National / International News

Iraqi Kurds 'in Kobane to fight IS'

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 13:28
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters cross the Turkish border to help defend the Syrian town of Kobane from Islamic State militants.

Will crash set back space tourism?

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 13:27
The SpaceShipTwo crash is a tragedy that will prompt serious reflection but commercial space ventures are unlikely to be deterred, the BBC's Jonathan Amos says.

Three held on suspicion of murder

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 13:25
Three people are held on suspicion of murder after the unexplained death of a man in Pembroke Dock, say police.

Hamilton top in second US practice

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 13:13
Lewis Hamilton narrowly edges Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg to fastest time in second practice at the US Grand Prix.

Your Wallet: Money and vice

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-10-31 13:08

This week, we want to hear how things that could be considered vices have affected your financial life. Cigarettes, video games, pot...whatever your predilection, we want to know.

Send us an email, or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND

Payments Start For N.C. Eugenics Victims, But Many Won't Qualify

NPR News - Fri, 2014-10-31 13:04

North Carolina forcibly sterilized thousands of people between 1929 and 1976. The state has begun compensating victims, but some who were sterilized may never receive restitution from the fund.

» E-Mail This

Labour win police commissioner poll

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 13:02
Labour's Alan Billings wins the by-election for the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, following the resignation of Shaun Wright.

U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power Sees Signs Of Hope In West Africa

NPR News - Fri, 2014-10-31 12:59

After a four-day visit to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, she reports progress — along with the need for continued support.

» E-Mail This

How Liberia Is Starting To Beat Ebola, With Fingers Crossed

NPR News - Fri, 2014-10-31 12:54

There's potentially some good news about Ebola: While cases are still rising in Sierra Leone, the outbreak shows signs of slowing in Liberia. Communities are banding together to get Ebola out.

» E-Mail This

Britain First leaflet dubbed illegal

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 12:53
Royal Mail says it will not deliver a leaflet for Britain First in the Rochester and Strood by-election because it believes it to be illegal.

Former Band Member Found Guilty In FAMU Hazing Case

NPR News - Fri, 2014-10-31 12:43

A Florida jury found Dante Martin guilty of manslaughter for his role in the fatal hazing of drum major Robert Champion.

» E-Mail This

Djokovic ends Murray's winning run

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 12:34
Andy Murray's 11-match winning run comes to an end with defeat by Novak Djokovic in the Paris Masters quarter-finals.

When it comes to rugby, the US is a developing market

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-10-31 12:28

In a no-frills gym, on 16th street in Manhattan, a group of young athletes is getting down to lifting some serious weights. The guys here are strength training, and amidst the concentration, sweat and grunting, as legs and arms are clenched and unfurled, you can practically feel the tiny muscle fibers tearing. The teenagers here are part of Xavier High School's rugby team, and they are serious about their workout.

If they work hard enough, some of them could end up at the Olympics one day playing rugby.

Rob Spenser, dressed for Halloween outside his job at a café serving Australian food. Until recently, rugby has been seen as something of a novelty in the U.S.

Sally Herships

For the first time since 1924 (when the USA beat France to take the gold) rugby is going to the Olympics. And in case you suffer from American-itis when it comes to the world of international sports, i.e, your knowledge of rugby does exist, but is abstract – then let us offer you a description from 16-year-old, Jack Palillo, a junior at Xavier High School:

“It’s a game played by gentlemen, but it’s a ruthless game,” he says. "The people that play the game, they’re pretty scary and mean. But after every single game, usually you have some kind of reception. And the people who are your enemies five minutes ago, you’re eating lunch with them."

Palillo plays 15-a-side rugby. The teams playing at the Olympics will use seven players. But either way, rugby is a cross between football and soccer. You can’t throw the ball forward, and the players don’t wear helmets. And for American Pro athletes there’s another difference, which even high-schooler Palillio is aware of:

“You’re definitely not getting paid as much,” he says.

Sixteen-year-old Jack Palillo, sweating after his workout calls rugby players “animals.”Sally Herships

While it packs stadiums elsewhere, rugby simply isn't a big deal in the U.S. Since the announcement that the sport would be played in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, tiny bubbles of anticipation and excitement have started to percolate through the industry, but depending on whom you ask, it can be hard to tell what kind of difference the news has made. At the Times Square office of Michael Principe, CEO of The Legacy Agency, a sports marketing and management company, the decor is all-American. Football, basketball, and baseball memorabilia fill his office, but there's only one rugby item - a lone jersey, framed and hung on the wall.

"Candidly, we didn’t spend a ton of time thinking about rugby five years ago. We didn’t spend a ton of time thinking about it three years ago,” says Principe.

But now the Legacy Agency is thinking about rugby. When a sport goes to the Olympics, "it's a big deal."

Notes Principe, when the Olympics goes out to TV viewers around the world,  NBC and other sponsors will spend ungodly amounts of money on broadcast rights and commercials – "billions of dollars." 

And this is an extra-special case.

