News

Americas
6:30 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Beloved Brazilian Monkey Clings To A Shrinking Forest

The wild population of the golden lion tamarin, which lives only in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, fell to just 200 in the 1970s. Conservationists have helped the species rebound, but the monkeys are still at risk as development encroaches on their remaining habitat.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 11:15 am

The tiny, copper-hued golden lion tamarin is so beloved in Brazil that its image graces the country's 20-real bank note. But this lion-maned monkey is in peril.

There's only one place on earth where the golden lion tamarin lives in the wild: in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica, just north of Rio de Janeiro. Deforestation in the region has reduced the monkey's habitat, once a massive ecosystem stretching for a half-million square miles, to just 2 percent of its original size.

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Wall Street
12:37 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Whale Of A Fine: JPMorgan Chase To Pay $920M In Penalties

The JPMorgan Chase building in London, where traders ran up huge losses.
Timur Emek AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 11:39 am

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to acknowledge that it violated federal securities laws and will pay $920 million in penalties assessed by regulators in the U.S. and U.K. to settle charges related to the huge trading losses racked up by its London traders last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday morning.

As we wrote earlier this week when word of the pending settlement first emerged, this all:

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Technology
11:53 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Why A Boca Fraternity Will Hold Your Spot In Line At The Apple Store

These FAU fraternity members are trying to raise money for charity by standing in line at the Apple Store at Town Center Mall in Boca Raton. The latest iPhone goes on sale Friday. Left to right are Justin Koppenberger, Zachary Goldberg, Patrick Gober, and at far right is Carson Sample.
Credit Robert Duyos / Sun Sentinel

If you don't want to wait in line for a new iPhone in Boca Raton, a Florida Atlantic University fraternity is willing to make a deal with you.

Members of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity will hold your spot in line at a local Apple Store in exchange for a $100 donation to their charity partner, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

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Health Care
11:37 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Health Care Costs Are Projected To Outpace Economic Growth

Increased use of generic drugs caused a slight drop in the price of prescription drugs in 2012.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 9:43 am

The nation's health spending will bump up next year as the Affordable Care Act expands insurance coverage to more Americans, and then will grow by an average of 6.2 percent a year over the next decade, according to projections by government actuaries.

That estimate is lower than the typical annual increases before the recession hit. Still, the actuaries forecast that in a decade the health care segment of the nation's economy will be larger than it is today, amounting to a fifth of the gross domestic product in 2022.

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Health Care
8:13 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Under Fire, Feds Add Health Law Privacy Protections

Enroll America organizer Juanica Fernandez networks with a fellow field staff. The non-profit organization educates Floridians about their health care choices under the Affordable Care Act.
Credit PATRICIA BORNS / For Miami Herald

In the wake of criticism from Republicans including Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the Obama administration is beefing up security measures for data submitted to "navigators" by people seeking insurance under the federal health overhaul.

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Climate Change
7:00 am
Thu September 19, 2013

What The Dutch Can Teach Us About Sea Level Rise

Credit Nickolay Lamm / StorageFront.com

American scientists and engineers have been comparing notes with Dutch counterparts over the problem they both have: how to protect their low lands from rising sea levels.

In the U.S., it’s treated as a new problem. But the Dutch stopped panicking about sea level rise about 800 years ago and began to address it systematically.

Dikes and levies are a big part of the plan. But the Netherlands has also learned to pick its fights, and even let the water win sometimes.

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Americas
5:49 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Brazil's Traffic Is A Circus, So Send In The Clowns

The Brazilian city of Olinda has a novel approach to taming its ever-growing traffic problem: traffic clowns known as palhacos.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:01 pm

On a busy avenue in Olinda, in northeastern Brazil, two men in wigs, big red noses and full clown makeup are squeaking horns and making a good-natured ruckus.

"Where's your helmet?" shouts one as a motorcyclist whizzes by. "Fasten your seat belt!" calls out the other.

Uncle Honk and Fom Fom are traffic clowns, or palhacos, hired by the city to make the roads a bit safer. They lean into traffic, making exaggerated gestures, like the sweep of the arm to mimic fastening a seat belt, and a mimed reminder to never drink and drive.

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Americas
5:48 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Brazil's New Middle Class: A Better Life, Not An Easy One

Roberto de Carvalho (left), who maintains a truck fleet in Recife, Brazil, is shown here with his daughter Sandra, 22, wife Enilda and daughter Susana, 16. The family makes just enough to belong the rapidly expanding ranks of the country's middle class, though they still can't afford a house or even a car.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:01 pm

Tens of millions of Brazilians have risen out of poverty over the past decade in one of the world's great economic success stories. The reasons are many: strong overall economic growth, fueled by exports. A rise in the minimum wage. A more educated workforce. And big government spending programs, including direct payments to extremely poor families.

