National / International News

Venezuela protests end in violence

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 04:01
At least three people are killed in deadly clashes during anti-government student protests in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

UK fugitives sought in Netherlands

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:59
Some of the UK's most wanted men thought to be on the run in the Netherlands are named by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Has the Treasury killed Salmond’s sterling-zone?

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:52
Has the Treasury killed Salmond’s sterling-zone?

Will Comcast Get Federal OK To Buy Time Warner?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:45

The nation's No. 1 and No. 2 cable companies would come together if Comcast's plan to buy Time Warner for $45 billion goes through. Before that can happen, though, federal lawyers are expected to consider the effect of such a combination on consumers.

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Woods misses out on slopestyle medal

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:28
Great Britain's James Woods defies injury to finish fifth in the ski slopestyle as Joss Christensen heads an American clean sweep.

VIDEO: What happens to UK if Scotland leaves?

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:22
Scottish independence would affect those south of the border, with changes for life in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Clegg refuses to reinstate Rennard

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:21
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg refuses to back down over Lord Rennard's threat to start legal action against the party by the end of Thursday.

Tenant evictions hit record high

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:16
The number of tenants in England and Wales forcibly evicted from their homes last year was the highest yet recorded, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.

Your pictures: Aroma

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:08
Readers' photos on the theme of aroma

Bridging a perception gap in, and about, Silicon Valley

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:03

In California, there's an argument about whether the hub innovation known as Silicon Valley would be a richer or poorer place if left more to its own devices. This week,  we've heard about the case for moving innovation out to sea, outside the limits of regulation. There's also a bid to take Silicon Valley and make it its own state. Today, another sense of the word "island,"  the criticism that Northern California's tech community is sometimes insular.

Waiting for the bus is a great leveler, you might be wearing a blue suit, you might be wearing blue coveralls, but if you're waiting for a bus, you are in this together. At the 24th street and Valencia bus stop in San Francisco's Mission district, it's different. Some people wait for the regular city bus. Others wait with their messenger bags and earbuds for buses that are more imposing.  Double decker, tinted windows, even the tires shine with Armor All. The generic term is "Google Buses," but there is also Yahoo, Cisco, Electronic Arts.

"There's not a lot of interaction... that's increased the tensions," says Sara Shortt, executive director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco.

Tensions, no kidding. Protesters have blocked some of the tech buses and somebody slashed tires. The immediate issue that private buses cause congestion and delays for city bus riders at the public stops. But what's also going on here is a clash of cultures and pay scales with tech workers moving into what had been working class neighborhoods.  Rents are up and tech workers get blamed. 

"That's a really different thing then just sort of, envy.  That's real meaningful frustration and anger, " Shortt says. "Will we be next? Will we be the next one to get an eviction notice. Will be priced out? So it's really different from they're making more money than me and that makes me mad."

Sara Shortt is the executive director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco

Photo Credit: John Ketchum/Marketplace

None of the people waiting for the private rides would comment, some indicated their companies told them to stay mum. Tech companies argue the buses keep commuter cars off the road, which helps with traffic and pollution. But there's something larger going on here. It's about a perceived lack of involvement.

"There's a whole range of things that tech could be doing better to show us that they care about our city," Shortt says. "To show us that this is more than just a crash pad for their employees."

Clearly some people at the top of tech companies are engaged. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg just gave the Silicon Valley Community Foundation nearly a billion dollars. Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com and his foundation gave $30 million to non-profits, including $2.7 million to San Francisco Middle Schools. 

"I think they live in these negibhorghod bcause they value diversity, the value rich culture," says City Supervisor David Campos, who represents both the long-time residents and the tech workers who've moved in his districts.

Campos organized a public meeting in late January where people came to complain about or to support the role of tech their neighbhorhoods, where Crystal Schultz described herself as a program manager and engineer at Google.

"Not everyone at Google is a billionaire. Like many people, 10 years after the fact, I'm still paying off my student loans. I moved to the Mission because I am a pedestrian," Shultz says. "I don't own a car. I moved to the mission because there are two Bart stations. I walk everywhere on the weekend, and I've relied on the shuttle since I've moved to San Francisco."

Supervisor Campos says interactions like this are all too rare. Newcomers, he says, have a responsibity to make their impact positive, "and that they work with people who have been there long term to make sure those individuals are not pushed out."

"It can be easy for people in San Francisco to have this very warped sense of what the world outside of technology community is," says Catherine Bracy, director of Community Organizing at San Francisco-based Code For America.

Catherine Bracy is the Director of Community Organizing at Code for America

Photo Credit: John Ketchum/Marketplace

"When you don't have that interaction with real people. In the sense of like, I'm struggling, I don't have access to the latest technology all the time. My problems aren't about how to get takeout delivered to my house or how to launch my app in a faster way. That's where the disconnect kind of starts coming in."

Code For America gives tech workers a way to use their skills to engage community projects. Like a text messaging system to warn families there's a problem with their food stamps before they find themselves cut off from benefits while waiting in the grocery line.

"That was a huge win," she says. "We're building a bridge between tech and entrenched public problems and figuring out solutions."

The needs are there. So is demand by tech folks to help. Bracy's organization gets 700 applications a year for fellowships to build these bridges where there may be islands.

 *CORRECTION: A previous version of this article mispelled Sara Shortt's last name. The text has been corrected.

