National / International News

Arrests at Armenia electricity march

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:17
More than 200 people have been arrested in Armenia during protests about rising electricity prices.

Erotic e-books face German curfew

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:16
Germans will be able to buy adult-themed e-books only between the hours of 22:00 and 06:00, under new rules.

De La Hoya 'serious' about comeback

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:13
Boxing great Oscar De La Hoya says he is "very serious" about making a return to the ring at the age of 42.

The roots of the word 'eurosceptic'

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:08
Where did the word 'eurosceptic' come from?

STIs soaring in gay men - warning

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:01
The number of sexually transmitted infections being spread in gay men is soaring, according to Public Health England.

Those sky high fees for flying

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:00

Airline fees are scheduled to be a key topic at a Department of Transportation meeting Tuesday. Flyer aggravation about the fees is growing as they increase. Carriers now make billions in fees, more than ever before.

When it comes to fees, there are two extremes among U.S. carriers: the bold and the old. The bold includes airlines like Spirit, which piles on charges, even for carry-on bags. The old are legacy carriers like United, American and Delta, which have historically been less aggressive. But these days, the older are getting bolder.

“They’re charging for damn near everything that they can think of,” says Richard Gritta, professor of finance and transportation at University of Portland.

Transportation Department stats show revenue from baggage and change fees alone up 372 percent between 2007 and 2014. And that doesn’t even include money made on seat selection and food sales.

These fees are part of why airline stocks are doing better lately. Despite passenger protests, they are here to stay. And with all the airline mergers of recent years, there are fewer places to shop around.

 

 

 

Mark Garrison: When it comes to fees, there are two extremes among U.S. carriers: the bold and the old. The bold includes airlines like Spirit, which piles on charges, even for carry-on bags. The old are legacy carriers like United, American and Delta, historically less aggressive. But these days, aviation analyst Michael Boyd says the older are getting bolder.

Michael Boyd: If they can get away with it, yes. Back in 2008, when American started charging for luggage, I thought, ‘They’re dead, no one’s gonna match them.’ What did I know?

Transportation Department stats show revenue from baggage and change fees alone up nearly 400 percent since 2007. That’s not to mention money made on seat selection and food sales. Richard Gritta is professor of finance and transportation at University of Portland.

Richard Gritta: They’re charging for damn near everything that they can think of.

These fees are part of why airline stocks are doing better lately. Some carriers get close to 40 percent of revenues from fees. Like it or not, the charges are here to stay. And with all the airline mergers, there are fewer places to shop around. I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.

Ralph Fiennes to direct Nureyev film

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:00
Actor and film-maker Ralph Fiennes is to step behind the camera to direct a film about Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, according to Screen Daily.

Proposed House bill slashes education funding

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:00

The House Appropriations Committee released its draft spending bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments, and budget watchers noted deep cuts to federal education funding.

It cuts nearly $3.8 billion from mostly education and healthcare. The National Institutes of Health is one area that gets more money.

You might think the GOP-controlled committee is responsible for these proposed cuts, but it’s really the fault of the Budget Control Act, also known as the sequester, which requires that Congress not increase the deficit.

"There is no good way to allocate this," says David Reich, a senior policy consultant with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Veterans Affairs scandal means veterans' medical care will get more money. "There’s a pretty strong consensus that there is a need for a several-billion-dollar increase" at the VA, says Reich. But that means there's less to go around for everyone else.

The cuts would hit school improvement grants, literacy programs, magnet schools, teen pregnancy reduction programs and more.

Joel Packer from the Raben Group says the deficit has shrunk, so both Democrats and Republicans could work to raise the budget caps.

"Something has to happen by midnight Sept. 30 this year, or the whole federal government shuts down," Packer says. 

But don’t worry too much about this bill becoming law. It also blocks all Affordable Care Act funding, so there's little to no chance it will be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The final bill is due for a markup by the full committee on Wednesday. 

House bill slashes education funding

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:00

The House Appropriations Committee released its draft spending bill for Labor, Health, Human Services and Education, and budget watchers noted deep cuts to federal education funding.

It cuts nearly $3.8 billion from mostly education and healthcare. The National Institutes of Health is one area that gets more money.

You might think the GOP-controlled committee is responsible for these proposed cuts, but it’s really the fault of the Budget Control Act, also known as the sequester, which requires that Congress not increase the deficit.

"There is no good way to allocate this," says David Reich, a senior policy consultant with the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. The Veterans Affairs scandal means veterans' medical care will get more money. "There’s a pretty strong consensus that there is a need for a several billion dollar increase" at the VA, says Reich. But that means there's less to go around for everyone else.

The cuts would hit school improvement grants, literacy programs, magnet schools, teen pregnancy reduction programs, and more.

Joel Packer from the Raben Group says the deficit has shrunk so both Democrats and Republicans could work to raise the budget caps.

"Something has to happen by midnight, September 30 this year or the whole federal government shuts down," Packer says. 

But don’t worry too much about this bill becoming law. It also blocks all Obamacare funding. So there's little to no chance it will be signed into law by the president.

The final bill is due for a markup by the full committee on Wednesday. 

Baltimore lab program produces a positive reaction

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:00

Jamond Turner used to work as a security guard at Johns Hopkins University, where one evening, his rounds took him past a laboratory. Turner was impressed by what he saw and decided to pursue a career in laboratory work.

The decision brought him to the BioTechnical Institute of  Maryland, a nonprofit that trains unemployed and underemployed Baltimore residents tuition-free for entry-level, high-skill jobs in labs.

BTI's Lab Associates program has its genesis in Baltimore's Empowerment Zones. Baltimore was one of six U.S. cities that won the federal Empowerment Zone designation in 1994. The city was awarded $100 million dollars and a host of tax breaks for business and employers. Baltimore sunk the money into job creation and job training. And while many of the jobs have since disappeared, job training programs saw some successes.

