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Mass Tax Foreclosure Threatens Detroit Homeowners

KPLU News - 7 hours 22 min ago
In Detroit, tens of thousands of people are facing a deadline Tuesday that could cost some of them their homes. That's when homeowners have to make arrangements to either pay delinquent property taxes — or risk losing their home at a county auction.

When Detroit emerged from bankruptcy last year, it did so with a razor-thin financial cushion. It desperately needs every bit of tax revenue it can muster.

Earlier this year, county officials sent out 72,000 foreclosure notices to homeowners behind on property taxes — 62,000 of them in Detroit alone.

California's Death Row, The Nation's Largest, Runs Out Of Room

KPLU News - 7 hours 26 min ago
The country's largest death row has run out of room.

As NPR member station KCRW reports, that's because a legal fight has meant that the state has not put an inmate to death in nearly a decade, leaving more than 750 of them on death row in the state.

KCRW reports:


Airstrikes In Yemen Intensify, Hit Refugee Camp

KPLU News - 7 hours 52 min ago
Saudi-led airstrikes intensified against Houthi rebels in Yemen. International aid agencies say one strike hit a camp for displaced people and refugees in the north of the country, killing at least 29 people and wounding many others.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says the strike hit the Al Mazraq refugee camp in an area controlled by the Houthis.

Cholita, An Abused Bear In Peru, Gets A New Home In Colorado

KPLU News - 8 hours 35 min ago


Why Are Chinese Artists Representing Kenya At The Venice Biennale?

KPLU News - 8 hours 35 min ago
There's something sketchy at this year's Venice Biennale – the international art exhibition sometimes dubbed the Olympics of the contemporary art world.

When you come to the Kenyan pavilion, almost all of the artists will be ... Chinese.

The Biennale, one of the oldest and most important exhibitions of contemporary art in the world, takes place in Venice every two years. Thirty countries, including the U.S., have a permanent slot.

About 50 other countries have applied for their own exhibition space, called a pavilion.

Revolving Door Of Teachers Costs Schools Billions Every Year

KPLU News - 9 hours 35 min ago
Every year, thousands of fresh-faced teachers are handed the keys to a new classroom, given a pat on the back and told, "Good luck!"

Over the next five years, though, nearly half of those teachers will transfer to a new school or leave the profession altogether — only to be replaced with similarly fresh-faced teachers.

We've been reporting this month on the pipeline into teaching — and

Money Rules: Candidates Go Around The Law, As Cash Records To Be Smashed

KPLU News - 9 hours 37 min ago
This is Part One in an occasional series of features on campaign finance, called "Money Rules."

The hunt for big bucks is changing the way politicians run for president.

When a candidate finally admits he or she is a candidate, donors are limited to gifts of $2,700. (A donor can give an additional $2,700 if the candidate makes it through to the general election.)

Not so long ago, a "testing-the-waters" or "exploratory" committee was the usual first step in a campaign.

Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

KPLU News - 9 hours 40 min ago
Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour, and the smell of fresh-baked apple-cinnamon muffins floats in the air.

Heartland Gourmet makes a wide range of foods — from muffins and organic baking mixes to pizzas and burritos. That means business manager Mark Zink has to answer to both of the main U.S.

Judy Woodruff Recalls Assassination Attempt On President Reagan

KPLU News - 9 hours 42 min ago
Thirty-four years ago today, John Hinckley Jr. tried to kill President Reagan.

Reagan was shot in the chest but made a full recovery. Three others, including press secretary James Brady, were wounded.

Veteran journalist Judy Woodruff, now with PBS Newshour, was then a reporter with NBC News. She tweeted her recollection of the events of the day: Copyright 2015 NPR.

Elizabeth Warren On Hillary Clinton And Running For President

KPLU News - 9 hours 53 min ago
No one in politics today is hearing more calls from progressives to run than Elizabeth Warren, the popular and populist Massachusetts senator. Warren, though, denies any interest in the presidency and continued to do that Monday in an interview with Jeremy Hobson on WBUR's Here & Now.

"I'm out here fighting this fight," Warren said.

Grocery Stores Are Losing You. Here's How They Plan To Win You Back

KPLU News - 10 hours 39 min ago
If pushing a cart up and down the lengthy aisles of your neighborhood supermarket — past dozens of brands of packaged cereal and crackers lit by fluorescent lights — feels overwhelming and soul-sucking, you're not alone.

But there's some good news: The days of shopping this way may be numbered.

Here's why: Traditional grocers are increasingly losing market share — some 15 percent in the last 10 years — to more nimble competitors like smaller markets, convenience stores, farmers markets and even dollar stores.

Want To Do A Little Astrophysics? This App Detects Cosmic Rays

KPLU News - 10 hours 47 min ago
Scientists in California are hoping to use your smart phone to solve a cosmic mystery. They're developing an app to turn your phone into a cosmic ray detector.

Prosecution Rests In Case Against Admitted Boston Marathon Bomber

KPLU News - 10 hours 52 min ago
After presenting emotional testimony about the the physical damage one of the bombs inflicted on 8-year-old Martin Richard, the prosecution rested in its case against admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

NPR's Tovia Smith is inside the court room and she's been Tweeting about the trial. She reports:

After that testimony, Tsarnaev's defense attorneys did not have any questions, so the prosecution rested its case.

The AP reports:

"Now that prosecutors have finished their case, Tsarnaev's lawyers are presenting theirs.

Ex-Feds Accused Of Pocketing Bitcoins During Investigation

KPLU News - 11 hours 29 min ago
Two former federal agents accused of stealing bitcoins have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses, the U.S.

Arlene's Flowers Fined $1,000 For Discrimination

KPLU News - 11 hours 30 min ago

A Richland, Washington, florist will pay $1,000 in fines to the state. The flower shop had discriminated against a same-sex couple that wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013.

Troy Kelley’s National Guard Status Unaffected By Federal Probe

KPLU News - 11 hours 30 min ago

According to a spokeswoman with the Washington Military Department, an ongoing federal probe has not affected Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley’s status as a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard.

An Unexpected Wilderness Cam At Britain's 10 Downing Street

KPLU News - 12 hours 37 min ago
Things are getting wild at the British prime minister's residence. No, that's not a reference to the official start of the 2015 election campaign: Photographers who staked out 10 Downing Street today captured images of a fox slinking past the door of the famous residence.

And that's not the only animal that appeared at Prime Minister David Cameron's door today.

Ex-Israeli Leader Ehud Olmert Found Guilty Of Corruption

KPLU News - 12 hours 40 min ago
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been found guilty of accepting money from a U.S. supporter. Olmert was convicted last year on separate corruption charges.

Monday's decision reversed a 2012 ruling that had acquitted Olmert, who was prime minister from 2006 to 2009.

At issue are cash-stuffed envelopes that Olmert took from U.S.

Doctors With Cancer Push California To Allow Aid In Dying

KPLU News - 12 hours 58 min ago
Dan Swangard knows what death looks like.

As a physician, he has seen patients die in hospitals, hooked to morphine drips and overcome with anxiety. He has watched death drag on for weeks or months as terrified relatives stand by helplessly.

Recently, however, his thoughts about how seriously ill people die have become personal. Swangard was diagnosed in 2013 with a rare form of metastatic cancer.

To remove the cancer, surgeons took out parts of his pancreas and liver, as well as his entire spleen and gallbladder.

Washington House Democrats Say 'Yes' To Capital Gains Tax, 'No' To Cap-And-Trade

KPLU News - 13 hours 45 min ago

Majority Democrats in the Washington state House have unveiled a proposed two-year, nearly $39 billion state budget and tax package.