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Seahawks' Wilson Contract: Bar Higher Now

KPLU News - 2 hours 30 min ago

Negotiations continue between the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson over extending his contract. Wilson has led the team to three playoffs and two Super Bowls during his first three years in Seattle.

But KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says giving Wilson what many fans feel he deserves is easier said than done.

Irish Voters Decide Whether To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

KPLU News - 2 hours 51 min ago
Voters in Ireland are deciding today whether the country will amend the its constitution to make same-sex marriage legal.

The vote follows months of debate in the heavily Catholic country. Opinion polls suggest the referendum will pass and Ireland become the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in a national vote.

But, as NPR's Ari Shapiro points out, "polls in this part of the world have been totally wrong in the past.

"Just this month, they were way off on the UK elections," Ari says.

How Do You Motivate Kids To Stop Skipping School?

KPLU News - 2 hours 54 min ago
It seems like a no-brainer: Offer kids a reward for showing up at school, and their attendance will shoot up. But a recent study of third-graders in a slum in India suggests that incentive schemes can do more harm than good.

The study, a working paper released by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, looked at 799 boys and girls.

Korean Air 'Nut Rage' Executive Freed From Jail

KPLU News - 6 hours 29 min ago
Former Korean Air executive Cho Hyun-ah, or Heather Cho, is out of jail after a four-month stay. If her name and alias don't ring a bell for you, the reason why she was in jail might.

She's the executive who wanted her macadamia nuts served on a plate and not in a bag, and was so outraged about the service on the airline for which she was vice-president that she threw a tantrum when confronting the flight crew.

In America's Heartland, Heroin Crisis Is Hitting Too Close To Home

KPLU News - 6 hours 33 min ago
Heroin, today, is killing more and more people in rural america.

Census Reveals Universe Of Marine Microbes At Bottom Of The Food Chain

KPLU News - 6 hours 35 min ago
What's at the bottom of the bottom of the food chain? Well, think small ... smaller than you can see.

Microbes in the ocean!

There are (and scientists have done the math) trillions of microorganisms in the ocean: plankton, bacteria, krill (they're maybe bigger than "micro," but not by much), viruses, protists and archaea (they're like bacteria, but they aren't bacteria).

The Earth as we know it wouldn't exist without the trillions of microorganisms that live in the oceans.

Uneasy Rider: The Origins Of Motorcycle Gangs And How They Remain A Force

KPLU News - 6 hours 39 min ago
The shootout involving motorcycle gangs last weekend in Waco, Texas, resulted in 170 arrests and put a spotlight on the gangs' history, which dates back to the 1940s.

Steve Cook, who heads the Midwest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association, tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that soldiers returning from World War II formed gangs with names like POBOB and the Market Street Commandos.

Adios, Trans Fats: FDA Poised To Phase Out Artery-Clogging Fat

KPLU News - 6 hours 40 min ago
The case against trans fats is not new.

'Authentic' Travel Experiences Come From Connections, Not Cliches

KPLU News - 7 hours 25 min ago

Travel brochures and websites can often paint a picture of an “authentic” experience in a foreign country. But KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley says so often, what people consider an “authentic” is far from real.

Cultures are changing, especially in Europe. Travel advertisements often show you a romanticized version of what you’ll actually experience.

#MotorCityDrive: Is Detroit's Economic Engine Roaring Back To Life?

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 15:50
For generations of Americans, Detroit was the place where people made things: powerful cars, amazing architecture, beautiful music. But now Detroit is entering a new chapter. After months of often tense and difficult negotiations, Detroit is now formally out of bankruptcy. Millions of dollars of contributions from private foundations and corporations helped the city preserve its acclaimed art collection. A new generation of artists and entrepreneurs, doers and makers is calling Detroit home. So we'd like to ask, what's next? What will drive Detroit's future now?

Maryland Joins States That Won't Test New Drivers For Parallel Parking

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 14:41
Saying that it tests parallel parking skills in other ways, Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration is phasing out the portion of its test that has intimidated new drivers for generations.

Maryland is joining the list of states that have stopped making new drivers prove that they can maneuver a car into a parallel parking spot.

Grand Jury Indicts 6 Baltimore Officers In Freddie Gray's Death

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 14:41
A grand jury has returned indictments against all six Baltimore Police Department officers charged in connection with the death last month of Freddie Gray, the state's attorney in Baltimore says.

Prosecutor Marilyn J. Mosby said at a news conference that the officers will be arraigned July 2.

China Kicks Off 'Great Leap Forward' On The Soccer Field

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 14:35
At an elementary school outside the Chinese capital, Beijing, first-graders practice controlling soccer balls under the instruction of American coach Tom Byer.

"When I clap, everybody's going to dribble to the circle, pull it back and go to the right.

Chew On This: The Science Of Great NYC Bagels (It's Not The Water)

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 13:25


White House Ban On Militarized Gear For Police May Mean Little

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 13:18
When riots erupted last fall on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., police in riot gear fanned out armed with assault rifles and armored vehicles made for the battlefield.

Analysts said at the time it was just another symptom of the continued militarization of local police forces.

This week, the White House announced a series of steps intended to address the kind of policing issues brought to light by the violence in Ferguson and later in Baltimore.

Head Of Boy Scouts Says Group's Ban On Gay Adults 'Unsustainable'

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 12:29


All-Female Flight Crew From United Airlines Takes Delivery Of New Boeing 737

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 12:20

Even in this day and age, aviation is a male-dominated industry. But when Boeing delivered a new 737-900ER to United Airlines on Wednesday at King County International Airport, men were the ones in the minority – by design.

United Airlines wanted to do something special to recognize women throughout the company. So they decided to bring an all-women crew to Seattle to pick up the new plane and fly it back to Chicago with female employees from United as passengers. No males on board. As one person quipped on Twitter, it was an “unmanned flight.”

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 12:14
On a sunny day in the remote Chienge district of Zambia, hundreds gathered for a celebration that was the first of its kind. There was singing, laughing and no shortage of dancing. The village chiefs and government officials came dressed in their finest clothes while volunteers sported bright green T-shirts that read, "We use a toilet ... do you?"

The daylong event celebrated a milestone in Zambia, where the practice of defecating in the open is all too common.

Coded Talk About Assisted Suicide Can Leave Families Confused

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 12:14
Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in most states in the U.S. But there are gray areas where doctors can help suffering patients hasten their death. The problem is nobody can talk about it directly.

This can lead to bizarre, veiled conversations between medical professionals and overwhelmed families. Doctors and nurses want to help but also want to avoid prosecution, so they speak carefully, parsing their words. Family members, in the midst of one of the most confusing and emotional times of their lives, are left to interpret euphemisms.

That still frustrates Hope Arnold.

More Than 100 Charged In Mob Killing Of Christian Couple In Pakistan

KPLU News - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:43
Prosecutors in Pakistan's Punjab province have charged 106 people in connection with the gruesome mob killing of a Christian couple who were incinerated in a brick kiln for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Quran.

In November, Sajjad Mesih and his wife, Shama — who was pregnant when the couple in their 20s was killed — were beaten and thrown into the kiln they tended as laborers.

The New York Times described the killings in November: