Space
11:57 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Rare Transit Of Venus 'A Beautiful Event'

Venus passes between Earth and the sun during its last transit on June 8, 2004, as seen from Manila, Philippines. The next transit of Venus will be in 2117.
Bullit Marquez AP

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 9:11 am

A rare astronomical event will take place Tuesday evening: The planet Venus will pass between Earth and the sun, appearing as a small black dot moving across the sun's bright disk. It's known as the transit of Venus, and it won't happen again for more than 100 years.

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Asia
11:57 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

What China's Thinkers Need Most Is Also Most Elusive

Yang Weidong interviews a subject for his documentary project "Signal," which finds that the vast majority of China's intellectuals yearn most for freedom. He plans to interview 500 of China's top thinkers for the project.
Courtesy Yang Weidong

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 7:35 am

A deceptively simple question has become an obsession for Chinese artist Yang Weidong: "What do you need?"

For the past four years, Yang has posed the question to more than 300 Chinese intellectuals, and the results illustrate a startling level of discontent among China's thinkers.

As for the answer, one word pops up time and time again.

"I need freedom," says writer Chang Ping.

"I need freedom of speech," says economist Mao Yushi.

"I need freedom of expression," says poet Ye Kuangzheng.

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Religion
11:56 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

N. Dakota 'Religious Liberty' Measure Sparks Debate

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 2:29 am

Next week, North Dakota voters will decide whether to add an amendment to the state's constitution that supporters say will guarantee religious freedom. But the ballot measure has prompted debate over precisely what it safeguards; opponents argue that it's a solution in search of a problem and worry about its consequences.

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Oregon's Superintendent Resigns
6:19 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Oregon Schools Superintendent To Step Down, Join Non-Profit

Oregon State Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo announced she will step down by the end of June. Photo courtesy of OPB
Photo courtesy of OPB

Oregon's elected state schools superintendent is leaving her job. Susan Castillo announced Monday that she'll step down by the end of this month to work for an education non-profit.

Castillo is a former Democratic state lawmaker who's in her third term as Superintendent of Public Instruction. Her current term doesn't end until 2015, but she had no chance of winning re-election.

Oregon lawmakers decided last year to do away with the office of state school superintendent. They chose instead to give the governor more direct authority over schools.

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Lucky Friday Mine
6:13 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Fines For Fatal Mining Accident Less Than Predicted

The Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho.
Photo credit: Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

The federal government is fining a north Idaho mining company $360,000 for unsafe practices that killed a miner last year. That’s about a third of the penalties that were expected.

Last year federal inspectors said the Hecla Mining Company engaged in “aggravated conduct” when it allowed miners to extract silver ore from a mass of unstable rock. It happened about a mile underground at the Lucky Friday Mine near Mullan, Idaho. The practices led to a tunnel collapse that killed 53 year old Larry Marek, according to a investigation.

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Washington Cherry Season
6:09 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Dreary June Forecast Has Northwest Cherry Farmers A Bit Worried

Cool weather and rain could delay ripening and compress the cherry growing season.
Photo credit: Anna King Northwest News Network

The Northwest cherry harvest is set to begin next week, but farmers are a bit glum. That’s because the National Weather Service says this month’s temperatures will be near or below average across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Cool weather and rain and can delay ripening and compress the cherry growing season. That means that markets have less time to sell the perishable fruit. Plus, farmers may have a harder time recruiting enough labor in a shortened season.

And there’s another problem according to the Washington Fruit Commission's B.J. Thurlby. He says rain can spoil the fruit on the branch.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

High Court Rules 'Equal Protection' Doesn't Extend To Municipal Taxpayers

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Constitution's guarantee to equal protection of the law does not extend to taxpayers who paid more for a sewer hookup than their neighbors.

The case centered on what essentially amounted to an amnesty program for some taxpayers when Indianapolis switched from one payment system to another.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

It's Not Your Imagination: Americans Are More Polarized, Says Pew

Linda Door of Laguna Beach, Calif. protests against the health care reform law as supporters file past the Supreme Court in Washington, last March.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 4:44 pm

It's not just our politicians who are divided. According to a new report (pdf) from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Americans' values and "basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years."

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The Record
2:45 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

There's No Such Thing As A Sold Out Concert (Even For Justin Bieber)

Over the weekend, Justin Bieber's 45-city fall tour sold out in an hour.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:44 pm

This weekend, as Billboard has reported, tickets for Justin Bieber's tour of the United States and Canada sold out in an hour. Not just one venue. The whole tour. All of the tickets. Completely.

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It's All Politics
2:42 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Romney Rekindles Conservative Doubts With Pick To Lead White House Transition

Mitt and Ann Romney sit behind Michael Leavitt and his wife Jacqueline at the February 2008 funeral of Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney reportedly has chosen Leavitt to lead his transition team.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

With many conservatives already suspecting that he is a conservative of convenience, Mitt Romney apparently hasn't done himself any favors in their eyes with the man he chose to lead his presidential transition.

Politico broke the story Sunday that Romney has chosen Michael Leavitt to oversee the creation of an executive branch in waiting.

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