National / International News

Pakistan defends meeting separatists

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 04:19
Pakistan's high commissioner to India Abdul Basit defends his meetings with Kashmiri separatists, a move which led to Delhi cancelling planned talks with Islamabad.

Student in lifesaving heart finding

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 04:13
An 18-year-old student has made a scientific breakthrough that could help save the lives of black athletes with undiagnosed heart problems.

Who created that app? A teacher

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-08-20 04:02

Laura Fenn was teaching fifth grade in North Carolina when her school cut back on physical education and recess. "They actually started to count time walking from the classroom to the cafeteria as physical activity time," Fenn says.

That gave her an idea:  create podcasts that students can listen to, and learn from, while they walk. You can find audio samples here.

Fenn’s nonprofit, The Walking Classroom Institute, is now her full-time job.

She’s one of many current and former teachers developing digital classroom tools.  

NoRedInk, BetterLesson, SmarterCookie are just a handful of education tech companies founded by teachers.

"It’s not until you’re in the classroom until you realize and really understand the pain points," says Benjamin Levy. He was teaching eighth graders in California and got frustrated that educational videos weren’t more interactive.  Now he’s CEO of eduCanon, which lets teachers add questions to online videos.

High school physics teacher Peter Bohacek was stymied by teaching physics from a book. "Physics is about the analysis of an event, not an abstract, contrived text description," he says. So he and Dr. Matthew Vonk created “Direct Measurement Videos,”which allow teachers to illustrate the basics of physics from the speed of sound to Newton’s Second Law.

Bohacek’s videos are free online. He wants to keep them that way.

But others see the booming market for education technology and want a piece of it. It's an $8 billion industry.

There's also a new distribution model that bypasses administrators and school districts.

"As a teacherpreneur it can be easy to get it in the hand of teachers, especially if it’s free, which appears to be the most teachers will pay for an app these days," said Frank Catalano, an edtech industry consultant.

He says the challenge for teachers is the challenge for most educational tech start-ups: how to turn a good idea into a sustainable business.

Hospital hack 'exploited Heartbleed'

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:54
A leading security expert alleges that hackers made use of the Heartbleed flaw to steal the personal details of 4.5 million healthcare patients.

The only Englishman in Spain's elite

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:51
Charlie I'Anson, a 21-year-old from Luton, might have been facing Lionel Messi this weekend - a far cry from his early days at Grimsby.

McKillop earns first European gold

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:40
Michael McKillop adds a first IPC European Athletics Championships gold to his haul of Paralympic and world titles.

Four arrested over letter bombs

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:40
Police investigating a series of letter bombs sent to addresses in Northern Ireland and England arrest four people.

VIDEO: CCTV shows tornado strike beach cafe

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:37
CCTV shows a beach in the town of Arenzano in northern Italy being torn apart by a tornado.

Fire destroys NFF building in Abuja

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:34
A huge fire rips through the Nigeria Football Federation building in the country's capital Abuja on Wednesday.

Gardener impaled on spikes dies

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:31
A gardener dies after being impaled on spiked railings while pruning a fir tree.

U.S. Authenticates Video Of Militants Beheading American Journalist

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:30

A video in which the extremist group the Islamic State claims to execute American journalist James Foley is authentic, according to U.S. intelligence analysts. Foley was abducted in Syria in 2012.

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Barcelona transfer ban appeal fails

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:29
Barcelona cannot sign players until 2016 once the current transfer window shuts, after Fifa reject their appeal over a ban.

British pubs: popular but disappearing

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:25

British pubs have been closing at a rate of 31 a week, and that rate is accelerating. The Campaign for Real Ale is warning that a world-famous British institution is in danger of severe decline. The group has called for urgent measures to save the pub and preserve a valuable piece of the fabric of British life.

Stephen Langdon is one of a group of regulars trying to save his local — The Maiden Over in Reading — from closure.

“It will damage the community no question about it.” Langdon says. “ The pub has been a real focal point for the families and local community. If we lose it, there will be nowhere else for us to have a social evening in our neighborhood. There is no other pub within easy, convenient walking distance from where we live.”

Langdon's pub is scheduled to be turned into a supermarket. A similar fate befell Gareth Epps’ local pub, with negative consequences for his social life.

