National / International News

Floods not the only worry for Defra

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:52
Floods not the only worry for Defra

Michael Bay: How to 'wing it' without a script

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:47
Emergency advice for when you have to 'wing it'

Senate paves way for jobless benefits extension

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:45

Now that the Senate has narrowly voted, 60 to 37, to take up a three-month extension of unemployment benefits, it likely sets the stage for the bill's Senate passage later this week. House Republicans have said they'd consider the idea, but only if the cost of the extended benefits is offset.

Deals like that are common in Washington, but that doesn't mean the savings always materialize as promised. 

“There’s a con going on,” says economist Donald Marron. 

Marron is a former economic adviser for George W. Bush, now at the Urban Institute.  He says Congress isn’t a bunch of cons, but he says its budget deals are pretty gimmicky, like when Congress ignores a program’s long-term costs, focusing instead only on short-term revenues.

“So they’ll show up and they’ll appear to be helping to pay for whatever the program is you want to pursue, but it still means in the long run that we’re going to lose money," Marron explains.

Now you see it.  Now you don’t.  That short-term thinking leads leads to itty-bitty deals, like the Senate’s proposed emergency unemployment extension, which would only last three months. 

“If it’s only for three months you can sort of slide it under the rug and you don’t have to pay for it," says Henrietta Treyz, a budget expert at Height Analytics.

Just don’t look under the rug.  Some Washington wonks say these kinds of games are inevitable right now.  Harry Holzer, who teaches public policy at Georgetown, says with some in Congress vowing to take huge bites out of the deficit, normal budget negotiations just aren’t possible.    

"It often has to be a bit of a shell game to square with their very severe rhetoric on fiscal austerity right now,” he says.

Dennis Rodman Defends North Korean 'Basketball Diplomacy'

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:39

In a combative interview with CNN, the former NBA star implies that imprisoned American businessman Kenneth Bae, sentenced in May to 15 years' hard labor, is guilty of trying to overthrow the regime of Kim Jong Un.

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Deaths Are Bitter Reminder Of Cold Snap's Dangers

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:37

Bitterly cold temperatures and storms have already caused at least 15 deaths in recent days. Authorities remind everyone that it's important to be prepared and to stay inside if you can. That advice may seem obvious, but people do continue to take risks.

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DUP says Haass proposals need work

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:35
The Democratic Unionist Party says the final Haass proposals on solving some of the most contentious political issues in Northern Ireland "need much more work".

S Sudan reconciliation 'possible'

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:34
Rebels in South Sudan are confident that "full reconciliation" can be achieved, their chief negotiator says, as ceasefire talks are held.

JPMorgan Chase To Pay $1.7 Billion To Madoff Victims

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:32

The bank will be criminally charged with two violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, but will receive a deferred prosecution under the agreement.

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Pietersen not a great player - Tufnell

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:23
Former England spinner Phil Tufnell says Kevin Pietersen's poor shot selection prevents him from being "a great player".

French cities ban Dieudonne show

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:18
Nantes and Tours become the latest French cities to ban a show by controversial anti-Semitic comic Dieudonne, backed by President Hollande.

US trade deficit at four-year low

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:07
The US trade deficit narrowed to its lowest level in four years in November, as rising sales of oil pushed exports to a record high.

Skier Lindsey Vonn Will Miss Winter Olympics Due To Injury

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-07 06:04

A dominant downhill skier, Vonn has been trying to recover from a knee injury. "But the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level," she announced Tuesday.

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England's Test team: Who stays? Who goes?

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 05:56
Pundits select their England XIs for the next Test

VIDEO: 'Making Parliament a theme park'

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 05:52
House of Commons authorities have started renting out historic rooms in Parliament allowing weddings, business meetings and afternoon teas alongside the River Thames.

Injured Vonn out of Sochi Olympics

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 05:51
Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn says she will not defend her downhill title in Sochi next month because of injury.

VIDEO: Acting gongs for Blanchett and Redford

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 05:44
Awards season is now underway in earnest with the New York Film Critics Circle Awards which took place in Manhattan on Monday night.

VIDEO: MP U-turn on fixed odds betting machines

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 05:41
An MP who helped bring in fixed-odds betters machines admitted he "dropped the ball on this one" and did not understand the "impact this technology would have on the High Street".

To Make Healthier Choices, Color-Code Your Food (Green Means Go!)

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-07 05:26

Could a little red circle help you skip the comfort food this winter and maybe drop a few pounds? Doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital think so. They put traffic-light labels on their cafeteria's menu to signal the healthfulness of dishes. The colorful cues helped improve eating habits even two years later.

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Knife murderers have jail terms cut

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 05:23
A married couple who almost decapitated a man in front of a 12-year-old girl have their minimum sentences reduced by appeal judges.

William begins university course

BBC - Tue, 2014-01-07 05:17
The Duke of Cambridge starts full-time studies on an agricultural management course at the University of Cambridge.

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