National / International News

Lebanon satirist quizzed over tweet

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 10:13
A Lebanese satirist has appeared before a prosecutor in Beirut after being accused by the country's top Sunni religious authority of insulting Islam.

Qatar 2022 likely in Nov/Dec - Fifa

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 10:13
Fifa can choose only November and December for the 2022 World Cup, the head of the governing body's taskforce says.

Brown suffers concussion setback

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 10:01
England full-back Mike Brown looks unlikely to face Ireland following a setback in his recovery from concussion.

PLO faces $218m Israel terror fine

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 09:50
A US court in New York has found the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority liable for attacks in Israel over 10 years ago.

Freight Farms: How Boston Gets Local Greens, Even When Buried In Snow

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-23 09:47

Big metal shipping containers are often used to import food from around the globe. Now, two Boston entrepreneurs are modifying those containers to grow local produce hydroponically, 365 days a year.

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VIDEO: Cruelty case 'worst in 15 years'

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 09:45
An enforcement officer with the Department of Agriculture says an an animal cruelty case discovered in County Down was "the worst they have ever had to deal with"

SS medic, 94, charged over Auschwitz

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 09:42
A 94-year-old man is charged with more than 3,600 counts of accessory to murder in Germany on allegations he served at Auschwitz.

Hospital 'black alerts' extended

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 09:24
"Black alerts" in hospitals have been extended across south-west England showing services are overwhelmed by demand, NHS bosses say.

Discipline & assists: A new Suarez?

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 09:23
Unselfish and disciplined - how Luis Suarez has won the hearts of team-mates, fans and media since joining Barcelona.

VIDEO: Concern for migrant workers in Qatar

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 09:19
Human rights experts express concern for the conditions facing migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the World Cup in 2022.

Justice Department Appeals Ruling Blocking Obama's Immigration Plan

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-23 09:19

The Department of Justice filing says a federal judge lacked authority to issue an injunction on President Obama's executive action on immigration.

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Labour arts promise for schools

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 09:12
Ed Miliband says he would use Ofsted inspections to make schools put a greater emphasis on arts subjects.

France Seizes Passports Of 6 Allegedly Planning To Join Islamists In Syria

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-23 08:59

It's the first time the French government has used a measure that was approved in November to limit the number of French citizens joining Islamist groups in the Middle East.

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The magic and misery of compounding

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-23 08:57

The president wants to stop unscrupulous brokers from flogging investments to consumers that kick back fees to the brokerage. These kinds of dodgy investments cost consumers one percent a year, on average. That may not sound like much, but one percent a year is worth a lot to a saver, thanks to a magical thing called compound interest. Pop quiz: Would you rather get $10,000 a day for 30 days or a penny that doubled in value every day for the same 30 days? It’s a question often used to show the often counter-intuitive power of compounding. By day two, Option A yields $20,000, while Option B is a mere two cents. It feels like a no-brainer, right? But by the end of the month, Option B is the clear winner at more than $5 million, compared with Option A’s $300,000. The math is clear, but compounding is often difficult for us to wrap our heads around, says Andrew Meadows with Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, which provides retirement accounts for small businesses. “It’s essentially interest earning interest,” says Stephen Brobeck, the executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. What you earn goes back into your account and now you earn interest on that, plus your initial investment. The longer you leave the money, the more it snowballs. But that snowballing can work against you if you’re in debt and paying interest instead of earning it, cautions Diane Lim, an economist at the Committee for Economic Development. 

The DHS needs a morale boost

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-23 08:57

The latest skirmish in Congress’s never-ending budget battles comes at the end of this week, when funding for the Department of Homeland Security dries up — unless Congress can agree on a compromise to keep it running. 

But even if Congress acts on the budget, DHS has another huge problem: Morale among DHS employees is dreadful. Every year, the federal government surveys its workers, asking if they're recognized for good work, if they respect their leaders, and so on.

“DHS does not stack up well,” says Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service, a good government group that crunches the federal survey numbers and ranks morale at government agencies. 

For the past few years, DHS has come in dead last.

“It is redefining the bottom of the rankings for large agencies,” says Stier.

Stier says part of the problem is the way DHS was created after the September 11 terror attacks. Twenty-two very different federal departments and agencies were merged into one gigantic bureaucracy — but they all kept their congressional overseers. Now, more than 80 committees and subcommittees have jurisdiction over DHS.  

Jeff Neal, who headed the agency’s HR department from 2009 to 2011, says he was constantly writing reports for Congress.

“It didn’t really help us run the department," he says. "It was very frustrating. We had other things that were more critical than writing reports."

Now, Congress is causing DHS employees more headaches, and this latest budget skirmish just makes morale worse.

“People are very stressed out," says Nicole Byram, president of the National Treasury Employees Union chapter in Savannah, Georgia and a Customs and Border protection officer. "People are very anxious. Everyone kind of has this feeling of, oh no. Not again.”

Because they know, if Congress can’t agree on how to keep funding DHS, there’ll be a partial government shutdown. But they’re considered essential, so they’d have to work without pay during the impasse. And getting back pay? That takes an act of Congress — a mood crusher sure to keep DHS at the bottom of the morale rankings.

Tooth fairies reimburse an average of $4 per tooth

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-23 08:57

I've got a seven-year-old who's about to lose a tooth — it's just a couple of good wiggles and a twist or two away from coming out. And when it does, I feel pretty safe in guessing that she's going to get about a buck under her pillow.

Turns out, tooth fairies at other houses are a bit more fast and loose with the cash.

A survey by dental insurance company Delta Dental says the national average for American kids is $4.36.

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll

Not in my house, I'll tell you that.

Andy Coulson faces perjury trial

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 08:51
Former Downing Street communications director Andy Coulson is to stand trial in Scotland on a charge of perjury.

Australia Announces Security Crackdown Amid 'Rising' Terrorist Threat

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-23 08:45

Under the proposed new measures, Australia can revoke citizenship to any dual national if they travel overseas to fight alongside jihadists.

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Pay body wants 3% minimum wage rise

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-23 08:39
The independent body that advises the government on the minimum wage is to recommend an increase of 3%, Business Secretary Vince Cable says.

Obama Wants Rules That Force Brokers To Put Clients' Interests First

NPR News - Mon, 2015-02-23 08:21

The Obama administration says the current system promotes conflicts of interest, leads to high fees and erodes returns on investment.

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