National / International News

Paedophile author who fled UK jailed

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:50
A paedophile author, who fled the UK before he could be jailed for sex offences, is locked up.

Peruvian attorney general dismissed

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:41
Peru's Attorney General Carlos Ramos Heredia is sacked over allegations he derailed an investigation into a regional governor accused of corruption.

Burundi: What’s behind the coup bid?

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:36
The BBC looks back at events leading up to tumultuous events in Burundi amid claims that the president has been overthrown.

VIDEO: Illegal dogs land Depp in hot water

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:35
Actor Johnny Depp has been told he has until Saturday to remove his dogs from Australia or they will be put down.

Speeding driver has to pay £11,000

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:25
A speeding driver has to pay £11,000 for challenging his ticket after a prosecution expert hired an airfield and a sports car to prove him wrong.

Help! Beatles in new music GCSE

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:17
The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Clubs Band is set to be widely studied in a new music GCSE.

Your pictures: Abstract shapes

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:14
Readers' photographs on the theme of abstract shapes.

Greece abandons Elgin Marbles case

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:13
Greece rules out taking legal action against the UK to reclaim the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum after decades of dispute.

Ramsey to find out fate next week

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:10
Chris Ramsey says he will discover "within a week" whether he will continue as manager of relegated QPR.

Custody death family 'seek truth'

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:06
The family of a man who died in police custody in Fife say they are seeking the truth about what happened to him.

A call for responsible banking in low-income neighborhoods

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:00

“Redlining” is when banks in lots of U.S. cities refuse to make loans or provide services in some neighborhoods—often low-income neighborhoods with high populations of immigrants and African Americans. The practice was officially ended in 1977, with a federal ban known as the Community Reinvestment Act that also encouraged banks to reinvest in poor areas.

But now some cities are saying those regulations are not doing enough: New York, Seattle and Dayton are among the cities that have passed their own ordinances to push banks to invest in low-income neighborhoods and avoid predatory lending.  

In the Westwood neighborhood on the west side of Dayton it's hard to find a bank. A PNC branch closed in the area in 2013, and now this is what’s called a banking desert. Donna Preston, who’s hanging out on a stoop nearby, confirms this. 

“I’m not mobile, I don’t have a vehicle, so it is kinda hard to get to banks,” Preston says. The isolation makes things tricky for her business. “I do hair for a living. I have a business called 'Donna’s Soft Touch Braids.'”

She takes the bus to her credit union—but she runs her business mostly in cash.

West Dayton is like a lot of neighborhoods around the country—it’s seen bank branches pull up and leave. Katy Crosby, who heads the city of Dayton’s Human Relations Council, says this is a big problem. 

“The small business development is just not occurring, economic development is just not occurring,” Crosby says. She’s been working with banks in the area to encourage banks to open up branches and do education with older residents about how to make use of online banking resources, but the process is slow.

Dayton’s new socially responsible banking ordinance is simple: It tells the banks that if they want Dayton to deposit city funds with them, they’ll have to show that they’re investing in low-income neighborhoods, and complying with requirements under the Community Reinvestment Act.

Rob Rowe is with the American Bankers Association and doesn't support the ordinance. “Banks are not utilities, they’re not charities, they’re businesses. They’re created and established as business organizations” he says.

Rowe is worried that a variety of ordinances from different cities creates unnecessary hoops for banks to jump through.

Dayton will need to get people like Rob Rowe on board, though. The ordinance, like those in other cities, is really just evaluation guidelines as opposed to actual regulations that could compel banks to behave a certain way.

Still, Jesse Van Tol is hopeful. He’s with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an organization that wrote a template for these city ordinances.

“It is a law that over years and decades will make a difference,” he says. “And I think you see that in the historic impact of a lack of investment."

He gives Ferguson, Missouri as an example of that lack—it was redlined, and for decades whole black neighborhoods were blocked from banking services like home loans.

“The same is true with many neighborhoods in Baltimore,” he says.

Dayton city government passed its ordinance with a unanimous vote, and it goes into effect May 22.

It's a Mad Mad Men world for AMC

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:00

AMC is sending off its series "Mad Men" in style. On Wednesday night, the network started a marathon of all episodes of the show, running in order, leading up to the series finale Sunday night.

During the finale, AMC will also turn off programming at its sister networks, including IFC and BBC America, pointing audiences to the "Mad Men" finale.

The major promotional push for the show is also a strategic business move for AMC.

"It really does get across to people that this is quite a large programming entity with five networks. And it really brings some scale. And it can really attract attention," says analyst John Tinker of Maxim Group.

The big finale campaign can help AMC promote other, newer shows that it's added to its schedule more recently. At the same time, the end of a network's big show can often lead to a period of decline for the network. And, AMC has recently ended two of its three big shows: "Breaking Bad" and, now, "Mad Men."

