National / International News

Inside the CIA's crystal ball for 2015

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-01 11:00

In 2000, the Central Intelligence Agency released a 70-page report predicting what the world would be like in 2015.

A few of the predictions:

  • The world population will grow by more than 1 billion, to 7.2 billion.

That's right on the nose.

  • Europe will not achieve fully the dreams of parity with the U.S. as a shaper of the global economic system.

Man, was that prescient as the Euro Zone faces slow growth, and another recession.

  • Populations in many African countries will fall because of aids, famine and continuing economy and political turmoil.

They didn't get everything right. The continent's population has grown by about 300 million.

You can find a more complete list of the predictions on Business Insider's website.

Pardew to start at Palace on Friday

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 10:03
Alan Pardew will start work as Crystal Palace boss on Friday, according to caretaker boss Keith Millen.

VIDEO: Crowds join London's New Year parade

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 10:03
Thousands of people take part in London's New Year's Day parade, which this year celebrated the transport network.

Brazil's Rousseff takes new term oath

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 09:59
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is sworn-in for a second term, telling supporters she plans to extend social programmes and tackle corruption.

Semi-rosy outlook for housing market

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-01 09:50

Real-estate analysts predict 2015 will be better for the housing market than 2014. How much better?

A 10 percent increase in home sales would be a "realistic expectation," according to Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. "Frankly, if we just continued what we saw in the second half of 2014, we’d be up 10 percent." But, that's only if interest rates don’t shoot up too much, and unemployment continues to decline. 

How about prices? What’ll happen to them in 2015?

“We are predicting that the price of the average existing single family home will come in around 2.8 percent year-on-year for 2015, ” says Stephanie Karol, a U.S. economist with IHS Global Insight. In other words, prices will increase around 2.8 percent this year, compared to more than 3 percent in 2014.

So, it’s all sweetness and light for the housing market in the coming year?

Not quite. A housing Grinch looms in the background. “Just put a green face on me,” says Anthony Sanders teaches real estate finance at George Mason University.  He says a big shadow is looming over the 2015 housing market: wage growth. Wages have only increased by around 2 percent, but Sanders says we need 5 or 6 percent wage growth for people to have enough money to buy a house.

The jobs being created in this economic recovery don’t pay enough to support buying a home, he says. “Mostly service industry.... You know, wait staff. And those are not people that are traditional homeowners.”

Until wages pick up, Sanders says, we’ll have to rely on foreign investors who still see U.S. housing as a bargain. 

Coleraine firm creates 17 new jobs

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 09:03
An insurance company has announced it is creating 17 new jobs in Coleraine, County Londonderry.

Fan confronts Wenger on touchline

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:46
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confronted by a supporter in the dugout during the Gunners 2-0 defeat by Southampton.

Four held after cyclist crash death

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:44
Four people are arrested after a cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run in St Leonards.

McDonald's makes a move toward not-so-fast food

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:44

McDonald's has hit hard times. Its earnings report in 2014 was the lowest in over a decade.

But the company announced a big change that may help spur sales: It's rolling out custom burgers across the country. 

The move towards customization is part of a growing trend in the food industry. Sales for fast food, or quick-service restaurants as they're officially known, have been flat, but fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle and Panera have seen surging growth.

So McDonald's is trying a few new tricks. Last week, the company opened a test kitchen restaurant in Sydney, Australia, called The Corner with fancier fare than the usual burgers and fries. And more upscale options could soon follow stateside.

Syria war 'killed 76,000' in 2014

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:41
The number of deaths in Syria's conflict hit a record level in 2014 - more than 76,000 - activists say, as figures also reveal a deadly year in Iraq.

VIDEO: Greste parents: Retrial 'a good outcome'

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:28
The decision to re-try three al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt for over a year has been cautiously welcomed by the father of one of the men.

WATCH: Full Video Of President Obama's Interview With NPR

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:26

The interview was wide-ranging and nuanced. Obama touched on topics ranging from Iran to his view of race relations in the country to the new political reality of a Legislature controlled by the GOP.

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Boston bomb trial delay rejected

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:26
A US federal judge denies requests by the Boston Marathon bombing suspect to delay the trial by nine months until September and move it to another city.

Lithuania rings in the new year with a new currency

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:18

Along with ringing in the new year last night, Lithuania welcomed the euro, becoming the 19th nation to join the common currency. The BBC's Vishala Sri-Pathma has been reporting from Lithuania and tells us what the change could mean, from higher prices to tensions with Russia.

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

'Ecstasy' suspected in three deaths

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:14
Three men die and another is in hospital after taking drugs from a suspected dangerous batch of ecstasy, police say.

PODCAST: Federal contractors get a raise

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-01 08:02

First up, federal contract workers will get a raise this year, making $10.10 an hour at minimum, but it's tough to tell how many of them will actually see a bump. Then: The so-called Internet of things - connected objects in the home, like soccer balls, appliances and  locks - reached a turning point last year, and it's poised to be huge in 2015. We look at the first bellwether: the Consumer Electronics show. Finally, Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson chats about the big tech stories to look for in 2015.

Manchester City 3-2 Sunderland

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 07:55
Substitute Frank Lampard heads a dramatic winner as Manchester City beat Sunderland to go level on points with leaders Chelsea.

Aberdeen 2-0 St Johnstone

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 07:51
David Goodwillie and Cammy Smith score as Aberdeen beat St Johnstone to move top of the Scottish Premiership.

VIDEO: Hopes and fears for Cuban tourism

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 07:51
Will Grant reports on what the historic thaw between the United Stated and Cuba could mean for the island nation.

China leader seeks Shanghai answers

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-01 07:51
China's President Xi Jinping demands an investigation into a crush in Shanghai on New Year's Eve that killed 36 people and injured 47.