National / International News

Why Bury Fig Trees? A Curious Tradition Preserves A Taste Of Italy

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-25 12:16

For generations, Italian-American fig growers in the Northeast have buried their trees in trenches for the winter. It's a tradition that preserves both flavor and ancestral ties to southern Italy.

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Where Ebola Has Closed Schools, A Radio Program Provides A Faint Signal Of Hope

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-25 12:16

1.5 million children are out of school in Liberia. It's possible kids may not return to class until spring.

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Rebuilding lives after tsunami grief

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 11:51
Father and daughter rebuild their lives after tsunami grief

Father Of Jordanian Pilot Held By ISIS Issues Plea For His Release

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-25 11:33

The father of 26-year-old Flight Lt. Moaz al-Kaseasbeh, urged his son's Islamic State captors to treat him well and set him free because "we are all Muslims."

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You can copyright music, so why not a food recipe?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-12-25 11:29

Entrepreneurs and business owners constantly face intense competition in attracting new customers and retaining old ones. They must stand out and be original. Which is why people register their original creations with the United States Copyright Office, to legally protect the logo, design, literary work, architecture, etc., that they have spent so much time and money on.  

But would you be able to do the same thing for, say, your homemade sugar cookies? Or any other food recipe for that matter?

Unfortunately, nope. Anyone can pass off your grandmother's recipe that's been passed through generations. "You can't copyright the ingredients or steps necessary to make the cookie," says Jane Ginsburg, professor at Columbia Law School.

Coleman staying with Doctor Who

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 11:24
Jenna Coleman is to stay playing the role of Doctor Who's assistant Clara Oswald for another series of the show.

Smith wins another Strictly title

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 10:50
Olympic gymnast Louis Smith wins his second Strictly Come Dancing title after triumphing in the 2014 Christmas special.

Mosque set on fire in Sweden

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 09:48
Police in Sweden say an arsonist set fire to a mosque in the town of Eskilstuna on Thursday, injuring five people.

Paramedic dies after collision

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 09:33
A paramedic dies in hospital after being knocked down at an ambulance station car park in Kilmarnock, Police Scotland say.

British national dies in Ethiopia

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 09:18
The UK Foreign Office has confirmed the death of a British national in Ethiopia, as media reports say a tourist was shot dead.

City Link goes into administration

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 08:48
Parcel delivery company City Link, which employs 2,727 people, has gone into administration, Ernst & Young says.

Justice at risk as Pakistan rushes convicts to the gallows

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 08:46
After the Peshawar school attack, Pakistan has resumed executing convicts on death row. But among those heading to the gallows are feared to be many victims of miscarriages of justice. The BBC's Shaimaa Khalil reports.

VIDEO: Pope highlights plight of war

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 08:29
Pope Francis emphasises the plight of victims of war, particularly in Iraq and Syria, in his traditional Christmas blessing.

After 522 Years, Spain Seeks To Make Amends For Expulsion Of Jews

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-25 08:11

Spain's monarchy decimated the Jewish population by expelling, killing or forcibly converting Jews in 1492. Now the country is offering their descendants Spanish citizenship.

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Sean Parker donates $24 million for allergy research

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-12-25 07:57

Sean Parker, the tech entrepreneur who founded Napster and the first president of Facebook, donated $24 million to Stanford University to create a center for allergy research.

Parker suffered from severe food allergies all his life, and with his gift, joins a long line of philanthropists who have given large donations to cure or alleviate diseases that affect them personally.

Parker and other young tech entrepreneurs differ slightly from their predecessors in that they're likely to donate large sums directly to an academic or medical institution rather than starting a foundation of their own. 

Retailers hope for one last Christmas shopping push

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-12-25 07:53

Just like past years, stores will open early on December 26 to try to draw shoppers in with deep discounts. It’s a way for retailers to get one last revenue push before the new year, and to clear inventory that didn’t sell before Christmas. 

This year, the calendar is more favorable than usual for retailers because of the three-day weekend. Many workers will take off Friday — and hopefully shop. “Giving people more time to shop, giving them a little bit more room, and giving them a little bit more money in their pocket thanks to lower gas prices, could make a difference for retailers,” says Claes Bell, an analyst at

Economist Chris Christopher at IHS says consumers are heading into 2015 more optimistic about job prospects and personal finances than in previous years. He predicts retail sales for the 2014 holiday season will rise more than 4 percent, compared to the 3.1 percent increases in 2012 and 2013.

At a Christmas Eve open-air craft market called "Festival of the Last-Minute" in Portland, Oregon, shoppers were mixed on whether they wanted to go back out for more shopping on the post-Christmas weekend. “I have in the past, but I probably won’t now, I probably won’t brave the crowds,” says Britt Fredrickson, who has two young children. “I just don’t need any more stuff right now.”

But Jessica Martin-Weber, who has six daughters, said she’s looking forward to getting out. “My husband and I typically get the day after Christmas or the day after that, where we go catch a movie and we do some shopping.”

McAuley arrested after wife stabbed

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 07:44
Prominent Irish Republican Pearse McAuley is arrested after his wife Pauline is stabbed at their home, in County Cavan.

Libya militia clashes leave 19 dead

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 07:09
An attack on a power plant in Libya leaves at least 19 soldiers dead, while a rocket strikes a Libyan oil terminal in a separate incident.

Sierra Leone Puts North On Lockdown Amid Ebola Spread

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:59

The country that has been hardest-hit by the ongoing outbreak of the deadly virus, has shut down shops, markets and most travel in the north.

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Murder inquiry after body found

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 06:28
A man is arrested on suspicion of murder after the discovery of a woman's body at a flat in Stoke-on-Trent.