Presidential Race
9:01 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

State Of GOP Race: No Momentum For Candidates

In the Michigan Republican primary Tuesday, Mitt Romney had a near-death experience, but he squeaked out a narrow victory over Rick Santorum. That, says veteran Republican strategist Ed Rogers, has calmed some of the anxiety in Republican circles about Romney's strength as a general election candidate.

"Mitt Romney did what he needed to do to give more certainty and more clarity to the race. He dodged a bullet; it was an ugly win," Rogers says. "It's not over. Santorum is still very competitive."

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National Security
9:01 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Officials Look For Signs Of Al-Qaida Surge In Syria

This frame grab from video provided by the SITE Intel Group shows al-Qaida's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri calling on Muslims to support rebels in Syria. The video was released earlier this month.
AP

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 9:18 am

U.S. intelligence officials tracking the situation in Syria have their eye on one group in particular: al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq.

The group has longstanding ties to Syria, and its early members weren't just Iraqis; many of them were Syrians. The former leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, not only established a network of fighters in Syria, but he also folded them into his northern Iraqi faction of al-Qaida.

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The Picture Show
9:01 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Shoot Now, Focus Later: A Little Camera To Change The Game

The Lytro we received to demo is about four inches long.
Claire O'Neill NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:49 am

Just when you thought you had the latest in camera technology, along comes something new and shiny and ... rectangular.

It's called the Lytro, and it uses something called "light field technology." In short: You shoot now and focus later.

NPR's resident photo expert, Keith Jenkins, explains: In a nutshell, he says, this camera captures not only the color and the intensity of light — which is what normal cameras do — but also the direction of that light — from every possible angle.

Still confused? We are, too.

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National Security
9:01 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

In Mock Village, A New Afghan Mission Takes Shape

Lt. Col. Mark Schmitt, who will be among a group of U.S. military trainers heading to Afghanistan soon, calls out orders during a mock attack on the model Afghan village at the U.S. military base in Fort Polk, La.
David Gilkey NPR

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

At the Fort Polk military base in the pine forests of central Louisiana, the Army has created a miniature version of Afghanistan — with mock villages and American soldiers working alongside Afghan role-players.

This is the training ground for a new American approach in Afghanistan as the U.S. begins to look ahead to the goal of bringing home the U.S. forces by the end of 2014. The idea is that Afghan forces have to be good enough to defend their country against the Taliban, and to make that happen, the U.S. Army is creating small U.S. training teams at Fort Polk.

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Education
9:01 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

To Get Kids To Class, LA Softens Its Hard Line

Los Angeles Police Department officers detain students in 2010 during a sweep for truants in the San Pedro neighborhood.
Brad Graverson Torrance Daily Breeze

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 5:52 pm

Los Angeles is easing its stance on truancy. For the past decade, a tough city ordinance slapped huge fines on students for even one instance of skipping school or being late, but the Los Angeles City Council is changing that law to focus on helping students get to class because it turns out those harsh fines were backfiring.

Two years ago, Nabil Romero, a young Angeleno with a thin black mustache, was running late to his first period at a public high school on LA's Westside.

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Theater
9:01 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

'Carrie' Creators Resurrect A Legendary Flop

Molly Ranson plays the title role in the off-Broadway reworking of Carrie, directed by Stafford Arima and written by Lawrence D. Cohen, with lyrics by Dean Pitchford and music by Michael Gore.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 9:18 am

Broadway history is littered with flop musicals — but if some shows are bombs, then Carrie, based on Stephen King's best-selling 1974 novel, was kind of a nuclear bomb.

The story of a teenager with telekinetic powers who wreaks bloody havoc on her small Maine town had already been successfully adapted as a film starring Sissy Spacek in 1976. But as a musical?

Frank Rich was theater critic for The New York Times when the show opened in April 1988. He called it a musical wreck that "expires with fireworks like the Hindenburg."

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Nuclear Renewal
5:17 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Energy Northwest Nuclear Plant Nears Completion Of License Renewal

The Columbia Generating Station, located 10 miles north of Richland, Wash., is owned and operated by Energy Northwest. Columbia produces enough energy to power a city the size of Seattle.
Photo credit: Energy Northwest" Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Northwest’s only commercial nuclear reactor has received its final safety evaluation report from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That’s an important milestone in the effort to re-license the reactor for an additional 20 years near Richland, Washington.

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Oregon Wolves
5:09 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Oregon House Approves Tax Credit For Livestock Lost To Wolves

Oregon Legislature is close to ending its session.
Photo credit: M.O. Stevens Wikimedia commons

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon ranchers who lose livestock to a wolf attack would be eligible for a tax credit under a measure approved Wednesday by the Oregon House. The bill would authorize a total of $37,000 in tax credits statewide each year.

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Stealth Bills
4:51 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Wash. Legislature: As Pace Picks Up, Complaints About Lack Of Transparency

Washington State Capital Legislative Building. The legislature is moving bills behind the scenes to get bills through quickly near the end of it's session.
Creative Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – An insider’s game. That’s how open government advocates describe the Washington legislature as it heads into its final days. They complain of last minute public hearings, so-called “ghost bills” with only a title and no details, and quick votes on deals negotiated behind-the-scenes. These shortcuts save time. But critics say they effectively shut the public out of the process.

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WSU Budget
4:39 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Washington State University Funding Looking Better Than In Recent Years

Bryan Tower on the WSU campus. WSU is hopeful about a better budget outlook.
Photo credit: ELBAZ Wikimedia commons

Washington State University officials are cautiously optimistic that the steep budget cuts in state funding so common in recent years may be over.

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