Global News Search

Holidays in Asia, Sri Lanka

Guesthouse Sri Lanka, wonder of Asia

nicest beaches, crystal clear waters

Tangalle / Southcoast

Villa Araliya

now special offers

Who's online

We have 266 guests online

Search

 

Psiram

A+ R A-
What are the odds of an entry-level gambler getting some coaching and winning the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas? Not great, as you may imagine.  Grantland writer Colson Whitehead got $10,000 from his employer to give it a try. He spoke with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio about the results of his undertaking, which are chronicled in his book, "The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death."

Read more: Latest Stories on Marketplace.org

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March as exports rebounded, but the improvement was probably not enough to help first-quarter growth.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

U.S. homeownership falls to the lowest levels in almost 20 years, blared the headlines. Lots of articles explained “Why Your Home is Not a Good Investment” and why Americans think owning a home is better for them than it is. It seems that America’s former love affair with real estate is over. Blame the recency...Read More

Read more: The Big Picture

U.S. homeownership falls to the lowest levels in almost 20 years, blared the headlines. Lots of articles explained “Why Your Home is Not a Good Investment” and why Americans think owning a home is better for them than it is. It seems that America’s former love affair with real estate is over. Blame the recency...Read More

Read more: The Big Picture

KRAMATORSK/ODESSA, Ukraine (Reuters) - Both sides have been burying their dead as Ukraine slides further towards war, with supporters of Russia and of a united Ukraine each accusing the other side of tearing the country apart.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's Constitutional Court is almost certain to rule against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on abuse of power charges on Wednesday, forcing her from office and raising the possibility of fresh mass protests by her supporters.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

(Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc has agreed to sell its consumer care business to Germany's Bayer AG for $14.2 billion, the companies said on Tuesday, adding to a string of major cross-border healthcare deals.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

Google is rolling out same-day delivery for online retail customers in West L.A. and Manhattan — offering products from a variety of retailers including Costco, Target, Walgreens and L'Occitane. Google has already been piloting the service in the San Francisco Bay Area. Amazon has just launched same-day delivery in parts of Los Angeles as well, along with San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix. And the two giants aren't alone. Wal-Mart, eBay, Nordstrom and other retailers are also in the ring. But, same-day delivery is expensive and complicated. Most people shop online after work, meaning the vendor has a very short window to deliver that must-have bottle of champagne or designer scarf — possibly through rush-hour traffic. What companies need to make it work, says management consultant Andrew Schmahl at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company, a division of PricewaterhouseCoopers), is a densely-populated area full of well-heeled shoppers. "People willing to pay more than free for a delivery," he says. Which most consumers are not. In a survey conducted by Schmahl, only 10 percent of consumers were willing to pay $10 or more for same-day delivery. And many don't even want same-day delivery at the end of the day — when they are having dinner, putting kids to bed, or possibly won't hear the delivery, leaving their package to sit on the front porch all night. Amazon and Google are first testing the same-day delivery market in upscale neighborhoods in places like Manhattan, West Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Schmahl thinks Google might be plunging in to gather more data on online shoppers. For Amazon, he says, it's an attack on brick-and-mortar stores where you can get what you want, same-day. "Instant gratification takes too long for most people," says Patty Edwards, managing director of investments at US Bank Wealth Management. "We don't want to have to wait, we want to have it right now. And yet we're too lazy to get it ourselves." Edwards predicts that in time, same-day delivery will catch on in many urban and suburban areas around the country. Where to get the best deal in the same-day melee  by Tobin Low With Google expanding its same-day delivery service in a growing market, it’s hard to tell who’s offering the best deal. If you’re not in a big city, you’re mostly out of luck, as major companies like eBay, Amazon, and Google are mostly piloting their same-day services in larger metropolitan areas. That’s because the model largely depends on there being a high volume of vendors in a customer’s vicinity that sell the desired merchandise. Still, it’s an appealing promise: order by a certain time, and have your items delivered to your doorstep that same day. With each of the services charging about the same rate -- Google Express charges $4.99 an order, Amazon Prime members pay $3.99 an order, and eBay asks for $5 an order -- it's still too early to tell who will pull ahead in the same day ordering scheme. For now, maybe try linking your Twitter account to Amazon, and tweet/purchase away.

