National / International News

PODCAST: Homeless in Hollywood

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 03:00

The Supreme Court says bankrupt homeowners are still on the hook in many circumstances for their second mortgages—for many that's a home equity loan—even if their home is worth less than the money owed. More on that. Plus, as Los Angeles County experiences an increase in homelessness, we take a look at Hollywood, which has had a homeless problem since its first days as a film center.

US labels Shining Path 'drug gang'

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:55
Peru's Shining Path Maoist rebel group is designated a "significant foreign narcotics trafficker" by the US Treasury.

Fifa admits SA $10m payout to Warner

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:36
Fifa says it paid $10m (£6.5m) to a Caribbean football body led by Jack Warner, who is charged by the US with corruption, at South Africa's request.

Manet Parisian painting up for sale

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:35
An oil painting of a French barmaid, considered one of the defining images of French impressionism, is to be sold at auction later this month.

Redmayne to star in Potter spin-off

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:23
Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne will play Newt Scamander in Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Warner Bros confirms.

The Quantified Student: An App That Predicts GPA

NPR News - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:23

Researchers found that a phone's activity tracker can automatically predict students' school performance.

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Big six energy firms face price call

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:19
The major energy suppliers in the UK are facing pressure from the new government over their prices.

Call for federal Labour after defeat

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:10
A Welsh Labour minister calls for the party to adopt a federal structure following its general election defeat.

German singing star admits card scam

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:10
Severino Seeger, the newly-crowned winner of a German television singing contest, appears in court and admits defrauding pensioners.

Serb ex-spies on trial for murder

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:04
Serbian ex-intelligence officers plead not guilty to the 1999 murder of newspaper editor Slavko Curuvija, a critic of ex-leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Facebook introduces new encryption features

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:00

Facebook says it is rolling out an experimental new feature that increases access to encryption technology for its users.

A new setting on the social networking site allows users to encrypt emails between them and Facebook, such as messages for resetting passwords. Facebook will also allow users to share their public encryption keys right along with all their other contact info on their profiles.

Those keys can be used to send a scrambled message, which only a recipient can read. 

It's a highly secure form of communication. And one rarely used by the general public.

"Facebook's move means that there is a much broader audience of people who are thinking about end-to-end encryption," says Heather West of the Internet security firm CloudFlare. Putting encryption keys on Facebook profiles can bring them into the mainstream, she says.

The increased use of encryption by tech companies is fueling a debate, with tech companies on one side and law enforcement on another. Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Bitkower, speaking at a public forum in May, said encryption could shut out law enforcement even if agencies obtain a search warrant.

"That warrant, effectively, is no better than a piece of paper," Bitkower said, "because the information cannot be accessed without the permission of the ultimate end user or end possessor."

Many in Silicon Valley aren't swayed. Tim Lordan, who heads the non-partisan, non-profit Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, says the use of encryption is growing.

"A lot of engineers and companies in Silicon Valley feel like it is the only way that they can protect their customers from the NSA and from would-be hackers," Lordan says, adding that while Facebook's latest move is modest, it is symbolically important in the context of the broader encryption debate.

Strong auto sales without big cash rebates

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:00

Domestic and foreign automakers report their U.S. sales for May 2015 on Tuesday, and sales are expected to show an improving trend for the year. April’s annualized sales of cars and light trucks hit the 16.5 million level. The consensus among economists is for May’s sales to hit 17 million.

U.S. auto sales have been rising since bottoming out at 10.4 million in 2009. If the anticipated pace for 2015 continues, it will be the best year for vehicle sales since 2000.

Auto industry equity analyst Ephraim Levy at S&P Capital IQ says automakers are not driving sales by massive discounting. “We’re close to near record-levels in terms of average transaction prices for vehicles,” says Levy. “And recently, the incentive levels have been declining year-over-year. Higher prices and lower incentives is good.”

That scenario is good for automakers, because it supports higher profits and demonstrates consumers are being enticed to buy with quality and new features, not cash rebates and below-market financing.

Consumers can do well in this environment too, says Greg McBride at In addition to low interest rates for car loans, says McBride, “with more people working, and gas prices down from one year ago, we continue to see a robust car-sales environment. Those that had put off buying a car in recent years jump back in the market.”

SUVs and pickup trucks are hot right now—Jeeps, Ford F-150s, and Chevy Silverados. That reflects a strengthening construction industry—contractors need big vehicles—and consumers’ expectations that gas prices will remain low for a while.

In Hollywood, a history of homelessness

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 02:00

As the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County grows—12 percent in the last two years—some businesses are feel the consequences. That's true in Hollywood, where tourists come expecting to see a celebrity, but are more likely to find a panhandler.

The situation isn't new.

Red Line Tours offers historical walking tours of the old movie palaces lining Hollywood Boulevard. As the tour guide explains, actors in the 1920's had a bad reputation.

"It was so bad that landlords would not rent to them. These actors would show up to apartment buildings, looking for housing, and all they found were signs in windows that read, 'NO DOGS, NO ACTORS ALLOWED.' It was such a problem for the studios that many of them had to build housing facilities of their own because many of their actors were homeless on the street."

