National / International News

From Projects To Parliament, Britain's 'Rev. Rose' Breaks Barriers

NPR News - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:59

Rose Hudson-Wilkin was the first black woman to be chaplain to the queen of England. Now she is chaplain to the speaker of the House of Commons as well. Even while fulfilling these high-profile roles, she continues to run an East London parish that struggles with poverty and gang violence.

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Roache cleared of rape and assault

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:58
Coronation Street actor William Roache says "there are no winners" as he is found not guilty of two rapes and four indecent assaults.

Subway Phasing Out Bread Additive After Blogger Flags Health Concerns

NPR News - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:51

Just a few days after a food blogger created a buzz with an online petition raising questions about the safety of a food additive commonly used in commercial baking, sandwich giant Subway has announced plans to phase it out of its fresh-baked breads.

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Salmon born with 'magnetic map'

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:46
Scientists believe that Pacific salmon sense changes in intensity and angle of the Earth's magnetic field to find their way in the ocean.

Taliban capture British military dog

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:43
ISAF officials in Afghanistan have confirmed that the military dog captured by the Taliban, belonged to British forces.

Man guilty of girlfriend stab murder

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:33
A chef who stabbed his girlfriend 40 times and waited five hours before calling 999 is found guilty of murder.

VIDEO: Google Search altered to avoid fine

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:25
Google promises to make "significant" changes to how rivals appear in search results in an attempt to avoid a multi-billion euro fine.

Adam Jones: 'History motivates us, not beating Irish'

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:25
The Wales prop on competition for his place, uncertainty over his future and Saturday's duel in Dublin

Sony Will Shed 5,000 Jobs And Its PC Business

NPR News - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:05

The embattled entertainment and electronics company also said it had annual loss of $1 billion. Analysts fear the restructuring may be too little too late for the company.

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Police at voyeurism teacher school

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:04
Police investigate at a school whose deputy head teacher has admitted hiding a camera to film children in a toilet in offences which took place elsewhere.

Retrial over Egypt football riot

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 09:04
Egypt's Court of Cassation orders a retrial of the 21 people sentenced to death in connection with an infamous football riot in Port Said in 2012.

West Ham seek legal route over Carroll

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:55
West Ham are to take legal action after failing to overturn the red card shown to Andy Carroll against Swansea.

Ex-prostitute in Stormont appeal

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:42
A former prostitute makes an emotional appeal to Northern Ireland MLAs to pass a proposed law on human trafficking and the sex trade.

VIDEO: Man lynched after peace speech

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:36
The UN envoy to the Central African Republic has urged the country to ensure that soldiers who lynched a man accused of being a rebel face justice.

Luxury Carmaker Aston Martin Cites Fake Chinese Plastics In Recall

NPR News - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:36

The company uses plastics supplied by DuPont for a key part, but it instead received counterfeit material labeled with DuPont's name. About 75 percent of cars built after 2007 are affected.

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Nursery worker acquitted over death

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:30
A nursery worker is cleared over the death of a three-year-old girl who became entangled in a rope on a playground slide.

Communities along rail lines worry about oil explosions

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:29

Ever lapsed into daydreaming while you sit at a railroad crossing, waiting for a long freight train to go by?

After a fatal oil train explosion in Quebec last summer killed 47 people and flattened a downtown, people aren't daydreaming anymore. That disaster served as a wake-up call to a lot of communities living close to railroad tracks, who suddenly realized that was crude oil rolling by in tanker. As oil trains have had more accidents, and governments are examining the safety of rail oil shipments, some local residents are applying the brakes on what they see as a dangerous rush to move oil by train.

There are, however, powerful economic reasons why more oil is being shipped by rail, rather than through pipelines.

 

Reporter Sarah Gardner talked with Graham Brisben, CEO and founder, PLG Consulting, about moving oil by train:

Q: How much crude oil are we moving on trains?

A: It's certainly growing. It's up to about 400,000 carloads per year today. Although crude by rail gets a lot of attention -- it's a big focus in the media partly because it's an area of growth for railroads, but also because there have been a number of high profile crude-by-rail accidents -- the reality is it's only 2 to 3 percent of total car loadings for the railroads.

Q: Why are they using trains to move oil to refineries?

A: Initially, when crude by rail got started, it occurred in the Bakken play in North Dakota. The initial idea was to use rail to get crude to market simply to bide the time until pipelines were built out with enough capacity. But once crude oil got going, the commodity traders and the exploration and production companies realized that rail gave them faster transit times, the ability to ramp up more quickly than pipelines, and the ability to take the crude oil to different destinations where a higher price could be received for those barrels.

Q: There's not just one price?

A: No. Because crude oil trades at different prices at different places according to oil benchmarks (like West Texas Intermediate, Light Louisiana Sweet and Brent).

Q: Won't crude by rail go away when more pipelines get built?

A: As the pipeline network gets built out in a north-south direction, the flow of crude from the Bakken in North Dakota will have more of a shift from rail back to pipeline. But going east-west, that business will persist. You're simply not going to see a buildout of pipelines going east-west. It's simply cost-prohibitive to go over the Rocky Mountains, for example.

Q: What about tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada?

