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Government
8:38 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Washington Legislature On Collision Course Over Tax Breaks

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 3:01 pm

The final two weeks of the Washington legislature may come down to a battle over tax breaks.

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Wineries
8:35 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Northwest Wine Industry Matures With Appellation Milestones

The Walla Walla appellation will mark their 30 year anniversary in March.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:03 pm

Many of the distinct wine grape growing regions in the Northwest are celebrating 30 years since the federal government recognized them as appellations -- or distinct growing areas.

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Diplomacy
8:30 am
Thu February 27, 2014

British Diplomat Weighs In On Ukraine, Russia And Syria

The U.K. supports stability and democracy in Ukraine, says British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who visited NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.
Jim Tuttle NPR

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

The complicated situation in Ukraine is headed toward an important moment, as a vote on an interim government has been scheduled for Thursday. But tensions are running high in the region, with Russia ordering military exercises along its border.

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Gay Discrimination
8:29 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Arizona Gov. Brewer Vetoes Controversial Bill

Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., on Monday at the White House when she and other state executives met with President Obama.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:10 pm

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she has vetoed controversial legislation that would have allowed business owners in her state to refuse to serve gays and others if those customers somehow offended the proprietors' religious beliefs.

Brewer, a Republican, announced her decision at a news conference held Wednesday afternoon, following a flurry of meetings between the governor and state legislators.

Update at 7:52 p.m. ET Brewer's Comments

"I call them like I see them," Brewer said of the proposal, "despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd."

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Homeowners' Rights
7:50 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Takes On Loan Fraud, Foreclosure Fights

Larry Jametsky, Christina Stewart and their son Lawrence outside the home they say they lost in a fraudulent loan deal.
Credit KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Larry Jametsky visits his family home frequently, even though he was evicted from it almost four years ago.

He and his family have been homeless since then, but they’ve stayed near the blue house in the city of SeaTac. “This was my grandparents’ house, my dad’s house,” Jametsky said.

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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 Bicoin: 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.

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