government

Underwater Mortgages
9:19 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Foreclosure Crisis? Seattle's Numbers Don't Add Up

Distressed homeowners and housing advocates testify before the Seattle City Council.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A correction and  further information on the story 9/14/2013:

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State Budget
10:02 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Washington Governor Announces 'Soft Launch' Of Performance Indicators

Office of the Governor

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 4:15 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants to more than double the number of state-funded preschool slots by 2019. He also wants to decrease the number of SUVs purchased by the state.

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International Diplomacy
3:42 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Syria Agrees To Get Rid Of Their Chemical Weapons. Now What?

Protest in New York City from September 8, 2013.
Credit Flickr Photo/Debra Sweet

After an off-the-cuff suggestion by Secretary of State John Kerry, President Bashar al-Assad’s government has accepted a Russian plan to turn over their chemical weapons. The significance of this agreement is “huge” according to Joseph Cirincione, the president of Ploughshares Fund and member of Secretary Kerry’s International Security Advisory Board. He explains what the prospects of this plan working are and how the international community might go about seizing Syria’s chemical weapons.

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Syria
3:34 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Rep. McDermott Hopeful Military Force Can Be Avoided In Syria

Rep. Jim McDermott speaking at a health care rally in 2009.
Flickr Photo/SEIU Health Care 775NW

President Obama had planned to address the nation tonight to make his case for a US military strike on Syria, but the day's events may have overtaken him. Today Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government accepted a Russian plan to turn over its chemical weapons stockpile, with France pitching  a UN Security Council resolution to verify the disarmament. President Obama threw his support behind the resolution. 

Ross Reynolds talks with Washington's 7th District Congressman Jim McDermott about the latest developments in the unfolding US-Syria story.

Jail Budgets
11:09 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Pierce County Jail Faces Hefty Budget Shortfall

The Pierce County jail is facing a hefty 8 percent budget shortfall. So far, 30 jobs are slated to be lost and two jail units, which can house more than 160 inmates, are set to close. Officials say even with these reductions, the budget crises will not be fixed.

Ross Reynolds talks with Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor about how these cuts will affect the jail and public safety.

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Hana Williams' Death
9:45 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Sedro-Woolley Couple Convicted For Abuse, Death Of Adopted Teen

A jury in Skagit County has found the parents of an adopted teenager guilty for her death. In May 2011, Hana Williams died of hypothermia and malnutrition in the family’s backyard in Sedro-Woolley. The girl was adopted from Ethiopia and believed to be 13 at the time of her death.

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Banking
7:46 am
Tue September 10, 2013

U.S. Senate To Hold Hearing On State Pot Legalization

Architect of the Capitol

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 5:01 pm

The conflict between federal law and pot legalization in Washington and Colorado will be on the agenda in Congress this week.

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Diplomatic Solutions
5:06 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Breakthrough? Syria Hints It Might Give Up Chemical Weapons

In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:04 pm

(We most recently updated this post at 4:02 p.m. ET.)

Amid reports that Syrian President Bashar Assad may be willing to give up his chemical weapons, as his strongest ally has suggested he do, the Obama administration expressed skepticism Tuesday.

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Politics & Government
12:06 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Debate Over Syria Crowds Out Other Business In D.C.

Flickr Photo/Jonathon Colman

Congress is back in session this week, and Syria is at the top of the agenda. That means other business like immigration reform and the debt ceiling moves to the back burner. Why can’t Congress do two things at once? Marcie Sillman and Ross Reynolds talk with Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC.

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Chemical Weapons
11:14 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Chemical Weapons: What They Are And Why They're Different

Congress returned to Washington, D.C., today with Syria at the forefront of its agenda. Lawmakers will debate a resolution on military intervention against Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons.

To take a step back, Ross Reynolds talks with Dr. Raymond Zilinskas, director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies about chemical weapons — what they are and why they are considered a different class than conventional weapons. 

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Pot Legalization
9:28 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Pot Taxes Paid In Cash? Washington Says OK

Leah Gaines US Navy

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:48 pm

Marijuana-based businesses in Washington will be able to pay their taxes in cash. That’s the word from the state’s Department of Revenue.

The agency is gearing up for more cash filers in its field offices.

Most banks are unwilling to open accounts for marijuana businesses because of the federal prohibition on pot. That means Washington’s new, legal recreational marijuana market could be a largely cash-based enterprise.

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Personal Data
9:35 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Reports: Spy Agencies Getting Past Tech Company Encryption

Flickr Photo/Chris Hardie

Reports from the New York Times, the Guardian and ProPublica cast light on how spy agencies are obtaining private data. The news organizations say the US National Security Agency is using covert partnerships with technology companies to weaken encryption software.

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Moral Culpability
9:21 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

State Supreme Court Sends Death Penalty Case Back To King County Court

State Supreme Court Justice Charles Wiggins said the death penalty case can proceed.
TVW

A unanimous opinion from the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that a death penalty case in the so-called Christmas Eve murders can proceed. The ruling finds that King County prosecutors handled the case correctly. 

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International Diplomacy
1:46 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Obama Vs. Putin On Syria

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday.
AP Photo/AP Pool

President Obama arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia, today for the G-20 summit. He’s expected to make his case for launching a military strike on Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is publicly opposed to military action in Syria – a longtime Russian ally. Yesterday, Putin accused Secretary of State John Kerry of lying to the US Congress about Al Qaeda’s presence in Syria.

Relations between the two countries have been increasingly tense recently. Just last month Obama canceled a one-on-one meeting with Putin, after Russia granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum.

What other factors are pushing the two countries apart? And how will tensions influence the discussions between the United States and Russia over a potential military strike in Syria? Dr. Stephen F. Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian history and politics at New York University and Princeton University. He talked with David Hyde.

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New Rules On Pot
1:03 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Revised Pot Rules Allow 334 Retail Stores In Washington

Flickr Photo/prensa4

Washington could have as many as 334 marijuana retail stores statewide. That’s the cap proposed on Wednesday by the state’s Liquor Control Board.

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