National / International News

VIDEO: Meet the Author: Andrew Crofts

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 10:35
In this week's Meet the Author the BBC's Nick Higham meets author Andrew Crofts.

Ski bums priced out of resort towns

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-08-14 10:21

Christen Johnson moved to Jackson,Wyoming, so she could spend as much time as possible on her snowboard. She's lived in Jackson off and on for the last two years, but she had to leave town recently. When I met her, she was living in Curtis Canyon, a free campsite a few miles outside of Jackson.

Johnson works in town as a cocktail waitress, but her home is an old Econoline van. She's always looking for a place, but her housing budget is $650 a month. Around here, that doesn't buy much.

"There are options that come up, but most of the time they are too expensive," she says.

Even if she found a place she could afford, she might not be able to keep it.

"I've had a lot friends move out of their places because the landlord wants to up rent now, because there is such a high need," Johnson says.

Struggling to find a room is pretty common in Western resort towns like Jackson, Sun Valley and Aspen. But lately, a stronger economy and the popularity of house sharing sites like Airbnb make finding a place almost impossible.

For seasonal workers like Johnson, that means a summer in Jackson is a summer outdoors. For local business owners, it means a whole lot of "help wanted" ads.

"Friday is usually our busiest day of the week," says Chris Hansen, owner of Caldera's Pizza in downtown Jackson. "And right now, every day is Friday."

Hansen is sort of the old model around here — he came west as a ski bum after college in the '90s and stuck around. He says when he needed to grow his staff over the summer, he used to rely on college kids. Lately, that's been difficult.

"Anytime somebody gets in touch with me who isn't here already I always ask them, 'Do you have housing right now?' If their answer is 'No,' I always say 'Come see me when you have housing,'" Hansen says.

This search for staff at Caldera's Pizza has taken Hansen all the way across the Atlantic to the countries of the former Soviet Union.

"A little tiny small country between Romania and Ukraine," is how Nina Maico describes Moldova, her home country, over the din of Caldera's.

Maico is one of Chris Hansen's top servers this summer. To be fair, she's a college student, too — that's why she was able to qualify for the J1 Visa program, which brings international college students to the U.S. to work for a season. Crucial in a place like this, J1 students' contracts almost always include housing as part of the deal.

Maico says she loves getting to work in the States, even if waiting tables here is a little different than in her home country.

"You don't even introduce yourself. 'Hi, what do you like? OK, bye.' Done. Here, you kind of have a dialogue, because its in your interest, you know? Otherwise you are not going to make money."

Robin Lerner helps oversee the J1 Visa Exchange Program at the State Department. She says the reason you usually see Eastern Europeans when you're checking out at the grocery store or grabbing a drink is because their summer break generally aligns with ours. Lerner says big resorts in towns like Jackson love the program.

"Any place where you have one season you are going to see such a need that it goes beyond what can be fulfilled by the local population," Lerner says.

Back at her campsite, Christen Johnson is packed up and ready for work. She says that car camping is good for now, but it isn't really a choice.

"If I just decide I don't want to do it anymore: tough luck, you know?," says Johnson with a shrug. "I don't really have another option other than leaving."

Johnson says she might not come back next year. That would leave one really great summer job open — if you can find a place to stay.

Do Not Fear This Giant Robot Swarm

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

Researchers created a swarm of 1,024 tiny robots to do their bidding. So far, the only job they're given is to arrange themselves into a shape. But future versions could perform all sorts of tasks.

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Ebola risk from air travel low - WHO

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 10:11
The risk of transmission of Ebola during air travel is low, the World Health Organization says, advising against travel bans to and from affected countries.

VIDEO: Where have Yazidi refugees gone?

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 10:03
The BBC's defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt spends the day at an Iraqi hospital where the doctors have been treating Yazidi refugees.

There's No Longer A Doubt About This Cutthroat Trout

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:56

After learning that they'd spent decades restocking Colorado's lakes and streams with the wrong fish, biologists are now ready to release the right one.

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Chilean priest in adoption scandal

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:55
A Chilean judge bars a Catholic priest from leaving the country over claims he pressured unmarried women to give up their babies for adoption.

UK ready to help over Iraq - Cameron

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:48
The UK is ready to "help out in the right way" in Iraq where thousands of people have fled Islamist militants, Prime Minister David Cameron says.

VIDEO: BBC gains access to Mount Sinjar

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:45
The BBC's world affairs correspondent Paul Wood reports from Mount Sinjar in Iraq where many refugees are still located.

VIDEO: Teletext kept alive at art festival

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:45
Teletext may have disappeared from British TV screens - but artists across Europe are keeping the format alive.

Obama: U.S. To End Aid Drops In Iraq, But Airstrikes To Continue

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:38

The president says thousands of Yazidis had been rescued from Sinjar mountain in northwestern Iraq, thanks to the targeting of Islamic insurgents who threatened them.

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Two arrests in missing brothers hunt

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:36
Police searching for three brothers missing from a foster home in Sunderland arrest two people in connection with their disappearance.

Suarez ban stays but cleared to train

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:32
Luis Suarez's four-month biting ban is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but he is now allowed to train with Barcelona.

Should holiday email be deleted?

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:32
Should all holiday emails just be deleted?

NHS rights call for private patients

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:29
Calls are made for private healthcare patients in Wales to have the same rights as those on the NHS.

Obama Urges Healing, Peace In Ferguson, Mo.

NPR News - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:18

The president said the Department of Justice is investigating the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teen in the city, but said there's no excuse for violence against the police.

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Police search Cliff Richard property

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 09:16
Police search a Berkshire property belonging to Sir Cliff Richard in relation to an alleged historical sex offence.

Suicide rate falls by a fifth

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:58
The suicide rate in Scotland fell by almost a fifth over the past decade, new figures show.

VIDEO: The Analyst: How to play a bouncer

BBC - Thu, 2014-08-14 08:58
Cricket analyst Simon Hughes on how to beat fast balls

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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