National / International News
First up, we'll talk about what the jobs report is likely to look like on Friday. Plus, Ukraine’s central bank is raising its interest rate from 19.5 percent to 30 percent. The hike comes as the government is seeking a $17.5 billion assistance program from the International Monetary Fund. Inflation is rampant and the national currency has tumbled since Russia annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula and pro-Russian separatists took up arms in the country's east. We look at the reasons behind the hike in the interest rate. And gas prices sure seem to go up a lot faster than they go down. On the West Coast, 37 cents a gallon just last week. We explain.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says some wealthy foreigners seek to give birth to their children in the U.S. so they will obtain U.S. citizenship.
Target Corporation has announced thousands of job cuts, most of them at company headquarters, set to roll out over the next two years. CEO Brian Cornell, who joined Target last year, told investors the cuts were part of a broader turnaround.
The biggest event in Target’s recent history was a black eye for the retailer: A data breach in 2013 that saw millions of customer credit cards exposed to possible fraud.
However, that's not what's behind these cuts, says Brian Yarbrough, an analyst from Edward Jones. "Of course some customers will never shop them again," he says. "But for the most part, most of the customers have come back. So I don’t think this has anything to do with the data breach."
There have been other problems, too — like a failed expansion into Canada, which collapsed. Target Canada filed for bankruptcy in January after just two years in operation. It’s in the process of closing more than 100 stores and laying off more than 17,000 workers.
"Target’s last five years have been the most challenging in the history of the company," says Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a retail consultancy. "Every major move Target made seemed to be a major management mistake."
However, Flickinger thinks the company may be poised for a rebound. For instance, he thinks Target is addressing supply-chain problems, which helped sink Target Canada and which Flickinger says have hurt stores here.
Also in the works: A new emphasis on fancier groceries, to lure younger shoppers. Once shoppers come to Target, the thinking goes, they will buy stuff. Come for the organic yogurt and gluten-free granola, stick around and pick up some pants or a deck chair.
Have you ever wondered what computers sounded like before they evolved into the sleek, silent processors we know and use. Well, now you can find out.
Matt Parker, a UK-based sound artist, is the man behind the Imitation Archive - it’s a collection of sounds from the early days of computing. The archive will be in the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, England. Parker is also working on turning some of these sounds into musical compositions.
What was surprising, he said, was the rich variety of sounds he encountered. “Certainly the assumption would be that they all sound the same,” said Parker.
“Very early electromechanical computers running on relay switches make a very different sort of sound to the sounds you get from high processing smaller devices,” he explained, before playing sounds from one particular device, known as the WITCH. It sounded, he said, like “various pieces of metal grinding.”
Parker described the device as “basically, a very advanced calculator.”
He also said the WITCH was the most musical of all the technology he's recorded: “It’s very interesting, very rhythmic."
His goal is to explore the separation between the quiet devices that we keep beside us or tucked away in our pockets and bags, and the place where all the information they process is ending up. “I want to try and find a way using sound to remind people of that,” said Parker.