Northwest Public Radio http://nwpr.org en Washington Ethics Board To Consider Crackdown On Lobbyist-Paid Meals http://nwpr.org/post/washington-ethics-board-consider-crackdown-lobbyist-paid-meals <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">By next January Washington lawmakers should have clearer guidance on when it’s OK to accept free meals from lobbyists.</p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:28:02 +0000 Austin Jenkins 44435 at http://nwpr.org Washington Ethics Board To Consider Crackdown On Lobbyist-Paid Meals Flags Lowered Across Washington To Honor Landslide Victims http://nwpr.org/post/flags-lowered-across-washington-honor-landslide-victims <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">Flags are flying at half mast across Washington state this afternoon to honor victims of last month's deadly landslide.</p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:19:45 +0000 Tom Banse 44434 at http://nwpr.org Flags Lowered Across Washington To Honor Landslide Victims Washington Utilities And Transportation Commission Investigating 911 Outage http://nwpr.org/post/washington-utilities-and-transportation-commission-investigating-911-outage <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11.818181991577148px; line-height: 16.365272521972656px; background-color: rgb(239, 239, 239);">The State Utilities and Transportation Commission has opened an investigation into last Thursday’s 911 emergency line outage.&nbsp;CenturyLink said about 4,500 calls failed to get through during the outage. The telecommunications company said a similar outage that occurred in Oregon around the same time was unrelated</span></p><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:10:32 +0000 Patricia Murphy 44433 at http://nwpr.org NYPD Shuts Down Controversial Unit That Spied On Muslims http://nwpr.org/post/nypd-shuts-down-controversial-unit-spied-muslims The New York Police Department said Tuesday it would disband a special unit charged with detecting possible terrorist threats by carrying out secret surveillance of Muslim groups.<p>The squad that conducted the surveillance, known as the Demographics Unit, was formed in 2003. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:19:00 +0000 Scott Neuman 44432 at http://nwpr.org NYPD Shuts Down Controversial Unit That Spied On Muslims In India, Landmark Ruling Recognizes Transgender Citizens http://nwpr.org/post/india-landmark-ruling-recognizes-transgender-citizens India now has a third gender.<p>The Supreme Court has recognized the country's transgender community as being in a third neutral category — neither male nor female.<p>In handing down the ruling, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said, "Transgenders are citizens of this country ... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:30:00 +0000 editor 44430 at http://nwpr.org In Pakistan, Literary Spring Is Both Renaissance And Resistance http://nwpr.org/post/pakistan-literary-spring-both-renaissance-and-resistance On one of the first weekends of the Pakistani spring, more than 45,000 people gathered in the city of Lahore for three days of lectures, performances and old-fashioned people watching. The second annual <a href="http://www.lahorelitfest.com/">Lahore Literary Festival</a> brought artists from all over the world to Pakistan's cultural capital to share their work — and to celebrate the power of expression.<p>In the shadow of the violence and political instability of recent years, cultural gatherings in Lahore have all but disappeared. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:29:00 +0000 editor 44431 at http://nwpr.org In Pakistan, Literary Spring Is Both Renaissance And Resistance Risks Of Popular Anxiety Drugs Often Overshadowed http://nwpr.org/post/risks-popular-anxiety-drugs-often-overshadowed When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an overdose in February, the New York City medical examiner ruled that his death was the result of "acute mixed drug intoxication." Heroin, cocaine and a widely prescribed class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or benzos, were found in his system.<p>The drugs first burst onto the scene in the 1950s and '60s and quickly became known as "<a href="http://www.med.umich.edu/psych/faculty/metzl/07_Metzl.pdf">mother's little helper</a>," the mild tranquilizer that could soothe frazzled housewives' nerves. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Susan Sharon 44424 at http://nwpr.org Risks Of Popular Anxiety Drugs Often Overshadowed The Long Wait On Safety Rules For The 'Soda Can' Of Rail Cars http://nwpr.org/post/long-wait-safety-rules-soda-can-rail-cars Freight trains roll through the Chicago suburb of Barrington, Ill., every day, many pulling older tank cars known as DOT-111s. They're known as the "soda can" of rail cars, says village President Karen Darch, because their shells are so thin.<p>Many of the DOT-111s are full of heavy Canadian tar sands crude oil. Some carry ethanol. And more and more of them are loaded with light Bakken crude oil from North Dakota.<p>"The worry is that if there's a derailment and the car is punctured, if any of the flammable materials in it ... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:56:00 +0000 David Schaper 44422 at http://nwpr.org The Long Wait On Safety Rules For The 'Soda Can' Of Rail Cars In Portugal, A Sales Receipt May Be Your Ticket To Win Big http://nwpr.org/post/portugal-sales-receipt-may-be-your-ticket-win-big On Lisbon's cobblestone lanes, the Portuguese economy is hobbling along as it always has — in cash.<p>In a tiny, 100-year-old bar, Nuno Goncalves pours out glasses of <em>ginja</em> — a Portuguese sweet cherry liqueur — for his customers, mostly old men in flat caps. A small shot-glass full costs 50 cents — cash only. There is a cash register, but it doesn't print receipts.<p>"It's a local business. They just count the money they have, and the bottles they sell," explains a customer named Felipe. "They will not give you a receipt — and you will not ask for a receipt. Because, come on! Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:56:00 +0000 Lauren Frayer 44421 at http://nwpr.org In Portugal, A Sales Receipt May Be Your Ticket To Win Big Sending Money On An Overseas Round Trip To Avoid Taxes http://nwpr.org/post/taking-money-overseas-round-trip-avoid-taxes Some investors avoid paying taxes in a move called round-tripping — sending money offshore, then investing it in U.S. stocks or bonds. A study estimates it costs the U.S. billions in lost revenues.<p>Recently, MIT professor Michelle Hanlon and two colleagues set out to find out all they could about round-tripping.<p>"I think it's a big problem in the U.S. tax system that individuals can evade taxes and that they try to do so offshore," Hanlon says. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:56:00 +0000 Jim Zarroli 44418 at http://nwpr.org Sending Money On An Overseas Round Trip To Avoid Taxes