National / International News

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.

Everything else you wanted to know about olives

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-08 10:04

Turns out a lot of people had always wondered why black olives come in cans, but green olives come in jars. Since, of course, one wondering leads to another, our Facebook and Twitter have been alight with questions...

The science: What made black olives in jars so good for botulism?  Why don’t green olives have the same problem?

 Yes, we skipped this part. Here’s the basic deal: Acid and salt retard botulism’s growth. California Ripe Olives are lower in acid than other olives, and the brine isn’t as salty.

 That, plus the low-oxygen environment, makes a black olive in a sealed-up jar so good for botulism. Unless you kill the bacteria with high heat.

 Hey, wait a minute! You can heat up a glass jar to 240 degrees. Home canners do it all the time.

 True! Thanks for pointing that out. I bet I know what you’re asking next…   

 So, why don't the black olives come in jars?

 Turns out, we may owe Mort Rosenblum an apology. He guessed that it was because green olives are prettier. He was half-right.

 We turned here to Kristin Daley, vice president for corporate development at the Musco Family Olive Co.-- one of the two big olive canneries in California.

 Daley says black olives are darn cute. Their brine, not so much.

 “The brine is so dark that it’s barely translucent,” she says. “It’s not very attractive. So there’s not a huge benefit to putting the product into a glass jar.”

And, she says, there are costs: Jars are heavier, so shipping them is more expensive. And there’s more waste from breakage.

At this point, you may be wondering: Why is the brine so dark?

Because the olives got cooked in it, says Eric A. Johnson, a bacteriologist at the University of Wisconsin who specializes in botulism — or, as he calls it for short, “bot.”

“The heat treatment for bot spores is gonna decay some of the tissue,” he says.  

Calif. City Wants To Make It A Crime To Bully Those Younger Than 26

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 09:44

"We are going to protect not only the kid that is bothered in school, but when you leave school and go home, we're going to protect you as a city," says the sponsor of a bill in Carson, Calif.

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The Nation That Elects The Most Women Is ...

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 09:43

In Rwanda, nearly two-thirds of Parliament consists of women, a trend that developed after the country's genocide. Cuba is third, with women making up 50 percent of its legislators. The U.S. is 99th.

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Pair guilty over 'vicious' dog death

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 09:40
Two women whose dog mauled a man to death in his back garden admit allowing the attack to happen.

McGuinness and Robinson in fresh row

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-08 09:37
Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness accuses Peter Robinson of "cowardice of the worst kind" over alleged loyalist paramilitary attacks in east Belfast.

Injuries On The Farm Happen Much More Often Than We're Told

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-08 09:29

The health problems of agricultural workers are the most under-counted of any industry in the U.S., researchers say in a new study. Federal agencies fail to report 77 percent of those injuries.

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