government

Food For Thought
3:12 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

A Debate Over The Right To Cheese Names

Flickr Photo/H. C. (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Dr. Joshua Meltzer, Global Economy and Development fellow at the Brookings Institution, about the trade talks between the U.S. and European Union on foods labeled with geographical indicators. The EU wants companies that make products like Parmesan and feta to stop using those names.

Marcie also hears from Rhonda Gothberg, founder of Gothberg Farms and cheesemaker, about how these label changes would affect her business.

International Politics
3:10 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Pro-Russian Forces Seize Ukraine's Naval Base In Crimea

Crimean self-defense force members sit atop an APC with a Russian flag outside the Ukrainian navy headquarters stormed by Crimean self-defense forces in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014.
AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov

Marcie Sillman talks with Eurasia Group analyst Cliff Kupchan about the latest in Ukraine after the pro-Russian self-defense force stormed the Ukrainian naval headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Wednesday.

Wildfire Prevention
3:05 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Long, Hot Winter Puts Western Fire Officials On Edge

Flames approach the Blakiston Ranch in California last May during the Springs fire. It eventually torched more than 24,000 acres.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:16 pm

The view from atop Conejo Mountain is postcard-worthy. It's 360 degrees of Southern California: mountains, coastline, cookie-cutter homes.

But if you look closer, the greens, blues and browns of Conejo are charred away, burnt a charcoal black.

Mike Lindbery, a captain with the Ventura County Fire Department, was here on this mountain last spring when a wildfire raced up the hillside on its way to torching more than 24,000 acres.

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Crimea Military Clash
12:39 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Ukraine Says It's Preparing A Plan To Withdraw From Crimea

Armed men stood atop a chimney near Ukraine's naval headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Wednesday. They raised Russian flags after taking over much of the facility.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:25 pm

This post was last updated at 4:50 p.m.

A day after Russia claimed Crimea as its own, Ukraine's security chief said they were drawing up plans to withdraw troops and their families from the area.

The BBC reports Andriy Parubiy said during a press conference that Ukraine wanted to move the troops "quickly and efficiently" to mainland Ukraine and that they would also ask the United Nations to declare Crimea a demilitarized zone.

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Grand Coulee Dam
9:46 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Tribes Push To Restore Salmon To Upper Columbia River

A pre-conference tour of Grand Coulee Dam on Monday kicked off a conversation about restoring salmon to the Upper Columbia Basin.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 4:00 pm

Once upon a time, salmon and steelhead swam over a thousand miles upriver to the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, at the foot of the Rockies in British Columbia.

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Lack Of Disclosure
5:47 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Toyota To Pay $1.2B To End Safety-Related Probe

Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:43 am

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Saying that "Toyota intentionally concealed information" and misled the public about the danger that some of its vehicles might suddenly accelerate, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the automaker is being fined $1.2 billion for not being forthcoming after car owners started to complain in 2009.

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Animal Rights
5:04 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Lawsuits Charge 'Ag-Gag' Laws Violate Free Speech

The group Mercy for Animals released video in 2012 of workers at Bettencourt Dairy in Idaho abusing cows. The incident led Idaho lawmakers to outlaw surreptitious video at farms.
Mercy for Animals

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:47 pm

A lawsuit led by the ACLU is challenging Idaho's brand new, so-called “ag-gag” law aimed at stopping undercover animal rights activists from making videos of abuse at farms and slaughter houses.

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$15 An Hour
2:42 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

The Latest On The Minimum Wage Debate

Dominic Holden, associate editor at The Stranger.
From Dominic Holden's Twitter account.

Marcie Sillman talks with Dominic Holden, associate editor at The Stranger about the very latest on the minimum wage debate in Seattle.

Rideshare Services
9:15 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Seattle City Council Legalizes Rideshares, But Puts Cap On Cars

Drivers and supporters of app-based rideshare service UberX pack Seattle City Council chambers.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

You may see fewer cars with pink mustaches on the road in the coming months.

Seattle’s City Council yesterday gave final approval to a plan that would limit the number of cars that rideshare companies like Lyft, UberX and Sidecar can operate.

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No Votes
9:08 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Washington Legislature Fails To Pass Any Oil Train Legislation

Increased oil train traffic had put public pressure on Washington lawmakers to act, but none of this session's oil-train bills passed before the Legislature adjourned Friday.
flickr/Russ Allison Loar https://www.flickr.com/photos/11072040@N08/6184231577/in/photolist-aqtNAn-9d8NnY-dMMvL1-9bXnje-fa6tG7-cCoWk1-cCp1fU-cCp3yQ-cCoSAq-cCoYf1-cCoUqj-cCoP3Q-cCoR5b-cCoLWY-cCoJUo-cCoD3Q-cCoGSL-foFREg-eQovqh-

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:00 pm

SEATTLE -- More oil is moving through Washington state from the Bakken oil fields, putting public pressure on elected officials to pass laws protecting public health and the environment.

Bakken oil from North Dakota and Montana has proven extremely flammable, causing several explosions in North America, including one that killed 47 people in Quebec last July.

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Nuclear Waste Cleanup
9:05 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Energy Secretary Meets With Inslee On Hanford

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee met with Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Monday.
Office of the Governor

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:51 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the U.S. Department of Energy is failing to provide him a “comprehensive” Hanford clean-up plan.

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Western Sanctions
4:22 am
Tue March 18, 2014

West Is Ruled 'By The Gun,' Putin Says As He Annexes Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:21 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Ellen Barry, Moscow correspondent for 'The New York Times,' talks with NPR's Renee Montagne
We updated this post as Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke and other leaders reacted.

Wasting no time and showing no sign that he's concerned about Western objections or economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea on Tuesday.

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Independence Referendum
2:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

After 300 Years Of Marriage, Scotland Contemplates U.K. Divorce

Pro-independence campaigners attend a rally In Edinburgh, Scotland, in September.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 7:22 am

Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years. This fall, that could change. In mid-September, a referendum on independence will determine whether Scotland breaks off from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to become a sovereign nation.

Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, is ground zero in this debate. The East End of this city is poor and run down, with some of the worst health figures in Europe. Men here are expected to live into only their mid-50s, some 30 years less than in wealthy areas.

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Membership Challenge
5:12 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Nooksack Vote Shows Divide On Disenrollment Struggle

Nooksack tribal member Angel Rabang said she was wrongfully fired from her job last July at the tribal casino for being one of the Nooksack 306..
Courtesy of Angel Rabang

This weekend’s tribal council election on the Nooksack reservation near Bellingham leaves an uncertain future for hundreds of its members. The tribe has sought to remove about 15 percent of its people in what would be the largest tribal disenrollment in Washington state’s history.

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Flight 370
3:59 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

What The Boeing 777 Can Tell Us About The Missing Malaysian Jet

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER.
Flickr Photo/Aero Icarus (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Wall Street Journal aerospace reporter Jon Ostrower about the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 and how its makeup can provide clues to finding the missing aircraft.

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