National / International News

Ed Sheeran wins first Brit Award

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:11
Ed Sheeran wins best British male at the 2015 Brit Awards, on a night when he goes head-to-head with Sam Smith for most of the main prizes.

Acclaimed Documentary Filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky Dies At 58

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-25 11:01

Sinofsky and his longtime co-director, Joe Berlinger, are perhaps best known for Paradise Lost, a trilogy of films about three teenagers convicted of killing three little boys in West Memphis, Ark.

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Pair admit stabbing takeaway owner

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:41
Two men have admitted stabbing a Chinese takeaway owner who tried to stop his car being stolen.

Qatar 2022 rifts 'beyond repair'

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:39
BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan says the fall-out from a winter Qatar 2022 World Cup could tear football apart.

Farah-Vernon rivalry 'adds spice'

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:39
Mo Farah's row with GB team-mate Andy Vernon is good for their sport, according to UK Athletics president Lynn Davies.

Google grows, its hometown feels crowded

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:37

It seems as if the whole of Silicon Valley is beset by one giant case of “Keeping up with the Joneses.”  First Apple announced a massive new expansion to its Cupertino headquarters. Then Facebook bought up 56 acres for growth in Menlo Park, and now it's Google’s turn.

Google’s plans have rekindled old tensions between an industry that is built on growth and a region that doesn’t want to change.

It’s tempting to look at Apple, Facebook, and Google and say that Silicon Valley would be nowhere without them, but that’s not necessarily the case. First the defense industry moved in, then the semiconductor manufacturers in the 1980s, then the dot-com bubble, and now the mobile internet.

"Silicon Graphics has come and gone, Sun Microsystems has come and gone, and companies stepped in to fill their place," says Mountain View City Councilman Michael Kasperzak.  Mountain View is headquarters to some 20,000 Google employees.

Unlike, say, Ford Motor Company a generation ago, companies like Google aren’t necessarily as enmeshed in the local economy. "Google doesn't do anything to generate sales tax, we don't tax the internet, we don't tax searches, we don't tax ad revenue," Kasperzak says. 

He notes there are plenty of other benefits that Google does provide, such as leasing city land and providing funds for local schools.

But, unlike previous eras, when a company with the size and clout of Facebook or Google could essentially own a town the size of Mountain View, population 80,000, that is not the case in 2015.

"To call the Silicon Valley communities new ‘company towns’ may be a bit of an overstatement," says Michael Woo, dean of the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly in Pomona.

"As much as the high-tech companies might want that level of control, they don't have that level of control or influence,” says Woo, “and even some of their own employees as voters, wouldn't necessarily vote to support what might be in the best interest of the companies."

Woo says the Googles and Apples of the world have largely resisted the urge to throw their weight around in local politics.  And to its credit, he notes that Google is even talking about ways it might create new affordable housing for its employees.

Al-Jazeera arrests over Paris drone

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:31
Three journalists for the Qatar-based channel al-Jazeera are arrested for the alleged illegal flying of a drone in the Bois de Boulogne area of Paris.

'Inadequate' free school to close

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:25
Durham Free School is to close at the end of this term after its action plan was judged insufficient to turn it around.

VIDEO: Sam Smith appeals for boyfriend

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:04
Sam Smith speaks to Sangita Myska on the Brits 2015 red carpet - about deja vu and wanting a boyfriend.

New York trio 'tried to join IS'

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 10:00
The FBI has arrested three foreign nationals living in Brooklyn who agents say sought to join the Islamic State.

VIDEO: Smuggler: How girls entered Syria

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:57
A people smuggler has told the BBC how three east London schoolgirls were taken across the border from Turkey to Syria.

Eyelashes Grow To Just The Right Length To Shield Eyes

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:56

Eyelashes keep dust out and fend off drying breezes, a study finds. To do that they need to be a very precise length. Extra-long fake eyelashes hurt more than they help.

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Greek ex-minister in tax list trial

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:41
A former Greek finance minister goes on trial accused of removing relatives' names from a list of HSBC account holders who may have underpaid tax.

FBI Arrests Three Men For Allegedly Plotting To Join Islamic State In Syria

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:40

The three men from Brooklyn were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Two of the men had already purchased tickets to Istanbul.

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African Emoji CEO: Apple 'Missed The Whole Point' With Its Diverse Emojis

NPR News - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:33

Alpesh Patel released the first-ever set of black emoticons last year. He says Apple still has a long way to go.

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Nuclear bunker drugs charges denied

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:32
Two men deny turning a former nuclear bunker near Kidderminster into a cannabis factory.

VIDEO: Computer teaches itself to play games

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:09
Researchers say they have developed an artificial intelligence system that has taught itself how to win 1980s computer games.

Daughter wins £1.3m of family farm

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:08
A farmer's daughter wins £1.3m after working on her parents' farm for nothing as a teenager while her sisters were having fun.

BBC Trust chair's HSBC role queried

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:06
A senior MP raises questions over new BBC Trust chair Rona Fairhead's role at HSBC while the bank's Swiss arm helped wealthy clients evade tax.

Alonso warned not to rush return

BBC - Wed, 2015-02-25 09:02
Fernando Alonso "could do himself more damage" if he returns too soon from concussion, says former IndyCar driver Gil De Ferran.

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