National / International News

Debate: It May Be Flexing Its Muscles, But Is Russia A Marginal Power?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-03-19 10:05

In the past year, Russia has given asylum to Edward Snowden, hosted the Olympics and attempted to annex Crimea. Teams debate Russia's role on the world stage in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S.

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The 'no makeup' selfie trend

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 10:03
The rise of the "no makeup" selfie trend

Grumpy Cat gets recalled; gets grumpier

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:58

Just to show you that pretty much everything out there's trying to do you harm...

On the same day Toyota got slapped with a $1.2 billion fine from the Justice Department for how it handled that Prius unintended acceleration recall, Ganz, the plush toy manufacturer, has recalled three different models of its Grumpy Cat plushes (that's what they're called).

Two points:

1) The internet can help you out if you don't know what Grumpy Cat is.

2) Once that happens, you'll ask the same question I did: Who buys one of those things?

Hamilton: Budget's £21m extra for NI

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:55
Northern Ireland's finance minister says the budget will lead to a small amount of additional money for Stormont over the next two years.

Our trade gap is at its lowest point in 14 years

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:53

The Commerce Department just released big news about the U.S. current account deficit, the measure of the flow of goods and services into and out of this country. The deficit has  reached a 14-year low, down to $81.1 billion.

The simplest way to think of the current account deficit is as a gap. It's the value of all the stuff and money the U.S. sends overseas, minus what it imports. Right now the U.S. is importing $81.1 billion more in goods and services than it is exporting. But this is $215 billion less than the peak in 1999.

The main reason, says economist Robert Scott at the Economic Policy Institute, is that the economy is weak and therefore interest rates are low. That means the U.S. is paying less to foreign countries that hold U.S. Treasuries. That means less cash leaving the country, headed overseas.

A weak economy also means a weak dollar, which makes U.S. products more attractive to foreign countries, so they are buying more American goods. Another big reason for the deficit drop is the U.S. energy balance. "In recent years the U.S. has had a boom in unconventional energy production domestically, gas but also oil," says Gian Maria Milesi-Feretti , deputy director of research at the International Monetary Fund.

Oil and gas production continues to increase this year, and much of that energy will probably be exported. That growth, along with an expected decline in imports, means the deficit is likely to continue its decline.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Is Safe, FAA Team Concludes

NPR News - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:53

After a year-long review prompted by a battery fire and other problems, an FAA team has concluded that the jet meets its "intended safety level."

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Man 'woke to find MP raping him'

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:39
A man who alleges the former deputy speaker Nigel Evans raped him was warned by colleagues he would "get Nigelled" before going to the MP's home, a court hears.

Swedish 'serial killer' released

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:39
A man once considered one of Sweden's most prolific serial killers is freed after authorities rule his murder convictions were based on false confessions.

Flight 370: Mystery, maybe tragedy, big news

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:37

 No one knows what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. That doesn’t stop news outlets from talking about theories. 

There's been speculation about the pilot, the timeline, the route.

Explanations are all over the place, sometimes bordering on the absurd:

“The problem is that when there is nothing new, you have a ton of talking heads blathering on, which gets them into speculation, which is not information,” said Judy Muller, a broadcast professor at USC’s Annenberg journalism school, “it’s blather.”

“You can’t really tell 24 hour news stations that thrive on this sort of story to only come on when they have new information, because that’s not what drives ratings,” she said.

And, CNN’s ratings are way up.  The AP reported that prime-time ratings for the news channel have risen 68 percent.

“Let me be provocative,” said Jill Geisler, who teaches at the Poynter Institute, “I’m glad CNN is giving it this much coverage.” Too often, she said, the only news that gets attention in the U.S. is news about Americans.

really? look closer? check it out @DR24 #MH370 and its like a mile away Pulau Perak, where they "last" tracked it

— Courtney Love Cobain (@Courtney) March 17, 2014

But this mystery transcends that. People want find the missing plane. To know what happened. There’s an element of fear that drives us.  “This is a story that involves mystery, universality, and relatibility,” Geisler said.

We just have to remember this isn’t entertainment. It’s not a movie. There are 239 missing people. 

Savers and pensioners' Budget boost

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:33
Chancellor George Osborne makes tax-free Isas more "generous" for savers and unveils measures to help pensioners boost their income.

Chancellor freezes duty on whisky

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:33
Duty on Scotch whisky is to be frozen, Chancellor George Osborne announces in his last budget before the Scottish independence referendum.

Mugabe caps 'fat cat' state salaries

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:25
President Robert Mugabe's government moves to ease public anger in Zimbabwe by capping the pay of managers of state-owned companies.

London mayor backs water cannon call

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:18
The Mayor of London agrees to support the Met Police's call for water cannon to be purchased.

Two killed in WW1 weapon explosion

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:16
A shell or grenade buried in Ypres in Belgium since World War One explodes, killing two people and injuring two more.

England lose to India in T20 warm-up

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:11
England's stuttering form continues as they lose to India by 20 runs in their final World Twenty20 warm-up match.

VIDEO: Footage shows Ukraine TV boss attack

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:10
The acting chief executive of Ukraine's state broadcaster has been forced to sign a resignation letter by MPs who broke into his office.

Could graduate weddings widen the inequality gap?

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:06
Could graduate weddings widen the inequality gap?

Weightlifting wins funding appeal

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:06
Weightlifting has its UK Sport funding restored after a successful appeal, but cuts for six other sports stand.

Your pictures: Photographers

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:05
Readers' photos on the theme of photographers

VIDEO: Near miss as truck flies through air

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:05
A police dashboard camera catches the moment a truck flies off a highway in Iowa, US, narrowly missing other vehicles.

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