National / International News

VIDEO: US government defends Taliban deal

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 05:13
The US Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel, has defended the deal with the Taliban, that led to the release of the American soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

Ballot probe reverses Oxford NUS vote

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 05:12
Oxford University's student union is likely to remain part of the National Union of Students after allegations of vote rigging in last month's referendum on splitting away.

The Birds And The Bees ... And iPads

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-05 05:03

Three-fourths of parents say the Internet is forcing them to have "the talk" earlier.

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Spectacular wave tank opens with show

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 05:01
A giant new wave and tidal energy research facility - the first of its kind in the world - has opened at Edinburgh University.

McEnroe backs Murray for Wimbledon

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:59
Seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe says Andy Murray's clay-court form "bodes well" for Wimbledon.

Baseball Man Don Zimmer Dies, Ending An Epic Sports Career

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:59

His big-league career began in the 1950s and included the most recent Yankees dynasty. Baseball is mourning Don Zimmer today, remembering a man who loved the game that loved him back.

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Central African Republic Bans Texting, Citing Need For Order

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:53

The poor country has been plagued by political turmoil and Muslim-Christian fighting. The government cut off texting amid a new round of violent protests and calls for a general strike.

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When does an American company stop being American?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:51

It's a fairly common practice among big corporations in the U.S. to keep large portions of their business outside of the country in order to avoid paying American taxes. The process of corporate inversion is usually practiced by companies that earn large amounts of foreign income that is already taxed overseas, though critics say this can cost the U.S. substantial tax revenues they would otherwise receive from American companies.

But if a company that still does business in the U.S. moves operations, or even its headquarters, outside of the U.S., is it still an American company?

The Fortune 500 doesn't think so -- companies that move headquarters outside the U.S. get kicked off their list. On the other hand, the S&P 500 does not remove American companies with overseas headquarters. Allen Sloan, Fortune Magazine's senior editor, thinks his publication has it right.

"The Fortune 500 is supposed to be a list of American companies, and if you decide not to be an American company, we kick you out of the list," Sloan says. "These are companies that want to benefit from the United States, they would just rather have their headquarters in a country where the tax rate is lower."

Though, defining a company's "Americanness" by where they keep their headquarters is a little tricky. After all, Apple and General Electric both hold high ranking spots on Fortune's list, but both companies keep profits overseas and avoid American taxes. Sloan's argument is that location makes a lot of difference, even if just in attitude.

"If you take your headquarters out of the United States, you aren't an American company," says Sloan, "We can argue about degrees about a lot of these companies, but at least they're still acting as if they're Americans and they have some responsibility to the country, whereas these other guys who go overseas, well they want all the protections, they just don't want to pay for them."

In the bigger picture, the law usually catches up to companies using overseas holdings to avoid taxes, forcing them to come up with ever more complicated methods of not paying. The question becomes whether or not there is a way to simplify the tax system and stay fair, or are we stuck with a endless cycle that keeps getting more complicated?

"I don't know how to do it, but I know what's going on is not right," Sloan says. "Having a situation where a company does this or that and is not an American company, but wants to keep all the benefits of being an American company, like having a real legal system, having actual markets that function, you ought to pay for it."

When does an American company stop being American?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:51

It's a fairly common practice among big corporations in the U.S. to keep large portions of their business outside of the country in order to avoid paying American taxes. The process of corporate inversion is usually practiced by companies that earn large amounts of foreign income that is already taxed overseas, though critics say this can cost the U.S. substantial tax revenues they would otherwise receive from American companies.

But if a company that still does business in the U.S. moves operations, or even its headquarters, outside of the U.S., is it still an American company?

The Fortune 500 doesn't think so -- companies that move headquarters outside the U.S. get kicked off their list. On the other hand, the S&P 500 does not remove American companies with overseas headquarters. Allen Sloan, Fortune Magazine's senior editor, thinks his publication has it right.

"The Fortune 500 is supposed to be a list of American companies, and if you decide not to be an American company, we kick you out of the list," Sloan says. "These are companies that want to benefit from the United States, they would just rather have their headquarters in a country where the tax rate is lower."

