National / International News

VIDEO: Polish farmers fight food rules

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:13
Farmers in Poland say they are struggling to make a living because of strict food hygiene rules.

Powerful storms continue in NSW

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:11
The premier of New South Wales urges workers to avoid travelling at peak times as powerful storms continue to batter the state.

BBC to air final Clarkson scenes

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:09
Unused footage of Jeremy Clarkson taken during his last days at the helm of Top Gear will be screened later this year, the head of BBC2 says.

Why tennis 'courtsiding' was my dream job

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:06
Why I loved tennis 'courtsiding' - until I was arrested

Clegg in public servants' pay pledge

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:03
Millions of public sector workers would be spared further pay cuts under Liberal Democrat plans, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announces.

VIDEO: Ten years of YouTube videos

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:03
The first video was uploaded to YouTube ten years ago this week.

Tories pledge new childcare places

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:03
The Conservatives' manifesto pledge on childcare means an extra 600,000 free places, Prime Minister David Cameron is to say.

The Armenian rugs that tell two stories

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:03
The rugs that tell two stories, one bitter, one sweet

Can paper survive the digital age?

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:03
Can paper survive the digital age?

How an orchestra moved in with a school

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:02
What happened when a top orchestra moved into a tough school

Will Wonga and other payday lenders survive?

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:02
A stricter regulatory regime has hit the profits and business of some payday lenders, so will they survive?

Supermarkets: Everything 'up for grabs'

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:02
Why supermarkets are wondering what to sell

Warning of need for more Scots GPs

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:02
Scotland could be short of at least 500 doctors by 2020, according to figures compiled by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Parties focus on health and women

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 15:00
Scottish parties will focus on women, the NHS and taxes as election campaigning continues.

VIDEO: Cheers as Solar Impulse lands in Nanjing

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 14:40
Solar Impulse has landed safely in Nanjing in the east of China, much to the delight of its mission control team.

Late Samuels blast foils England

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 14:29
England are frustrated by a counter-attacking unbeaten 94 by Marlon Samuels on a scrappy first day of the second Test.

VIDEO: Helicopter view of deadly migrant route

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 14:17
Richard Bilton travels by helicopter above the Mediterranean where hundreds have died, and speaks to those who have made it safely to the island of Lampedusa.

The activists are coming!

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-04-21 14:16
Every year, at about this time, many of America's public companies gather their shareholders together for their annual general meetings.

The AGM is a usually carefully choreographed affair, with the board doing its best to provide a canned, self-congratulatory narrative about the company's performance over the last 12 months, and issuing a bland-yet-optimistic forecast for the next year. 

More and more often these days, however, the kabuki performances are interrupted and disrupted by activist investors. These gadflies like to show up and throw hand grenades about the place, trying to force the board of directors to do things that most of them don't want to do: buy back shares; merge with other companies; ditch certain board members; the list goes on. If you don't know what an activist investor is, watch this short video for an explanation:

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We all want things. The difference between most of us and activist investors is that they are prepared to spend lots of money and cause lots of pain until they get what they want. Last year was a particularly successful year for activist investors: they ousted the CEO of Sotheby's and  got shareholders to overthrow the entire boards of both Darden Restaurants and CommonWealth REIT, now renamed Equity Commonwealth. This year they're going after Tempur Sealy International, DuPont, MGM Resorts, Macerich and Shutterfly.

In his Dealbook column, Steven Davidoff Solomon, a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, says this year more sparks may fly than usual, because companies appear to be digging in their heels and pushing back. And it's not just companies. The heads of several big institutions (investors in those companies) have said publicly that they believe the current vogue for share buybacks — a favorite of shareholder activists — is bad for the economy. That may give companies heart as they announce their opposition to the activist scourge.  

At Last: Kentucky Authorities Bust Ring Behind Great Bourbon Heist

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-21 14:15

In 2013, more than 200 bottles of pricey Pappy Van Winkle bourbon vanished from a Kentucky distillery. Tuesday authorities announced indictments in what appears to be a much bigger crime syndicate.

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It was 'life and death' - Guardiola

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-21 14:12
Pep Guardiola says Bayern Munich's Champions League victory over Porto was as important as "life or death".

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