National / International News

Chinese villagers build 'money wall'

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 09:12
Villagers in China build a wall of money after a massive payout in annual dividends from their rural co-operative.

Just how seriously should we take the latest bank earnings?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-15 09:10

It's a big week for the big banks. Bank of America beat expectations with its earnings report today, $3.4 billion last quarter. Earlier this week, Wells Fargo announced record profit. JP Morgan had better than expected earnings.

"You can tell that the banking industry is recovering, and that our economy is on a recovering path," says Ken Carow, a finance professor at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

But, turns out these banking numbers maybe smell a little sweeter than they really are. The effects of the housing crisis linger on these balance sheets. Banks are writing fewer mortgages. They're facing lawsuits, government settlements.

One thing propping up these earnings reports—accountants. Big banks are adding billions of dollars from reserves that they'd set aside for loan-losses that never came to be. "Now they are reducing the reserve for the bad loans, and are going to have a positive income effect," says Anne Beatty, an accounting professor at Ohio State University. But, be very clear, "there's no cash flow associated related to this income being created. It is a pure accounting effect."

So what's a regular investor to do?

Fight back, with some math of your own.

"Do some accounting," says David Stowell, a finance professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, "it's not easy to do, and you have to look carefully at the financial statements." But, he says, it's worth it. There's a lot of accounting noise in these earnings reports, obscuring the actual business of banking.

Ariel Sharon, Whose Life And Career Shaped Israeli History, Dies

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 09:09

The former prime minister, who had been in a coma after suffering a massive stroke in 2006, died on Saturday. Sharon's career spanned the birth of the nation and most of its essential turning points. Israelis had a love-hate relationship with him that was beginning to soften only shortly before his death.

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Parents fined for term-time holiday

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 09:08
A couple who took their three children on a week's holiday to Greece during school term time are ordered to pay nearly £1,000 in fines and costs.

Dozens killed in Iraq bomb attacks

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 09:05
At least 73 people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks in central Iraq, police and medical officials say.

Britons pay to see webcam sex abuse

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 09:03
British paedophiles are among those paying to watch the abuse of children in the Philippines via webcams, a BBC investigation finds.

Finn 'must rediscover love of bowling'

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 09:02
England paceman Steven Finn has fallen "out of love" with bowling but will return to his best, says Middlesex's Angus Fraser.

Five guilty of sex attacks on girls

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 09:00
Two men and three teenage boys are convicted of a series of rapes and sexual assaults on young girls in Peterborough.

Islamic court tries 'gay' Nigerians

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:59
An Islamic court in northern Nigeria has put on trial 11 Muslim men accused of being homosexuals, a crime punishable by stoning to death, an official says.

Science enters $1,000 genome era

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:58
The ability to sequence a human genome for just $1,000 has arrived, a US genetic technology company has announced.

VIDEO: Clegg: 'Right for Rennard to apologise'

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:40
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg says it is "right Chris Rennard has been asked to apologise" following an inquiry launched by the party into claims of sexual harrasment.

Springsteen lampoons US governor

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:39
New Jersey's most famous rock star Bruce Springsteen mocks the state's embattled governor Chris Christie over the "Bridgegate" scandal on television.

Woman 'in panic at Travis groping'

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:35
A radio announcer was in a "panic" as DJ Dave Lee Travis grabbed her breasts when she was broadcasting live on BBC Radio 4, his trial hears.

Call for EU to tackle extremism

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:30
The European Commission calls on EU states to do more to pre-empt violent extremism, warning that it is fuelling terrorism.

Gnome among gifts to Royal Family

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:27
A gnome, a family photograph set on a decorative ostrich egg and a set of golf clubs are among gifts received by the Royal Family in 2013.

Government defends RBS bonus policy

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:24
Both the Prime Minister and the chancellor have been defending the government's stance on bonuses for RBS bankers

Hacking trial expert admits mistakes

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:20
A police forensic expert admits making mistakes in evidence he gave to the phone-hacking trial.

No case against Alps murders brother

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:14
A man held in connection with the murders in the French Alps of four people, including his brother, is freed from bail.

Danish woman gang-raped in India

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:12
Police in the Indian capital Delhi are investigating the alleged gang rape of a Danish woman who lost her way near her city centre hotel.

Quick Question: Time To Leave Smokers Alone?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-15 08:11

Half a century after the surgeon general's report linking smoking and cancer, the debate rages on.

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