World

German Inventor Artur Fischer Dies At 96

Feb 9, 2016
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If you walked by something hanging on a wall today, there's a good chance it is secure because of the genius of Artur Fischer. The German inventor had more than 1,100 patents to his name. That's more than Thomas Edison.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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S
Jason Margolis

When a person is granted asylum in Sweden, the first order of business: learn the language.  

The small Swedish city of Södertälje is known for being the childhood home of tennis legend Bjorn Borg, and now, as home to many migrants from Syria and Iraq. I spoke with Sevag Yemenyjan outside of a Swedish language classroom. He fled Syria and left everything and everyone behind. I asked how he chose Sweden.  

“Someone told me Sweden is good. They help for school, and help two years,” said Yemenyjan in somewhat stilted English.

Summarizing his annual assessment of the threats facing the United States, National Intelligence Director James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "unpredictable instability has become the new normal."

That's a trend that will continue, he said.

Clapper's testimony Tuesday covered a wide array of threats, from cybersecurity to drugs to the Islamic State to space. At one point during the hearing, Clapper referred to this year's report as a "litany of doom."

Before Zika swept across most of Latin America and the Caribbean, the largest outbreak ever recorded had been in French Polynesia. Between 2013 and early 2014, researchers estimate nearly 20,000 people on the cluster of islands in the South Pacific were infected with the virus.

French Polynesia's brush with Zika underscores fears that the mosquito-borne virus could cause devastating neurological problems but it also offers insights into the disease — and hope that Zika can be contained.

If you're a government official, you don't want to get a call from Cees Klumper's office.

Because there's a good chance what you'll hear is basically this: "Either you send us back the money that was misused in the past, or we'll deduct double the amount from your future grants. It's your choice."

Iraq's war against the Islamic State is gaining momentum. Intensified U.S. airstrikes and more than a year of U.S. training of Iraqi soldiers seem to be paying off. ISIS supply lines have been cut and its access to oil has been reduced. When Iraqi forces with coalition airstrikes retook the western city of Ramadi, it was the latest in a series of successes.

But ISIS is just one of many groups trying to carve out power for itself in a country where the central government is looking ever weaker.

Hit by a string of scandals over food safety controls, McDonald's business in Japan has posted its worst annual results since going public 15 years ago. The company reported a net loss of 34.704 billion yen — around $303 million.

Last year, sales at McDonald's Japan stores were down around 15 percent from 2014, the company says. The Japanese unit has now reported a net loss for two years in a row, the result of a sequence of scandals.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The company that built a 17-story apartment building that collapsed during Saturday's earthquake in Taiwan no longer exists, but three of its former executives have been arrested as prosecutors look into allegations of shoddy building practices.

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