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Judge Overturns North Dakota's Strict Abortion Law

KPLU News - 3 hours 13 min ago
A federal judge has struck down a North Dakota law banning abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, calling the law "invalid and unconstitutional."

The law, passed by lawmakers in the state just over a year ago, bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy and is considered the most restrictive in the country.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who is based in Bismarck, cited the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S.

Holy Bible Could Become Louisiana's Official Book

KPLU News - 3 hours 14 min ago
The "Good Book" could become the official book of Louisiana if a bill sent to the state's Legislature passes in a vote that could come as early as this week.

The Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee of the Louisiana House of Representatives voted 8-5 last week to forward a measure that would make the Holy Bible the state's official book.

Boston Bombing Defendant Can See Victims' Autopsy Photos, Judge Says

KPLU News - 4 hours 3 min ago
A federal judge said Wednesday that Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may see autopsy photos of the three people who died after the explosions near the finish line of last year's race.

District Court Judge George O'Toole "rejected a claim by the government that Tsarnaev should not see the photos because it would disturb the families of the victims,"

Death Toll In Mudslide Rises To 39

KPLU News - 4 hours 51 min ago

The death toll from the mudslide that hit the Washington town of Oso has risen to 39.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office announced two more victims Wednesday and said it's trying to identify three of the bodies.

Record Store Day Premieres From Springsteen, Devo, Joe Strummer And The Pogues, More

KPLU News - 4 hours 53 min ago
Music nerds: gather round! This week, our show is dedicated to celebrating one of the most joyous days of the year. No, not Flag Day. Record Store Day! This Saturday, Apr. 19, is the day when masses of music lovers wait in long lines at local independent records stores, hoping to score exclusive releases on vinyl.

To mark the occasion, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share six Record Store Day exclusives, starting with a cut by Bruce Springsteen, from an EP he's releasing called American Beauty. The 12" EP features four unreleased, never-heard songs from The Boss.

Sous Vide Makes Its Way To The Home Kitchen

KPLU News - 4 hours 53 min ago
Sous vide. Not that long ago, it sounded so exotic — or, at least, so French. It was a phrase that belonged in restaurants, amid white tablecloths and flower arrangements and hushed conversations. Alternatively, it was a word that belonged to the modernist kitchens just beyond the swinging doors — kitchens filled with gleaming dehydrators and transglutaminase "meat glues" and spherification siphons and more.

I first heard it in the kitchen of now-famous Wylie Dufresne's first restaurant, 71 Clinton Fresh Food, where I was a clueless intern in the spring of 2000.

43-Year-Old Cold Case Closed: South Dakota Girls Died In Accident

KPLU News - 5 hours 40 sec ago
Families and friends who have wondered since 1971 about what happened to two South Dakota girls now have some closure.

Authorities said Tuesday that they believe Pamela Jackson and Cheryl Miller died when their 1960 Studebaker Lark accidentally went off a gravel road and into a local creek. "All the evidence would appear to indicate an accident," South Dakota Attorney Gen.

Weekly Innovation: Better Luggage Checking ... And Tracking

KPLU News - 5 hours 22 min ago


Tasting With Our Eyes: Why Bright Blue Chicken Looks So Strange

KPLU News - 5 hours 22 min ago
There's something unsettling — freakish, even — about Lawrie Brown's photos of everyday meals.

In one photo, the California-based photographer has placed a shockingly blue raw chicken atop a bed of rice and peas. In another, pink cereal puffs float in a sea of yellow milk. And Brown slathers three hefty scoops of green ice cream with purple fudge in a third, with blood-red cherries as garnish.

The Ultimate Animal Experience? Losing A Memory Quiz To A Chimp

KPLU News - 5 hours 23 min ago


Medicare Kept Paying Indicted, Sanctioned Doctors

KPLU News - 5 hours 24 min ago
In August 2011, federal agents swept across the Detroit area, arresting doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals accused of running a massive scheme to defraud Medicare.

The following month, several of those arrested, including psychiatrist Mark Greenbain and podiatrist Anmy Tran, were suspended from billing the state's Medicaid program for the poor.

