National / International News

FGM training for public sector staff

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-21 01:07
Extra training is to be given to teachers, doctors and social workers to help them to identify and assist girls at risk of female genital mutilation.

VIDEO: Akruba hats: Keeping it in the family

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-21 01:03
For more than 130 years one family has been making Australia's most famous range of hats - Akruba.

Jobs, like water, always seem to run downhill

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-21 01:00

Did you hear the one about the American furniture factory that was able keep jobs in America despite intense competition from low-wage China?

I was just talking to newspaper reporter Beth Macy about her new book “Factory Man,” the story of a fierce American furniture tycoon named John Bassett III who went on a mission to China to see where all his furniture jobs were going.

His detective work paid off: In China, he learned a piece of information that turned out to be a powerful tool that kept his factory in Virginia open, his people employed, and an Appalachian town thriving. Macy reveals Bassett’s weapon of choice in this battle against offshoring and I’d hate to spoil it here.

That said, moving jobs to spots where labor is cheaper and unions are weaker is a process that has endured in the US labor market throughout the last quarter century. Talking to Macy, I was struck by the sense that outsourcing never seems to come to rest. Jobs move, then move away again.

Staying with the furniture business for a moment, let’s consider New England (something I like to do as a New Englander). As Macy points out, New England used to be a major hub for furniture manufacturing. A lot those jobs went to the Midwest, but only for a while.

John Bassett’s grandfather and grandmother came along early last century, looked carefully at those Michigan furniture factories and figured out a way to move the work south, to North Carolina and Virginia. They brought manufacturing efficiencies that helped ensure the success of the new factories. What also helped was the tendency of people in Appalachia to work cheaper. 

Then, when China got most-favored nation trade status and joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the jobs moved to China, Mr. Bassett’s heroic efforts became an exception to a rule.  

Yet the jobs are not staying in China, Macy points out. Many companies have moved on to the current center of the furniture universe: Indonesia, where wood is available and labor is cheaper still.

Late in the book, Macy writes about flying to Indonesia and talking with a local furniture sample engineer. Macy asks him if he ever spared a thought for the Appalachian furniture makers his Indonesian operation replaced (no, he doesn’t). But then the engineer volunteers something he does worry about: the future of his own factory. 

“I worry about someone somewhere else, somewhere cheaper will start to make furniture, and that will be that for us,” Macy quotes him as saying.

Where could furniture companies find labor cheaper than in Indonesia? Maybe sub-Saharan Africa some day, then offshore further still to the island of Madagascar, for instance. Regardless, at some point the whole world will be globalized and companies will not find a cheaper place to find workers to build furniture, or where a worker could feel secure.

Yet I wonder if that is not the final fate of offshoring at all. Once the world economy runs out of cheaper and cheaper labor, you know who will get the work? Not humans, but machines. There will be robots to do the work of building furniture. Technology, not geography, is probably what lies at the very end of the offshoring food chain. 

Liverpool close on Origi and Lovren

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-21 00:33
Liverpool close in on deals to sign Southampton defender Dejan Lovren and Lille striker Divock Origi.

Stars pay tribute to James Garner

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-21 00:31
Hollywood stars including Sally Field and Tom Selleck pay tribute to actor James Garner, who died on Saturday aged 86.

Secret of sandstone shapes revealed

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-21 00:23
Geologists discover that the stress applied by gravity is what controls the shape of dramatic sandstone landmarks.

VIDEO: Monty Python cast take final bow

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-21 00:20
Comedy troupe Monty Python performed their last show on Sunday at London's O2 Arena.

PM unveils agriculture research fund

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-21 00:16
A fund worth £17.8m aiming to foster innovative agricultural techniques is unveiled by PM David Cameron.

Sainsbury's harnesses waste power

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-21 00:03
A Sainsbury's superstore comes off the National Grid, to be powered directly by electricity generated from its own food waste.

Kerry attacks Russia over MH17 crash

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 23:23
US Secretary of State John Kerry says there is overwhelming evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine.

Compensation call for Trojan staff

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 23:12
A Birmingham MP says teachers forced out of schools involved in the Trojan Horse allegations deserve to be compensated.

VIDEO: Do disabled children miss out on PE?

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 22:45
PE provision for children with disabilities in mainstream schools is lacking and could damage Britain's Paralympic prospects in the future, according to a survey carried out by the Youth Sport Trust.

Commonwealth Games Flags Quiz

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 22:38
Which Commonwealth country, which banner?

Boy injured in weapon incident

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 22:00
A 15-year-old boy is in hospital with a head injury after an incident involving a weapon in the east end of Glasgow.

Chinese TV firm to create 70 jobs

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 21:54
One of China's largest TV manufacturers hopes to create 70 jobs after opening its European manufacturing headquarters in Port Talbot.

VIDEO: C'wealth Games moments: Dead heat

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 21:46
Moments from the Commonwealth Games that rocked the world, Allan Wells and Mike McFarlane dead heat in the 200m at Brisbane in 1982.

VIDEO: Shot of the Open 2014

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 21:32
Watch the best shots of the the Open Championship 2014 at Royal Liverpool.

'Putin the pariah' - the front pages

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 21:32
Russian President Vladimir Putin is now an international "pariah" and his country faces tough new sanctions, say many of Monday's newspapers.

China's Huawei sees sales jump 19%

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 21:31
Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker Huawei reports a 19% jump in sales to 135.8bn yuan ($21.9bn; £12.8bn) for the first six months of the year.

Australia teenager behind Iraq blast

BBC - Sun, 2014-07-20 21:19
Australia says a man who killed himself and several other people in a suicide attack in Iraq last week was an 18-year-old from Melbourne.
ON THE AIR

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life.Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4