Read more: Latest Stories on Marketplace.org

The new National Climate Assessment released on Tuesday says the climate is changing, but when it comes to changing climate change, Barry Rabe, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan, says President Obama has a tough audience. There's the coal industry, and, some states -- like Texas. "Attorney General Greg Abbot, perhaps the most likely person to be the next governor of Texas, routinely says, 'I wake up in the morning, I sue the federal government and then I go home,'" says Rabe, the director of the the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in Ann Arbor, Mich. Rabe notes it's unlikely the administration will push for new legislation during President Obama's second term. "It's not uncommon," he says, "for presidents, particularly when they move into their second term, to face growing difficulty working with Congress on major domestic legislation." Apathy from the public is also a problem, says Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia's University's Center on Global Energy Policy -- and a past special assistant to the President and senior director for energy and climate change on the staff of the National Security Council. "Admittedly climate change does not rate very high when you ask people about what their major concerns are," he says. But, Bordoff says, public interest in climate change may be picking up. And he says while rules for new power plants already exist, the EPA is drafting regulations for existing plants, due in out in June. The new rules should set a standard for many kinds of energy – not just coal.

Read more: Latest Stories on Marketplace.org

(Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc said it would sell its consumer care business to Germany's Bayer AG for $14.2 billion.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

May 5, 2014 The Media’s Reporting of the April Unemployment Rate – A Little Knowledge Can Be Dangerous Economists have “trained” the media to quickly check out what has happened to the labor force when the unemployment rate declines. If the unemployment rate drops and so, too, does the labor force, then the decline in...Read More

Read more: The Big Picture

LONDON (Reuters) - Representatives from U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca will be called before a British parliamentary committee to discuss a potential takeover deal in the coming weeks, a committee spokesman said on Tuesday.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth is set to rebound strongly in the second quarter as the scars of a brutally cold winter fade, but inflation pressures will remain tame through 2015, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

Before you start reading about Merrill Garbus and her latest album as tUnE-yArDs, why don't you take a second to dance a little: Got that out of your system? Those infections beats and catchy melodies arrive via her latest album, entitled "Nikki Nack." Fans of Garbus will notice more of a pop music feel to this new release, and that's partly due to the singer's increasing familiarity and use of drum machines. It's a new step for Garbus, who is primarily known for looping drum beats with a pedal and microphone as a sort of low-tech/high-tech one woman band. The singer/songwriter took a disciplined approach to this album, setting aside blocks of time to focus on improving both her abilities on analog and acoustic instruments: "To me, there’s got to be a balance between computers and everything else. So for me that’s between computers and then actually having drumsticks in my hand and improving myself as a human player of musical instruments." Garbus particularly enjoys when mistakes, be they human or computer, create quirky music. In using an iPad to record beats, the drum machine's difficulty in keeping up with her finger tips created an imperfect beat - one that she ended up using in the first track on the album. This aspect of the flawed human-machine interaction is what interests Garbus most, and where she prefers to exist when making music with machines.

Read more: Latest Stories on Marketplace.org

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's Constitutional Court said it will rule in an abuse of power case against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday, with a guilty verdict likely to force her from office and possibly bring her supporters on to the streets.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

