National / International News

UK funds Russia gay rights campaign

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 15:31
The UK government is to give extra funding for gay rights campaigners in Russia amid growing concerns over the introduction of legislation outlawing the promotion of homosexuality.

Punch Pizza's 'incredible' post-State of the Union boost

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-29 15:26

One final note on the State of the Union.

The president mentioned a bunch of companies last night. Most of them are big enough they don't need a presidental shoutout.

But then he said this:

"Nick Chute is here today with his boss, John Serano. John's an owner of Punch Pizza in Minneapolis, and Nick helps make the dough. And now he's making more of it."

We had to call them up, right?

We got ahold of John Puckett. He's a co-owner of Punch Pizza along with John Serrano. I asked him what happened when the White House called:

"We really thought it was a practical joke at first... It's been incredible, [especially] on social media. The nice thing is, it's warming up above -20 today in Minnesota, so we'll probably see it more today than we did last night. I think everyone was still hunkered down, watching the State of the Union.

Turns out, tragically enough, the president didn't even get to taste the pizza:

"You know, it doesn't transport that well from St. Paul to Washington. Ours is wood fired Neopolitan pizza and it's best when you get it right out of the oven."

'Nothing substantive' from Syria talks

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 15:22
UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi says he doesn't expect to achieve "anything substantive" in the first round of Syria talks set to end on Friday.

Facebook revenue surges 63%

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:59
Social networking giant Facebook reports profits of $523m and a 63% increase in revenue for the fourth quarter, beating expectations.

Colo. Man Files First Challenge To Surveillance Law

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:58

The suit is the first direct challenge to the FISA Amendments Act, the statute the government relies on to collect international communications in bulk.

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Bible play performed to packed house

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:51
A comic play based on the Bible which was originally banned from a theatre in County Antrim played to a full house of 400 people on Wednesday.

Chelsea 0-0 West Ham United

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:44
Chelsea slip up in the race for the Premier League title as they are held by a dogged West Ham at Stamford Bridge.

VIDEO: Army may help flood-hit Somerset

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:32
The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson says the Ministry of Defence may deploy specialist vehicles to help villages cut off by flooding.

VIDEO: Last flight of the Dambusters

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:27
On board a Tornado as RAF Dambusters squadron disbands

Military may help flood-hit Somerset

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:27
Military vehicles could be drafted in to help flood-hit Somerset, the environment secretary says, amid warnings of more rainfall in the days ahead.

VIDEO: Journalists facing charges in Egypt

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:18
Egyptian prosecutors have referred four foreign journalists to a criminal court on charges of aiding Egyptians belonging to a terrorist group.

Peers back child car smoking ban

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:17
The House of Lords backs a Labour plan to ban smoking in cars carrying children, despite opposition from the government.

Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 14:08

Two Norwegian politicians say Edward Snowden has "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order" by exposing U.S. surveillance practices. The Nobel Peace Prize nominations will be pared down to a short list in March and May.

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Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Manchester City

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:57
Manchester City move to the top of the Premier League with a comprehensive victory over 10-man Tottenham.

Need A Retirement Starter Kit? This Might Help

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:56

Workers can't lose money in myRAs, the savings accounts President Obama unveiled in his State of the Union speech. The government would protect the principal and help savings grow a bit faster than inflation.

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F1 boss wants three double-points GPs

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:53
Bernie Ecclestone wants to extend his controversial double-points scheme to the last three races of the Formula 1 season.

Why the dollar dominates global currency

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:51

What the Fed does on interest rates matters not just to Americans, but the entire global economy -- and that's because the dollar continues to tighten its grip as the world's reserve currency.Foreign investors holding trillions in securities and dollar assets have an incentive to the keep the currency afloat — even when the value of the dollar declines.

It's what Cornell economics professor Eswar Prasad calls the "Dollar Trap."

"The financial crisis had its origins in the U.S., the federal reserve has been pumping huge amounts of dollars into the global financial system, which ought to cheapen its value." Prasad says. "[But] In times of turmoil, the world wants safety, and the U.S. is still seen as the safest place to invest."

So what happens if the world loses faith in the dollar?

Prasad examined several tipping-point scenarios. He found this could result in turmoil for the U.S. financial market, and in turn, spread to the rest of the world.

"The dollar's value is stronger than it ought to be. That means fewer jobs, less exports, so it's not all together a good thing for the U.S.," he says.

A Medal Of Valor, 30 Years In Coming

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:30

Three decades after U.S. troops helped protect a Soviet defector during a firefight with North Korean troops, Mark Deville finally received his Silver Star. His comrades were awarded their medals years ago.

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A Palestinian Explains Why He Worked As An Israeli Informant

NPR News - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:27

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict includes a shadow war in which Israel turns to Palestinian informants to gather intelligence. Palestinian Abed Hamed el-Rajoub was imprisoned for fighting against Israel, but while in jail, he secretly gathered information from fellow Palestinian prisoners.

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Spy chief: Snowden hurt US security

BBC - Wed, 2014-01-29 13:09
James Clapper demands Edward Snowden return the documents he has "stolen" and says his leaks have caused "profound damage" to the US.

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