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Education Spending In Focus As Washington Legislature Nears Halfway Mark

KPLU News - 3 hours 45 min ago


Washington lawmakers are approaching the halfway mark of their 105-day session. Hot issues include marijuana, mental health, oil trains and cap-and-trade.

But the heavy lift for lawmakers will be writing a new two-year operating budget that increases funding for public schools. Both House Democrats and Senate Republicans will unveil dueling budget proposals in the weeks ahead.

For One Parliamentarian, A Stronger Jordan Key To Fighting ISIS

KPLU News - 4 hours 49 min ago
There's an election law in Jordan known as "one person, one vote" that advocates of reform and democratization there regard, surprisingly, as a big step backward.

That's because of the strong ties Jordanians feel to family, clan and tribe, says Omar Razzaz, an economist and banker in Amman, the Jordanian capital.

"In the 1989 elections, you voted for five candidates. And one of them was your uncle, because you had to, socially, to do it. But then you had four to pick from, who you picked based on meritocracy, based on their ability to represent you, their level of education," he explains.

Living Small In The City: With More Singles, Micro-Housing Gets Big

KPLU News - 4 hours 49 min ago
Back in 2012, something unusual got started in an alleyway in an already tightly developed part of northeast Washington, D.C.

On an 11th-of-an-acre lot next to a cemetery, behind a block of row houses, tiny houses started to go up. And not just one little house in backyard, like you might see in many places. The builders billed this as an urban tiny house community.

While the average size of new houses gets bigger every year in the U.S., some people are trying to do more with less. A lot less. Tiny houses and micro apartments are now a niche trend in the housing market.

Ahead Of Netanyahu's Speech To Congress, Hints Of A Thaw

KPLU News - 5 hours 45 min ago
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reportedly meet with Sens.

Will The Dietary Guidelines Consider The Planet? The Fight Is On

KPLU News - 6 hours 22 min ago
When it comes to eating well, we should consider the health of our bodies and the planet. This was the recommendation coming from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on Feb.

In Video: The Great Llama Drama Of 2015

KPLU News - 6 hours 43 min ago



South Korea Decriminalizes Cheating, Shares Of Contraceptive Companies Rise

KPLU News - 7 hours 3 min ago
Extramarital sex is no longer a crime in South Korea, giving shares of contraceptive companies a boost.

On Thursday, South Korea's Constitutional Court struck down a decades-old law that made adultery a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn tell our Newscast unit that "roughly 100,000 people have been convicted of adultery since the law was passed in 1953, but conviction rates have recently fallen to below 1 percent."

Still, The Guardian reports there is

Lawyer: Second Autopsy Shows Pasco Police Officers Shot Man From Behind

KPLU News - 7 hours 58 min ago

An attorney says an independent autopsy conducted on a Mexican man shot by police in Pasco, Washington shows different results from what investigators have said.

The independent autopsy found that 35-year-old Antonio Zambrano-Montes was shot seven times, with at least two entrance wounds on the back of his body.

Banksy's Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip

KPLU News - 7 hours 59 min ago


Saudi Man Convicted Of Conspiracy In 1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings

KPLU News - 8 hours 3 min ago
Khalid al-Fawwaz, a Saudi man who the U.S. says was Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant in Britain, has been convicted on all four conspiracy charges tied to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The AP reports that Al-Fawwaz's trial started a month ago in a fortified courthouse in New York. The trial focused on al-Qaida's early days. The AP adds:

"Al-Fawwaz stood expressionless as the verdict was read, pursing his lips briefly.

Alaska Farmer Turns Icy Patch Of Tundra Into A Breadbasket

KPLU News - 9 hours 11 min ago
The Alaskan tundra might not seem like much of an agricultural hotspot, but one farmer in the frigid town of Bethel believes he's found America's newest breadbasket.

For the last 10 years, Tim Meyers has been coaxing an enviable quantity of fruits and veggies from just four acres of land. Last year, he produced 50,000 pounds of potatoes, beets, carrots and other vegetables.

Senate Panel OKs Loretta Lynch Nomination As Attorney General

KPLU News - 9 hours 19 min ago
Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee for attorney general, cleared a major hurdle today to succeed Eric Holder as the country's top law enforcement officer. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-8 to send the nomination to the full chamber, which is expected to confirm her nomination.

Three Republicans joined the panel's Democrats to vote "yes." Those opposed to her nomination cited President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

"We should not confirm someone to that position who intends to continue that unlawful policy," said Sen.

Astronomers Discover A Supermassive Black Hole Dating To Cosmic Dawn

KPLU News - 9 hours 37 min ago
SDSS J0100+2802 is the rather understated name scientists have given to an exceptionally luminous, newly discovered quasar. It's 12.8 billion light years away and shines as brightly as 420 million suns.

Judge Throws Out Cover-Up Allegations Against Argentine President

KPLU News - 10 hours 8 min ago
Last month, an Argentine prosecutor who was due to testify about an alleged cover-up in the investigation into the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires was found dead.

Alberto Nisman had accused President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government of covering up Iran's alleged role in the bombing that killed 85 people in order to push through a grains-for-oil deal with Tehran.

Pew Study On Religion Finds Increased Harassment Of Jews

KPLU News - 10 hours 17 min ago
Updated at 2 p.m. ET.

This week, a man was sentenced to die in Saudi Arabia because he renounced his faith in Islam; a Hindu leader in India made a new accusation against Mother Teresa; a mosque near Bethlehem was set on fire.

It's hardly news that religious differences lead to conflict, nor is it surprising that governments try to restrict religious practice or favor some religions over others.

What We're Watching At The Conservative Political Action Conference

KPLU News - 10 hours 22 min ago
This week's Conservative Political Action Conference has drawn a huge crowd of activists and politicos, per usual — but it's also a prime spot for 2016 presidential hopefuls. The GOP's potential candidates — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Bobby Jindal — are rolling on and off the main stage, hoping to fire up the conservative audience. And how well they do with this crowd — an important part of their base — may say a lot about 2016.

Investigation Finds Five To Six Bullets Hit Pasco Shooting Victim

KPLU News - 10 hours 24 min ago


Kennewick police investigating the police shooting this month of Antonio Zambrano-Montes told reporters Wednesday bullets entered him from the front, and a rock was found near his body.

Officers fired 17 rounds. Of those, one autopsy shows Zambrano-Montes took five shots, the other said six.

Net Neutrality Up For A Key Vote Today By FCC Board

KPLU News - 10 hours 54 min ago
An essential question will be decided today about how the Internet works: Should service providers be a neutral gateway or should they handle different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and with different costs?

The five-member Federal Communications Commission will vote on the policy known as net neutrality at its Thursday meeting, which began at 10:30 a.m. ET. We'll update this post with news from the vote.

The new policy would replace a prior version that was adopted back in 2010 — but was put on hold by a legal challenge by Verizon. In that case, the U.S.

James Bond Meets His Match — The Roman Cobblestone

KPLU News - 10 hours 54 min ago
The headline in today's La Repubblica was "The streets of Rome bring Bond to a standstill — car hits pothole, Craig suffers head injury."

The newspaper reported that the accident occurred while actor Daniel Craig, reprising the role of the suave British spy in the 24th James Bond thriller, Spectre, was driving one of the movie's four custom-made Aston Martins on a narrow cobblestoned street near the Vatican.

Craig reportedly hit his head on the car roof when the speeding vehicle met the irresistible force of a loose sanpietrino, as the Roman cobblestone is known.

Higher Wages, Lower Prices Give Consumers A Break

KPLU News - 10 hours 59 min ago
Economists usually worry about a "wage-price spiral" taking hold.