National / International News

VIDEO: Could this man help save the world?

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 15:01
Jay Tate runs the National Near Earth Observation Centre - watching the skies for asteroids that could threaten the planet

The man 'behind a million babies'

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 15:00
The man who says he's responsible for a million kids

Ferguson Update: Holder Writes Op-Ed; City Calls For Nighttime Calm

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 15:00

Attorney General Eric Holder, who will go to the St. Louis suburb Wednesday, wrote that the Justice Department's investigation of Michael Brown's death would be full and fair.

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VIDEO: Sad lament of Syrian child brides

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 14:45
There has been a sharp increase in the number of girls under 18, who have fled the conflict in Syria, being forced into early marriages, the United Nations has told the BBC.

VIDEO: Arrest over shipping container death

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 14:38
A man has been arrested in Northern Ireland over the death of an immigrant who was found in a container at Tilbury Docks on Saturday.

Street battles rage in east Ukraine

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 14:37
Clashes are reported in the centre of the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk as government forces try to close in on rebel strongholds.

Gov. Perry Gets Booked At Texas Courthouse After Indictment

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 14:23

Following allegations of abuse of power, Rick Perry maintained that he had done nothing wrong. He told a crowd outside the courthouse he would "fight this injustice with every fiber of my being."

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VIDEO: Biker guilty of 'dangerous' ride

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 14:07
A biker who filmed himself nearly crashing into a car head-on at high speed is found guilty of dangerous driving.

GB's basketballers live on '£15 a day'

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 14:06
GB forward Kieron Achara and his team-mates are existing on "£15 a day" as they try to reach the European Championships.

Torrential Rain Swamps Phoenix, Strands Drivers

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:59

Monsoonal rainfall caused massive flash flooding in Phoenix on Tuesday, turning roads into raging torrents. One area recorded 1 inch in 14 minutes.

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'No crime' rape inquiries reopened

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:50
A number of rape claims are to be re-examined by Northumbria Police over fears they were incorrectly recorded as a "no crime".

Health records are an easy target for identity thieves

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:46

Community Health Systems, a large hospital operator, got hacked. The word is Chinese hackers stole some 4.5 million health records from the company.  The files included everything from patient Social Security numbers to birth dates and addresses, a veritable goldmine of information for identity theft.

Healthcare providers have been digitizing our records to make everything from treating patients to filing for insurance more efficient. But in their rush towards efficiency, cyber security has gotten lost, says Stephen Cobb, a security researcher at ESET.

“I think a lot of the problem is cultural,” says Cobb. “Doctors and nurses get up and go to work everyday to help people" -  not to protect people from criminals, he says. “An example would be, 'how many hospital systems have chief security information officers'?”

His answer: not many. Plus, he says, many computer systems were put in place before cyber crimes became a real threat, and so a lot of those systems have holes.

Protecting medical records is more difficult than say, protecting your banking records, because they’re constantly being shared and transferred online, says Mac McMillan, CEO of CynergisTek.

“If you look at the average number of people who have access to your information in a hospital encounter, the number I’ve heard is around 150 people,” McMillan says. Each of those people are potential security threats.

Complicating cyber security even further is the "Internet of Things," says Michael Coates, director of product security at Shape Security. He says almost everything in a hospital is wired these days - from printers to “imaging devices or tablets being used by doctors on the wireless network."

Coates says many of these devices aren't secure, and if hackers can break into one device, they can potentially break into the whole system. 

VIDEO: Iraq refugees in 'windswept dustbowl'

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:45
The United Nations is mounting a major aid operation to try and help more than half a million people who have fled for their lives from extremist Islamic State (IS) fighters in northern Iraq.

Lib Dems lift Lord Rennard suspension

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:42
Former Liberal Democrat chief executive Lord Rennard has the suspension of his party membership lifted after disciplinary proceedings against him are dropped.

The big business of tear gas, explained

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:40

Tear gas may be one of the most ubiquitous images on the news looking back over the past several years. White clouds - and people running from them - appear in newsreels depicting uprisings from Ferguson to Cairo. 

Nonlethal weapons are a $1.6 billion-a-year business, according to Visiongain, a market research firm. 

“Seventy percent of that is anti-personnel,” says Michael Emery, defense editor and analyst. Anti-personnel weapons means something used to immobilize or incapacitate people without – ideally – killing them.  This could include rubber bullets and stun-guns. 

“Tear gas is possibly the second most important element after Tasers,” he says, largely because it’s so effective and less lethal. “A few canisters of tear gas can be used to disperse a hundred people, whereas a Taser is one-to-one.”

The science is still out on the long term effects of tear gas, says Sven Eric Jordt, professor of anesthesiology at Duke University School of Medicine.  It can be dangerous for children, the elderly and people with breathing problems, but its general effects aren’t conclusively known. Still, tear gas is less lethal than other options. Rubber bullets, though designed to be sub-lethal, have killed people and water hoses have maimed them.  

The largest consumer of non-lethal antipersonnel weapons, including tear gas, is law enforcement, says Emery, overwhelmingly in the United States.  “The U.S. is by far the largest market for nonlethal systems and due to that there’s a concentration of companies within the U.S.”

Wyoming-based Defense Technology (part of Canadian firm Safariland) appears to be the source of at least some of the tear gas used in Ferguson, Missouri.  Other U.S. companies include  the Pennsylvania-based Combined Systems Inc. and Non Lethal Technologies Inc.  There's also AmTech Less Lethal in Florida.  Another major producer, Condor Non Lethal, is based in Brazil.

Between 2013 and 2014, sales of nonlethal anti-personnel weapons grew 2.2 percent globally.  It’s a moderate number, tempered by security spending cuts.  But Emery says he expects future growth to be much higher.  One reason is that after so many uprisings from Tunis to Rio to Ferguson, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that lethal force makes things worse.

But another reason is that police departments and citizens are getting inured to seeing such weapons deployed, including tear gas.  “The [increased] massive use world wide has decreased the threshold in western countries to deploy tear gas,” says Jordt.

The question is how law enforcement will strike a balance between using it more, and using it well.  

VIDEO: Tension after second Missouri killing

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:39
The police killing of a second black St Louis-area man in 11 days has threatened to further enflame tensions.

Internet-hit near miss biker guilty

BBC - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:33
A biker who uploaded a film of a high speed ride in which he almost hit a car head-on is found guilty of dangerous driving.

Man With A Knife Fatally Shot By Police In St. Louis, Officials Say

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:33

The shooting appears to be unrelated to the ongoing protests in neighboring Ferguson, Mo. Police say the 23-year-old, suspected of stealing items from a convenience store, was "acting erratically."

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Amid The Chaos In Ferguson, Another Police Shooting

NPR News - Tue, 2014-08-19 13:29

Robert talks to St Louis Public Radio reporter Stephanie Lecci about Tuesday's police shooting in St Louis. Authorities say officers shot and killed a man brandishing a knife.

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