National / International News

VIDEO: Syria sides 'to meet face-to-face'

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 15:27
Syria's opposition and government will meet "in the same room" in Geneva on Saturday after the first day of a peace conference ended with no direct talks.

VIDEO: Multiple explosions rock Cairo

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 15:21
At least six people have been killed and some 100 more injured in four explosions in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

String Of Oil Train Crashes Prompts Push For Safety Rules

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 15:20

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for the swift enactment of tough new standards on trains carrying crude oil. With the huge increase in oil shipped by rail across North America, safety officials warn another major disaster could be looming.

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Benefits stopped 'to meet targets'

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 15:15
Thousands of people looking for work in the north-east of England may have had their benefits stopped to meet government targets, the PCS union claims.

Brazil's 'simple' World Cup problems

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 15:01
Brazil plays down concerns about its World Cup preparations

An Unconventional Contender Emerges As GOP Ponders 2016 Convention

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 15:01

Las Vegas may seem to be an unlikely place for Republicans to gather to nominate their next presidential candidate. That's exactly why city leaders are getting such a head start on their pitch to do just that.

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VIDEO: Secret Google lab 'rewards failure'

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:59
Astro Teller, Google X's "Captain of Moonshots", tells BBC Newsnight's David Grossman about the secret laboratory's approach to rewarding staff failure.

New Study Shakes Up Science On Midwest Quake Zone

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:59

The fault that sparked a series of magnitude 7 earthquakes in 1811-12 had been thought dead, but the latest research suggests the region is still alive and kicking.

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Scottish couple's 'brush' with bear

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:56
A Scots couple on holiday in California come face-to-face with a bear which wandered onto the porch of the home where they were staying.

Secret Google lab 'rewards failure'

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:56
The secret Google lab that rewards staff failure

VIDEO: Purple tomatoes: Food of the future?

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:54
Scientists in Norwich have developed a genetically modified purple tomato, which is being produced in Canada due to European hostility to GM foods.

Judge Tells Hospital To Take Pregnant Woman Off Life Support

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:47

A North Texas judge has ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove life support from a woman who is 22 weeks pregnant. Her family says Marlise Munoz is brain-dead; the hospital has cited a state law requiring her to be kept alive.

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Colombia hopes for peace 'this year'

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:45
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos tells the BBC he hopes to sign a peace treaty with the rebels this year to end a decades-long conflict.

Comic criticises council 'zealots'

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:41
One of NI's leading comedians criticises the council "zealots" who have banned a play in County Antrim after complaints that it was blasphemous.

VIDEO: Tyres ablaze at Kiev protest site

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:38
The BBC's Duncan Crawford reports on protests in the centre of Kiev, next to piles of tyres that were later set alight by protesters.

What's your Facebook credit score?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:37

We know that credit goes way beyond the plastic in our wallets -- from how much debt we carry to paying it off on time. Now, some credit agencies are looking into using our social media information in our credit reports.

Credit expert John Ulzheimer says what we post and who we add as friends on social media can have farer reaching effects than we think. “It’s the whole mantra, birds of a feather tend to flock together. And if you tend to connect with people who are high risk or higher risk borrowers, then the perception is that you are as well. And that’s really where the issue lies.”

It's not hard to figure out why credit agencies would want to know what you're like as a person to decide if you're worthy of a loan or credit card, but, is it legal? Ulzheimer says that remains to be seen. "Whether or not it’s legal really is up to how it is perceived in the Equal Opportunity Credit Act. It has to be built using science.”

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have treasure troves full of information that they could sell, but actually selling personal information could lead to headaches down the road, according to Ulzheimer. “Here is the massive, massive problem that ... social media sites are going to have to deal with. Right now, none of those companies are referred to as a 'consumer reporting agency.' The Fair Credit Reporting Act has a very clear definition of what is a consumer reporting agency. The minute any of these social media sites decide to monetize their information for the purposes of allowing lenders and credit reporting agencies to assess the risk … of consumers, they also become become a consumer reporting agency … you’re going to be in the crosshairs for any number of federal fair credit reporting lawsuits.”

So, should you worry? Ulzheimer says don't go into paralysis over your social media networks, but if there's something you want to remain private, don't post it. "I would just be very careful, that if you’re not willing to tell everybody something, then don’t post it on Facebook, don’t put it on Twitter.”

Sound advice, even beyond credit scores.

Moustaches are up; shaving is down

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:34

Procter and Gamble reported quarterly profits this morning. Turns out they're down 16 percent, in part because sales at Gillette were off, as beards and mustaches are apparently becoming more popular.

Chief Financial officer John Moeller said this to the Financial Times: "While the incidence of facial shaving is somewhat down... the incidence of body shaving is up, and we can take advantage of that."

You can't unhear that.

My second Davos - what I learned

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:16
Why you must beware on the stairs at the WEF

Holder Favors Pot Banking, And Legal Dealers Shrug

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:09

The attorney general's view could make it easier for marijuana businesses to have bank accounts. But shop owners say they never doubted that banks want a cut of a billion-dollar industry.

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The financial implications of returning home

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-24 14:01
The costs of young adults returning to live with parents

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