National / International News

VIDEO: Mail delivery 'cherry picking' claims

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 03:09
Royal Mail says competitors in the bigger cities cherry picking its business could harm rural postal services.

Interest rate rises 'won't wreck the recovery'

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 03:07
Research by the Bank of England suggests interest rate rises will not wreck the economic recovery, though they will be acutely painful for hundreds of thousands of households.

VIDEO: The background to the Dewani case

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 03:01
Jon Kay reports on the background to the Shrien Dewani murder case, as a judge dismisses it due to lack of evidence.

Japan sinks into a deeper recession

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-12-08 03:00
1.9 percent

That's how much Japan's economy shrunk in the third quarter compared to the second, Bloomberg reported. That puts the country in a deeper recession than predicted.

113th

The 113th Congress comes to an end in a couple weeks, which makes for a lame-duck session. Before then, lawmakers have to figure out how to fund the government, and they have to deal with both a defense bill and tax breaks that are set to expire.

5 percent

That's the portion of New York City cops who bring charges in 40 percent of resisting arrest cases. That's according to a report from WNYC, which also notes 60 percent of officers didn't charge anyone with the crime. 

November 24

The day a grand jury declined to charge Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, not long after, another cop in New York would be cleared of similar charges. Twitter tracked the hashtags "#HandsUpDontShoot," "#BlackLivesMatter" and "#ICantBreathe." That day through last week, to see how protests changes over time.

PODCAST: Diversifying the police force

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-12-08 03:00

First up on today's show: how H&R Block is doing with its strategy of offering help with ACA stuff as a way to bring new customers in to the tax service. Plus, after Ferguson, there has been more than a little talk about making police forces more reflective of the communities they serve. But that's no panacea. And new research out of Pew says lame duck sessions of Congress are more productive than you might think. But what about this Congress in particular -- how effective has it been, and can we really expect a surge in productivity?

'Nut rage' delayed Korean Air plane

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:52
Officials are investigating claims that a senior Korean Air executive delayed a flight after taking issue with the way she was served nuts.

Woman killed in ambulance accident

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:49
A woman dies in a road accident in wintery conditions on the A76, five miles south of Mennock in Dumfries and Galloway.

Strikes disrupt transport in Belgium

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:48
Transport services in Belgium have been severely disrupted by strikes protesting against government austerity measures.

Those big numbers keep on coming

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:39
Watching Gangnam Style for 17,000 years.

Canada closes embassy in Cairo

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:30
The Canadian embassy in Cairo is closed due to "security concerns", a day after Britain shut its mission in the Egyptian capital.

Disability fund closure ruled lawful

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:25
A government decision to close a fund that helps disabled people to live and work in the community is lawful, the High Court rules.

Dewani murder case thrown out

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:20
A judge dismisses case against Shrien Dewani, who was accused of arranging murder of wife Anni in South Africa

Trapped pony rescued from slurry pit

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:15
A pony trapped in a slurry pit near Wellington, Shropshire, is pulled from a slurry pit by fire crews.

Son detained for trying to kill dad

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:14
A man who attempted to murder his 97-year-old father in Lancashire is detained for 14 years.

VIDEO: Sherlock stars win big at BIFA

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:08
Sherlock stars Andrew Scott and Benedict Cumberbatch have both won awards at the British Independent Film Awards.

New grammar bid 'nears approval'

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:07
A bid by a Kent grammar to open a satellite school is nearing approval with the education secretary expected to grant permission, it has emerged.

VIDEO: 'Fatberg' warning for festive cooks

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:05
Cooks are being advised not to pour cooking fat down the drain where it can accumulate causing giant 'fatbergs'.

What can be done to save my local High Street?

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:04
Is something stirring on the High Street?

Ben Affleck on sustainable aid in the Eastern Congo

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:00

Actor and philanthropist, Ben Affleck sat down with David Brancaccio to talk about Affleck's foundation, the Eastern Congo Initiative. The organization is an advocacy and grant-making initiative focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo.  

