National / International News

No high-fives in Washington, despite budget deal

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-01-17 12:40

We have a budget.

President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through the end of September. 

Cardiff Garcia, from the blog FT Alphaville, says in Marketplace's Weekly Wrap segment: 

"I just don't think we should be high-fiving ourselves because Congress finally decided to do its job. .... We're kind of holding the expectations bar really low, so it's easy to step over. The size of this budget is smaller, if you adjust for inflation, than George W. Bush's budget was six years ago. So if you, like me, think that Congress and the government and fiscal policy-makers haven't done enough to support the economy this really isn't that much to get excited about."

And forget excitement over a budget deal. There's another fiscal cloud on the horizon, according to Nela Richardson, from Bloomberg Goverment:

"They're getting ready for the debt ceiling debate. ... There are bigger fish to fry on the fiscal picture and they are going to fry them in February, when they can really hold the Treasury's head underwater on this issue of the debt ceiling."

Richardson says she thinks "it will all work out" with the debt ceiling because, as they say, the sequel is never as exciting as the original, "so maybe it won't be as exciting this time around."

Garcia and Richardson both say they are concerned about the failure to extend long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans.

Pope Benedict Reportedly Defrocked Hundreds Of Priests For Abuse

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-17 12:30

The defrockings reportedly took place before the election of Pope Francis in March of 2013. The data was reportedly collected to help church officials testify before a U.N. panel.

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Nun in Italy 'unaware of pregnancy'

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 12:15
A nun who has given birth to a baby boy in the central Italian city of Rieti, says she had no idea she was pregnant, local media report.

US four-year-old shoots child dead

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 12:07
A four-year-old girl shot and killed her four-year-old cousin in what authorities in the US city of Detroit call a tragic and avoidable accident.

VIDEO: Pigeons on parade at Blackpool show

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 12:04
Up to 20,000 pigeon fanciers are flocking to Blackpool for the annual Homing Pigeons World Show of the Year.

Obama orders curbs on NSA data use

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 12:02
President Obama orders curbs on the use of bulk data collected by the NSA, which he says must respect privacy and civil liberties.

VIDEO: Film 24 - the week's new films

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:57
Film critic Mark Kermode reviews the week's film releases, including Wolf of Wall Street, Devil's Due, and Tim's Vermeer.

Worried about Target? The do's and don'ts of protecting your data

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:56

Millions of Americans have had credit card and debit card information stolen by hackers at big retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus.

Bob Sullivan, consumer advocate and investigative journalist at BobSullivan.net, says “this is going to be the most important credit card hack ever.”

Need more advice? Sullivan wrote more tips about protecting yourself on his website

Gang jailed for millionaire plot

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:55
Three Merseyside men are jailed over a "sophisticated" plot to burgle the home of one of Northern Ireland's richest men.

I will never quit Chelsea - Mourinho

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:46
Manager Jose Mourinho tells the BBC he will never walk away from Chelsea, as long as the club want him to stay.

What's Inside This Mystery House In North Carolina?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:45

From the outside, it's just another 1970s-era house with white columns and green shutters. Thousands drive past the split-level in Raleigh every month without a second glance. And that's just what its owners intended — because this house is far more unusual than its appearance would suggest.

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VIDEO: Japan WWII 'no surrender' soldier dies

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:37
A Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda who refused to surrender after the end of World War Two and lived in the jungle for 29 years has died in Tokyo, aged 91.

999 man died while ambulances queued

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:37
The ambulance service should review the way it responds to 999 calls, says the wife of a man who lay dying as an ambulance was delayed at a hospital.

140 Kellogg's jobs under threat

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:28
Cereal maker Kellogg's announces plans to cut 140 jobs at its factory in Wrexham in another blow to the town's economy.

Gen. Dempsey: Better To Get Others To Solve Their Own Problems

NPR News - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:27

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff talks with NPR about why it's often better to advise and assist than to get involved militarily. And he looks at the Pentagon's looming budget crisis.

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VIDEO: Pet owners queue for Vatican blessing

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:24
Hundreds of animals have been blessed outside the Vatican in Rome and in Madrid in Spain, during the feast of Saint Anthony the Great, their patron saint.

Indian minister's wife 'found dead'

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:15
Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of Indian minister Shashi Tharoor is found dead, following reports that he had an affair, Indian media says.

Yarnold claims fourth World Cup gold

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 11:06
Britain's Lizzy Yarnold closes in on the overall skeleton World Cup title as she claims her fourth gold of the season.

In upstate S.C., BMW jobs replace textile mills

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-01-17 10:52

Upstate South Carolina, and the cities of Greenville, Greer, and Spartanburg, traditionally rose and fell with the textile industry.

And, boy, did the region feel it when the textile business got hammered economically in the 1970s. But the area has now repositioned itself as a global manufacturing hub, with BMW setting up its only North American manufacturing center here.

The BMW plant is reminiscent, The Atlantic's James Fallows says, of the original stop in our American Futures project. Sioux Falls, S.D., was an agri-business capital that's had to adapt to a global economy. Also like Sioux Falls, this part of South Carolina seems to have positioned itself as regional trading/transportation center.

Visually, the region is stunning. Fallows says, "it really is beautiful to fly down the inland valleys of Virginia and North Carolina, with the mountains to your west all the way along." The route Fallows, and his wife Deb, flew was more-or-less parallel to the "Fall Line" -- the border between the mountains, which rise in quite a steep escarpment west of Greenville, and the rolling piedmont ("foot of mountain") plateau which leads to the "low country" and the sea. The fall line is so named because that is where the water is falling out of the mountains, in rapids and waterfalls. And that is where the early mills set up their waterwheels to power their work.

The heritage from those days led, in fits-and-starts, to today's Michelin and BMW factories, according to James Fallows:

"There's one relatively well-known tale about this part of the country. People have heard in the past 20 years that BMW has set up its only North American plant here, outside Greenville. Michelin is here. GE is here. This is a perfect test case of a place that was built for one industrial era, this was all textiles and even 20 or 30 years ago this was the textile capital of the world. Textiles are just gone now and the way that certain part of this area have recovered -- and others have struggled -- is what we're looking at." View Survey

'Cagney and Lacey' officers praised

BBC - Fri, 2014-01-17 10:51
Two police officers calling themselves Cagney and Lacey are praised for their light-hearted note to a drunk man.

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