National / International News

VIDEO: Hong Kong burns Ivory stockpile

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:04
Kong Kong says it will burn 30 tonnes of ivory over the course of a year to help combat the illegal trade.

Oil booms have to be good for rural towns, right?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-05-15 11:03

New Mexico is the nation’s sixth largest oil producer. The industry is creating thousands of jobs in the southeast corner of the state. But all that activity is straining basic services. Housing is limited, classrooms are crowded and roads are more dangerous. Now cities are struggling to catch up.

At Puckett Elementary in Carlsbad, New Mexico a first grade class sang along with their teacher. They gather inside a portable classroom. Schools in Carlsbad are running out of space. Superintendent Gary Perkowski said in the last two years the district has enrolled 200 new students.

"All of a sudden it's going up and going up really quickly and very drastically," Perkowski said.

Carlsbad sits atop the fuel-rich Permian Basin. Dozens of new companies have come here to take advantage of high oil prices. That's attracted a bigger workforce. Crowded classrooms are not the only concern.   

"Last year we lost ten teachers that came to Carlsbad, signed contracts...and could not find housing," Perkowski said.

This town of 27,000 people is growing twice as fast as the rest of the state. Teachers are competing with other newcomers looking for a home.

"We had one guy that was trying to live with his family in a motel at a hundred and something dollars a night and that didn't last long," Perkowski said.

Because of the high demand, major hotel chains in Carlsbad charge rates comparable to New York City.  

At a popular Mexican restaurant Mayor Dale Janway digger into a plate of green enchiladas. He had just come from the oilfields himself where he works as a safety consultant.  

"This is one of the hot spots in the country right now and there are a lot of challenges," he said.

Janway said developers can't build fast enough. New apartments have waiting lists. Workers live in outlying RV parks. But it's not just the oil industry. This region is a major producer of potash, a component in fertilizer. A new mine should start construction this year. The U.S. Department of Energy also runs the country's only permanent nuclear waste facility just outside town.

"Anytime you have growth like we do you have more urgency calls, more fire calls, more police problems," Janway said.

Yet another issue is the traffic. It's especially busy along the 70 miles that separate Carlsbad from the neighboring town of Hobbs. Trucks hauling long cylinder tanks and heavy machinery are non-stop on weekdays mornings.

Ten people have died in traffic accidents this year, a high number in this mostly rural county. Carlsbad native Andrew Perez lost his brother in an accident two years ago.   

"My brother worked for an oilfield company, driving trucks and he worked very hard, long hours, didn't get sleep and ended up crashing his truck," Perez said.

His brother left a job in a corrections facility to become a trucker, Perez said. Before that he was Marine who served in Iraq.

"The day he died was the day that he found out he was going to be a father," Perez said.

An investigation by the Associated Press this year found that in some oil-rich states traffic fatalities have quadrupled in the past decade. In Southeast New Mexico, a coalition has formed a task force to address roadside deaths. A state representative is also pushing legislation that would fund highway improvements in oil-producing counties.

In Idaho, A Debate Like You've Never Seen Before

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:50

When two long-shots joined the top Republican candidates for governor at a debate Wednesday, they produced a night to remember.

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Chinese Nationals Flee Vietnam As Unrest Intensifies

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:46

Vietnamese mobs are destroying foreign-owned property and hunting down Chinese nationals in an angry response to Beijing's push to place an oil rig in disputed Southeast Asian waters.

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Two dead in five-vehicle M11 crash

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:38
Two people die in a crash on the M11 motorway involving three cars, a lorry and a horsebox carrying five horses from trainer Brian Meehan's stables.

PM says No vote 'not for status quo'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:33
The prime minister calls for "cross-party consensus" on further devolution if there is a No vote in the referendum on Scottish independence.

Extradition couple taken to hospital

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:31
A couple due to be extradited to the United States on Thursday to face fraud and money-laundering charges are taken to hospital after police force entry to their home.

Murray to face Nadal in Rome last eight

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:16
Andy Murray beats Jurgen Melzer to set up an Italian Open quarter-final against world number one Rafael Nadal.

Sunken body clue to American origins

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:14
The ancient remains of a teenage girl discovered in a flooded cavern in Mexico are providing additional insights on how the Americas came to be populated.

Syria elections a 'parody', says UK

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:13
Presidential elections in Syria will be a "parody of democracy", UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says.

VIDEO: Analyst explains Dixons' survival

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:09
Bryan Roberts, an analyst from Kantar Retail, explains how has Dixons has managed to survive in a time of struggling high streets and failing electronics retailers.

Medicine Needs More Research On Female Animals, NIH Says

NPR News - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:05

A bias toward using male lab animals and tissue samples from males may be limiting the effectiveness of medical research, according to top officials at NIH. They'll roll out new guidelines this fall.

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Investigation call over scoutmaster

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:03
The Scout Association should be investigated after it failed to tell police a scoutmaster had abused children, a MP says.

Ten uncapped players in England squad

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 10:01
Ten uncapped players, including four from Exeter, are named in England's training squad for the tour to New Zealand.

GB women reach team final in style

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 09:57
Great Britain's women produce a stunning display to qualify for Saturday's European team final ahead of champions Romania.

'Going to the World Cup is frightening'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 09:43
Southampton trio Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw & Adam Lallana on their "unbelievable" rise to the England World Cup squad.

VIDEO: Ariel Castro captivity 'sheer torture'

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 09:21
Michelle Knight, one of three women who were held captive for 11 years by Ariel Castro, has spoken to the BBC about her brutal experience.

SA challenges Zuma home report

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 09:08
South Africa's government seeks a judicial review into a report saying President Zuma should repay some of the $23m (£14m) used to upgrade his home.

Malala portrait sells for $82,000

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 09:08
An oil painting of Pakistani schoolgirl and campaigner Malala Yousafzai is sold to raise funds for her charity.

Sudan woman faces death for apostasy

BBC - Thu, 2014-05-15 09:07
A Sudanese court sentences a woman to hang for apostasy - leaving Islam - after she married a Christian man.
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