National / International News

Protests as Condi Rice joins Dropbox

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 06:06
Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's appointment to the board of technology firm Dropbox draws criticism from some customers.

Cameron finds 'guidance' in faith

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 06:04
David Cameron speaks of the "peace" and "guidance" he finds in his Christian faith, as he releases an Easter message.

10 things we didn't know last week

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 05:49
There's a type of spider attracted to Mazdas, plus other factlets

Pope Francis Asks Abuse Victims' Forgiveness

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-11 05:49

In what are being described as his strongest comments so far about the church's sex abuse crisis, the pope also condemned the evil deeds of some priests.

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AUDIO: Man held for giving wife pain patch

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 05:21
An elderly man was locked up for seven hours after giving his wife a painkiller patch at her care home.

VIDEO: The films making science captivating

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 05:20
David Reid travels to the Cern institute in Switzerland to find out how film-makers are helping to make science stories more accessible to the public.

Ukraine in offer to troubled east

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 05:14
Ukraine's interim PM Yatsenyuk offers more powers to the turbulent east, where armed pro-Russian protesters are defying the government.

California teen bus crash kills 10

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 05:14
Ten people, including five teenage students, are killed in a fiery bus crash in California, authorities say.

Optimism, But No Breakthrough In Search For Malaysian Jet

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-11 05:00

Even as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was saying he's "very confident" that pings from the plane's black boxes have been detected, the man leading the search effort was urging caution.

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AUDIO: Whistleblower resigns from police

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 04:55
A police whistleblower, who raised concerns about the Metropolitan Police's crime statistics, explains why he resigned.

AUDIO: Pope asks forgiveness for clergy abuse

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 04:41
Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for the evil committed by Roman Catholic priests who've sexually abused children.

CPS 'right to take Evans to court'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 04:37
The director of public prosecutions insists that the Crown Prosecution Service was right to take the Nigel Evans sex abuse case to court.

AUDIO: Julie Walters on her Bafta nod

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 04:30
Actress Julie Walters, will be inducted into the Bafta Fellowship, at this year's television Baftas in May

Nirvana inducted to Hall of Fame

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 04:27
REM singer Michael Stipe inducts grunge group Nirvana to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, alongside the likes of Kiss, Peter Gabriel and Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

'European Rugby Cup won't hurt game'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 04:06
Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty says the new European Rugby Champions Cup will benefit the sport.

Chelsea face Atletico in Champions League

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-11 04:05
Chelsea are drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, while Real Madrid face holders Bayern Munich.

VIDEO: Woman Throws Shoe At Hillary Clinton, No Harm Done

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:49

The flying footwear missed the former secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential contender. She was giving a speech in Las Vegas. "Is that part of Cirque du Soleil?" Clinton joked.

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When the coal layoffs trickle down

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:40

Coal communities in eastern Kentucky are feeling the effects of a relentless wave of mining layoffs the past few years. Competition from cheap natural gas and high production costs have hurt the mining business here. That, in turn, is hurting Main Street.

Take Whitesburg, Kentucky, population 2,000 give or take. At the Railroad Street Mercantile, owner Kae Fisher surprises visitors with an eclectic mix of merchandise. Homemade jellies, aromatherapy oils, snack chips, and jalapeno eggs fill the shelves. In the back of the store, she’s selling used LP’s and consignment quilts.

“These are from ladies across the county who try to earn a little extra money because a lot of them, their husbands have lost their jobs,” says Fisher.

Fisher and her husband David opened their “corner market” last year, as mining employment in eastern Kentucky plunged. Inauspicious timing, but Fisher believed the downtown needed at least one store. “We’re able to pay the bills,” says Fisher. “But have we got our money back that we’ve invested? Not yet.”

A midday stroll down Main Street, Whitesburg can be a lonely experience. The courthouse is the busiest place in town, but tables at the Courthouse Cafe across the street are fairly empty. On a weekday afternoon co-owner Laura Schuster worked the kitchen by herself. She can’t afford an assistant right now. “Once the layoffs started we immediately knew what would happen, that people would be afraid that they also would lose their jobs and they would cut back anyway they can,” says Schuster. “And one way to cut back is to not eat out. I’d say business is down 50 percent, if not more.”

Whitesburg and other coal towns in the region are also suffering from a steep drop in coal tax revenue. The money goes to counties and was originally intended for an economy beyond coal. In Whitesburg’s Letcher County, coal tax revenue is half what it was just a few years ago.

Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, says over the years coal severance taxes have been diverted for other uses. “Local governments in eastern Kentucky have gradually become dependent on the coal severance as just a general fund source for operations,” says Bailey “For them to pay for police, to do basic road repair. So they’ve had a really hard time because there’s the lack of a tax base outside that as well to generate revenue.”

Justin Maxson, president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, says the transition to a “low-coal” economy will be “slow, hard and expensive.” He points out the region was poor, even while coal boomed. “So there will be no easy fix.”

Why low inflation can be dangerous

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:36

Right now our inflation rate is around 1 percent. But some at the Fed say that's way too low.

The hope is to see inflation go up. But why on earth would we want to increase inflation?  

"A little bit is good, but not too much. It's like a lot of things in life -- good in moderation," says Jeremy Siegel, a professor of finance at Wharton. "Higher inflation is a bad thing, but mild inflation, statistically has been associated with very good economic times."

Siegel says during times of inflation, the dollar decreases in value. So the $100 you borrowed back in the day was worth more then, than your $100 payment today -- which means less financial burdens for consumers and more cash to spend.

And that's one reason the Fed wants to see inflation go up -- just a little bit. 

"It's not so high as to be hurting a lot of people, but it's at a level which would probably create a lot of jobs," says Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisers. Thayer says the benefit of job creation would probably outweigh a slightly higher inflation rate.

Ukraine not on the agenda as IMF gathers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-11 03:20

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are set to open their annual spring meetings. It will be a busy weekend for finance ministers and economists who are visiting Washington from all over the world. Dozens of panels and speeches are on the agenda, but none are about Ukraine, a country the IMF has offered billions of dollars.

According to Ken Rogoff, former IMF chief economist, right now, “the geopolitics overrides what the finance ministers and the central bankers think.”

But at a gathering of policymakers from close to 200 countries, it is bound to come up.

“I think it’s going to be talked about behind closed doors,” says Barry Eichengreen, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley.  

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