National / International News

Fresh US sanctions on Venezuela

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 09:39
The US has sanctioned at least seven Venezuelan officials for the government's treatment of political opponents and public corruption.

To Head Off Trauma's Legacy, Start Young

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-09 09:38

Two Philadelphia medical clinics support parents to help break generational cycles of trauma and abuse. Attending to adversity, doctors say, gives kids a better chance to grow up healthy.

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Quiz: Gender gaps around the globe

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-09 09:35

Girls score higher than boys in reading, but girls are less confident in science, according to international test results from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development.

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Big changes coming for credit reports

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-09 09:22

Experian, Equifax and Trans-Union are the three main agencies that track consumer credit. According to a settlement announced Monday by the New York Attorney General, these credit agencies have agreed to follow new guidelines to handle disputes on consumer credit reports.

Credit-reporting firms will now be required to use trained employees to respond when a consumer flags a mistake on their file and resolve the dispute.

"If you had a dispute before, basically, the only time a human would get involved is when they put like a 3-digit number or code on your dispute, and send it off to the lenders," says Liz Weston, personal finance columnist and author of, "Your Credit Score."

In addition, medical debts will not be put on consumers’ credit reports until after insurance payments have been taken into account. All medical debts will be removed from a consumer’s credit report after the debt is paid by insurance. 

#AppleWatchEvent: Follow NPR's Laura Sydell As Apple Unveils Its Smart Watch

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-09 09:22

NPR's Laura Sydell (@Sydell) is live-tweeting the Apple event where the company is expected to unveil its much-anticipated smart watch.

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Many Unaccompanied Minors No Longer Alone, But Still In Limbo

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-09 09:04

Many of the thousands of youths who arrived in the U.S. in 2014 now live with family, awaiting hearings on whether they can stay. But finding legal and mental health assistance remains a challenge.

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Math Love, Game-Based Learning, And More From NPR Ed At #SXSWEdu

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-09 09:03

We'll be among the teachers, edupreneurs and innovators in Austin.

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'Terror drive' victim clung to wipers

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:56
Video of a man clinging to windscreen wipers as he was carried along a dual carriageway near Camberley is released by police.

HSBC boss admits 'reputation damage'

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:54
Stuart Gulliver, the chief executive of HSBC, tells MPs his personal financial arrangements have led HSBC to suffer reputational damage.

Giveaway Budget not credible - Cable

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:54
A pre-election Budget with major tax cuts and spending pledges would not be "credible", says Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Ramzan Kadyrov: Putin's key Chechen ally

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:51
As Chechens are held over the killing of Boris Nemtsov, BBC News examines the bond between President Putin and the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.

It's getting harder to sell sales jobs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:46

Sales jobs once were ideal for new college graduates trying to get a foot in the door, or even for young people without a degree. But according to a Harvard Business Review report, sales jobs — especially those in the tech sector — are becoming harder to fill. With 1.9 million job postings, sales was the single largest occupation group in terms of job postings in 2013.

That’s bad news for companies, where no sales means no revenue.   

Talent acquisition specialist Beth Wolfe is recruiting for two sales jobs at software company Daxco in Birmingham, Alabama. At her desk, she pulls out a small stack of resumes with notes scribbled all over them. Filling these positions is very much on the front burner, Wolfe says.

“We consider our sales and our tech roles right now to be our highest priority in terms of like filling, because obviously without those sales, we’re not going to stay afloat,” she says. 

The challenge: You’ve got your sales people and your tech people. But finding that person who’s both? “I mean, there are fantastic sales people out there who just have a hard time picking up on the tech,” Wolfe says. 

Brent Thomson, managing partner with Peak Sales Recruiting, says the tech sector is especially hungry for top talent. Part of that’s because technology is constantly changing, but sales isn’t what it used to be, either.  

“There’s still some people who think it’s somebody who tells cheesy jokes, and walks in with coffee and donuts, but I think the world has evolved,” Thomson says. 

Now, he says buyers are a lot more educated, and they want more substance, less dog-and-pony show. But stereotypes die hard, and that’s keeping a lot of would-be salespeople out of the profession. 

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Center for Sales Leadership is where students learn to sell. John Hansen, director of the program, tells students how to handle rejection, what to do when a buyer says, “I don’t have time to think about it right now,” and how to move in for the close without seeming … pushy. The students laugh because "pushy" is exactly what comes to mind when they think about sales people.

But also, Hansen says, a lot of students see sales jobs as way too much pressure. 

