National / International News

Police to examine MLAs' expenses

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:39
Police are examining allegations about Northern Ireland Assembly members' expenses after revelations in a two-part BBC Spotlight programme.

Sudan 'wants UN rights office shut'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:39
Sudan's government has asked the UN-Africa Union force in Darfur (Unamid) to shut its human rights office, the joint peacekeeping mission says.

VIDEO: Merton in 'Just a Minute' challenge

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:37
BBC Breakfast challenges comedian Paul Merton to a game of 'Just a Minute'

BT shares rise as EE confirms talks

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:29
The FTSE 100 rises, with BT shares higher after the owners of the EE mobile phone network confirm they are in talks over selling the business to the UK firm.

Zimbabwe VP leadership bid blocked

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:09
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF blocks Vice-President Joyce Mujuru from retaining a party post, damaging her chances of one day succeeding President Mugabe.

VIDEO: Outrage over illegal mile-long tip

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:07
An illegal fly-tip in Purfleet, Essex has grown to almost a mile long provoking anger from people living nearby

VIDEO: Campbell on 'flawed' mansion tax plan

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:03
Sol Campbell criticises Labour's mansion tax plan for chasing those who have "paid their dues ten times over".

Supreme Court to hear case on plant emission rules

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:00

In a victory for coal-fired power plants, the Supreme Court has accepted a case challenging plant emission rules. At issue: emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants. 

There are about 600 power plants that burn coal or oil and send such toxins up their smokestacks. The EPA rule, expected to take effect next year, limits how much. Plants have to install expensive equipment to comply, or shut down.

It costs an estimated $10 billion dollars a year. Industry groups and more than 10 states argue EPA did not appropriately consider those costs during the regulatory process. They counter that they did, and that benefits to society in lives saved and illness averted outweigh the costs by at least 4:1.

If EPA wins, observers say it may embolden the agency to pursue more ambitious air quality rules in the future. If industry prevails, the implications may be less clear. More than 6 in 10 plants already have installed pollution controls that would comply with the rules.

And the bigger threat to coal plants is not the government, but cheaper natural gas.

“The fundamental challenge is just this massive supply of natural gas now coming out of the ground in the U.S affecting the price of electricity,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Ethan Zindler says. “That is the overriding trend that will be impossible of the coal industry to escape from.”

An industry win may have significant legal effect, potentially exposing all EPA pollution rules on pollutants such as soot, sulfur and carbon dioxide.

“Other air rules will be challengeable based on EPA’s process being improper,” says Brandon Barnes of Bloomberg Intelligence. “And utilities challenging these rules will be able to go back to the courts on existing rules and proposed rules.”

Separately, on Wednesday, the EPA issues new, more aggressive limits on ozone emissions, also known as smog. The coming year may bring CO2 limits on existing and future plants. Put together, EPA’s air pollution standards are considered a signature environmental initiative for this administration.


PODCAST: Turkey-to-go

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-11-26 03:00

First up on today's show, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-federal mortgage companies, are making it easier to buy back their houses after a foreclosure. The news is some homeowners will be able to buy the house back not at the original pre-real estate crisis high price but at the new, presumably lower market price. And amid ongoing intense debate about President Obama's executive order to stop millions of deportations of unauthorized immigrants, there's a new focus on the future of authorized immigration, from more skilled workers or entrepreneurs from abroad. Plus, what once seemed odd is becoming commonplace in our less-connected society:  Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant. The holiday has become one of the busiest days of the year for dining out. 

VIDEO: Art and suffering unite in Geneva

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:59
A groundbreaking exhibition at the Red Cross Museum in Geneva is designed to show the relationship of artists to suffering.

VIDEO: Sharp rise in 'revenge evictions'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:54
There has been a sharp rise in the number of people asking for help from Citizens Advice because they feel they have been unfairly evicted from rented accommodation.

Sex attack on girl investigated

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:54
An indecent assault on a 12-year-old girl in Aberdeen early on Tuesday is being investigated by police.

Uighur scholar's students on trial

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:52
Seven university students linked to jailed Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti have reportedly gone on trial in China's westernmost province of Xinjiang.

'Weak Mignolet has been exposed'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:52
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar says Simon Mignolet's " is the main reason the Reds are struggling this season.

Facebook Lee Rigby attack 'unfair'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:44
It would be "almost impossible" for internet firms to monitor all website postings for possible terrorist content, a former MI6 director says.

HK policemen arrested over beating

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:35
Seven Hong Kong policemen are arrested in connection with beating of a pro-democracy protester in October.

Murdered boy's parents 'sue force'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:34
The parents of a schoolboy killed by an "internet predator" he met online, are suing a police force over its handling of the case, the BBC understands.

Doctor jailed over secret filming

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:25
A doctor who secretly filmed hundreds of patients, colleagues and hospital visitors, is jailed for five years.

Hunt 'contradicted NHS advice'

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:17
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been accused of contradicting NHS advice after admitting that he took his children to A&E at the weekend rather than wait to see a GP.

Board to pick up death crash family

BBC - Wed, 2014-11-26 02:16
The North Eastern Education and Library Board agrees to provide transport to collect the brothers and sisters of a boy who was killed in a crash near Cloughmills, County Antrim.