National / International News

Chinese dog-eating festival outrages foreigners

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 12:12
International campaign targets Chinese festival

As The Arctic Opens Up, The U.S. Is Down To A Single Icebreaker

NPR News - Mon, 2015-06-01 12:12

Melting ice means more of the Arctic is accessible to exploration and shipping, and countries are racing to establish a presence. But they still need heavy icebreakers, and the U.S. is falling behind.

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VIDEO: 'Cancer drug gave me more time'

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 11:56
Cancer patient Vicky Brown says she is ''extremely fortunate'' to be offered cancer drug therapy for advanced melanoma as part of a new trial.

Australia dual citizenship change

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 11:41
Australia plans to remove citizenship from dual nationals suspected of terrorism

Just how do national days get on the calendar?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-06-01 11:36

Have you thought lately about how excellent you are? Well start thinkin’ about it—because at Marketplace today, we’re recognizing National Say Something Nice Day. So thanks for being you.

There are random and off-beat national days almost every day of the year.  This prompted one of our podcast listeners, Katie Rowles, to send a question all the way from Australia for our series, “I’ve Always Wondered.” How do these days get declared? Who’s in charge of the list of days?

We start with International Talk Like a Pirate Day, one of the days Katie mentioned in her question. It’s celebrated across YouTube each September 19, and it turns out a couple of guys declared the day a few years ago because, well, they’re fond of talking like pirates.

But just to narrow it down, we’re focusing on today, Monday, June 1. It’s a pretty busy for random national days: There’s Go Barefoot Day, started by an organization that gives shoes to underprivileged kids. The woman behind Pen Pal Day is a pen pal enthusiast out of Chicago. And of course, Say Something Nice Day — Mitch Carnell of Charleston, South Carolina, is behind that one.

“Because once you say something, it’s out there, you can’t call it back,” he says. Carnell submitted his idea back in 2006 to Chase’s, the yearly almanac that acts as a sort of loose gatekeeper for national days and months.

But not all national days are listed in Chase’s — the more extensive resource is the website

“There’s a couple ways it can happen," says the site’s co-founder, Marlo Anderson. “Of course, a company or an individual can just declare it, and a lot of people do.”

Point being, really anyone can make up a national day, and there’s no accreditation process or government agency. Though Anderson says they don’t approve just any old day that comes across their desk.

“In the last year we’ve received over 10,000 requests for national days,” he says.

Out of the 10,000, he says they typically take about 20 to 25 days each year. They’ll focus on iconic items over brands — say, National Coffee Day as opposed to National Starbucks Day (which, as far as we know, hasn’t been declared). And they look for things everyone can enjoy or be a part of.

The most common request they say no to?

“You know, it’s my girlfriend of three months and she’s changed my life forever, can I have National Heather Day ... that’s a very very popular thing,” Anderson says.

But most of these national days are recent inventions that have spread around on social media. As far as we can tell, only one of the June 1 celebrations goes back to before the internet: National Heimlich Maneuver Day.

“I do not know who wrote the article on it that made it come about,” says Dr. Henry Heimlich. He’s 95 and living in Cincinnati. Heimlich published an article about his life-saving maneuver on June 1, 1974.  “Immediately lives were being saved.”

At some point, a day was declared, though he’s not sure exactly how. Heimlich is pretty amused to learn that he’s now competing with National Hazelnut Cake Day.

“I guess people could choke on that too,” Heimlich says, laughing.

Well, hazelnut cake might not be for everyone, but it’s your day — go celebrate! Take off your shoes, say something nice, help out a choking neighbor, and meanwhile, start polishing up on talking like a pirate.

Cattle Drive Saves Hundreds Of Cows Stranded By Texas Flooding

NPR News - Mon, 2015-06-01 11:30

A herd of cattle is safe Monday, thanks to cowboys and volunteers who worked to move some 500 cows and calves that were threatened by the rising Trinity River.

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Ex-Georgia head gives up citizenship

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 10:52
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says he is giving up his country's citizenship as he becomes governor of Ukraine's Odessa region.

In 'Eating Lab,' A Psychologist Spills Secrets On Why Diets Fail

NPR News - Mon, 2015-06-01 10:49

Diets will rarely lead to significant or sustainable weight loss, Traci Mann argues in a new book. Instead, she suggests trying proven mental strategies for reaching your "leanest, livable weight."

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Republican Graham launches 2016 bid

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 10:47
Senator Lindsey Graham underlined his foreign policy experience and taunted Hillary Clinton as he launched his White House run.

China hospital ballot over Mers case

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 10:34
Nurses at a hospital in China reportedly draw lots to decide who should treat a South Korean patient with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers).

Engel to become a deputy speaker

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 10:34
Labour MP Natascha Engel is to become a deputy Commons speaker after becoming one of three MPs to be nominated for the three vacancies.

Kerry injury 'won't slow Iran talks'

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 10:33
Negotiations with Iran about its nuclear programme will continue despite US Secretary of State John Kerry's recent injury, US officials say.

As Caviar Prices Skyrocket, Sturgeon Poachers Invade Pacific Northwest

NPR News - Mon, 2015-06-01 10:31

Global sturgeon populations are collapsing — most notably in Russia, where caviar is known as black gold. That's fueling a market for illegal caviar and driving poachers to the Columbia River.

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England can chase 455 to win - Root

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 10:14
Batsman Joe Root says England can do "something special" by chasing 455 to beat New Zealand in the second Test at Headingley.

Call for action over hate crime

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 09:50
The Polish ambassador calls for action to be taken on hate crime in Northern Ireland, following an upsurge in racially motivated attacks.

Fifa suspends Concacaf official

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 09:50
Fifa provisionally bans Concacaf general secretary Enrique Sanz from football-related activities.

VIDEO: Fans riot and steal rival's trophies

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 09:40
Olimpia fans fight with police hours before a game hosted by their biggest rivals Guarani, a fixture known as 'The Oldest Derby' in Paraguay.

Joe Biden's Advice On Compassion And Family, In His Own Words

NPR News - Mon, 2015-06-01 09:36

"It's not all that difficult, folks, to be compassionate when you've been the beneficiary of compassion in your lowest moments," Biden told Yale graduates in May.

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Russia TV sparks Soviet invasion row

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 09:33
Russia is accused of rewriting history over a state-TV documentary broadcast on the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Music school prof 'raped student'

BBC - Mon, 2015-06-01 09:32
A former professor at a prestigious music school used his "power and influence" to rape a female student, a court hears.