National / International News

Check NHS cancer, A&E and operations targets in your area

BBC - 15 hours 49 min ago
The NHS is under unprecedented pressure, with rising numbers of patients needing hospital care. Use our tracker to check whether your local services are meeting strict waiting-time targets for cancer, routine operations and A&E.

A move from natural gas to electricity for homes

Marketplace - American Public Media - 15 hours 50 min ago
Not long ago natural gas – the fuel that probably gave you your hot shower this morning – was being hailed as the clean “bridge” fuel, because it polluted less than other alternatives. For some purposes it still is, such as when it replaces diesel fuel in buses. But in our homes, some now believe natural gas should be phased out in favor of electric appliances, for climate reasons. “We are going to need to stop using gas appliances like gas water heaters, and gas space heaters and start using more energy efficient electric appliances,” said Rachel Golden, a senior campaign representative at the Sierra Club. There is already a trend to convert from gas to electrical power. One out of every four homes in the U.S. is all-electric, according the most recent survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The trend is strongest in the south. Golden points out that electricity is increasingly made with clean solar and wind. “Right now people understand the benefit of having an electric vehicle, and soon I think they will also understand the benefits of having all-electric homes,” she said. Related Excess solar power in California? Pay Arizona to take it Can America weather a cyber attack on its power grid? When it is burned, or particularly if it leaks out unburned, natural gas contributes to climate change. Dan Thomsen, a contractor who specializes in air quality, said it probably wasn’t optimal to put combustion appliances inside living spaces. Thomsen and several others recommended a type of heating and air conditioning known as heat pumps. He believes the future is electrification of homes. Mauzy Heating Air & Solar, a heat pump vendor and installer in San Diego, also praised heat pumps, but said the company has seen no uptick in sales. It recommends them for people who have solar systems on their roofs, because that electricity is paid for. Sean Armstrong of Redwood Energy, which specializes in all-electric construction, recommends heat pumps for many more situations than just solar homes. He installs them in affordable apartment buildings across California. “A refrigerator uses more electricity for heating and cooling than a heat pump in an apartment,” Armstrong said. But gas utility companies say natural gas helps keep energy affordable. Many people struggle to pay utility bills and cannot risk them going higher.  Gabe Harris, a principal gas analyst with Wood MacKenzie said a switch to electricity for heat or the hot water heater may cost you.“The truth is it is still more expensive than gas in most of the uses that we use it for right now,” he said. When people switch from gas to electricity, sometimes they have to increase the electrical service to the circuit breaker box, another cost. Harris agrees electricity is getting cleaner. But he said putting up wind turbines and solar farms takes fossil fuel, too. They require a lot of concrete, and the energy for making and pouring concrete comes from fossil fuels. Still studies show wind and solar farms tend to make up for that fossil fuel use not too long after they start operating. 

Raqqa: IS 'capital' falls to US-backed Syrian forces

BBC - 15 hours 53 min ago
The Syrian Democratic Forces say three years of jihadist rule in the Syrian city of Raqqa are over.

Ghost of boy 'seen at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire'

BBC - 15 hours 58 min ago
The ghost apparently held visitors' hands at the castle, dubbed the "spookiest" by English Heritage.

Ed Sheeran's Shape of You was written in just 90 mins

BBC - 16 hours 4 min ago
Songwriter Steve Mac says working with Ed Sheeran on Shape of You was "extraordinary".

'I am the charismatic, funny loser'! - Klopp

BBC - 16 hours 4 min ago
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp describes himself as a "charismatic, funny loser" before Liverpool's match against Maribor.

Chris Froome: 2018 Tour de France a 'massive challenge'

BBC - 16 hours 6 min ago
Chris Froome says the 2018 Tour de France will test every aspect of cycling despite having the race's shortest route of the 21st century.

'Anne Frank' children's costume sparks controversy

BBC - 16 hours 6 min ago
Retailers remove the outfit after a social media backlash over its portrayal of the Holocaust victim.

Ivorian Kalou buoyed by Hertha's anti-racism protest

BBC - 16 hours 13 min ago
Hertha Berlin's Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou compares racism to terrorism as he explains why the German side "took the knee" on Saturday.

What Sean Hughes wanted to happen after his death

BBC - 16 hours 17 min ago
The comic, who died on Monday, wrote a poignant poem about his own death back in the 1990s.

