National / International News

VIDEO: Conducting the Proms at 90

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 07:39
Sir Neville Marriner will become the oldest conductor to lead at the Proms

Crystal meth link to stab deaths

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 07:39
Suspected killers of two Newcastle University medical students in Borneo were high on the drug crystal meth, according to police.

VIDEO: Balloons lift off at Bristol Fiesta

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 07:37
Dozens of hot air balloons have taken off from the Ashton Court estate as part of the 36th annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

Shell to cut 250 North Sea jobs

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 07:14
Energy company Shell UK announces plans to cut 250 onshore jobs from its North Sea operation in Aberdeen.

White House Goes On Lockdown After Sneaky Toddler Breaches Fence

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 07:09

The toddler had no comment because he can't talk yet. But the Secret Service handed the little guy a time out and then sent him on his way.

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Luring talent with more than just a basketball

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 07:00

The NCAA has voted to give schools with the biggest sports programs more leeway to lure talent. The move will affect the five biggest conferences: the Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, Pacific 12, Big Ten and Big 12 conferences.

If finalized, the conferences "will receive the power to raise the value of scholarships, improve health insurance, allow players to consult agents and more," according to the New York Times. For more on what this decision could mean, we spoke to Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College who follows the business of sports. 

Click the media player above to hear Andrew Zimbalist in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.

What you should know about the changes to credit scores

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 07:00

FICO, the nation's leading provider of those all-important credit scores that so many Americans can feel they have tattooed to their backs, has announced it is changing the formula it uses to score credit. The changes could boost the scores of tens of millions of Americans.

Here are a few things to know about the changes:

Exactly what is FICO changing?

There are two main changes. One is that FICO will stop docking people for being overdue on a payment, as long as they have ultimately paid the bill or settled with a collection agency. Until now, having a collection on your record — even if your balance was at zero — could impact your credit score as much as a foreclosure or a bankruptcy.

The second change will be good news to people with medical debt, which is about 40 percent of Americans. FICO says it will start giving less weight in its credit scoring formula to unpaid medical bills that are with a collection agency.

So how could these changes affect my ability to borrow?

FICO’s goal is to boost lending without creating more risk. Since the recession, it has been hard to get a loan without fairly spotless credit. These new changes could boost certain scores by as much as 100 points, meaning if you have an otherwise good credit record aside from the above issues, you might qualify for a loan you wouldn't have before, or at least for a lower interest rate.

When do the changes go in to effect?

FICO says they will offer the new credit score formulas to credit bureaus in the fall and to lenders by the end of the year. But just because the new formulas are available doesn’t mean they will be used. FICO rolls out new scoring formulas every few years, and it takes a while for many lenders to adopt the newest versions.

Beyond that, even though FICO has changed its approach to unpaid medical bills and debts that have been resolved with collections agencies, those events won’t disappear from your record altogether. Lenders will still be able to see them on your credit report for up to seven years, and can still decide they are a sign of risk.

What are the pros and cons of FICO’s new approach?

Any loosening of credit standards raises worries in some corners, that it could leave lenders open to more risk or entice borrowers deeper in to debt. FICO doesn't think so. But we'll have to see.

If the company is wrong, it could undermine the credibility of their credit scores.

John Ulzheimer, a credit expert at credit education website Credit Sesame and a former manager at FICO, says what is certain is that FICO carefully considered the changes. “The only reason someone like FICO is going to make this type of drastic change to their scoring system is because the science behind it supports the change,” he says.  “As time changes, different data elements on a credit report are tested to make sure they're still predictive of elevated risk.”

For example, as medical expenses have risen sharply in the last few decades, FICO may have found that medical debt is no longer a good predictor of elevated risk.

If FICO is right, and the new scoring system raises credit scores for tens of millions of Americans without opening lenders up to more risk, it could have positive ripple effects on the economy. Part of the slow recovery has been due to tight credit. More people qualifying for loans could create useful momentum.

And don't forget how powerful credit scores have become in our lives. Credit card companies and banks look at them, but so do potential landlords and even potential employers.  

Lancasters' tandem flight postponed

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 06:51
A first flight by the last two airworthy Lancaster bombers is postponed due to bad weather.

England captain on bench for decider

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 06:51
England captain Katy Mclean is left out of the starting XV for the Women's Rugby World Cup Pool A decider against Canada.

Rare tropical storm batters Hawaii

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 06:41
A rare tropical storm battering Hawaii has already caused power blackouts and block roads on one island, but no deaths have been reported.

VIDEO: India's factory law plans questioned

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 06:35
Some social activists have asked whether India's plans to revamp factory laws, which are intended to stimulate the economy, may erode worker rights.

Chancellor Osborne's cat hit by car

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 06:31
Chancellor George Osborne's cat Freya is recovering after being hit by a car outside Downing Street.

Drogba quits international football

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 06:27
Chelsea's Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba has announced his retirement from international football.

State Abortion Laws Face A New Round Of Legal Challenges

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 06:24

State legislatures have passed laws that require doctors to have hospital admitting privileges to perform abortions. Some courts are now saying these laws are unconstitutional.

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VIDEO: Boring town and Dull village twinned

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 06:16
Glenn Campbell meets Boring residents of a town in America that has a special relationship with Dull people in Scotland.

Week in pictures: 2-8 August 2014

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 06:15
Some of the best news, sport and entertainment images

Markets rattled by air strike fears

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 05:55
Stock markets are rattled, while the prices of oil and gold rise, as worries grow about the impact of conflicts in Iraq and Ukraine.

Pembs staff walk out in payments row

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 05:51
Some staff at Pembrokeshire council walk out in protest over unlawful payments made to its chief executive.

Chermoula: From North Africa To The White House To Your Table

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 05:51

Guests at the U.S.-Africa Summit were served beef with a Moroccan spice blend. We asked food mavens Marcus Samuelsson and Paula Wolfert to share their recipes. So now you can dine like a diplomat!

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Russia arrests Ukrainian officers

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 05:50
Investigators in Russia announce the arrest of five Ukrainian army officers for alleged war crimes as fighting rages over the border in eastern Ukraine.

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