National / International News

Best win for a long time - Swann

BBC - Wed, 2015-06-17 14:24
England's chase of 350 to beat New Zealand is the one-day side's greatest win in a long time, says ex-spinner Graeme Swann.

Thursday's gossip column

BBC - Wed, 2015-06-17 14:24
Man City want Jack Wilshere, Petr Cech set for Arsenal move, fans worry about Fifa 16 front cover, plus more.

Malaysian opposition falls apart

BBC - Wed, 2015-06-17 14:14
Malaysia's precarious opposition alliance collapses just months after its leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was jailed for sodomy.

Baby Bump? U.S. Birth Rate Rises

NPR News - Wed, 2015-06-17 14:07

Nearly 4 million babies were born last year. Preliminary data from the CDC show that the U.S. birth rate increased last year for the first time since 2007.

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Worms Know What's Up — And Now Scientists Know Why

NPR News - Wed, 2015-06-17 14:03

In what researchers say is a first, they've discovered the neuron in worms that detects Earth's magnetic field. They say the worms have microscopic antenna-shaped sensors to help orient themselves.

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L.A. installs water pipes that can survive disaster

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:58

Los Angeles water officials say we have a lot to learn from the Japanese when it comes to protecting water infrastructure from natural disaster. Japan has severe earthquakes, and for almost 40 years the Kubota Corporation, a competitor of Caterpillar, has made quake-resistant ductile-iron water pipes. Underground water pipes can break in an earthquake, cutting off water supply to streets and sometimes entire neighborhoods.

 Two years ago Los Angeles became the first city in the U.S. to install them. They’re designed so they don’t pull apart at the joints when the earth moves. Engineer Craig Davis, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s earthquake expert, says the pipes have withstood a 9.0 magnitude quake in Japan. “This pipe has survived 10 feet of ground movement and it hasn’t even leaked. So that’s very significant.”

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lowers a quake-resistant water pipe in downtown Los Angeles. (Credit: Vanessa Smith)

Los Angeles is testing the pipe in five locations around the city. The pipe is almost double the cost of conventional water pipe, so quake-proofing the entire city would be prohibitively expensive, but also probably unnecessary. Some parts of Los Angeles are much more prone to liquefaction than others. The idea, according to LADWP’s Marty Adams, is to use the Japanese-made pipes in the most critical and vulnerable places, including streets serving hospitals and key civic buildings. “When we have a pipe coming in for replacement, we’ll ask if it should be earthquake resistant.”

The city has over 7,000 miles of pipe and has already replaced some of the oldest, most corroded pipe with new, regular ductile iron pipe that’s “almost hermetically sealed” so the soil never touches the pipe, according to Adams. Last summer a 93-year-old water main under Sunset Boulevard ruptured and flooded part of the UCLA campus, becoming “the poster child of infrastructure needs,” Adams says.

A BMW is surrounded by water on Sunset Blvd., near the campus of UCLA after a water main rupture in 2014. (Jabin Botsford/Copyright © 2014. Los Angeles Times. Reprinted with Permission.) 

LADWP officials say quake-resistant pipes will help limit the number of water main breaks in "The Big One." Davis and Adams are acutely aware of what can happen to water infrastructure during an earthquake. They both were working for the department in 1994 when the Northridge quake hit. The city had to repair more than 1,500 breaks, Adams says, and according to the state Office of Emergency Services, over 48,000 homes were cut off from running water. Davis says the quake "changed his whole understanding" about infrastructure vulnerability. "It's essential we have a seismic resilience program."

Marketplace is teaming up with Waze to look at transportation infrastructure across the U.S. Click here to find out how you can be a part of our series and report bad infrastructure on your own commute. 

L.A. installs water pipes that can survive disaster

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:58

Los Angeles water officials say we have a lot to learn from the Japanese when it comes to protecting water infrastructure from natural disaster. Japan has severe earthquakes, and for almost 40 years the Kubota Corporation, a competitor of Caterpillar, has made quake-resistant ductile-iron water pipes. Underground water pipes can break in an earthquake, cutting off water supply to streets and sometimes entire neighborhoods.

 Two years ago Los Angeles became the first city in the U.S. to install them. They’re designed so they don’t pull apart at the joints when the earth moves. Engineer Craig Davis, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s earthquake expert, says the pipes have withstood a 9.0 magnitude quake in Japan. “This pipe has survived 10 feet of ground movement and it hasn’t even leaked. So that’s very significant.”

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lowers a quake-resistant water pipe in downtown Los Angeles. (Credit: Vanessa Smith)

Los Angeles is testing the pipe in five locations around the city. The pipe is almost double the cost of conventional water pipe, so quake-proofing the entire city would be prohibitively expensive, but also probably unnecessary. Some parts of Los Angeles are much more prone to liquefaction than others. The idea, according to LADWP’s Marty Adams, is to use the Japanese-made pipes in the most critical and vulnerable places, including streets serving hospitals and key civic buildings. “When we have a pipe coming in for replacement, we’ll ask if it should be earthquake resistant.”

