National / International News

With A Rules Change For A Lever, Senate Ends Judge's 17-Year Wait

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-16 12:06

The Senate has voted 53 to 44 to confirm Ronnie White for a federal court judgeship in Missouri, 17 years after he was first nominated by President Bill Clinton.

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Dogs Carry Kissing Bug Disease In Texas And Latin America

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-16 11:56

From shelter mutts to show dogs, Texas canines are getting a parasite that causes heart problems in people. Dogs don't spread the parasite directly to humans. But they help to make it more prevalent.

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A man with a plan for six Californias

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-16 11:43
Is it so big it should be split into six states?

Apple-IBM deal shakes up workplace tech

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-16 11:29

Apple and IBM were once rivals but the two companies announced a plan Wednesday to work together. They will collaborate on software and cloud services, and IBM will distribute Apple products to some of its biggest customers – big business, universities, and the government.

This deal is a way for Apple,  maker of the iPhone and the iPad, to get more of those mobile devices into the workplace – historically BlackBerry’s and Microsoft’s turf. According to Norman Young, an analyst with Morningstar, this deal may have caught them by surprise.

“They didn’t really think that Apple would really compete in this space, because they never really had,” he says.

For a long time, Apple’s focus has been on consumers, but according to Stacy Crook of the market research company IDC, Apple has been making inroads. The workplace has seen more of what she calls “B.Y.O.D.”

“We just use the same device for our business use and our personal use these days,” she says.

IT guys and gals have tolerated that – sometimes grudgingly. These days, when we bring our own devices, odds are they are not BlackBerrys. 

“You know, from a BlackBerry’s perspective, this is pretty significant,” says tech analyst Sharon Cross, of Cross Research. She says BlackBerry made its name selling its devices to big business, and the security of its network was a huge selling point. With this new partnership, Apple and IBM say they will give corporate clients the assurance their apps and devices will be just as secure.

So what about Microsoft?

“This agreement is good for Apple, it’s good for IBM, it’s bad for BlackBerry, and it’s really not that impactful to Microsoft,” Cross says, noting companies will still buy PCs running Windows.

IBM could have partnered with Google. After all, Android phones remain popular. But according to Roger Kay, the head of Endpoint Technologies Associates, Apple’s trademark simplicity may have given it an edge.

“IT managers don’t have to deal with a hugely complex environment,” he says. “They know kind of what they’re getting.”

There are hundreds of different types of phones and tablets that run the Android operating system. With Apple, there’s just a handful.

 

Why Murdoch wants Time Warner: leverage

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-16 11:27

As chairman of 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch owns many things: cable networks, a broadcast network and a big movie studio. As head of News Corp. he also owns some newspapers and a book publishing house. Now he’s also made a bid for Time Warner, which owns HBO, other cable networks and another big movie studio. Time Warner has turned him down, for now, but it’s worth asking what he wants with it.

Analysts say Time Warner has finally shrunk itself to the exact right size and shape for someone like Rupert Murdoch to be interested in it.

“Time Warner used to have AOL as part of its portfolio— that’s no longer true,” says Jim Goss, managing director of Barrington Research. “It obviously had Time Inc., the magazine publishing group, but as of about a month ago, that’s no longer true.”

Most importantly, Comcast's proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable creates a huge potential adversary on the other side of the bargaining table: Distribution. That’s Murdoch’s adversary too.

Together, the two media companies gain clout. “Fox with Time Warner would have incontestable leverage against any distributor in terms of audience demand,” says Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital Partners. “People would go beserk if they couldn’t get what Fox would own.”

Think: Game of Thrones. And sports: Turner Broadcasting has a lot of NBA games.

Conventional wisdom holds that this marks the beginning of a long campaign. Over a decades-long career, Murdoch has pursued other deals relentlessly.

“He likes to win,” says Samuel Craig from NYU’s Stern School of Business. “I think he’ll persist.”  

Craig says Murdoch may find allies on the other side of the table. “I think when the shareholders of Time-Warner look at it — and the price goes up a bit — they may say, ‘This is a pretty good deal, and we should do it.’”   

Germany accuses Russia over Ukraine

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-16 11:22
Germany criticises Russia for failing to meet commitments to end the continuing violence in Ukraine, and says it may face further EU sanctions.

Syria's Army On The Verge Of Retaking The Country's Largest City

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-16 11:06

Rebels captured the eastern half of Aleppo, the country's biggest city, two years ago. Now President Assad's army looks likely to drive them out in what would be a major blow to the opposition.

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Cutesy robot Asimo gets upgraded

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:48
Honda's Asimo robot has grown up - its latest upgrade gives it enhanced intelligence, added dexterity and the ability to run 5.6mph.

VIDEO: Centenarians remember WW1 100 years on

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:40
BBC News hears from two of the centenarians at a special tea party held to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One.

'Escort' denies killing Google exec

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:40
A woman alleged to be a prostitute pleads not guilty to injecting a Google executive with a lethal dose of heroin on his yacht.

Man 'interested in children as food'

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:39
A nurse who allegedly planned to meet a 14-year-old girl so he could kill and eat her told police he found children interesting as a food source, a court hears.

Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:35

A bill to require employers to pay for birth control did not pass a procedural vote in the Senate. The vote may have been held largely to put GOP senators on record on the issue.

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Pundits' picks: Who will win the 2014 Open?

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:33
Who will win the 2014 Open at Hoylake?

Cory Booker Wants To Help Ex-Offenders Be Economically Productive

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:27

Sens. Cory Booker and Rand Paul have proposed legislation that would overhaul the American criminal justice system. For more about the REDEEM act, guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with Booker.

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Arts Program Makes Israeli And Palestinian Youth Hopeful For Future

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:27

The most recent violence between the Israelis and Palestinians has affected young people on both sides of the conflict. Guest host Jacki Lyden learns how one group is using art to foster peace.

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Diamond crushed to Saturn's extremes

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:21
Diamond, nature's hardest material, has been crushed to record extremes using the "world's biggest laser".

Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:20

The man whose frustrating call to Comcast went viral says the customer service rep should not be fired. Ryan Block says the problem he encountered is far more systemic than one person.

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Not So Offal: Why Bone Soup, A 'Perfect Food,' Tastes So Meaty

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-16 10:09

After a taste of Singaporean sup tulang, we felt compelled to unpack what makes marrow so profoundly delicious. A biochemist says its unique combination of volatile compounds create a wallop of umami.

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