MMR Silicon valley part 3

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:03

In California, there's an argument about whether the hub innovation known as Silicon Valley would be a richer or poorer place if left more to its own devices. This week,  we've heard about the case for  moving innovation out to sea, outside the limits of regulation.  There's also a bid to take Silicon Valley and make it its own state. Today, another sense of the word "island,"  the criticism that Northern California's tech community is sometimes insular.

Waiting for the bus is a great leveler, you might be wearing a blue suit, you might be wearing blue coveralls, but if you're waiting for a bus, you are in this together. At the 24th street and Valencia bus stop in San Francisco's Mission district, it's different. Some people wait for the regular city bus. Others wait with their messenger bags and earbuds for buses that are more imposing.  Double decker, tinted windows, even the tires shine with Armor All. The generic term is "Google Buses," but there is also Yahoo, Cisco, Electronic Arts.

"There's not a lot of interaction... that's increased the tensions," says Sara Shorrt, executive director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco.

Tensions, no kidding. Protesters have blocked some of the tech buses and somebody slashed tires. The immediate issue that private buses cause congestion and delays for city bus riders at the public stops. But what's also going on here is a clash of cultures and pay scales with tech workers moving into what had been working class neighborhoods.  Rents are up and tech workers get blamed.

"That's a really different thing then just sort of, envy.  That's real meaningful frustration and anger, " Shorrt says. "Will we be next?  Will we be the next one to get an eviction notice. Will be priced out? So it's really different from they're making more money than me and that makes me mad."

None of the people waiting for the private rides would comment, some indicated their companies told them to stay mum. Tech companies argue the buses keep commuter cars off the road, which helps with traffic and pollution.  But there's something larger going on here.  It's about a perceived lack of involvement.

"There's a whole range of things that tech could be doing better to show us that they care about our city," Shorrt says. "To show us that this is more than just a crash pad for their employees."

Clearly some people at the top of tech companies are engaged.  Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg just gave the Silicon Valley Community Foundation nearly a billion dollars.  Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com and his foundation gave $30 million to non-profits, including $2.7 million to San Francisco Middle Schools. 

"I think they live in these negibhorghod bcause they value diversity, the value rich culture," says City Supervisor David Campos, who represents both the long-time residents and the tech workers who've moved in his districts.

Campos organized a public meeting in late January where people came to complain about or to support the role of tech their neighbhorhoods, where Crystal Schultz described herself as a program manager and engineer at Google.

"Not everyone at Google is a billionaire. Like many people, 10 years after the fact, I'm still paying off my student loans. I moved to the Mission because I am a pedestrian," Shultz says. "I don't own a car. I moved to the mission because there are two Bart stations. I walk everywhere on the weekend, and I've relied on the shuttle since I've moved to San Francisco."

Supervisor Campos says interactions like this are all too rare. New comers, he says, have a responsibity to make their impact positive, "and that they work with people who have been there long term to make sure those individuals are not pushed out."

"It  can be easy for people in San Francisco to have this very warped sense of what the world outside of technology community is," says Catherine Bracy, director of Community Organizing at San Francisco-based Code For America.

"When you don't have that interaction with real people. In the sense of like, I'm struggling, I don't have access to the latest technology all the time. My problems aren't about how to get takeout delivered to my house or how to launch my app in a faster way. That's where the disconnect kind of starts coming in."

Code For America gives tech workers a way to use their skills to engage community projects. Like a text messaging system to warn families there's a problem with their food stamps before they find themselves cut off from benefits while waiting in the grocery line.

"That was a huge win," she says. "We're building a bridge between tech and entrenched public problems and figuring out solutions."

The needs are there. So is demand by tech folks to help. Bracy's organization gets 700 applications a year for fellowships to build these bridges where there may be islands.

 

Ice And Snow Move Into Northeast And New England

NPR News - Thu, 2014-02-13 03:00

Heavy snow has piled up from the Deep South through the Mid-Atlantic, and states to the north will be getting hit as the day continues. Also in the forecast: Ice, along the I-95 corridor. More than a dozen deaths have been attributed to the storm.

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Belgian MPs vote on child euthanasia

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 02:48
Belgium's lower house is expected to support a controversial bill extending euthanasia to terminally-ill children.

French editor quits over reform plan

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 02:31
The editor-in-chief of left-leaning French newspaper Liberation resigns after a bitter row with staff over his plans to transform the paper into a social network.

Tributes paid to comedian Sid Caesar

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 02:29
Mel Brooks and Woody Allen are among those who have paid tribute to veteran US comedian Sid Caesar, who died on Wednesday aged 91.

Italy's PM faces leadership showdown

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 02:25
Italy's centre-left Prime Minister Enrico Letta faces a crisis meeting amid speculation that the party leader Matteo Renzi wants to take his job.

How healthy is your relationship?

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 02:19
Every relationship has stresses and strains, but how healthy is yours?

VIDEO: Breaking the silence on male rape

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 02:15
Rape is a crime that affects thousands of people, and for many victims one of the hardest things can be getting the help they need to move on with their lives.

Ancient reptile's birth fossilised

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 02:09
A rare fossil reveals how marine reptiles evolved to give birth to live young, say scientists.

Does Salmond have a currency Plan B?

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-13 02:08
Does Salmond have a currency Plan B?

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