National / International News

UK government hits borrowing target

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 04:11
The UK government borrowed £107.7bn in the financial year to April 2014, lower than the amount it borrowed the previous year.

Regional airlines need pilots but offer low wages

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-23 04:08

There's a huge and growing demand for pilots at the nation's regional airlines. The Government Accountability Office says the small carriers need to hire thousands of new pilots.

So you'd think lots of folks would be in line. After all, some pilots pull in $200,ooo a year.

But starting salaries are much lower, which is sending some pilots elsewhere.

Take Doug Fowler, who quit his regional airline gig with Atlantic Southeast Airlines (now ExpressJet) after nine months.

"My paycheck -- my [take] home pay -- was $13,300," Fowler says.

According to the Air Line Pilots Association, the average co-pilot at a regional carrier starts out at about $22,000. That's $10 an hour. Fowler says he had to work a second construction job just to pay the bills.

"You should be paid more than $20,000 a year," he says, citing the responsibility pilots have for the fifty passengers on board. "My wife's life is worth more than twenty grand a year," he says. "So that's the way we look at it."

But that's not how regional carriers look at it. They bid contracts to the big airlines to fly small planes on short routes. It's fiercely competitive. So about the only way to make money is to pay pilots next to nothing.

"Typically, pilots worked in this position and moved on to another company, so the airlines felt they were being used as a stepping stone," says aviation consultant Kit Darby. Everyone knew the game. "Since they were leaving anyway, there wasn't much incentive to provide a living wage at the starting position," Darby says.

All that used to happen quickly. Within a year, you were on your way to captain's seat and better pay.

But now there are more barriers.

Mandatory retirement for pilots went from age 60 to 65. And a new Congressional mandate requires pilots amass 1,500 flight hours before they can get an airline job. That's a 600 percent increase.

Darby says something's got to give at the regionals.

"They have to be mindful that they are competitive with other companies, or they'll take what is an inadequate supply and turn it into no pilots available."

Doug Fowler, the pilot who quit, says he might return to the big guys one day. But for now, he's content flying corporate customers in a single-engine turboprop at about $30,000 a year.

EU in slow progress on deficit cuts

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 04:03
EU member countries have cut new government borrowing, but total debt continues to rise, European Commission figures show.

Day in pictures: 23 April 2014

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:59
News photos from past 24 hours: 23 April

House sales up by more than 20%

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:52
House sales in Wales increase by more than 20% in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2013.

Anger over baby ashes report move

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:45
Parents of babies whose ashes were disposed of without their knowledge say they were "stunned" to learn a report into the scandal was handed over last week.

'Patience' warning over gay marriage

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:44
Supporters of gay marriage should be patient if they want the blessing of the Church in Wales, the Archbishop tells the governing body.

Dancer's death sparks Rio clashes

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:40
Weeks before the World Cup, deadly clashes break out in the Brazilian city of Rio after the body of a young man is found, allegedly beaten by police.

Dirty Money: A Microbial Jungle Thrives In Your Wallet

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:40

A look at the critters that live on money finds about 3,000 types of bacteria. Most are harmless. But researchers found traces of DNA from anthrax and drug-resistant pathogens, too.

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In Illinois, A Town That's Half-Destroyed But Filled With Hope

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:38

Washington, Ill., lost half of its assessed property value to a tornado in November, but residents who lost everything are eager to reclaim their hometown.

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Stowaway Teen May Have Been Trying To Reunite With His Mom

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:35

News reports indicate the 15-year-old was hoping to eventually get to Somalia, where his mother lives. He crawled into the wheel well of a jet that flew from California to Hawaii.

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NYPD Twitter campaign 'backfires'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:28
Twitter users bombard the New York Police department with images depicting police aggression in the latest social media campaign to go awry.

Bail-out for troubled Hull theatre

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:27
The Hull Truck theatre receives £400,000 in emergency grants from Arts Council England and Hull City Council to help it out of financial crisis.

Madeleine police probe 18 break-ins

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:11
UK police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance are looking at 18 potentially linked cases involving a lone intruder breaking into holiday villas in the Algarve, Portugal.

Barcelona transfer ban put on hold

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 03:00
Barcelona will be able to buy and sell players this summer after Fifa suspended its transfer ban on the club.

Hospice boss cleared of misconduct

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:56
The director of care at a children's hospice is cleared of professional misconduct over the way she dealt with a dying teenager.

Snowden installed as uni rector

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:54
Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden is installed as rector at Glasgow University despite not being allowed into the UK.

Scholes returns to help coach Man Utd

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:54
Paul Scholes will assist former team-mate Ryan Giggs at Manchester United following the sacking of David Moyes.

No UN action on Iran envoy visa ban

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:54
A UN committee takes no action against the US refusal to grant a visa to Iran's newly appointed permanent representative in New York.

Complaints mount over Jamaica Inn

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-23 02:51
The number of viewer complaints over the audibility of BBC One drama Jamaica Inn escalates, with the second episode seeing a decline in ratings following Monday's debut instalment.
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