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Israeli Homes, Decorated With A Shopping Spree In China

KPLU News - 1 hour 1 min ago
Adi Asulin lives in a fabulous apartment on the top floor of a seven-story building in the Israeli town of Ra'anana, north of Tel Aviv. The entry hall is long and light. Windows open onto an enormous balcony, which wraps around three sides of her home. The decor is fresh and white.

"It's all made in China," Asulin says.

Not just made in China.

American Freed After Months Of Detention In North Korea

KPLU News - 1 hour 1 min ago
Updated at 1:35 p.m.

More Insurers Put Spending Limits On Medical Treatments

KPLU News - 1 hour 2 min ago
To clamp down on health care costs, a growing number of employers and insurers are putting limits on how much they'll pay for certain medical services such as knee replacements, lab tests and complex imaging.

A recent study found that savings from such moves may be modest, however, and some analysts question whether "reference pricing," as it's called, is good for consumers.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), which administers the health insurance benefits for 1.4 million state workers, retirees and their families, has one of the

Who's Catching Your Cellphone Conversations?

KPLU News - 1 hour 2 min ago
With the right equipment, people can hijack your cellphone, listen to your calls and read your texts, alarming privacy rights advocates and tech experts alike.

We know the eavesdropping is happening, but we don't know much about who's doing the listening. The police and other law enforcement agencies do it, but they have been restricted by the FBI from telling us about it. Beyond the police, the listeners could be the U.S.

Does Being 'Spiritual But Not Religious' Really Mean Anything?

KPLU News - 1 hour 19 min ago
"Spiritual But Not Religious" is a phrase you hear more and more these days — and with good reason. In 2012, a Pew Foundation survey on religion found that almost 20 percent of Americans placed themselves in the category of "unaffiliated."

That 20 percent unaffiliated translates into a whole lot of people.

'Mr. President, Don't Touch My Girlfriend,' Chicago Voter Teases Obama

KPLU News - 1 hour 20 min ago


Some Lobbyists Play Key Role In Washington Campaign Finance

KPLU News - 2 hours 2 min ago

The top political spenders in Washington this election year include environmentalists, unions, trial lawyers and business interests.

But there’s a group of influential players who don’t necessarily show up in the campaign finance reports: lobbyists. They often work behind the scenes to guide campaign contributions on behalf the interests they work for. It’s another way that lobbyists exert their influence over the political process.

A Hong Kong Protest Camp Spawns Its Own Art

KPLU News - 2 hours 28 min ago
Now in its improbable fourth week, the main pro-democracy protest camp in Hong Kong's Admiralty district is a sort of Woodstock on the South China Sea.

A sea of tents, the camp teems with street art and propaganda posters.

A Tale Of Two Cities: World Series Fever Takes Hold In SF, KC

KPLU News - 2 hours 39 min ago


Apps Make Googly Eyes At Riders Tired Of Being Snubbed By Cabbies

KPLU News - 2 hours 40 min ago
One night last fall, I was walking through Chinatown in Washington, D.C., with my friend Terryn. We were not far from a dude who was in his mid-20s — slim, with neat, shoulder-length locks, skinny chinos, loafers and a leather briefcase slung across his torso — standing on the corner, his arm raised skyward. He was trying without luck to hail a cab.

That doesn't mean there weren't cabs around; in fact, there was one a few feet from him, waiting at the light with an empty back seat and its "For Hire" sign turned on.

Millennials Continue Urbanization Of America, Leaving Small Towns

KPLU News - 2 hours 41 min ago
"Most of the young people that go to college go away, and then they don't come back," says Lee Bianchi, a retired engineer who lived in Clinton, Iowa (pop. 26,647), from 1961 to 2008.

That's long been the storyline in small-town America, which for decades has bled citizens — especially young ones — to the glamorous big cities.

Book News: Amazon Inks A Deal With A Publisher Not Named Hachette

KPLU News - 2 hours 41 min ago
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Amazon has reached a multiyear agreement with Simon & Schuster over the pricing of the publisher's print and digital books. Simon & Schuster, one of the "Big Five" U.S.

