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Murray: No Consensus Yet On Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage Proposal

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 15:52

The committee exploring the proposal to raise Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 has not reached a consensus, Mayor Ed Murray said Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference, Murray said the committee of business owners, labor leaders and Seattle City Council members had reached an agreement “on principle,” but had not yet reached a firm agreement on the details.

“I’d rather get it late and get it right than rush it and get it wrong,” he said.

Why The U.S. Is Worried About A Deadly Middle Eastern Virus

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 15:29
The latest medical acronym to fear is MERS: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The virus has killed 83 people in the Arabian Gulf since first emerging in 2012 and now looks as if it could pose a global threat.

This week, the number of new cases rose at a rate that causes concern, the World Health Organization said in a statement.

Tracing One Life, Lost In The Desert

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 14:41
Who Is Dayani Cristal? attempts to humanize the many who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border by focusing on just one: a corpse found in the lethal Arizona desert with the words "Dayani Cristal" tattooed on his chest. The documentary follows the models of several genres of fictional films: the forensic procedural, the road movie, the man-who-wasn't-there mystery.

The results are poignant, yet show the difficulties of applying fiction templates to true stories.

Recall Woes Push Along GM's Cultural Reinvention

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 14:19
General Motors has announced a big hit to first-quarter earnings, largely due to costs for recalls. Profits dropped nearly 90 percent from last year, with the company making a razor-thin profit of $100 million, GM said Thursday.

Meanwhile, GM has yet to explain why it took 10 years to issue one of the recalls for a defective ignition switch. Some critics believe the automaker's dysfunctional culture is to blame.

But the recall crisis could speed up a culture shift that's already underway. 

Customer-Focused

The old GM may have taken customers for granted.

A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 14:17
I remember my first office desk well. It was the roaring '90s in Manhattan. "Silicon Alley," they called it. I was fresh out of college, working at a web design company. The office had an open layout. We all shared long tables. I did have a window that looked onto a stone wall. Otherwise I was given a computer, a drawer, and a fancy ergonomic chair.

Then, about a month into the job, my hands completely froze over the keyboard. I couldn't move my fingers for half a minute, in the grip of my very first panic attack. I'd wonder later, was I simply not cut out for office work?

California Farmers Finagle A Fig For All Seasons

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 14:12
True fig lovers are well-practiced in the art of patience. We watch the calendar, dreaming of summer and the fruit's silky, sappy flesh. The season lasts through June and July, with another crop from August to October.

Feds Weigh Protecting Orcas In West Coast Waters

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 14:07

A federal agency is weighing whether to protect endangered orcas in the waters off the West Coast.

NOAA Fisheries said Thursday it would consider a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking to expand the critical habitat for southern resident killer whales.

'He's My Partner, Not My Friend': A Primer On LGBT Etiquette

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 13:57
Less than 20 years ago, Ellen DeGeneres hadn't come out, gay-wedding announcements didn't appear regularly in major newspapers and 17 states and the District of Columbia hadn't legalized same-sex unions.

But there was Steven Petrow. In 1995 he published The Essential Book of Gay Manners and Etiquette.

Postal Workers Protest At Staples Over Shift In Jobs

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 13:56
U.S. postal workers took to the streets Thursday to protest in front of Staples office supply stores around the country. At issue is a decision to open Postal Service counters in Staples stores — something they say is siphoning away union jobs.

The postal workers' grievances come as their employer faces pressures to find new avenues of business.

Both the American Postal Workers Union and the leadership of the U.S.

Postal Workers Protest At Staples Over Shift In Jobs

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 13:56
U.S. postal workers took to the streets Thursday to protest in front of Staples office supply stores around the country. At issue is a decision to open Postal Service counters in Staples stores — something they say is siphoning away union jobs.

The postal workers' grievances come as their employer faces pressures to find new avenues of business.

Both the American Postal Workers Union and the leadership of the U.S.

Postal Workers Protest At Staples Over Shift In Jobs

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 13:56
U.S. postal workers took to the streets Thursday to protest in front of Staples office supply stores around the country. At issue is a decision to open Postal Service counters in Staples stores — something they say is siphoning away union jobs.

The postal workers' grievances come as their employer faces pressures to find new avenues of business.

Both the American Postal Workers Union and the leadership of the U.S.

Tech Giants Pony Up Cash To Help Prevent Another Heartbleed

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 13:35
Google, Intel, Facebook and many other tech giants are pooling their money together — for the first time — to fix a glaring hole in cybersecurity.

Despite Popularity, Mysteries Of E-Cigarettes Persist

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 13:20
E-cigarettes are not new, but there is still much that's unknown about them. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explains the latest research on e-cigarettes and offers his take on new regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

An Eater's-Eye View Of Literature's Most Iconic Meals

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 13:18
In the opening pages of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel Rebecca, the narrator lays out a feast for the imagination: "Those dripping crumpets, I can see them now. Tiny crisp wedges of toast, and piping-hot, flaky scones.

Pacific Island Nation Sues U.S., Others For Violating Nuclear Treaty

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 13:18
The Marshall Islands, the Pacific chain where the U.S.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens: Marijuana Should Be Legal

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:51
Retired Justice John Paul Stevens made some news in an interview with NPR's Scott Simon on Thursday.

Scott asked him if the federal government should legalize marijuana.

"Yes," Stevens replied. "I really think that that's another instance of public opinion [that's] changed. And recognize that the distinction between marijuana and alcoholic beverages is really not much of a distinction. Alcohol, the prohibition against selling and dispensing alcoholic beverages has I think been generally, there's a general consensus that it was not worth the cost.

A Punching Movie That Packs A Punch For People Who Like Punching

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:39
It is never not awkward to talk about a film after one of the stars has died. That's perhaps never any more true than it is in the case of Brick Mansions, one of the last films of Paul Walker. Walker died in November of last year after a career that included a lot of movies like this one: silly, hyper action thrillers that often included, as this one does, moments in which everybody in the theater chortled at their insane, cartoonish brutality.

There is no way to make there be anything elegiac about Brick Mansions, or out of the experience of seeing it.

Using Technology To Fix The Texting While Driving Problem

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:30
On a Wisconsin street, a woman in a white hoodie stands frozen in place, stepping out of the road and onto the curb, her left hand reaching behind her. As part of a public service announcement, she explains why she's there as string music slowly plays under her voice.

"I had my brother in my hand and all of a sudden my hand was empty," Aurie says as a car drives past.

Washington Becomes First State To Lose 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:11

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pulled Washington state's waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act on Thursday, making it the first state to lose flexibility from the outdated law. 

Why Bill Gates Fights Diseases Abroad, Not At Home

KPLU News - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 11:43
This week in Seattle, Bill and Melinda Gates are attending a meeting of the minds.

Five hundred of the world's top innovators in global health have gathered for the Global Health Product Development Forum, an annual event in which scientists, engineers, policymakers and activists work to develop new tools for fighting diseases.

Since the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation began in 2000, the nonprofit has invested a lot of money in education in the U.S.