National / International News

A Brief History Of Civilian Planes That Have Been Shot Down

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:04

It's rare, but commercial flights do come under fire. In fact, the Ukrainian army accidentally downed a Russian civilian plane with a missile during a military exercise in Crimea in 2001.

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McIlroy leads as Woods shows form

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:58
Rory McIlroy leads the Open by a shot after a six-under-par 66 at Hoylake, while Tiger Woods makes a promising start.

Airlines change Ukraine flight paths

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:57
Airlines have been told to divert flights away from eastern Ukraine following the crash of a Malaysian airliner, amid allegations it was shot down.

Israel Launches Ground Offensive In Gaza

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:49

Escalating its conflict with Hamas, Israel sent ground forces into Gaza on Thursday.

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Escapee D-Day veteran honoured

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:45
A World War II veteran who disappeared from a nursing home to attend D-Day commemorations in France is made an honorary alderman of Brighton and Hove.

Streaming books on Amazon?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:44

Heads up e-book readers: if you were fast enough yesterday you may have seen that Amazon is preparing to launch an e-book subscription service. Maybe. A page on its website was put up, and then taken down again, very quickly. The service, called  “Kindle Unlimited,” would give subscribers access to 600,000 books for $10 a month. 

There’s nothing new about a book subscription service (remember Book of the Month club?), but Dan Cryan, Senior Director of Digital Media with IHS, points out that the subscription model has gotten popular again.

“There has a been a rush of subscription commerce items covering everything from dollar shave club, offering cheap razors, through to subscription underwear,” he says.

Scribd and Oyster, both e-book subscription services representing the interest in the digital book sector. Eric Stromberg, CEO and Co-Founder of Oyster, says since the company's launch last September, it has "continuously brought in more revenue from paying subscribers" than it's paid out each month.

But Cryan says it's unclear how well a subscription service can scale. "It's safe to say," he notes, "that neither Scribd nor Oyster, has set the world on fire." After all, while subscription services can work well, they're only practical for some products and some consumers.

“Certain products like diapers, there’s obviously a high quantity of demand needed on a very regular basis. For other goods it’s less clear that you need new items, quite so regularly,” says Cryan.

Scribd says its deals with publishers mostly make older titles available, but many readers want the newest ones. Jim Milliot, Editorial Director of Publishers Weekly, says that’s exactly why publishers are reluctant to give subscribers access to their newest releases.

“Instead of going out and buying the new John Grisham, maybe they would wait for it to come up as part of a subscription service," he says.

From the publisher's perspective, Milliot says, if customers are paying $9.99 "for the all-you-can-eat type of thing, instead of $15 for the new John Grisham, you’re losing out."

And there’s a plot twist.

"This doesn’t have anything to do with ebooks," says Michael Norris, an independent consultant to the media industry. “Everything a company like Amazon does has to do with making their close customers even closer.”

Norris notes that Amazon doesn’t have to sell books to stay alive. A subscription service just means another reason consumers would have to stick around its website – and hopefully spend more money.

A collection of items you told us you cannot live without (or at least have to have, once a month)

Tiger Woods shows old mojo at sunny Hoylake

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:40
The world's most famous golfer rubs shoulders with a forklift truck driver on sport's longest day of the year.

Cameroon Games team member traced

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:37
One of the two members of Cameroon's Commonwealth Games team who went missing in Aberdeen is traced in London.

Cook not a tactical captain - Boycott

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:29
Alastair Cook will never succeed as a "tactical captain", according to former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott.

VIDEO: Irish terror suspects still face arrest

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:13
Irish Republicans who were sent official letters informing them they were no longer wanted by police have been warned they could still be arrested if the police have sufficient evidence.

The Modern American Man, Charted

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:54

By some measures, not much has changed for the American male in the past few decades — girls still do better in school and men still make more money. In other areas, the differences are profound.

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Hey, Miss Idaho, Is That An Insulin Pump On Your Bikini?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:49

Sierra Sandison couldn't imagine how she would hide an insulin pump during beauty pageants. So she decided to show it off for the Miss Idaho pageant. She won. Type 1 diabetics say they won, too.

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Putin denies Cuba spy base plans

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:47
Russian President Vladimir Putin dismisses media reports that Russia plans to reopen an electronic listening post in Cuba used during the Cold War.

