National / International News

Deutsche Bank in €1.5bn legal hit

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 10:13
Deutsche Bank says it expects litigation costs of €1.5bn in the first quarter, but it still expects to be profitable.

Google to run mobile phone network

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 10:03
Google details its plan to launch a mobile network in the US that will piggyback existing service but offer different terms.

In Its Season Finale, 'Fresh Off The Boat' Is Still Wrestling With Authenticity

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 10:03

Its fiercest critic, Eddie Huang, whose memoir inspired the show, says his life isn't recognizable in it. What's "real" or not is up for debate.

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The bookstore primaries

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-22 10:02

Before presidential candidates head to Iowa, New Hampshire or Chipotle, they're in your book store.

Looking toward the GOP primaries, Marco Rubio just released his second memoir, "American Dreams"; Ted Cruz's "A Time for Truth" will hit shelves this summer; Rand Paul's second book in three years is out next month; and Jeb Bush is rolling out an e-book. Last year, policy wonks scoured Hillary Clinton's "Hard Choices" for clues to a presidential run and an expose about her finances is making headlines ahead of its release.

But writing, selling and releasing a book takes time, even with a ghostwriter. Why is just about every presidential hopeful doing it? What good does it do so early in the election season?

"Primaries are a crazy time, and they are so different from the general election," says D. Sunshine Hillygus, associate professor of political science at Duke University. "So when a candidate can do anything in a primary to get a bit more media attention, a bit more evidence that they might be electable and able to beat the other side, that's ... advantageous."

Sales don't hurt, but the political book is less a moneymaker than it is the foundation of a larger strategy, Hillygus says. As soundbites shrink, a book lets a candidate frame themselves and get out in front of any potential "dirt." In "Dreams of My Father," for example, a young Barack Obama discussed his drug use.

But here's the rub: it's not actually all that important that people read the book.

"Part of the value of the book is not the readership of the book, but the fact that you wrote it," says Craig Allen, an associate professor of journalism at Arizona State University who has written about presidential communication throughout history. Candidates can draw on the book during speeches and debates, he says, giving them an air of thoughtfulness and credibility. Best case scenario: the candidate recaptures the success of John F. Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage," which Allen says inspired many of the politicians who've written books since.

Even if they don't win any Pulitzers, savvy candidates can at least go on a book tour, giving interviews and essentially holding campaign events without ceding media coverage to their opponent under equal-time requirements.

That works if candidates get out their book early enough, says Peter Hildick-Smith, head of the publishing insights firm Codex Group. That's where the current crop of GOP candidates could run into trouble, he says, even if the message is well-crafted.

"If everybody's got their book coming out within a month of each other, it's very hard to get the audience's attention," he says. When candidates release the book early in the election cycle, "you don't have a campaign to run [and you get] to talk to people in a more normal way instead of being on the stump. It's that quiet conversation with Matt Lauer when people aren't really expecting it."

Hildick-Smith's company worked with a candidate on one of last year's political bestsellers. He wouldn't say who, but he did say the book had a larger-than-expected "crossover readership" of independent voters. Part of that comes from striking the right balance between policy and personal writing, along with getting the book out early.

Of course, a candidate's detractors can use similar tactics. The Clinton campaign is already running interference on "Clinton Cash," which comes out May 5 and alleges that foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation lined Hillary's pockets and influenced her policies as secretary of state.

"Clinton Cash" has potential to hurt Clinton because some major news organizations got an early look; the New York Times and Washington Post published deep investigations into the book's claims this week. While Clinton's campaign has a sizable headstart, her long history in politics means she's more vulnerable to this kind of scrutiny, says UC Davis political science assistant professor Amber Boydstun.

"If you took any potential opposing Republican candidate and you put them in public service as long for as she's been in public service, you'd probably have a book about them too," Boydstun says. "In Clinton's case, there's of course going to be dirt, and I'm not sure what the dirt looks like but that could potentially not play well, especially if the media gives credence to [it]."

