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Is There Any Way To Screen The World's Pilots For Suicidal Tendencies?

KPLU News - 1 hour 51 min ago
The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps earlier this week appears to have been a deliberate act carried out by a co-pilot.

It is too soon to put the label "suicide" on the co-pilot's actions. Not enough is known yet about his state of mind or what his motivation might have been.

Airlines Worldwide Rush To Adopt '2-Person' Cockpit Rule

KPLU News - 2 hours 17 min ago
The global aviation industry is moving swiftly to change policies to reassure the traveling public in the wake of the apparently deliberate crash of airliner into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.

Airlines from around the world have announced that they will begin requiring two crew members in the cockpit at all times after investigators on Thursday announced that the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 occurred when the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and placed the Airbus A320 into a deliberate descent.

The changes include requiring two people in the cockpit at all tim

Sen. Harry Reid Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

KPLU News - 3 hours 14 min ago


A Washington Republican And A Democrat Agree: If Only We Had Idaho’s Tax System

KPLU News - 3 hours 33 min ago

Editor's Note: We're taking a closer look at Washington's tax system through a week-long series. This is the fourth installment of “Where’s the Dough? On the Hunt for Washington’s Missing Tax Dollars." The first installment explored the history of the state's tax system, and the second story took a closer look at the efficacy of tax exemptions. The third piece looked at the tax incentives Washington approved for Boeing, and the fourth story examined tax breaks for consumers.

If you’re poor and you live in Washington state, you wind up forking over almost 17 percent of your income in state and local taxes. That’s according to a recent report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

But if you live in, say, Boise or Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, state and local taxes only eat up 8.5 percent of your income.

The reason boils down to how the two states collect revenue. Washington relies heavily on a sales tax, along with property tax and a gross receipts tax on business called the business and occupation tax. All of that means low-income people shoulder a much bigger tax burden as a percentage of their income than the richest 1 percent. And that earns Washington the dubious distinction of having the most unfair state and local tax system in the country, according to ITEP.

Seahawks' Carroll Says He's 'Over' Super Bowl Loss; Team Continues Offseason Moves

KPLU News - 3 hours 38 min ago

The Seahawks are staying busy in the offseason. They continue to enhance their roster. And they learned this week that they'll get even more opportunities to do that during next month's draft.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says the biggest question about the Seahawks next season has yet to be answered.

WATCH: Obama, A 'Wire' Superfan, Talks To Show's Creator David Simon

KPLU News - 4 hours 8 sec ago


Report: Germanwings Co-Pilot Treated For Depression

KPLU News - 4 hours 34 min ago
Here are the latest developments this morning in the investigation into Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight FU 9525 who appears to have deliberately crashed the plane carrying 150 people into the French Alps.

--Bild, the German mass-circulation daily,

Stretching One Great Teacher Across Many Classrooms

KPLU News - 4 hours 35 min ago
A stack of research suggests that all the classroom technology in the world can't compare to the power of a great teacher. And, since we haven't yet figured out how to clone our best teachers, a few schools around the country are trying something like it: Stretching them across multiple classrooms.

"We'll probably never fill up every single classroom with one of those teachers," says Bryan Hassel, founder of Charlotte-based education consulting firm Public Impact.

Police Departments Open Up 'Safe Lots' For Craigslist Transactions

KPLU News - 6 hours 36 min ago
The online classified site Craigslist updated its safety page this week, encouraging users to make exchanges at local police stations. Some police departments across the country are already offering up their headquarters as voluntary "safe zones" for Craigslist deals.

Sebastian Rivera likes to ride BMX bikes.

NASA To Study A Twin In Space And His Brother On Earth

KPLU News - 6 hours 36 min ago
Later today, a Russian rocket is scheduled to carry a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut to the International Space Station, where they will live for a full year, twice as long as people usually stay.

No American has lived in space for longer than 215 days. Only a few people have ever gone on space trips lasting a year or more—the longest was 437 days--and they're all Russian cosmonauts. The last year-plus stay in space occurred nearly two decades ago.

