Mark Memmott http://kplu.org en Russia's Credit Rating Cut To Just Above 'Junk' http://kplu.org/post/russias-credit-rating-cut-just-above-junk Saying that "the <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/126978660/ukraine" target="_blank">tense geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine</a>" could accelerate the already heavy flow of money coming out of Russia, <a href="http://www.standardandpoors.com/en_US/web/guest/home" target="_blank">Standard & Poor's</a> on Friday cut that nation's credit rating to just above "junk" level.<p>What's more, S&P says it doesn't expect things to improve anytime soon:<p><blockquote><p>"In our view, Russia's political institutions remain comparatively weak and political power is highly centralized. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 16:13:48 +0000 Mark Memmott 16271 at http://kplu.org Pope OKs Communion For The Divorced? Not So Fast, Vatican Says http://kplu.org/post/pope-oks-communion-divorced-not-so-fast-vatican-says The Vatican on Thursday sought to tamp down speculation that Pope Francis wants to reverse church teachings and allow divorced and remarried Catholics and their spouses to take Communion.<p><a href="http://davidgibson.religionnews.com/2014/04/23/pope-francis-really-tell-divorced-woman-take-communion/" target="_blank">Religion News Service walks through</a> what happened after word surfaced earlier this week that the pope reportedly called a woman in Argentina and told her it is OK for at least some divorced Catholics or their spouses to receive that <a href="http://www.americancatholic.org/fea Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:38:00 +0000 Mark Memmott 16245 at http://kplu.org Pope OKs Communion For The Divorced? Not So Fast, Vatican Says 'Stop Supporting Men Hiding Behind Masks,' Biden Tells Russia http://kplu.org/post/stop-supporting-men-hiding-behind-masks-biden-tells-russia <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxZUI218HHc</p> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:11:07 +0000 Mark Memmott 16199 at http://kplu.org 'Stop Supporting Men Hiding Behind Masks,' Biden Tells Russia As Korean Ferry Sank, Some Crew Members Fought To Save Lives http://kplu.org/post/korean-ferry-sank-some-crew-members-fought-save-lives With the death toll continuing to rise and likely to exceed 300, the captain and crew of the <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/146267509/ferry-disaster" target="_blank">ferry that sank last week off the coast of South Korea</a> have been called cowards <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/21/305489293/murder-south-korean-leader-says-of-ferry-captains-actions" target="_blank">and accused of murder.</a><p>Now, though, we're also hearing about the heroic acts of some among the 29-member crew — seven of whom either are confirmed to have died or are missing.<p>"Passengers recall mome Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:21:34 +0000 Mark Memmott 16191 at http://kplu.org As Korean Ferry Sank, Some Crew Members Fought To Save Lives You Can Survive A Flight In A Jet's Wheel Well, But Probably Won't http://kplu.org/post/you-can-survive-flight-jets-wheel-well-probably-wont The amazing story of a <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/21/305495936/teen-survives-flight-to-hawaii-in-jets-wheel-well-fbi-says" target="_blank">16-year-old California boy who the FBI says survived</a> a 5 1/2-hour flight in the frigid wheel well of a jet that flew from San Jose to Hawaii on Sunday raises a logical question:<p>How does one survive a trip like that when the temperature would have dropped to more than 50 degrees below zero and the air would have been thinner than that at the top of Mount Everest?<p>Well, as it turns out there have been cases of such survival Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:56:06 +0000 Mark Memmott 16169 at http://kplu.org You Can Survive A Flight In A Jet's Wheel Well, But Probably Won't http://kplu.org/post/you-can-survive-flight-jets-wheel-well-probably-wont-0 The amazing story of a <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/21/305495936/teen-survives-flight-to-hawaii-in-jets-wheel-well-fbi-says" target="_blank">16-year-old California boy who the FBI says survived</a> a 5 1/2-hour flight in the frigid wheel well of a jet that flew from San Jose to Hawaii on Sunday raises a logical question:<p>How does one survive a trip like that when the temperature would have dropped to more than 50 degrees below zero and the air would have been thinner than that at the top of Mount Everest?<p>Well, as it turns out there have been cases of such survival Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:56:06 +0000 Mark Memmott 16170 at http://kplu.org Here's What Putin Didn't Tell Snowden About Russia's Spying http://kplu.org/post/heres-what-putin-didnt-tell-snowden-about-russias-spying "Does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?" former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/04/17/304057289/putin-tells-snowden-that-russia-doesnt-do-mass-surveillance" target="_blank">asked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday</a>.<p>"We don't have a mass system of such interception, and according to our law it cannot exist," the Russian leader responded.