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NASA Probe To Arrive At Dwarf Planet

KPLU News - 3 hours 41 min ago
This morning a plucky NASA spacecraft is expected to arrive at one of the oddest little worlds in our solar system.

Ceres is round like a planet, but really small. Its total surface would cover just a third of the United States.

It was discovered in 1801 by the Italian monk Giuseppe Piazzi.

Boston Economy Will Escape Big Freeze Of Historic Snowstorms

KPLU News - 3 hours 49 min ago
Nearly 9 feet of snow has fallen on Boston this winter — most of it in February — closing workplaces for days and leaving commuters stranded.

"I've been working from home for the past couple of days because I can't get to work," says Christopher Clickner, an insurance agent.

Photographer Helped Expose Brutality Of Selma's 'Bloody Sunday'

KPLU News - 3 hours 51 min ago
Note to our readers: This report contains some strong racial language.

This month Selma, Ala., will mark the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday." That's the day police beat demonstrators attempting to march to Montgomery in support of voting rights.

Sharing Patient Records Is Still A Digital Dilemma For Doctors

KPLU News - 3 hours 52 min ago
Technology entrepreneur Jonathan Bush says he was recently watching a patient move from a hospital to a nursing home. The patient's information was in an electronic medical record, or EMR.

Could A Quokka Beat A Numbat? Oddsmakers Say Yes

KPLU News - 3 hours 54 min ago
It's March, and that means college basketball fans are gearing up for the NCAA tournament. But there's another tournament taking place this month — and animals aren't the mascots, they're the competitors.

"Mammal March Madness" is organized by a team of evolutionary biologists. They choose 65 animal competitors and then imagine the outcome of a series of simulated inter-species battles. Who would win if a kangaroo took on a warthog?

Coroner Identifies Homeless Man On Skid Row Killed By LAPD

KPLU News - 3 hours 56 min ago
A homeless man shot and killed in a confrontation with police has been identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office as 43-year-old Charley Leundeu Keunang. Relatives confirmed his identity.

Colorado Debates Whether IUDs Are Contraception Or Abortion

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 15:27
A popular contraception program in Colorado is receiving criticism from conservative lawmakers who say that the program's use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs, qualify as abortions.

More than 30,000 women in Colorado have gotten a device because of the state program, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. An IUD normally costs between $500 and several thousand dollars.

Transgender Students Learn To Navigate School Halls

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 14:10
The first time I learned that gender could be fluid was in sex ed in the ninth grade. I remember the teacher mumbling under her breath that some people don't identify their gender with the biological sex they were born with.

At the time it didn't faze me because I'd never known anyone who'd talked about it or felt that way. But now, three years later, I have a 16-year-old classmate who's transgender. His name is Jace McDonald.

"That is the name I have chosen," Jace says. "It's what my parents would have named me if I was born biologically male."

Jace McDonald was born female.

Eat Your Veggies! Even The Ones From Fukushima

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 13:57
Nearly four years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, people in Japan are still hesitant to eat foods grown around the site of the accident.

Arsenic Antidote Hidden In Our Genes

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 13:56
For centuries, arsenic was the go-to poison for murder.

If you wanted to knock off an heir to the throne or speed up the arrival of your inheritance, all you had to do was add a dollop of rat poison to your rival's food. They wouldn't see or taste it. And the police wouldn't detect it — at least not until a chemist developed a test for the element in the early 19th century.

At high doses, arsenic causes vomiting, convulsions and eventually coma.

Why Some Parents Are Sitting Kids Out Of Tests

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 13:46
Meet Jenni Hofschulte, the 35-year-old mom who's one of the parents leading the charge against testing in Milwaukee.

"I have two children in Milwaukee Public Schools," Hofschulte says over coffee at a cafe near her home.

The Racist History Behind The Iconic Selma Bridge

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 13:36
The 1965 Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., became known as Bloody Sunday because it ended in state troopers beating nonviolent protesters as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

In photos from that day you see the marchers being struck and trampled, and just above them are the bridge's big arches, with the name Edmund Pettus emblazoned across the steel beam.

The bridge has become one of the most hallowed places in America's civil rights history, but who was Edmund Pettus?

"Pettus was the head of the most notorious white terrorist group in Alabama probably up un

Boko Haram Takes A Page From ISIS Propaganda Playbook

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 13:36
In its latest video, Islamist extremists from the Nigerian group Boko Haram display the bodies of two men accused of spying.

Cardinal Egan, Ex-Archbishop Of New York, Dies

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 13:19
Cardinal Edward Egan, the former Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, has died. He was 82. The cause was cardiac arrest, the Archdiocese of New York said in a statement.

Egan, who was archbishop during the attacks of Sept.

Thousands Reportedly Flee Battle For Tikrit

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 13:01
Thousands of refugees have fled fighting in Tikrit, according to the U.N., as Iraqi forces backed by Shiite militias and Kurdish peshmerga battle to expel Islamic State extremists from the city.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that ISIS militants have set fire to oil wells in Iraq's north in an effort to slow government forces.

According to the news agency: "On Thursday, militants set fire to some oil wells outside the city, an oil official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release information.

A 'Black Tax' At Charlotte's Ritz-Carlton?

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 12:56
A Charlotte news station reported on Monday that the Ritz-Carlton, one of prosperous uptown Charlotte's swankiest hotels, added what looks suspiciously like a black tax to the lobby bar tabs of patrons in town last week for the CIAA, the popular mega-tournament for basketball teams at historically black colleges and universities from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.

Charlotte resident Patrice Wright and her husband Tony stopped into the Ritz's Lobby Bar as they often do

'Respect The Robot': Giant Robots Oversee Traffic In Kinshasa

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 12:36


Guest Student DJ Margaux Bouchegnies: 'Through Jazz We Tell A Story'

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 12:28

Note: Each month, KPLU invites a teen guest DJ to play his or her favorite pieces on the air.  The program is part of KPLU's School of Jazz.

Puget Sound Community School's Margaux Bouchegnies is the Student DJ for the month of March.  Margaux's hour will air from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 5.  

Why Is The VP Of Sierra Leone Running The Country By Laptop?

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 12:27
Ebola hasn't been in the news much lately.

That's because the number of new cases has plummeted since the height of the epidemic late last year. In fact, the turnaround has been so dramatic that Liberia, once the hardest-hit country, is now on the brink of declaring itself Ebola-free.

But two headlines from Sierra Leone this week caught our attention.

According to reports, a boat with sick fishermen sparked a new outbreak in the capital.

Study: At 'Rate My Professors,' A Foreign Accent Can Hurt A Teacher's Score

KPLU News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 11:39
"So-and-so is really, really hard to understand." Or: "His accent is so distracting." I remember hearing off-the-cuff remarks like this a few times in college, complaints by classmates about TAs and instructors, almost all of them of Asian descent and non-native English speakers.

Along these lines, Nicholas Subtirelu, a linguistics grad student at Georgia State University, recently published a study in the journal Language in Society about student b