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Environment
9:32 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Back Away From Bill To Restrict Some Pesticides

FIle photo. A measure in Oregon would have banned the use of four types of pesticides.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:53 pm

This week, Oregon may join Washington in backing away from a proposal to protect bees by restricting certain pesticides.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue February 11, 2014

China, Taiwan Hold First Direct Talks Since 1949

Wang Yu-chi, head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, left, shakes hands with Zhang Zhijun, director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, right, before their meeting in Nanjing, China.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Representatives from China and Taiwan held face-to-face meetings in Nanjing on Tuesday.

This was a historic development; the two sides haven't held direct talks since the country split after a civil war in 1949.

Reuters reports that Taiwan was represented by Mainland Affairs Minister Wang Yu-chi and China sent Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun.

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Diseased Trees
8:49 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Risk Of Falling Trees Shutters Northwest Camping Areas

U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:37 pm

Forest managers in north Idaho and western Washington will be closing some popular camping areas this year. They say nearby trees are infected with root rot and post a threat to campers.

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Education & Immigration
8:38 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Republican Senator Pushes Back On College Aid For Undocumented Students

Washington state Senator Janea Holmquist Newbry
Washington Legislature

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:34 am

A bipartisan plan in the Washington legislature to give undocumented students access to college aid is coming under fire.

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The Salt
8:31 am
Tue February 11, 2014

N.Y. Immigrants Find They Can Earn Bread And Butter From Baking

Hot Bread Almacen, the retail shop of Hot Bread Kitchen, is located in the historic La Marqueta building in East Harlem, New York.
Daniel Krieger for Hot Bread Kitchen

In the heart of New York City's Spanish Harlem, women from Morocco to Mexico arrive before dawn to crank up the ovens at Hot Bread Kitchen.

Despite their different cultures and languages, this non-profit training bakery says most of its participants have one thing in common: they all grew up learning how to bake traditional breads.

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Shots - Health News
8:15 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Despite Federal Rules, Some States Deny Family Policies For Same-Sex Couples

Even after marriage, some same-sex couple can't get family health insurance policies.
Diana Lundin iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:11 pm

Carl Bechdel and Dan Miller started looking for a family plan on the Pennsylvania health insurance marketplace last fall.

After submitting their application for a bronze-level plan to Highmark Blue Shield in early December, the couple became concerned when the end of the month approached and they hadn't heard from the insurer.

Bechdel called customer service and finally learned the reason: The company doesn't offer family coverage to same-sex couples.

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The Protojournalist
8:13 am
Tue February 11, 2014

We Are Just Not Here Anymore

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:56 pm

At weddings, guests tweet real-time photos of the festivities to friends far away. At sporting events, fans follow scores of games in other cities. In classrooms, students text with friends in other classes and parents out in the world. At funerals, mourners send out selfies to pals in other places.

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It's All Politics
8:12 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Immigration Turbulence Buffets Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gestures while speaking during a Feb. 6 news conference on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Will the real John Boehner please stand up?

Just a dozen days ago, Speaker Boehner and his GOP leadership team embraced a set of principles for updating the nation's immigration laws.

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All Tech Considered
7:40 am
Tue February 11, 2014

The Internet Flexes Political Muscle With Anti-NSA Protest

Thousands of websites participating in the "Day We Fight Back" will show this banner, or something similar, to site visitors.
Courtesy of Demand Progress

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 10:27 am

Reddit, Tumblr and Mozilla are among nearly 6,000 websites participating in "The Day We Fight Back," an online protest Tuesday against government surveillance.

The goal of the protest, organizers say, is partly to pass a federal bill called the USA Freedom Act, which is intended to rein in the mass surveillance programs by the National Security Agency that were exposed by Edward Snowden.

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State Of Emergency Declared
7:31 am
Tue February 11, 2014

'Mind-Boggling,' Historic Ice Storm Headed For Deep South

This car was navigating a snowy road early Tuesday in Fort Payne, Ala. The wicked winter weather there is spreading across the Deep South.
Hal Yeager AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:50 pm

This is not our language. It comes from the forecasters at the National Weather Service, who we have to hope do not say things such as this unless they really mean it:

"Mind-boggling if not historical" ice accumulations are expected Wednesday and Thursday across a wide swath of the Deep South that includes Atlanta, other parts of Georgia, Columbia, S.C., and up to Raleigh/Durham, N.C. The forecasters are warning of a half-inch to an inch of ice.

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It's All Politics
7:31 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Holder Calls For Restoring Felons' Voting Rights

Eric Holder, attorney general of the United States, speaks at a Feb. 7 reception for baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron in Washington.
Nick Wass AP

Attorney General Eric Holder called on 11 states to repeal "counterproductive" laws that bar convicted felons from "the single most basic right of American citizenship-the right to vote."

In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University law school, Holder used his bully pulpit to note that 5.8 million people are prohibited from voting because of current or former felony convictions, including 1-in-5 black adults in Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Boehner Agrees To Bring Clean Debt Ceiling Bill To The Floor

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives for a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:41 am

Congress seems poised to avoid another dramatic and potentially costly confrontation over the debt ceiling.

In a private meeting with Republican lawmakers, Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said he would bring a bill that raises the debt ceiling without any strings attached. That means that a coalition of Democrats and Republicans are likely to vote to raise the amount of money the country is allowed to borrow.

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The Edge
7:25 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Female Ski Jumpers Finally Make Their Olympic Debut

Lindsey Van trains in Sochi on Sunday. Van has spent the past decade fighting for female ski jumpers to be allowed to compete at the Olympics.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:53 pm

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: Leaping Into History

When American Sarah Hendrickson launched herself down the 90-meter jumping hill in Sochi, she flew into history, becoming the first woman to ski jump in Olympic competition. She ultimately finished in 21st place.

Carina Vogt from Germany brought home the gold. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver, and France's Coline Mattel, 18, won bronze.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Tue February 11, 2014

No Change In Fed Policy, Yellen Signals

Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Since every word that the head of the Federal Reserve utters is closely watched by those in the financial markets, it's worth noting that in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to say Tuesday that:

"I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy."

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Parallels
5:53 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Who's Going To Be Afghanistan's Next President?

Afghan presidential candidates Qayum Karzai (from left), Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah take part in a televised debate in Kabul on Saturday. With President Hamid Karzai stepping down, the presidential election set for April 5 will mark the first time the country has changed leaders at the ballot box.
Wakil Kohsar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:49 am

The United States is winding down more than 12 years of military involvement in Afghanistan, and for most Americans, the country is rapidly fading into the background.

At the same time, Afghans are entering uncharted territory. President Hamid Karzai, who has led Afghanistan since shortly after the Taliban were ousted in 2001, is barred from running for a third term.

So Afghanistan is poised to do what it's never done before: change leaders through a democratic election.

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