News From NPR


11:15 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Washington's Asparagus Farmers Face Labor Shortage

Jim Middleton is a asparagus farmer north of Pasco. He’s had to disk under 15 acres of asparagus in the hopes he can get someone to help harvest next week. Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 2:40 pm

ELTOPIA, Wash. – Washington asparagus farmers are plowing out giant fields during what should be the prime of their harvest season. That’s because there is a shortage of migrant farmworkers this year.

To cut asparagus, workers have to hunch and shuffle as they slice the spears from the earth with a sharp knife. Still, usually plenty of people are willing to do it.

But Jim Middleton can’t get 15 acres of his asparagus North of Pasco harvested this week. He says other farmers are taking out their asparagus fields for good.

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11:14 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Idaho's Silver Valley Marks 40 Years Since Sunshine Mine Disaster

Bob Launhardt was Sunshine Mine‪’‪s‪ safety engineer.

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 3:34 pm

May 2 marks the 40th anniversary of one of the worst mining disasters in U.S. history. In 1972, a fire broke out underground at the Sunshine Mine in Kellogg, Idaho; 91 men died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The disaster had a devastating effect on Kellogg and the nearby communities in Idaho’s Silver Valley. People who were there still vividly remember the events of that day.

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farm workers
11:12 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Northwest farmers cheer federal reversal on child labor rules

Don Beck is a hay and cattle farmer outside of Post Falls, Idaho. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:04 pm

Northwest farm groups are cheering a federal decision this week to dump proposed child labor rules. The Department of Labor decided to withdraw the plan after it received thousands of comments opposing the change. But child safety advocates say the fierce opposition was based on faulty information.

Politicians from farm and ranch country called the regulations an attack on family farms, going as far to say the rules could outlaw chores and 4-H for farm kids.

However, the regulations specifically exempted children working on farms owned or operated by their parents.

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11:10 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Federal campaign reaches out to Northwest's vaccine-shy parents

File photo courtesy Centers for Disease Control

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:15 pm

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - The federal government’s top health officers are making an appeal to the Northwest’s medical community to boost vaccination rates. The deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control’s immunization branch spoke at a public health conference in Coeur d’Alene Friday as part of the national campaign.

Last year, Washington and Oregon immunization rates were among the lowest in the nation. Idaho’s was average. That’s according to a CDC survey.

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11:08 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Rare, once-lost pioneer Chinese immigrant docs go online

This document includes names, dates and places where the remains of Chinese immigrant workers were systematically dug up across Oregon. Image courtesy Oregon State University

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 5:35 pm

SALEM, Ore. - Rare, once-lost historic records about pioneer Chinese immigrants to the Northwest have found a new life online. The digital archive is hosted by Oregon State University. A Chinese-American civic group hopes the document trove can help families locate ancestors gone missing early in the last century.

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Japanese Tsunami
10:22 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Tsunami debris cleanup here depends mostly on you

This NOAA image shows the expected path of marine debris generated from last year's tsunami in Japan.

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 3:16 pm

OCEAN SHORES, Wash. - The first items of debris swept into the Pacific Ocean by last year's big tsunami in Japan are turning up on the Northwest coast. More is out there drifting our way. The state of Washington hosted a meeting Wednesday to prepare local governments and beachgoers for what to do about this. Oregon held similar meetings last week. Here's the takeaway: tsunami debris pickup depends largely on you.

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National Security
10:06 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Could Iran wage a cyberwar on the United States?

Cybersecurity experts say Iran has the resources necessary to be a major player in cyberwarfare.

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 6:21 am

Security professionals in both the U.S. government and in private industry have long feared the prospect of a cyberwar with China or Russia, two states capable of launching destructive attacks on the computer networks that control critical assets such as the power grid or the financial system.

Now they face a new cyberthreat: Iran.

"[The Iranians] have all the resources and the capabilities necessary to be a major player in terms of cyberwarfare," says Jeffrey Carr, an expert on cyberconflict who has consulted for the U.S. Department of Defense.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:11 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Teenagers' latest bad idea: Drinking hand sanitizer

Keep the sanitizer on your hands and out of your mouth.

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 6:50 am

Teenagers can be pretty creative in their pursuit of a cheap buzz. Last month we reported on the "cinnamon challenge," which involves snarfing down a spoonful of the powdered spice.

Now we've got teens quaffing hand sanitizer, and ending up sick in the ER.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Al Gore Put In Internet Hall Of Fame

Former Vice President Al Gore.
Joe Kohen Getty Images for Current TV

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 9:54 am

We're sorry to be a day late — you'd think in the Internet age we would have been more on top of this.

Former Vice President Al Gore (D) is among the inaugural inductees in the Internet Hall of Fame.

He's been lauded by the Internet Society for being "a key proponent [as a senator and vice president] of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet."

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Go Figure
8:36 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Pew Research Center reports on The State of the News Media 2012

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:03 am

The Pew Research Center recently released their annual update on the State of the News Media.

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3:53 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Book Details Infighting Between Idaho Rep And GOP Leaders

Republican Congressman Raúl Labrador of Idaho holds a press conference with fellow conservative freshman members in February. Photo:

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 2:41 pm

A new book coming out Tuesday contains an inside account of Idaho Congressman Raúl Labrador’s conflict with ranking members of the House. The Washington Post reports the book details the rift between GOP leadership and freshman Republicans pursuing a Tea Party agenda.

The book in question is “Do Not Ask What Good We Do,” by Robert Draper. In it, Draper chronicles infighting between the GOP old-guard and the freshmen class of Republican House members that helped the party gain a majority in 2010.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:14 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Can 'Hackstability' Save Civilization?

Nigel Treblin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 9:29 am

The future looks bright, a gleaming utopia of sky-spanning cities run for us by benign, sentient machines. The future looks grim, a wasteland of failed — even hostile — technologies and the depleted resources they depended on.

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NPR tech news
3:10 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

With 'Drive,' Google joins the cloud storage war

Google Drive.

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 11:44 am

After years of speculation and rumor, today Google announced Google Drive, a new service that allows users to store data on the cloud.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

USDA: New Case Of Mad Cow Disease Confirmed In California

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:25 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has confirmed a case of Mad Cow disease in a cow in central California. It is the fourth case found in the country in recent years.

The animal was a dairy cow and "at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health," U.S.D.A. Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford said in a statement.

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5:38 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Tribal Group Claims Sea Lions Munch More Salmon Than Previously Thought

A California sea lion feasts on a salmon. Photo courtesy of CRITFC

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 4:36 pm

A coalition of tribal groups says sea lions are eating far more salmon along the Columbia River than previously thought. The claim comes in a legal fight over whether wildlife officials should be killing some of the hungry sea lions.

A federal judge has authorized wildlife officials in Oregon and Washington to kill as many as 30 California sea lions each year near the Bonneville Dam. Four have been killed so far this spring. A conservation group has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the killings.

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