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Egypt Protests
4:11 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Rally Saturday in Seattle to support demonstrations in Egypt

An Egyptian Army soldier riding in an armored vehicle is surrounded by anti-government protesters near Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Fri., Jan. 28, 2011. Seattle is one of a few US cities with weekend rallies supporting the protests.
Ben Curtis AP

A rally in support of the anti-government protests in Egypt will begin at noon Saturday in downtown Seattle's Westlake Park.  

One of the organizers is Alaa Badr, an Egyptian American who has been in the United States for 17 years. He works for Microsoft and lives in Issaquah with his wife and three children. Lately, he says, they've been staying up till one in the morning watching Al Jazeera.

"But then we get up again at 5 a.m., just to see what's happened, because of the time difference," he says.  

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Smart Commuting
3:06 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Mobile app for ridesharing could ease pain of 520 tolls

A new smart phone app is being piloted by the state to reduce SR 520 congestion and pollution.
WSDOT Flickr

Tolls on the 520 bridge are set to start this spring and they could be as high as $3.50 each way. 

Frustrated?  There's an app for that. 

An Irish company called Avego created a new smart phone app for "real-time ride sharing." Company leaders say it encourages more carpooling. 

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Humanosphere
2:05 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Bill Gates gives, and gets, more money for polio eradication

A child receiving polio vaccine.
UNICEF

Bill and Melinda Gates are big believers in vaccines and in the benefit of eradicating, rather than simply controlling, those human diseases that have the potential for being completely wiped out.

Today, Gates and British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a combined new donation of $166 million in support of the global polio eradication campaign.

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Sports with Art Thiel
1:06 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

After Niehaus: How do you replace a legend?

Dave Niehaus was the legendary voice of the Seattle Mariner broadcasts for more than 30 years. His death last fall has left a void. How will the M's fill it?
AP

The sudden death of Mariners' Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Niehaus last November left a huge void in the team's radio booth. It's a void that will be evident this weekend as fans flock to Safeco Field for Mariners FanFest - the annual meet-and-greet with players and team personnel.

Since there is no one voice that can replace Niehaus, the Mariners have decided to use five this season. 

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Culture
10:53 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Lunar New Year celebrations kick off this weekend

In the Chinese zodiac, 2011 is the 'Year of the Rabbit.' This photo from last year's celebration shows the Lion and Dragon Dance along King Street in Seattle's International District.
Wonderlane Flickr

The weekend brings the first of many planned Lunar New Year celebrations around the region. Many Asian cultures mark the event with colorful festivals, parades and performances, including the Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian communities, among others.

The Chinese celebrations often include the dramatic Lion and Dragon dances. Many of the region's events are centered around children and family activities:

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Business
7:51 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Microsoft beats expectations for Q2 with strong sales of Xbox Kinect and Office 2010

Strong holiday sales of XBox 360 consoles with the new Kinect motion controller played a starring role in Microsoft's strong financial report.
PRNewsFoto Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft handily beat Wall Street's expectations, posting record revenue: nearly $20 billion in its second quarter.

The company says the strong financial report was fuelled by rebounding business demand, as well as swift sales of the Kinect motion controller for its Xbox 360 video games. 

Xbox sales booming

Microsoft says it sold 8 million Kinect motion controllers in just 60 days this past holiday season, far exceeding the company’s expectations, as well as Wall Street's.  

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News Roundup
6:49 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

An impromptu street memorial for First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams, shot and killed by a Seattle policeman last August on Boren Avenue. Did police provide all pertinent documents to a Seattle Times disclosure request?
Gary Davis KPLU

Making headlines this morning:

  • Key Document Surfaces in Woodcarver Shooting
  • Education Department Idea Moves Forward in Olympia
  • Packed Hearing Backs Saving a Tacoma High School

 

Woodcarver's Shooting: Evidence Surfaces

A city councilman's email plea to Seattle Police Chief John Diaz for an independent investigation following the  fatal shooting of John T. Williams by a cop last August was omitted from a public disclosure request. 

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U.S. Military
5:06 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Possible deal for soldier accused in Afghan War crimes

Spc. Jeremy Morlock.
US Army

There's been a significant development in the case of five Washington-based soldiers accused of killing unarmed Afghan civilians last year. The Washington Post reports a plea deal has been struck with one of the key defendants. But an Army spokesman cautions nothing's been finalized. 

The Post, citing an anonymous source, says Specialist Jeremy Morlock has agreed to a deal that would spare him the possibility of life in prison.

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Veterans Affairs
5:06 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Senator Patty Murray to chair Committee on Veterans Affairs

Newly named Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in her office on Capitol Hill in Washington.
AP

Washington's Senior US Senator, Patty Murray, has become the first woman ever appointed as chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Murray replaces Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii as the new committee chair.  According to Rob Hotakainen, Staff writer at the Olympian, Akaka is an 86-year-old veteran of World War II and has headed the committee for the last four years.

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Transportation
4:47 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Seattle responds to criticism, adjusts scheduled parking rate increases

Seattle parking rates are going up in 4 neighborhoods, down in 11 neighborhoods and will stay the same in 7 others. Seattle Transportation Department spokesman Rick Sheridan says the upshot is that 73% of the city’s paid parking spaces will either stay the same or get a rate reduction. But several areas still face big hikes and community leaders are worried.

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Law
3:12 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Red light camera ballot challenges spread across state

A red light camera on the job in Oregon.
Kristian Foden-Vencil OPB

Irate drivers in four Washington cities are filing ballot initiative paperwork this week to unplug automated traffic enforcement cameras.

So far, driver rebellions have ignited in Longview, Bellingham, Monroe and Wenatchee. Signature drives have started in those cities to unplug their red light cameras. Professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman is involved in all four of the nascent municipal campaigns.

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Transportation
12:33 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Mukilteo ferry dock closing for three weekends in March and April

Ferry sharing the waterway with Navy and civilian vessels on the Mukilteo-Clinton run, July 26, 2007.
WSDOT flickr.com

Mukilteo ferry commuters need to make alternate plans for traveling to and from Whidbey Island on three weekends (Friday through Sunday) this spring. The dates are March 18-20, March 25-27 and April 1-3. The Mukilteo terminal is closing for a $2.6 million overhaul of the dock. Commuters will have to either drive around or take special sailings between Edmonds and Clinton.

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K-12 Education
8:44 am
Thu January 27, 2011

Seattle families have say in school bus reductions, start time changes

Some Seattle students could lose bus service and start school earlier next year because of budget cuts.
Eric Gay AP Photo

Seattle Public Schools' latest plan to shore up its budget deficit could mean some students won't have bus service next year and most will have to get up earlier. Families can get more details and voice concerns on these changes and more at a series of meetings starting tonight:

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Record Bin Roulette
8:02 am
Thu January 27, 2011

The CD, in memoriam

The dust of progress is collecting on the compact disc.
Mr Tickle - Wachoo Wachoo Tribe Congressman Flickr

It's a sign of the times for the lowly CD: Sony closes a huge CD manufacturing plant, and the same week the band Cake sells a dismal 44,000 copies, the lowest ever for a number one album.

Downloads and file sharing are undeniably edging out the Compact Disc. So, in memoriam, we offer a retrospective of the short but flashy career of the venerable CD.

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Law & Justice
7:48 am
Thu January 27, 2011

More learned about man who threatened Gregoire

A man who says he was upset over losing state benefits has been arrested and charged with making threats against Governor Chris Gregoire and her family. 51-year-old Robert Ray Locke was arraigned on one count of felony threat and pleaded not guilty.

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