Politics

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Saying that "the tense geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine" could accelerate the already heavy flow of money coming out of Russia, Standard & Poor's on Friday cut that nation's credit rating to just above "junk" level.

What's more, S&P says it doesn't expect things to improve anytime soon:

Ever wonder why your voice sounds so much better when you sing in the shower? It has to do with an acoustic "blur" called reverberation. From classical to pop music, reverberation "makes music sound nicer," acoustic engineer Trevor Cox tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. It helps blend the sound, "but you don't want too much," he warns.

Presenting Income/Upshot, brought to you by the Marketplace Wealth & Poverty Desk. This tool lets you calculate how far above or below the median income you are for your area.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers missed a midnight deadline Tuesday night to rebalance the state budget. But they didn’t go home. Instead, Governor Chris Gregoire called yet another overtime session. At this hour, lawmakers are still voting on a final budget deal. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has the latest.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s the final day of Washington’s 30-day special session. But still no deal on a plan to rebalance the state budget and pass a series of government reform measures. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports closed door talks broke up late Monday night.

A weary Governor Chris Gregoire held a news conference just before midnight.

Gregoire: “We’ve made progress over 11 hours, but we’re not done and everybody’s still working.”’

Senate Holds Hearing On Protecting San Juans' Public Lands

Mar 23, 2012
Photo by KenBungay / Flickr

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A bill to establish a National Conservation Area that would give permanent protection 1,000 acres of unique landscapes in the San Juan Islands is wending its way through Congress. A key committee took up the legislation Thursday.

Potjie / Flickr

OLYMPIA -- Washington’s Public Records Act and other transparency measures have earned the state a high score in a nationwide study. The State Integrity Investigation looked at every state’s disclosure practices. It ranked Washington third in the country, with a letter grade of "B-."

But budget cuts are curtailing investigations by government watchdogs. And all three branches of government have tried to put more of their records outside the law’s scrutiny. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

Photo by Eric Hunt / Wikimedia Commons

BOISE, Idaho – A new investigative project ranks Idaho 40th out of 50 states for government accountability and openness. The Gem State fails six categories outright, including ethics enforcement agencies. As Scott Ki reports, The study comes out Monday as state senators investigate one of their own.

Whats Next for Wolves After Court Decision

Mar 15, 2012

BOISE - The wolf hunt in Idaho will continue through June in part of the state. That’s because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday upheld Congress’s decision to strip federal protection for wolves in Idaho and Montana. Aaron Kunz has reaction to the decision.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. -- Congress may be close to funding county timber payments for one more year. The senate passed a transportation bill Wednesday that included an extension of the rural aid program.

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