National / International News

Hillsborough behind Gerrard reaction

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:38
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard reveals why he reacted so emotionally after Sunday's victory over Manchester City.

Did You See It? If Not, Here's The 'Blood Moon'

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:35

The view was great across much of the Americas early Tuesday as the moon turned red during a total lunar eclipse. If you missed it, the next one comes on Oct. 8.

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Americas sees 'Blood moon' eclipse

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:34
Skywatchers in the Americas have caught a rare celestial show caused by the Earth's shadow falling across the Moon.

House prices continue to accelerate

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:32
The rate at which UK house prices are rising has continued to increase, official figures show, with prices up 9.1% in the year to February.

US Airways apologises for porn tweet

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:27
US Airways apologises after an explicit photo was sent from its official Twitter account in response to a customer complaint.

UK inflation falls to 1.6% in March

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:26
UK's inflation rate, as measured by the consumer prices index, fell to 1.6% in March, the Office for National Statistics says.

England places up for grabs - Cook

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:26
Captain Alastair Cook says there are places to be won in the England Test side to face Sri Lanka in June.

Nicaragua on high alert after quakes

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:24
Nicaragua is preparing for the possibility of a massive earthquake hitting the nation after a string of smaller tremors rocked the area.

IRS budget problems help tax evaders

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:22

The IRS says it will audit fewer people this year than it has in many years. And, in telling us that, it's walking a fine line.

It wants you to know it's tough on tax cheats. It also wants you to know that it doesn't have enough money to be as tough on tax cheats.

"We hear a lot about people going to prison for tax fraud, but at the same time, the IRS needs budgetary resources," says Joshua Blank, faculty director of the Graduate Tax Program at New York University School of Law.

With a smaller budget and staff, the agency says fewer than one percent of returns will be audited this year. The IRS hopes that number will get a hostile Congress to increase its budget.

"A less enforced tax system rewards tax evaders, which in turn hurts everyone else," says Joel Slemrod, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Fewer audits means the IRS is also losing the deterrent effects of what happens when someone tells all his friends about his experience, saying something like, "And, here's what they caught me on. They caught me on home office deduction, or they caught me on something else, and I had to write a big check. Geeze, I hope you don't have to go through that," says former IRS acting commissioner Kevin Brown, now with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The IRS hopes it can simultaneously scare you, and scare Congress into giving it more money.

Red Bull lose Ricciardo appeal

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:19
Red Bull's appeal against Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification from last month's Australian Grand Prix is rejected.

It's Tax Day! Now for pot dealers, too

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:16

The deadline to file income taxes is April 15. For many businesses, deductions on things like labor and rent help to keep tax bills low. But that's not the case for marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized medical or recreational use.

It's frustrating for business owners like Erica Freeman, who runs Choice Organics near Fort Collins, Colo. She's marking a big milestone this month. After voters legalized recreational pot in the state, Freeman spent thousands opening a new shop right next to her medical dispensary.

"...a whole separate video surveillance and security systems—and all of those kinds of things," she says.

Freeman and many other licensed marijuana business owners file taxes. But because of an Internal Revenue Service code known as 280E—originally written for illegal drug traffickers—they can't write off retail expenses associated with the business.

"I mean, all of these things are necessary for the front of the house, and therefore it's really not eligible to be written off," she says.

Recent rulings from tax court have allowed businesses to write off costs associated with growing marijuana. But the income tax rate for pot shops in Colorado can be as high as 70 percent. That's according to Jim Marty, a tax accountant who works with dozens of dispensaries across the state.

"Depending on where they're at it can be catastrophic," says Marty, who adds that the situation is particularly onerous for dispensaries just starting out.

"If they have losses—real, cash-basis losses—it can be a shock to them to find out that they owe taxes in years when they haven't made any money."

In California, 280E is even a problem for nonprofit dispensaries. Aaron Smith with the National Cannabis Industry Association says stores that sell medical marijuana can't get tax-exempt status from the IRS. That means they're filing taxes as for-profit businesses.

"The cruel irony behind this is that illegal drug dealers almost never even file income taxes," he says. "So this provision really only affects the legitimate state-licensed marijuana providers."

The Association recently hired a full-time lobbyist to push reform in Congress. In Colorado, a solution could come from the courts. Arguments on one dispensary's tax case are expected to be heard later this year.

VIDEO: Footage of rare 'blood moon' eclipse

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:15
People in the Americas have been treated to a rare "blood moon" lunar eclipse. Jonathan Amos explains the science behind the colour change.

Elite marathon runner misses flight

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:14
A female London Marathon runner from Sierra Leone is missing after she disappeared and failed to catch a flight home.

Pistorius damaged but not destroyed

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:12
Pistorius damaged but not destroyed, says Andrew Harding

VIDEO: New rivals for One Direction

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 02:09
British Boy Band The Vamps talk about their fans and being compared to One Direction

Justin Bieber assault hearing set

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 01:56
The singer's next court hearing over his assault charge for hitting a limousine driver will take place in May.

VIDEO: Michael Morpurgo: How to mark WW1

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 01:56
War Horse author Michael Morpurgo on how to mark the centenary of the start of World War One.

Donations surge for marathon runner

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 01:44
More than £40,000 is donated to charity in memory of a runner who died after collapsing at the finishing line of the London Marathon.

VIDEO: UK inflation fall announced

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 01:39
The UK inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell to 1.6% in March from 1.7% in February, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

VIDEO: Plane robotic sub mission cut short

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-15 01:34
The robot submarine sent to search for wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has had its first mission cut short.

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