National / International News

The goddess who still has to do homework

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 11:35
The living goddess who still has to do homework

Forget your wallet, text messaging is the way to go.

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-06-18 11:24

Bloomberg Businessweek contributor Charles Graeber spent 10 days in Kenya with only one requirement: to not use his wallet -- and to pay for everything by phone.

"I've never gone to Africa and I've never paid for anything with my phone," he said. So, intrigued by Kenya's M-pesa system ("M" stands for mobile and "pesa" means payment in Swahili). The system allows users to transfer money from phone-to-phone through text messages. Once Graeber landed in Kenya, it took him fifteen minutes to get set up with a phone, SIM card and become a client of the country’s largest mobile provider, Safaricom.

Charles was able to use his phone to pay for his taxi, book his hotel and even haggle down meat prices from the local market. This use of payment has become widely popular since its launch in 2007.

"Something like 93 percent of Kenyans with mobile phones have this... The truth is it's an alternative to banking... it is quickly becoming people's bank accounts. In fact, some people will keep their money on a SIM card, and then take that SIM card out and keep it in a cookie jar, sort of as a virtual savings account."

While the majority of Kenyans are using this method of payment, the U.S. has yet to adopt a system like this. It’s a shame, at least for Charles, who says he’s already missing it.

"You walk out the door only needing your phone… and your wallet is one less thing to forget."

Patients' 200-mile bed trek concern

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 11:20
Some mental health patients in Suffolk and Norfolk are having to travel more than 200 miles (321km) for a bed, it emerges.

Ronaldo limps out of Portugal training

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 11:18
Cristiano Ronaldo limps out of training with ice on his knee amid fears about his participation in the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

Eleven-year-old Li will play US Open

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 11:15
Eleven-year-old Lucy Li will become the US Women's Open's youngest qualifier as the event visits the men's venue Pinehurst.

VIDEO: 'Explosion' in child online sex abuse

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 11:13
The online trade in images that show child sex abuse is now "an epidemic", the head of the global initiative to combat the problem has warned.

Doctors Aren't Sure How To Stop Africa's Deadliest Ebola Outbreak

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 11:12

It started in February in West Africa. It has surged in the past few weeks, and now it has killed more than 300. The death toll is the highest of any outbreak since Ebola was detected in 1976.

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Fed Slows Pace Of Bond Buying, Keeps Rates Steady — For Now

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 11:03

The Federal Reserve said that it was curtailing its bond purchases to $15 billion per month. It gave no hint when interest rates would rise.

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Man held in Barbados murder probe

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:43
A man is arrested after a British former soldier was stabbed to death on the Caribbean island of Barbados.

How an Illinois company does businesses in Iraq

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:39

Jason Speer, President of Quality Float Works Inc., a float metal ball manufacturing company, has travelled several times to Iraq since their expansion into the troubled country:

"People still don’t even believe me, I have to show them some pictures," says Speer, about his business trips to Iraq.

Speer says he saw investing in Iraq as an opportunity.

"The country needs to be rebuilt," says Speer. "Everything has been destroyed over the years of neglect. I think there are a lot of opportunities for American businesses especially."

Doing business in Iraq is definitely not easy. Just shipping the float metal balls can be a tricky process. Speer says they work with a local business man that assists with the logistics of getting their product into the country, but sometimes their products sit for weeks at a time, just waiting for the paperwork to be handled and to be cleared.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Amazon Unleashes Fire Phone To Compete With Apple, Samsung

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:34

The new entry into the smartphone arena offers unlimited cloud storage for photos and a 3-D camera with image stabilization.

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Is The World Cup Commentary Racist?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:27

While most of the World Cup attention is on the field, Felix Sanchez of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, says broadcasters' racist commentary should be getting more attention.

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What Does Body Ink Say About NBA Players' Pain And Personalities?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:26

According to Ethan Swan's blog 'NBA Tattoos,' 55 percent of basketball players in the league are tattooed. Swan shares what he's learned about the athletes from tracking their body ink.

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Violence And Chaos Continue In Kenya And Nigeria

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:25

Recent attacks in Kenya have left as many as 57 people dead. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the search for hundreds of missing schoolgirls continues amid more violence in the north.

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When Unaccompanied Children Cross The Border, Judges Can't Always Help

NPR News - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:25

With thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, immigration judges are faced with deciding who stays and who goes. Host Michel Martin examines the court process.

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A time to be leisurly en route to your next engagement

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:22

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's a look at what's coming up Thursday, June 19:

In Washington, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds a closed hearing on Iraq.

The Conference Board is scheduled to release its monthly index of leading economic indicators.

Let's all slow down and maybe wear something fetching for World Sauntering Day.

And "The Rocky Horror Show" stage production opened on June 19, 1973 at a small 63 seat theatre in London. Wider audiences were exposed to the film version. A toast!

VIDEO: Iraq's special forces 'ready for ISIS'

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:09
Jonathan Beale reports from Baghdad, where security forces say they are ready to ''take on'' ISIS militants.

Pennetta win is Watson's 'best ever'

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 10:00
British number one Heather Watson reaches the Eastbourne quarter-finals with her "biggest ever" win but Johanna Konta loses.

VIDEO: Highlights: Australia 2-3 Netherlands

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 09:52
The Netherlands fight back from 2-1 down to claim a hard-fought 3-2 win over Australia in their Group B match in Porto Alegre.

Spain's Juan Carlos signs abdication

BBC - Wed, 2014-06-18 09:41
The reign of King Juan Carlos of Spain enters its final hours as he signs the bill on his abdication and the succession of his son, Prince Felipe.
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