National / International News

Robson targets French Open return

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 06:29
Ex-British number one Laura Robson hopes to make her return at the French Open after 15 months out with injury.

Mugged pensioner moves to new home

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 06:28
The disabled pensioner who had more than £300,000 raised for him after he was attacked picks up the keys to his new house.

Neville aiming for netball 'stardom'

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 06:27
Manchester Thunder coach Tracey Neville hopes the domestic Superleague can one day emulate the "stardom" of football.

How to get voters to reconsider a repeat candidate

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-04-16 06:25

First Lady, Senator from New York, presidential candidate, Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton has a long history in politics, which Marco Rubio was quick to use against her as he launched a bid for the Republican nomination earlier this week.

“Now just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday,” he said.

How does Clinton avoid this “yesterday” role with voters? How does she get people to listen again and listen anew, perhaps even change their minds? Getting voters or consumers to take a second look at a candidate, a company, a product — something they already think they know — is tough work, says Scott Davis, the chief growth officer at Prophet, a brand strategy firm.

“One of the most important things in this campaign process is that there’s a lot that people think they know, and a lot they don’t know, about Hillary Clinton," says Karen Finney, a Clinton campaign spokesperson. That’s why Clinton is starting small and slow, touring in a van she calls "Scooby," having one-on-one conversations with potential voters.

It’s important Clinton be authentic and very clear about her purpose, Davis says. It helps if she can give other people the tools to advocate on her behalf. She may also need to plan something big, bold or innovative to shake people from their preconceived ideas.

Howard Belk, co-CEO and chief creative officer at Siegel+Gale, says Clinton might reference something about her history in a way that won’t alienate her supporters, but with fresh ideas and programs. After her supporters, Belk says the second group Clinton should be targeting is the "switchers." In brand terms, they're the people who may open the product, even if they don’t use it. But he advises against trying to pander to a third category, detractors. They’re a lost cause.

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 The New York Times recently reported that the Clinton campaign has hired Kristina Schake, former communications chief to Michelle Obama, who was in charge of the current First Lady's image and appearances on"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and the Oscars.

But Clinton is only one of many prominent politicians who have undergone a rebranding. We called up a couple of political scientists to ask them about other notable political reinventions, and how successful they were.

Richard Nixon

Like Clinton, Nixon was very much a known commodity when he ran for president in 1968. He was a congressman and a vice president before famously losing to John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election, and he went on to lose the California gubernatorial race in 1962.

Generally, in today's political environment, "if you lose a presidential general election you're done, you don't get a chance to reinvent yourself," says Vincent Hutchings, a professor of political science at the University of Michigan.

Nixon worked on several other campaigns, taking some cues from Barry Goldwater and George Wallace and earning favors, Hutchings says. By the late 1960s Nixon reemerged as a "law and order" candidate. He also made a bid for likability by hiring a joke writer and appearing on "Laugh-In," notes UCLA political science assistant professor Chris Tausanovitch. He finally won the presidency in 1968.

"He wasn't ever going to pull off the same kind of persona as a Kennedy, be that Robert or John F. Kennedy," Hutchings says. "But he seized upon this growing unease in some sectors of the American electorate regarding the progress of the civil rights movement, urban unrest, [and so on]."

Arlen Specter

Specter changed parties at the beginning and end of his political career — two reinventions in two very different political climates with two very different results.

"Voters don't like it when people appear to be switching their views," UCLA's Tausanovitch says. "In fact, voters like it so little that they would prefer a candidate who sticks to their guns, rather than a candidate who switches their views in a way that [the voter] might even favor."

Specter pulled of a party switch in 1965 and went on to enjoy a 30-year career in the Senate as a moderate Republican. When he ran as a Democrat in 2009, Specter lost in the primary, in part because partisan lines were far more rigid, Tausanovitch says.

"These days the legislative parties are incredibly sorted out. Liberal Republicans are still a lot more conservative than conservative Democrats, which in the '60s was not true," Tausanovitch says. "There were Rockefeller Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats and boll weevils and all of these moderates ... that could fit in either party."

Al Gore

Gore's problem was similar to Hillary Clinton's, Tausanovitch says: he came off as arrogant, stilted, and his plain blue suits were bland.

"[The blue suit] conveys dullness, convention, safety and, ultimately, boredom," the Washington Post wrote in May 1999. "In other words, the Blue Suit-ness of the suit underlines the Al Gore-ness of Al Gore."

Gore was told to loosen up by none other than embattled departing President Bill Clinton. Gore tried brown suits and polo shirts, but just got made fun of.

Instead Gore came into his own after losing to George W. Bush in 2000. Gore became an environmental advocate and appears far more at ease in public, Tausanovitch says, though it doesn't appear his politics have changed much. Instead, it seems getting out of politics gave Gore the re-brand he needed during his campaign.

"It looks like he has come into his own as an authentic and better public speaker, but his problem to begin with was not that he was hiding something," Tausanovitch says. "That's not an experiment that we don't get to run with Hillary Clinton, but it's certainly something that people will speculate about."

Pensioner jailed for stranger rape

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 06:13
A 74-year-old is jailed for 11 years for raping a woman after claiming he was 45 miles away at the time of the attack.

Artist hopes sculpture is theft-proof

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 06:05
Artist Conrad Shawcross uses cheap cast iron for his latest sculpture so it won't be attractive to metal thieves.

Vatican Ends Scrutiny Of U.S. Nuns

NPR News - Thu, 2015-04-16 05:53

It's an abrupt conclusion to a five-year doctrinal overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main umbrella group for nuns in the U.S., that began in 2012.

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Default fears rattle Greek markets

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 05:41
Mounting fears of a Greek debt default have seen the country's borrowing costs in the markets soar.

Renault doubts remain over engines

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 05:35
Renault offers no guarantees to Red Bull that early-season engine problems will not resurface at Sunday's race in Bahrain.

The anxious scramble to get a school place

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 05:26
Rising demand for primary school places is putting the system under increasing pressure, says Branwen Jeffreys.

Windsor Park stand faces demolition

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 05:19
The Irish Football Association has been advised to demolish the damaged west stand at Windsor Park, the BBC understands.

VIDEO: Calls for EU to aid migrant rescues

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 05:00
According to survivors, the capsizing of a boat in which about 400 migrants are feared to have died off Libya this week was caused by excitement at the sight of rescuers.

Federer and Wawrinka in early exits

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 04:55
Roger Federer and defending champion Stan Wawrinka are both beaten in round three of the Monte Carlo Masters.

VIDEO: 'Submarine snag' causes trawler drama

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 04:46
The skipper of a fishing trawler has said his boat was towed by a submarine 18 miles off the coast of Ardglass, County Down, on Wednesday afternoon.

VIDEO: No porky-pies in piggy election race

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 04:43
Snouting around with pigs called Hameron, Swiliband, Forage and Pork Clegg as they race to Number Ten.

Cannes Festival line-up announced

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 04:40
Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey, Rachel Weisz and Sir Michael Caine are among those with films competing at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

IS steps up assault on Iraq's Ramadi

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 04:38
Islamic State militants step up their assault on the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, launching suicide bomb attacks on a government compound.

Officer with gun breached policy

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 04:31
A police officer in Inverness is photographed carrying a firearm despite assurances that sidearms would only be deployed under special circumstances.

Sewol ferry: How it could be raised

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 04:27
South Korea plans to raise the wreck of the Sewol ferry from the sea bed. Can it be done? And how difficult would the salvage operation be?

Goldman Sachs sees profits jump

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-16 04:23
US banking giant Goldman Sachs reports a sharp rise in profits thanks in part to an improvement in trading activity at its investment banking arm.

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