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Fiji Launches Competition For New National Flag

KPLU News - 1 hour 34 min ago
The South Pacific nation of Fiji has launched a competition for a new national flag.

The current flag, adopted in 1970 following independence from Britain, is blue with the Union Jack in the left corner and a shield with the country's coat of arms.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced last month that Fiji would have a new flag — one without the Union Jack, which he said represents Britain not Fiji. The competition for a new design was launched today.

Listen: Remembering Dr. Seuss In Live Radio Rhyme

KPLU News - 1 hour 55 min ago

March 2 is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, better known to readers everywhere as Dr. Seuss. He would have turned 101 this year.

KPLU's Kirsten Kendrick and Ed Ronco remembered the children's author during Monday's Morning Edition ... in full Seussian rhyme.

BirdNote: An Avian Big Bang

KPLU News - 1 hour 58 min ago

Many scientists believe that the demise of the dinosaurs began when an asteroid struck the earth 66 million years ago. Some dinosaurs survived, and among them were the early ancestors of birds.

Recently an international research team sequenced the genomes of 45 birds of diverse lineages. The results revealed a surprising discovery: the common ancestor of today’s birds — among them warblers, parrots, woodpeckers, falcons, and owls — was a top-of-the-food-chain carnivore!

This "bird," however, is a flight of fancy, courtesy of FreakingNews.com.  

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Congress' Longest-Serving Woman, To Retire

KPLU News - 1 hour 59 min ago
Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md), who has served in the Senate and in Congress longer than any other woman, says she will not seek a sixth term in 2016.

Mikulski, 78, announced her decision Monday in Baltimore.

" 'Do I spend my time raising money, or do I spend my time raising hell?' " she said she asked herself, according to The Associated Press.

Mikulski was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1976 and has served in the Senate since 1987. She was the first woman to chair the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Nasdaq Index Hits 5,000 For First Time Since 2000

KPLU News - 2 hours 24 min ago
The Nasdaq composite index returned to territory it hasn't seen since the heyday of the dot-com boom, crossing the 5,000 mark in early trading Monday.

Video Shows L.A. Police Shot And Killed Man On Sidewalk

KPLU News - 3 hours 38 min ago
An altercation in Los Angeles in which police killed a man in the Skid Row area Sunday is putting new scrutiny on law enforcement's use of deadly force. Police say the man tried to grab an officer's weapon. A dramatic video posted online shows the man was on the ground struggling with officers when he was shot.

The LAPD says that two of its officers involved suffered minor injuries and were treated and released.

U.S.-Israel Partnership 'Transcends Politics,' Ambassador Power Says

KPLU News - 3 hours 55 min ago
Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told an audience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that the U.S. relationship with Israel would transcend any differences.

"We believe firmly that Israel's security and the U.S.-Israel partnership transcends politics and it always will," she said.

Her talk comes at a crucial time for U.S.-Israeli relationship. Ties have been tense since the announcement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would address Congress about the dangers posed by Iran, which Israel views as an existential threat. The U.S.

Netanyahu In Washington For Controversial Speech To Congress

KPLU News - 5 hours 5 min ago
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington, D.C., where he'll deliver a speech to Congress Tuesday — an event that's causing debate both in the U.S. and Israel. The leader's plans were made without consulting the White House; he will not meet with President Obama during the visit.

Netanyahu will appear Monday morning at the annual conference of AIPAC, a powerful pro-Israeli lobby, where he's expected to urge the U.S.

College: I'll Only Go If I Know (That I Can Afford It)

KPLU News - 5 hours 55 min ago
It's Financial Aid Week here at the NPR Ed Team (not really, but it sure feels like it). And we're kicking things off with a nostalgia nugget for all you children of the '80s.

The old G.I. Joe animated series famously ended with the phrase, "Now I know!

Fishing Rights Between Olympic Peninsula Tribes At Stake in U.S Court

KPLU News - 5 hours 57 min ago

A federal court will hear oral arguments Monday in Seattle, in a case that pits the United States against the State of Washington. It has to do with who gets to take how much fish.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez has set aside 3 weeks in his calendar to hear issues involved.

