Acquired | KUOW News and Information

Acquired

More than three months after Hurricanes Maria and Irma slammed their island, over a million Puerto Ricans are still without reliable power. But one recent day, Rosa López and José Quiñones finally left those ranks.

REBROADCAST: Reza Aslan Explains God

Jan 4, 2018

Author Reza Aslan joins us in front of an audience at Literary Arts in downtown Portland. Aslan is the author of several books about religion, including "Beyond Fundamentalism" and "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth," which was a New York Times bestseller. Aslan is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. His new book is "God: A Human History."

A server error Wednesday caused Seaside, Oregon, residents to receive a message warning of an impending tsunami. They quickly learned it was a false alarm.

Seaside and other coastal towns regularly test warning systems that are designed to alert residents of potential tsunamis caused by off-shore earthquakes.

But Wednesday's test went awry.

Federal investigators said technology known as positive train control would have prevented the deadly derailment of an Amtrak train south of Tacoma late last year.

Three people died and 62 were injured when a Seattle-to-Portland train derailed on the first trip along a new inland bypass designed to save time.

The full federal investigation into the cause of the crash will take months, but a preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report released Thursday confirms the train was going almost 50 miles an hour over the posted speed limit.

Oil is king in Iran's economy. 

So when unrest broke out in recent days in the country's key western oil-producing areas — including Khuzestan province — it sent a deep shudder through the Iranian regime. More than 80 percent of Iran's oil and gas reserves originate in Khuzestan.

Portland commuters will have to deal with the closure of two of the five lanes crossing Burnside Bridge starting Friday.

Multnomah County will close the Burnside Bridge after 11 p.m. for the weekend, then open it again at 5 a.m. Monday morning with three lanes open — rather than five.

County spokesman Mike Pullen said maintenance workers need to get underneath the bridge.

“It’s basically addressing small problems in this 90-year-old bridge such as crumbling concrete, cracked concrete, corroded steel that needs to be removed and repainted,” Pullen said.

UPDATE (3:30 p.m. PST) – Lawmakers in the Pacific Northwest said they'll defend state cannabis laws after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to lift an Obama-era policy that took a hands-off approach to federal enforcement.

In rescinding the Cole Memorandum, which is widely understood to have opened the door for legalized cannabis across the country, Sessions plans to let federal prosecutors decide how aggressively to enforce federal cannabis laws in places where it is legal.

We get local reaction to the news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind an Obama-era memo giving states that legalized cannabis some assurance they would be safe from federal interference, despite the fact that marijuana remains an illegal, Schedule I drug in the same category as heroin. Amy Margolis with Margolis Legal joins us.

The first thing Neha Mahajan did when she received her authorization to work in the United States was apply for a social security number. Then, she opened up her own bank account.

“I will no longer be my husband’s wife, only,” she declared to PRI’s The World in an interview at the time. Her voice was clear and crisp, groomed from years of working as a broadcast journalist in her native New Delhi.

The recent cold snap has made for a good harvest of ice blocks on Green Lake -- the source for the ice that will be used to construct a 70-foot-tall ice palace in St. Paul later this month.

Copyright 2018 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

State Health Department analysts found massive variation in the charges for four common procedures. Prices paid for a knee replacement, for instance, ranged from $6,186 to $46,974.

Copyright 2018 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

New Jersey: The food capital of America? (Yes, really.)

Jan 4, 2018

Not long ago, Saveur Magazine dubbed New Jersey the most “edible state” in the country, with a food culture more rich and diverse than California or New York. A nice feather in the cap for the state. But going beyond accolades for dishes served up in restaurants, New Jersey is also working to distinguish itself as the nation’s center for the import and export of food.

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump tauntingly tweeted a response to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's recent speech where Kim warned the US that he has a "nuclear button" on his desk at all times. Trump tweeted that his button is "much bigger" and "more powerful" than Kim's.

Robert Mann, a founding member of the Juilliard String Quartet and perhaps Portland’s most renowned classically-tuned native son, died Monday in Manhattan.

Mann was born in Portland in 1920 to immigrant parents. In the 2013 documentary about his life, “Speak the Music,” he said he got his musical start when his father sent him to lessons with Edouard Hurlimann, the concertmaster of the then Portland Symphony, now the Oregon Symphony.

