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Who Let The Dogs In? We Did, About 30,000 Years Ago

KPLU News - 1 hour 33 min ago
It looks like dogs might well have been man's (and woman's) best friend for a lot longer than once thought.

The long-held conventional wisdom is that canis lupus familiaris split from wolves 11,000 to 16,000 years ago and that the divergence was helped along by Stone Age humans who wanted a fellow hunter, a sentry and a companion.

Now, DNA evidence suggests that the split between dogs and their wild ancestors occurred closer to 30,000 years ago.

Publishing in Thursday's edition of Current Biology, t

Rainy Weekend Ahead, Especially In The Mountains

KPLU News - 2 hours 12 min ago

If your Memorial Day weekend plans include a hike in the mountains, be prepared for rain. And if you’re hanging around the Northwest Folklife Festival or elsewhere in the lowlands, expect showers, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

He says it’s a continuation of a pattern that started on Thursday and continued into Friday morning.

“We had a lot of low clouds moving in to the west of the Cascade Crest,” Mass said.

“There’s an on-shore pressure gradient and so there’s stratus and strato cumulous (clouds) at lower levels. But at upper levels, we’re getting flow still coming off the mountains,” he said.

State Department Releases Clinton Emails

KPLU News - 2 hours 23 min ago
Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET

The State Department has released 296 emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email account.

The website where the correspondence has been made public is loading slowly, and we are making attempts to access the emails.

NPR's David Welna tells our Newscast unit that many of the emails are from Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton White House aide with business dealings in Libya.

A Desk That Can Take A Ton Of Earthquake Rubble

KPLU News - 3 hours 2 min ago
Call it the little school desk that can.

At 57 pounds, the desk in question is light enough for two students to carry and move around the classroom. At $35 per student, it's affordable enough for many school districts to buy in bulk.

When It Comes To Comfort, The Carbs Have It

KPLU News - 3 hours 36 min ago


For food writer Nancy Leson, “comfort food” means Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. This Philadelphia-based regional candy is made of peanuts suspended in molasses covered in dark chocolate.

For me, that’s not an appealing description, and the proud declaration on the package that they “originally served as a WWI ration bar” doesn’t help. But for Nancy, they mean something different.

Your Roommate In The Nursing Home Might Be A Bedbug

KPLU News - 3 hours 45 min ago
If you're in the hospital or a nursing home, the last thing you want to be dealing with is bedbugs. But exterminators saying they're getting more and more calls for bedbug infestations in nursing homes, hospitals and doctor's offices.

Nearly 60 percent of pest control professionals have found bedbugs in nursing homes in the past year, according to an industry survey, up from 46 percent in 2013. Bedbug reports in other medical facilities have gone up slightly. Thirty-six percent of exterminators reported seeing them in hospitals, up from 33 percent.

Covered California Votes To Cap What Patients Pay For Pricey Drugs

KPLU News - 4 hours 19 min ago
In recent years, expensive specialty medicines used to treat cancer and chronic illnesses have forced some very ill Americans to choose between getting proper treatment and paying their rent.

To ease the financial burden, the California agency that governs the state's Obamacare plans issued landmark rules Thursday that will put a lid on the amount anyone enrolled in one of those plans can be charged each month for high-end medicine.

The agency says its rules, set to take effect in 2016, "strike a balance between ensuring Covered California consumers can afford the medication they need to t

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

KPLU News - 5 hours 32 min 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 - 6 hours 1 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 - 6 hours 45 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 - 7 hours 2 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 - 7 hours 5 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 - 7 hours 26 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 - 7 hours 29 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 - 11 hours 4 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 - 11 hours 8 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 - 11 hours 10 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 - 11 hours 14 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 - 11 hours 15 min ago
The case against trans fats is not new.

'Authentic' Travel Experiences Come From Connections, Not Cliches

KPLU News - 12 hours 1 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.