National / International News

Lenovo phone shows virtual keyboard

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:27
Chinese electronics giant Lenovo has unveiled a phone with a built-in laser projector that can be used to display a virtual keyboard or display.

School trip left boy at safari park

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:14
An investigation is launched into how a five-year-old boy was left at a safari park after a school day trip.

Baby found abandoned on doorstep

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:13
A newborn baby boy is found abandoned on the doorstep of a property in County Durham.

SA denies organising World Cup bribe

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:05
South African officials dismiss US allegations that a $10m (£6.5m) bribe was organised for top Fifa officials in order to host the 2010 World Cup.

Al-Nusra 'told not to attack West'

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:03
Al-Qaeda has ordered its affiliate in Syria not to use the country to launch attacks on the West, the leader of al-Nusra Front says.

Predicting algae levels on Lake Erie

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:00

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association are hoping to arm communities with resources in the event of another water crisis on Lake Erie this summer. 

Algae blooms, caused by excessive phosphorus from pollutants like farm fertilizers, made water in the Toledo area undrinkable last summer. When the algae die, they produce a toxin, which can make water unsafe to drink. 

“These blooms, cynobacteria, they like it hot. They don't grow very well when it's cold,” says Richard Stumpf, a NOAA oceanographer. 

Stumpf is part of an effort to create a forecast of algae blooms for this summer, based on phosophorus levels in Lake Erie in the spring months. 

“The spring phosphorus load is what drives the summer bloom,” he says. 

Stumpf says armed with the forecast, communities can at least do things like order more supplies such as charcoal filters, which eliminate the toxins and make the water drinkable.

New rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency this week were expected to protect waterways in such a way as to limit runoff of farm fertilizer.

But, William Buzbee, a law professor at Georgetown University, says the new rules largely limit deliberate pollution, not runoff.

“That remains a thorny challenge we haven't addressed effectively in the United States,” he said.

The long arms of the right to be forgotten

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:00

A year ago, a European Court said people had a right to demand Google take down certain search results about them. The right to be forgotten was born.

“That idea is spreading in some areas,” says Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties for the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

Most recently, Google is challenging a ruling by Mexican authorities that Google Mexico must remove embarrassing—but true—search results about a prominent businessman there.

Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea are also considering questions involving the right to be forgotten. Post dictator democracies in Latin America, says Granick, have resisted the notion.

“The real question,” she says, “is as nations adopt a right to be forgotten in their countries how will that affect the internet and search engines as a whole?”

European regulators want Google to take down search results on all versions of Google, not just the European ones. Google has balked at this for now, but it isn’t inconceivable that Europe’s views could reach beyond its borders.

“It surely could,” says Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “Right now, when something is taken down because its alleged to be copyright infringing, Google doesn’t take it down when an American complains under American law from Google.com it takes it down from all Google portals.”

He says Google might try to restructure to get out from certain jurisdictions, “or you might even see the American legislature adopt a law telling google not to obey certain orders of a certain kind coming from overseas.”

Google has said it’s received a quarter of a million requests for removal in Europe, from victims of crimes trying to protect their personal information, to politicians trying to cover up misdeeds. Google has rejected 60 percent of those requests.

How tobacco tax revenues affect free preschool

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:00

Tobacco tax revenues that pay for California preschool and other early childhood services are steadily declining as users give up smoking, and a scramble is on to find another source of funding.

The tale of the shrinking funding source — now down to $350 million this year from $650 million in 1998 — starts at tobacco shops like Drive Thru Cigarettes. Tucked inside a strip mall on Huntington Drive in Duarte, the business and other nearby shops have seen sales drop to a trickle. 

Customer Eduardo Hernandez said he used to smoke a lot, but he’s down to a pack a day and looks forward to quitting — and relishing the money he could save from his Little Cesar’s Pizza server salary.

Customer of Drive Thru Cigarettes Eduardo Hernandez said one day he will quit smoking. Declining tobacco tax revenues is leading to less money for early childhood programs. (DEEPA FERNANDES /KPCC) 

“I know smoking is bad,” he said.

But for now, Hernandez’s habit is helping fund free preschool for disadvantaged families and other early childhood programs. 80 percent of tobacco taxes go directly to fund programs for children under five.

For the full story, go to KPCC.org

How tobacco tax revenues affect free preschool

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:00

Tobacco tax revenues that pay for California preschool and other early childhood services are steadily declining as users give up smoking, and a scramble is on to find another source of funding.

The tale of the shrinking funding source — now down to $350 million this year from $650 million in 1998 — starts at tobacco shops like Drive Thru Cigarettes. Tucked inside a strip mall on Huntington Drive in Duarte, the business and other nearby shops have seen sales drop to a trickle. 

Customer Eduardo Hernandez said he used to smoke a lot, but he’s down to a pack a day and looks forward to quitting — and relishing the money he could save from his Little Cesar’s Pizza server salary.

Customer of Drive Thru Cigarettes Eduardo Hernandez said one day he will quit smoking. Declining tobacco tax revenues is leading to less money for early childhood programs. (DEEPA FERNANDES /KPCC) 

“I know smoking is bad,” he said.

But for now, Hernandez’s habit is helping fund free preschool for disadvantaged families and other early childhood programs. 80 percent of tobacco taxes go directly to fund programs for children under five.

