National / International News

Boys in Collymore racist abuse probe

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 01:02
Four teenage boys are spoken to by police for sending racist and abusive tweets to the ex-footballer Stan Collymore.

TSA crowdsources crowd problems

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-29 01:00

There’s a contest underway you may not know about. The Transportation Security Administration is offering $15,000 in prize money to anyone who can help it come up with a faster check-in system.

Some 1.8 million passengers fly daily across the U.S., and as the TSA knows all too well, many of them complain about long security lines and time-consuming pat-downs.

So, for three weeks, anyone can submit a proposal to help solve expected problems with TSA’s fast lane or “PreCheck” program, which the TSA "allows low-risk travelers to experience expedited, more efficient security screening." It seems to be doing well so far at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, says spokesman Andrew Sawyer.

“We’ve noticed that since PreCheck came to RDU a little over a year ago, we do see a lot of our customers using it,” said Sawyer.

As more people register for the pre-check system, it’s bound to get as clogged as the regular one that leaves travelers with no shoes and open laptops. 

Duke University Professor David Schanzer is director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. He says getting ideas from the public could be a winning strategy.

“While $15,000 seems like a lot to win in a contest, in the scheme of federal contracting if you come up with some really good ideas and solutions, it could be a bargain,” said Schanzer.

It’s a bargain for the federal government which, by the way, charges $85 just to apply for that pre check-in program.

This isn't the TSA's first time reaching out online. While airport security might be crowded and brusque, the TSA's web presence is affable, helpful, and surprisingly self-aware.

Their blog (yes, they have a blog) features tips for any kind of traveler imaginable.

Pregnant? Transporting gun parts? Got bear repellent in your carry-on? All three? They have a guide for you. There's also a kids section, wherein an adorable dog family shows youngsters how to go through a checkpoint — or at least gives them a picture of a checkpoint to color while mom and dad put their shoes, belts and jackets back on.

But the best thing about the TSA's online footprint, by far, is its Instagram account. There, under the hashtag #TSACatch, the organization documents the strangest confiscated items. Each photo contains a detailed and sometimes irreverent explanation for the confiscation and how you can avoid having your own lipstick taser taken away. Ditto for grenades, two (2!) different sets of Batarangs, novelty alarm clocks that look like bombs, and more.

All the photos are culled from the TSA's comprehensive week-in-review blog posts, which are interesting reads themselves. The TSA also realizes the importance of pets on Instagram, and regularly features its K-9 unit. Check out some of our favorite posts below:

[<a href="//storify.com/Marketplace/the-tsa-s-amazing-instagram" target="_blank">View the story "The TSA's amazing Instagram" on Storify</a>]

VIDEO: Immigration plan 'about message not money'

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:59
Norman Smith explains the politics of David Cameron's announcement of benefit rules changes for some EU migrants.

Goldfinch novel set for big screen

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:57
Donna Tartt's best-selling novel The Goldfinch is to be turned into a film, with Rush Hour director Brett Ratner among its producers.

AUDIO: Why is shoplifting on the rise?

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:55
Hywel Griffith reports on the growth of shoplifting offences in North Wales.

Crews Are Containing Western Wildfires, But More Bad Weather's Ahead

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:55

Firefighters are making good progress on a number of destructive wildfires burning in the West. In Washington, fire crews are hoping to contain the largest fire in that state's history within the next week.

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Ruling Against D.C.'s Gun Law Sends Local Officials Scrambling

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:55

A federal judge struck down the city's ban on carrying handguns in public. The latest ruling follows a Supreme Court decision in 2008 that overturned the city's blanket ban on handgun ownership.

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U.S. Aid To Rebels In Syria: Too Little Too Late?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:55

Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.

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For Two Years, He Smuggled Photos Of Torture Victims Out Of Syria

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:55

The ex-military photographer known only as Caesar took some of the images, which show thousands of dead regime opponents. Syria says they're fake; U.S. officials say they may be proof of war crimes.

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A Compromise Deal On Overhauling The VA, But Will It Pass?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:55

House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.

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Ghost Cats And Musket Balls: Stories Told By Capitol Interns

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:55

Giving Capitol tours to constituents is a primary duty of Hill interns. They provide a great deal of information, but sometimes they're a little short on actual history.

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Zillow To Buy Rival Real Estate Site Trulia

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:55

Zillow has agreed to buy Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock. The two websites represent more than 60 percent of the total Internet traffic for real estate listings.

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Uber, Airbnb Under Attack In Spain As Old And New Economies Clash

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:55

The taxi and hotel industries are pressuring Spain to crack down on popular "share economy" apps and websites. Airbnb was recently fined $40,000 for failing to list rentals with a local tourism board.

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Cross-border heart ops to continue

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:51
Some heart patients in Wales will continue to be sent to England for surgery to cut waiting lists.

Baby mauled by 'bull terrier' dog

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:49
A 14-month-old boy is left with serious facial injuries after being mauled by a bull terrier-type dog in Huddersfield.

Ukraine conflict: EU squeezes Russia

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:42
EU braces for economic pain with further sanctions

Bomber kills Hamid Karzai's cousin

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:34
A suicide bomber kills Hashmat Karzai, an influential cousin of President Hamid Karzai in the southern city of Kandahar.

VIDEO: Control a digger with smart goggles

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:03
Why operating heavy machinery remotely could become a safer and more immersive experience

'Huge' drop in tribunal claims

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-29 00:02
Wales sees a significant drop in the number of people taking claims to employment tribunals after fees to bring action have been introduced.

Australia approves $15.5bn coal mine

BBC - Mon, 2014-07-28 23:30
Australia approves a $15.5bn (£9bn) coal project despite concern over its potential environmental impact, including on the Great Barrier Reef.
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