National / International News

IMF: Russia experiencing recession

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:41
Russia is "experiencing recession now" because of economic damage caused by the crisis in Ukraine, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says.

Hospital warned on OAP patient care

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:37
Health inspectors find numerous problems with elderly patient care at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital.

UK firms use 1.4m zero-hour contracts

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:36
Nearly half of big companies in the UK use a total of 1.4 million zero-hours contracts, a study from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.

VIDEO: Inmate 'spoke after lethal injection'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:34
A US death row inmate in Oklahoma died of a heart attack after his execution was halted because the lethal injection of three drugs failed to work properly.

Arrest over McGurk's bar atrocity

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:33
A 69-year-old man is arrested over a pub bombing in which 15 people were murdered during the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Are we moving away from "too big to jail"?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:32

Federal prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, according to reporting in the New York Times. 

Ben Protess, with the Dealbook section of the New York Times, wrote:

Federal prosecutors are nearing criminal charges against some of the world’s biggest banks, according to lawyers briefed on the matter, a development that could produce the first guilty plea from a major bank in more than two decades.

In doing so, prosecutors are confronting the popular belief that Wall Street institutions have grown so important to the economy that they cannot be charged. A lack of criminal prosecutions of banks and their leaders fueled a public outcry over the perception that Wall Street giants are “too big to jail.”

"These investigations have been going on for years," Protess told Marketplace. "This is kind of a new batch of cases the last few years."

In the case of the Swiss bank, it involves allegations that it helped clients avoid taxes. In the case of BNP Paribas, it's about doing business with companies in violation of U.S. economic sanctions. The Times says this would challenge a common belief in the financial world that big banks are too important to charge in criminal cases.

"In the Credit Suisse case, that one could really be in the next couple weeks," Protess says. "We're expecting either a guilty plea for the main arm of Credit Suisse in Zurich, or perhaps even the parent company."

AUDIO: Merger 'exacerbated' Co-op problems

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:26
Sir Christopher Kelly says the merger between the Co-operative Bank and the Britannia building society "exacerbated" the problems of the two businesses.

AUDIO: Sectarian violence peaks in Iraq

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:23
The BBC's Kevin Connolly reports on the sectarian violence taking place in Iraq as the country votes.

Snowdonia surf centre's approval

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:23
Plans for a new surfing centre and "wave park" at a former factory site in Conwy Valley have been unanimously approved by councillors.

De la Hoya wants to buy LA Clippers

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:17
Boxing great Oscar De la Hoya is keen to buy into the LA Clippers after the team's owner was banned for life after making racist remarks.

AstraZeneca and UK prosperity

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:11
Firms buying other firms – good or bad for the economy?

'Child recruits' in South Sudan war

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:09
More than 9,000 child soldiers are fighting in South Sudan's brutal civil war as the country faces the threat of famine, the UN human rights chief says.

'Lab volcano' gives lightning clues

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:06
Researchers in Munich use a "volcano in the lab" to investigate the spectacular lightning in eruption plumes.

Venezuela raises minimum wage by 30%

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 01:57
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announces a raise in the minimum wage and pensions of 30% ahead of the May Day celebrations.

Donald Sterling donates a lot of Clippers tickets

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-30 01:55

Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers who on Tuesday was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million for racist remarks, reportedly has something of a history of offensive remarks and questionable business practices. Even before the furor over Sterling's most recent indiscretion, he was widely reviled by the rest of the NBA for his tight-fisted management of the Clippers that for years earned the team a reputation as the worst franchise in the NBA (and even all major league sports).

He also has a history of philanthropy, as Sterling has been the recipient of donor awards from numerous organizations like the Special Olympics and the NAACP. Whether or not Sterling's charitable efforts were a form of "reputation laundering," his aversion to spending money seemingly didn't extend to his charitable donations.

But one thing tends to pop up when reviewing Sterling's philanthropy: He gives away a lot of Clippers tickets in lieu of cash.

Not to misrepresent Sterling; he has donated millions of dollars over the years to various organizations. But his donations of Clippers tickets -- over 280,000 tickets to more than 2,000 community groups over the past few years -- are a high-profile aspect of his philanthropy.

Sterling would give around 2,000 to 3,000 tickets per game to youth groups. Those tickets may have been hot commodities over the past few seasons, but before the Clippers successful streak, Sterling's generosity had more of an appearance that he was just filling empty Staples Center seats to boost attendance.

A Sports Illustrated profile on Sterling from 2000 offers probably the most striking example of Sterling's attitudes toward his ticket donations:

Not that every charity has found it easy to separate Sterling from his swag. Linda McCoy-Murray recognized that last summer when she phoned him to help sponsor a golf tournament in honor of her late husband, venerated L.A. Times sports columnist Jim Murray. Every pro franchise in California, according to McCoy-Murray had forked over at least $5,000 to her foundation, which provides journalism scholarships. Every pro franchise, that is, except the Clippers, which had memorialized Murray on the final page of last season's media guide. Sterling offered McCoy-Murray two season passes. "You know, that's wonderful," she remembers telling him. "but we're trying to endow a college scholarship fund. We could really use cash."

Sterling, she says, replied, "Those two tickets have a face value of $4,000!"

"Fine," she said. "We can use the tickets for our silent auction. But would you also consider donating $5,000?"

Sterling said he would mull it over and call her the following week. He never did nor did he send over the season passes.

VIDEO: Execution 'horribly botched' - attorney

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 01:46
Madeline Cohen reacts to the news that a death row inmate in Oklahoma died of a heart attack after his execution was "botched".

Europe rejects UK financial tax case

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 01:29
Europe's top court rejects the UK's challenge to an EU financial transactions tax (FTT), which ministers have said will hurt British firms and savers.

AUDIO: Call for action on abducted girls

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 01:26
The Nigerian government has been criticised for not doing enough to find and release some 190 schoolgirls abducted by militants two weeks ago.

Scotland's population hits new high

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 01:17
Scotland's population reached an all-time high of 5,327,700 in mid-2013, according to new official figures.

Fatal house blaze inquiry under way

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 01:08
Investigations begin into a house fire in Leeds which left two people dead.
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