government

Government Upheaval
4:10 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: New Government Takes Shape As Crimea Simmers

Flags fly outside the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol on Thursday during a rally by pro-Russian protesters. Gunmen seized government buildings in the city.
David Mdzinarishvili Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 10:58 am

  • On the NPR Newscast: Peter Kenyon reports from Kiev
We're adding updates throughout this post as the day continues.

Tensions continue to rise in Ukraine, where months of public protests led last week to the downfall of President Viktor Yanukovych's government. His opponents are now installing pro-Western ministers to replace the pro-Russian leaders who worked for Yanukovych. The interim government is expected to be in charge at least until new elections can be held, perhaps in late May.

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Transportation
4:07 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Train Sublime: What The Future Holds For High-Speed Rail System

Tom Zoellner's book "Train."

Steve Scher talks with author Tom Zoellner about his book "Train" and the latest developments of the high-speed intercity passenger rail system.

Education
3:52 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Inslee To Propose Compromise Bill On Teacher Testing

Flickr Photo/sidewalk flying (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Donna Blankinship, Washington state education reporter for The Associated Press, about lawmakers coming up with a compromise to revise the teacher evaluation system.

Combatting The Spread Of Disease
3:51 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

How Needle Exchange Programs Work

Flickr Photo/deepfruit (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Michael Hanrahan who oversees the needle exchange programs for the King County's Health and Human Services. Hanrahan talks about how these exchanges work and the impact the program has made in the community.

Transportation
3:49 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Portland Offers Advice As Kirkland Considers Air Gondolas

Traveling at 22 mph, the Portland Aerial Tram carries passengers between the Oregon Health and Science University Hospital and the South Waterfront District in Portland.
Flickr Photo/mhiran1 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Brett Dodson, manager of the Portland Aerial Tram, about how Portland's take on air gondolas has worked for the Rose City.

Financial Aid
2:19 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

University Student On Real Hope Passage: 'I Feel More Accepted'

University of Washington freshman Diana Betancourt hopes to benefit from the Washington Real Hope Act.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Washington state students who are in the country illegally have reason to celebrate. On Wednesday, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the state’s Real Hope Act, also commonly called the DREAM Act.

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Explaining Bitcoin
2:16 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Bitcoin: The Decentralized Virtual Currency That We're All Trying To Understand

Not a real bitcoin: the currency doesn't have a physical form; pictures like this are novelty items that often have bitcoin information on them.
Flickr Photo/Antana (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Imagine using online banking – without the bank.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created five years ago. It runs entirely on the sways of the free market: no government or banking institution is backing it.

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International Relations
1:49 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

U.S. Has Little Leverage To Stop Political Violence In Venezuela

A demonstrator confronts riot policemen during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela's capital, on Feb. 22.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 9:08 am

The escalating political crisis in Venezuela has set off alarms in Washington. But there's little the U.S. has been able to do, aside from criticize the jailing of opposition figures or the rising death toll as protesters continue to take to the streets, blaming the government for high inflation and crime.

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Judicial Conduct
12:51 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

King County Judge Admonished For 'One Day Special' In Courtroom

Flickr Photo/SalFalko (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct admonished a King County judge this week for offering the equivalent of a “one day special” in her courtroom.

On April 26, 2013, Judge Victoria Seitz had a full docket in the King County District Court.

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News From Canada
9:38 am
Wed February 26, 2014

North American Energy Rivalry, Tax Data, And Olympic Gold

Canada forward Sidney Crosby, far right, stands with teammates for the Canadian national anthem after beating Sweden 3-0 in the men's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Steve Scher talks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about the week's big stories from Canada.

Minimum Wage Debate
9:38 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Survey: Minimum Wage Hike Could Force Nonprofits To Cut Services

Fast-food workers and minimum wage advocates marched from SeaTac to Seattle in December as part of a national demonstration for a $15 minimum wage.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

A Seattle Human Services Coalition survey says increasing the minimum wage to $15 would hurt critical services for low-income families. Out of the 29 nonprofits surveyed, 21 said they would have to cut services if forced to raise wages to that level.

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Government
8:43 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Washington Senate Democrats Target Tax Exemptions To Fund Schools

File photo of the Washington Senate chamber.
Lincolnite Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:30 pm

Minority Democrats in the Washington Senate want to tax oil refineries, bottled water, prescription drug resellers and out-of-state shoppers.

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The Silent Killer
8:38 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Death Of Northwest Family Shows Hazards Of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide detector
Judy van der Velden Flickr

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 6:56 am

Local officials say the deaths of a Pocatello, Idaho, couple and their teenage sons is one of the worst tragedies in recent memory in the southeast Idaho community.

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EarthFix Reports
8:35 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Exploding Oil Trains Prompt More Stringent Safety Tests

United States safety regulators have adopted an emergency order requiring tests of crude oil before shipment by rail. The move is in response to a string of explosions and fires, like this one in Quebec, which claimed 47 lives.
Courtesy of Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued an emergency order requiring crude oil from North Dakota and Montana to be tested before being transported by railroads.

Tuesday’s order follows several fiery derailments involving shipments of crude oil. It is intended to ensure greater safety when the highly flammable liquid is being shipped.

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Mental Health Awareness
8:21 am
Wed February 26, 2014

King County Pioneers New Practice For Refugee Mental Health

Farhiya Mohamed was 19 years old when her family came to the U.S. from Somalia as refugees.
Credit KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

On a recent afternoon, about a dozen Somali women talk in spurts as they weave 4-inch metal needles through a basket.

It doesn't look like therapy, but in a way, it is.

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