National / International News

Children aged 10 getting drug help

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 03:13
Ten-year-olds among scores of Welsh youngsters referred to specialist drug and alcohol treatment services.

The person managing your future, revealed

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-30 03:12

Like it or not, more and more Americans have their futures wrapped up in Wall Street. Old age once included a sizable pension paid for by the employer you retired from. But these days, many Americans have to fend for themselves by saving and investing through 401(k)s and other retirement accounts. That means putting money into the complicated and mysterious gears of Wall Street.

Liz Gross is part of that. The 31-year-old Oconomowoc, Wisconsin resident invests a chunk of her salary in a 401(k). Like many Americans, she thinks of herself as something of a novice when it comes to investing.

“I understand the basic ideas of investing and saving early,” she says. “As far as picking the stocks and the funds that I should be in, it’s not something I’m entirely comfortable with.”

That’s why she chose a target date mutual fund, a popular choice these days. The idea is investors choose the year they want to retire and the fund does the rest. (Ideally, they also check the fund’s fees first.) Each is a little different, but the basic idea is the investments become more conservative over time as the retirement date draws near.

Since so many Americans are investing this way, we thought it’d be interesting to connect Gross with the person managing her future. After we talked to Gross and learned about her investments, we called up Andrew Dierdorf, a portfolio manager at Fidelity. His team oversees nearly $200 billion dollars in retirement money, including the fund Gross has invested in. The futures of millions of American, including Gross, are quite literally in his hands.

We connected them both an invited Gross to ask him questions.

Gross: This is definitely your wheelhouse and not mine, so I kind of wanna turn the tables on you and ask how do you plan for your retirement and have you thought about investing in a target date fund?

Dierdorf: They’re my sole holding in my 401(k) account. So, I struggle with a lot of the same types of issues around making sure that I have my asset allocation appropriate as I’m moving through time. So I’m eating my own cooking.

Mark Garrison: Meet Liz Gross.

Liz Gross: I’m 31 and I live in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. I have a 401(k) in which I invest a portion of my salary.

Her job kicks in money too. But unlike traditional pensions, she has to figure out how to invest. Alicia Munnell runs Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research.

Alicia Munnell: All the risks and responsibilities have shifted to the employee, that is, to us.

A nation of untrained investors faces choices with lifetime consequences.

Gross: I understand the basic ideas of investing and saving early, but as far as picking the stocks and the funds that I should be in, it’s not something I’m entirely comfortable with.

That’s why Gross chose a target date mutual fund. You choose the date you wanna retire and the fund changes over time to fit that. If you’re smart, you also check the fees first. Since so many Americans are investing this way, we thought it’d be interesting to connect her with the person all the way up the chain.

Andrew Dierdorf: Hi, Liz.

Gross: Hi, Andrew.

Andrew Dierdorf manages the Fidelity fund Gross has. His team oversees nearly $200 billion dollars. The retirements of millions of Americans are quite literally in his hands. So Gross wasn’t shy.

Gross: What is it that you know and what you’ve learned that makes you the person to manage this instead of me, to have me put my trust in you?

He gave the answer you might expect about his experience and the team. But then, Gross threw a curveball.

Gross: This is definitely your wheelhouse and not mine, so I kind of wanna turn the tables on you and ask how do you plan for your retirement and have you thought about investing in a target date fund?

Dierdorf: They’re my sole holding in my 401(k) account. So, I struggle with a lot of the same types of issues around making sure that I have my asset allocation appropriate as I’m moving through time. So I’m eating my own cooking.

Liz Gross felt good about her decision after the talk. Make sure you get answers too. Your job may be able to connect you with free professional advice.

Gross: I just hope other folks are having these conversations with people they trust so that we’re taken care of when the time comes to quit working and go have fun.

In New York, I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.

After Tornadoes, States Now Brace For Flooding

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-30 03:12

Following this week's twisters that killed at least 35 people in six states, the weather system is now dumping heavy rain in the East and parts of the South.

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VIDEO: Westwood's way with wedding dresses

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 03:08
Vivienne Westwood talks to Louise Minchin about her exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum and why she enjoyed designing a dress for Muppets character Miss Piggy.

England squad to be named on 12 May

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 03:01
England coach Roy Hodgson will announce his squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Monday, 12 May.

Ratzenberger 'deserves Imola tribute'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 03:00
Roland Ratzenberger deserves a permanent tribute at Imola alongside Ayrton Senna's, says former team-mate David Brabham.

