National / International News

Venezuelan politician questioned

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:57
Venezuelan opposition politician Maria Corina Machado is questioned in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate President Maduro.

Girl, three, dies following fire

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:54
A three-year-old girl dies in hospital following a fire in Carmarthen on Sunday evening, says Dyfed-Powys Police.

Sri Lanka deny England in thriller

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:53
Sri Lanka, nine wickets down, hang on to secure a draw in a pulsating finish to the first Test at Lord's.

VIDEO: ISIS 'release more execution footage'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:49
Northern Iraq is in turmoil with the Islamist militant group ISIS capturing another city on Monday.

Frankel foal sells for £1.15m fee

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:45
A foal of legendary racehorse Frankel, and his mother, sell for £1.15m at an auction in central London.

Top performing sixth forms face cuts

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:43
Sixth form colleges outperform other state schools in terms of A-level results, but government cuts are putting standards at risk, a report suggests.

Dad Catches Rockies' Home Run With One Hand; Baby Is Safe

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:30

A San Francisco Giants fan snatched the homer on Father's Day while holding his 1-year-old son. One day earlier, another Giants fan caught a foul ball while also holding a child.

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China executes 13 for 'terrorism'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:26
China executes 13 people in Xinjiang province for "terrorism", and sentences three others to death over a deadly car crash in Beijing last year.

Microwave Helmet Could Diagnose Strokes As Patients Ride To Hospital

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:26

Strokes come in two varieties, and drugs that treat one type can be deadly for the other. An experimental device could help get the right treatment to patients while they're still in ambulances.

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British woman dies after canyon fall

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:20
A 23-year-old British woman dies after falling nearly 100ft while walking in a remote canyon in central Australia, local police say.

Obama to protect some gay workers

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:18
US President Barack Obama will sign an order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender workers, officials say.

How gentrification could hit DC's middle class golfers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:17

It’s a fine line, the one between economic development and gentrification. A fine line and one that’s wrought with tension, even when it comes to the seemingly rarefied world of golf.

Washington, D.C. is home to three federally owned public golf courses: Langston Golf Course, East Potomac Golf Course, and Rock Creek Golf Course. They’re property of the National Park Service, but run on concessions contracts by a private company.

They’re also affordable, which is why men like Charlie Greene and John Gwinn have been coming to Langston for decades.

“I been playing here for, what, 50 or 60 years,” says Greene, one Friday morning.

Langston, with its long history of African-American golf, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The two men have a regular game here, and Gwinn has been winning lately.

“But that’s gonna change today,” Greene laughs.

The victor may change, but Greene wants everything else about this course to stay the same. Right now he can play 18 holes for 18 bucks.

Though he says he wouldn’t mind better cart paths. And maybe more sand in the sand traps. But that’s it.

“Cause if they make it Augusta,” he says, “they’re gonna price it out of my range.”

He’s talking about an idea proposed by some city councilmembers to study a redevelopment of Langston that would turn it into a PGA Championship Golf Course, with a AAA Four Diamond restaurant and adjoining wine bar. (Not to mention a nearby water park, domed stadium, multimedia soundstage, hotels, and so on.)

D.C.’s lone congresswoman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, thinks all the courses need work.

“It’s like seeing all these jewels on the ground and saying, ‘Why doesn’t someone pick ‘em up and do something with them? They’re valuable,” she says.

Her idea is to transform the East Potomac Course, with its monument views, into a world-class course, with fees to match. She’s introduced a House bill asking for a feasibility study.

“It probably could cater to the lobbyists and the other rich people who come here because the Congress is here,” she says.

They’d fly in. Lobby, lobby, lobby. And at the end of the day, they’d head out and fork out for a round of golf. Norton thinks higher fees at East Potomac could basically subsidize the other two courses, keeping them affordable for middle-class golfers. Right now, capital improvements are paid for by the contractor who runs the courses.

On the putting green at East Potomac, golfer Butch Duvall says he doesn’t think a world-class upgrade would physically work. But he definitely doesn't want to get priced out if it did. Even the new publicly accessible Jack Nicklaus course that just opened in Virginia is too rich for his blood. 

"Love Jack. Love golf," he says -- but not at $95 a round.

Right now these are all just ideas about sustainability and how to use the city’s assets. (Washington’s chief financial officer doesn’t even think the city can afford to study the councilmembers’ redevelopment proposal.)

But beyond all that, does it even make sense to build a trophy course in today’s golf economy?

Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp, which advises golf clients, says not really.

“We’ve overbuilt what we call premium, penal, and pristine courses in the country,” he says.

In other words, he says there are already too many immaculate, difficult courses that are pricey to maintain and play. Americans are playing 50 million fewer rounds of golf than they did in 2000. So Koppenhaver says supply should be built in line with what the average golfer wants: fun.

“The majority of them, they enjoy golf for the challenge of it, they enjoy it for its outdoors, they enjoy it for the social experience,” he says. “And they somehow tolerate the fact that you’re never gonna be very good at it.”

Unless you spend a lot of time on it. The question for D.C. is how much money golfers will spend along the way.

Probe call over BBC HQ move claims

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:13
The auditor general is being called on to investigate claims £10m was spent on improving roads to Cardiff Bay on the understanding the BBC would move there.

Four jailed over amputation stabbing

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:12
Three men and a youth are jailed after being found guilty of stabbing a man resulting in both his arms and legs having to be amputated.

VIDEO: 'Son of Frankel' up for auction

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:10
A foal of legendary racehorse Frankel and his dam, Crystal Gaze, will be sold at a Kensington Palace auction in London on Monday.

Hospital wards 'too noisy at night'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 09:01
Hospitals need to do more to ensure patients get a good night's sleep, nurses say.

Police examine online Rowling abuse

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 08:56
Police in Scotland are examining an allegation of "online criminality" against Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Bony 'will only go to top-six club'

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 08:53
Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony will only leave Swansea City this summer for a top-six club, says his representative Dalibor Lacina.

Blair: What about his arguments?

BBC - Mon, 2014-06-16 08:50
What is the basis of Blair's argument on Iraq?

U.S. Launches Investigation Into Disappearance Of Bergdahl

NPR News - Mon, 2014-06-16 08:50

The Army appointed Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl to investigate facts and circumstances involving Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's capture by the Taliban. The team won't interrogate Bergdahl in the near future.

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