Keep humor local for the biggest impact

Audiences are more receptive to humor if it pertains to local events or the specific group you're addressing, writes Jim Anderson. That type of insight can be gained in your preparations or by observing shared experiences during your talk, he writes.

Teacher walkout expected in Ariz. next week

Teachers in Arizona have voted to participate in a statewide walkout next Thursday. The move, which will include calls for higher pay and better school funding, follows similar protests in other states.

Fed researchers: Tariffs could harm US employment

Steel and aluminum tariffs are more likely to reduce US employment than to increase it, Federal Reserve Bank of New York researchers say. Employment in steel-intensive industries could decline as exporters dependent on steel raise prices or lower profit margins, the researchers say.

Food Lion tests robot at Tenn. store

Food Lion is trying out Marty the Robot at a store in La Follette, Tenn., where Marty will help employees keep track of out-of-stock items, pricing and hazards in the aisles. Similar tests are also being conducted at some Giant and Martin's stores in Pennsylvania.

Cigarette smoking tied to greater stroke risk among men

A study in Stroke found male smokers under age 50 had an 88% higher risk of stroke than men who never smoked, with risk increasing the more they smoked. The findings, based on data from 615 men ages 15 to 49 with a history of stroke and 530 healthy men of similar age, showed smoking fewer than 11 cigarettes each day was associated with a 46% greater risk of stroke, while smoking at least two packs of cigarettes daily was linked to almost fivefold risk of stroke.

2017 audit told FTC that Facebook's privacy controls were effective

PwC audited Facebook's privacy practices for two years ending in February 2017, during the time of the Cambridge Analytica data breach, and provided a report to the Federal Trade Commission in April last year that states, "Facebook's privacy controls were operating with sufficient effectiveness to provide reasonable assurance to protect the privacy of covered information." Neither the FTC nor PwC has commented on the report.

Walmart tests a relaxed employee dress code

Walmart is trialing a new dress code at some stores that will give employees the option of wearing blue jeans for the first time. The relaxed standards, which also allow store staffers to wear shirts of any solid color, could give the retailer an edge in a tightening labor market.

Apple unveils recycling robot, trade-in program for Earth Day

Apple has introduced Daisy, a robot that disassembles phone parts so they can be recycled, as part of an Earth Day promotion. Also, the company announced the "GiveBack" program, which allows customers to trade in their old iPhones for gift cards or credit that can be used to buy new devices.

Marijuana-derived drug for epilepsy supported by FDA panel

An FDA advisory committee voted 13-0 to back the approval of GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex, a cannabidiol oral solution for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes in patients ages 2 and older. In clinical trials, Epidiolex reduced monthly seizures in patients by 40%, and the FDA is expected to make a decision on the drug by late June.

Execs: AT&T, Time Warner need merger in order to stay competitive

Executives from AT&T and Time Warner testified recently that the companies need to merge to keep up with tech giants such as Facebook and Google. AT&T's data capabilities would help Time Warner better serve consumers, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said.

2nd phase of work to begin at Oroville Dam

The California Department of Water Resources says the second phase of reconstruction at the Oroville Dam is scheduled to begin May 8. Some roller-compacted concrete in the spillway will be covered by 3 feet of steel-reinforced structural concrete and have a drainage system added beneath it, while some roller-compacted concrete walls will be removed and replaced with structural concrete.

Kinder Morgan considers building 2nd Permian gas pipeline

Kinder Morgan is holding preliminary discussions with shippers for a second natural gas pipeline in the Permian Basin, which, together with its Gulf Coast Express pipeline set to enter service in October 2019, should help relieve the region's gas transportation bottlenecks. Kinder Morgan is also considering expanding its existing infrastructure, such as the El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline.

Broadcasting distress calls could warn birds away from airports

Lee Pannett, director of the Scarecrow Group, discusses ways to mitigate risks to airports posed by wildlife, including birds, in this article. A comprehensive wildlife management plan could include bio-acoustic technology, which broadcasts birds' distress calls.

Amtrak expands sleeping car passengers' dining choices

Amtrak will start offering new dining options for sleeping car passengers riding the Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited routes. The new choices include fresh food and hand-crafted entrees, such as chilled beef tenderloin, that can be eaten in a lounge car or delivered to travelers' rooms.