National / International News

Everton 4-1 VfL Wolfsburg

BBC - Thu, 2014-09-18 13:48
Everton make a winning return to European football as they beat Wolfsburg 4-1 in their Europa League Group H opener.

Some surprising facts about states and student data

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-09-18 13:41

Open wide: Alaska collects data on students’ oral health, including how many teeth they have. 

Stop picking on me: Many states collect data on students who are disciplined for bullying, but Florida also tracks students who have been victims of bullying and the reasons why (ie., sexual orientation, religion)

Destined to drop out: In Texas, kids can be tagged as “at-risk” of dropping out of school as early as the pre-kindergarten level, based on their performance on a school readiness test.

Don’t ask: School districts in South Dakota, Idaho, West Virginia and Louisiana are forbidden from collecting data on whether a family owns a gun, under new data laws passed this year.

No window to the soul: In many states, school districts are also now barred from collecting biometric data like eye scans and palm prints.

Jail time for bureaucrats: In Louisiana, anyone who knowingly allows a data breach can be imprisoned for up to three years.

Fat chance: In New Hampshire, the state can no longer track the body mass index (BMI) of students under a new law passed this year. Nor can it use surveillance software on school laptops to track activity.

Court Says Navy Investigators Illegally Scan Civilian Computers

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-18 13:29

At issue is a Navy investigation that snagged a civilian trading in child porn. The appeals court said the actions violated the Posse Comitatus Act, which bars the military from enforcing state laws.

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Larry Ellison Steps Down As Oracle's CEO

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-18 13:28

Safra Catz and Mark Hurd will be co-CEOs. Ellison, who co-founded Oracle in 1977, was named executive chairman of the board and Oracle's chief technology officer.

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Ebola team 'found dead in Guinea'

BBC - Thu, 2014-09-18 13:26
Officials in Guinea say they have found the bodies of several people thought to be part of a team of health workers and journalists who went missing earlier this week.

Mayor Rob Ford vows to beat cancer

BBC - Thu, 2014-09-18 13:01
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford thanks his supporters and tells them he will beat the rare, aggressive cancer he was diagnosed with earlier this week.

Once upon a time, inflation really was high

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-09-18 12:48

If you turned a Federal Reserve meeting into a theatrical production, the marquee might read “Waiting for Inflation.” That’s the economic bogeyman that keeps Fed members awake at night, even though there are zero signs the inflation monster is stirring.

Why all the angst over inflation? In this country it’s mostly painful memories of “The Great Inflation,” in the 1970s,  and the severe recession that followed it.

Baby boomer Bob Donohue remembers how inflation affected his father. When his dad retired in 1972, he started collecting a pension of $120 a month.

“My father’s pension check, which was fixed in its amount, covered his rent for two months when he retired,” says Donohue. “Less than seven years later, that same pension check only covered two weeks worth of rent on the same apartment.”

During the 1970s, oil prices more than quadrupled. Mortgage rates hit double digits. The inflation rate shot up from 5.7 percent to 13.5 percent in just four years. Wages and prices spiraled out of control.

The U.S. put an end to runaway inflation in the early '80s by tightening the money supply under Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. But it came at an enormous cost. The recession that followed threw millions of Americans out of work.

University to spend £150k on chairs

BBC - Thu, 2014-09-18 12:45
Plymouth University agrees to spend £150,000 on seven chairs for graduation ceremonies.

Live Blog: Scotland Votes On Its Independence

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-18 12:45

The polls have closed and the counting has begun on a referendum that could have historic implications for the United Kingdom.

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VIDEO: Inside the fire-gutted dogs' home

BBC - Thu, 2014-09-18 12:42
The devastation caused by a severe fire at the Manchester Dogs' Home is revealed in this footage.

Sweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-18 12:33

Two major doughnut chains have bowed to consumer pressure to better police their palm oil purchases. Environmentalists say it's a win for consumers, trees and animals.

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Billionaire GOP Donor Finally Opens Checkbook For 2014

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-18 12:24

Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate, is giving $20 million to GOP-oriented "social welfare" groups for use in midterm campaigns.

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VIDEO: Ambulance death woman 'let down'

BBC - Thu, 2014-09-18 12:23
The grieving family of a woman in her 70s who died while waiting in a queue of ambulances at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, says the system let her down.

Video of British hostage released

BBC - Thu, 2014-09-18 12:00
A new video is released showing a British man, identified as journalist John Cantlie, believed to be held hostage by Islamic State militants.

Paradise island murder mystery

BBC - Thu, 2014-09-18 11:57
Mystery over tourist killings continues to baffle Thailand police

Will Bridge Scandal Jam Gov. Christie's Road Show?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-18 11:44

It seems every time you turn around in the early primary states, you bump into another potential — let's say likely — candidate for president. New Jersey's Chris Christie is one of them.

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Why Do You Care About Fairness? Ask A Chimp

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-18 11:37

Squirrel monkeys, chimps and humans: Two among these are willing to give up an unfair advantage, but why? It's about greasing the social wheels, scientists say.

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New Islamic State Video Purports To Show Kidnapped British Journalist

NPR News - Thu, 2014-09-18 11:33

The man in the video says he is John Cantile, a British journalist and hostage. He asks why his government has abandoned him. NPR hasn't independently verified the video's authenticity.

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The shortcomings of the corporate wellness program

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-09-18 11:14

Corporate wellness programs have become a $6 billion industry for one, possibly flawed, reason: they help reduce companies' healthcare costs, while saving their employees money.

To some degree, they have been a success. Growth in premiums has hit its lowest point in the last 16 years. A new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 71 percent of employers believe corporate wellness programs are either "very" or "somewhat" effective at reducing spending on providing benefits for their employees, who would be rewarded with these benefits by meeting various incentives.

But companies can also impose a penalty. They can charge an employee more for smoking or being overweight. It's the very reason why, says Professor Nancy Koehn of the Harvard Business School, these programs don't work.

"What's really happening in many instances is that costs are getting shifted to employees, whether it's because they don't meet certain goals or they don't conform in certain ways," she says. "Healthcare costs are going down for companies, but not so much for individuals and families."

And they're not having any lasting effects on their health, either, she adds.

"All these incentives, all these hurdles, greatly increase the cost of testing employees. So these things are more costly than you might think."

 Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

VIDEO: London hosts Turner and Constable shows

BBC - Thu, 2014-09-18 11:02
Rivals in life, two of Britain's greatest painters William Turner and John Constable, are the subjects of major exhibitions in London.