A: That oil is coming to market both by pipeline and now, increasingly, by rail. First, it was the light, sweet crude out of the Bakken. Now, it's heavy sour Canadian crude going to U.S. refineries.

Q: Who's making money on all this?

A: Obviously this has been a bright spot for the railroads. And tank car builders and leasers have enjoyed some very flush returns. The other beneficiary has been commodity traders who take advantage of those price spreads. It's also a good time to be in the refining business because of abundant domestic supply. They're in a better position than they were five years ago.

Q: Federal regulators are moving to increase safety standards in light of recent accidents. Will those new regulations affect the economics of crude by rail?

A: Crude by rail is economically attractive enough to warrant the hard work it is going to take to improve safety. The measures that can be taken, in reality, aren't all that difficult. We expect regulations on retrofitting tank cars with crude oil. Also it wouldn't surprise me if there end up being routing guidelines away from population centers, along with the speed restrictions. And greater scrutiny of terminal operations.

Q: Railroads seem very old-fashioned somehow. Could we live without them?

A: Could we live? Yes. Could our economy survive without railroads? No.

More crude oil travels by train, and communities along rail lines grow concerned

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:29

Ever lapsed into daydreaming while you sit at a railroad crossing, waiting for a long freight train to go by?

When a fatal oil train explosion in Quebec last summer killed 47 people and flattened a downtown, people aren't daydreaming anymore. That disaster served as a wake-up call to a lot of people living close to railroad tracks, who suddenly realized that was crude oil rolling by in tanker. As oil trains have had more accidents, and governments are examining the safety of rail oil shipments, some local residents are applying the brakes on what they see as a dangerous rush to move oil by train.

There are, however, powerful economic reasons why more oil is being shipped by rail, rather than through pipelines.

 

Reporter Sarah Gardner talked with Graham Brisben, CEO and founder, PLG Consulting, about moving oil by train:

Q: How much crude oil are we moving on trains?

A: It's certainly growing. It's up to about 400,000 carloads per year today. Although crude by rail gets a lot of attention -- it's a big focus in the media partly because it's an area of growth for railroads, but also because there have been a number of high profile crude-by-rail accidents -- the reality is it's only 2 to 3 percent of total car loadings for the railroads.

Q: Why are they using trains to move oil to refineries?

A: Initially, when crude by rail got started, it occurred in the Bakken play in North Dakota. The initial idea was to use rail to get crude to market simply to bide the time until pipelines were built out with enough capacity. But once crude oil got going, the commodity traders and the exploration and production companies realized that rail gave them faster transit times, the ability to ramp up more quickly than pipelines, and the ability to take the crude oil to different destinations where a higher price could be received for those barrels.

Q: There's not just one price?

A: No. Because crude oil trades at different prices at different places according to oil benchmarks (like West Texas Intermediate, Light Louisiana Sweet and Brent).

Q: Won't crude by rail go away when more pipelines get built?

A: As the pipeline network gets built out in a north-south direction, the flow of crude from the Bakken in North Dakota will have more of a shift from rail back to pipeline. But going east-west, that business will persist. You're simply not going to see a buildout of pipelines going east-west. It's simply cost-prohibitive to go over the Rocky Mountains, for example.

Q: What about tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada?

A: That oil is coming to market both by pipeline and now, increasingly, by rail. First, it was the light, sweet crude out of the Bakken. Now, it's heavy sour Canadian crude going to U.S. refineries.

Q: Who's making money on all this?

A: Obviously this has been a bright spot for the railroads. And tank car builders and leasers have enjoyed some very flush returns. The other beneficiary has been commodity traders who take advantage of those price spreads. It's also a good time to be in the refining business because of abundant domestic supply. They're in a better position than they were five years ago.

Q: Federal regulators are moving to increase safety standards in light of recent accidents. Will those new regulations affect the economics of crude by rail?

A: Crude by rail is economically attractive enough to warrant the hard work it is going to take to improve safety. The measures that can be taken, in reality, aren't all that difficult. We expect regulations on retrofitting tank cars with crude oil. Also it wouldn't surprise me if there end up being routing guidelines away from population centers, along with the speed restrictions. And greater scrutiny of terminal operations.

Q: Railroads seem very old-fashioned somehow. Could we live without them?

A: Could we live? Yes. Could our economy survive without railroads? No.

PODCAST: Layoffs in tech and retail

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:27

There are job cuts and there are companies that announce plans to cut jobs. The outplacement firm Challenger Grey and Christmas keeps a monthly tally of the latter, and there's news just now these layoff announcements surged in January. A combined total of 45,100 jobs will eventually go, including many jobs from the supposedly screamingly-hot world of technology.

The governor of Tennessee wants to make community college or technical school free for all high school graduates in the state. Republican Governor Bill Haslam calls his proposal the Tennessee Promise. It's part of a broader workforce development strategy in a state that lags behind in higher education, but wants a technically savvy labor pool.

European foreign ministers this month are meeting with officials in Cuba to work out a new agreement on trade and investment. What might this mean for Cuba's still tenuous relationship with the U.S.?

Hungary approves Russia nuclear deal

BBC - Thu, 2014-02-06 08:26
Hungarian lawmakers approve a controversial Russian-financed plan to construct two new reactors at the country's only nuclear plant.

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