National / International News

AUDIO: FA invests £1m in blind football

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 04:24
Rob Bonnet reports on two new FA initiatives for blind and partially-sighted footballers.

AUDIO: Mild winter 'behind fruit fly plague'

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 03:59
An unseasonal plague of fruit flies, being experienced by some parts of the UK, is down to an "exceptionally mild winter", according to Dr Michelle Fountain, an entomologist specialising in fruit crops at the East Malling Research Station in Kent.

Mark Easton's devolution road trip

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 03:48
Mark Easton's devolution road trip

VIDEO: Tech review: This week's headlines

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 02:53
Why a vein detector might make it easier to donate blood, plus other technology news

VIDEO: White: 'I never took cocaine sober'

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 02:44
Snooker player Jimmy 'Whirlwind' White has shocked fans by admitting he was addicted to drugs in the 1980s.

Pension reforms spark '101 queries'

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 02:25
A trade body for pension funds has raised 101 "questions and uncertainties" ahead of a major overhaul of the pension system.

AUDIO: Cannabis robbers 'raiding wrong houses'

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 02:15
Police in Nottingham say burglars are raiding houses where cannabis is being grown. But in many cases they're raiding the wrong houses, upsetting a lot of people and coming away with nothing.

VIDEO: Simply Red reveal 2015 anniversary tour

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 02:09
Simply Red's Mick Hucknall announces a new tour in 2015 marking 30 years since the band formed.

How to change company boards: the Stringer solution

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 02:00

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer wants to bring a kind of direct democracy to corporations.

He’s teaming up with institutional investors, including some of the country’s largest public pension funds, to lobby 75 companies to allow shareholders to nominate directors for election to their boards.

The investors will have to hold more than three percent of the company’s stock for more than three years to qualify but even so, David Nadler, a principle at Nadler Advisory Services, thinks companies will resist.

“The cost and the time and distraction of potentially dealing with contested board elections, I think, is not good for the enterprise,” he says.

Nadler consults with boards and executives on leadership and corporate governance issues and thinks, on the whole, companies have become more responsive to their shareholders in recent years. He doesn’t think these changes would be worth the hassle they’d cause.

Stringer disagrees.

“The old boys' network is still in place,” he says. “You know, 'a friend of a friend of a friend' is serving on these corporate boards, but we need certain expertise. We need more diversity. If you put more women and people of color on boards, studies show that the company does better.”

If companies don’t agree to Stringer’s changes, shareholders would have to vote to approve his proposal next year. Even then, companies wouldn’t have to adopt it. But Stringer says he and his pension fund allies will just keep coming back. 

Free trade on the agenda for Obama's Asia trip

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 02:00

President Barack Obama will be in Asia starting Monday with an itinerary that includes attending the APEC CEO Summit, a state visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.

Among the top items on the agenda is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-country free trade agreement that has proven difficult to hammer out between the U.S. and Japan before being presented to the other 10 countries, says Derek Scissors, an Asia scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

"There are a lot of really contentious issues,” says Scissors. "Can American farm goods freely enter the Japanese market? The Japanese have resisted this for years. Can Japanese autos freely enter the American market? The United States has resisted.”

If the U.S. and Japan were to settle their differences, that would be a major success story coming out of this latest trip, says Scissors. 

For a president that may be looking at a tough road ahead on his domestic agenda, it makes sense to switch focus to foreign policy, says Russell Riley, a presidential historian at the University of Virginia.

"Towards the end of the term, when presidents are thinking about legacies, they do become focused on places abroad, where they feel like they can make a difference,” Riley says.

The timing may work out for the president, as a recovering economy offers the U.S. a renewed leadership role in global trade.

“We’re the only one doing well,” says Scissors. “So everyone is looking to the United States for wise economic policy, which we don’t always deliver…And the TTP is a good step in that agenda.” 

Silicon Tally: So many penguins

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 01:14

It's time for Silicon Tally! How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

This week, we're joined by Ashkan Soltani, newly appointed Chief Technologist at the FTC.

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Tech Tent pitches up in Ireland

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 01:04
Tech Tent visits Ireland's Web Summit, which has become one of the most successful tech events over the past four years.

'Liverpool lacking in all areas'

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 00:11
BBC Sport's Robbie Savage on why Liverpool are miles away from a title bid and Steven Gerrard's future.

VIDEO: Drink-driving: 50 years of changing attitudes

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 22:42
It has been 50 years since the first TV campaign warning of the dangers of drink-driving. On Friday, the latest hard-hitting advert was launched on our screens.