Gay rights
3:29 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Wash. House committee approves gay marriage bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A measure to legalize same-sex marriage has passed a House committee, and the Senate is expected to vote on its companion bill as early as Wednesday.

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All Tech Considered
2:59 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

What The FBI Wants In A Social Media Monitoring App

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 9:02 pm

The FBI has raised eyebrows in the tech world with a public document that asks for advice on how to harvest information from social networking sites.

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Global Health
2:54 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Gates initiative on 'neglected diseases' advances cause

“These are not neglected diseases but diseases of neglected people.”

For the London Declaration on Neglected Diseases, the Gates Foundation pledged $363 million to support research into new treatments.

Drug makers pledged to step up research as well as to expand donation programs of medications to poor countries. And others such as the World Bank, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and U.K. have brought the total estimated commitment to $785 million.

But we and others are wondering, What is a neglected disease? Some say cancer and mental illness are two of the largest neglected diseases that don’t normally get lumped in the ill-defined category.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Medical Marijuana
1:52 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

42 Wash. lawmakers ask DEA to reclassify marijuana

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — More than three dozen Washington state lawmakers are asking the federal government to reclassify marijuana.

In a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Monday, the lawmakers said they supported Gov. Chris Gregoire's previous request on the issue. Reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule II drug would allow it to be prescribed by doctors and handled by pharmacists.

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Higher Education
1:22 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Money for college getting harder to come up with, study finds

Despite signs that the state economy is improving, finding money to send children to college is still becoming more difficult.

More students received financial aid last year, but even more families aren't getting the help they need, according to a new report from the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board.

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Environmental Law
12:44 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Tougher rules for oil spill prevention - hearings underway

On Oct. 13, 2004, about 7,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a ConocoPhillips oil tanker. The slick spread quickly and covered much of Colvos and Dalco Passage and Quartermaster Harbor in Puget Sound.
Courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology

Washington State already has some of the highest oil spill readiness standards in the country – if not in the world.

An update to those regulations is raising that bar even higher.

The tightening is in response to the catastrophic BP oil spill nearly two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The new law places new requirements on oil companies operating in Puget Sound or on the Columbia River.

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Animal fun
12:33 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Names for Seattle's baby sea otter will be up for voting next week

With an overabundance of cute and a giant fan club already, the baby female sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium will be named possibly on Feb. 27, said Tim Kuniholm, a spokesman for the Seattle Aquarium.

The aquarium will post a range of names on its Website either next Monday or Tuesday and throw open the voting. The baby’s potential names will be a Native Alaskan place name or name from an Alaskan indigenous language, Kuniholm said.

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Fighting Depression
10:57 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Could a club drug offer 'almost immediate' relief from depression?

Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic for decades. It's also a widely popular but illegal club drug known as "Special K." When administered in low doses, patients report a rapid reduction in depression symptoms.
Huw Golledge flickr

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 9:01 pm

There's no quick fix for severe depression.

Although antidepressants like Prozac have been around since the 1970s, they usually take weeks to make a difference. And for up to 40 percent of patients, they simply don't work.

As a result, there are limited options when patients show up in an emergency room with suicidal depression.

The doctors and nurses at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston say they see this problem every day.

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Economy
8:49 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Boeing makes its largest-ever European sale

Oslo-based Norwegian Air Shuttle is the first European carrier to buy Boeing's revamped 737 MAX. Photo courtesy of Boeing

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 2:49 pm

The Boeing Company ended 2011 having sold about half as many airplanes as its France-based rival, Airbus. Now, less than a month into the new year, Boeing has inked its largest deal ever with a European airline. The aerospace giant is on track to overtake Airbus for the first time in years.

Oslo-based Norwegian Air Shuttle is the first European carrier to buy Boeing's revamped 737 MAX — 100 of them. The deal is seen as another industry vote of confidence in the updated version of Boeing's workhorse model.

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