National / International News

Wes Anderson film to open festival

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 11:00
The UK premiere of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, will open this year's Glasgow Film Festival, it has been announced.

'Burnt out' EU to curb climate goals

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:56
Binding national targets on renewable energy are expected to be dropped from new EU proposals due to be unveiled on Wednesday.

Om My: Chinese Buddha Booted Over Booty

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:56

A restaurateur in the Chinese city of Jinan wanted to advertise a dish so good that the Buddha himself scaled walls for a taste, so the owner put up giant sculptures of naked Buddhas climbing over the restaurant. Not everyone was amused.

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Rennard set for Lib Dem court battle

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:54
Lord Rennard hires a top lawyer for potential legal action against the Lib Dems over sex harassment claims - prompting fears of a "blood bath" within the party.

VIDEO: First glimpse of one of Frankel's foals

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:39
Champion racehorse Frankel's foal - a filly born at the National Stud in Newmarket at 05:00 GMT on Sunday - is captured on video going for a walk.

NI to get new air ambulance

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:37
Northern Ireland is to get a new air ambulance to transfer patients to hospitals in Britain, after it is revealed that a plane carrying a sick baby had to make an emergency landing.

Russia: Ukraine 'out of control'

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:36
Russia's foreign minister says violent clashes in Ukraine are "getting out of control" and accuses Western politicians of stirring up protests.

World-beater McFadden swaps wheels for skis

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:27
Having swept the board in wheelchair racing, US athlete Tatyana McFadden is now on a fast track to Paralympic glory

Meals with parents 'reduce truancy'

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:22
An OECD study shows big international differences between rates of truancy and how it is linked to school performance.

Footballer in court over fix claims

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:16
A footballer appears in court charged with conspiracy to defraud as part of an investigation into match-fixing in the UK.

Agreement at Yemen's dialogue talks

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:15
Yemen's National Dialogue Conference agree a document on which the new constitution will be based, hours after a delegate is shot dead in Sanaa.

Quarter of young adults live at home

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:15
Some 3.3 million people in their 20s and early 30s - about a quarter of that age group - now live with their parents, ONS figures show.

Specialist baby care service to move

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:06
Plans to centralise specialist care for babies born in west Wales are to go ahead, the health minister says.

Japanese Government Defends Dolphin Hunt As Killing Goes On

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:05

The "drive hunt" by fishermen in one village is "a form of traditional fishing," a government spokesman says. Dolphins are trapped. Some are selected for sale to marine parks. Others are killed for meat. Thirty died Tuesday. Caroline Kennedy, the new U.S. ambassador, called the practice inhumane.

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Syria accused of systematic torture

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 10:02
There is evidence Syria has tortured and executed about 11,000 detainees since the start of the uprising, a report by ex-war crimes prosecutors says.

BBC Savile review delivery delayed

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 09:58
Delivery of the BBC's Savile review is delayed to mid-2014 until the conclusion of criminal proceedings against former BBC presenter Stuart Hall.

The Davos World Economic Forum: A lot of 'hot air'?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-01-21 09:56

Some  2,500  of the world’s most powerful  business and political leaders will make their annual pilgrimage to a mountaintop in the Swiss Alps this week. They won’t be seeking a religious experience (well, most of them won't). They’re headed for the small ski resort of Davos for the 44th annual  World Economic Forum -  four days of economic discussion and debate.

Not everyone is expecting many major revelations.

"There will be a lot of bloviating," says David Rothkopf of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  "There are a lot of people there who love to hear themselves talk, that go on at length. That mountaintop in Switzerland each year  is warmed by quite a bit of hot air."

Anthony Hilton, Financial  Editor of the London Evening Standard is another Davos skeptic: "They go on about the 'Spirit of Davos' and how they’re shaping the world. But  they’re not. They’re actually revelling in their own self-importance and smugness. It’s  an exercise in self-preening and group think."

The gigantic agenda seems well-meaning enough. Among the 250 subjects under discussion over the next four days  are:  climate change, the future of healthcare, the nightmare of  youth unemployment and the challenge of scientific innovation.

But some items appear gloriously misplaced in this well-heeled assembly: "One of the big themes this year is – I kid you not – income inequality," points out John Reeves of The Motley Fool financial services group. "It’s ironical: Income inequality is the theme, and you’ve got to pay $40,000 to go there and weigh in." ($40,000 is  the  estimated average cost per attendee– including travel, accommodation, and getting into the event.) 

Forget all that guff about making the world a better place, says Anthony Hilton. Once investment bankers got involved, he claims, Davos went downhill: "They started throwing parties obviously to get business. And it now has become a competition to see who gets invited to the most exclusive parties.  So the whole spirit of it has gone by the board."

But Davos must be doing something right. A thousand corporations keep it afloat, pumping in around $200 million a year. And Martin Wolf of the Financial Times asks: So what if it is a gabfest? He believes that  Davos may have helped the world weather the financial crisis by forging contacts between politicians and businesses people around the world.   With forty heads of state, 20 central bank chiefs, and  numerous tycoons and Nobel Laureates attending this year, maybe Davos is a talking shop we cannot afford to ignore.      

 "I happen to believe that talking is quite a good thing to do," Wolf says.

IMF raises UK growth forecast

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 09:56
The International Monetary Fund raises its growth forecast for the global economy, and the UK economy in particular.

VIDEO: Damon starts Davos with Bono joke

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 09:50
Actor Matt Damon has been presented with the Crystal Award at the start of the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos.

VIDEO: How Davos prepares for... Davos

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-21 09:40
Nik Gowing travels to Davos to see how this once remote farming community in Switzerland transforms into the host for the World Economic Forum.

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