National / International News

Long-haul future for Cardiff Airport

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 07:04
Cardiff Airport's future lies in long-haul flights, not competing with Bristol on closer destinations, Carwyn Jones tells AMs.

Russia satellite can chase in space

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 06:57
Russia may be testing a satellite capable of chasing down and inspecting other orbiting spacecraft, experts say.

Post Office facing strike action

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 06:52
Post Office staff who work in the company's supply chain back strike action in a row over pay, with the union warning a pre-Christmas strike is "inevitable".

Hillsborough commander 'apologises'

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 06:20
The senior officer in charge of policing at Hillsborough says he feels as if he "should apologise" for his actions on the day.

Bird flu strain on UK farm identified

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 06:14
The strain of bird flu found on a duck breeding farm in East Yorkshire is identified as H5N8, the same highly contagious type seen in recent outbreaks in Netherlands and Germany.

Police investigated over Rotherham

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 06:14
Ten South Yorkshire officers to be investigated over handling of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, IPPC says

Labour wants longer EU benefit delay

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 06:10
Jobless migrants from the EU would have to wait two years before they can claim out of work benefits, under new plans proposed by the Labour Party.

NFL suspend Peterson without pay

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 06:08
Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson is suspended for the rest of the NFL season without pay.

A new product from a notorious name in entertainment

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-18 06:00

For years, the file-sharing service BitTorrent has been associated with piracy, as millions of people streamed creative content—movies, or music—for free.

Now, BitTorrent—with 170 million users—says it wants to empower artists, musicians and filmmakers.

While this is a bit ironic for some, the plan is to become a platform where musicians and others sell songs, albums and merchandise. 

The company’s Director of Content Strategy Straith Schreder says you can think of it a bit like Etsy.

“It’s built to kind of bring people together over the content and creativity that they keep in common. That’s very much our mission here,” she says.

The hope is BitTorrent's so-called ‘bundles’ —what the company calls content in this new model—will slow the piracy that’s plagued the entertainment industry; the piracy that some associate with BitTorrent.

Complete Music Update editor Chris Cooke says while it’s not clear yet how to protect artists, direct to consumer models offer some hope.

“Artists now can know pretty precisely who their core fan base are, what sort of people they are, where they live, what they like to spend money on. And then provide products and services that excite those fans,” he says.

Cooke says the music industry is just learning how to capitalize on this new model.

He says the best thing about internet is that’s its putting artists in direct relationship with their fans. 

Guard tells of Highland Show death

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 05:55
A security guard at the Royal Highland Show tells a court how he tried to save a young boy after a concrete bollard fell on his head.

Who are sport's highest earners?

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 05:36
As baseball player Giancarlo Stanton signs a £208m contract, BBC Sport looks at how he compares to sport's highest earners.

VIDEO: Public Accounts Committee

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 05:27
MPs hold an evidence session as part of its inquiry into school oversight.

What explains the continuing fascination with Charles Manson?

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 05:23
Why are people still so fascinated by Charles Manson?

NFL Suspends Adrian Peterson For At Least Remainder Of 2014 Season

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-18 05:14

Peterson, who pleaded no contest in a child abuse case, said he would appeal the decision. The Players Union, on his behalf, said the punishment was "arbitrary."

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Doha wins bid to host 2019 Worlds

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 05:13
The Qatari capital Doha is to stage the 2019 World Athletics Championships after beating bids from Barcelona and Eugene.

VIDEO: Belfast woman in £12.9m lottery win

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 04:58
A 65-year-old furniture store worker from Belfast has won almost £13m in the Euromillions jackpot.

After Falling Into Recession, Japan's Prime Minister Calls For Snap Elections

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-18 04:51

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for an election two years ahead of schedule and he also delayed an increase in sales tax.

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Bob Marley family launches global pot brand

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-18 04:50

The family of Jamaican-born reggae star Bob Marley launched a first-of-its-kind global cannabis brand on Tuesday. The brand, Marley Natural, is meant for both medical and adult-recreational use (21-and-over), and will hit the market in late 2015. It is a venture of Bob Marley’s widow, Rita, who is also a reggae musician, and Marley's children and grandchildren, in partnership with Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, a leading cannabis-focused private equity firm.

