National / International News

Weight concerns behind Phelps return

BBC - 7 hours 11 sec ago
Legendary Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps says he is coming out of retirement because of concerns over his weight.

The unlikely debt capital of Britain

BBC - 7 hours 2 min ago
The unlikely debt capital of Britain

VIDEO: Mirren: I'd love to play Romeo's Juliet

BBC - 7 hours 3 min ago
Dame Helen Mirren has revealed she always wanted to play Shakespeare's Juliet, but was never given the chance.

Reports: FCC Poised For Changes To Net Neutrality Policy

NPR News - 7 hours 21 min ago

According to reports, the FCC is set to approve a system in which Internet service providers offer a faster pipe to American homes to content companies willing to pay for it.

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Apple profits beat expectations

BBC - 7 hours 48 min ago
Technology giant Apple plans a share buyback after it reports profits of $10.2bn, selling a more than 43 million iPhones in the second quarter of 2014.

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

NPR News - 7 hours 53 min ago

On the first leg of his Asian tour, the president stopped by the iconic sushi restaurant. David Gelb, who directed a documentary about the restaurant, says eating there is amazing and nerve-wracking.

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Goodbye, productivity. Hello, HBO.

It's an impressive list of high quality television: The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, plus mini-series like Band of BrothersJohn Adams. 

These are all of the HBO shows that will be made available next month to Amazon Prime customers.

To some, it will feel like a necessary perk, what with Amazon Prime membership costing more than it used to. To others, it's a farewell to productivity, because let's face it, this is a lot of television to watch. Just how long will it take you to get through all of this content?

Assuming you take no potty breaks, don't sleep, and eat in front of your laptop or television, it will take this long:

Thanks to the website tiii.me, which allows you to calculate how much of your life you've spent watching tv based on what shows you've seen, it will take a grand total of 21 days, 23 hours, and 30 minutes to blaze your way through all of the HBO content.

If you're an Amazon Prime member, maybe don't plan on doing much for the month of May.

Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich

BBC - 8 hours 12 min ago
Karim Benzema's goal gives Real Madrid the advantage as holders Bayern Munich lose semi-final first leg in Spain.

VIDEO: NYPD's Twitter campaign backfires

BBC - 8 hours 24 min ago
NYPD asked followers to tweet a photo of themselves with officers and add the hashtag "myNYPD" as part of a social media campaign.

VIDEO: Russia in new Ukraine attack threat

BBC - 8 hours 29 min ago
Moscow has again warned that it will retaliate if it judges that the interests of Russian people are being threatened in Ukraine.

Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

BBC - 8 hours 38 min ago
US film star Jodie Foster marries her girlfriend, Alexandra Hedison, the actress's representative confirms.

Costly Hepatitis C Pill Shreds Drug Industry Sales Record

NPR News - 8 hours 40 min ago

Sovaldi has been found to be remarkably effective in curing most patients with common forms of hepatitis C in a matter of months. But the clinical success comes at a high price.

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Plan to end corroboration on hold

BBC - 8 hours 42 min ago
Controversial plans to end the need for evidence in Scottish criminal trials to come from two sources are put on hold for at least a year.

VIDEO: Tribute to youngest Hillsborough victim

BBC - 8 hours 42 min ago
The mother of the Hillsborough disaster's youngest victim has said he would have been ''very proud'' of his cousin, England Captain Steven Gerrard.

Daley ready for 'special' competition

BBC - 8 hours 44 min ago
Tom Daley is set to compete at the London Aquatics Centre for the first time since winning Olympic bronze.

In Age Of Custom-Tailored Ed Tech, Teachers Shop Off The Rack

NPR News - 8 hours 47 min ago

Even as investment in education technology grows, teachers say free tools are just as effective as paid ones.

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Want Botox? A wrinkle filler?

Valeant, a pharmaceutical company, is trying to look good. It’s made an offer for Allergan, the company that produces Botox. Over the past couple of years, Valeant has bought up other pharma companies including Solta, Obaji and Medicis, makers of skin-smothing-lasers, creams and fillers. Valeant isn't looking to make more by increasing R&D, but you don’t have to wrinkle up your forehead to figure out why it wants to buy the company that produces Botox.

“They are clearly going to have a monopoly in the marketplace," says Dr. Jack Berdy,  CEO of SmoothMed, a service that provides botox treatments in Manhattan. Berdy notes Valeant already bought the company that makes Dysport – a Botox competitor.

“I can’t imagine the company Valeant, who would look for economics in a takeover, maintaining both products in the marketplace," he said. "One of them would probably disappear.”

Along with a lot of jobs -- for some people, Valeant's offer is going to create stress (and wrinkles). Seamus Fernandez, an analyst with Leerink Partners, agrees.  “That’s a fair conclusion,” he says.

Fernandez says the international market for cosmetic dermatology is worth billions every year. And with the potential for consolidating workforces, Valeant is trying to be efficient.

“Most doctors are pretty busy, they would much prefer to just talk to one person who could go through and update them on what’s new on all the products they use, rather than having to have a bunch of different sales people come in from each company,” says David Krempa, an equity analyst with Morningstar.

Fernandez says, unlike the wrinkles it fixes, the market for cosmetic dermatology is growing – at about 12 percent a year.

The Times takes James Franco down (at least) a notch

About one James Edward Franco:

An actor, yes. But also: A poet! A novelist! A filmmaker! And an artist.

Not so fast, says Roberta Smith, co-chief art critic for The New York Times. Some of Franco's photographs are on display at a gallery in New York, and Smith isn't impressed.

Franco "remains embarrassingly clueless when it comes to art," she writes in her review. "The deep content here, beneath the entitled narcissism, is a confused desperation that seems to drive Mr. Franco's pursuit of visual art."

She continues: "It's hard not to feel some sympathy for him, while also wishing that someone or something would make him stop."

Ouch.

Why Are We Spiteful, Even Though It Bites Us Back?

NPR News - 8 hours 57 min ago

Most of us aren't as maleficent as the fairy in "Sleeping Beauty," but we're still apt to spite others, even at risk of harming ourselves. Psychologists are trying to figure out why.

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IRS employees who don't pay their own taxes

More than 1,000 IRS workers who failed to pay their taxes still received performance bonuses.

In all, 28,000 tax workers with substantiated conduct issues collected $2.8 million in bonuses for 2011 and 2012.

Andrew Biggs with the American Enterprise Institute generally favors performance bonuses for federal employees. But, Biggs says, “it is difficult to have employees working for the IRS who didn’t in fact pay their own taxes. That undermines the credibility of the agency as a whole.”

The IRS is considering a policy change.

But in order to make conduct issues affect performance bonuses, the IRS must negotiate a new agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union.

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