National / International News

VIDEO: How cameras can measure plant health

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 03:15
How hacking a digital camera could help farmers and gardeners monitor the health of their plants.

Huge Tornadoes Tear Through Illinois And The Midwest

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 03:05

The tornado was so massive and the damage so extensive that in some areas, plows had to push debris off the streets so emergency crews could reach survivors.

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PODCAST: GE's new direction

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 03:00

Airing on Friday, April 10, 2015: General Electric likes to be known for its power plants, it's cat scanners, it's fridges, but less so for its massive real estate holdings. There's news just now that GE is going to refocus on its roots in manufacturing. Plus, LinkedIn, the social networking tool, is purchasing Lynda.com, an online business skills training company. The price tag? $1.5 billion. We look at why LinkedIn would want to spend that kind of money. And in a lot of cities in Mexico, it's not that easy to get safe drinking water - and a lot of folks reach for a soda pop instead. The Mexican government is trying to change that. 

 

VIDEO: What matters to a walks guide?

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:57
Cath Lee from the Peak District in Derbyshire runs a guided walk company, and feels an active lifestyle can have major benefits for the country.

Armed standoff man could be jailed

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:55
A 22-year-old man who was involved in an 11-hour armed standoff in a Denbighshire village is warned he could be jailed.

VIDEO: What matters to an electrician?

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:55
Tony Levy, an electrician from the West Midlands, will vote for any party which would increase defence spending.

Poland remembers Smolensk air crash

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:52
Poland remembers the 2010 Smolensk air disaster which killed its president and top officials - a crash not yet fully explained.

Woman's killer 'may never be freed'

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:49
A man who broke into a woman's home and stabbed her to death in front of a six-year-old child is jailed for at least 26 years.

Police step up patrols after trouble

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:44
The PSNI deploys extra officers and makes two arrests after residents complain about ongoing disturbances in the Galliagh area of Londonderry.

Mumbai 'mastermind' freed in Pakistan

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:36
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the suspected mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, is released on bail in Pakistan, drawing a protest from India.

'Bending down' man hit by Tube train

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:36
A man who is believed to have been hit by a rush-hour Tube train while bending down to pick up a bag sustains life-threatening head injuries.

McCoy win could cost bookies £50m

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:34
AP McCoy could cost the bookmakers £50m if he wins the Grand National, while Nina Carberry is hoping to make Aintree history.

Women to make Boat Race history

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:30
Female crews representing Oxford and Cambridge will row the same Boat Race course on the same day as the men for the first time.

Severe tornado kills one in Illinois

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:29
A tornado kills one person and injures seven more in a small town in northern Illinois, as US states are hit by severe weather.

VIDEO: LIVE: Ed Miliband and Jim Murphy speech

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:23
LIVE: Labour leader Ed Miliband and Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy hold a joint news conference in Edinburgh.

Police probe 'car scam' stabbings

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:18
Police continue their investigations into the attempted murder of two men who had travelled to Edinburgh to buy a car.

A Lifesaving Medicine That My Patient Didn't Get In Time

NPR News - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:03

Drug overdoses — many from opioid painkillers — cause more deaths in the U.S. than car crashes, shootings or alcohol. But stigma keeps many addicts from an antidote that could quickly save them.

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In Mexico, things go better with...water

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:00

If you’re looking for lunch in the northern Mexico border town of Nuevo Laredo, you might walk into a spot called La Parilla. When I walked in there, I noticed almost every table has 4 or 5 empty soda bottles on it. This isn’t a big restaurant – less than 20 tables. My waiter tells me that he sells about 100 sodas every day.

“It’s because people just enjoy the flavor,” he says.

And his customers aren’t alone. The Mexican population drinks more soda than anywhere else in the world. The numbers work out to more than 160 liters of the sugary stuff a year. That’s about half a liter per person every day.

Jose Luis Quinones drives a cab in Monterrey. He says when he leaves for work in the morning he grabs something quick.
“And what’s the cheapest thing I can buy?” he asks. “A can of soda and some crackers. It’s cheaper to buy a can of soda than a bottle of water.”

Why is that the case? It could be that poor Mexicans don’t have the purchasing power to create a viable market for water. That’s certainly the case in a lot of the rural parts of the country where more than 10 percent of people don’t have access to potable water. But for some reason, they can always grab a soda. Tom Bollyky, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, says the reason behind that is a combination of things.

“It’s something that costs the same price as water," he says. "And it’s more accessible in schools in Mexico. And it’s sweet. That combination is literally deadly.”

It leads to obesity. Mexico now has the highest obesity rate in the world. And the Mexican government is trying to do something about it. Last year, the government passed a soda tax. It also started running ads urging children to drink water instead of soda. But Bollyky says the way they’re using the money – earmarking it for raising access to drinking water in elementary schools – is just as important.

It will still take a while to see how well the tax and ads work. But early numbers look pretty good. According to Bollyky, while still high, soda consumption in Mexico is down 7 percent.

In Panama, President Obama seeks economic growth

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:00

President Barack Obama is in Panama for the Summit of the Americas, a gathering of American heads of state. This year the leaders will be joined for the first time by Raul Castro, Cuba's leader. For years, Cuba was excluded from the summit, which created tension between Latin American leaders and the U.S. 

Disagreement over the U.S. embargo of Cuba wasn't the only gripe Latin American leaders had with U.S. policy in the region. "American presidents have a hard time paying attention to Latin America," says Moises Naim, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment.

But the Obama Administration seeks to slow the tide of illegal immigrants, so Naim says "the top priority for the United States ... is to have strong economies that produce jobs."

That's a shift from years of sending money to the region's militaries to pay for the War on Drugs. 

"The United States has moved beyond a single policy toward Latin America," said Bruce Bagley, a professor of political science at the University of Miami. But focusing on poverty alleviation in places like Honduras, which has high violence and a high level of emigration, isn't easy, because "one of the major constraints is the absence of capital and expertise," he said.

That absence of capital is one reason why cabinet member and U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet was in Panama to announce a new partnership between the SBA and ConnectAmericas, a social network for Latin American entrepreneurs. "That's how we help their youth change their future and change their lives," Contreras-Sweet says. 

LinkedIn wants to teach you stuff

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-10 02:00

LinkedIn, the professional networking site, is purchasing Lynda.com, the online video training company, in a deal worth $1.5 billion in cash and stock. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, LinkedIn said in a press release.

"The combination of LinkedIn and lynda.com is the kind of fit that benefits everyone," LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner wrote in a company blog post. "LinkedIn has the members, the jobs... and... can be accessed by roughly 350 million people to share professionally relevant knowledge. lynda.com's service has the premium library of skills-based courses."

The acquisition makes sense in terms of LinkedIn's goals "to build out kind of an entire ecosystem around training, job recruitment, job hiring, talent development," says Analyst Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital Markets.

But it also has pitfalls for LinkedIn, says Colin Gillis of BGC Partners. "You're paying $1.5 billion for a business that is a subscription business and may come into pressure from free sites like YouTube."

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