National / International News

VIDEO: Football as an alternative to gangs

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:52
The BBC's Alpa Patel reports on a social programme built around football hopes to give young people an alternative to gang violence.

Assault charge MP pleads not guilty

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:49
Falkirk MP Eric Joyce appears in court in Westminster charged with common assault and criminal damage.

Venezuela denies ice-cream crisis

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:40
Venezuelan officials deny reports that a milk shortage is behind the temporary closure of an ice-cream shop famous for its wide range of flavours.

AirAsia Crash: Rescue Crews Pull Bodies, Find Plane Wreckage In Java Sea

NPR News - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:40

An Indonesian navy spokesman told reporters a ship had recovered dozens of bodies. AirAsia said Indonesia had confirmed the wreckage was that of the Airbus carrying 162 people.

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Jubilee gifts for Singapore babies

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:37
Government will give out gift packs for every new citizen born in 2015, to mark Singapore's 50th birthday.

Sony hackers 'shared' stolen logins

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:33
Data that helped hackers access Sony's internal network came from another group targeting the firm, reports the Washington Post.

VIDEO: Why is there a science skills gap?

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:20
The BBC's Steph McGovern is looking at the skills shortages facing employers in Britain.

Bin lorry victim out of hospital

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:08
An 18-year-old woman who was injured in the George Square bin lorry crash has been released from hospital.

Barca transfer ban appeal rejected

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:08
Barcelona will not be allowed to sign players in 2015 after an appeal against a transfer ban is dismissed.

VIDEO: How trials helped patients in 2014

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:07
In the latest in a series of special reports, the BBC's Victoria Gill has met the patients who have been contributing to some of 2014's most significant breakthroughs.

Urgent ambulance response times fall

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:01
The number of ambulances hitting the target response time for the most urgent calls has fallen for the second month running.

Consumer confidence on the rise at year's end

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:00

Consumer confidence has been trending upward during 2014, with both the Reuters/University of Michigan survey and the Conference Board survey reflecting a cheerier pre-recession outlook.

“People expect the economy to improve, and their personal finances to improve,” says economist Chris Christopher of IHS Global Insight.

The stock market has recently hit highs, boosting higher-income households, many of which have regained and surpassed their level of wealth before the recession. But middle-income households remain in the red, on average, since the recession. Long-term unemployment is still stubbornly high, wages are barely outpacing inflation, and millions of workers have dropped out of the labor force altogether.

But Bernie Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group says the overall economic picture is still overwhelmingly favorable: “We’ve got the best job growth that we’ve seen in 14 years. Companies as well as consumers are benefiting from lower gas prices, and from the lowest borrowing costs in history.” Baumohl still cautions that until the global economy gets healthy again and U.S. trading partners rebound, U.S. companies might not feel optimistic enough to go on a big hiring spree or raise wages.

Harbaugh's big Michigan payday

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:00

The University of Michigan announced a deal Tuesday that makes Jim Harbaugh its next head football coach.

 

 

Harbaugh was an All-American quarterback for Michigan and played 15 years in the NFL in addition to coaching at Stanford University and, most recently, with the San Francisco 49ers.

Harbaugh signed a seven-year deal worth $5 million per year plus increases each season. He also received a $2 million signing bonus.

Even though Michigan has fallen as a football powerhouse, Forbes says only Texas and Notre Dame bring in more revenue. 

"From a strictly financial point of view, it's already paid off, they'll make more money off of him by lunch today," says John U. Bacon, an author and commentator.

Bacon has written has written several books about Michigan football. He says the jump in season-ticket sales alone will more than pay Harbaugh’s contract, and if he can revive the storied Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, the entire Big Ten might profit.

"If you get that going, guess what? TV ratings go up. TV drives all of this. Not some of it, all of it," says Bacon.

These days it isn’t just the University of Michigans of the world that are willing to offer pro money to land a coach. More and more Division One teams are willing to pay millions of dollars to satisfy their fans, which was practically unheard of a decade ago.

"You know, really the theme here is brand revival," says Patrick Rishe, a sports economist at Missouri's Webster University.

Michigan essentially had to offer pro-level dollars, Rishe says, partly to compete for a coach of Harbaugh’s ilk, but more importantly, “to also show their fans they're serious about trying to get back into the fray."

The real question all along wasn’t whether Jim Harbaugh was worth the money Michigan was offering, Rishe says, but whether Harbaugh would leave the NFL.

