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:46

Schools collect a trove of student information, like attendance and grades. Now, more schools are mining that data to flag kids at risk of dropping out — often before anyone realizes they need help.

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VIDEO: Dewani remanded to psychiatric unit

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:41
A man accused of arranging his wife's killing on their honeymoon is remanded to a psychiatric hospital in South Africa.

Four held after hotel hammer attack

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:40
Three men and a woman are arrested after three women were attacked with a hammer in a central London hotel, police say.

Irish president hails UK friendship

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:39
Irish President Michael D Higgins tells the UK Parliament of his country's "deep and enduring" friendship with Britain.

100-Year-Old Message In A Bottle Plucked From Baltic Sea

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:36

The beer bottle was tossed into the sea in 1913 and recovered by a fisherman last month. It is thought to be the oldest ever "message in a bottle."

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Manischewitz promotes 'Kosher' as 'healthy'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:23

Passover is a week away, and if you know anything about this Jewish holiday, you know that it involves matzos, the unleavened cracker that you can buy in your local grocery store, usually in that one aisle with all the "ethnic foods." The kosher section of the supermarket is dominated by one brand in particular, Manischewitz, which as of today is owned by Sankaty Advisors, a division of the private equity firm Bain Capital.

Manischewitz wants people to think of the kosher symbol -- that little letter K on food packaging -- in the same way they think of the Fair Trade symbol, or the USDA Organic symbol -- higher quality and healthier..

“People want to know where the stuff comes from, how it’s made, who's making it,” says David Bernard, a marketing strategist with Mythmaker, a company whose strategy is to turn brands into compelling stories about "the essential human truth or core beliefs that brought the company to life.".

That strategy seems tailor-made for kosher foods, which according to Jewish belief are approved by God.

“That’s a pretty strong endorsement, but I think what it gets down to is this idea of authenticity," Bernard says. "It’s like, 'The people behind this product really care about what goes into it.'”

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That little "K" (along with its friends "OU" and "P"); has been showing up beyond bottles of Manischewitz. Check out some of the (bizarre) ways companies try to leverage "Kosher":

Coors claims to be "America’s First Kosher Beer

Go on a Kosher Safari in Africa!

Kickstarter funded high-end Kosher cheese! 

For a truly hands on experience: Get yourself a ticket to Kosherfest.

Tech firms challenged over hiring practices

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:19

Several technology giants, including Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe, are embroiled in a class-action lawsuit, where their employees claim the tech companies made an agreement not to poach talent from each other.

Employees at those companies say that resulted in $9 billion in lost wages.

Jim Balassone, with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, says figuring out exactly how much money in wages was lost is a lawyers' game. But, he says, the emails discovered during the lawsuit help connect the dots.

"In an email exchange between Google and Apple, Google sought the approval of Apple to hire four French software engineers who had already left Apple," Balassone said. 

Steve Jobs’ response? "We'd strongly prefer that you not hire these guys," he said in an email. 

Google honored his wishes.

"So there’s the issue of lost wages but harder to measure is the lost opportunity," says Balasone. 

Steve Donnelly, the head of recruiting for BigCommerce, has been reading the emails too. Referring to one in which Google asked if it could hire a current Apple employee, the answer was also "no." Donnelly believes that leaves the employee exposed.

"That limits the person who ends up staying with the company," he says, adding that an employer may decide not to promote that person or worse, start looking for somebody who’s more dedicated to the company to replace them. 

Scott Brosnan, a recruiter at Workbridge Associates in San Francisco, says competition for hiring engineers is stiff.

"I’ve seen candidates in this market where a year and a half ago were at $80,000 on their base salary and a year and a half later, they’ve changed two or three companies and their now at $140,000".

Brosnan says if engineers were blocked from taking jobs, then they were losing real money.

Google and Apple were contacted for comment, but did not respond to an email request.

Sentences for Argentina sex slavery

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:17
Ten people are sentenced in Argentina for kidnapping and sexually exploiting Marita Veron, who has been missing since 2002.

Chelsea 2-0 Paris St-Germain (3-3 agg)

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:17
Andre Schurrle and Demba Ba score as Chelsea reach the Champions League semi-finals by beating Paris St-Germain on away goals.

VIDEO: Glimpse of long-lost silent film

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:13
A lost masterpiece of British silent cinema has been discovered in the Netherlands, and the BFI is planning to screen it in the UK later this year.

Who's quitting? Who's hiring? Is it you?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:12

There are some good things in the JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey).  There were 4.2 million new job postings in February, 300,000 more than in January. We're at January 2008 levels now.

But let’s have our fresh numbers with a side of pickled context shall we?

First, these are mostly low wage jobs: restaurant jobs, temp jobs, for example.  This is typical of any  post-recession recovery; these are the jobs that rebound first.  We may not like them, but at least they’re rebounding. Second, we still have 2.5 times as many people as job postings.  That means 60 percent of people looking for a job in February weren't going to get hired no matter what they did.  In this kind of environment, employers have little incentive to bid up wages.

If employers aren’t bidding up wages and there aren’t nearly enough jobs to go around, then, thirdly, people aren’t going to really feel very comfortable with their job prospects.  Which is reflected in the Quits Rate – that’s the number of job quits/total employment.  It’s low, at *1.9 percent and it hasn’t really changed meaningfully in three years. 

Finally, job postings don’t mean job hirings.  Employers appear to be taking their time filling these positions.  That’s why the Hires Rate (number of hires during the entire month as a percent of total employment) is still depressed at 3.3 percent. But let’s not get all doom and gloom here.  Things are improving without a doubt.  They’re just doing so very slowly.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the quits and hires rates in the Labor Department's February report. The text has been corrected.

The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:08

Childhood amnesia descends gradually — and later than you might think, researchers say. Many 7-year-olds have robust memories of experiences from when they were 3 or even younger.

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Developer To Preserve Ancient Tequesta Village In Heart Of Miami

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:06

Archaeologists say the collection of circles in the bedrock of the city may be the oldest remains of a tribal village east of the Mississippi.

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McIlroy unfazed by Masters meltdown

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:03
Rory McIlroy says he does not have bad memories of Augusta, adding his 2011 Masters meltdown inspired his two major titles.

Wave Of Newly Insured Patients Strains Oregon Health Plan

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:02

Cheryl Stumph and her family haven't had health insurance for years. Now that they do, they plan to take make up for lost time. Pent-up demand for care is overwhelming an Oregon health plan.

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The Ebola Outbreak, Three Weeks In, Is Dire But Not Hopeless

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:56

In Guinea, an aggressive strain of the virus has claimed over 100 lives and invaded the capital city. But while it may take months to contain the outbreak, there already are survivors.

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