Though, defining a company's "Americanness" by where they keep their headquarters is a little tricky. After all, Apple and General Electric both hold high ranking spots on Fortune's list, but both companies keep profits overseas and avoid American taxes. Sloan's argument is that location makes a lot of difference, even if just in attitude.

"If you take your headquarters out of the United States, you aren't an American company," says Sloan, "We can argue about degrees about a lot of these companies, but at least they're still acting as if they're Americans and they have some responsibility to the country, whereas these other guys who go overseas, well they want all the protections, they just don't want to pay for them."

In the bigger picture, the law usually catches up to companies using overseas holdings to avoid taxes, forcing them to come up with ever more complicated methods of not paying. The question becomes whether or not there is a way to simplify the tax system and stay fair, or are we stuck with a endless cycle that keeps getting more complicated?

"I don't know how to do it, but I know what's going on is not right," Sloan says. "Having a situation where a company does this or that and is not an American company, but wants to keep all the benefits of being an American company, like having a real legal system, having actual markets that function, you ought to pay for it."

VIDEO: Record sales at John Lennon auction

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:50
An auction drawings and manuscripts by John Lennon has made thousands more than pre-sale estimates

Harris 'not a liar for forgetting'

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:48
TV presenter Sue Cook tells a court that Rolf Harris should not be accused of lying after he forgot about a game show appearance in the 1970s.

Funnel cloud causes tornado fears

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:46
A funnel cloud is spotted in the skies in parts of the East Midlands, causing some people to think they had witnessed a tornado.

Drug deaths 'serial killer on loose'

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:46
Twenty deaths have now been linked to a new unregulated drug introduced in Northern Ireland last year that has been likened to a serial killer.

Edinburgh tram inquiry announced

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:43
Edinburgh's troubled tram project will be investigated by a judge-led inquiry, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond announces.

Race track could get government loan

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:41
A £280m race track planned for Ebbw Vale could get a Welsh government loan to help the scheme get off the ground.

Torture tested guitar strings

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:30

Making strings is a family business for the D'Addarios. In fact, Jim D'Addario, CEO of D'Addario and Company, remembers being a 13 when his dad first started asking him to test guitar string prototypes while watching television. 

Since taking over the company, D'Addario has made it a point to innovate the technology involved in making newer, better guitar strings. That's how the company's more durable NYXL strings came to be. The technology behind the new strings starts with the wire:

Here's host Ben Johnson with Jim D'Addario getting a chance to feel the wire for himself:

Part of the process of developing the NYXL strings has been, well, torturing them: stretching them beyond their normal capacity and then using a robotic arm to continuously strum the warped string.

As the saying goes, the proof is in the...broken strings? The average string lasts just a couple of strokes against the torture machine, while the NYXL strings can last upwards of 1,000 strums while still staying in tune.

Torture tested guitar strings

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:30

Making strings is a family business for the D'Addarios. In fact, Jim D'Addario, CEO of D'Addario and Company, remembers being a 13 when his dad first started asking him to test guitar string prototypes while watching television. 

Since taking over the company, D'Addario has made it a point to innovate the technology involved in making newer, better guitar strings. That's how the company's more durable NYXL strings came to be. The technology behind the new strings starts with the wire:

Here's host Ben Johnson with Jim D'Addario getting a chance to feel the wire for himself:

Part of the process of developing the NYXL strings has been, well, torturing them: stretching them beyond their normal capacity and then using a robotic arm to continuously strum the warped string.

As the saying goes, the proof is in the...broken strings? The average string lasts just a couple of strokes against the torture machine, while the NYXL strings can last upwards of 1,000 strums while still staying in tune.

Plunkett deserves to edge out Stokes - Agnew

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:27
Liam Plunkett deserves the call ahead of Ben Stokes in the England Test team to face Sri Lanka, says Jonathan Agnew.

VIDEO: Manhunt as police shot in Canada

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:21
Three Canadian police officers have been killed and two wounded by a gunman in the town of Moncton in New Brunswick.

How do you feed very sick babies?

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 04:20
How are premature babies fed and what is involved?

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