レアジョブ英会話 Daily News Article Podcast

レアジョブ英会話 Daily News Article Podcast

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レアジョブオリジナルの英会話ニュース教材です。世界の時事ネタを中心に、ビジネスから科学やスポーツまで、幅広いトピックのニュースを毎日更新しています。本教材を通して、ビジネスで使える実用的な英会話表現や英単語を身に付けることができます。

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    Latest episodes from レアジョブ英会話 Daily News Article Podcast

    Movie chain Cineworld files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2022 1:31


    Movie theater operator Cineworld Group LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. as it deals with billions of dollars in debt and lower-than-expected attendance at screenings. “The pandemic was an incredibly difficult time for our business, with the enforced closure of cinemas and huge disruption to film schedules that has led us to this point," CEO Mooky Greidinger said in a statement. The company and its subsidiaries have commitments for an approximate $1.94 billion debtor-in-possession financing facility from existing lenders, which will help ensure Cineworld's operations continue as usual while it undergoes a reorganization. The British company, which owns Regal Cinemas in the U.S. and operates in 10 countries, said its theaters remained “open for business as usual” as it considered options for relief from its debt load. Cineworld had built up $4.8 billion in net debt, not including lease liabilities. The company, which has about 28,000 employees, previously said that its admissions levels have recently been below expectations. And with a “limited film slate,” it expects the lower levels to continue until November. That would mean an additional crunch to its finances. Cineworld anticipates exiting from Chapter 11 during the first quarter of 2023. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Scotland introduces rent freeze to tackle soaring costs

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 1:35


    Scotland's leader said she will bring in emergency legislation to introduce an immediate rent freeze to protect tenants as part of measures to tackle the U.K.'s cost-of-living crisis. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the emergency law will “give people security about the roof over their head this winter through a moratorium on evictions." It will also include measures to deliver a rent freeze for tenants in both the private and public rental markets. “The Scottish Government does not have the power to stop your energy bills soaring, but we can and will take action to make sure that your rent does not rise," Sturgeon said. She added that the measure means that rent in Scotland will be frozen until at least March 2023. Rail fares in Scotland will also not rise during the same period, Sturgeon said. Her statement coincided with the appointment of Liz Truss as the U.K.'s new prime minister. Truss took office after winning the governing Conservative Party's leadership contest. Truss inherits from her predecessor Boris Johnson a troubled economy and she is under immediate pressure to tackle a deepening crisis largely driven by spiraling gas and electricity bills. Truss has promised to act immediately to help people with soaring costs, but no details have yet been announced. Under its devolved government, Scotland makes some of its own laws but most fiscal policy matters are decided by the national government in London. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    UN weather agency predicts rare ‘triple-dip’ La Nina in 2022

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2022 1:50


    The U.N. weather agency is predicting that the phenomenon known as La Nina is poised to last through the end of this year, a mysterious “triple dip” — the first this century — caused by three straight years of its effect on climate patterns like drought and flooding worldwide. The World Meteorological Organization said La Nina conditions, which involve a large-scale cooling of ocean surface temperatures, have strengthened in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific with an increase in trade winds in recent weeks. The agency's top official was quick to caution that the “triple dip” doesn't mean global warming is easing. “It is exceptional to have three consecutive years with a La Nina event. Its cooling influence is temporarily slowing the rise in global temperatures, but it will not halt or reverse the long-term warming trend,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said. La Nina is a natural and cyclical cooling of parts of the equatorial Pacific that changes weather patterns worldwide, as opposed to warming caused by the better-known El Nino — an opposite phenomenon. La Nina often leads to more Atlantic hurricanes, less rain and more wildfires in the western United States, and agricultural losses in the central U.S. Studies have shown La Nina is more expensive to the United States than the El Nino. Together El Nino, La Nina and the neutral condition are called ENSO, which stands for El Nino Southern Oscillation, and they have one of the largest natural effects on climate, at times augmenting and other times dampening the big effects of human-caused climate change from the burning of coal, oil and gas, scientists say. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Gorbachev’s funeral, burial will reflect his varied legacy

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2022 1:52


    The funeral and burial plans for Mikhail Gorbachev sum up the crosscurrents of his legacy — final farewells were said in the same place where his rigid Soviet predecessors also lay, but he was buried near men who broke the Soviet mold. Gorbachev, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who died August 20, was laid in state on September 3, in Moscow's House of Unions. The building located between the Bolshoi Theater and the Duma, the lower house of parliament, for decades held the bodies of deceased Soviet leaders, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko. All of them were then interred outside the Kremlin walls — the mummified Lenin in an enormous mausoleum and the others in the nearby necropolis. But Gorbachev was buried in the cemetery of Novodevichy Convent, the resting place for the ousted Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who had criticized Stalin's “cult of personality,” and for Boris Yeltsin, the Russian president who became the ex-USSR's dominant leader. He was buried next to his wife Raisa, a demonstration of their public affection, which was such a contrast to the other leaders' barely visible personal lives. A few days before the funeral, the Kremlin had not yet announced whether it would be a state funeral. Gorbachev was a divisive, often-detested figure in Russia, and the state he led — the Soviet Union — no longer exists. Gorbachev was praised by some world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, for being open to democratic changes. Others criticized efforts by Soviet authorities to crush dissent in their countries under his leadership. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Spain’s ‘Tomatina’ battle returns after pandemic hiatus

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 25, 2022 1:38


    People from around the world pasted each other with tomatoes as Spain's famous “Tomatina” street tomato fight took place once again following a two-year suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic. Workers on trucks unloaded 130 tons of over-ripe tomatoes along the main street of the eastern town of Bunol for participants to throw, leaving the area drenched in red pulp. Up to 20,000 people were to take part in the festival, paying 12 euros ($12) a ticket for the privilege. The town's streets are hosed down and the revelers showered off within minutes of the hour-long noon battle ending. The event, held on the last Wednesday of August, was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945 in the town, located in a tomato-producing region. Media attention in the 1980s turned it into a national and international event, drawing participants from every corner of the world. Local officials said they expected fewer foreign visitors this year mainly because of continuing fears over COVID-19 in Asian countries. Participants don swimming goggles to protect their eyes while their clothes, typically T-shirts and shorts, are left covered in pulp. Besides being the first battle since before the pandemic started in 2020 in Spain, this year's celebration had the added incentive of being the event's 75th anniversary and 20 years since the festival was declared by Spain as an international tourism attraction. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    GM venture starts building battery cells at new Ohio factory

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 24, 2022 2:07


    General Motors said that a new electric vehicle battery plant built in Ohio has started producing cells, which could help customers get federal tax credits. The joint-venture plant near Warren, Ohio, is focused on training as it prepares to ramp up manufacturing. A spokeswoman for the venture said it is producing cells but they are not yet being shipped. They'll go into vehicles with GM's Ultium batteries, which currently include Hummer EVs, Chevrolet Silverado EV pickups and the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV. Eventually, though, the plant should help GM's EVs meet requirements to qualify for a $7,500-per-vehicle federal tax credit. Under the Inflation Reduction Act recently signed into law, electric vehicles and their batteries must be manufactured in North America to get the credit. Battery minerals must be mined or recycled on the continent as well, or half the tax credit would be lost. And the batteries can't have any components from China, another difficult hurdle. The requirements are designed to build a North American supply chain for EVs so the country isn't reliant on China and other overseas countries. GM says it's working to meet the requirements. The Ohio plant built with battery maker LG Energy Solution is a step toward getting the credits, which are key to boosting electric vehicle sales. No automaker wants to put EVs on the market that cost $7,500 more than the competition. The $2.3 billion, 2.8-million-square-foot battery plant now employs 800 people, and eventually, it will have 1,300. The factory is near Lordstown, Ohio, where GM closed a huge small-car assembly plant. GM has a goal of making only electric passenger vehicles by 2035, and CEO Mary Barra has pledged to unseat Tesla as the top seller of EVs by the middle of this decade. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    SpaceX, T-Mobile try to connect remote areas with satellites

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2022 1:31


    Elon Musk's SpaceX and T-Mobile are teaming up in an attempt to connect mobile devices through a network of satellites, providing coverage to even the most isolated places. Under the plan, T-Mobile's wireless network would be routed through SpaceX Starlink satellites that are in low Earth orbit. T-Mobile said that the vast majority of smartphones already on its network will be compatible with the new service using the device's existing radio. The companies are looking to provide text coverage, including SMS, MMS and participating messaging apps, nearly everywhere in the continental U.S., Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico and territorial waters starting with a beta in select areas by the end of next year. They want to add voice and data coverage at a later time. T-Mobile and SpaceX say they are ready to partner with other carriers to help expand the service worldwide. “The important thing about this is that it means there's no dead zones anywhere in the world for your cellphone," Elon Musk said during a live event at a SpaceX facility in Texas. The billionaire and Tesla CEO, who is engaged in a legal battle with Twitter, emphasized that one of the key benefits of the service will be that it can help people who are in life-threatening situations in remote areas, potentially saving lives. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Spanish market regulator warns about cryptocurrency event

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 1:55


    Spanish financial authorities kept a close eye on a major cryptocurrency metaverse event organized in Madrid on August 27. The CNMV stock market regulator warned that neither the organizers of the event, Mundocrypto, nor the sponsors have authorization to provide investment services or gather funds. The event at a Madrid concert arena was expected to draw 7,000 people. Spanish authorities and the CNMV said such gatherings are often aimed at luring people, especially youths, into investing in cryptocurrencies without full knowledge of the possible consequences. Mundocrypto founder Mani Thawani, a Spaniard, has defended the event, arguing that it is for educational purposes and to guide people financially. Mundocrypto describes itself as “world leader in crypto and blockchain education” and says 55,000 of its students have already become investors. The CNMV says Mundocrypto is on its grey list of entities suspected of raising funds and providing financial services without permits. Organizers say the show is aimed at unveiling new trends in the sector. Show business personalities and economists were also expected to take part. Two well-known television personalities pulled out of the event following the market regulator's warning. Earlier this year, a number of families complained to authorities that another cryptocurrency academy was brainwashing their children into spending their money on courses with promises they would become wealthy. Investments in cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoins, have boomed in recent years, but in several cases, currencies have lost their value quickly, and people have lost their investments in what is an unregulated market. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Australia lifts permanent immigration by 35,000 to 195,000

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 2:06


    The Australian government announced it will increase its permanent immigration intake by 35,000 to 195,000 in the current fiscal year as the nation grapples with skills and labor shortages. Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil announced the increase for the year ending June 30, 2023, during a two-day summit of 140 representatives of governments, trade unions, businesses and industry to address skills shortages exacerbated by the pandemic. O'Neill said Australian nurses have been working double and triple shifts for the past two years, flights were being canceled because of a lack of ground staff and fruit was being left to rot on trees because there was no one to pick it. “Our focus is always Australian jobs first, and that's why so much of the summit has focused on training and on the participation of women and other marginalized groups,” O'Neil said. “But the impact of COVID has been so severe that even if we exhaust every other possibility, we will still be many thousands of workers short, at least in the short term,” she added. O'Neil said many of the “best and brightest minds” were choosing to migrate to Canada, Germany and Britain instead of Australia. She described Australia's immigration program as “fiendishly complex” with more than 70 unique visa programs. Australia would establish a panel to rebuild its immigration program in the national interest, she said. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on the first day of the Jobs and Skills Summit that 180,000 free places would be offered in vocational education schools next year at a cost of 1.1 billion Australian dollars ($748 million) to reduce the nation's skills shortage. Australia imposed some of the strictest international travel restrictions of a democratic country for 20 months early in the pandemic and gradually reopened to skilled workers from December last year. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Guardians honor drummer Adams with Hall of Fame induction

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 1:25


    John Adams pounded his way to Cleveland baseball immortality. The longtime drummer, who has provided a steady, rallying beat during baseball games in Cleveland since the 1970s, has been honored with an induction into the team's Distinguished Hall of Fame. The tribute is to recognize Adams, who first toted a bass drum that he bought at a garage sale for $25 into the bleacher seats as a 21-year-old at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium on Aug. 24, 1973. He's attended more than 3,700 games while supporting the team. As part of the tribute to Adams, the club commissioned local sculptor David Demming to craft a replica bronze drum affixed to a bench that will reside in the team's Heritage Park behind the center field wall at Progressive Field. Also, there will be a plaque mounted on the wall next to his seat atop the left-field bleachers. The team plans to show a video tribute of Adams on the ballpark's giant scoreboard during two upcoming games. Adams' health has kept him away from the ballpark the past couple seasons. At the home opener in 2021, Patrick Carney, drummer for The Black Keys, the Grammy Award-winning rock duo from Akron, sat in for Adams. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Peloton to sell its bikes on Amazon in bid to reverse slump

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 1:57


    Peloton's high-end exercise bikes and other gear will now be able to be bought on Amazon in the U.S., a partnership aimed at boosting the fitness company's sales that have languished since the easing of pandemic lockdowns. “We want to meet consumers where they are, and they are shopping on Amazon,” Kevin Cornils, Peloton's chief commercial officer, said in a statement. The collaboration is Peloton's first with another retailer. Before, its products were sold only through its website, physical showrooms and other channels. And it comes after the company said last month that it was shedding jobs, shifting its delivery work to third-party vendors and significantly reducing the number of stores it has in North America. The news of the Amazon deal sent shares of New York-based Peloton Interactive Inc. soaring 20% on August 24. They were still down about 88% in the last 12 months. Products available at the launch on Amazon will include Peloton's original bike — listed at $1,445 — its strength-training “Guide” device, as well as its workout mat, dumbbells and glass water bottle. The company best known for its interactive stationary bikes saw its sales boom during the pandemic, but it has struggled to maintain high demand as COVID-19 vaccines became more widely available and homebound consumers started to go back to the gym. Amid those challenges, it sought to cut costs and reduce its operating footprint while ramping up prices on some of its popular products. Peloton also said it would outsource manufacturing for its stationary bikes and treadmills. The company said bike delivery will be available to most of the U.S. As part of the partnership, customers can get an expert to assemble their bikes, the company said. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    New space telescope shows Jupiter’s auroras, tiny moons

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 18, 2022 1:44


    The world's newest and biggest space telescope is showing Jupiter as never before, auroras and all. Scientists released the shots of the solar system's biggest planet August 22. The James Webb Space Telescope took the photos in July, capturing unprecedented views of Jupiter's northern and southern lights and swirling polar haze. Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a storm big enough to swallow Earth, stands out brightly alongside countless smaller storms. One wide-field picture is particularly dramatic, showing the faint rings around the planet, as well as two tiny moons against a glittering background of galaxies. “We've never seen Jupiter like this. It's all quite incredible,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater of the University of California, Berkeley, who helped lead the observations. “We hadn't really expected it to be this good, to be honest," she added in a statement. The infrared images were artificially colored in blue, white, green, yellow and orange, according to the U.S.-French research team, to make the features stand out. NASA and the European Space Agency's $10 billion successor to the Hubble Space Telescope rocketed away at the end of last year and has been observing the cosmos in the infrared since summer. Scientists hope to behold the dawn of the universe with Webb, peering all the way back to when the first stars and galaxies were forming 13.7 billion years ago. The observatory is positioned 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) from Earth. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Judge rules video scan of room before online testing illegal

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2022 2:00


    Cleveland State University violated a student's Fourth Amendment right to privacy when he was required to use a webcam to show his bedroom before taking an online test, a federal judge in Cleveland ruled. Matthew Besser, the attorney for student Aaron Ogletree, said that the lawsuit was filed last year to stop the university from enforcing an illegal practice aimed at preventing cheating and that Ogletree is not seeking monetary damages. The ruling by U.S. District Judge J. Philip Calabrese appears to set a precedent regarding student privacy rights, Besser said. “Freedom from government intrusion into our homes is the very core of what the Fourth Amendment protects,” Besser said. “If there is any place where students have a reasonable expectation of privacy, it's in their homes.” Ogletree initially protested but scanned his room before a chemistry test, fearing he would receive a failing grade if he did not comply, Besser said. Calabrese in his ruling ordered Besser and attorneys for Cleveland State to meet to determine what the next step in the case will be. He said in the order that Ogletree's right to privacy “outweighs Cleveland State's interests in scanning his room.” Cleveland State spokesperson David Kielmeyer said the school cannot comment on “active litigation.” “Ensuring academic integrity is essential to our mission and will guide us as we move forward,” Kielmeyer said. Ogletree said in the lawsuit that the COVID-19 pandemic forced him during the school's 2021 spring semester to take classes online to protect his family members' health. The decision whether to require students to show their rooms before a test is left to the discretion of individual professors and is not enforced by all instructors, Ogletree said in the lawsuit. Room scans are visible to other students who are taking a test, Ogletree's lawsuit said. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Bids for signed Warren Buffett portrait already top $30,000