"It’s not often that the United States is considered a developing market," says Principe, "an emerging market, but with rugby, it is."

But ask the folks who run the national rugby team, and they say finding funding is a different story.

“There was a perception around the world that the minute the game went Olympic, suddenly everybody would be throwing tons and tons of dollars at all the big Olympic countries,” says Nigel Melville, CEO of USA Rugby, the national governing body for the sport.

Melville says the Russians and Chinese both threw government money at their rugby teams, but in the U.S., not so much.

"The biggest challenge over here is there is no government funding," says Melville of finding money to subsidize an Olympic team, "it’s reliant on sponsors and fundraising.”

In case you didn't know, our national league rugby team, both men's and women's are called the Eagles. The men's team hosts New Zealand's All Blacks Saturday in Chicago.

Melville says the athletes training for the Olympics get a stipend – but it's only about $20,000 a year. As for the Eagles, there’s a donate button on the team's website.

There is a small payment for team members, but it's not enough to live on, says Mike Petri, who, when he's not working as a science teacher, or coaching Xavier High's rugby team, plays scrum-half. Petri says he considers himself a professional athlete in the way he approaches the game, but not in the financial sense, but he says, he's very hopeful for the future of the sport in the states. Being part of rugby now, he says, is like working for NASA.

"Realizing that we could send people to Mars," he says. "Personally, I’m probably not going to be the person that goes to Mars, but if I were in NASA I'd be really excited and really pumped for the guys who did get to go."

But there's another draw beyond salary for 16-year-old Xavier High School team member John Patterson to playing rugby.

“It’s kind of associated with [the] foreign, but yet manliness, so, that’s always good,” he says.

Rugby, while exotic to some Americans, still possesses a familiar allure. 

"When we play," says Patterson, "we're right by the bus stop, and everyone stops and watches."

Your Wallet: Guilty Pleasures

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-10-31 12:28

No matter how bad or good your financial situation is, what's one thing you will always spend money on? Do you feel guilty? 

According to a poll released this week by Two-thirds of Americans are watching what they spend each month. 

Last week we asked listener’s to tell us their stories of what they will not give up – even when their budgets are tight. Many listeners wrote in. 

Nanette Karapetian, a Psychoanalyst in Los Angeles, spoke to Marketplace Weekend about your guilty pleasures.

Quarantine victory for US Ebola nurse

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 12:23
A judge in the US rules in favour of a nurse fighting a state quarantine order issued because she treated Ebola patients in West Africa.

Firefighters on strike over pensions

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 12:17
Firefighters across England begin a four-day strike in a row over pensions during one of the service's busiest weekends of the year.

A Field Of Medicine That Wants To Know Where You Live

NPR News - Fri, 2014-10-31 11:46

Where do you live? Health specialists think that simple question could make a difference in how doctors prevent and treat diseases for individuals. That's expanding its storied role in public health.

» E-Mail This

Why Is North Korea Freaked Out About The Threat Of Ebola?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-10-31 11:31

Fear of the virus has prompted Pyongyang to ban tourism and quarantine all foreigners. It's a curious stance since the Hermit Kingdom has plenty of other, more pressing health woes.

» E-Mail This

How seasonal hiring really works

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-10-31 11:21

Retailers, who were expected to hire more than 700,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, are increasingly relying on online outreach to reach potential workers.

FedEx, which combined with UPS planned to hire 150,000, says it’s relied heavily on social media this season.

“Word of mouth is always a popular way to get more people on board,” says FedEx spokesperson Bonny Harrison. “We also highly target on… various career websites, and you’ll see this year that we’re using social media very heavily to try to promote and advertise the fact that we have these jobs open.”

Companies looking for holiday seasonal workers are casting a wide net and getting creative with their recruiting efforts this year, says Ellen Davis with the National Retail Federation. That’s because unemployment is down, and there are fewer people looking for seasonal or temporary work.

“What we’ve seen on a national level is retailers really using their recruiting efforts by email and even leveraging their own social media channels,” Davis says. 

Companies are also getting creative. Retailers, for instance, may approach potential candidates who might be looking for a second part-time job or who can be enticed by the  potential of getting employee discounts during the holiday shopping season. 

But once the applications start flowing in, much of the work heads to the local and regional levels, Davis says. “And what you then start to see happening is on the local level… managers will collect applications, go through them, interview and hire candidates.” 

It’s a divide-and-conquer strategy. If you have to hire lots of people at once, empower local managers to hire a few each. 

"Meeting the person who’s going to make the decision, in this case it’s often the store manager, is critical,” says John Challenger of the Chicago-based job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. 

But for those big hiring drives, such as UPS which has held regional recruiting and interviewing events in Chicago in which it processed hundreds of applicants at a time, Challenger says it’s still mostly about matching up open positions with applicants' past experiences.


VIDEO: The real-life Winnie the Pooh

BBC - Fri, 2014-10-31 11:15
The inspiration behind one of the world's best loved children's stories has been told in the run-up to its 100-year anniversary.