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GOP Sens. Rubio, Paul Square Off Over Cuba Policy Shift

KPLU News - 4 hours 55 min ago
In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen.

BirdNote: Solstice Fires

KPLU News - 5 hours 13 min ago

In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer describes early Europeans building solstice fires at year's end to strengthen the sun.

Seeing the sun steadily weakening, steadily falling in its arc across the sky, they did what they could to restore it to health.

Birds and other creatures of the natural world respond to the length of winter days. Much of the rhythm and timing of birds' behavior, including migration and breeding, is determined by the length and intensity of the sun's light.  

Tunisia, Cradle Of 'Arab Spring,' In Historic Presidential Vote

KPLU News - 6 hours 37 min ago
Tunisians are going to the polls today to choose a president in a runoff election that represents a choice between the country's interim leader, swept to power in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, or a candidate with ties to the ousted regime.

An aging Beji Caid Essebsi, who represents the secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes (Tunisia Calls) party and who served under Tunisia's deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali,

Obama Calls North Korean Hack 'Cybervandalism'

KPLU News - 7 hours 15 min ago
President Obama tells CNN that he doesn't consider North Korea's hack of Sony Pictures an act of war, but instead a case of "cybervandalism." But, he stands by his criticism of the movie studio for pulling the satirical film The Interview because its plot angers Pyongyang.

"If we set a precedent in which a dictator in another country can disrupt through cyber, a company's distribution chain or its products, and as a consequence we start censoring ourselves, that's a problem," Ob

A History Lesson On The Philippines, Stuffed In A Christmas Chicken

KPLU News - 7 hours 33 min ago
Noche buena, the Christmas Eve feast in fervently Catholic Philippines, is deeply steeped in tradition. One of the mainstays of this decadent meal, usually eaten after midnight mass, is rellenong manok (rel-ye-nong ma-nok). It's a hybrid name: In Spanish, relleno means stuffed, and in Tagalog, manok means chicken.

Ready To Hit The Cuban Beach? Americans Still Have To Wait

KPLU News - 7 hours 37 min ago
With President Obama beginning the process of normalizing relations with Cuba this week, many may envision soon soaking up the sun on a warm Cuban beach, sipping a refreshing rum drink.

In reality, that's not likely to happen for quite a while. But just the increased opportunity for travel between the two countries has those with longtime ties to Cuba already thinking about the possibilities it will bring.

Tom Popper is thinking about it. As president of the New York-based travel company, Insight Cuba, Popper has fought long and hard for an end to the U.S.

Gunman Made Anti-Police Posts Before Killing NYPD Officers

KPLU News - 8 hours 33 min ago
The gunman who ambushed and killed two New York City police officers in their patrol car before committing suicide reportedly posted messages on social media suggesting the assault was revenge for deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of authorities.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, posted on an Instagram account before the shootings: "I'm putting wings on pigs today.

Two Cops Killed In Brooklyn; Fleeing Suspect Kills Himself

KPLU News - 8 hours 53 min ago
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On The Pakistani Taliban: 'You Can't Do Politics ... Killing Children'

KPLU News - 8 hours 53 min ago
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Filmmaker: Sony Hack Will Make Satirists Think Twice About Content

KPLU News - 8 hours 53 min ago
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

With Election, Tunisia Solidifies Its Democracy Success Story

KPLU News - 8 hours 53 min ago
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Is This A Goat Or A Sheep? It's Harder Than You Think

KPLU News - 10 hours 10 min ago
So perhaps you noticed a post I wrote last weekend about how you know if your goat is happy. Yes, scientists do study that.

The story had a cute picture of a goat at the top, taken by a photographer in Dakar, Senegal.

Why Does It Take A Movie Robot To Show What Nurses Really Do?

KPLU News - 12 hours 33 min ago


For Norwegian-Americans, Christmas Cheer Is Wrapped Up In Lefse

KPLU News - 12 hours 36 min ago
For many Norwegian-American families, the biggest Christmas treat isn't foil-wrapped chocolate or sugar-dusted cookies. It's lefse, a simple flatbread.

Lefse are sort of like soft tortillas, made mostly out of mashed potatoes (with a little fat and flour mixed in to form a tender dough). They're usually spread with butter and sugar, or rolled up with a bit of lingonberry jam. And families that make them make them by the dozens.

"It's probably one of the first foods I fell in love with," says Megan Walhood, who lives in Portland Ore., and has family roots in Norway.

Many States Now Have $2 Gasoline, Analyst Says

KPLU News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 13:21
Remember when we told you earlier this month that a gas station in Oklahoma City had lowered its price for regular unleaded to $1.99 a gallon?

Well, now that trend is nationwide: GasBuddy.com, which monitors prices across the country, says the $1.99 sign is up over pumps in 24 states.

Decorated Tuskegee Airman Lowell Steward Dies At 95

KPLU News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 11:38
Lowell Steward, one of the famed World War II Tuskegee Airmen, has died at age 95 at a hospital in Ventura, Calif., his family says.

Steward, a Los Angeles native who flew 143 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among other awards, died on Wednesday.

He joined the Army Air Corps after graduating from Santa Barbara College in 1941.

U.N. Reports More Than 7,000 Ebola Deaths Since March

KPLU News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 09:58
The number of people who have died from the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola has crossed the 7,000 mark, the World Health Organization reports, after it recorded another 392 deaths from its previous total of 6,900 earlier this week.

The total number of infected, nearly all of them in West Africa, is at 19,031, up from 18,569 in the previous report.

BirdNote: Morning In Oaxaca

KPLU News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 09:00

A winter morning in Oaxaca, Mexico - a great time to visit old friends who spent the summer in the United States.

Yellow-rumped Warblers and Western Tanagers - northern summer-nesters that winter in western Mexico - mingle with resident Berylline Hummingbirds, Gray Silky-Flycatchers, and this Crescent-chested Warbler.

Purchasing shade-grown coffee can help our neotropical migrants.

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

KPLU News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 07:59
President Obama is not the only one thinking about the precedent set when Sony decided not to release the comedy The Interview.

4 Gitmo Prisoners Released For Return To Afghanistan

KPLU News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 07:36
Updated at 10:45 a.m. ET

The United States has released four Afghan detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who were returned to Afghanistan — the latest in a series of releases of inmates in recent weeks.

Reuters says: "The men were flown to Kabul overnight aboard a U.S. military plane and released to Afghan authorities, the first such transfer of its kind to the war-torn country since 2009, a U.S.