National / International News

If We'd Only Known About The Impending Spam

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:01

Twenty years ago, NPR alerted staff members that they would soon have access to a new form of communication: "A collection of computer networks that is connected around the world."

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New York Rep. Michael Grimm Indicted On 20 Counts

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

Rep. Michael Grimm of New York turned himself in to face federal charges related to a health food restaurant he ran before he was elected to Congress. The Republican congressman says he's innocent and plans to run for re-election this fall, but Democrats have have high hopes of flipping the last GOP-held seat in New York City.

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Free Speech In Focus During High Court's Case On Public Employee

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

The Supreme Court Monday considers the free speech rights of public employees who expose government corruption. In the case at hand, a former community college official says he was fired for testifying against an Alabama state legislator at a criminal fraud trial.

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On Cusp Of Third Term, Could Iraqi President Be A New Dictator?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

In the first national election since U.S. troops withdrew in 2011, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is the frontrunner for a third term in office. Despite criticism for mistreating the opposition and minority Sunnis, many say he's the man needed for Iraq's brutal situation.

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Obama Bolsters Philippines, With One Eye On China

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

President Obama is in the Philippines on the last leg of a trip through Asia. The U.S. and the Philippines just signed an agreement to allow more American troops to rotate through the archipelago.

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On Second Day Of Mass Trial, Egyptian Judge Sentences 683 To Death

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

An Egyptian judge sentenced hundreds of people to death Monday, including the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the judge's second mass-sentencing in recent weeks.

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Out Of North Korea, A Sexist Rant Against South's President

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

In a message from its state news agency, North Korea called South Korea's president a "crafty prostitute" to her "pimp," President Obama. The verbal assault followed Obama's trip to South Korea.

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Tornados Ravage Midwest, Leaving Over A Dozen Dead

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

One of the first tornados of the year wreaked havoc in the northern suburbs of Little Rock, Ark. As Michael Hibblen of Little Rock's KUAR reports, more than a dozen people have died.

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On The Sanctions List: Russia's 'Darth Vader,' Among Others

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

David J. Kramer, the president of Freedom House, talks about two of the Russian oligarchs who have been targeted for sanctions by the Obama administration.

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Washington Levels New Sanctions At Russia, Pulls Some Punches

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

In response to events in Ukraine, the Treasury Department added sanctions on seven Russian officials and 17 companies. The Obama administration has refrained from targeting whole sectors of the Russian economy and is going out of its way to proceed as part of a coalition in part to avoid an 20th century Cold War stand off.

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Marchers And Mayhem In Eastern Ukraine City Roiled By Protests

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

A pro-Ukrainian demonstration turned violent as hundreds of Ukrainians in the eastern city of Donetsk marched in support of keeping their country whole. They were opposed by pro-Russian protesters. Stun grenades were thrown into the crowd, and at least one person was wounded.

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London Tube strike gets under way

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00
A 48-hour Tube strike begins after talks between London Underground and the RMT broke down.

If your company ID badge was a tracking device...

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 11:48

What if your company ID badge was a tracking device? You'd wear it from the moment you got to work in the morning til you clocked out at night. Your badge would constantly collect data that could potentially benefit you and the whole company.

Great news: It exists.

A company called Sociometric Solutions has developed this technology. They insert microphones, Bluetooth, and other proximity sensors into an employee’s company ID badge. So far, they've had a 90 percent participation rate in every rollout they've done.  

"What we’re trying to do is really quantify what people have always felt to be unquantifiable," says Ben Waber, President and CEO of Sociometric Solutions. "Things like, how are people interacting with each other? How do you talk to customers? How engaged are you in a conversation? And how is information flowing in an organization?"

How does Sociometric Solutions get workers to agree to participate in the research process?

“[We] don’t just come into a company and say, 'Here everybody, wear this sensor.' It's actually about a four week rollout process," says Waber. "We give people consent forms, which show them the actual database tables of what we collect."

Naturally, participants have had privacy concerns. But Waber tells them not to worry: "We won’t share your individual data with your company. We don't even keep your name in the database where we are calculating all the features."

