National / International News

The Internet is not big enough for political ads

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:48

Whoever said "there’s plenty of room for everyone on the Internet" was wrong - at least if you’re looking for advertisement space for your political campaign.

"There’s a finite amount of inventory on premium video sites like on YouTube or Hulu," says New York Times reporter Ashley Parker.

There are two types of online video ads, and they are priced differently. Skip-able ads give you the option to skip the ad onto the music video or clip that you went on the Internet to watch in the first place. But these are also usually… skipped.

"Those ads do not sell out, but they are sold via an auction system," says Parker. "Closer to Election Day more people are demanding them, so the price goes up."

The other type of ad is called “reserved by ads.” These are normally 15 to 30 seconds long.

"Those are more expensive, often, but they can be reserved in advance which is a big advantage for campaigns that think ahead," says Parker.

The rise of Germany's 'euro-skeptics'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:42

The IMF recently claimed that there’s a 40 percent chance of a triple dip recession in the eurozone, and a 30 percent chance of deflation. This grim picture has not been improved by developments in the currency bloc’s biggest economy – Germany.

There’s a political tornado brewing in that country that could blow the euro off course and reignite the debt crisis. Germany’s newest political party – Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) - which wants to pull out of the single currency - is on the rise.

“I think we are becoming a real force in German politics, ” says party worker Friedrich Hilse. “ We have broken through into the European parliament, we have won seats in three regional assemblies, and we’re likely to get into the Bundestag (the German parliament) at the next election.”

But the party has the support of only 7  percent of the electorate. How much of a threat to the euro does the AfD really pose?

"The rise of the AfD is unusual because it seems to break the German consensus," says Pavel Swidlicki, an analyst with the Open Europe think tank in London. “This is the consensus across all political parties – that European integration is the best way forward.”

That does not mean Germany is anywhere close to ditching the euro. Far from it: The country would suffer huge political as well as financial damage if it pulled the plug on monetary union.

But the rise of a euro-skeptic party in the eurozone’s most powerful economy could weaken the single currency and trigger another wave of market unrest. The German government may now be less willing to bailout heavily-indebted member states like Greece or Italy.

“Berlin could dig in its heels much more to try to appeal to those voters that it lost to its new party... and that of course would make the coordination of eurozone-wide policies even harder than it is anyway,” says Dr. Moritz Kraemer of the Standard and Poor’s credit rating agency in Frankfurt . Kraemer claims that the German government – goaded by the AfD – is likely to be even more critical of any special measures by the European Central Bank to stave off deflation. This could mean that if the ECB embarks on U.S. Fed- style money printing, its effectiveness would be undermined.

Ebola 'could lead to failed states'

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:34
The Ebola epidemic threatens the "very survival" of societies and could lead to failed states, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns.

Can J.C. Penney's new CEO make the brand popular again?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:29

J.C. Penney's new President and CEO, Marvin Ellison, moves to the legendary retailer from Home Depot. He'll be the third CEO in less than four years and he’s got a tough job in front of him: Making J.C. Penney relevant again.  

But before we get into J.C. Penney’s future, it’s worth remembering its past. Once upon a time, department stores were where you went for a bargain, says Ira Kalb, a marketing professor at UCS’s business school.

“I know that when I was in high school, my friends went there to buy underwear,” Kalb says. “So they went to J.C. Penney to buy things [that] were not fashionable items but items where they could save money.”

J.C. Penney still fills that niche and still has a loyal following of mostly older, female bargain hunters, Kalb says. So what's the problem? Well, the world of bargain retailing has radically changed since Penney’s heyday.

“Now there’s a lot of competition at that low-end,” Kalb says.

He says JC Penney needs to re-brand itself because Wal-Mart and Target now dominate that market.

Finding a niche to attract new low-to-middle-income consumers is difficult, says Richard Church, of Discern Investment Analytics.

“The obvious challenge is how do you retain a customer in a slower growth economic world,” he says.

Consumers are buying more online and they’re shifting their spending to gadgets from clothes. While Church admires the new CEO, he’s skeptical about whether Ellison can bring sexy back to Penney’s.

“Anybody who says that Penney needs to be sexy, I believe is not looking at the picture correctly,” says Gilford Securities retail analyst Bernie Sosnick. Penney’s went searching for sexy and it nearly destroyed the company, he says. Now, after a rough couple of years, it’s rediscovering its identity and getting its footing again.

