National / International News

Climate Change Worsens Coastal Flooding From High Tides

NPR News - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:47

Flooding from extreme tidal swings was once just a rare nuisance for coastal cities. But rising sea levels have increased the frequency of these nuisance floods as much as tenfold since the 1960s.

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Some Good News: Near Perfect Weather For Most Of The Country

NPR News - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:35

A weather map on Wednesday showed no significant watches or warnings across the Lower 48.

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VIDEO: Space weather forecast station opens

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:32
The Met Office opens a new centre dedicated to the forecast of the weather in space.

Drill for the cure

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:24

October is, as you may know if you watched an NFL game in the past weekend, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Pink whistles, pink cleats — pink everything, practically, makes an appearance in support of the cause.

Also, which we saw in Salon today, courtesy of the oilfield services company Baker Hughes, one-thousand pink drill bits.

Which is great, I guess, but doesn't the pink get scraped off when the drills start drilling?

And, aren't there all kinds of carcinogens in oil?

Stewart told ECB of parody insiders

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:20
Alec Stewart told England bosses in 2012 that some of Kevin Pietersen's team-mates had access to a mocking Twitter account.

Cumberbatch kicks off film festival

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:19
Hundreds of screaming fans welcome Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley on a wet red carpet at the gala opening of this year's BFI London Film Festival.

Apple Says iOS Encryption Protects Privacy; FBI Raises Crime Fears

NPR News - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:17

Apple says its new operating system for the iPhone features encryption so secure that not even Apple has the key to it. But the FBI warns that the software could limit its ability to fight crime.

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UK sending 750 troops to tackle Ebola

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:14
The UK is sending 750 military personnel to Sierra Leone to help deal with the Ebola outbreak, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond confirms.

Apology from S Korea ferry skipper

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:11
The captain of a South Korean ferry which sank with the loss of 304 lives apologises in court - but denies committing murder.

Britain's best baker is crowned

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 13:00
The winner of the latest series of The Great British Bake Off is revealed.

Love Pine Nuts? Then Protect Pine Forests

NPR News - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:52

An expensive delicacy among nuts, pine nuts are foraged — not farmed — from distant forests. In some places, the delicate ecosystems that produce the nuts are disappearing.

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VIDEO: Cumberbatch: 'Turing was a hero'

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:47
Benedict Cumberbatch pays tribute to Alan Turing at the BFI London Film Festival opening night gala screening of his new film, The Imitation Game.

Tell us what the economy feels like to you

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:45

It’s doing better by lots of measurements — but people don’t feel it. Which is part of what Obama is out stumping for through November.

The data says the economy’s doing better — much better. But does it feel better? How’s your economy doing? 

Tell us your story above, and we might include it in the show.

In 'Season Of Mercy,' Will Vatican Rethink Communion For Divorcees?

NPR News - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:40

Pope Francis hasn't ruled out changing church doctrine that bars divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving Holy Communion. There are fierce opponents, while others favor simplifying annulment.

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Lawsuit Testing Personhood Of Chimps Gets Its Day At An Appeals Court

NPR News - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:37

A lower court had tossed the case, but an appellate court heard oral arguments today. Lawyers said that Tommy, a chimp in New York, deserves the same rights as Homo sapiens.

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DJ 'promised girl fame before rape'

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:32
A former DJ accused of raping a 15-year-old girl with Jimmy Savile raped another teenager after promising her fame, a court hears.

A Strong Voice From The Ebola Front: Lorenzo Dorr

NPR News - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:23

Drugs are in short supply. So is protective gear. Muddy roads may be impassable. But community health worker Lorenzo Dorr continues his efforts to keep Ebola in check in remote parts of Liberia.

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What can Hong Kong talks achieve?

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:11
What can Hong Kong talks really achieve?

US Ebola patient dies in hospital

BBC - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:10
The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola within the US, a man who contracted it in Liberia, has died in hospital in Dallas.

Frack that! Oil tries to own a word that rallies critics

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-10-08 12:10

Few industries have bigger branding issues than the oil industry with fracking.

Not least of those issues: The word itself, which is short for hydraulic fracturing and near in sound to a four-letter word that's taboo on the radio. Activists have long exploited that connection — the Natural Resources Defense Council’s page on drilling is headlined "Don’t get fracked!" — and industry PR types have advised against using the term at all.

Pennsylvania has been a particularly hot battleground. Drilling has exploded, and so has opposition to the oil and gas wells popping up all over the state — and the pollution and truck traffic they create. 

In the heat of election season, an industry group there has introduced an ad that touts fracking’s contribution to jobs and lower energy costs — and which, in its punch-line, makes an effort to reclaim the word.

"Fracking’s a good word," says a middle-aged man collecting his mail. "Fracking’s a good word," says a woman on her front porch. "Fracking rocks," says a teenage girl on an elliptical machine. 

The ad started running in late September, commissioned by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the beginning of a larger campaign called “Rock solid for PA." 

"Some people will try to use that word in a negative connotation," says the group's president, David Spigelmyer. "All we’re trying to do is shine a light on the fact that there’s a lot of good that comes out of that technology. That’s all."

David Masur has noticed the ads. He's director of PennEnvironment, a non-profit that opposes fracking.  "It’s been highly entertaining," he says.

He thinks it means he and his allies are winning in the court of public opinion. "There’s something funny," he says, "when companies like Exxon Mobil and Shell and Halliburton and BP are saying, ‘Man, we’re just getting creamed by the local non-profit group.’"

But maybe it could work? It did for Obamacare.

"Obamacare is very interesting," says Tim Calkins, author of “Defending Your Brand” and a marketing professor at Northwestern University.  "It did start out as an attack on the program, and now supporters use it just the same as everybody else. In a way, it’s actually very smart."

However, Obamacare had a charismatic, witty spokesman who could get on TV, for free, whenever he wanted. 

Without that, says Calkins, "it's going to take a lot of money, if you're going to get in front of people and get them to re-think a word," he says. "Especially when you've got a word that has such deep-set associations around it."

He gives the industry credit for trying. "I don't know if this initiative is going to work," he says, "but at least they're looking at it, and taking action, and they've certainly got to do that."