National / International News

New Cosby TV show scrapped by NBC

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 10:03
US TV network NBC has scrapped a proposed Bill Cosby project after accusations that he sexually assaulted women resurfaced in recent weeks.

Fifa whistleblower in safety fear

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 10:02
Whistleblower Phaedra Al-Majid says she has been "introduced to a culture of fear and threats," after making bribery allegations against Fifa members.

Drug windfall raises questions for foundations

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-19 10:00

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced on Wednesday that it's getting $3.3 billion in the sale of its royalty rights for a drug manufactured by Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

The foundation invested at least $100 million in the research for the drug Kalydeco, which granted the non-profit a share of the profits. The drug has proven successful in treating some cystic-fibrosis patients.

But it's also very expensive, costing a reported $300,000.

The Foundation’s big payday has raised some eyebrows about whether it's profiting from a drug that’s a financial burden for the very patients it's supposed to help.

"I don’t know whether to celebrate or not...It’s going to take a while to sink in,” says David Orenstein who treats cystic fibrosis at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “The scale of the money that's involved here is phenomenal."

When Vertex first came out with the new drug, Orenstein took issue with the price. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation says it’s had no influence over the price of the drug, and the research it funded was essential to getting the drug developed.

"On the big picture, it’s very similar to what almost all disease foundations do,” says George Annas, a  health law and bioethics professor at Boston University. “Most of them fund research by academics, but it’s not a big leap to fund research by a biotech company on the theory that they are more likely to actually translate their research into a product.”

But so far foundations have not seen returns on their investments anywhere near the scale of billions. And Doctor Peter Bach of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center says he won’t be surprised if he sees big paydays again in the future.

“This will be an outlier until it happens again,” Bach says, “Drugs that get approved even for rare conditions can command essentially infinitely high prices.”

And if foundations benefit from those prices, he says, they could face a conflict of interest. 

Qatar's ambitions turn to Olympics

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 09:32
Having added athletics to its collection of world championships, Qatar wants sport's biggest prize, the 2024 Olympics.

Kabul foreigners' compound attacked

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 09:15
Police in Kabul shoot dead four Taliban militants during an attack on a compound housing foreign workers in Afghanistan's capital.

Pork gelatine flu spray concerns

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 09:14
A flu vaccination programme in Lancashire has been criticised by some Muslim groups during the latest stage in its roll-out, in Lancashire.

Bono bike accident details revealed

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 09:12
U2 frontman Bono broke his humerus and fractured his eye socket and left shoulder blade in his recent bicycle accident, the New York hospital that treated him reveals.

Will SNP deal Labour a fatal blow?

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 09:01
The Yes campaign lost the referendum, but support for the SNP is still growing in Scotland. Laura Kuenssberg looks at the potential consequences for Labour.

Sex offences claim at deaf school

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 08:54
Police are looking into claims sexual offences were carried out at the national school for deaf children.

VIDEO: Carry on at college for Dr Babs

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 08:34
The much-loved British actress Barbara Windsor will be awarded an honorary doctorate on 20 November by the University of East London.

Obama Expected To Unveil Immigration Plan On Thursday

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-19 08:17

The president will then address the issue in a speech at a Las Vegas high school on Friday, a source familiar with the process tells NPR.

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UKIP and the Polish plumber question

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 08:16
UKIP's rise has been fuelled by two crucial factors - their claim to "tell it like it is" and their insistence that their views are not extreme. First on the NHS and now on immigration both claims are being challenged.

VIDEO: Farage steps in to UKIP migrant row

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 08:12
Nigel Farage has dismissed a row about whether UKIP supports deporting European Union migrants - if the UK votes to the leave the EU - as a "minor confusion"

Obama to unveil immigration overhaul

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 08:04
Major changes to the US immigration system that would help up to five million undocumented people are to be unveiled this week by President Barack Obama.

VIDEO: Injured rhino zookeeper is 'stable'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 07:59
Whipsnade Zoo has confirmed the senior zookeeper who was injured in an incident involving a rhino is now in a stable condition and is being cared for in hospital

Toilets 'R' Him: Jack Sim Wants A Potty In Every Pad

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-19 07:43

The Singapore activist created World Toilet Day in 2001, got U.N. sponsorship last year and posed for us on a toilet outdoors on a freezing day. That's how committed he is to bringing toilets to all.

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VIDEO: 'Better Scotland for all' pledge

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 07:39
First minister elect Nicola Sturgeon promises to build a Scotland that all "who live and work here can be proud of".

Geckos inspire 'Spider-Man' gloves

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 07:39
The way geckos climb has inspired a device that allowed a 70kg man to scale a glass wall like Spider-Man.

U.K. To Deny Entry To Controversial U.S. Dating Guru

NPR News - Wed, 2014-11-19 07:36

The Home Office said Julien Blanc's presence wasn't conducive to the public good. Blanc, a dating coach, makes racist and derogatory references to women, and appears to condone violence toward them.

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VIDEO: Couple's video guide to 'hovel' hotel

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-19 07:30
A hotel that "fined" a couple £100 who described it as a "rotten, stinking hovel" in a review is to stop making the charge, trading standards say.