The BTI program began in 1998, partnering with a laboratory company that received tax breaks for moving into one of the city's poorest areas.

Since then, about 350 students have graduated and gone to work for employers that include cutting-edge biotech firms, the American Red Cross and the McCormick spice company.

Kathleen Weiss, the executive director at BTI, says people often hear the term "entry-level jobs" and think of retail positions or warehouse work. She says students at BTI are preparing for entry-level jobs with a future. The average starting salary for a BTI graduate is about $27,000 a year and includes benefits.

 

Video visitations gain popularity in prison system

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:00

As part of a series about technology in prisons called "Jailbreak," we're talking about the growing use of video visitation in prisons. It's being used already in over 500 institutions around the country. Most of them are county jails, but a few are state prisons.

And while we know a lot about the impact of in-person visits between inmates and their familes while incarcerated, we don't know much about the impact of video visitation.

Bernadette Rabuy, a policy and communications associate at the Prison Policy Initiative, says the growth in popularity of video visitation technology has a lot to do with cutting costs. Prisons are also attracted to the fact that it eliminates the opportunity for the smuggling of contraband items to prisoners.

But Rabuy cautions that the benefits may not outweigh the emotional costs: "We don't know that these videos are equivalent to in-person visits, which have been shown by a lot of research to be one of the only ways we know for sure reduces the likelihood of future crimes."

Click the media player above to hear more.

Job training works in Baltimore

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-23 02:00

Jamond Turner used to work as a security guard at Johns Hopkins University, where one evening, his rounds took him past a laboratory. Turner was impressed by what he saw and decided to pursue a career in laboratory work.

The decision brought him to the BioTechnical Institute of  Maryland, a non-profit that trains unemployed and underemployed Baltimore residents for entry-level, high-skill jobs in labs.

BTI's Lab Associates program has its genesis in Baltimore's Empowerment Zones. Baltimore was one of six U.S. cities that won the federal Empowerment Zone designation in 1994. The city was awarded $100 million dollars and a host of tax breaks for business and employers. Baltimore sunk the money into job creation and job training. And while many of the jobs have since disappeared, job training programs saw some successes.

The BTI program began in 1998, partnering with a laboratory company that received tax breaks for moving into one of the city's poorest areas.

Since then, around 350 students have graduated and gone to work for employers that include cutting-edge biotech firms, the American Red Cross and the McCormick spice company.

Kathleen Weiss is the Executive Director at BTI. She says people often hear the term "entry-level jobs" and think of retail positions or warehouse work. She says students at BTI are preparing for entry-level with a future. The average starting salary for a BTI graduate is about $27,000 a year, and includes benefits.

 

VIDEO: Rwanda arrest 'politically motivated'

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 01:47
Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell says theb arrest of Rwanda's intelligence chief Karenzi Karake was politically motivated

Former school inspector Woodhead dies

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 01:46
England's former chief inspector of schools Sir Chris Woodhead has died, friends tell Press Association

Arrest over bomb under officer's car

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 01:45
A man is arrested by detectives investigating a bomb found under a police officer's car in Eglinton, near Londonderry, last week

Police record further fall in crime

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 01:44
Police Scotland figures indicate further fall in recorded crime, although there is an increase in sexual offences and domestic abuse.

Niagara recalls bottled spring water

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-06-23 01:42
14 brands

That's how many brands had to issue a recall for bottled water sourced from Niagara Bottling. The reason? A spring contaminated with E. coli. And as NBC Philadelphia reports, while the contamination was discovered on June 10, the spring waited to notify the affected brands.

$1 billion

That's how much Alibaba has sunk into its once dormant food-ordering app known as Koubei. It's part of a move by the company to enter what is known as the O2O (online-to-offline) market of using apps to order goods and services. And as the Wall Street Journal reports, the company is attempting to compete with its rival Tencent Holdings Ltd. and its app, Ele.me

$150

That's how much Gary Portnoy originally was paid for writing the "Cheers" theme at 25. But television royalties are structured so that one is paid every time the show airs, so although the initial payday might be small, songwriters can make millions from getting their work on a hit show. We looked into the world of TV themes for the latest installment of our series "I've Always Wondered."

350 students

That's about how many students have graduated from the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland since it was founded in 1998. BTI's Lab Associates program offers job training to students looking to get into laboratory work — students like Jamond Turner who used to work as a security guard at Johns Hopkins University. The program started when Baltimore decided to use the $100 million it received as part of its designation as an Empowerment Zone to focus on job training and job creation. While the latter may have fallen off, the former seems to be one of the positive remnants of the program

$16.3 million

That was the average pay in the C-suite at the top 350 companies last year, on the rise since the Depression. Meanwhile, worker pay is remaining steady or even falling, according to the Economic Policy Institute study as reported by Mother Jones, meaning CEOs now make more than 300 times what workers in their respective fields earn. 

$236 billion

That's how high Facebook's market value reached during trading Monday, surpassing Walmart. Quartz notes that the shift points to technology's increasing prominence in the economy, even if Walmart brings in hundreds of billions more in revenue.

Tackler cited after Ackerman death

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 01:40
Norths Devils player Francis Molo is cited for a tackle on James Ackerman, who died as a result of an on-field injury on Monday.

VIDEO: Sinkhole opens on Kansas golf course

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 01:24
A giant sinkhole appears on hole 13 of the Canyon Farms golf course in Lenexa, Kansas.

'I want to be of use now I'm free'

BBC - Tue, 2015-06-23 01:21
Former England cricketer Chris Lewis on "going 100mph" as he tries to rebuild his life - and help others - after prison.

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