Balancing The Budget
5:51 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Wash. Democrats May Find Path To Avoid Sales Tax Measure

If Washington's new revenue forecast is positive, the state may avoid the governor’s proposal to ask voters to approve a half-penny sales tax hike.
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

BalaOLYMPIA, Wash. – Democrats in the Washington legislature are suddenly hopeful they can rebalance the state budget without asking voters to approve a tax hike. Their optimism comes even before they see the latest revenue forecast out Thursday.

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Women's Boxing
4:51 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Female Seattle Boxer Fights Battle Of The Mind In Face Of Olympics

Queen Underwood, 27, of Seattle steps out of the ring victorious at the Olympic team trials for women's boxing in Spokane.
Photo credit: Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

This year, women will box for the gold for the first time ever at the Summer Olympics in London. One of the top contenders is a boxer from the Northwest named Queen Underwood. Jessica Robinson reports.

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Pollution
4:09 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Illegal Sewage Dumper In Kennewick, Wash., Fined $50,000

Portable toilets similar to what the fined company may use.
Photo Credit: ŠJů Wikimedia commons

PolRICHLAND, Wash. – State regulators have fined a port-o-john operator in southeast Washington for illegally dumping raw sewage down a manhole at least five times. Some of the $50,000 in fines will go to the city of Kennewick, which had to clean up waste that backed up into streets.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Audits Are Under Way At Apple Supplier Foxconn's Plants

A group of protesters demonstrate outside Foxconn's annual meeting in Hong Kong last year. Working conditions at the company's plants have brought criticism on Apple.
Mike Clarke AFP/Getty Images

Audits of working conditions are under way at Foxconn's manufacturing plants in China, a key link in Apple's supply chain of iPhones, iPads and other devices. The effort will include visits to at least three sites, "each with more than 100,000 workers," says Auret Van Heerden, president of the Fair Labor Association.

"So we've taken a representative sample of over 35,000 workers," Van Heerden tells All Things Considered co-host Robert Siegel, in an interview airing Wednesday.

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Europe
2:55 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Europe Wants Assurances For Latest Greek Bailout

In Athens on Tuesday, Greek pensioners marched in protest against new austerity cuts. The eurozone insists Greece must stick to hugely unpopular austerity measures agreed to in return for a 130 billion euro debt bailout.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

The European Union says Greece has made some progress, but not enough, to merit the new bailout it desperately needs to avoid default and keep the euro as its currency.

Greeks are increasingly bitter about the austerity measures the EU is imposing on them. And Greece's EU partners are losing trust that the Greeks will implement them.

Now, talk is growing about contingency planning if Greece fails to meet the bailout conditions and defaults.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:52 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Scientists Debate How To Conduct Bird Flu Research

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 2:58 pm

Scientists working with bird flu recently called a 60-day halt on some controversial experiments, and the unusual move has been compared to a famous moratorium on genetic engineering in the 1970s.

But key scientists involved in that event disagree on whether history is repeating itself.

"I see an amazing similarity," says Nobel Prize winner Paul Berg, of Stanford University.

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Movie Interviews
2:33 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

'Undefeated' Filmmakers Talk Friday Nights' Fights

North Memphis' Manassas Tigers Coach Bill Courtney and player O.C. Brown stand on the sidelines in a scene from the Oscar-nominated documentary Undefeated.
Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 12:15 pm

By 2009, after years of losses, the all-black football team at Manassas High School in inner-city North Memphis, Tenn., was known as 'Whipping Boy Manassas' — one of the worst teams in the entire state. The new documentary Undefeated, recently nominated for an Oscar, captures the team's following season, and the struggles of its coach and players, on and off the field.

Co-directors Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin describe the team's recent history.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Robert Rubin: Economic Future Is Most 'Uncertain' He's Ever Seen

Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says the U.S. economic outlook is the most "uncertain" he has seen in his lifetime.

Given that he was born during the Great Depression (1938), and lived through the Cold War, the 1970s' inflation, a brutal 1980-82 recession and the recent global financial crisis, that may be saying a lot.

Rubin, who was President Clinton's Treasury secretary, is now co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. He spoke Wednesday in Washington, D.C., at a conference called "American Competitiveness: What Works," sponsored by General Electric.

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It's All Politics
2:16 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Obama's Manufacturing Push Meets Skepticism From Experts

President Obama extolled U.S. manufacturing at Master Lock in Milwaukee as some experts said a return to the nation's industrial past may not be the best path forward.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 2:30 pm

Manufacturing is as American as motherhood, baseball and apple pie. Who could be against Americans making more of what they consume and exporting more to the rest of the world?

Which is why President Obama was hardly taking a political risk Wednesday by going to a Master Lock factory in Milwaukee and extolling the company for repatriating manufacturing jobs from China.

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Middle East
1:31 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Iran Ups The Ante With More Nuclear Moves

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right) listens to a nuclear expert during a tour of the Tehran Research Reactor on Wednesday. Iran announced that for the first time it has produced the fuel plates that power that reactor.
Iranian Presidency AFP/Getty Images

Iran has unveiled significant developments on two important components of its nuclear program: the centrifuges used to enrich uranium and the uranium used to fuel a research reactor.

The country has made no secret of its work in these areas. But the news on Wednesday suggests that Iran may be making progress in its nuclear program.

Iran also announced that it is cutting off oil sales to several European nations, only to reverse itself hours later.

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