National / International News

Head of oldest African park shot

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:39
The Belgian director of Africa's oldest national park - Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo - is shot and wounded in an ambush.

Many missing as S Korea ferry sinks

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:31
Almost 300 people remain unaccounted for after a ferry carrying 459 people capsized and sank off South Korea, officials say.

Washington State Mudslide Death Toll Rises To 39

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:31

The number of missing is still unclear, but at last count, authorities said seven people remained unaccounted for from the March 22 mudslide near the community of Oso.

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Carberry still hopes for England place

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:28
Michael Carberry says he has not given up hope of keeping his Test place, despite criticising the England management.

Man wins 'first open N Korean race'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:27
A runner from Stafford believes he has won the first North Korean half-marathon to be open to international amateur athletes.

Calgary stabbing victims mourned

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:22
A Calgary university mourns the victims killed on Tuesday in a stabbing attack a police chief has called the Canadian city's worst mass murder.

Coulson 'heard Blunkett voicemails'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:20
Ex-editor Andy Coulson reveals in court for the first time he did listen to private voicemail messages relating to former home secretary David Blunkett.

'Last' Chadian soldier leaves CAR

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:12
Chad has withdrawn all its peacekeepers from the Central African Republic, an official confirms, after accusations they sided with Muslim rebels.

England World Cup contenders - Carter

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:10
England will be major contenders for World Cup 2015 and a win in New Zealand this summer is possible, says Dan Carter.

Pakistan Taliban end ceasefire

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:02
The Pakistani Taliban say they will not extend a ceasefire with the government announced last month, but will remain committed to peace talks.

Medicare Kept Paying Indicted, Sanctioned Doctors

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 08:00

Among doctors who received payments from Medicare in 2012 are dozens who had been kicked out of Medicaid, or charged with fraud, or settled fraud cases out of court, a ProPublica investigation finds.

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Bungie 'fires' Halo games composer

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 07:56
The composer of the music featured in the original Halo video games says his job has been "terminated without cause" by developer Bungie.

Iraqi murder claims a 'conspiracy'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 07:54
Allegations that 20 Iraqis were murdered by British troops in 2004 were the result of a "conspiracy" to pervert the course of justice, the UK claims.

EU approves alien species blacklist

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 07:47
The European Parliament has approved new legislation to stem the spread of invasive species such as "killer" shrimp or Japanese knotweed.

VIDEO: Frantic rescue as S Korea ferry sinks

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 07:47
Almost 300 people remain unaccounted for after a ferry carrying 459 people capsized and sank off South Korea, officials say.

PM: Be confident about Christianity

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 07:45
Britons should be "more confident about our status as a Christian country", Prime Minister David Cameron says.

Man jailed for terror order breach

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 07:44
A man is sentenced to 15 months in prison after admitting he breached the terms of his terror prevention measures.

Professional video gamers earn lots of real life dollars

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-16 07:38

In recent years, competitive online gaming, known as eSports, has grown in popularity and scope. Professional video game players face off in matches broadcast to global audiences, sometimes for hundreds of thousands of dollars, in arenas filled with tens of thousands of fans.

At the recent Call of Duty World Championship in Los Angeles, two four-man teams of gamers -- their shirts covered in corporate logos -- faced off for the top title. The gamers  competed in front of a studio audience, which peered into a control room constructed on a gunmetal stage. On the side of that stage sat the play-by-play men, who called the action in suit and ties.

$1 million in prizes was on the line at the tournament, which was broadcast online for free by Major League Gaming. MLG is an eSports promoter that's been around since 2002, when most of America was on dial-up.

"Internally, we refer to ourselves as the e-ESPN," says MLG CEO and co-founder Sundance DiGiovanni. "I saw things like extreme sports taking off and realized that we were on the verge of this technological revolution that was going to allow us to have a global, connected, digital sport."

MLG has built its success by promoting live events for shooter genre-games like "Call of Duty" and "Halo." These are pumped-up versions of the gamer tradition of having friends over to play in front of the TV. The spread of broadband in the U.S. leveled the playing field, making it possible for even more gamers to compete as pros.

"Without broadband internet, you simply can't practice games at a professional level," says Jason Lake, who should know. He's the founder and CEO of CompLexity Gaming. Its "Call of Duty" team took home the $400,000 grand prize at the World Championship.

"Complexity in its simplest form is, I guess you could say, the LA Lakers of video games," says Lake. "Except we play multiple games instead of just basketball."

It has the look of a lot of new media companies: one part talent agency, one part marketing firm. Complexity lets the players keep any competition prize money they earn. Instead, the company makes its revenue from marketing deals.

"We're always keeping an eye on the next game because it's our business to do so, as we need to find the stars and get them under contract before our competition does," says Lake, who compares the current state of eSports to the Wild West.

Promoter MLG has locked up official "Call of Duty" matches and has even started its own streaming platform. Other promoters, like the Electronic Sports League, are using the game streaming juggernaut Twitch.tv as their platform of choice. A recent event in Katowice, Poland drew more than 643,000 simultaneous viewers at its peak -- double the previous record.

A new generation of gamers is discovering eSports, and what was once a subculture inside a subculture is on the verge of going mainstream.

This story was produced by TurnstyleNews.com, a project of Youth Radio

The Ultimate Animal Experience? Losing A Memory Quiz To A Chimp

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 07:34

You've swum with dolphins, ridden camels, stalked tigers. Now, try taking a memory test with a chimp — and losing. It's fun, humbling and mind-boggling.

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Primary places revealed amid squeeze

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 07:26
A teachers' leader says there is a growing crisis over places at primary schools as parents discover which their children will attend.
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