National / International News

Delinquent Mines: Congress Revives Bill To Hold Mine Owners Accountable

NPR News - Thu, 2015-04-23 14:55

The measure, first proposed in 2910, would shut down mines if owners fail to pay fines for safety violations.

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A tale of two Camerons: Dallas and David

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 14:52
The prime minister shares a name with a social media superstar - and his Twitter stats show it.

VIDEO: Could a train revive Stoke-on-Trent?

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 14:51
Officials in Stoke-on-Trent are fighting to get the HS2 route through their city. So does the transport infrastructure affect people's politics?

Russia and Argentina in energy deals

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 14:39
Argentina and Russia sign a series of framework agreements on economic and energy co-operation following talks in Moscow.

Inmates moved to safety in jail fire

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 14:37
A fire at Northern Ireland's high security prison leads to the evacuation of part of the jail while firefighters dealt with the blaze.

Clubs await draws for semi-finals

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 14:30
The draws for the semi-finals of the Champions League and Europa League take place on Friday.

Root century gives England platform

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 14:28
A sparkling hundred from Joe Root puts England in a strong position to push for victory in the second Test against West Indies.

Maryland Governor Sends State Troopers As Protests Grow In Baltimore

NPR News - Thu, 2015-04-23 14:14

Protesters took to the streets demanding justice, after a black man suffered a deadly injury to his spine after being arrested by police.

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Biometrics May Ditch The Password, But Not The Hackers

NPR News - Thu, 2015-04-23 13:44

Fingerprints, facial and voice recognition — companies are investing in more secure methods to verify people. But even biometrics can be defeated, and they raise privacy concerns.

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VIDEO: EU triples migrant rescue funding

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 13:41
European leaders commit extra ships, planes and helicopters to save the lives of migrants in the Mediterranean, as Katya Adler reports.

Time Warner Cable's CEO could be out $80 million

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-04-23 13:25

A couple of details on the likely demise of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal.

Item number one: Comcast isn't going to have to pay the usual breakup fee — the 2 to 5 percent of the sale price that the would-be acquire-er normally pays to the would-be acquire-ee if things go south. It just wasn't in the original paperwork, says Fortune Magazine.

Also, Time Warner Cable CEO Robert Marcus would have gotten an $80 million exit package if the deal had gone through. Or, to look at it another way: more than a million dollars a day for the 45 days from the time Marcus took over to the day the merger was announced.

Sorry about that, Mr. Marcus.

SNP 'would nullify 40-seat Tory lead'

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 13:14
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says she would prop up a Labour government, even if the Tories finished the election as the largest party by up to 40 seats.

Zenit St Petersburg 2-2 Sevilla

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 13:11
Holders Sevilla survive a scare to book a place in the Europa League semi-finals after edging past Zenit St Petersburg.

New CCTV of bus stop rapist released

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 13:04
New CCTV footage of a man wanted for the rape and attempted murder of a woman in Leeds is released in a fresh appeal.

Imagining affordable housing in New York

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-04-23 13:00

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to build or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units over the next decade. And not a moment too soon. An estimated half of New York renters lack affordable housing, meaning they spend more than a third of their salaries on rent. That may be as many as 1 million people.

In unveiling his OneNYC plan this week, de Blasio said he'll attempt to lift 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty.

His office called it one of the largest urban poverty initiatives in U.S. history, and affordable housing is likely to be one of the major proposals.

De Blasio has also called for the creation of 160,000 units of market-rate housing over the next decade, an acknowledgement, some say, that all New Yorkers are affected by a housing shortage.

The stakes of the failing Comcast-Time Warner merger

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-04-23 13:00

On Thursday, the long-awaited acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast was reported to be on the rocks

But what's truly at stake for consumers in a $45 billion mega-merger between cable providers? 

Peter Carstensen, emeritus professor of law at the University of Wisconsin, says they're not competing for broadband customers—but they are competing when they buy programming.  A merger could have given them sizable market power, and Senator Al Franken says competing TV networks complained to him in private, fearing reprisals.

But industry analyst Ian Olgeirson at SNL Kagan says the effects on the end consumer of this merger — or any merger with Time Warner that takes place — are likely to be subtle.

Pacific trade and the fear of currency manipulation

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-04-23 13:00

A free-trade deal among the United States and 11 Pacific nations called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is wending its way through Capitol Hill. Opposition seems to deal has been largely united under the threat of currency manipulation.

Generally speaking, a country with a weaker currency is thought to have an advantage in trade, because their stuff is cheaper. So, currency manipulation is when a central bank buys or sells a lot foreign currency in an attempt to influence the exchange rate. 

In practice however, Carl Weinberg , with the firm High Frequency Economics, says the threat posed by this kind of tinker tends to be over stated.

"Quite frankly, domestic monetary policy usually has more important things to do to help the economy than focusing on trade," Weinberg says.

While some countries such as Japan and South Korea may dabble in this area, Weinberg says the broader impacts of the Pacific trade deal outweigh the risk.

"The trade treaty has values and merits of its own, independent of anything that is happening on the currency side, at any exchange rate," he says.

The Treasury Department already has the ability to take action during cases of currency manipulation, which currency analyst Marc Chandler of Brown, Brothers Harriman says is an authority it rarely uses, even if some members of Congress think it should.

"The U.S. Treasury has not cited another country of currency-market manipulation in over a decade," Chandler says.

Free-trade agreements tend to be controversial, especially leading up to election years, and Chandler points out that if the Pacific deal does go through, together with NAFTA, roughly 40 percent of world GDP would be subject to free trade agreements.

And if it doesn’t? 

"It would look like the U.S. is retreating from the global international leadership space."

China, the country that is most often accused of manipulation isn’t part of this deal, and the yuan has been gradually gaining against the euro and the dollar for some time.

Hatton Garden heist reward offered

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 12:58
A £20,000 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gang responsible for the Hatton Garden heist.

Return Of Horses A Sign Of Spring On Michigan Island

NPR News - Thu, 2015-04-23 12:46

Over the next two months, more than 300 draft and riding horses will be transported by ferry to Mackinac Island.

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Mayweather-Pacquiao fight sells out

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-23 12:35
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao's fight sells out in minutes and tickets immediately appear on websites for £47,000.