National / International News

Germany Asks Top U.S. Spy In Country To Leave

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 07:31

The move comes in the wake of two cases of espionage allegedly involving the U.S. and amid the fallout from the mass surveillance of Germans by the National Security Agency.

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The real reason why Brazil 2014 has been so open

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 07:19
Major tournaments always throw up a tactical innovation and this one has been no different, explains Phil Neville.

Emergency data laws to be rushed in

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 07:15
Emergency powers to ensure police can continue to access phone and internet records are being rushed through Parliament.

VIDEO: Rescuers free beached whale

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 07:01
Rescuers have managed to free a young whale stranded for two days on a beach in Queensland, Australia.

Fifa rejects Suarez bite ban appeal

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 07:01
Fifa rejects Luis Suarez's appeal against his four-month ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

The difference a half second makes

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-10 07:00

A new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago calls for change in the world of high-frequency trading, where firms use superfast computers and connections to buy and sell. Fed senior policy adviser John McPartland is only the latest to weigh in on a debate about the pros and cons of high-frequency trading that has drawn in Wall Street, Congress, and regulators. The fight got the attention of a wider audience after the publication of the best-selling Michael Lewis book “Flash Boys.”

The debate may sound like fodder for Wall Street alone, but it has broad implications for all Americans. Few trade stocks on a regular basis, but many are counting on a pension or 401(k) to be there for them later in life. The companies that manage America’s retirement money deal with the speed trading issue daily, and they disagree whether it’s good or bad overall. Supporters credit high-speed technology with enabling cheaper trading for large and small investors alike. Critics say that same technology is now being used to take advantage of investors.

Among the changes the Chicago Fed paper proposes is to divide trading sessions into half second periods. That’s fast for humans, but a relative lifetime for powerful computers. The hope is that a move like this could end the growing arms race between companies to create ever faster computers and data connections. Variations on this idea have been proposed before, including a 2013 paper from researchers at University of Chicago and University of Maryland recommending a similar policy, with a few key differences.

“That enormously simplifies the market because the incentive to race is gone,” says Peter Cramton, University of Maryland economics professor and a co-author of the earlier study.

Slower and simpler would seem to go hand in hand. But some question whether such a system is feasible in the contemporary financial markets, where trading happens across a myriad of different public and private venues.

“There are some definite advantages to it,” says University of Houston finance professor Craig Pirrong. “My concern is when you have multiple exchanges operating the same way, it’s a very complex interaction.”

High-frequency trading is a deeply complex and polarizing topic, with some of the loudest voices dug into hardened positions, each side waving fistfuls of data and academic studies at the other. Today’s discussion is far from the last word.

Mark Garrison: This debate matters to you. Even if you don’t trade stocks for a living, you’ve probably got a pension or 401(k). Companies managing your retirement money deal with the speed trading issue daily, and they disagree whether it’s good or bad overall. One side points to cheaper trading enabled by high-speed technology. Critics say that same technology is now being used to take advantage of investors. In this new paper, a Fed senior policy adviser calls for trading in half second periods. That’s fast for humans, but a lifetime for computers.

Craig Pirrong: The idea is that there’s too much racing going on, that there’s too much need for speed and this will cut down on that.

University of Houston finance professor Craig Pirrong says a move like this could be positive, but making it work everywhere trading happens would be tricky. Today’s call from the Fed is the latest in a long and sometimes nasty debate, made more prominent following the best-selling Michael Lewis book “Flash Boys.” But it won’t be the last word. In New York, I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.

VIDEO: Strikers 'do not represent teachers'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:57
The teachers on strike do not represent the vast majority of their colleagues, and are undermining the profession, the education secretary has said.

Thursday's gossip column

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:47
Scolari criticised, Chelsea sign Filipe Luis and hairdresser reveals Alexis Sanchez switch.

Chinese 'hacked US personnel data'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:47
Chinese hackers broke into a US government database in an attempt to gain personal information of thousands of employees, US media report.

Kurds vow to boycott Iraq cabinet

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:45
Kurdish leaders say they will boycott meetings of the central Iraqi government after PM Nouri al-Maliki accused Kurds of harbouring extremists.

Singapore Anti-Gambling Council Loses Big On World Cup Ad

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:43

The country's National Council on Problem Gambling has been airing a cautionary spot featuring a boy whose father wagers his son's savings on Germany.

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Deaths rise in air strikes on Gaza

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:35
More than 20 people are killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza, Palestinian sources say, as militants continue firing rockets at Israel.

Israel's Netanyahu Says No Cease-Fire In Gaza

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:28

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says a cease-fire with Hamas is "not even on the agenda," as the U.N. Security Council prepared for a special session on the renewed violence.

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Hospital worker stabbed to death

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:23
A member of staff at a mental health hospital in Gloucester dies after being stabbed at work.

Flexible nano-pixel screen patented

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:22
Scientists patent a new way to make ultra-high resolution displays that are flexible and extremely thin.

Rare access to Pakistan ghost town

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:14
Suicide vests and bombs on sale in former Taliban hotbed

Court rejects German test for Turks

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:13
The EU's top court says Germany should not impose a basic language requirement on Turks who want to join their spouses in Germany.

Schools and councils hit by strike

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 06:05
Schools, courts, job centres and council services are being hit as around 70,000 public sector workers in Wales join a one-day strike over pay, pensions and working conditions.

Killer guilty of gang boss murder

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 05:56
A hired killer, nicknamed "Freddy" after a horror film character, is found guilty of killing a top gang boss and then shooting the getaway driver.

Jogger resuscitated river woman

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-10 05:46
A doctor out jogging resuscitated a woman who was pulled out of a city centre river, a court is told.
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