News From NPR


Tsunami preparation
11:13 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Coastal schools drill for tsunami, would rather relocate

Seaside High School students and staff flee to higher ground during a tsunami evacuation drill Wednesday. By Tom Banse.

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 9:42 pm

SEASIDE, Ore. - A pair of U.S. Geological Survey studies counted 14 schools in Oregon and 48 in Washington that could be underwater after a major tsunami. Administrators and parents in some of those places are talking about relocating their vulnerable schools. The Seaside, Oregon school district has the largest number of students in the tsunami zone along the Oregon coast.

At 11 o'clock sharp, students at Seaside High School get the order to evacuate.

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The Impact of War
4:50 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Grieving mother calls JBLM midair helicopter crash 'preventable'

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Frank Buoniconti Deployed To Iraq and Afghanistan And Was The Recipient Of The Distinguished Flying Cross. Photo Courtesy: Silvia Buoniconti.

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 4:03 pm

“Heartbreaking” and “Preventable.” That’s how the mother of an Army helicopter pilot describes the midair crash that killed her son and three others last December. It happened during a nighttime training exercise at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord. A report released this week finds that commanders knew about radar and radio limitations in the training area where the crash happened. But apparently those communication gaps went unresolved – despite other near misses.

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NPR Science
4:43 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Greenland's Ice Melting More Slowly Than Expected

Researchers studying Greenland's ice say it is melting more slowly than previously thought. Here, ice travels down a relatively small outlet glacier into the sea.
Ian Joughin UW, Sarah Das/WHOI and Richard Harris/NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:50 am

A new study has some reassuring news about how fast Greenland's glaciers are melting away.

Greenland's glaciers hold enough water to raise sea level by 20 feet, and they are melting as the planet warms, so there's a lot at stake.

A few years ago, the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland really caught people's attention. In short order, this slow-moving stream of ice suddenly doubled its speed. It started dumping a whole lot more ice into the Atlantic. Other glaciers also sped up.

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NPR tech news
10:58 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Congressman calls for hearing on Google Street View data

The camera mounted on a Google Street View car used to photograph whole streets obscures part of the U.S. Internet giant's logo.
Daniel Mihailescu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 9:59 am

Google may be facing new investigations into its Street View program, which collected 600 gigabytes of personal data including e-mails, passwords, pictures and web searches while its vehicles roamed the streets.

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National Security
10:48 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Bin Laden Papers Show Him Frustrated, Marginalized

Pakistanis walk past the rubble of bin Laden's demolished compound this week.
Sajjad Qayyum AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 11:50 am

Documents found at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan reveal an al-Qaida leader who had come to feel marginalized and frustrated with actions taken by affiliated terror groups he had helped inspire.

The man responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks is seen struggling to limit attacks that killed mostly Muslims, and to keep the international jihad movement focused on what he viewed as the main target: the United States.

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10:20 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Wash. Gov To Candidates For Gov: New Education Tax Needed

Wash. Governor Chris Gregoire poses for an official photo with lawmakers after signing the newly rebalanced state budget. By Austin Jenkins.

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 7:23 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has a message for both leading candidates to replace her next year. The state will need to find a new, dedicated source of funding for education. The Democrat made her comments Wednesday at a ceremony to sign a newly rebalanced state budget.

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10:18 am
Thu May 3, 2012

One Story Behind Washington 2011 Death With Dignity Act Statistics

Meg Holmes and Andrew Taylor at Lake Washington. Courtesy Andrew Taylor.

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 7:44 pm

The latest statistics on Washington’s Death with Dignity Act show a steady increase in the people who have legally ended their lives under the law. Seventy terminally people hastened their deaths in 2011 with the help of a doctor’s prescription. That's according to a new report out Wednesday from the state Department of Health. Since 2009, a total of 255 terminally ill adults have ended their lives in this way.

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NPR Science
4:39 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

'Zombie' Ants And The Fungus That Saves Them

A zombie ant with the brain-manipulating fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis s.l.) having been castrated by an hyperparasite fungus (white with yellow material).
David Hughes Penn State University

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:59 pm

As you can probably tell, at least one person on this blog's masthead likes ants.

So we've always been bummed that we haven't had the opportunity to tell you about zombie ants, but today we are glad to report there is a new development in the field. Luckily, it's a good-news report about a fungus that limits the fungus that turns ants into zombies.

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Other News
9:29 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Kitzhaber To Look Into Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Workers

Demonstrators gathered and marched near the state capitol building in Salem. Photo by Chris Lehman.

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 7:20 am

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he'll convene a workgroup to study possible changes to the state's driver's license laws for undocumented immigrants. That news prompted cheers at a May Day rally in front of the state capitol Tuesday evening. Thousands of people marked the day with demonstrations in Salem, along with other cities across the Northwest.

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The Two-Way
8:52 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Justice Investigating Handling Of Sexual Assault Reports At University Of Montana

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 10:03 am

The Obama Administration showed today that it's willing to take unprecedented steps to try to prevent sexual assaults on college campuses when the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it has opened a series of investigations into how the University of Montana in Missoula and local law enforcement agencies handled reports of sexual assaults.

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5:51 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Energy developers eye new grid-stabilizing hydro projects

Artist's rendition of upper and lower reservoir of Swan Lake Pumped Storage Project northeast of Klamath Falls, Ore. Image courtesy of Riverbank Power

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 2:45 pm

PORTLAND - If you thought the great dam building era of the Northwest was long over, you might be mistaken. But we're not talking about damming rivers here. This is about building long earthen dams to make new off-stream hydropower reservoirs. They're being designed to act as giant batteries and shock absorbers for the electric grid.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Study: Less Religious Are More Motivated By Compassion Than Highly Religious

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 10:55 am

Are religious people more moved by compassion than those who described themselves as less religious or non-religious?

A group of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley set out to answer that question and what they found would surprise some: In three experiments, the social scientists found that the less religious were more generous when presented with situations that stimulated their compassion, which the scientists defined as "an emotion felt when people see the suffering of others which then motivates them to help, often at a personal risk or cost."

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NPR tech news
9:18 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Facebook status lets you share whether you're an organ donor

A new status option.

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 4:33 am

In a bid to encourage its members to become organ donors, Facebook just announced that "starting today, you can add that you're an organ donor to your timeline, and share your story about when, where or why you decided to become a donor."

Also, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg write, "if you're not already registered with your state or national registry and want to be, you'll find a link to the official donor registry there as well."

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Protests Planned Across The United States To Mark May Day

The Occupy movement will try to regain the momentum it created last fall.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 3:58 pm

A collection of activists — from labor unions to immigrant rights groups — are planning protests across the country tomorrow to mark May Day.

Of course, the highest profile organization is Occupy Wall Street, which has called for a "general strike" and says events are planned in 135 U.S. cities.

Here's how the movement describes its plans on its website:

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The Impact of War
3:15 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Army Investigation: Midair Crash Killed Four Helicopter Pilots In December

OH58 Kiowa Warrior. Photo courtesy of US Army

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 2:45 pm

For the first time, the U.S. Army is confirming it was a midair collision that brought down two helicopters last December at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The results of an internal investigation into the crash that killed four pilots was released Monday. It blames pilot error, not a mechanical failure.

The two Kiowa Warrior reconnaissance helicopters were on a nighttime training mission last December 12th. According to the investigation, one of the helicopters flew directly into the side of the second chopper bringing both aircraft to the ground.

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