National / International News

Should oil companies be liable for earthquake-related damage?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-03-19 09:08

The Oklahoma Supreme Court will soon rule on a case that could hold oil and gas companies liable for earthquake-related damage.

Since 2009, Oklahoma has experienced earthquakes at a rate nearly 300 times higher than previous decades. Several peer-reviewed studies link seismic activity with oil and gas development — in Oklahoma's case, that's fracking.

The high court case is a personal-injury dispute. Four years ago in Prague, Oklahoma, a 5.7 earthquake struck and pieces of homeowner Sandra Ladra’s chimney fell on her leg. Ladra may need a knee replacement, and sued two companies in the fracking wastewater business, arguing they caused the quake.

West Virginia law professor Josh Fershee says science links injection wells with earthquakes, but says Ladra’s challenge is to prove wastewater disposal caused the 2011 tremor. If the companies lose, he expects industry to support new rules stipulating what the energy industry can do to avoid or limit quake liability.

Such changes cost money, as do new efforts to take fracking wastewater and recycle it. Still, if more lawsuits come, or more large quakes, the price of safety could be worth it to industry. 

India's prime minister needs a raise

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-03-19 09:08

On Business Insider, we found a piece pegged to a pledge by Russian President Vladimir Putin to reduce his salary by 10 percent because of economic sanctions that have been imposed on the country.

Putin's official salary, by the way, is $136,000.

Business Insider compiled what other world leaders make, and Barack Obama is right up there at $400,000 — just above Canada's Prime Minister Steven Harper, and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

Narendra Modi of India earns about $30,000 a year — the lowest on the list. The highest? Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at $1.7 million.

Target's data breach settlement sets a big precedent

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2015-03-19 09:08

Target will establish a $10 million fund for reimbursement of data breach victims up to $10,000.

The breach, in which customer data was stolen by hackers, affected some 40 million shoppers in 2013 and has already cost Target upward of $100 million in security upgrades and legal fees. 

The settlement is noteworthy for the fact that Target is admitting fault. 

"Target is admitting that data breaches cause real consumer harms," says Ed Mierzwinski with U.S. Public Interest Research Group in Washington D.C 

The case could also set a precedent for future data security cases.

"Settlements are negotiations and any time another settlement happens it helps set what is the going price," says Bill McGeveran of the University of Minnesota School of Law.

A class-action suit is currently underway in Atlanta against Home Depot for its 2014 data breach.

2022 World Cup final on 18 December

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 09:07
Fifa confirms 2022 World Cup final in Qatar will take place on 18 December - and France will host 2019 Women's World Cup.

Lawro's predictions v the Eggheads

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 09:05
BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on Jeremy Vine and the Eggheads in the weekend Premier League games.

Virginia's Governor Orders Inquiry Into Black Student's Bloody Arrest

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 09:04

The case created an uproar after photos emerged showing a member of UVA's Honor Committee bleeding as he lay on the sidewalk with a uniformed ABC agent crouching over him.

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Who needs what in Six Nations fight?

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 08:49
As England, Ireland, Wales and France battle for the Six Nations title this weekend, BBC Sport assess their chances.

Vonn equals legend Stenmark's record

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 08:49
American Lindsey Vonn wins a 19th World Cup title to equal Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark's record.

Murray on marriage, best men & his voice

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 08:47
Andy Murray loosens up behind the microphone and talks about marriage, his choice of best man and tennis commentary.

Clarkson 'fracas' report due next week

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 08:44
The BBC's report into Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson's "fracas" with a producer is to be handed over to the director general next week.

For A Good Snooze, Take One Melatonin, Add Eye Mask And Earplugs

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 08:40

Hospitals are notoriously difficult places to sleep, despite efforts to make them less noisy. Cheap, simple workarounds can help, a study says. Taking the sleep hormone melatonin helped the most.

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Botched Ritual Circumcision Leads To World's First Penile Transplant

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 08:35

The recipient is a 21-year-old from a tribe in South Africa, whose organ was amputated due to complications from the circumcision. The hope is that transplants could be one way to aid other victims.

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Cruise operators shun Tunisian ports

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 08:22
Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises, two Italian cruise companies, cancel planned stops in Tunisian ports following shootings at a museum in Tunis that killed 21 people.

Zayn Malik leaves One Direction tour

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 08:06
The singer leaves One Direction's tour of Asia after being signed off by management with stress.

BBC to show Reading v Arsenal

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 07:45
BBC One will show the FA Cup semi-final between Reading and Arsenal from Wembley on 18 April.

VIDEO: China-Japan talks: Facts in 60 seconds

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 07:43
Awkward handshakes and territorial rows - the background to the China-Japan talks in less than 60 seconds.

Cramped Chicken Cages Are Going Away. What Comes Next?

NPR News - Thu, 2015-03-19 07:31

The results are in from a long-running study of three different ways to house egg-laying chickens. It found that more hens survive in cages, and cages are cheaper. But consumers prefer cage-free eggs.

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Cyril Smith 'child porn find' probe

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 07:26
A cold case unit is to investigate claims police released MP Cyril Smith after child pornography was found in the boot of his car, the BBC learns.

Budget 'devastating' for Wales

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 07:26
Labour Leader Ed Miliband says planned cuts in the wake of the Budget will be devastating for funding the Welsh government receives from the UK.

Mexican man freed after 23 years

BBC - Thu, 2015-03-19 07:24
A Mexican-American man convicted for the 1992 murder of his sister and brother-in-law is freed after a court rules he confessed under torture.