National / International News

Cameron confirms £8bn NHS pledge

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 12:57
A Conservative government would put an extra £8bn into the NHS in England by 2020, David Cameron will say - but Labour says it is a panic move and is unfunded.

US deputies suspended over beating

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 12:56
Ten California officers have been placed on administrative lead after they were filmed beating a suspect during his arrest.

Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Bournemouth

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 12:56
Bournemouth edge closer to promotion to the Premier League after two second-half goals seal victory over Brighton.

Your dollar goes a long way at the Masters

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 12:53

Twenty-one-year-old American Jordan Spieth is tearing it up at the Masters. He set a 36 hole record today: 14 under par 130 for the first two days.

Augusta National, the home of the Masters, certainly has its issues. But gouging spectators at the concession stands isn't one of them. 

A CBS sports producer took $100 out with him the other day to see how many golf fans he could buy lunch for at the tournament. He was able to feed 17.

Pimento cheese sandwiches — whatever they are — and soda are available for $1.50 each.

Quick update to this story: Dozens of people wrote in to explain what pimento cheese is, and how allegedly good it is.

Okay, now that I know what pimento cheese actually'll pass.

— Kai Ryssdal (@kairyssdal) April 10, 2015

Painting the 'Epic Drama' Of The Great Migration: The Work Of Jacob Lawrence

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 12:48

A rare exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art features 60 paintings by Jacob Lawrence about the journey of 6 million African-Americans, who fled the segregated South during the Great Migration.

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Philadelphia 76ers: worst or best NBA strategy?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 12:42

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the marquee franchises of the National Basketball Association. They've won three championships, and some of basketball's greats have worn the uniform: Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley and Wilt Chamberlain. 


But this season they're just terrible. They won just 18 games, while losing 61. Home attendance hovers around 14,000, the worst in the league. 


While every team has rebuilding years, not every front office trades out its veteran players for younger prospects and higher draft picks, banking on an uncertain future.


As Philly native Michael Sokolove put it in the New York Times Magazine, this year's Sixers are "the least capable assemblage of basketball players ever." 


That's by design, he says. While the players work hard for every shot and loose ball, the front office is cycling through the roster as quickly as possible. It's a gamble designed to — eventually — propel the Sixers directly from the lowest ranks to a championship team, rather than steadily building from middling to good. So, are they tanking on purpose?


"It depends on what you consider tank mode," Sokolove said. "The players surely are not tanking. They're trying very hard. Management is certainly tanking. There's not a move that they have made, last year or this year, that has had the intent of giving them a better chance to win the next game."


Sokolove went on the road with the Sixers and found an earnest and loveable group of players, led by a cynical front office. He had quite a few off-the-record conversations with the Wall Street-trained, MBA wielding stats wizards. But, they wouldn't speak about their strategy outright. 


"I think we can intuit the philosophy is, 'We've got a better plan. The rest of y'all out there trying to win right now, and trying to win gradually... look at us,'" Sokolove said. "We've got a plan that's going to work, just wait and see."


Management's pursuit of a calculating strategy for making big leaps is a bit reminiscent of Oakland A's coach Billy Beane, as profiled in Michael Lewis's book, "Moneyball." But that's not exactly right, Sokolove said. 


"If you remember Moneyball, you know, Billy Beane is pacing and going crazy. He's living and dying with each game's result. He's trying to win, and he's trying to win soon." 


Whereas the Sixers don't seem to care about short-term wins. 


"If there's such a thing as sports ethics," Sokolove said, " I think you're supposed to go out there and try to win, and they're clearly not in that mode."


Returning to the players, Sokolove found that winning was the goal, even if not a likely reality. 


"I absolutely love the players because no more than 2 or 3 of them have an assured NBA career," Sokolove said."So these guys are desperate... If they have a bad shooting night, they're in the gym that night, past midnight, practicing their shots. So you want to root for these guys."

Galloway broke election law - Labour

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 12:25
Labour accuses George Galloway of breaching election law by making false statements about its candidate in the Bradford West seat he's defending.

#NPRreads: In Defense Of California And Wearing The Same Thing To Work Daily

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 12:10

This week, we highlight an Internet confessional of a woman who decided to do like men: wear the same outfit to work every day. We also baseball and fancy food at schools.

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What's Bigger: Yemen Or Virginia? There's An App For That

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 12:06

A web site lets you compare countries around the world to your home state. You can check out other stats, too, from lifespan to income to free time.

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Superb Spieth in control at Masters

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:58
Jordan Spieth takes command of the Masters with a superb six-under-par 66 for a four-shot clubhouse lead.

