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The 85-Year-Old Widow Who's The Symbol Of Spain's Economic Woes

KPLU News - 1 hour 55 min ago
Carmen Martínez Ayuso lived a quiet life in her modest apartment in the southern suburbs of Madrid for 50 years. But at 85, she recently became a household name in Spain.

Now her anguished face is splashed across Spanish newspapers' front pages.

Army General To Determine Fate of Bowe Bergdahl

KPLU News - 2 hours 1 min ago
The Pentagon has forwarded its investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's disappearance from an Afghan outpost to a general courts-martial convening authority, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

Bergdahl is the U.S. soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The U.S.

In Slovakia, Christmas Dinner Starts In The Bathtub

KPLU News - 2 hours 36 min ago
For centuries, families throughout much of central Europe have relied on one simple main course for Christmas Eve dinner: the common carp.

But getting from river (or carp farm) to table is not so simple.

Singer Joe Cocker Dies At Age 70

KPLU News - 2 hours 44 min ago




New Background Check Law Likely Stopped Prohibited Buyer At Washington Gun Show

KPLU News - 4 hours 18 min ago


Washington’s new voter-approved background check law appears to have prevented the sale of a rifle to a man with a warrant out for his arrest.

It could be the first time the new law was put to the test.

1 Dead In Protest At Chinese-Backed Copper Mine In Myanmar

KPLU News - 4 hours 46 min ago
A crackdown on protesters at a Chinese-backed copper mine in Myanmar has left at least one person dead, the company that runs the project said today in a statement.

The statement from the company, Myanmar Wanbao, said it had "just been informed of the death of a female resident from Moe Kyo Pyin village," adding: "The events leading up to her death are still unclear." [Some news sources call the village Mogyopyin.]

Democratic Voice of Burma, a news organization based in Thailand,

BirdNote: Diving Birds – Below the Surface

KPLU News - 4 hours 57 min ago

By December, an array of diving birds that nested at far northern latitudes are wintering on temperate waters across the continent.

If we could watch them under water, we'd see this Common Loon racing like a torpedo. A goldeneye dives under water and swims about 10 feet from the surface, while scoters get down to 30 feet in search of clams and mussels.

But if one bird stands out as the most beautiful diver, it has to be the Long-tailed duck. Propelling itself beneath the surface with its wings, it seems to fly through the water, sometimes to depths of more than 60 feet!

Milwaukee Prosecutor Won't Seek Charges In Police Shooting

KPLU News - 5 hours 16 min ago
Eight months after a police officer shot and killed a black man whom he had been trying to search as the man slept, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm says the officer acted in self-defense.

The incident occurred in a Milwaukee park at around 4 in the afternoon. Officer Christopher Manney, who is white, was trying to frisk Dontre Hamilton, as he slept.

Pope Francis, At Christmas Gathering, Blasts Vatican's Bureaucrats

KPLU News - 6 hours 6 min ago
Pope Francis has blasted the Vatican's top bureaucrats at an annual Christmas gathering, accusing the cardinals, bishops and priests who make up the Curia of "spiritual Alzheimer's" and and lusting for power at all costs.

"Sometimes, [officials of the Curia] feel themselves lords of the manor – superior to everyone and everything," Francis told the Curia's assembled members, according to Vatican Radio, which carried a report of the meeting titled "Pope Francis: Christmas greetings to Cu

Tunisian Election Puts Former Regime Figure In Presidency

KPLU News - 6 hours 29 min ago
A tense runoff election in Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring in 2011, has ended with a win for Beji Caid Essebsi, a veteran of the country's autocratic regimes. Essebsi defeated interim leader Moncef Marzouki.

Affiliated with the secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes (Tunisia Calls) party, Essebsi won Tunisia's first democratic presidential election by taking more than 55 percent of the vote.

NYC Police Deaths: Details On Suspect; Rift Between Mayor And Police

KPLU News - 6 hours 36 min ago
New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says tensions in the city are at their worst since the 1970s. Bratton spoke two days after Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed two police officers in New York.

