National / International News

VIDEO: Original James Bond cars go on show

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 09:27
More than 50 vehicles from the James Bond films are on display at the London Film Museum as part of a Bond in Motion show.

Qatar defends bid after payment claims

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 09:21
Qatar's 2022 World Cup organisers defend their bid for the tournament in the wake of fresh corruption claims.

Google unveils Android for wearables

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 09:19
Google has announced a version of its Android operating system designed specifically for wearable devices such as smartwatches

Wal-Mart will buy your used video games now

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-18 09:00

Starting next week, you can take your old video games to Wal-Mart and get store credit for them. According to Carl Howe, Vice President of Research at the Yankee Group, it's a smart move for the superstore.

"I think what the retailers have found is that there’s a very robust secondary market for games. They’re expensive enough and the demographic that buys games is young enough that they’re pretty cost sensitive."

The used game market in the US is worth more than $1.5 billion, which is not great news for game publishers. Companies like GameStop and Best Buy, however, have deep roots in the used game market.

Wal-Mart does have size on its side. Its hired an outside company to handle refurbishment of the old games that come in, and plans to start selling them at Wal-marts by the end of the year.

VIDEO: What does business want from Budget?

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:58
Ahead of the latest Budget, BBC News asks what business, workers, consumers and manufacturers would like to see included.

Life term for war veteran's murderer

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:57
A man is jailed for murdering a war veteran during a violent burglary at his home in Greater Manchester.

ISIS 'executed detainees' in Syria

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:54
Jihadist rebels have carried out mass executions in Syria and the government has increased its use of indiscriminate weapons, UN rights investigators say.

Opting Out Of Your Insurance Plan's Network Can Be Costly

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:53

People who choose to go to unapproved doctors and hospitals for care may find themselves with unexpected out-of-pocket expenses and copayments for services that would otherwise be free.

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Golan blast wounds Israeli soldiers

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:41
Four Israeli soldiers have been wounded by a bomb explosion on the frontier between the occupied Golan Heights and Syria, Israel's military says.

Morgan shrugs off lack of sixes

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:41
Captain Eoin Morgan denies that a shortage of sixes is England's biggest concern going into the World Twenty20.

Teenager charged with crash deaths

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:41
A teenager appears in court charged with causing the deaths of his three school friends in a crash in East Lothian.

10 theories for the MH370's disappearance

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:40
10 theories for the MH370's disappearance

Rare dictionary to be kept in UK

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:34
The British Library has saved a "crucial" 500-year-old English-Latin dictionary at the 11th hour after it was sold to an overseas buyer at auction.

Coulson payments 'led to hacking'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:32
Former NoW editor Andy Coulson agreed to make payments that led to three phones in the royal household being hacked, the Old Bailey hears.

Jagger 'struggling' over Scott death

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:29
Sir Mick Jagger says he is "still struggling" over the death of his girlfriend, fashion designer L'Wren Scott.

Chechen Leader Known As 'Russia's Bin Laden' Reported Dead

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:25

A separatist website says Doku Umarov, who has claimed responsibility for several high-profile attacks in Russia, has been "martyred." However, this isn't the first time his death has been announced.

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Hague condemns Russian 'land grab'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:23
The "international order" is at stake, William Hague says, after Vladimir Putin signs a treaty absorbing Crimea into Russia.

Chechen rebel leader Umarov 'dead'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:23
Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, linked to a series of attacks against Russia, is dead, a pro-insurgency website has reported.

Putin signs Russia-Crimea treaty

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:20
President Vladimir Putin signs a treaty on Crimea joining the Russian Federation, as a Ukrainian serviceman is reported killed at a military base.

Three floods in three years? Yeah, we'll buy your house

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:17

Don Garboski loves his big open kitchen, and the pool out back where his grandkids play in the summer.

He’s lived in this house nearly 50 years, but in a few months, Garboski will pack up his belongings and hand the keys to the state of New Jersey so they can demolish it. He’s already stopped fixing problems as they arise in the house.

“This door knob that's broken,” says Garboski, “I refuse to have it replaced because we’re leaving. Why fix it?”

Instead, a piece of duct tape covers the latch. Garboski tells guests not to bother taking their shoes off, despite having replaced all the floors and carpet after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“I don't care if someone comes in with ice skates,” he shrugs.

Garboski lives in Sayreville, N.J., east of New Brunswick along the Raritan and South Rivers.  His neighborhood has severely flooded three times in the last three years. Following Sandy, the state wants to buy his house and some 1,300 other homes for their pre-storm value and demolish them. It's part of a $300 million “Blue Acres” program, funded with federal Sandy aid. The state of New York has launched a similar program.

Sixteen months after Sandy, more than 400 deals are in the works in New Jersey, but only 50 have closed so far. The first home was demolished just last week.

One cause of the delay is that Garboski and many of his neighbors feel they've been low-balled by the state.

“The assessment process is a very sore subject with me," says Garboski, noting that he believes his offer was at least $20,000 short. “Some people made out better than others. Some people, pardon the expression, got screwed.”

Rich Boornazian runs the Blue Acres program. He agrees some of the appraisals were too low, and encouraged those homeowners to appeal. But that adds time to the process.

Other delays have arisen from the surprising number of homeowners owing more on their mortgage than the house was worth before the storm.

"What we didn't expect was the thirty percent rate of people that were 'underwater' on their mortgages," says Boornazian. "So that's a tough one. The state doesn't have extra money to pay more than the appraised value." 

The state is now negotiating with banks to see if they will accept less than full repayment of a mortgage.

Now, the state has to wait for a second round of federal funds to be released before it can make more offers.

But perhaps the largest factor in these buyouts and a common cause for delays are all the emotions that come with leaving a long-time home.

Some families have requested to stay until the end of the school year, says Boornazian.

"There's some people that come to us and say, 'I want to die in this house,'" he adds. "It's not all logical. It's very gut-wrenching emotional decisions that people have to make."

After all the work Zigmunt and Mary Dombrowski put into their house and the 49 years of memories they have there, the couple says they simply can't move – they can't imagine where they'd go.

“I did everything myself except this boiler,” says Zigmunt, proud of his post-Sandy repairs and the bargain furniture finds from Goodwill that he and Mary used to restock the house after the storm.

The Dombrowskis have lived next door to the Garboskis for nearly five decades. But unlike their neighbor, Zigmunt and Mary have decided to turn down the state’s offer. They don’t have to sell if they don’t want to. 

"Why would I want to leave now?" Zigmunt asks. "When we came here there were only two or three houses. If they all leave, that's fine with me. I'm used to that. That's the way it was before."

The Dombrowskis say even if the state offered him more money, they still wouldn't sell.

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