National / International News

Increasing Number Of Western Women Flee To Syria

NPR News - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:18

Hayat Boumeddiene, wife of one of the Paris gunmen, has reportedly fled to Syria. As Vivienne Walt of Time notes, Boumeddiene is part of a trend of hundreds of Western women traveling to Syria.

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'Charlie Hebdo' Hits The Stands — And Promptly Flies Off Them

NPR News - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:17

The magazine Charlie Hebdo published its latest edition in Paris on Wednesday. It was purchased by hundreds of thousands of Parisians as a gesture of support, selling out at many outlets.

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Bell hits 187 in England warm-up win

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:14
Ian Bell smashes 187 from 145 balls as England beat the Prime Minister's XI by 60 runs in Canberra.

Al-Qaida In Yemen Takes Responsibility For Paris Attack

NPR News - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:11

In a YouTube video, Nasr al-Ansi, a leader of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, said the attack was in vengeance for the Prophet Muhammad.

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More than 400,000 extra A&E visits

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:09
The number of A&E visits in England has soared by more than 400,000 so far this financial year, doctors tell MPs.

AirAsia plane 'fuselage located'

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:04
The main body of the AirAsia plane that disappeared in December has been located and photographed in the Java Sea, say officials.

Sixties pop star Dozy dies aged 70

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:03
Trevor Ward-Davies, best known as Dozy, from the 1960s pop group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, has died at the age 70.

French comic held for Charlie remark

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:02
Controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala is detained by police for a Facebook comment appearing to back Paris gunman Amedy Coulibaly.

Not all taxes are created equal

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:00

A new study published on Wednesday finds that local taxes are hitting low-wage earners much harder than wealthy individuals.

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the poorest 20 percent of Americans pay an average of 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, while the top one percent pay 5.4 percent. 

Meg Wiehe is the institute’s state tax policy director. This is not only bad policy, she says it’s bad for state budgets.

"That's because the more income that goes to the wealthy, and the lower a state's tax on the wealthy, the slower the states revenue could grow over time," says Wiehe.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

The report also found that so-called “low tax” states, like Washington, Kansas, Texas and Florida, actually place the highest burden on the poor.

The reason behind this imbalance, claims Wiehe, is due to the fact states and cities rely heavily on sales and property tax, and specific excise taxes on things like gas, cigarettes and alcohol.

ITEP claims that this creates a “regressive” tax structure, which is a bad idea from a policy perspective because it means the less you make the more you pay.

But not everyone thinks all regressive taxes amount to bad policy.

“The purpose of it is as a user fee for local public schools and local public services like police. So state and local tax systems are not supposed to be progressive,” says Economist Chris Edwards with the Cato Institute.

Edwards says the Federal income tax system does tax wealthier people at higher rates, which is the appropriate place for these kinds of graduated rate structures. He also claims the report ignores the benefits of low taxes on competitiveness and job creation, all of which benefit the poor and middle class.

Just in time for Valentine's, a shortage of chocolate

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:00

Valentine's Day is a month away, but stores have been hawking hearts and stuffed animals since the day after Christmas. But lest you forget, here's a friendly reminder that the holiday is actually about showing your appreciation for the one you love ... by giving them chocolate. 

But is our increasing demand for chocolate, paired with a shortage of resources to grow it, endangering the sweet treat? Mark Schatzker thinks so. He's a contributing writer for Bloomberg Pursuits magazine, and author behind "Chocolate: can science save the world's most endangered treat?"

Click the media player above to hear more.

After big game, NCAA grapples with student-athlete pay

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:00

The NCAA—college-sports’ governing body—has its big annual convention in Washington, D.C., this week. Now that Ohio State has won the first-ever national college-football championship against the University of Oregon, and the new post-season playoffs have proven to be a ratings hit on ESPN, the NCAA will be talking about ways to let some schools increase financial support for scholarship athletes.

The NCAA is facing increasing pressure from a college-player union, and antitrust lawsuits, to loosen the rules that limit direct compensation to student-athletes, and guarantee instead that a big share of revenue from top-earning sports teams flows to university athletic departments and the million-dollar-plus coaches they employ.