The city has over 7,000 miles of pipe and has already replaced some of the oldest, most corroded pipe with new, regular ductile iron pipe that’s “almost hermetically sealed” so the soil never touches the pipe, according to Adams. Last summer a 93-year-old water main under Sunset Boulevard ruptured and flooded part of the UCLA campus, becoming “the poster child of infrastructure needs,” Adams says.

A BMW is surrounded by water on Sunset Blvd., near the campus of UCLA after a water main rupture in 2014. (Jabin Botsford/Copyright © 2014. Los Angeles Times. Reprinted with Permission.) 

LADWP officials say quake-resistant pipes will help limit the number of water main breaks in "The Big One." Davis and Adams are acutely aware of what can happen to water infrastructure during an earthquake. They both were working for the department in 1994 when the Northridge quake hit. The city had to repair more than 1,500 breaks, Adams says, and according to the state Office of Emergency Services, over 48,000 homes were cut off from running water. Davis says the quake "changed his whole understanding" about infrastructure vulnerability. "It's essential we have a seismic resilience program."

Marketplace is teaming up with Waze to look at transportation infrastructure across the U.S. Click here to find out how you can be a part of our series and report bad infrastructure on your own commute. 

Washington Berry Pickers Push For Elusive Union Contract

NPR News - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:57

Only about 2 percent of farm workers in the county are part of a union, and few have successfully negotiated contracts with farms. Workers at the Sakuma Brothers Farm are trying for both.

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As Fitbit Goes Public, It Will Have To Outrun Competition

NPR News - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:55

Amid the buzz around wearables, Fitbit heads to the NYSE. The fitness tracking firm faces challenges from smart watches, but it may get a boost from companies that want to keep tabs on workers.

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Kathryn Joseph wins album of year

BBC - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:45
The 2015 Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) award has been won by Kathryn Joseph, for her album 'Bones You Have Thrown Me, And Blood I've Spilled.'

Colombia's Farc blows up pipeline

BBC - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:34
At least 16,000 people in northern Colombia are left without water after Farc rebels blow up an oil pipeline, contaminating a river, authorities say.

Third Man Arrested In New York Pressure Cooker Bomb Plot

NPR News - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:22

Prosecutors say Fareed Mumuni, 21, was part of a plot to support ISIS. A criminal complaint also alleges he used a kitchen knife to try to stab an FBI agent who came to his Staten Island home.

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North Sea strike ballot cancelled

BBC - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:19
A threat of industrial action in the UK oil and gas industry is called off after a new offer from employers.

Boris Johnson swore at taxi driver

BBC - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:19
London mayor Boris Johnson is caught on film swearing at a taxi driver in footage obtained by the Sun newspaper.

The Pope Is About To Weigh In On Climate Change. Not Everyone Is Happy

NPR News - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:10

A number of conservative politicians have cast a dim eye on Pope Francis' statements on climate change. A teaching document coming out Thursday aims to make the environment a moral imperative.

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Water damage clue in balcony collapse

BBC - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:07
Engineers investigating a balcony collapse that killed six people in California say water damage may have caused the structure to give way.

California says Uber driver was employee

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-06-17 13:00

  The California Labor Commission has ruled that a former Uber driver was an employee during her time with the company. Uber filed an appeal yesterday. But this probably won’t be the last battle fought on the front lines of the so-called gig economy.   “Got a car? Turn it into a money machine.” So says Uber’s website. Sounds tempting, huh? But Uber drivers pay for their own gas and their own insurance. They don’t get paid for waiting time.  

“And that is, of course, one of the reasons why Uber has been so successful is because they don’t carry these costs,” says Gerald Friedman, chair of the economics department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Friedman says the ruling could set a precedent for millions of independent workers around the country, “and it’s going to encourage suits like this in other states.”

He says over the years, the independent contractor workforce has grown, partly because employers don’t have to pay things like overtime or health benefits.

John-Paul Ferguson, who teaches strategy at Stanford’s business school, says if Uber drivers are considered employees, that means higher labor costs, and ultimately, “We would probably see that passed on as slightly higher prices to end customers.”

But that won’t kill Uber’s success, Ferguson says. It’ll just give them less of an advantage over regular cab companies. As to how this ruling might affect other app-based services like Airbnb or TaskRabbit?

“There’s going to be a lot of careful parsing of how different firms have treated the people who are using their apps to provide services to people,” he says.

Ferguson says it’ll probably depend on what kind of contracts exist between the firms and the service providers.  

   

The bond market does what it wants

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-06-17 12:58

Here's a reality check of sorts on the breathlessness with which we all — and by we, I mean us too — greet pronouncements from the Federal Reserve.

The bond market heard Fed Chair Janet Yellen speak today, and couldn't have cared less.

The often quoted 10-year Treasury note closed at a yield of about 2.3 percent — right smack where it opened before Yellen said a word.

England win with record run chase

BBC - Wed, 2015-06-17 12:58
England smash the record for their highest ever one-day run chase to beat New Zealand and level the series at 2-2.

California Labor Commission Rules Uber Driver Is An Employee, Not A Contractor

NPR News - Wed, 2015-06-17 12:58

An Uber driver in San Francisco will be paid more than $4,000 in expenses.

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