Five facts about the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the history of conflict in the country: 

  • With a population of more than 68 million people, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the fourth most populous country in Africa, and the 18th most populous country in the world
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to the second-largest rainforest in the world – 18% of the planet’s remaining tropical rainforests are in the region.
  • More than 250 ethnic groups reside in the Democratic Republic of Congo and they speak more than 240 languages.
  • Violence, poverty and disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo have claimed the lives of more than 5 million men, women and children.
  • Despite democratic elections and multiple peace agreements, the eastern region is still impacted by conflict – more than 1.3 million people are not able to return to their homes.

 

Ben Affleck walks among a crowd at a camp outside of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Credit: Barbara Kinney

 

Ben Affleck on his first visits to eastern Congo, and what made him want to help: 

"The people who were living there were not, you know, hiding under tables. They were not cowering before warlords. You could go to a city and people were still going to work, and trying to sell cellphone chips and bananas and these little scooters, and that the human spirit was such that they wanted not only to live, but to thrive and to succeed. In fact, the very same things we believe in fervently here. Sort of the American dream. The Congolese had a very similar dream, and I was moved by that.

"You know I had a sort of ... subconsciously labored under this delusion that's fostered here when we see images of Africans. You know, swollen bellies, laying on their back, flies on their eyes, [saying] "help us," you know, that sort of thing, waiting for a handout. And these were people who in particular in the community-based organizations that I was drawn to who were doing that work for themselves and in an extremely smart and dedicated way."

 On how he is trying to help: 

"When we looked at aid and traditional aid and aid models and [at] what was successful, we found a really mixed bag. In fact, opponents of aid will point out that $50 billion has been given over the last 70 years, and there hasn't been much progress. Part of what we believed was that that was because, in large measure, it was about western people paying themselves to go over there and sort of wander around and do very short-term projects. So we wanted to do something sustainable that would raise incomes and that would be there long after we were gone. And so what we chose was coffee and cocoa. Both of which [for]  the Congolese were huge businesses and huge agricultural sources of revenue before the war." 

 On being just another guy from California who thinks he's got the prescription for fixing problems half a world away: 

"One of the flaws that we identified when I first started traveling and doing research was that you have large NGOs [non-governmental organizations] who sort of plant themselves in the region and say, "This is how you're going to do it." And I sort of liken it to as if the Chinese showed up in Iowa and said, "No, no, no this is how you're going to farm." They may have a good technique for farming, but the cultural issues and the dramatic change would be such that it would be counterproductive. So what we do is we identify the community organizations who are already in the communities. Who already have the relationships. Who are already leaders in the communities. Who have experience with what they're doing, and we help foster growth with them. We help support them. We help expand what they can do....

"I am keenly aware of the fact that I am a guy from California. That despite the fact that I've been [to] the region nine times, and have done a lot of research and know a lot of people down there, that doesn't make me an expert. What makes me smart is that I listen to experts, and most of all I listen to the Congolese." 

 

 

Close-up of coffee beans from one of the Eastern Congo Initiative's partner cooperatives.

Credit: Michael Christopher Brown

 

 

Affleck also has a few suggestions for how to get involved and help. You can also listen to them by clicking on the above audio link: 

  • Support and buy products made by the Congolese.
  • Become aware of the issues.
  • Become a constituency and support politicians who support these issues. 

You can find more information and ways to help at easterncongo.org 

Note: Listen to Marketplace Morning Report this week and next for more stories about the Democratic Republic of Congo. Marketplace reporter, Sabri Ben-Achour, went to Congo for two weeks, and produced stories about the difficulties the country is facing, corruption, war, and the courageous struggle that individuals have to go through to rebuild their lives.