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 2:04


    Billionaire Warren Buffett auctioned off a high-tech signed portrait of himself to raise money for one of his favorite charities, and the bidding already topped $30,000 a few days before the end of the auction. The portrait of Buffett created by Motiva Art features a grid of letters over the picture that light up to spell out several of the legendary investor's famous quotes. The eBay auction of this artwork was not able to rival the $19 million someone paid earlier this year for a private lunch with Buffett, but it's believed to have attracted big bidders among the Berkshire Hathaway CEO's devoted followers. The auction wrapped up on Buffett's 92nd birthday on Aug. 30. The proceeds from the art auction will go to Girls Inc. of Omaha, which provides educational, cultural and recreational programs for young women in Buffett's hometown. The nonprofit has benefitted from a number of other things the investor has auctioned off over the years. Buffett once sold off an old wallet of his that contained a stock tip, raising $210,000 for the organization. And in 2015, someone paid more than $122,000 for Buffett's 2006 Cadillac with his signature on the dashboard. The biggest Buffett payout for Girls Inc. came in 2018 when Buffett won a 10-year bet that an S&P 500 stock index fund would outperform a collection of hedge funds. That netted more than $2 million that Girls Inc. used to support a new residential program for young women leaving foster care. The June lunch auction that raised $19 million for the California-based Glide Foundation that helps the homeless in San Francisco attracted such an astronomical winning bid because Buffett said this year's auction would be the final one. Before the pandemic, he had auctioned off private lunches every year for 20 years and regularly raised millions for Glide. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Canada, Germany aim to start hydrogen shipments in 2025

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2022 1:48


    The leaders of Germany and Canada said a new hydrogen pact will kick-start a transatlantic hydrogen supply chain, with the first deliveries expected in just three years. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signed the deal in the port town of Stephenville, Newfoundland. A Canadian company has plans to build a zero-emission plant that will use wind energy to produce hydrogen and ammonia for export. Hydrogen is seen as a component of Europe's plan to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuels, particularly in light of the war in Ukraine and recent reductions in the supply of Russian natural gas to Germany and other countries. “The market case and the need to scale up was coming and wasn't quite here yet. Russia's illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine has meant that everything gets accelerated," Trudeau said. Scholz said Canada is Germany's partner of choice as the country moves away from relying on Russia to supply energy. “Our need might be even higher under the new circumstances,” Scholz said. Natural gas prices have surged as Russia has reduced or cut off natural gas flows to a dozen European Union countries, fueling inflation and raising the risk that Europe could plunge into recession. Germans have been urged to cut gas use now so the country will have enough for the winter ahead. The Canadian government earlier signed separate agreements with Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz that will see the two German auto manufacturers secure access to Canadian raw materials for batteries in electric vehicles. The agreements include Canadian cobalt, graphite, nickel and lithium. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Wimbledon fan taking legal action against Nick Kyrgios

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 1:50


    A tennis fan who was temporarily removed from Centre Court during the men's Wimbledon final following a complaint by Nick Kyrgios is taking legal action against the Australian tennis player for what she describes as a “reckless and entirely baseless allegation.” During a changeover in his match against Novak Djokovic, Kyrgios complained to the umpire that a spectator was distracting him while he was serving, saying she was intoxicated and that she should be removed from the stands. The spectator, Anna Palus, said in a statement released by her lawyers that she was bringing defamation proceedings against Kyrgios in a bid to clear her name. “During the course of the final, Nick Kyrgios made a reckless and entirely baseless allegation against me,” Palus said in the statement. “Not only did this cause considerable harm on the day, resulting in my temporary removal from the arena, but Mr. Kyrgios' false allegation was broadcast to, and read by, millions around the world, causing me and my family very substantial damage and distress.” Palus said she was taking action “to obtain vindication and to prevent repetition of the allegation.” She said any damages recovered will be donated to charity. “I hope that Mr. Kyrgios will reflect on the harm he has caused me and my family and offer a prompt resolution to this matter,” Palus said in the statement from her law firm, Brett Wilson LLP. “However, if he is unwilling to do this, I am committed to obtaining vindication in the High Court.” The incident took place during the third set of the match that Djokovic went on to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3). It was Kyrgios' first final at a grand slam tournament. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Scientists seek to develop hybrid coral reef off of Miami

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2022 1:44


    Scientists and students from the University of Miami dove into the dark waters a few miles off the shores of Miami as part of an effort to develop hybrid reefs. The team from the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science was on a mission to collect eggs and sperm from spawning staghorn coral, which they hope to use to fertilize other strains of staghorn corals in a lab. It's all part of a $7.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to help address security threats to the military and civilian infrastructure along vulnerable coastal regions in Florida and the Caribbean. The Miami-based project seeks to protect coastal bases from damaging hurricane storm surge using hybrid reefs. “Our mission is to develop hybrid reefs that combine the wave-protection benefits of artificial structures with the ecological benefits of coral reefs,” said Andrew Baker, a professor and director of the Coral Reef Futures Lab at the Rosenstiel School. “We will be working on next generation structural designs and concrete materials, and integrating them with novel ecological engineering approaches to help foster the growth of corals on these structures." They will also be testing new adaptive biology approaches to produce corals that are faster-growing and more resilient to a warming climate, he said. Coral spawns just a few nights every year, depending on water temperature and lunar cycle. Coral colonies simultaneously release their eggs and sperm into the water column, which fertilize one another to create baby coral. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Norway’s central bank enacts big rate hike to tame inflation

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2022 1:46


    Norway's central bank raised its key policy interest rate by half a percentage point, saying “inflation has been considerably higher than projected." The rate's increase to 1.75% was larger than expected as the bank takes aim at inflation that reached 6.8% in July. It noted that unemployment is very low, falling more than expected last month to 3.2%, and “activity in the Norwegian economy is high." “The rise in prices has been broad-based in recent months and may entail that inflation will remain high for longer than expected earlier,” Norges Bank said in a statement. “A faster rate rise now will reduce the risk of inflation becoming entrenched at a high level and the need for a sharper tightening of monetary policy further out.” It comes as central banks around the world are making big rate increases to tackle decades-high inflation. The U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of England and European Central Bank have all carried out hikes of a half-point or larger in recent weeks as they look to cool down the economy without tipping it into recession. The central bank in Norway, which is not a member of the European Union, noted that “persistent global price pressures will lead to a further acceleration in price inflation.” “On the other hand, the rise in interest rates and high inflation may cool down the housing market and curb household consumption faster than currently envisaged," the bank said. “There is also a risk of a sharper slowdown in global growth.” Based on the outlook and balance of risks, the bank said it will likely raise the policy rate further in September. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Crystal Palace player gets death threats after Núñez ejected

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 11, 2022 1:39


    Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen says he received death threats and an avalanche of abuse online after Liverpool's Darwin Núñez was ejected for headbutting him in a Premier League game on August 15. Andersen took to Instagram to share what he said was a sample of hundreds of abusive messages he has received since the 1-1 draw at Anfield. “Got maybe 300-400 of these messages last night,” the Dane posted to his Instagram story, which called on the league and Instagram to take action. Media reports said Andersen has also spoken to the police. Some of the screenshots called for the Palace player's death, and many were full of expletives. Some messages threatened not just Andersen but his family as well. A Premier League spokesperson confirmed the governing body had been in touch with Palace to offer help, Britain's Press Association said. The British parliament had been set to discuss new legislation in July that would have forced tech companies to take stronger measures to tackle abuse and hate on their platforms, but the bill was postponed until a new leader of the ruling Conservative party is chosen. Núñez was making his first competitive start for Liverpool. The club's big offseason signing lost his temper after jostling with Andersen off the ball and thrust his head into the face of the defender. He was sent off in the 57th minute. Andersen got a yellow card in the same incident. Núñez is facing a three-match ban for violent conduct. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Airbnb is rolling out new screening tools to stop parties

