National / International News

Who will replace McCoy as champion?

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:59
With 20-time champion jockey AP McCoy set to retire, 11 contenders who have the pedigree to claim his crown.

New Orleans Bans Smoking In Bars, Restaurants

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:50

The smoking ban stems from a law passed earlier this year.

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Court Throws Out Slugger Barry Bonds' Conviction

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:44

In 2011, Bonds was found guilty of obstruction of justice but a federal appeals court has just thrown out that conviction.

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9 Months Pregnant, An African Woman Risks It All And Heads To Europe

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:30

Tatiana Kanga was nine months pregnant when she paid a Moroccan smuggler $1,290 so she and her toddler daughter could ride on a rubber boat, 14 harrowing hours from Africa to Europe.

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9Bach win best album at folk awards

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:28
Welsh band 9Bach pick up the album of the year award at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid (Agg: 1-0)

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:17
Real Madrid reach the semi-finals of the Champions League thanks to Javier Hernandez's late strike against Atletico.

Woman released over preacher murder

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:13
A woman arrested under the Terrorism Act by detectives investigating the murder of a Syrian-born preacher in north-west London is released, police say.

Fugitive ends 40 years on the run

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:11
A fugitive in Kentucky turns himself into authorities after decades on the run, in order to get medical care.

NFL Settlement Over Concussions Is Given Final Approval By Judge

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:04

The lawsuit, brought by former players, could cost the league up to $1 billion. The settlement had originally been reached in 2013.

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Slimmer cable bundles rattle media companies

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:00

Verizon has launched a new pay TV service, with a stripped-down “basic” package and a choice of “channel packs” featuring genres like kids’ programming, news, or sports. The pitch to consumers is, essentially: "How'd you like to build your own TV bundle, with just the programming you want?"

Content companies like ESPN, Fox and NBC-Universal have made an offer of their own to Verizon, which amounts to: “How’d you like a fat lip?” They say Verizon’s plans violate their contracts.  

Content producers typically insist that their channels get included with basic bundles, says Derek Baine, research director at SNL Kagan, which watches the media industries. He says they have two very good reasons: one is ad revenue. "The bigger the number of subscribers you have, the more attractive you are to advertisers," Baine says. "They want access to the whole country."

The other is the licensing fees, which get passed onto consumers in the price of the bundle. Even customers who never watch ESPN —  and never see any ads — pay for the channel. Verizon says it’s offering consumers a way out of that.

The content companies say Verizon can’t do it without violating their contracts, and Laura Martin, managing director at Needham Equity Research, believes them. She thinks Verizon is bound to lose any legal fight.

However, the company may have other goals in mind. "One goal Verizon could have is to tell consumers that it’s not them that’s requiring these bundles, it’s these companies that are suing them," Martin says.

In other words, playing to the crowd. Or maybe, she says, Verizon is working the refs — signalling to regulators that the contracts, which require bundling, deserve scrutiny. 

Congress pushes for cybersecurity overhaul

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:00

After a series of spectacular cyber attacks on companies like Sony, Anthem and Target, Congress is pushing forward a bill to increase data sharing about security and hacks between private companies and the federal government.

The proposals address concerns from the business community that sharing data with the government could open them up to litigation from consumers; the companies that share data would be granted immunity.

The bills also address privacy concerns by requiring companies and government to try to scrub personally identifying information from the data. But that doesn't mean all the right information will be scrubbed.

"What we have seen in the surveillance context is the procedures don't actually protect privacy," says Mark Jaycox, legislative analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Matt Blaze, professor of computer science at the University of Pennsylvania, says the focus on data sharing was "baffling" and it would be better to encourage better security practices. "These systems are very weak to begin with," he says. 

And the version passed by the House Intelligence Committee would hand that shared data over to the NSA and parts of the Department of Defense, according to Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology.  

That, Nojeim says, could discourage data sharing because some big tech companies have promised not to fork over users' data writ large to the government. 

That same House Intelligence Committee version also permits data obtained to be used in criminal prosecutions, according to Nojeim. If both the Intelligence Committee and a competing version from the Homeland Security Committee pass, it will be up to House leadership to decide which elements make it into the final version. 

How the humble glass bottle lost its appeal

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:00

It's Earth Day, but before we talk about recycling glass, Carl Zimring, author of the book, "Cash for Your Trash," suggests we start here: "The first question to ask is, 'how much glass is being produced to be disposed of as a product?'"

Way back when, glass wasn't so much recycled as it was reused, like with bottled milk.

"So that when you were done with the bottle, you would give it back to the dairy, which would wash it and then fill it with more milk," he says. Zimring says in the late 50s, beverage distributors started using bottles that were designed to be used once. Glass bottles were heavy, expensive, and expensive to transport. And they broke. So, Coke in plastic bottles and beer in cans took over.

"And that was absolutely deliberate to change the responsibility from the producer to the consumer," he says.

Zimring says manufacturers from that point on had no incentive to care about what happened to glass once it left their distributors. Some states enacted deposit laws, but he says the beverage industry lobbied hard against more. There hasn't been new bottle deposit legislation in more than 30 years.

Passing the buck — or in this case, the bottle — is just how manufacturers like it, according to Michael Munger, who teaches political science and economics at Duke.

"As soon as they make something, the packaging as well as the product belongs to someone else," Munger says.

Even with recycling, that someone else often turns out to be the landfill.

Soon Amazon will deliver to the trunk of your car

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-22 13:00

I know this makes it two Amazon finals in a row, but you gotta hear this.

The Financial Times is reporting that Amazon's going to pilot a program next month that will have packages delivered directly to the trunk of your car. The catch is that your car has to be an Audi and you have to live in Munich, Germany and you have to be an Amazon Prime member.

Amazon says a delivery person from DHL, a German delivery company, will get one-time keyless access to your trunk.

In the long term, they'll make the service available to Prime members everywhere.

Mayweather record a burden - Calzaghe

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 12:49
Floyd Mayweather's unbeaten record is 'a massive burden' but he can still beat Manny Pacquiao on 2 May, says Joe Calzaghe.

Senate OKs Human-Trafficking Bill, Paving Way For Attorney General Vote

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 12:49

The human-trafficking measure had been stuck in the Senate because of an impasse over language on abortion funding. That has now been resolved.

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Monaco 0-0 Juventus (agg 0-1)

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 12:48
Juventus reach their first Champions League semi-final since 2003 as they defend solidly to earn a second-leg draw in Monaco.

Gordon Brown attacks Cameron and SNP

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 12:47
Gordon Brown accuses David Cameron of stirring up English nationalism, and the SNP of misleading people over its offer to back a Labour-led administration.

Pope to visit Cuba in September

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 12:43
Pope Francis will travel to Cuba in September ahead of his visit to the United States, the Vatican announces.

eBay profits beat expectations

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 12:36
Online retailer eBay reports better-than-expected first quarter profits, but says a strong dollar significantly hurt the company's results.

Comcast, Time Warner Push For Merger Approval Amid Opposition

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 12:31

Company officials met with regulators who are considering whether to back the proposed $45 billion merger. A group of U.S. senators say the deal should be rejected, calling it anti-competitive.

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