National / International News

Ward loses in US Open qualifying

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:43
British number two James Ward misses out on a place in the US Open main draw after losing his final qualifying match.

VIDEO: What are options in fight against IS?

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:41
As Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond announces Britain will not work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the battle against Islamic State extremists, the BBC's Jeremy Bowen reports on the options in the fight against the IS regime.

Senegal defends Ebola border closure

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:36
Senegal defends the closure of its border with Guinea because of the deadly Ebola outbreak, after the WHO warned such measures are counter-productive.

Lennon killer denied parole again

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:31
Mark Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon in 1980, is denied parole for an eighth time by authorities in New York.

Dozens killed in Iraq mosque attack

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:26
Suspected Shia militants kill at least 68 worshippers at a Sunni mosque, in a blow to a government push for sectarian unity against IS militants.

Obama's Reaction To Ferguson Raises Questions About President's Role

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:25

As the situation quiets down in Ferguson, Mo., some political observers are asking why it took President Obama so long to publicly weigh in on events there.

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Foot Locker profits jump, thanks to basketball and Nike

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:21

Today, Foot Locker reported its fiscal second quarter profits jumped 39 percent. And ‘jumped’ is the operative word, because those figures have a lot to do with basketball shoes and Nike.

Foot Locker’s net income for the quarter was $92 million. Equity analyst Sam Poser with Sterne, Agee & Leach says the company is doing a lot of things right.

Plus, he says, “athletic shoes are on fire. Basketball shoes specifically.”

Nike, he says, controls 95 percent of the basketball shoe business. The buzz largely surrounds its marquee names: Air Jordan. Kobe. LeBron. Kevin Durant.

The buzz persists, says Morningstar equity analyst Paul Swinand, because athletic companies and especially Nike, “do a fantastic job of limiting who gets what colors, what sizes and how many pairs.”

He says Foot Locker is a valuable partner to Nike, so it gets the most popular styles … in moderation.

“That ensures that supply is not quite meeting demand,” he says. “And it means that if the shoes are popular, they’re gonna be a little bit rare.”

Swinand says the two companies need each other … but Foot Locker might need Nike a little bit more.

Foot Locker profits jump, thanks to basketball and Nike

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:21

Today, Foot Locker reported its fiscal second quarter profits jumped 39 percent. And ‘jumped’ is the operative word, because those figures have a lot to do with basketball shoes and Nike.

Foot Locker’s net income for the quarter was $92 million. Equity analyst Sam Poser with Sterne, Agee & Leach says the company is doing a lot of things right.

Plus, he says, “athletic shoes are on fire. Basketball shoes specifically.”

Nike, he says, controls 95 percent of the basketball shoe business. The buzz largely surrounds its marquee names: Air Jordan. Kobe. LeBron. Kevin Durant.

The buzz persists, says Morningstar equity analyst Paul Swinand, because athletic companies and especially Nike, “do a fantastic job of limiting who gets what colors, what sizes and how many pairs.”

He says Foot Locker is a valuable partner to Nike, so it gets the most popular styles … in moderation.

“That ensures that supply is not quite meeting demand,” he says. “And it means that if the shoes are popular, they’re gonna be a little bit rare.”

Swinand says the two companies need each other … but Foot Locker might need Nike a little bit more.

This was the lightest trading day of the year so far

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:20

Consider this a testament to:

A) August.

B) Computerized trading.

According to CNBC, this was the lightest trading day of the year so far on the New York Stock Exchange.

Just 2 and a quarter billion shares changed hands.

Just.

Today was the lightest volume day of the year at the NYSE, with just 2.29 billion shares traded. (via @HumOnTheMarkets)

— CNBC Newsroom (@CNBCnow) August 22, 2014

 

And the Emmy goes to... Monday!

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:20

The Primetime Emmy Awards take place next week, but for the first time in nearly 40 years, the Emmys won't air on Sunday night TV. Instead, Emmy fans will have to wait until Monday to get their annual Emmy celebrity fix. 

The Emmys rotate from network to network, and this year it's NBC's turn. So why is NBC eschewing Sunday? Because Sunday is the most watched night of the week, with more than 124 million viewers, and that means lots of competition for the Emmys. Moreover, some some of the hottest shows on television air on Sunday nights: Downton Abbey, True Detective, Game of Thrones, Girls.

Last year CBS made the canny move of airing the Emmys right after a football game. The NFL audience mostly stuck around, which netted the Emmys its biggest audience in years. You might think NBC would use the same tactic. It owns Sunday Night Football, after all, but media analyst Jack Myers says the competition is just too intense. First, there are all of those hit shows to contend with (True Blood's season finale is on Sunday). And then there's the other awards show that will be airing Sunday night – The MTV Video Music Awards are that night, and last year we had the twerking with Miley Cyrus," says Myers. "So there’s a lot of interest this year in the program, and it’s that 18-34 audience."

NBC doesn't want to lose that key demographic to twerk-gate, so it's rolling the weekday dice.  

"It’s actually pretty interesting to see this kind of experimentation happening on a big scale," says Rick Ducey, Managing Director at BIA/Kelsey, a media research firm. "There’s a lot of economics at stake here."