Oh my God! That financial product has a 'c' in front of it! It's toxic! That seems to be the way regulators (and some journalists) are behaving when confronted with financial products that begin with the letter 'C.' And yes, it's true, the collateralized debt obligation and the credit default swap did play starring roles in the financial crisis, but that's no reason to brand every instrument that starts with a 'C' as a economic biohazard. That's especially the case when it comes to anything starting with the word "collateralized." Okay, I agree, it all looks pretty deadly: collateralized debt obligation; collateralized bond obligation; collateralized loan obligation; collateralized mortgage obligation. But securitizations like these aren't, by definition, a threat to the economy or the financial system. Quite the reverse, in fact: they're essential. If you don't believe me, ask yourself this question: How important is housing to the U.S. economy? Pretty important, right? Certainly that’s what the President thinks. The economy is dependent primarily on consumer spending, and a large part of that consumer spending comes from people buying houses and filling them with stuff. Then there's all the construction activity, and the industries based on homebuilding. And then there are all the services associated with housing, too. So housing is a big deal. And what's the engine of the housing market? It's debt; peoples' ability to borrow money in order to buy homes.  But if it wasn't for securitization, there wouldn't be any debt – or there'd be a lot less of it, anyway. The vast majority of the loans that are made to Americans to buy homes are packaged up by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, many of them in a big 'C' word: collateralized mortgage obligations. CMOs have been around since the 1980s. And securitization has been around since Fannie Mae was started in 1938. So why is it that regulators and reporters are reacting with such revulsion when it comes to another kind of securitization, and another 'C' word: the collateralized loan obligation, or CLO? Reading some of the reports about CLOs, you would be forgiven for thinking that, like the dreaded toxic assets otherwise known as CDOs, collateralized loan obligations are brimming with poisonous dreck that threatens to infect the entire financial system and bring our economy to its knees. And it's true that some of the corporate loans in these CLOs will fail, just as some of the mortgages in Fannie and Freddie's portfolios will fail. But then, securitizations are not risk-free investments: CLOs depend on companies being able to make their interest payments, just as Fannie Mae's securitizations depend on me being able to make my mortgage payment. It’s also true that these corporate loans are branded "junk," because they're not investment grade – in other words, they're rated below BBB, and its equivalent, by S&P and its peers. For the most part, though, these kinds of loans look pretty safe right now. Moody's says the rate of default on these loans is low, ending the first quarter at 1.4 percent, down from 2.2 percent the prior quarter and 3 percent in the first quarter a year ago. As for the CLOs themselves, while some did melt down during the financial crisis, they did so at a hugely-reduced rate in comparison. CLOs provide the same kind of support for the economy that the securitizations run by Fannie and Freddie provide for the housing market. Where 'Fan and Fred' buy up mortgages taken out by Americans, CLOs buy up the debt of companies that might otherwise find it hard to get a bank loan. The results are a huge boon, both to those companies and to the economy. When I covered the loan market at S&P back in the 90s, the "junk" companies that benefited from CLOs included Tricon, which is now YUM brands; Allied Waste, which was bought by Republic Services; and United Rentals. These companies employ large numbers of people and contribute significantly to economic growth. But without CLOs, they might not even exist today. Likewise, if Fannie and Freddie didn't buy up mortgages, fewer loans would be made, fewer houses bought and the economy would take a big hit. I'm not saying that regulators (or reporters) should give CLOs a free pass. That's what happened to CDOs in the run-up to the financial crisis, and we all know what happened there. CLOs should be scrutinized and regulated just like every other securitization, to be sure they don't run amok or turn toxic on us. But that starts with understanding exactly what they are. Regulators and reporters appear to be too quick to assume that just because CLO starts with the letter 'C,' it should be treated as toxic. And that's a poisonous attitude.

Read more: Latest Stories on Marketplace.org

BEIJING (Reuters) - Six people were wounded in a knife attack at a railway station in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Tuesday, police said, the latest in a series of such assaults that have raised jitters around the country.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

Adopting a tactic that has been used by officials ranging from Sarah Palin to staffers of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, aides to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are sending emails from private accounts to conduct official business. I know because I got one myself. And three other people who interact with the governor's office on policy or media matters told me they have too. None of the others wanted to be named. The tactic appears to be another item in the toolbox of an

Read more: Techdirt.

BEIRUT (Reuters) - About 30 Syrian government fighters were killed when rebels set off a bomb in a tunnel beneath a checkpoint in a northwestern province, activists said on Tuesday.

Read more: Reuters: Top News

Page 1659 of 7136