National / International News

Typical writer 'earns £11,000 a year'

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 03:24
A typical full-time writer earns £11,000 a year, according to research by an authors' society.

Pistorius witnesses 'refused stand'

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 03:12
Some witnesses refused to testify at the televised trial of Oscar Pistorius because of the publicity, his lawyer says, as his defence closes.

Can't Stand Meetings? Try Taking Away The Chairs

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-08 03:03

Those who stood at meetings said they felt their colleagues were more open to their ideas, less territorial, and overall, did better collaborative work, researchers found.

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The Collapse Of Corinthian Colleges

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-08 03:03

The giant for-profit college chain will unwind after the Department of Education cut off its access to federal money.

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Israel Expands Attacks On Hamas In Gaza

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-08 03:01

Responding to recent rocket attacks, Israel conducts airstrikes and calls up reservists. It's also planning ground operations.

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VIDEO: The sinking of the Rainbow Warrior

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 03:00
How France sank an environmentalist ship

PODCAST: Summer camp for techies

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-08 03:00

The CEO of Walmart says that positive job growth numbers are not translating to increased sales -- At least not in his stores, anyway. Is it the same story for small businesses? Plus, a new report says that more than 40% of American homes are mobile phone only. But recently, the rate of cord-cutting has slowed. A look at why the number of people abandoning landlines may have plateaued. And it's summer camp season, which means sending kids off to canoe, make campfires, and...code? More and more summer programs are offering to teach kids programming skills. The positives and negatives of training the next batch of techies.

Mother 'beat Mikaeel for four days'

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:59
Rosdeep Adekoya, mother of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular, appears in court in Edinburgh charged with his murder.

VIDEO: Are #GazaUnderAttack images accurate?

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:45
How accurate are the images being shared online?

Soldier saved woman 'being drowned'

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:37
A soldier ran into the River Taff and saved a woman from being drowned by her boyfriend and another man, Cardiff Crown Court hears.

Lake pulls out of Glasgow heptathlon

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:36
England's Morgan Lake misses the Commonwealth Games heptathlon to focus on the World Junior Championships.

VIDEO: Tough Mudder: A great away day?

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:17
It is perhaps not everyone's idea of team bonding or your company away day, but the founder of Tough Mudder is banking annual revenues of more than $100m (£58m).

Channel Tunnel returning to normal

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:12
Repairs to power lines in the Channel Tunnel, where a fault caused cancellations on Monday, are almost complete and most services are running.

Buttler called up as cover for Prior

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:12
England call up Jos Buttler as cover for wicketkeeper Matt Prior ahead of the first Test against India, which starts on Wednesday.

EU Commission row reaches top court

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:10
The head of the European Commission tells judges the actions of Maltese ex-colleague John Dalli in 2012 put the entire Commission's reputation at risk.

VIDEO: Brit arrested over Fifa ticket scam

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:08
Brazilian police arrest the chief executive of a Fifa partner company as part of an investigation into the illegal sale of World Cup ticket

Congress considers federal social media strategy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:00

The House of Representatives is back from summer recess, and among the items on the agenda is the Social Media Working Group Act of 2014. While the government is already working with social media to inform and interact with citizens, one of the proposals under consideration is establishing a standard operating procedure for the Department of Homeland Security's Twitter account during a crisis.

According to Nate Elliott, social media analyst at Forrester Research, typically “The hope is when government or another authority tweets something, people will share it for them.”

However, because of the noisy environment of social media platforms, that generally doesn’t happen.

“Messages wash away very quickly,” according to Elliott. It's why the government is looking for a more cohesive social media strategy.

But there are challenges. Twitter, for example, does not use an algorithm to decide what the typical user sees in the same way as Facebook manages its feed. Plus, both allow increased visibility with paid posts, giving the government another challenge in reaching citizens on these platforms.

High times in Washington and Colorado

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:00

It's the first day that residents in the state of Washington State can walk into a store and legally buy marijuana for recreational purposes. Washington is the second state to legalize pot -- Coloradans have been able to purchase recreational pot since January 1st. But there are some notable differences in how each state regulates the still federally illegal plant.

One major difference is the number of retail outlets. Washington has capped the number 334, while Colorado has no cap. And initially Colorado did not require lab testing on pot.

“Everything that is sold in a retail marijuana store in Washington has been tested,” says Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Board, which drafted Washington’s new marijuana laws.

Colorado retailers are also required to grow nearly all the pot themselves. In Washington, retailers aren’t allowed to grow their own. They have to purchase it from a licensed growers and processors. And Smith says it’s taxed heavily: “25 percent from producers to processors, 25 percent from processors to retailers, and 25 percent from retailers to consumers.”

Revenue projections in both states are, like many residents, high. Washington predicts nearly $600 million over the next four years. 