Sizing up Donald Sterling's other business interests

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:58

Donald Sterling is number 972 on Forbes' list of billionaires, with a net worth of $1.9 billion. Forbes values the LA Clippers at $430 million, though some say they could be worth more.

The bulk of Sterling’s wealth comes from real estate -- buildings in LA.  So, will his real estate business be tarnished because Sterling has been banned from the game for racist comments?

“Yes, of course,” says Robert Baade, an economist at Wake Forest University. Baade wouldn’t be surprised if people started boycotting all things Sterling.

Any fall out will be short-lived, according to Leonard Baron, a San Diego realtor and lecturer at San Diego State.  He doesn’t think Sterling will lose any tenants. “People renting are going to be like, 'What’s the price and what’s the location?'" he says. "So I doubt it’s going to have any lasting effects at all.”

And, Baron says, if Sterling wants to sell any real estate, there are plenty of buyers willing to pay top dollar.

Inmate dies in 'botched' execution

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:53
One of two death row prisoners who lost a case in the Oklahoma Supreme Court dies of a heart attack following an apparently botched lethal injection.

Innovation: A Gadget That Scrambles The Egg Inside The Shell

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:48

This new kitchen tool promises to scramble egg whites and the yolk to create delicious culinary creations, and save you from washing a whisk. A soft cradle keeps the egg from breaking.

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AT&T jumps on board with airplane Wi-Fi

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:43

This week, AT&T announced it will offer Wi- Fi service on U.S. flights next year.

Until this week, the in-flight internet business was dominated by Gogo.

Roger Entner, with Recon Analytics, says the challenge for AT&T is that only a small fraction of passengers actually use Wi-Fi on flights.

“AT&T is looking at it and says if we bring down price, and we accelerate the speed, more people will use it and then it will become a bigger market.”

AUDIO: Gambler went to buy milk and lost £5k

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:42
A secret gambler has described how he went out to buy a pint of milk and gambled away £5,000 at a betting shop.

IMF: Russia experiencing recession

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:41
Russia is "experiencing recession now" because of economic damage caused by the crisis in Ukraine, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says.

Hospital warned on OAP patient care

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:37
Health inspectors find numerous problems with elderly patient care at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital.

UK firms use 1.4m zero-hour contracts

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:36
Nearly half of big companies in the UK use a total of 1.4 million zero-hours contracts, a study from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.

VIDEO: Inmate 'spoke after lethal injection'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:34
A US death row inmate in Oklahoma died of a heart attack after his execution was halted because the lethal injection of three drugs failed to work properly.

Arrest over McGurk's bar atrocity

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:33
A 69-year-old man is arrested over a pub bombing in which 15 people were murdered during the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Are we moving away from "too big to jail"?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:32

Federal prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, according to reporting in the New York Times. 

Ben Protess, with the Dealbook section of the New York Times, wrote:

Federal prosecutors are nearing criminal charges against some of the world’s biggest banks, according to lawyers briefed on the matter, a development that could produce the first guilty plea from a major bank in more than two decades.

In doing so, prosecutors are confronting the popular belief that Wall Street institutions have grown so important to the economy that they cannot be charged. A lack of criminal prosecutions of banks and their leaders fueled a public outcry over the perception that Wall Street giants are “too big to jail.”

"These investigations have been going on for years," Protess told Marketplace. "This is kind of a new batch of cases the last few years."

In the case of the Swiss bank, it involves allegations that it helped clients avoid taxes. In the case of BNP Paribas, it's about doing business with companies in violation of U.S. economic sanctions. The Times says this would challenge a common belief in the financial world that big banks are too important to charge in criminal cases.

"In the Credit Suisse case, that one could really be in the next couple weeks," Protess says. "We're expecting either a guilty plea for the main arm of Credit Suisse in Zurich, or perhaps even the parent company."

AUDIO: Merger 'exacerbated' Co-op problems

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:26
Sir Christopher Kelly says the merger between the Co-operative Bank and the Britannia building society "exacerbated" the problems of the two businesses.

AUDIO: Sectarian violence peaks in Iraq

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:23
The BBC's Kevin Connolly reports on the sectarian violence taking place in Iraq as the country votes.

Snowdonia surf centre's approval

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-30 02:23
Plans for a new surfing centre and "wave park" at a former factory site in Conwy Valley have been unanimously approved by councillors.
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