National / International News

Dow Dives 317 Points, Erasing A Month Of Gains

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:06

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 16,563. It was the worst daily decline since April.

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Should We Return The Nutrients In Our Pee Back To The Farm?

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:03

A group of environmentalists in Vermont aren't at all squeamish about "pee-cycling." A local hay farmer is using their pee as fertilizer as they run tests to find out how safe it is for growing food.

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'Bullied' youngest councillor quits

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 12:02
Somerset's youngest county councillor resigns, citing "intimidation and bullying from other politicians".

Israel Allowed To Tap U.S. Munitions Cache For Gaza Offensive

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 11:56

The stockpile, located on Israeli soil, was set up in the 1980s as an emergency supply during wartime. The last time the U.S. granted Israel permission to use it was during the 2006 Lebanon war.

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AS Trencin 0-0 Hull City

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 11:39
Tom Huddlestone has a penalty saved as Hull City draw 0-0 against AS Trencin in Slovakia on their European debut.

Meet the baseball player who invented the high five

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-31 11:35

It was October 2, 1977. The Los Angeles Dodgers were up against the Houston Astros on the last game of the regular season. Dodgers’ outfielder Dusty Baker was at bat. He swung and knocked it out of the park, his 30th homerun of the season - making the Dodgers the first team in history to have four position players with 30-plus homeruns each.

But, this story isn’t about those hitters.

"As Baker was rounding the bases, a young rookie came out and just spontaneously threw his hand up in the air, and slapped Baker five," says Mike Jacobs, director of Grantland’s short documentary, "30 for 30: The High Five".

That young rookie was Glenn Burke, outfielder number 12 for the Dodgers. Jacobs says Burke was a young and enthusiastic baseball player, who was just excited to be playing in a major league. He enjoyed making his teammates laugh.

"The Dodgers rallied around the high five and they even trademarked it," says Jacobs. "They made these fliers that they handed out for spring training in the 1980 season."

The Dodgers and their fans eventually moved on.

"Burke soon found himself out of favor in the Dodgers organization, amidst rumors of his sexual orientation," says Jacobs. "He was traded to the Oakland A's."

However, Burke didn’t fit in quite as well during his time with the Oakland Athletics, and within a year was forced out of the game.

Glenn Burke passed away in 1995 from AIDS-related pneumonia. He was 42-years-old.

"Unfortunately, he died too early," says Jacobs. "But really, the high five gives us an opportunity to share his story and to celebrate his legacy in that way."

Hat-trick of golds for England gymnasts

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 11:33
England gymnasts Max Whitlock and Claudia Fragapane both win their third Commonwealth Games gold medals in Glasgow.

Weir powers to Commonwealth gold

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 11:24
England's David Weir puts in a majestic display to win his first Commonwealth Games title in the men's T54 1500m.

House Cancels Vote On $659 Million Border Security Bill

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 11:21

Tea party conservatives objected to sending money to the White House to address the crisis. GOP leaders said another vote was possible yet today.

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Amos beats Rudisha to 800m gold

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 10:55
Nijel Amos produces a stunning run down the final straight to beat David Rudisha to 800m Commonwealth gold.

Firefighters to strike over eight days

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 10:43
Firefighters in England and Wales are to stage a new series of strikes over eight days from 9 August in a row over conditions.

Kentucky Buoys Noah's Ark Park With Millions In New Tax Breaks

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 10:43

The Christian theme park, featuring a 510-foot-long replica of the ark, is getting $18 million in new incentives from the state's tourism board.

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'Concern' over one in five prisons

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 10:37
The performance of more than a fifth of prisons in England and Wales is "of concern", a government body says.

What it's like to write 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-31 10:17

When Marvel hired writer Nicole Perlman, they offered her a list of superheroes she could delve into.

Perlman chose "Guardians of the Galaxy" because she loved the characters.

“Each one brought something very specific to the team.” Perlman says. Gamora, an alien assassin and adopted daughter to Marvel baddie Thanos, seemed like an exciting one to write.

“There’s a lot of [female characters] in comics but in terms of movies that are focused primarily on a female lead, I think it’s something that will become more common as we go. But it’s still considered a bit of a risk.”

The setting was also familiar: “I had a background in writing science and technology-related scripts. A lot of projects that were space-related."

She wanted the chance to write an action filmm but admits she wasn't well-versed in the Marvel universe before she started working for the company. That meant a lot of nights reading comic books. A research assistant helped her further explore Marvel lore.

“I could call him up and say, ‘Bring me anything you have that involves a character that’s a genius and that’s his super power.’ And he would bring me 16 different characters, going back to the 1950s."

Perlman’s background in science  came in handy, even if the scientific accuracy of "Guardians" had to bend a little.

“After all,” she says, “we do have a talking raccoon.”

Flight Delays In China Leave Travelers Feeling Squeezed

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-31 10:14

Air traffic snarls at some of eastern China's busiest airports have stranded thousands of travelers and highlighted the increasing competition for airspace between military and civilian flights.

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Dinosaurs 'shrank' to become birds

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 10:12
Huge meat-eating, land-living dinosaurs evolved into birds by constantly shrinking for over 50 million years, new research shows.

Memo reveals response to CIA 'abuse'

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 10:07
A still-secret Senate report on CIA enhanced interrogations "tells a story of which no American is proud", a leaked White House memo states.

Students and families are borrowing less for college

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-31 09:56

Families are taking fewer loans and using more of their own money to pay for college than at any point in the last five years. That’s according to a new study from Sallie Mae, the student-loan and financial-services company.

The study, which has been conducted annually for the last seven years, found that while families are still spending just as much on college as they were before, they paid 22 percent of costs through loans in 2014, compared to 27 percent both in 2013 and 2012.

The remaining costs were covered by out-of-pocket spending (42 percent), scholarships and grants (31 percent), and friends and relatives (4 percent).

The study also found:

  • The average family spent $11,012 on two-year, public schools in 2014. For four-year public schools, the figure was $21,072. Spending on four-year private schools was $34,855.
  • Low-income students are borrowing less than the general population.
  • More students are turning to two-year schools to cut costs. Enrollment is at 34 percent this year, compared to 30 percent last year.
  • Common cost-cutting strategies included attending in-state schools (69 percent), spending less on entertainment (66 percent), living closer to home (61 percent), and living at home (54 percent).
  • Only 38 percent of respondents said they had a plan to pay for all college costs before enrolling in college.
  • One-third of families said they were surprised by some expenses, especially textbooks.

Graphic courtesy of Sallie Mae

Man jailed after door banging death

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 09:42
A hammer-wielding drug addict is jailed after a woman suffered a heart attack and died when she was terrorised in her own home.

Greeks cleared of shooting migrants

BBC - Thu, 2014-07-31 09:34
The owner and head foreman of a farm in southern Greece are cleared over the shooting and wounding of a group of Bangladeshi migrant workers.
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