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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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Seattle Mayor's Race 2013
8:54 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Mike McGinn Takes Aim At Opponent's Legislative Record

Mayor Mike McGinn officially launches his fall campaign in Ballard
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn officially launched his fall campaign Monday with a series of new attacks against his opponent, state Senator Ed Murray.

Standing before a sea of supporters on a street corner in Ballard, McGinn outlined the accomplishments of his first four years and took aim at Murray’s legislative record in Olympia.

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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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Syria Crisis
9:27 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Washington Congressmembers Mostly Holding Their Fire on Syria Vote

Architect of the Capitol. The western front of the United States Capitol.

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 4:25 pm

Members of Congress from Washington state are mostly undecided ahead of an expected vote next week to authorize military force against Syria.

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Gas Tax
5:57 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Gov. Inslee: Special Session On Transportation Needed

Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Governor Jay Inslee held a press conference on Tuesday to announce that he wants to call a special session of the state Legislature this fall.

The session would address what Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine described as the state’s urgent transportation needs.

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Gay Rights in Russia
4:22 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

LGBT Activists Protest At The Russian Consul General's House

Protesters line the street outside the Russian consulate in Seattle's Madison Valley.
Paul Constant

Tuesday afternoon, activists led by The Stranger's Dan Savage will protest in front of the Russian Consul General's house in Madison Park. The protest is in response to a Russian law passed in June that outlaws "propagandizing non-traditional sexual relations among minors."

Russian authorities have interpreted that language broadly and as a result, people seen as "promoting gay values" have been arrested and subject to violence from police or other Russians.

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