National / International News

Anbar violence 'displaces 300,000'

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:26
Up to 300,000 people have been displaced by the fighting between Sunni militants and security forces in Iraq's western province of Anbar, the UN says.

'Everyone wants a gold medal. I've got one'

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:25
Amy Williams relives her Winter Olympics success as she tips Lizzy Yarnold to follow in her footsteps in Sochi

Comedian And Actor Sid Caesar Has Died At 91

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:23

The multitalented Sid Caesar, who took live and complex comedy skits on the air as a pioneer in 1950s TV, has died at 91. Caesar, who established a new comedic tradition in America before he was 30, died in Los Angeles this week.

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Onionomics: Peeling away India's food economy

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:08
Peeling away the layers of India's food economy

Decisive day for Team GB in Sochi

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00
Day six in Sochi could prove pivotal in Team GB's bid to make these Games their most successful Winter Olympics.

Sid Caesar, One Of TV's Earliest Stars, Dies At The Age Of 91

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

The comic actor Sid Caesar died on Wednesday at the age of 91. He starred in the popular 1950s program, Your Show of Shows, television's first live comedy show, featuring skits and musical numbers.

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Senate Follows House Lead In Passing Debt Limit Raise

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

Eager to follow their House colleagues out of Washington for a break, senators Wednesday cleared a raise to the debt ceiling for the president to sign into law. It will take the issue of limiting U.S. debt off the table until March 2015.

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Something Winter This Way Comes: The South Braces For Storms

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

A debilitating winter storm is creating havoc across the Deep South on Wednesday. As much as a foot of snow is expected in Georgia and the Carolinas. Ice will also be a problem: Forecasters say that up to an inch of it will coat roads and power lines. Jim Burress of member station WABE reports from Atlanta that hundreds of thousands of people are without electricity.

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American Speedskaters Leave Ice Disappointed

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

U.S. speedskating took a big hit in Sochi today, coming out of the 1,000-meter competition with no medals. The team's highest rank was eighth, earned by Shani Davis, who has dominated this race in the past.

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More Findings, More Questions About Value Of Mammograms

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

A long-running study has been raising questions about the value of mammography for younger women, and recently it has produced yet more evidence to cast doubt on routine screening. The study found no evidence that screening saved lives, even after 25 years of follow-up. Rather, screening may lead instead to unnecessary treatment for many women. The findings are unlikely to settle debate over the value of mammography.

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Face Of Katrina Recovery Found Guilty Of Corruption Charges

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

Wednesday in New Orleans, a federal jury convicted former Mayor Ray Nagin on 20 of 21 corruption counts. The two-term mayor was in office when Hurricane Katrina struck and was the public face of the city during the city's rebuilding. Federal prosecutors say that it was during this time he took bribes to steer rebuilding contracts to businessmen.

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Surprise Pot Hole Claims 8 Vintage Corvettes

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., met with a rude surprise on Wednesday morning. A sinkhole — 40 feet wide and 20 feet deep — opened beneath part of the museum, swallowing eight vintage Corvettes. To find out more, Robert Siegel speaks with Katie Frassinelli, the museum's communications manager.

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Two Decades From War, Unrest Simmers Anew In Bosnia

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, protesters have begun to gather in several towns to demand the resignation of the regional government. Their complaints range from corruption to unemployment, but some say the roots of the unrest can be found in the flawed system established two decades ago, in the wake of sectarian civil war. Robert Siegel speaks with Reuters correspondent Matt Robinson about the changes that need to be made and the unclear path forward.

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Behind Besieged Walls, UN Peacekeeper Sees War's Toll On Syrians

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

In the war-torn Syrian city of Homs, a tenuous cease-fire is set to expire on Wednesday. Fighting has centered on a district within Homs known as the Old City, a rebel-held area under siege by government forces for more than a year. For more on the cease-fire and evacuation, Melissa Block talks with Matt Hollingworth, the Syria director for the United Nations World Programme.

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At 102, Reflections On Race And The End Of Life

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

Rosa Finnegan worked until she was 101. Even now, she says, she's still learning things about herself. "Even as old as I am," she says, "you think you're not prejudiced, but all of a sudden you really find out you are. How stupid I was. 'Cause before you know it, it's all over."

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Risky Tech Fixes For Climate Becoming Likelier, Critic Warns

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 13:00

As time runs out to put the brakes on global warming, world leaders seem loathe to reduce gas emissions, because it's politically hard, says social scientist Clive Hamilton. Instead, he worries, we'll try to engineer the atmosphere — a tech fix that sounds quicker and simpler – but is fraught with risk.

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Shadow ministers sacked in reshuffle

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 12:55
Four shadow ministers are sacked from the Welsh Conservatives' front bench in a reshuffle by leader Andrew RT Davies.

Hundreds fail police fitness test

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 12:55
More than 300 police officers fail a compulsory fitness test introduced in England and Wales, figures reveal.

25 for 25: Leave the big numbers to Janet Yellen

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-02-12 12:55

There's a small problem with numbers we use to measure the economy. You know, those numbers you hear on Marketplace every day.

"One simple number is never going to capture simple reality," says Zachary Karabell, historian and economist and author of "The Leading Indicators: A short history of the numbers that rule our world."

"When these numbers were invented, largely during the 1930s and '40s, they were invented to capture a world of industrial nation states and having those as markers was incredibly helpful," says Karabell. But the world has changed since then and "these numbers remain very good at capturing that world but not the world that we currently live in."

The U.S. government first started using data to help it understand the economy in the 1930s. It was the beginning of the Great Depression and President Herbert Hoover realized he had no way to actually know how bad the economy was. He wanted numbers. To measure unemployment, for example, he helped launch the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unfortunately for President Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to use those numbers as a tool to help defeat Hoover in the election.

To this day, the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures unemployment in the United States. But, says Karabell, you should keep in mind that to the BLS, being "unemployed" is not just not having a job. You  have to not have a job, have been looking for a job for the previous four weeks, and then not be able to find one.

"If you don’t fit that particularly category, you are not statistically speaking unemployed you just evaporate from the labor force," he says.

Another problem is that these numbers often rely on averages. Think about the per capita income of your average neighborhood bar. Now imagine Bill Gates walks in – immediately, the per capita income rises. But it's a meaningless rise and tells you nothing about the economics of that neighborhood.  

Karabell recommends leaving the big numbers like GDP and inflation to Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other government policy makers. For the rest of us, it's "much more important what the housing reality is in the 50 mile radius of where you’re going to buy a home than what the national number is."

We’re more likely to be misled by broad national numbers than correctly informed by them.

Democrats Clash In Military Sexual Assault Debate

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 12:48

Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are at odds over whether military commanders should retain control over pursuing prosecution in sexual assault cases.

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