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FIFA Begins Meeting After American Lawyer's Angry Resignation

KPLU News - 1 hour 19 min ago
Soccer's governing body is meeting Thursday in Morocco, a day after the American lawyer, who spent two years investigating allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the World Cup, quit in protest at how FIFA handled his report.

Michael Garcia's resignation stems from events that began last month.

Is Your State Ready For The Next Infectious Outbreak? Probably Not

KPLU News - 1 hour 30 min ago
Ebola may have slid off the nation's worry list, but that doesn't mean the United States is ready to handle an outbreak of Ebola or other infectious disease, an analysis says.

2014 Saw Fewest Executions In 20 Years, Report Finds

KPLU News - 1 hour 49 min ago
There was a significant drop in the number of executions and death penalty sentences in 2014, a new report by the Death Penalty Information Center finds.

The group's year-end accounting finds that:

-- States conducted 35 executions in 2014 — the lowest since 1994.

-- And the justice system sentenced 72 people to death — the lowest number in 40 years.

Of course, this comes on a year where capital punishment took center stage in the news: First, because a drug shortage forced correcti

Putin: Sanctions, Falling Oil Prices Causing Ruble's Tumble

KPLU News - 1 hour 57 min ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at the West in a year-end news conference today, blaming international sanctions and a steep plunge in oil prices for the precipitous drop in the value of the ruble.

Putin, speaking during a more than three-hour news conference attended by some 1,200 journalists, "promised never to let the West chain or defang his proud nation," according to The Associated Press.

It was the second time this month that Putin has spoken in a nationwide forum about the country's economic woes, and the Russian leader echoed and expanded on many of the points he espou

Worries About Unusual Botulinum Toxin Prove Unfounded

KPLU News - 2 hours 27 min ago
Remember that worrisome new form of botulinum toxin we told you about in late 2013, the one that supposedly had to be kept secret out of fear it could be used as a bioweapon that would evade all of our medical defenses?

Well, as it turns out, it's not that scary after all.

Pakistan Keeps On Vaccinating Despite Tough Terrain And Terror Threat

KPLU News - 2 hours 34 min ago
Between the rugged terrain and the constant terrorist threats, vaccinating Pakistani children against common diseases hasn't been easy. Mountains make it hard — at times even impossible — for vaccinators to reach people in the north. In the south, health workers have to use four-wheelers and camels to travel through Pakistan's harsh deserts.

The Taliban also stands in the way. Since 2012, the Taliban has gunned down at least 60 health workers and policemen who were guarding them.

Photographer captures portraits of through-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail

Quirksee - 4 hours 13 min ago

Photographer Ian Tuttle was driving when he saw three backpackers resting under a tree near the Pacific Crest Trail.

He pulled over. Did they need water or a ride somewhere? Maybe a beer? Just the beer, the hikers told him. And so Tuttle ended up spending the next hour with them, talking over beers and taking their photos.

As Tuttle resumed his drive, he had a lingering thought: “How amazing it would be to meet more of these hikers.” He understood the allure of the arduous trail; he himself had once taken a long journey by bike across the country — an experience he calls “indelible.”

So he returned to the PCT three more times this past summer, geared with a heavy 1951 press camera — the kind you see in old movies with the big flash, Tuttle says — and a cooler full of fresh, hard-to-pack treats for the hikers. Each time, he set up camp for one to three nights in hopes of connecting with through-hikers. Unlike sectional hikers, these hikers attempt to finish the entire 2,650-mile trail in one stretch, a feat that typically takes five months.

Some encounters were shorter than others; “these guys are hiking 20 to 24 miles a day, and they can’t dawdle,” says Tuttle. But long or short, each meeting offered an intimate glimpse into what Tuttle calls each hiker’s “odyssey.”

“I like backpacking, but that’s extraordinary — five months on the trail,” he says. “You’re at the mercy of the landscape, of the weather, of other people, certainly,” he says.

In all, San Francisco-based Tuttle photographed 38 hikers from near and far and heard their stories. He shared the following photos and captions.

