National / International News

VIDEO: Avalanche rescue on skier's helmet-cam

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:17
A skier has reportedly filmed the moment he and his friends were struck by an avalanche in the Alps on the Swiss-French border.

Disaster chief: 'I'm terribly sorry'

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:16
Hillsborough police match commander makes an emotional apology to the families of the 96 who died, telling them: "It's now dawned on me what it means to you."

Obama 'Embarrassed' for Republicans Who Wrote Iran Letter

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:14

In two interviews, President Barack Obama weighs in on controversies over the letter 47 Republicans wrote to the leaders of Iran and Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account.

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New video of Syria girls emerges

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:08
New footage emerges of three British schoolgirls en-route to Syria, where it is believed they joined IS.

Miliband on 'two kitchens' furore

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:05
Ed Miliband jokes that his wife would like him to spend more time in the kitchen amid media scrutiny of his arrangements.

Mr. Mambia Goes To Washington: To Honor His Sister, Who Died Of Ebola

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 10:03

Tarkpor Mambia of Liberia is now a student in Massachusetts. When he learned of his sister's death, he was determined to go to the nation's capital to put a human face on global health issues.

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VIDEO: New video 'shows missing Syria girls'

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:53
New footage has emerged of the three British schoolgirls who went missing last month - apparently to join the so-called Islamic State in Syria.

Three Gwent Police officers sacked

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:51
Gwent Police sacks three of its officers over allegations they tried to help a motorist avoid prosecution.

Injured man had been shot in legs

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:49
A man was taken to hospital after being found with gunshot wounds to his legs in East Kilbride in South Lanarkshire, police confirm.

Kremlin Says Putin Is Fine, Just Fine

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:36

The Russian president hasn't been seen in public in more than a week. That sparked all sorts of buzz. The Kremlin released photos of a healthy-looking Putin and chalks up the rumors to "spring fever."

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How money gets burned

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:33

What happens to money after it becomes too old and worn to be useable?

Until just a few years ago, most of it was sent to landfills. Now, as part of a recycling initiative at the Federal Reserve, hundreds of tons of shredded bills are burned each year to generate electricity.

Officials at the Federal Reserve in Los Angeles said that the program — which has increased the percentage of recycled cash from 30 percent to more than 90 percent since 2010 — has multiple benefits for the region.

“We’re able to divert the shredded currency away from landfills, we have done so at lesser cost to the Fed, and the County of Los Angeles now has an additional source of fuel,” says Deborah Awai, a group vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Deep within the Federal Reserve’s cash-processing facility in Los Angeles on a recent Monday morning, employees were loading bundles of currency into sorting machines that determine whether a bill is still fit enough to stay in circulation, is too old and worn, or is counterfeit.

The Los Angeles branch received 3.1 billion notes of currency in 2014. Good bills are set aside to await their return to circulation. Counterfeit ones are sent to the Secret Service. Lousy notes are shredded.

Nationwide, about 5,000 tons of currency are shredded annually. The shredded currency is recycled in various ways, including composting and manufacturing. About one-third is burned to generate electricity.

The Los Angeles branch burns more currency than any of the other 27 cash processing facilities in the nation.

The conversion occurs at the refuse-to-energy facility in the City of Commerce near Los Angeles. Five days a week, trucks back into the plant’s warehouse and dump garbage into an enormous pit inside.

Matt Eaton, a division engineer with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, said that the facility receives about 100,000 tons of waste from various sources each year. The heat generates enough electricity from its steam turbines to provide power for 20,000 homes.

The approximately 535 tons of shredded money from the Los Angeles cash-processing branch only constitutes a minuscule percentage of the total waste the facility receives. Still, Eaton estimated that energy provided by the burned cash is enough to power 100 homes.

The money is also valuable because it acts as kindling for messier garbage.

“It does burn really well, and it helps support the combustion of some waste we get in that may be wetter or doesn’t burn as easily,” Eaton said.

He said the fact that the cash was recently worth millions of dollars doesn’t phase employees when it arrives.

“It’s treated like any other source of waste. People don’t come out running when we see the currency. If it wasn’t shredded, maybe, but because it’s shredded, no. It’s like any other waste,” Eaton said.

Burning Money

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:33

What happens to money after it becomes too old and worn to be useable?

Until just a few years ago, most of it was sent to landfills. Now, as part of a recycling initiative at the Federal Reserve, hundreds of tons of shredded bills are burned each year to generate electricity.

Officials at the Federal Reserve in Los Angeles said that the program — which has increased the percentage of recycled cash from 30 percent to more than 90 percent since 2010 — has multiple benefits for the region.

