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With 'Single-Stream' Recycling, Convenience Comes At A Cost

KPLU News - 3 hours 31 min ago



The Ascent Of Afghan Women

KPLU News - 3 hours 34 min ago
Zahra Karimi Nooristani, 18, cautiously works her way down a rock face high above Kabul as her coach, Farhad Jamshid, guides her.

It is hazardous for his top female student to be rappelling here, not only because of the steep drop, but because she is using a frayed, nine-year-old rope handed down from the men's mountaineering team.

Another danger she faces is the prospect of her neighbors finding out she's climbing at all.

Afghanistan is a mountainous country, but scaling the peaks for sport is a new concept here.

After Snowden, The NSA Faces Recruitment Challenge

KPLU News - 3 hours 35 min ago
Daniel Swann is exactly the type of person the National Security Agency (NSA) would love to have working for it. A fourth-year concurrent bachelors-masters student at Johns Hopkins University, the 22-year-old has a bright future in cybersecurity.

And growing up in Annapolis, Maryland, not far from the NSA's headquarters, Swann thought he might work at the agency, which intercepts phone calls, emails and other so-called "signals intelligence" from U.S. adversaries.

"When I was a senior in high school I thought I would end up working for a defense contractor or the NSA itself," says Swann.

No Easy, Reliable Way To Screen For Suicide, Specialists Say

KPLU News - 3 hours 36 min ago
Even a careful psychiatric examination of the co-pilot involved in last week's Germanwings jetliner crash probably would not have revealed whether he intended to kill himself, researchers say.

"As a field, we're not very good at accurately predicting who is at risk for suicidal behavior," says Matthew Nock, a psychology professor at Harvard.

Mass Tax Foreclosure Threatens Detroit Homeowners

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 14:59
In Detroit, tens of thousands of people are facing a deadline Tuesday that could cost some of them their homes. That's when homeowners have to make arrangements to either pay delinquent property taxes — or risk losing their home at a county auction.

When Detroit emerged from bankruptcy last year, it did so with a razor-thin financial cushion. It desperately needs every bit of tax revenue it can muster.

Earlier this year, county officials sent out 72,000 foreclosure notices to homeowners behind on property taxes — 62,000 of them in Detroit alone.

California's Death Row, The Nation's Largest, Runs Out Of Room

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 14:55
The country's largest death row has run out of room.

As NPR member station KCRW reports, that's because a legal fight has meant that the state has not put an inmate to death in nearly a decade, leaving more than 750 of them on death row in the state.

KCRW reports:


Airstrikes In Yemen Intensify, Hit Refugee Camp

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 14:29
Saudi-led airstrikes intensified against Houthi rebels in Yemen. International aid agencies say one strike hit a camp for displaced people and refugees in the north of the country, killing at least 29 people and wounding many others.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says the strike hit the Al Mazraq refugee camp in an area controlled by the Houthis.

Cholita, An Abused Bear In Peru, Gets A New Home In Colorado

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 13:46


Why Are Chinese Artists Representing Kenya At The Venice Biennale?

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 13:46
There's something sketchy at this year's Venice Biennale – the international art exhibition sometimes dubbed the Olympics of the contemporary art world.

When you come to the Kenyan pavilion, almost all of the artists will be ... Chinese.

The Biennale, one of the oldest and most important exhibitions of contemporary art in the world, takes place in Venice every two years. Thirty countries, including the U.S., have a permanent slot.

About 50 other countries have applied for their own exhibition space, called a pavilion.

Revolving Door Of Teachers Costs Schools Billions Every Year

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 12:46
Every year, thousands of fresh-faced teachers are handed the keys to a new classroom, given a pat on the back and told, "Good luck!"

Over the next five years, though, nearly half of those teachers will transfer to a new school or leave the profession altogether — only to be replaced with similarly fresh-faced teachers.

We've been reporting this month on the pipeline into teaching — and

Money Rules: Candidates Go Around The Law, As Cash Records To Be Smashed

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 12:44
This is Part One in an occasional series of features on campaign finance, called "Money Rules."

The hunt for big bucks is changing the way politicians run for president.

When a candidate finally admits he or she is a candidate, donors are limited to gifts of $2,700. (A donor can give an additional $2,700 if the candidate makes it through to the general election.)

Not so long ago, a "testing-the-waters" or "exploratory" committee was the usual first step in a campaign.

Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 12:41
Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour, and the smell of fresh-baked apple-cinnamon muffins floats in the air.

Heartland Gourmet makes a wide range of foods — from muffins and organic baking mixes to pizzas and burritos. That means business manager Mark Zink has to answer to both of the main U.S.

Judy Woodruff Recalls Assassination Attempt On President Reagan

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 12:39
Thirty-four years ago today, John Hinckley Jr. tried to kill President Reagan.

Reagan was shot in the chest but made a full recovery. Three others, including press secretary James Brady, were wounded.

Veteran journalist Judy Woodruff, now with PBS Newshour, was then a reporter with NBC News. She tweeted her recollection of the events of the day: Copyright 2015 NPR.

Elizabeth Warren On Hillary Clinton And Running For President

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 12:28
No one in politics today is hearing more calls from progressives to run than Elizabeth Warren, the popular and populist Massachusetts senator. Warren, though, denies any interest in the presidency and continued to do that Monday in an interview with Jeremy Hobson on WBUR's Here & Now.

"I'm out here fighting this fight," Warren said.

Grocery Stores Are Losing You. Here's How They Plan To Win You Back

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:42
If pushing a cart up and down the lengthy aisles of your neighborhood supermarket — past dozens of brands of packaged cereal and crackers lit by fluorescent lights — feels overwhelming and soul-sucking, you're not alone.

But there's some good news: The days of shopping this way may be numbered.

Here's why: Traditional grocers are increasingly losing market share — some 15 percent in the last 10 years — to more nimble competitors like smaller markets, convenience stores, farmers markets and even dollar stores.

Want To Do A Little Astrophysics? This App Detects Cosmic Rays

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:34
Scientists in California are hoping to use your smart phone to solve a cosmic mystery. They're developing an app to turn your phone into a cosmic ray detector.

Prosecution Rests In Case Against Admitted Boston Marathon Bomber

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:29
After presenting emotional testimony about the the physical damage one of the bombs inflicted on 8-year-old Martin Richard, the prosecution rested in its case against admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

NPR's Tovia Smith is inside the court room and she's been Tweeting about the trial. She reports:

After that testimony, Tsarnaev's defense attorneys did not have any questions, so the prosecution rested its case.

The AP reports:

"Now that prosecutors have finished their case, Tsarnaev's lawyers are presenting theirs.

Ex-Feds Accused Of Pocketing Bitcoins During Investigation

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 10:52
Two former federal agents accused of stealing bitcoins have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses, the U.S.

Arlene's Flowers Fined $1,000 For Discrimination

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 10:51

A Richland, Washington, florist will pay $1,000 in fines to the state. The flower shop had discriminated against a same-sex couple that wanted flowers for their wedding in 2013.

Troy Kelley’s National Guard Status Unaffected By Federal Probe

KPLU News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 10:51

According to a spokeswoman with the Washington Military Department, an ongoing federal probe has not affected Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley’s status as a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard.