National / International News

President Obama Says Militants Who Beheaded American Are 'Cowardly'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-20 09:17

The extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in "cowardly acts" and "has no place in the 21st century," President Obama said Wednesday.

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Iceland evacuates area near volcano

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 09:14
Authorities in Iceland complete the evacuation of an area close to the country's Bardarbunga volcano over fears of an impending eruption.

VIDEO: Can the new Nook take on Kindle?

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 09:13
Samsung and Barnes and Noble have teamed up to launch a new e-reader on a tablet device.

City bakery 'makes 390 job losses'

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 09:07
A bakery in Newport is reported to be cutting 390 jobs by November.

Second arrest over Tilbury death

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 09:01
A second person is arrested on suspicion of manslaughter over the death of man in a shipping container in Essex.

VIDEO: David Cameron condemns Foley killing

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 09:00
Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the killing of journalist James Foley by an Islamic State militant, allegedly from Britain.

Photographing An Ebola Riot: Put Your Fear Aside And Go Forward

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-20 08:51

Covering protests over an Ebola quarantine, NPR photographer David Gilkey found himself in the middle of a riot. He says he doesn't know what was scarier — the bullets or the health risks.

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Daley & Denny fourth in Euros final

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 08:39
British pair Tom Daley and James Denny miss out on a 10m synchro diving medal at the European Championships in Berlin.

Comedy awards shortlist announced

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 08:24
The nominees for this year's Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, including James Acaster, Alex Horne and Sara Pascoe, are unveiled.

VIDEO: Iraqi baby girl named 'refugee'

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 08:23
The BBC's Yalda Hakim met with people who have fled to a huge refugee camp near Dohuk.

Pope Francis given Copa Libertadores

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 08:09
Lifelong fan Pope Francis is presented with the Copa Libertadores trophy by players and officials of Argentine side San Lorenzo.

D'oh! FXX will air 552 episodes of The Simpsons

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-08-20 08:00

In a crowded cable marketplace, FXX is trying to make a name for itself with a little help from Homer Simpson. 

The fledgling cable channel bought the syndication rights to The Simpsons, and on Thursday, it kicks off a 12-day marathon of 552 Simpsons episodes.

In September, FXX will run the episodes regularly, except for those getting their first run on FOX. FXX will also launch an app with special digital access to Simpsons shows.

“For FXX, it's almost like a coup to help them to create an identity early on,” says Tuna Amobi, Equity Analyst with S&P Capital IQ.

Amobi says The Simpsons' move to cable was highly anticipated and likely drew lots of bids. FXX, the winner, is another unit of the same parent company, 21st Century Fox. Amobi says the deal, whose terms were not disclosed, probably cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Jonathan Taplin, Director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California, says the average person watches nine cable channels and has 400 to choose from, so FXX faces big odds.

But he thinks the Simpsons could give FXX some legs. And its digital presence could pull in revenue.

“They can attach a lot of advertising to it,” he says.

Taplin says it remains to be seen whether The Simpsons will compel viewers to stick around and watch other FXX shows.

Sam Craig, Director of the Entertainment, Media and Technology program at New York University, agrees.

“If the Simpsons can't do it,” he says, “it's a question of what else is out there that can.”

Economic lessons according to "The Simpsons"

In more than 20 seasons of "The Simpsons", there are more than a few lessons about business and the economy. So many, in fact, that the show has inspired academic papers on ways to use the show in the classroom and a new book, "Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics." We scoured the web to find a few clips featuring lessons on business and the economy.

Lesson: Mobs shouldn't determine public spending

In this classic clip, a smarmy Harold Hill type, played by Phil Hartman, tries to convince the residents of Springfield to spend their unexpected surplus on a monorail. The song is a wry comment on mob mentality and public spending, as Marge points out there are many other places the town's resources could be used.

Lesson: Always consider opportunity cost

Speaking of trade-offs, Homer and the members of the local 643 (part of the International Brotherhood of Jazz Dancers, Pastry Chefs, and Nuclear Technicians) make one when they nearly give up their dental insurance for a keg at every meeting. Assuming Mr. Burns is being honest about his funds, this could be a lesson in opportunity cost. But of course he's not.

Lesson: Sometimes, a monopoly has advantages

Speaking of Burns, he looks for further expand his energy empire by blocking out the sun. Joshua Hall, editor of "Homer Economicus," writes that Burns' plan presents an opportunity to discuss the nature and advantages of a monopoly.

(Courtesy:MySimpsonsBlogIsGreaterThanYours.tumblr.com)

Lesson: Don't let other business determine your prices

On a much smaller scale, Bart learns some business basics when he tries to severely undercut bars by selling stolen beer at a nickel a cup. Had Homer not come home and wrecked the scheme, Bart would have soon run out of supplies and jacked up prices anyway.

Lesson: The law of demand always matters

Finally, for the advanced "Simpsons" economist, R. Andrew Luccasen and M. Kathleen Thomas write in their paper "Simpsonomics" that this clip illustrates — and bends — the law of demand.

Homer is sent to hell for his gluttony and the devil forces him to head "all the doughnuts" as punishment. The marginal benefit should drop into the negative over time, but Homer, of course, is no ordinary glutton.

PM condemns journalist's beheading

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 07:57
The beheading of a US journalist by Islamic State militants was "shocking and depraved", says Prime Minister David Cameron.

Saying no to graphic images of Foley

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 07:55
The Twitter users saying no to graphic images of James Foley

Sepsis: Antibiotics 'not working'

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 07:54
Patients are dying from sepsis because of a lack of effective antibiotics, an expert is warning.

Fierce fight for east Ukrainian town

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 07:52
Ukrainian government and rebel forces both claim control of a small town after fierce fighting, as fighting claims 34 civilian lives in a day.

PODCAST: Macy's settles profiling charge

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-08-20 07:40

After the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown and the recent clashes in Ferguson, Missouri, racial profiling has returned to the national spotlight.

That department store chain Macy’s reached a $650,000 settlement Wednesday with the New York Attorney General’s office over racial profiling practices shows how deep the issue runs. This is the second settlement since 2005 for Macy’s, and the deal comes about a week after a similar agreement was reached with the Madison Avenue luxury store Barney’s.

Plus, the Dow could pass $17,000 again by labor day, but amid geopolitical crises all over the world, how is that possible?

And finally, British pubs have been closing at a rate of 31 a week, and that rate is accelerating. The Campaign for Real Ale is warning that a world-famous British institution is in danger of severe decline. The group has called for urgent measures to save the pub and preserve a valuable piece of the fabric of British life.

Jihadist suspects held in Austria

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 07:37
Nine people are arrested by police in Austria on suspicion of planning to join Islamist militant groups in Syria.

Liberia Blocks Off Neighborhood In Ebola Quarantine, Sparking Riot

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-20 07:30

Residents of the capital's West Point neighborhood woke up to learn no one can enter or leave the area for 21 days — the time it takes to determine whether someone exposed to Ebola was infected.

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Taxi firm Uber to deliver groceries

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-20 07:27
Taxi firm Uber is trialling a same-day delivery service for more than 100 grocery goods in Washington DC.
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