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11 Former Atlanta Public School Employees Found Guilty In Cheating Scandal

KPLU News - 2 hours 53 min ago
Eleven of 12 former public school employees in Atlanta were found guilty of racketeering in what is thought to be the biggest cheating scandal in American education, NPR member station WABE reports.

One defendant, teacher Dessa Curb, was acquitted of all charges, according to WSB-TV's Richard Elliot.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fulton County Superior Court Judg

Proposed Development To 'Assimilate' Seattle's Landmark Space Needle?

KPLU News - 3 hours 34 min ago

We thought it was sacred. We thought it would be there forever. Then, the Borg came.

Plans are underway to "assimilate the Space Needle" with the construction of a mixed-use high-rise on the property the landmark currently occupies, according to a notice posted Wednesday.

U.S. Creates First Sanctions Program Against Cybercriminals

KPLU News - 3 hours 56 min ago
The U.S. wants to slap sanctions on cybercriminals.

'Girl Drifter' Race Driver Freaks Out Instructors In Prank

KPLU News - 4 hours 24 min ago


Pew: 'Smartphone-Dependents' Often Have No Backup Plan For Web Access

KPLU News - 5 hours 16 min ago
Looking back on the clunky desktops of home offices, smartphones have expanded the definition what it means to "go online." With all of the apps and mobile capabilities available to us now, it's no surprise that smartphone ownership has grown.

Almost two-thirds of Americans now own a smartphone, a new report from the Pew Research Center shows.

Thailand Lifts Martial Law, But Critics Say Its Replacement Is Worse

KPLU News - 5 hours 43 min ago
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej has approved a request from the country's junta to lift martial law.

The announcement, which was made on television today, goes into effect immediately. But, as reporter Michael Sullivan is telling our Newscast unit, while the lifting of martial law is good news, critics say what it's being replaced with is worse.

That law is Article 44, which gives Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of last year's coup, sweeping powers over the Thai government.

Patton Oswalt Tweets In Defense Of Comedy — And Trevor Noah

KPLU News - 6 hours 3 min ago
We've been following the story of the criticism directed at South African comedian Trevor Noah, who was named this week to succeed Jon Stewart as host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

Critics say some of Noah's nearly 9,000 tweets are sexist and anti-Semitic.

Scary Times For California Farmers As Snowpack Hits Record Lows

KPLU News - 6 hours 46 min ago
The water outlook in drought-racked California just got a lot worse: Snowpack levels across the entire Sierra Nevada are now the lowest in recorded history – just 6 percent of the long-term average.

Arkansas Governor Asks Lawmakers For Changes To 'Religious Freedom' Bill

KPLU News - 6 hours 50 min ago
Updated at 11:59 a.m. ET

Arkansas Gov.

Indiana Law: Sorting Fact From Fiction From Politics

KPLU News - 6 hours 56 min ago
The culture wars are always percolating beneath the surface in presidential politics — until something or someone pushes them to the surface.

That something early in this cycle is Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who is considering a run for president in 2016, signed into law last week.

To Avoid Surprise Insurance Bills, Tell Exchange Plan When You Move

KPLU News - 7 hours 5 min ago
If you thought more experience with the heath insurance marketplaces would cut down on confusion about them, you'd be wrong. The questions about how they work keep pouring in. Here are answers to some of the latest queries.

I purchased health insurance in Ohio through the marketplace in April. I then moved to Missouri and applied for marketplace coverage there that began in October. I had assumed that the Ohio marketplace would cancel my coverage there, but that didn't happen.

Musician Joni Mitchell Is 'Awake And In Good Spirits' In Intensive Care

KPLU News - 7 hours 56 min ago
After being found found unconscious in her home Tuesday afternoon, folk music icon Joni Mitchell has been hospitalized in Los Angeles. "She is currently in intensive care undergoing tests and is awake and in good spirits," according to her website.

Mitchell "regained consciousness on the ambulance ride," her website says.

No other details have emerged about why the 71-year-old singer required medical attention.

World's Oldest Person Dies At Age 117

KPLU News - 8 hours 46 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 - 9 hours 9 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 - 9 hours 14 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 - 9 hours 31 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 - 9 hours 58 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 - 12 hours 13 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 - 13 hours 19 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 - 13 hours 21 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.