National / International News

Missing Lynx? Search Continues For Mystery French Feline

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 10:52

The animal, which was spotted Thursday, was initially thought to be a tiger. Officials now say it's not, but they aren't sure what it is. One theory is that it's a lynx.

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All Blacks 'excited' to face Scots

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 10:44
Captain Richie McCaw says a much-changed New Zealand have plenty of motivation as they face Scotland.

VIDEO: Rabies risk from puppy smuggling

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 10:19
The trafficking of underage puppies into the UK from Eastern Europe is rife, according to the Dogs Trust charity.

VIDEO: 'One-handed chip my Eureka moment'

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 10:18
English professional Jason Palmer explains why he adopted his unique playing style, which he admits receives "funny looks".

Islamic State sets sights on Saudis

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 10:15
The BBC's Frank Gardner argues that it was inevitable, sooner or later, that Islamic State would turn its attention to the largest and most important country in the region, Saudi Arabia.

Council plans £32m cuts in one year

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 10:05
Cardiff council is looking at making savings of more than £32m in one year in a bid to balance the books.

Aasif Mandvi's cross-cultural journey

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-14 09:53

Best known as a contributor to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Aasif Mandvi usually reports satirical news pertaining to the Middle East – under the title "senior Muslim correspondent" or even "senior foreign-looking correspondent."

Mandvi was born in Mumbai, moved to England a year later and then to Florida as a teenager. He's written a collection of personal essays called "No Land's Man" that explore his cross-cultural identity and acting career.

Mandvi describes the journey to his birthplace:

There’s this little children’s theater where I first discovered my bug and penchant and proclivity for performing and acting. I went back after all these years and the place had burned down. The book, you know, is called "No Land’s Man" and I keep searching for a home and ultimately realize that the metaphor of the open field is really the home that I've been searching for.  

On working for "The Daily Show":

"The Daily Show" has put me in front of millions of people. It has allowed me to speak into the zeitgeist in a way that very few other jobs could have. There’s very little downside to being on "The Daily Show." It’s been a great opportunity for me.

I don’t think of myself as a comedian. I think of myself as an actor who does comedy. Even on "The Daily Show," I feel like that person that I play is a character who happens to have my name but he also has a team of very funny Ivy League-educated Jewish comedy writers that go around with him wherever he goes. 

On using his cultural identity as a drive for creative work:

What is it to be a South Asian American man? That question is constantly in my work and will continue to be and actually becomes my source of power now.  

NBA Commissioner Thinks Gambling On Games Should Be Legal

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 09:53

Breaking with other major pro sports leagues, Adam Silver says the world is changing and that Congress should allow sports betting that is legal and regulated.

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VIDEO: All you need is... a $1m guitar

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 09:50
A rare guitar John Lennon played while he was in the Beatles is expected to fetch up to $1 million (£638,712) at auction.

5 ways to make a city more walkable

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-14 09:23

For about half a century, American cities and suburbs were built as car towns – with long stretches of road. And sometimes without sidewalks. But lately, things have been changing. Americans are seeking more intimate city spaces and putting a high premium on good public transportation. Millennials don't seem to want to buy cars, or drive much. In their quest for more walkable cities, they are teaming up with some unlikely allies: Retirees.

As the baby boomer generation ages, more and more of them want to remain at home – and remain independent. A whopping 63 percent of boomers don’t intend to move, according to a recent study from the Demand Institute, a nonprofit think-tank devoted to consumer issues. And the aging population is soaring – a joint project from Harvard University and the AARP predicts that by 2030, there will be 73 million adults over age 65 living in the U.S. 

Aging Americans increasingly ask for walkable cities. It's one of their top priorities, according to Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president of the AARP. What the AARP wants, it frequently gets. The organization is the eighth-largest lobbying group in the U.S. – its members are consummate voters, and more importantly, LeaMond says, "tend to be participants in the community. They come to community meetings, they're very involved." 

The AARP and the World Health Organization have focused on building more livable communities for the aging population through their Age-Friendly Cities and Communities program. Cities can adopt elements of a WHO-approved checklist to make communities safe and engaging for people who are aging. Many places have come a long way toward addressing infrastructure issues and community engagement, according to Tori Goldhammer, a Washington, D.C., occupational therapist who specializes in aging-in-place and fall prevention.

Yet investing in more walkable cities can be relatively affordable.

"There are many places where there's a lot of construction underway, and they're already making changes to the physical environment, and ensuring that it's done in the right way often doesn't add very many costs," LeaMond says.

