National / International News

VIDEO: Bandleader Last bows out

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 14:06
Bandleader and composer James last talks to David Sillito as he performs his last shows in Britain before his retirement

Detectives revisit scene of rape

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 14:06
Detectives investigating the rape of a woman in Uddingston revisit the scene a week after the crime took place.

US lifts Egypt weapons freeze

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:56
President Barack Obama has told his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al Sisi, that the US will resume military aid to Egypt, frozen since 2013.

Israel 0-1 Belgium

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:54
Belgium knock Wales off top spot in their Euro 2016 qualifying group with a narrow win over Israel.

Supreme Court Deals Medicaid Blow To Doctors And Health Companies

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:38

The court ruled Tuesday that private Medicaid providers cannot sue to force states to raise reimbursement rates in the face of rising medical costs.

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Activists Stop Paying Their Student Loans

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:36

Students who say their for-profit college degrees are worthless took their "debt strike" to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today.

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Lufthansa Says It Knew Of Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz's Depression

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:22

Prosecutors say Lubitz deliberately crashed his plane carrying 149 others into the French Alps last week. Lufthansa said he had informed them in 2009 of a "previous depressive episode."

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Despite Criticism, Arkansas Passes Religious Freedom Bill

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:18

The measure is similar to the controversial law passed by Indiana. Gov. Asa Hutchinson had previously said he would sign the bill into law.

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Murray reaches 500 career wins

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:13
Andy Murray reaches 500 career wins with victory over Kevin Anderson at the Miami Open, beating the South African 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Buffett 'wouldn't raise US rates'

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:10
The billionaire investor, Warren Buffett, says if he ran the US Federal Reserve, he wouldn't raise interest rates significantly.

Boston bombing defence finishes

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:09
The defence in the Boston Marathon bombing trial rests its case against defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged with 30 counts related to the attack.

To the moon & back: Murray's 500 wins

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:08
Andy Murray has won 500 matches - but how many times has he gone round the earth & how many sweatbands has he used?

Wasps' Hughes banned for North blow

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 13:07
Wasps forward Nathan Hughes is banned for three weeks for "striking with the knee and/or shin" against Northampton.

Watchdog Groups File Complaints Against Likely Candidates

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 12:55

Two liberal groups say some politicians have crossed the legal line that defines a candidacy in campaign finance law, even though they haven't declared anything yet.

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Advice For Trevor Noah From The 'Jon Stewart Of South Africa'

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 12:53

The Daily Show isn't the only fake news show around. South Africa has Late Nite News, starring comedian Loyiso Gola. We asked him how he feels about Noah's new job — and what advice he has to offer.

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Supporters Work To Reclaim Legacy Of Penn State Coach Joe Paterno

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 12:46

A campaign is underway to repair former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's legacy after a child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky tarnished his image.

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Amazon launches home ordering kit

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 12:38
In an attempt to attract more household shoppers, Amazon unveils a button for replenish items such as washing powder and razors.

Latvians differ over sanctions against Russia

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-03-31 12:29

Latvian farmer Uldis Krievars is a casualty of the new cold war with Russia.

“ We’re fighting for survival. Many other farmers are also struggling “ he says, gloomily surveying his dairy herd on his farm sixty miles southeast of the Latvian capital, Riga.
Krievars has seen his milk prices slump well below the cost of production due to over supply. Latvia is awash with milk because Russia retaliated against EU sanctions over Ukraine by banning food imports from Europe.

But that doesn’t mean Krievars is unhappy about those EU sanctions.

“ Yes, the sanctions are hitting us hard," he says. “But I believe they are necessary and should have been even tougher. We are still worried about our independence.”

Independence is still a raw subject in the tiny Baltic state, which has been invaded and occupied over the centuries by at least four different powers – Sweden, Poland, Germany and Russia. The country only threw off Russian rule 24 years ago when the Soviet Union collapsed – an event which the current Russian President Vladimir Putin described as “ the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.”

Liana Langa –a Latvian poet - claims that the annexation of Crimea shows that Putin would like to turn the clock back and rule the Baltic states - including Latvia - again.
“He’s trying to restore empire, he’s trying to restore empire.” she says. “Let’s remember: Putin can only think as a KGB guy because he comes from the KGB.”

Some members of Latvia’s large Russian minority dismiss that as pure paranoia; they just don’t believe Putin has any designs on the Baltic States. Aleksandr Gamaleyev deplores the sanctions against Russia as a massive over-reaction. “ I think it’s very bad for Latvia to be part of this campaign because Russia is our bigger neighbor, and economically it’s very bad for Latvia,” he says.

In fact, although the dairy farmers are reeling, Latvia overall has not been that badly affected by the crisis. The economy is still growing at the cracking pace of more than four percent a year . The country has managed to escape some of the worst effects of the new Cold War as many Latvian companies have,  since regaining independence, been busy re-orienting their businesses away from the Russian market. The Karavela fish processing plant in Riga, for example, now sells most of its herrings and sprats in Europe.

“ We feel more comfortable and safer developing markets in this part of the world” says spokeswoman Sintija Skarstāne .

Latvia has pursued the same policy, along with the other two Baltic states, turning away from Russia and embedding itself in the west by joining NATO, the European Union and even adopting the euro for added security.

“We clearly feel safe now, we feel secure.” says Andrejs Pildegovics, State Secretary at the Foreign Ministry in Riga. “But if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that we cannot be complacent.”

The biggest fear is that Putin might “do a Ukraine” and stoke up trouble using Latvia’s Russian-speaking minority. But economist Morten Hansen of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga points out that there’s a big difference between Ukraine and Latvia – quite apart from NATO and EU membership. Latvia is more prosperous and more content.

“ In terms of income per person we’re ahead of Ukraine by a factor of three to one.” Hansen says. “This is a huge transformation. We were at the same level as Ukraine 22 years ago . Now we’re three times richer."

This , he says , is Latvia’s ultimate shield against Putin’s mischief-making: economic self interest.

Media Mischief On April Fools' Day

NPR News - Tue, 2015-03-31 12:01

When news organizations make fun of the news, it can be funny — or not.

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Fatal storms hit northern Europe

BBC - Tue, 2015-03-31 11:46
Four people have been killed in gales that have battered Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the UK.