National / International News

Police 'thank' Facebook taunt man

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:08
Police issue their own message to an on-the-run criminal who taunted them on Facebook, as he is arrested and returned to prison.

What would happen if prices started going down?

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:06
Britain is heading for its first period of falling prices since 1989.

Hadi allies clash with Yemen police

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:04
Clashes erupt in the Yemeni city of Aden as militiamen loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi seize buildings guarded by pro-rebel police forces.

Racecourse bans punter picnics

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:59
"Trip hazard" picnics face ban at Newcastle Racecourse for health and safety reasons.

Saturday Night Live marks 40 years

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:37
Saturday Night Live celebrates its 40th birthday with a three-hour special featuring guests including Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro.

Soyinka on Nigeria's 'cycle of evil'

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:29
Ahead of Nigeria's presidential election, Nobel-Prize winning author Wole Soyinka tells the BBC's Will Ross that both main candidates have serious flaws.

Villa job a 'no brainer' - Sherwood

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:15
New Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood says he did not need to think long about the opportunity to replace Paul Lambert.

US drone rules impact Amazon plans

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:03
New rules on drone flights proposed by the US aviation authority would prevent Amazon's drone delivery plans.

Ex-Union president rape case review

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:02
The CPS is to review the decision to drop the case against a former president of the Oxford Union, after the alleged victim appeals.

Pape cited for challenge on Heaslip

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:48
France lock Pascal Pape is cited for allegedly kneeing Jamie Heaslip in the back during Ireland's Six Nations win over France.

In pictures: Rio samba schools fight for title

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:47
Carnival battle in Rio

Rolls 'does not tolerate' bribes

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:40
Rolls-Royce says it does not "tolerate improper business" after the Financial Times reports that the firm has been accused of being involved in the Petrobras bribery scandal.

VIDEO: Ebola crisis: Liberia schools reopen

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:32
Schools are reopening in Liberia on Monday following closure due to the epidemic of the deadly Ebola disease.

Convicted rapist 'murdered parents'

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:22
A convicted rapist, recently released from prison, is believed to have killed his parents in a double murder in central London.

US north-east shivers in snowstorms

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:18
The United States north-east is reeling from the latest in a series of disruptive blizzards, with temperatures up to 17C below normal.

Why would credit cards want Costco?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:16

The Costco and American Express partnership, which is ending at the end of March, was just one example of what credit card companies are doing more of these days. 

American Express offered an official Costco card and had been the only credit card you could use to buy stuff at the retailer, which posted $110 billion in revenues for fiscal year 2014.

Their partnership was a co-branding arrangement. Such arrangements have become more common, says Jason Arnold of RBC, and offer loyalty programs such as airline miles or cash-back cards. These arrangements are alluring to risk-averse credit issuers, says Arnold, because they are less likely to result in delinquencies.

"If a card-member wants to keep their rewards, they typically have to pay their card on time," Arnold says. 

Since the Great Recession, banks have been increasingly employing co-branding agreements to stand out from the competition, instead of competing with each other on lower interest rates, says Arnold.

Co-branding partnerships can encourage spending. American Express says 20 percent of its monthly outstanding balances are on its Costco cards. And, 70 percent of the money people spend on those cards, isn't even spent at Costco, according to the company.

Customers have been using the cards for other purchases, too.

Sameer Gokhale, who tracks the banking industry at Janney Capital Markets, says co-branding gives credit card companies a captive customer base.

"You have this one merchant. You have customers loyal to this one merchant," says Gokhale, "In this case it was Costco."

But he adds that it probably did not make sense for AmEx to retain the partnership under the terms which he thinks Costco was asking: accepting lower fees for point-of-sale transactions at Costco stores. 

For its part, American Express says it will try to hold onto its many Costco credit card customers by offering them other AmEx cards. It also plans to ramp up spending on marketing.

Will there be a U.S. version of Black Mirror?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:00

Today, we kick off From the Hills to the Valley, our series on what divides Hollywood and Silicon Valley, and what pulls them closer? We are going to talk about a lot of different things - from creativity and fame to piracy and lobbying -  but we begin with how Hollywood sees and, therefore, represents Silicon Valley.

First up is Jenna Wortham, staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, who recently wrote about Black Mirror, a dystopian British series that’s recently become popular in the US.

Black Mirror, Wortham says, is an un-Hollywood version of how technology is changing our lives. She thinks one reasons it’s difficult for hollywood to represent silicon valley is that people “sitting behind screens,” is rather “boring and hard to illustrate.”

What about The Social Network? “It was great,” she says, “but you couldn’t get away from scenes of Jesse Eisenberg furiously coding. How do you make that sexy?”

Wortham isn’t sure Hollywood could have made a series like Black Mirror.

“I don't know that those narratives are very popular here," she says. “When we do dystopian narratives they tend to focus on collapse of civilization  or a zombie virus outbreak. Not necessarily computers have gone haywire and they are coming for us.”


Morgan & Bopara join Pietersen in IPL

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 01:46
Kevin Pietersen is joined in the 2015 IPL by Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara, but Alex Hales and Michael Carberry miss out.

Fifty Shades whips US box office

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 01:38
Erotic film adaptation Fifty Shades of Grey sizzles at cinemas, taking an estimated $81.7m (£53m) at North American box offices in its first weekend.

Women held over '50 Shades attack'

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 01:35
Three women are arrested at a Glasgow cinema following an alleged attack on a man at a showing of the film Fifty Shades of Grey.