“What people forget," says Mark Kleiman, “is the high price of cannabis today reflects the legality. But once you don’t have to hide, you can do things much more efficiently.”

Kleiman is a UCLA professor of public policy and the author of several books on drug policy. He predicts that in the long run, legalization will drive pot production costs down. As a result pot prices will plummet, along with tax revenue.

For more of Marketplace's coverage on the legalization of retail marijuana sales in Washington, check out the links below:

Here at Marketplace, we've covered the growing marijuana industry in Washington since it was first approved for recreational use -- From the search for a marijuana consultant by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (which they later found), to figuring out a price structure, to the advent of businesses hoping to take advantage of legal sales.

And remember when the Denver Broncos took on the Seattle Seahawks at this year's Superbowl, and advocates for legalizing marijuana spent $5,000 on pro-pot billboards near the stadium? The event sprouted a lot of nicknames -- "The Stoner Bowl," for example.

But growing a business that's illegal most everywhere else can be tricky, especially when it comes to managing finances.

That's because most banks have decided that the venture is too risky, and are reluctant to do business with the marijuana industry. It's forcing many pot-related businesses to use cash only, which is nearly impossible as operations and revenue grow. With the amount of money involved things like sales, taxes, and licensing fees, it's difficult for businesses to operate without access to bank accounts.

Talk about a buzzkill. 

Mexico makes more cars than Brazil. Yes, it's a race.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:00

Mexico might be out of the World Cup, but this year, the country is poised to beat rival Brazil on another global stage: For the first time in a decade, Mexico is expected to become the top Latin American automobile producer. And that bodes well for its economy overall.

Consultant IHS Automotive says Mexico has been making and exporting more cars than Brazil in 2014, and it should keep up pace through the rest of the year.

Analysts point to cheaper labor and proximity to the United States, one of Mexico’s biggest customers, as contributors to the surge in auto production. There's also new investment from foreign automakers.  

"Audi, Nissan, Mazda, GM, Ford and many, many others," says Shannon O’Neil, a senior fellow for Latin America studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. "These are the types of firms where you’ve seen huge growth and innovation and productivity among Mexican workers that have made it really a competitive sector."

That momentum could jump start productivity across Mexico’s economy, according to Lisa Schineller, an analyst for Standard & Poors.  

"The key challenge is trying to tackle outside the manufacturing sector, and improve education, infrastructure, et cetera," she says.

 Schineller adds that S&P is also watching legislative reforms that would open Mexico’s energy industry to foreign investment.

 

 

SLUG: Mexican Auto Production

REPORTER: S.Mullen (Johnston)

SHOW: MMR

 

Host lead: Mexico might be out of the World Cup, but the country is poised to beat rival Brazil on another global stage.

 

For the first time in a decade Mexico is expected to become the top Latin American automobile producer this year.

 

And that bodes well for Mexico’s economy overall, as Shannon Mullen reports.

 

* * *

 

MULLEN: So far this year, Mexico’s been making andexporting more cars than Brazil.

 

And consultant I-H-S Automotive says that should keep up through 2014.

 

One factor: cheaper labor.  Another proximity to the U.S., one of Mexico’s biggest customers.

 

Then there’s all that recent investment from foreign automakers…

 

O’NEIL: Audi, Nissan, Mazda, GM, Ford and many many others…

 

MULLEN: Shannon O’Neil is a senior fellow for Latin America studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

O’NEIL: These are the types of firms where you’ve seen huge growth and innovation and productivity among Mexican workers that have made it really a competitive sector.

 

MULLEN: That momentum could jumpstart productivity across Mexico’s economy, says Lisa Schineller, an analyst for Standard & Poors.

 

SCHINELLER: the key challenge is trying to tackle outside the manufacturing sector, and improve education, infrastructure, etcera.

 

MULLEN: Schineller says S&P is also watching reforms that would open Mexico’s energy industry to foreign investment.

 

I’m S-M for Marketplace.

 

Truckers strike at key port for trade with Asia

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-08 02:00

More than a hundred truckers who work at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are on strike, calling for better pay and safety and accusing transport companies of hindering their efforts to unionize. The trucking companies say they pay fair wages and that drivers striking are only a small slice of the total workforce.

It’s the latest workforce disruption at an important trade gateway with a long history of labor unrest.

The ports are a key point for trade with Asia, with hundreds of billions of dollars in goods moving through. You probably own something with a "Made in China" label, and it most likely came through these California ports.

Right now, only three trucking companies are affected by the strike. Others are still rolling. The picketing isn’t large enough to cause a major disruption.

But if dockworkers walk off the job in support of the truckers, it could snarl trade, with nationwide impact if the strike drags on.

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