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Obama Meets New Saudi King, Balancing Human Rights, U.S. Interests

KPLU News - 4 hours 13 min ago
President Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia today to meet newly crowned King Salman and said in an interview that the U.S.

Oregon, Washington Propose $12 State Minimum Wages

KPLU News - 4 hours 57 min ago

Oregon could leapfrog Washington to have the highest state minimum wage in the country if the Democratically-controlled legislature approves a proposed increase.

King County Defends Juvenile Strip Searches In Detention

KPLU News - 4 hours 57 min ago

At the juvenile detention facility in King County, Washington, strip searches are common practice at intake for serious and violent offenders or those accused of a drug crime.

Number Of Exonerations Last Year Reached New Highs, Report Finds

KPLU News - 5 hours 52 min ago
A record 125 people were exonerated last year in the U.S. after being falsely convicted of crimes, according to a new report. The number surpasses the previous record of 91 set in 2013.

Much of the increase was due to one county in Texas. Thirty-three people in Harris County had their drug convictions thrown out after lab tests found they tested negative for the presence of illegal substances.

The report noted that almost all exonerations for drug crimes across the U.S.

BirdNote: The Oilbird's Lightless life

KPLU News - 5 hours 55 min ago

Nature has produced some exceptionally odd and unique animals. One such creature is the Oilbird of northern South America.

The Oilbird prefers a diet of wild berries and fruits, especially lipid-rich fruits like palm nuts and avocados (which leads to fatty young and the Oilbird's name). This unusual-looking bird is a leafy reddish-orange color, longer than a crow, with big eyes and a tiny bill protruding from a giant mouth.

Oilbirds reside in extensive colonies that roost in large caves. When the sun sets, Oilbirds emerge from their caves, like huge bats, to forage throughout the countryside for food. Thus, Oilbirds spend most of their lives in complete darkness.  

Beef Packers Block Plan To Revive Growth-Promoting Drug

KPLU News - 6 hours 25 min ago
For more than a year, a once-popular drug that makes cattle put on weight faster has been stuck in a kind of veterinary purgatory.

As far as the Food and Drug Administration is concerned, the drug, Zilmax, is legal to use. But large meat packers, which dominate the industry, have ostracized it after the drug was accused of making animals suffer. The drug's manufacturer, Merck, has been working on a plan to rehabilitate it.

A Teacher's 'Pinch Me' Moment: Cheering The Super Bowl From The Sidelines

KPLU News - 7 hours 4 min ago
The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Cartoonist? Carpenter? Dolphin trainer? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

Most teachers will watch the Super Bowl at home, cracking open a beer maybe, or yelling at their flat-screen TVs.

'I Don't Trust U.S. Politics,' Fidel Castro Reportedly Writes

KPLU News - 7 hours 27 min ago
Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban revolution, has remained silent ever since the the U.S. and Cuba announced plans for a rapprochement back in December.

Late last night, the official newspaper of the island's Communist party released a letter reportedly written by Castro.

If you remember, Castro stepped down as president of Cuba in 2006.

Holocaust Survivors Mark 70th Anniversary Of Auschwitz's Liberation

KPLU News - 7 hours 38 min ago
Holocaust survivors gathered along with several world leaders today to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation by the Soviet Red Army of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Poland where more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson tells our Newscast unit that "among the leaders who will be attending the Auschwitz ceremony are the presidents of Germany and Austria, the nations that gave rise to the Nazis and have since tried atoning for their sins.

Mourning In Riyadh: Obama Visits New Saudi King To Offer Condolences

KPLU News - 7 hours 42 min ago
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Cape Bears Brunt Of Blizzard's Onslaught

KPLU News - 7 hours 56 min ago
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Am I Responsible If The Insurance Exchange Flubs My Subsidy?

KPLU News - 8 hours 27 min ago
Insurance and the subsidies available to buy it can be confusing. Here are some answers to recent questions from people who are running into difficulties with premiums and tax credits on their marketplace plans.

My 63-year-old husband has Alzheimer's disease. Our annual income is $41,000, from a combination of his Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and a disability policy he had from a previous job. Last year I bought a single policy on the health insurance exchange. My husband gets coverage through the Veterans Administration.

Boston Copes With Its Deepening Blanket Of Snow

KPLU News - 8 hours 30 min ago
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's Been A Hard Road To 12 Step For Zanzibar's Heroin Addicts

KPLU News - 8 hours 51 min ago
Could a 12-step program, with its Christian roots, help addicts recover in a conservative Muslim island in the Indian Ocean?

Suleiman Mauly was desperate to find out. He'd been using heroin in his native Zanzibar since age 17. The island nation is a key stop for heroin smuggled from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Europe. An estimated 7 percent of the 1 million inhabitants are heroin addicts.

Mauly had tried to get clean a couple of times. It didn't work.

Gamesmanship Or Cheating: A History Quiz

KPLU News - 8 hours 52 min ago
"The line between cheating and gamesmanship is constantly blurred," observes The New York Times in a recent story.

Gunman Opens Fire At City Council Meeting In Minnesota

KPLU News - 9 hours 9 min ago
A gunman walked into a New Hope City Council meeting near Minneapolis and opened fire on Monday.

Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Nelson tells our Newscast unit that the gunman was killed and two police officers were injured.

Tim filed this report:

"The city is a second-ring suburb northwest of Minneapolis.

"Authorities said the shooting happened shortly after two new officers were sworn in to the city's police force. Police returned fire, but two officers were shot during the exchange.

LOOK! The Asteroid That Flew Past Earth Tuesday Has Its Own Moon

KPLU News - 9 hours 50 min ago
In celestial terms, asteroid 2004 BL86 pretty much buzzed the Earth on Tuesday, coming within 745,000 miles of our planet.

As NPR's Sam Sanders explained, Monday's flyby is the closest a known asteroid of this size will pass by Earth in at least the next two centuries.

This means that when the asteroid flew by yesterday, scientists trained their instruments on the body.

Winter Storm Skirts New York City, But Still Walloping Northeast

KPLU News - 10 hours 43 min ago
First the good news: Forecasts of a historic winter storm for the country's most populous city have failed to materialize.

Forecasters had called for up to 30 inches of snow in New York City, but as a new day dawned, meteorologists had downgraded the system to a winter storm from a blizzard and tempered their forecasts, saying when it was all done, the city would have about 12 inches of snow on the ground.

The dire forecasts — which predicted one of the biggest storms to hit New York — meant the city came to standstill.

Pentagon Identifies World War II Veteran Featured In NPR/ProPublica Investigation

KPLU News - 12 hours 37 min ago
The remains of a World War II soldier who died in a prisoner of war camp in the Philippines – and the subject of a joint NPR/ProPublica investigation last year – have been identified as Pvt. Arthur "Bud" Kelder. His identification came after a long legal battle between his family and the Pentagon.

Kelder, who enlisted in the Army in 1941, served as a dental assistant in Manila, and then ended up on the Bataan peninsula.

Child Abuse And Neglect Laws Aren't Being Enforced, Report Finds

KPLU News - 14 hours 7 min ago
Laws intended to protect children from abuse and neglect are not being properly enforced, and the federal government is to blame. That's according to a study by the Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, which says children are suffering as a result.

The numbers are grim. Almost 680,000 children in the United States were the victims of abuse and neglect in 2013.