National / International News

Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar (yes, for more than $1)

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-28 06:00

Dollar Tree announced on Monday that it is buying rival discount chain Family Dollar for approximately $8.5 billion in cash and stock. The combined company will have 13,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

The deal promises big cost-savings as operations are consolidated. Both companies have reported earnings that underperformed analysts’ predictions in recent quarters. Family Dollar has also been under pressure from investor/activist Carl Icahn, who has called for the chain to be sold.

During the recession, consumers flocked to these super-discount stores. But now, says economist Chris Christopher at IHS Global Insight, consumers’ balance sheets are improving, and moderate to middle income families may be drifting away from the deepest discounts.

“Wages are starting to gain a bit of traction,” says Christopher. “And in addition, there is a little bit of migration of people from the discount stores to the middle-tier retailers.”

Christopher says the super-discount stores — all of Dollar Tree’s items sell for $1 or less; Family Dollar has a wider range of goods reaching slightly higher price-points — can’t raise prices very much. So their margins are being squeezed as inflation starts to pick up at the wholesale and retail level.

Nigerian state bans cars during Eid

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 05:42
Vehicles in Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state are banned for three days during Eid festivities because of fears of a Boko Haram attack.

Uneasy calm in Gaza after UN call

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 05:40
Sporadic fighting in Gaza punctuates the relative calm that has followed a UN call overnight for an immediate ceasefire as a Muslim festival begins.

Death crash driver in police pursuit

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 05:22
A driver who knocked down and killed a boy on a footpath eight years ago is back in jail after leading police on a high-speed pursuit.

Teacher banned for ice punishment

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 05:20
A teacher who punished pupils by making them put ice cubes in their underwear is banned from teaching.

How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-28 05:20

Food in supermarkets is increasingly connected to child labor and trafficking. Many laws aimed at ending these abuses overlook a key source of the problem: The rapid decline of fish and fauna.

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VIDEO: 'Fat bloke did good' - marathon man Way

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 05:18
English long-distance runner Steve Way tells the inspiring story of how he went from a 16-and-a-half-stone smoker to finishing 10th in the Commonwealth Games marathon.

Games athlete on sex attack charge

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 05:08
A Papua New Guinea weightlifter competing at the Commonwealth Games is to stand trial over an alleged sex attack on a man in Glasgow.

Team Investigating Downing Of MH17 Turns Back Due To Heavy Fighting

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-28 05:03

The crew — made up of Dutch and Australian experts — were headed toward the debris field when they heard explosions.

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VIDEO: Help for Heroes fraudster 'humbled'

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 04:46
A man who stole hundreds of thousands of pounds form the Help for Heroes charity is facing a lengthy jail sentence after pleading guilty in court

VIDEO: 'Giant bolt' hits LA beach goers

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 04:44
One person has been killed and at least eight others taken to hospital in Los Angeles after being struck by lightning.

Domestic abuse law planned - Labour

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 04:43
Labour would bring in laws on domestic violence to prevent abusive partners avoiding prosecution, the shadow home secretary says.

Death link drug 'mainly NI problem'

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 04:40
A drug linked to the deaths of 20 people is "principally a Northern Ireland problem", a coroner has said.

Gaza march violence footage plea

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 04:25
Police are seeking video footage of violence which broke out during a protest march in Cardiff opposing Israel's military action in Gaza.

Passport workers go on strike

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 04:23
Hundreds of passport workers are striking over staffing and pay, with the government saying their action could threaten people's holidays.

Koala survives speedy ride under car

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 04:17
A koala has had an extraordinary escape clinging to the bottom of a car on a busy Australian highway.

Russia offers $110,000 Tor bounty

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 04:15
Russia offers 3.9m roubles ($110,000; £65,000) in a contest for ways to crack the identities of users of the Tor network.

VIDEO: Amateur video of Sussex storms

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 04:11
Torrential rain and hail storms across England have led to major travel problems and flash flooding across parts of England.

SNP considers Scottish minimum wage

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 03:58
An independent Scotland would consider introducing a minimum wage that would rise in line with the cost of living, the SNP says.

Review after NI ambulance shortage

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 03:56
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) is reviewing its operations after staff shortages led to delays in its 999 response times over the weekend.
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