National / International News

Brook angry at 'disrespectful' Khan

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-03 00:58
IBF world welterweight champion Kell Brook criticises British rival Amir Khan for showing him "a lack of respect".

Three people critical after fire

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-03 00:42
A man, woman and child are in a critical condition in hospital following a house fire in north Belfast.

The National Park Service's $11.5 billion repair bill

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-04-03 00:40

Washington, D.C.’s famed cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom, and with them they will bring 1.5 million tourists to the narrow path around the Tidal Basin, beside the Jefferson Memorial.

But the National Park Service, which administers the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin as part of its National Mall and Memorial Parks (NMMP) zone, has $11.5 billion on its backlog of deferred maintenance costs. Of that figure, $850 million is slated for the NMMP. So while the Jefferson Memorial may look good from afar, when you get closer you can see that it's falling apart.

“If you look up you can see the portion of the ceiling of the portico has fallen,” said Sean Kenneally, acting deputy superintendent for the National Mall & Memorial Parks. “Fortunately, no one was injured.”

But somebody might have been —a heavy piece of marble falling 50 feet onto a tourist would have generated headlines, and the system is still waiting on a replacement roof. Water, leaking through the 20+ year old roof, runs through the spaces in the monument’s marble, dissolving grout and leaving ugly black stains on the ceiling.

There are plenty of other blackened spots that look like the spot where the marble fell. Until money is appropriated for a new roof however, there’s just a fence and a plan to install a net.

The Lincoln Memorial also needs a new roof, but it’s harder to see the damage—only one of the Alabama marble ceiling panels is missing (There’s a piece of plywood instead). Otherwise, Honest Abe’s house looks pretty good.

Sean Gormley of Rye Neck, N.Y., was visiting Washington and suggested that philanthropic money be used to meet part of the $11.5 billion repair bill. “We already pay enough taxes here, whether it be our federal taxes, real estate taxes, et cetera,” Gormley said. “Things get built up, moths and rust do decay; I tell ya, it’ll crumble one day.”

Craig Obey, the senior vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association, said that the federal neglect of the National Park Service’s funding is a bipartisan problem that has grown more severe in the past 30 years.

“I think the parks have been dealing with less for quite a while, they’ve been asked to do more with less and we are at the point where they’re able to do less with less,” Obey said.

And indeed, the “less” is lessening, Obey said, “because the Park Service gets about between $200 and $300 million less than they need each year just to keep it even, not even to begin reducing it.”

Obey said National Parks aren’t just rock formations that sit in the desert. Most of them are east of the Mississippi and historic, not natural. People go on vacations, drive cars, flush toilets, ask for directions, climb stairs. While it is true that all this takes a toll on the infrastructure of our parks, they also generate economic activity: about $37 billion each and every year.

VIDEO: Councillor's son detained in Turkey

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-03 00:37
One of nine Britons detained in Turkey for allegedly trying to cross illegally into Syria has been named as the son of a Labour councillor.

How the parties are reacting

BBC - Fri, 2015-04-03 00:00
Political reaction to Thursday's TV election debate between the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, the Lib Dems, UKIP, the SNP, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru.

Kenya mourns university raid victims

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 23:58
Grief-stricken relatives go to identify bodies at a university in north-eastern Kenya where al-Shabab gunmen killed at least 147 people.

March Employment Report Expected To Show Continued Job Growth

NPR News - Thu, 2015-04-02 23:44

Over the past year, the economy has added more than 200,000 jobs each month. That level of job creation hasn't happened since a 13-month run that began in 1994.

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Fire at Anglesey petrol station

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 23:37
Firefighters are tacking a large blaze at a petrol station on Anglesey.

VIDEO: Battleground voters pick over debate

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 23:34
Voters in the battleground of Bolton West tell Today chief correspondent Matthew Price what they made of Friday's leaders' debate.

Parties claim victory in debates

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 23:27
Political parties in Wales claim victory for their leaders in the seven-way ITV leaders' live debate.

Djokovic & Isner in Miami semi-final

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 23:08
Novak Djokovic will play John Isner in the Miami Open semi-finals while Carla Suarez Navarro faces Serena Williams in the women's final.

VIDEO: Stranded sailor saved after 66 days

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 23:01
A sailor who says he spent two months lost at sea has been rescued after apparently surviving on raw fish and rainwater.

VIDEO: China's 'guerrilla feminists' held

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 22:56
Five Chinese feminists, known for guerrilla-style protests against domestic violence, have been detained for nearly a month, sparking concerns for their health.

Malaysia sedition charge over tweets

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 22:32
Malaysian authorities charge a prominent cartoonist who criticised the jailing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim with sedition.

Antarctic rescue man in hospital

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 22:18
A seriously ill man who was evacuated from a remote Antarctic base arrives at hospital in Australia after a rough two-week sea voyage.

UK 'spied on Argentina' - Snowden

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 21:06
Documents released by the American whistle-blower Edward Snowden claim that Britain spied for several years on the Argentine government.

Indonesia jails teachers for abuse

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 20:44
A British-Canadian teacher and an Indonesian are jailed for 10 years for sex abuse at a Jakarta international school, in a controversial case.

VIDEO: Iranians celebrate nuclear agreement

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 20:18
Iranians celebrate an outline agreement on the future shape of the country's nuclear programme, reached after marathon talks between Iran and six major powers.

Obama hails Iran nuclear agreement

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 19:57
Barack Obama says a framework agreement on Iran's nuclear programme could peacefully resolve "one of the greatest threats to our security".

Queen to attend VE Day commemorations

BBC - Thu, 2015-04-02 19:49
The Queen is to attend a Westminster Abbey service next month, commemorating the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

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