National / International News

New Scrabble Champ: Oregon Man, 24, Wins Title

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:58

In the final, Conrad Bassett–Bouchard of Portland used words including "florigen." Of the runner-up, the tournament head says, "He's going to be kicking himself for missing 'gramarye.' "

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Apple bans toxins from assembly line

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:49
In light of a public campaign, Apple has banned two potentially hazardous chemicals from 22 of its iPhone and iPad assembly plants.

Sharp rise in CT scans on children

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:42
An expert panel says the number of CT scans performed each year is rising exponentially and more data is needed to asses their impact on health.

Ukraine rebel head Strelkov 'quits'

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:38
Igor Girkin - known as Strelkov - resigns as the military chief of pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, reports say.

Protest march advances on Islamabad

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:32
Anti-government protesters led by Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri set off from Lahore for Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, amid tight security.

VIDEO: Man Utd & Arsenal to keep spending?

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:31
BBC Sport's David Ornstein reports on the latest Premier League transfer stories, including Man Utd and Arsenal's search for a central defender.

Pakistan's Mixed Message: Celebrations Amid A Security Lockdown

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:24

The country's Independence Day was a study in contradictions. The effort to mark the occasion in the capital Islamabad kept bumping up against anxiety over protest marches against the government.

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Roundtable: The Past And Present Of 'Yellowface'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:10

Have more non-Asian actors, musicians and others been trying to don makeup or clothes in an attempt to look "Asian," or are we just better at noticing it? Three experts weigh in on the phenomenon.

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Roundtable: The Past And Present Of 'Yellowface'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:10

Have more non-Asian actors, musicians and others been trying to don makeup or clothes in an attempt to look "Asian," or are we just better at noticing it? Three experts weigh in on the phenomenon.

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The biter bit - or has Suarez got off lightly?

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:05
Luis Suarez's partially successful appeal will disappoint some but the result seems a sensible solution to most observers, writes Dan Roan.

Fracking threatens election tremors

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:00
How big an impact will fracking have on 2015 election?

Rik Mayall mural for birthplace

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 07:37
A 20ft (6m) high mural of comedian Rik Mayall is created in his birthplace in Essex.

VIDEO: Two US states 'swap weather systems'

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 07:31
Unusual weather in the Western US has caused an apparent "swap" in weather systems between Arizona and Washington State.

UN declares major emergency in Iraq

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 07:23
The UN declares its highest level of emergency in Iraq as a humanitarian crisis follows the rapid advance by Islamic State militants.

Southampton sign Hull striker Long

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 07:05
Southampton complete the signing of Hull City striker Shane Long for an undisclosed fee, reported to be about £12m.

Beneath These Masks Is An Artist Conflicted By Junk Food

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-14 07:05

James Ostrer slathered himself and a few friends with cream cheese and then piled candy, doughnuts and fries on top. As he photographed these human sculptures, he found a sort of catharsis.

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Jail 'destroyed' China rights lawyer

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 07:04
Leading Chinese dissident, Gao Zhisheng, has been left "destroyed" and "unintelligible" by three years in jail, according to his lawyer.

California could stay dry enough to make food pricier

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-08-14 07:00

In an ongoing drought that’s often described as epic, California’s legislature has approved a proposal to ask voters for more than $7 billion in water-infrastructure projects.

Among those who were pleased:  The California Farm Bureau. Much of California’s water goes to growing crops, and the state produces a big chunk of the nation’s fruit, veggies, and nuts.

The drought has been extremely tough on farmers, and the bad news is:  It’s probably reasonable to expect more of the same, over the very long term. Recent research shows that the last hundred years were probably the long-term equivalent of the rainy season.

“All of our water-management decisions in the West were made based on a really, really wet period, comparatively speaking, looking at the last thousand years of record,” says Richard Heim a meteorologist for the Climatic Data Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Climate change will amplify any natural drying-out. “It’s going to be hotter and drier in the western United States,” says Heim. “Bad.”

Given that, California agriculture might need a major re-think. “It’s not clear that  we should be growing these kind of crops— vegetables, nut trees, grapes— these kinds of very thirsty crops— in a region like California,” says Yusuke Kuwayama, an economist at Resources for the Future.

He thinks the long-term alternative is probably more-expensive broccoli.

California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger says: OK, but where else are you going to grow tomatoes in December? Nebraska? 

“Our Mediterranean climates are the richest growing regions in the world,” Wenger says. “And by definition, they have good soils, they have temperate climates, and they don’t have water. We have to bring water to them.”  

California currently imports a significant amount of water from the Colorado River.

An animation depicting the past six weeks of drought conditions in the United States. (Graphic courtesy of United States Drought Monitor.)

 

Wanted At Barneys New York: An 'Anti-Profiling Consultant'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-14 06:59

The high-end retailer settled a nine-month investigation by the New York state attorney general's office by agreeing to hire an independent expert on preventing racial profiling.

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Quins launch European Champions Cup

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 06:53
Harlequins will entertain French side Castres in the opening game of the new European Rugby Champions Cup on Friday 17 October.
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