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8:25 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Bellevue-based T-Mobile and AT&T agree to merger

Deutsche Telekom Chairman and CEO Rene Obermann, left, and AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson pose for photos in New York. AT&T Inc. said Sunday it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion

AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile want to merge. Boards of the mobile giants agreed to a $39 billion deal, announced Sunday, according to TechFlash reporter Greg Lamm:

The purchase, still subject to approval by regulatory boards, would create the largest mobile phone company in theU.S. If the deal closes, it would combine the nation's second- and fourth-largest wireless carriers, creating a company with nearly 130 million subscribers, and could lead to higher rates for consumers, experts said.

Lamm writes that until quite recently T-Mobile, the Seattle area's remaining major wireless firm, was considered to be in merger talks with Sprint Nextel. 

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News Roundup
8:10 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Monday morning's headlines

A Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes off on its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Happy Spring!  We'll see periods of sunshine and some rain showers today.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • First Flight for 747-8 
  • Afghan War Crimes Photos Released
  • Libyan-Americans Monitor Conflict

 

Sunday for Boeing: "Absolutely Gorgeous"

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Clean Energy
6:57 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Puget Sound waters test wave energy prototype buoy

A prototype of a wave-energy buoy
Columbia Power Technologies

An Oregon-based alternative energy company is one step closer to generating electricity from the ocean's waves. The company has launched a prototype wave energy buoy. For testing, the startup chose the gentler waters of Puget Sound.

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K-12 Education
4:52 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Kids develop math stereotypes in second grade, UW study finds

Students in a second grade class tackle math problems. A new UW study shows people form their math stereotypes at this age.
AP Photo

Girls start to think math is a boys’ subject when they’re just 7 or 8 years old. That’s what University of Washington psychologists found when they studied children’s stereotypes. They say those beliefs could play a major role in the choices kids make as they get older.

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Nuclear Waste
3:01 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Washington to argue for Yucca Mountain waste storage project

Japan's nuclear reactor crisis has sharpened the debate over where the U.S. will store its radioactive waste in the long-term. Tuesday the State of Washington and other plaintiffs will argue in federal court that the Obama administration should not abandon the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada.

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Business
5:18 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Seafood industry braces for Japan crisis impact

The earthquake, tsunami and radiation leaks in Japan are having a ripple effect on the trans-Pacific seafood trade.

In Seattle, Sushi Kappo Tamura chef and owner Taichi Kitamura is worried now that a big chunk of the Japanese fishing industry damaged or destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. Along with sushi, Kitamura's menu also features some traditional recipes that use Japanese fish.

"Consistency in availability is very important because you have a menu and you have to keep certain items on the menu," Kitamura says.

Kitamura is also worried about the safety of the seafood he imports. South Korea, Singapore and other Asian countries are already testing Japanese food imports for radiation. Japanese authorities say the levels of radiation released from the crippled nuclear reactors don't pose a public health risk. But Kitamura says skittish customers might decide to stay away.

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Humanosphere
5:08 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Supermodel Christy Turlington on maternal health & cause celebrities

I caught up with supermodel Christy Turlington Wednesday night as she walked from the Andra Hotel over to the Cinerama Theater for the Seattle screening of her documentary on the global problem of maternal deaths and disabilities caused in childbirth: “No Woman No Cry.”

Turlington met with a number of local luminaries and experts on matters of global health, like the UW’s Chris Murray (who minutes before closed out a major global health meeting. See Horton post below), at a VIP reception sponsored by the World Affairs Council and the Washington Global Health Alliance.

Didn’t have much time, but I asked her two questions:

  • Does the high-profile attention given to maternal health as the cause célèbre of global health send the wrong message — that the primary concern for women is their reproductive ability, as opposed to health overall?

I was somewhat disappointed to discover that she was very friendly, well-spoken and gracious despite my attempt to get her to display the kind of behavior more expected of a supermodel. Here’s an audio clip of me chasing down Christy Turlington on the streets of Seattle.

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Sports with Art Thiel
3:56 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Sounders start season with crowd, controversy

Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham defends as Seattle Sounders' O'Brian White looks for a shot and Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders looks on during the 2011 season opener Tuesday, March 15, in Seattle.
AP

The Seattle Sounders FC started the 2011 season this week with a record crowd and some unwelcome controversy.

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Atmospheric Sciences
3:38 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Construction begins on high-tech Washington Coast radar site

This is the Grays Harbor County site for the new Washington Coast Doppler radar facility. Construction starts next week, and the site may be operating by September.
Google

Construction should start as soon as Wednesday at a site near Copalis Beach in Grays Harbor County on a Doppler radar station.

Sen. Maria Cantwell's office says it could be operating as soon as September, giving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a better look at Pacific storms heading for the Northwest.

The new radar will fill in information that is missing because the Olympic mountains block the only other Western Washington Doppler radar station on Camano Island.

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Iraq war anniversary
3:16 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

How important is a protest sign?

Art Boruck in his print shop, March 2011, holding the sign he designed before the start of the Iraq war.
Paula Wissel KPLU

How important is a protest sign?  That’s the question we’re asking on the 8th anniversary of the war in Iraq.

Back in 2003,  in the weeks and months leading up to the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and Coalition forces, millions of peace activists around the globe rallied against war. 

At every protest you saw the same signs-- red, white and blue placards with the words “No Iraq War.”  All of them came from one place, a family run sign shop in Seattle.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
2:27 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Hanford watchdog sues for more plutonium fuel documents

The nuclear reactor crisis in Japan is prompting more scrutiny of the nuclear power plant near Richland in southeast Washington. Thursday a Seattle-based Hanford watchdog sued Energy Northwest. The group is demanding the power supplier turn over more documents on the possibility of the plant using plutonium for reactor fuel.

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Japan Quake & Tsunami
11:23 am
Fri March 18, 2011

Puget Sound area groups stand up for Japan's disaster victims

Members of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) of Olympia rally support earlier this week for the victims of last Friday's earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Masami Yamamoto Courtesy JACL Olympia

Rallies, memorials and interfaith prayer gatherings are scheduled around Puget Sound today and through the weekend, as people gather in support of the victims of last week's earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan.

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News Roundup
9:46 am
Fri March 18, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

David Scheider, who once led Washington Mutual's home loan division, and Kerry Killinger (rear right), former CEO of the failed bank, at a Congressional investigation into WaMu's failure, April 13, 2010, in Washington D.C. They are being sued by the FDIC.
AP

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Lawsuits Blame Top WaMu Execs
  • Deeper Cuts for State Ahead
  • New Findings in Port Orchard Wal-Mart Shooting

 

Killinger on FDIC Allegations: "Fiction"

Negligence led to the nation's largest-ever bank failure, claims the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which filed suit against former Washington Mutual leaders Kerry Killinger, David Schneider and Stephen Rotella. The Seattle Times' Sanjay Bhatt reports the FDIC wants:

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College Basketball Championships
9:12 am
Fri March 18, 2011

Gonzaga aces first NCAA test; Huskies play tonight

Gonzaga continued its late season win streak, roaring through its first game in the NCAA men's basketball tournament with a solid win over St. John's last night, 86-71. The Zags dominated in rebounding, and just about every other category, against their favored Big East conference opponent, writes The Seattle Times' Bud Withers:

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State Budget Crisis
8:12 am
Fri March 18, 2011

Partisan divide flares as state budget worsens

Washington's budget shortfall has grown to more than $5 billion. That's after Thursday's state revenue forecast. Advocates on the left immediately intensified their calls for lawmakers to end corporate tax exemptions. The Governor warned the legislature to avoid budget gimmicks.

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