National / International News

Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 09:29
Wayne Rooney scores twice and creates a goal for Robin van Persie as Manchester United secure an easy win over Newcastle.

Branding marijuana for a changing market

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-26 09:15

The market for marijuana is changing, at least in the states where the drug has been legalized. In Colorado and Washington, where recreational marijuana is legal for adults, cannabis sellers are finding new approaches to the way they sell their products. The new business plan, for many, includes advertising and marketing -- a shifting image.

That's where Cannabrand comes in. Olivia Mannix, on of the founders of the marketing company, says that Cannabrand focuses on marketing cannabis products in legal markets. That includes working with a variety of companies, not just dispensaries.

"We take on clients ranging from the tech space to dispensaries, to grow operations," Mannix says. Cannabrand works on branding for these companies, and aims to make the retail experience in the marijuana industry more accessible. 

That include everything from edible taste testing, to logos, packaging, and advertising. 

But advertising and selling a product that's largely classified as an illegal drug can be trick. Brands bump into problems with trademarking -- which is not a state issue, but a Federal one. "Trademarks are a problem," Mannix says, "if the name has to do with marijuana/cannabis, it's going to be difficult to have your trademark go through on a Federal level."

Mannix says that the biggest logistical problem for marijuana companies and advertisers is banking. Most banks won't finance companies associated with the drug. "You're not supposed to use credit cards," she says, "and a lot of these companies have bigger holding companies that aren't associated with cannabis so that they can open a bank account."

This workaround can help companies deal with credit, but when banks discover the association, the accounts can be closed, meaning that many marijuana companies deal almost exclusively with cash. 

"There are some new banks coming up that are actually FDIC insured for the marijuana industry," Mannix says. She hopes that banking restrictions will ease for her clients, but for now, but of the industry is cash-only -- a model that remains a roadblock to legitimacy. 

Mannix's other key role is working on destigmatizing marijuana. She uses the words cannabis and marijuana instead of weed, pot, or grass. She says a lot of the stigma associated with marijuana has to do with old propaganda. Cannabrand touts potential health and social benefits associated with cannabis products -- it's intended to make the plant more accessible to a broader audience, but many people still balk at the idea of recreational marijuana, and advertising related to marijuana. 

"It might sound insane, but this is an industry, this is a marketplace, and every industry needs to have some type of branding and marketing and advertising associated with it," Mannix says,  "yes, one might think that marijuana sells itself and it doesn't need to be marketed, but now that this is a legal industry it's a competitive marketplace, and companies need to differentiate themselves."

Cannabrand works with about six clients in any given month, and Mannix says they market to a wide range of demographics, including younger people, older people, and an upscale professional market.

Cannabrand stays informed about laws and regulations and works on education when it comes to consumption. Mannix says that one of the biggest gaps in the industry is education about recreation use, including things like where to consume, and how much.

"That's something that we're really trying to promote," Mannix says. When it comes to consuming marijuana she says "it's very important to start low and take it slow."

Changes to the physical spaces where marijuana products are sold are helping with stigma and image, Mannix says. "There actually are a lot of beautiful dispensaries in the Denver and Colorado area that have really been able to change their interior design.  Some of them look like Mac stores, some of them just have beautiful woodwork, and a lot of the other dispensaries are evolving their brands and making their space more comfortable for their target market."

Mannix says she hopes the marijuana industry will become more like the liquor industry, where it's easier to advertise and reach a wider audience. Her hopes for the future of marijuana marketing? "I'd really like to see there be more leniency so that marketers and advertisers can do their job for the cannabis industry."

 

 

Azerbaijan raids US radio station

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 09:09
Prosecutors in Azerbaijan raid the offices of a radio station in the capital, Baku, which is funded by the US government.

How to buy the things money can't buy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-26 09:02

The Beatles were wrong. You CAN buy love! Satirists Sam Weiner and Daniel Kibblesmith tell us how to buy all the things you thought had to be earned. They are the authors of the book "How to Win At Everything."

Some people think money can’t buy love, happiness, or a life free of regret – but they are dead wrong. Even priceless things have a price. Here's how to buy the things that money supposedly can't buy. 

Respect

How can you buy respect? Don't waste long hours volunteering in your community and keeping promises to friends. You can buy respect by showing up everywhere wearing a solid gold suit of armor.

Friendship

What about friendship? Ensure your popularity by stocking your home with one of every video game console, one of every type of dog and replacing all your carpeting with those giant floor pianos from the movie "Big."

The dogs will go nuts for it!

Love

You can even buy love, for what is love, but a series of electrical reactions in the brain? 

Pay a bunch of neuroscientists to develop an electrified baton that you can use to thwack people into falling in love with you.

Trust

Then there’s trust: Trust is often given freely – but that's missing a huge business opportunity! You can charge friends a dollar apiece not to divulge their most intimate secrets.

Cha-ching! 