What's more, NASA's upcoming mission offers scientists a unique opportunity to study the effect of spaceflight on the human body.

Was Your Seafood Caught By Slaves? AP Uncovers Unsavory Trade

KPLU News - 6 hours 36 min ago
Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food, may have been caught by Burmese slaves.

Her Instagram Feed Finds The Fun In Long-Suffering Somalia

KPLU News - 6 hours 57 min ago
Ugaaso Abukar Boocow has become an Instagram sensation by sending out stunning visual messages from an unlikely place: poor, suffering Somalia.

She was just a toddler when her grandmother fled with her to Canada to escape Somalia's Civil War, leaving her mother behind.

Then last year, she decided to go back, moving to the capital, Mogadishu, and reuniting with her mother, whom she hadn't seen in over two decades.

And she didn't want her relatives in North America to worry. "When I was posting these pictures, it was just to let my family back in Toronto know that, hey, I'm safe.

Despite Earlier Promise To Boycott, Seattle High School Will Give Required Tests To Juniors

KPLU News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 17:59

Eleventh graders at Seattle's Nathan Hale High School will take a state- and federally-required standardized test after all, an apparent reversal of an earlier decision by staff, students and parents to boycott the exams this year.

"The [Smarter Balanced assessment] is required by the state. Therefore, to comply with Seattle Public Schools directives, students will be tested" in April, Nathan Hale Senate chair Melinda Greene said in an email to parents Thursday.

Amazingly, Congress Actually Got Something Done

KPLU News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 15:58
They said it couldn't be done. And for more than a decade they were right.

But on Thursday, staring at a deadline that could have disrupted health care to millions of seniors, the House got something done.

It voted to fix the flawed formula for compensating doctors who provide services to patients under Medicare. But this time it wasn't just a patch for a few months or years — like the ones Congress has done 17 times since 2003.

This time it was permanent, if the Senate gets on board in a timely manner.

Big Shelves Of Antarctic Ice Melting Faster Than Scientists Thought

KPLU News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 15:09
The Antarctic is far away, freezing and buried under a patchwork of ice sheets and glaciers. But a warming climate is altering that mosaic in unpredictable ways — research published Thursday shows that the pace of change in parts of the Antarctic is accelerating.

Many of the ice sheets that blanket Antarctica run right down to the land's edge and then out into the ocean, where they form floating ice "shelves." Some of those shelves have been shrinking lately. Now, a team of scientists has discovered that shelves in the West Antarctic are shrinking a lot faster than they realized.

Church Of Scientology Calls New HBO Documentary 'Bigoted'

KPLU News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 15:01
The Church of Scientology is famous for its efforts to silence its critics, but it has not blocked an upcoming HBO film that turns a harsh light on the powerful organization and its leadership.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, directed by Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney, will debut Sunday over the vigorous objection of Scientology officials.

For the film, based on a book by Lawrence Wright, Gibney dug up extensive archival footage of Scientology's

Think Nobody Wants To Buy Ugly Fruits And Veggies? Think Again

KPLU News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 14:42
Remember that old movie trope, in which the mousy girl who never gets noticed takes off her eyeglasses and — voila! — suddenly, everyone can see she was beautiful all along?

Well, a similar sort of scenario is starting to play out in the world of produce in the U.S. (minus the sexist subtext).

Around the country, food service companies, grocers and entrepreneurs passionate about fighting food waste are rallying to buy up fruits and vegetables excluded from the produce aisle because of their defects.

Washington Lawmakers Consider Banning Powdered Alcohol

KPLU News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 14:21

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers in the Washington legislature launched a move Tuesday to ban powdered alcohol.

Former POW Bergdahl An Uneasy Subject In His Idaho Hometown

KPLU News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 14:21

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier held for nearly five years as a prisoner of the Taliban, is facing charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Troy Kelley: A Man Of Mystery, Even To His Own Staff

KPLU News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 14:21

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley was not in the office Wednesday. His staff say they don’t know when the Democrat will be back.