National / International News

Ebdon misses out on Crucible spot

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 13:06
Peter Ebdon fails to qualify for the World Championship for the first time since turning professional.

Justice's 'Peacemaker' Unit Focuses On Transgender Rights

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 13:02

A unit originally created to keep the peace during the civil rights movement is training law enforcement on how to be more sensitive to transgender witnesses and crime victims.

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Blakelock family 'must feel angry'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 13:00
Nicholas Jacobs, the man cleared of killing PC Keith Blakelock in 1985, says he would feel "angry and disappointed" if he was a member of the police officer's family.

First Heartbleed 'hacker' arrested

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:56
A 19-year-old Canadian citizen is charged with hacking into the Canada Revenue Agency's website, becoming the first arrest in relation to the Heartbleed security breach.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:54

Impatient gardeners don't have to wait for summer to harvest salad fixings. A surprising variety of crops will bring homegrown produce to your table in as little as three weeks.

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Veteran MP Mitchell to step down

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:42
Veteran Labour MP Austin Mitchell says he will step down at the next general election.

Legal Moves Might Mean Fiscal Relief, And More PR Troubles, For GM

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:39

General Motors is signaling its plans to ask a bankruptcy judge for protection from lawsuits related to a defective switch recall. This could further complicate its current public relations crisis.

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Backlash over Crimea hits Russian economy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:08

The Russian economy is beginning to suffer fallout from the crisis in Ukraine.

Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told parliament in Moscow today that growth slowed sharply to just 0.8 percent in the first quarter -- far short of the earlier prediction of 2.5 percent. The minister said that the Ukrainian turmoil had spooked investors, and capital is fleeing the country at a record rate. Earlier in the week, the Russian finance minister forecast that if the capital flight continues the economy could see zero growth this year. Independent observers are equally gloomy.

"Everything seems to be going in the wrong direction for Russia at the moment,” says Raoul Ruparel of the Open Europe think tank in London. "It’s really due to increasing uncertainty around the situation in Ukraine and potential sanctions.”

So far, the U.S. and the Europeans have imposed travel bans and asset freezes on certain Russian and Ukrainian officials. The European Union has threatened to escalate the sanctions if peace talks due to begin in Switzerland on Thursday fail to make progress, and if Russia persists with what the EU calls its “provocation.”

 But Russian President Vladimir Putin seems unfazed by all the threats.

"Regaining Russian lands is taking precedence over practical , economic considerations," says Daragh McDowel of the Maplecroft research house.

 Other analysts argue that Putin has no reason to feel seriously threatened -- yet.

"The Russians have the third largest hard currency reserves in the world – a half a trillion dollars' worth - and that could cushion the capital flight," says Sam Charap of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. "So I don’t see a dramatic, huge, short-term economic impact from this."

A European embargo on imports of Russian oil and gas or a ban on Russian banks to stop them dealing in western financial markets could be a different matter. That could bring Russia to its knees. But such drastic action – which could also inflict real economic damage on Europe - seems highly unlikely... unless Russia invades eastern Ukraine.

Row erupts over removed Banksy work

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:02
A row breaks out over the ownership of a work of art by "guerrilla artist" Banksy after it was taken from a Bristol street.

South Korea Ferry Disaster Sets Rescuers, And Fears, In Motion

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:00

Hundreds are missing after a ferry sank Wednesday off South Korea's southern coast. Reporter Jason Strother in Seoul offers details on the latest developments.

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Entering Talks In Geneva, U.S. Hopes For A Ukraine Breakthrough

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:00

Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet Thursday with officials from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. They will discuss the crisis in Ukraine. While the Obama administration has said it has overwhelming evidence that Moscow is stirring up the unrest in eastern Ukraine, it says it wants to wait before expanding sanctions. Analysts say Washington has few other options.

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High School's Most Dreaded Test Gets A Makeover

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:00

The College Board outlined changes today for its SAT, pairing the news with a few sample questions. NPR's Cory Turner details the makeover students can expect to find in spring of 2016.

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Ukrainian Tanks Roll In — But Above Them Russian Flags Fly

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:00

Ukrainian tanks arrived in the city of Kramatorsk Wednesday morning. By the time they rolled out of the city, they were flying Russian flags. People in Kramatorsk tell the story of what happened.

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The New SAT: Less Vocabulary, More Linear Equations

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:00

The new version of the standardized test for college admissions, set to go into effect in 2016, will do away with obscure vocabulary words and cut multiple choice answer options from five to four.

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Man Reaches For The Sun For A Solution To Pakistan's Gas Crisis

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:00

A plan to replace imported oil with domestic natural gas has led to fuel shortages and long lines in Pakistan. A businessman has spent $500,000 of his own money to develop an affordable solar car.

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VIDEO: CCTV reveals dog as hunted car vandal

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 11:57
A vandal responsible for puncturing more than two dozen vehicle tyres in a quiet Cumbrian village has been unmasked as a dog.

Ex-City Manager Caught In Calif. Salary Scandal Gets 12 Years

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 11:49

Robert Rizzo, who paid himself an $800,000 salary for running the small town of Bell, Calif., took advantage of the fact that there were "no checks and balances" in city government, the judge said.

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VIDEO: Price war sees Tesco profits fall 6.9%

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 11:41
Tesco has reported a 6.9% fall in group trading annual profit to £3.3bn as it continues to lose market share to discount rivals.

Pattern making: A stitch in time?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-16 11:41

Jen Beeman is a pattern maker based in Chicago. She runs the patternshop Grainline Studio.

Here's how she describes her job:

"Nobody ever realizes that people are involved in the making of your clothes anymore. People just assume that it’s a machine that makes our clothes. We’re so removed from how our garments or products in general are made that they never assume that there’s a person who does that.

With pattern making, if you can imagine something you want to make, then you can make it because you have the tools to make the pattern to make that a reality. And that’s really exciting to me – the creativity.

What it involves is a large work table, brown paper, 90lb craft paper, rulers, and a pencil. That’s pretty much it."

The Archer Button Up shirt is one of Grainline's most popular patterns.

Courtesy of Jen Beeman/ http://shop.grainlinestudio.com/product/archer-button-up-shirt

"[My job]’s going away because computers are making things more efficient. And you need less patternmakers to do the same amount of work and also things are getting outsourced overseas where the things are being made. But for me, it means that you need to be more creative and think outside the box to make it a viable career.

In 2009, I randomly started a blog and published my first pattern in, I think, 2010. And from there, it’s taken off. There are people in high school who buy them, and I’ve had people email me who are in their eighties. I’m just kind of flabbergasted that that many people are using my patterns and it is world-wide too which blows my mind.

I’ve thought a lot about what I would do if I couldn’t do patternmaking, and I honestly can’t come up with an answer. And I know that’s super lame. But I just really love what I’m doing. And I just know I’m really, really lucky to be able to do what I do."

Hear more stories in our Disappearing Jobs series:

Light And Dark: The Racial Biases That Remain In Photography

NPR News - Wed, 2014-04-16 11:35

When Syreeta McFadden was young, she dreaded being photographed. Cameras made her skin look darkened and distorted. Now a photographer herself, she's learned to capture various hues of brown skin.

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