National / International News

In Donetsk, Demands For A Vote Boil Into Aggression And Arrests

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:01

Pro-Russia demonstrators have taken over government offices in Donetsk and other major cities in eastern Ukraine. They're demanding a vote on whether the region should leave Ukraine and join Russia.

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Holder Plays Asparagus Card Against GOP Antagonist

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:56

When a Texas Republican congressman criticized Eric Holder Tuesday, the attorney general hit him with a dose of snark.

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An English village, 30 years after its mine closed

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:47

American coal mines are closing. Do the miners have anything to learn from their British counterparts who lost their jobs in a wave of mine closures 30 years ago?

There’s nothing left of Cortonwood coal mine. All traces of the mine, which had thrived for more than a century, sustaining the small village of Brampton in Yorkshire, in the north of England, have been erased.

Today there’s a shopping center and office complex on the site where the pithead and the slag heaps used to stand. Cortonwood was where one of Britain’s bitterest labor disputes - the national miners’ strike - erupted in 1984. And Cortonwood was one of the first mines to be shut after the strike against pit closures ended in failure one year later.

There may be no physical trace of the pit, but the village still apparently bears the psychological scars of the loss of the mine.

“Coal was this community, it was that important,” says Denise FitzPatrick, whose husband and son worked in the mine. “Coal was the community. Not just here, but in all mining villages. Everything revolved around the pit. It was a terrible loss.”

Financially, as well as socially. 1.200 men worked at Cortonwood. Denise FitzPatrick’s daughter, Denise Lelliott, says when the pit closed, those who could find work usually made barely half what they earned underground. Many others languished on welfare.

“It’s ripped the soul out of this community,” she says. “I love my community. And it absolutely destroys me what it’s done to it. People says it’s recovered. It hasn’t. And I don’t think it ever will."

Even today, nearly 30 years after the pit closed, and after many of the pitmen have retired or died, the unemployment rate among the ex-miners of Cortonwood is still 12 percent. Andy Lock, who works for a charity which has tried to mitigate the effects of mass unemployment caused by the shutting of coal mines, says too little was done by the government to soften the blow of the pit closures.

“In my opinion there was a lack of support at the time," he says. "So when you have over 100,000 people becoming unemployed, with the lack of infrastructure and lack of support, you get problems.”

Belatedly, the British government did pump money into places like Cortonwood. The shopping center and office complex on the site of the mine opened for business some 15 years after the pit closed. It has been a big success. It has brought prosperity to the village and it is a significant employer, but not, says Denise Fitzpatrick, for the dwindling band of ex-miners.

“There isn’t a miner I know in this village or any other village that would be content to go and stand at the back of a counter –in a shop– because their life were down the pit, working, laboring, very hard down the pit,” she says.

To the outsider, this enthusiasm for deep pit coal mining is not easy to understand. Why did the British miners fight so hard to save such a difficult, dirty and dangerous job?

“Because it were my job," says Mike Clarke, who worked at Cortonwood for 29 years. "That’s what it were. It were my job. That’s the most important thing when you’re a working man. You’ve got pride. You’ve got your family. And you look after them the best you can. And coal mining was the best way I could.” 

Since Cortonwood closed Clark has thrived in the very different career of nursing. But he still misses the camaraderie of the pit, doesn’t regret resisting the closure and urges American miners to do the same.

“Yeah there is life after coal,” he says “Because you’ve got to make a life after coal. But just don’t lay down and die. Go down fighting, go down kicking and screaming. Make it as hard for them as you possibly can."

UK-Ireland future 'built on trust'

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:44
Irish President Michael D Higgins hails the "warm and enduring" links with Britain in a special address to Parliament.

Nato warns Russia over Ukraine

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:43
Nato says further Russian intervention in Ukraine would be a "historic mistake" as Kiev tries to retake official buildings in the east from separatists.

Tired of your name? A one day solution

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:40

From the Marketplace Datebook, here's what's coming up April 9:

  • In Washington, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee discusses international cooperation and space exploration at a hearing titled, "From Here to Mars."
  • A Senate Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on travel closer to the ground, assessing railway safety.
  • The Commerce Department reports on wholesale inventories and sales for February.
  • The House Committee on Small Business discusses "The Biggest Tax Problems for Small Businesses." It is tax season.
  • He's sold a lot of magazines. Hugh Hefner turns 88.
  • And someone who hates their name must have come up with this one. It's National Name Yourself Day. Just for a day, people. You turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Call me Beatrice.

Obama hits at gender wage disparity

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:36
President Obama issues executive orders aimed at erasing gender disparities in pay among the government workforce, in an appeal to women voters.

77 jobs at risk as bus depot to shut

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:28
Bus operator Stagecoach is to close its depot at Brynmawr in the Gwent valleys in July, putting 77 jobs under threat.

Badger baiting pair given dog ban

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:26
A father and son are banned from keeping dogs for 10 years after being found guilty of using them for badger baiting.

The Politics Of Equal Pay: It's More Than A Women's Issue

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:26

The pay equity issue, which President Obama and Democrats are using as a central campaign theme, could also gain traction with male voters.

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M6 shut after multiple-vehicle crash

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:22
The M6 is to remain closed southbound until Wednesday morning following a crash involving two cars and two lorries, the Highways Agency says.

Scott confident for Masters defence

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:21
Australia's Adam Scott is relishing the chance to become the fourth player in Masters history to win back-to-back Green Jackets.

Police Federation chairman 'bullied'

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 11:15
The outgoing chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales claimed he was "cruelly bullied" by senior colleagues, a newly published letter suggests.

UN names pair killed in Somalia

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:53
The UN has identified two of its workers killed in Somalia on Monday as UK citizen Simon Davis and French citizen Clement Gorrissen

'Williams wasteful, Ferrari nowhere'

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:50
BBC Sport F1 analyst Allan McNish looks at why Williams and Ferrari are struggling to fulfil their potential

VIDEO: Price of Rwanda's political progress

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:40
George Alagiah reports on the political price of economic progress in Rwanda.

Rooney expected to face Bayern Munich

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:32
Manchester United manager David Moyes says he would be "mad" not to let Wayne Rooney play against Bayern Munich.

Race's water firm 'was not paid'

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:29
The water firm blamed by organisers for the cancellation of the Sheffield half marathon claims it did not deliver supplies as it had not been paid.

NCAA Women's Final Matches Two Undefeated Teams

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:28

For the first time in history, two teams meet in the NCAA women's title game with perfect records. Not for the first time in history, two coaches face off who don't like each other.

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Dust explosion uni set to reopen

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 10:16
Edinburgh Napier campus is set to reopen on Wednesday after a fire and "dust explosion" forced hundreds of students to be evacuated.
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