Around the Nation
6:44 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Thousands Evacuate As Fire Burns Toward Reno

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 6:08 pm

Wind gusts of up to 82 mph pushed a fast-moving brush fire south of Reno out of control Thursday as it burned several homes, threatened dozens more and forced more than 4,000 people to evacuate their neighborhoods.

Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez said more than 230 firefighters were battling the blaze, which had grown to nearly 5 square miles within hours.

It's the second time in three months that firefighters in Reno have faced a massive wildfire.

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Winter Storm
4:32 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Snowmageddon after all: Seattle says go home; state of emergency; 200,000+ without power

Associated Press

Gov. Chris Gregoire has declared a state of emergency for an ice storm that landed on top of heavy snow in western Washington, causing treacherous travel, power outages and threats that buildings could collapse. So far, the storm has left more than 200,000 people without power.

Seattle city officials are asking residents to get home before dark, if possible, because they fear even worse icing conditions by night fall.

Ice closed Sea-Tac Airport in the early morning before one runway was reopened. The State Patrol said it had responded to about 2,300 accidents in a 24-hour period ending at 9 a.m. Thursday, roughly quadruple the average number.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Scientists watch comet plunge into the sun

The comet C/2011 N3 (SOHO) diving toward the sun in July 2011.
NASA

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 4:03 pm

For the first time ever, scientists have been able to watch a comet perform a deadly dive into the sun. Back in July, a Kreutz sungrazer known as C/2011 N3 passed so close to the sun that the icy body was vaporized.

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Washington State Legislature
4:26 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Gay marriage one vote shy in Washington State Senate

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Supporters and opponents of gay marriage plan to descend on Washington’s capitol on Monday when House and Senate committees are scheduled to take public testimony on legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry.

It now appears sponsors in the state Senate are just one vote shy of passage.

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Winter Storm
4:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Ice and snow bring down trees, power lines in Olympia

Trees and part of trees, like this that fell in west Olympia, were down around the city of Olympia.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In Olympia, snow and ice-laden tree branches are down on the capitol campus. On the west side of town, downed power lines made several roads impassable.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Feds shut down file-sharing site; hackers attack Justice Department

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 4:36 pm

Earlier today, the Justice Department announced it had charged seven people on counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy in what's being called one the biggest criminal copyright cases.

NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The Justice Department accused Megaupload, a popular file sharing site, with helping millions of people gain access to pirated movies, music and TV programs, often before the items are released for sale.

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Humanosphere
3:19 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Land grabs in Africa adding to chaos and death

Displacement action enforced by soldiers.
IRIN Flickr

Aid organizations are trying to call attention to a little-noticed but massive plague spreading across Africa that is destroying communities, throwing many deeper into poverty and perhaps causing the deaths of many thousands.

Not AIDS or malaria.

It’s an outbreak of property seizures and community displacements known as the land grab.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Snowfall 2012
3:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

For the record: Share your snow photos!

With snow still on the ground in Seattle, we thought it would be fun to share our snapshots of the scene. We'd love to see yours. You can post them and your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

Let us know if you've put up a YouTube video also (like the pretty darn cool one after the jump):

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Shots - Health Blog
2:56 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Spot quiz: Name the health issue that affects 1 in 5 Americans

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 2:26 pm

The correct answer is mental illness.

Mental illnesses are among the most common health problems facing Americans, with 20 percent of adults having a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. That's according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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