National / International News

Mourinho fined and warned over conduct

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-10 01:14
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is fined and warned about his future conduct after being sent off against Aston Villa.

Paxman to talk beards in Edinburgh

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-10 01:13
Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman will perform one-man show PAXO at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, giving the audience the change to grill him for a change.

Sharp decline in Chinese trade surprise economists

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-04-10 01:12

Speaking at the Bo’ao forum for Asia, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reassured attendees that China’s economy “has had a smooth start this year, and our overall performance is good.”

 As Li said this, key economic data was released from China showing exports from the world’s second biggest economy had slipped 6.6% in March from a year ago. Imports were down more than 11%.

Both numbers were worse than forecasters predicted. Part of the reason is that a year ago, many Chinese exporters were overstating the value of their shipments in order to bypass China’s strict currency controls. That allowed them to bring more dollars into China with the hopes that the Yuan would appreciate. This year, China’s central bank has pushed down the value of the Yuan, so there’s no longer an incentive for exporters to fake the numbers.

The 11% decline in imports, however, surprised a lot of economists. The month of March is always an important one for China, because it’s the first month after the Chinese New Year, which tends to skew numbers a bit because of the inactivity of the markets.

A decline in imports is a sign that China’s economy is still in slowdown mode. Premier Li acknowledged as much during his speech today. “These problems are not only the result of a complex international environment, but also objective reflections of prominent conflicts that lie deep inside China’s economy, as well as the fact that China’s growth rate is shifting gear,” said Li.

 

 

The U.S. needs more energy grids

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-04-10 01:00

The U.S. Senate Energy Committee is meeting to consider the reliability and security of the U.S. electric grid. It's a question that bears asking, considering the entire U.S. runs on just three, large-scale power grids (East coast, West coast and Texas. Go figure). As the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. 

At least David Newman, a physics professor at the University of Alaska, thinks so. His research explores how smaller power grids could help avoid massive outages like the 2003 Northeast blackout. Though, he certainly understands the appeal of having a larger grid:

"As you increase the size of the network, you’re increasing the number of places that you can be getting the energy to, and so you make it -- in a sense -- more efficient. But our work showed that it’s actually also potentially a bad thing because what it does is that it allows larger and larger failures of the system."

Newman acknowledges that there's no way to get rid of system failures completely, but with massive outages potentially costing billions of dollars, it's at least worth exploring what size network optimally combines efficiency and security.

How to memorise a new password

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-10 00:50
Computer users have been urged to change their passwords because of a bug. Memory expert Tony Buzan gives tips on how remember the new ones.

VIDEO: Should children learn about pornography?

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-10 00:39
BBC Breakfast speaks to the presenter and contributor form a BBC Three documentary Porn: What's the harm? which looks at the effect of freely available internet porn on children growing up.

Indonesian opposition leads poll

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-10 00:37
The opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle leads parliamentary polls, but star candidate Joko Widodo may face a tougher path to the presidency, early results show.

Labour vow over migrant worker abuse

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-10 00:30
The Labour Party says it will consider making the serious exploitation of migrant workers by employers a criminal offence if it gains power.

VIDEO: Digby Jones returns to shop floor

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-10 00:30
He started out working at his family's corner shop in Birmingham, but Digby Jones went on to become a trade minister and respected business leader.

No Plows, Cows, Sows: Not Your (Grand)Father's Youth Farm Group

NPR News - Thu, 2014-04-10 00:29

A record number of kids are joining the FFA, formerly the Future Farmers of America. Many are from urban and suburban areas, and they're shifting the group's focus from agriculture to food science.

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Mickey Rooney remains spark legal row

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-10 00:05
The fate of Mickey Rooney's remains will be decided this week following the Hollywood actor's death on Sunday.

In Ukraine's Rust Belt, A Mix Of Nostalgia And Nationalism

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 23:37

People in the region cling to the decaying world they're familiar with — and think they would have a more secure future with post-Soviet Russia than with Ukraine in the "capitalist" EU.

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A Reporter Reflects On Rwanda: 'It's Like A Madness Took Over'

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 23:36

NPR's Jackie Northam was a freelance reporter based in Kenya when the Rwandan genocide erupted. In this essay, she recalls covering those terrible events and trying to make sense of them afterward.

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Doctors' Billing System Stays Stuck In The 1970s For Now

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 23:33

Last week Congress delayed an upgrade of codes that govern the U.S. health system. Some say this will waste millions of dollars and make cost-saving and life-saving research more difficult.

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Why is education never an emergency?

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 23:32
Why is education never an emergency?

No Laptops, No Wi-Fi: How One Cafe Fired Up Sales

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-09 23:30

What's the etiquette around using your laptop in public? If you stop for lunch at the August First Bakery in Burlington, Vt., keep your computer in your bag. The cafe is banning screens.

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British Gas Business in £5.6m penalty

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 23:16
A unit of British Gas is to pay £5.6m in fines and compensation after Ofgem found the company incorrectly blocked businesses from switching.

Report criticises IRA play park name

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 22:52
The Equality Commission criticises Newry and Mourne Council for retaining the name of a children's play park called after IRA hunger striker.

Coe considering IAAF presidency bid

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 22:31
Lord Coe indicates to BBC Sport that he will seek the IAAF presidency when it becomes available next year.

Moffett claims clubs' EGM support

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 22:30
Former chief David Moffett claims he has enough backing from clubs to call an EGM of the Welsh Rugby Union.
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