Wash. Republican Caucus Preview
6:00 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Wash. GOP Caucus Results 'Meaningless' Says Former Party Chair

Former state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance.
Photo via Twitter

G.O.P. presidential candidates are looking for a boost from Washington’s caucuses this Saturday. It’s the last contest before Super Tuesday. But as one longtime party insider cautions, there won’t be any real winner this weekend.

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Mine Procedure Changes
5:13 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Public Radio Report Prompts Mine Agency To Change Procedures

A statue of a miner stands outside Hecla Mining's headquarters in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The company owns the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho.
Photo credit: Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

The federal agency that oversees the nation’s mines says it’s changing how it handles key documents designed to improve mine safety. The move was prompted in part by a public radio investigation on a fatal mine accident in north Idaho.

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Washington Car Sharing
4:51 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Wash. Legislature Paves Road For Personal Car Rental

Ride share companies are already prevalent in California and Oregon.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Evolstephanieberkeley Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The state of Washington is opening the door to a new flavor of car rental, as Oregon and California have already done. The Washington Legislature just voted to tweak the auto insurance rules so you can rent your wheels to friends or strangers when you're not using your car yourself.

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ID, WA Higher Ed
4:15 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Improved Funding May be On The Way For Higher Education in Wash., Idaho

Universities in Idaho are expecting to see increased state funding. University of Idaho Administration Building in Moscow, Idaho.
Photo Credit: Robbie Giles Wikimedia Commons

After years of severe budget cuts, better days may be on the horizon for higher education in Idaho and Washington.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Judge Who Emailed Racist Obama Joke Calls For Investigation On Himself

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 3:32 pm

U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull says he will apologize to President Obama and ask for a panel of judges to investigate his conduct after a Montana newspaper reported he had sent a racially inflammatory message using his courthouse email account last month.

The Great Falls Tribune reported the judge had forwarded the following message to six of his friends February 20:

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News
3:07 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Nation's Toughest Immigration Law Stays Put For Now

A line of people wait outside the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard arguments over tough new laws targeting illegal immigration in Alabama and Georgia on Thursday.
John Amis AP

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 1:38 pm

Portions of Alabama's strict immigration law will remain in force until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on its predecessor, the Arizona statue that ignited a national firestorm in the debate over illegal immigration.

A panel of three judges from an Atlanta federal appeals court decided Thursday to put off action on lawsuits against measures in Alabama and Georgia. Oral arguments are set for April 25 before the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Arizona's enforcement policy.

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Europe
3:03 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Will The New AK-47 Be As Popular As The Original?

A Colombian police officer stands guard next to seized Chinese-made AK-47 replicas on Nov. 18, 2009. The guns have become so ubiquitous around the world that Russia's planned redesign may not do much to booster sales.
Luis Robayo Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:59 am

The Kalashnikov assault rifle, or AK-47, is one of the most dangerous and widely used weapons in the world. For more than 60 years, nations, rebels, gangsters and child soldiers have wielded the gun.

And now, Russian officials say it's outdated. As part of a $700 billion army modernization program, the country has announced a redesign of the rifle.

New York Times foreign correspondent C.J. Chivers — author of The Gun, a book about the Kalashnikov — tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the updates are mostly cosmetic.

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The Salt
2:35 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Seattle's First Urban Food Forest Will Be Open To Foragers

Designers of a food forest in Seattle want to make blueberry picking a neighborly activity.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 4:41 pm

If you're a regular reader of The Salt, you've probably noticed our interest in foraging. From San Francisco to Maryland, we've met wild food experts, nature guides and chefs passionate about picking foods growing in their backyards.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Suspect In Ohio School Shooting Charged With Three Counts Of Murder

In this Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 photo, seventeen-year-old T.J. Lane is led from Juvenile Court by Sheriff's deputies in Chardon, Ohio.
Mark Duncan AP

Prosecutors have officially charged 17-year-old T.J. Lane in the shooting rampage at an Ohio high school.

The charges — three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated attempted murder and one count of felonious assault — were filed in juvenile court, but the AP adds that this could be the first step toward charging him as an adult.

A hearing is set next week in Geauga County to determine whether he'll be charged as an adult.

The AP reports:

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Middle East
2:02 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Syrian Army Drives Rebels From Embattled City

Syrian mourners in Qusayr, a few miles outside Homs, carry the body of a man killed by shrapnel, during his funeral on Tuesday. After a month-long assault by the Syrian army, rebels were forced to retreat from Homs on Thursday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 9:17 pm

A key rebel stronghold in the central Syrian city of Homs has fallen to the Syrian army.

Residents fled as government forces bombarded the city's Baba Amr neighborhood for nearly a month. On Thursday, the rebels withdrew.

When the Syrian uprising began nearly a year ago, Baba Amr saw regular, daily protests. Then after months of being shot, detained and tortured, protesters began taking up arms. Those armed civilians were later joined by defectors from the Syrian military, and together, they called themselves the Free Syrian Army.

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