VIDEO: World conker champions crowned

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:25
Computer programmer John Doyle beat off stiff competition from 176 people to take the the title in the 48th World Conker Championships.

US braces for more Ebola infections

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:17
US public health workers "would not be surprised" to see additional Ebola infections among hospital staff, a senior US official says.

North Carolina And Alaska Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

NPR News - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:04

A shift in the two states are part of the cascading effects of the Supreme Court's refusal to review any appeals in same-sex marriage states in its current term.

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Your boss doesn't care about Columbus Day

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:00

The bond market closes for Columbus Day, and so does the federal government.

But a study by the Society for Human Resources Management says 14 percent of organizations and businesses close for the federal holiday.

On top of that, Seattle and Minneapolis have opted to ignore Columbus altogether, replacing the second Monday in October with with Indigenous People's Day.

As it turns out, no one really cares about Columbus Day.

Oman 0-3 Uruguay

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 10:51
Luis Suarez scores his first Uruguay goals since the World Cup finals and his biting ban in a 3-0 friendly win over Oman.

MPs debate Palestinian statehood

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 10:51
Recognising Palestine as a state would be a "symbolically important" step towards peace, MPs are told.

Homes evacuated in Derry bomb alert

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 10:40
A number of homes are evacuated due to a security alert in the Ballyarnett area of Londonderry.

VIDEO: Mussels 'threat to UK waterways'

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 10:34
Scientists are warning that an army of shrimps and mussels from Turkey and Ukraine is poised to invade Britain's waterways and kill off native species.

Thousands flee IS in Anbar, says UN

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 10:29
As many as 180,000 people have fled after Islamic State militants overran the Iraqi city of Hit in western Anbar province, the UN says.

Somalia launches postal service

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 10:16
Somalia launches its first postal service in more than two decades, in another sign of normality returning to the conflict-torn country.

A conversation with Jean Tirole, Nobel Prize winner

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-10-13 10:15

If you are a researcher in economics and you miss a call from Sweden on your cell phone, you might have missed something significant. That was the case for Jean Tirole, a French economist and professor, and recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

“I missed the call and then I noticed that my phone was vibrating and I went to see and it was a call from Sweden. So I was a bit surprised, but then I learned the great news,” he said to Marketplace host David Gura.

Tirole’s research deals with market power and regulation, an area of study that first interested him as a student at MIT, where he received a doctorate of economics before returning to France.

There’s already been an outpouring of national pride in response to Tirole’s win — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted that the victory was a “thumb in the eye for French bashing.” Tirole is one of only three French citizens to have won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. 

For his part, Tirole doesn’t see being based in France as having a huge impact on his work, as he feels that aside from having to understand individual country’s economic structures, a lot of his research applies globally. 

“In the end, it’s really an international field nowadays," he says. "I probably would have put less emphasis on debt crisis or labor market reforms if I had stayed in the U.S., but most of my work is completely independent of that.”

While his research has directly influenced the formation of policy, Tirole says he prefers to focus on his work as a researcher and professor, instead watching his recommendations be implemented from afar.

“My main role is to be a researcher and to be with colleagues and students. I’m very happy when, of course, recommendations are adopted. That goes without saying," he says. "But there’s only 24 hours a day.”

Check back later for the full audio interview with Jean Tirole or listen to it tomorrow as part of our Marketplace Morning Report.

Women jailed over 'pyramid scheme'

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 10:06
Three women are sentenced for their roles in a "pyramid" scheme in which thousands of people lost money.

Police cow shootings criticised

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 10:02
A "thorough" investigation should be held into why police shot dead three cows seen running on roads in Norwich, an animal rights charity says.

Family's £90,000 benefit fraud

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 09:59
Four members of a south Wales family took part in a £90,000 benefit fraud by all claiming they were living alone.

Ebola Screening At JFK Airport Flagged 91 Travelers; None Had Virus

NPR News - Mon, 2014-10-13 09:47

In the wake of the first case of Ebola being contracted in the U.S., CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden discusses plans to stop the disease and apologizes for an implication some saw in his remarks Sunday.

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Thai diplomat summoned over murders

BBC - Mon, 2014-10-13 09:27
The Thai charge d'affaires is summoned to the UK Foreign Office over the inquiry into the murders of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.

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