National / International News

Sainsbury's to cut up to 2,000 administrative jobs

BBC - 10 hours 15 min ago
The UK supermarket plans to cut jobs in human resources as part of a £500m cost-cutting plan.

MI5 boss Andrew Parker warns of 'intense’ terror threat

BBC - 10 hours 37 min ago
Andrew Parker says there is "more terrorist activity coming at us" and it can be "harder to detect".

Philippine President Duterte Declares Besieged City 'Liberated'

NPR News - 10 hours 40 min ago

Still, gunfire and explosions resounded as soldiers tried to clear what the government claims is the last pocket of resistance in Marawi City. A military spokesman said some 30 militants remained.

(Image credit: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)

Malta journalist Caruana Galizia: Anti-corruption warrior

BBC - 10 hours 51 min ago
The murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is seen as an attack on democracy.

Watch: 'Cow On The Loose' Mesmerizes In Brooklyn And Beyond

NPR News - 10 hours 56 min ago

An unidentified bovine — what looks to be a young bull — drove a section of New York City to distraction, leading a very slow speed chase around an outdoor soccer field.

Red sun phenomenon 'caused by Saharan dust', analysis shows

BBC - 11 hours 2 min ago
The dust was dragged in from the Sahara by the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia.

Why is China investing heavily in south-east Europe?

BBC - 11 hours 3 min ago
Beijing's spending spree in Greece and the Balkans raises concerns that the EU will object to its involvement in the region.

The economics of future technology ... explained with comics

We're going to take a detour here to the not-too-distant future to see what technologies might shake up the economy and help determine the future of our species. Kelly Weinersmith is a biologist and her husband, Zach, does comics, "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal" among them. Their new book is called "Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything." It's sort of a layman's explainer mashed up with a comic book. The Weinersmiths spoke with Kai Ryssdal. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.  Kai Ryssdal: So I'm going to start with this “Soonish,” the title. Kelly, it seems appropriately vague so as not to get you into any trouble. Kelly Weinersmith: Well, we were very noncommittal about when these technologies were going to come to fruition, and a big theme of the book is that it's really hard to predict that kind of stuff because technology doesn't always make stepwise progression. Sometimes you have big discontinuous leaps, which make it really hard to predict. And then there's things like economics that can get in the way that you didn't necessarily think about when you were the engineer starting the project. Ryssdal: So let's talk about some of these things in the book. The first couple, and you put it in one section, is the universe soonish. You talk about space travel, you talk about asteroid mining. The interesting thing for me on this one, Kelly, was this section is all economics. Kelly: Yeah. So that was an interesting thing that we didn't necessarily anticipate going in was just how important economics is for a lot of this stuff. And at the end of the day, if the technology doesn't have a market or the market isn't working the way you anticipated it was, then the technology isn't going to work out. And so there's all sorts of market forces that can sort of mess with an engineer or scientist’s plans. Ryssdal: And also, Zach, I mean, if we go asteroid mining for all these rare metals and we bring them all back to Earth somehow, we flood the market and the price falls. And where's the incentive there? Zach: Yeah, and it's unpredictable. That's what's interesting. I mean, so in terms of how humanity is doing, if you found an asteroid full of platinum, which you probably won't, to be clear, but if you did, you would probably crush the market. Humanity might be better off because we'd have a cheap catalyst, but you know, this stuff doesn't happen if there's no good market. You know, you have to have people willing, for asteroid mining, maybe to spend $100 billion to do it. There has to be a pretty pretty good risk assessment. Ryssdal: What do you think about Elon Musk and all that he's doing in this area of technology? Kelly: Well, that is a fascinating question. He's clearly doing amazing things to make access to space very cheap. He didn't return our calls, and we would have loved to have talked to him about that. So he's clearly the leader in this area and he wants to get to Mars sometime soon and set a colony up out there. That could be an entire different book, but the implications of that and what it's going to mean when we have people on Mars, and they're so far away that you can't talk to them quickly or reach them for years. Ryssdal: One of the things you guys point out in this book is that we are not keeping up with our technological advances, and you talk about robotic construction and how we have the technology to do a bunch of this stuff and we're just not. Zach: Robotics has been one of these fields that we've been very excited about for a long time, and it just seems to never quite come. So we actually found a paper about robotic construction about the experiments Japan did with it in the '80s and '90s. Japan is a very aging culture. The average age in Japan was, like, 46 now, quite old. And so the idea of a robot labor force is quite appealing. At least in the papers we found, it seemed like it was kind of a wash. So you can kind of imagine that you have a construction worker, and you give him this robot that's supposed to help. And it helps by the time he knows how it works. But by the time you get there, you've lost all this time training yourself on a new machine or dealing with the robot's deficiencies. So there's a great deal of appeal here. I say that as someone who's staring down the barrel of homeownership shortly. Yeah, I like the idea that a robot swarm just makes the house materialize for the cost of parts. Whether that will happen soon and what the economic implications are that's kind of a scary question. Ryssdal: Kelly, when you sat down to think about what's realistic and what's not with some of these technologies, and we're going from bioprinting to basically chips in our brains to robotic construction, all that stuff, what was your over-under on on how realistic they are? Did you say, "This one is promising but not realistic, we're not putting it in there"?  Kelly: Well, for all the technologies that you listed, people have been working on them for quite awhile, and there, you know, there were people we could find online like for bioprinting, for example, who had managed to print blood vessels that looked promising, like they could maybe one day provide nutrients to a liver, for example. It had to be far enough along that we could see that progress was being made. And then, you know, our gut had to tell us there was some chance that it would that it would work out, but we could be wrong.