<p>Well, <a href="https://twitter.com/tgjelten/status/457169455101902848" target="_blank">as NPR's Tom Gjelten tweets< Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:49:25 +0000 Mark Memmott 16138 at http://kplu.org Here's What Putin Didn't Tell Snowden About Russia's Spying Take A Break For Something Cute: Two Kittens Who Traveled Far http://kplu.org/post/take-break-something-cute-two-kittens-who-traveled-far After so many stories this month about <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/179200897/accidents-and-disasters" target="_blank">accidents and disasters</a>, we needed something completely different and hopefully cute.<p>This would seem to fit the bill:<p>"Kittens accidentally packed in box, shipped from Los Angeles to San Diego." (<a href="http://www.10news.com/news/kittens-packed-in-box-shipped-from-los-angeles-to-san-diego-041614" target="_blank">San Diego's ABC10 News</a>)<p>"Two kittens are recovering after they were found inside a box that was shipped from the Los Angeles area to a Cox Communi Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:47:25 +0000 Mark Memmott 16136 at http://kplu.org Take A Break For Something Cute: Two Kittens Who Traveled Far Putin Tells Snowden That Russia Doesn't Do Mass Surveillance http://kplu.org/post/putin-tells-snowden-russia-doesnt-do-mass-surveillance <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1yH554emkY</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:35:32 +0000 Mark Memmott 16100 at http://kplu.org Putin Tells Snowden That Russia Doesn't Do Mass Surveillance Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Near 7-Year Low http://kplu.org/post/weekly-jobless-claims-stay-near-7-year-low There were 304,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, up just 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 302,000, <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf" target="_blank">the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday</a>.<p>The scant increase means claims continued to run near their lowest pace since May 2007 — seven months before the economy slipped into its latest recession. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:34:10 +0000 Mark Memmott 16098 at http://kplu.org Fate Of Girls Abducted In Nigeria Now Uncertain http://kplu.org/post/fate-girls-abducted-nigeria-now-uncertain This post was updated at 5:50 p.m. ET.<p>NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that Nigeria's defense ministry has retracted its earlier claim that they missing schoolgirls were free.<p>"[A] report was filed in from the field indicating that a major breakthrough had been recorded in the search," the ministry said in a statement.<p>"There was no reason to doubt this official channel, hence the information was released to the public immediately," it said. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:34:07 +0000 Mark Memmott 16097 at http://kplu.org One Man's Pee Pushes Portland To Flush 38 Million Gallons Of Water http://kplu.org/post/one-mans-pee-pushes-portland-flush-38-million-gallons-water <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wXnTtKKSrg</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:31:48 +0000 Mark Memmott 16093 at http://kplu.org One Man's Pee Pushes Portland To Flush 38 Million Gallons Of Water No Sign Yet Of Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Disaster http://kplu.org/post/no-sign-yet-hundreds-missing-after-south-korean-ferry-disaster <h6>This post will be updated as news comes in.</h6><p>A second day of dangerous efforts to reach any survivors has ended with still no sign of the nearly 300 people — most of them high school students — believed to be trapped aboard a South Korean ferry that has capsized in the Yellow Sea.<p>South Korean coast guard authorities said Thursday that divers have not been able to get into any of the cabins aboard the overturned ship, the Sewol. Bad weather and rough seas are said to be hampering the search efforts. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:31:46 +0000 Mark Memmott 16094 at http://kplu.org No Sign Yet Of Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Disaster Ukraine Crisis: Russia Endorses Call For Protesters To Disarm http://kplu.org/post/ukraine-crisis-diplomats-meet-putin-admits-russias-role-crimea <h6>This post was updated with a new top at 4:10 p.m. ET.</h6><p>Diplomats from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and the European Union emerged Thursday from a meeting that wasn't expected to accomplish much saying they had made progress toward resolving the crisis in Ukraine.<p>"We worked hard and we worked in good faith in order to narrow our real differences," Secretary of State John Kerry said following the meeting in Geneva. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:30:45 +0000 Mark Memmott 16090 at http://kplu.org Ukraine Crisis: Russia Endorses Call For Protesters To Disarm Boston Bombing Defendant Can See Victims' Autopsy Photos, Judge Says http://kplu.org/post/boston-bombing-defendant-can-see-victims-autopsy-photos-judge-says A federal judge said Wednesday that Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may see autopsy photos of the three people who died after the <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/177378595/boston-marathon-explosions" target="_blank">explosions near the finish line of last year's race</a>.<p>District Judge George O'Toole "rejected a claim by the government that Tsarnaev should not see the photos because it would disturb the families of the victims," <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/boston-bombing-anniversary/tsarnaev-can-view-victim-autopsy-photos-judge-n81996" target="_blank">NBC Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:53:18 +0000 Mark Memmott 16067 at http://kplu.org Boston Bombing Defendant Can See Victims' Autopsy Photos, Judge Says