National / International News

New Star Wars film title revealed

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 08:36
The title of the seventh film in the Star Wars franchise is announced on Twitter.

Colleges put career centers on the map

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-11-06 08:35

At Washington College on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, most students never visited the career center until senior year. It was tucked away in a dorm across the street from the main campus. Students needed a key fob to get in.

“It wasn’t very welcoming and inviting, and certainly wasn’t on the admissions tour,” says Joe Holt, chief of staff at the small liberal arts school.

But when prospective students and parents visit these days, Holt says, they ask about the career center. They want to know what the college is doing to help students get internships and land jobs after graduation.

Come January Holt will have something to show them: a new $1 million career center in a converted boiler house. The new center will have a comfy lounge and rooms with built-in cameras, so students can watch how they do in mock interviews. It will be right in the heart of campus.

“Now you just have to stop in on the way to class,” says Holt. “It also sends a powerful message to prospective students about the value we place on this, by giving such important real estate to this function.”

As college gets more expensive, schools are under more pressure than ever to produce graduates who can get good jobs. The pressure doesn’t just come from students and parents. The Obama Administration is working on plans for a college rating system, which could factor in things like employment and student loan repayment rates.

Most colleges just haven’t invested enough in career services, says Edwin Koc, director of research at the National Association of Colleges and Employers. He says the typical career counselor serves 1,500 students.

“They toil away with extremely limited resources, and so the students don’t see the career center as central to being successful at the school,” he says. “For a lot of students the career center becomes an afterthought.”

Even if most colleges can’t afford a sparkly new building, more schools are working to change what goes on inside.

In old brick house at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, senior Sean Bell McDermott climbs the creaky stairs for an advising session. Three years ago, F & M transformed its traditional career center into an Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development. Along with the usual coaching on resume writing and interviewing, the office does workshops on financial literacy, business etiquette, and other life skills.

Every student is assigned a student development advisor, starting freshman year. Today McDermott talks with advisor Lori Clark about how to network with alumni.

“Once you actually get them on the phone, what do you think will be some of the things that you would ask about?” Clark asks.

“I always ask them what their major was, and how it led them to where they are now,” McDermott says.

She has a ready answer because she’s met with Clark at least a dozen times. She’s already done two internships—one through an alumni connection. McDermott doesn’t seem at all nervous about graduating into a still shaky job market.

“You also know that it doesn’t end when you graduate,” she says. “I can come back here and keep using their resources.”

Beth Throne, associate vice president of student and post-graduate development, led the overhaul at Franklin & Marshall.

Before, she says, just about 20 percent of students interacted with the career center — mostly seniors. Last year almost 75 percent went to a workshop, checked in online, or met with an advisor.

“When students have interacted with us over the years, they will be clearer about what they want to do after college,” says Throne. “They will leave with connections in their industry and beyond who will be there to mentor them long after they graduate.”

And how are students faring after graduation? Throne says nearly 80 percent of the Class of 2014 has landed—in jobs or grad school—less than six months out. It’s hard to say if that’s an improvement, because the college didn’t really track that kind of data until now.

VIDEO: Who's the cutest? Otter v. pandas

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 08:12
Panda triplets and celebrating their 100th day anniversary and a rescued seal pup is being cared for at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

Pakistan policeman kills 'blasphemer'

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 08:08
A Pakistani policeman is arrested after allegedly killing a man with an axe because he suspected him of committing blasphemy.

No Israel charge over Gaza ship raid

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 07:11
A UN-backed court says it will not take action over Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound ship in 2010, even though it believes war crimes may have been committed.

VIDEO: Bolts fall from London skyscraper

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 06:08
Safety checks are taking place at London's Leadenhall Tower - or Cheesegrater - after two large bolts fell from several stories up

Warning on effects of 3D on vision

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 06:04
A fresh warning about possible eye damage to young children from exposure to 3D content has come from French health watchdog.

Notable effigies from Lewes's Bonfire Nights

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 05:27
Bonfire Night in Lewes means effigies. Here are some of the most notable examples over the years.

VIDEO: Alex Salmond laughs off bonfire threat

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 05:20
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond laughed off an East Sussex town's plan to burn his effigy on bonfire night

VIDEO: McConaughey on filming space epic

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 04:59
BBC Breakfast's Charlie Stayt spoke to McConaughey about the new space epic Interstellar

Typhoon Haiyan: Images of then and now

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 04:26
Central Philippines a year ago and now

VIDEO: 14 to 1: Hague's pint intake 'cut back'

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 04:14
Commons leader William Hague laughs off Labour claims that a recent party event was an attempt to recreate the notorious Bullingdon student drinking club.

Student loans review refused

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 03:58
The government has refused to hold an urgent review of the student finance system despite a call from MPs.

Savile hospital abuse inquiry widens

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 03:48
The number of NHS organisations investigating allegations of abuse by Jimmy Savile is extended to 41.

Caption Challenge: Stop Hassel-ing me

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 03:35
It's the Caption Challenge. Oh yes it is.

Day in pictures: 6 November 2014

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 03:25
24 hours of news images: 6 November

VIDEO: Boy, 13, vows to join IS extremists

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 03:00
A 13-year-old boy has told the BBC of his plans to join Islamic State, after watching jihadist videos and chatting to IS fighters online.

PODCAST: Raising the minimum wage, state by state

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-11-06 03:00

The president of the European Central Bank made the announcement this morning: interest rates are going to stay where they are at record lows. More on that. Plus, four traditionally red states voted to raise minimum wage: Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota. A non-binding increase passed in Illinois. So what could this mean for the president's push to raise the federal minimum wage? And podcasting's audience is growing along with its profits. And while some of the most successful podcasts have come from the public radio world, a podcast network that's based in Northern California, is doing *extremely well ... thanks to advertisers.

VIDEO: US woman found safe after kidnapping

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 02:49
A woman whose abduction was caught on CCTV has been safely found in the US state of Maryland, police have said.

Argentine leader Fernandez 'stable'

BBC - Thu, 2014-11-06 02:43
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is in a stable condition in hospital where she is being treated for an infection, doctors say.