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After Uproar, Garfield High School To Be Spared From Teacher Shuffle

KPLU News - 1 hour 22 min ago

Garfield High School will apparently not lose a full-time teacher to another short-staffed Seattle school when a new term starts next week, district officials confirmed Monday.

Both principal Ted Howard and a leader of the school's parent-teacher organization said Monday they do not expect district officials will force the school to send five Garfield teachers to another school for one-fifth of the day.

Microsoft's Quarterly Profit Hit By Charge For Layoffs Connected To Nokia Purchase

KPLU News - 2 hours 52 min ago

Microsoft’s profit dropped 11 percent in the most recent quarter, partly due to expenses connected to layoffs after the company’s purchase of the Finnish cell phone maker Nokia. 

Jeffrey Sterling, Former CIA Officer, Is Convicted Of Espionage

KPLU News - 4 hours 16 min ago
A former CIA officer who was accused of giving a journalist classified information about U.S. plans to spoil Iran's nuclear program has been convicted of espionage in federal court.

Jeffrey Sterling, 47, was officially fired from the CIA in 2002; he was indicted for espionage in 2011 and now faces the possibility of dozens of years in prison.

Medicare Looks To Speed Up Pay For Quality Instead Of Volume

KPLU News - 5 hours 5 min ago
The Obama administration said Monday that it wants to speed up changes to Medicare so that within four years half of its traditional spending will go to doctors, hospitals and other providers that coordinate patient care.

The shift is being made to stress quality and frugality over payment by the procedure, test and visit.

The announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is intended to spur efforts to supplant Medicare's traditional fee-for-service medicine, in which doctors, hospitals and other medical p

An Asteroid Is Passing Very Close To Earth Today. Here's How To See It

KPLU News - 5 hours 37 min ago
By the time you read this post, asteroid 2004 BL86 will already have come as close to us as it's going to get as it flies by Earth. At about 11:19 a.m. ET today, it was nearly 745,000 miles away from our planet. That's only about three times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

But don't worry, you may still be able to catch a glimpse of the huge hunk of rock tonight.

When and how can I see the asteroid?

The best time to observe BL86 is around 9 p.m.

Accused Bomber's Lawyers Say Boston Jury Pool Is Too Biased

KPLU News - 5 hours 38 min ago
The search for jurors in the case of accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is taking longer than expected.

Defense attorneys say it's nearly impossible to find open-minded, unbiased jurors around Boston. They're asking yet again for the judge to move the trial somewhere else.

From the beginning, defense attorneys have argued the entire jury pool has been poisoned by what they call "a narrative of guilt" from a "tidal wave" of media coverage.

At Koch Summit, A Freewheeling Debate Among GOP Hopefuls

KPLU News - 6 hours 12 min ago
Three Republican presidential hopefuls declined Sunday night to insult some of the Republican Party's biggest donors.

Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, asked by debate moderator Jonathan Karl of ABC News if billionaires now have too much influence in both major parties, agreed that it wasn't a problem. They all said no, if not exactly for the same reasons.

The senators spoke at a semi-annual gathering of billionaires David and Charles Koch's donor network, which underwrites a powerful array of secretly funded political groups.

Syrian Rebels Want To Fight Assad, But Now They'll Face ISIS

KPLU News - 6 hours 18 min ago
In the U.S. view, the most serious threat coming from Syria is the self-styled Islamic State, or ISIS. That's why the Pentagon is sending forces to train what it terms moderate Syrian rebel fighters.

But here's the catch. Moderate rebel commanders say it will be hard to explain this mission to their troops, who took up arms with the aim of toppling Syrian President Bashar Assad, not ISIS.

The U.S. plan calls for the Americans and their allies to train and equip about 5,000 Syrian moderates. U.S.

Sandwich Monday: Girl Scout Cookie Coffeemate

KPLU News - 6 hours 19 min ago
Used to be, you had to briefly stop eating Girl Scout Cookies while you finished your morning cup of coffee. But no more. Coffeemate is now making Girl Scout Cookie-flavored creamer, so you can now ingest them 24 hours a day, so long as you can find a friend to shove them in your mouth while you sleep.

Just Plane Sad: A Show Of Support For SkyMall

KPLU News - 6 hours 33 min ago
Whether it was the $85,000 personal submarine craft, the telepathic obstacle course or the yeti yard ornaments we could never quite afford, in-flight catalog SkyMall — and the kitschy items sold inside its pages — are going to be hard to forget.

On Friday, SkyMall's parent company filed for bankruptcy protection and announced that its assets would go up for auction in late March. So in preparation for the catalog's possible disappearance from our seatback pockets, we asked people how they'd remember SkyMall. Some of you wrote heartfelt testimonials.