Even when modifications are pricier, the investment can pay off.

"The more walkable a community is, the more the value of the property is going to be higher, and so there is an incentive for communities to look at this in more than just safety and mobility of its residents," LeaMond says. 

To better understand the importance of walkable communities, Lizzie O'Leary took a walk in the Washington, D.C., Eastern Market neighborhood with Goldhammer and a very special guest: her dad, Buck O'Leary.

On their walk they found these five factors that help make a city walkable:  

1. Keep sidewalks well-maintained

Sidewalk cracks, uneven bricks and tree roots are tripping hazards, especially when they're wet or icy. That’s one reason personal-injury lawyers exist. Slips and trips happen all the time on uneven sidewalks, according to occupational therapist Goldhammer. “Anything greater than a one-quarter inch in change of height can present a trip risk for anybody,” she says. Updating sidewalks that have undergone ordinary wear and tear would prevent injuries and make it easier to get around. 

2. Provide lots of outdoor seating

When you’re out for a stroll, it’s nice to be able have a seat, take a break, relax. Many communities that are participating in the AARP and World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities initiative have made a lot of progress in this area. For instance, the New York City Department of Transportation says 1,500 benches will be installed by 2015 through its CityBench program. 

3. Allow enough time at crosswalks

The Beatles may cross the street with a bit of swagger, but for many people it’s not so easy. Crosswalks can become hazardous for people rushing across them and frustrating for drivers waiting for them to clear. “There might be six lanes of traffic and [it takes] 22 seconds to get across the street, and it’s really very difficult,” Goldhammer says. 

4. Turn on the lights

In addition to being a major crime deterrent, a lack of sufficient lighting (also known as darkness) makes it more difficult to see those cracks in the sidewalk. Once shrouded in darkness, potential hazards that aren’t a big deal during the day become exponentially riskier.

5. Build plenty of clearly marked bike paths

It's not always this adorable when someone gets side-swiped by a Huffy. Cyclists need their own lanes to ensure they have enough space to ride safely. And in the context of age-friendly cities, bike lanes also keep bikes off sidewalks, making both the roads and the walkways safer for everyone.

AUDIO: Today in Youth Parliament

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 09:21
Listen to highlights of the day that the UK Youth Parliament took over the House of Commons.

Commons defends leaf removal scheme

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 09:05
The parliamentary authorities defend the practice of removing leaves by hand from trees at the Palace of Westminster rather than allowing nature to take its course each autumn.

Jail for £200K benefit fraud family

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 09:01
A woman who claimed she was too ill to walk yet was filmed surfing in Australia, is jailed for benefit fraud.

Serial killer given 37-year sentence

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 09:01
Serial killer and sex offender Angus Sinclair is jailed for a minimum of 37 years for the 1977 World's End murders of Helen Scott and Christine Eadie.

Virgin America shares surge on debut

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 09:00
Shares in Richard Branson's Virgin America airline surge more than 30% in their first day of trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.

Belgium 0-0 Wales

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 08:59
Wales withstand heavy Belgium pressure to stay unbeaten and earn a valuable Euro 2016 qualifying campaign point in Brussels.

Go Figure: The week in numbers

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 08:54
The week in numbers with our Go Figure images.

'Shirtstorm' Leads To Apology From European Space Scientist

NPR News - Fri, 2014-11-14 08:46

As the Rosetta mission made history by putting a lander on a comet, one of its leading scientists drew wide criticism for wearing a shirt featuring lingerie-clad women.

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Turkey Erdogan palace costs to soar

BBC - Fri, 2014-11-14 08:45
A controversial 1,000-room palace built for Turkey's president will cost even more than the original £385m ($615m) price tag, the BBC has been told.

PODCAST: Phoneless phone tapping

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-11-14 08:41

Federal agents reportedly have the technology to spy on mobile phones without ever involving phone companies.  This revelation from the Wall Street Journal today involves the US Marshall's service using light airplanes with devices that trick cells phones into linking with the plane instead of the phone company's cell phone towers. We talked with  Devlin Barrett, the Wall Street Journal reporter with the scoop this morning.  Plus: Volkswagen is laying out a plan to recognize the United Auto Workers Union at its only U.S. plant--the one in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It's not quite what the union was hoping for. WPLN's Blake Farmer reports. Finally: Augusta National sees itself as a very exclusive golf club, indeed. Two years ago, it refused admission to no less than Chief Executive Officer of International Business Machines. Ginni Rometty is female and until recently, Augusta National didn't admit women. Now there is a report the IBM CEO has been let in.