Africa
9:40 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Just A Few Months Old, S. Sudan Already In Turmoil

People who escaped ethnic violence in Jonglei state wait for food rations at a World Food Program distribution center on Thursday. South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, and already ethnic tensions inside the new country have forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.
Michael Onyiego AP

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 2:59 am

South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, but the country is already plagued by ethnic violence at home and ongoing tensions with its previous rulers in Sudan.

Potential humanitarian crises are brewing in both Sudans, and U.S. diplomats are sounding frustrated that the two are not talking to each other enough.

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A former NPR Moscow bureau chief, Michele Kelemen now covers the State Department and Washington's diplomatic corps. Her reports can be heard on all NPR News programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

In her latest beat, Kelemen has been traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton before him, tracking the Obama administration's broad foreign policy agenda from Asia to the Middle East. She also followed President Bush's Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and was part of the NPR team that won the 2007 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of the war in Iraq.

Artscape
7:19 am
Sun January 15, 2012

At the Seattle Rep, a personal play by a priest about family

Tyler Pierce (as Bill Cain) and Linda Gehringer (as Mary Cain) star in the world premiere of Cain’s "How to Write a New Book for the Bible" at Seattle Repertory Theatre.
Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

The latest play at Seattle Repertory Theatre is called "How To Write A New Book For The Bible." It's about a priest who comes home to take care of his dying mother.

It’s a true story, written by Jesuit priest and playwright Bill Cain.

Which partly explains the play's title. Cain says the play "is about sifting through the presence of God in the reality of family."

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Author Interviews
5:41 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Alan Bennett Defies Expectations With 'Smut'

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 4:14 pm

Alan Bennett, author of The History Boys and The Madness of King George, among countless other books, plays and memoirs, is a grand old man of British letters.

"I'm getting on now, and I'm thought of in England as being rather cozy and genteel — certainly in the stories that I write," he tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

So Bennett decided to give his readers a little rattle with a new book of two short stories called Smut.

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MLK Day
4:55 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

MLK events around the Puget Sound region

Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington D.C.
ehpien Flickr

On Monday, Martin Luther King Junior will be honored in a variety of ways around the region as we observe this federal holiday.

It’s a day of reflection and possibly a time to renew intentions that keep Dr. King’s dream alive.

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High-tech world
4:35 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

Is it time for you to go on an 'information diet'?

"Clicks have consequences" says Clay Johnson, author of The Information Diet.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 2:00 am

We're used to thinking of "obesity" in physical terms — unhealthful weight that clogs our arteries and strains our hearts. But there's also an obesity of information that clogs our eyes and our minds and our inboxes: unhealthful information deep-fried in our own preconceptions.

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Animal fun
1:22 pm
Sat January 14, 2012

The cutest thing: Sea otter born at Seattle Aquarium

The young otter and its mother, Aniak.
Seattle Aquarium

Press release:

The Seattle Aquarium announced today the birth of a new sea otter pup at its facility on Pier 59 in Seattle. The young otter was born today just before 5:00 a.m. to the mother otter Aniak – who herself was born at Seattle Aquarium in 2002.

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Humanosphere
4:34 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Update: Seattle man accused of helping fund Sudan massacre calls it defense

Law and order in South Sudan
babasteve Flickr

The Seattle man who helped fund a massacre in South Sudan says the militia-style attack was a defensive action against a tribe that had attacked his tribe without warning.

Gai Bol Thong, a member of the Nuer tribe, recently gained international attention for raising funding to support local militia groups that have killed thousands of members of the Murle tribe. The attacks were in retaliation for the Murle attacks that have killed hundreds of Nuer, including women and children.

“The Murle made genocide on us. We do not kill old people, women and children,” he said.

But somebody did, according to the news reports.

(Listen to Tom's interview with Gai Bol Thong, click the audio link above.)

Read more on Humanosphere.

Transportation
3:37 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Brace yourself: First toll bills sent to 520 pay-by-mail customers

If you drove the 520 floating bridge in the past few weeks without a Good To Go pass, expect a bill to come in the mail soon.  The State Department of Transportation sent out 19,000 bills to drivers that will arrive this week.

That might seem like a lot, but it’s a number far less than officials expected.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Russian Spacecraft Expected To Crash Into Earth This Weekend

The Zenit-2SB rocket with Phobos-Grunt (Phobos-Soil) craft blasts off from its launch pad at the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Oleg Urusov AP

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 2:33 pm

There are two stories about space junk today: First, the AP reports that the International Space Station had to fire its engines to move out of the way of some space junk.

"NASA officials said debris from an old U.S. private communication satellite would have come within three miles of the orbiting outpost on Friday had the station not changed its orbit," the AP reports.

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