National / International News

Out Of White House Meeting, Obama And Merkel Emerge United On Russia

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:08

President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House Friday, in an effort to present a united front on the Ukrainian crisis. The pair held a joint press conference discussing the prospect of further sanctions on Russia.

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An End In Sight For Siege Of Homs, As Syrian Rebels Plot Retreat

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:08

A deal is in the works to draw the long battle at Homs to a close. The deal would let the rebel fighters evacuate their stronghold in the Syrian city, at which point the Syrian government would enter.

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First American Case Of MERS Reported In Indiana

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:08

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the first case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus, or MERS, has been confirmed in the U.S. A health care worker in Indiana who recently returned from Saudi Arabia has been hospitalized and is critical condition.

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Amid New Details Of Botched Execution, A Timeline Of Final Hours

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:08

Details of the botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett reveal a procedure rife with problems. A timeline released by the state's Department of Corrections offers unsettling insight into the day of Lockett's death.

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On Auction Block: Draft Of 'Like A Rolling Stone,' And Some Doodles

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 12:08

Sotheby's will be auctioning what it claims to be the only known surviving draft of the final lyrics for Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," as part of the auction house's rock and pop music sale.

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Police given more time to quiz Adams

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 11:51
Police in Northern Ireland are given more time to question Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.

Google Maps 'renames Basingstoke'

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 11:47
Basingstoke is renamed by Google Maps as "Town Centre".

Gunmen storm Libyan security HQ

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 11:16
Gunmen in the Libyan city of Benghazi have raided a security headquarters, sparking clashes in which at least nine people died, officials say.

US House to open new Benghazi inquiry

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 11:00
The US House speaker says he will convene a special committee to investigate the White House response to the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Libya.

Teens arrested in school murder plot

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:54
Two schoolgirls are arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder following an incident at a school in Caerphilly county.

Urban Greengrocers Are Back, To Serve Big-Spending Locavores

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:49

Small independent grocery stores are a growing trend in urban areas. They are like the shops where gran and gramps used to buy their produce, but they have been updated for the modern foodie.

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Don't Count On Travel Insurance To Cover Mental Health

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:44

People buy travel insurance so they won't lose a lot of money if they become ill and can't travel. But for most policies, "ill" doesn't include mental illness. Some travelers discover that too late.

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House Will Consider Select Committee To Investigate Benghazi Attacks

NPR News - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:39

At the same time, Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House oversight committee, issued a subpoena to force Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about the attacks.

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In the gym at 6am: How to do the 'impossible job'

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:24
How Tony Pulis led Crystal Palace from Premier League relegation-certainties to mid-table comfort in record-breaking fashion

'Many dead' in Ukraine offensive

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:21
Many rebels have been killed in a government offensive in east Ukraine, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov says, amid heavy clashes in the southern city of Odessa.

VIDEO: British troops arrive in Estonia

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:17
Britain has joined with other NATO countries to provide extra security for Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania - all in response to the crisis in Ukraine.

Max Clifford jailed for eight years

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:16
Celebrity publicist Max Clifford is jailed for a total of eight years for a string of indecent assaults against girls and young women.

Spider-Man vs. the box office

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:09
Friday, May 2, 2014 - 16:07 Columbia Pictures

In this promotional image provided by Columbia Pictures, Andrew Garfield's character, Spider-man, is seen confronting Jamie Fox's character Max Dillon.

The new Spider-Man sequel has a lot riding on it for Sony Pictures. It sets up two spin-off movies, plus the third and fourth installments of the franchise.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already earned more than $150 million overseas. But critics have hammered the flick in the U.S.

“I think Sony is hoping that this movie will gross a billion dollars. And I don’t think that’s going to happen,” says Jeff Sneider with the entertainment news website,

He describes the new movie as “the worst Spider-Man movie that I have personally seen.”

Other fans may shy away because of superhero overload.

“Part of it just might be some amount of fatigue from the audience. This is going to be the fifth Spider-Man movie in 12 years,” says Albert Ching, an editor at Comic Book Resources.

And if audiences aren’t happy, investors won’t be either.

Sneider says, “Sony has come under fire from its investors, namely Daniel Loeb, who’s like a big hedge fund guru.”

If The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn’t clobber the competition, expect that fire from investors to heat up.

Marketplace for Friday May 2, 2014by Jeff TylerPodcast Title Spider-Man vs. the box officeStory Type News StorySyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Georgia latest state to drug-test welfare applicants

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:06
Friday, May 2, 2014 - 16:01 Davis Turner/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal answers questions from the media during a news conference at the Capitol building on February 11, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal earlier this week signed legislation that will require some people applying for Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) benefts to submit to drug testing. Georgia is one of more than a dozen states proposing - or trying out - laws that require welfare recipients or applicants to take drug tests. 

Governor Deal's Deputy Chief of Staff Brian Robinson said in a statement to Marketplace: 

"Governor Deal has said drug abuse poses a major barrier to getting and keeping a job. He understands that many users are suffering from the disease of addition. He believes we as a state have a duty to help those who want to help themselves by providing an option for treatment. He's also led on diverting people with drug addictions out of the criminal justice system into treatment programs with strict accountability so that people are able to be taxpayers instead of being tax drainers. But if people choose to reject treatment and choose a lifestyle that renders them unemployable, taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize that."

But in some cases, drug testing does not appear to be catching many drug users.

"In Oklahoma, 29 people out of 1,300 were denied benefits," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy coordinator at the Center for Law and Social Policy. "And then Utah. Twelve people out of 4,730." 

Advocates of the testing say the low numbers are likely due to deterrence. 

"By having the testing requirement in place, you screen out individuals who have a drug addiction who never go through the process to begin with, because they know they won't recieve benefits," said Tarren Bragdon, CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative think tank.

Lower-Basch isn't certain that deterrence is the best thing for needy families. 

"These are very poor families and they have children," Lower-Basch said. "You don't want to scare them off and not getting help. You want the kids to get help so they can have clothes and housing. And you want the parents getting treatment so they can get jobs and be better parents. Scaring them off is a terrible outcome."

Many welfare researchers say drug tests are sometimes necessary. However, mass testing can also cost a state money. In 2011, Florida required welfare recipients to pay for their own drug tests. More than 97% passed and the state had to reimburse them to the tune of more than $100,000.

Map of 2012 Legislative Proposals to Screen for Drug Use Among Welfare Recipients

Courtesy of National Conference of State Legislatures.

Marketplace for Friday May 2, 2014by Noel KingPodcast Title Georgia latest state to drug-test welfare applicantsStory Type News StorySyndication Flipboard BusinessSlackerSoundcloudStitcherBusiness InsiderSwellPMPApp Respond No

US and Germany 'at odds' over spying

BBC - Fri, 2014-05-02 10:06
The US and Germany remain at odds over digital spying and privacy policy, US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel say.
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