National / International News

Inquiry into prisoners' tapped calls

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 05:32
An investigation into the recording of telephone calls between prisoners and their constituency MPs is ordered by the justice secretary.

One-off repeat for Bellingham's Oxo ad

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 05:28
A 1984 Oxo advert starring Lynda Bellingham is to be screened on Christmas Day as a tribute to the actress who died last month.

Trouble Swallowing Pills? Try The 'Pop Bottle' Or The 'Lean Forward'

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-11 05:28

One-third of people have trouble downing pills, and many skip taking medications as a result. A researcher in Germany says that two techniques help. Really? We tested them ourselves to find out.

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From target man to teacher

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 05:21
Former Blackpool and Hull striker Ben Burgess on his decision to swap the changing room for the classroom.

China and U.S. reach agreement on high tech products

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-11 05:00

United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced a "breakthrough" in negotiations with China over high tech products Monday night. The agreement could herald the first major tariff-cutting agreement at the World Trade Organization in 17 years, covering an estimated $1 trillion of products ranging from MRI machines to video game consoles. 

The negotiations concerned an update to the Information Technology Agreement, or ITA, signed in the late 1990s, under which countries agreed to cut tariffs to zero for a list of high-tech products. 

"For high tech products, every country wished to be a leader in that," says Wing Thye Woo, professor of economics at UC Davis and president of the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia. "So when high tech products started appearing quickly, some countries started putting tariffs on them.

Woo says the ITA didn't follow the model of other free trade agreements: cut tariffs for the entire sector, with certain products singled out as exceptions. 

"You do not say mackerel is not free trade but salmon is free trade," says Woo. "All fish is free trade, unless we specify certain fish."

"This one is the other way around: The following are free trade items, and what is not mentioned is not free trade," he says.

Signatories of the ITA agreed to cut tariffs only for products that fit into certain categories such as computers and data-storage media. 

China signed on to this agreement when it joined the WTO in 2001. "It had to," says Woo. "But then the number of high-tech products kind of exploded."

Efforts to increase the list stalled.

"China was the main opposition on this issue of broadening the Information Technology agreement," says Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. China had, for instance, maintained tariffs of up to 25 percent to protect its burgeoning semiconductor industry.

The agreement with the United States could un-stick negotiations with the other 54 economies involved in the ITA negotiations. "The presumption is those other countries will agree because they have been negotiating pretty much alongside the United States," say Hufbauer.

"And I think it foreshadows more agreements on other issues between the US and China," he says. "It’s really a new day."

Morocco will not host 2015 Afcon

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:40
The Confederation of African Football confirms Morocco will not host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations but no new venue is announced.

Quiz: Hidden cameras in the classroom

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:40

Harvard researchers secretly photographed more than 2,000 students to study classroom behavior last spring. News reports and other Harvard faculty have called out the study’s questionable ethics. Two years ago Harvard administrators reportedly read the emails of resident deans – you guessed it – in secret.

Harvard researchers studied student behavior with secret cameras. What did they uncover?

You can watch a presentation by one of the photo researchers on YouTube.

Deaths boat was 'pushed to extremes'

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:38
A powerboat was being "pushed to its extremes" when it turned sharply throwing a family of six into the water and killing the father and a daughter, an inquest hears.

VIDEO: Fashion advice for political leaders

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:29
Clothes Show presenter on the appearance of David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage and Natalie Bennett.

Google to lease former Nasa airfield

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:28
Google is to pay over £1bn to rent an airfield but little is known about what it plans to do there.

DarkHotel hackers target bosses

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:20
Company bosses and tech entrepreneurs are being targeted in their hotel rooms by hackers whose malware can evade detection, warn researchers.

Cash-strapped ENO pulls out of Orfeo

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:20
English National Opera pulls out of a production of Monteverdi's Orfeo as the company prepares for a 29% Arts Council England funding cut.

B&B owner's horror at cannibal death

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:17
A B&B owner who found Matthew Williams in his room attacking a woman who died in a suspected act of cannibalism tells of the horror she saw.

Breaking the silence on Twitter

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:12
The UK Parliament, and others who ignored the silence on Twitter

U.S. And China Move Toward Ending Tariffs On High-Tech Gear

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-11 04:10

The existing tariff system, which adds as much as 25 percent to the cost of American high-tech exports, covers more than $4 trillion in annual trade, the White House says.

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VIDEO: Putin rebuffed by China's First Lady

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 03:45
Russian President drapes his blanket across China's First Lady Peng Liyuan, but she declines his help and removes the garment.

VIDEO: How Philae probe will land on comet

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 03:36
David Shukman explains how the European Space Agency will attempt to land a small spacecraft on a speeding comet for the first time.

VIDEO: Van Gogh's ear 'brought to life'

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 03:24
How an artist brought Vincent van Gogh's ear 'back to life' and allowed people to talk to it

Q&A: Lamar Alexander On Education In The New Congress

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-11 03:18

The veteran Tennessean is poised to take a leading role on education in the new Congress.

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Murder accused admits sex with girls

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-11 03:06
Angus Sinclair, accused of raping and murdering two teenage girls 37 years ago, admits having sex with them.