National / International News

Torture methods 'authorised' in NI

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 07:22
A memo reveals the British government authorised the use of torture methods in Northern Ireland in 1970 and 1971.

PODCAST: The $32 Billion Sprint/T-Mobile merger

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-05 07:19

More on the European Central Bank's moves to avoid deflation. Plus, with Sprint potentially buying T-Mobile for as much as $32 Billion, a look at the pros and cons of the possible merger. Last up, a new study shows how vocal fry can negatively affect men, and especially women when applying for jobs.

Israel plans new settlement homes

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:59
Israel advances plans for 1,460 new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank after the formation of a Palestinian unity government.

In Pictures: Remembering D-Day

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:50
Commemorative events

ECB imposes negative interest rate

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:46
The European Central Bank introduces a negative interest rate of 0.1% on deposits to try to encourage banks to lend more to companies in the eurozone.

In A First For Britain, A Secret Trial For Terrorism Suspects

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:45

The trial, due to begin June 16, involves two men whose names and alleged offenses are being kept under wraps. U.K. media are calling it a "casting aside of the centuries-old doctrine of open courts."

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Riding 'The Beast' Across Mexico To The U.S. Border

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:44

As many as a half-million undocumented immigrants, including more and more children, make dangerous 1,450-mile trips atop this network of freight trains each year.

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Hagel defends Taliban soldier deal

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:32
The US defence secretary tells the BBC the decision to strike a deal with the Taliban on a US soldier's release was unanimous in the White House.

VIDEO: Triple-triumph for Underwood at CMTs

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:32
Carrie Underwood was just one of the winners at this years CMT Music Awards

Hardaker apologises for comments

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:20
Leeds Rhinos full-back Zak Hardaker apologises for "offensive" comments he made in last week's defeat by Warrington Wolves.

Sprint and T-Mobile eyeing $32 billion merger

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:20
Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 09:07 JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

A T-Mobile logo hangs under pink umbrellas 

Sprint and T-Mobile, the nation’s third and fourth largest wireless phone operators, may have agreed on a pricetag for merging, according to early reports.

Turns out, sometimes three + four = $32 billion.

That’s how much Sprint could pay to acquire T-Mobile, a merger that would continue a wave of telecom and media consolidation. So how would that affect consumers?

Canalys analyst Chris Jones says T-Mobile has attracted millions of customers in the last year, “with an uncarrier strategy: taking away early termination fees, having zero down on a new phone, and having free international roaming.”

Jones says that if Sprint and T-Mobile become a more dominant carrier, those aggressive incentives might go away.

But Angelo Zino, an equity analyst with S&P Capital IQ, thinks a combined Sprint/T-Mobile would be a lot more competitive on pricing, given the economies of scale.

“That’s gonna put additional pressure on both AT&T and Verizon,” he says. “And that bodes well, we think for customers.”

Zino says price competitiveness could help the merger survive the scrutiny of federal regulators, who now have several potential megadeals on their plates. 

Marketplace Morning Report for Thursday June 5, 2014by Kate DavidsonPodcast Title Sprint and T-Mobile eyeing $32 billion mergerStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Clegg joins critics of Recall Bill

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:20
Nick Clegg says he agrees with critics of coalition plans to give people only "modest" powers to sack their MPs.

Body Found Miles From Sunken South Korean Ferry

NPR News - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:16

Nearly two months after the disaster in South Korea, the death toll now stands at 289 and 15 people are still unaccounted for.

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Sprint and T-Mobile eyeing $32 billion merger

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:07

Sprint and T-Mobile, the nation’s third and fourth largest wireless phone operators, may have agreed on a pricetag for merging, according to early reports.

Turns out, sometimes three + four = $32 billion.

That’s how much Sprint could pay to acquire T-Mobile, a merger that would continue a wave of telecom and media consolidation. So how would that affect consumers?

Canalys analyst Chris Jones says T-Mobile has attracted millions of customers in the last year, “with an uncarrier strategy: taking away early termination fees, having zero down on a new phone, and having free international roaming.”

Jones says that if Sprint and T-Mobile become a more dominant carrier, those aggressive incentives might go away.

But Angelo Zino, an equity analyst with S&P Capital IQ, thinks a combined Sprint/T-Mobile would be a lot more competitive on pricing, given the economies of scale.

“That’s gonna put additional pressure on both AT&T and Verizon,” he says. “And that bodes well, we think for customers.”

Zino says price competitiveness could help the merger survive the scrutiny of federal regulators, who now have several potential megadeals on their plates. 

Apple in row over HealthKit name

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:04
Apple's newly announced health platform HealthKit has been criticised by a firm of the same name, offering similar service.

Arsenal opt out of Fabregas deal

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 06:03
Arsenal have informed Barcelona they will not be exercising a buy-back option on former captain Cesc Fabregas.

Rwanda 'protecting Congo ex-rebels'

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 05:51
DR Congo accuses Rwanda of "protecting" M23 rebel leaders wanted for war crimes and delaying attempts to interview ex-fighters currently in Rwanda.

VIDEO: House of Commons

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 05:49
The Queen's Speech fails to respond to the challenges the country faces, claims Labour.

The number 2,000: Economic lessons from Brazil

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-06-05 05:39

You know I'm a sovereign debt geek, so my number would be 2,000. That's the spread over Treasuries, in basis points, of Brazil's sovereign debt in 2002.

Which — OK! I know that's super-geeky and hard to explain. But let me try!

Back in 2002, Brazil had just elected a leftist president, Lula, and it was right next door to a bona fide basket case, Argentina. It had a lot of short-term debt maturing very soon, and no easy way to roll that debt over, since the capital markets were pretty much closed. (No one trusted Lula.) So in a self-fulfilling prophecy, the markets started pricing in a massive default on Brazilian debt.

What that meant in practice was that you could buy a Brazilian bond — any bond — and its yield would be more than 20 percentage points higher than the yield you could get on a U.S. Treasury bond with the same maturity. Not 20 percent higher, 20 percentage points higher. So if the Treasury bond was yielding 5 percent, the Brazilian bond wouldn't yield 6 percent, it would yield 25 percent.

At the time, no country had ever seen its debt trade at 2,000 basis points over Treasuries without defaulting, and it's easy to see why. At those levels, you can't refinance your debt as it comes due, which means that you have no choice but to default on it.

Except, Brazil proved the exception to the rule. Lula was fiscally conservative, and he appointed a George Soros aide, Arminio Fraga, to run the central bank. Between them, Lula and Fraga managed to muddle through the crisis and get Brazil's debt back onto a sustainable footing. And anybody who bought Brazilian debt in the summer of 2002 ended up making an absolute fortune. (The person who bought the most, and who made the biggest profits? Mohamed El-Erian, then of Pimco, later of Harvard, and later still of Pimco, again.)

I learned a huge amount from this episode. Firstly, and most importantly, just because something has never happened before, doesn't mean it's impossible. Secondly, sovereign debt can be even more volatile and risky than stocks — and provide even bigger profits. Thirdly, policymakers can make an enormous difference. And fourthly, markets aren't always rational, or correct: there's a wisdom of crowds, to be sure, but it has its limits.

So the next time you see a country's debt trading at 2,000 basis points over Treasuries, and you hear me saying that default is inevitable, remind me that I said exactly the same thing back in 2002. And I was wrong then.

Invisible barcode could fight crime

BBC - Thu, 2014-06-05 05:37
An invisible barcode is being developed that can trace explosives, drugs and bank notes, scientists report.
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