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Missouri Governor Announces Creation Of 'Ferguson Commission'

KPLU News - 2 hours 55 min ago
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced on Tuesday that he was forming a panel that would study the social and economic conditions that fueled violent protests in Ferguson, Mo., over the killing of an unarmed 18-year-old this summer.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

"'Legitimate issues have been raised by thoughtful voices on all sides. Shouting past one another will not move us to where we need to go,' said Mr.

Watchdog: $7 Billion U.S. Effort Doesn't Dent Afghan Poppy Production

KPLU News - 2 hours 55 min ago
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has some more bad news for U.S. taxpayers: The $7.6 billion the United States has spent on its counternarcotic efforts in Afghanistan has done little to reduce poppy production.

In fact, quite the opposite has happened because in 2013, the cultivation levels of poppy in Afghanistan hit an all-time high.

In a letter to top U.S.

My Son Is Doctors Without Borders' Thousandth Ebola Survivor

KPLU News - 3 hours 4 min ago
Saturday, the 21st of September, is a day I will never forget in my life.

I was out working with MSF [Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders] as a health promotion officer in Foya, in the north of Liberia, visiting villages and telling people about Ebola: how to protect themselves and their families, what to do if they start to develop symptoms and making sure everyone has the MSF hotline number to call.

Later that night, my brother called me. "Your wife has died." I said, "What?" He said, "Bendu is dead."

I dropped the phone. I threw it away and it broke apart.

Ebola Vaccine Could Start Testing In Africa By January

KPLU News - 3 hours 5 min ago
The World Health Organization says that efforts are on track to distribute an experimental Ebola vaccine in West Africa in January.

Two potential vaccines are now being tested for safety in people, and Russia is developing another one. While quantities will be limited, scientists say even a relatively small supply of vaccine can help bring the epidemic under control.

There's no guarantee that any vaccine will be effective, so it's good that several are in the pipeline.

From NFL To 'Scandal,' Whole Foods Buys TV Ads To Boost Its Brand

KPLU News - 3 hours 6 min ago


Israeli Homes, Decorated With A Shopping Spree In China

KPLU News - 6 hours 37 min ago
Adi Asulin lives in a fabulous apartment on the top floor of a seven-story building in the Israeli town of Ra'anana, north of Tel Aviv. The entry hall is long and light. Windows open onto an enormous balcony, which wraps around three sides of her home. The decor is fresh and white.

"It's all made in China," Asulin says.

Not just made in China.

American Freed After Months Of Detention In North Korea

KPLU News - 6 hours 37 min ago
Updated at 1:35 p.m.

More Insurers Put Spending Limits On Medical Treatments

KPLU News - 6 hours 38 min ago
To clamp down on health care costs, a growing number of employers and insurers are putting limits on how much they'll pay for certain medical services such as knee replacements, lab tests and complex imaging.

A recent study found that savings from such moves may be modest, however, and some analysts question whether "reference pricing," as it's called, is good for consumers.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), which administers the health insurance benefits for 1.4 million state workers, retirees and their families, has one of the

Who's Catching Your Cellphone Conversations?

KPLU News - 6 hours 39 min ago
With the right equipment, people can hijack your cellphone, listen to your calls and read your texts, alarming privacy rights advocates and tech experts alike.

We know the eavesdropping is happening, but we don't know much about who's doing the listening. The police and other law enforcement agencies do it, but they have been restricted by the FBI from telling us about it. Beyond the police, the listeners could be the U.S.

Does Being 'Spiritual But Not Religious' Really Mean Anything?

KPLU News - 6 hours 55 min ago
"Spiritual But Not Religious" is a phrase you hear more and more these days — and with good reason. In 2012, a Pew Foundation survey on religion found that almost 20 percent of Americans placed themselves in the category of "unaffiliated."

That 20 percent unaffiliated translates into a whole lot of people.

'Mr. President, Don't Touch My Girlfriend,' Chicago Voter Teases Obama

KPLU News - 6 hours 56 min ago


Some Lobbyists Play Key Role In Washington Campaign Finance

KPLU News - 7 hours 38 min ago

The top political spenders in Washington this election year include environmentalists, unions, trial lawyers and business interests.

But there’s a group of influential players who don’t necessarily show up in the campaign finance reports: lobbyists. They often work behind the scenes to guide campaign contributions on behalf the interests they work for. It’s another way that lobbyists exert their influence over the political process.

A Hong Kong Protest Camp Spawns Its Own Art

KPLU News - 8 hours 4 min ago
Now in its improbable fourth week, the main pro-democracy protest camp in Hong Kong's Admiralty district is a sort of Woodstock on the South China Sea.

A sea of tents, the camp teems with street art and propaganda posters.

A Tale Of Two Cities: World Series Fever Takes Hold In SF, KC

KPLU News - 8 hours 15 min ago


Apps Make Googly Eyes At Riders Tired Of Being Snubbed By Cabbies

KPLU News - 8 hours 16 min ago
One night last fall, I was walking through Chinatown in Washington, D.C., with my friend Terryn. We were not far from a dude who was in his mid-20s — slim, with neat, shoulder-length locks, skinny chinos, loafers and a leather briefcase slung across his torso — standing on the corner, his arm raised skyward. He was trying without luck to hail a cab.

That doesn't mean there weren't cabs around; in fact, there was one a few feet from him, waiting at the light with an empty back seat and its "For Hire" sign turned on.

Millennials Continue Urbanization Of America, Leaving Small Towns

KPLU News - 8 hours 17 min ago
"Most of the young people that go to college go away, and then they don't come back," says Lee Bianchi, a retired engineer who lived in Clinton, Iowa (pop. 26,647), from 1961 to 2008.

That's long been the storyline in small-town America, which for decades has bled citizens — especially young ones — to the glamorous big cities.

Book News: Amazon Inks A Deal With A Publisher Not Named Hachette

KPLU News - 8 hours 17 min ago
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Amazon has reached a multiyear agreement with Simon & Schuster over the pricing of the publisher's print and digital books. Simon & Schuster, one of the "Big Five" U.S.

DHS: Travelers From West Africa Limited To 5 U.S. Airports

KPLU News - 8 hours 18 min ago
Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that all passengers arriving from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa must go by way of a handful of U.S.

When The Economy Goes Down, Vasectomies Go Up

KPLU News - 8 hours 18 min ago
The number of men getting vasectomies spiked during the Great Recession, rising one-third from 2006 to 2010, a study finds.

In 2006, 3.9 percent of men said they had had a vasectomy; in 2010, 4.4 percent reported having the surgery.

Can Hand-Cut, Artisanal Ice Make Your Cocktail That Much Better?

KPLU News - 8 hours 51 min ago
Now that we've entered the "craft cocktail" era, drinks with double-digit price tags are just par for the course. And in many cities, there's a decent chance that your fancy craft drink now comes with a large, crystal-clear cube or rectangle that melts unhurriedly in your glass. That's right: Artisanal ice is a thing.

Excuse me?