National / International News

Heat wave death toll passes 1,000 in India

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 12:36

Some reports are saying that as many as 1,400 people have died in India due to the country's latest severe heat wave, where temperatures are reaching well over 110 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Several news organizations are posting photos of melting asphalt in New Delhi streets.

Indians are hoping for monsoon season rains to come soon and provide some relief from the sweltering temperatures.

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal reached BBC Correspondent Justin Rowlatt in Delhi.

“Everybody here is being warned, take things easy. Don’t push it in this terrible heat,” says Rowlatt.  

But many of India’s poorest residents don’t have the luxury of taking a few days off work.

“They’re desperate for the work, so they go out and continue to work hard (in the heat),” Rowlatt says.  “What people are waiting for is the great release of the monsoon, which cools temperatures down.”

Drug Addiction, On The Rise, Cropping Up As Campaign Trail Issue

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-28 12:33

Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than traffic accidents and New Hampshire, the first in the nation primary state, is suffering from a heroin epidemic. The candidates are hearing about it.

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Lawro's lowdown on the FA Cup final

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 12:30
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson on whether Arsenal or Aston Villa will win at Wembley on Saturday.

Video: Homeless in LA

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 12:29

Mark Aranguri, trained firefighter and father of four, tells his story about being homeless in Los Angeles.

Produced by Preditorial |
Director: Rick Kent
Cinematographer and editor: Anton Seim

What We Know About Tattoo Reactions Only Goes Skin-Deep

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-28 12:24

About a quarter of U.S. adults have at least one tattoo. Yet doctors say we still don't understand the full extent of the skin's reaction to tattoos. For some people, problems linger for months.

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Honda, Fiat and BMW in airbag recall

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 12:13
Three major carmakers have expanded recalls of vehicles with faulty Takata airbags.

Does Less Latin Mean Dumbing Down? France Debates School Reform

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-28 12:06

France has one of the world's highest dropout rates, and the reforms are meant to make the middle school curriculum more interesting. But critics say the changes amount to a "dumbing down."

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Neruda death probe inconclusive

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 12:04
New tests on the remains of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda say they have found no conclusive evidence he was poisoned.

Ireland votes through Aer Lingus deal

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 11:49
The Republic of Ireland's parliament has approved the sale of the nation's 25% stake in Aer Lingus to British Airways owner, IAG.

Smartphones Are So Smart They Can Now Test Your Vision

NPR News - Thu, 2015-05-28 11:35

In a new study, an easy-to-use app did just as good a job as the machines in an eye doctor's office. That's a boon for people in low-income countries — and really for anyone with vision issues.

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A symbol of holding out

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 11:26
Tiny buildings that stand in the way of big developments

Great Barrier Reef status at risk

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 11:21
Australia holds its breath as Unesco decides status

Most-wanted Nazi 'unfit for trial'

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 11:05
Former SS lieutenant Gerhard Sommer, at the top of a most-wanted list of Nazis, has been declared unfit for trial by prosecutors in Germany.

MEPs in new EU-US trade controversy

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 11:05
MEPs call for transparent and public handling of trade disputes with the US but soften their stance on controversial commercial courts.

Are more people on the move?

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 11:03
Are more people on the move than ever before?

Who's controlling Sumner Redstone's media empire?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 11:00

If you were to ask Sumner Redstone about what happens to his media empire when he’s no longer with us, his answer would be simple: he doesn’t plan on leaving. Sumner Redstone intends to live forever.

The story of how Redstone came to take the helm of two media giants, Viacom and CBS, is about as unfathomable as the man himself; he took his father’s movie business and turned it into one of the largest chains in the country. He bought CBS, and then turned around and bought Viacom as well. Now, at 92 years old, Redstone seems to be slowing down.

“Sumner is the chairman of both companies,” says Vanity Fair contributor Bill Cohen, who penned the story “Endless Sumner," about Redstone's succession plan. “I think you’re starting to see signs of real and material deterioration."

