National / International News

More women join FTSE 100 boards

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 16:12
Britain's biggest companies have doubled the number of female directors, but some smaller firms still have all-male boards.

Why I consumed my own blood

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 16:11
Michael Mosley on why he snacked on his own blood

Where does my personality fit in?

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 16:11
Find out if your personality suits the place you live

Shattering the highest glass ceiling

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 16:09
Can Clinton shatter the ‘highest, hardest’ glass ceiling?

Is this the sweetshop of the future?

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 16:04
Is this the sweet shop of the future?

Yemen president calls for UN action

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 16:03
Yemen's embattled President Hadi asks the UN Security Council to back military action by "willing countries" against Houthi rebels.

No 'convincing case' for £50bn HS2

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 16:00
The UK government has not shown why it needs to spend £50bn building the HS2 rail link between London and the North, says a House of Lords committee.

Indiana set to enact 'freedom' bill

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 15:59
The governor of Indiana is poised to enact a "religious freedom" law, which opponents say will allow state businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Woods 'expecting' to make Ryder Cup

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 15:55
United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III says Tiger Woods is confident of qualifying for the 2016 team.

Show of support in 'gay cake' debate

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 15:54
More than 2,000 people attend a show of support in Belfast for a County Antrim bakery which refused to make a cake bearing a slogan supporting gay marriage.

Chile declares forest fires alert

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 15:28
Chile declares a national alert as wildfires sweep through three national parks and reserves in the middle of a long drought.

College staff warned of job losses

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 15:25
Belfast Metropolitan College says it may have to cut its workforce by more than 100, to cope with a budget reduction by the Assembly.

Obama: Israel peace prospects 'dim'

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 15:06
US President Obama says prospects for a Mid-East two-state solution are "dim", but says his relations with the Israeli leader are not a problem.

VIDEO: German town mourns plane crash students

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 14:40
A memorial mass for students and teachers on a plane that crashed in the French Alps has been taking place in the German town of Haltern, as Katya Adler reports.

VIDEO: What we know about Germanwings plane

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 14:33
Richard Westcott looks at what could have caused the Airbus A320 to lose altitude so suddenly.

SNP 'could block Tory government'

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 14:03
The SNP would block a minority Conservative government by voting down its Queen's Speech if it holds the post-election balance of power, its former leader Alex Salmond says.

‘Corporate sponsored art’ isn’t as bad as it sounds

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-03-24 13:51

There is a trend in the corporate world right now that’s a little more culturally enriching than say, buying another jet for executives or paying out another CEO bonus.

Some big companies, instead of sponsoring a race team or a football club, are sponsoring artists.

"Now Facebook has a residency, it’s just kind of taken over,” says Elizabeth Segran, who wrote about the phenomenon for Fast Company.

Take Amtrak for example. After a writer noted on Twitter how much writing he gets done on trains, Amtrak gave him a writing residency.

“This was kind of like a large-scale publicity stunt,” Segran says.

Segran points out how Facebook’s artist sponsorship is a little different though. “With Facebook, it’s more of a commissioning process… It’s more of an opportunity to support artists by buying their work.”

But how do the CFOs of these big companies justify the money they’re spending on art programs? Segran says there’s usually a payoff for the corporations too. In the case of software maker Autodesk, “…it allows them to see these very creative people pushing technology to the very limits of what it can do,” Segran says.

Pakistan takes aim at Sim cards in anti-terror drive

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 13:42
Will Sim card crackdown thwart Pakistan's militants?

VIDEO: German town holds candlelight vigil

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-24 13:42
A candlelight vigil has been held in the German town of Haltern for the students and teachers lost in the Germanwings plane crash.

In Somalia, wire transfers go underground

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-03-24 13:33

Four years ago, famine in Somalia took an estimated 260,000 lives. It would have been worse without a key source of financial support: money transfers from relatives abroad. Family members "could send money in five minutes from Minneapolis to Baidoa," says East Africa scholar Laura Hammond of the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies.

Now, though, commercial banks that process remittances have pulled out of the sector. Banks fear extremist groups may be abusing the system to fund terror operations, and that they'll be punished by U.S. regulators for allowing risky transactions.

"Banks have decided to exit relationships in high-risk jurisdictions," says bank consultant Dennis Lormel of DML Associates. He trains banks to reduce money laundering and terror finance risk. "It's just not worth it to them. The benefit certainly doesn't meet the risk."

Will more Somalis starve? Perhaps not. Many transfers have gone underground. It's an open secret that couriers are hand-carrying wads of cash across borders, and sending money via non-armored vehicles. Lormel says the risk of so much money moving this way is that it's not tracked and becomes a channel for potential money laundering.

"If I'm a bad guy, I'm going to be more inclined to want to move money though those guys," he says. The suggestion: well-intentioned bank oversight may be backfiring and aiding terror finance.

To Hammond, it's also worrying for Somalis. Remittance make up as much as 40 percent of Somalia's GDP, and money transfer groups say less money is going in. If this financial safety net is fraying, the question is whether it will still be there when the next drought inevitably comes.