World Peace

Finally, there is one thing money truly cannot buy: world peace – unless of course you have a lot of money. With sufficient resources, you can finance a utopia of mandatory smiling classes, mood-repressing drinking water, and an army of jackbooted helpers to keep your populace from expressing even a hint of discontent. It’s economics 101.

Everything Else

The next time someone tells you there are things money can't buy — remember, a $1,000 pair of noise-canceling headphones will shut that nonsense out of your head forever.

 

 

Saudi Women Reportedly Referred To Terrorism Court For Driving

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-26 08:55

The two women were arrested as they tried to cross the border from UAE, where they had legally obtained driver's licenses. The two also are said to have been active online against the ban.

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VIDEO: Munster v Leinster

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 08:50
BBC Alba coverage with English language commentary of the Pro12 match.

Officers hurt following Antrim arson

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 08:36
Two Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers are treated in hospital for the effects of breathing in smoke following an arson attack at a flat in Antrim.

West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Manchester City

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 08:24
Manchester City score three first-half goals and survive a snowstorm as they beat West Brom to stay three points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 08:23
Ex-England striker Emile Heskey scores from the bench on his Bolton debut and inspires them to victory against Blackburn.

London Irish 24-9 London Welsh

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 08:21
London Irish earn their first win in the Premiership since September as they beat fellow strugglers London Welsh.

Probe into double death at house

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 08:15
An investigation is under way after a man and a woman were found dead at a house in West Sussex on Christmas Day.

Ukraine and rebels trade prisoners

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 07:54
Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine begin exchanging scores of prisoners with the Ukrainian government near the rebel-held city of Donetsk.

Sony and Microsoft fight ... the Lizard Squad

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-26 07:35

Starting on Christmas Eve, Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network suffered outages that lasted through Christmas Day and beyond. By the morning of the 26th, XBox was said to be back online, but judging by the continued grumpiness on Twitter, PlayStation Network was still not working.

A group called Lizard Squad posted messages on Twitter, taking responsibility.

Lizard Squad, a group of so-called "black hat" hackers, has a history of attacking gaming networks. In those earlier attacks, Lizard Squad used what’s called D-Dos or Distributed Denial of Service attacks, in which hackers send a bunch of essentially fake online traffic to a website or a service and bring it down by overwhelming the system.

No one is saying that these hacks are related to the earlier attacks on Sony Pictures that President Obama has blamed on North Korea. But it does come at an inopportune moment for the company.

Of the many tweets on the subject, perhaps the most amusing come from someone with a fake Kim Jong-Un account. Starts by quoting a headline from the tech blog Gizmodo: “Xbox Live and PSN are still messed up” and ends: “It wasn’t me, PEACE”

 

Cardiff Blues 17-23 NG Dragons

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 07:30
Gutsy Newport Gwent Dragons hold out for a Pro12 win over Cardiff Blues in dreadful conditions at Cardiff Arms Park.

VIDEO: Charity 'dippers' North Sea plunge

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 07:27
Hundred of people braved a dip in the North Sea off the Norfolk coast on Boxing Day to help raise money for charity.

Urgent talks call over City Link

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 06:59
A union demands "urgent talks" with ministers and administrators about the collapse of the UK parcel delivery service City Link.

VIDEO: Boxer Khan in Pakistan school pledge

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 06:56
The boxer Amir Khan has arrived in Pakistan to lend his support to the victims of the Peshawar school shooting massacre, in which 141 people, including 132 children, were killed.

Rescued seal 'needs a lot of care'

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 06:52
A seal found exhausted in a field miles from the sea will need "a lot of attention" before it can be released, the RSPCA say.

PODCAST: How the hacker stole Christmas

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-26 06:43

Christmas is always a busy day for Microsoft XBox and Sony Playstation's servers, as people unwrap their new game consoles and try to log on. But in what may be the Grinch move of the season, hackers claim to have orchestrated a digital attack that's been slowing or halting those gaming networks since yesterday. 

Want to not make friends or influence people in a bar? Try going on about trade policy. But NAFTA and other trade agreements may have altered the texture of American business and the job market more than any other set of policies. And there are new trade agreements in the works that could play prominently in our coverage in 2015.  

And, some airlines these days are now trying to make life in coach a bit less contemptuous, with fluffier head-rests and bigger video screens. But as Sam Hartnett reports this is happening even as some of the seats are getting smaller.

PODCAST: How the hacker stole Christmas

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-26 06:43

 

Christmas is always a busy day for Microsoft XBox and Sony Playstation's servers, as people unwrap their new game consoles and try to log on. But in what may be the Grinch move of the season, hackers claim to have orchestrated a digital attack that's been slowing or halting those gaming networks since yesterday. 

Want to not make friends or influence people in a bar? Try going on about trade policy. But NAFTA and other trade agreements may have altered the texture of American business and the job market more than any other set of policies. And there are new trade agreements in the works that could play prominently in our coverage in 2015.  

And, some airlines these days are now trying to make life in coach a bit less contemptuous, with fluffier head-rests and bigger video screens. But as Sam Hartnett reports this is happening even as some of the seats are getting smaller.

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