National / International News

Man killed as e-cigarette 'explodes'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 13:03
A man has died after a charging e-cigarette exploded and ignited oxygen equipment he may have been using, Merseyside's fire service says.

Costs and considerations of retiring abroad

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 13:00
The costs and considerations of retiring overseas

How to make cyber scams go pop

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 13:00
How Batman can help you avoid online scams

With No Plan From Congress, Homeland Security Improvises

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:50

More than $400 million is being moved from other programs to keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection from running out of money.

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If A Water Main Isn't Broke, Don't Fix It (For 300 Years?)

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:49

Recent water-related problems in Los Angeles and Ohio have put a focus on infrastructure. Many of the pipes in the U.S. are more than 100 years old and may not be replaced for another 100 years.

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West warns Russia over Ukraine 'aid'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:46
The UK and US governments warn Russia not to use humanitarian assistance as a pretext for sending troops into eastern Ukraine.

'We Must Act Now, And Heavily, To Contain This Disease'

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:44

Saran Daraba Kaba, the executive secretary of the Mano River Union, talks to Melissa Block about efforts to control the spread of the Ebola virus.

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Murray loses to Tsonga in Toronto

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:43
Andy Murray loses 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 to Jo Wilfried-Tsonga in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

VIDEO: Nick Park on counting his sheep

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:40
Up to 120 giant sculptures, depicting Shaun the Sheep in a variety of guises, will form a major public arts trail across London and Bristol next year.

Flood traps drivers and cuts power

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:38
Torrential rain in Cambridgeshire traps drivers, causes parts of a river bank to collapse and leaves more than 800 homes without power.

Watkinson sorry over England rain woe

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:37
Lancashire director of cricket Mike Watkinson apologises after the second day of the Old Trafford Test is abandoned.

Preventing HIV With Medicine Can Carry A Stigma

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:25

No doctor would refuse to prescribe cholesterol-lowering statins to patients because they're overweight. But despite guidelines, some doctors aren't offering preventive drugs to those at risk for HIV.

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WHO Warns That Ebola Outbreak Won't End Without International Help

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:05

The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa an international public health emergency. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan took this step after a unanimous vote by an advisory committee of infectious disease experts.

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In France, The Seeds Of A Hatred Renewed

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:05

Many Jews say that there has been a rise in anti-Semitism in France. What is the nature of this new wave of hatred for Jews, and who — or what — is the cause of it?

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As Cease-Fire Reaches Its Close, Fire Reignites In Gaza

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:05

After a three-day cease-fire, which saw some halting peace talks in Egypt, fighting has resumed between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

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University President Takes A Chunk Out Of His Pay To Give Others A Boost

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:05

The president of Kentucky State University, Raymond Burse, has given himself a $90,000 pay cut in order to increase the wages of the university's lowest-paid employees. He tells Melissa Block why.

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Over 900 Authors Lend Their Names To A Letter Backing Hachette

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:05

Douglas Preston wrote an open letter supporting book publisher Hachette in its dispute with Amazon, which has since spread among his readers and throughout the literary community. More than 900 other writers have signed on, including John Grisham and Stephen King.

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Pistorius Trial Nears A Verdict

NPR News - Fri, 2014-08-08 12:05

The murder trial of Olympian Oscar Pistorius is nearing its conclusion in South Africa. To hear more about the closing arguments, Audie Cornish speaks with BBC correspondent Milton Ngozi, who has been covering the trial in Pretoria.

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Who has better online privacy? The U.S. or EU?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-08 11:04

There's a lot of debate over whether United States or European Union online privacy protections are better. They certainly take different approaches.

To that point, we have the tale of two online privacy activists: Parker Higgins in San Francisco, and Xander Bouwman from the Netherlands. Higgins is 26.  Bouwman is 21. 

Higgins works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Bouwman is an information sciences student and volunteer activist. 

In theory, the EU has it better: Privacy law across the Atlantic actually guarantees protection of personal data, and new digital privacy legislation being considered by the European Parliament would strengthen those guarantees.

How does that affect the average person? If Bouwman did a Google search, Google would have to tell him before it shared his tracking information outside the EU.

Bouwman likes that: "I would want to know if Google is behind a page, and using analytics to make a profile of me," he says.

The differences continue. When Bouwman logs onto Facebook, he has the right to access all the data Facebook has on him. That is something Higgins doesn't have.

“We're bound by a website's privacy policy," he says. "And everyone who's seen one of those knows how ridiculous they can be. And they can change at any time.”

Europe isn't perfect. It would be almost impossible for Bouwman to get all of his Facebook data, because enforcement in Europe hasn't been strong. It's left up to privacy regulators who don't have much power.  

As Higgins contends: "The laws are important here, and it's great that this is happening in Europe. And I'm jealous of it in the U.S.  But at the same time, if it's about enforcement, you know, these companies can collect sort of whatever they want."

"Yeah, Parker I can only agree with you here, " says Bouwman.

The lawyer's point of view

Now, Higgins and Bouwman aren't lawyers.  So I'm going to bring a law professor into the conversation.

David Sorkin teaches information technology and privacy and consumer law at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. 

He says in the U.S., we enforce our digital privacy rights, albeit privately.

"That is, the right to sue," he explains. "And sometimes, that would have to be in the form of a class action. Whereas in the EU it's mostly data protection commissioners, regulators, who impose the rules and enforce them."

The data protection legislation the EU Parliament is considering would give privacy regulators a lot more enforcement power. 

U.S. tech lobbyists and government officials say the EU legislation is too rigid, and the U.S. system is more nimble with its many different privacy laws, covering everything from health data to video rental records. 

"There's a huge gulf across the Atlantic which is taking many years to resolve and I think is many years off yet," says Simon Davies, founder of Privacy International.

But our 20-somethings don't want to wait that long. So Bouwman says his generation is taking things into their own hands.

"I held a CryptoParty in Amsterdam a few months ago," he says. (A CryptoParty is a chance for privacy nerds to get together and swap tips for evading online profiling and tracking.) "It might sound really wild because it's called a party but usually we host these at public libraries."

Higgins says it's not just a European thing. He holds CryptoParties, too.

Higgins and Bouwman say, if they CryptoParty hard enough, they can stitch together their own privacy blanket. They hope eventually, pokey lawmakers and government officials will catch up. 

VIDEO: Nelson the one-eyed cat gets award

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-08 10:59
A one-eyed cat which has spent most of his life living on the docks in County Durham is awarded Cat of the Year.

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