National / International News

Better hospital food may become law

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:37
Scotland could become the first country in the UK to legally oblige hospitals to serve nutritional meals to patients.

Picture power: End of the line for Putin

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:33
President Putin on the edge of the family photograph at the G20 summit in Australia.

VIDEO: April Jones' parents see house torn down

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:31
A demolition team has begun tearing down a cottage dubbed the "house of evil", where Mark Bridger is believed to have murdered five-year-old April Jones.

More UK students go to US university

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:30
There are more than 10,000 students from the UK at university in the US, up by 8% on the previous year.

VIDEO: More powers for elected mayors?

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:25
Elected mayors for larger English cities are seen as one way to devolve power from Westminster.

VIDEO: Attempt to post body parts from Thailand

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:24
Police in Thailand say two Americans have left the country after trying to smuggle out body parts.

Men in hospital after chemical leak

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:08
Two men are taken to hospital following a chemical leak at a metal plant in South Lanarkshire.

VIDEO: 'Japanese have stopped spending'

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:03
Japan's economy unexpectedly shrinks for the second consecutive quarter, marking a technical recession in the world's third largest economy.

Hamilton's 'decider in the desert'

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:01
Formula 1 heads to the dusky Abu Dhabi desert for the 'decider in the desert' between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Charting Japan's road to recession

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:00
1.6 percent

That's how much Japan's gross domestic product shrunk on an annualized basis in the third quarter, pushing the country into a recession. Many are blaming a second-quarter sales tax hike, which raised taxes to 8 percent. A second increase to 10 percent was scheduled for next fall, but will likely be delayed, Bloomberg reported. Consumers weren't spending after the first tax increase, the Wall Street Journal noted. Businesses weren't stocking near as much, making the GDP contract further.

1.6 cents

That's what it costs the U.S. to make a penny because zinc prices are on the rise. The logistics of minting coins are just one of many challenges ahead of the militant group ISIS as it looks to establish its own currency. Quartz lays them out in a handy three-step guide to creating and distributing legal tender. Step one? "Establish authority."

$1.2 million

The price nonprofit Organizing for America is paying each year for access to President Barack Obama's campaign email list, which the Wall Street Journal notes could be the largest of its kind, at over 30 million subscribers when Obama was reelected. All those emails and data will be useful to OFA, an Obama campaign offshoot, as it begins fundraising for 2016.

$34.6 billion

That's how much Halliburton will pay for Baker Hughes, as announced on Monday. As the New York Times reports, the deal prevents what could have been a hostile takeover.

$38 million

"Dumb and Dumber To" pulled in $38 million over the weekend, claiming the top spot at the box office. This in spite of its 27% on Not so dumb after all.

Hong Kong and Shangai exchanges link up in big reform

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:00

The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect opens for business Monday. For the first time, investors from each market will have access to the other. It also means it will now be a lot easier for international investors to invest in mainland China.

"China’s markets are [currently] somewhat protected," says Peter Marber, head of emerging markets at Loomis, Sayles & Company. "They’ve got some stocks that list themselves on the New York Stock Exchange and around the world, but it’s only a small percentage of, really, what’s listed in China. This will allow us to invest in companies that we’ve just never had access to in the past."

While the linking of exchanges is important on its own, it’s also symbolic of a larger journey of financial reforms in the country.

"This is a historic development," says Nicholas Consonery, director of the Eurasia Group's Asia practice. "The second biggest economy in the world has a closed capital account, a very restricted stock market, and as it opens, I don’t even think we can even fully appreciate what a cataclysmic event this is going to be for the global capital markets."

Consonery thinks Chinese officials are committed, but still cautious about these larger reforms, so they’ll be watching the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect very closely before pursuing others. 

Both Consonery and Marber say investors should proceed with caution. The rules that govern companies in Shanghai can be very different than Hong Kong and around the world. 

"We’ve had a recent IPO for Alibaba, there’s been some questions about enforceability of certain kinds of commercial rights," Marber says. "But I would hope that most investors would have such a diversified exposure to the country that they wouldn't put all their eggs just a few baskets."


The top financial concern: just paying the bills

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-11-17 02:00

 A survey out today shows the overall financial picture for Americans improving, but that still hasn’t translated into actual prosperity.

According to the November Financial Security Index, compiled by, the number one financial concern among Americans isn’t job security, or the housing market—it’s pocketbook issues like just being able to pay bills.

“And it has been to an increasing extent each year,” says Brian McBride, chief financial analyst for

“This year, 41 percent of Americans cited that as their top priority. That’s up from 36 percent last year and 32 percent in 2012.”

One explanation for the concern about paying bills is that even as economic indicators like unemployment improve, incomes remain largely flat.

“People have jobs, but both the hours and the wages are not what they might hope for,” notes Steve Fazzari, an economist at Washington University in St. Louis.

On the positive side, the Bankrate survey showed that American’s feelings about job security and net worth are both improving.

Noisy students' Playstation seized

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 01:59
A group of noisy Manchester students have their games console and surround sound speakers seized by police after complaints from residents.

AUDIO: Private toll road closes without profit

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 01:42
Mike Watts, who built and maintained his own private toll road in Somerset, explains why it is closing without profit.

EU debates fresh Russia sanctions

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 01:42
European Union ministers consider imposing new sanctions against Russia as separatists backed by Moscow kill nine Ukrainians in the east.

Call to arms over Boko Haram attacks

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 01:42
One of northern Nigeria's most influential Muslim leaders calls on people to defend themselves against attacks by Boko Haram extremists.

Croatia will face sanctions - Kovac

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 01:40
Croatia coach Niko Kovac expects Uefa to punish his country after trouble caused during the game against Italy.

VIDEO: Geldof: Band Aid single demand 'vast'

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 01:20
Demand for the new Band Aid single has been "vast", the organiser Bob Geldof has revealed.

Dewani lawyers 'apply for dismissal'

BBC - Mon, 2014-11-17 01:19
Lawyers acting for Shrien Dewani, accused of organising the murder of his wife on their honeymoon, apply for the case to be dismissed.

Is Beauty In The Eye(Lid) Of The Beholder?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-11-17 01:15

Half of people of Asian descent have double eyelids — folds above the lash line — and the other don't. There's a controversial surgery some people get to give themselves that crease.

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