National / International News

VIDEO: Australia migrants struggle for jobs

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:46
Migrants have played a major role in Australia's economic success but a recent study shows the outlook is getting tougher for new migrants.

First-year students get free tablet

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:45
The University of East London is giving a free tablet computer to all its first-year students starting courses this term.

Will Narendra Modi's visit boost India-US ties?

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:20
Will Narendra Modi's visit boost India-US ties?

In pictures: Mali’s motorbiking eye surgeons

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:17
Eye surgeons battle preventable blindness in Mali

Why is that lamp-post watching me?

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:10
Why is that lamp-post watching me?

Why Hamilton is F1's Clark Kent

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:04
Lewis Hamilton heads to Japan, a career-defining race for many greats, knowing his respectful nature can only enhance his legacy.

Skirt size 'can flag up cancer risk'

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:03
Going up several skirt sizes in midlife could be a warning sign of increased breast cancer risk, research suggests.

Streaming 'widens achievement gap'

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:03
Streaming children by ability in primary school widens the achievement gap between rich and poor children, research suggests.

Steep drop in graduate unemployment

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:02
Graduate unemployment in the UK has seen a big fall, the latest figures suggest.

Parliament recalled over IS strikes

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:02
Parliament will be recalled on Friday to debate the UK's potential role in air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq.

Weather report: Forecasts improving

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 15:01
Are weather forecasts really becoming more accurate?

Branson offers staff unlimited leave

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 14:49
The boss of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, is offering to let his personal staff to take as much leave as they want, as long as they feel up to date on their work.

Grand Jury Won't Indict NASCAR's Stewart In Driver's Death

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-24 14:43

The jury heard testimony from about two dozen witnesses and reviewed photos and videos in coming to its decision. The family of the driver who was killed says, "This matter is not at rest."

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To Stop Picky Eaters From Tossing The Broccoli, Give Them Choices

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-24 14:34

When healthier school lunch standards went into effect, many worried kids would toss their mandated veggies. But researchers say letting kids pick what they put on their tray can cut down on waste.

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'Don't expect fireworks' in IS fight

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 14:29
Don't expect fireworks in the fight against IS, writes James Landale

VIDEO: Brighton teen 'killed in US air strikes'

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 14:07
As David Cameron warns the UN that young people from modern societies are being sucked into the conflict in Syria, a mother tells the BBC she believes her son - fighting in Syria - was killed by US air strikes.

'Made in Italy' may not mean what you think it does

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-24 13:59

If a handbag is stamped “made in Italy,” it may seem safe to assume that it is, well, entirely made in Italy. But it’s not so simple.

Patricia Jurewicz directs the Responsible Sourcing Network, an organization that advocates for more transparency in supply chains. She says, “It's extremely difficult to understand what companies are doing and how they have their products manufactured.”

In the U.S., there are some laws covering this. The “last substantial transformation” of a product must happen in the country of origin. Guillermo Jimenez of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York says that phrase can be stretched pretty far.

"If you have the handle of the handbag come from South America, and the leather panels come from India, and another part comes from another country, well none of that is a handbag yet," Jimenez says. But put all those pieces together in Italy, and presto: Italian handbag.

“That's legally allowable,” Jimenez says, “but arguably can be deceptive to the consumer.”

The only way to know for sure how a bag is made is to visit the company factories. Jimenez says U.S. customs and the Federal Trade Commission don't have the resources to keep tabs on all of them.

“With the dizzying number of handbag companies in the world,” Jimenez says, “it's hard for the FTC to stay on top of it.”

In fact, the trade commission has not brought a case against a fashion company for violating country of origin laws in over a decade.

That country of origin label is a powerful brand for Italy. As a symbol of craftsmanship and prestige, it brings in boatloads of cash to producers of luxury products. Italians considers the label a national economic resource. Many would like to protect that brand with a stricter definition.

"Made in Italy" is an initiative funded by the Italian government to provide an additional label for products completely manufactured in the country: components, design, the works.

"If you want to buy a real Italian product, it's easier if you actually have a certification that proves that," says Made in Italy representative Marco Tomassini. “It's just to be very clear what you are offering to the end user.”

This certification helps smaller Italian manufacturers stand out from global brands with sophisticated supply chains. It reassures customers that the products are made entirely in Italy.

Keanan Duffty, a designer and professor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, wonders if customers today really care. “The younger consumer, I am not sure if they are concerned about where the goods are made,” he says. “I think they are more concerned about the label.”

Duffty says for many young people it's less about what the label actually means and more about what it signifies: status and luxury. And keep in mind, he says, “With luxury anything, you're buying a fantasy.”

Fantasy has always been a big part of fashion. If you need a refresher, just watch an “unboxing video.” They are part of a YouTube subgenre in which people post videos of themselves opening up new products so other people can watch. For handbags, big moment in these videos is when the person displays the country of origin label. Whether it is entirely true or just partly true, the “made in Italy” stamp makes owners proud.

