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Saying Goodbye: Reflections Of A Music Teacher

KPLU News - 3 hours 14 min ago
This weekend, NPR Ed is featuring dispatches from teachers about the ups and downs of their work.

Early each December, the HR department of Orange City Schools in Pepper Pike, Ohio, places a checklist in our mailboxes. It asks about our employment plans for the next school year. Choices include sabbatical leave, acquiring advanced degrees, and the one everyone dreams of checking: I will be retiring at the end of the current school year.

When that paper arrived in my mailbox last year, I was feeling discouraged.

Why South African Students Say The Statue Of Rhodes Must Fall

KPLU News - 3 hours 14 min ago
For more than two weeks, public debate in South Africa has been dominated by a statue. Students at the University of Cape Town have been demonstrating to have the bronze figure of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes removed from its central position on campus. Rhodes bequeathed the land on which the university was built, but he also slaughtered Africans by the thousands in colonial conquest and helped lay the foundations of apartheid in South Africa.

The protesters have occupied part of an administration building and wrapped the statue in black plastic.

Guess What Makes The Cut As A 'Smart Snack' In Schools? Hot Cheetos

KPLU News - 4 hours 16 min ago


Win Tickets To Willie Jones III At Jazz Alley

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 17:00

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley welcomes jazz drummer Willie Jones III for two nights with his superlative quintet: Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Eric Reed (piano), Ralph Moore (tenor sax) and Buster Williams (bass) touring in support of his latest live album, The Willie Jones III Sextet Plays The Max Roac

Nostalgic Cars: Sour Automotive Fruit Of Cuban Embargo Gets New Life

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 15:58
In Havana, Cuba, the old cars that crowd the streets used to symbolize a stagnant nation. Now enterprising Cubans have begun renting cars out to tourists who are hungry for the cars of their youth.

During my reporting trip to Havana, I spoke with Julio Alvarez, the owner of Nostalgicar in Havana.

He joked that one thing Cubans should thank Fidel Castro for is all the old, majestic American cars that are now making him money.

You can listen to the story using the player above. Copyright 2015 NPR.

Calif. Governor Can't Make It Rain, But Can Make Relief Money Pour

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 15:05
Can you spend your way out of an historic drought? Not really, but the consensus in Sacramento these days seems to be that money certainly helps.

Just days after it was introduced, California Gov.

Italy's Highest Court Overturns Amanda Knox Conviction

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 14:43
Italy's highest court has overturned a murder conviction in the case of Amanda Knox.

The court's decision puts an end to a story that began in 2009 when Knox was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kirchner two years earlier. The verdict was overturned in 2011. But a year later, the Court of Cassation overturned the acquittal and sent the case back to an appeals court in Florence.

Thai Ruler Says He's Prepared To End Martial Law

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 14:33
Thai leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army general who seized power in a coup last year, says that after 10 months of martial law, he's prepared to end it in favor of an equally draconian constitutional provision.

Prayuth says he's "thought it through" and will replace martial law by invoking a part of the the interim constitution that grants his government the same broad powers to suppress free speech and try civilians in military courts.

"[I] am prepared to use [the clause] to replace martial law.

LISTEN: A Cuban Protest Singer On The State Of U.S.-Cuba Relations

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 13:37
Over the past couple of weeks — on All Things Considered, over at Parallels, on Tumblr and on this blog — we've been reporting on Cuba.

Yemen's Turmoil Sparks Big Swings In The Global Oil Market

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 13:18
The current upheaval in Yemen is a sharp reminder of the fragility of the global oil market. Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels in Yemen has stoked fears of a disruption to the supply market.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, share a long border.

Push To Regain Washington State's No Child Left Behind Waiver Stalls In Committee

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 13:12

A bid to get back Washington state's waiver from the No Child Left Behind law — and regain for school districts the flexibility to spend $40 million in federal funding that came with that waiver — appears to have hit a dead end in Olympia.

Majority Democrats in the House Education Committee on Thursday blocked a procedural maneuver to force an up-or-down vote on a bill making changes to the state's teacher evaluation system in hopes of convincing federal education officials to give Washington its waiver back.

After A Tough Election, Israel's Netanyahu Looks To Ease Tensions

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 13:08
During a tough Israeli election campaign, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to antagonize, among others, the White House, Israel's Arab citizens and the Palestinians.

Now that Netanyahu's Likud Party has come out on top, the prime minister has sought to ease tensions with a series of gestures.

The latest move came Friday as Israel announced that it would tran

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:45
In a stroke of irony fit for fiction, an effort by two Idaho parents to clean up their daughter's books has dredged up a fairly messy controversy.

University Of Oklahoma: Racist Chant Learned At National Frat Event

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:14
The president of the University of Oklahoma says two dozen students from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity have been disciplined for taking part in a racist chant about African-Americans and lynching that was videotaped and went viral earlier this month.

David Boren, releasing the findings of a university investigation into the incident Friday, also said the chant was learned by members of the local chapter while attending a national leadership cruise sponsored by the fraternity four years ago,

Medical Bills Linger, Long After Cancer Treatment Ends

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:04
Melinda Townsend-Breslin keeps a photo of herself on her refrigerator standing with her mother, MaryLou Townsend, in the front of the Unique Thrift Store in Louisville, Ky. They're side by side in the parking lot, both wearing white shirts and sporting short, practical haircuts.

Mom is proudly showing her discount card. "For the thrift store!" said Townsend-Breslin, laughing. "The discount for the thrift store!"

For Townsend-Breslin, this photo captures her mother: a frugal woman with a cheeky sense of humor, not prone to indulgences.

Did That Restaurant Pass Its Health Inspection? Now Yelp Will Tell You

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 11:53
Log onto Yelp, and you'll find what all your neighbors have to say about your favorite restaurant. You'll find prices, locations, menus, photos, even parking tips.

And if you're in the right city, you'll also find the restaurant's health inspection score.

"What we're trying to do ... is reduce foodborne illness [by] warning consumers when they're in the middle of making a decision," Luther Lowe, Yelp's director of public policy, tells The Salt.

Now, we should note, it can be a bit tricky to spot those health inspection scores on Yelp.

How Senate Democrats Will Choose Their Next Leader

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 11:49
When word came of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's decision to retire, various observers and Democratic constituencies quickly emerged with their choices for his successor as the party's Senate leader.

There were those who touted Patty Murray of Washington, the proven problem-solver and veteran legislator who has worked her way up the ladder of Senate succession.

Bergdahl Was Chained, Told To Kill Himself While In Captivity

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 11:28

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's attorney released details of his captivity in Afghanistan after the Army charged him Wednesday with desertion.

Alabama Police Officer Accused Of Injuring Indian Man Is Indicted

KPLU News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 11:23
An Alabama police officer has been indicted on one charge of using unreasonable force against an Indian man in February.

A federal grand jury decided there was enough evidence to bring charges against Officer Eric Parker.

"Parker's actions deprived the man in Madison of his right under the U.S.