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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NW Craft Brews
2:52 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

The Friday beer: Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder
Paul Gibson

What's that? Pliny is on tap? Let's go get some! I'm sure those words have been spoken many, many times. Pliny the Elder is one of those beers that has taken on a cult-like following. People go crazy for it.

Over at Beeradovate, it rates a perfect 100.

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Election 2012
2:12 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

The Ron Paul Paradox: GOP Questions His Impact

Ron Paul greets supporters in Meredith, N.H., on Sunday, two days before he placed second in the state's Republican primary.
Stephan Savoia Associated Press

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 7:08 pm

Four years ago, Texas Rep. Ron Paul finished fifth in the New Hampshire presidential primary with just under 8 percent of the vote.

On Tuesday, he got nearly 23 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, finishing second to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Republican contest. That came a week after Paul's third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

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David Welna is NPR's national security correspondent.

Having previously covered Congress over a 13-year period starting in 2001, Welna reported extensively on matters related to national security. He covered the debates on Capitol Hill over authorizing the use of military force prior to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the expansion of government surveillance practices arising from Congress' approval of the USA Patriot Act. Welna also reported on congressional probes into the use of torture by U.S. officials interrogating terrorism suspects. He also traveled with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Afghanistan on the Pentagon chief's first overseas trip in that post.

Shots - Health Blog
2:10 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Woman Injects 'Bath Salts,' Loses Arm To Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Stimulant chemicals dubbed "bath salts" are increasingly injected for a high.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 2:04 pm

Using illicit drugs can cause lots of bad things to happen. But being attacked by flesh-eating bacteria usually isn't one of them.

Yet that's what happened to an unfortunate young woman who had injected the increasingly popular stimulant drug called "bath salts."

The 34-year-old woman showed up at a New Orleans hospital with a painful, swollen arm after she attended a party. She had a small red puncture mark on her forearm.

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Wrongful conviction
12:30 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

17 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit - should state pay?

Alan Northrop says nerves caused him to fail a lie detector test. After he was picked out of a lineup, the case went to trial and he went to prison for a crime he didn't commit.
Image from YouTube video

Since 2008, four prisoners in Washington State have been exonerated through DNA testing and other evidence. Advocates for granting them compensation say it’s the right thing to do, even in tough budgetary times.

Of the four wrongfully convicted men, Alan Northrop did the most time behind bars. Now that he’s out, he’s trying to put the pieces of his life back together.

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Environment
12:30 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Stage 2 burn bans in Pierce & Snohomish counties

A high pressure system continues to trap air pollution near the ground, prompting the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to elevate the burn bans in Pierce and Snohomish counties from Stage 1 to Stage 2.

Stage 1 bans remain in effect for King, Kitsap, Mason and Thurston counties.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Fed appeared to have 'embarrassing' lack of foresight into housing crash

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a heart to heart chat with reporters.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 13, 2012 10:40 am

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released transcripts of the 2006 meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee. While it's well known the Fed missed glaring signs of a housing bubble about to burst in a big way, the transcripts show that top officials not only dismissed the warnings, but they were really worrying about the economy growing too fast.

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