Spain's Princess Cristina To Stand Trial On Tax Fraud Charges

KPLU News - 7 hours 17 min ago
Spain's Princess Cristina, sister of King Felipe VI, will stand trial on charges of tax fraud, becoming the country's first royal in modern times to face prosecution.

The allegations stem from Cristina de Borbon's alleged links to her husband's business affairs between 2007 and 2008.

As we reported in June, a Spanish judge charged Cristina on tax fraud and money laundering charges.

The 5 Business Stories That Made 2014 A Memorable Year

KPLU News - 8 hours 10 min ago
As the year's end approaches, economists are looking back and assessing the news stories that shaped 2014.

Though their lists may vary, most analysts are pointing to five developments that had very big impacts on the U.S. economy. These were the biggies for 2014:

Oil Prices Plunge

No one saw this one coming. When 2014 began, a barrel of crude oil was selling for about $110. It hovered there until late spring, when the price ticked up to nearly $115.

And then, down, down, down went oil.

Calling U.S. A 'Cesspool,' North Korea Warns Against Escalation

KPLU News - 8 hours 54 min ago
"The "whole U.S. mainland" would be under threat of attack if America seeks vengeance for last month's Sony hacking, North Korea says. An official at its defense commission called the U.S.

Wash. Class Size Reduction Plan As Tough To Fund As It Is To Repeal

KPLU News - 8 hours 57 min ago

Supporters of a sweeping plan to reduce K-12 class sizes in Washington public schools cheered its passage in November, hailing it as not only an opportunity for schools to hire badly-needed staff but also as a chance for the state to fix a broken revenue system.

Yet Initiative 1351 has landed with a thud in Olympia. The Senate's GOP leadership will attempt to garner the votes to suspend the class-size initiative. Top House Democrats say they can't cover its massive $2 billion price tag. And the budget Gov. Jay Inslee released Thursday only covers a portion of it.

But Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn warned last week this chilly reception won't satisfy Washington state Supreme Court justices, who've already held lawmakers in contempt over school funding.

Two Actors Playing Opposite Real-Life Spouses In 'A Christmas Story: The Musical'

KPLU News - 8 hours 57 min ago

Seattle actors Jessica Skerritt and Dane Stokinger have played opposite one another before. There was the time last year in Arizona, when they were in a production of “Xanadu, the Musical.” He played some roller-skating guy and she played some sort of Greek goddess.

They actually met in a production at Village Theater; he played Elvis and she his girlfriend. But for the first time, the two are playing what they are in real life: husband and wife.

Marysville Pilchuck Families Access State Fund To Cope With School Shooting Aftermath

KPLU News - 8 hours 57 min ago

It’s been nearly two months since the deadly shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School. Five students died, including the 15-year-old gunman.

Since then, 68 families have turned to the state of Washington for financial help to deal with the tragedy. They've received $23,000 from Washington’s Crime Victim Compensation Fund.

An Update On LA's iPad Program

KPLU News - 9 hours 34 min ago
NPR Ed is updating some of the top stories we've been following in 2014.

Nuns On The Ranch Give A Heavenly Twist To Beef

KPLU News - 13 hours 12 min ago
Many beer aficionados are familiar with the rare breweries run by Trappist monks. The beer is highly sought after, but it's not the only food or drink made by a religious order. Many abbeys and convents have deep roots in agriculture, combining farm work with prayer.

Just five miles south of the Colorado-Wyoming border you'll find one of these places. Idyllic red farm buildings sit in the shadow of the main abbey, all tucked in a stony valley.

Heating New England Homes: The Good And Bad News

KPLU News - 13 hours 13 min ago
Falling oil prices are perhaps nowhere more welcome than in northern New England, where most homes burn heating oil in their furnaces. But cheaper heating oil is refilling consumer's pockets just as high electric prices are emptying them out.

For example, a heating oil truck delivers 600 gallons of heating oil every two weeks to an old, four-story brick building in Concord, N.H. At last year's oil prices, each refill would have cost around $2,200.