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The NCAA—college-sports’ governing body—has its big annual convention in D.C. this week.  Now that the college-football championship between Oregon and Ohio is over, and ESPN’s enormous ratings are in one of the things the NCAA will be talking about is whether to increase benefits to college athletes. The NCAA IS facing increasing pressure from a college-player union at Northwestern,  and antitrust lawsuits to increase financial benefits to players in the most lucrative sports.   

Wall Street's earnings report parade

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-01-14 02:00

The volatile energy sector is causing some headwinds for banks right now, which lead some to wonder if it would rain on the earnings reports due from major banks this week for the fourth quarter of last year.

For the big banks, there’s no storm yet, but there are clouds on the horizon. 

Here’s the problem for the JP Morgans of the world: they made loans to oil producers, and their suppliers. 

If oil prices stay low, “The effect will come in two waves,” says Charles Peabody, a banking analyst and partner at Portales Partners. “The first wave will be a slowdown in loan growth.”

Then, if oil prices don’t rise over the next year, Peabody says, there’ll be a wave of loan defaults.

But here’s the thing: the low oil prices will help the consumer banking business. Consumers will have extra cash on hand, while gas prices are low.

“They may be able to spend more, or just have the money to pay back their loan,” says Brian Klock, a bank analyst and managing director at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

And Klock says we may very well see a bulge in big bank earnings from consumer spending, before the losses from the oil patch kick in. 




Polanski to cooperate in Poland

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 01:59
Director Roman Polanski promises to cooperate with Polish prosecutors, who have been asked to extradite him to the US where he is wanted in a 1977 sex case.

QE is a eurozone palliative, not cure

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 01:55
Quantitative easing in the eurozone will do no more than buy its members time to fix their fundamental economic weakness.

Morrisons ex-director raps boss

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 01:51
A former director of the troubled Morrisons supermarket chain has renewed his criticisms of the departing chief executive, Dalton Philips.

Yemeni Al-Qaida Leader Claims Responsibility For Paris Attack

NPR News - Wed, 2015-01-14 01:45

Nasr al-Ansi, a top commander of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, appeared in an 11-minute Internet video posted Wednesday, saying the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was in "vengeance for the prophet."

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Italy's president to leave office

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 01:32
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano announces his retirement in a resignation letter, with uncertainty as to who will be his replacement.

Refunds offered for Bill Cosby shows

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 01:30
Concert promoter Ticketmaster is offering refunds for comedian Bill Cosby's upcoming shows in Denver, though organisers say they have a "moral obligation" for the performances to go ahead.

An unexpected drop ends a strong year for JPMorgan

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-01-14 01:30
7 percent

That's how much JPMorgan Chase's profit dropped in the fourth quarter, as reported on Wednesday. The decrease was unexpected, but they still finish 2014 with a reported $21.8 billion, the highest ever annual profit for the company.


That's how low the price of Brent Crude got Tuesday. Goldman Sachs predicted the freefall will finally stop at $42 a barrel, but Quartz says it's possible we might hit the $32 low point of December 2008.

$300 million

That's how much online craft and vintage market Etsy is looking to raise in its upcoming IPO. That's a lot of hand quilted tea cozies. It could be the largest IPO for a New York tech company since 1999. 


The average tuition and fees students at two-year colleges for the 2014-2015 academic year, or about a fifth of those students total budget, when transportation, supplies, housing and other costs are considered. According to the Washington Post's Wonkblog, those additional costs will create a much higher barrier to entry for students than President Barack Obama's free community college plan suggests.

5,700 rupees

That's how much Samsung's smartphone, the  Z1 handset, goes on sale for in India on Wednesday. As the BBC reports, the phone is a notable departure from Android, as this is the first phone that uses Samsung's own operating system called Tizen.

16 billion

The total page views Buzzfeed got in 2014. Let that sink in for a second

Oil price crash hits Premier plans

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-14 01:29
Crashing oil price forces Premier to cut spending on development by 40% and write off $300m