Listen: What Can Happen When A Teacher Convinces Her Students To Be Brave

KPLU News - 5 hours 58 min ago

She may be an accomplished public speaker, but Bellevue teacher Kristin Leong says she's still "secretly super introverted." Getting comfortable with public performance, she tells her students, is about "faking it 'til you make it."

But Leong says she starts every year in her middle school humanities classes at the International School in Bellevue with the same promise to her students: 'all of them will be performers this year.'

Metro Transit Is Looking To Hire A Bathroom Tsar

KPLU News - 5 hours 58 min ago


King County Metro is looking to hire a Comfort Coordinator. This person will be in charge of making sure bus drivers can go to the bathroom when they need to. It’s part of Metro’s response to a fine from the state last year.

Will The Same High School Student Do Better In Life As 'Johnny' Or 'Amari'?

KPLU News - 5 hours 58 min ago

Editor's note: Andrea Soroko teaches English at Seattle's Garfield High School. This post has been adapted from a story she told during a recent Seattle Times storytelling event, "Why I Teach." The Seattle Times' Education Lab project put on the event in partnership with KPLU and the UW College of Education. The names of the students Soroko mentions have been changed.

I have a student named "Johnny."

"Johnny" does well in school. "Johnny" completes his homework on time. "Johnny" is a good football player. My student, "Johnny," has a dream. It's a dream many of us share — the American Dream. He dreams of a family, a house, a car. The world is his oyster and Johnny is not afraid to dream big.

UW School Of Law To Start Clinic For Worker Rights

KPLU News - 5 hours 58 min ago

Worker rights advocates say it’s great that Washington is considering raising the minimum wage and that several cities have already passed higher wage and paid sick leave laws.

But they say it’s important to make sure such measures are enforced. That’s why a union local is teaming up with the University of Washington School of Law.

Iraq Launches Effort To Retake Tikrit From ISIS Fighters

KPLU News - 7 hours 7 min ago
An Iraqi force has begun a large-scale operation to recapture Tikrit, according to state TV. Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, lies between Baghdad and Mosul, a city in northern Iraq that's in the heart of territory claimed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

The push is relying on artillery and air strikes, as well as militia that reportedly include both Shiite and Sunni fighters.

The offensive aims to retake territory in northern Iraq that's been claimed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. It comes less than two weeks after a senior U.S.

Nurse Treated For Ebola To Sue Texas Hospital

KPLU News - 8 hours 49 min ago
Nurse Nina Pham tells the Dallas Morning News that while she is Ebola free, she suffers residual effects from contracting the disease from a patient she cared for last fall at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Pham's patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, was the first person in the United States diagnosed with Ebola.

People With Low Incomes Say They Pay A Price In Poor Health

KPLU News - 8 hours 57 min ago
When you ask people what impacts health you'll get a lot of different answers: Access to good health care and preventative services, personal behavior, exposure to germs or pollution and stress. But if you dig a little deeper you'll find a clear dividing line, and it boils down to one word: money.

People whose household income is more than $75,000 a year have very different perceptions of what affects health than those whose household income is less than $25,000.

Poll Finds Factors Large And Small Shape People's Health

KPLU News - 9 hours 55 min ago
We often think of health as a trip to the doctor or a prescription to treat or prevent diseases. Or maybe it's an operation to fix something that's gone wrong.

But a new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H.

Liberia's President: Ebola Re-Energized Her Downtrodden Country

KPLU News - 9 hours 56 min ago
There's a lot to celebrate in Liberia: The number of new Ebola cases have been declining, kids are going back to school and life is returning to some semblance of normalcy.

Last year, Ebola struck the country and since then, it has killed more than 4,000 Liberians. But among the three hardest-hit countries in West Africa, Liberia has been the fastest at containing the outbreak. Just last week, the region reported 99 new cases of Ebola.

Supreme Court To Weigh Power Of Redistricting Commissions

KPLU News - 9 hours 57 min ago
Take a look at a congressional district map, and it can look like a madman's jigsaw puzzle. The reason is, in part, that the district lines are drawn by state legislators seeking to maximize partisan advantage. It's a process that critics say is responsible for much that's wrong with Washington.

That's why some states have tried setting up independent commissions to draw the map. Arizona voters created such a commission in 2000.