Environment
6:09 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Snow Survey Shows Dramatically Dry Conditions for California

file photo
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The next to the last snow survey of the season shows extremely dry conditions for California. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, it has prompted the Department of Natural Resources to call the security of the state’s water supply “threatened.”

 The bad news: the water content in California’s snowpack is only 52 percent of normal. What’s worse, the spring melt is underway. While the season started with water content above 130 percent of normal in January, it’s been unusually dry ever since. 

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Amazon Buys Book-Recommendation Site Goodreads

The Amazon Kindle e-reader could see greater integration with Goodreads, following Thursday's announcement that the online retail giant was buying the the social book-recommendation site.
Ted S. Warren AP

Amazon, the online retail behemoth that has made a much-publicized foray into publishing, has just bought Goodreads, the social book-recommendation site.

"Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading," Russ Grandinetti, Amazon vice president for Kindle Content, said in a statement on Thursday. "Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world."

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Prosecutors Say Alleged Colorado Theater Shooter's Plea Offer Was 'Publicity Ploy'

Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shooting case, say the plea offer from the alleged gunman James Holmes was a publicity ploy, The Denver Post is reporting.

The paper adds:

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Supreme Court Notes: Bugs, Pumps And Stolen Credit Card Numbers

Same-sex marriage supporters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 3:52 pm

NPR's Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg sends us some odds and ends from a very momentous week in the Supreme Court.

Hear all that sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and nose blowing during this week's same-sex oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court?

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

In Light Of High Court Arguments, What Does Gay Marriage Tells Us About Polygamy?

Robyn Brown, Meri Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Janelle Brown from "Sister Wives" arrive at the grand opening of Mike Tyson's one-man show at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 10:18 am

One of the more interesting exchanges to emerge from the Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage this week, wasn't about the sexes, instead it was when Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a question about polygamy.

Sotomayor asked Ted Olson, the lawyer asking the court to repeal California's ban on gay marriage, that if he was right and "marriage is a fundamental right" could any state restrictions ever exist. In other words, does declaring gay marriage a civil right, pave the way to legalization of, say, polygamy?

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Syrian Opposition Leader Not Leaving Post

We told you over the weekend about the Syrian opposition leader who resigned in frustration, criticizing the international community for not doing enough to end the civil war in Syria. Turns out he's staying in his job.

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Shots - Health News
3:06 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Many Hot Water Heaters Set Too High, Upping Burn Risk

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 4:16 pm

Burns are nasty injuries — they're painful and, if you're not careful, they can quickly get infected. Two children die from burn injuries every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A surprising number of these deaths originate with tap water that is way too hot.

The problem, a new study suggests, is that many water heaters are set dangerously high.

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It's All Politics
3:04 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Reluctant Justices May Be Forced To Make History

Police stand guard in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices hear arguments on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 10:34 am

Now and then, an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court changes the course of the nation's political history — whether the justices like it or not.

It's happening again with gay marriage. This week the court heard oral arguments in two key cases. One could restore legal same-sex marriage in California; the other could end discrimination against gay married couples in the administration of more than 1,000 federal programs.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

French President Tries Again For Tax On Rich

French President Francois Hollande takes part Thursday in an interview on French 2 TV in Paris.
Fred Dufour AP

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 4:41 am

French President Francois Hollande is trying again with his 75 percent tax on millionaires.

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Business
2:33 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Farm Bill's Sugar Subsidy More Taxing Than Sweet, Critics Say

While many people enjoy sweet treats — like these chocolate bunnies — the price of a key ingredient has some people bitter. A government subsidy program is criticized for keeping sugar prices too high. But as prices fall, the government may buy sugar to help processors.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 8:55 pm

While you indulge in some Easter Peeps and chocolates this weekend, you might want to think about all that sugar. No, this isn't a calorie warning. In the U.S., raw sugar can cost twice the world average.

Critics say U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates sugar prices to benefit an exclusive group of processors — even though it leads to higher food prices. But this year, prices fell anyway. Now, the government could be poised to use taxpayer dollars to buy up the excess sugar.

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