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The Golden Eagles Of Ireland

KPLU News - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 09:00

  Golden Eagles were once revered as a symbol of wisdom and power by the ancient druids in Ireland. But the Golden Eagle’s voice was not heard in Ireland for most of the Twentieth Century. In the spring of 2007, a Golden Eagle pair hatched a chick for the first time since 1912, in Glenveagh National Park, in the far northwest of the Republic of Ireland. As of 2014, three pairs are nesting in the park. The partnership that brought these eagles to Glenveagh includes not only conservation groups but also local sheep farmers and surrounding communities, which hope to bring the tradition of the Golden Eagle back to Ireland.

The Greatest Bird Rescue Ever

KPLU News - Sat, 09/13/2014 - 09:00

  On June 23, 2000, the "MV Treasure" iron ore tanker sank off the coast of South Africa, covering 19,000 adult African Penguins in oil. Fortunately, thousands of volunteers arrived to help. The oily birds were moved to Cape Town to be cleaned. Another 19,500 penguins that escaped the oil were released at sea, 600 miles to the east. It took those birds nearly three weeks to swim back home, allowing workers time to clean up the oil-fouled waters and beaches.

Atlanta Hawks GM Takes Indefinite Leave Of Absence After Race Remarks

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 19:38
Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has taken an indefinite leave of absence following revelations that he made racially charged comments about forward Luon Deng.

Team CEO Steve Koonin, in a statement Friday, said he hoped Ferry's "time away from the Hawks organization allows him the privacy he needs to listen to the community, to learn about his mistakes, and to begin the long process of personal healing."

ESPN noted that Koonin has resisted calls to fire Ferry following his comments about Deng.

Retired Gen. Hayden Compares U.S. ISIS Strategy To 'Casual Sex'

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 19:36
Who says articles about foreign policy have to be boring? In a piece weighing the new, broadened U.S. strategy against the Islamic State, US News & World Report used this this quote from retired Airforce Gen. Michael Hayden:

"The reliance on air power has all of the attraction of casual sex: It seems to offer gratification but with very little commitment.

As Independence Vote Approaches, A Spirited Novel About The Scottish Experience

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 19:36
In my 20s I was living in London, and dating a Scotsman. A friend pulled me aside. "Read The Crow Road by Iain Banks," he told me. "It's the story of our childhood. Read this and you'll understand us."

The Crow Road is a darkly witty coming-of-age novel. It's set in the early '90s in a mostly realistic Scotland.

The novel opens in the voice of the hero, Prentice McHoan: "It was the day my grandmother exploded.

Win Tickets To Jewels By The Pacific Northwest Ballet

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:00

The trio of gems in George Balanchine’s Jewels honors golden ages of music and dance. Emeralds’ graceful clouds of tulle whisper French courtesy, fashion, and fragrance; Rubies mirrors the carefree spontaneity o America, Balanchine’s beloved adopted country; and the splendor of Diamonds recalls the great choreographer’s Imperial Russian heritage.

Missing Section Of Nez Perce Trail Holds Little-Known Part Of History

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 16:36

The story most people learn about the Nez Perce Tribe and the capture of Chief Joseph doesn't tell the whole history. 

Now the federal government and Northwest tribes are trying to fix that with a new historic site.

In Ferguson, Mo., Before Michael Brown There Was Henry Davis

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 16:23
There's another symbol of why black residents of Ferguson, Mo., distrust the majority-white police department: the 2009 case of Henry Davis, who was charged with destruction of property for bleeding on the uniforms of police officers.

The Department of Justice last week announced that it has opened an investigation of Ferguson police and the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Officials say they will look at the Davis case, too.

And Davis says that's appropriate. He thought it was "crazy" when police told him they were charging him with property damage.

Opponents Spar In Court About Clinics Performing Abortions In Texas

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 14:55
A federal appeals court in New Orleans is reviewing whether 11 clinics that provide abortion in Texas must immediately close their doors because they don't comply with a state law requiring that they meet all the standards of an outpatient surgical center.

A three-judge panel heard arguments Friday for more than 90 minutes, first from the Texas solicitor general and then from a lawyer with the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing many of the Texas clinics.

Do Americans Support President Obama's ISIS Plan?

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 13:48
More than 34 million people tuned in this week to hear President Obama outline plans to degrade, and ultimately destroy, the militant group known as the Islamic State.

Polls show widespread support for using American air power against the militants, even though many people remain wary about getting dragged into another open-ended conflict in the Middle East.

The fight represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the president, whose handling of foreign policy has been widely criticized in the past year.

In recent weeks, a growing number of Americans have come around to the idea tha

When Investors Buy Alibaba Shares, They Won't Get What They Paid For

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 13:40
When the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba goes public, it's going to the biggest public offering ever. When investors buy their shares, however, they won't be buying an ownership stake in Ali Baba's profitable websites. Instead, they will be buying shares in a holding company based in the Cayman Islands. It's illegal for Chinese Internet companies to accept investment from outside the country, but Alibaba has found an ingenious way to still get the $20 billion they want from outside investors. Copyright 2014 NPR.

Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 13:38
"European society is very advanced, very civilized. Between holocausts."

The painter Barnett Newman is said to have replied along these lines to a friend who was bemoaning the sorry state of American political life and praising European social democracy.

It's a good joke. It casts light on the whole religion versus science controversy as well.

Scientists, and cultural defenders of science, like to think of themselves as free of prejudice and superstition, as moved by reason alone and a clear-eyed commitment to fact and the scientific method.

How To Be A 21st Century 'Gentleman'

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 13:37


Apple Takes A Swipe At The Credit Card

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 13:37
It started with the iPod. In 2001, Apple promised to do away with stacks of CDs and put 1,000 songs in your pocket.

WSU Board Approves New Medical School In Spokane

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:39

Washington State University's Board of Regents unanimously approved a plan Friday to establish a medical school in Spokane. It has the potential to generate 120 new doctors every year in the Northwest. But the move also tees up a fight between Washington's two largest public universities.

Washington Lt. Governor Agrees To $15K Ethics Fine

KPLU News - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:24

Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen has agreed to a $15,000 ethics fine. The settlement announced Friday stems from the five-term Democrat’s use of state resources to operate a nonprofit with his wife.

The ethics investigation concluded that Owen used his office and staff to help run Strategies for Youth, a nonprofit that went around to schools, performing concerts with an anti-bullying message.