DHS: Travelers From West Africa Limited To 5 U.S. Airports

KPLU News - 2 hours 41 min ago
Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that all passengers arriving from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa must go by way of a handful of U.S.

When The Economy Goes Down, Vasectomies Go Up

KPLU News - 2 hours 42 min ago
The number of men getting vasectomies spiked during the Great Recession, rising one-third from 2006 to 2010, a study finds.

In 2006, 3.9 percent of men said they had had a vasectomy; in 2010, 4.4 percent reported having the surgery.

Can Hand-Cut, Artisanal Ice Make Your Cocktail That Much Better?

KPLU News - 3 hours 15 min ago
Now that we've entered the "craft cocktail" era, drinks with double-digit price tags are just par for the course. And in many cities, there's a decent chance that your fancy craft drink now comes with a large, crystal-clear cube or rectangle that melts unhurriedly in your glass. That's right: Artisanal ice is a thing.

Excuse me?

Geese In V-formation

KPLU News - 3 hours 54 min ago

  Autumn … and geese fly high overhead in V-formation. But what about that V-formation, angling outward through the sky? This phenomenon – a kind of synchronized, aerial tailgating – marks the flight of flocks of larger birds, like geese or pelicans. Most observers believe that each bird behind the leader is taking advantage of the lift of a corkscrew of air coming off the wingtips of the bird in front. This corkscrew updraft is called a tip vortex, and it enables the geese to save considerable energy during long flights. The V-formation may also enhance birds’ ability to see and hear each other, thus avoiding mid-air collisions. Small birds probably do not create enough of an updraft to help others in the flock and don’t fly in vees.

Chinook Face Final Obstacle At Landsburg Dam Before Reaching 'Shangri La'

KPLU News - 7 hours 54 min ago

Editor's Note: Fifteen years ago, Puget Sound salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act. Despite the billions of dollars spent on recovery since, the results remain mixed. Some runs are seeing record returns while others are facing one of their worst years ever.

To learn more about the challenges of salmon recovery, this series follows one Chinook run from the open ocean to Puget Sound, through the Ballard Locks, past Renton and finally home to native spawning grounds on the Cedar River.

For more than a hundred years, the aqueduct at Landsburg Park near Maple Valley was the end of the line for salmon in the Cedar River watershed. Built between 1899 and 1901 through a voter initiative to provide water for the city of Seattle after the great Seattle fire, Seattle’s water system is the envy of municipalities all over the country.

Read the full story on our companion site, northwestsalmon.org >>>

Ballot Initiatives Pit Gun Control Advocates Against Gun Rights Activists

KPLU News - 7 hours 54 min ago

There are two gun initiatives on the Washington ballot. Initiative 594 and Initiative 591 both have to do with background checks on gun buyers.

The battle over the initiatives is a classic fight between gun control advocates who say more regulation will limit gun violence and gun rights activists who fear a loss of their Second Amendment “right to bear arms.”

Helen Sung - Classical Piano's Loss Is Jazz Piano's Gain

KPLU News - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 16:38

For many years, pianist, Helen Sung devoted herself fully to classical piano studies.  So much so, in fact, that when a friend invited her out to hear Harry Connick, Jr., Helen had no idea who he was.  When she heard Harry do a series of solo piano jazz pieces she says she nearly jumped out of her skin.  She’d never heard piano played like that. From that point on, Helen focused her considerable talents on jazz.  Today, Helen Sung is one of the most inventive and respected jazz pianists of her generation.

Song List:

  1. Armando's Rhumba
  2. Hope Springs Eternally
  3. Carolina Shout 

MAP: FEMA Is Buying Out Flood-Prone Homes, But Not Where You Might Expect

KPLU News - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 15:51
The NPR Cities Project has been reporting on the options for coastal communities in light of rising sea levels. Cities might choose to armor the shoreline with floodwalls, or they might opt for what's sometimes called a "managed retreat."

Since Superstorm Sandy, for example, both New York and New Jersey have been buying out residents whose homes are at risk of flooding again and again.