The Hollywood women tackling sexual harassment

BBC - 16 hours 17 min ago
Actresses Margot Robbie and Lake Bell, alongside producer Kathleen Kennedy have spoken out.

Anthony Bourdain Urges Americans To 'Value The Things We Eat'

NPR News - 16 hours 20 min ago

In interview with NPR's Here & Now about his new documentary, Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, the chef drives home the enormity of the problem and the importance of changing our perspective.

(Image credit: Brent N. Clarke/Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)

Jeffrey Barry guilty of 'savage' stab murder in Bristol

BBC - 16 hours 22 min ago
Jeffrey Barry, 56, carried out a "sustained" knife attack on his Kurdish refugee neighbour.

Kirkuk: Iraqi forces seize largest oilfields near city

BBC - 16 hours 24 min ago
Two more oilfields are seized as government troops take over areas under Iraqi Kurdish control.

The big cases Crimewatch helped solve

BBC - 16 hours 25 min ago
After 33 years on our screens, the BBC programme helped solve numerous police investigations.

Google removes cupcake calorie counter from Maps

BBC - 16 hours 28 min ago
Feature showed users how many calories they would burn if they walked to destination.

The view from Amazon's HQ1 in Seattle is cranes, construction and luxury apartments

Marketplace - American Public Media - 16 hours 30 min ago
Two dozen people zigzag through Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, footsteps crunching on pavement and gravel. A local blog called The Urbanist organized the tour about the history of this neighborhood — the location of Amazon’s first headquarters. In a few years, the view around HQ1 has morphed from low-slung warehouses to tall, modern apartment buildings and cranes that poke out of construction sites around every bend. “It looks like a millennial paradise,” said Seattle resident Anthony Bridgewater, who took the tour. Cities across North America are sending their best pitches to Amazon to host the company’s second headquarters. Seattle is among the cities making a bid, but the city’s residents are split between those who are wringing their hands over the company’s possible expansion in a different location, and those who say “no thanks.” Related Walmart vs. Amazon: Which will win the retail wars? Seattle increasing affordable housing through a bargain with private developers Seattle’s recent changes are dizzying. Just two metrics: in 10 years, the population has increased over 20 percent and the median home price has increased around 50 percent to $730,000. The region is home to a lot of Fortune 500 companies, all driving growth, though Amazon is Seattle’s largest employer. Pam Carter has lived in Seattle for decades. She and her husband recently moved across town after selling to developers who put up a five-story apartment building. “Our house no longer exists,” she said. The tour passes one high rise. Carter remembers when it went up. “You suddenly couldn’t see the Olympic Mountains. And I hated that,” Carter said. Sometimes she gets lost without landmarks­­­ in sight, she said. Terry Franguiadakis moved to Seattle in the '90s. “We felt like it was an empty city,” he said. “There was a lot of parking lots. It was kind of desolate.” Now it gets more vibrant every year, he said, with good restaurants, people living in the city and milling around the streets. “I think it’s great,” Franguiadakis said. But, the city wasn’t prepared for the boom, especially not in the housing market, said Ethan Phelps-Goodman with the organization Seattle Tech 4 Housing. Amazon’s next host should get ready quickly, so low- and middle-income people don’t get priced out, he said. “You're going to need to build abundant housing to go along with all those jobs that are going to stream in, not just for the Amazon employees, but for the restaurant workers, and the baristas, and the security guards, and the many, many jobs that will be created by all the new wealth,” Phelps-Goodman said. According to Amazon, the company’s presence is a boon to Seattle’s economy, and the company gives back to the local community through philanthropy and volunteering. The company will announce the location of its second headquarters next year.  

BBC to broadcast live Scotland against New Zealand, Australia and Samoa

BBC - 16 hours 35 min ago
The BBC will broadcast live Scotland's autumn Test series against New Zealand, Australia and Samoa from Murrayfield.

OECD warns 'no deal' Brexit would hit UK economy hard

BBC - 16 hours 44 min ago
The Paris-based think tank says leaving the EU without a deal could be very damaging to the UK.

NFL: Marcus Mariota makes winning return for the Tennessee Titans

BBC - 16 hours 45 min ago
Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota throws for 306 yards as he makes a winning return from a hamstring injury in the Titans' 36-22 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.