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Ebola Is Keeping Kids From Getting Vaccinated In Liberia

KPLU News - 2 hours 5 min ago
When Ebola began killing people in the Monrovia suburb of Clara Town several months ago, some residents blamed vaccines.

One vaccinator in the town says mothers didn't want her near their babies.

"They had a notion that when the people come to the hospital, we would inject them and kill them," says vaccinator Che Che Richardson at the Clara Town Health Center, "because it was the hospital giving the people Ebola."

Rumors like that, combined with the closing of many health facilities, have caused childhood vaccinations rates to plummet in Liberia.

Now thousands of children are vulnerabl

Herbie Hancock: 'On A Path To Find My Own Answer'

KPLU News - 2 hours 5 min ago


Tweets In Hong Kong Put Kenny G In Jam With Communist Party

KPLU News - 2 hours 6 min ago
Politics between Hong Kong and mainland China are a minefield these days, and if Kenny G, the 1980s saxophone superstar, didn't know it, he does now.

Kenny G, who is hugely popular in mainland China, was in Hong Kong on Wednesday and decided to pop by the main pro-democracy protest camp, which is now in its fourth week.

He posed for photos with fans, flashed a peace sign and said he hoped the demonstrations would end peacefully.

"Most people really welcomed Kenny G's visit," says Kacey Wong, a protester and professor of d

You're Enjoying Low Gas Prices, But Is It Really A Good Sign?

KPLU News - 2 hours 6 min ago
All around the country, gasoline prices have been falling for weeks, down to an average of about $3 a gallon. Those lower prices are helping restrain inflation across the board.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department said its consumer price index barely inched up 0.1 percent last month. Over the last 12 months, the CPI has risen by 1.7 percent, roughly half of its historical average rate of increase.

That sounds great for consumers.

But some economists see possible trouble ahead.

Girl Scouts Look For A Way Out Of The Woods

KPLU News - 2 hours 8 min ago
The Girl Scouts organization wants s'more – members and leaders, that is.

Membership in Girl Scouts of the USA is on the decline.

Scientists Fight For Superbug Research As U.S. Pauses Funding

KPLU News - 2 hours 11 min ago
An unusual government moratorium aimed at controversial research with high-risk viruses has halted important public health research, scientists told an advisory committee to the federal government on Wednesday.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said Friday that the federal government will, for now, not fund any new research proposals that might make three particular viruses more virulent or contagious.

Mark Zuckerberg Shows Off His Mandarin Chinese Skills

KPLU News - 2 hours 12 min ago


Why California's Drought-Stressed Fruit May Be Better For You

KPLU News - 2 hours 12 min ago
California's severe drought is putting stress on everyone these days: the neighborhoods whose wells are running dry; the farmers forced to experiment with growing their produce with much less water; and of course, the thirsty fruits and vegetables themselves.

But preliminary research suggests there may be an upside to all this dryness: fruit packed

Pileated Applepeckers

KPLU News - 2 hours 32 min ago

  It's autumn, and apples have begun to fall, although many remain on the trees. In full view of its offspring, an adult Pileated Woodpecker stabs a tasty apple treat. After it feeds, it flies to a nearby tree. Alone now, the youngster repeats what it's seen, knocking apples to the ground until it finds one secure enough to withstand its hungry blows. It just learned something that will sustain it, once it's on its own. Hey, perhaps they should be called Pileated Applepeckers at this time of year!

Ebola 'Still Small Potatoes,' But A Major Menace In West Africa

KPLU News - 6 hours 31 min ago

As the Ebola outbreak first emerged in West Africa, some global health experts downplayed it. The virus has flared up here and there since it was discovered in the 1970s, and rarely has its death toll exceeded a few dozen or at most a few hundred.

“I actually was among those who didn’t think it would be that big a deal, and like the previous ones, it would be contained and would burn itself out very quickly,” said Tom Paulson, who has been covering global health for nearly 20 years. “I was dead wrong.”

Paulson, the founder and editor of Humanosphere, sat down with KPLU to talk about why he’s changed his mind and come to see Ebola in Africa as a major menace.

Why Do Unions Want To Run Child Care Teacher Training In Seattle?

