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Sandwich Monday: The 'Shroom Burger From Shake Shack

KPLU News - 5 hours 38 min ago
If you haven't heard of Shake Shack, it's a hip, growing national chain where Americans go to stand in long lines. Also, it serves food.

We tried the 'Shroom Burger, a breaded and deep-fried cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom patty in a bun.

Services Offer A Means To Foil Widespread 'Elder Fraud'

KPLU News - 6 hours 9 min ago
This is the season for generosity — and for con artists who take advantage of it.

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to scams; more than a quarter of the victims of financial fraud are over 60, according to the FTC. But now there are products on the market designed to protect seniors' nest eggs.

Retired school teacher Ruth Heimer could have used some help. She usually donated about $50 a month to her favorite charities.

What You Need To Know About Subprime Lending For Smartphones

KPLU News - 6 hours 9 min ago
If you visit a local strip mall or downtown shopping street, it's not hard to find a store where customers can lease-to-own. That is, you can pay over time and eventually, after some chunky fees, a flat screen TV or living room set is yours.

Well, now there's a way to do that for a smartphone. A Silicon Valley startup called Better Finance is lending money so that just about anyone can buy the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.

Jailed Cuban Spy's Wife Is Pregnant — With A Little Help From The U.S.

KPLU News - 6 hours 30 min ago
Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

Adriana Perez is expected to give birth to a baby girl in about two weeks.

That wouldn't be remarkable, except that Perez's husband, Gerardo Hernandez, spent most of the last decade-and-a-half in U.S. federal prison for leading a Cuban spy ring.

Hernandez was released last week as part of a prisoner swap with Cuba. He returned to Havana and raised eyebrows when he was greeted by his very pregnant wife.

It turns out, the U.S.

A Very Code Switch Christmas TV Special

KPLU News - 6 hours 38 min ago
It's that time around Christmas, when all we can see
is the same set of specials on network TV.
Frosty, and Charlie, and Ralphie, and Kevin

Widespread Internet Outage Reported In North Korea

KPLU News - 6 hours 40 min ago
North Korea's Internet is offline — days after President Obama pledged a "proportional response" to the communist country's alleged hacking of Sony Pictures, multiple news reports say.

Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research, told The New York Times and other news organizations that North Korea's Internet access became unstable late Friday.

Is Your Heart Doctor In? If Not, You Might Not Be Any Worse Off

KPLU News - 7 hours 28 min ago
If your cardiologist is away at a conference when you're having a stabbing feeling in your chest, don't fret.

'Dreamer' Immigrants Apply For Arizona Driver's Licenses

KPLU News - 7 hours 37 min ago
Hundreds of people who entered the U.S. without documentation as children lined up to seek licenses in Arizona on Monday, days after the Supreme Court declined to support the state's ban on issuing licenses to young immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents.

More than 22,000 "dreamers" are now eligible to apply for a license in Arizona, something they were blocked from doing in 2012, thanks to an executive order by Gov. Jan Brewer.

The Khoisan Once Were Kings Of The Planet. What Happened?

KPLU News - 7 hours 37 min ago
Some 22,000 years ago, they were the largest group of humans on earth: the Khoisan, a tribe of hunter-gatherers in southern Africa.

Today, only about 100,000 Khoisan, who are also known as Bushmen, remain. Stephen C. Schuster, professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, has published new research about the tribe, many of whom now live in poverty, their cultural traditions endangered.

'Rolling Stone' Asks Columbia J-School To Investigate Flawed Rape Story

KPLU News - 8 hours 25 min ago
Jann Wenner, the editor and publisher of Rolling Stone, says the magazine has asked Columbia Journalism School to investigate the editorial process that resulted in its flawed story about a University of Virginia student who said she was gang-raped during a fraternity party in 2012.

"We have asked the Columbia Journalism School to conduct an independent review – headed by Dean Steve Coll and Dean of Academic Affairs Sheila Coronel – of the editorial process that led to the publication of this story.

Oregon, Washington Seek To Juice Electric Car Sales With More Incentives

KPLU News - 8 hours 29 min ago


A coalition in Oregon and the Democratic governor of Washington want to juice sales of electric cars by providing more state incentives.

But some critics say more taxpayer giveaways for those drivers are unnecessary.

When Humans Quit Hunting And Gathering, Their Bones Got Wimpy

KPLU News - 8 hours 56 min ago
Compared with other primates and our early human ancestors, we modern humans have skeletons that are relatively lightweight — and scientists say that basically may be because we got lazy.

Biological anthropologist Habiba Chirchir and her colleagues at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History were studying the bones of different primates including humans.

The 85-Year-Old Widow Who's The Symbol Of Spain's Economic Woes

KPLU News - 8 hours 57 min ago
Carmen Martínez Ayuso lived a quiet life in her modest apartment in the southern suburbs of Madrid for 50 years. But at 85, she recently became a household name in Spain.

Now her anguished face is splashed across Spanish newspapers' front pages.

Army General To Determine Fate of Bowe Bergdahl

KPLU News - 9 hours 3 min ago
The Pentagon has forwarded its investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's disappearance from an Afghan outpost to a general courts-martial convening authority, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

Bergdahl is the U.S. soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The U.S.

In Slovakia, Christmas Dinner Starts In The Bathtub

KPLU News - 9 hours 38 min ago
For centuries, families throughout much of central Europe have relied on one simple main course for Christmas Eve dinner: the common carp.

But getting from river (or carp farm) to table is not so simple.

Singer Joe Cocker Dies At Age 70

KPLU News - 9 hours 46 min ago




New Background Check Law Likely Stopped Prohibited Buyer At Washington Gun Show

KPLU News - 11 hours 20 min ago


Washington’s new voter-approved background check law appears to have prevented the sale of a rifle to a man with a warrant out for his arrest.

It could be the first time the new law was put to the test.

1 Dead In Protest At Chinese-Backed Copper Mine In Myanmar

KPLU News - 11 hours 48 min ago
A crackdown on protesters at a Chinese-backed copper mine in Myanmar has left at least one person dead, the company that runs the project said today in a statement.

The statement from the company, Myanmar Wanbao, said it had "just been informed of the death of a female resident from Moe Kyo Pyin village," adding: "The events leading up to her death are still unclear." [Some news sources call the village Mogyopyin.]

Democratic Voice of Burma, a news organization based in Thailand,

BirdNote: Diving Birds – Below the Surface

KPLU News - 11 hours 59 min ago

By December, an array of diving birds that nested at far northern latitudes are wintering on temperate waters across the continent.

If we could watch them under water, we'd see this Common Loon racing like a torpedo. A goldeneye dives under water and swims about 10 feet from the surface, while scoters get down to 30 feet in search of clams and mussels.

But if one bird stands out as the most beautiful diver, it has to be the Long-tailed duck. Propelling itself beneath the surface with its wings, it seems to fly through the water, sometimes to depths of more than 60 feet!

Milwaukee Prosecutor Won't Seek Charges In Police Shooting

KPLU News - 12 hours 18 min ago
Eight months after a police officer shot and killed a black man whom he had been trying to search as the man slept, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm says the officer acted in self-defense.

The incident occurred in a Milwaukee park at around 4 in the afternoon. Officer Christopher Manney, who is white, was trying to frisk Dontre Hamilton, as he slept.