He says that rumors abound that Redstone may soon be headed for that great boardroom in the sky. Redstone's staff at Viacom, meanwhile, say he’s still “sharp as a tack.” So what becomes of CBS and Viacom without Redstone? Cohen says this about Redstone's plans: “[He] has put his ownership stakes at both Viacom and CBS into an irrevocable trust that kicks in when he dies… I think it is probably a good bet that Shari [Redstone] is likely to become the chairman of both Viacom and CBS.” 

Listen to Kai Ryssdal's interview with Redstone from 2006 below:

Bangladeshi boat migrants doomed from the start

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 11:00
The BBC's Justin Rowlatt discovers some migrants are so desperate to leave Bangladesh that they knowingly board ships destined for prison camps.

Man dead and girl hurt in 'incident'

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 10:48
A man has died and a young girl is airlifted to hospital after police were called to an incident in Cornwall.

One thing you can't accuse Google of: thinking small

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-05-28 10:35

One thing you can't accuse Google of: thinking small.

Its Google I/O developers conference keynote today featured at least a thousand attendees by my casual count, ran well over two hours, and was held in a room encased in giant wraparound screens. At one point, a giant animated whale "swam" through the room complete with whale song. 

Molly Wood/Marketplace

The keynote itself touched on everything from mobile phones to wearables to the developing world, virtual reality classrooms, photo storage, the Internet of Things family-friendly app searches, driverless cars, floating Internet balloons and some truly amazing contextual technology that will let your phone use all the stuff it knows about you to predict anything you'll want to do, at any time or place. 

You know, no big deal.

The biggest tech headline is that contextual stuff. Maybe you're familiar with Google Now, which is Google's current contextual assistant. If you turn it on on your Android phone, it can learn, say, your commute to work and start telling you every day how traffic is along that route. It can learn the sports scores you look up most often and deliver them without you asking. And it uses your location and the phone's GPS to tell you where you parked your car. 

Google Now on Tap is a new element of Google Now that'll be available only in the next version of Android (currently called Android M). It brings Google Now predictions and language recognition to apps. So if you're listening to a song, you can tap (get it?) the Google Now button and ask a question about the song or the artist. Google knows what app you're using and what you're listening to -- the context -- so you should be able to say something like, "What's his real name?," and Google will know just what you mean to search for. 

Another demo showed a forgetful husband (those guys always get such a bad rap) confessing he forgot to pick up dry cleaning. Now on Tap will actually create a reminder for you to pick up the dry cleaning, after "reading" your messages. 

Walking close to the creepy line? Maybe. Contextual and predictive apps rely on a LOT of personal information but if you're willing to give in to the sharing, they can be pretty helpful — and Now on Tap looks amazing, technologically speaking.

Google announced a host of other improvements to the new version of Android, like an Android Pay feature that looks and acts almost exactly like Apple Pay, some improved app permission controls (like telling a random app that it can't access your phone's camera or location data), and better battery life. But it's worth noting that Android M won't be out until at least August, according to rumors, and many Android phones haven't even gotten the last update--Lollipop. 

Other headlines of note: 

* Google announced a new service called Google Photos, available today on Android, iOS and Web that uploads and automatically categorizes all your photos. It includes unlimited storage of photos up to a certain size (16MB ) and videos. 

* Family-friendly searching and labeling is coming to apps on Google Play. A star system will let you know if an app is approved for kids, and you can even search by age. 

* Google hopes to build an operating system for the Internet of Things and announced a new communication language called Weave that it hopes will be a universal way for connected devices to communicate. 

* The company updated its Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer to support iPhones, and also announced a program to use Cardboard and phones in schools to provide virtual field trips called Expeditions. It also announced a new virtual reality content creation program that includes all-new 360-degree cameras, software to make 360-degree footage into realistic images, and virtual reality video on YouTube. 

No movement on welfare bill - Foster

BBC - Thu, 2015-05-28 09:19
The finance minister says she cannot move the budget bill forward because of the inability of the Stormont parties to resolve the deadlock over welfare reform.