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Jay Thomas & Friends Concert At SAM On Jazz Northwest

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 15:00

An all-star sextet led by saxophonist and trumpeter Jay Thomas is featured in highlights from an Art of Jazz concert at The Seattle Art Museum on Jazz Northwest.  The group played jazz classics ranging from Miles Davis in the 50s to an original by Jay Thomas.  

The Whiteness Project: Facing Race In A Changing America

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 14:24
The voices in the Whiteness Project vary by gender, age and income, but they all candidly express what it is like to be white in an increasingly diverse country.

"I don't feel that personally I've benefited from being white. That's because I grew up relatively poor," a participant shared.

Celebrating Hanukkah In A Palestinian City

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 14:24
Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

And in Ramallah, she didn't think it would be a good idea to put a holiday menorah in the window, in line with Jewish tradition.

Man Who Killed Officers Told Passersby: 'Watch What I Am Going To Do'

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 14:12
The gunman who ambushed and killed two officers in a Brooklyn neighborhood of New York on Saturday told passersby moments before the shooting to "watch what I am about to do," a senior police official says.

NYPD Director of Investigations Robert Boyce, speaking at an afternoon news conference about the killings that have rocked the city, says the shooter, identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, briefly spoke to two people on the street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area wher

Kurdish Forces Push Offensive To Retake Sinjar From ISIS

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 13:00
Kurdish fighters, supported by coalition warplanes, pushed into the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq, days after breaking a siege of a mountain where ethnic Yazidis had been trapped for months by Islamist extremists.

Massoud Barzani, an Iraqi Kurdish leader claimed his peshmerga forces had already taken a "large area" of the town of Sinjar, which has been held since August by fighters of the so-called Islamic State.

NPR's Deborah Amos reports that breaking the months-long siege of Moun

GOP Sens. Rubio, Paul Square Off Over Cuba Policy Shift

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 09:18
In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen.

BirdNote: Solstice Fires

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 09:00

In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer describes early Europeans building solstice fires at year's end to strengthen the sun.

Seeing the sun steadily weakening, steadily falling in its arc across the sky, they did what they could to restore it to health.

Birds and other creatures of the natural world respond to the length of winter days. Much of the rhythm and timing of birds' behavior, including migration and breeding, is determined by the length and intensity of the sun's light.  

Tunisia, Cradle Of 'Arab Spring,' In Historic Presidential Vote

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 07:36
Tunisians are going to the polls today to choose a president in a runoff election that represents a choice between the country's interim leader, swept to power in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, or a candidate with ties to the ousted regime.

An aging Beji Caid Essebsi, who represents the secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes (Tunisia Calls) party and who served under Tunisia's deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali,

Obama Calls North Korean Hack 'Cybervandalism'

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 06:58
President Obama tells CNN that he doesn't consider North Korea's hack of Sony Pictures an act of war, but instead a case of "cybervandalism." But, he stands by his criticism of the movie studio for pulling the satirical film The Interview because its plot angers Pyongyang.

"If we set a precedent in which a dictator in another country can disrupt through cyber, a company's distribution chain or its products, and as a consequence we start censoring ourselves, that's a problem," Ob

A History Lesson On The Philippines, Stuffed In A Christmas Chicken

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 06:40
Noche buena, the Christmas Eve feast in fervently Catholic Philippines, is deeply steeped in tradition. One of the mainstays of this decadent meal, usually eaten after midnight mass, is rellenong manok (rel-ye-nong ma-nok). It's a hybrid name: In Spanish, relleno means stuffed, and in Tagalog, manok means chicken.

Ready To Hit The Cuban Beach? Americans Still Have To Wait

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 06:36
With President Obama beginning the process of normalizing relations with Cuba this week, many may envision soon soaking up the sun on a warm Cuban beach, sipping a refreshing rum drink.

In reality, that's not likely to happen for quite a while. But just the increased opportunity for travel between the two countries has those with longtime ties to Cuba already thinking about the possibilities it will bring.

Tom Popper is thinking about it. As president of the New York-based travel company, Insight Cuba, Popper has fought long and hard for an end to the U.S.

Gunman Made Anti-Police Posts Before Killing NYPD Officers

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 05:40
The gunman who ambushed and killed two New York City police officers in their patrol car before committing suicide reportedly posted messages on social media suggesting the assault was revenge for deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of authorities.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, posted on an Instagram account before the shootings: "I'm putting wings on pigs today.

Two Cops Killed In Brooklyn; Fleeing Suspect Kills Himself

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 05:20
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On The Pakistani Taliban: 'You Can't Do Politics ... Killing Children'

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 05:20
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Filmmaker: Sony Hack Will Make Satirists Think Twice About Content

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 05:20
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

With Election, Tunisia Solidifies Its Democracy Success Story

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 05:20
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Is This A Goat Or A Sheep? It's Harder Than You Think

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 04:03
So perhaps you noticed a post I wrote last weekend about how you know if your goat is happy. Yes, scientists do study that.

The story had a cute picture of a goat at the top, taken by a photographer in Dakar, Senegal.

Why Does It Take A Movie Robot To Show What Nurses Really Do?

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 01:40


For Norwegian-Americans, Christmas Cheer Is Wrapped Up In Lefse

KPLU News - Sun, 12/21/2014 - 01:37
For many Norwegian-American families, the biggest Christmas treat isn't foil-wrapped chocolate or sugar-dusted cookies. It's lefse, a simple flatbread.

Lefse are sort of like soft tortillas, made mostly out of mashed potatoes (with a little fat and flour mixed in to form a tender dough). They're usually spread with butter and sugar, or rolled up with a bit of lingonberry jam. And families that make them make them by the dozens.

"It's probably one of the first foods I fell in love with," says Megan Walhood, who lives in Portland Ore., and has family roots in Norway.

Many States Now Have $2 Gasoline, Analyst Says

KPLU News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 13:21
Remember when we told you earlier this month that a gas station in Oklahoma City had lowered its price for regular unleaded to $1.99 a gallon?

Well, now that trend is nationwide: GasBuddy.com, which monitors prices across the country, says the $1.99 sign is up over pumps in 24 states.