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Pride And Prejudice: For Latinos, Tamales Can Taste Of Both

KPLU News - 3 hours 9 min ago
This Christmas Eve, many Latinos will celebrate the holiday by unwrapping a delicious little present: tamales.

At its essence, a tamale consists of masa (dough made from corn or another starch) that's been wrapped in aromatic leaves, then steamed or boiled. Some come bundled in corn husks, others in plantain, banana or mashan leaves. Some are sweetened with molasses or coconut milk, others spiced with mole or seasoned with achiote.

Instagram Is Now Valued At $35 Billion By Citigroup Analyst

KPLU News - 3 hours 18 min ago
Less than three years after Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion, the photo-sharing service is now worth $35 billion, according to an analyst at Citigroup.

Instagram's user base has skyrocketed since the acquisition, in part because of its integration with Facebook but also because the purchase roughly coincided with the release of an Instagram app for Android smartphones.

Earlier this month, Instagram announced that it surpassed 300 million users.

The hefty valuation was included along with Citigrou

At Last, I Meet My Microbes

KPLU News - 3 hours 40 min ago
A veritable jungle of organisms is helping keep each of us alive. But we've been rather negligent hosts. For starters, we don't even know who has shown up for the party.

When I signed myself, my husband, our dog and my mother up for the American Gut Project to have our gut microbes analyzed last year, I had no idea what the results would turn up.

Live: Obama's Year-End News Conference

KPLU News - 4 hours 9 min ago


Judge To Hear Arguments Against Florist Who Declined Service To Gay Couple

KPLU News - 4 hours 12 min ago


A closely-watched court case dealing with whether religious business-owners must provide services to gay couples is headed to oral arguments Friday in Kennewick, Washington.

Barronelle Stutzman said she was following her religious convictions in 2013 when she declined to do the flower arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding.

The state of Washington said she was violating state consumer protection laws.

Giant Filter From Richland Treating Leaking Radioactive Water In Japan

KPLU News - 4 hours 18 min ago


An environmental cleanup company with engineering headquarters in Richland, Washington has just flown its second water treatment system to Japan with a massive plane.

It’s intended to treat thousands of gallons of radioactive water leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.

Obama Says Sony Should Not Have Pulled Film Over Hacking

KPLU News - 5 hours 31 min ago
Updated at 2:25 p.m.

Cliff Mass Answers Listener Questions On The Blob, Full Moons And Ski Season Outlook

KPLU News - 5 hours 33 min ago

If you ever have a question about the weather, KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass wants to hear it. We’ve assembled answers to a range of listener queries and will be answering them over the next two weeks. Here’s the first batch.

How Peppermint Tricks Us Into Feeling (Deliciously) Cold

KPLU News - 5 hours 40 min ago
Even in the coldest months, we relish the refreshing, icy taste of peppermint — in seasonal treats like peppermint bark, peppermint schnapps, even peppermint beer.

We have the chemical menthol to thank for that deliciously cool mouth-feel of peppermint.

BirdNote: The Avocets Of Bolivar Flats

KPLU News - 5 hours 40 min ago

The shallow waters and wide mudflats of the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary are alive with thousands of gulls, terns, and shorebirds. American Avocets are often among the most abundant birds on the flats, with 5,000 or more here most winters.

The avocets have sensitive bills that curve upward. As they wade, they sweep their heads back and forth and snap up the tiny crustaceans that touch their bills. This tactile feeding method is unique among the birds here.

The Bolivar Peninsula is famous for its big flocks of water birds and for concentrations of migrating songbirds. Both National Audubon and American Bird Conservancy have designated it an Important Bird Area, or IBA. Why not plan a visit?

Advocacy Groups Tell Lawmakers To Back Off

KPLU News - 6 hours 2 min ago
Three advocacy organizations — across ideological lines — are telling congressional investigators to back off in a probe of EPA ties to a leading environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana are leading the investigation.

A Nurse's Desperate Plea: Show Me The Ebola Money

KPLU News - 6 hours 10 min ago
I found her curled up in the fetal position on the ground, under a piece of cardboard wet from the rain, breathing quietly. Dried blood all around her mouth. Naked. Most likely she had stumbled from her ward in the middle of the night, making it past the gates meant to separate the area where patients live from the triage area, where ambulances pull in — gates that frustratingly still won't close.

Education Dept. Issues Framework For New College Rating System

KPLU News - 6 hours 43 min ago
Beginning next year, colleges and universities will be judged on three broad criteria when it comes to meting out federal financial aid – access, affordability and student outcomes, according to a new "framework" released by the Education Department.

The new rating plan was first announced by President Obama in August 2013, but the framework announced today is only an interim step. Public input is being sought by Feb.

FIFA Votes To Release At Least Some Of The Controversial World Cup Report

KPLU News - 6 hours 49 min ago
Soccer's governing body is sticking to its guns.

FIFA has voted not to revisit the bidding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. It also decided to release, at some later date, at least part of a 430-page confidential report produced by American lawyer Michael Garcia.

Garcia, who had been lobbying for the release of the entire, unedited report, resigned on Thursday.

Some Early Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Life, But Which?

KPLU News - 6 hours 53 min ago
Most of us don't remember our first two or three years of life — but our earliest experiences may stick with us for years and continue to influence us well into adulthood.

Just how they influence us and how much is a question that researchers are still trying to answer.

Thailand Says It Was Unaware Of CIA 'Black Site' On Its Soil

KPLU News - 7 hours 21 min ago
Thailand's prime minister says his government had no knowledge of a secret location inside the country where the CIA is said to have waterboarded top al-Qaida operatives in 2002.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha was responding to the so-called "torture report" released by the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month that detailed the treatment of te

Teaching Hospitals Hit Hardest By Medicare Fines For Patient Safety

KPLU News - 7 hours 49 min ago
Medicare has begun punishing 721 hospitals with high rates of infections and other medical errors, cutting payments to half the nation's major teaching hospitals and many institutions that are marquee names.

Intermountain Medical Center in Utah, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, NYU Langone Medical Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago are all being docked 1 percent of their Medicare payments through next September,

To Finish Up Year, Obama Will Hold A Press Conference

KPLU News - 9 hours 7 min ago
President Obama will close out 2014 with his traditional end-of-year press conference.

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

Seahawks Vs. Cardinals: A Lot On The Line

KPLU News - 9 hours 40 min ago

Playoff talk is heating up for the Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks. Their biggest game of the season is this Sunday against the first-place Cardinals in Arizona. Kickoff is 5:30.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says there's a lot at stake.

What's Next For Cuba? The Headlines That Tell The Story

KPLU News - 10 hours 30 min ago
Two days after the U.S. and Cuba decided to end a more than 50-year estrangement, the natural question is: What's next?

On Morning Edition, NPR's Michelle Kelemen reports that the process of normalizing diplomatic relations will be pretty straight forward and is likely to be done quickly.

"We can do that via an exchange of letter or notes.