National / International News

The end of Atlantic City's hot streak

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:47
Atlantic City's long hot streak comes to an end

BP Lawyers Use Old-School Trick; Judge Not Amused

NPR News - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:26

A legal filing tied to the company's Gulf oil spill case was supposed to have been capped at 35 pages. But lawyers for BP got a little creative with the spacing.

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Want to help your company's stock? Buy shares back

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:24

There’s a new trend in the stock market. Companies are repurchasing their own shares to help make stocks go up. And it’s working, says Dan Strumpf, reporter at The Wall Street Journal.

"Companies that do buy back their stock and have regular routine buyback programs do tend to outperform in the market," says Strumpf, who has been reporting on the subject.

Although cash levels at public companies are the highest they have been in years, the stock market volume is very low.

"There is quite a bit of debate in the marketplace as to why that’s happening," says Strumpf. "A lot of people talk about...a lack of conviction in this market. I mean, we have this sort of slow but steadily growing economy, really no fireworks to speak of. And you’ve got a very supportive Federal Reserve that is sort of keeping things humming. But you’re not seeing table pounding and high conviction investment, despite the fact that the market is at an all-time high."

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

VIDEO: Surviving childhood in Malawi

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:13
Fergus Walsh reports from Malawi on how the country has worked to reduce infant mortality.

I had accident premonition - Norman

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:08
Two-time Open champion Greg Norman says he had a premonition about the chainsaw accident in which he nearly lost his left hand.

Odile Leaves Wreckage In Mexico And Threatens Flooding In U.S.

NPR News - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:02

Hurricane Odile is now a tropical storm, but it has heavy rainfall and power outages to the Baja Peninsula and surrounding areas. It could also bring new flooding to Tucson and nearby areas.

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French PM Valls wins confidence vote

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 09:53
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls narrowly wins a crucial confidence vote in parliament, despite a recent cabinet revolt over austerity measures.

Clinic harassment claim 'ridiculous'

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 09:52
An anti-abortion campaigner dismisses as "ridiculous" allegations that she harassed a Marie Stopes clinic director, a court in Belfast hears.

Sinn Féin move 'motivated by arrest'

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 09:29
Promotion prospects are limited for any police officer who signs an arrest warrant for a Sinn Fein member, a Policing Board member claims.

VIDEO: Best football anthems - voted by you

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 09:16
Find out which football matchday songs make the 'Top Of The Kop' charts, as voted for by BBC Sport users.

UN calls for $1bn to fight Ebola

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 09:12
The UN says it needs $1bn to fight the West Africa Ebola outbreak, described as "unparalleled in modern times", as experts warn time is running out.

South Sudan bans foreign workers

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 09:07
South Sudan government issues an order to non-governmental organisations and private firms to fire foreign workers by mid-October amid an aid crisis.

Council says 6,000 jobs to go

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:56
A further 6,000 jobs will be cut at Birmingham City Council in the next four years, making the workforce about a third of the size it was in 2010.

US 'would consider Iraq ground troops'

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:44
US ground forces could be deployed against Islamic State militants if the current strategy fails, a top US general says.

Four ways the web is helping TV advertising

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:40

Television advertising isn't what it used to be, and the reports show it: spending was down more than 7 percent during the second quarter from the same period last year, while online ads were up nearly 10 percent in the first half of the year.

But for Starcom President Amanda Richman, it's an exciting time to be in her line of work: connecting advertisers with their ideal customers.

"There's a lot of opportunity for blue sky," Richman says. "Thanks to technology, thanks to the abundance of data, and the great creativity that's happening in this space."

Richman offered up four ways TV advertising is keeping up with a changing media landscape.

Big data

Part of Richman's job is navigating the changes in media and parsing through data to give her clients the best possible reach across all platforms.

"It's helping them understand that it's no longer connecting with viewers through television spots, and radio, and publishing," Richman says. "It's gotten much more expansive with digital, and the ability to connect with them through mobile and social, all powered by data."

In short, more data equals more money, potentially, when it comes to placing ads.

"With more data, we may be more willing to pay more for a message we know connects with the right audience and minimizes the waste," says Richman.

Increased personalization

In the not-too-distant future — just a few years, Richman says — the ads playing during the same commercial break could be different depending on who flipped on the TV and from where. 

"We are looking at a world of dynamic ad insertion," she says.

That means using location, age and other demographic information from your cable or Netflix subscription, Richman says, to conclude "that you're going to be more likely to look for, perhaps, a car ad, versus another audience member who's maybe looking at cosmetics."

Then, Starcom and other media buyers can get very granular with their ads.

Spilling over to the second screen

Viewers are increasingly using smartphones or tablets as a "second screen" to enhance their viewing experience — or tune out ads.

But new technology would allow a device to pick up audio from an ad and sync up the mobile experience accordingly, Richman says, through promoted Tweets or another advertisement. It might sound far-fetched, but Facebook recently added a feature that does the same thing, listening for TV shows and songs.

"There's actually ways in second screen to enhance the advertising [rather than] be a distraction or take away from the spot that's airing," Richman says.

Usefulness

This all boils down to one point: advertising becomes less annoying as more ads reach the proper audience.

"This is the fundamental change in our business: the ability to be more effective in marketing by being more relevant, more targeted, and perhaps taking advertising from being an annoyance to being useful."

The other big vote in Scotland

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:30
While Scotland decides its future on Thursday, the R&A will announce whether it will admit female members for the first time.

Farewell, Heating Pad: Physical Therapists Say It Doesn't Help

NPR News - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:19

Heating pads and other passive treatments don't do any good if the goal is gaining strength and mobility, according to the Choosing Wisely campaign. Instead, it's all about the exercise.

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PCC resigns over child abuse scandal

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:14
South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright resigns over the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

VIDEO: Rare colossal squid defrosted

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:06
Scientists in New Zealand have thawed and started to examine a rare colossal squid caught in a fisherman's net.

Trott ready to resume England career

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:05
Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott believes he is ready to resume his England career, 10 months after he quit the Ashes tour.
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