National / International News

German diplomat 'injured' in Yemen

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:35
A German diplomat has been injured in a suspected kidnapping attempt in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, security officials say.

NBA Weighs Penalties After Sterling's Alleged Race Remarks Surface

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:35

Controversy is swirling around racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The NBA is exploring its potential responses as it investigates the allegations.

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Cameron 'won't be PM' if no EU vote

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:29
David Cameron says he will not lead a government after the 2015 election which is unable to deliver an EU referendum.

Back From Recess, Congress Opens With Scandal

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:29

Monday was a rough day for House Speaker John Boehner: One of his members was indicted on federal charges, and another announced he wouldn't seek re-election after an alleged affair.

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Border towns hit hard as fewer migrants cross

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:26

The rain pours down in the Northern Mexican town of Altar, as local priest Padre Prisciliano Peraza drives down a bumpy dirt road. The road leads to the border town of Sasabe, some 60 miles away. 

Peraza has been the priest here in Altar, Sonora for a decade. In that period, this small town boomed as a staging area for migrants preparing to cross the border. But now it appears on the verge of a bust.

Fewer migrants are trying to sneak across Arizona’s border these days. And that means some towns on the Mexican side that rely on the smuggling economy have been hit hard. Local businesses sprouted up to feed, house and sell supplies to migrants on their way up to the Arizona desert.

Peraza says among those entrepreneurial endeavors are van businesses that drive migrants on this very road.

“They use old vans, and have taken out the seats so they can fit more people,” Peraza says in Spanish.

Much of this business is controlled by organized crime.

But migration from Mexico has been on a downward trend for the last several years, as smuggling routes have changed. 

For the first time in 16 years, the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson sector – which covers Southern Arizona – lost its designation as the busiest place to catch migrants last year.

It was surpassed by Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where agents made almost 155,000 apprehensions last year, a 58 percent uptick from the year before. The Border Patrol’s Tucson sector made 120,939 apprehensions last year, down from 491,771 ten years ago.

“Before, many more people used to come through here,” says local pharmacist Maria Jaime Peña in Spanish. She has been selling migrants items like caffeine pills and electrolyte packets for years.

Altar’s local government estimates that four years ago, several thousand migrants passed through a day. Now? A couple hundred.

“There’s a lot of Central Americans,” Jaime Peña says of the migrants she’s seen lately. “And I’ve seen women some come through with their babies.”

Those are the same recent trends the Border Patrol has reported, too.

About two thirds of Altar’s restaurants and half the convenience stores have closed in the past four years, according to estimates from the local government.

Still, Jaime Peña’s store shows some evidence of the force behind the migrant economy. Like the gallon-size black water jugs she sells for about a dollar.

She says when migrants used the regular clear water jugs they reflected in the moonlight, and made it easier for Border Patrol to spot them. And voila – a business opportunity was born. A local water bottling company came out with a black water jug and that is what most migrants use, Jaime Peña says.

But now that bottling company says it has had to diversify its clientele.

On the outskirts of Altar, local families gather to celebrate a quinceañera, a girl's 15th birthday. A band plays in spite of the rain. Many here are worried about the town’s future.

“It’s as if we’re waiting adrift for something miraculous to happen,” says Juan José Corona Moreno, a doctor at the party. “And really if we as citizens don’t do something, this isn’t going to change.”

Corona Moreno thinks the town should return to its roots in ranching and agriculture.

The local government is trying to recruit a maquiladora to provide manufacturing jobs.

That could be the only chance for new employment here, unless another wave of migration picks up.

Iraq suicide bomb at rally kills 30

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:22
A suicide bomber kills 30 people at a campaign rally in north-eastern Iraq, as militants target polling centres in advance of Wednesday's polls.

In the NBA, power lies with owner-franchisees

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:08
Monday, April 28, 2014 - 16:05 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Team owner Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers watches the San Antonio Spurs play against the Memphis Grizzlies during Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 19, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.

As an NBA owner, Donald Sterling is a franchisee, but his influence is far greater than that of his counterparts in, for example, the fast food business. 

Typically, in a franchisor-franchisee relationship, it is the franchisor that holds most of the power. Jill Pilgrim, a sports attorney and business consultant, says sports franchises like the NBA "do a little twist on that general concept." In the case of the NBA, Pilgrim explains, team owners decided collectively to coordinate their business operations. 

"The owners are like members of a club," Pilgrim said. "They are a club who have a common business interest in the development of sports, but also revenue generation."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will use the NBA's bylaws and constitution to determine if - and how - Sterling is to be punished. Those documents aren't public, but Jill Pilgrim says the constitution probably includes a morals clause that forbids an owner from doing anything that might hurt revenue. 

