Around the Nation
6:00 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Fuel-carrying tanker reaches iced-in Alaskan town

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 5:03 pm

Crews worked to build a path Sunday over a half-mile of Bering Sea ice for the final leg of a Russian tanker's mission to deliver fuel to a town isolated amid one of the most severe Alaska winters in decades.

The tanker was moored roughly a half-mile from Nome's harbor after a Coast Guard cutter cleared a path for it through hundreds of miles of a slow journey stalled by thick ice and strong ocean currents.

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Author Interviews
9:49 am
Sun January 15, 2012

The Inquisition: Alive And Well After 800 Years

Originally published on Sat January 14, 2012 12:13 pm

When we talk of inquisition it is usually prefaced with a definite article — as in, The Inquisition. But, as Vanity Fair editor Cullen Murphy points out in his new book, God's Jury, the Inquisition wasn't a single event but rather a decentralized, centuries-long process.

Murphy says the "inquisitorial impulse" is alive and well today — despite its humble origins with the Cathars in France, where it was initially designed to deal with Christian heretics.

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Around the Nation
9:46 am
Sun January 15, 2012

Montana's wide-open spaces getting a bit crowded

Montana's wide-open spaces are slightly more crowded than they used to be, and not all residents are happy about sharing.
J. Stephen Conn Flickr

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 2:58 am

One of the nation's least densely populated states has hit a major milestone. Montana's population crossed over the 1 million person mark around the first of the year. While the governor says that's a good sign for the future, some residents say the state's already too crowded.

Fewer than 2,000 people live in Townsend, Mont., a small farming community surrounded by national forests and just south of the gigantic Canyon Ferry Reservoir.

At Penny's Breakfast Station, cook Amber Burchett fries up hash browns in the early afternoon.

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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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