A very merry Christmas for Apple

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:00
$8 million

The University of Michigan is expected to announce Tuesday a deal that would make Jim Harbaugh its next head football coach. In addition to his career on the field, Harbaugh has coached for both Stanford and the San Francisco 49ers. His NFL pedigree will earn him a pro-football salary; some estimates put his expected salary as head coach to be in the range of $6 million to $8 million. 

1 of 2

The parts released so far in the Intercept's exclusive and (ahem) serialized interview with Jay Wilds, a key figure in the investigative podcast "Serial." Host Sarah Koenig couldn't get Wilds on tape in her reporting, but he's speaking out now that "Serial" has concluded its first season, giving his side of the cold case Koenig was exploring.

51.3 percent

In its annual Christmas report, Flurry found that 51.3 percent of devices activated over the holiday were Apple products. This compared with 17.7 percent for Samsung, and 5.8 percent for Nokia, as reported by Tech Crunch.

60 million

The rough number of page views the various sites owned by Emerson Spartz rack up in a month. That's according to a recent New Yorker profile, which paints Spartz as the boy king of "viral content."

94 percent

That's the percentage global investment in Japan is down this year; the smallest annual amount since 2008. As Bloomberg reports, the dwindling numbers are mostly due to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics," which have sent Japan into a recession.

Consumer confidence on the rise at year-end

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:00

Consumer confidence has been trending upward during 2014, with both the Reuters/University of Michigan survey and the Conference Board survey back to pre-recession levels.

“People expect the economy to improve, and their personal finances to improve,” says economist Chris Christopher at IHS Global Insight.

The stock market has recently hit records, boosting higher-income households, many of which have regained and surpassed their level of wealth before the recession. But middle-income households remain in the red, on average, since the recession. Long-term unemployment is still stubbornly high, wages are barely outpacing inflation, and millions of workers have dropped out of the labor force altogether.

But Bernie Baumohl at the Economic Outlook Group says the overall economic picture is still overwhelmingly favorable: “We’ve got the best job growth that we’ve seen in 14 years. Companies as well as consumers are benefiting from lower gas prices, and from the lowest borrowing costs in history.” Baumohl still cautions that until the global economy returns to health and U.S. trading partners rebound, U.S. companies might not feel optimistic enough to go on a big hiring spree or raise wages.

Michigan offers big payday to revive football fortunes

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-12-30 02:00

The University of Michigan is expected to announce Tuesday a deal that would make Jim Harbaugh its next head football coach.

Harbaugh was an All-American quarterback for Michigan and played 15 years in the NFL, in addition to coaching at Stanford, and most recently with the San Francisco 49ers.

Harbaugh’s contract is expected to make him among the highest paid coaches in college sports, in the range of $6 million to $8 million per year.

Even though Michigan has fallen as a football powerhouse, Forbes says only Texas and Notre Dame bring in more revenue. 

"From a strictly financial point of view, it's already paid off, they'll make more money off of him by lunch today," says author and commentator John U. Bacon.

Bacon has written has written several books about Michigan football. He says the jump in season-ticket sales alone will more than pay Harbaugh’s contract, and if he can revive the storied Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, the entire Big Ten might profit.

"If you get that going, guess what? TV ratings go up. TV drives all of this. Not some of it, all of it," says Bacon.

These days it isn’t just the University of Michigan's of the world that are willing to offer pro money to land their coach. More and more Division One teams are willing to pay millions of dollars to satisfy their fans, which was practically unheard of a decade ago.

"You know, really the theme here is brand revival," says Patrick Rishe, a sports economist at Webster University.

Rishe says Michigan essentially had to offer dollars, partly to compete for a coach of Harbaugh’s ilk, but more importantly, “to also show their fans they're serious about trying to get back into the fray," he says.

Rishe says the real question all along wasn’t whether Jim Harbaugh was worth the money Michigan was offering, but whether he would leave the NFL.

Network Rail boss will not take bonus

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 01:59
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne says he will not take his bonus, following recent major rail disruption.

Bahraini top Shia 'fuelled violence'

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 01:59
Bahraini Shia opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman is remanded in custody on suspicion of inciting violence and hatred to achieve political change.

West Brom in Sherwood & Pulis talks

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 01:58
West Brom are in talks with Tim Sherwood and Tony Pulis about their manager's job after Alan Irvine was sacked, BBC Sport learns.

Heavy shooting in Gambian capital

BBC - Tue, 2014-12-30 01:49
Heavy gunfire erupts near the presidential palace in The Gambia, while head of state Yahya Jammeh is out of the country.

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