Scientists study Swiss lake tsunamis

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 11:45
Giant waves triggered in Swiss lakes by underwater landslides are low-probability events, but we still need to be alive to the risks, say scientists.

Drowning in debt? Consider a restructuring

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 11:36
Monday, April 28, 2014 - 12:22

The word restructuring sounds intimidating. In construction terms, it usually means something expensive, like tearing down, or renovating. But restructuring your debt doesn't have to be expensive or overly difficulty.

In fact, whether you're an individual or a corporation, it's supposed to save you money.

One of the reasons restructuring sounds so scary is because it's often associated with bankruptcy. But you don't have to go into bankruptcy to restructure your debt. Lately companies with money problems have increasingly managed to avoid bankruptcy -- and that's creating big issues for attorneys.

This week, a Los Angeles bankruptcy law firm, Stutman Treister & Glatt, announced it's closing its doors. Why? Because companies re opting to restructure their debt by refinancing with cheap money, rather than seeking protection from their creditors under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.

In other words, "restructuring" is often as simple as replacing one kind of debt with another. A refinancing is often itself a kind of restructuring, because it replaces the same amount of money owed, but at different terms: so while the principal remains the same, the interest rate may be lower, and the borrower may have to pay the loan back more quickly.

And anyone can get a restructuring: it's just a matter of asking your lender before your situation becomes critical. If you think you might have a problem keeping up your payments in the future, talk to your lender about it, and try to arrange a transition. Because if the situation becomes critical, you may find yourself in default, unable to pay and heading towards bankruptcy. And bankruptcy's bad for everyone.

Except the attorneys.

Paddy Hirsch's Whiteboard blog and video series

by Paddy HirschPodcast Title Drowning in debt? Consider a restructuringStory Type BlogSyndication PMPApp Respond NoVideo podcast URL upload.publicradio.org/marketplace/2014/04/Restructuring%20-H.264%20for%20iPad%20and%20iPhone%204.m4v

'Petrified' model 'murdered by ex'

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 11:31
A model allegedly stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend told police she was "petrified" of him in the days before her death, the Old Bailey hears.

VIDEO: Drone captures US tornado destruction

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 11:26
Footage captured by a drone shows the devastation left by a tornado that struck a highway south of Mayflower, Arkansas.

Max Clifford guilty of sex assaults

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 11:19
Publicist Max Clifford is found guilty of eight indecent assaults on women and girls, some as young as 15.

Will Jupiter align with Mars?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 11:09

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at what's coming up Tuesday, April 29th:

In Washington, the Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting on interest rates. It's one of eight scheduled over the course of the year.

The Conference Board releases its April Consumer Confidence Index.

46 years ago, in the Age of Aquarius, "Hair" opened on Broadway. Let the sunshine in.

Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst was born on April 29, 1863. He built a media empire and a giant castle which you can tour in San Simeon, California.

And what's the deal with birthdays? Comedian Jerry Seinfeld turns 60.

CarMax, Virgin America, others abandon Clippers' ship

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 11:00

The NBA is still investigating the legitimacy of a recording that appears to show Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks, but action from the corporate world was swift and decisive. Several major sponsors of the Clippers either "paused" or pulled their support from the team.

The used-car retailer CarMax and Virgin America both announced they will cut ties to the Clippers immediately, while insurance company State Farm and the auto maker Kia Motors have suspended their sponsorships. It is difficult to be exact with the numbers on how much each company pays in sponsorship, but it will certainly be a blow to a team that was otherwise having a strong year. 

Listed No. 13 on Forbes' list of NBA team valuations, the Clippers are currently valued at $575 million, though many estimate the team could sell for more than that. It is also worth noting that Sterling bought the team in 1981, when they were based in San Diego, for $12 million.

This is not the first time the Clippers' owner has faced accusations of this nature -- in 2009, Sterling paid a settlement of $2.725 million in a federal housing discrimination case in which he was accused of excluding black and hispanic tenants from renting properties that he owned in Los Angeles.

 

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