For the full story, go to KPCC.org

The risks and rewards of selling dinner reservations

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 02:00

The Eddy, in New York’s East Village, is the kind of place that manages to make tater tots feel fancy — they're made with bacon and topped with an English pea puree. The décor is modern, but also a bit rustic, and since its dining room only has 30 seats, reservations tend to book up.

Nearly every week, owner Jason Soloway says he gets an inquiry from some startup hoping to help The Eddy solve problems, both real and imagined. The restaurant industry, like many others, is in the midst of a tech makeover. Tablets are replacing waiters at some restaurants, startups want to streamline tasks from hiring staff or ordering food. Restaurant goers have long been able to book reservations online, but a handful of apps and services now offer up often difficult reservations for a price.

The Eddy has partnered with Resy, an app that sells reservations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C. Soloway sets aside a table or two at peak hours for the app to sell for $5 per person, a fee he splits with Resy. On a $10 reservation, after the Resy’s cut and fees, Soloway estimates he’ll take home $4 or $5. That additional revenue is part of the appeal, as is the marketing and promotion he gets from being on the app.

“The risk is we have to hold that table for [Resy] up until usually 6 o’clock the day of the reservation,” Soloway says.

If the reservation doesn’t sell, he then scrambles to fill the table or lose money.

But Resy’s not the only app selling reservations at The Eddy. Unbeknowst to Soloway, tables at The Eddy are also listed for sale on Shout, a marketplace for many of different things, including restaurant reservations in New York City, in-demand sneakers, and event tickets.

Unlike Resy, Shout doesn’t work directly with restaurants. Rather, an individual user makes a reservation they then sell to other users on the app. Shout runs basic background checks on its users, processes payments and holds their funds in escrow until after the time of the reservation to ensure their legitimacy.

“It’s entirely peer-to-peer,” says Zachariah Reitano, one of Shout’s founders. Some users are just looking to sell a reservation they made and now can’t use, while others, “the power sellers, sort of see themselves as personal concierges.”

The same way powerful executives might have their assistants book reservations for them, Reitano says, for a small fee, other people can get a similar service. If restaurants don’t want to be on the platform, Shout won’t remove them, but it’ll let users know they’re going against the restaurant’s wishes. They also ban buyers who no-show.

“We really don’t want facilitate new types of exchange that hurt other people’s business,” Reitano says, adding that there is a market here; people are willing to pay for these reservations.

Growing up Zuckerberg

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:55
12

That's how old Florida teen Rachel Zietz was when she started her company Gladiator Lacrosse, which she says will likely reach $1 million in sales next year. Zietz is following the example of her father, an entrepreneur himself. The New York Times followed the Zietz family and others who are raising young business people, enrolling them in after-school programs and occasionally binge-watching "Shark Tank."

$22

Need a last minute reservation at a popular restaurant? No problem... but it will cost you. At a notable places like Scarpetta in New York City, a table for two at 7:30 p.m. will set you back $22 via a new app called Resy. Restaurants that partner with Resy save one or two tables during the busiest service hours. Resy sells those tables to diners looking for a last minute spot, with the restaurant receiving some of those funds.

1,200

That's how many migrant workers have died in Qatar since the country was selected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, according to estimates from the International Trade Union Confederation. Exact numbers are difficult to parse out, and many of those deaths may be unrelated to the Cup, but the Washington Post points out that even conservative estimates would be far higher than the worker death toll around recent Olympics and World Cups.

12

Speaking of FIFA, that's how many women's national teams will be available on the next iteration of the popular FIFA video game franchise. Set for release in September, FIFA 16 will mark the first time women have been included in the game.

680

That's how many students there are at VIDA Middle School in Vista, California, and all of them were recently issued iPads with 4G connections. That's a lot of expensive hardware, and more tech than many kids have had access to before. VIDA is integrating the devices throughout the day. But the initiative comes with plenty of practical challenges.

Imports weigh on UK economic growth

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:53
The UK economy grew by 0.3% in the first quarter, the ONS confirms, with growth being hit by rising imports and a slowdown in the services sector.

Tourist died after eating sorbet

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:48
A woman who died after eating a sorbet on holiday in Greece had warned her travel agent and hotel about her food allergies, an inquest is told.

'Give HIV drugs at diagnosis'

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:47
HIV drugs should be given at the moment of diagnosis, according to a major trial that could change the way the disease is treated.

Sleeping cancer cells can 'wake up'

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:40
Scientists say they may be able to explain why some cancers return, many years after they appear to have been cured.

Johnson-Thompson 'ready' for Worlds

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:35
Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson says she would be disappointed not to win a World Championships medal in Beijing this year.

Teddy bear lorry crash causes chaos

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:35
A lorry carrying several tonnes of teddy bears is involved in a major collision, forcing a 16-mile closure of the A14 in Cambridgeshire.

MPs to debate Fifa arrests

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:28
MPs are to debate the arrest of several senior Fifa officials, after Commons Speaker John Bercow granted an urgent question.

Fifa election should go ahead - Dyke

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:21
English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke says Friday's Fifa presidential election should still go ahead.

U2 mourn 'irreplaceable' tour manager

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:15
U2 are mourning the death of their "irreplaceable" tour manager Dennis Sheehan who has died of a suspected cardiac arrest.

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