National / International News

The cost of keeping social media sites in check

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-16 08:27

Facebook has a new set of "community standards" — the rules governing what you can and cannot do on the platform. It's nearly three times as long as the previous version thanks to more detail about, for example, what kind of nude photos are acceptable. 

Rebecca MacKinnon, director of the New America Foundation's Ranking Digital Rights project, says it's in part a reaction to criticism that Facebook has clamped down too much on free speech, from photographs to pseudonyms of anonymous protesters. 

Twitter, in contrast, has taken flak for being too permissive of bullying.

"Twitter is a much easier place to kind of drop in, drop a little bomb, and go away," says Fatemeh Khatibloo, analyst at Forrester.

Jonathon Morgan, a data scientist who co-authored a report on the use of Twitter by the terrorist group ISIS, says the difference between the two social networks' approach to free speech is more about being different products than having different philosophies.

Advice to would-be 'Jeopardy' contestants

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-16 08:27

If you ever find yourself on the "Jeopardy" stage in front of Alex Trebek and you're totally stumped, what's your best Hail Mary guess?

Well, someone has gone through every Jeopardy episode between 1984 and 2012, He looked at close to 200,000 clues and found that one has been the answer, or question in this case, 216 times.

The answer is, "What is China?"

Based on this analysis: You'd be wise to "focus on science, literature, history, and geography." And the most common final Jeopardy category, at least recently, is "word origins."

Man admits dangerous driving death

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 08:27
A Fife street cleaner who reversed over an OAP and dragged her along the road, which killed her, admits death by dangerous driving.

Looks Matter: A Century Of Iconic Food Packaging

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-16 08:23

Many of the boxes, bags and bottles that contain our edibles were once groundbreaking —both in their design and in how they changed our perception of what's inside. Designers tell us their favorites.

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There's Officially An Upside To Boston's Brutal Winter

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-16 08:16

Nearly 3 inches fell Sunday night in Boston — making this winter the city's snowiest ever.

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Italy arrests over construction deals

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 08:15
Italian police arrest four people and raid dozens of premises over suspicious public works contracts worth some €25m (£18m; $26m).

An environmental movement is awakening in China

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:51

China’s Premier Li Keqiang said this week the government is serious about cutting smog and will impose harsher fines on polluters. Keqiang's comments came after the online release this month of a groundbreaking — at least, for China — documentary on the country’s air pollution crisis, called “Under the Dome” (video).

The country’s environment minister compared it to Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” the book that paved the way for the U.S. environmental movement, but Chinese officials have been silent on the film since — and it’s even been taken offline in the country, presumably by government censors.

Still, China observers say this may be the country’s “Silent Spring” moment.

“The Chinese public has come to believe they have a right to a clean environment,” says Jennifer Turner, director of the China Environment Forum at the Wilson Center. 

Like the early U.S. anti-air pollution movement, mothers worried about pollution's health effects have initiated much of the dissent, and big polluting industries are resisting change. Change in China is complicated by the fact that powerful local governments have little incentive to curb the dirty industries that fuel their economies, and often try to skirt the central government’s regulations.

Assad calls for US action on talks

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:49
Syria's president is awaiting "actions" from the US after Secretary of State John Kerry says negotiations to end the country's war should include him.

PODCAST: Doing the numbers on police misconduct

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:46

The FTC is changing the way it fights mergers it doesn't like, cutting back on challenges in its own internal court and relying more on federal injunctions. We check in with Marketplace's Tracey Samuelson on what the rule changes could mean for pending, controversial mergers. Then, China has reportedly passed Germany to become the world's third-largest arms exporter. That hardware is primarily going to equipping African and other Asian armies, many of them at odds with the U.S. and its allies. Finally, police misconduct trials and settlements can be hugely expensive, but departments keep surprisingly little data on suits and frequent offenders. Dan Weissmann investigates.

Teen in 'racist' Welbeck tweet arrest

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:39
A teenager is arrested by police investigating a racist tweet aimed at Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck.

VIDEO: Did US tycoon 'kill them all'?

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:39
Police arrest an American millionaire from a prominent New York family on suspicion of murder after he appears to admit to several killings in a recording.

The Crow cult film remake in Cardiff

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:32
Cult 90s film The Crow will be remade at the Pinewood Studios in Cardiff, the first minister announces.

SA rapper's killer freed on bail

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:30
A South African court grants bail to a woman who pleads not guilty to a charge of murdering hip-hop star Nkululeko 'Flabba' Habedi.

Poll to find first bird for Britain

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:25
Votes can now be cast in an online poll to choose what could become Britain's first national bird.

'Jihadist' denies recruiting girls

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:24
The parents of a so-called "jihadi bride" from Scotland say their daughter denies recruiting three London girls to the cause of Islamic State.

Pew: Nearly One-Third Of Americans Hiding Information Online

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-16 07:12

While Americans are deeply divided over whether government surveillance is serving the public interest, one-third of those surveyed are taking steps to hide their personal information online.

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Murder suspect to be extradited

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 06:59
A man suspected of murdering a woman in a Cardiff hotel room on New Year's Eve is to be extradited at the end of the month.

After 'Monster' Storm Hits Vanuatu, Leader Pleads For Aid

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-16 06:57

"This is a very devastating cyclone in Vanuatu. I term it as a monster, a monster," President Baldwin Lonsdale says. He was at a conference in Japan when the storm hit.

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Why Blair could never succeed in the Middle East

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-16 06:49
The Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony Blair could never bring peace to the region, writes the BBC's Paul Adams.

Quiz: Swarms of small colleges

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-16 06:38

The closure of Sweet Briar College, a women’s college with about 700 students, put a spotlight on small schools.

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