“We’re able to divert the shredded currency away from landfills, we have done so at lesser cost to the Fed, and the County of Los Angeles now has an additional source of fuel,” says Deborah Awai, a group vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Deep within the Federal Reserve’s cash-processing facility in Los Angeles on a recent Monday morning, employees were loading bundles of currency into sorting machines that determine whether a bill is still fit enough to stay in circulation, is too old and worn, or is counterfeit.

The Los Angeles branch received 3.1 billion notes of currency in 2014. Good bills are set aside to await their return to circulation. Counterfeit ones are sent to the Secret Service. Lousy notes are shredded.

Nationwide, about 5,000 tons of currency are shredded annually. The shredded currency is recycled in various ways, including composting and manufacturing. About one-third is burned to generate electricity.

The Los Angeles branch burns more currency than any of the other 27 cash processing facilities in the nation.

The conversion occurs at the refuse-to-energy facility in the City of Commerce near Los Angeles. Five days a week, trucks back into the plant’s warehouse and dump garbage into an enormous pit inside.

Matt Eaton, a division engineer with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, said that the facility receives about 100,000 tons of waste from various sources each year. The heat generates enough electricity from its steam turbines to provide power for 20,000 homes.

The approximately 535 tons of shredded money from the Los Angeles cash-processing branch only constitutes a minuscule percentage of the total waste the facility receives. Still, Eaton estimated that energy provided by the burned cash is enough to power 100 homes.

The money is also valuable because it acts as kindling for messier garbage.

“It does burn really well, and it helps support the combustion of some waste we get in that may be wetter or doesn’t burn as easily,” Eaton said.

He said the fact that the cash was recently worth millions of dollars doesn’t phase employees when it arrives.

“It’s treated like any other source of waste. People don’t come out running when we see the currency. If it wasn’t shredded, maybe, but because it’s shredded, no. It’s like any other waste,” Eaton said.

Fun Fact Friday: Uber might be ruining our economy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:29

Kai sat down with Linette Lopez of Business Insider and Sudeep Reddy from the Wall Street Journal for a look at the week that was. Here's what else we learned listening to Marketplace this week: 

Fun Fact: There are rules to duplicating dollar bills, even on movie sets.

In preparing for the climax of the film Rush Hour 2, a prop maker discovered the legal implications in creating a billion dollars in fake money. In fact, there's a law that states, when duplicating dollar bills, they must be either 75 percent smaller than or 150 percent larger than the size of a real bill. The tricky business behind fake Hollywood money

Fun Fact: Millennials and women are responsible for our shift towards fresher foods.

Gone are the days of Chef Boyardee and Ramen noodles. Sales of some of the top brands at General Mills, Kraft, and the Campbell Soup Company have been slumping. Food analysts claim the change in consumption habits is due to recession-born millennials and mothers concerned about the additives and preservatives perverting their children's foods.  Why sales of packaged or processed foods are declining

Fun Fact: The Social Security "Death Master File" features more than six million people born before 1901 as still alive.

A recent audit by the Inspector General revealed the inefficient record keeping. This is problematic for many federal agencies that rely on this file for paying out refunds and pensions. The cost of inefficient Social Security record keeping

Fun Fact: The U.S. economy includes some 2.8 million temp workers -- a number much larger when you include people working in the "gig economy."

The gig economy, or “Uberification” of the labor force, in which companies hire locals to complete a quick task at hand, has in fact made it frighteningly easy for companies to offload jobs that would otherwise go to full-time staff. It's created a loophole for labor regulations that some feel is creating a speedy race to the bottom. Is the Uber economy bad for workers?

Fun Fact: We created this quiz to find out which Apple Watch is right for you. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage this week to unveil updates of existing products and show off new products, most notably the Apple Watch, which ranges in price from $349 to more than a whopping $10,000. We created a quiz so you could determine which watch is right for you. Is it time for the Apple Watch?        

Modi makes Sri Lanka friendship plea

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:24
PM Narendra Modi says India and Sri Lanka must act like good neighbours, during the first official visit to Colombo by an Indian leader for 28 years.

'Progress made' at Stormont talks

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:23
Northern Ireland's first and deputy first ministers say they have been "making progress" on welfare reform.

Arts centre hit by major blaze

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:22
A fire breaks out at Battersea Arts Centre in south London.

Nato urges 'UK leadership' on budget

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:17
The head of Nato says he expects Britain to "show leadership" over meeting the alliance's 2% defence spending target.

Van Gaal working on Falcao solution

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:07
Manchester United are working on a solution to get the best from striker Radamel Falcao, says manager Louis van Gaal.

Tikrit: Iraq's city of palaces

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:04
Profile of the Iraqi city of Tikrit, known as the birthplace of two famous leaders: the medieval Kurdish Muslim commander Saladin Al-Ayyubi, and more recently, the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

First 'successful' penis transplant

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 09:03
The world's first successful penis transplant has been reported by a surgical team in South Africa.

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