National / International News

Sajid Javid for university role

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:53
Sajid Javid has been appointed business secretary, heading the department responsible for universities.

Who would be a Member of Parliament?

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:52
More than 180 new MPs arrive at the Houses of Parliament for the first time this week. What motivates them?

France's Hollande in first Cuba visit

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:42
French President Francois Hollande is visiting Cuba, the first French leader to do so in more than 100 years.

Garage reaches 'free' £700 meal deal

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:35
An Audi garage which was hit with a £700 restaurant bill by a customer who was offered a compensatory "free" meal agrees to cover the full cost.

Labour shake-up: Leslie replaces Balls

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:31
Harriet Harman reshuffles Labour's shadow cabinet, replacing a number of big names who lost their seats at the election, as Lord Sugar says he is quitting the party.

Funds sought for tiny £6 computer

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:27
A Californian start-up is seeking cash to make a computer that only costs $9 (£6) in its most basic form.

Red Bull say they will quit F1

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:26
Red Bull say they will pull out of Formula 1 if either they cannot get a competitive engine or Audi do not join with them.

UK interest rates kept at record low

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:25
UK interest rates have been held at 0.5% for another month by the Bank of England.

'Ride me' bus advert sparks backlash

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:10
A south Wales bus company says it will withdraw an adverting campaign showing a partly dressed woman following an online backlash.

Nasdaq experiments with the Bitcoin blockchain

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:00

Nasdaq announced on Monday that it's launching an "enterprise-wide initiative" to use the blockchain—the distributed ledger that makes Bitcoin possible.

The first application will be as a service for privately-held companies to allow their shareholders to buy and sell shares on a system based on the blockchain. Instead of the transactions being recorded in the separate ledgers of various lawyers, Nasdaq CIO Brad Peterson says transactions will be recorded in a form that anyone in the market can see. 

"The best argument against using the Bitcoin blockchain is that it's new," says Jim Harper, senior fellow at the Cato Institute. "It's only been around for a few years and hasn't had the real testing that it probably needs." 

Harper says the Nasdaq experiment could be just such a test.

PODCAST: The solution is border collies

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-05-11 03:00

We look at what happened with German bonds; calm today after a wild ride last week. Plus, we examine the effect Fox's hit show "Empire" has had on the TV advertising game by cutting the amount of commercial time it sets aside per episode. And government contractors come in all shapes, as evidenced by a new effort from the National Park Service to hire border collies to chase geese off the National Mall. 

Whittingdale named culture secretary

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 02:54
John Whittingdale, the former chair of the House of Commons culture select committee, is to take over from Sajid Javid as UK culture secretary.

Libya rejects EU anti-smuggler plans

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 02:49
Libya criticises EU proposals to use force to destroy boats belonging to people smugglers taking migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.

Storms Leave 2 Dead In Arkansas, More Than 20 Injured In Texas

NPR News - Mon, 2015-05-11 02:46

The small town of Van, Texas, was badly hit and two people died in Nashville, Arkansas, after a tornado raked through a mobile home park.

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Boy, seven, dies in river accident

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 02:38
A seven year old boy has drowned after falling into a river in Merthyr Tydfil, say South Wales Police.

Cameron bares teeth over EU migration

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 02:33
Newly re-elected UK PM Prime Minister David Cameron is rolling up his sleeves to change the UK's relationship with Europe, writes the BBC's Katya Adler.

Washington's plan for getting the geese off the grass

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-05-11 02:17

The National Mall in Washington, D. C., has a fowl problem: Canada geese, and lots of them. These large migratory waterfowl are increasingly non-migratory thanks to relocation and hunting efforts. The roughly 3 pounds of droppings each can produce in one day can cause fish kills in ponds, and could even clog the newly-renovated reflecting pool.

"There's times of the year, when you walk over the Washington Monument grounds, there's not a place for you to put down a picnic blanket without feeling disgusting," says Michael Stachowicz, the National Park Service's turf management specialist.

That's why the government is asking for bids on a contract to have border collies (and their handlers) patrol the Mall. 

Stachowicz used to work for golf courses, and that's where he first witnessed how effective border collies are for humane goose population control. "They go in this crouch," Stachowicz explains, "it's really amazing to watch these border collies transform from a great dog into something that looks really predatory and wolf-like."

That stance, according to Doug Marcks, is called "the eye." The eye is basically the border collies' trade secret. It's part of the whole pantomime these dogs like to play with geese. And play is the key word—border collies are happy without ever actually grabbing the geese. They just enjoy terrorizing them.

Doug Marcks runs Geese Police DC, which is a franchise of the larger Geese Police company, based in Illinois. He and his two border collies Max and Bell drive around the D.C. area every day and make pit stops at clients—usually large, grassy corporate campuses and the like. After enough harassment, the geese fly away at the sight of Marcks's white pickup truck. And eventually they find a new place to live.

The NPS says the dogs will likely become a permanent fixture on the National Mall.

Arrest over footballer 'assault'

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 02:02
A man is arrested over an alleged assault on Chesterfield captain Ian Evatt after the League One club's play-off defeat at Preston.

VIDEO: Farage and Bennett on voting reform

BBC - Mon, 2015-05-11 02:01
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green party, tell the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire that it is time for reform of the voting system.

An "Empire" trend for TV ad buyers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-05-11 02:00

This week, at the annual "Upfronts," TV networks will be showing off for advertisers. Among other shows, Fox will promote "Empire," which was the breakout hit last season. But "Empire" may get attention for another reason: An unusual advertising strategy. 

There are more than 14 minutes of ads on the average hour of network television. But "Empire" had closer to 10 minutes, thanks to a strategy of "limited commercial interruption." 

Billie Gold, VP of TV programming research at Carat, says this strategy makes the available ads more valuable—especially for launching a new product. 

Why isn't this strategy used more often? 

"Well, you can't do it all the time is the short answer," says Brian Wieser, senior analyst at Pivotal Research. "Because there's only so many advertisers willing to pay so much of a premium."

He says it's like the gold-plated Apple Watch of advertising—and there are only so many companies willing to pay that luxury price.