National / International News

A Doctor Turned Mayor Solves A Murder Mystery In Colombia

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-29 11:46

When Rodrigo Guerrero took office, he was shocked by the murder rate. It seemed logical to blame the drug cartels. But his epidemiologist's eye led him to a different culprit.

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4 Years Of Lessons Learned About Drugmakers' Payments To Doctors

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-29 11:36

American doctors received at least $1.4 billion in payments from drug companies last year. What did the companies get for their money?

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Boris: Only Tories 'serious' over EU

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-29 11:21
Boris Johnson urges the "great conservative family" to unite to defeat Labour at the general election in the wake of two Tory MPs defecting to UKIP.

Spider-bite bug 'like horror film'

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-29 11:19
A woman has a finger amputated - and is told she was within two hours of death - after being bitten by a false widow spider.

VIDEO: 'Funny' parody mash-ups legalised

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-29 11:18
Changes to UK law come into force this week allowing people to use copyright material from films, TV shows and songs in order to parody them.

In pictures: Hong Kong stand-off

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-29 11:18
Pro-democracy protesters remain on the streets in Hong Kong

Hong Kong protesters stay on streets

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-29 11:06
Protests in Hong Kong appear set to continue, as tens of thousands of people camped on the streets defy calls to go home.

Sandwich Monday: The Pizza Cake

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-29 11:05

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try the Pizza Cake, which is a fancy way of saying "a bunch of pizzas stacked on top of each other."

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Spain court suspends Catalonia vote

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-29 10:48
Spain's Constitutional Court suspends Catalonia's independence referendum, planned for 9 November, after a request by the central government.

'Restraining order' call over killer

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-29 10:29
A woman asked police to put a restraining order on her ex-partner just days before she was found strangled, an inquest hears.

After Fire, FAA Orders Review Of Contingency Plans, Security

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-29 10:28

On Friday, a contractor intentionally set fire to an FAA air traffic facility that has caused flight delays and cancellations for days.

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More Active Play Equals Better Thinking Skills For Kids

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-29 10:12

How long can you sit still in a desk? How about your 7-year-old? Maybe you could both use a break. A study shows that kids who get to run around and play after school are better at paying attention.

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This is a generic brand video

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-29 10:10

It's the ad that comes before the YouTube video you're trying to watch: a hopeful message from a company trying to sell you on its brand and outlook, usually with no shortage of inspirational imagery and plenty of metaphors.

Kendra Eash captured the language and tone brands use in a piece for McSweeneys.

Listen to the story in the player above with an active imagination (or watch the video) to see what she's talking about.

'Breaking Bad' and Albuquerque: One year later

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-29 10:06

AMC's critically acclaimed series "Breaking Bad," created by Vince Gilligan, ran its very last episode one year ago. The show takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and although production has stopped, the town continues to experience an economic boom. Even tourism rates grew exponentially.

In 2013, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed what was called the "Breaking Bad bill" into law, a film incentive that increases subsidies for television crews from 25 percent to 30 percent in some areas of expenditure. The law increases New Mexico's rebate for series television production to 30 percent of a producer's total qualified spend in the state.

"We actually see people that will come here specifically to go and see the sites," says Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry. "I have been as far as Beijing where people have asked me about 'Breaking Bad,' so, yeah, it surely has put us on the map internationally."

Another positive outcome was the number of jobs the show produced. Actors and television producers weren’t the only ones to benefit job-wise from filming, Berry says.

"It’s electricians, the lumber yard selling lumber, and it is craft, and it is the local places that rent their businesses out to film," says Berry. "It really hits our economy from top to bottom."

"Breaking Bad" has a spinoff show called "Better Call Saul," also created by Gilligan, and also set in Albuquerque. It is scheduled to premiere in February 2015.

The show has already been picked up for a second season.

 "When 'Breaking Bad' filmed here, almost $70 million came into our economy," says Berry. "We think that 'Better Call Saul' is going to be another great opportunity for us."

VIDEO: The battle to protect gates of Baghdad

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-29 09:50
Iraqi ground forces, backed by air strikes, have been involved in fierce fighting with Islamic State (IS) militants in a town west of Baghdad.