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 10, 2022 1:31


    Airbnb says it will use new methods to spot and block people who try to use the short-term rental service to throw a party. The company said it has introduced technology that examines the would-be renter's history on Airbnb, how far they live from the home they want to rent, whether they're renting for a weekday or weekend, and other factors. Airbnb said the screening system that it is rolling out for listings in the United States and Canada has been tested since last October in parts of Australia, where it produced a 35% drop in unauthorized parties. The San Francisco-based company said the technology is designed to prevent a customer's request for reservation from ever reaching the host of the property involved. Airbnb said people blocked from renting an entire home might be able to book a single room because the host is more likely to be around. Airbnb has been under growing pressure to clamp down on parties since 2019, when a Halloween house party in a San Francisco suburb ended with five people dead in a shooting. The following year, Airbnb announced a worldwide party ban at its listings and banned people under 25 from renting an entire house near their home unless they had a record of positive reviews on the site. The party ban was initially cast as a temporary health measure during the pandemic but was made permanent in June. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Fermented horse milk season on in Kyrgyzstan

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2022 1:45


    High up in the Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan, the season for making the fermented drink known as kumis is in full swing. Connoisseurs of kumis, an important part of nomadic tribes' diets for untold centuries, say the Suusamyr valley is home to the best version of the drink. In winter, the valley, which is 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above sea level, is covered in meters-deep snow. When the thaw comes, the abundance of water feeds dense grass and herbs. By the end of summer, the valley is awash in a thick, emerald carpet of juicy blades of grass that horses eagerly devour. The grass and herbs lend a particular flavor to the milk that locals draw from the mares in the fields where they graze. The milk then is left to ferment, or sometimes churned to promote fermentation, until it becomes mildly alcoholic. Cows' milk can also be used, but it is regarded as inferior. Mares' milk has a higher sugar content, making it more amenable to fermentation. Rustam Tukhvatshin, a Kyrgyz medicines professor, says kumis promotes the growth of blood cells and detoxifies the body, among other benefits. He says he never misses coming to Suusamyr when kumis production is at its height. Tourists and people from other parts of Kyrgyzstan also are taking notice of the region's kumis. Large wood-framed tents known as yurts have been set up along the road with tables where kumis is sold. With time to spare, a buyer can relax in the yurts while drinking the highly regarded beverage. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    School district tries to fix bad Spanish translation

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 2:10


    As voting was already under way for Florida's August 23 election, officials in the county where about one in four voters are Hispanic scrambled to fix a Spanish translation error that can't help efforts to raise more money for education. The Broward school district — the nation's sixth largest, serving 271,517 students — is asking voters to double the tax rate to help cover the costs of teacher raises and more school security staff and to bolster mental health programs. The proposal would increase a tax from one half a mill — which is about $50 per $100,000 in home value — to a full mill. But the Spanish version of that question translated “one mill" into “one million" and said the funding would pay for an administrative person who oversees resources, not for school police officers. It also wrongly translated “essential instruction” into “essential expenditures.” The issue came to light when a Spanish-speaking voter contacted the South Florida SunSentinel. More than 64,000 citizens had already sent in their Vote-by-Mail ballots by the afternoon of August 17 for the Aug. 23 election, the SunSentinel reported. Early voting at polling places began on August 20 in Florida. The school district sent a new translation to the Broward Supervisor of Elections. This language was posted at polling locations and early voting sites, and also appeared in Vote-by-Mail ballots, district spokeswoman Keyla Concepción told the newspaper. “The Supervisor of Elections Office has also placed the information on its website. The District will share the notification through all its distribution channels to ensure the public is informed about the revision,” she said. The “Secure the Next Generation Renewal” school district referendum comes as funding voters approved in 2018 for such initiatives is set to expire, the Miami Herald reported. If approved, this referendum would run from fiscal year 2023 to 2027. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    J&J to end sales of baby powder with talc globally next year

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 2:04


    Johnson & Johnson is pulling baby powder containing talc worldwide next year after it did the same in the U.S. and Canada amid thousands of lawsuits claiming it caused cancer. Talc will be replaced by cornstarch, the company said. The company has faced litigation alleging its talcum powder caused users to develop ovarian cancer, through use for feminine hygiene, or mesothelioma, a cancer that strikes the lungs and other organs. J&J insists, and the overwhelming majority of medical research on talc indicates, that the talc baby powder is safe and doesn't cause cancer. However, demand for the company's baby powder fell off, and J&J removed the talc-based product in most of North America in 2020. The company did so after it saw demand drop due to “misleading talc litigation advertising that caused global confusion and unfounded concern” about product safety, a company spokeswoman said. J&J said the change announced August 11 will simplify its product selection and meet evolving global trends. Last October, J&J said a separate subsidiary it created to manage talc litigation claims had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. J&J said then that it funded the subsidiary, named LTL Management, and established a $2 billion trust to pay claims the bankruptcy court determines that it owes. The health care giant also said last fall that it will turn its consumer health business — which sells the baby powder, Band-Aids and other products — into a separate publicly traded company. The part of the company selling prescription drugs and medical devices will keep the J&J name. Shares of Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, rose slightly before the opening bell August 12. The stock has performed better than the Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which J&J is a member, for most of the year. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    EU says US electric vehicle tax credit could break WTO rules

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2022 2:16


    The European Union expressed concern that a new U.S. tax credit plan aimed at encouraging Americans to buy electric vehicles would discriminate against European producers and break World Trade Organization rules. Under the Inflation Reduction Act nearing final approval in the U.S. Congress, a tax credit of up to $7,500 could be granted to lower the cost of an electric vehicle. To qualify, the bill requires that electric vehicles should contain a battery built in North America with minerals mined or recycled on the continent. “The European Union is deeply concerned by this new, potential, trans-Atlantic trade barrier,” European Commission spokeswoman Miriam Garcia Ferrer said. “We think that it's discriminatory, that it's discriminating against foreign producers in relation to U.S. producers.” “Of course this would mean that it would be incompatible with the WTO,” she said. The commission is the EU's executive branch, and part of its responsibilities is to conduct trade with the outside world on behalf of the bloc's 27 nations. The commission agrees that tax credits are “an important incentive to drive the demand for electric vehicles” and ultimately to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “But we need to ensure that the measures introduced are fair,” the spokeswoman said. The idea behind the U.S. requirement is to encourage domestic manufacturing and mining, build a robust battery supply chain in North America and lessen the industry's dependence on overseas supply chains that could be subject to disruptions. Production of lithium and other minerals that are used to produce EV batteries is now dominated by China. The world's leading producer of cobalt, another component of EV batteries, is the Democratic Republic of Congo. But the commission is deeply concerned about the domestic U.S. content and assembly requirements in the tax credit plan and claims this only favors certain mineral-rich countries, to the detriment of EU products exported to America. EU subsidy schemes, the commission said, are available for domestic and foreign producers alike. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Getty Museum in LA to return illegally exported art to Italy

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 1:41


    The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is returning ancient sculptures and other works of art that were illegally exported from Italy, the museum announced. The Getty will return a nearly life-size group of Greek terra-cotta sculptures known as “Orpheus and the Sirens," believed to date from the fourth century B.C., according to the museum. The sculpture group was purchased by J. Paul Getty in 1976 shortly before his death and had been on display for decades. However, the museum now believes they were illegally excavated and taken out of Italy, based on evidence uncovered by the Manhattan district attorney's office, the Getty said in a statement. “It's just extremely rare and there's nothing similar in our collection, or closely similar in any collection,” Getty Museum director Timothy Potts told the Los Angeles Times. “It does leave a hole in our gallery but with this evidence that came forth, there was no question that it needed to be sent back to Italy.” The fragile sculptures will be sent to Rome in September to join collections designated by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Getty said. The museum also is working with the Ministry of Culture to arrange the return of four other objects at a future date. Those include a “colossal marble head of a divinity" and a stone mold for casting pendants, both from the second century A.D., along with an Etruscan bronze incense burner from the fourth century B.C. and a 19th-century painting by Camillo Miola entitled “Oracle at Delphi," the Getty said. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    France in midst of 4th heat wave amid historic drought

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 4, 2022 1:45


    France was in the midst of its fourth heat wave of the year on August 7 as the country faces what the government warned is its worst drought on record. National weather agency Meteo France said the heat wave began in the south and was expected to spread across the country. Overall, the southern half of France expects daytime temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and won't drop at night below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). The high temperatures aren't helping firefighters battling a wildfire in the Chartreuse Mountains near the Alps in eastern France, where authorities have evacuated around 140 people. Meteo France said the heat wave from the week of August 7 would not be as intense as the one in July, when several regions experienced record-breaking temperatures. But the high temperatures came during the most severe drought ever recorded, according to the government. July 2022 was the driest since measurements began in 1959. Some French farmers have started to see drops in production especially in soy, sunflower and corn yields. Water restrictions in place range from daytime irrigation bans to limiting water usage to people, livestock and to keep aquatic species alive. The government said that more than 100 municipalities can't provide drinking water through taps and need water truck supplies. The heat also forced energy giant EDF to temporarily cut power generation at some of its nuclear plants, which use river water to cool reactors. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    As Mexico’s inflation hits 8.15%, families cut back

