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China Takes Steps To Halt Plunge In Stock Markets

KPLU News - 3 hours 55 min ago
China's central bank will provide an injection of cash for the state-run margin finance company, as the country's top brokerages pledge to go on a share-buying spree to prop up faltering markets that have lost a third of their value in less than a month.

Some analysts estimate the total margin-lending in the world's second-largest economy is $645 billion. As The Guardian noted last week, the falling share prices have triggered margin calls.

Russian Supply Capsule Successfully Docks With Space Station

KPLU News - 5 hours 37 min ago
The International Space Station has just received a much-needed delivery, including some groceries, aboard a Russian capsule that successfully docked after three previous attempts to resupply the orbiting laboratory failed.

The unmanned Progress M-28M, carrying 2.5 metric tons of fuel, oxygen, water, food and other supplies, linked up with the station two days after it launched aboard a Russian rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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Greeks Decide The Fate Of Their Economy In Crucial Referendum

KPLU News - 6 hours 15 min ago
As deeply divided Greeks go to the polls in a referendum that could determine whether the European Central Bank extends a crucial line of credit and the country remains in the euro zone, Finance Minister Yianis Varoufakis has vowed to resign if they vote "yes" to bailout terms that the government opposes.

The referendum is on whether the country should accept a deal – including harsh austerity measures — that has technically been removed from the table by international lenders.

Do Try This At Home: Three Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

KPLU News - 7 hours 22 min ago
This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition's Do Try This At Home series, top chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen.

This week: We go to Seoul, South Korea, to make banchan — those endless small plates of pickles and veggies that traditionally accompany rice or soup.

Tunisia Seeks Its Way On A Winding, Bumpy Path

KPLU News - 7 hours 22 min ago
Editor's Note: An attacker opened fire on a beach in Tunisia and killed 38 people on June 26. NPR's Alice Fordham went to cover the story. She used to live in Tunisia and reflects on how the country's changed in recent years.

Two years ago, I first went to the town of Kairouan, one of the holiest sites in Islam. Tear gas drifted around the beautiful old stones of the Great Mosque and nervous police sheltered in small patches of shade.

Greeks Begin Voting In Historic Resolution

KPLU News - 7 hours 22 min ago
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sharks Might Not Be To Blame In North Carolina Attacks

KPLU News - 7 hours 22 min ago
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You Haven't Left The Building But Your Brain's On A Virtual Reality Trip

KPLU News - 8 hours 16 min ago


Want A Taste Of Virtual Reality? Step One: Find Some Cardboard

KPLU News - 8 hours 16 min ago
Filmmakers are using virtual reality to make the problems of the developing world seem more ... real.

But how can you see their work?

You could buy a headset, but you might end up in virtual debt. Prices range from $200 to $500 for devices from big players like Oculus Rift, Sony and Samsung. And forking over that much cash is a problem since there's not a lot of content yet.

"You're in a store ... and here's all the head-mounted displays and then it costs $200 or $300. Why would you ever buy it when you don't know why you're buying it?

Trump's Campaign Theme Song Headache? Blame Michael Jackson, Sort Of

KPLU News - 9 hours 33 min ago







Israel And The West Bank Through Fresh Eyes

KPLU News - 10 hours 12 min ago
A dozen internationally acclaimed photographers were set loose in Israel and the West Bank. Most had never been in either place before. The aim was to try to see anew a part of the world that's been thoroughly photographed, long mythologized and often fought over.

The project's creator is Frederic Brenner, a French photographer perhaps best known for his documentation of the global Jewish diaspora. And the result is "This Place," a photo exhibit now showing in Tel Aviv and coming to the U.S.

'Firework, Not Fire Fun': The Serious Jobs Of Pyrotechnic Pros

KPLU News - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 14:24
Designing a vast fireworks show is a bit like composing music. There's the opening to think about, of course, and the grand finale — and all the intricacies with which the colors and displays intermingle in between.

For Jim Souza, the president of Pyro Spectaculars, this is his art.

"The sky is the canvas," he says, lending another metaphor, "and fire's my paint."

Pyro Spectaculars has major street cred in the fireworks business.

Aphrodisiacs Can Spark Sexual Imagination, But Probably Not Libido

KPLU News - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 14:17
What do we know about the power of food to rev up sex drive? Not much.

"Really, science has not figured out what determines sexual motivation and sexual attraction.

Charleston Reporters Tell The National Story Of Local Violence

KPLU News - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 14:14
For the The Post and Courier, the newspaper in Charleston, S.C., it's been a crazy three months. The regional paper has been driving the coverage of the shootings at the Emanuel AME Church.

The small newsroom's reporters have been working flat out for more than two weeks, since the first word of the attack started coming across the police scanner.

As Greece Stares Down Its Money Troubles, A Decisive Vote Looms

KPLU News - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 14:04
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.N.: Report On Iran's Atomic Program Possible By Year's End

KPLU News - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 12:34
Yukio Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, says that if Iran cooperates, the agency could issue a report on the country's past atomic research by the end of the year.

NPR's Peter Kenyon, reporting from Vienna, says progress is also being reported on sanctions relief for Tehran — but a deal has yet to be finalized.

"With cooperation from Iran, I think we can issue a report by the end of the year," Amano, the head of the U.N.

Matt Stonie Downs 62 Hot Dogs For Coney Island Title

KPLU News - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 11:38
Sixty-two dogs (and buns) after sitting down for the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, Matt Stonie had snatched the title from "Jaws" Chestnut, the reigning eight-time champ, in a competition held each July 4 for nearly a century at New York's Coney Island.

Stonie finished second last year but says he's been training hard for the rematch. Ultimately, he beat Chestnut by two hotdogs.

Sound Effect's Under-Reported Stories Of The Week, July 4

KPLU News - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 11:01

There's always interesting stuff in the news that gets overshadowed by the big stories. On Sound Effect we invite a panel a journalists to talk over their nominees for under-covered story of the week. 

This week Alex Hudson of the news and politics blog Seattlish noted that even though the heat wave is all anyone can talk about, there are dimensions of it that haven't gotten the attention they deserve, such as the outsize hazard heat poses for homeless people. 

"The city of Seattle has extreme weather plans that relate to cold weather, and there are no real plans that relate to hot weather," she says. 

Sound Effect, Episode 26: Growing Pains

KPLU News - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 11:00

"Sound Effect" is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer. Each week's show explores a different theme, and this week we discuss growing pains. 

Week After Beach Attack, Tunisia Declares State Of Emergency

KPLU News - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 09:25
More than a week after a deadly attack by an Islamic extremist at a Tunisian beachfront resort that killed 38 foreign tourists, the president of the North African country has declared a state of emergency.

President Beji Caid Essebsi's office says in a statement that he needed the powers that come with the declaration to more effectively deal with the threat from extremists.

As Reuters writes: "Tunisia's emergency law temporarily gives the government more executive flexibility, hands the army and police more authority, and restricts certain rights such as the right to public assembly."