National / International News

Apple farm boss guilty of manslaughter

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:47
A fruit farm manager is found guilty of the manslaughter of two workers who died while getprize apples from a storage container in Hampshire.

Access granted to crash black box

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:46
A bid by Scotland's top law officer to get air accident investigators to hand over the black box from a North Sea helicopter crash is granted by a judge.

New tower branding plan revealed

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:46
Portsmouth City Council releases revised plans for the branding of Spinnaker Tower after outcry over large amounts of red in the design.

Ofsted purges 1,200 poor inspectors

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:45
Ofsted ditches 1,200 poor inspectors after judging them not good enough.

Scam sparks Scots fraud haven fears

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:44
Fears are growing that Scotland may be becoming a magnet for money-launderers following allegations linking shell companies there to a $1bn (£634m) fraud in the ex-Soviet republic of Moldova.

VIDEO: Remembering at Imperial War Museum

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:43
How this glove was shrunk by a gas attack

Roy Keane 'shouted at taxi driver'

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:41
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane shouted aggressively after a taxi driver told him to smile, a court hears.

VIDEO: Westminster Hall

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:36
MPs debated subjects including Personal Independence Payments.

Tunisian consular staff freed in Libya

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:27
Ten Tunisian diplomatic staff who were kidnapped in Libya are freed, officials say - amid reports of a possible deal to free a Libyan militia commander.

Missing school trip pupils inquiry

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:08
An investigation starts into how a number of primary school pupils went missing during a trip.

VIDEO: Greatest find inspires new drama

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:05
The "Staffordshire Hoard" inspires a series of plays to be staged at London's New Vic Theatre.

Substance pupil remains in hospital

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:03
A 14-year-old girl remains in hospital after nine pupils were taken ill at school after reportedly taking an unknown substance.

U.S. colleges to recruit in Cuba

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:00

As U.S. relations with Cuba thaw, colleges and universities are among those lining up to do business in the communist country. The Educational Testing Service has confirmed plans to offer some of its admissions tests in Cuba starting this month. The island nation is home to an estimated 1.5 million people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Don’t expect a rush of Cuban students on campuses just yet, though. When the Test of English as a Foreign Language debuts in Havana later this month, just 4 students are expected to take it.

“There are obstacles to beginning testing in Cuba,” says Eileen Tyson with ETS, the nonprofit that gives the exams. “We want this to go well, and we’re just going to take it very slowly.”

Those obstacles include limited computer and internet access and a lack of credit cards, which are needed to register for the exams. Students taking the language test, which is required by many U.S. colleges, will be logging onto computers at the Swiss Embassy. Tyson says the GRE, a graduate school admissions exam, will roll out in the fall.

VIDEO: Bringing WWI to life at Dunham Massey

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:00
Bringing stories of World War One to life

U.S. mayors tackle water problems

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:00

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is holding its annual meeting over the next few days in San Francisco, with President Barack Obama among the speakers.

On the agenda: water. Turns out water problems aren’t limited to the parched West. Of course the mayors will be talking about water conservation, but there's more.

“If you’re going to have a supply of water, you need it to be clean and accessible,” says Mitch Jones, a senior policy advocate at Food & Water Watch

Jones says many cities that have plenty of water struggle to make sure it’s safe. Think Toledo after last summer’s algae blooms on Lake Erie, or Charleston, West Virginia, after that big chemical spill last year. Jones says clean water is expensive, and federal money for loans has dried up.

“Congress needs to step up and fund the programs that exist for getting that money out to the  communities that need it,” says Jones.

Lima, Ohio, has also had problems with algae and waste water disposal. David Berger, Lima’s mayor, who will be speaking at the mayors’ conference about government mandates on water quality, says he wants federal grants, not loans.

“Loans we have to pay back," he says. "Those truly don’t help us.”

Otherwise, Berger says, U.S. cities will have to take on billions of dollars worth of debt. 

Mayors tackle water problems

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:00

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is holding its annual meeting over the next few days in San Francisco, with President Barack Obama among the speakers.

On the agenda: water. Turns out water problems aren’t limited to the parched west. Of course the mayors will be talking about water conservation, but there's more.