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 3, 2022 1:47


    Mexico's annualized inflation rate hit 8.15% in July, the highest in more than two decades, the national statistics institute announced. But inflation in prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages is even higher, with prices rising 14.5% over the last 12 months. Many Mexican families are feeling the pinch and going without some of the costlier items like meat. The Mexican government raised the country's minimum wage by 22% in 2022 to about $8.50 per day, but much of that increase has now been consumed by inflation. Housewife Carla Valadez was shopping at a Mexico City market and had to buy vegetables instead of pork because of the prices. “We are going to become vegetarians out of necessity,” said Valadez. Tinga, a traditional dish made of tomatoes, onions and chili with shredded chicken or beef, is now prohibitively expensive. “Now my son asks me to make carrot tinga,” said Valadez. Juana Pardo, a retiree who tries to make ends meet on an $82-per-month supplementary pension program for the elderly, says “what I get from the government isn't enough anymore.” Pardo is buying some nopal cactus leaves, and has taken to eating more vegetables and beans instead of chicken and eggs, because of the prices. “There is nothing else I can do, if I can't make ends meet.” The government has lifted import duties on 21 basic food items and has encouraged Mexicans to grow more food, but it is not clear how much that will help in a world where high inflation has become generalized. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Jill Biden helps National Geographic promote national parks

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2022 1:41


    Jill Biden is helping National Geographic promote its documentary series on U.S. national parks. The first lady introduces each installment of “America's National Parks,” a five-night series scheduled for broadcast on consecutive nights that began Aug. 29. She introduces the series from the Grand Canyon and encourages people to visit. “America's national parks are full of unrivaled beauty, geological wonders, cultural history and amazing wildlife," she says in a video clip released as National Geographic announced the series and her participation in the project. “Each national park connects people to a piece of the American story, who we are and where we came from,” the first lady says. "With more than 400 national park sites, there are so many unique places in our country that are just waiting to be explored.” Country music star Garth Brooks is executive producer and narrator of the series. Individual episodes feature the landscapes and wildlife inhabitants of Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Big Bend, Badlands and Hawaii Volcanoes national parks. In conjunction with the first lady's “Joining Forces” initiative for military and veteran families, National Geographic also aired a public service announcement during the series in which Biden reminds service members, veterans and their families of their free admission to all national parks. The series kicked off National Geographic's new event, America's National Parks Week. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Japan’s Toshiba boosts profit on devices, auto sector demand

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2022 2:18


    Toshiba reported a 44% improvement in profit in the last quarter as the Japanese technology giant worked to revamp its brand image and reassure investors about its management. Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp. said that it recorded a 25.9 billion yen ($192 million) profit in the April-June period, up from 18 billion yen the year before. Quarterly sales rose nearly 2% to 740.7 billion yen ($5.5 billion). Toshiba has promised to boost sales by forging ahead with clean energy, infrastructure projects, data services, devices and storage businesses. Profitability improved for electronic devices, storage and digital solutions, and demand was good from the auto sector, it said. In March, investors rejected a company-backed reform proposal to split Toshiba into two businesses. An earlier plan that also was scrapped had called for a three-way split. Toshiba has been studying privatization as it tries to move ahead with its restructuring plan. It has set up a special committee that includes outside directors to oversee restructuring efforts. Founded in 1875, Toshiba was a revered Japanese brand behind electric rice cookers and laptop computers. It sold off its prized flash memory business as its fortunes tumbled. The company has been struggling since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. A tsunami sent three reactors into meltdowns, spewing radiation over an area that's still partly a no-go zone. The company is involved in the decommissioning effort, which will take decades. It also was embroiled in problems at its former U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017. Its reputation also was tarnished by an accounting scandal, which involved books being doctored for years. Toshiba officials declined comment on the direction of its nuclear business, noting that the event on August 10 was focused on financials. They said a review was continuing. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    1st sea turtle nest found on Mississippi beach since 2018

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 1:46


    Beach crews have found the first sea turtle nest on the Mississippi mainland in four years. A Harrison County Sand Beach crew that was cleaning up found what appeared to be turtle tracks just east of the Pass Christian Harbor, officials said. They protected the area and called the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, which followed the tracks to a nesting site that is now marked off with stakes and tape. The eggs likely belong to a protected loggerhead sea turtle or an even rarer Kemp's ridley sea turtle, which is the most critically endangered species of sea turtle, said Moby Solangi, president of the marine studies group. The exact species of turtle won't be known until the eggs hatch in 50 to 60 days. Only about 1 in 10,000 sea turtle eggs reach adulthood. Turtles lay between 60 to 100 eggs in a nest and have multiple nests during a season, Solangi told The Sun Herald in Biloxi. This is the first sea turtle nest on mainland Mississippi since 2018, although there have been unofficial reports of nests on uninhabited barrier islands, officials said. The Mississippi Sound and Gulf of Mexico are important sea turtle habitats, but the 2010 oil spill and the 2019 opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway hurt the turtle population, Solangi said. “After all the environmental disasters we've had, this is a good sign. When (turtle populations) have gone down, it means the ecosystem that supports them is having difficulty. When animals start breeding, it means things have started to get better,” Solangi said. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Champions League to get new camera tech for offside calls

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2022 1:25


    The Champions League will use a camera-based system to judge tight offside calls in the group stage starting next month, UEFA said. The Semi-Automated Offside Technology, which was also approved last month by FIFA for the World Cup in Qatar, uses multiple cameras to more accurately track players' limbs and the point when a key pass is made. The technology promises faster and more accurate offside decisions than are currently made with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system. UEFA said it would use the new system August 10 at the Super Cup game between European champion Real Madrid and Europa League winner Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki ahead of its Champions League debut on Sept. 6. The system was tested at the women's European Championship in England and in the Champions League last season. “UEFA is constantly looking for new technological solutions to improve the game and support the work of the referees,” its chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti said in a statement. Controversial calls have often flared in European leagues where VAR officials draw on-screen lines over players for marginal calls. They have been mocked as “armpit offsides” because of the tiny margins. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Nintendo’s profit rises despite shortages of computer chips

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2022 2:17


    Nintendo's profit in the April-June quarter rose 28% from a year earlier on healthy demand for its games, although its console sales were dented by a shortage of semiconductors. The Japanese video game maker behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises said its profit in the last quarter totaled 118.9 billion yen ($895 million), up from 92.7 billion yen in the same period in 2021. Quarterly sales fell 4.7% to 307.4 billion yen ($2.3 billion), according to Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. Other game makers, such as Sony Group Corp., automakers like Toyota Motor Corp. and other manufacturers have been hurt by shortfalls in supplies of the chips that run most modern products. While those supply chain disruptions are largely due to the pandemic, game companies got a big boost in demand from COVID-19, which had people stuck at home and turning to games for entertainment. As pandemic precautions ease, that spike in sales is wearing off. Hit games have also driven console sales, such as “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Among the games that were released and did well during the last quarter were “Nintendo Switch Sports,” which sold 4.84 million units, and “Mario Strikers: Battle League.” Previously released games with strong sales included “Kirby and the Forgotten Land” and “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.” Sales were also strong for downloaded digital games. Nintendo sold 22% fewer Switch consoles during the latest quarter, at 3.4 million units, compared to the same period last year. Cumulative sales topped 111.08 million units. The company expects to sell 21 million Switch machines for the fiscal year. More than 100 million users played the Switch over the last year, according to Nintendo. The company kept its profit forecast for the fiscal year through March 2023 unchanged at 340 billion yen ($2.6 billion). This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    ‘Guard cat’ credited with preventing would-be robbery

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 28, 2022 1:42


    A Mississippi man said his pet cat helped prevent a robbery at his home, and he credits the calico with possibly saving his life. Bandit, a 20-pound (9.1-kilogram) cat, lives with her retired owner Fred Everitt in the Tupelo suburb of Belden. When at least two people tried to break into their shared home, the cat did everything she could to alert Everitt of the danger, he told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. “You hear of guard dogs,” said Everitt, 68. “This is a guard cat.” The attempted robbery occurred sometime between 2:30 and 3 a.m. on July 25, Everitt said. He was first awoken by Bandit's meows in the kitchen. Then, she raced into the bedroom, jumped onto the bed and began pulling the comforter off of him and clawing at his arms. Everitt knew something was wrong. “She had never done that before,” Everitt said. “I went, ‘What in the world is wrong with you?'” Everitt got up to investigate and saw two young men outside his back door. One had a handgun, and the other was using a crowbar to try and pry the door open, he said. Everitt said by the time he retrieved a handgun and returned to the kitchen, the would-be intruders had already fled. Everitt told the newspaper that he did not call the police. He said the situation could have been different without Bandit. “It did not turn into a confrontational situation, thank goodness,” Everitt said. “But I think it's only because of the cat.” Everitt adopted Bandit from the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society four years ago. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Panama teachers end long strike that set off wider protests

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2022 1:35


    Panama's teachers will return to the classroom after a month-long strike that blocked commerce and snarled the capital with traffic. The strike, which was over the high cost of living and government corruption, was supported by a number of other sectors. The teacher walkout started what became the largest social protest that Panama had seen in years. Educators said they were fed up with the soaring prices for gasoline, food and medicine and wanted more investment in education. The teachers were eventually joined by construction workers and indigenous groups, as well as frustrated average Panamanians. They erected highway roadblocks that froze supply routes and caused some shortages. After more than a week of dialogue mediated by the Roman Catholic Church, the government agreed to hold prices on dozens of basic consumer products and a lower cost for gasoline. The government said it would create mechanisms for the direct purchase of medicines to avoid shortages plaguing public hospitals and promised to set maximum prices for 150 medicines. The dialogue between protest groups and the government was scheduled to resume August 3. Several pending demands remain, including reducing the cost of electricity, increasing government transparency and reducing government corruption. Before announcing the end to their strike August 1, teachers held a big rally in the capital. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Spain: Stores must keep doors shut, limit AC to save energy

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 1:45


    Spanish offices, stores, and hospitality venues will no longer be allowed to set their cooling systems below 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer nor raise heating above 19 degrees Celsius in the winter under a new set of energy-saving measures passed August 1. Shops will also be obliged to keep doors closed and heating systems must be checked more often to increase efficiency under the new measures, Spanish Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera said. The measures include switching off store window lights after 10 p.m. Street lighting will not be affected. The government passed the bill as part of a bid to reduce the country's gas consumption by 7% in line with the recent European Union energy agreements to limit dependency on Russian gas. Ribera said the measures would initially be maintained until November 2023. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the new package saying, “You just need to walk into a shopping mall to realize that maybe the temperature is set too low.” Spanish public institutions already operate similar energy-saving regulations. The government says the measures will not only save energy but will also bring down bills for households and businesses. Spain is one of the hottest European countries in summer. The country has already had two heat waves this year with temperatures often surpassing 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for several days in a row. Temperatures were forecasted to soar again in the first weeks of August. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Number of uninsured Americans drops to record low

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2022 2:04


    The number of people living in America without health insurance coverage hit an all-time low of 8 percent this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced. “Every American has the right to the peace of mind that comes with access to affordable, quality health care,” President Joe Biden said in a statement about the record-low rate of uninsured Americans. The findings come days after Democrats hammered out a 725-page climate, health care and tax deal that would extend generous federal subsidies for people who buy private health insurance that are credited with driving down the uninsured rates. Democrats have proposed spending $64 billion to extend those price breaks for three more years. The drop in uninsured Americans began last year, when Congress and Biden signed off on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that lowered premiums and out-of-pocket costs for new or returning customers purchasing plans through the Affordable Care Act's private health insurance markets. The uninsured rate fell to just under 9 percent last year with the improved subsidies. The Biden administration also began to step up advertising and increased the number of counselors who helped sign up people for plans during the open enrollment season last year. Prior to last year, the uninsured rate had consistently remained in the double digits for decades. The number of uninsured Americans began dropping after the ACA, which expanded Medicaid and offers health insurance to people who lack job-based coverage through a mix of subsidized private plans, was enacted in 2010. Roughly 26 million people remain without health insurance in the U.S. Just under 2 percent of children are now uninsured. “We know that access to quality, affordable health care is key to healthier lives, economic security, and peace of mind,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Barcelona auctions NFT of iconic Cruyff goal for $693,000

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 1:32


    Barcelona has auctioned off a digital art piece depicting an iconic goal by Johan Cruyff for $693,000 as it seeks new revenues to battle its way out of massive debt, the Spanish club said. Barcelona said that the auction run by Sotheby's in New York for the club's first NFT, or non-fungible token, closed at $550,000 on July 29. The auctioneer's fees increased the final sale price to $693,000. The art piece depicts Cruyff's memorable goal for the Netherlands from 1973 when he greatly soared through the air with his leg outstretched to score. In the image, Cruyff appears to be dipped in gold. The NFT is called “In a Way, Immortal,” inspired by a quote by Cruyff, who left his mark as both a player and coach at Barcelona. Barcelona has been searching for new forms of revenue as it struggles to pay down 1 billion euros ($1 billion) of debt. That has included selling Camp Nou's naming rights to the Spotify audio-streaming service and recently selling off 25% of its Spanish league television rights for 25 years. An NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital image that cannot be copied. There is a booming market for collectors and artists interested in this form of digital art. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Turkmenistan restricts export of its local Alabay dog breed

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2022 1:42


    The Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan says if you're trying to smuggle its prized native dog breed out of the country, you're barking up the wrong tree. The government is now requiring that its celebrated Alabay dogs receive a passport before they can leave the country. A law that took effect last month requires that all puppies of the breed, which is also known as the Central Asian shepherd dog, be marked in the government's pedigree book and register of pedigreed dogs. Passports will be issued including data on the dog's sex, date of birth, color, as well as details about the owner. Special government export permission will be required. Turkmenistan, an isolated desert country of 6 million people, prides itself on its horses and dogs, honoring centuries-old herding traditions. Alabay, traditionally used for guarding livestock herds, are among the world's largest dogs, weighing as much as 80 kilograms (175 pounds). In 2020, then-President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov established a holiday honoring the dogs, and last year unveiled a 15-meter (50-foot)-tall golden statue of them in the nation's capital, Ashgabat. The Turkmen leader extolled the Alabay for years. He published a book and wrote a song about the breed and presented Russian President Vladimir Putin with an Alabay puppy in 2017. Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's son, Serdar, who was elected president this year, heads the international association of Alabays. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    UK crown court judge’s sentencing broadcast for first time

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2022 1:47


    In the first crown court sentencing to be televised in Britain, a British judge jailed a man for life for killing his grandfather. Judge Sarah Munro's remarks were the first to be broadcast live on news channels after a change in law to allow cameras in British crown courts, which deal with serious criminal cases. The legal change was made in 2020, but it was only implemented July 28 because of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. Munro sentenced Ben Oliver, 25, to life in prison with a minimum term of 10 years and eight months for the manslaughter of his 74-year-old grandfather. The case was heard at the Central Criminal Court in London, which routinely hears the country's most high-profile cases including murders and terrorism trials. Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the move will help the public better understand the decisions judges make in complex criminal cases. “Opening up the courtroom to cameras to film the sentencing of some of the country's most serious offenders will improve transparency and reinforce confidence in the justice system," Raab said in a statement. Under the change in the law, crown court judges can be filmed delivering their sentencing remarks. Only the judge will be on camera to protect the privacy of victims, witnesses and jurors. Previously, court proceedings were only broadcast from certain Court of Appeal cases. Broadcasters hailed the change as a “landmark moment for open justice." “Court reporting is vital to democracy and the rule of law and this long overdue change is welcomed," said John Battle, chair of the Media Lawyers Association. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Japanese city alarmed by biting, clawing, attacking monkeys

