National / International News

New hope to solve Genette mystery

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 02:01
Detectives make another attempt to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Devon schoolgirl Genette Tate nearly 36 years ago.

The South is more likely to hand out corporate subsidies

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-02 02:01

The ink is drying on contracts that will commit upwards of $400 million taxpayer dollars to a new stadium for the Atlanta Braves. The baseball team is supposed to pay some of that back in rent, but last week’s deal looks to many critics like an enormous public subsidy for a profitable business.

If you feel like this kind of thing happens more often in the American South, you might be right.

Take this year’s race for governor in Georgia, for example, where the Republican incumbent’s first TV ad is running.

“Governor Nathan Deal lowered taxes on job creators,” the hushed narrator intones. “Now, for the first time in history, Georgia is the number one place to do business.”

Number one according to whom? Site Selection magazine, a publication dedicated to "corporate real estate strategy and area economic development." 

Just in case they don’t have that one in your dentist’s waiting room, the magazine praises Georgia for its generous incentives – like a 30 percent state tax credit for filmmakers. Local governments also spend millions on infrastructure to lure factories and the like.

Funneling taxes to private enterprise is an old habit in the South, says James Cobb, a historian at the University of Georgia.

“After the agricultural economy was pretty much rend asunder by the Civil War, the southern states began to provide incentives and sweeten the deals to attract outside capital that was supposedly going to bring the South back to prosperity by urbanization and industrialization,” Cobb says.

The freebies were meant as a temporary kickstart, he says. But by the 1950s, northern governments started using the same tricks.

“And then, in the last generation, the global labor market has become so competitive that it’s been very hard to sort of ditch the subsidy approach,” Cobb says.

That’s despite the fact that handouts to business are incredibly unpopular with southern voters. That includes Cobb County, the Atlanta suburb that’s trying to lure the Braves. Last week, opponents had to be dragged out of a public hearing on the stadium deal.

Local politicians say any other community would bend over backwards to land such a big catch.

But, Cobb says, there comes a point where you become so business-friendly, there are no goodies left for everybody else: "You throw over so much in public expenditures in various things, including education, to keep taxes down, that you reach a point of it being self-defeating.”

It's worth noting that back in the 1990s, Site Selection magazine was calling Mississippi the best state for business. Twenty years later, that state isn't exactly an economic powerhouse.

Saints prop Waller gets England call

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:54
England name Northampton's Alex Waller among 16 additions to their squad for this month's tour of New Zealand.

Afghan bomber kills Turkish workers

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:45
At least seven people, three of them Turkish engineers, are killed by suicide bombers in two separate attacks in Afghanistan.

Comedian tries to board England jet

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:39
Simon Brodkin, better known as prankster Lee Nelson, was pictured in an identical suit to the England team and holding a passport.

VIDEO: Last minute test at World Cup venue

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:34
Officials in Sao Paulo have held a second "test" game at the city's World Cup stadium with less than two weeks until it is due to host the opening game.

US parties clash over prisoner deal

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:32
A row erupts over the deal to swap Guantanamo Bay detainees for a Taliban-held soldier, with Republicans warning it could put Americans at risk.

Woman charged over Belfast attack

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:26
An 18-year-old woman is charged with disorderly behaviour in connection with an incident in north Belfast on Sunday.

France arrests Syria jihad suspects

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:24
Four people are held in France on suspicion of recruiting militants to fight in Syria, after the arrest of a man over murders at Brussels' Jewish Museum.

Jolie's Maleficent dominates chart

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:13
Disney film Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, debuts at the top of the North American box office, taking $70m (£41m).

Sgt. Bergdahl's Hometown Rejoices At His Long-Awaited Release

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:12

Bowe Bergdahl spent five years in Taliban captivity; he was released Saturday. He is still weeks away from returning to his hometown of Hailey, Idaho, where residents are celebrating his freedom.

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NHS 'still fails' dementia patients

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:00
A Mental Welfare Commission report claims people with dementia still do not get acceptable care from the NHS in Scotland.

Inducing hypothermia to save lives

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:00

Starting in April of this year, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC began a study to see if cooling the body of patients with massive bleeding to 50 degrees below normal body temperature could improve the treatment of traumatic injuries. By the conclusion of the trial, 10 patients with gun shot or knife wounds will have had a large tuble placed in their aorta, which will then pump a cooling saline solution through their bodies as it puts them in a kind of suspended animation, hopefully buying doctors enough time to treat the source of the bleeding.

Though, because there will not be time to receive consent from family members, the team behind the research must go through a "exception-from-informed consent process," in which the public is informed of the trial and has the option to preemptively opt out.

First tested on pigs in 2000, the method showed huge success rates. This will be the first instance of testing the procedure on human beings. 

Spain's King Juan Carlos Plans To Abdicate

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-02 01:00

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says King Juan Carlos plans to abdicate and pave the way for his son, Crown Prince Felipe, to become the country's next king.

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Samsung launches first Tizen phone

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 00:54
Samsung Electronics launches the world's first smartphone powered by Tizen operating system, seen as an alternative to Google's Android.

Calculating the sex and drugs economy

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 00:33
How did statisticians work out the value of illegal drugs and prostitution to the UK economy?

Woman dies as car hits bus shelter

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 00:28
A woman is killed when a car ploughs into a bus shelter in Birmingham leaving another woman who was standing there critically injured.

Shoppers 'using cash less than ever'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 00:10
Cash use by shoppers has fallen by 14% over the last five years, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium.

Airline profits 'to be hit by China'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-02 00:00
The global airline industry cuts its profit forecast for 2014 amid fears over China's economic growth, says the International Air Transport Association.

The 20th Century's first arms race

BBC - Sun, 2014-06-01 23:58
How the mania over Dreadnought battleships changed naval warfare
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