National / International News

US: Iran UN envoy pick 'not viable'

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:26
The Obama administration has told the Iranian government its choice of a one-time student revolutionary to be UN ambassador is "not viable".

WATCH: Sparks Fly In Holder, Gohmert Exchange On Capitol Hill

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:21

Rep. Louis Gohmert and Attorney General Eric Holder clashed over the House's decision to hold Holder in contempt in 2012. The exchange included finger wagging and warnings against lectures.

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The Security Bug That Affects Most Of The Internet, Explained

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:19

Google, Yahoo and other major Internet companies use OpenSSL to protect your data transactions with them. Turns out a bug called Heartbleed has been exposing much of their data, and yours.

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Why Physicists Are In A Film Promoting An Earth-Centered Universe

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:17

Scientist Lawrence Krauss says clips of him were "mined" to lend credibility to The Principle, a film he describes as "stupid" and "unbelievable."

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An Angry Hearing On The Hill For 'Cockamamie' Twitter-like Network

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:13

During a hearing Tuesday, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy vented anger about a USAID program to fund a failed, Twitter-like network in Cuba.

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VIDEO: Queen jokes about Games entrance

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:10
The Queen has joked that it took someone of Irish descent to get her to "jump from a helicopter", recalling her part in the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

In pictures: Irish president in UK

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01
Michael D Higgins visit to the UK

New Rules Force Big Banks To Keep A Bigger Cushion

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Banking regulators at the FDIC and the Fed are voting on whether to impose tougher rules on big banks. Analysts think that the new regulations, which are expected to pass, will hurt growth prospects.

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Natural Disasters Are Rare, But So Is Mudslide Insurance

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Dozens of people lost their homes in the massive slide in Oso, Wash., but few are likely to see an insurance payout. That's because mudslide coverage is not included in a typical homeowner's policy.

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History And Hatred In A Battle Of Basketball Unbeatens

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Michelle Smith, a women's basketball writer for ESPNW, offers a preview of Tuesday's NCAA women's basketball final.

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Al Sharpton, FBI Informant? New Claims Revive '80s Mob Story

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Rev. Al Sharpton's past work for the FBI is under new scrutiny. On Monday, the website The Smoking Gun published documents that it claims detail Sharpton's work as a confidential informant during mafia investigations in the 1980s. Sharpton admits recording conversations with alleged mobsters for the FBI, but he denies doing anything wrong.

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Pistorius Trial Adjourns Early For Day Amid Runner's Sobs

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

In the second day of testimony from Oscar Pistorius, the former Olympic runner broke down in sobs on the witness stand. David Smith of The Guardian was in the courtroom, and he details the testimony.

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In Donetsk, Demands For A Vote Boil Into Aggression And Arrests

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Pro-Russia demonstrators have taken over government offices in Donetsk and other major cities in eastern Ukraine. They're demanding a vote on whether the region should leave Ukraine and join Russia.

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Holder Plays Asparagus Card Against GOP Antagonist

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:56

When a Texas Republican congressman criticized Eric Holder Tuesday, the attorney general hit him with a dose of snark.

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An English village, 30 years after its mine closed

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:47

American coal mines are closing. Do the miners have anything to learn from their British counterparts who lost their jobs in a wave of mine closures 30 years ago?

There’s nothing left of Cortonwood coal mine. All traces of the mine, which had thrived for more than a century, sustaining the small village of Brampton in Yorkshire, in the north of England, have been erased.

Today there’s a shopping center and office complex on the site where the pithead and the slag heaps used to stand. Cortonwood was where one of Britain’s bitterest labor disputes - the national miners’ strike - erupted in 1984. And Cortonwood was one of the first mines to be shut after the strike against pit closures ended in failure one year later.

There may be no physical trace of the pit, but the village still apparently bears the psychological scars of the loss of the mine.

“Coal was this community, it was that important,” says Denise FitzPatrick, whose husband and son worked in the mine. “Coal was the community. Not just here, but in all mining villages. Everything revolved around the pit. It was a terrible loss.”

Financially, as well as socially. 1.200 men worked at Cortonwood. Denise FitzPatrick’s daughter, Denise Lelliott, says when the pit closed, those who could find work usually made barely half what they earned underground. Many others languished on welfare.

“It’s ripped the soul out of this community,” she says. “I love my community. And it absolutely destroys me what it’s done to it. People says it’s recovered. It hasn’t. And I don’t think it ever will."

Even today, nearly 30 years after the pit closed, and after many of the pitmen have retired or died, the unemployment rate among the ex-miners of Cortonwood is still 12 percent. Andy Lock, who works for a charity which has tried to mitigate the effects of mass unemployment caused by the shutting of coal mines, says too little was done by the government to soften the blow of the pit closures.

“In my opinion there was a lack of support at the time," he says. "So when you have over 100,000 people becoming unemployed, with the lack of infrastructure and lack of support, you get problems.”

Belatedly, the British government did pump money into places like Cortonwood. The shopping center and office complex on the site of the mine opened for business some 15 years after the pit closed. It has been a big success. It has brought prosperity to the village and it is a significant employer, but not, says Denise Fitzpatrick, for the dwindling band of ex-miners.

“There isn’t a miner I know in this village or any other village that would be content to go and stand at the back of a counter –in a shop– because their life were down the pit, working, laboring, very hard down the pit,” she says.

To the outsider, this enthusiasm for deep pit coal mining is not easy to understand. Why did the British miners fight so hard to save such a difficult, dirty and dangerous job?

“Because it were my job," says Mike Clarke, who worked at Cortonwood for 29 years. "That’s what it were. It were my job. That’s the most important thing when you’re a working man. You’ve got pride. You’ve got your family. And you look after them the best you can. And coal mining was the best way I could.” 

Since Cortonwood closed Clark has thrived in the very different career of nursing. But he still misses the camaraderie of the pit, doesn’t regret resisting the closure and urges American miners to do the same.

“Yeah there is life after coal,” he says “Because you’ve got to make a life after coal. But just don’t lay down and die. Go down fighting, go down kicking and screaming. Make it as hard for them as you possibly can."

UK-Ireland future 'built on trust'

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:44
Irish President Michael D Higgins hails the "warm and enduring" links with Britain in a special address to Parliament.

Nato warns Russia over Ukraine

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:43
Nato says further Russian intervention in Ukraine would be a "historic mistake" as Kiev tries to retake official buildings in the east from separatists.

Tired of your name? A one day solution

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:40

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's what's coming up April 9:

  • In Washington, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee discusses international cooperation and space exploration at a hearing titled, "From Here to Mars."
  • A Senate Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on travel closer to the ground, assessing railway safety.
  • The Commerce Department reports on wholesale inventories and sales for February.
  • The House Committee on Small Business discusses "The Biggest Tax Problems for Small Businesses." It is tax season.
  • He's sold a lot of magazines. Hugh Hefner turns 88.
  • And someone who hates their name must have come up with this one. It's National Name Yourself Day. Just for a day, people. You turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Call me Beatrice.

Obama hits at gender wage disparity

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:36
President Obama issues executive orders aimed at erasing gender disparities in pay among the government workforce, in an appeal to women voters.

77 jobs at risk as bus depot to shut

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:28
Bus operator Stagecoach is to close its depot at Brynmawr in the Gwent valleys in July, putting 77 jobs under threat.

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