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Obama Says 'James Flacco.' The Internet Says, Thank You

KPLU News - 1 hour 20 min ago


The Fate Of The Administration's College Ratings

KPLU News - 2 hours 24 sec ago
Today, details of the Obama administration's plan known as the Postsecondary Institutional Ratings System, or PIRS, finally saw the light of day. The idea, in this incarnation, was just under three years old.

The president announced its conception during his State of the Union address in 2012.

"So let me put colleges and universities on notice: If you can't stop tuit

New EPA Standards Label Toxic Coal Ash Non-Hazardous

KPLU News - 2 hours 14 min ago
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new national standards designated coal ash – a nearly ubiquitous byproduct of coal-fired power plants that contains arsenic and lead – as non-hazardous waste.

NPR's Christopher Joyce reports that coal-fired power plants produce more than 130 million tons of the coal ash each year and they have long stored millions of tons of it in giant ponds.

But many of those ponds have failed in recent years, allowing contaminated water to get into rivers and streams, and ultimately into drinking water.

Environmental groups sued the EPA to designate coal

With A Presidential Vote, Tunisia Seeks A Peaceful Transition

KPLU News - 2 hours 21 min ago
The main boulevard in the capital Tunis is alive with political debate about the two candidates for president in this Sunday's election.

St. Louis Grand Jury Heard Witnesses Who Lied, Prosecutor Says

KPLU News - 2 hours 24 min ago


Apple Responds To BBC On Conditions At Asian iPhone Suppliers

KPLU News - 3 hours 41 min ago
Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president for operations, has responded to a BBC report that workers at Asian suppliers for the iPhone 6 are mistreated and overworked, saying he's "deeply offended" by the accusations.

In an email to some 5,000 Apple staff in the United Kingdom, Williams hit back at the British broadcaster's Panorama program, which sent in undercover reporters to observe conditions at the Pegatron factory, near Shanghai, where iPhones are assembled.

The BBC's report "implied that App

Michael Phelps Pleads Guilty To DUI

KPLU News - 4 hours 2 min ago
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was sentenced to 18 months' supervised probation today after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

He was arrested in September after leaving a casino in downtown Baltimore. Police documents show that he swerved over a yellow line while going 84 in 45-mph zone. Police say Phelps failed field sobriety tests and registered a 0.14 on a blood-alcohol test. In Maryland, the legal limit is 0.08.

This is the second time Phelps, 29, has been convicted of driving under the influence. His first charge was also in Maryland in 2004.

Pride And Prejudice: For Latinos, Tamales Can Taste Of Both

KPLU News - 4 hours 33 min ago
This Christmas Eve, many Latinos will celebrate the holiday by unwrapping a delicious little present: tamales.

At its essence, a tamale consists of masa (dough made from corn or another starch) that's been wrapped in aromatic leaves, then steamed or boiled. Some come bundled in corn husks, others in plantain, banana or mashan leaves. Some are sweetened with molasses or coconut milk, others spiced with mole or seasoned with achiote.

Instagram Is Now Valued At $35 Billion By Citigroup Analyst

KPLU News - 4 hours 42 min ago
Less than three years after Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion, the photo-sharing service is now worth $35 billion, according to an analyst at Citigroup.

Instagram's user base has skyrocketed since the acquisition, in part because of its integration with Facebook but also because the purchase roughly coincided with the release of an Instagram app for Android smartphones.

Earlier this month, Instagram announced that it surpassed 300 million users.

The hefty valuation was included along with Citigrou

At Last, I Meet My Microbes

KPLU News - 5 hours 4 min ago
A veritable jungle of organisms is helping keep each of us alive. But we've been rather negligent hosts. For starters, we don't even know who has shown up for the party.

When I signed myself, my husband, our dog and my mother up for the American Gut Project to have our gut microbes analyzed last year, I had no idea what the results would turn up.

Live: Obama's Year-End News Conference

KPLU News - 5 hours 33 min ago


Judge To Hear Arguments Against Florist Who Declined Service To Gay Couple

KPLU News - 5 hours 36 min ago


A closely-watched court case dealing with whether religious business-owners must provide services to gay couples is headed to oral arguments Friday in Kennewick, Washington.

Barronelle Stutzman said she was following her religious convictions in 2013 when she declined to do the flower arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding.

The state of Washington said she was violating state consumer protection laws.

Giant Filter From Richland Treating Leaking Radioactive Water In Japan

KPLU News - 5 hours 42 min ago


An environmental cleanup company with engineering headquarters in Richland, Washington has just flown its second water treatment system to Japan with a massive plane.

It’s intended to treat thousands of gallons of radioactive water leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.

Obama Says Sony Should Not Have Pulled Film Over Hacking

KPLU News - 6 hours 55 min ago
Updated at 2:25 p.m.

Cliff Mass Answers Listener Questions On The Blob, Full Moons And Ski Season Outlook

KPLU News - 6 hours 57 min ago

If you ever have a question about the weather, KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass wants to hear it. We’ve assembled answers to a range of listener queries and will be answering them over the next two weeks. Here’s the first batch.

How Peppermint Tricks Us Into Feeling (Deliciously) Cold

KPLU News - 7 hours 4 min ago
Even in the coldest months, we relish the refreshing, icy taste of peppermint — in seasonal treats like peppermint bark, peppermint schnapps, even peppermint beer.

We have the chemical menthol to thank for that deliciously cool mouth-feel of peppermint.

BirdNote: The Avocets Of Bolivar Flats

KPLU News - 7 hours 4 min ago

The shallow waters and wide mudflats of the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary are alive with thousands of gulls, terns, and shorebirds. American Avocets are often among the most abundant birds on the flats, with 5,000 or more here most winters.

The avocets have sensitive bills that curve upward. As they wade, they sweep their heads back and forth and snap up the tiny crustaceans that touch their bills. This tactile feeding method is unique among the birds here.

The Bolivar Peninsula is famous for its big flocks of water birds and for concentrations of migrating songbirds. Both National Audubon and American Bird Conservancy have designated it an Important Bird Area, or IBA. Why not plan a visit?

Advocacy Groups Tell Lawmakers To Back Off

KPLU News - 7 hours 26 min ago
Three advocacy organizations — across ideological lines — are telling congressional investigators to back off in a probe of EPA ties to a leading environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana are leading the investigation.

A Nurse's Desperate Plea: Show Me The Ebola Money

KPLU News - 7 hours 34 min ago
I found her curled up in the fetal position on the ground, under a piece of cardboard wet from the rain, breathing quietly. Dried blood all around her mouth. Naked. Most likely she had stumbled from her ward in the middle of the night, making it past the gates meant to separate the area where patients live from the triage area, where ambulances pull in — gates that frustratingly still won't close.

Education Dept. Issues Framework For New College Rating System

KPLU News - 8 hours 7 min ago
Beginning next year, colleges and universities will be judged on three broad criteria when it comes to meting out federal financial aid – access, affordability and student outcomes, according to a new "framework" released by the Education Department.

The new rating plan was first announced by President Obama in August 2013, but the framework announced today is only an interim step. Public input is being sought by Feb.