National / International News

What Brought Down The Malaysian Airliner?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

Shortly after news broke that a Malaysia Airlines flight crashed in eastern Ukraine, suspicions began to swirl that the plane had been shot down.

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To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

The traditional Japanese art of folding paper is now adding grace and ease to the deployment of fragile solar panels, seismometers and other vital instruments in outer space.

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Lawmakers Call For GM's Top Lawyer To Step Down

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

Delphi, the company that made the defective ignition switch in General Motors vehicles, has stayed out of the harsh glare in the recall scandal. But that changed Thursday, as Delphi's CEO joined GM CEO Mary Barra and GM's top lawyer for a grilling on Capitol Hill.

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Senate Re-Authorizes Government's Role In Terrorism Insurance

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

The Senate has voted to reauthorize terrorism risk insurance, to help businesses stay solvent in the event of attacks. The bill faces a tougher road in the House, where some Republicans want to reduce the potential price tag for taxpayers.

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Malaysian Airliner Crashes In Eastern Ukraine

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying nearly 300 people has crashed in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border. It's unclear why it crashed, but the Ukrainian president is calling for an investigation.

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Microsoft Announces Largest Job Cut In Its History

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:27

Microsoft plans to eliminate as many as 18,000 jobs over the next year — about 14 percent of its global workforce. The cuts would be the largest in the company's history. Microsoft recently acquired Nokia's mobile phone business, which boosted its head count by 25,000 and most of the cuts will be in that area.

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Ferdinand completes move to QPR

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:22
Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand completes his move to QPR on a one-year contract.

VIDEO: Political reporter's thrilling turn

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:19
Former political correspondent Terry Stiastny talks to the BBC's Nick Higham about her debut novel.

Tiernan-Locke banned for two years

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:15
Britain's Jonathan Tiernan-Locke receives a two-year ban and is sacked by Team Sky for an anti-doping violation.

A Brief History Of Civilian Planes That Have Been Shot Down

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 12:04

It's rare, but commercial flights do come under fire. In fact, the Ukrainian army accidentally downed a Russian civilian plane with a missile during a military exercise in Crimea in 2001.

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McIlroy leads as Woods shows form

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:58
Rory McIlroy leads the Open by a shot after a six-under-par 66 at Hoylake, while Tiger Woods makes a promising start.

Airlines change Ukraine flight paths

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:57
Airlines have been told to divert flights away from eastern Ukraine following the crash of a Malaysian airliner, amid allegations it was shot down.

Israel Launches Ground Offensive In Gaza

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:49

Escalating its conflict with Hamas, Israel sent ground forces into Gaza on Thursday.

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Escapee D-Day veteran honoured

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:45
A World War II veteran who disappeared from a nursing home to attend D-Day commemorations in France is made an honorary alderman of Brighton and Hove.

Streaming books on Amazon?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:44

Heads up e-book readers: if you were fast enough yesterday you may have seen that Amazon is preparing to launch an e-book subscription service. Maybe. A page on its website was put up, and then taken down again, very quickly. The service, called  “Kindle Unlimited,” would give subscribers access to 600,000 books for $10 a month. 

There’s nothing new about a book subscription service (remember Book of the Month club?), but Dan Cryan, Senior Director of Digital Media with IHS, points out that the subscription model has gotten popular again.

“There has a been a rush of subscription commerce items covering everything from dollar shave club, offering cheap razors, through to subscription underwear,” he says.

Scribd and Oyster, both e-book subscription services representing the interest in the digital book sector. Eric Stromberg, CEO and Co-Founder of Oyster, says since the company's launch last September, it has "continuously brought in more revenue from paying subscribers" than it's paid out each month.

But Cryan says it's unclear how well a subscription service can scale. "It's safe to say," he notes, "that neither Scribd nor Oyster, has set the world on fire." After all, while subscription services can work well, they're only practical for some products and some consumers.

“Certain products like diapers, there’s obviously a high quantity of demand needed on a very regular basis. For other goods it’s less clear that you need new items, quite so regularly,” says Cryan.

Scribd says its deals with publishers mostly make older titles available, but many readers want the newest ones. Jim Milliot, Editorial Director of Publishers Weekly, says that’s exactly why publishers are reluctant to give subscribers access to their newest releases.

“Instead of going out and buying the new John Grisham, maybe they would wait for it to come up as part of a subscription service," he says.

From the publisher's perspective, Milliot says, if customers are paying $9.99 "for the all-you-can-eat type of thing, instead of $15 for the new John Grisham, you’re losing out."

And there’s a plot twist.

"This doesn’t have anything to do with ebooks," says Michael Norris, an independent consultant to the media industry. “Everything a company like Amazon does has to do with making their close customers even closer.”

Norris notes that Amazon doesn’t have to sell books to stay alive. A subscription service just means another reason consumers would have to stick around its website – and hopefully spend more money.

A collection of items you told us you cannot live without (or at least have to have, once a month)

Tiger Woods shows old mojo at sunny Hoylake

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:40
The world's most famous golfer rubs shoulders with a forklift truck driver on sport's longest day of the year.

Cameroon Games team member traced

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:37
One of the two members of Cameroon's Commonwealth Games team who went missing in Aberdeen is traced in London.

Cook not a tactical captain - Boycott

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:29
Alastair Cook will never succeed as a "tactical captain", according to former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott.

VIDEO: Irish terror suspects still face arrest

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-17 11:13
Irish Republicans who were sent official letters informing them they were no longer wanted by police have been warned they could still be arrested if the police have sufficient evidence.

The Modern American Man, Charted

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 10:54

By some measures, not much has changed for the American male in the past few decades — girls still do better in school and men still make more money. In other areas, the differences are profound.

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