Ben Affleck on the Eastern Congo Initiative

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-12-08 02:00

Actor and philanthropist, Ben Affleck sat down with David Brancaccio to talk about Affleck's foundation, the Eastern Congo Initiative. The organization is an advocacy and grant-making initiative focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo. 

 

Five facts about the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the history of conflict in the country:

 

  • With a population of more than 68 million people, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the fourth most populous country in Africa, and the 18th most populous country in the world
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to the second-largest rainforest in the world – 18% of the planet’s remaining tropical rainforests are in the region.
  • More than 250 ethnic groups reside in the Democratic Republic of Congo and they speak more than 240 languages.
  • Violence, poverty and disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo have claimed the lives of more than 5 million men, women and children.
  • Despite democratic elections and multiple peace agreements, the eastern region is still impacted by conflict – more than 1.3 million people are not able to return to their homes.

 

Ben Affleck walks among a crowd at a camp outside of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Credit: Barbara Kinney

 

Ben Affleck on his first visits to eastern Congo, and what made him want to help:

 

"The people who were living there were not, you know, hiding under tables. They were not cowering before warlords. You could go to a city and people were still going to work, and trying to sell cellphone chips and bananas and these little scooters, and that the human spirit was such that they wanted not only to live, but to thrive and to succeed. In fact, the very same things we believe in fervently here. Sort of the American dream. The Congolese had a very similar dream, and I was moved by that.

"You know I had a sort of ... subconsciously labored under this delusion that's fostered here when we see images of Africans. You know, swollen bellies, laying on their back, flies on their eyes, [saying] "help us," you know, that sort of thing, waiting for a handout. And these were people who in particular in the community-based organizations that I was drawn to who were doing that work for themselves and in an extremely smart and dedicated way."

 

On how he is trying to help:

 

"When we looked at aid and traditional aid and aid models and [at] what was successful, we found a really mixed bag. In fact, opponents of aid will point out that $50 billion has been given over the last 70 years, and there hasn't been much progress. Part of what we believed was that that was because, in large measure, it was about western people paying themselves to go over there and sort of wander around and do very short-term projects. So we wanted to do something sustainable that would raise incomes and that would be there long after we were gone. And so what we chose was coffee and cocoa. Both of which [for]  the Congolese were huge businesses and huge agricultural sources of revenue before the war." 

 

On being just another guy from California who thinks he's got the prescription for fixing problems half a world away:

 

"One of the flaws that we identified when I first started traveling and doing research was that you have large NGOs [non-governmental organizations] who sort of plant themselves in the region and say, "This is how you're going to do it." And I sort of liken it to as if the Chinese showed up in Iowa and said, "No, no, no this is how you're going to farm." They may have a good technique for farming, but the cultural issues and the dramatic change would be such that it would be counterproductive. So what we do is we identify the community organizations who are already in the communities. Who already have the relationships. Who are already leaders in the communities. Who have experience with what they're doing, and we help foster growth with them. We help support them. We help expand what they can do....

"I am keenly aware of the fact that I am a guy from California. That despite the fact that I've been [to] the region nine times, and have done a lot of research and know a lot of people down there, that doesn't make me an expert. What makes me smart is that I listen to experts, and most of all I listen to the Congolese." 

 

 

Close-up of coffee beans from one of the Eastern Congo Initiative's partner cooperatives.

Credit: Michael Christopher Brown

 

 

Affleck also has a few suggestions for how to get involved and help. You can also listen to them by clicking on the above audio link:

 

  • Support and buy products made by the Congolese.
  • Become aware of the issues.
  • Become a constituency and support politicians who support these issues.

 

You can find more information and ways to help at easterncongo.org

 

Note: Listen to Marketplace Morning Report this week and next for more stories about the Democratic Republic of Congo. Marketplace reporter, Sabri Ben-Achour, went to Congo for two weeks, and produced stories about the difficulties the country is facing, corruption, war, and the courageous struggle that individuals have to go through to rebuild their lives.

 

Pages