EcoATMs take old cellphones, MP3 players and tablets in exchange for cash. But the automated kiosks, operating 650 machines in 40 states, are getting bad reviews from police, who are concerned the machines are a magnet for thieves.
The transaction is fairly simple. The machine walks you through the process, scanning your ID to certify you're over 18 and verify your identity. An ecoATM employee inspects the transaction remotely in real time. Once the seller's identity is verified, the kiosk takes the device and assesses its value. You get the cash, and the device is recycled.
Ivo Daalder, who was U.S. ambassador to NATO during the 2011 military intervention in Libya, says the United States should conduct military strikes against Syria, even if it can't get the backing of the United Nations. He argues that Syrian President Bashar Assad would interpret inaction as an invitation to use chemical weapons in the future. He also says that despite asking for congressional approval for military action, this is ultimately President Obama's call. "This is a lonely place for presidents to be. It will be up to him to make that decision."
As we said earlier, 11 G-20 member nations signed a resolution yesterday supporting a strong international response to the use of chemical weapons. Nine, including Russia, China and Germany, did not sign. They're calling instead for a diplomatic response.
Today, European Union foreign ministers endorsed a clear and strong response in Syria, but they urged the U.S. to hold off until the U.N. inspectors report the findings of evidence they collected near Damascus.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak took to a Chicago rooftop on Thursday to attract the city's gay and lesbian community to spend their wedding dollars in Minnesota.
Credit Stacy Bengs / AP
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak officiates at the wedding of Al Giraud, right, and his partner Jeff Isaacson at the Minneapolis City Hall on Aug. 1. Rybak is now on the road launching a "Marry in Minneapolis" campaign.
With the skyline of Chicago behind him, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak stands on a rooftop plaza in Boystown, the heart of a predominantly gay community.
He's here on a recruiting mission. Minnesota legalized gay marriage just over a month ago, but Illinois' same-sex measure is stalled in its legislature. So now the mayor of Minneapolis is drumming up business for his city — setting his sight on millions of wedding dollars that could come from Illinois.
The Chobani Greek yogurt company says the mold that caused some of its products to bloat or swell is not normally harmful to people. On Thursday, Chobani said, "To be extra cautious, we have moved from a voluntary withdrawal to a voluntary recall."
Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:18 pm
After concerns over its product led the Chobani Greek yogurt company to issue a voluntary recall of some packages earlier this week, the New York-based foodmaker now says the mold that was identified as the culprit is not dangerous.
"Through extensive testing and expert consultation, we now know that the mold found in the products we voluntarily recalled this week is a species called Mucor circinelloides," the company says. "Mucor circinelloides is not considered a foodborne pathogen."
A charred tree rests on the forest floor after being sawn down to a stump Friday. Firefighters are still working to contain the Rim Fire, which is now the third-largest wildfire in California's history.
Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:00 am
The Rim wildfire that began three weeks ago today is now 80 percent contained, officials say, but it has burned more than a quarter of a million acres, and it may continue to grow, thanks to low humidity and other conditions.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks before Friday night's launch of the LADEE moon orbiter. The craft has run into a small technical issue, NASA says, which it will fix before it arrives at the moon next month.
To U.S. jobs now. The American employers added 169,000 jobs in August and that's according to the U.S. Labor Department's most recent employment report. The overall jobless rate fell again to 7.3 percent, but one of the many groups that's having trouble getting back to work is young people who are age 16 to 24. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Here's an economic truth that's interesting, especially given our youth-obsessed culture.
SYLVIA ALLEGRETTO: The older you get, the better things kind of get.
New York City voters go to the polls next Tuesday to choose their party's candidates to try to succeed three-term mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Anna Sale of member station WNYC has this look at the Democratic frontrunner.
A student at Red Lake High School starts the 2005 school year following a shooting the year before in which eight people were killed. Because of sequestration, the district is not able to keep on staff a school psychologist brought in after the shootings.
The superintendent of the Lancaster, Pa., school district is meeting with teachers and staff at George Washington Elementary. It's the start of a new school year, and he's trying to sound upbeat about the district's finances.
"We continue to lose 5 and 10 percent of budgets each year," Pedro Rivera tells them. "And our overall goal is to make those plans and stretch out dollars to not impact you, because no kids should go without. Right?"
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:58 pm
A senior leader of the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network — considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting American troops in Afghanistan — has been killed in a U.S. drone strike over northwestern Pakistan, officials say.
Sangeen Zadran was among five people killed at a compound in the North Waziristan tribal region when a missile fired from a U.S. drone hit the building, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
Documents revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency has the ability to crack encryption that is supposed to keep communications and data private. The NSA has also worked with companies to insert vulnerabilities into their products to make them hackable by the NSA. Robert Siegel talks with Stuart Millar, U.S. deputy editor for The Guardian.
Crews are putting in the final fire lines around the massive Rim Fire, burning near and in Yosemite National Park. Some of those firefighters include a member of the Geronimo Hot Shots, from the San Carlos Apache reservation in Arizona.
Robert Siegel talks to former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson about where we are now in terms of ending "too big to fail" and avoiding future meltdowns. Paulson says he failed to explain to American citizens that saving the big banks was not to help bankers but to keep the whole economy from sweeping away jobs.
Job growth fell short of expectations in August. Employers added only 169,000 jobs to payrolls, and gains for June and July were revised downward. The question is whether the mediocre job growth of recent months is troubling enough to convince the Federal Reserve to delay its plans to dial back its stimulus of the economy.
After a slow, lightning-delayed, start, creaky, old Peyton Manning exploded in front a national television audience. The Denver Broncos quarterback eviscerated the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the opening game of the NFL season with a record-tying seven touchdown passes. Will Manning's performance help fans forget a worrisome offseason full of concussion litigation and uncertainty? The league hopes so. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins Robert Siegel to talk about the upcoming NFL season.
The Philadelphia school system was forced to cut millions of dollars from its budget, lay off hundreds of employees and shutter nearly two dozen schools to help close a billion dollar shortfall. Some principals are asking parents to "contribute" as much as $600 per student to help pay for basic supplies and the school superintendent threatened to delay the start of classes this month until the city kicked in $50 million to cover the minimum level of staffing.
Comedian Dave Chappelle caused some controversy at a comedy festival in Hartford, Conn. last week, after he got upset at hecklers and walked off stage. Depending on who you ask, Hartford was a horrible, racist audience — or just had a bad night.
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:49 pm
President Obama on Friday declined to say whether he'd go ahead with military action in Syria if Congress votes against it — a what-if scenario that's attracting growing attention in the wake of preliminary House head counts that suggest there's nowhere near enough votes for passage.
It's a question that won't be answered until late next week when Congress is expected to vote.
"I think all my first dates were probably less awkward than this," says Jeremy Fugleberg, referring to the NAACP's meeting on Saturday night with the Ku Klux Klan in a hotel conference room in Casper, Wyo. Fugleberg is assistant managing editor for news at the Casper Star-Tribune and reported on the gathering.
The NFL season kicks off Thursday night, with reigning champs the Baltimore Ravens taking on the Denver Broncos. Pro football has some new rules and the league just settled a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit with players.