“The majority of students we have in the program, even though they’ve chosen sales, they’re still a bit nervous about the fact that a large percentage of their compensation may be tied to how they perform,” Hansen says. 

Jeremy Barnes, a senior at UAB, is majoring in industrial distribution with a minor in mechanical engineering. He used to sell home security products, but says it wasn’t for him. 

“Even though I believe I’d be great at it, the pressure of it, and I think there’s other skills I think that can help me in other ways,” Barnes says. 

For one thing, he says he didn’t like pushing people into buying stuff so he could have more money in his pocket. And, he says, these jobs — especially the entry-level ones —seem like revolving doors. 

“I’m more looking for security, I really am. Long-term security,” Barnes says.

It's getting harder to sell sales jobs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:46

Sales jobs once were ideal for new college graduates trying to get a foot in the door, or even for young people without a degree. But according to a Harvard Business Review report, sales jobs — especially those in the tech sector — are becoming harder to fill. With 1.9 million job postings, sales was the single largest occupation group in terms of job postings in 2013.

That’s bad news for companies, where no sales means no revenue.   

Talent acquisition specialist Beth Wolfe is recruiting for two sales jobs at software company Daxco in Birmingham, Alabama. At her desk, she pulls out a small stack of resumes with notes scribbled all over them. Filling these positions is very much on the front burner, Wolfe says.

“We consider our sales and our tech roles right now to be our highest priority in terms of like filling, because obviously without those sales, we’re not going to stay afloat,” she says. 

The challenge: You’ve got your sales people and your tech people. But finding that person who’s both? “I mean, there are fantastic sales people out there who just have a hard time picking up on the tech,” Wolfe says. 

Brent Thomson, managing partner with Peak Sales Recruiting, says the tech sector is especially hungry for top talent. Part of that’s because technology is constantly changing, but sales isn’t what it used to be, either.  

“There’s still some people who think it’s somebody who tells cheesy jokes, and walks in with coffee and donuts, but I think the world has evolved,” Thomson says. 

Now, he says buyers are a lot more educated, and they want more substance, less dog-and-pony show. But stereotypes die hard, and that’s keeping a lot of would-be salespeople out of the profession. 

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Center for Sales Leadership is where students learn to sell. John Hansen, director of the program, tells students how to handle rejection, what to do when a buyer says, “I don’t have time to think about it right now,” and how to move in for the close without seeming … pushy. The students laugh because "pushy" is exactly what comes to mind when they think about sales people.

But also, Hansen says, a lot of students see sales jobs as way too much pressure. 

“The majority of students we have in the program, even though they’ve chosen sales, they’re still a bit nervous about the fact that a large percentage of their compensation may be tied to how they perform,” Hansen says. 

Jeremy Barnes, a senior at UAB, is majoring in industrial distribution with a minor in mechanical engineering. He used to sell home security products, but says it wasn’t for him. 

“Even though I believe I’d be great at it, the pressure of it, and I think there’s other skills I think that can help me in other ways,” Barnes says. 

For one thing, he says he didn’t like pushing people into buying stuff so he could have more money in his pocket. And, he says, these jobs — especially the entry-level ones —seem like revolving doors. 

“I’m more looking for security, I really am. Long-term security,” Barnes says.

Obama Imposes Sanctions On Venezuela, Invoking Emergency Powers

NPR News - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:46

Citing an "erosion of human rights guarantees," President Obama issues an executive order imposing sanctions on members of Venezuela's military and intelligence services.

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Travel ban for Sri Lanka ex-official

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:37
A Sri Lankan court issues a travel ban on Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the former president's brother, as a boatload of weapons is investigated.

McIlroy unhappy with Doral display

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:35
Rory McIlroy admits he has work to do to get his game in shape before going for a career grand slam at the Masters.

Barclays 'misleading shareholders'

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:32
A leading pension body calls for the immediate resignation of Sir John Sunderland, chair of Barclays' pay review committee, as pay row continues.

Children's services 'fell apart'

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:22
A former children's services boss has been sacked after a "botched review" caused the department to "fall apart".

VIDEO: Preparing to fight terror in Africa

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:21
As hundreds of soldiers from Chad and Niger cross the border into Nigeria to fight Boko Haram, Thomas Fessy joins US and African soldiers taking part in training exercises in Chad.

Emwazi 'wanted to harm Tanzania'

BBC - Mon, 2015-03-09 08:13
Mohammed Emwazi, the man otherwise known as "Jihadi John", wanted to carry out "acts of terrorism" in Tanzania, one of its top officials believes.

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