Domino's pizza shop sex couple spared jail

BBC - 11 hours 3 min ago
Daniella Hirst and Craig Smith were captured on CCTV having sex in a Domino's takeaway in Scarborough.

How Will China Select Its New Leaders At Its Communist Party Congress?

NPR News - 11 hours 5 min ago

Experts believe Chinese leader Xi Jinping intends to bend, break or scrap informal succession rules. He is most opposed to a rule that could hinder his ability to designate his own successor.

(Image credit: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

George North: Injured Northampton wing set to miss Wales autumn Tests

BBC - 11 hours 16 min ago
George North's knee injury is set to rule him out of Wales' autumn Tests against Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Florida's Governor Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Richard Spencer Speech

NPR News - 11 hours 17 min ago

As a state entity, the University of Florida must allow the white nationalist to speak on campus. But its president urged students and staff to avoid the event and shun its speaker.

(Image credit: Bernard Brzezinski/University of Florida)

Leeds United players and staff donate pay to boy's cancer care

BBC - 11 hours 17 min ago
Toby Nye was diagnosed with a stage four neuroblastoma on his fourth birthday.

How much are 50,000 Amazon HQ2 jobs worth?

Marketplace - American Public Media - 11 hours 23 min ago
Call it "enticing" or "incentivizing." Call it "begging" or "groveling." What’s clear is the bidding war between cities and states to host Amazon's second national headquarters is racing to its deadline Thursday. The offers of tax incentives, subsidies, favorable zoning, job training and all the rest are piling in. A few billion here, a few more billion there. Amazon promises to bring with it 50,000 mid- to high-paying central-office jobs and a whole lot of steel and glass square footage. But how much are 50,000 jobs really worth? Click the audio player above to hear the full story.  

NHS surgery waits run into years in Northern Ireland

BBC - 11 hours 27 min ago
Waiting times are increasing as the health services struggles to cope, figures obtained by the BBC reveal.

Trump’s tough NAFTA trade position leads to impasse at fourth round of talks

Marketplace - American Public Media - 11 hours 30 min ago
The contentious fourth round of NAFTA negotiations concluded in Washington, D.C. today without a deal in sight. Trade reps from Canada and Mexico rejected outright a number of hard-line protectionist policies proposed by U.S. negotiators, proposals which Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland described diplomatically today as "unconventional." Could these seemingly irreconcilable sticking points on President Donald Trump's bold trade agenda derail NAFTA altogether?  Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Ask a Manager: The do's and don'ts of work relationships

Marketplace - American Public Media - 11 hours 30 min ago
Work comes with rules; what to wear, how much vacation you can take, how to behave and in some cases what you can post on social media. This month on Marketplace Weekend's regular segment on jobs and the work place, Ask a Manager's Alison Green tackles your questions on relationships at work. What issues can arise from office friendships? For people in leadership positions, is it appropriate to be friends with your staff? And when it comes to romance, what are the do's and don'ts? Also, in light of the allegations around Harvey Weinstein, how should workers and managers navigate issues around unwanted advances and sexual assault? You can email your questions to weekend@marketplace.org, leave a voicemail at 1-800-648-5114 or contact us using the forms below. If we use your question, one of the show's producers will be in touch.

Amber Rudd calls Brexit without a deal 'unthinkable'

BBC - 11 hours 34 min ago
The home secretary promises arrangements will be in place with the EU to maintain security.

'Don't have nightmares': Crimewatch through the years

BBC - 11 hours 36 min ago
Looking back at Crimewatch as the BBC show is axed after 33 years.

'Islamic State': Raqqa's loss seals rapid rise and fall

BBC - 11 hours 48 min ago
IS has lost its 'capital' Raqqa, but it has taken the might of a global alliance to crush it.

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