National / International News

Kerry seeks Middle East 'framework'

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 06:19
US Secretary of State John Kerry flies to the Middle East as he seeks to secure a "framework" accord outlining a final Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

PODCAST: Plenty to do in the New Year

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-01 06:07

Stock markets are closed around the world for the holiday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2013 rose 29 point 65 percent. The biggest rise in 18 years. Have a cup of tea or coffee, it'll all be fine.

As you finish up your online holiday shopping, you might run into a CAPTCHA or two. Those are the blurry visual tests that websites use to make sure you're a human and not, say, a computer program trolling for credit card numbers. Google, which owns the most popular CAPTCHA service, announced recently they've made their tests a little easier to decipher. But that's not silencing critics who surf the web with their ears.

And, lawmakers are still on recess. Members of the House and Senate don’t return to Washington until next week. When they do get back to DC, there’s one thing they won’t have to deal with for the first time in long time: the budget. The thinking goes, that’ll give them the opportunity to deal with other issues.

Most Economists Say Happy New Year — Really

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-01 06:01

Annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer for 2014: Jobs will come back, stock prices will keep heading higher, and consumer spending will continue to improve, economists predict.

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Seaside areas get funding boost

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 05:44
Two seaside areas in Northern Ireland are awarded grants totalling £446,000 for regeneration projects.

Priest found dead in store car park

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 05:44
A missing priest from Luton found dead and slumped in his car in a supermarket car park is thought to have lain there for three days.

N Korean leader hails purge of uncle

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 05:41
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says the country is stronger after the execution of his uncle last month, his first public comments on the move.

Canada charity runner 'beaten up'

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 05:14
A British fundraiser who is running unaided across Canada is coming to terms with being attacked during new year celebrations in Banff.

With the budget settled, what's Congress going to do next week?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-01 04:30

Lawmakers are still on recess. Members of the House and Senate don’t return to Washington until next week. When they do get back to DC, there’s one thing they won’t have to deal with for the first time in long time: the budget. The thinking goes, that’ll give them the opportunity to deal with other issues.

Marketplace’s David Gura joins us to talk about what those issues are, like the expired unemployment benefits, the Farm Bill, and immigration reform.

Click on the audio player above to hear more.


VIDEO: North Korea leader hails purge

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 04:29
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un praises what he described as the "elimination of factionalist filth" in what are thought to be the first public remarks on the execution of his uncle.

Cannabis goes on sale in Colorado

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 04:22
The US state of Colorado is making history by becoming the first in the country to allow stores to sell cannabis for recreational use.

Tracing the perilous history Antarctic expeditions

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-01 04:04

Off Antarctica, three icebreakers have so far failed to make it through to a Russian ship trapped in the ice since Christmas Eve. It's a research ship with 74 scientists, some tourists, and crew.  Everyone's fine, but now they're waiting for a break in the weather so a helicopter can get through.

Ben Maddison an historian on the ship, and is retracing the voyage of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson who ran into big trouble in the Antarctic a hundred years ago. That's the one where the expedition members had to eat their sleddogs and learned the fatal consequences of injesting concentrations of vitamin A in dog's liver. Our interest is the economic incentives for that famous famous but tragic expedition.

Click on the audio player above to hear more.

Paraguay drug seizures up by 39%

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 04:04
Counternarcotics officers in Paraguay, South America's largest producer of cannabis, say they have seized record amounts of drugs in 2013.

Two new year crashes see M25 closed

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 04:01
A second crash occurs on the same stretch of the M25 in Surrey where a woman was killed earlier.

Latvia joins the eurozone

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 03:56
Latvia begins the new year by joining the eurozone, becoming the 18th member of the group of EU states which uses the euro as its currency.

The push to educate the newly insured

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-01 03:54

As of December 31, the government says more than two million Americans have signed up for insurance through the state or federal health exchanges – some for the first time. Nearly 4 million more have enrolled in Medicaid.

It's akin to waking up to a new car in your garage, but not necessarily knowing how to drive. And consumers will be the first ones to tell you, there’s a lot to learn about health insurance.

According to a recent report from the Urban Institute, less than half of Americans with insurance felt like they had a good grasp on basic health insurance terms like premium, deductible and covered services.

“A lot of our focus has been on on-boarding a customer,” saysBrian Lobley of Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia. "What do we do to make that first experience not only useful to them, but to understand it.”

For example, Lobley says consumers might be tempted to purchase a plan with low monthly premiums, but he says that might come with expensive co-pays. 

“And you’d be better off paying a little bit more per month to have a lower out-of-pocket cost,” he says.

Insurers want the customer experience to be positive the first time out. Because if it is, those customers could they stick around for years to come.

VIDEO: The man who sells fake Twitter followers

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 03:50
Jim Vidmar, the LA-based computer programmer who sells fake Twitter followers online - in bulk.

Crowds and fireworks welcome 2014

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 03:48
Celebrations take place around the world to mark the start of 2014, with cities lit up by spectacular pyrotechnics and traditional ceremonies.

The biggest tech legal battles to watch in 2014

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-01 03:27

This week we're talking to people about big tech trends in the coming year. Today it's Cyrus Farivar, senior business editor at the website Ars Technica. He has been looking at some big tech issues in 2014 through the lens of some high profile legal battles.

The first case getting attention this year is that of Pascal Abidor, a French citizen whose laptop and phone were confiscated and copied when he was detained at the border between Canada and the U.S. in 2010. Abidor's lawsuit was dismissed this week by a federal judge in Brooklyn.

Other cases to watch this year include the criminal case centered around the illegal drug marketplace Silk Road, as well as the extradition hearing in New Zealand for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom.

Click play on the audio player above to hear more.

Hogmanay revellers see in New Year

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 03:19
Hogmanay events take place across the country, with an estimated 80,000 revellers attending Edinburgh's street party.

Doctors' fears over flu jab uptake

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-01 03:05
Doctors are worried that thousands of vulnerable people in Wales have still not had their flu jab, with one consultant saying many are just not aware free vaccinations are available.

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