Of course, it still has one of the priciest TV shows for advertisers, "The Walking Dead."

Thomas Eagan of Telsey Advisory Group says it is important for AMC to get traction for new shows, because original programming—even if the ratings aren't stellar—are coveted by advertisers.

"Buyers in the marketplace, the advertisers, they'll pay a higher CPM for an original show, even if it has a lower rating," says Eagan.

CPM stands for 'cost per mille' or the ad price per thousand viewers.

"Mad Men" has commanded a high price, says Eagan, because each week's episode has been water cooler fodder, and audiences have watched the show live, instead of online or on the DVR where they might skip commercials.

Why Jeeps are turning into luxury SUVs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 02:00

Gas prices have gone down, car sales are bouncing back, and a big part of that growth is the SUV market. One particular area of renewed consumer demand has been where space and cushiness intersect: the luxury SUV. Auto makers are paying attention.

Jeep just announced it'll make a luxury SUV to compete with Range Rover. And ultra-high-end brands like Bentley, Maserati, and even Rolls-Royce are jumping into the six-figure SUV sphere.

Just don't call the Rolls-Royce all-terrain vehicle an SUV. That sounds so pedestrian. Rolls has a better idea.

"They call it the high-bodied car," says Mike Austin, editor-in-chief of Autoblog. He says luxury car buyers want everything they had in their sedans—the seat massagers, the heated steering wheels—plus more room.

Robert Sorokanich, reporter for CarandDriver.com, says when Porsche came out with its first SUV, the Cayenne, car enthusiasts thought it was a bad move.

"Now we know that that car helped make Porsche more profitable than its ever been, and a lot of the other brands are noticing this," he says.

Luxury car shoppers want the same thing Jeep offered with the Wrangler: the promise of an off-road adventure. Sorokanich says in reality, "they're not going crashing through the Sahara. Shocking, right? But it's the promise that you could do that."

And the sheer delight when people gawk at your big, bad Aston Martin SUV.

VIDEO: FA tackles lack of Asian players

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 01:59
The Football Association has published its first ever plan on how to tackle the lack of British Asians in football.

When you're too cool for school

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-14 01:59
2 percent

That's how much college enrollment in the U.S. has fallen in the last year, according to a new study published Thursday. As the WSJ writes, improvements in the job market have likely affected enrollment at four-year for-profit colleges and two-year public colleges, where students tend to skew older.

$262 million

That's how much Congress cut Amtrak's budget Wednesday, a day after a deadly derailment in Philadelphia. Amtrak says it has a $52 billion maintenance backlog in its Northeastern corridor, from Washington to New York.

$1 billion

This week, Christie's auction house not only set the record for most expensive painting ever sold, but also became the first auction house to have a $1 billion art week. Yesterday's $658.5 million sale of art, combined with the $705.9 million taken in on Monday, made for record breaking sales figures. 

100

That's how many times some Wegmans stores turn over their produce, compared to up to 20 times per year at most grocery stores, the Washington Post reported. That's especially interesting considering Wegmans locations are enormous; their smallest, opening in Brooklyn in 2017, is 74,000 square feet. The New York-based grocer has quickly become one of the most-lauded chains in the country, somehow combining Whole Foods' quality, Trader Joe's prices and Wal-Mart's vast options.

1977

That's the year that "Redlining"—when banks refuse to make loans or provide services in often low-income neighborhoods—was put to an end by the Community Reinvestment Act. But some cities say it's not enough, and are now pushing for more investment in poorer neighborhoods and less predatory lending. Dayton, OH, for example, where a socially responsible banking ordinance forces banks to show they are putting money into low-income communities before the city will store funds within their institutions.

100 percent

That's how much more Tom Brady-branded merchandise has been sold since the NFL slapped the New England Patriots quarterback with a four-game suspension for his role in "deflategate," the Wall Street Journal reported.

Stranded boat migrants desperate

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 01:44
Hundreds of Myanmar migrants stranded on a boat for a week in the Andaman Sea with no food or water are so desperate they are drinking their own urine.

VIDEO: Hunt for 'Calling Blighty' soldiers

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 01:30
How World War Two soldiers contacted their loved ones from afar.

Fury at France mystery wreck ruling

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 01:27
Families of sailors killed in a shipwreck off Cornwall express outrage after a French court dismissed their last-ditch bid to find out what happened.

Palestinian democracy in doldrums after years under Mahmoud Abbas

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 01:26
As Israel swears in a new right-wing, coalition government, BBC Middle East Correspondent Yolande Knell looks at the stagnation in Palestinian politics and discontent with President Mahmoud Abbas.

Briton shot in Islamic State battle

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-14 01:18
Jac Holmes, a former IT worker from Bournemouth, tells BBC South he was shot while fighting Islamic State fighters in Syria.

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