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Tumwater Lawmaker Joins Race For Washington Schools Superintendent

KPLU News - 1 hour 42 min ago

State Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater, announced Thursday he will give up his House seat to run for state schools superintendent in 2016, joining Tacoma school district administrator Erin Jones in the race for Washington's top elected education post.

Current superintendent Randy Dorn has not yet said whether he will run for a third term.

Chinese Dissident Artist Ai Weiwei Restricted To 20-Day U.K. Visa

KPLU News - 2 hours 33 min ago
Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei says he was denied a six-month visa to the U.K. because British officials said he didn't list a criminal conviction on his application.

Ai applied for the six-month business visa, but was instead restricted to a 20-day travel visa from Sept. 9-29.

In a post on his Instagram account, Ai says he has never been charged with or convicted of a crime.

The Most Popular High School Plays and Musicals

KPLU News - 2 hours 41 min ago
True, I never basked in the glow of the high school stage. But I have fond memories of working behind the scenes, as stage crew. Dressed in black, I rushed the bed onstage for Tevye's dream sequence in Fiddler on the Roof.

I've also spoken with many people who weren't involved in theater at all but can still — for some reason — remember the shows their schools performed.

There's just something about the high school stage.

Recently, my mom told me that she and her best friend, Chris, had been reminiscing about McDowell High School's performance of South Pacific in 1965.

Many Colleges Have Armed Police Squads, But Are They Worth The Risk?

KPLU News - 3 hours 53 sec ago
American college campuses are increasingly patrolled by armed police officers — and it's a trend that burst into public view Wednesday, when a University of Cincinnati officer was charged with murder in the shooting death of a black motorist during a traffic stop.

Humans Aren't The Only Ones To Go Ape Over Diets: Chimps Detox, Too

KPLU News - 3 hours 17 min ago
Chimpanzees are like us in many ways. They can cook, they enjoy a good drink here and there, they share about 95 percent of our DNA.

Low-Income Teens Are Better At Getting The HPV Vaccine

KPLU News - 3 hours 43 min ago
When it comes to getting the HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer, teens below the poverty line are doing better than the rest.

Among teenage girls ages 13 to 17 whose total family income was less than the federal poverty level for their family size, 67.2 percent have received the first dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine, compared to 57.7 percent for those at or above the poverty line.

Help Wanted: The Philippines Needs More Exorcists

KPLU News - 4 hours 1 min ago


Meet The California Family That Has Made Health Policy Its Business

KPLU News - 5 hours 22 min ago
If there's such a thing as the first family of health care, the Lees may be it.

Five decades ago, two brothers helped start Medicare. Their father inspired them and they, in turn, have inspired the next generation.

To mark the anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare into law on July 30, 1965, three Lees sat down to reflect on the U.S. health care system.

It can be hard now to imagine a time when Medicare met serious opposition. But 92-year-old Dr.

Experts: Flight MH370 Debris Could Have Reached Western Indian Ocean

KPLU News - 5 hours 54 min ago
An expert in ocean circulation tells NPR's Geoff Brumfiel that it is "highly likely" that currents in the Indian Ocean could have carried debris from the presumed crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 off Australia's west coast to Reunion Island near Madagascar.

"I think it is very likely that it's from Flight 370," says Arnold L. Gordon of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

#TBT: 40 Years After Jimmy Hoffa's Disappearance, His Legend Lives On

KPLU News - 5 hours 55 min ago
In the summer of 1975 Teamsters President James Riddle Hoffa — Jimmy Hoffa — was already a legendary figure in both U.S. labor history AND in American pop culture.

As a teenager in Detroit, he took to union organizing early on in the grocery business. He was smart and tough. With an emphasis on TOUGH.

Md. Governor Orders Closure Of 'Deplorable' Baltimore City Jail

KPLU News - 6 hours 53 sec ago
Gov. Larry Hogan says he has ordered the immediate closure of the Baltimore City Detention Center, which a federal probe revealed in 2013 as being riddled with corruption, from smuggling to sex between inmates and guards.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET: Inmates Were Running Jail, Hogan Says

Saying that the Baltimore facility is the only city prison in the entire country that's run by a state government, Hogan says it is time for a change.

"For years, the Black Guerilla gang maintained a stronghold over this facility," the governor said.

Coffee Art: When A Spill Turns Into A Masterpiece

KPLU News - 6 hours 20 min ago
Ever splashed yourself with coffee or sat a dripping cup down on a white tablecloth? Then you're well aware of the beverage's staining powers. But where some see a ruined shirt, others have found a canvas.

For artist Maria Aristidou, it all started with a latte. "I was working on another commission using watercolors, when all the sudden, I spilled all over the drawing," she says.

Rather than trying to wipe up the mess, she took a moment to look.

Scientists Urge Ban On Salamander Imports To U.S. To Keep Fungus At Bay

KPLU News - 6 hours 56 min ago
Scientists are calling for an immediate ban on live salamander imports in the U.S. to try to prevent the spread of a fungal disease that could potentially devastate wild North American salamanders.

Almost half of the world's known salamander species live in North America, and many are already threatened or endangered.

For Young Voters, Crushing Student Debt Is Front And Center

KPLU News - 7 hours 1 min ago
The economy is always a key issue in presidential campaigns.

But whose economy are we talking about? Many millennial voters are underemployed and crushed under thousands of dollars of student debt.

And perhaps nowhere is the problem more acute than in New Hampshire.

Seventy-six percent of the class of 2013 had loans.

Obama Orders Development Of Supercomputer To Rival China's 'Milky Way'

KPLU News - 8 hours 41 min ago
President Obama has ordered the development of a supercomputer that is some 20 times faster than the world's current record-holder and is expected to go online by 2025.

A machine at China's National University of Defense Technology in Guangzhou, called Tianhe-2 ('Milky Way-2) is thought to currently be the fastest supercomputer in existence – variously reported as doing either 34 or 55 petaflops.

3 U.Va. Graduates Sue 'Rolling Stone,' Reporter Over Rape Article

KPLU News - 8 hours 43 min ago
Saying that an article on campus rape that was later retracted hurt their reputations and subjected them to needless humiliation, three former members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity have sued Rolling Stone, its publisher, and the reporter who wrote the story.

News of the lawsuit comes along with word that Rolling Stone's managing editor, Will Dana, is resigning his post.

Justice Dept. Hires Compliance Expert In Fight Against Corporate Crime

KPLU News - 8 hours 43 min ago
Justice Department lawyers who prosecute errant corporations and executives are bringing in a new member to the team — a full-time expert in compliance programs.

Andrew Weissmann, who leads the Fraud Section in the criminal division at the Justice Department, said the new hire is all part of a plan to reduce corporate crime.

"We are seeking to assure that companies have tough but realistic compliance programs that detect and deter individual wrongdoing by executives," Weissmann said.

How A Beauty Queen With Diabetes Found Her 'Sugar Linings'

KPLU News - 8 hours 56 min ago
Last July, a photo changed Sierra Sandison's life. She went onstage in the Miss Idaho pageant with an insulin pump clipped to her bikini bottom.

What Botswana's Teen Girls Learn In 'Sugar Daddy' Class

KPLU News - 9 hours 50 min ago
Chilo Ketlhoafetse struts around an eighth-grade classroom like the coolest guy in Botswana, warming the students up to talk about an awkward subject. He calls out "Nomhlaba!" and they respond "Auwe!" nonsense words from a local childhood game.