National / International News

Probe over late night zoo parties

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 03:16
After-hours parties at London Zoo are investigated over claims of guests throwing glass at animals, pouring beer over them and trying to climb into the enclosures.

Five officers face Jayden inquiry

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 03:15
Five police officers are being investigated by the force's watchdog, over the inquiry into the murder of Oxfordshire teenager Jayden Parkinson.

AUDIO: Meet the Tough Mudder founder

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 03:10
Tough Mudder founder Will Dean explains the appeal of the endurance event.

Egypt statue museums lose status

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 03:09
Two museums in Northampton lose their accreditation status after the controversial sale of a 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue, the Arts Council rules.

PODCAST: Marketing to Generation Z

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 03:00

First up, more on the jobs report for the month of July. Plus, it used to be that business travelers would hop into a taxi and stay at a hotel. Now they're using Uber to hire drivers and staying in stranger's apartments through Airbnb. But these companies don't have the same taxes and regulations as their traditional competitors. And we’ve talked a lot about Generation X and Generation Y. But, what about Generation Z? What are the spending habits of this new generation and what can companies do to appeal to them?

Rolf Harris challenges conviction

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:55
Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris applies for permission to appeal against his conviction for indecent assaults.

BA owner IAG moves into profit

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:35
British Airways owner IAG moves into profit for the first half of 2014 after an improved performance by its Iberia airline business.

Wearables tracked with Raspberry Pi

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:30
People who use wearable gadgets to monitor their health or activity can be tracked with only $70 (£40) of hardware, research suggests.

Teenage gold medallist faces doping ban

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:29
Teenage weightlifting gold medallist Chika Amalaha of Nigeria faces a doping ban after failing her 'B' sample drugs test.

Fighting Resumes In Gaza, As Israeli Military Says Cease-Fire Is Over

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:28

Just hours into what was supposed to be a three-day cease-fire, Israel and Hamas traded fire in Gaza. Palestinian officials said one attack killed scores of people.

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Airport probe after runway closed

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:27
An investigation is launched after Edinburgh Airport had to close its runway following a crash between two vehicles.

AUDIO: Why actors want to be in video games

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:24
BBC Click presenter Marc Cieslak discusses the growing number of actors starring in video games.

VIDEO: Close-up with defaced Banksy work

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:16
Campaigners who were trying to keep a Banksy mural in situ on a wall in Cheltenham are now in "race against time" to save the work after it was defaced with graffiti.

Ambulance stuck in lane for hours

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:12
An ambulance carrying a patient to hospital became stuck in a "precarious position" in a back lane in Neath for four hours before it was hauled free.

New York to 'develop' Man City players

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:10
Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano says the club could send youngsters to their new US franchise in New York.

Suing soldiers for their debt

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:00

ProPublica recently co-published a report with The Washington Post about a company called USA Discounters that offers easy credit to military service members. The catch? If a service member falls behind, the company aggressively goes after them by suing them in courts near its Virginia headquarters, making it incredibly difficult for service members to show up in their own defense.

Click the media player above to hear ProPublica Senior Editor Tracy Weber in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report guest host Mark Garrison.

 

Silicon Tally: Gameboy becomes a Gameman

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 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 Nilay Patel, Editor-in-chief of The Verge.

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What the Concur partnership means for Uber and Airbnb

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:00

It used to be that business travelers would roll into town, hop in a taxi, and spend the night at a hotel. Now, some are using Uber to hire drivers, and to search Airbnb to stay in the apartments of strangers.

Both companies are part of the so-called “sharing economy,” and that non-traditional status has helped prevent them from being taxed and regulated in the same way as their traditional competitors. At the same time, both companies are now taking steps to become regular fixtures of corporate travel.

Airbnb just launched a new web portal for business travelers. On the front page is a picture of a loft with brick walls, high ceilings, and what looks to be a nice stereo system. This is not your everyday workingman's motel.

“Sometimes it's nice to come home to a place that feels a little more like yours," says Lex Bayer, head of global payments and business development at Airbnb.

Last year, Bayer says 8 percent of the travel done through Airbnb was for business. That, he says, lead it to partner with Concur, a logistics service that manages employee travel for 70 percent of all Fortune 1000 companies.

If employees want to stay at Airbnb properties, Concur helps smooth out the process so it conforms with corporate travel procedures. Tim MacDonald, Concur's executive vice president of platform and data services, says use of Airbnb by employees has increased: "We've seen 27 times growth in expense reports with Airbnb listed." 

MacDonald says alternative business models like Airbnb have grown too big to ignore. Concur also works with Uber — a “rideshare service” with cars operated by regular people. It too escapes regulation by falling into the "sharing economy" gray zone. The exemption of these companies irks established players in the lodging and transportation fields.

“If you are going to look like a hotel and act like a hotel, you should be treated like a hotel," says Vanessa Sinders, senior vice president for governmental affairs at the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Right now, she perceives a double standard. “Hotels have to abide by so many different safety, security, health code, accessibility requirements, and we think that that should be applied fairly and equally across the board.”

So far, over 30 companies have partnered with Airbnb to make it an official travel option for employees. Many of those happen to be start-ups themselves.

As housing recovers, a shortage of skilled workers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-01 02:00

The housing crash sent many construction workers fleeing to other industries. Now that housing is recovering, builders are struggling with a shortage of skilled workers. That’s delaying housing starts and driving up home prices.

The housing market continues to recover along with the overall economy, but the construction workers who left the industry in droves during the recession aren’t exactly flocking back. Meanwhile, a shortage of skilled workers is getting worse. But can you blame them for leaving in the first place?  

The National Association of Home Builders reports that unemployment among construction workers peaked at 22 percent during the recession.  

No wonder so many found jobs in other industries, says the group’s chief economist, David Crowe, adding that housing still seems too unstable for them to come back.

"More than half of builders are now telling us that they’re having trouble finding construction workers – carpenters, brick masons, painters and so forth," Crowe explains.  

60 percent of builders the group surveyed say the shortage forced them to delay projects in the last six months, or raise home prices.

That’s not putting much of a drag on the housing market yet, says Kermit Baker, with Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies: "But with growth coming down the road in all likelihood, certainly we’re going to have serious problems in the future if we don’t train and attract more workers in the construction industry."

Baker adds that builders need to revive some of the training programs they scrapped during the long downturn, and get their “muscle memory” back for growing their workforce.  

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