National / International News

Seven injured in silo explosion

BBC - 2 hours 11 min ago
Seven people - including firefighters - are injured after a fire and explosion at an industrial estate in Moray.

AUDIO: Tuition fee savings may be 'small'

BBC - 2 hours 23 min ago
The savings made by university tuition fee reforms are likely to be "very small," an IFS study has found.

Gun attack on house 'was hate crime'

BBC - 2 hours 24 min ago
A family of seven escape injury in a gun attack on a house in west Belfast in an incident being treated as a hate crime by police.

Cornish granted UK minority status

BBC - 2 hours 33 min ago
Cornish people will be granted minority status under European rules for the protection of national minorities.

Police make Syria plea to UK women

BBC - 2 hours 36 min ago
British counter-terrorism police chiefs make an unprecedented appeal to Muslim women to persuade their relatives against travelling to Syria to fight in the civil war.

Day in pictures: 24 April 2014

BBC - 2 hours 47 min ago
News photos from past 24 hours: 24 April

Caption Challenge: Flower power

BBC - 2 hours 52 min ago
It's the Caption Challenge. Oh yes it is.

Care needs to 'outstrip' family help

BBC - 2 hours 53 min ago
The number of older people in England needing care will "outstrip" the number of family members able to provide it by 2017, a think tank warns.

US medics killed in Kabul attack

BBC - 2 hours 53 min ago
Three American medical staff are shot dead by a policeman guarding a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, officials say.

The business of tourist traps

The iconic New York restaurant Tavern on the Green is reopening Thursday under new ownership after being shut down for years. It has a storied history, but suffered in recent years from a reputation as a tourist trap with dreadful food. The new owners vow to restore it to its old glory and have invested millions in revitalizing the space and the menu.

By Shea Huffman

In light of Tavern on the Green's return, we decided to look at some of the most well-known, or infamous "tourist trap" restaurants around the country. These restaurants may have originally gained noteriety for good food or intriguing historical origins, but have since become better known for their tourist draw.

They may not be the worst restaurants around, but its the location and not the food that brings in diners to these spots.

Top of the World Restaurant - Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas

One could argue Las Vegas itself is one big tourist trap, but to pick one restaurant out of all of them, you have to go with the rotating restaurant atop the Stratosphere Hotel, the Top of the World. Like most touristy places to eat, this one banks mostly on the view it offers customers, but doesn't offer the high quality food to match its high price range (it costs $18 just for admission).

Zehnder's of Frankenmuth - Frankenmuth, Michigan

This all-you-can-eat chicken restaurant is somewhat of a landmark in Michigan, known for its massive 1,500 person seating area, making it one of the largest restaurants in the U.S. Zehnder's staff all wear traditional German-style uniforms to match the general style of the restaurant, though the food is decidedly American.

Fisherman's Warf - San Francisco

This is probably one of the most well known tourist traps in the world, and it would be unfair to single out just one of the restaurants that inhabit it for being unremarkable beyond the fact that they are in Fisherman's Warf.

The Billy Goat Taven - Chicago

"Cheezborger! Cheezborger!" The famous line from the Olympia Restaurant skit in Saturday Night Live was inspired by the Greek immigrant owners of the Billy Goat Taven in Chicago. To this day the restaurant is graced with long lines of patrons waiting to hear the staff recite the words, but the general consensus is that it's just typical diner food.

Times Square - New York

Another famous tourist trap whose restaurants we just couldn't single out. If we had to pick one though, it would probably be Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, the restaurant belonging to celebrity chef Guy Fieri, if only for its brilliantly scathing review in the New York Times.

P.O.V. Rooftop Bar at the W Hotel - Washington, D.C.

This lounge, sitting atop the W Hotel in Washington, D.C., offers patrons a great view of the White House and a number of the city's historic monuments, as well as a chance to rub elbows with a few classy politicos. But that might be all it has to offer, as reviewers contend the drinks are overpriced and the food isn't that good.

The Ivy - Los Angeles

Adorned with flowery cottage-style decor, this nouvelle American restaurant sits not far from the talent agency International Creative Management, which has prompted a number of visits from celebrities and pursuing paparazzi. The chance to spot their favorite movie stars drives many tourists to The Ivy, and they pay for it.

The Varsity - Atlanta

The main branch of this burger chain in Atlanta is the largest fast food drive-in in the world, and has become an iconic fixture in the city's culture. The unofficial catchphrase, "What'll ya have?" has become ingrained in Atlanta's folklore, and the restaurant has even been graced with visits from presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But pretty much everyone who goes there agrees, the food is just "meh."

Wiggins & Froome skip Giro d'Italia

BBC - 3 hours 1 min ago
Team Sky will be without Britons Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome for the Giro d'Italia, which starts in Belfast on 9 May.

London Grammar vie for top Novello

BBC - 3 hours 9 min ago
London Grammar, John Newman and Palma Violets are in the running for this year's prestigious Ivor Novello songwriting award.

Sharing is caring: a collaborative commons economy

Airbnb has had an up-and-down couple of days. On Friday, investors put an additional $500 million into the company, valuing it at roughly $10 billion. This week, they're in a New York courtroom, defending their model against a subpoena for their list of New York hosts. Hotel regulators argue that the company violates New York law that an apartment cannot be rented for less than 30 days.

Jeremy Rifkin, author of "The Zero Marginal Cost Society," thinks the way Airbnb operates is a sign of a shift in how business will be done in the future. The conflict comes down to the elimination of marginal costs. That's the term for how much it costs for a business to add an additional good or service. According to Rifkin, Airbnb's marginal costs are almost nothing, and that's problematic for brick-and-mortar businesses.

"Businesses have always wanted to reduce marginal costs. They simply never anticipated a tech revolution so extreme in its productivity that it could reduce MC to near zero, making goods and services nearly free, abundant, and sometimes not prone to market exchange forces."

Rifkin also points out that this struggle between Airbnb and hotel regulators is different than, say, what the music industry went through when users tried to share content for free. In that case, the market had to adjust and learn to coexist with new technologies. Sharing economies, however, may have larger implications with how bussinesses operate. According to Rifkin:

"The capitalist market will stay. It will have a role to play. I don't think it'll be the primary arbiter of economic life in 30 years from now. I think the collaborative commons is here to stay."

AUDIO: The effects of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

BBC - 3 hours 13 min ago
Kelly Fletcher explains the serious genetic condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

No Breakthrough: 'Object Of Interest' Isn't From Missing Jet

NPR News - 3 hours 17 min ago

A large piece of metal was found this week along the coast of western Australia. But authorities are convinced it is not debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8.

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BBC under pressure over CBI stance

BBC - 3 hours 17 min ago
Supporters of Scottish independence question why the BBC has not resigned from the CBI over the business group's referendum stance.

Paramilitary funeral for republican

BBC - 3 hours 23 min ago
Masked men flank the coffin of former dissident republican Tommy Crossan who was murdered in west Belfast on Good Friday.

Warhol works found on Amiga disks

BBC - 3 hours 25 min ago
A dozen previously unknown works created by Andy Warhol have been recovered from 30-year-old Amiga disks.

Teen makes 'largest' cancer donation

BBC - 3 hours 29 min ago
A cancer charity says it has received its largest ever individual donation after a teenager with terminal cancer raises more than £1.6m.

Argentina approves Repsol payment

BBC - 3 hours 38 min ago
Argentina's congress approves $5bn (£3bn) of compensation for the Spanish oil firm Repsol over the expropriation of its share in the oil firm YPF.

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