National / International News

Deadly mine collapse in Colombia

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:50
Rescuers try to reach up to 30 people trapped underground after an illegal gold mine collapses in south-western Colombia, killing at least three.

Bailey takes Euro taekwondo bronze

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:39
Scottish teenager Asia Bailey wins Great Britain's first medal at the European Championships with taekwondo bronze.

US warns of South Sudan genocide

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:34
US Secretary of State John Kerry warns of a possible genocide in South Sudan if more peacekeepers are not rapidly deployed.

Stab attack man may never be freed

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:31
A man who tried to kill his girlfriend is told by a judge he may never be released from prison.

55 Colleges, Universities Under Investigation For Abuse Claims

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:25

In an unprecedented move, the Department of Education has released a list that includes some Ivy League schools, state and private institutions.

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Gadget promises 'perfect cup of tea'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:13
A tea machine with a hefty £7,700 price tag is said by its manufacturers to have revolutionised the making of a good cup of tea.

Academy chain financial investigation

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:08
The Education Funding Agency has found "highly unusual" financial practices in an academy provider.

Funding an album in a jazz-improv kind of way

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:07

Over the years on Marketplace we've tried to cajole artists to talk business. It's not easy -- many are more comfortable talking about inspiration and passion than getting their hands dirty with money.

But if you want to bring a creative project to fruition, there are money choices to be made. For instance, jazz musician Lauren Kinhan decided to go online to crowdsource the money for her newly released solo album called "Circle in a Square."

Some people might use a spreadsheet to set their fundraising goal when crowdsourcing cash. Lauren Kinhan tells Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio that she did it in a more jazz-improv kind of a way. 

Sinn Féin 'haunted by past'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:03
Sinn Fèin, a party 'haunted' by dark past

The changing face of the money transfer business

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-01 09:00

Western Union, by far the biggest player in the money transfer business, has new competition from Walmart, which recently added a store-to-store money transfer service in the U.S. Both companies know that to grow in this industry, you have to keep adding new customers – which means the face of the money transfer business is changing a bit.

To understand how the sector is trying to attract customers one by one, meet two guys who recently sent money through Western Union. Customer No. 1 is Carlos Galvez.

“Well, I just sent $370 right now,” says Galvez, coming out of a small Western Union retail location in Washington.

You could call Galvez a traditional Western Union customer. He’s an immigrant who makes enough selling tamales to send money to cousins in El Salvador.

“We can’t send money every time,” says his son, Armando Menjivar, “but at least once a month, or when it comes to a big emergency.”

Now, meet Customer No. 2, who is not traditional.

Will Tjernlund, a self-described “third-generation Minnesotan. The 23-year-old buys and sells things on Amazon and eBay, and he used Western Union to send money to China.

But what’s actually different about Tjernlund’s story is where he sent the money from.

I googled Western Union to find the nearest location to me,” he says. “And the nearest location was inside a U.S. Bank.”

Over the last five years, the number of bank branches offering Western Union services has almost quadrupled, to more than 10,000 in the U.S. and Canada, according to the company. U.S. Bancorp, SunTrust Banks Inc., and Regions Financial Corp. are among its biggest partners.  

Analysts say banks used to resist this kind of partnership. Some didn’t want to advertise a branded service that wasn’t their own.

Plus: “Western Union traditionally served the underbanked and the underserved,” says analyst Wayne Johnson with Raymond James, which has investments in this sector.

But the majority of Western Union senders today are banked, according to Frank Lockridge, the vice president of strategic accounts for Western Union in the U.S. That means those customers have bank accounts, even if their relatives back home don’t.

“Some of our bank partners have realized that they’ve seen their customers getting the money out of the bank ATMs, getting the cash out of the branch, and walking next door to conduct that money transfer,” says Lockridge.

So now banks are trying both to retain their customers’ business, and draw new underserved clients into mainstream financial services.

Western Union won’t say how well the strategy of partnering with banks is paying off. But it does say people who transfer money from banks tend to send more than people in retail locations.

The bulk of the money Western Union sends is to and from foreign countries. But it does have a new domestic competitor: a service called Walmart-2-Walmart.

“It’s available at all 4,200 of Walmart branded locations,” says Daniel Eckert, Walmart U.S.’s senior vice president of services.

Eckert says simplified, inexpensive money transfer services are especially useful to people displaced from their families, like military personnel and shale oil workers.

“Even just in the first few days of Walmart-2-Walmart being up and running, our primary transaction stores were Williston, North Dakota, which is right out by the oil fields, and Killeen, Texas, which is just outside of an active duty army base,” he says.

And that’s how it goes in the money transfer business – adding customers bit by bit.

Explosives found in block of flats

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:56
A substantial amount of explosives are found by police investigating dissident republican activity in Northern Ireland.

BBC to take up Hay Festival baton

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:56
The Hay Literature Festival will be broadcast on the BBC's television, radio and online networks, it is announced.

Nurse whistleblower collects OBE

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:55
A Stafford Hospital whistleblower who acted as a key witness during an inquiry into poor patient care is appointed an OBE for services to the NHS.

Ford announces new chief executive

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:51
Ford chief executive Alan Mulally is to retire in July, and will be replaced by chief operating officer Mark Fields, the company announces.

March to the beat of your own... tuba

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:48

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at what's coming up Friday, May 2:

In Washington, the Labor Department reports on the employment situation for April.

The Commerce Department reports on March factory orders.

Will it rain? Shine? Snow? Hurricane? The Weather Channel debuted on this date in 1982. How did we get dressed without it?

And in 1936 Sergei Prokofiev's symphony, "Peter and the Wolf," premiered at the Moscow Children's Musical Theater.

Sticking with our musical theme: it's International Tuba Day.

Poor pupils to get grammar priority

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:45
More than half of grammar schools are planning to reform their admissions to give priority to poorer children.

Legal aid row: Who is going to blink?

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:39
Why exactly would no barrister take on a fraud case?

Woman guilty of child prostitution

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:39
A woman who used drugs and alcohol to lure girls into a life of prostitution is found guilty of running a child sex ring.

Fraud trial halted amid legal aid row

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:37
Judge halts fraud trial as defendants do not have representation after barristers raise concern over legal aid cuts.

Taliban claim deadly Afghan bombing

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-01 08:36
At least 12 people are killed in a Taliban suicide bombing at a checkpoint in central Afghanistan, a spokesman for the provincial governor tells the BBC.
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