National / International News

'Voices in head' arson mum jailed

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 08:04
A mother-of-two who claimed voices in her head told her to set fire to her home with her children inside is jailed after admitting arson.

Obama Picks Kentucky To Win NCAA Tournament, Mixes In Politics

NPR News - Wed, 2015-03-18 08:04

President Obama predicts Kentucky will be crowned college basketball champion and cap off a perfect season. He also picks three top seeds and one No. 2 seed to make the Final Four.

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American Express launches multi-brand loyalty program

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-03-18 08:02

A handful of the country’s biggest companies announced out a new loyalty program Wednesday. American Express is teaming up with Macy’s, ExxonMobile, AT&T, Hulu, and others to create a program that lets customers gather and redeem points across the group of merchants.

Traditionally, loyalty programs have been exclusive to one retailer – one card for the supermarket, another for the drugstore.

This program, called Plenti, is different in that it allows points gathered a one merchant to be redeemed at another, says Abeer Bhatia, CEO of U.S. Loyalty with American Express.

“Let’s say you walk into a Rite Aid and you pick up soda, band aids, and you go and check out,” explains Bhatia. “You’re going to earn points at Rite Aid and these points will accumulate in a common points bank and then when you go next time, maybe, to an ExxonMobil or Macy’s, you can use those points.”

Customers don’t have to pay with an American Express card to get collect points. Bhatja says the company hopes the program will make new customers aware of their cards.  

The program may also help American Express target a different kind of customer.

“The appeal for American Express has always been targeting that higher-end, more upscale card holder than the other card issuers have focused on,” says Matt Schulz, a senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

By partnering with companies with wide-ranging customers, like Rite Aid, AT&T, Macy’s, Schulz says American Express could broaden its base with a less-affluent customer and that the company could also be hoping for some good headlines after losing an exclusive contract with contract with Costco recently.

Netanyahu plans coalition 'in weeks'

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 08:01
Israel's surprise election victor Benjamin Netanyahu will form a coalition 'in two to three weeks', his party says

PODCAST: Facebook gets into mobile payment

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:53

We're watching closely today for any clue to when the Federal Reserve could be raising interest rates, and most of the speculation hinges on just one word: "patient." What does it mean and how did we get here? J.P. Morgan's David Kelly is here to shed some light on the situation. Then, Facebook is adding the option to send other users money via its Messenger app. Tracey Samuelson tells us how the move could bring mobile payment into the mainstream and open up new revenue opportunities for the site. Finally, it's taken as a given that that veterans from the post-9/11 era have had an especially hard time finding work. Anecdotal evidence is plentiful, but hard numbers are surprisingly elusive. Dan Weissmann investigates.

Debate: Should The U.S. Adopt The 'Right To Be Forgotten' Online?

NPR News - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:53

People don't always like what they see when they Google themselves. EU residents have a right to request that unflattering material be removed from online search results. Should the U.S. follow suit?

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Dieudonne guilty of condoning terror

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:40
Controversial French comedian Dieudonne is found guilty of condoning terrorism over a Facebook comment about January's Paris attacks.

Cowboy Cravings: Fried Cookie Dough And Other Rodeo Calorie Bombs

NPR News - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:37

Concoctions that seem to break caloric records are a central part of the rodeo food experience. If you're going to indulge, a Texas dietician offers tips to help keep you from popping a belt buckle.

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Birds 'died in soaring heat at farm'

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:29
Thousands of chickens were killed when temperatures at a poultry farm soared to 36 C (97 F), a court hears.

Does Fox's 'Empire' Break Or Bolster Black Stereotypes?

NPR News - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:22

Fox's hip-hop drama Empire ends its first season Wednesday as a huge hit, thanks to black viewers. But NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says it also has sparked a complex debate over TV stereotypes.

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VIDEO: Prince Harry launches 1,000 mile walk

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:16
Prince Harry has met some of the wounded service personnel who are taking part in the 1,000 mile (1,609 km) trek around Britain later this year.

Father's apology from disaster chief

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:04
A bereaved father who lost his son in the Hillsborough disaster receives a personal apology from police match commander David Duckenfield after confronting him outside court.

PhD student loans up to £25,000

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:03
The chancellor tries to boost research and innovation with plans for loans for postgraduate research students.

The world's wettest classroom

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:03
Pupils from The Observatory School in the Wirral are sailing a yacht to MediaCityUK in Salford for BBC School Report day. Follow their progress here.

Caroline Kennedy threatened in Japan

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 07:01
The US embassy in Tokyo reports receiving phone calls threatening Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and another diplomat.

VIDEO: Unusual Northern Lights head south

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 06:57
The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, have been creating a fabulous show across large parts of the Britain, and across the globe.

Ramakrishnan set for Royal Society

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 06:56
The BBC understands that Nobel-winning structural biologist Venki Ramakrishnan is set to become the next president of the Royal Society.

Osborne sets out vision for the North

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 06:48
George Osborne outlines his vision for building a "northern powerhouse" in his final budget ahead of the general election.

EU plans tax transparency clampdown

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 06:44
The European Commission lays out plans to clamp down on so-called sweetheart tax deals between governments and multinational corporations.

US executes inmate with brain injury

BBC - Wed, 2015-03-18 06:35
A Missouri death row inmate is executed despite legal appeals that he had a diminished mental capacity because of a brain injury.

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