National / International News

House lifts debt ceiling. What does it mean?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-02-12 01:27

The House of Representatives voted 211-201 to pass an increase to the government’s borrowing limit. Here’s what you need to know.

What happened? We officially hit the debt ceiling a few days ago, and since then the Treasury has been moving money among accounts to keep the country solvent. Those “extraordinary measures” could hold us over until about Feb. 27, according to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. After that, the U.S. might not be able to pay bills it already incurred. The House is going on a recess tomorrow, and with a snowstorm heading to Washington, lawmakers decided they wouldn’t wait until that deadline.

What did not happen? There had been talk of attaching strings to an increase – everything from administration approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project, to changes to the Affordable Care Act, to rolling back changes to military pensions that were part of a budget deal in December. None of those strings was attached.

What does it mean? So long as the bill passes the Senate, the U.S. will continue to pay its bills until March 2015, which is only 13 months away but is a long time in the cadence of Washington. 

Teens arrested over racist attack

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 01:27
Four teenagers are arrested and charged following a racist attack in West Pilton Terrace in Edinburgh.

AUDIO: Neknomination shows alcohol 'culture'

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 01:11
Professor Mark Bellis discusses the online drinking game Neknomination, which is being blamed for the death of a second man in the UK.

Bristol City plan 'standing seats'

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 01:10
League One Bristol City plan to become the first club in the UK to install "safe standing" rail seats at their stadium.

Year of Code - PR fiasco or vital mission?

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 01:09
How an education initiative has turned into a PR disaster

In pictures: The Aura of Boxing

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:52
Where boxers train their bodies and minds

Last push in Wythenshawe by-election

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:51
Candidates for the by-election triggered by the death of Labour MP Paul Goggins are to begin a final day of campaigning.

At Last, New York Fashion Week Brings 'Good News For Real People'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:39

Wearing oversized sweaters, sensible shoes and loose-fitting suits, the models on the runway this year look downright comfortable. New York Times Style Magazine editor in chief Deborah Needleman says these styles are "much more about comfort" than they have been in the past.

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The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:38

Two recent studies add to the growing evidence that consuming dairy fat may actually fend off weight gain. Experts say it may be time to revisit the assumption that when it comes to dairy, fat free is always best.

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To Rent Or Buy? For The Federal Government, It's Complicated

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:37

The Bureau of Indian Affairs cost taxpayers $32 million by overpaying for space and renting too much of it. It's just one in a long line of federal leasing problems, according to reports. Health and Human Services has been leasing a building in Maryland for 60 years that it could have owned 10 times over by now.

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In Photos: Moroccan Motorcycle Mashup

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:36

Photographer Hassan Hajjaj's "Kesh Angels" share a similar name to Hell's Angels. But they're not a gang. They're Moroccan. And women. And really colorful.

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Samba School Murder Exposes The Dark Side Of Rio's Carnival

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:35

Carnival in Rio attracts tourists from all over the world. But there is a murky — and sometimes deadly — underbelly to the celebrations. The recent murder of a samba school official highlights the links between the glittering affair that is Carnival and the city's criminal world.

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Fears over missing Pakistan activist

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:34
A court in Pakistan orders the government to produce an anti-drone activist who lawyers say is being detained by intelligence agencies.

Heaven or hell? Never miss a call again

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:33

We live in a modern world filled with awe-inspiring technological innovations... so why is it so difficult to collect texts and phone calls across multiple devices?

Gregg Fienberg, executive producer of HBO's True Blood, helped design a new app called CallPlease that tries to solve the problem of missing a message or text. 

Click on the audio player learn how CallPlease helped his assistant climb the corporate ladder, and what TV production has to do with app-making. 

*CORRECTION: Gregg Fienberg's last name was mispelled in the original version of this article. The text has been corrected.

For Elephants And Rhinos, Poaching Trends Point In Wrong Direction

NPR News - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:33

A decade ago, fewer than 100 rhinos were killed annually in South Africa. Last year, it was more than 1,000. Wildlife conservation groups from around the globe are gathering in London this week, hoping to find ways to slow the trade in rhino horns, elephant tusks and other illegal wildlife products.

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Carney set to adjust rates policy

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:29
Bank of England governor Mark Carney is expected to overhaul his flagship forward guidance policy on interest rates.

College philanthropy hits new high

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:27

Charitable giving to U.S. colleges and universities hit a record high in 2013. A report out on Wednesday from the nonprofit Council for Aid to Education says donors gave $33.8 billion to higher education, the highest level since the survey began in 1957.

College giving has risen nine percent since 2012, with much of the growth driven by gifts to endowments, says Ann Kaplan, director of the annual survey.

“This type of gift is strongly affected by the stock market, as such gifts tend to be made either in the form of stock or from a platform of wealth that itself rises and falls with the value of stocks,” says Kaplan. “And all the major stock indexes increased by more than 15 percent over the course of the fiscal year we studied.”

While most schools reported at least some increase in giving, the biggest winners were the big names: Stanford, Harvard, the University of Southern California, Columbia. All raised several hundred million dollars last year.

Support for higher education by the very rich “has come roaring back,” according to a recent report from consulting firm Marts & Lundy. “Mega-gifts” of $50 million or more made a mega comeback in 2013, says chairman John Cash. And 2014 is off to a strong start, he says.

Gifts mostly go to top-tier private research institutions, Cash says. Mid-tier and public universities, he says, “have to struggle to achieve the kind of generosity from private philanthropists that the great established private research institutions receive on a regular basis.”

Cash says large donors want to change the world, and big research universities with medical schools and innovative science programs, can promise to do that.

VIDEO: Pacific castaway arrives home

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:22
A castaway from El Salvador - who says he spent more than a year adrift in the Pacific - has finally arrived home.

Pair bailed over baby dog maul death

BBC - Wed, 2014-02-12 00:01
A woman and her boyfriend are released on police bail after her baby girl was killed by a "pit bull terrier-type" dog in Lancashire.

Toyota to recall 1.9m Prius hybrids

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-11 23:34
Toyota is recalling 1.9 million of its top-selling Prius hybrid cars because of a software fault that may cause the vehicle to slow down suddenly.

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