National / International News

VIDEO: Labour conference changes over years

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 01:38
Archive footage and interviews with Ken Livingstone and Steve Richards track the changes to the Labour conferences.

Breath test for TB developed

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 01:37
US researchers develop the first breath test for TB, which they say shows promise in animal studies.

Roan named BBC sports editor

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 01:34
Dan Roan, who led the BBC's sports news coverage at the World Cup, is named as the corporation's sports editor.

The interstate tax break battle

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-09-24 01:30

Since 1962, Forbes Magazine has been headquartered on 5th Avenue in New York City, behind a limestone facade with Ionic columns. But by the end of the year, it's moving a twenty-minute train ride away to a glass tower in Jersey City.  

For decades, companies in New York City have moved offices across the Hudson River, to the city that has been dubbed New York's "sixth borough."

"You can look not too far away and see Manhattan, you’re on the water, and the rent’s a lot lower," says Gordon MacInnes, president of local policy watchdog New Jersey Policy Perspective. 

For many of those companies, there has been another, bonus factor: Tax breaks. Forbes has been approved for $27 million in tax credits by New Jersey's Economic Development Authority. It's a small example of a growing practice in the state, which has pledged tax incentives of $1.6 billion in the last ten months—more than in the first ten years of the millennium. 

"It’s the only thing that New Jersey’s doing to crawl out of the great recession," says MacInnes. "And so if this is the only thing you have, do a lot of it."

New Jersey's incentive programs have meant a spate of calls from New York City businesses to Lee Winter, director of incentives at Grant Thornton LLP. "There’s a certain back and forth, but right now I’d say New Jersey is winning that battle," says Winter.

But how does bringing a company from New York City to Jersey City affect the regional economy? 

"No one thinks in terms of the region, they just think of their state," says Winter. "So, you know, if a company moves from New York to New Jersey, those really are new jobs—to New Jersey."

While this interstate arms race isn't new, the recession made it more fierce according to Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First, a long-time monitor and critic of tax incentives. 

"States and cities are spending more than $70 billion a year for economic development, and that number’s been steadily up in recent years," says LeRoy. "There’s less money available to build infrastructure, to retrain workers, to keep classroom sizes small. Those are things that benefit all employers. And instead we’re putting lots of eggs in a few corporate baskets."

Seth Pinsky, former president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, defends the use of tax incentives for specific projects, such as grocery delivery company FreshDirect, which was granted  more than $100 million by his agency. But he also says they were "not the optimal form of government investment," and emphasized instead the important of long-term investment in workforce training, infrastructure and basic research.

"Tax incentives are easy to explain to people," he says. "They’re easy to explain to businesses. They're appealing to politicians. Long term investments are harder. Unless and until the American public itself starts thinking long term again, it’s going to be hard to turn economic development officials back towards thinking long term as well."

VIDEO: Joy in court as Abu Qatada is cleared

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 01:29
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada is expected to be released 'within hours' after a Jordanian court ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.

Venezuela beauty queen killers jailed

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 01:19
Three Venezuelan men are sentenced to more than 20 years in jail for the murder of beauty queen Monica Spear and her British partner in January.

Car insurance market faces overhaul

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 01:13
Exclusive pricing deals between motor insurers and price comparison websites will be banned, the Competition and Markets Authority has said.

In This Year Of Ebola, A Montana YMCA Is Its Brother's Keeper

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-24 01:03

Big aid agencies are gearing up to help Ebola-ravaged countries. Small communities are also pitching in. The Y in Missoula, for example, is raising money to help the Y in Freetown.

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VIDEO: The show that launched the YBAs

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 01:01
The one show that made Britain's most famous artists

Sarkozy corruption case 'suspended'

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 00:54
A French court has suspended a corruption and influence-peddling investigation against former President Nicolas Sarkozy, media say.

Book restriction 'harms prisoners'

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 00:48
Restrictions on the number of books prisoners in England and Wales can have in their cells may inhibit inmates' ability to learn, a charity warns.

VIDEO: Citizen science 'crucial to research'

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 00:48
Information from "citizen scientists" is becoming more and more vital for some research projects, scientists say.

Islamic State finds fertile ground in Jordan

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 00:40
Jihadist says strikes will boost support for IS in Jordan

London asylum seekers shipped to Kent

BBC - Wed, 2014-09-24 00:04
More than 100 asylum seekers are moved to a hotel in Folkestone to ease overcrowding at a hotel in London.

A Place To Reflect During Jewish Holy Days — That's Not A Temple

NPR News - Wed, 2014-09-24 00:00

Sunset marks the start of the Jewish New Year as well as the 10 Days of Awe, when observant Jews reflect on the past year. Some are taking this reflection out of the temple and onto their tablets.

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Teenager hurt in power line incident

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-23 23:58
A teenage boy is taken to hospital after being injured in an incident involving overhead lines at a railway crossing in Ayrshire.

Jihadist fight 'may take years' - US

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-23 23:26
The fight against Islamic State may take years, a US military spokesman tells the BBC, as fresh air strikes are reported by Syrian activists.

VIDEO: Ed Miliband: How I forgot speech

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-23 23:24
Ed Miliband explains how he forgot elements of his speech at the Labour party conference in Manchester.

Urban kingfishers in pictures

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-23 23:22
Wildlife on London's waterways

China and US pledge climate action

BBC - Tue, 2014-09-23 23:18
China and the US agree they must lead the rest of the world in curbing emissions to combat climate change, as a major UN summit closes in New York.
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