National / International News

Venezuela launches disarmament plan

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-22 02:44
Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro invests almost $50m in an initiative to disarm civilians, in an effort to cut down on the country's high murder rate.

New OS from both Apple and Google will encrypt

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-22 02:00

If you have a password on your smartphone, the new Apple and Android operating systems will encrypt your data so nobody can read it—Not Apple, not Google and not law enforcement.

Adi Kamdar, a policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said this move shows companies are realizing their users care about privacy.

“It is significant because privacy is becoming more of a competitive tool,” he says.  

Kamdar says the encryption only applies to the data you keep on your phone. It doesn’t apply to data gathered by apps or that’s stored in the cloud.

Despite these work arounds, law enforcement officials are upset. Ron Hosko, a former assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, says in light of the Snowden revelations, he understands the need to protect privacy. But, he says, Google and Apple have gone too far.

“Two big tech providers are essentially creating sanctuary for people who are going to do harm,” says Hosko.

Hosko said lawmakers need to step-up and make laws that balance privacy and safety.

Many young people are not in a position to splurge

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-22 02:00

The recession deprived many young people of a launching pad into career jobs and financial adulthood. And that means they also aren’t launching into some of the major investments that have traditionally been part of the American Dream; such as purchasing a first car or a first home, or starting a first retirement account.

“Because the economy has hurt them so badly, they’ve had a delayed adulthood,” says Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding in New York, which conducts market research on the workplace and consumer expectations of this age cohort. “They don’t reach a salary of $42,000 until the age of thirty at this point; there’s $1.2 trillion in student loan debt; fifty percent of them are unemployed, underemployed or have given up on their job search completely; 21 million are living with their parents.

“They’re in debt,” says Schawbel, who has just published a book on Millennials' job prospects, titled "Promote Yourself: The New Rules of Career Success." “They’re getting married later, getting cars later. In order to make ends meet now, they have to have as few expenses as possible.”

If these consumers delay big-ticket purchases for years to come, or never make them in numbers comparable to the Boomers and Gen Xers before them, it could have a profound effect on the economy in the future.

Still, brands still have to at least try to interest young consumers in purchases such as new cars, starter homes and condos, or major household appliances. Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University and author of the book "Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail" has some advice for marketers.

“What people have is a showcase of who they are,” Yarrow says. Millennials express their identity through their clothes, their appearance, the objects they have around them.

She says new homes are a tough sell—especially in the high-priced hip cities where young people like to live. But furniture shouldn’t be.

“Ikea is perfect for this generation,” she says, “because it has an extremely low price point, it’s really customizable, it’s what you put in it, what you paint on it, how you make it yours.”

Yarrow thinks cars that will be more attractive to young people if the marketing focus is on environmental values and green fuels. “Because it’s not just transportation,” says Yarrow, “it’s also a way of saying who you are to other people.”

Dan Schawbel says the experience of learning about a brand—whether from the brand itself, or from friends and through social media, is crucial for this generation.

“They want interactive experiences,” says Schawbel. "So before you show them the product, before you connect with them, put stuff online that shows this is what you’re getting, here’s the experience, here’s why it could be valuable.”

But he also offers this caveat: “Even if you have a great experience, make the product look really good, you can tweet from the dashboard, all of that—it comes down to how much can Millennials even afford.”

At the moment, that’s not very much.

March in New York calls for action on climate change

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-22 02:00

Has the time for action on climate change finally come? That’s what protesters around the globe are hoping. Over 310,000 people took to the streets in New York City on Sunday, according to the march’s organizers. They’re calling it the largest climate march ever.   There were life-long activists and people who had never joined a protest before. Their list of concerns was long and varied, but the targets were mostly clear: the politicians and companies who marchers want to press to take action on global warming ahead of a climate change summit at the United Nations on Tuesday.   “Corporations generally don’t care about the environment,” said Benjamin Breitkreuz, a retired clergyman. “Theirs is a profit motive.” He came from New Jersey, carrying a sign that read “corporations are killing our planet.”   Over 1,500 organizations partnered in the march, including labor unions that pledged to use their organizing power to push for environmental causes.   “We need to send a clear message to the governments and the corporations that the people of the world aren’t going to stand for this,” said New York train operator and union member Josh Fraidstern. “We’re not going to let them poison us; we’re not going to let them destroy our future.”   But many people simply came on their own or with their families, hoping their numbers would raise awareness.   “Really, America needs to lead,” said Lu Petrie, who came up from Virginia for the march with her husband and son. “It’s so embarrassing that America isn’t leading on this issue.”   She said she hoped the high turnout would help raise awareness. She’ll also be looking to the UN this week to see whether world leaders have recognized that climate change is an issue people are willing to fight for.

VIDEO: Why did Prescott let out a 'noooooooooo'?

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-22 01:34
John Prescott is teased about letting out a long "nooooooooo" sound about a survey of Labour Parliamentary hopefuls.

VIDEO: Sculptor creates art using Lego

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-22 01:21
Nathan Sawaya, a New York-based artist has multiple unique exhibitions created solely from standard LEGO bricks with several new sculptures created specifically for each exhibition.

VIDEO: App helps you wake up with a stranger

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-22 00:43
The app that turns a global network of strangers into your alarm clock, with a dating twist.

Cosmic study 'underestimated' dust

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-22 00:04
Scientists who claimed to have found evidence for a cosmic super-expansion just after the Big Bang underestimated a key confounding factor in their research, according to a new analysis.

Turkey clamps down on Syria border

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 21:58
Turkey closes most of its border crossings with Syria after the entry of at least 100,000 Kurd refugees, as IS militants approach a key Syrian town.

Labour Party to examine NI economy

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 21:54
Labour is to set up a commission on Northern Ireland's economy and how to assist those on benefits or low pay, Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Ivan Lewis will tell the party's conference.

VIDEO: Mars Maven mission arrives in orbit

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 21:51
The US space agency's (Nasa's) latest Mars satellite has arrived successfully in orbit around the planet.

A home rule headache for Ed and David - the papers

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 21:50
The post-referendum political landscape poses problems for both David Cameron and Ed Miliband, according to Monday's newspapers.

VIDEO: Fake gay marriage scam exposed

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 21:44
BBC Inside Out exposes the gangs organising fake gay marriages for illegal immigrants in London.

US software firm create 100 jobs

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 21:19
Puppet Labs, a US software company, is creating 100 jobs in Belfast with the establishment of an engineering centre.

Cameron hosts 'English votes' summit

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 21:00
The prime minister is to meet with key Conservative figures to discuss his plans to limit the voting rights of Scottish MPs on English issues.

'Two Scotlands have emerged'

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 19:55
After the referendum, have two Scotlands emerged?

Labour to 'reach out' to Yes voters

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 19:46
Labour is to reach out to supporters who voted for independence in last week's referendum, the party says.

Hong Kong students begin boycott

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 19:29
Hong Kong students begin a week-long boycott of classes to protest against China's stance on electoral reform in the territory.

Blair: Don't rule out ground troops

BBC - Sun, 2014-09-21 19:29
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair says the West should not rule out sending ground troops to the Middle East to fight Islamic State militants.

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