But the indictment and Medicaid suspensions didn't deter Medicare from continuing to allow the doctors to treat elderly and disabled patients — and didn't s

PUD Changes Course: No Dam for Skykomish River’s Sunset Falls

KPLU News - 9 hours 55 min ago

Plans to put a dam on one of Washington’s most scenic rivers have been called off.

The Snohomish County Public Utilities District says it has a better plan for the area on the Skykomish River near Index. But opponents of the project say it’s still too early to declare a victory. 

Snohomish County PUD was planning an inflatable weir for the bend in the river near Sunset Falls, not far from Index. The utility said it had a design that would rise and fall with the river, making it safe for endangered fish runs and minimally disruptive to the scenic value of the area.

Nancy Eats Paris, Including The Best Falafel In The World

KPLU News - 9 hours 56 min ago

Of all the places that I haven't been to, on this planet at least, Paris is the place I haven't been to the most.  But my Food for Thought co-conspirator Nancy is a travelin' fool, and she's just back from a trip all the way to (imagine rustic accent here) Paris, France. And boy, did she eat.

In Portugal, A Sales Receipt May Be Your Ticket To Win Big

KPLU News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:41
On Lisbon's cobblestone lanes, the Portuguese economy is hobbling along as it always has — in cash.

In a tiny, 100-year-old bar, Nuno Goncalves pours out glasses of ginja — a Portuguese sweet cherry liqueur — for his customers, mostly old men in flat caps. A small shot-glass full costs 50 cents — cash only. There is a cash register, but it doesn't print receipts.

"It's a local business. They just count the money they have, and the bottles they sell," explains a customer named Felipe. "They will not give you a receipt — and you will not ask for a receipt. Because, come on!

NYPD Shuts Down Controversial Unit That Spied On Muslims

KPLU News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 16:16
The New York Police Department said Tuesday it would disband a special unit charged with detecting possible terrorist threats by carrying out secret surveillance of Muslim groups.

The squad that conducted the surveillance, known as the Demographics Unit, was formed in 2003.

Ethics Board To Consider Crackdown On Lobbyist-Paid Meals

KPLU News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:37

By next January, Washington state lawmakers should have clearer guidance on when it’s OK to accept free meals from lobbyists. The state’s Legislative Ethics Board decided Tuesday to clarify the rules governing gifts in the form of food and beverage. The board’s action follows our investigation last year into lobbyist-paid meals.

Despite Worries, Boston Survivor Heads Back To The Start Line

KPLU News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:10
At last year's Boston Marathon, Carol Downing was just a half a mile from the finish line when bombs exploded and injured two of her daughters. This year, she's going back to complete the race.

More than 36,000 runners hope to cross the finish line for the Boston Marathon this year. Downing plans to be among them. But she's worried.

"There's definitely some fear of going back," Downing says.

Risks Of Popular Anxiety Drugs Often Overshadowed

KPLU News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 15:09
When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an overdose in February, the New York City medical examiner ruled that his death was the result of "acute mixed drug intoxication." Heroin, cocaine and a widely prescribed class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or benzos, were found in his system.

The drugs first burst onto the scene in the 1950s and '60s and quickly became known as "mother's little helper," the mild tranquilizer that could soothe frazzled housewives' nerves.

Song Of The Day, Lunar Eclipse Edition: Lee Morgan's 'Desert Moonlight'

KPLU News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 14:36

"There are no natural barriers. It's all music. It's either hip or it ain't." - Lee Morgan

Lee Morgan is one of the most recorded and celebrated trumpeters in jazz, and one of my personal favorites. His playing is brash, assured, big-toned and has a swagger not matched by many other trumpeters of his day or since.

Flags Lowered Statewide For One Week To Honor Landslide Victims

KPLU News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 14:30

Flags will fly at half-mast across Washington state until next Tuesday to honor the victims of last month's deadly landslide. Earlier Tuesday, the Snohomish County medical examiner raised the death toll by one to 37. Seven others remain missing.