National / International News

Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-02 10:24

In nine months the human brain grows from a single cell to more than 80 billion. Mapping how genes are activated gives scientists clues to the origins of mental disorders like autism.

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Electric cars 'must make more noise'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 10:22
Electric and hybrid cars will have to generate noise to make them safer for pedestrians, especially the visually impaired, the European Parliament says.

VIDEO: Microsoft launches answer to Siri

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 10:19
Microsoft showcases a new virtual assistant as part of an upcoming update for Windows phones.

Clifford's daughter denies claims

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 10:15
Max Clifford's daughter tells a court that claims she knew about an alleged assault by her father are "completely untrue".

US political donation limits quashed

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 10:13
The US Supreme Court strikes down overall contribution limits for individual political donors, in a major ruling on campaign finance.

While Warning Of Chinese Cyberthreat, U.S. Launches Its Own Attack

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-02 10:00

The NSA managed to penetrate the networks of the giant Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei, documents show. Journalist David Sanger says cyber-espionage is an "entirely new field of conflict."

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Greek PM's aide quits amid tape row

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:52
A top aide to the Greek PM resigns over a videotape in which he appears to accuse his boss of influencing a criminal investigation.

From bad to worse for Barcelona

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:49
Barcelona’s transfer ban is the latest in a series of blows to their reputation, writes European football expert Andy West

Is It Time To Reconsider Breast Self-Exams?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:40

A risque campaign that aims to boost self-exams for breast cancer has reignited a debate about whether they prevent cancer deaths. One doctor says it's time to change how women look for lumps.

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VIDEO: Clifford's daughter denies claims

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:28
Max Clifford's daughter has told a court that claims she knew about an alleged assault by her father are "completely untrue".

Sports Direct bonus scheme rejected

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:22
Sports Direct cancels a vote on a £73m bonus package for founder Mike Ashley after failing to gain enough shareholder support.

Keating's legacy, from John McCain to a camp classic

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:18
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 16:17 Nick Ut/Associated Press

Charles H. Keating Jr. in court in Los Angeles in 1992. Convicted of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy in state and federal trials, Mr. Keating went to prison for four and a half years.

Charles Keating, who died this week, is best-known as the poster boy for the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. More than 1,000 banks failed, and taxpayers spent a quarter-billion dollars bailing them out.

Here are a few of his more colorful legacies:

1. Keating gave birth to John McCain as-we-know-him. By making McCain a figure of shame.

Keating's status as the king of the S&L swindlers rests on his sponsorship of the "Keating Five": a group of five U.S. Senators whose campaigns he supported financially-- and who in turn attempted to dissuade regulators from investigating Keating's shenanigans. The sole Republican in the group was John McCain, then a relatively new U.S. Senator. McCain later called the episode "my asterisk" -- and became better-known as a bi-partisan crusader for campaign-finance reform.

2. Also on Keating's payroll in the 1980s: Alan Greenspan.

As a private economist, Alan Greenspan took on a consulting job for Keating in 1984. His job: Drafting a report to regulators, arguing that Keating's bank, Lincoln Savings and Loan, be exempted from certain rules because it was well-run. 

3. He was good for a shameless quote.  

From the New York Times obituary: "Mr. Keating, a 6-foot-5-inch beanpole who walked with a swagger, never minced words about buying political influence. Asked once whether his payments to politicians had worked, he told reporters, 'I want to say in the most forceful way I can: I certainly hope so.'”

4. He did like to peddle shame. 

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Keating was a huge anti-pornography crusader. He sponsored a hilarious infomercial The Atlantic called “The Reefer Madness of porn.”

5. We can thank him, in part, for financial tools that later blew up in 2008.

Roy Smith teaches finance at NYU. And he spent much of the 1980s at Goldman Sachs. "You have to remember that the S&L crisis actually spawned two of the financial industry's most lucrative product streams," he says. "One was the securitization of mortgages into mortgage-backed securities. Hello! Those things that blew up in 2008..."

They were created for sale to savings and loans. "The other was the derivatives business."

Smith says it took more deregulation, time, and financial creativity for both products to cause problems. 

Marketplace for Wednesday April 2, 2014by Dan WeissmannPodcast Title: Keating's legacy, from John McCain to a camp classicStory Type: News StorySyndication: SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond: No

AUDIO: How secure is paying by mobile?

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:18
A new smartphone service will allow banking customers to pay recipients using only their phone number.

A State Fossil For S. Carolina Faces Mammoth Obstacle

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:14

The state senate is wrangling with amendments to insert language inspired by the book of Genesis into a bill to make the Columbian mammoth the state's fossil.

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GM Has 'Culture Of Cover-Up,' Key Senator Says

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:14

For the second day, General Motors CEO Mary Barra faced tough questions from Congress about how her company responded to defects that contributed to at least 13 deaths.

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An uncertain future for big data in education

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:13
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 16:07 Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Bill Gates sits next to students at Booker T. Washington high school in Miami, FL.

A victory for privacy advocates in New York spells trouble for a national effort to track student data--everything from grades and test scores to disabilities and suspensions. The New York State Education Department has confirmed it will no longer store any student information with the non-profit inBloom. That makes New York the last big customer to drop out of an initiative backed by the Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation. Once boasting nine states as potential customers, the nonprofit group says it’s still talking with individual school districts around the country.

Marketplace for Wednesday April 2, 2014by Amy ScottPodcast Title: An uncertain future for big data in educationStory Type: News StorySyndication: SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond: No

Tribute to wall collapse death pupil

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-02 09:09
The family of a pupil who died when a wall fell on her at school say she was their "princess" who dreamed of becoming prime minister.
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