National / International News

Retrial over Egypt football riot

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:04
Egypt's Court of Cassation orders a retrial of the 21 people sentenced to death in connection with an infamous football riot in Port Said in 2012.

West Ham seek legal route over Carroll

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:55
West Ham are to take legal action after failing to overturn the red card shown to Andy Carroll against Swansea.

Ex-prostitute in Stormont appeal

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:42
A former prostitute makes an emotional appeal to Northern Ireland MLAs to pass a proposed law on human trafficking and the sex trade.

VIDEO: Man lynched after peace speech

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:36
The UN envoy to the Central African Republic has urged the country to ensure that soldiers who lynched a man accused of being a rebel face justice.

Luxury Carmaker Aston Martin Cites Fake Chinese Plastics In Recall

NPR News - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:36

The company uses plastics supplied by DuPont for a key part, but it instead received counterfeit material labeled with DuPont's name. About 75 percent of cars built after 2007 are affected.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Nursery worker acquitted over death

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:30
A nursery worker is cleared over the death of a three-year-old girl who became entangled in a rope on a playground slide.

Communities along rail lines worry about oil explosions

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:29

Ever lapsed into daydreaming while you sit at a railroad crossing, waiting for a long freight train to go by?

After a fatal oil train explosion in Quebec last summer killed 47 people and flattened a downtown, people aren't daydreaming anymore. That disaster served as a wake-up call to a lot of communities living close to railroad tracks, who suddenly realized that was crude oil rolling by in tanker. As oil trains have had more accidents, and governments are examining the safety of rail oil shipments, some local residents are applying the brakes on what they see as a dangerous rush to move oil by train.

There are, however, powerful economic reasons why more oil is being shipped by rail, rather than through pipelines.

 

Reporter Sarah Gardner talked with Graham Brisben, CEO and founder, PLG Consulting, about moving oil by train:

Q: How much crude oil are we moving on trains?

A: It's certainly growing. It's up to about 400,000 carloads per year today. Although crude by rail gets a lot of attention -- it's a big focus in the media partly because it's an area of growth for railroads, but also because there have been a number of high profile crude-by-rail accidents -- the reality is it's only 2 to 3 percent of total car loadings for the railroads.

Q: Why are they using trains to move oil to refineries?

A: Initially, when crude by rail got started, it occurred in the Bakken play in North Dakota. The initial idea was to use rail to get crude to market simply to bide the time until pipelines were built out with enough capacity. But once crude oil got going, the commodity traders and the exploration and production companies realized that rail gave them faster transit times, the ability to ramp up more quickly than pipelines, and the ability to take the crude oil to different destinations where a higher price could be received for those barrels.

Q: There's not just one price?

A: No. Because crude oil trades at different prices at different places according to oil benchmarks (like West Texas Intermediate, Light Louisiana Sweet and Brent).

Q: Won't crude by rail go away when more pipelines get built?

A: As the pipeline network gets built out in a north-south direction, the flow of crude from the Bakken in North Dakota will have more of a shift from rail back to pipeline. But going east-west, that business will persist. You're simply not going to see a buildout of pipelines going east-west. It's simply cost-prohibitive to go over the Rocky Mountains, for example.

Q: What about tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada?

A: That oil is coming to market both by pipeline and now, increasingly, by rail. First, it was the light, sweet crude out of the Bakken. Now, it's heavy sour Canadian crude going to U.S. refineries.

Q: Who's making money on all this?

A: Obviously this has been a bright spot for the railroads. And tank car builders and leasers have enjoyed some very flush returns. The other beneficiary has been commodity traders who take advantage of those price spreads. It's also a good time to be in the refining business because of abundant domestic supply. They're in a better position than they were five years ago.

Q: Federal regulators are moving to increase safety standards in light of recent accidents. Will those new regulations affect the economics of crude by rail?

A: Crude by rail is economically attractive enough to warrant the hard work it is going to take to improve safety. The measures that can be taken, in reality, aren't all that difficult. We expect regulations on retrofitting tank cars with crude oil. Also it wouldn't surprise me if there end up being routing guidelines away from population centers, along with the speed restrictions. And greater scrutiny of terminal operations.

Q: Railroads seem very old-fashioned somehow. Could we live without them?

A: Could we live? Yes. Could our economy survive without railroads? No.

More crude oil travels by train, and communities along rail lines grow concerned

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:29

Ever lapsed into daydreaming while you sit at a railroad crossing, waiting for a long freight train to go by?

When a fatal oil train explosion in Quebec last summer killed 47 people and flattened a downtown, people aren't daydreaming anymore. That disaster served as a wake-up call to a lot of people living close to railroad tracks, who suddenly realized that was crude oil rolling by in tanker. As oil trains have had more accidents, and governments are examining the safety of rail oil shipments, some local residents are applying the brakes on what they see as a dangerous rush to move oil by train.

There are, however, powerful economic reasons why more oil is being shipped by rail, rather than through pipelines.

 

Reporter Sarah Gardner talked with Graham Brisben, CEO and founder, PLG Consulting, about moving oil by train:

Q: How much crude oil are we moving on trains?

A: It's certainly growing. It's up to about 400,000 carloads per year today. Although crude by rail gets a lot of attention -- it's a big focus in the media partly because it's an area of growth for railroads, but also because there have been a number of high profile crude-by-rail accidents -- the reality is it's only 2 to 3 percent of total car loadings for the railroads.

Q: Why are they using trains to move oil to refineries?

A: Initially, when crude by rail got started, it occurred in the Bakken play in North Dakota. The initial idea was to use rail to get crude to market simply to bide the time until pipelines were built out with enough capacity. But once crude oil got going, the commodity traders and the exploration and production companies realized that rail gave them faster transit times, the ability to ramp up more quickly than pipelines, and the ability to take the crude oil to different destinations where a higher price could be received for those barrels.

