National / International News

Pakistan troops move against Taliban

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 03:29
The Pakistani army launches a ground offensive against Taliban militants in the tribal region of North Waziristan after weeks of air strikes.

Harry wraps up tour visiting children

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 03:26
Prince Harry has completed his week-long tour of Brazil and Chile with a visit to a centre for children with mental and physical disabilities.

ISIS Declares Caliphate As Iraq Fights To Retake Tikrit

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-30 03:24

The plan was unveiled one day before the Iraqi parliament will hold its first meeting since the April 30 national elections.

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150mph driver with toddlers jailed

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 03:14
A driver is jailed for speeding at 150mph (240 km/h) with four young children who were not wearing seatbelts in the back of his car.

Financial IT firm creates 484 jobs

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 03:02
First Derivatives, a Newry-based financial technology firm, is to create 484 jobs.

We hate Facebook for reminding us it's so powerful

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 03:00

Over the weekend, your Facebook feed may have exploded with anger— at Facebook. Researchers from the company, in collaboration with academic social scientists, published the results from a study in which the company manipulated the news feeds of hundreds of thousands of users. Some users saw news feeds full of negative material, others saw material that was positive. The idea was to see how those two conditions made people feel.

Well, the answer was that people felt really, really mad.  

“This study has been characterized as Facebook deliberately trying to depress people,” says Michelle N. Meyer, a bioethicist at the Icahn School of Medicine. “Which, put that way, strikes people as potentially dangerous— and rude. People don’t like to feel like they’re being jerked around.”

Getting manipulated isn’t especially new, she says.  “We’re manipulated all the time. Every day. You know, your mother wants you to eat brussels sprouts.”

However, it may be rude of Facebook to rub users’ faces in its ability to manipulate what they see.

That highlights an uncomfortable reality, says Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain, who studies the internet and society.

“We are relying more and more on just a handful of intermediaries to offer us a view of the world,” he says. “And the view that they offer is produced by a secret sauce that nobody reviews.”   

PODCAST: The house doesn't win

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 03:00

First up, more on the expected nomination of Robert McDonald to head the VA, and his troubled history as the former head of Procter & Gamble. Plus, as another casino closes in Atlantic City, a look at the larger negative effects of the boom in the casino business in the Northeast. Also, with political giving getting bigger all the time, a new kind of financial planner has popped up -- Wealthy, politically-minded families are hiring people to manage their financial gifts to campaigning politicians.

Further dip in mortgage approvals

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:54
Mortgage approvals dipped to their lowest level since June last year, amid signs that new affordability checks are having an impact on the market.

US banking justice - Ben Lawsky style

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:42
"Sheriff of Wall Street" targets European banks

Are any of these five places suitable for Trident?

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:34
Could the UK move its nuclear subs to south Wales or Devon?

VIDEO: Fireball meteor caught on camera

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:24
A fireball meteor seen over the UK has been captured on camera by an observatory in Devon.

Nigeria bonuses not an issue - Mikel

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:23
John Mikel Obi says Nigeria's bonus row "wasn't a major issue" and will not affect the team in Monday's last-16 game against France.

VIDEO: Why Glastonbury is good for business

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:17
The Glastonbury festival is great for music lovers - and a major boost to the local business community

VIDEO: Yorkshire star welcomes Tour in song

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:16
Girls Aloud Star Kimberley Walsh joins BBC Breakfast to talk about singing the official Tour de France song that marks the start of the race which begins in Leeds

Unite to make election 'fair fight'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:15
The UK's biggest trade union Unite pledges to fund Labour's election campaign, saying it will not let the party fight with "one hand tied behind its back".

VIDEO: Doctors debate total smoking ban

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:13
The British Medical Association and pro-smoking group Forest debate a bid to ban smoking for anyone born after 2000.

VIDEO: School attempts loom band record

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:09
Loom bands are all the rage with children and at one school in Somerset they attempt a new world record.

Life term for salon fire wife killer

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:03
Ahmad Yazdanparast will serve a minimum of 19 years in prison for dousing his ex-wife in petrol and burning her to death.

In pictures: Glastonbury festival

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:02
Revellers get down and dirty at the festival

Financial planning for political donors

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-30 02:00

The boom in political giving has given rise not only to countless television advertisements and myriad political action committees, but also to something of a new type of job: financial planner for wealthy political donors.

“They [wealthy donors] have other activities in their lives," says Bob Biersack, a fellow with the Center for Responsive Politics. "So they don’t follow the ins and outs of politics – who’s up, who’s down."

Enter what’s known as a donor-side consultant, like Ella Arnold, who works with five Bay-Area families. These are very wealthy families whom she declined to identify.

Arnold and her company, Buell Private Political Management, are in touch with clients every day, “managing their political giving and making sure they stay within federal and state limits – contribution limits,” she says.

Some of those limits disappeared recently, when the Supreme Court handed down its decision in a case called McCutcheon versus FEC. Arnold says that actually made her kind of consulting more attractive to big donors. That class of political activist recognizes that candidates can now hit them up for more cash.

They’re thinking, “now that I can give all this extra money,” Arnold says, “I want to make sure that I’m sticking to a budget.”

Arnold meets with politicians. If she thinks one has a platform one of her clients might support, she’ll set up a meeting. And if everything goes well, maybe a fundraiser. She calls the role something akin to being a “wedding planner.”

“Donors, particularly businessmen, are typically risk averse, and the rule of do no harm to either their own good name or their business is their first and primary consideration,” says Dora Kingsley Vertenten, a professor at USC, who used to do this kind of work.

Arnold calls it a growth industry, especially in San Francisco and Silicon Valley; home to a lot of very rich people, many of whom are young, and are new to politics.

“I don’t think that there is a place where it is happening as fast as it is in the Bay Area, given the tech industry and all for that,” she says.

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