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One Of The World's Most Famous Free Divers Is Missing Near Ibiza

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 15:56
One of the world's most prominent free divers is missing off the coast of an island called Formentera, near Ibiza, Spain. Natalia Molchanova of Russia was on a recreational dive on Sunday when she was separated from companions, according to AIDA, the worldwide federation for free diving.

Who's In, Who's Out: Selection Day For The GOP Presidential Debate

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 15:10
This post was updated at 7:15 p.m.

The final polls are in and the stage is set for Thursday night's first Republican presidential debate.

Those who made the cut, according to Fox News: businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Relegated to an earlier debate Thursday evening: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pennsylvania Gov.

Judge Strikes Down Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law, Raising Questions For Other States

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 14:51
Idaho's so-called "ag-gag" law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

Laws in Montana, Utah, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa have also made it illegal for activists to smuggle cameras into industrial animal operations. A new North Carolina law goes into effect in January 2016.

The Soy Car Seat: Are Companies Doing Enough For The Environment?

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 14:39
It's earnings season on Wall Street, and investors are again looking to quarterly reports to gauge the health of companies. Some environmentalists are looking to so-called "sustainability reports" — how companies are improving their ecological footprints. But not all environmentalists are putting so much stock in these reports.

Andrew Hoffman, at the University of Michigan, breaks environmentalists into two colors, or rather shades of a color.

For Some States, New Emissions Rules Will Force A Power Shift

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 14:38
Almost as soon as it was unveiled, opponents were lining up to oppose President Obama's new plan to limit carbon emissions. The new rules would require states to lower their carbon emissions by nearly a third over the next decade and a half.

The rules will deal a big blow to some energy sectors — especially coal.

Why 'Pep' The Prison Dog Got Such A Bum Rap

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:47
A 1925 article in The Boston Daily Globe featured a photo of a dog at a radio microphone for a special remote broadcast from a Pennsylvania prison.

He looks like a friendly, dark-haired Labrador. Two prison officers on either side have a hand on his back.

The caption says: This is Pep, "the pet dog Gov.

At Some Stores, Readers Can Go Get A Refund For 'Watchman'

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:29
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Doctor Who Crusaded For Coal Miners' Health Dies At 87

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:29
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Swimmer Katie Ledecky Breaks Her Own Record, Again

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:29
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Urban Shootings Are On The Rise, But Officials Fail To Pinpoint A Cause

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:29
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Grandparents Step In When Parents Get Hooked On Opiates

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:29
Copyright 2015 WFCR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.nepr.net/.

When Relying On The Sun, Energy Storage Remains Out Of Reach

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:29
The ability to store energy could revolutionize the way we make and use electricity. But for many utility companies and regular folks, energy storage is still way out of reach. It's expensive — sometimes more expensive than building out old-fashioned infrastructure like power lines and power plants.

For people like Jim and Lyn Schneider, their decision to invest in battery storage came four years ago when they moved to central Wyoming.

Their backyard is filled with sagebrush, and ringed by red rocks on one side and wide-open prairie on another. They love it.

In LA, Vets Become Homeless Faster Than The VA Can House Them

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:29
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

'All You Can Do Is Pray': Wildfire Rages In Northern California

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:29
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Drought Drives California Fires To Unprecedented Speeds

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 13:29
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

How Percy Shelley Stirred His Politics Into His Tea Cup

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 12:43
Born this day 223 years ago, the great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley is celebrated for such works as his sublime odes to the skylark and West Wind. But he was also a radical thinker - and his revolutionary politics stormed in his teacup.

Slender of build and Spartan in habit, the tall, fair-haired poet had no taste for rich foods or wine. A vegetarian who shuddered at animal slaughter – though there were lapses into muttonchops and bacon – Shelley was an indifferent eater.

Family Of Sandra Bland Files Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 12:22
The family of Sandra Bland, who was arrested in Prairie View, Texas, and was later found dead in her jail cell, announced Tuesday that they're suing authorities in Texas.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn reported for our Newscast unit that the wrongful-death lawsuit names the Texas state trooper who arrested Bland, the sheriff of Waller County, the Texas Department of Public Safety and two guards at the jail. "Among other things, the lawsuit accuses the state trooper of depriving Bland of her constitutional rights," Wade says.

Bland, 28, had driven to Texas from Illinois.

Just How Arbitrary Is Fox's 10-Person GOP Debate Cutoff?

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 11:50
Welcome to the most exciting fight for tenth place you've ever seen.

It also just might be a meaningless fight.

With the major contenders for the GOP nomination now numbering 17, Fox News will only allow the top 10 candidates into the first GOP debate on Thursday. To determine the participants, Fox will be averaging together five national polls.

And that methodology — what Fox has said about it as of right now, that is — has political scientists up in arms.

Sexist Reactions To An Ad Spark #ILookLikeAnEngineer Campaign

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 11:24
After being surprised by online responses to her appearance in a recruiting ad, software engineer Isis Wenger wanted to see if there anyone else felt like they didn't fit a "cookie-cutter mold." The response to her #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign dwarfs those initial reactions.

The hashtag, which was generating thousands of responses and tweets Tuesday, grew out of Wenger's post at the Medium website, in which she described wha

Straighten Your Hair Without Frying It? Engineers Are On The Case

KPLU News - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 11:00
Heated tools like flat irons can make hair waterfall straight. But there's always that worry of burning the hair, or yourself.

That can make hair straightening a miserable process, as Marita Golden wrote in her essay "My Black Hair:"

For generations of young Black girls, the family kitchen was associated with pain and fear, tears and dread.