Q: There's not just one price?

A: No. Because crude oil trades at different prices at different places according to oil benchmarks (like West Texas Intermediate, Light Louisiana Sweet and Brent).

Q: Won't crude by rail go away when more pipelines get built?

A: As the pipeline network gets built out in a north-south direction, the flow of crude from the Bakken in North Dakota will have more of a shift from rail back to pipeline. But going east-west, that business will persist. You're simply not going to see a buildout of pipelines going east-west. It's simply cost-prohibitive to go over the Rocky Mountains, for example.

Q: What about tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada?

A: That oil is coming to market both by pipeline and now, increasingly, by rail. First, it was the light, sweet crude out of the Bakken. Now, it's heavy sour Canadian crude going to U.S. refineries.

Q: Who's making money on all this?

A: Obviously this has been a bright spot for the railroads. And tank car builders and leasers have enjoyed some very flush returns. The other beneficiary has been commodity traders who take advantage of those price spreads. It's also a good time to be in the refining business because of abundant domestic supply. They're in a better position than they were five years ago.

Q: Federal regulators are moving to increase safety standards in light of recent accidents. Will those new regulations affect the economics of crude by rail?

A: Crude by rail is economically attractive enough to warrant the hard work it is going to take to improve safety. The measures that can be taken, in reality, aren't all that difficult. We expect regulations on retrofitting tank cars with crude oil. Also it wouldn't surprise me if there end up being routing guidelines away from population centers, along with the speed restrictions. And greater scrutiny of terminal operations.

Q: Railroads seem very old-fashioned somehow. Could we live without them?

A: Could we live? Yes. Could our economy survive without railroads? No.

PODCAST: Layoffs in tech and retail

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:27

There are job cuts and there are companies that announce plans to cut jobs. The outplacement firm Challenger Grey and Christmas keeps a monthly tally of the latter, and there's news just now these layoff announcements surged in January. A combined total of 45,100 jobs will eventually go, including many jobs from the supposedly screamingly-hot world of technology.

The governor of Tennessee wants to make community college or technical school free for all high school graduates in the state. Republican Governor Bill Haslam calls his proposal the Tennessee Promise. It's part of a broader workforce development strategy in a state that lags behind in higher education, but wants a technically savvy labor pool.

European foreign ministers this month are meeting with officials in Cuba to work out a new agreement on trade and investment. What might this mean for Cuba's still tenuous relationship with the U.S.?

Hungary approves Russia nuclear deal

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:26
Hungarian lawmakers approve a controversial Russian-financed plan to construct two new reactors at the country's only nuclear plant.

Syria denies chemical weapons delay

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:20
Syria's deputy foreign minister says claims it is delaying the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile are "absolutely unjustified".

Twitter's good earnings report just doesn't cut it for investors

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:16

Twitter released it's first quarterly earnings report yesterday. And the little bluebird did better than expected, earning two hundred and 42 million dollars in revenue last quarter. But investors aren't happy this morning, because growth in the number of Twitter monthly users was not sky high. Twitter's stock has dropped 20 percent so far this morning.

Brian Blau is a research director for consumer technologies at Gartner and joined us to help explain.

Click play on the audio player above to hear the interview.

'Billion-star mapper' takes sky snap

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:15
A test image from Europe's billion-star surveyor, Gaia, is released, confirming it is on track to begin operations in the next two or three months.

Sonic Dictionary: An Aural History Project

NPR News - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:11

If you don't know the meaning of a word, says Mary Caton Lingold at Duke University, you can look it up in the dictionary, but if you don't know what a particular sound sounds like, where do you go?The Sonic Dictionary, of course.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

Stolen Stradivarius Found By Milwaukee Police

NPR News - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:07

The instrument, known as "Lipinski" was stolen from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's concert master last week.

» E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us

VIDEO: Ambassador Naughty Boy

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:06
Record producer Naughty Boy has been made an ambassador for the British Asian Trust

'Thousands' on benefit cap find work

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:05
More than 3,000 people who were subject to the government's cap on welfare payments have now found work, according to new figures.

Brothers guilty of sex abuse charges

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:00
A man is found guilty of 31 sex abuse offences against his son and daughter while his brother is convicted of raping the woman.

How easy should it be to join a labor union?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:00

The National Labor Relations Board proposed changes to the rules that govern how workers vote on whether or not to unionize. The new rules make it easier for workers to organize by allowing them to distribute information electronically and by shortening the election period.

Under the current system, if workers want to form a union they have to file a petition and then hold an NLRB-sanctioned election. Before the election is the appeals process. Labor organizers argue this system allow employers to delay elections.

“The idea is to eliminate those tactical maneuvers,” says Thomas Kochan, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

The new rules would move the appeals process to after the election, thereby shortening the period between the petition and the election. 

The U.S. Chamber of commerce and other business groups oppose the rule change.

“They feel like these rules are going to have the effect of silencing employers,” says Geoff Burr, Vice President of Government Affairs at The Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade group that represents 22,000 predominantly non-union construction businesses. 

The 5 member board of the NLRB is divided with three democrats in favor of the rule change and two republicans opposed.  Both sides will have 75 days to weigh in on the rule change before a public hearing in April.

Hundreds rescued by Italian navy

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 07:59
Italy's navy rescues 1,123 people from inflatable boats south-east of Lampedusa in one day, while seven migrants drown trying to reach Spain.

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life. Renew here or visit KBBI by April 21 to enter to win one round-trip airfare with Era between Homer and Anchorage. Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

ON THE AIR

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4