News

Ring, Ring, The Phone Is Dead
6:51 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Is It The End Of The Line For The Landline?

Phone line switches are reaching an end life, one expert says.
Credit Flickr Photo/Austin Squire

America's traditional phone system is not as dependable as it used to be. Just last month, the Federal Communications Commission told phone companies to start collecting stats on calls that fail to complete. According to one estimate, as many as 1 in 5 incoming long-distance calls simply doesn't connect.

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On The Waterfront
4:47 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Seattle Waterfront Braces For Replacement Of Crumbling Seawall

Workers close off parking areas beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct in downtown Seattle in preparation for seawall construction
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Construction begins this month on the long-anticipated plan to replace Seattle’s crumbling downtown seawall.

Waterfront businesses are bracing for what is likely to be three years of disruptions from the $290 million project, which was approved by voters last year.

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Crime & Courts
4:40 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Auditor: Former Head Of Sex Offender Center Should Not Have Profited From Contract

The McNeil Island Correctional Center in Washington state, photographed here in 2007, was closed to save money, but the Special Commitment Center, where sexually violent predators are indefinitely held for treatment after completing their prison sentences, remained open.
Credit AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

A former superintendent at Washington’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island – which houses the state’s most dangerous sex offenders – should not have profited from a contract that he negotiated when he was a superintendent, the state auditor wrote in a report.

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Budding Debate
11:51 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Could Legalized Pot Hurt Washington’s Medical Marijuana Industry?

Sean Green's medical marijuana collective features a window into the light-filled grow room.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

A year after Washington state voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, the licensing process is underway. Starting Monday, applications to grow, process or sell recreational marijuana can be submitted online, by mail or in person.

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Aerospace
9:59 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Boeing Introduces 777X, Boasts $95B In Advance Sales

Emirati officials greet each other on Sunday in front of an Emirates Airbus A380 on display during the opening day of the Dubai Airshow in Dubai.
AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili

Days after Boeing said it would look outside the Puget Sound area to build the 777X, the aerospace giant formally introduced the jetliner at the Dubai Airshow this weekend.

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Technology
7:41 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Working In The Shadows To Keep Web Free Of Child Porn

Project Space, a Canadian investigation targeting child pornography, spanned three years and resulted in the rescue of 386 children.
Credit Courtesy of Toronto Police

Rich Brown knows how to crack a child pornography case. For decades, he was a cop for the New Jersey State Police. He worked on a task force dedicated to Internet crimes against children. And part of his job was to look through suspects' hard drives, image by image.

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Gaming
7:07 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Creators Of 'Myst' Hope For Comeback With New Fan-Funded Game

Promotion photo from Obduction.
Cyan, Inc.

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 4:26 pm

The Northwest programmers behind the computer game Myst are now trying to write their next chapter.

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Gut Feeling
5:45 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds

Illustration by Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:58 am

Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.

"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. "But I do believe that our gut microbes affect what goes on in our brains."

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Business
1:27 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Boeing's 777x Wins Multiple Orders At Dubai Airshow

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Dubai Air Show kicked off this weekend, a chance with people in the aviation industry to see and be seen, and show off technology and usually to announce a lot of the sales. In the first three hours of the show, more than $150 billion in airplane orders were announced. And the biggest beneficiary was Boeing. The Seattle-based company said it had orders for more than 350 of its new passenger jets. There's still a question of where those aircraft will be built. NPR's Nathan Rott reports.

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Typhoon Haiyan
1:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Catholics In Philippines Turn To Church To Cope With Typhoon

A Filipino woman prays at morning Mass at Santo Nino church, which was damaged by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines, on Sunday.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:03 pm

Across the ravaged center of the Philippines on Sunday, people flocked to Mass, often in churches that had been severely damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

In many villages in Leyte province, the only structures that survived the storm were churches. Spires and statues of angels look out over fields of smashed houses and twisted typhoon debris.

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Crime & Courts
1:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Hundreds Arrested In Massive Child Pornography Ring

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We start this story with a warning. Some people may find the subject unsettling. People with kids in the room may wish to skip the next six minutes. Years ago, police in Toronto, Canada began tracking a suspect in their city. With the help of police in other nations, they quietly began linking him to a global network of people trafficking in child pornography.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Elections 2013
5:06 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Richard Conlin Concedes: Seattle Elects Sawant As First Socialist Councilmember

Councilmember Richard Conlin, left, conceded Friday night to Kshama Sawant, his socialist challenger. Conlin has been on the city council for 16 years, or four terms.
Credit KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Longtime Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin conceded his seat to challenger Kshama Sawant late Friday after Sawant’s lead widened to 1,640 votes, or 50.3 percent of the vote.

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Labor
11:26 am
Fri November 15, 2013

What Boeing Machinists' Rejection Means For Labor

At the heart of the debate: The Boeing 777X jetliner (a prototype).
Credit Boeing handout.

In the hours after Boeing machinists overwhelmingly voted down an eight-year contract, a theme emerged: The machinists view themselves as a family that could not vote for a contract that would hurt future generations.

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Health Care
10:40 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Sorry, Washingtonians: You Won’t All Be Able To Keep Old Health Plan

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
Credit insurance.wa.gov/

Within hours of President Barack Obama’s announcement that people could keep their old insurance plans – at least for another year – Washington state’s insurance commissioner said he wouldn’t abide.

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Recount?
10:00 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Socialist Kshama Sawant Leads Conlin By 1,148 Votes

Seattle city councilmember Richard Conlin, left, is now losing to Kshama Sawant, right.
Credit KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

UPDATE 11/14/13, 5 p.m. PT: 

Kshama Sawant remains ahead of Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin by 1,148. On Wednesday, Sawant was ahead by 402 votes. If she maintains this lead, the race will not be eligible for a recount, although Conlin could contest the vote count and pay for a recount.  

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