National / International News

You get a drone! You get a drone! Everyone gets drones!

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-29 01:30
12 percent

That's how much Royal Dutch Shell reported its earnings rose in the fourth quarter, as reported by the New York Times. But as oil prices continue to plunge, some have questioned if big oil companies would pull back on exploration projects planned in the next year or so — a suspicion confirmed by chief executive Ben van Beurden, who said the company would defer some projects and cancel others. 


That's how much ad revenue Facebook made per user in the U.S. and Canada last quarter, the Wall Street Journal reported. Revenue is up 49 percent, thanks to the company's incredible growth in mobile advertising. These days more than a third of users experience Facebook solely on mobile. But it's not all good news for investors: Facebook's expenses have grown 87 percent, cutting deeply into profits.

260 workers

That's how many workers hipster-chic company Shinola—maker of thousand-dollar watches and leather goods—employs in Detroit. The company moved to the city in 2013 as part of a bet that "Made in Detroit" would sell better than "Made in America." So far, so good, says Shinola CEO Steve Bock. And now that Detroit's bankruptcy is settled, other businesses are seeing the Motor City as a bargain.

$16.6 million

That's how much eBay made selling drones in the past ten months, Forbes reported. Sales spiked over the holidays, with the retailer moving an average of 7,600 recreational drones per week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, five times average sales over the summer.


The most start-up Plowz and Mowz will charge to clear a driveway this winter. The company expected to process 2,000 plowing jobs in Boston following this week's blizzard. Bloomberg profiled so-called "Uber for snowplows" companies, which are capitalizing on the nor'easter and trying to modernize the lucrative private plowing business.

487 bytes

That's the size of the world's smallest chess computer program. As reported by the BBC, the program takes up about as much space as a couple image-less tweets.

Big Oil's first cut: exploration

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-29 01:30

Shell reports earnings on Thursday, the first of the Big Oil financial snapshots. And like the other companies, a big question is how plunging oil prices will affect exploration.

Projects a year or two off are the ones companies are likely to dial back in response to low oil prices. Dominic Haywood, an analyst at Energy Aspects in London, says that could mean postponing or canceling pricier oil discovery projects, like the Arctic, which holds 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil, according to Shell. Drilling there is also controversial, says Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for Oil Price Information Service.

“One of the casualties of the lower price environment will be some of those projects that are in places that are gonna be provoking some sort of public outrage,” he says. Kloza also says until prices go up, Big Oil will probably stick to what’s safer and cheaper.

Hezbollah 'wants no Israel conflict'

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 01:27
Israel says it has received a message from Lebanese militant group Hezbollah indicating it opposes military escalation after lethal border clashes.

Terror suspect extradition 'legal'

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 01:24
The extradition of British terror suspect Haroon Aswat to the United States was lawful, European Court of Human Rights judges rule.

Pace of house price growth slowing

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 01:21
House price inflation is continuing to slow, according to the latest results from two leading surveys.

Nessie to feature in ad campaign

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 01:20
The Loch Ness Monster is to take centre stage in a new £2m advertising campaign aimed at promoting the Loch Ness area to foreign visitors.

Female Muslim converts drawn to Islamic State

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 01:16
Western women drawn to join Islamic State militants are often young converts, with limited knowledge of Islamic teachings and a paradoxical love of Western culture.

South Sudan's leader 'falls ill'

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 01:14
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir is rushed to hospital in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, after becoming ill, an official tells the BBC.

Thorn Birds author McCullough dies

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:57
Australian author Colleen McCullough, best known for her novel The Thorn Birds, dies aged 77.

Hazare to campaign against India PM

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:54
Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare is to launch a campaign against the government, three years after his hunger strike drew global attention.

VIDEO: Measles outbreak blamed on parents

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:44
The US has been measles-free for 15 years but there has been a new outbreak, which started at Disneyland in California.

More schools fail to make the grade

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:30
The number of state secondary schools in England considered to be underperforming more than doubles in a year.

300 protest at schools closure vote

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:28
Hundreds of protesters gather outside a meeting where controversial plans to close five schools in Pembrokeshire are being discussed.

And So We Meet, Again: Why The Workday Is So Filled With Meetings

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:14

Office workers are spending more and more time in meetings and preparing for meetings. Experts say it's often a waste of time, and managers — as well as a "meeting culture" — are to blame.

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For Long-Haul Drivers, Cheap Gas Means A Sweeter Commute

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:13

The plunge in gas prices is expected to save the average household about $750 this year. For rural families and others who drive a lot, the savings will likely be even greater.

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Insurance Choices Dwindle In Rural California As Blue Shield Pulls Back

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:12

When Blue Shield Of California stopped selling individual health policies in many zip codes in 2014, even insurance agents were surprised. Blue Shield says it dropped out to keep premiums low.

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AirAsia co-pilot 'was flying plane'

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:01
More details emerge from the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 flight recorder, including evidence the French co-pilot was controlling the plane before it crashed.

VIDEO: Star Wars Boba Fett sells for £18,000

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 00:00
Star Wars fan Craig Stevens has sold his Star Wars collection at auction, including a rare Boba Fett figure which sold for £18,000

Icebergs 'have sound signature'

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-28 23:55
Listening to icebergs could help to assess the extent of glacier melt, a study suggests.

Climate concern 'linked to floods'

BBC - Wed, 2015-01-28 23:52
Belief in the reality of climate change has risen among the British public, partly because of the 2013 winter floods, according to a report.