'Made in Italy' may not mean what you think

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-24 13:59

If a handbag is stamped “made in Italy,” it may seem safe to assume that it is, well, entirely made in Italy. But it’s not so simple.

Patricia Jurewicz directs the Responsible Sourcing Network, an organization that advocates for more transparency in supply chains. She says, “It's extremely difficult to understand what companies are doing and how they have their products manufactured.”

In the U.S., there are some laws covering this. The “last substantial transformation” of a product must happen in the country of origin. Guillermo Jimenez of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, says that phrase can be stretched pretty far.

"If you have the handle of the handbag come from South America, and the leather panels come from India, and another part comes from another country, well none of that is a handbag yet," Jimenez says. But, put all those pieces together in Italy and presto: Italian handbag.

“That's legally allowable,” Jimenez says, “but arguably can be deceptive to the consumer.”

The only way to know for sure how a bag is made is to visit the company factories. Jimenez says U.S. customs and the Federal Trade Commission don't have the resources to keep tabs on all of them.

“With the dizzying number of handbag companies in the world,” Jimenez says, “It's hard for the FTC to stay on top of it.”

In fact, the trade commission has not brought a case against a fashion company for violating country of origin laws in over a decade.

That country of origin label is a powerful brand for Italy. As a symbol of craftsmanship and prestige, it brings in boatloads of cash to producers of luxury products. Italians considers the label a national economic resource. Many would like to protect that brand with a stricter definition.

Made In Italy is an initiative funded by the Italian government to provide an additional label for products completely manufactured in the country: components, design, the works.

"If you want to buy a real Italian product, it's easier if you actually have a certification that proves that," says Made In Italy representative Marco Tomassini. “It's just to be very clear what you are offering to the end user.”

This certification helps smaller Italian manufacturers stand out from global brands with sophisticated supply chains. It reassures customers that the products are made entirely in Italy.

Keanan Duffty, a designer and professor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, wonders if customers today really care. “The younger consumer, I am not sure if they are concerned about where the goods are made,” he says, “I think they are more concerned about the label.”

Duffty says for many young people it's less about what the label actually means and more about what it signifies: status and luxury. And keep in mind, he says “with luxury anything, you're buying a fantasy.”

Fantasy has always been a big part of fashion. If you need a refresher, just watch an “unboxing video.” They are part of a Youtube sub-genre were people post videos of themselves opening up new products so other people can watch. A big moment in these videos for handbags is when the person displays the country of origin label. Whether it is entirely true or just partly true, the “made in Italy” stamp makes owners proud.

When the digital classroom meets the parents

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-24 13:52

The modern classroom is packed with digital technology that can record students’ academic performance in real time, as well as keep track of their attendance, assignments and more. All that data isn't just changing the classroom and the job of teachers. It's changing the role of parents, who are being asked to do more to keep up and keep tabs on their kids.

On a recent night at High Tech Los Angeles, a charter high school in Van Nuys, California, a group of parents got a lesson in just what that means. One of them was Nooneh Kradjain, who has two sons at the high school, and was busy scribbling notes. She said she was struck by how much things have changed since she was in school. “My parents just looked at the report card when it came home and said ‘good job, let’s go out to dinner.”

These days, being a school parent is more like a part-time job.

With so much access to information about their kids’ academic performance, parents are expected to be up on what’s happening. It’s on them now to know if their kids may be headed off track after flubbing a test or missing a homework assignment.

Mat McClenahan is a teacher at High Tech Los Angeles. He says the school needs parents as allies. “What we’re trying to do is develop learners who have the right habits to be successful in college and be successful in the workplace,” he says. “And that means to be on top of the workflow.”

McClenahan says he’s not trying to turn parents into surveillance machines, and they should resist the urge themselves. “The parents often feel like they have to be on top of everything that’s going on,” he says. “We have parents that check their child’s grades several times a day.”

Even if parents don’t go overboard, all the focus on grades and scores worries Alfie Kohn, who has written several books on parenting and education, including "The Myth of the Spoiled Child" says parents"are often asked to become the enforcer of the schools agenda.” “The more schools are encouraging parents to think about grades and tests and homework assignments, the more danger there is that meaningful learning will be eclipsed," he says.

And all that keeping up and keeping track can do a number on parents, too.

Kathy Gadany, who also attended the meeting for parents, has a freshman at High Tech Los Angeles.  “Oh, Lord,” she said. "Now, I have to keep an eye on my kids much more so over the internet instead of just nagging them for their homework.”

And, then, there are the objects of all this attention: the kids. Nooneh Kradjain, the mother whose parents used to take her out to dinner after a good report card, says her kids have asked her to trust them enough not to check their grades all the time.

She says she gets their point of view, but she also understands the lure of micro-managing a child’s education today.

“It’s a lot more competitive and there’s a lot more at stake,” she says and, trust or not, she’s not going to give up all of her digital oversight.

Kradjain is still going to log in to the school’s college-application program, to make sure her older son gets all his paperwork in on time.

Chelsea 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 13:48
Oscar scores the winner as Chelsea reach the fourth round of the Capital One Cup with victory over Bolton.
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