National / International News

Who Needs 1 SuperPAC When You Can Have 4?

NPR News - Mon, 2015-04-13 12:12

SuperPACs, financed by unlimited but disclosed donations, now appear to be the presidential candidate's new best friend. One backing Sen. Marco Rubio is revving up, and Sen. Ted Cruz already has four.

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Senators Try To Revise No Child Left Behind — A Few Years Behind

NPR News - Mon, 2015-04-13 12:02

Tuesday, senators begin working out the details of a bipartisan update to the No Child Left Behind education law. The proposed revision would give states more control over school accountability.

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Marooned in an overgrown tea garden

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 12:00
What happens when a tea plantation closes?

Bedrooms of the remembered

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:58
Families of Sewol ferry victims remember their children

Sandwich Monday: Breakfast In A Tin

NPR News - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:54

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a British delicacy: All-Day Breakfast in a can. We may be using the word delicacy incorrectly.

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Davis loses in Crucible qualifying

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:52
Six-time world champion Steve Davis will not compete at the Crucible after losing heavily in qualifying to Kurt Maflin.

'Hamilton seems in complete control'

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:42
Lewis Hamilton controlled every aspect of what happened during the Chinese Grand Prix, says the BBC's David Coulthard.

HBO Now's impact on 'Game of Thrones'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:41

When HBO announced HBO Now, the media company's new standalone streaming service, analysts considered "Game of Thrones" its flagship title.

"Game of Thrones" is one of the most popular original content dramas in the market right now," says Lawrence Low, head of regional sales at anti-piracy research firm Irdeto. "It’s premium, original content that has appeal with many different demographics. Maybe even more importantly...it appeals to many countries, not all of which have the access they would like to the show." 

HBO Now offered streaming capability for $14.99 a month, cheaper than the traditional path of cable plus a premium subscription, which was formerly the only route to HBO content (without borrowing your cousin's password). "Game of Thrones" is considered the most pirated show in history, and now, four episodes of the new season have already leaked. So, could HBO Now combat piracy by making the show, and other HBO content, easier to acquire legally? 

"I think it's less about piracy and more about capturing that growing number of Americans who aren't subscribing to cable. There's this number thrown out that there's about 10 to 11 million people in the U.S. who don't subscribe to cable, a lot of them millennials," says Natalie Jarvey, who covers digital media at The Hollywood Reporter. 

For "Game of Thrones" season five, HBO went to work to make the show easier for international audiences to access, too. The season premiere was simulcast across 170 countries. In the past, episodes were staggered for up to weeks at a time for global markets. That delay could have made piracy a worthy pursuit for viewers abroad in the past – the U.S. ranked third when it came to "Game of Thrones" piracy, behind Brazil and France.

"It goes back to the idea of availability ... I think people are pirating because they can't find the content anywhere else," Jarvey says. "While HBO Now might help with some of that, HBO Now right now is only in the U.S." 

One reason that HBO may not have allowed its content to be viewed a la carte in the past was due to a concern of increased piracy. But, the digital-only TV show "House of Cards" was only the fifth most-pirated show, according to anti-piracy research firm Irdeto, behind traditional-TV "Game of Thrones," "Walking Dead," "Breaking Bad," and "Vikings."

"The mode of distribution is not really the question," says Low. "Digital format or streaming does not make content harder to find illegally. The other challenge for content owners and distributors is having rights to distribute in all the territories they have coverage. Even Netflix does not have rights to 'House of Cards' on its service in all of the countries where it is available."

Dark matter map yields first results

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:13
A huge effort to make a map of dark matter, the invisible stuff holding galaxies in place across the cosmos, releases its first batch of results.

Life term for killer Jodi Arias

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:10
A California woman who shot and stabbed her boyfriend in his Arizona home in 2008 has been sentenced to life in prison.

7 Things You Should Know About Marco Rubio

NPR News - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:07

The Florida senator got his start on the Bob Dole presidential campaign and was once Mormon. Here's what else you might not know.

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Cuba: not quite open for business

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:01

President Barack Obama met with Cuban President Raúl Castro on Saturday, at a regional summit in Panama. It was the first face-to-face meeting between leaders of the United States and Cuba in almost 60 years. The two presidents announced in December that they would work to restore full diplomatic relations.

Some trade with Cuba is already legal. U.S. companies have made $5 billion shipping agricultural products like corn, wheat and soy beans to the country during the last 14 years, says John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council. But he expects business relations to thaw slowly.

“This isn’t a Niagra Falls of water,” he says. “This is a Niagara Falls of molasses.”

If and when sanctions are lifted, Raul Moas expects Cubans to welcome more U.S. investment. Moas is a Cuban-American, and executive director of Roots of Hope, a group that helps connect young people in Cuba with technology and entrepreneurial skills.

“There’s very much the desire to keep Cuba Cuban," Moas says. "I think for the average Cuban, the chance to work at a foreign company represents access to a better life.” 

Still, it will take time for attitudes towards capitalism to change in Cuba. One example of limits on private enterprise: right now a restaurant can have no more than 50 chairs.

Most aid to families goes to working families

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-04-13 11:00

Never mind welfare to work. Today's world for low-wage earners is welfare and work. A new study from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education finds that three out of four Americans who rely on aid programs like food stamps or Medicaid are members of working families. 

The Center's Ken Jacobs says for those at the bottom, wages alone don't cut it. "You go back for the last 25 years, and real wages have actually declined since 1979," Jacobs says. "At the same time we've seen a decline in the share of workers with job-based health coverage."

So, many lean on the safety net to supplement their paychecks. The study finds that about half the workers in fast food, child care, and home healthcare live this reality.

This does not surprise social work scholar Luke Shaefer at the University of Michigan. He says welfare changes in the 1990s explicitly made a link between welfare to work.

"This is a direct, and you might even say, intended, result of policy decisions that were made," Shaefer says. "You can think of the welfare reform of 1996 as the stick: there's going to be less aid if you're not working."

Chess champion's toilet phone shame

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 10:59
A Georgian chess grandmaster is expelled from a tournament after apparently using a smartphone in the toilet to check his moves.

VIDEO: 'We would not accept £12 billion cuts'

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 10:58
Nick Clegg tells the BBC the Liberal Democrats would not consider another coalition with the Conservatives if the Tories went ahead with their proposal for £12 billion of welfare cuts.

Turing's notebook sells for $1m

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 10:56
A 56-page scientific notebook compiled by World War Two Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing sells for $1m at a New York auction.

Pepsi to replace Coke in NBA deal

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 10:45
PepsiCo will sponsor the National Basketball Association, ending a 28-year deal between its arch rival Coca-Cola and the NBA.

Alan Turing Notebook Sells For More Than $1 Million At Auction

NPR News - Mon, 2015-04-13 10:32

The manuscript dates to 1942, when the mathematician and computer science pioneer worked to break the German Enigma code. It is filled with complex mathematical and computer science notations.

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Debut novel up for Baileys Prize

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 10:31
A debut novel about a female bee is one of six titles to be shortlisted for the £30,000 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Vunipola cited for striking opponent

BBC - Mon, 2015-04-13 10:28
England and Saracens back row Billy Vunipola faces a ban for striking Leicester's Mathew Tait with his head.

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