Advertisers often pay as much as 50 percent more for ads around live events like the Emmys. If NBC's Monday night Emmys pulls in a big audience, Ducey says we’ll likely see more special event TV creeping out over the week.

But that’s a big "if."

"The difficulty is, of course, corralling everybody in the way you can on a Sunday for something like the Oscars or the Superbowl, where they’ll give up seven or eight hours quite happily," says Toby Miller, a professor emeritus of media and cultural studies at the University of California-Riverside. He says those leisure hours are key for the tweeting and Facebook posting people do around awards shows – and the ad possibilities that come with that.

Three charged over city shooting

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:18
Three men are charged with attempted murder following the shooting of a man in north Belfast earlier this week.

A Food Crisis Follows Africa's Ebola Crisis

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:09

Food shortages are emerging in the wake of West Africa's Ebola epidemic. Market shelves are bare and fields are neglected because traders can't move and social gatherings are discouraged.

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Jaycee Chan and the viral video game

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-22 13:01
Jackie Chan's son and the viral video game

VIDEO: I'm no racist or sexist - Mackay

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-22 12:53
Former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay denies being "racist, sexist, homophobe or anti-Semitic" after sending offensive text messages.

Suicide Bombing In Iraq Kills Dozens Of Sunni Worshippers

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-22 12:51

The attack, which killed more than 60 worshippers at Friday prayers, is the latest sectarian violence to rock the deeply divided country.

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A $10,560 bachelor's degree?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-22 12:50

Chalk up another threat to higher education as we know it.  California's state legislature has passed a bill that will allow a small number of community colleges to offer bachelor's degrees.

If democratic Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill, the state will be the 22nd to expand the reach of community colleges.

But students who are looking for degrees in philosophy or literature on the cheap are going to be disappointed. Part of the agreement is that community colleges won't compete with traditional four-year schools. 

"We’re not going to see bachelor's programs in English, math, history, sociology, chemistry and all of those fields that are traditional liberal arts fields," said Constance Carroll, Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, and a member of the California Community College Baccalaureate Degree Study Group. "What we will see are baccalaureate programs in workforce fields where there is high demand."

Fields like dental hygiene, information technology, and automotive-technology management.

"They are degrees that are intended to help put people to work," said Deborah L. Floyd, professor of higher education at Florida Atlantic University and author of "The Community College Baccalaureate: Emerging Trends and Policy Issues".

In many cases, these are fields that didn’t require a four-year degree in the past. "Employers are expecting a more educated and trained work force," said Floyd.

Compared to a traditional college education, a community college BA can be a steal. In California, Carroll said tuition will be $10,560. Total.

It’s gotta make traditional four-year schools nervous, right?

"We’re not duplicating anything that the University or California or Cal State offers," said  California State Senator, Marty Block .

The schools facing real competition, he said, will be for-profit colleges, who offer these specialized degrees at much higher prices.

In Changing America, Gay Masculinity Has 'Many Different Shades'

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-22 12:43

As attitudes toward homosexuality shift in the U.S., many gay men say that's created not just more legal freedoms but also greater freedom to express their gender identities.

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Extending the female athlete spotlight past Mo'Ne Davis

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-22 12:26

It's been a particularly cruel week – month – of news.

Ferguson. Ukraine. The murder of journalist Jim Foley.

I found a small glimmer of solace in a fastball. One pitched by an extraordinary 13-year-old kid from Philadelphia. Standing 5'4", not much over 100 pounds, throwing at 70 miles per hour, at the heart of a remarkable little league team.

Oh yeah, and she happens to be a girl.

Of course, I'm talking about Mo'Ne Davis. She's on the cover of Sports Illustrated, on TV, held out both as a sensation and maybe a pioneer for girls and women in sports.

On the one hand, hell yes. On the other, she's just, you know, an athlete.

I'm terminally allergic to the phrase "throw like a girl," even if it's being reclaimed and adopted as a badge of pride. Because it's always a reminder of second class citizenship in the realm of athletics.

Of that fact that there is a law, Title IX, to ensure that girls get equal treatment and equal funding (indeed, though Title IX is mostly associated with athletics, it's actually much broader).

Davis has spoken of her desire to play basketball for the University of Connecticut's famed program when she's older. I hope she gets a chance to do that.

Maybe her rise can also be a chance to talk about the continuing inequities in sports funding, for women and for men. The Women's Sports Foundation notes that, "even though female students comprise 57 percent of college student populations, female athletes received only 43 percent of participation opportunities which is 56,110 fewer participation opportunities than their male counterparts."

There are legitimate, thoughtful arguments to be had about whether revenue-generating college sports (usually men's football and basketball) should help cover the bills for other sports. And whether the NCAA should compensate its athletes (as a judge recently ruled they must, in part).

After the camera lights are off the dazzling Mo'Ne, let's keep talking about this, so another girl gets the chance to pitch, or run, or play.

VIDEO: Dowry 'should be banned' in Britain

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-22 12:15
A leading British QC says the custom of dowry should be banned in the UK
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