Feed aggregator

With Sony Hack, Nation State Attacks Go From Quiet To Overt

KPLU News - 4 hours 36 min ago
NPR has confirmed from U.S. intelligence officials that North Korea was centrally involved with the recent attacks against Sony Pictures. And the company says that it is pulling its comedy film The Interview from the box office. It was supposed to debut on Christmas.

Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As Anyplace Else On Earth

KPLU News - 4 hours 46 min ago
The latest word from scientists studying the Arctic is that the polar region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. And researchers say the trend isn't letting up. That's the latest from the 2014 Arctic Report Card — a compilation of recent research from more than 60 scientists in 13 countries. The report was released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Jackie Richter-Menge, a polar scientist with the U.S.

At An Isolated Camp, Iraqi Police Prep For A Showdown With ISIS

KPLU News - 4 hours 51 min ago
When Mohammed Taha Yaseen recalls the day that Islamic militants swept through Iraq's northern city of Mosul this past summer, he chokes up.

"The army ran away," he says, and pauses to gain control of his voice.

Boundary-Pushing Late Night Hosts Move On — Colbert Up, Ferguson Out

KPLU News - 4 hours 55 min ago




Supreme Court Refuses To Block Arizona Drivers Licenses For 'Dreamers'

KPLU News - 4 hours 59 min ago
Arizona hoped an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court would prevent the state from having to grant driving permits to young undocumented immigrants, also known as "dreamers," who entered the country as children.

Inslee Proposes Cap And Trade To Raise Revenue, Cut Carbon Emissions

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 22:55

Gov. Jay Inslee says it’s time to make polluters pay for carbon emissions. He’s proposed a cap-and-trade system that he says will raise a billion dollars a year while helping the state drastically reduce its contribution to global warming. 

Port Slowdowns Keep Northwest Farm Exports Stuck On The Ranch

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 16:20


A slowdown at western ports is now aggravating farmers across the Northwest.

Produce processors are laying off production line workers. Apples are backing up. And the summer’s premium hay is stacked in sheds and not moving.

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 14:19
We are well into the Christmas season, and if you live in Japan, that means sponge cake.

The traditional Japanese Christmas dish is served with strawberries and cream, and it is rich, thanks to lots and lots of butter.

Obama Issues 12 Pardons, Commutes 8 Sentences

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:34
President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued, for offenses ranging from theft to running an illegal distillery.

Half of the eight whose sentences were commuted had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Citing "unduly harsh sentences issued for drug offenses under an outdated sentencing regime," a White House official said Wednesday that all eight of those who were punished for drug offenses "would receive a substantially lower sentence today."

Deputy Attorney Genera

Alan Gross' Release: How It Went Down

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:31
American Alan Gross had spent more than five years in a Cuban prison where he lost five teeth, 100 pounds and much of the sight in his right eye. He could barely walk because of chronic pain and was, his wife Judy Gross said in June, "despondent and very hopeless" because he had 10 years to go in his sentence for crimes against the Cuban state.

In Gaza, The Specter Of ISIS Proves Useful To Both Sides

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:18
Earlier this month, more than a dozen writers, poets and activists in Gaza got threatening flyers signed with the name ISIS, the Sunni extremists fighting with brutal violence in Iraq and Syria.

But a few days later, a new flyer, also signed ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, denied responsibility and apologized.

The incident is raising the question of whether ISIS is taking root in Gaza — or if someone is just playing around.

Poet and women's rights activist Donia al-Amal Ismael received the first flyer via Facebook.

Dreaming Up A Safer, Cooler PPE For Ebola Fighters

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:17
Here's what it takes to design a better Ebola suit: a roomful of university students and professors, piles of canvas and Tyvek cloth, sewing machines, glue guns ... and chocolate syrup.

Even Youseph Yazdi, head of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID), still isn't sure what the syrup was for.

But the reason to make a better protective suit for Ebola workers is very clear.

We're Down To 5 Northern White Rhinos: Is It Too Late For Babies?

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:17
A 44-year-old Northern White Rhino named Angalifu died this week at the San Diego Zoo of old age.

Now only five animals remain in this subspecies, all in captivity. Four are females. The one male lives in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

So it would seem the Northern White Rhino is doomed to extinction.

What Happens After You Get That Mammogram

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:10
Women and their doctors have a hard time figuring out the pluses and minuses of screening mammograms for breast cancer. It doesn't help that there's been fierce dissent over the benefits of screening mammography for women under 50 and for older women.

To make it easier to grasp the big picture, Dr.

Sony Cancels Christmas Day Release Of 'The Interview' Amid Threats

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 12:23
Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

Sony Pictures has canceled the Christmas Day release of The Interview, the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. The move came after the largest U.S.

PHOTO: The Meaning in a Phone Call

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 12:18
On Tuesday, President Obama picked up the phone and talked to Cuban President Raul Castro.

The call came a day before Obama publicly announced the decision to normalize diplomatic relations between the two foes. Just how surprising would a call of that sort be? Remember, it was just a year ago that Obama and Castro shook hands at Nelson Mandela's funeral.

Alan Gross, U.S. Contractor Freed By Cuba, Says 'It's Good To Be Home'

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:56
American Alan Gross, who spent five years in a Cuban prison before his release today as a humanitarian gesture, said "it's good to be home," and that he hoped the U.S. and Cuba move past their "mutually belligerent" policies.

"Two wrongs never made a right," Gross said in Washington shortly after he returned to the U.S. aboard a government plane.

Gross appeared frail but cheerful.

Prisoner Exchange With Cuba Led To Freedom For Top U.S. Intelligence Agent

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:22
Today's announcement that Cuba freed USAID contractor Alan Gross as a humanitarian gesture came with news of a separate prisoner exchange: Three convicted Cuban spies were traded for a U.S.

The U.S. And Cuba: A Brief History Of A Tortured Relationship

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:20
Just months after he seized power in Cuba, Fidel Castro visited Washington in April 1959. He placed a wreath at the base of both the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and was photographed looking up in seeming admiration of both U.S. presidents.

For U.S.-Cuba relations, it was all downhill after that.

It's been a stalemate that has outlasted 10 U.S. presidents, a failed invasion, a nuclear crisis and countless boatloads of Cuban asylum seekers.

New Cuba Policy Is Met With Cheers And Jeers On Both Sides Of The Aisle

KPLU News - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:12
The Obama administration announced today that it would begin the process of re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.

It's a contentious issue, and reaction has been swift. Here's a roundup:

-- Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida with Cuban roots, issued a blistering statement.