National / International News

VIDEO: Helicopter sea crash kills two men

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 11:12
Two men die after a helicopter crashes off the coast of Flamborough in East Yorkshire.

Which Contagious Diseases Are The Deadliest?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-09-16 11:12

To put Ebola in context, we tried to find a list of the deadliest contagious diseases. We couldn't. So with the help of scientists and health agencies, we came up with a rundown of the world's worst.

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Belgium Agrees To Euthanize Man Convicted Of Murder, Rape

NPR News - Tue, 2014-09-16 11:09

Frank Van Den Bleeken says he wants to die because he hasn't seen any change in himself. A court agreed — and now his case is raising prickly questions in a country that has no death penalty.

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The end of Atlantic City's hot streak

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:47
Atlantic City's long hot streak comes to an end

BP Lawyers Use Old-School Trick; Judge Not Amused

NPR News - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:26

A legal filing tied to the company's Gulf oil spill case was supposed to have been capped at 35 pages. But lawyers for BP got a little creative with the spacing.

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Want to help your company's stock? Buy shares back

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:24

There’s a new trend in the stock market. Companies are repurchasing their own shares to help make stocks go up. And it’s working, says Dan Strumpf, reporter at The Wall Street Journal.

"Companies that do buy back their stock and have regular routine buyback programs do tend to outperform in the market," says Strumpf, who has been reporting on the subject.

Although cash levels at public companies are the highest they have been in years, the stock market volume is very low.

"There is quite a bit of debate in the marketplace as to why that’s happening," says Strumpf. "A lot of people talk about...a lack of conviction in this market. I mean, we have this sort of slow but steadily growing economy, really no fireworks to speak of. And you’ve got a very supportive Federal Reserve that is sort of keeping things humming. But you’re not seeing table pounding and high conviction investment, despite the fact that the market is at an all-time high."

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

VIDEO: Surviving childhood in Malawi

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:13
Fergus Walsh reports from Malawi on how the country has worked to reduce infant mortality.

I had accident premonition - Norman

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:08
Two-time Open champion Greg Norman says he had a premonition about the chainsaw accident in which he nearly lost his left hand.

Odile Leaves Wreckage In Mexico And Threatens Flooding In U.S.

NPR News - Tue, 2014-09-16 10:02

Hurricane Odile is now a tropical storm, but it has heavy rainfall and power outages to the Baja Peninsula and surrounding areas. It could also bring new flooding to Tucson and nearby areas.

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French PM Valls wins confidence vote

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 09:53
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls narrowly wins a crucial confidence vote in parliament, despite a recent cabinet revolt over austerity measures.

South Sudan bans foreign workers

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 09:07
South Sudan government issues an order to non-governmental organisations and private firms to fire foreign workers by mid-October amid an aid crisis.

US 'would consider Iraq ground troops'

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:44
US ground forces could be deployed against Islamic State militants if the current strategy fails, a top US general says.

Farewell, Heating Pad: Physical Therapists Say It Doesn't Help

NPR News - Tue, 2014-09-16 08:19

Heating pads and other passive treatments don't do any good if the goal is gaining strength and mobility, according to the Choosing Wisely campaign. Instead, it's all about the exercise.

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Russia 'must boost Crimea forces'

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 07:55
Russia needs to boost forces in Crimea because of the Ukraine crisis and a foreign military build-up, Russia's defence minister says.

Dempsey Says If Needed He Would Recommend Ground Forces In Iraq

NPR News - Tue, 2014-09-16 07:46

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a Senate panel he supports the president's plan to combat Islamic State militants but that if it proved necessary, he would recommend U.S. ground forces.

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The numbers for September 16, 2014

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-09-16 07:33

About 45.3 million people were living at or below the poverty line last year, according to new census data released Tuesday. That's about 14.5 percent of the population, and a slight drop from last year's 15 percent. Median household income also crept up to $51,939, only about $180 more than last year.

Here's what we're reading — and other numbers we're watching — Tuesday morning.

$105

That's the base price of Android One, a series of affordable smartphones Google announced in India Monday. It's a bid to capture the country's emerging smartphone market, the New York Times reported, which is expected to double by 2018. Google is also testing drones designed to bring Internet to remote areas.

$70 million

The cost for Russian rockets to ferry one American astronaut to the International Space Station has climbed since the space shuttle was retired three years ago, and NASA is looking for a new solution. They're expected to contract out so-called "space taxis," the Wall Street Journal reported, and Boeing is the favorite over Elon Musk's SpaceX.

$340 million

Money was contracted to private companies to clean Chicago's public schools in February as a cost saving move. Now principals are pushing back, the Washington Post reported, saying their schools are filthy, grappling with waste and bug problems they didn't have before.

UK inflation rate falls to 1.5%

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 07:10
Cheaper food and fuel prices helped to push down the UK consumer price inflation rate to 1.5% in August, official figures show.

Giant sensor for Panasonic phone

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 07:02
Panasonic unveils a hybrid smartphone-camera, at the Photokina trade show in Cologne.

Calpers ditches pension funds

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-09-16 07:00

The California Public Employee’s Retirement System, better known as Calpers, is the country’s largest public pension fund with $300 billion in assets. So when it acts, investors take notice.

Calpers is going to completely shed its $4 billion dollars of hedge fund investments because it says they’re too complex and costly.

Calpers made 7.1 percent in returns on its hedge fund investments for its last fiscal year, but it also paid $135 million in fees. The pension fund has a goal for its investments of 7.5 percent returns and, as a whole, earned over 18 percent last year.

Still, it’s surprising that Calpers is getting out of hedge funds entirely, says Olivia Mitchell, the executive director of the Pension Research Council at The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

“The idea of hedge funds is they’re supposed to be protective of market downturns,” Mitchell explains. “One of the costs of that is that they don’t necessarily give the whole upside when markets rise.”

But she also said that hedge funds tend to be relatively opaque in their investments–which, combined with high fees, might prompt more pension funds to follow Calpers.

“Calpers has always been a leader in the public pension space,” says Mitchell. “Certainly others will take a good look at their hedge fund portfolios. My sense is that other cities in California are already taking a bit of a hard look…and Rhode Island and Pennsylvania are debating this issue as well.”

Rio archbishop robbed for crucifix

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-16 06:02
Armed robbers steal the archbishop of Rio de Janeiro's crucifix, even though one of the gang recognised him and apologised.

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