Lunch, Not Landfill: Nonprofit Rescues Produce Rejected At U.S. Border

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:57

Each year, millions of pounds of Mexican produce are rejected just past the border even though they're tasty and edible. Instead of the landfill, they're now going to needy families across the U.S.

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Boy blinded by fairy wand loses case

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:43
The family of a boy who was partially blinded after being hit in the eye with a fairy wand by a classmate in school has lost a High Court battle for damages.

VIDEO: Belsen survivor meets liberator

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:38
A woman who survived the Holocaust and was in Bergen-Belsen as World War Two ended has met one of the British soldiers who liberated the camp.

Alleged Mastermind Of 2008 Mumbai Attack Out On Bail

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:36

Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, accused of plotting the Mumbai attack that left more than 160 people dead, walked out of a Pakistani prison on Friday. The move threatens to strain relations with India.

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Jockey McNamara to miss National

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:19
Lord Windermere jockey Robbie McNamara is out of the Grand National after a fall at Wexford.

Florida takes steps to limit standardized testing

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:07

The movement to curb standardized testing in schools scored a small victory this week. The Florida legislature passed a bill limiting the number of hours students can spend on state and district testing to 45 per school year. 

Even some advocates of standardized testing welcomed the legislation. Two years ago, the Foundation for Excellence in Education looked into how many standardized tests students were taking in Florida. The group was founded by former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who expanded the use of testing in the state.

“Some school districts were requiring as few as eight tests on top of what the state required, and some districts were requiring up to 200 additional tests,” says Patricia Levesque, CEO of the foundation. “There is such a thing as too many tests.”

If signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, the bill would also eliminate an 11th grade English test, and schools would no longer have to give final exams in every subject not covered by state tests. 

That’s progress, says Bob Schaeffer, who often speaks for the growing test resistance movement as public education director of the group FairTest. But, not enough.

“The vast amount of time devoted to testing in public schools is not administering the exams themselves, but the huge amounts of time spent by teachers and students getting ready for the tests,” he says.

A Hermaphrodite Goat Could Be The Ultimate Scapegoat

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:05

It lives in Gaza. It has male private parts and udders. People think its milk might have special powers. The government think it's a scam and wants to kill the goat. We'll find out its fate on Sunday.

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Homeboy Industries helps former gang member start over

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:04

Javier Chavez was only eight years old when he began getting into trouble. By the time he was 11, he was involved in a gang in Los Angeles.

He's been arrested multiple times, on charges ranging from selling drugs to weapon possession.

Chavez's longest stint in prison was for four years. He's 33 now, and says he's getting a second chance at life.

Chavez works as a mentor, navigator, and recovery group facilitator at Homeboy Industries. Homeboy provides job training positions and free social services for formerly gang-involved, and previously incarcerated, men and women.

How hard is it to start over? Listen to the full story in the audio player above.

What happens when two bank accounts get married

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:02

It's officially wedding season. It's a romantic time of year, but it can be a pricey one too, whether you're dressing up and shelling out for a hotel and a gift, hosting a bridal shower or bachelor party, or planning (and paying for) the wedding itself. 

"I do" also means ka-ching — for venues, flower ships, bakers, caterers, the list goes on and on and on. 

Money isn't the most romantic topic of conversations, and some couples may want to put off the financial talk until after the honeymoon. But is that the best bet? Probably not, according to Louis Barajas. He's a certified financial planner who works with many couples as they approach marriage. Barajas stresses the importance of transparency — from financial history, debt and credit scores to goals for a financial future. He says it's important to have these conversations early and often, to keep things open.

That's exactly what Rob Luchow and Jessie Rosen did before they got married almost a year ago. For Rob and Jessie, talking money before tying the knot was a natural part of the process; they already lived together and had been splitting their expenses pretty evenly, but as Jessie changed career paths to become a full time writer, Rob took on more of the financial burden.

The couple decided to meet with a financial planner shortly before they got married to help ease the process. Keeping the business talk separate from the emotional part of their relationship (and mediated by an objective third party) was a relief for Rob and Jessie. 

A year into marriage, they've settled into a rhythm with their finances, keeping their money active in savings and investments, and working together to work out their priorities in the short term and the long term.

That's meant sacrificing a little bit now to invest in the future — Luchow and Rosen put off their elaborate honeymoon and a potential move to a new apartment in order to save. That means they can maintain their current standard of living without a strain and also save up for their future house. And according to their financial planner, stasis at the beginning of a marriage can be good, at least when it comes to spending. 

Hear Jessie and Rob's full story, and more advice from Louis Barajas, in the audio player above.

Germany to bring back 100 tanks

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 11:02
Germany plans to bring 100 mothballed tanks back into service in an apparent response to rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine.