National / International News

The return of the debt limit

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-13 11:33

This Sunday the United States' statutory debt limit will once again go into effect, essentially reinstating the debt ceiling at the level of the U.S. debt on Sunday, probably around $18 trillion.

The reason the debt limit is returning to haunt our fiscal dreams is because Congress kicked the can down the road when it passed a suspension of the debt limit in February, 2014. 

But it's hard to know how long the Department of Treasury can use "extraordinary measures" to keep paying its bills before it begins to risk defaulting on its debt. That's because government revenues are lumpy — lots comes in during tax season, for example. The best estimate sets the new deadline at some time in October or November.

My money story: When family values battle happiness

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-13 11:32

Betty Ming Liu's parents immigrated to the United States in the mid-1940s to escape political turmoil in China. Liu grew up in New York's Chinatown, where her father owned a book-keeping business.

She explains her outlook on money, and her experience growing up with immigrant parents.

Betty Ming Liu is a blogger, journalist, and professor in the New York City area. To hear Betty Ming Liu's full story, listen using the audio player above. 

Lenny Henry kicks off Comic Relief

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 11:30
Comedian Lenny Henry has kicked off this year's Comic Relief appeal at the London Palladium.

Recruiting future 'cyber defenders'

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 11:25
Competition aims to find top computer security talent

Arianna Huffington wants you to sleep more

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-13 11:09

After collapsing from exhaustion eight years ago, Arianna Huffington had a realization that re-shaped her way of life.

The media guru who founded The Huffington Post now touts the importance of sleep in her latest book, Thrive. She has installed nap rooms for employees at the Post’s office and encourages disconnecting from technology — but could she have gotten to the place she’s at now if she had followed her own advice at the beginning of her career?

Huffington seems to think so.

“I would not only be where I am, I would be where I am with less damage to my health, my relationships, less worry and anxiety,” she says.

Huffington is excited that conversations surrounding meditation and sleep have become more mainstream

“We are all living a little bit under the collective delusion that burnout is the essential price for success, and all the modern scientific findings make it very clear that that’s not the case,” she says. “New science is validating ancient wisdom about the importance of sleep, of renewal, of what we are calling unplugging and recharging.”

However, Huffington's own media channel might be, in part, to blame for the obsession with being interconnected and constantly in the digital world.

Ryssdal: You start your book writing of an incident in which you basically woke up to this realization. Describe me for that, would you?

Huffington: It was about 8 years ago when I collapsed from exhaustion, burnout, and sleep deprivation… hit my head on the way down, broke my cheekbone, got four stitches on my right eye. That was the beginning of this journey that I’ve been on, of really coming to… in my own pool of blood. And nobody had shot me! And asking the question, “is this what success is?” We are all living a little bit under the collective delusion that burnout is the essential price for success, and all the modern scientific findings make it very clear that that’s not the case. In fact, that’s one of the exciting things about the times we’re living through – that new science is validating ancient wisdom about the importance of sleep, of renewal, of what we are calling unplugging and recharging.

Ryssdal: Without discounting any of that, I mean that is all important and we all have to do it, but I wonder if it’s easy for you to say – a woman of some means who’s had a lot of success in her life and who got there by burning out and who is now saying “Oh, wait a minute. Let’s not do it this way anymore.”

Huffington: Well, it’s hard because our culture is so screwed up. There is that prevalent assumption that if you burn out…that if you’re up all night…you’re going to be better at finding a job or making ends meet when, in fact, the opposite is true. You can tell…each one of us can tell from our personal experience when we’re exhausted, when we’re burnt out, we are less creative. We are much more reactive. So the truth is, we have all the evidence in front of us that that’s not the case. But nevertheless, it is a very very entrenched collective delusion, so I can understand why you’re asking this question.

Ryssdal: Do you think the company you founded, do you think the Huffington Post, helped get us where we are today with needing to be plugged in?

Huffington: Unfortunately, this is just something that happened because of so many factors and so many companies. It’s our smartphones. It’s Facebook. It’s Twitter. It’s the Huffington Post. It’s every digital media company. It’s really the times we’re living through. But what is great is that in the last year, we’ve begun to have a fascinating conversation around the need to disconnect. Suddenly, these things – meditation, sleep, renewal - have gone from the pages of the Yoga Journal to the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and The Economist. We are going to see many more people adopting these new practices, which are actually very old.

Ryssdal: I want you to do something for me. Think for a minute about the Arianna Huffington of 2005, as she was launching the Huffington Post. Now take the Arianna Huffington of today, and tell me what you would tell yourself from 10 years ago, having come through this and now found your moment of zen, if you will.

Huffington: I would tell myself to stop worrying and get more sleep.

Ryssdal: But would you be where you are today? That’s the point.

Huffington: Oh, absolutely! I would not only be where I am, I would be where I am with less damage to my health, my relationships, less worry and anxiety. I have 55 pages of scientific add. notes in the book so this is not a matter of one woman’s opinions or one woman’s experience. This is simply collecting all the data. We see all around us casualties, people who are willing to sacrifice their wellbeing on the altar of success. And if you go back and study where that started, it started with the Industrial Revolution when we thought we could really emulate machines and have a hundred percent up-time, and human beings were not designed that way.

Ryssdal: What’s it like to work for you? If I walk into the Huffington Post today, am I going to see this all reflected?

Huffington: Yes, absolutely. First of all, four years ago, we opened two nap rooms and I encourage everybody who starts during the day to have a nap instead of a fifth cup of coffee or a third cinnamon bun.

Ryssdal: Have you ever used those nap rooms?

Huffington: Well actually I have, but I also have a couch in my office, and I don’t want to occupy the nap room. My office has all glass, and when I would have a nap, I would normally close the curtain, and now I don’t. Because I feel like it’s a really good message, when I’m seen actually napping on the job to actually make it clear that it’s perfectly ok.

Ryssdal: Arianna Huffington, you know her from The Huffington Post. Her book is called Thrive. Arianna, thanks very much.

Huffington: Thank you so much, thank you.

Congo seeks Virunga park border change

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 11:07
DR Congo says it wants to redraw the boundaries of Virunga National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site, to allow for oil exploration

Pope Francis Says His Tenure At The Vatican Will Be Short

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 11:06

Pope Francis also said he misses the relative anonymity he had as a bishop — and that he'd like to sneak out for a pizza, unrecognized.

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Investigation Open On 'Black Tax' At Charlotte's Ritz-Carlton

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 11:03

North Carolina's Attorney General asks why an event with predominantly African-American attendees was tagged with a surcharge at a luxury hotel.

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Venezuelan protester dies in custody

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 11:02
A Venezuelan opposition activist arrested during last year's anti-government rallies has hanged himself in custody, his lawyer says.

Man arrested in Stansted car alert

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:37
A man is arrested at Stansted Airport in Essex after a car was driven into a security barrier.

Four other Fergusons

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:30
National attention has been given to the report that alleged that black people were treated more harshly than others by the Ferguson police force and local court. But the Justice Department has found similar abuses at law enforcement agencies across the US.

VIDEO: Avalanche rescue on skier's helmet-cam

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:17
A skier has reportedly filmed the moment he and his friends were struck by an avalanche in the Alps on the Swiss-French border.

Disaster chief: 'I'm terribly sorry'

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:16
Hillsborough police match commander makes an emotional apology to the families of the 96 who died, telling them: "It's now dawned on me what it means to you."

Obama 'Embarrassed' for Republicans Who Wrote Iran Letter

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:14

In two interviews, President Barack Obama weighs in on controversies over the letter 47 Republicans wrote to the leaders of Iran and Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account.

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New video of Syria girls emerges

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:08
New footage emerges of three British schoolgirls en-route to Syria, where it is believed they joined IS.

Miliband on 'two kitchens' furore

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:05
Ed Miliband jokes that his wife would like him to spend more time in the kitchen amid media scrutiny of his arrangements.

Mr. Mambia Goes To Washington: To Honor His Sister, Who Died Of Ebola

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:03

Tarkpor Mambia of Liberia is now a student in Massachusetts. When he learned of his sister's death, he was determined to go to the nation's capital to put a human face on global health issues.

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VIDEO: New video 'shows missing Syria girls'

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:53
New footage has emerged of the three British schoolgirls who went missing last month - apparently to join the so-called Islamic State in Syria.

Three Gwent Police officers sacked

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:51
Gwent Police sacks three of its officers over allegations they tried to help a motorist avoid prosecution.

Injured man had been shot in legs

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:49
A man was taken to hospital after being found with gunshot wounds to his legs in East Kilbride in South Lanarkshire, police confirm.