KPLU News - 6 hours 32 min ago

Seattle voters will have to choose between two ballot measures that both aim to help improve education for preschoolers, but in different ways.

The city’s plan, Proposition 1B, would set up a pilot program of subsidized preschool using a property tax levy.

The competing measure, Proposition 1A, is sponsored by two unions, Service Employees International Union Local 925 and American Federation of Teachers, a national teachers’ union affiliated with AFL-CIO.

Prop. 1A calls for a quicker path to a minimum wage of $15 an hour for child care teachers and would set a city policy that states no family should have to spend more than 10 percent of the household income on child care.

One other provision that’s drawn less attention is a plan to set up a system of training in which the unions would play a bigger role. 

Nearby Destinations For Winter Escapes, Whether You Ski Or Not

KPLU News - 6 hours 32 min ago

With autumn in full swing, it’s already time to start planning winter getaways. Here are a few options from KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley:

New Autopsy Report Suggests Michael Brown Was Shot At Close Range

KPLU News - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 16:35
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has published the official autopsy report on the shooting death of Michael Brown, the black, 18-year-old whose death at the hands of a white police officer set off weeks of protests this summer and fall in Ferguson, Mo.

The report suggests that Brown was shot at close range by Officer Darren Wilson.

Bigger Than A T. Rex, With A Duck's Bill, Huge Arms And A Hump

KPLU News - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 16:34
Scientists announced Tuesday they've solved the mystery of the Mongolian ostrich dinosaur.

The mystery began in 1965, when fossil hunters found a pair of 6-foot-long, heavily clawed arm bones in Mongolia's Gobi desert. Nobody had seen anything like them before. Now, scientists say, they've got the rest of the beast ... and dinosaur textbooks may need to be rewritten.

Those two giant arm bones have long amazed researchers. Some suspected the whole beast, which died about 70 million years ago, could have been more than 100 feet long. But the arms were all they had to go on.

The Slide Rule: A Computing Device That Put A Man On The Moon

KPLU News - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 16:26
The protractor and the Bunsen burner. Playing the recorder in music class. Drawing arcs and circles with a compass in geometry. These tools of the education trade become part of our lives for a semester or two and then we move on.

Today, NPR Ed begins a new series examining these icons of the classroom. We start off with a device that once was essential to higher-level math, in school and in the workplace, but now has all but disappeared:

The slide rule.

"Take your batteries out," Jim Hus says, watching his pre-calculus students remove the AA batteries that power their calculators.

Cloud Data Security Concerns Raised After Reported Attack In China

KPLU News - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 15:35
Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday spoke with officials in China about data security and privacy. This meeting comes on the heels of a reported attack against users of Apple's iCloud service in China. Hackers allegedly were able to get hold of users' data by intercepting traffic on the Internet. They did not break into Apple servers.

The attack coincided with the launch in China of the new iPhone 6.

More Cities Are Making It Illegal To Hand Out Food To The Homeless

KPLU News - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 15:35
If you don't have a place to live, getting enough to eat clearly may be a struggle. And since homelessness in the U.S.

Justice Ginsburg Revises Texas Voter ID Dissent, Then Announces It

KPLU News - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 15:34
Once again the U.S. Supreme Court is correcting its own record, but Wednesday marks the first time that the Court has called attention to its own mistake with a public announcement.

Exotic Dancers In Tacoma Say Public Records Release Would Violate Their Privacy

KPLU News - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 15:22

Women who work at Dream Girls at Foxes, a strip club in Tacoma, don’t want Pierce County to release personal information about them. They say doing so would violate their right to privacy.

But the Pierce County auditor says Washington’s Public Records Act requires her to release information contained in the women’s business licenses on file with the county.

Glow-In-The-Dark Treats To Light Up Your Halloween

KPLU News - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 15:16
This Halloween, what better way to one-up your friends than mixing up some batter, swapping out your light bulbs for ultraviolet replacements, and showing off some glowing baked goods?

And, if you follow the advice of Steven Johnson and Martina Zupanic, these treats won't leave you feeling regretful the next day about your eating choices.

Zupanic, the chef in their relationship, lives in Croatia. She likes to avoid processed and sugary foods, cooking most of her dishes from scratch, whether it's chips or pasta.