National / International News

Weightlifting wins funding appeal

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:06
Weightlifting has its UK Sport funding restored after a successful appeal, but cuts for six other sports stand.

Your pictures: Photographers

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:05
Readers' photos on the theme of photographers

VIDEO: Near miss as truck flies through air

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 09:05
A police dashboard camera catches the moment a truck flies off a highway in Iowa, US, narrowly missing other vehicles.

The only thing the Fed has left is words. And dots.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:56
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 14:51 Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Janet Yellen's first press conference as Fed Chair.

Short term interest rates have been near zero for a while, so the Fed can't really lower them any further.  Monetary policy isn't pushing up inflation, as many had feared it would.  And while the Fed is still employing the bond-buying program formerly known as Quantitative Easing to push down interest rates on bonds and assets, it's beginning to ramp that down.  

In other words, the Fed has now employed all of its tools it usually uses to influence interest rates. All it's got left? Words. Specifically, something called "Forward Guidance," which is really just telling the American people what it plans to do in future. That may sound obvious, but it's a real departure from the opaque world that the Fed used to inhabit.

Also, in referencing a chart of the guidance made with dots, Yellen said we "should not look at the dot plot as the primary way in which the Committee is speaking to the public at large."

"These dots are going to move up or down over time."

The Fed's words of the day (in dot form, of course):


Marketplace for Wednesday March 19, 2014by Sabri Ben-AchourPodcast Title: The only thing the Fed has left is words. And dots.Story Type: News StorySyndication: PMPApp Respond: No

Israel attacks Syrian army sites

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:55
A Syrian soldier is killed in air strikes launched by Israel in retaliation for a bombing in the occupied Golan Heights, Syrian state media report.

Man Utd rift reports rubbish - Moyes

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:53
Manchester United boss David Moyes denies reports of a rift and accuses the media of trying to destabilise his side.

EA games web server hacked

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:53
EA games has had one of its web servers hacked so that a web page asking users to input their Apple IDs is now being displayed, according to a net security firm

Doctors Say Obamacare Rule Will Stick Them With Unpaid Bills

NPR News - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:48

If a person with subsidized insurance falls behind in paying premiums, insurers are required to cover the medical bills for 30 days. Over the next 60 days, insurers can hold off paying the claims.

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Obama Picks Michigan State To Win Men's Basketball Title

NPR News - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:46

"Tom Izzo is a great tournament coach," the nation's "first basketball fan" tells ESPN. It's the sixth time the president has shared his picks. So far, he's been right once.

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Iran 'sees signs of nuclear deal'

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:43
Iran's foreign minister says he sees signs of a comprehensive deal on its nuclear programme, after talks with world powers, Iranian media report.

Hong Kong journalists attacked

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:38
Masked men armed with metal bars attack and injure two newspaper executives on the street in Hong Kong, sparking fresh concern about press freedom.

Budget's energy bills help for firms

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:35
Welsh businesses with very high energy bills, such as Tata Steel in Port Talbot, are in line for compensation under a key announcement in the Budget.

NI to get first enterprise zone

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:35
Chancellor George Osborne announces the creation of Northern Ireland's first enterprise zone in Coleraine.

Why A Sweet Tooth May Have Been An Evolutionary Advantage For Kids

NPR News - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:29

Kids seem to crave more energy and sugar than adults crave because they're growing, researchers say in a new study. They found that kids who preferred sweet flavors were tall for their age.

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Key points of Budget: At-a-glance

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:22
An at-a-glance summary of the main points of the 2014 Budget.

Need money for school? Sue Google

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-03-19 08:07

Who hasn't been a student in need of money? Back in my day, we would pick up an extra shift at the library or clean petrie dishes for the biology department. But we were a simple people--easily delighted and distracted by things like carpenter pants and network TV. These days, students are much more sophisticated. 

Case in point: A group of students in California is suing Google. They claim Google's Gmail monitoring violates federal and state privacy laws. The story was written up by Mashable in fuller detail here.

The nine students who are bringing the case are focused on something called "Apps for Education." It's a collection of free, web-based education tools with around 30 million users. Many of these users are under 18 years of age. Therein lies the class action lawsuit: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, ensures the privacy of records of students under 18. Evidently, Gmail might be in violation of this. 

That could potentially mean Google pays out millions to Gmail users.  Not sure how any of it will pan out... I have a feeling that Google's lawyers are of the pelagic persuasion.

Still, hats off to the students for fighting the good fight. And, just in case they need money next semester, the NSA might want to send them a preemptive fruit basket. But seriously, hats off to the students. 

Air France Relatives Have Sad Bond With Malaysia Air Families

NPR News - Wed, 2014-03-19 07:59

One group that knows about "days of utmost anxiety" reaches out to another. In 2009, Air France Flight 447 crashed in the Atlantic. Debris was found after 5 days. Bodies weren't recovered for 2 years.

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Aberdeen fans score Human League hit

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 07:55
A social media campaign by Aberdeen FC fans propels a 1980s hit by The Human League into the iTunes top 5.

Coulson 'urged silence on hacking'

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 07:52
The former royal editor of the News of the World tells the Old Bailey editor Andy Coulson promised to give him his job back if he "kept silent" about phone hacking.

What is an annuity?

BBC - Wed, 2014-03-19 07:48
Annuities: What are they and how do they work?

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