National / International News

The future of private space

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 10:17

After two recent high profile accidents: the crash of Virgin Galactic's spaceshiptwo, which killed the pilot and injured the copilot, and the explosion of Orbital Sciences Antares rocket, we wanted to know more about the future of commercial space.

Mike Gold, the chairman of the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee also works extensively with Bigelow Aerospace as their Director of DC Operations. Bigelow is a space start-up planning to launch their own space station in the future.

"I don't think anybody sees these failures and says, 'Well, that's a great thing.' I can certainly assure you it wasn't beneficial. But what was extraordinary to us was the success, the amazing consecutive successes that the Falcon 9 and the Antares had up to this point," Gold says. "Not that there was a failure. So if anything the performance, particularly of the pace X systems, have exceeded our expectations."

"We hear far too often that commercial entities will be less safe than government programs when exactly the opposite is the case. You talk about Mercury and Apollo and other programs. They to an extent could suffer failure more easily than a commercial program because if you look at the activities of these purely commercial entities, such as Virgin Galactic, it's their own money, their own investors, and they don't necessarily have the depth of resources," Gold says. "Which is why, quite frankly I think there is at least an equal if not a stronger focus by these commercial and private sector companies on safety and success because if we fail, our jobs go away, the programs go away. And that's not necessarily the cause with government programs."

Scammers target online travel agent

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 09:58
Thousands of customers of the leading online travel agent are being targeted in a sophisticated fraud.

VIDEO: Mosaic of WW1 soldier created

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 09:53
A digital mosaic of a British Army private killed during World War One has been created using more than 30,000 images.

History beckons for comet mission

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 09:50
If the Rosetta probe can get into just the right position around Comet 67P on Wednesday, it will eject the Philae lander on to a seven-hour descent to the surface of the 4km-wide icy object.

Iran 'avoiding nuclear questions'

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 09:47
The global nuclear watchdog says Iran is still failing to answer questions about its nuclear programme just weeks before talks are due to end.

Prince Charles in spoof video tribute

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 09:09
The Prince of Wales has starred in a spoof video that makes light of a 1977 interview in which the presenter's nerves got the better of him.

MSF confirms Liberia Ebola decline

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 09:03
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres confirms a large reduction in the number of Ebola cases in Liberia but says the fight is far from over.

Toy Story 4 will happen says Pixar

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 08:59
Buzz, Woody and the gang are returning to our screens for Toy Story 4, says Disney Pixar.

10 things we didn't know last week

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 08:56
A porcupine can fight off a pride of lions, and other nuggets

Woman dies after farewell to horse

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 08:27
A cancer patient has died after a final visit from her favourite horse outside the hospital where she was staying.

Good news and bad news on jobs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 08:20

The Labor Department just released the  jobs report for October. It says the economy added 214,000 new jobs last month.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent, from 5.9 percent.

But there's more to the jobs picture than just those numbers:

There's a missing piece of the puzzle - and it's wage growth.  Pay checks aren't going up much.

Today's jobs report showed average hourly earnings up by 3 cents last month.  Wages were flat in September. 

Part of the reason for that may be that there's still some slack in the job market. 

Employers aren't having to raise pay to attract workers.  They have plenty to choose from. 

"The fact that wages have not really moved suggests that there is a lot of slack and that employers are still holding all the cards," says Elise Gould,  senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute. "There are still many workers out there for every job opening."

The Federal Reserve is watching these numbers closely, as it tries to decide when to raise interest rates.

It's not going to be in any rush to raise interest rates, as long as there's still that slack in the labor market.

When we start to see the slack going away - when wages start going up more - then the Fed will start thinking it may be time to hike interest rates. 

Which, by the way, have hovered near zero for almost six years.

VIDEO: India is 'back in investors' gaze'

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 08:13
There is "a lot of buzz" about India among global investors, after the country had been "falling off the map", according to Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Adriano drug charges thrown out

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 08:05
A judge in Rio de Janeiro rejects charges of drug trafficking against Brazilian footballer Adriano, saying there is not enough evidence.

Your cell phone bill isn't as high as it used to be

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 07:56

As part of our program's 25th anniversary, we've been tracking the odd ways prices have changed over that period. According to a cellular phone industry group, the average monthly cell phone bill has dropped from an inflation adjusted $151 back in 1989, to $47 today.

A 69 percent drop? How is that possible? 

Michael Grubb is an economics professor at Boston College who has studied the cell phone market. 

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

Go Figure: The week in numbers

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 07:51
The week in numbers with our Go Figure images.

PODCAST: Jobs up; wages... well...

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-07 07:48

As part of our program's 25th anniversary, we've been tracking the odd ways prices have changed over that period. According to a cellular phone industry group, the average monthly cell phone bill has dropped from an inflation adjusted 151 dollars back in 1989 to 47 dollars now. Plus: Chris Low of FTN Financial gives us some perspective on the 214,000 jobs added to payrolls this month.

Split between Catalonia and Spain

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 07:29
Catalonia's dream of independence from Spain collides with some harsh realities on the streets of Santa Coloma, on the edge of Barcelona, Patrick Jackson reports.

Can England defy logic and beat NZ?

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 07:28
Concentration, belief, confidence, fitness & instinct – England know they must summon all these and more to tame the world champions.

Mexico cancels China bid for train

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 07:21
Mexico cancels a $3.75bn contract awarded this week to a Chinese-led consortium to build a high-speed passenger rail link.

Three to stand trial over murder

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-07 07:13
Two men and a woman are to stand trial next year charged in connection with the murder of a man in County Down.