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A Wedding And A Challenge: Lebanese Couples Fight For Civil Marriage

KPLU News - 4 hours 9 sec ago
Like lots of young married couples, Kholoud Succariyeh and Nidal Darwish love to show their wedding video. They go all misty-eyed remembering that day two years ago.

"Very beautiful," says Succariyeh. "Everything is nice."

Their wedding was special, not only as a personal milestone for the couple. It was a political milestone, as well.

Darwish says their union was a challenge to the state: It was Lebanon's first civil marriage.

No one ever said marriage was easy, but in Lebanon, it's even harder.

Pipeline Operator: Possibly Months To Determine Cause Of Calif. Spill

KPLU News - 4 hours 29 min ago
It could be months before investigators can determine what caused a pipeline leak that has fouled a stretch of coast in Southern California, the company that operates the oil conduit says.

Since the leak was discovered earlier this week, more than 9,000 gallons of oil have been raked, skimmed or vacuumed from a 9-mile stretch of California shoreline near Santa Barbara, officials say.

"We have not even uncovered the pipe yet," said Patrick Hodgins, senior director of safety for Texas-based Plains All American, according to The Associated Press.

The AP reports:

"The thick,

Islamic State Reportedly Seizes Last Syria-Iraq Border Crossing

KPLU News - 5 hours 13 min ago
Fighters of the self-declared Islamic State have seized the last border crossing in Syria, where they control half of the country, according to a British-based monitoring group.

Syrian government forces withdrew from al-Tanf, known as al-Waleed in Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

An Irreplaceable Replacement, This Sub Gets The Job Done

KPLU News - 5 hours 30 min ago
One of the toughest jobs in education is the substitute teacher. The pay is low, schedules are unpredictable and respect can be hard to come by.

Seahawks' Wilson Contract: Bar Higher Now

KPLU News - 5 hours 33 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 - 5 hours 54 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 - 5 hours 57 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 - 9 hours 32 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 - 9 hours 36 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 - 9 hours 38 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 - 9 hours 42 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 - 9 hours 43 min ago
The case against trans fats is not new.

'Authentic' Travel Experiences Come From Connections, Not Cliches

KPLU News - 10 hours 28 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