National / International News

VIDEO: Full interview with Fiona Woolf

BBC - 2 hours 7 min ago
Fiona Woolf resigns as chair of the child abuse inquiry

Burkina Faso's president resigns

BBC - 2 hours 15 min ago
Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore resigns following violent protests, with army chief Honore Traore taking over as head of state.

The numbers for October 31, 2014

It's Halloween, and at "Marketplace" we're getting in the spirit. Marketplace Morning Report Producer Katie Long has been working on her costume:

We're helping @Marketplace producers brainstorm costumes for #halloween2014 https://t.co/GZHZ4SbY0p

— Ariana Tobin (@Ariana_Tobin) October 31, 2014

There are plenty of stories to read and numbers to watch today — Japan's stimulus, the ongoing legal drama surrounding Ebola quarantines, the impending midterm elections — but since it's a holiday and a Friday, we're going to stick to only the spookiest numbers today.

To get us started, Quartz is featuring the ten scariest economic charts out there. From European unemployment to student debt, keep repeating to yourself "it's only a chart, it's only a chart..."

Here are some other spine-chilling stories we're reading today.

2

That's how many people have died from accidentally eating THC-infused edibles since Colorado legalized medical marijuana use. Denver police have put out a PSA warning parents about the varieties of edibles that look like typical Halloween candy, the New York Times reported. There haven't been any reported cases of people passing out edibles, and some Marijuana advocates say the claims are alarmist. Others are pushing for tighter regulation of the treats.

94103

One of the best trick-or-treating neighborhoods in the nation — Noe Valley, San Francisco — according to a study by Zillow. In last week's "Dear Prudence" column over at Slate, Prudie ripped into a self-professed one-percenter for griping about children from outside the area coming over to trick-or-treat. It's a well-known phenomenon, also explored in a Washington Post column Thursday. The conclusion: don't spend Halloween dressed up like Scrooge. 

$3

The price of Starbuck's "secret" Halloween treat, a "Franken Frappuccino." The unholy concoction is a green tea Frappuccino with three pumps of white mocha sauce, three pumps of peppermint syrup and mocha java chips, the LA Times reports. [Shudder]

10 things we didn't know last week

BBC - 2 hours 26 min ago
Scratching really does make things itch more, and other nuggets

Bid to halt chief's pay-off fails

BBC - 2 hours 32 min ago
A pay-off for Pembrokeshire council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones is set to go ahead after an opposition bid to block it through the courts fails.

Warmest UK Halloween on record

BBC - 2 hours 36 min ago
This year's Halloween is the warmest on record in the UK, with temperatures reaching as high as 23.5C, breaking the previous record of 20C.

A&E targets breached as MIUs close

BBC - 2 hours 42 min ago
Breaches of A&E waiting time targets in Northern Ireland increased "markedly" on the same day as health chiefs announced three minor injuries units (MIUs) are to shut.

VIDEO: 'I don't know what my destiny is'

BBC - 2 hours 45 min ago
A day in the life of Ismael Diabate, an economic migrant stranded in the Moroccan capital of Rabat.

Man pleads guilty to pensioner death

BBC - 2 hours 47 min ago
A 41-year-old man pleads guilty to the unlawful killing of pensioner Bertie Acheson, 72, in his Coleraine home in April 2012.

The economy as seen through political ads

If you live in a swing state, chances are you’ve seen a political ad or two in the run-up to this year’s midterm elections.  And there’s also a pretty good chance that ad talked about the economy.  

Which brings us to this question:  If those ads were your only source of information, what would you think about the state of the economy?  What kind of picture are the ads painting?  It’s not always what you’d expect.

Check out these two ads, for gubernatorial races.

In his ad, the Republican governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, says we’re on the road to recovery. 

And the Democratic candidate for governor of Wisconsin, Mary Burke, talks about bleak job prospects and layoffs.

“We would expect Democratic candidates to trumpet the success of the economy and for Republicans to be on the attack," says Vincent Hutchings, political science professor at the University of Michigan. "But at the state level, especially if we’re talking about gubernatorial contests, that logic gets turned on its head.”

Hutchings says incumbents, whatever their political stripe, have to defend their handling of the local economy. Challengers blame economic problems on the incumbent. But in national, congressional races, political ads focusing on the economy are more predictable.

For Republicans, “it’s all doom and gloom,” says Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project

Listen to ads from Republican congressional candidates, she says, and you think the economy will never pick up.

“So, a lot of ads will make references to the squeeze on the middle class in particular," she explains. "I’ve seen ads on recent college graduates and frustration over spending a lot of money on a college education and not being able to find a job.”

Franklin Fowler says, for congressional Democrats, it’s morning in America -- or it would be if it weren’t for the Republicans.     

“Democrats will often go after Republican incumbents and/or wealthy challengers who own businesses for shipping jobs overseas or for job losses,” she says.

In fact, Franklin Fowler says, about 20 percent of ads for all Senate candidates mention jobs, with very different takes on the jobs picture. So who’s right? I turned to Richard DeKaser, a corporate economist at Wells Fargo.

“I’d give the economy a B-minus,” he says.

DeKaser says we’re creating about 250,000 jobs a month, and GDP is growing at about three percent. That’s pretty good. 

But it’s an uneven recovery.  Not everyone is benefiting.  

So politicians can cherry pick economic data, to make a point.

“You can pick and choose from the data and tell pretty much any story you’d like," DeKaser says. "And more often than not, that’s the case.  It’s just a matter of biased presentation rather than dishonest presentation. Though there is some dishonesty as well.”

And when the economic picture is a bit ambiguous like it is now, it’s that much easier to manipulate. 

Banks may be forced to boost reserves

BBC - 2 hours 54 min ago
British banks may have to hold more funds to guard against the risk of a future economic downturn, the Bank of England has proposed.

Hamilton fastest in America practice

BBC - 2 hours 58 min ago
Lewis Hamilton sets the pace from Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg in first practice at the United States GP.

Rooney fit but Falcao out for derby

BBC - 3 hours 24 min ago
Wayne Rooney is fit and will start for Manchester United in the derby with City but Radamel Falcao remains out through injury.

Man killed partner in fear of demons

BBC - 3 hours 33 min ago
A man cut his partner's throat to save her from a "fate worse than death" because he thought demons were about to break into their home in Ceredigion, a court heard.

Seeing Red During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

NPR News - 3 hours 44 min ago

Decades of effort to raise awareness of breast cancer hasn't helped to reduce the death toll once it spreads. One woman living with metastatic breast cancer says it's way past time for a change.

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IPCC keen to avoid old ghosts

BBC - 3 hours 55 min ago
Climate talks stalked by spectre of the past

Why Burgess will succeed - Lancaster

BBC - 4 hours 1 min ago
England head coach Stuart Lancaster says Sam Burgess's "mental toughness" can lead him to success in rugby union.

Trauma of man who found family dead

BBC - 4 hours 5 min ago
The neighbour of a family of four found dead in their Bradford home says he sees the father's body every time he tries to sleep.

Jeers for accused US police killer

BBC - 4 hours 6 min ago
Local residents jeer and shout abuse at a Pennsylvania man accused of killing a police officer and eluding authorities on a weeks-long manhunt.

Two missing after fireworks blaze

BBC - 4 hours 7 min ago
Two people are missing and a man has been arrested after a major blaze at a Stafford fireworks warehouse that left two people in hospital.
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