National / International News

VIDEO: Charles meets Obama in Oval Office

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:59
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwell have met US president Barack Obama at the White House in Washington DC.

Why Russia's Economic Slump Has Been Good For London

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:55

Britain's financial community was worried last year when the West began imposing sanctions on Russia. But it turns out that only encouraged wealthy Russians to pump more money into Britain.

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England cricket is like EastEnders

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:50
Tortuous, tedious, bleak and utterly dispiriting, the England cricket team is a particularly English soap opera.

Egyptian Singer, Meet Burundi Bassist. Play Among Yourselves!

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:44

The musicians who live in countries along the Nile rarely got to meet — until the Nile Project came along. Now they learn from each other, make records together and are currently touring the U.S.

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Despite Cease-Fire, Skirmishes Carry On Along Ukraine's Front Line

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:36

Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists are still exchanging fire and inflicting casualties at hot spots in eastern Ukraine. The separatists haven't withdrawn heavy weapons, Ukrainians say.

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End online humiliation says Lewinsky

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:28
The surprise guest of Ted 2015 gave one of the most well-received speeches, about online humiliation and cyberbullying.

Target Agrees To $10 Million Settlement Over Data Breach

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:23

Court documents show victims of the 2013 hack could get as much as $10,000 apiece.

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Are pro sports teams economic winners for cities?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:19

There are a lot of things economists disagree about, but the economic impact of sports stadiums isn't one of them.

“If you ever had a consensus in economics, this would be it," says Michael Leeds, a sports economist at Temple University.  "There is no impact."

Leeds studied Chicago – as big a sports town as there is, with five major teams.

“If every sports team in Chicago were to suddenly disappear, the impact on the Chicago economy would be a fraction of 1 percent,” Leeds says. “A baseball team has about the same impact on a community as a midsize department store.”

That’s for a sport with 80 home games a year. NFL teams only play eight regular season games. Still, politicians love building sports stadiums.

“Yes, we will have the NFL back in Los Angeles!” shouted Carson City Councilwoman Lula Davis-Holmes at a rally last month, celebrating plans for a new stadium housing the Chargers and Raiders that would be built in this small city 15 miles south of downtown.

“Stand to your feet and say we want the teams here, for jobs, for revenue, and for our young people,” Holmes said.

Down the freeway, next to Los Angeles International Airport, Inglewood is trying to stay one step ahead of Carson. So last month, its City Council approved plans to build the most expensive stadium in U.S. sports history.

Inglewood – one of poorest neighborhoods in LA — projects a football stadium would generate more than $800 million dollars worth of economic activity a year. 

But Victor Matheson, a sports economist at College of the Holy Cross, is dubious.

“A good rule of thumb that economists use is to take what stadium boosters are telling you and move that one decimal place to the left, and that’s usually a good estimate of what you’re going to get,” Matheson says.

Economists say the biggest reason sports teams don’t have much impact is that they don’t tend to spur new spending.  Most people have a limited entertainment budget, so the dollars they are spending when they go to a game is money they would have spent elsewhere, maybe even at a restaurant or small businesses where more money would have stayed in the community. Plus, Matheson says, rather than draw people to a neighborhood, games can actually repel them.

“Sporting events can cause significant crowds and congestion that can cause people to stop going to other events in the area,” he says.

That’s part of the reason why a 2003 analysis on Staples Center commissioned by the Los Angeles City Controller included a surprising finding.

“Economic activity in Inglewood actually increased when the Lakers left town,” says Matheson.

That is, sales tax revenue went up when the Lakers and Kings moved to Staples Center in 1999.

Chris Meany, who’s leading development of the Inglewood stadium site, strongly disagrees that Inglewood benefited from the Kings and Lakers leaving.

“To argue that Inglewood is better off because downtown L.A. took the Lakers and Kings is to stretch credulity,” says Meany.

Inglewood's mayor, James Butts, says even if the economic impact isn’t as good as advertised, building a stadium poses a win/win for taxpayers.

“There’s a lot of numbers floated about but whatever the numbers are, here’s the bottom line: The city is protected,” says Butts. “In every stadium deal you look at before this one the risk is borne by the city. In this case, the risk is borne by the developers.”

That’s not true in Missouri, where politicians are desperately trying to keep the Rams from moving to Inglewood.  Governor Jay Nixon announced a plan that would give the team $400 million to stay. 

Because as politically popular as it can be to attract a team, it’s seen as political suicide to let one get away.

Mirror hacking case 'unparalleled'

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:18
Lawyers for eight hacking victims suing Mirror Group Newspapers ask for damages of up to £400,000 for those most seriously affected.

Prince Charles meets Barack Obama

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:09
Prince Charles meets US president Barack Obama at the White House during his tour of the country.

Election 2015: How close are you to the political centre?

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:09
How close are you to the political centre?

Arctic sea ice hits record low

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:05
Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has fallen to the lowest recorded level for the winter season, according to US scientists.

VIDEO: Violence scourges spring break resort

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 12:04
Violence the Mexican city of Acapulco is taking a toll on the tourism industry, the BBC finds.

Dynamo Kiev 5-2 Everton (6-4 agg)

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 11:53
Everton become the last English side to exit European competition as they are beaten soundly by Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine.

NHS finances – a likely headache

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 11:52
As the post-Budget debate on the extent of future austerity rages on, there has been a sobering reminder of the financial needs of the NHS next year and beyond.

VIDEO: People smugglers caught in the act

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 11:51
Illegal immigrants in the UK who fear they may be deported, are being smuggled out of Britain by criminal gangs

Judge Rejects Release Of Grand Jury Testimony In Eric Garner Case

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 11:45

Garner died last July after being placed in a chokehold as he was being arrested for selling loose cigarettes on the sidewalk. A grand jury decided not to indict the officer involved in the death.

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Does watching sport make us happy?

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 11:36
Does watching sport make us happy?

UKIP MEP suspended over finance claim

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 11:33
UKIP MEP and election candidate Janice Atkinson is suspended "following allegations of a financial nature", the party says.

'Looks Like Laury' Shines The Power Of Friendship On A Failing Mind

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 11:29

When actress and writer Laury Sacks started losing words fast, her best friends, who happened to be filmmakers, captured her experience. Looks Like Laury, Sounds Like Laury shows how they reached her.

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