"There is no doubt," Pilgrim said, "however that provision is worded, that this has definitely hurt the brand of the NBA." 

If an investigation shows the tapes to be authentic, Sterling could face at least a fine, and, at most, a suspension.

"A fine would likely be $500,000 or a million dollars," said Michael McCann, director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. "That would be a significant move for many, but Donald Sterling is reportedly worth $1.9 billion, so a fine of $1 million...wouldn't send as strong a signal as the NBA likely wants to send."

If Sterling is suspended, McCann said, the owner would be prevented from having any contact with Clippers players or coaching staff. "It would really be like a restraining order from his own team," McCann said. "And the thinking is that during that time he would try to sell the team."

That the 30 NBA owners, including Sterling, appoint the commissioner who is charged with investigating and handing down punishment, raises questions about just how independent Silver can be.

Gabe Feldman, director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane Law School, says NBA owners make a tremendous financial investments in their teams, and those investments appreciate over time.

"Even if the other 29 owners here are unhappy with what Donald Sterling has said, and how it impacts the value of their franchise," said Feldman, "they don't want, down the road, someone to say, 'well, we don't like what you said, so we're going to take your franchise from you.'"

Marketplace for Monday April 28, 2014What if you found out your boss made racist remarks?CarMax, Virgin Air, others abandon Clippers' shipby Noel KingPodcast Title In NBA, power lies with owner-franchisees Story Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Teacher stabbed to death at school

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:05
A 61-year-old teacher is stabbed to death in an attack witnessed by pupils inside a school in Leeds.

If We'd Only Known About The Impending Spam

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:01

Twenty years ago, NPR alerted staff members that they would soon have access to a new form of communication: "A collection of computer networks that is connected around the world."

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New York Rep. Michael Grimm Indicted On 20 Counts

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

Rep. Michael Grimm of New York turned himself in to face federal charges related to a health food restaurant he ran before he was elected to Congress. The Republican congressman says he's innocent and plans to run for re-election this fall, but Democrats have have high hopes of flipping the last GOP-held seat in New York City.

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Free Speech In Focus During High Court's Case On Public Employee

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

The Supreme Court Monday considers the free speech rights of public employees who expose government corruption. In the case at hand, a former community college official says he was fired for testifying against an Alabama state legislator at a criminal fraud trial.

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On Cusp Of Third Term, Could Iraqi President Be A New Dictator?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

In the first national election since U.S. troops withdrew in 2011, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is the frontrunner for a third term in office. Despite criticism for mistreating the opposition and minority Sunnis, many say he's the man needed for Iraq's brutal situation.

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Obama Bolsters Philippines, With One Eye On China

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

President Obama is in the Philippines on the last leg of a trip through Asia. The U.S. and the Philippines just signed an agreement to allow more American troops to rotate through the archipelago.

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On Second Day Of Mass Trial, Egyptian Judge Sentences 683 To Death

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

An Egyptian judge sentenced hundreds of people to death Monday, including the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the judge's second mass-sentencing in recent weeks.

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Out Of North Korea, A Sexist Rant Against South's President

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

In a message from its state news agency, North Korea called South Korea's president a "crafty prostitute" to her "pimp," President Obama. The verbal assault followed Obama's trip to South Korea.

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Tornados Ravage Midwest, Leaving Over A Dozen Dead

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

One of the first tornados of the year wreaked havoc in the northern suburbs of Little Rock, Ark. As Michael Hibblen of Little Rock's KUAR reports, more than a dozen people have died.

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On The Sanctions List: Russia's 'Darth Vader,' Among Others

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

David J. Kramer, the president of Freedom House, talks about two of the Russian oligarchs who have been targeted for sanctions by the Obama administration.

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Washington Levels New Sanctions At Russia, Pulls Some Punches

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

In response to events in Ukraine, the Treasury Department added sanctions on seven Russian officials and 17 companies. The Obama administration has refrained from targeting whole sectors of the Russian economy and is going out of its way to proceed as part of a coalition in part to avoid an 20th century Cold War stand off.

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Marchers And Mayhem In Eastern Ukraine City Roiled By Protests

NPR News - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00

A pro-Ukrainian demonstration turned violent as hundreds of Ukrainians in the eastern city of Donetsk marched in support of keeping their country whole. They were opposed by pro-Russian protesters. Stun grenades were thrown into the crowd, and at least one person was wounded.

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London Tube strike gets under way

BBC - Mon, 2014-04-28 12:00
A 48-hour Tube strike begins after talks between London Underground and the RMT broke down.

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