“If you’re going to have a supply of water you need it to be clean and accessible,” says Mitch Jones, a senior policy advocate at Food and Water Watch

Jones says many cities that have plenty of water struggle to make sure it’s safe. Think Toledo after last summer’s algae blooms on Lake Erie, or Charleston, West Virginia after that big chemical spill last year. Jones says clean water is expensive, and federal money for loans has dried up.

“Congress needs to step up and fund the programs that exist for getting that money out to the  communities that need it,” says Jones.

Lima, Ohio has also had problems with algae, and waste water disposal. David Berger, Lima’s mayor, who will be speaking at the mayors’ conference about government mandates on water quality, says he wants federal grants, not loans.

“Loans we have to pay back," he says. "Those truly don’t help us.”

Otherwise, Berger says, U.S. cities will have to take on billions of dollars worth of debt. 

Checking in on Etsy for its 10th birthday

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:00

The online marketplace for crafts, Etsy, has been trying to win back the favor of investors. The stock is down by more than half since it's IPO in April. Among new areas of growth, Etsy has announced it's testing a crowdfunding system, so that Etsy users can put up money to help promising businesses get off the ground in return for getting the resulting products early.

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson.

Etsy 

But Etsy's CEO Chad Dickerson is optimistic about the state of Etsy at a milestone moment for the company.

On Etsy’s 10th birthday:

“I’m not surprised by the success of Etsy because I think what Etsy really does is it appeals to the yearnings for people to create things and make thing that they are really passionate about.”

On Etsy’s guideline that includes manufactured goods:

“We have very clear policies on what you can sell on Etsy. The author has to demonstrate authorship, responsibility, and transparency. So the items that they make have to come from them. If they use any help, they have to understand the production. And transparency, if they are using help they have to say that on their profiles. One of the things we are really excited about is that we are seeing the emergence of really small scale manufacturing, and we see that manufacturing as part of a vision of a better economy.”

Click the media player above to hear Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio in conversation with Etsy's CEO Chad Dickerson.

Fuel cells offer cities an alternative to the grid

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:00

The nation’s power grid is experiencing more failures than ever. One city in Connecticut, Bridgeport, is taking measures to rely less on the grid and more on locally made power known as fuel cells.

Right by the train tracks in Bridgeport, an old industrial city, is a set of big white containers connected to hoses and pipes that looks a little … too white. Too new.

Each box, about half as big as a shipping container, makes energy. Inside are fuel cells that combine hydrogen and oxygen in a battery-type reaction.

“They kind of cross through the anode and the cathode,” Dominion Resources director Kevin Hennessy says. “They meet one another and the electrochemical reaction creates water, heat and electrons.”

There’s no burning of a fuel, thus fewer emissions than traditional power sources. And, these fuel cells are a neighborhood source of power, an alternative to the grid if need be.

“If the larger grid has problems because of, say, a hurricane or something,” Hennessy says, “the local utility can take this output and kind of direct it to which substation they want to keep online.”

Local power can provide more reliability than centralized power-plant energy sent from far away. But how do you get permission to build a plant in a city where NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) has become NOPE (not on planet earth)?

“Who wouldn’t want virtually zero emissions,” says Chip Bottone, president and CEO of FuelCell Energy. "Something that doesn’t bother your neighbors, something that can be built very quickly, something that can be put right in the middle of a population center."

Fuel cells do cost more. About 12 cents a unit of energy compared to 5 for nuclear. But more states and countries are subsidizing electricity they consider higher “quality” — clean, reliable, local, non-intrusive.

However, even as fuel cell use expands, “it’s not a change that’s going to happen instantaneously,” says Joel Rinebold of the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology. Power plants are built to stay in business for decades, and are typically the most affordable.

“If the market is flooded with very low-cost hydrocarbons,” Rinebold says, “there may be a delay, a desire to simply get cheap power regardless of sustainability.”

A view of the Dominion Bridgeport Fuel Cell.

Scott Tong/Marketplace

Silicon Tally: Fashionably late to technology

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-06-19 02:00

It's time for Silicon Tally! How well have you kept up with the week in tech news? 

This week, we're joined by Simon Doonan, the Creative Ambassador-at-Large for Barneys New York. He’s also the author of “The Asylum: True Tales of Madness From a Life in Fashion."

Click the media player above to play along.

Woods positive despite 'tough' round

BBC - Fri, 2015-06-19 01:47
Three-time winner Tiger Woods says he lacks consistency and is rusty after making a "tough" start to the US Open.

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