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World's Oldest Person Dies At Age 117

KPLU News - 1 hour 57 min ago
She was born in 1898. And now comes word that Japan's Misao Okawa has died at age 117. She had been the world's oldest person since 2013, according to Guinness World Records.

We reported on Okawa last month, when she celebrated her birthday along wither her family. She was known to eat three big meals each day and sleep eight hours every night, according to the head of the retirement home where she lived.

Today Seattle Starts Phasing In The $15 Wage

KPLU News - 2 hours 20 min ago

For anyone who works in Seattle, earning minimum wage, this week, you get a raise. It’s a first step that will eventually lead to Seattle having one of the highest base wages in the country.

Nancy Sez: "When Life Gives You Lemons...Start Cooking"

KPLU News - 2 hours 25 min ago

Lemon is a frequent ingredient in the cuisine at both the Stein and Leson households.  Nancy says "It's a rare day when I don't use one or three of them when I'm cooking."   I like lemons, too but my wife (The Lovely and Talented) Cheryl DeGroot believes there's nothing they can't improve.

Iran Nuclear Talks: Varied Signs Of Agreement On An Agreement

KPLU News - 2 hours 42 min ago
A day after the self-imposed deadline has passed for reaching a political agreement on Iran's nuclear program, negotiators are still working. Top diplomats from Iran and six countries are sending mixed signals on a potential deal; some have left the talks.

As of Wednesday morning, NPR's Peter Kenyon tells Morning Edition, "three foreign ministers — half the international contingent — are gone.

CEOs Of Germanwings, Lufthansa Visit Crash Site

KPLU News - 3 hours 9 min ago
Top executives of Lufthansa and Germanwings airlines visited the site of last week's plane crash that killed 150 people.

The Opposite Of The Dean's List

KPLU News - 5 hours 24 min ago
No school wants to be on this list.

It was just released by the Department of Education.

Engineer-Turned Cabbie Helps New Refugees Find Their Way

KPLU News - 6 hours 30 min ago
This story is part of an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

Almost 70,000 refugees — victims of war, hardship and persecution — are allowed into the U.S. each year. But settling into their new homes can be a challenge, from learning English to figuring out how to turn on the dishwasher.

Omar Shekhey says he's there to help.

Tobacco Firm Asks FDA To Lift Warning Label On This Product

KPLU News - 6 hours 32 min ago
The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether to allow a tobacco company to do something it's never done before — claim that one of its products is less risky than cigarettes.

The company, Swedish Match of Stockholm, Sweden, has applied to the FDA to designate its product known as Snus (rhymes with "loose") as safer than other versions of tobacco. Snus are tiny cloth packages that look a little like tea bags. But instead of tea, each bag is filled with moist tobacco powder. It comes in a variety of flavors.

Closing Arguments To Begin Monday In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

KPLU News - 6 hours 53 min ago
The defense rested its case on Tuesday for admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after just a few hours of testimony. The defense called four people to testify compared to the 92 called by prosecutors.

Tsarnaev's lawyers have admitted he did what he's accused of doing.

Oversight Committee Issues Subpoena To Two Secret Service Agents

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 16:25
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has issued subpoenas to two Secret Service agents, setting up a confrontation with the embattled agency.

The subpoenas are linked to an investigation into an incident in March, when two potentially drunk Secret Service agents appeared to bobble the investigation into a potential bomb near the White House.

Republican committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said that during a hearing last week, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy promised access to Secret Service agents who could shed light on the incident.

Federal Judge Says South Dakota Officials Violated Native American Families' Rights

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 15:26
Two of South Dakota's largest tribes won a sweeping victory in federal court that could reverberate for tribes across the country.

A federal judge has ruled that the state Department of Social Services, prosecutors and judges "failed to protect Indian parents' fundamental rights" when they removed their children after short hearings and placed them largely in white foster care.

According to the suit, some of the hearings lasted less than 60 seconds.

Supreme Court Deals Medicaid Blow To Doctors And Health Companies

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 14:59
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that private Medicaid providers cannot sue to force states to raise reimbursement rates in the face of rising medical costs. The 5-to-4 decision is a blow to many doctors and health care companies and their complaint that state Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that health care providers often lose money on Medicaid patients.

In 2009, Idaho centers that provided care for some 6,200 mentally disabled children and adults went to court to challenge the state's Medicaid reimbursement rates.

Activists Stop Paying Their Student Loans

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 14:38
Latonya Suggs says she borrowed thousands of dollars in student loans to attend the for-profit Corinthian Colleges but has nothing to show for it. Most employers don't recognize her criminal justice degree.

"I am completely lost and in debt," Suggs says. And now she's doing something about it: She's refusing to pay back those loans.

Suggs and 106 other borrowers now saddled with Corinthian loan debt say their refusal to repay the loans is a form of political protest. And Tuesday, the U.S.

Despite Criticism, Arkansas Passes Religious Freedom Bill

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 14:28
Despite criticism and protests, Arkansas legislators passed a religious freedom bill on Tuesday that is similar to the one passed by Indiana.

NBC News reports:

"Protesters gathered outside the governor's mansion in Little Rock on Tuesday morning.

Supporters Work To Reclaim Legacy Of Penn State Coach Joe Paterno

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 14:23
The Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal rocked Penn State University in 2011 and the fallout from the case continues today. A series of lawsuits are on-going and, now, a campaign is underway to restore the legacy of the university's former head football coach Joe Paterno.

As the scandal became public Paterno fell from legendary football coach to someone accused of protecting a child molester.

Lufthansa Says It Knew Of Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz's Depression

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 14:22
Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who appears to have deliberately crashed his aircraft into the French Alps last week, had informed Lufthansa in 2009 of a "serious depressive episode," the German airline said in a statement.

Lufthansa says a note about a "previous depressive episode" was found in email Lubitz apparently sent to the Lufthansa flight school when he resumed his training after a months-long interruption.

The airline today said it provided the documents to pr

Advice For Trevor Noah From The 'Jon Stewart Of South Africa'

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 14:13
This week, Comedy Central announced that Jon Stewart's replacement on The Daily Show will be a South African comedian, Trevor Noah. To get some perspective on this surprise decision, we contacted Noah's colleague and friend Loyiso Gola, a comedian who hosts Late Nite News, his own satirical news program on South African television.

Watchdog Groups File Complaints Against Likely Candidates

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 14:07
Updated at 5:40 p.m.

Tweeners Trust Peers More Than Adults When Judging Risks

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:16
If you are the parent of a preteen, you are all too aware that they suddenly seem to value the opinions of their peers far more than yours.

The good news, if there is any, is that you're not alone. Young teenagers ages 12 to 14 are more influenced by their peers' opinions than they are by adults', a study finds. That's true only for that age group, not for older teens, children or adults.

Researchers asked 563 people visiting the London Science Museum to rate the riskiness of activities like crossing the street on a red light, biking without a helmet, or bungee jumping.

Media Mischief On April Fools' Day

KPLU News - Tue, 03/31/2015 - 13:15
In the annals of journalism, there is a long tradition of newsfolks — reporters, writers, broadcasters — pulling April Fools' Day tricks on readers and listeners. Sometimes the prank prevails; sometimes it fails.

For instance, the Long Beach Independent reported in 1961 that the newly minted Los Angeles Angels had acquired Mickey Mantle — star outfielder of the New York Yankees — for a million dollars, a half interest in a local radio station and a passel of other players. It was a hoax.