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 21, 2022 2:11


    People in a southwestern Japanese city have come under attack from monkeys that are trying to snatch babies, biting and clawing at flesh, and sneaking into nursery schools. The attacks — on 58 people since July 8 — are getting so bad that Yamaguchi city hall hired a special unit to hunt the animals with tranquilizer guns. The monkeys aren't interested in food, so traps haven't worked. They have targeted mostly children and the elderly. “They are so smart, and they tend to sneak up and attack from behind, often grabbing at your legs,” city official Masato Saito said. When confronted by a monkey, the instructions are: Do not look them in the eye, make yourself look as big as possible, such as by spreading open your coat, then back away as quietly as possible without making sudden moves, according to Saito. A woman was assaulted by a monkey while hanging laundry on her veranda. Another victim showed bandaged toes. They were taken aback and frightened by how big and fat the monkeys were. The monkeys terrorizing the community are Japanese macaques, the kind often pictured peacefully bathing in hot springs. One male monkey, measuring 49 centimeters (1.6 feet) in height and weighing 7 kilograms (15 pounds), was caught by the team with the tranquilizer gun. It was judged by various evidence to be one of the attacking monkeys and put to death. But more attacks were reported after the capture. No one has been seriously injured so far. But all have been advised to get hospital treatment. Ambulances were called in some cases. Although Japan is industrialized and urban, a fair portion of land in the archipelago is mountains and forests. Rare attacks on people by a bear, boars or other wildlife have occurred, but generally not by monkeys. No one seems to know why the attacks have occurred, and where exactly the troop of monkeys came from remains unclear. “I have never seen anything like this my entire life,” Saito said. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Inflation hits NYC’s bodega favorite: Bacon, egg and cheese

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 20, 2022 2:01


    Ah, the bacon, egg and cheese. The classic bodega breakfast sandwich is a staple in many a New Yorker's diet. It's easy to make, easy to eat on the go and cheap — although not as cheap as it used to be. To keep up with today's levels of inflation due to the pandemic and Russia's war with Ukraine, bodega owners are faced with no choice but to raise the prices of their famously low-priced breakfast sandwiches. “Bacon, egg and cheese -- you can't take that sandwich away,” said Francisco Marte, who owns a bodega in the Bronx. “That's the favorite sandwich for the New Yorkers.” Marte has had to increase prices on everything from sugar to potato chips -- and the cost of his bacon, egg and cheese sandwich is up from $2.50 to $4.50. At the wholesale level, inflation climbed 11.3% in June compared with a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Producer prices have surged nearly 18% for goods and nearly 8% for services compared with June 2021. “These things happen. And normally, in normal times, the supply chain is able to absorb some of that shock,” said Katie Denis, a spokesperson with the Consumer Brands Association, a trade group representing food, personal care and cleaning companies. “Right now, there's just no slack.” Frances Rice, who stopped by Marte's bodega for a bacon, egg and cheese, says she's trying to work out how to cope with less slack in her budget as prices rise. She says there's always a silver lining. “It means that I buy a good breakfast and stretch it to lunch and don't eat again until I get home, which means I lose weight,” she said. “Got to look at the brighter side of things, because you know what? Either way, if you got to move, you've got to pay. If you're hungry, you have to eat.” This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    ‘Earliest animal predator’ named after David Attenborough

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2022 1:58


    A fossil of a 560-million-year-old creature, which researchers believe to be the first animal predator, has been named after the British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough. Scientists said they believe the specimen, named Auroralumina attenboroughii, is the earliest creature known to have a skeleton. It is related to the group that includes corals, jellyfish and anemones, they say. “It's generally held that modern animal groups like jellyfish appeared 540 million years ago in the Cambrian explosion," said Phil Wilby, a palaeontologist at the British Geological Survey. “But this predator predates that by 20 million years." He said it was “massively exciting” to know that the fossil was one of possibly many that hold the key to “when complex life began on Earth.” The fossil was found in Charnwood Forest near Leicester in central England, where Attenborough used to go fossil hunting. The 96-year-old said he was “truly delighted." Frankie Dunn, from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, said the specimen was very different to other fossils found in Charnwood Forest and around the world. Dunn said, unlike most other fossils from the Cambrian period, “this one clearly has a skeleton, with densely-packed tentacles that would have waved around in the water capturing passing food, much like corals and sea anemones do today." The first part of the creature's name is Latin for dawn lantern, in recognition of its great age and resemblance to a burning torch. The Cambrian explosion, which took place between about 541 million to 530 million years ago, was an evolutionary burst that saw the emergence of a huge diversity of animals. Many of the creatures evolved hard body parts such as calcium carbonate shells during this time. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    As the online pandemic boom fades, Shopify cuts 1,000 jobs

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2022 2:00


    Shopify is cutting 10% of its staff, or about 1,000 employees, as the e-commerce company reckons with an unexpected sales downturn after a pandemic-fueled explosion. There has been a wave of layoffs or cutbacks in the tech sector with Wall Street distancing itself from some of the fast-growth companies that flourished over the past two years. Shares of Shopify Inc., based in Ottawa, Ontario, tumbled 15%. In a memo sent to employees, Tobias “Tobi” Lütke, the company's founder and CEO, said job cuts will be made across recruiting, support and sales departments. The company said it's also eliminating over-specialized and duplicate roles, as well as some groups that were “convenient to have but too far removed from building products." The company had anticipated that the pandemic would accelerate the entrenchment of e-commerce sales by five or even 10 years, Lütke wrote, and the company expanded to match those expectations. But he said it's now clear that bet didn't pay off. Spending, he said, appears closer to patterns seen before the arrival of COVID-19. “As a consequence, we have to say goodbye to some of you today and I'm deeply sorry for that,” Lütke wrote. Shopify was founded in 2006 as a web designer for retailers but has expanded into a suite of services including payments, marketing, and shipping. Sales leapt 86% between 2019 and 2020, and another 57% jump, to $4.61 billion, last year. By May, however, Shopify warned of slower revenue growth as the pandemic boom faded. Employees who are let go will get 16 weeks of severance pay, plus an additional week for every year of tenure, the company said. The layoffs were first reported by The Wall Street Journal. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Developing nations seek to overcome energy, currency crises

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 2:11


    Business leaders and officials from eight developing nations recently said in a meeting that more cooperation was needed among them to overcome dwindling foreign currency reserves, a growing energy crisis and supply chain disruptions. Representatives from Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey and Bangladesh under the banner of D-8, or Developing-8 countries, discussed about alternative trade financing such as cross currency swap, barter and blockchain to address their foreign currency reserves vulnerabilities, according to organizers. Bangladesh's Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen said the group, with a $5 trillion economy among its members, was working to implement a free trade agreement while also increasing the volume of trade. Organizers said the participants were exploring ways to boost energy security with members such as Iran and Nigeria among the world's top oil producers. Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million people and the world's 41st largest economy, has suspended operations in diesel-run power plants to ease pressure on the cost of imports. The country's central bank has also taken measures to reduce the imports of luxury goods amid shortages of dollars in banks. “Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and key global economic developments, every member country is experiencing foreign reserve and currency vulnerabilities, supply chain disruptions, inflation, energy and food security risks, and therefore should take precautionary measures to prepare for business beyond the usual,” said Sheikh Fazle Fahim, president of the D-8 Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Momen said the group should tap into its young workforce. “We have over 200 million young people, youth. And in addition, we have a lot of women entrepreneurs that are coming up." D-8 was established in Istanbul in 1997 to engage in economic cooperation and improve member states' position in the global economy. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    New lunar rover in the works as NASA moon mission advances

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 2:02


    A new lunar rover is under development by Lockheed Martin and Goodyear as NASA gears up for a return to the moon. Unlike the rover first used during the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, built to last only a few days and for short trips, the new lunar vehicle is being built for extended use. And this time, it's not just for NASA. “We're developing this new generation of lunar mobility vehicle to be available to NASA and for commercial companies and even other space agencies to support science and human exploration,” said Kirk Shireman, vice president of Lunar Exploration at Lockheed Martin. "This approach exemplifies NASA's desire for industry to take the lead with commercial efforts that enable the agency to be one of many customers.” Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the moon's surface in 1969 as part of the Apollo 11 mission. Goodyear, which was also involved in NASA's Apollo missions, will employ the airless tire technology it uses here for autonomous shuttles and other passenger vehicles. Lockheed Martin, based in Fort Worth, Texas, has worked with NASA for more than 50 years, including NASA's Orion exploration-class spaceship for Artemis and numerous Mars planetary spacecraft. The lunar vehicles will need to withstand extreme conditions on the moon's surface, where temperatures drop to -250 degrees Fahrenheit (-156.67 degrees Celsius) at night and rise to over 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121.11 degrees Celsius) during the day. Aside from Goodyear, based in Akron, Ohio, and Lockheed Martin, MDA of Canada will provide its commercial robotic arm technology for the vehicles. The companies anticipate having their first vehicle on the moon's surface at the same time as NASA's mission, planned for 2025. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest begins in Florida Keys

