National / International News

Boy's flying-tackle halts PC attacker

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 04:15
A teenager who wrestled a man to the ground after he assaulted two police officers is recognised for his bravery.

VIDEO: Indyref highlights in three minutes

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 04:13
Highlights of the Scottish referendum campaign, squeezing two years of headlines into a three minute film.

Ebola global security threat - Obama

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 04:12
US President Barack Obama calls the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a threat to security worldwide while announcing a larger US role, including 3,000 troops, to help fight the virus.

Counter-terrorism raid at house

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 04:08
Counter-terrorism police seize material from a house in Cardiff as part of an ongoing operation.

Drivers warned about smartwatch use

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 04:04
Drivers have been warned against the potential dangers of using a smartwatch while driving.

UK jobless rate falls to 2008 low

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:59
The UK rate fell to 6.2% in the three months to the end of July, while the number claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has dipped below one million.

Missing man search in Alice case

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:56
Police investigating the disappearance of Alice Gross want to speak to a Latvian man seen on the same canal towpath used by the schoolgirl, the Met say.

AUDIO: Agente provocatrice 'Fifi' used in WW2

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:56
A new file released by the National Archives has confirmed the use of an 'agente provocatrice', known as Fifi, in World War Two operations.

Mother's murder 'devastates' family

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:45
A family say they have been left devastated by the murder of a Flintshire woman dubbed a "loving mother, daughter, sister, aunty and friend".

VIDEO: Youth employment 'still a problem'

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:38
Shadow Work and Pensions Minister Stephen Timms has welcomed the latest fall in unemployment but says there are still problems with youth and long-term unemployment.

House Poised To Vote On Arming, Training Syrian Rebels

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:32

The expected vote on whether to authorize the Obama administration's plan to arm and train moderate fighters comes as the president meets with military officials at U.S. Central Command.

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AUDIO: 'I found migrant under my campervan'

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:29
A driver describes the moment he found a migrant "clinging on with his fingernails" to the bottom of his campervan.

VIDEO: Working-class 'priced out' of acting

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:08
Actor Will Mellor tells BBC Breakfast he is "proud" of his working-class roots, amid warnings that young actors from poorer backgrounds are being "priced out" of the profession.

PODCAST: Negotiating an independent Scotland

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-17 03:00

Some of the National Football League's big-money sponsors think the league is not doing enough to grapple with the problem of players who are charged with domestic violence. Last night, the Minnesota Vikings deactivated running back Adrian Peterson while he faces child abuse charges. Plus, California has a new law on its books. It's been dubbed the "Yelp law"--after the online location-aware directory of restaurants and other establishments. More on the "Yelp law," which stops businesses from stopping you from writing bad reviews. And tomorrow, the people of Scotland go to the polls for one of the most crucial political and economic decisions of their lives. They'll vote  on whether or  not they want to separate from the United Kingdom. More on the economic implications of a decision to split.

Referendums 'torpedo EU' - Spain PM

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 02:27
Independence referendums in Scotland or Spain's Catalonia region are like a torpedo to European integration, Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy warns.

London's fireworks to be ticketed

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 02:22
London's New Year's Eve fireworks is to be ticketed for the first time and a limit of 100,000 set on a viewing area for the event, Boris Johnson's office reveals.

VIDEO: Tracking the Indyref polls and results

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 02:18
Jeremy Vine looks at how the Scottish referendum results will come in and how the campaign has developed,

Scotland's jobless total down 15,000

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-17 02:10
Unemployment in Scotland falls by 15,000 to 168,000 between May and July, taking the unemployment rate down to 6%.

New law cracks down on businesses that ban bad reviews

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-17 02:00

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed what some have dubbed the "Yelp Law." It bars the business practice of "non-disparagement clauses": fine print that prohibits customers from writing bad reviews. 

The law was inspired by a case in Utah, in which online retailer KlearGear went after a couple who aired their grievances on the website Ripoff Report. KlearGear responded by calling the husband, John Palmer. His attorney, Scott Michelman characterizes that call: "'Your wife criticized us on Ripoff Report. You now [owe] us a penalty of $3,500."

Michelman and the Palmers ultimately won the case, though it took a lengthy legal battle. Their story inspired the California law, which bans such policies outright and imposes escalating financial penalties if businesses seek to enforce them.

Michelmann added that the law does nothing to restrict the traditional way of dealing with malicious and untrue statements: a defamation lawsuit.

"As opposed to an effort to harass, intimidate and silence its critics," Michelson says. 

Either way, though, the business has to find those critics. Sparks Steakhouse is suing Yelp to find the identity of a reviewer who claims to be a former employee. "I have personally spit my own sal[i]via [sic] into dishes for the passed [sic] 3 weeks now," the review says. 

Across the street from the restaurant, Victoria Miller says that one review would keep her away. "I would definitely avoid that place at all costs," she says. 

True or false, that online critic's best defense is anonymity. 

Scottish independence: the cost of uncertainty

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-17 02:00

On Thursday, the people of Scotland go to the polls for the most important economic decision of their lives. They’ll vote on whether or not they want to separate from the United Kingdom. They’ll also be voting with an unprecedented chorus of warnings ringing in their ears.

More than a hundred companies with Scottish operations have spoken of the perils of independence; five major banks, a big insurance company and one of the UK’s largest investment funds have threatened to pull their headquarters out of Scotland if there’s a "yes" vote; and supermarket chains say it could mean higher prices.

The pro-independence leader Alex Salmond blames the 'No' Campaign for this outpouring of corporate angst.

“I think the problem lies entirely with the 'No' campaign," Salmond told a news conference in Edinburgh. "The 'No' campaigners have been caught red-handed as being part of a campaign of scaremongering."

Salmond claims that those opposed to independence—including the UK’s national government at Westminster—have pressured the companies into speaking out.
But the warnings of turmoil have been widespread and cannot be so easily dismissed. The main concern is acute uncertainty.

Following a "yes" vote, there would be at least 18 months of intense negotiation over some highly contentious issues: What currency would Scotland use? How much of the UK’s national debt would it shoulder? How much of the North Sea oil would it inherit?

Mike Amey of the Pimco bond investment firm says this would create uncertainty which could be economically damaging.

“We wouldn’t know who’d end up with what. As a result you’d find some business investment put on hold during that period, the economy would be weaker," says Amey.

Some economists say that, at a stroke, the UK’s reputation as a global safe haven would be smashed. A survey of foreign exchange traders has indicated that the British pound could fall by 10%, and it would be more difficult for the UK to attract the inward investment flows that it needs to balance its books.

Dire predictions are coming thick and fast. A well-known property website forecasts that if there’s a "yes" vote, Scottish house price could crash, wiping $130 billion of the value of Scottish real estate and rattling Britain’s mortgage banks.

Scottish businesswoman and "Yes" campaigner Michelle Rodger says these forecasts are ludicrously negative.

“A 'yes' vote would send the most positive message to the rest of the world,” she says. “It would be Scotland saying: We’ve taken this opportunity, we’ve grasped it with both hands and we’re going to change Scotland for the better."

No one doubts the Scots would be able to run their own successful economy—they’ve played a leading role in the UK’s political, corporate, scientific and creative life for centuries. But divorce can be messy. Disentangling the 307 year old union with the rest of Britain would be monumentally difficult and costly.

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