But becoming middle class in Brazil means a better life, not an easy one. The new, lowest rung of the middle class is what in the U.S. would be called the working poor, with monthly incomes of between $500 and $2,000.

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Health Care
12:42 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Sebelius Visits Miami-Dade To Spread The Word On Health Care Reform

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Miami on Tuesday for a panel discussion on healthcare changes.
Credit C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald Staff

Starting October first, Floridians will be able to buy health insurance through a government-run website—or “health insurance exchange”—where consumers can compare plans and prices.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most uninsured adults who don’t purchase insurance or aren’t covered by employers will have to pay a fine come tax time.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a panel on the Affordable Care Act at Miami-Dade College on Tuesday but getting the word out hasn’t been easy in Florida.

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Immigration
10:54 am
Wed September 18, 2013

More Old People, Fewer Workers: Nations Look To Immigration

A man relaxes at a downtown park in Seoul. The pronounced demographic shift triggered by a plummeting birth rate and soaring life expectancy is seen as one of the greatest challenges facing Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:43 pm

A story in the Financial Times caught our eye this week. It was on foreign workers in South Korea.

The story looked at the town of Ansan, where about 7.6 percent of the population is foreign. They come from other Asian countries, as well as from Russia. Here's one of the reasons for the change in South Korea, a highly homogeneous society:

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Health Care
7:55 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Florida Makes Spreading Word On Health Care Law A Challenge

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has questioned efforts to use federally funded navigators to help people enroll for insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 1:01 pm

At a community center named for Florida civil rights pioneer Carrie Meek, a few dozen members of Miami's National Church of God gathered over the weekend for a tea party — and to hear from a special guest, Monica Rodriguez of Enroll America.

The organization is working to spread the word about the Affordable Care Act, the federal law that will let people without health insurance shop for coverage starting Oct. 1.

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Americas
5:31 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

As Economy Cools, Brazilians Find Themselves Trapped In Debt

A woman looks at clothes inside a shop in Rio de Janeiro. Consumption has been a huge driver of the Brazilian economy, but the boom years are over, and economists say the outlook isn't good.
Sergio Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:44 pm

It all started out so promisingly. She was young, still in her teens, and she'd landed her first job. As is the custom in Brazil, to get your salary you have to open an account with the bank the company deals with — and with that new account came the woman's first credit card.

"The banks say, 'I want to help you,' " she says. "And if you have a credit card, it's a status symbol, you are well-regarded."

She switched jobs. That company dealt with another bank — which issued her another credit card. She got a store credit card, too.

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Health Insurance
11:20 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Laid Off And Looking For Health Insurance? Beware Of COBRA

After losing a job, figuring out health insurance may be the smartest first step.
Franck Camhi iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 2:14 pm

People who lose their jobs and the health insurance tied to them will have new coverage options when the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces open in October.

But consumer advocates are concerned many of these unemployed people may not realize this and lock themselves into pricier coverage than they need.

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South Beach
11:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Former Versace Mansion In Miami Beach Auctioned For $41.5M

Casa Casuarina, the former Versace mansion on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, still draws frequent tourists to its front entrance. The property was auctioned Tuesday in a bankruptcy proceeding.

The former Versace mansion fetched a top bid of $41.5 million from a group that included New York’s Nakash family, which controls Jordache Enterprises, at a court-ordered bankruptcy auction Tuesday.

After the auction, Joe Nakash, the winning bidder and owner of the Victory Hotel next door, said he plans to ask for the right to use the Versace name and operate the mansion as a hotel in conjunction with the Victor.

Lamar P. Fisher of Fisher Auction Co. conducted the auction Tuesday morning inside the ornate 10-bedroom, 11-bath mansion.

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Miami
8:30 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Iconic White Tiger At Zoo Miami Is Euthanized

Carlita taking a dip at her exhibit pound.
Credit Zoo Miami

After a nearly 20-year career as part of a landmark exhibit at Zoo Miami, the white Bengal tiger known as “Carlita” was euthanized on Monday, the zoo announced.

Carlita was born in July 1992 and was transferred to Zoo Miami, where she began her career as part of the Tiger Temple exhibit in February 1994. She was paired with two other typically-colored Bengal tigers, Lyric and Roshe, and her color — or lack of it — helped her stand out and added to her popularity among zoo visitors, said zoo spokesman Ron Magill.

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