Is that Thai food genuine? Ask a robot.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-29 09:36

This story, found in the pages of the New York Times, when you think about it, is a thing of pure genius.

Scientists in Thailand are set to unveil a robot that will be able to tell whether Thai food is actually genuine Thai food.

Proper proportions, the right taste — you get the idea.

The possibilities, honestly, are endless...testing Mexican food, Chinese, Indian.

Of course, it's entirely possible we Americans have just come to prefer "fake" ethnic food.

VIDEO: Police called over Ryder Cup flag

BBC - Mon, 2014-09-29 09:36
Police were called to investigate a complaint about a European flag flying in Rory McIlroy's home town of Holywood during the Ryder Cup.

The battle over which company has your number

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-29 09:30

Telecom security, consumer privacy and the tension that lies therein is a hot topic. In the spotlight on Capitol Hill right now? Negotiations over a federal contract for which company will route phone calls.  

Once upon a time, if you switched phone carriers, you had to switch your telephone number. In 1997, Congress said you can keep your number even if you switch, said Ahmed Ghappour, a law professor at UC Hastings.

“And so that resulted in a great deal of confusion,” Ghappour said.

He said that’s because, before that law, each phone service provider was awarded blocks of numbers. If the police wanted to tap a number, they would know which company to go to. But once you could keep your number, that system was gone.

So the government contracted a company named Neustar to keep track of all phone numbers. Also, every time you make a call, it's Neustar that routes your call to the right carrier.

“It’s essentially a central pathway for all calls to and from telephone lines that utilize U.S. telecom services,” Ghappour said.

Now Neustar might lose the contract to Ericsson, which is based in Sweden. Neustar says this would be bad for national security, said Jonathan Mayer, a fellow at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation.

“It certainly is a legitimate concern that the company that routes calls is in position to know a fair amount about law enforcement and intelligence investigations,” Mayer said.

For example, a hostile country could break in and see that law enforcement is asking about the phone numbers of its spies.

Christopher Soghoian, a technologist at the ACLU, said an American-based company can’t protect data any better than one in based in Europe.

“The security community doesn’t know how to build a system that allows access to one party but keeps others out,” Soghoian said.

Soghoian said the only way to keep data out of the hands of the bad guys is to secure it from everybody — even law enforcement. 

Is Facebook's new ad tool a game changer?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-29 09:28

Facebook is rolling out an advertising tool today that the company claims will be a real game changer. It wants to merge data from its over 1 billion active monthly users with their travels across the Internet on computers and mobile phones alike.

The end result is that advertisers can use the tool to buy ads outside of Facebook.

Currently, there’s a black hole between people’s internet use on smartphones and computers, says Nate Elliott, an analyst at Forrester Research.

“So you can target people who like the New York Yankees on the PC, you target people who like the New York Yankees on a phone, but you’re never quite sure, today, if you’re catching the same people on both of those platforms,” he explains.

Facebook’s Atlas service wants to close that gap and let advertisers better measure whether their ads were effective.

But Elliott cautions that Facebook’s announcement is short on details about how Atlas works.

“Today they’ve presented us with some nicely packaged sausage, but they haven’t told us much about how the sausage is being made,” Elliott says.

If the service is as good as the company claims, Karen North, a professor of digital social media at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, says it could help Facebook better compete in its ad wars with Google.

“Where Facebook has struggled in the past is that people don’t go to Facebook to buy things,” she says. “So now they’re deciding, 'Well maybe the whole Facebook ad idea isn’t the right answer.' Maybe it’s, ‘We’ll just be the place to come to buy ads for wherever you are.’”

A couple of years ago, Facebook watchers were bemoaning its lack of a mobile strategy. So this is fast progress, says Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates.

But it may elevate the privacy concerns many users already have with Facebook.

“If it’s done well, you will notice it,” says Kay. “Because what you’ll find is the creepy effect; that you’ll visit a site and then you’ll go somewhere else and notice an ad for something that seems to be related to that site you just visited. “

Facebook declined an interview request for this story, but the company has said it won’t give advertisers identifying information about users.

Just lots and lots of data.

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