National / International News

VIDEO: How to hone your drone flying skills

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 02:57
BBC Click finds out what you need to know before flying a consumer drone and how they perform

Military wages war on bad grades

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 02:30

As of September, active service members who tap the military's tuition assistance program could be financially on the hook if they get bad grades.

Active members of the military can get up to $4,500 a year in tuition assistance. Under the current rules, they just have to pass classes they take off-duty to get tuition covered up to 100 percent, depending on the branch of the military they’re in.

But starting in early September, troops will have to earn a C or better in undergraduate classes, and a B or better in graduate work. And they can’t settle for grades of “incomplete.” Otherwise, they'll have to pay back the course tuition back.

“Tuition dollars and military student time is both limited and valuable,” says Defense Department spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen. “So, we want to make sure they maintain focus and have an understanding of the expectations that are required of them.”

Christensen says the Pentagon could waive the requirements in certain cases and cut soldiers slack for events like deployments.

Emma Scherer of Student Veterans of America says the threat of paying back tuition for anything less than an average grade could scare people off.

“We don't want to put roadblocks in the way of service members or veterans getting to education, and this clearly does that,” she says.

Student financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Edvisors.com, says having to back-pay tuition could also disrupt service members’ long-term education plans.

“They’d either owe the military or owe the college, and that could have consequences for their ability to complete college,” he says.

The changes come as the Pentagon faces long-term budget cuts. 

VIDEO: Wikipedia's gender imbalance

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 02:22
Caroline Hepker asked Wikipedia's founder Jimmy Wales if he is concerned that the majority of contributors are Western men.

Publisher defends Dahl book cover

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 02:04
Penguin has defended its decision to use an image of a doll-like young girl on the cover of a new edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Silicon Tally: #Scrabble

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 02:00

It's time for Silicon Tally. How well have you kept up with the week in tech news? This week, we're joined by Megan Garber, staff writer at The Atlantic. var _polldaddy = [] || _polldaddy; _polldaddy.push( { type: "iframe", auto: "1", domain: "marketplaceapm.polldaddy.com/s/", id: "silicon-tally-hashtag-scrabble", placeholder: "pd_1407500322" } ); (function(d,c,j){if(!document.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=('https:'==document.location.protocol)?'https://polldaddy.com/survey.js':'http://i0.poll.fm/survey.js';s=document.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);}}(document,'script','pd-embed'));

Corporate earnings: up. Hiring: not so much.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 02:00

Corporate earnings reports for the spring quarter are mostly in by the first week in August. Overall, they paint a pretty rosy picture for America, Inc., as Bloomberg predicts profits at S&P 500 companies rose nearly 9.5 percent; sales rose more than 4 percent. So far, 75 percent of companies that have reported earned more than equity analysts predicted.

“The results have been really solid,” said chief economic strategist John Canally at LPL Financial in Boston. He said the results bode well for the second half of 2014, especially since GDP growth has picked up since the winter reversal.

Canally said companies are mostly plowing their profits back into the company; not adding to their payrolls, or investing in new plant and equipment.

“It’s mergers and acquisitions, increasing dividends, share buybacks,” Canally said. “Companies are doing what companies normally do: trying to boost share price for their shareholders. They’re just not doing a lot of hiring right now.”

Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, said U.S. companies have increasing worries overseas — where a lot of their profits are earned — due to geopolitical and economic crises in Russia-Ukraine, Iraq-Syria, Israel-Palestine, Argentina, and Europe.

“Some of those geopolitical events have made people rethink how optimistic they are about the world economy over the next 12 months,” said Ashworth — Which, he said, explains some of the stock market's recent slump.

VIDEO: Patient: 'We need this wonder drug'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 01:07
Mother of four Hayley Kalinins, 33, has terminal cancer and has been on Kadcyla for 18 weeks after being given it through the cancer drug fund, which pays for a limited number of patients to use some treatments. She told BBC Breakfast it was a "wonder drug".

VIDEO: 'Origami' robots fold into action

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 00:48
Ancient Japanese art inspires researchers to design self-folding robots that behave like "real-life transformers".

VIDEO: Students monitor parents' pollution

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 00:13
Roads outside Bearsden Academy in Glasgow have become so busy that the children have been resorted to checking-up on their parents.

Cancer drugs row: A sign of things to come?

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-07 23:58
Difficult decisions face NHS when it comes to modern medicines

Million neurons on stamp-sized chip

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-07 23:40
Scientists. led by a team at IBM, develop a new computer chip that mimics the organisation of the human brain.

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