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Princess Cruises will pay a $40 million fine for "deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up," according to the Department of Justice, which calls it "the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution."

The California-based cruise operator also agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges over illegal practices on five ships dating back, in at least one case, to 2005.

KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Kim Malcolm talks with attorney Karol Brown about how President Elect Donald Trump's proposed immigration policies could affect immigrants living in Washington state. Brown is an immigration attorney with World One Law Group in Bellevue.

Washington state's delegates are split on Donald Trump's candidacy -- and his rhetoric.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9hKraP

Bill Radke speaks with Wall Street Journal White House reporter Damian Paletta about Donald Trump's announcement that he'll leave his global business empire. 

The federal ethics watchdog isn't the kind of agency that typically airs its positions on Twitter — let alone in a snarky tone, with exclamation points.

But it's been an all-around weird day at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Congress has reached a compromise on the Pentagon's effort to claw back millions of dollars in bonuses paid by the California National Guard, agreeing to forgive the debt in cases where soldiers "knew or reasonably should have known" they were ineligible to receive the money.

A police officer in Charlotte, N.C., will not face charges in the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott.

Scott's death in September unleashed two days of unrest in Charlotte, when protesters took to the streets and in some cases threw objects at police and smashed windows.

R. Andrew Murray, the Mecklenburg County district attorney, said during a news conference Wednesday that he was "entirely convinced" that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Brentley Vinson "was lawful in using deadly force."

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump tried to tamp down growing concerns that he will not separate his vast global business interests from his role as head of the U.S. government.

Trump is promising to hold a "major news conference" in two weeks to talk about how he's turning his empire over to his children.

An early draft of the democracy vouchers Seattle Elections will send to residents in January 2017.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Seattle's Ethics and Elections Office is ramping up its alternative way for candidates to raise money. It's called the Democracy Voucher Program, and at least one candidate plans to participate.

The U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition fired more than three dozen airstrikes at what it believed was an ISIS position outside the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour in September. But the strikes actually killed troops loyal to the Syrian government, and that prompted a military investigation into what went wrong.

That investigation has now concluded that it was a series of human errors that caused the faulty targeting, as NPR's Tom Bowman tells our Newscast unit. "The Syrian government has said 62 were killed, but U.S. investigators could only confirm 15," he added.

In 2014, Washington’s Medicaid program resumed covering dental care for adults. That was celebrated by advocates for the poor. But on Thursday, a panel of lawmakers will hear about ongoing challenges to that program.

Crosscut reporter David Kroman.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with Crosscut reporter David Kroman about why voters in Ritzville, Washington went for Donald Trump. Kroman says their reasons don't follow the post-election narrative about poor, white middle-class voters who are experiencing economic anxiety. 

President-elect Donald Trump ran an insurgent, anti-establishment campaign, but the latest addition to his prospective Cabinet is about as establishment as it gets.

Elaine Chao, whom Trump picked Tuesday to head the Department of Transportation, worked in both Bush administrations, has ties to the conservative Heritage Foundation, has sat on numerous corporate boards and spent several years running the United Way of America. She also happens to be married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The day after Donald Trump swept to victory, the head of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Zippy Duvall, released a videotaped statement aimed at the President-elect and other political leaders in Washington.

"Rural America turned out and made their voice heard in this election," he said. "Now it's time for our elected leaders to support rural America."

Most donors to this year's ballot measure gave at least this much money ($10,000).
FLICKR PHOTO/KEITH COOPER (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dK2osL

The winners and losers in Washington's elections become official once counties certify their results Tuesday, November 29. Then there are the unofficial winners – who won’t be publicized.

The former North Charleston, S.C., police officer charged with murder in the death of an unarmed black man during a traffic stop took the stand Tuesday to testify in his own defense.

Michael Slager is accused of gunning down Walter Scott after pulling him over for a broken taillight. If convicted, Slager could face life in prison.

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