National / International News

'Shocking' rise in use of food banks

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 02:35
Hundreds of thousands more people are turning to food banks to stop themselves from going hungry, says charity the Trussell Trust.

Attack of the shrimp (prices)

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-16 02:34

If you're a shrimp lover, you may be wondering why you're paying more for your favorite shrimp cocktail or Pad Thai. It's a bacterial infection ravaging shrimp farms in Southeast Asia called "early mortality syndrome" or EMS. The disease doesn't affect people, but it kills baby shrimp.

Shrimp farms in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Mexico have all been affected, but production in Vietnam and Thailand has dropped by more than half. Now the U.S. is getting most of its shrimp from India, not Thailand, and the shortage has caused price spikes.

"I would say the import prices went up anywhere from 50 to 100 percent, depending on what the item was," says Marc Nussbaum, president and COO for shrimp and seafood importer International Marketing Specialists. "Due to this, retailers have moved their prices up."

And that, dear consumer, is why you may opt for the fettucine alfredo instead of shrimp scampi next time you eat Italian.

Teachers urged to watch for FGM

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 02:22
A teachers' union hears that school staff should check families' holiday plans for clues to female genital mutilation.

Venezuela rejects protest amnesty

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 02:17
The Venezuelan government says it will not grant jailed opposition leaders an amnesty at talks aimed at ending anti-government protests.

UK unemployment rate falls to 6.9%

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 02:16
The number of people out of work in the UK has fallen by 77,000 to a five year low of 2.24 million in the three months to February, official figures indicate.

On a bus to nowhere

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-16 02:10

Santa Clara County in the south Bay Area has the fifth biggest homeless population in the United States. Over 7,600 people are without a home on any given night, in Silicon Valley's backyard.

People like Elizabeth Garber. At 2:30 in the morning, she sits on on a crowded Valley Transportation Authority bus somewhere in San Jose.

"I've been homeless for about eight months so far, riding the Bus 22 every night, as many times at night as we have money for," she says.

Bus 22. It's a regular city bus line during the day - traveling between East San Jose and Palo Alto. But at night, for $2 a ride, it unofficially becomes Hotel 22 to dozens of people like Elizabeth Garber.

She stays on the bus every night with her husband Michael, who explains they ride the bus for the full two hours of its route. Then they stand out in the cold, waiting for the next bus to head back the other way.

"Back and forth, back and forth. I try to get sleep when I can, and then it's just figuring out where to go in the morning from there," he says.

Michael says they get about three to five hours of sleep a night, which takes its toll.

"I've missed interviews because I've fallen asleep on the bus in the morning and missed my stop," he says. "I've missed court dates, all kinds of stuff. It's like, okay, I have to get off at this stop, and then you don't even feel yourself going, next thing you know, you wake up, oh you're at the end of the line. I don't know how many opportunities I've lost because of it."

The Garbers say they've tried to sign up for affordable housing, but nothing has panned out.

"There's a one percent vacancy rate in the county," says Bob Dulci, homeless concerns coordinator for Santa Clara County, "which makes it extremely difficult to provide housing for folks, even though we have a lot of rent subsidy dollars."

With the market so competitive, Dulci says, landlords are much more likely to go for someone with a stable job history, instead a person coming off the streets.

Michael Garber said sleeping on the bus is the lowest point of his life, but it could be worse.

"At least out here I'm still free, I'm not incarcerated or somthing like that. It could be a lot worse," he says. "Although sometimes it does feel like jail, you're crowded and shuffled along, no sense of privacy, no sense of decency or anything like that."

I ask Michael what he thinks about the nickname "Hotel 22."

"I call it home," he says.

And next winter, one of Santa Clara County's biggest shelters is closing -- possibly forcing more people onto Hotel 22.

Life term for 'monstrous' rapist

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 02:08
A "monstrous" sex attacker who raped five women and sexually abused a sixth was given a lifelong restriction sentence.

Flats evacuated in suspicious fire

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 01:56
A block of flats is evacuated and residents treated for smoke inhalation following a suspicious fire in Dumbiedykes Road, Edinburgh.

Beard trend 'guided by evolution'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 01:56
The boom and bust of men's beard fashions may mirror Darwinian selection, scientists say.

Penrith fan sorry for hitting Burgess

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 01:44
A fan apologises after hitting South Sydney's England forward Sam Burgess on the head with a stick at an NRL game.

Scottish unemployment rises by 3,000

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 01:35
Unemployment in Scotland rose by 3,000 to 179,000 between December and February 2014, according to official figures.

Officer 'in Taser threat to patient'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 01:26
A police officer who allegedly threatened to shoot a hospital patient with a Taser is suspended.

Abuse of steroid drug service denied

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 01:13
Claims that steroid dealers are using government-funded drug testing as guidance for which drugs to take are denied.

Saudi intelligence chief removed

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 01:12
Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, has been removed from his post "at his own request", state media report.

VIDEO: China's hard-hit steel industry

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 01:06
China's economy grew 7.4% in the first three months of the year - slightly better than expected, but below the government's target.

Wenger hoping for Everton slip-up

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 00:59
Arsenal's Arsene Wenger hopes Everton slip up in the race for fourth, but Roberto Martinez says his side are under no pressure.

Man City players 'best paid in sport'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 00:57
Premier League players at Manchester City are the best paid in global sport, according to a new study.

Police probe Ed Balls car prang

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 00:48
Senior Labour politician Ed Balls is being investigated by police after his car hit a parked vehicle.

VIDEO: Killer shrimp added to EU blacklist

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 00:32
The European Parliament is to vote on a bill to draw up a blacklist of invasive alien species, such as killer shrimp.

VIDEO: 'Complacency' left Camp Bastion vulnerable

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-16 00:29
British commanders must "bear a degree of responsibility" for the failure to prevent a Taliban raid in Afghanistan in 2012 that left two US marines dead, a group of MPs has said.
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