National / International News

Japan urges regional security role

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:14
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan will play a "greater and more proactive role" in regional security in Asia, angering Beijing.

Wenger signs three-year Arsenal deal

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:13
Arsene Wenger will remain as Arsenal manager after signing a new contract with the Premier League club until 2017.

Two CAR protesters killed in clashes

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:09
At least two people are killed in a second day of violent protests in the Central African Republic's capital Bangui, military officials say.

VA Secretary Apologizes For 'Indefensible' Treatment Delays

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:04

Addressing a homeless veterans group Friday, Veterans Affairs Sec. Eric Shinseki says he will support a bill that would strengthen his office's ability to hire and fire staff within the VA system.

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10 things we didn't know last week

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 07:01
Butterflies are getting lighter coloured in Europe, and more nuggets from the week's news.

VIDEO: Is this the funniest penalty ever?

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:56
Watch Maldives striker Adey Ashadh Ali try to fool Afghanistan keeper Mansur Faqiryar with a swallow dive in the AFC Challenge Cup.

House price growth at four-year high

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:47
House prices in England and Wales were 6.7% higher in April than a year earlier, the fastest pace of growth in four years, Land Registry figures show.

In Historic First, Native American Brothers Win Lacrosse Trophy

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:34

Despite the sport's Native American roots, a Native had never won the Tewaaraton Award, college lacrosse's highest honor — until Thursday. Miles and Lyle Thompson became its first co-winners.

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Tsarnaev Friend Accused Of Impeding Boston Bombing Investigation

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:34

Khairullozhon Matanov lied and destroyed evidence about his contacts with the Tsarnaev brothers in the immediate aftermath of the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, according to an indictment.

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A scam-free way to consolidate your debt

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:27

We’ve all seen the late night infomercials promising to lift us out of a mountain of crushing debt: It’ll only take a phone call. Just three minutes of your time. And you, too, could be debt free forever.

You don’t need to consult with your financial adviser to figure out that calling that 1-800 number probably isn’t going to solve all of your money woes.

But is there a safe and practical way to consolidate a big chunk of consumer debt?

Gerri Detweiler, the director of consumer education for Credit.com says absolutely. You just need to know where to look.

Debt consolidation vs. credit counseling

“A lot of those ads that you see are not actually companies that will consolidate your debt,” Detweiler says.

"They’re credit counseling agencies and they will work with your creditors to get you on one monthly payment, lower your interest rate and lower your payments but they aren’t actually paying off your debt like a true consolidation loan would do.”

Instead, a debt consolidation loan is one new loan that will pay off all your existing debt, put you on a fixed monthly payment with a set plan for when the debt will be gone. “With a consolidation loan you know, in three, four or five years this loan will be paid off.”

So where do you get one?

Oh, how things have changed. Traditionally if you wanted a consolidation loan you’d have to apply through your bank or credit union or even tap into your home equity. 

"But that industry has changed dramatically in the past few years thanks to the P2P, or peer-to-peer lenders, who take money from investors like you and me and lend it to other people who need to consolidate their debt.”

You can save money, Detweiler says, by using a P2P lender because the interest rates typically are much lower.

How to spot a scam

We’re used to doing everything online these days but when it comes to giving out personal financial information here’s one area where we need to be extra careful.

“There are sites out there that look very professional and they typically promise money with very little in terms of credit standards,” Detweiler says.

 “What they’re doing is they’re gathering your personal information and turning around and selling it to scammers. Even if you don’t get a loan from them there’s a good chance that in a year or two you’re going to start hearing from debt collectors who are telling you that they’re going to have you arrested or sue you in court for paying this debt, whether or not you took out the debt.”

If you’re considering consolidation for student loans you need to be even more cautious. Head directly to the Department of Education for information and bypass any other companies who claim they can consolidate your student loans.

“The big risk with consolidating student loans is you may lose some of the protections you have right now with federal student loans including graduated repayment, deferment and forbearance,” she says.

“If you consolidate a federal student loan with a private student loan you lose those protections.”

Go Figure: The week in numbers

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:26
The week in numbers with our Go Figure images.

Week in pictures: 24-30 May 2014

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:22
News photos from around the world

Razor blades in food bank donations

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:18
Razor blades and dirty cat litter are found in items donated to a food bank in West Sussex.

India's economic growth disappoints

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:17
India's economy grew at a slower-than-forecast annual pace of 4.6% between January and March, due largely to a slowdown in the manufacturing sector.

VA Chief Eric Shinseki Resigns Post, Obama Announces

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:15

Shinseki has resigned his post, President Obama says, hours after the embattled head of Veterans Affairs said he would work to fix "systemic" problems in the VA's health care network.

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PODCAST: A $2 billion bank shot for the Clippers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:14

Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has reportedly won the bidding yesterday for the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise, with a $2 billion offer. Getting one of the world's richest people to replace Donald Sterling is a big win for the NBA.

On Monday, the EPA will set greenhouse-gas reduction goals for every state. And some states may be playing catch up.

Froome frustrated by lack of testing

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 06:12
Tour de France champion Chris Froome says anti-doping measures must be tightened up to help prove the sport is clean.

Man 'lied' to police on Boston plot

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 05:57
Officials in the US state of Massachusetts charge a 23-year-old man with lying to police and destroying evidence in the Boston bombings inquiry.

This week's movers and shakers

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 05:54
Who's top who's bottom in business this week

Flintoff 'must earn Lancashire place'

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-30 05:53
Andrew Flintoff is not certain of a place in Lancashire's T20 team, says director of cricket Mike Watkinson.
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