National / International News

Dotcom extradition hearing delayed

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:41
An extradition hearing for Kim Dotcom, who stands accused of "massive" piracy, has again been delayed.

Teletext art hits Berlin

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:40
Teletext festival breathes life into old tech

'Made in Scotland, from curtains'

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:40
Social media reacts to Team Scotland's tartan parade costume

Glasgow tower to reopen on 19 July

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:38
The Glasgow Science Centre tower is to reopen on 19 July, almost four years after visitors were last allowed up it.

Aardman film for London war museum

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:37
Aardman animation creates a film about World War One to mark the re-opening of London's Imperial War Museum.

The key questions for the NHS

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:34
What are the key questions for the NHS?

Mother admits killing three children

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:30
A mother admits killing her three young disabled children at their south-west London home, but denies murdering them.

VIDEO: 'Doctors missed my cancer 19 times'

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:14
A terminal cancer patient says the NHS failed to diagnose the disease despite 19 doctor and hospital visits.

AUDIO: MPs 'did not take PIE seriously'

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:02
Sir Peter Bottomley dismisses the idea that the Paedophile Information Exchange in the 1980s would have been able to cover-up child sex abuse.

Call for half a million new homes

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:01
Local authorities across England and Wales are calling for plans to build half a million new homes before the end of the decade.

When is an app art?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:00

The Museum of Modern Art in New York added the first downloadable app to its collection this month: Björk’s Biophilia, which the singer released in 2011 along with an album of the same name.  

The app opens to a swirling constellation with a brightly colored star for each song from the album. In a recent demo, Paul Galloway, who manages MoMA’s Architecture and Design collection, selects a song called “Virus,” the screen of his iPad filling with gently jostling pink cells

“It’s like looking in a microscope down at cells,” he says, noting that Björk is using the virus as a metaphor for love.

 As the song progresses, small green virus cells come into view and start to attack the existing pink cells.

“Like a virus needs a body, soft tissue, as soft tissue feeds on blood,” Björk sings. “Someday I'll find you, the urge is here.”

If Galloway flicks the green virus cells off screen, the vocals stop.

The whole display is oddly beautiful and mesmerizing. Each song has its own unique design and way for users to interact with it.

“You now becomce a part of the team that’s creating Björk’s music,” says Galloway. “That’s a really powerful thing to enable your users to do.”

Beauty and interactivity – these are two elements of Biophilia that make the app art, says Galloway.

“[What] we also look for is this something that’s moving the field forward,” he adds. “Is it a masterpiece? Because we aspire to be a museum that’s chock full of masterpieces.”

Galloway thinks this is Björk’s equivalent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

While it’s the museum’s first downloadable app, it follows other digital acquisitions in typography and video games like Tetris.

It’s the latest example that museums are taking digital art seriously, says Heather Corcoran, the executive director of Rhizome, an art and technology organization. She says it’s natural for artists to work with technology as a medium given its current impact on culture. But even still, she notes this app is part of MoMA’s design department.

“I think that design within museums has a lot more freedom to push boundaries,” she says. “It’s not quite as attached to this really established canon of art history, so a lot of the most adventurous collecting is happening within the design departments.”

Corcoran says digital art can also present new preservation challenges for museums, as technology becomes obsolete very quickly -- much faster than a painting would need restoration.

It’s something MoMA is very aware of.

“This iPad is going to look hilariously dated in five years,” says Galloway. “That’s really soon, so how do we make sure this thing lives and continues to impact people? It’s a headache.”

Allan Sloan is angry about the flight of corporations

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-07 02:00

When Bank of America merged with NationsBank and moved out of its headquarters in San Francisco after 94 years to decamp to North Carolina, people said that's just business. When Boeing announced it was moving its headquarters halfway across the country after 85 years as a mainstay of the Seattle economy, people said that's just business, too.

So, isn't it just business when companies move their headquarters to places like Bermuda or Ireland for the purpose of saving on taxes out of the U.S. completely? Executives of the cruise ship company Carnival work out of Miami, but the company's tax home is Panama. The GPS navigation company Garmin has letterhead that reads Kansas, but its tax home is Switzerland. The medical devices company Medtronic is based in St. Paul, but after its planned merger with Covidien, its tax home could also move to a foreign land.

The insider lingo for this tax maneuver is "inversion," and inversions are perfectly legal. Let me say that again: they break no law. But, longtime Marketplace contributor Allan Sloan is angry and thinks companies should stop with the inversions, and stop now.

It may matter that Mr. Sloan is angry. He is senior editor-at-large for Fortune Magazine and a veteran business writer who knows now to kick up a ruckus when he wants to. His Newsweek cover story in 1996 about mass layoffs in corporate America is the stuff of legend. Its headline, "Corporate Killers," drew the ire of many a corporate chief and went on to become a topic of national conversation.

Sloan has written the cover story for the latest Fortune. The article is about these inversions but its headline is in plain English. Sloan's article carries the title: "Positively Un-American." Sloan argues American taxpayers get stuck paying what the companies who shift their tax home to other countries save. By one estimate, we are talking more than $19 billion over 10 years.

Again, Sloan acknowledges that inversions are legal. Companies say they adopt this strategy to increase shareholder value. Sloan rejects that argument, saying long-term shareholder value will come from investing in the USA, not from leaving it. Then, in case anyone has missed that he is angry about this, Sloan calls the companies who switched tax homes "deserters."

Yes, fighting words, I know.

What bugs Sloan most is seeing companies that benefit in so many ways from being in America seeming to abandon it. Sloan told me he is the grandson of immigrants and comes from a family that would have been destroyed if the United States hadn't welcomed them. He thinks it is just plain wrong for companies to switch their tax home just to make more money.

"They don't even leave," Sloan told me. "They just go off and stick you and me with the tab, and that makes me pretty angry." Did I mention he's angry?

Some elected officials are talking about legislation to make switching tax homes less attractive to companies. Many corporations oppose this, arguing a better strategy would be for the U.S. to lower corporate taxes. Sloan is not opposed to comprehensive tax reform, he just doesn't see it happening any time soon. What is happening soon is that more and more U.S. companies are running the numbers on this "inversion" thing and switching to foreign addresses.

Speaking of which, there is a pharmacy on almost every American street corner by the name of Walgreen's. It is a brand so American that you can see a Walgreen's in the background of that famous photo of the sailor kissing a lady on VE day in Times Square. The Walgreen company is now thinking of moving its tax residence out of the United States, with a decision possible any day now.

Was Edward the Black Prince really a nasty piece of work?

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 01:59
Was this prince really a nasty piece of work?

Israeli strikes kill Gaza militants

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 01:59
Nine Palestinian militants are killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza after rockets are fired at Israel, amid tensions over a Palestinian teenager's murder.

Family explore missing man sighting

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 01:51
The family of pensioner missing on holiday in Greece are investigating a possible sighting of him from a day after he was due home.

A big week of statistical rows

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 01:40
Politicians have a big week for disagreeing about numbers.

Australia admits returning migrants

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 01:28
Australia acknowledges it returned 41 asylum seekers to the Sri Lankan authorities at sea, raising concerns that it violated international law.

Aberdeen Isis man 'willing to die'

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 01:09
The Aberdeen man who appeared in a recruitment video for the Islamic militant group Isis says he is prepared to die for what he believes.

Ex-President Of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze Dies At 86

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-07 01:09

Eduard Shevardnadze, a groundbreaking Soviet foreign minister and later the president of an independent Georgia, died Monday at the age of 86, his spokeswoman said.

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Regions to get £6bn funding boost

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-07 01:05
The government announces £6bn of funding for local governments designed to boost local economies.
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