Intended For Millennials, Dish's Sling TV Is A Cord Cutter's Dream

KPLU News - 6 hours 55 min ago
A few days ago, I entertained myself for a few minutes watching ESPN's Stephen A. Smith lose his cool — this time, over an "incompetent" NFL for not interviewing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady regarding the team's deflated football controversy.

But what made this moment noteworthy, was where I was watching Smith; not on a TV connected to a cable box, but on my iPad.

Helping People With A Criminal History Get Work

KPLU News - 6 hours 57 min ago

 

What if you were convicted of a crime 20 years ago and served your time in prison. Now you are trying to make better choices. You go to school, you stay out of trouble and you decide you want to open your own hair salon. This will not be possible. 

2015 Will Continue Streak Of Shrinking U.S. Budget Deficit

KPLU News - 6 hours 59 min ago
The federal budget deficit will fall in 2015, the sixth consecutive year of decreases relative to the overall economy, according to new figures by the Congressional Budget Office. The office also says the U.S. economy will expand at a "solid pace" over the next few years.

The estimate for 2015 stands at $468 billion, a modest improvement on the 2014 budget deficit of $483 billion.

Tossing Out Food In The Trash? In Seattle, You'll Be Fined For That

KPLU News - 7 hours 25 min ago
In Seattle, wasting food will now earn you a scarlet letter — well, a scarlet tag, to be more accurate.

The bright red tag, posted on a garbage bin, tells everyone who sees it that you've violated a new city law that makes it illegal to put food into trash cans.

"I'm sure neighbors are going to see these on their other neighbors' cans," says Rodney Watkins, a lead driver for Recology CleanScapes, a waste contractor for the city.

Guinea's Grand Imam Pulls No Punches In His Ebola Message

KPLU News - 7 hours 56 min ago
"Ebola — you have to do more," roars the barrel-bellied cleric El Hadj Mamadou Saliou Camara, with his white beard and mustache, in a snow-white boubou, the traditional flowing gown of West Africa.

That's the message he delivered over the weekend to hundreds of his fellow clerics, who gathered in Kindia, the third largest city in Guinea and a major crossroads. Many of the residents still blame Westerners for bringing the virus to their country.

His words are vital. Liberia and Sierra Leone look set to turn the corner in the battle against Ebola, but Guinea still faces challenges.

Chaos During Oso Slide May Spur Long-Awaited Change In Fire-Crew Mobilization Law

KPLU News - 8 hours 11 sec ago

A proposed law that’s making its way through the state legislature could change the way first responders are mobilized during major emergencies, such as floods and landslides. Because the slide that devastated Oso last March wasn’t a fire, state crews were slow to help local teams.

Abortion Vote Shows How Much Democrats' World Has Changed

KPLU News - 8 hours 22 min ago
This week, Congress returns with House leaders vowing to revisit the anti-abortion bill they pulled off the floor last week. The ban on abortions after 20 weeks was withdrawn when it appeared there weren't enough Republican votes to pass it.

Why did it need quite so many Republican votes? Because the GOP can no longer count on a contingent of Democrats to help out on abortion-related votes.

That was obvious last week, on Thursday, when the leaders brought out a backup bill relating to federal funding for abortion (which is already illegal).

U.S. Drone Strikes Target Suspected Al-Qaida Militants In Yemen

KPLU News - 8 hours 40 min ago
A U.S. drone strike on suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen killed at least three people, just days after the U.S.-backed government resigned in the face of an uprising by Shiite Houthi rebels, effectively leaving the country with no government.

The Associated Press reports that the strike, which occurred in the central province of Marib, targeted a vehicle carrying three men near the border with neighboring Shabwa province, an al-Qaida stronghold. The news agency also quoted an al-Qaida member as saying two of the slain fighters were Yemenis, one Saudi.

India's Modi Makes A Name For Himself — Literally — In Meeting With Obama

KPLU News - 10 hours 13 min ago
There are many ways in diplomacy to make a name for yourself. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have taken this message literally.

Modi's meeting with President Obama on Sunday dominated the headlines for what the U.S. president called a "breakthrough understanding" on a civilian nuclear agreement signed in 2008.

Pediatricians Say Don't Lock Up Teenagers For Using Marijuana

KPLU News - 10 hours 17 min ago
Across the country, efforts to make marijuana more accessible have quickly gained traction. Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states and in four states and the District of Columbia, recreational use is legal as well.

Science, however, hasn't quite caught up. Largely due to its illegal status, there's been very little research done on marijuana's health effects.