Today, homelessness in Hollywood is still a problem.

"In the last couple of years, I've seen a pretty dramatic increase in homelessness on the street," says Tony Hoover, who owns Red Line Tours. He says Hollywood has gotten a bad reputation, partly due to aggressive panhandlers. And it has hurt his business.

"Our walk-in business—the people just coming here, that we would get randomly—that's probably dropped off a huge percentage, probably close to 50 percent," he says.

Businesses have hired a former policewoman, Courtney Kanagi, to help deal with the people camped out on Hollywood Boulevard.

"People want to see the Walk of Stars," she says. "They don't want to be stepping over people who are panhandling, asking for money, sleeping on the sidewalk. People may not want to go inside their business to buy products if they are being hassled on the way in."

Standing beside his homeless buddy, a 24-year old who goes by the street name Solo says he understands the tension between the homeless and wealthy business owners.

"They're walking around with a $40,000 Rolex, you know, for an accessory," he says. "That amount of money would change both of our lives."

For many tourists, the sight of panhandlers and the mentally ill sitting on the sidewalk is not what they expected.

One tourist from Israel says, "I didn't know so many people could live in the streets like this. I was shocked."

A man from India also noticed the homeless. "There's like quite a few over there. It doesn't look good."

But a family from Memphis says that the situation didn't hurt their experience. Instead, they say it inspires them to spend more time volunteering at a homeless shelter when they get home.

Blatter deputy denies bribe claims

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:59
Fifa president Sepp Blatter's top lieutenant Jerome Valcke denies allegations that he made key payments in a bribery scandal engulfing world football.

Marketplace Investigates: Homeless in L.A.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:59

The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County has grown 12 percent in the last two years. Why is this happening, and who are the people behind this statistic? Reporter Jeff Tyler investigates.

Produced by Preditorial | Reporter: Jeff Tyler Director, Editor and Camera Operator: Rick Kent Cinematographer: Anton Seim Producer: Mimi Kent   PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) |   Music Credits:   "Dirt Rhodes," "Intractable," "Backed Vibes," and "Mesmerize"  Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Video: Marketplace Investigates: Homeless in L.A.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:59

The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County has grown 12 percent in the last two years. Why is this happening, and who are the people behind this statistic? Reporter Jeff Tyler investigates.

Produced by Preditorial | Reporter: Jeff Tyler Director, Editor and Camera Operator: Rick Kent Cinematographer: Anton Seim Producer: Mimi Kent   PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) |   Music Credits:   "Dirt Rhodes," "Intractable," "Backed Vibes," and "Mesmerize"  Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


VIDEO: What if we put Moon race effort into renewables?

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:58
A group of scientists and economists is calling for the equivalent of the Apollo Space programme to produce cheap, clean energy.

UK Navy sailor dies in Seychelles

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:55
The death of a UK Royal Navy sailor during an operation in the Seychelles is being investigated by police.

VIDEO: Tributes paid to Charles Kennedy

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:53
Politicians from all parties have been paying tribute to former Liberal Democrat Party leader Charles Kennedy, who has died aged 55.

John Oliver is having a very interesting day

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-02 01:51

That's when Sepp Blatter was first elected president of FIFA, and he announce Tuesday morning he would resign just a few days after being re-elected for fifth term. The world soccer organization has been rocked by more than a dozen arrests and corruption charges in the past week, with more reportedly on the way.


That's how much Tyson Foods has given to Rep. Steve Womack's campaign since 2010. The chicken processor's headquarters are in Womack's Arkansas district, and the Republican was called out last month on John Oliver's HBO show "Last Week Tonight." Oliver reported on chicken farmers who are allegedly mistreated by several suppliers that make up 95 percent of the market. The story ruffled some feathers in the industry and on Capitol Hill, Politico reported, where longtime advocates say Oliver's report has given the issue more attention than it's had in years.


That's about how many individuals and couples filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year. And according to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling, those filers will no longer be let off the hook from a second mortgage. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the ruling concerns consumer advocates who worry it will only further hamper struggling homeowners.


That's how much "Bob’s Burgers" writer Wendy Molyneux raised in a GoFundMe campaign as of Tuesday morning. The cause? Get her to see the "Entourage" movie. What started as a joke — Molyneux said someone would have to pay her $10,000 to see the film — escalated into a successful fundraiser for CureSearch, an organization focused on finding cures for children’s cancers.

7.72 percent

The average fee for sending remittances as of the first quarter of this year is on the decline but still quite high according to the World Bank. It's a huge business, larger than some countries' GDP, and still largely controlled by two companies. As technology has made crossing boarders easier and easier, sending money is still quite complicated.


That's how much a "Future Voter Onesie" costs on Hillary Clinton's online campaign store. Emblazoned with the campaign logo, it's not even one of the stranger items you can purchase as candidates gear up for the upcoming presidential election. What else can you buy from presidential wannabes? We looked into it for you.