The Archive Project - Lemony Snicket

Jan 3, 2018

In this episode of "Literary Arts: The Archive Project," author Daniel Handler (also known as Lemony Snicket) is interviewed by the "New Yorker’s" Gilbert Cruz at Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival. As the enigmatic author of children’s, young adult, and adult fiction, Handler offers a unique perspective on literature, life, and the creative impulse. In this interview, he reflects on the moments that drew him to both reading and writing, describing his creative process and inspiration.

Migrants stuck in Serbia play a desperate 'game' to reach the EU

Jan 3, 2018

The town of Sid, in western Serbia, is surrounded by vast acres of farmland that stretch for miles in all directions and into neighboring Croatia.

At the height of the migrant crisis in the summer of 2015, hundreds of thousands filed through tall cornfields and crossed the border, sometimes without knowing exactly when.  

Reaching the other side marked the beginning of the end of their journey — no more hard borders, just a few buses and trains between them and western Europe.

Oregon Gets Several New Consumer Protection Laws

Jan 3, 2018

Oregon’s rolling out several financial protection laws this year.

One of the rules covers "balance billing," which is when a hospital charges an in-network patient out-of-network prices. Those prices can be very expensive and patients usually don’t know about them until they get a big bill.

But starting March 1, House Bill 2339 bans health care providers from billing consumers for amounts above what health insurance pays.

Copyright 2018 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

 

Greg James, the publisher of Marijuana Venture, joins us to talk about the regional ripple effects of legal recreational cannabis in California.

This week, Dámaso Rodríguez, the artistic director who propelled Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre in ambitious new directions, sent a letter to supporters with two major pieces of news: the company is about to sell half of its building, and its managing director of seven years, Sarah Horton, is leaving “to pursue other opportunities."

There are at least two other key pieces of information he left out, though.

Minneapolis' new mayor hopped on the back of a refuse hauler on Tuesday as his way of saying thank you to the city workers who don't always receive the attention they deserve.

The Kittson County sheriff says ranchers are angry with wolf killings of cattle, and that his office can investigate such reports better than state or federal authorities.

The United States on Tuesday urged Iran to stop blocking online social media and advised its citizens to set up virtual private networks, or VPNs, to circumvent censorship.

Since the protests erupted, Iran has restricted some social media services like Instagram and Telegram that authorities fear will be used to spread news about the unrest.

With just a month to go before the start of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea, there’s still no decision from North Korea if it will send its athletes to the games.

After months of giving South Korea the cold shoulder, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's speech that he was willing to send a delegation to the 2018 Olympics in the south.

Violet Rue had no idea there were words for what she would later know to be true about herself: that she didn’t identify with her birth gender. 

Rue, a transgender woman, grew up in what she calls the “rural-suburban hodgepodge” of Canby, Oregon. She says gender roles were strictly enforced at school and at home. Looking back, she knows she had internalized the stigma associated with being LGBTQ.

“I didn’t know what a transgender person was. I didn’t even know what gay people were,” Rue said. “I just knew that you weren’t supposed to be .”

Local TV News Harassment | Measure 101

Jan 2, 2018

 

    

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, is an increasingly powerful figure in Washington, D.C. — and he is sticking more closely than ever to his party in the tumultuous first year of the Trump presidency.

Just as Donald Trump rose to the presidency, Walden was taking over the chairmanship of one of the most powerful committees in Congress. The reach of the House Energy & Commerce committee is huge – ranging from health care to the internet to the electrical grid. Colleagues treat Walden with a certain deference and lobbyists flock to his fundraisers.

In a dark, abandoned warehouse on the edge of Europe, a group of young men are gathered around a fire with a nervous eye on the exit.

They came here to the Greek island of Lesbos from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco in the hopes of pressing on to mainland Europe and to a better life, but they are stuck.

Their claims for asylum have either been rejected or placed at the bottom of the pile. Some have been waiting for more than a year.  

Copyright 2018 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

A Profile Of Oregon Rep. Greg Walden

Jan 2, 2018

Copyright 2018 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Pages