National / International News

BBC chief defends Jeremy Clarkson

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-07 01:00
BBC head of television, Danny Cohen, writes a letter to the Guardian, admitting there have been "significant issues on Top Gear in recent months".

A future we haven't imagined, but might forget

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-08-07 01:00

We've been covering the European top court ruling and subsequent battles over the "Right to be forgotten" for some months now. At this point, the motivations of the key players seem clear.

Google wants to organize all of the Internet's information without it saying "redacted" all over it.

A guy who had some debts but paid them -- and apparently 70 thousand other people -- felt like the top result when people search for his name infringes on his right to have that material wiped from the Internet record.

Government officials want to protect citizens and introduce some order to an environment that seems chaotic.

Each kind of party involved has gloomy predictions about the future if the right precautions aren't taken. And while I've envisioned all of those predictions as possible, there's one potential future I didn't imagine: What if only a small number of people request takedowns, but they're all the worst kind of people?

This is what dawned on me while I was reading the news about Wikipedia's first transparency report, which includes information about granted rtbf requests. Among the five Wikipedia entries and 50 links affected: One on an Italian criminal with four life sentences, an Irish bank robber, a musician, a chess player, and an Italian gang (Italy gets two!).

Wikipedia has discouraged us from assuming the anonymous requesters are always the same people whose entries are being impacted. But I feel like it's safe to say these do not seem like hugely important entries. So who is requesting the search results for them be changed? 

I worry that the new European policy will be manipulated not by waves and waves of people who want that awkward photo taken down, like tech companies would have us believe. Nor by people who have legitimate arguments (and we should be cognizant of the importance of second chances).

Instead the policy might be used by a very select few. People who have too much time on their hands (OK maybe not the end of the world). But perhaps also organizations and people that benefit directly from keeping the truth hidden or at least blurred. Even on a small scale, that kind of selective editing can be annoying, and even dangerous.

Grandmother Finds Grandson, Abducted In Argentina's Dirty War

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-07 00:59

Estela de Carlotto's grandson was taken as a baby when her daughter was a political prisoner in the 1970s. NPR's David Greene talks to writer Francisco Goldman, who has chronicled her struggle.

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NCAA Vote Could Boost Student-Athletes' Benefits, Big Schools' Power

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-07 00:59

Major college sports programs could take a significant step toward sharing their wealth. The NCAA Board of Directors is to vote on a plan to restructure Division I athletics.

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BBC to broadcast DEC Gaza appeal

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-07 00:50
The BBC, along with other UK public service broadcasters, is to air an emergency appeal on Friday for people affected by the conflict in Gaza.

Fears grow for Derry tax jobs

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-07 00:48
Fears are growing for more than 40 jobs at Londonderry's main tax office, as the area's MP accuses Revenue and Customs of engineering the losses.

VIDEO: NY's 'Little Liberia' Ebola fears

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-07 00:26
BBC News speaks to members of the largest Liberian community outside Monrovia in Staten Island, New York.

JustPark and the sharing economy

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-07 00:08
Rory Cellan-Jones on JustPark and Mini’s app partnership

Bank sells loans linked to Merchant

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 23:58
Ulster Bank is selling loans attached to Belfast's high profile Merchant Hotel, according to a report.

California Experiments With Fast-Tracking Medical School

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-06 23:26

Medical school is now one year shorter for aspiring doctors. An initiative at the University of California, Davis aims to produce more primary care doctors with less med school debt.

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Will Americans Buy Bug Snacks? Maybe ... If They're Funny And Cute

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-06 23:25

The "ick factor" has kept consumers in the U.S. from eating crickets, locusts and mealworms. To convert skeptics, bug-food advocates are trying to win them over with sleek packages and clever names.

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Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-06 23:24

Take two kids, the same age, who grew up in the same city. Which one is more likely to go to jail ... or college?

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When And How To Die: Germany Debates Whose Choice It Is

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-06 23:22

German courts have supported some types of assisted suicide, but the ruling party has vowed to stop doctors and organizations it says are profiting from the practice.

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VIDEO: Police record rise in anti-Semitism

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 23:16
Two of England's largest police forces have said there has been a significant increase in anti-Semitic crime since the latest conflict in Gaza broke out.

Found Cambodian family portraits

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 23:15
Inside family albums in Cambodia

Winners of 2014 National Geographic Traveller Photography Contest

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 23:15
Winners of the National Geographic photo competition

India bill to try minors as adults

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 23:10
India's cabinet approves a bill to allow children over 16 to be tried as adults for crimes such as rape and murder.

VIDEO: Ibiza police want drugs help

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 22:59
One year after Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid were arrested, Spanish police are asking for help to stop drugs reaching the holiday island of Ibiza.

Israel offers Gaza truce extension

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 22:42
Israel offers to extend a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, say Israeli officials, but Hamas, which controls Gaza, has yet to agree to the plan.

Student 'excited' to visit Malaysia

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 22:35
A friend of one of the British medical students who was stabbed to death in Borneo tells Newsbeat he "could not wait" to help out at a hospital in the country.
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