"I don’t see my friends so often now, I don’t see my neighbors so often." Epps says. "It means I lose the chance to pay cricket for my pub team. It diminishes the quality of life in our neighborhood."

Many of the pubs that have closed their doors were making money but not as much money as the supermarkets that replaced them. Indeed, supermarkets now pose a big competitive threat to pubs as retailers of booze.

"Supermarkets are selling beer so cheap that people on low incomes are driven into the arms of the supermarkets because pub beer is so much more expensive." explains Roger Protz, author of "300 Beers to Try Before You Die." "So people buy cheap beer from the supermarket and drink it at home.”

Adding to the plight of the British pub is a corporate malaise. The handful of big companies that own most of the pubs are heavily in debt and they need to sell off more of their assets. The supermarket chains are willing buyers.

CAMRA used the occasion of its annual Great British Beer Festival last week to highlight the threat to the British pub and to call for closure of what it calls a loophole in UK planning law.

"Something that is as intrinsic to British culture as the British pub can be closed down, can be knocked down, it can have its use changed, with no reference to the local community." CAMRA’s spokesman Tom Stainer says. The group wants a planning application to be required before a pub can be demolished so that the local community has a chance to save it.

The group has launched an unusual crusade for the sake of the country’s social health: to drive the British people back to drink, in a pub.

China levies record antitrust fines on foreign firms

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:21

In its latest effort to wield its power against foreign companies, China has levied more than $200 million in fines against a dozen Japanese auto parts makers for price-fixing.

German and American automakers are also being investigated. They were the largest fines placed on foreign companies in China since the government rolled out new anti-trust laws six years ago, and they're making a big impact on the world's largest auto market.

The investigation is the latest to target foreign companies within a select group of industries from pharmaceuticals to PR firms. CLSA analyst Scott Laprise says the investigation into price fixing among foreign companies in China's auto market is reasonable from a consumer perspective.

"If we look at it from a U.S.-style consumer protectionist view: What would you think if you found out your car was being sold two, three, four [or] in the case of some cars five times more expensive in another country?" Laprise asks. "Aren’t you taking advantage of that country?"

While some analysts may see this as the latest example of China's government unfairly targeting foreign firms, others point out that Chinese consumers are the fastest rising consumer group in the world, and this investigation is an effort on the part of China's government to protect them from unfair business practices.

 

China levies record antitrust fines on foreign firms

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:21

In its latest effort to wield its power against foreign companies, China has levied more than $200 million in fines against a dozen Japanese auto parts makers for price-fixing.

German and American automakers are also being investigated. They were the largest fines placed on foreign companies in China since the government rolled out new anti-trust laws six years ago, and they're making a big impact on the world's largest auto market.

The investigation is the latest to target foreign companies within a select group of industries from pharmaceuticals to PR firms. CLSA analyst Scott Laprise says the investigation into price fixing among foreign companies in China's auto market is reasonable from a consumer perspective.

"If we look at it from a U.S.-style consumer protectionist view: What would you think if you found out your car was being sold two, three, four [or] in the case of some cars five times more expensive in another country?" Laprise asks. "Aren’t you taking advantage of that country?"

While some analysts may see this as the latest example of China's government unfairly targeting foreign firms, others point out that Chinese consumers are the fastest rising consumer group in the world, and this investigation is an effort on the part of China's government to protect them from unfair business practices.

 

Argentina in plan to avoid US ruling

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:17
An emotional President de Kirchner says proposed legislation will return control of its debt to the government.

Urban Farms Build Resilience Within Singapore's Fragile Food System

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:17

Tiny Singapore imports almost all of its food. From gardens on deserted car parks to vertical farms in the vanishing countryside, a movement is afoot to help boost its agricultural production.

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Urban Farms Build Resilience Within Singapore's Fragile Food System

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:17

Tiny Singapore imports almost all its food. From gardens on deserted car parks to vertical farms in the vanishing countryside, a movement is afoot to help boost its agricultural production.

» E-Mail This

VIDEO: Barenboim: 'Orchestra must play on'

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:14
Conductor Daniel Barenboim speaks to Newsnight's Kirsty Wark about how the situation in Gaza has affected his orchestra of musicians from both sides in the conflict.

VIDEO: Going Gaga for Scottish independence

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 03:10
Social media's use ahead of the independence referendum
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