Feed aggregator

Congress Leaves On Recess Without Re-Authorizing Export-Import Bank

KPLU News - 1 hour 41 min ago
An agency of the federal government will have to stop doing business today. That's because members of Congress went home last week for the July 4 recess without reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.

The bank helps American companies sell their goods overseas. The bank's critics say they're stopping corporate welfare.

For more than 100 years, Ellicott Dredges has been exporting dredging equipment made in the Baltimore area to more than a dozen foreign countries.

Making The Law Respect Gender Identity After Death

KPLU News - 3 hours 40 min ago


Would You Buy A Used Car From A Man Named Beer Horse?

KPLU News - 3 hours 40 min ago
I'd been renting a Toyota Camry to give free rides around the city for my series, Streets of Shanghai, about the lives of ordinary Chinese. But the monthly rental fees were killing me, so I figured I could save money by buying a used car.

I went to a reputable used car dealership. The first hint that this would be different than shopping in the U.S.

Supreme Court Concludes Term With Death Penalty Ruling, Looks Ahead

KPLU News - 3 hours 40 min ago
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued the last of its opinions for this term — on the death penalty, anti-pollution regulations, and the power of independent commissions to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Brazil Tries To Rebuild Relations With U.S. After NSA Spying Scandal

KPLU News - 3 hours 40 min ago
It's rare that a world leader will cancel a planned state visit to the White House, but that's what happened two years ago when Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff found out that the U.S.

Apple Bets Big That You'll Start Paying To Stream Music

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 16:09
Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Rdio, Rhapsody, Pandora — the list of streaming music service goes on and on. On Tuesday, Apple joins that lineup with the launch of its streaming service, Apple Music. Apple will give consumers a three-month trial, and then it will charge $9.99 a month.

But most music lovers still aren't sure why they should pay.

Diploma Hope Fading For 2,000 High Schoolers Who Failed Biology Exam

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 15:53

It's looking less and less likely state lawmakers will drop a graduation requirement currently standing between hundreds of Washington high school seniors and their diplomas.

This year, roughly 2,000 high schoolers passed all the tests they needed to graduate except one: biology. But with time running out in their session, legislators remain deadlocked over a proposal to drop biology as a graduation requirement.

California Legislature Passes 'Mandatory' Vaccine Bill, Sends It To The Governor

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 15:53
A bill that would make vaccinations a requirement for nearly every schoolchild passed the California Legislature. The bill, SB 277, is now on its way to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

Greeks Brace For The Fallout As Deadline Looms

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 15:14
Giorgos Koronis is welcoming tourists from the U.S. and England at the old Olympic Stadium in Athens, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.

Koronis, 50, has worked for the state for 25 years, mainly at ticket counters at various tourist sites around the Greek capital. But today he's struggling to smile.

He spent Monday morning at the ATM in line with a few retirees from his neighborhood, including his mother.

The Economic Reality Of The Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 14:41
At Pride events in New York City this weekend, the emotional excitement about marriage equality was evident. But many people also were thrilled about the practical considerations.

Colleen Mahoney and her wife Michelle Conklin are New York residents who joined in the celebrations that marked the Supreme Court's ruling.

Supreme Court Rules In Industry's Favor. What's EPA's Next Move?

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 14:25
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency made a mistake when it told electric power plants to reduce mercury emissions. The high court says the EPA should first have considered how much it would cost power plants to do that.

The decision comes too late for most power companies, but it could affect future EPA regulations.

Mercury in the air is a health risk.

If The Mess In Greece Is All Greek To You, Then Read This

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 14:23
"It was Greek to me."

Shakespeare used that phrase in one of his tragedies to suggest that a complicated matter was beyond understanding.

Many Americans may be muttering those words again as this week's Greek tragedy plays out.

The situation in Athens really is complicated, but it's also important.

Overhaul Of Marijuana Taxation Goes To Washington Governor

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 13:54

Recreational marijuana buyers would pay a flat 37 percent pot tax, plus sales tax, under a proposal headed to the desk of Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

Washington State Legal Aid Lawyers Cheer Supreme Court's Fair Housing Act Decision

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 13:48

To much fanfare last week, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage and upheld Obamacare subsidies. But those decisions overshadowed another ruling – one that has Washington state legal aid lawyers cheering.

The case has to do with the Fair Housing Act, which aims to eliminate discrimination in housing. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court said plaintiffs don’t have to prove intentional discrimination. Instead, they can use statistics to show that even neutral-sounding policies can have discriminatory effects.

Supreme Court Places A Stay On Abortion Law In Texas

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 13:21
The Supreme Court has placed a stay on a lower court's ruling that upheld new abortion standards in Texas, to give opponents of a controversial 2013 law time to take their case to the nation's highest court.

The stay is temporary: If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, the stay will be lifted and the law will take effect.

Why You Should Thank A Caterpillar For Your Mustard And Wasabi

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 13:16
The next time you dab wasabi on your sushi or spread mustard on your hot dog, take a moment to thank a caterpillar. It may sound unlikely, but the critters play a critical role in creating the sharp, pungent flavors that give those condiments a savory kick.

Turns out, the flavors of these condiments are the result of millions of years of plants and caterpillars duking it out to survive.

NBCUniversal Is Cutting Ties With Donald Trump

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:54
Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Donald Trump following comments Trump made about Mexican immigrants.

In Some States, Defiance Over Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:50
The Supreme Court ruled last week that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions.

Medical School Hopefuls Grapple With Overhauled Entrance Exam

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:50
It's T minus four days until exam day, and Travis Driscoll is practically living at his desk.

"Each day, I'm easily here for five hours," he says. "I haven't done much of anything else but studying for the last two months."

Driscoll is one of 13,000 medical school applicants across the U.S. taking the new Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT.

The U.S. Now Has A 'Girls Count' Law. But Don't Boys Count, Too?

KPLU News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 12:26
The world needs to count its girls!

That's the message that President Obama sent earlier this month when he signed the Girls Count Act into law. Congress had previously approved the act by unanimous vote.

There are 220 million children around the world who are uncounted. They were not registered at birth, and they don't have birth certificates.

The law authorizes the U.S.