National / International News

GM doesn't want employees using these words in memos

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-19 14:16

A quick follow-up to last week's story about the $35 million fine General Motors is going to pay for not telling the truth about its ignition switch problems.

As part of the document dump related to that case, there's a PowerPoint presentation about how to describe the recall process. Words employees were never to use? "Grenadelike," "Kevorkianesque," "widow-maker," and "rolling sarcophagus," and more:

U.S. Coast Guard Calls Off Atlantic Search For 4 British Sailors

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 14:08

The U.K.'s most famous yachtsman has joined families of the missing crew members of a 40-foot sailboat in urging that the search resume. The yacht disappeared Saturday.

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Task Force Says Asking All Patients About Suicide Won't Cut Risk

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:57

Suicide is a major cause of death, and there's no evidence that screening everybody will reduce the toll, a federal panel says. But doctors, family and friends can help, researchers say.

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A coffee plant disease threatens more than prices

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:37

Farmers and harvesters in Central and South America have been hit hard by Roya, or "coffee rust," a fast-spreading fungus that infects the leaves of coffee plants. Roya has caused an estimated $1 billion in damage, and threatened the livelihoods of more than half a million families from Mexico to Peru.

"Entire fields have just been devastated by the rust," said Jonathan Rosenthal, executive director of Cooperative Coffees, who saw the impact of the rust in Honduras. "The trees have turned to skeletons. It's like a ghost town." 

The U.S. is stepping up its efforts to help eradicate the disease, partnering with Texas A&M's World Coffee Research Center. Coffee farming has lifted many families in Central and South America out of poverty. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah says the organization's Feed the Future program has connected thousands of coffee growers to companies including Starbucks and Peet's. In some cases, Shah said, those farmers have seen their yearly incomes double or triple. He warns that as families fall into poverty, they become increasingly susceptible to the influence of drug traffickers and gangs.

"They prey upon communities that are poor, where lots of children are hungry, and they offer them an illicit income opportunity by producing drugs and selling drugs," Shah said. 

Fungicides are able to treat the blight, but many small farmers can't afford them. 

"The fungicide requires investment; the tools that are used to apply the fungicide require investment," said Lindsey Bolger, vice president of coffee sourcing and excellence for Keurig Green Mountain. "In some cases, these farmers just don't have the resources that they need." 

U.S., Nigeria Reach Deal On Intelligence Sharing

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:34

The U.S. will now provide intelligence analysis to Nigeria in an effort to find the more than 200 girls kidnapped by the militant group Boko Haram.

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Unpacking the AT&T-DirecTV deal

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:29

Over the weekend, AT&T announced it plans to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion. That is, of course, pending approval from federal regulators that are already busy sorting out a different telecommunications merger: Comcast’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable.

“Big fish are swallowing small fish,” says Reed Hundt, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, of the changing media landscape. “And if you want to avoid being swallowed, you need to be a bigger and bigger fish.”  AT&T, which is primarily a wireless provider, wants to diversify – to be able to sell customers phone service, internet access, and television.

And its advantage in selling regulators on the deal? Its size. "In terms of the pay TV business," says Todd Rethemeier of Hudson Square, "AT&T is a relatively small player."

VIDEO: US court convicts cleric Abu Hamza

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:23
Abu Hamza, the radical Muslim cleric, has been found guilty of supporting terrorism by a New York court.

Exam respite for Yarmouk students

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:20
Students spared siege to sit Syrian exams

Wilkinson keen on England coach role

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:04
England's World Cup-winning hero Jonny Wilkinson would love to help coach the national side following his retirement.

Oregon gay marriage ban struck down

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:00
A US judge strikes down the US state of Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages, as couples queued up at the state's courthouses and prepare to wed.

Fiery British Imam Found Guilty Of Terrorism Charges

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:00

Abu Hamza, an Islamic cleric alleged to have started an al-Qaida camp in the U.S., has been convicted on terrorism charges in a New York courtroom.

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Russian told to pay ex-wife $4.5bn

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:57
A Swiss court orders Dmitry Rybolovlev, owner of French football team AS Monaco, to hand over around half of his estimated fortune to his ex-wife.

Afghan notebook: Life inside

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:54
What's life like inside Kabul's only prison for women?

Voyeur teacher jailed for five years

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:31
A deputy head teacher from Cardiff who used a spy camera to film youngsters going to the toilet is jailed for five years.

AT&T And DirecTV Mega-Merger Spells Changes For Media Landscape

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:16

AT&T's $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV now faces regulatory scrutiny. Meanwhile, a deal merging Comcast and Time Warner Cable is also in the works. Consumer advocates worry about consolidation, but many observers think the deals could hold down costs for the merged companies.

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In Rare Concession, Credit Suisse Admits Criminal Wrongdoing

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:16

Credit Suisse will plead guilty to criminal charges and pay over $2 billion in fines in connection to allegations of tax evasion. But the CEO and chairman are reportedly expected to keep their jobs.

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The Blogging Battlegrounds Of Eastern Ukraine

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:16

A social media struggle is unfolding in eastern Ukraine, as bloggers on both Ukrainian and separatist sides plead their cases. But many find they face surveillance, trolls and threats as they work.

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In 'Raging Bull' Ruling, High Court Sides With Co-Writer's Daughter

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:16

The Supreme Court delivered a blow on behalf of writers, giving a screenwriter's daughter a chance to prove in court that the critically acclaimed movie Raging Bull infringed her father's copyright.

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The Mood In Abuja, Where Missing Schoolgirls Cast Long Shadow

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:16

NPR's Gregory Warner talks to Robert Siegel about the mood and politics in the city of Abuja, as Nigeria struggles to deal with the schoolgirl abduction and its growing militant insurgency.

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With Cartels On The Run, Mexican Lime Farmers Keep More Of The Green

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-19 12:16

Thanks to a big spring crop in Veracruz and police crackdowns on drug cartels, high prices for Mexican limes are falling earthward, just in time for summer cocktails. Mexican farmers are celebrating.

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