National / International News

JPMorgan's Been Hacked, But Answers — And Fraud — Are Hard To Find

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-28 12:11

Hackers successfully infiltrated the computer systems of JPMorgan Chase and at least four other banks recently. The FBI is investigating what's being called a sophisticated cyberattack, but bank officials have not yet found any evidence of fraud.

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VIDEO: 'Bruise suit' for disabled athletes

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 12:10
A pressure-sensitive suit designed by researchers at Imperial College London identifies possible injuries in athletes who may be unaware they have been hurt.

They Are The Body Collectors: A Perilous Job In The Time Of Ebola

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-28 12:02

The pay is generous — $1,000 a month. The risks are enormous. They collect the body of an Ebola victim, avoiding any contact that could infect them. They wear safety garb. And they pray.

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Family attacks 'racially motivated'

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 12:01
Two families from Sudan are targeted in attacks police say they are treating as racially-motivated hate crimes.

GB women break 4x100m relay record

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:59
Britain's women break the national 4x100m record while James Dasaolu comes third in the 100m at the Zurich Diamond League.

Homer Simpson's Visit To Bangalore Makes Us Go 'D'Oh!'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:51

The Simpsons goes to Bangalore at 4 a.m. ET Friday, as part of the marathon on FXX. Clearly, the writers did not visit this high-tech-loving Indian city.

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VIDEO: Oldest wing walker takes to skies

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:48
The world's oldest wing walker has extended his own record at the opening of the Bournemouth Air Festival.

VIDEO: Buried gold sparks treasure hunt

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:43
Hundreds of people have descended on Folkestone beach in a bid to get their hands on a share of buried gold worth £10,000.

VIDEO: Scientists trial knotweed killers

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:41
Swansea University scientists are conducting the largest field trial in Europe to find new ways of killing Japanese knotweed.

Swansea council leader steps down

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:39
The leader of Swansea council resigns saying he will focus on building the city's regional and national profile.

Paper outlines potential health cuts

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:31
Health Minister Edwin Poots outlines how the health service will be impacted by potential cuts in a paper seen by the BBC.

VIDEO: Aye or Naw for the Isle of Islay?

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:24
Allan Little reports from the Scottish Hebrides on how Scotland's independence referendum is viewed in the remoter corners of the country.

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Will Be Put To Human Test

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:24

Animal tests have been encouraging, but there's no guarantee the new vaccine will work in people. Several vaccines against Ebola have been tested before, but none has made it to the finish line.

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VIDEO: 106th birthday for Bette Davies

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 11:05
Relatives have been helping Bet Davies from Flint to celebrate her 106th birthday.

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-28 10:59

Kids read emotions better after spending several days without electronic media, according to new research.

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Scientists Study How We Evolved To Stand On Our Own Two Fins

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-28 10:56

They examined an African fish that can breathe air and walk on its fins, discovering insights into the transition from sea to land some 400 million years ago.

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Hockaday sacked as Leeds manager

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 10:55
Leeds United manager Dave Hockaday is sacked after only six games in charge of the Championship side.

An auction where you can buy a $1 million oil lease

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-08-28 10:53

It happens twice a year at the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but it has nothing to do with football. We're talking about a much bigger game, one that's only growing: Offshore oil and gas.

Twice a year "landmen" from energy companies file into the Superdome for an auction. They bid for the right to drill for oil and natural gas under the sea. And who's selling that right? You and me, by way of the federal government.

The first thing you see at the Western Planning Area Lease Sale 238 is the map of what's for sale. There's the familiar curve of Texas along the Gulf: Corpus Christi, Galveston.  A grid overlays 21.6 million acres of the waters off the coast.

"These blocks are generally 3-by-3 miles, " says Caryl Fagot, with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. "The companies are bidding on the right to drill in that particular block. Actually these are, um—"

We're interrupted by an extensive mike check. This is a public auction, after all. Bids must be heard loud and clear.  The feeling in the room is dry-as-a-bone serious. But there's a sign posted that hints at drama. "No masks, costumes with head coverings, props or posters."

"Well, we have had protesters," Fagot says. "We've had someone in a polar bear costume, we've had people come with dollar bills attached to themselves, they want to bring in large signs, and we're conducting business here, so we really can't allow that type of thing in the bidding room."

This is big government business. There are thousands of these 3-by-3-mile blocks to manage. All blocks look the same on paper, blue squares of water, but names of certain areas hint at what's underneath: Alaminos Canyon, East Breaks.

The so-called landmen here, who are from BP, Shell, Chevron and others, know what's under the sea floor, or they hope they do, at least.

"It's somewhat of a gamble," says Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association. "They do it by looking at seismic data, by looking at other blocks nearby that have been producing, so you use your best expertise to guess which areas might contain important geological formations that might contain oil and gas, and then you take a guess at how much that might be worth."

This year marks the return of BP to this auction. The Environmental Protection Agency banned the company from bidding on new blocks as part of the fallout of the 2010 oil spill. BP had been the biggest producer in the Gulf, so there's some suspense around its plans, which aren't known until the auction starts.

"The bids are sealed until they're opened up later today, so it's a little like the Academy Awards," Luthi says. "You open the envelope and see who's bid and how much."

Now, without further ado… "Welcome, and I thank you for attending today's sale…"  No long acceptance speeches. Auctioneer John Rodi with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management moves pretty quick.

"Alaminos Canyon block … a bid by BHP Billiton…3,106,250…a bid by BP Exploration and Production Inc…$2,327,027…"

The oil company landmen are tight-lipped. Most hold up a hand when they see a reporter's microphone, indicating no interviews. But they carefully mark down each bid, and whisper to each other as the prices go public. Each bid is whisked off in a briefcase.

The relatively small sale is all over in half an hour.

The government's own geologists and other experts will make sure the company has paid a fair price for what they think is under the water. If not, the bid gets rejected. Tallied up, this sale brought in about $110 million.

Ben Waring sells data systems to oil companies for offshore exploration. He points to the map and says the sale held surprises. "BP bought everything that wasn't nailed down in this area right here…"

It's an area called Port Isabel. If there's oil worth tapping, it'll take years of development and many millions of investment to get it out. The auction bids are a drop in the bucket of the lucrative universe that is Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling.

DNA tells story of Arctic peopling

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 10:52
A study of genetic sequences sheds light on the settling of the North American Arctic, from ancient "Paleo-Eskimos" to the modern-day Inuit.

Nigeria launches electronic ID cards

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-28 10:45
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan formally launches a national electronic identity card, which can also be used to make payments.
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