Bob Marley’s name and legacy—attached to a mass-marketed global marijuana brand—could be a killer app in this booming industry. Legal marijuana sales are expected to grow from $2.4 billion in 2014 to $10 billion by 2018, according to the cannabis investment group ArcView. The meteoric growth in revenue is predicated on an expected transition of current and new cannabis consumers from purchasing marijuana on the illegal black market, to purchasing it in state-regulated and taxed retail stores and dispensaries.

However, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and there are many obstacles to success for investors and brands. It is currently extremely difficult for cannabis-related businesses to obtain banking services, and many business expenses can’t be deducted under federal tax law. Production, processing and distribution can generally be done only within the state where the marijuana is sold. Interstate and international shipping of marijuana is not permitted.

Marley Natural products will include heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains in smokeable and vaporizable form, said Privateer CEO Brendan Kennedy in an interview at a huge  pot trade show—the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo—in Las Vegas last week. The brand also features therapeutic cannabis and hemp-infused lotions; pot paraphernalia, such as smoking implements; carrying cases and the like. The Jamaican marijuana strains offered will be similar to those Bob Marley himself favored during his life, said Kennedy, including “Lamb’s Bread” and “Pineapple Skunk.”

Marley Natural will only be available for sale in local, state, and national jurisdictions where marijuana use is legal, according to Privateer. 23 states and the District of Columbia now permit marijuana use for medical purposes; four states plus the District of Columbia have legalized recreational adult-use, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska (the latter two by voter initiative in November 2014, with implementation pending under state law). Legalization advocates predict California, Nevada, Arizona, Missouri, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Hawaii could pass similar initiatives by 2017 (see map below). Several European countries and Uruguay also permit some legal use of marijuana.

A new online ad for Marley Natural begins with sweeping aerial views of a tropical jungle and a voiceover saying: “In Bob Marley’s vision for a better world, one united by love, respect and social justice, he advocates for the positive power of the herb,” as reggae music swells in the background. The brand's logo appears in the video; it includes an image of the Lion of Judah, a powerful spiritual symbol for the Jamaican Rastafari movement, which reveres cannabis.

“In many ways our father helped start this movement at least fifty years ago,” said Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s daughter, in an interview before the launch. “He said it himself: ‘When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.’ So it feels very natural to us to use his voice on a global scale, getting the message across of the many benefits of cannabis.”

But even as public opinion appears to be gradually shifting toward more support of legalization for adult users, most Americans still don’t see cannabis as a beneficial recreational or mind-altering pastime. And they may not be ready for slick marketing of everything from joints, to powerful pot cookies and candies.

Rachel O’Bryan is a lawyer and mother in Denver. She co-founded the group Smart Colorado, which advocates for tighter regulation of marijuana. She said her goal is to prevent use and access by young people, as well as inappropriate marketing of edibles and other products to children.

“I think if we end up with national brands, the federal government will have no choice—there will have to be more attention on the safety of these products,” O'Bryan said.

Members of the Marley family insist their new brand is aimed at legal adult users 21-and-over, and not young people. They promise that both the labeling and the marketing will be clear on this point.

“Children like music,” said Rohan Marley, Bob Marley’s son. “But just like with other adult products—tobacco, consumption of alcohol, going to a nightclub—people have to be responsible. Our label will always gear toward adults and steer away from children. We want people to have a responsible mind, to have full knowledge, to understand the benefits of cannabis. It’s not a toy.”

States labeled 'adult use' are predicted to pass recreational marijuana legalization for adults 21 or older, or medical marijuana. As predicted, voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia approved recreational-marijuana legalization in November 2014. Voters in Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize recreational marijuana production, distribution and retail sale in 2012.

The ArcView Group, ArcView Market Research


IPCC inquiry after woman stabbed

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 04:46
The actions of five police officers are to be investigated by the police watchdog after a woman was stabbed several times by her ex-partner hours after calling police.

Federer faces Wawrinka row questions

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-18 04:45
Swiss duo Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka will face questions about their alleged spat in London when they face the media later.