National / International News

Jagger 'struggling' over Scott death

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:29
Sir Mick Jagger says he is "still struggling" over the death of his girlfriend, fashion designer L'Wren Scott.

Chechen Leader Known As 'Russia's Bin Laden' Reported Dead

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:25

A separatist website says Doku Umarov, who has claimed responsibility for several high-profile attacks in Russia, has been "martyred." However, this isn't the first time his death has been announced.

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Hague condemns Russian 'land grab'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:23
The "international order" is at stake, William Hague says, after Vladimir Putin signs a treaty absorbing Crimea into Russia.

Chechen rebel leader Umarov 'dead'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:23
Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, linked to a series of attacks against Russia, is dead, a pro-insurgency website has reported.

Putin signs Russia-Crimea treaty

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:20
President Vladimir Putin signs a treaty on Crimea joining the Russian Federation, as a Ukrainian serviceman is reported killed at a military base.

Three floods in three years? Yeah, we'll buy your house

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:17

Don Garboski loves his big open kitchen, and the pool out back where his grandkids play in the summer.

He’s lived in this house nearly 50 years, but in a few months, Garboski will pack up his belongings and hand the keys to the state of New Jersey so they can demolish it. He’s already stopped fixing problems as they arise in the house.

“This door knob that's broken,” says Garboski, “I refuse to have it replaced because we’re leaving. Why fix it?”

Instead, a piece of duct tape covers the latch. Garboski tells guests not to bother taking their shoes off, despite having replaced all the floors and carpet after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“I don't care if someone comes in with ice skates,” he shrugs.

Garboski lives in Sayreville, N.J., east of New Brunswick along the Raritan and South Rivers.  His neighborhood has severely flooded three times in the last three years. Following Sandy, the state wants to buy his house and some 1,300 other homes for their pre-storm value and demolish them. It's part of a $300 million “Blue Acres” program, funded with federal Sandy aid. The state of New York has launched a similar program.

Sixteen months after Sandy, more than 400 deals are in the works in New Jersey, but only 50 have closed so far. The first home was demolished just last week.

One cause of the delay is that Garboski and many of his neighbors feel they've been low-balled by the state.

“The assessment process is a very sore subject with me," says Garboski, noting that he believes his offer was at least $20,000 short. “Some people made out better than others. Some people, pardon the expression, got screwed.”

Rich Boornazian runs the Blue Acres program. He agrees some of the appraisals were too low, and encouraged those homeowners to appeal. But that adds time to the process.

Other delays have arisen from the surprising number of homeowners owing more on their mortgage than the house was worth before the storm.

"What we didn't expect was the thirty percent rate of people that were 'underwater' on their mortgages," says Boornazian. "So that's a tough one. The state doesn't have extra money to pay more than the appraised value." 

The state is now negotiating with banks to see if they will accept less than full repayment of a mortgage.

Now, the state has to wait for a second round of federal funds to be released before it can make more offers.

But perhaps the largest factor in these buyouts and a common cause for delays are all the emotions that come with leaving a long-time home.

Some families have requested to stay until the end of the school year, says Boornazian.

"There's some people that come to us and say, 'I want to die in this house,'" he adds. "It's not all logical. It's very gut-wrenching emotional decisions that people have to make."

After all the work Zigmunt and Mary Dombrowski put into their house and the 49 years of memories they have there, the couple says they simply can't move – they can't imagine where they'd go.

“I did everything myself except this boiler,” says Zigmunt, proud of his post-Sandy repairs and the bargain furniture finds from Goodwill that he and Mary used to restock the house after the storm.

The Dombrowskis have lived next door to the Garboskis for nearly five decades. But unlike their neighbor, Zigmunt and Mary have decided to turn down the state’s offer. They don’t have to sell if they don’t want to. 

"Why would I want to leave now?" Zigmunt asks. "When we came here there were only two or three houses. If they all leave, that's fine with me. I'm used to that. That's the way it was before."

The Dombrowskis say even if the state offered him more money, they still wouldn't sell.

VIDEO: Stones cancel gig after Scott death

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:05
The Rolling Stones have announced that they have cancelled the first date of their tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Egypt police convicted over deaths

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 08:01
A court in Egypt convicts four policemen of the manslaughter of 37 Islamist detainees who died when tear gas was fired into a transport vehicle.

Max Clifford 'grabbed teenage model'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:59
Max Clifford groped a teenage model and told her he had slept with singer Diana Ross, a court hears.

VIDEO: Flames Spread After Helicopter Crashes In Seattle

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:59

At least two people were killed and one was injured when a news helicopter came down on several cars. Witnesses say it may have tumbled from atop a nearby building.

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AUDIO: Noel Edmonds plans to buy the BBC

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:52
Noel Edmonds claims the BBC is "sleepwalking towards disaster" and needs reinventing with adverts.

The year the big screen came to the little screen

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:49

From the Marketplace Datebook, here’s a look at what’s coming up Wednesday:  

  • The House Natural Resources Committee takes a trip to Fresno, Calif., for a field hearing on the Golden State water crisis.
  • The Federal Reserve wraps up a two-day meeting on interest rates.
  • And sixty-one years ago the Oscars were televised for the first time.

WATCH: Physicist Gets 'Smoking Gun' Proof Of His Theory

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:30

Andrei Linde, one of the founding fathers of cosmological inflation, answers the door to the news that his theory appears to have been confirmed.

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Childcare subsidy scheme boosted

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:20
Working families could get a childcare subsidy of up to £2,000 per child by 2015, under new government proposals.

VIDEO: Lottery millionaire 'predicted win'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:14
A car mechanic and amateur racing driver has spoken of how he predicted his lottery win.

Kids Think The Darndest Thoughts

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:11

Children believe all sorts of things growing up, but kid logic isn't that different from adult logic.

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Ukrainians donate $1m to army via text

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:09
Ukraine's defence ministry raises $1m for its armed forces through a mobile phone appeal.

Malaysia plane hunger strike threat

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:08
Relatives of the Chinese passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight threaten a hunger strike over calls for better information.

Canada troops home from Afghanistan

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:04
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomes home the last of his country's troops to leave Afghanistan.

Moyes defiant over Man Utd future

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 07:02
Manchester United boss David Moyes says he is not concerned about his future at the club despite his team's struggles.

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