National / International News

Jacques Cousteau's Grandson Plans To Spend A Month Underwater

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-02 09:27

Fabien Cousteau and a crew of five headed down to the underwater laboratory Aquarius, just off the Florida Keys, on Sunday. He and his team intend to stay submerged until July 2.

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'Godzilla of Earths' identified

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 09:17
There is a new class of planet out there that astronomers are calling the "mega-Earth".

Native Americans Have Superfoods Right Under Their Feet

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-02 09:17

Obesity and diabetes rates have soared among Native Americans as sugary, high-carb foods have replaced traditional foods. A study found that 10 wild plants from the Great Plains are highly nutritious.

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Madeleine police seal off scrubland

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 09:14
Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann start using surveying equipment on a large area of scrubland in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Egypt satirist's TV show cancelled

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 09:13
Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef confirms the end of his satirical show, citing pressure on the network that carried it.

Britain is giving subsidies for rock music

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-02 09:13
Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 14:09 Earache Records

Savage Messiah – subsidized by British taxpayers. 

In Britain, government subsidies for the arts have traditionally been focused on ballet, opera and theater. But now, they are giving a boost to a rather less exalted area of creativity: thrash metal bands, acid punk and nu-grunge groups.

The aim is to promote British musical talent abroad by subsidising the cost of mounting a foreign tour. The grants – which have so far totaled more than three quarters of a million dollars – have caused outrage in conservative circles and have stirred criticism from low-tax campaigners.

But the recipients have defended the subsidy.

"As a band trying to break through, the cost of touring abroad can be prohibitive," argues Dave Silver, lead singer of the heavy metal band Savage Messiah. The band is getting $25,000 of public money.

Is this sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll at the taxpayers’ expense?

“Absolutely not !” says Silver “ There are strict controls on how you can spend the money. It can only be used for things like marketing costs, tour support, venue costs, international travel and so on.” 

The taxpayer will not be footing the bill for: tattoos, studs, chin spikes or other body piercing… let alone picking up the tab for wrecked hotel rooms and wild parties. Not that Silver indulges in such excesses.

“I don’t actually drink alcohol at all. I don’t smoke. I don’t take drugs. So yeah, we’re pretty well behaved, really," he says.

The bands say they need state aid because they’re losing money from illegal downloads. And the only way to make a decent living is to break through into the live touring circuit. 

The government clearly believes that it’s worthwhile offering a helping hand to up and coming talent and supporting the smaller, independent record labels.

Music is an important export for Britain. The British Recorded Music Industry – a trade body – claims that one in ten of all the albums sold in the United States are by British artists; the figure for continental Europe is one in four. 

None of this cuts any ice with the Taxpayers’ Alliance, a group that campaigns for lower taxes. Political director Dia Chakravarty claims that the touring subsidy is wasteful and  unnecessary. 

“British bands have a long history of breaking overseas markets but that’s because they had great songs to sing, not because of taxpayers’ subsidies,” she argues.

Chakravarty takes a keen personal interest in the music industry. 

“I’ve actually just finished working on my first album of Bangladeshi songs but I’ve supported that by having a day job….working at the Taxpayers’ Alliance,” she says. “I’ve not taken a single penny from taxpayers.”

Oddly enough, her argument against subsidy strikes a chord with Dave Silver. The lead singer of Savage Messiah divides his time between headbanging and studying economics and he’s a real fan of the Austrian School of Economics which favors the free market. So why accept the government grant?

“We’re a band. We’re four people in the band and not everyone in the band is of the Austrian School, so what can we do?" saysSilver. And he laughs: “ Yeah in an ideal world privatize everything that moves  and have no state intervention in the economy. But that’s not where we’re at now. We've got to break into overseas touring.”

Marketplace for Thursday June 5, 2014 Stephen Beard/Marketplace

 Dave Silver - lead singer of Savage Messiah and fan of the Austrian School of Economics.

Stephen Beard.

Dia Chakravarty – Political Director of the Taxpayers’  Alliance and recording artist – unsubsidized. 

 

by Stephen BeardPodcast Title Britain is giving subsidies for rock music Story Type FeatureSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Hardaker faces 'homophobic' inquiry

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 09:00
The RFL investigates claims that Leeds full-back Zak Hardaker made homophobic comments during the defeat by Warrington.

VIDEO: Fiddling the books: Czech corruption

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:58
Twenty-five years after the fall of communism, corruption remains a major problem in the Czech Republic.

Pirlo on penalties, England and Balotelli

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:55
"To play at the World Cup is the most beautiful thing that can happen" - Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo gets ready for Brazil.

Mailman Accused Of Stealing 20,000 Pieces Of Mail

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:54

Authorities say a Maryland letter carrier stole Netflix DVDs, along with medicine and other items, including Mother's Day cards. The haul was stockpiled in his house, they say.

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Malawi leader offers olive branch

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:52
Malawi's newly elected President Peter Mutharika says he is offering an "olive branch" to ex-leader Joyce Banda after winning disputed elections.

VIDEO: How hospice makes cheap morphine

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:49
Hospice Africa makes all of Uganda's liquid morphine for a very low cost.

Lupita Nyong’o joins Star Wars cast

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:46
Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave actress Lupita Nyong'o and Games of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie join the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII, producers say.

Are Pre-Existing Condition Bans For Health Insurance Still With Us?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:46

Contradictory letters from an insurer spur a health reporter to explore why the implementation of this key health law protection turns out to be more complicated than she thought.

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Strong sandstorm kills four in Iran

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:41
A powerful sandstorm brings winds of up to 110km/h (70mph) to the Iranian capital Tehran, killing at least four people and injuring about 30.

VIDEO: Freak sandstorm hits Iranian capital

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:38
A massive sandstorm and record winds has hit Tehran killing several and leaving the city in darkness.

Cameron: New EU chief must 'get it'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:33
The new head of the European Commission must grasp the need for big changes to how the EU works, David Cameron says.

Garage owner fakes Google 'murder'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:32
A garage owner apologises for staging a scene that looked like a murder in an Edinburgh street, which was caught on Google Street View.

VIDEO: Beckham's delight at being unknown

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:30
Former England football captain David Beckham talks about his adventure into the Amazon as part of a new documentary

In pictures: Spain's King Juan Carlos

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 08:25
King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicates
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