There's a lot of ink spilled on all sides about candidates, but come Election Day, what impact does it really have? Duke's Hillygus says that's something political scientists are still puzzling out.

"A debate doesn't have much effect, frankly. A single television ad has almost no effect... it's all cumulative and incremental," she says. "What becomes important is: does this book by the candidate help to create a characterization of who they are that sticks? And it's never going to stick on its own."

Adams to face footballer or teacher

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:45
Olympic champion Nicola Adams faces a footballer or a teacher in her semi-final at the English National Championships.

Premier League hit by Uefa changes

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:44
The Premier League will have only one top-seeded club in next season's Champions League, as Uefa introduce new rules.

VIDEO: Farage: You say things to get noticed

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:40
Nigel Farage says UKIP previously used rhetoric to "get noticed" but no longer needs to make "negative arguments" about immigration.

Spoofing: An explanation using bananas

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:37

London-based trader Navinder Singh Sarao, and his company are accused of using software to manipulate the S&P’s futures contracts through a practice known as "spoofing.”

Spoofing means fooling the markets – making it look like you’re doing something, when you’re actually not. How about an analogy?

Imagine you have a booth at the farmers market, where you are selling bananas at two bucks a pound. Suddenly, this guy sets up an empty stall beside you and starts shouting about selling bananas for a dollar a pound. His truck is just coming up the street, he says – the bananas will be here in a minute. All your customers start lining up at his stall! It’s a nightmare!

So now you have to cut your price and sell your bananas for a buck a pound. You sell several boxes to a woman in a green hat. And suddenly, the guy beside you has disappeared! There’s no truckload of bananas coming!

You decide to raise the price back up to two dollars a pound again. When, suddenly, you get a phone call from your wife, who has spotted the truckload of bananas guy at the other end of the market. He’s selling bananas right out of the box, helped by a woman in a green hat. You have been spoofed! They fooled you into selling your bananas at half price, and now they’re selling them at two bucks a pound. 

Site Of Capsized Migrant Boat Was 'Like A Floating Cemetery'

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:35

Even to experienced emergency crews that have been working to save migrants at sea, it was a shocking sight: survivors bobbing among corpses in the Mediterranean Sea.

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My country’s a mess and no one understands

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:32
BBC Trending presents: an idiot's guide to the Yemen conflict

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:31

Impatient gardeners don't have to wait for summer to harvest salad fixings. A surprising variety of crops will bring homegrown produce to your table in as little as three weeks.

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Reagan gunman pushes for release

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:31
A lawyer for the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 tells a court in Washington his client should be released from a mental hospital.

Army sergeant 'did not slap bottoms'

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:26
An army sergeant accused of a string of sex attacks on female cadets denies he was in the "habit" of smacking their bottoms as they left the office.

Biker dies after coming off road

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:22
A 34-year-old motorcyclist dies after coming off the road on the A85 near Taynuilt in Argyll.

Man charged with Latvian's murder

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:20
A man is due to appear at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Thursday charged with the murder of Latvian national Aleksandrs Sokolovs.

N.Y. Judge Amends 'Habeas Corpus' Order For Chimps

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:20

The amended order suggests that the court has made no decision on whether the two research chimps at Stony Brook University can be treated as legal persons.

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Italy 'at war' with migrant smugglers

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:11
Italy says it is "at war" with people traffickers, and has urged the EU to take robust action to stop more people dying in the Mediterranean.

Farage: I used tone to 'get noticed'

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:07
UKIP leader Nigel Farage admits the tone he has used on issues including immigration and HIV was designed to "get noticed".

Nadal sees off Almagro in Barcelona

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:06
Rafael Nadal makes amends for last year's defeat by Nicolas Almagro with victory over his fellow Spaniard at the Barcelona Open.

Will clubs follow West Ham's example?

BBC - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:57
West Ham are to offer the cheapest adult Premier League season ticket - BBC Sport asks the other clubs whether they will follow suit.

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