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2022 1:59


    The annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest began in Key West, marking the 123rd anniversary of Ernest Hemingway's July 21 birth. This year's competition attracted 135 portly, bearded men, who are endeavoring to prove their likeness to the famed American author. The contest is a highlight of Key West's annual Hemingway Days festivities, staged to celebrate the creative talent and colorful lifestyle of the man who lived and wrote on the island for most of the 1930s. Entrants paraded across the stage at Sloppy Joe's Bar, where Hemingway and his cohorts often met for drinks, before a judging panel of former contest winners. Most had full beards and wore sportsman's attire, seemingly emulating the “Papa” persona adopted by Hemingway in his later years. In the morning of July 21, a group of look-alikes helped release a 185-pound (83-kilogram) rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtle, coincidentally dubbed “Papa” when it was rescued after being entangled in fishing line, off the Florida Keys' Sombrero Beach in Marathon. The look-alike contest's second preliminary round was held on July 22, and the 2022 winner was chosen on July 23. Meanwhile, Nick Henke of St. Louis, Missouri, was named the winner of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. His entry, “A Lot of Carrefours,” triumphed over 775 other American and international submissions, judged by Ernest Hemingway's author granddaughter. Hemingway Days continued through July 24 with events including an offbeat “Running of the Bulls” spoof and the Key West Marlin Tournament. While living in Key West during most of the 1930s, Hemingway wrote classics including “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “To Have and Have Not.” This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Highway safety agency runs ads in effort to curb speeding

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 14, 2022 1:49


    The U.S. government's road safety agency said it will spend $8 million on ads aimed at stemming the rising number of traffic deaths caused by speeding. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaign called “Speeding Wrecks Lives” will run on television, radio and digitally, targeting drivers from ages 18 to 44. The agency said 11,258 people died in speed-related crashes in 2020, up 17% from 2019 even though there was less traffic on the roads in 2020 because of the pandemic. Speed contributed to 29% of all fatal crashes, with 87% of speed-related deaths happening on local roads, not interstate highways. The Governors Highway Safety Association, representing state traffic safety offices, said the death trend continued last year with speed killing nearly 12,000 people in 2021. “Speed-related deaths aren't inevitable," said Steven Cliff, NHTSA administrator. "They're preventable, and everyone has a role in addressing this crisis.” The ads ran in English and Spanish and were aired from July 20 until Aug. 14. The agency announced the campaign at an event in Los Angeles. Nearly 43,000 people were killed on U.S. roads last year. That's the highest number in 16 years as Americans returned to the highways after the pandemic forced many to stay at home. Traffic deaths rose 10.5% over 2020, the largest percentage increase since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began its fatality data collection in 1975. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    World’s oldest male giant panda dies at age 35 in Hong Kong

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 13, 2022 2:00


    The oldest-ever male giant panda in captivity has died at age 35 at a Hong Kong theme park after his health deteriorated. An An lived most of his life at Ocean Park after he and a female panda were gifted to Hong Kong by China in 1999. The female panda, Jia Jia, died in 2016 at age 38, making her the oldest-ever panda in captivity. Ocean Park mourned An An as a family member who grew with the park and built bonds with locals and tourists. “An An has brought us fond memories with numerous heart-warming moments. His cleverness and playfulness will be dearly missed,” Paulo Pong, chairman of Ocean Park Corporation, said in a statement. An An had high blood pressure, a common condition among geriatric pandas. For weeks, An An had been kept out of sight from visitors at the park as his health worsened. He stopped eating solid food and was significantly less active days before his death. Hundreds left comments on an Ocean Park post about An An's condition, wishing him a speedy recovery. In the morning of July 21, he was euthanized to prevent further suffering, after veterinarians from Ocean Park and government authorities consulted the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, Ocean Park said. “An An lived a full life that ended at the respectable age of 35 – the equivalent of 105 years in human age,” the statement read. Hong Kong was given another panda pair — Ying Ying, a female, and a male, Le Le — in 2007 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the city's return to China. China commonly engages in “panda diplomacy” where the mammals exclusively found in China are leased to other countries as a sign of goodwill. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Toyota’s Japan flagship Crown car to debut on global markets

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2022 1:48


    Toyota's flagship model in Japan, the Crown, is going on sale around the world for the first time, including in the U.S. “I'm so excited to announce today that this new Crown family of vehicles will be offered not just in Japan but globally for the very first time,” its Chief Executive Akio Toyoda told reporters. “A car that could very well be our crowning achievement.” The 16th generation Crown, set to begin production in January, comes in four varieties — a crossover with a hybrid system; a sedan that is most similar to the Crowns seen on Japanese streets; a sport-utility vehicle and a wagon crossover called the “estate,” the company said. The Crown will go on sale in 40 nations, with Toyota Motor Corp. aiming for 200,000 vehicles in annual global sales. The cheapest version starts at 4.35 million yen ($31,000) in Japan. Toyota, Japan's top automaker, sells about 10 million vehicles a year globally. It has a successful global luxury lineup called Lexus, whose cheapest models sell for about $35,000 in the U.S. The Crown's history parallels the rise of Toyota and of the modern Japanese economy, with the first sedan going on sale in Japan in 1955. “Someday, a Crown,” was a tagline over the years. But the cars are not well-known abroad. Toyoda called the Crown “the pride of Japan.” Company founder Kiichiro Toyoda, his grandfather, came up with the name. “Nothing will make me happier than Japan's Crown becoming loved by everyone around the world,” said Toyoda. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Sea turtle released in Florida to compete in Tour de Turtles

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 1:38


    A juvenile green sea turtle that underwent multiple surgeries to remove cauliflower-like tumors was released off the Florida Keys with a satellite-tracking transmitter. “Tortie” was treated at the Keys-based Turtle Hospital after being rescued last December. The turtle was unable to dive and suffering from fibropapillomatosis - a debilitating tumor-causing disease that develops from a herpes-like virus that affects sea turtle species around the world. After Tortie's tumors were removed, the reptile's treatment included antibiotics, fluids, vitamins and a diet of mixed seafood and greens. The turtle's satellite tracker will be monitored as part of the 15th annual Tour de Turtles, an online “race” organized by the Sea Turtle Conservancy that follows the long-distance migration of a contingent of sea turtles over three months. “In addition to the educational aspect of the Tour de Turtles, we're also learning about where these turtles are going and then can look and see if there are any threats that the turtles face in these areas,” said Dan Evans, senior research biologist with the conservancy. Tortie, who was released July 15, is competing in the hard-shell turtles' division that features about a dozen contestants, with tracking beginning on Aug. 1. “One sea turtle can make a difference, not only going back to the ocean and having baby sea turtles, but the bigger reach is helping people to care about sea turtles and our oceans,” said Bette Zirkelbach, the hospital's general manager. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

    Retired Justice Stephen Breyer joining Harvard law faculty

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 1:52


    Retired Justice Stephen Breyer is getting a different title: professor. Harvard said that Breyer, who retired from the Supreme Court June 30, is re-joining its law school faculty. Breyer is a graduate of the law school and first joined the Harvard faculty in 1967. He continued to teach at Harvard after he became a federal appeals court judge in 1980 until former President Bill Clinton nominated him to the Supreme Court in 1994. Harvard said in a statement that Breyer will “teach seminars and reading groups, continue to write books and produce scholarship, and participate in the intellectual life of the school and in the broader Harvard community.” Breyer, 83, does not yet have any classes listed in Harvard's online course catalog. However, the school said his appointment as Byrne Professor of Administrative Law and Process would be effective immediately. Breyer is a longtime expert in administrative law, the law surrounding government agencies, and co-authored a textbook on the subject. Harvard's announcement included a statement from Breyer. “I am very pleased to return to Harvard to teach there and to write," he said. "Among other things, I will likely try to explain why I believe it important that the next generations of those associated with the law engage in work, and take approaches to law, that help the great American constitutional experiment work effectively for the American people.” Breyer has not said what else he might do in retirement. A 1937 law allows retired Supreme Court justices to continue to hear and decide cases on lower federal courts, a practice called “sitting by designation.” Breyer has not said if that is something he will do. This article was provided by The Associated Press.

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