National / International News

Weekendish: The best of the week's reads

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 07:43
The best features you may have missed

The numbers for September 19, 2014

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-19 07:39

Alibaba founder Jack Ma is having a great morning. After a record-breaking IPO, the Chinese e-commerce company began trading Friday at $92.70, the New York Times reported. That price values the company at more than $228.5 billion.

While we calculate just how much human hair you could buy with that, here are some other stories we're reading — and numbers we're watching — Friday.

55 percent

In a much more decisive vote than expected, the majority of Scots elected to keep the country in the United Kingdom overnight Friday. The full results show a huge turnout, and the BBC reported that the vote has resonated around the world, from secessionists in Spain to state media in China. 

23,000

That's the number of people killed annually by issues stemming form antibiotic-resistance. The White House launched a new initiative to combat the public health threat Thursday, the Times reported, with a $20 million prize for the development of a better resistance test and a suggested $1.7 billion in funding for research and other initiatives.

$400 million

In an unprecedented sponsorship deal, Microsoft reportedly paid the NFL $400 million to get hundreds of its Surface tablets on the sidelines and in coaches booths for the next several seasons. But the Los Angeles Times reported that announcers keep accidentally calling the tablets "iPads," showing just how much Microsoft's key rival owns the tablet industry.

Ukraine exits next year's Eurovision

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 07:32
Ukraine announces it will not take part in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest due to financial constraints.

Hamilton top under Singapore lights

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 07:29
Lewis Hamilton sets the pace in second practice at the Singapore Grand Prix as title rival Nico Rosberg is 13th fastest.

Debate: Should Schools Embrace The Common Core?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-19 07:17

The Common Core has arguably become the most contentious issue in American education. Experts face off over the new state standards in the latest Intelligence Squared debate.

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VIDEO: Excitement builds for MTV Crashes

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 07:15
More than 20,000 music fans will be in Londonderry this weekend for one of the biggest music events of the year.

VIDEO: Alibaba shares begin trading in NY

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 07:15
Shares in Alibaba, the Chinese online retailer, have begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

VIDEO: Alice Gross: Police continue search

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 07:15
Police are continuing to search the home of Arnis Zalkalns, who is wanted in connection with the disappearance of teenager Alice Gross in west London.

The risks and rewards of Alibaba's IPO

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:54

Alibaba ticks two boxes that get investors very excited: China and technology.

That has investors “salivating,” says Steven Davidoff Solomon, a professor at University of California Berkeley School of Law.

The massive Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, using the ticker “BABA.” Shares will start at $68, the top of the company’s price range.

There are more people and companies interested in buying stock than there are shares available, but some experts advise caution.

Davidoff Solomon says investors should be aware that the deal is structured in such a way that they’re actually buying into a Cayman Islands company that will receive profits from Alibaba.

“Let’s say that Alibaba China decides just not to pay on those profits,” he explains. “Shareholders would have to sue a Cayman Islands company, gain control of it, and have that Cayman Islands company sue in China. Good luck with that.”

Second, a small group of insiders will retain control of the company and appoint directors, even though they’ll own a small percentage of its shares.

The question then is whether the price is worth these risks.

Matt Turlip, an analyst with PrivCo, has done his own valuation and thinks Alibaba’s shares are actually worth $100 each.

“It’s a giant, profitable company right now that’s growing like a startup still,” says Turlip.

So buy or buyer beware – you decide.

Scotland votes 'No' to independence

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:51
As Scotland votes to stay in the UK Alex Salmond calls for the pledge of more devolved powers to be carried out, and David Cameron says the commitments will be honoured in full.

Health services finances 'worsening'

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:50
The NHS in England has run up a deficit of nearly £500m in the first few months of the financial year, official figures show.

VIDEO: Nicole Kidman's farewell to father

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:47
Nicole Kidman, husband Keith Urban, and fellow actor Russell Crowe attend funeral of Kidman's father in Sydney.

Iran's 'Happy' Dancers Receive Suspended Sentences

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:44

Seven young Iranians were arrested in May for producing their own version of the Pharrell Williams song "Happy." Iranian authorities said the video, which went viral, offended public morals.

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eBay flaw has existed for months

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:38
A dangerous flaw that has exposed eBay customers to malicious websites has been affecting the site since at least February, the BBC has found.

French launch first strikes on IS

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:30
President Hollande says France has carried out its first air strikes against IS militants in Iraq, joining the US in military action against the group.

Week in pictures: 13-19 September 2014

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:19
The best news photos from around the world

Payout to unlawfully arrested driver

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:16
The Met Police pays out £45,000 in damages to a black motorist who claims he was struck with batons and sprayed with CS gas during an unlawful arrest.

Around The World In 8 Hospital Meals

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:14

From tasty tempura to gross gruel, hospital meals across the globe vary wildly. Highbrow institutions in China and India have long served top-notch food. U.S. hospitals are starting to follow suit.

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Scotland's Vote Could Bring Big Changes To England, Wales, N. Ireland

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:11

British Prime Minister David Cameron says now that voters in Scotland have rejected independence, he is committed to giving more powers not only to Scotland, but also to the rest of the U.K.

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Calls for unity after referendum

BBC - Fri, 2014-09-19 06:07
Kirk moderator John Chalmers appeals for an end to "them and us" thinking as he leads calls for post-referendum unity.
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