National / International News

Sleeping driver caused fatal crash

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 12:36
A man admits falling asleep at the wheel seconds before his car crashed into another, killing the driver.

Google profits up nearly 30%

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 12:31
Internet giant Google reports fourth-quarter profits of $4.76bn, up nearly 30% from the same period a year before, but revenue misses Wall Street expectations.

VIDEO: Gunman arrested at Dutch TV station

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 12:30
A gunman has been arrested in a studio of Dutch news broadcaster NOS after disrupting the main evening news, reportedly demanding airtime.

Arrests in £50m laundering probe

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 11:49
Eleven men are arrested on suspicion of laundering the proceeds of a multimillion-pound alcohol and VAT fraud.

Girls Get Good Grades But Still Need Help. As For Boys ... SOS!

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-29 11:42

A study shows that girls do better in math, science and reading than boys in just about every country. So boys clearly need help to success in school. But so do girls.

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Fraudster will serve time 'at home'

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:53
A woman who admitted conspiring to commit wire fraud after being extradited to America is ordered to spend 18 days in home confinement.

British Fighters 'Escort' Russian Bombers Near U.K. Airspace

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:35

A pair of Russian "Bear" bombers flew alarmingly close to British airspace on Wednesday. London has asked Moscow to explain the incident.

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Armed man disrupts Dutch broadcast

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:34
Armed man disrupts Dutch national TV news broadcast, before being arrested, reports say.

Man missed lottery jackpot by seven seconds

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:32
Canada's Supreme Court says it will not hear the appeal of a Quebec man who missed a C$27m (£18m) lottery jackpot by seven seconds.

VIDEO: Concern over Ebola virus mutation

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:30
Scientist in France who are tracking the Ebola outbreak have said they believe the virus could be mutating.

Cars stuck in snow amid ice warning

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:24
Several cars are left stuck in snow on the A470 in north Wales as snow closes roads amid hazardous driving conditions.

Hamilton drives new Mercedes F1 car

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:10
Mercedes' new W06 hybrid was given a brief 'shakedown' test at Silverstone by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Denmark, Deutschland and deflation

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:06
Our economics correspondent Andrew Walker explains how developments in Germany and Denmark are hallmarks of strange times in the eurozone.

Chicks place low numbers on the left

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:03
Scientists in Italy find that baby chickens associate low and high numbers with left and right, respectively - suggesting they may count using a "mental number line" like humans do.

Gunman Reportedly Kills 3 U.S. Contractors In Attack At Kabul Airport

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-29 10:02

Three Americans who were working as contractors in Afghanistan died in a gunman's attack at Kabul's international airport complex Thursday, according to the AP.

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Value of a dollar in Indiana's Medicaid expansion

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-29 09:54

A deal between Indiana and the federal government to expand Medicaid provides a telling glimpse into how flexible the Obama Administration is willing to be to get more people on the healthcare insurance rolls. Under the agreement reached this week – which could serve as a model for other states – monthly premiums will be at least $1.

Doesn’t sound like much, right? But that dollar is enormous to people who are philosophically opposed to the Medicaid expansion. It’s also huge to those whose incomes are staggeringly low.

Penalties on the way for the uninsured under Obamacare

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-29 09:53

According to the new numbers from the Department of Treasury, 2 to 4 percent of taxpayers will owe a penalty for not having health insurance last year. That's approximately 3 million to 6 million households. But who has to pay — and what happens if they don't?

The penalty this tax season is $95 per adult — about half that per child — or 1 percent of household income, whichever amount is  higher. The fines will also keep going up. Not having insurance in 2015 will cost $325 per adult or 2.5 percent of household income. In 2016? 2.5 percent or $695 per person and tied to inflation in the years that follow. 

It's unclear how many will actually have to pay up, however. Many groups are exempt from the penalty and the IRS' ability to enforce could be limited, especially after recent budget cuts.

For more, listen to the story in the audio player above.

McDonald's orders a fast-food quick-fix

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-01-29 09:51

McDonald's Don Thompson announced this week he'll resign after two years as CEO — two years that were not very successful for the company. Sales at McDonald's roughly 14,000 U.S. restaurants have slumped.

Raghu Manavalan/Marketplace

Sara Senatore, a research analyst with research firm Sanford C. Bernstein, says part of the problem is competition from more "wholesome" competitors, so-called fast-casual chains like Chipotle. “The food is better quality and tends to be higher priced as a result. There's a real emphasis on provenance, sourcing, local farms,” she says.

McDonald's also faces image problems with customers who just want a good deal on lunch. Carla Norfleet Taylor at Fitch Ratings says that's another area where competitors are winning. “Whether it’s Burger King with '2 for $5,' 'mix and match,' 'choose what you want,' [they’re] just being a lot more creative than what we're seeing with McDonald’s, I think, on the promotional front,” she says.

Incoming CEO Steve Easterbrook is currently McDonald's chief brand officer. He's spearheaded efforts to boost marketing and allow diners to more easily customize their orders. He previously led a successful turnaround in McDonald's United Kingdom business. He helped dispel worries about food quality, and even took part in a televised debate about the fast-food industry.

Still, Sara Senatore wonders why the chief brand officer will face a brand crisis when he takes over the corner office. "He should've had some imprint when there does seem to be an issue with brand resonance,” she says.

Easterbrook takes over on March 1, 2015.

McCain Calls Protesters 'Low-Life Scum' At Senate Hearing

NPR News - Thu, 2015-01-29 09:49

The anti-war demonstrators were shouting at former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who was attending a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global security challenges.

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Sudan blocking aid work, says MSF

BBC - Thu, 2015-01-29 09:46
The Brussels-based branch of the medical charity MSF ends its operations in Sudan, saying its work had been made impossible by the authorities.