// Powered by Cincopa &amp;lt;a href=’http://www.cincopa.com/video-hosting’&amp;gt;Video Hosting for Business&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt; solution.&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Portraits of PCT through-hikers&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;All photos provided by Ian Tuttle.&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Chris, Mile 1071&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Chris and Sarah were some of the first hikers I met. It was hailing hard for about 45 minutes, and finally the storm moved on and things dried a bit, and they appeared on the trail. A few other hikers had gathered around my camp and I listened to them talk about the trail, the people they’d met, the storm.&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;originaldate&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;width&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 943&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;height&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1200&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Sarah, Mile 1071&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Sarah at one point said, &amp;amp;quot;Hopefully Oregon will be almost effortless.&amp;amp;quot; Weeks later I had my notebook open and another through-hiker saw the quote I’d written and said, &amp;amp;quot;Ha! That pretty much sums up this whole journey.” &amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;originaldate&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;width&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 945&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;height&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1200&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Justin &amp;amp;amp; Luke, Mile 1606.5&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;I met Justin first. He was soft-spoken, and I asked him where he was from. “Canada. I’m hiking with my older brother.” “Is he here?” “No, we agreed to split up at the half-way mark so we could experience the trail independently.” I thought of my own brothers and wondered if we would make a similar decision. A truck crested the pass and pulled into the gravel. “Hey, that’s my brother right there!”&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br />
&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;originaldate&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;width&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1200&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;height&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 945&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Nat, Mile 1071&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;“When you’re out day after day, your vision, hearing, feeling, all your senses change,&amp;amp;quot; said Nat.&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;originaldate&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;width&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 946&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;height&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1200&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Erin, Mile 1071&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Erin is an artist. She and her husband Nat celebrated their one-year anniversary around the mid-point of their hike.&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br />
&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;originaldate&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;width&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 946&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;height&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1200&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Shazam, Mile 2259.5&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;I met Pixel and Shazam early one August morning in Washington, north of Mt Adams. They began their hike on April 23 at the kick-off party, and reached the Canadian border on Sept. 9.&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;originaldate&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;width&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 941&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;height&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1200&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Pixel, Mile 2259.5&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Hiking the PCT was Pixel and Shazam’s honeymoon.&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;originaldate&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;width&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 940&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;height&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1200&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;Lost Lake&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;originaldate&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;width&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 2000&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt;height&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;&amp;lt;span&amp;gt; 1992&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt;

You can see more photos from Tuttle’s “Through-Hikers” collection on his website.

What Renewed Relations Mean For American Travel To Cuba

KPLU News - 4 hours 14 min ago

As U.S. moves to restore ties with Cuba, Americans will shed some of the travel restrictions that effectively put the country out of reach for 50 years, says KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley.

“I can’t tell you how big this is,” said Brumley, who has led several trips to Cuba.

The Many Rabbit Holes (Or Should We Say Labyrinths) Of 'Serial'

KPLU News - 4 hours 20 min ago



New Era For Cuba? Voices From Miami And Havana

KPLU News - 4 hours 39 min ago


With Sony Hack, Nation State Attacks Go From Quiet To Overt

KPLU News - 8 hours 28 min ago
NPR has confirmed from U.S. intelligence officials that North Korea was centrally involved with the recent attacks against Sony Pictures. And the company says that it is pulling its comedy film The Interview from the box office. It was supposed to debut on Christmas.

Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As Anyplace Else On Earth

KPLU News - 8 hours 38 min ago
The latest word from scientists studying the Arctic is that the polar region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. And researchers say the trend isn't letting up. That's the latest from the 2014 Arctic Report Card — a compilation of recent research from more than 60 scientists in 13 countries. The report was released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Jackie Richter-Menge, a polar scientist with the U.S.

At An Isolated Camp, Iraqi Police Prep For A Showdown With ISIS

KPLU News - 8 hours 43 min ago
When Mohammed Taha Yaseen recalls the day that Islamic militants swept through Iraq's northern city of Mosul this past summer, he chokes up.

"The army ran away," he says, and pauses to gain control of his voice.

Boundary-Pushing Late Night Hosts Move On — Colbert Up, Ferguson Out

KPLU News - 8 hours 47 min ago




Supreme Court Refuses To Block Arizona Drivers Licenses For 'Dreamers'

KPLU News - 8 hours 51 min ago
Arizona hoped an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court would prevent the state from having to grant driving permits to young undocumented immigrants, also known as "dreamers," who entered the country as children.

Inslee Proposes Cap And Trade To Raise Revenue, Cut Carbon Emissions

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 22:55

Gov. Jay Inslee says it’s time to make polluters pay for carbon emissions. He’s proposed a cap-and-trade system that he says will raise a billion dollars a year while helping the state drastically reduce its contribution to global warming. 

Port Slowdowns Keep Northwest Farm Exports Stuck On The Ranch

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 16:20


A slowdown at western ports is now aggravating farmers across the Northwest.

Produce processors are laying off production line workers. Apples are backing up. And the summer’s premium hay is stacked in sheds and not moving.

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 14:19
We are well into the Christmas season, and if you live in Japan, that means sponge cake.

The traditional Japanese Christmas dish is served with strawberries and cream, and it is rich, thanks to lots and lots of butter.

Obama Issues 12 Pardons, Commutes 8 Sentences

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:34
President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued, for offenses ranging from theft to running an illegal distillery.

Half of the eight whose sentences were commuted had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Citing "unduly harsh sentences issued for drug offenses under an outdated sentencing regime," a White House official said Wednesday that all eight of those who were punished for drug offenses "would receive a substantially lower sentence today."

Deputy Attorney Genera

Alan Gross' Release: How It Went Down

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:31
American Alan Gross had spent more than five years in a Cuban prison where he lost five teeth, 100 pounds and much of the sight in his right eye. He could barely walk because of chronic pain and was, his wife Judy Gross said in June, "despondent and very hopeless" because he had 10 years to go in his sentence for crimes against the Cuban state.