National / International News

Anti-Aging Hormone Could Make You Smarter

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 11:37

Scientists have found that a hormone associated with long life also seems to make people smarter. The gene strengthens the connections between brain cells, a process that's essential for learning.

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Congress Votes To Subpoena VA Chief Shinseki

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 11:29

The Veterans Affairs secretary would be called to testify over allegations that delays at VA hospitals have caused as many as 40 patients to die awaiting care.

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What is halal meat?

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 11:28
What is it and why are campaigners so concerned?

Rice Theory: Why Eastern Cultures Are More Cooperative

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 11:22

Westerners tend to be more individualistic than Easterners. Did our ancestors plant these cultural differences hundreds of years when they chose which grains to grow?

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VIDEO: ANC on course for victory in SA

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 11:19
The African National Congress (ANC) has won a commanding victory in South Africa's general election, partial results show.

Abu Hamza lost hands in 'accident'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 11:17
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, tells his US terror trial how he lost his hands and an eye in an explosives experiment in Pakistan.

Court criticised over herpes ruling

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 11:16
Campaigners criticise the Court of Appeal after it rejects a man's appeal against his conviction for infecting a woman with genital herpes.

VIDEO: Muscovites struggle to find Crimea

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 11:09
Following a US survey that showed many Americans were unable to find Ukraine on a map, the BBC's Russian Service carries out a similar test with Muscovites on their geographical knowledge of Crimea.

Barclays to cut 19,000 jobs

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:59
Barclays says it will cut 19,000 jobs by the end of 2016, including 7,000 from its troubled investment bank.

Army to review female combat roles

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:57
A review of whether women in the armed forces should serve in roles which would see them directly engage the enemy is being brought forward, the MoD says.

Double charged: The true cost of juvenile justice

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:50

Double Charged is a special investigation into the U.S. Juvenile Justice system, produced by Youth Radio. This is part one of a two-part series:

Standing in the hallway outside a hearing room at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, you see benches filled with teenagers and their families--waiting to appear in court-- many dressed up in button down shirts and ties, looking their Sunday best. There are a lot of moms, too, and little brothers and sisters who’d clearly rather be elsewhere.

Families and youth wait in the hallway outside juvenile courtrooms, San Leandro, California. 

Brett Myers/Youth Radio

Many teens are here for trials and probation hearings, but on any given day, others are trying to negotiate fines and fees.

The bill starts adding up as soon as you're arrested, before anyone reaches the courtroom. Even if you’re innocent, in Alameda County, the investigation alone will cost you $250.

“You get fined for the public defender,” said Debra Mendoza, probation officer-turned-advocate, who can list fees off the top of her head. “You get charged for incarceration. There’s a fee for being in juvenile hall. There’s a daily fee if you’re on GPS.”

Add the fees together for a juvenile who’s been incarcerated for an average amount of time in this county, and the total bill will be close to $2,000. 

It’s parents who are responsible for the bill. And that’s the trend across states. 

“There are more and more criminal justice fees that are added every year in this country,” said Lauren-Brooke Eisen, legal scholar at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice. “In recent years, about 20 state legislatures passed laws holding parents responsible for their children’s crimes,” said Eisen. 

In California, parents have the right to negotiate fees, but it’s not easy. If they don’t pay, officials can garnish parents’ wages, take their tax refunds or place liens against property. In Alameda County, one of the poorest counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, half of the fees charged to parents remain unpaid. That’s according to the county’s own data, based on a recent five-year period.

“And sometimes it is more expensive administratively to collect these fees than the money you are actually receiving in revenue.” said Eisen. “That’s the great irony of the situation.”

At the Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro, California, Joshua Hopkins is sitting on a bench waiting to be called into a hearing. Hopkins is 13, but he looks a lot older.

“People mess with me and then they get me frustrated, and then they just like to push my buttons. And when they push my buttons, I get very upset and I fight,” Hopkins said .

The fighting has led to time in juvenile detention. And that adds up to a lot of fees, according to his mom, LaPorscha John.

“So basically this is my statement of account. So I owe a total of $736,” she said.

Because of a mental health issue, Joshua lives in a private group home. But his mom is still responsible for the court fees when he messes up. So LaPorscha John owes the money, even though her son is not in her care.

“He is my son… But I’m getting hurt, because it’s financially creating hardship,” she said.

Terry Wiley, Assistant District Attorney for Alameda County’s Juvenile Division, said, “That’s part of being a parent. You’re responsible for your kids and their actions.”

If young people and their families have a problem paying, Wiley said there’s a straightforward solution: “Don’t be committing crimes and you won’t owe any money. Very simple.”

For Zoe Mathews, it’s not simple at all.

In 2010, her son DeShawn Morris was incarcerated for the better part of a year. Months after being released from jail, he was shot and killed. Her son was dead, but the debt lived on, including ongoing calls from county collections.

“It's a constant reminder that, no -- he's not here anymore,” she said.

Mathews’ son was locked up for 208 days at a cost of almost $30 per day.

Zoe Mathews (right) and her mother Jackie stand in front of a wall of family photos, including childhood pictures of Zoe's son DeShawn Morris. DeShawn was killed several months after being released from Juvenile Hall and years later, his mother is still paying the fees for his incarceration.

Teresa Chin/Youth Radio

“By being incarcerated, you're paying your debt back to society. So then they're going to charge you an additional per-night stay as if there were some options?” said Mathews. “The bills are additional stress to already a very painful situation that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life.”

Mathews said the county has agreed to reduce her monthly payment, but won’t reduce the total bill: More than $7,500 for her deceased son’s fees.

Infographics by: Teresa Chin and Jenny Lei Bolario of Youth Radio.

Sentinel mission spies ice loss

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:43
One of the largest ice caps on Earth has experienced a dramatic speed-up, according to pictures just acquired by the EU's new flagship Sentinel satellite system.

Snapchat Settles With FTC Over Privacy Breach

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:37

The messaging service promised users that their photos and video would "disappear forever" after being sent, but the FTC says the company saved email addresses and phone numbers.

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Metallica to headline Glastonbury

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:34
US metal band Metallica are announced as the Saturday night headliners on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

Lack of coach hit Madrid form - Murray

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:19
Andy Murray admits he may be lacking direction without a coach after losing 6-3 6-2 to Santiago Giraldo at the Madrid Masters.

Accusations Of Embezzlement, Sex Roil Old Kentucky Monastery

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:18

A former accountant for the Abbey of Gethsemani is accused of stealing more than $1 million. But he says he was targeted for revealing details of what he says were sexual affairs inside the monastery.

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Leeds United Class A drugs claim

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:09
The former managing director of Leeds United David Haigh claims that spy cameras were installed at Elland Road due to suspicions Class A drugs were being used at the club.

Chelsea boss Mourinho fined £10,000

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:08
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is fined £10,000 in relation to comments he made after his side's game against Sunderland.

Gove urges radicalisation vigilance

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:08
Schools should be aware of signs of radicalisation, sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation among students, Education Secretary Michael Gove says.

VIDEO: Cameron appeals to UKIP voters

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:06
David Cameron told the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson that he understands voters are frustrated.
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