National / International News

VIDEO: Can Luther King take on North Korea?

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 15:34
Martin Luther King had a dream of freedom. Can his biopic save Hollywood from censorship, asks the BBC's arts editor Will Gompertz

How 12 days of Christmas have become 12 pubs

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 15:19
How 12 days of Christmas have become 12 pubs - in one night

Animal bite incidents revealed

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 15:19
More than 10 people a day are admitted to hospital in Scotland after being bitten or attacked by an animal, figures reveal.

Liberia holds Ebola-postponed poll

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 15:16
Voters in Liberia are set to go to the polls in an election that was postponed because of the Ebola outbreak, with ex-footballer George Weah facing the president's son.

VIDEO: Japan's senior cheerleaders

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 15:11
Cheerleading is usually seen as a young person's sport, but the Japan Senior Cheer Association is for women in their 60s and 70s.

Asthma inhalers 'not used properly'

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 15:00
Charities warn patients are not being taught how to use potentially life-saving asthma inhalers and allergy auto-injectors correctly.

Cook timing naughty, says Harmison

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 14:49
The timing of Alastair Cook's removal as England one-day captain was "naughty", according to Steve Harmison.

'Rum, Rumba, And Romance': A Book On Cuba's Enduring Mystique

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 14:33

This week, President Obama announced that he will begin to normalize relations with Cuba. Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco recommends a book about Cuba's imprint on the American imagination.

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Off-duty PC murder suspect arrested

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 14:32
A 28-year-old man is detained on suspicion of the murder of an off-duty PC who died after being attacked in Liverpool city centre.

Israel launches Gaza air strike

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 14:24
Israel launches an air strike on an alleged Hamas site in Gaza, in the first such action since the declaration of a truce in August.

Pilot shortage grounds flights at regional airports

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-19 14:15

At 7:30 in the morning, the terminal inside Cheyenne, Wyoming’s regional airport looks like a weary traveler’s dream. It’s quiet, there are no lines and there's even free parking. But Susan Mark is still tense.

“I’m just hoping there is a plane and a pilot,” she says. “Because I have had both not show up before.”

Fellow passenger Julia Tipsword says more than half the time her flight out of Cheyenne is canceled. She says the airline does accommodate her though — it puts her on a bus to the Denver airport.

These sorts of experiences may explain why its so empty here: Today’s morning flight to Denver has seven people on it.

Jim Schell is the Aviation Manager at Cheyenne Regional. He isn't surprised the flight is so empty. The number of daily flights out of Cheyenne has been cut in half in the last year, and cancellations have skyrocketed. Small airports need to have 10,000 people get on and off planes each year to qualify for the full amount of FAA infrastructure funding. For Cheyenne that’s $1 million annually. Schell says this year they won’t even get to half that many passengers, and as a result their federal funding is going to drop by about $800,000.

“[That money] is being able to reconstruct portions of our runaway when we need it,” Schell says. It definitely is a big deal, and it is not going to go away.”

Lots of small airports are on track to lose FAA funding this year, and that is going to hurt. In Wyoming alone, regional airports generate $1.4 billion in annual economic activity. The regional airports may be suffering but it is not their fault.

The problem is a lack of pilots.

A few blocks from Cheyenne Regional is Wings of Wyoming, a local flight school that used to train a lot of pilots that would fly for the local airline. But last year Congress raised the minimum number of flight hours needed for a commercial pilot license from 250 to 1500. Members were reacting to a deadly crash cause by an inexperienced pilot.  But that change has had a big effect on the airline industry. Building a few hundred hours to get hired at a regional airline was doable, says flight instructor Ron Burnett.

“But to get 1500 hours, that takes a long time. That could take a couple years,” he says.

Traditionally, young pilots joined regional airlines because they were a feeder system for national carriers. But Burnett says the new flight hour standards have upset that system by making it extremely difficult for young pilots to even qualify for a regional job.

Roger Cohen is head of the Regional Airline Association. He says regional airlines and airports are hurting now, but bigger cities are next. Cohen says about a quarter of the pilots at major airlines are set to retire in the next six years or so, and they're going to need to be replaced.

“And where are those pilots going to come from? The pipeline has not only been shrunk, the pipeline has been severed.”

There is some hope for small airports like Cheyenne regional: A House Republican has proposed a law that would require the FAA to keep them fully funded. That would help in the short term, but without a fresh crop of pilots, these airports won’t be bustling anytime soon.

Man charged over street stab death

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 14:14
A man is charged with the murder of a woman stabbed to death in a north-west London street.

VIDEO: Where children learn fundamentalism

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 14:13
Pakistan 'a state under pressure' as authorities face the challenge of how to defeat the Taliban, amidst differing opinions and politics.

CEO Says Sony Pictures 'Did Not Capitulate,' Is Exploring Options

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 14:03

Melissa Block talks to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton about the cyber attack against his company and the cancellation of the Christmas Day release of The Interview.

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Troubled By Grand Jury Verdicts, Students Request More Time For Exams

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 13:58

Students at several law schools say events in Ferguson and New York have left them too upset to study. Others are more concerned about how the extra study time will affect the grading curve.

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Deadly Farc attack before truce

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 13:57
Colombia's Farc rebels have killed five soldiers in an ambush, the army says, hours before they are due to start an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire.

Irish minister hopeful of NI deal

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 13:51
Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan says he is hopeful that there will be a deal in Northern Ireland's cross-party talks early next week.

VIDEO: How web chats can lead to blackmail

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 13:48
Hundreds of thousands of men around the world are falling victim every year to a pernicious form of online crime.

Obama orders ban on Crimea trade

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 13:44
President Barack Obama orders a trade ban with Crimea, to show the US "will not accept Russia's occupation" of the Ukrainian region.

Van Gaal makes Carrick vice-captain

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-19 13:34
England midfielder Michael Carrick is appointed as Manchester United's new vice-captain.