National / International News

Black Friday: Boxing day sales come early?

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 15:14
Boxing day sales come early to the UK?

VIDEO: The new wave of Israeli filmmakers

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 15:14
Israeli directors are creating everything from westerns to cannibalistic fantasies as Talking Movies' Tom Brook has been finding out.

Chris Eubank: Like father, like son?

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 15:11
The connection between Chris Eubank and his son is sweet to behold, but can Eubank Jr step into the spotlight his father so relished?

Europe to vote on Google break-up

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 15:10
The European Parliament will later vote on whether Google's search business should be separated from its other services.

VIDEO: Faces transformed with digital masks

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 15:08
The computer project which can change what you look like in real-time

Many elderly 'struggle' at home

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 15:07
Thousands of older people in England are struggling in their own home with little or no help, research suggests.

How I drank urine and bat blood to survive

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 15:04
How I drank urine and bat blood to survive in the Sahara

Power blackouts 'threat to economy'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 15:00
The UK would face "severe economic consequences" if there was a significant disruption to the supply of electricity, says the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Child sex abuse care place shortage

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:59
A report reveals councils are having to phone around England to find places to accommodate children at risk of sexual exploitation.

Champions League: Who needs what?

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:54
BBC Sport's in-depth guide of what Manchester City, Liverpool and the rest need to do in the final round of Champions League group games.

Arsenal's Arteta faces long lay-off

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:53
Midfielder Mikel Arteta is Arsenal's latest injury problem after their Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund.

Why is it called 'Black Friday'?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:34

Black Friday has long signified the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season, but the tradition of lining up in the middle of the night to get a deal is starting to fade a bit as retailers are now pushing sales earlier and as more shoppers turn to the web. 

Shopping has been a major part of the day after Thanksgiving since at least the Great Depression, says Lars Perner, a marketing professor at the University of Southern California.

“Of course things back then weren’t as commercialized as they are today,” Perner says.

But when did we start calling it Black Friday?

“We have to go back to the Philadelphia in the 1950s,” says Bonnie Taylor-Black, a neuroscience researcher at the University of North Carolina and a self-proclaimed lover of words.  As a member of the American dialect society, she uncovered the history of the term “Black Friday."

“It was actually probably coined by a traffic cop or at least somebody in the Philadelphia Police Department,” she says.

People from all over came into the heart of the city for shopping and to see the Christmas parade and lights, says Taylor-Black. Even more people came into town for the Army-Navy football game, which took place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, she says.

“Traffic cops had a really hard time dealing with crowds in Philadelphia," she says. "Traffic cops were required to work 12-hour shifts. Nobody could have the day off. There was a lot of parking headaches. So some wag in the police department, kind of came up with this term as sort of a humorous pejorative.”

It stuck.

Taylor-Black discovered the story in an old public relations newsletter with the help of librarians at the University of North Carolina. She says the article from 1961 was about how Philadelphia merchants wanted to rebrand Black Friday as Big Friday.

The effort failed.

She says in the late 1970s there was another attempt to give Black Friday a positive connotation — and it’s the one you’ve probably heard many times before.  That explanation, she says, was that Black Friday marked the day that all merchants went into the black — as in the day they became profitable.

“That goes back to an old accounting practice where profits were recorded in black and losses for the day were recorded in red," she says. "So the idea is Black Friday is suddenly a great shopping day and retailers have hit pay dirt, so to speak. That’s wrong. That’s an invented explanation.”

So what does Black Friday mean today?

Well, not as much as it use to, says Taylor-Black.  With the advent of online shopping and deals coming earlier and earlier in November, shoppers can get a bargain without joining a stampede. 

VIDEO: 'Positive signs' from Ebola trial

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:24
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine suggests it is safe and it may well protect people from the deadly virus.

A video tour of Ferguson, Missouri

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:11

Images of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, were inescapable when police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot teenager Michael Brown in August. They're just as ubiquitous this week, when a grand jury declined to charge Wilson, igniting sometimes-violent protests in the town.

Though Ferguson has been well-photographed, the footage hasn't provided much perspective on just how big the town is and where all of the protests are occurring. Marketplace reporter Adam Allington drove from one end of the town to the other, giving a time-lapse tour of key sites.

A tour of Ferguson, Missouri

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:11

Images of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri were inescapable when police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot teenager Michael Brown in August. They're just as ubiquitous this week, when a grand jury declined to charge Wilson, igniting sometimes-violent protests in the town.

Though Ferguson has been well-photographed, the footage hasn't given much perspective on just how big the town is and where all of the protests are occurring. Marketplace reporter Adam Allington drove from one end of the town to the other, giving a time-lapse tour of key sites.

Left to the mercy of the Taliban

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:10
The Afghan interpreters left by the US to the mercy of the Taliban

US planes 'may use British carrier'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:04
The Royal Navy wants to ask American squadrons to fly off its new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth II, because of delays to the introduction of Britain’s new F35B fighters, BBC Newsnight learns.

Jacksonville Split Over Joining A Southern Port Dredging Frenzy

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-26 14:01

Jacksonville, Fla., is racing to find funds to deepen its port. If it can't accommodate newer, bigger cargo ships from Asia, the city says, it will lose out to Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C.

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Egyptian youths jailed over protests

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 13:55
A court in Egypt sends 78 boys under the age of 18 to prison for taking part in protests in support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ebola vaccine trial 'promising'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 13:39
The first human trial of an experimental vaccine against Ebola suggests that it is safe and may help the immune system to combat the virus.

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