National / International News

Google builds cable under Pacific

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:54
Google and five other large companies team up to build a cable under the Pacific Ocean that will deliver incredibly fast internet speeds.

AUDIO: Hurricane Bertha gate-crashes wedding

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:53
A wedding video has gone viral across the Internet - after the special day was gate-crashed by the remnants of what had been Hurricane Bertha.

SA MP resigns over fake degree

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:53
Top South African politician and anti-apartheid activist Pallo Jordan resigns an MP after it was revealed his academic qualifications were fake.

Gaza Talks To Continue As Cease-Fire Between Israel, Hamas Holds

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:53

The two sides attended the indirect, Egypt-mediated talks Monday in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, but The Associated Press quoted a senior Israeli official saying the talks had not gone well.

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Kaneria life ban appeal is refused

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:49
Former Pakistan bowler Danish Kaneria's application to appeal against a life ban for spot-fixing is refused by court.

State Hospital smoking ban upheld

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:44
A patient at the State Hospital who won a court ruling that a smoking ban breached his human rights has seen the decision overturned.

Robin Williams: A Supreme Talent Who Was Always On

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:44

Williams was a dervish of comedy — tossing off one-liners, biting asides and sidesplitting routines in a blizzard of accents, attitudes and goodhearted energy. He died Monday at 63.

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Jezebel in 'rape' images complaint

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:41
The women's interest site Jezebel says its parent company is not doing enough to prevent users from posting violent pornography.

Votes for prisoners: The zombie case that won't die

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:40
Dominic Casciani on the court battle that won't go away

Profile: Who are the Peshmerga?

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:33
Who are the Peshmerga, taking on Islamic State militants?

Iraq's Power Struggle: What You Need To Know

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:29

Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki is refusing to give up his position as prime minister, as the U.S. congratulates Shiite politician Haider al-Abadi.

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Pray Over Hot Salt Water, Then Bathe In It: An Anti-Ebola Ritual

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:27

This past weekend, the word spread in the middle of the night in Sierra Leone: the way to prevent Ebola is to pray over hot salted water, then bathe in it.

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Durkan defends borehole decision

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:25
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan is accused of sending out the signal that Northern Ireland "is not open for business" over his decision to block an exploratory borehole in Fermanagh.

Banksy 'Spy Booth' damaged again

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:18
A Banksy artwork painted on the wall of a house in Cheltenham is attacked again.

Grateful Dead guitarist cancels gigs

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:10
The former Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir has cancelled all concert dates planned for his bands RatDog and Furthur

Rugby coach's stag do death probed

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:08
Police investigate the death of rugby coach "with heart of gold" who died while on a stag do in Manchester.

PODCAST: Fixing the floodgates

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:00

First up, more on the New York Times report that Manhattan's District Attorney's office has charged that a group of companies broke New York law by making high-interest payday loans over the Internet. Plus, last month, a water main broke on the campus of UCLA and flooded the Los Angeles campus. Since then, city officials say they're working overtime to fix the city's aging infrastructure. But as LA, and many other cities have discovered, the costs are daunting. And two decades after the collapse of the USSR, Armenia is forging closer links with its former Soviet parent Russia to boost its economic fortunes. It's also calling on Armenians who live abroad to publish positive stories about the nation, hoping to promote tourism and foreign investment.

PODCAST: Fixing the floodgates

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:00

First up, more on the New York Times report that Manhattan's District Attorney's office has charged that a group of companies broke New York law by making high-interest payday loans over the Internet. Plus, last month, a water main broke on the campus of UCLA and flooded the Los Angeles campus. Since then, city officials say they're working overtime to fix the city's aging infrastructure. But as LA, and many other cities have discovered, the costs are daunting. And two decades after the collapse of the USSR, Armenia is forging closer links with its former Soviet parent Russia to boost its economic fortunes. It's also calling on Armenians who live abroad to publish positive stories about the nation, hoping to promote tourism and foreign investment.

Payday lender accused of dodging state laws

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-08-12 03:00

First, a primer on payday loans from John Oliver (h/t @qz). Those short on time might want to skip to the last few minutes, for a cameo by Sarah Silverman. 

Payday lenders, which charge notoriously high interest rates, are outlawed in some states, including New York. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has charged that a group of companies broke that law by making high-interest payday loans over the Internet, according to the New York Times.  

According to the indictment, posted by the Times, a Tennessee man created a dozen companies that formed what the DA’s office calls a “payday syndicate.” Each company had a specific function. A shell company, officially incorporated in the West Indies, was structured so the company — as the indictment alleges — “owned no assets, had no officers or employees, possessed no bank accounts, and occupied no office space.”

A lawyer, also charged, allegedly told the defendants, essentially: Don’t worry about it. You’re officially based in the West Indies, and the loans happen in cyberspace. How could you be breaking New York laws? The indictment calls this advice "false."

The DA’s office says the companies loaned out $50 million to New Yorkers just in 2012 and collected $15 million in interest, breaking New York’s interest cap of 25 percent a year. The indictment lists one instance where the companies charged an effective rate of 1290 percent on a loan.

The companies may have violated laws in other states as well. The indictment says they loaned out $500 million in 2012 nationwide. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, 15 states have what Pew calls “restrictive” payday lending laws, and according to the National Council of State Legislatures, a few outlaw them altogether. However, Pew researchers also interviewed more than 33,000 people, and found that even in states where payday loans aren’t allowed, like Arizona, people still used them.

Why do MPs quit Parliament?

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-12 02:58
Reasons MPs give for deciding to step down from Parliament
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