Actress And Singer Elaine Stritch Has Died

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:34

Elaine Stritch, whose talent led to a substantial career on Broadway and in cabarets, died today at age 89. She had been living in her native Michigan, where she moved last year from New York.

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Mexico probes children's home 'abuse'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:29
Mexican prosecutors say they will examine whether previous complaints against a children's home raided on Tuesday amid abuse allegations were ignored.

Of borders and businesses: moving forward in Murrieta

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:18

If you look online for "Murrieta, California" this is what you find: footage of demonstrators and counter-demonstrators chanting, waving American flags, and in at least one case, people spitting on each other. 

But if you go to Murrieta, you also see a supportive business community that turns out for events like the ribbon cutting at a new family-owned Mexican restaurant, Mariscos Las Palmas.

Ribbon cutting at Mariscos Las Palmas on July 11, 2014 in Murrieta, California.

Lindsay Foster Thomas

About 30 business owners from the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce feast on ceviche and tostadas in the restaurant's parking lot. Efrain Buenrostro Barrajas, the owner, won't talk about the demonstrations. That's because it's an emotional issue in Murrietta, explains his son, Norbert Buenrostro.

"He just doesn't want to send the wrong message to people, to customers, thinking he's for it or against it. He is an immigrant, but we choose not to talk about it because it's so sensitive," says Buenrostro.

That's the attitude of many business owners here: Stay out of the fray and promote a positive image of the city.

But economist John Husing, who studies the region where Murrieta is located, says he's hearing something else from area business owners behind closed doors.

"They are looking at this as an absolute embarrassment for Murrieta. The best statement I heard made is: 'You really don't want to be in a place where people are spitting on each other.' This was not good for business," Husing says.

Murrieta is a relatively affluent city of just over 100,000 people. The Chamber of Commerce is aggressively trying to attract new jobs. Chamber President Patrick Ellis says, "It's always a concern when something happens that paints a black eye on the city. And you have to do the best you can to get through it."

Eleven days after the protests started, only a handful of people are left sitting under tarps outside the Border Patrol Station.  They have signs that say "Congress, Secure The Border" and "Immigrate Legally."

Demonstrators in Murrieta on July 11, 2014 across from the Border Patrol station

Lindsay Foster Thomas

John Henry, who is so keen to prove he's from Murrieta that he displays his driver's licence, says he is there because he is worried about immigrants.

"I'm out here today to show support for the border patrol guys and to also let the federal government know that we're not going to let them use our small town as a refugee camp. And that they're treating these people incorrectly," says Henry.  "They need to be brought to a facility that can properly help them. The facility here only holds 25 people, and they're putting 140 people into that area."

Henry thinks the message of what he calls "the rallies," has been distorted. He says things turned ugly in early July, thanks to outsiders coming in town. He's sympathetic to business owners' concerns, but he has his own economic worries.

Demonstrator John Henry speaks with Marketplace reporter Noel King

Lindsay Foster Thomas

"The majority of the people in this area - if you look at the demographics - that are unemployed are white males, ages 18 to 32," Henry says, describing the demographic category he falls into.  "Finding work around here is very hard. Especially when we have thousands of people migrating through this area."

For now, the buses have stopped coming in to the city. But immigration protests have sprung up in places like Oracle, Arizona, another town that may have to start thinking about its reputation.

For more on Murrieta’s business climate, visit the Wealth & Poverty desk blog on Medium:

French high-speed train crashes

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:14
A French high-speed TGV train collides with a regional express in south-western France injuring several people.

Florida Court Overturns State's Same-Sex-Marriage Ban

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:02

The case applies only in Monroe County, which includes Key West, and will almost certainly be appealed. But a similar case is pending in Miami.

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Feeling The Heat, Burning The Suits: Reporting On Ebola From Sierra Leone

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:00

The Ebola treatment center in Kailahun is the largest ever built, with 64 beds. A visit reveals the toll on the staff — and how much of the Ebola-fighting budget literally goes up in smoke.

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Energy firm probed over mis-selling

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:56
Ministers are to examine fresh claims about allegations of mis-selling from Scottish Power's chain of stores up to 15 years ago.
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