Brexit Gets Real: Prime Minister May Has Triggered U.K.'s Exit From EU

Updated 5:15 p.m. ET "The Article 50 process is now underway, and in accordance with the wishes of the British people, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union," British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday, informing the House of Commons that she has begun the formal process of unraveling the U.K.'s membership in the European bloc. May spoke after signing a letter to the EU that affirms the Brexit that voters embraced last June. She said that letter has now been delivered to the...

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As Congress Repeals Internet Privacy Rules, Putting Your Options In Perspective

President Trump is expected to sign into law a decision by Congress to overturn new privacy rules for Internet service providers. Passed by the Federal Communications Commission in October, the rules never went into effect. If they had, it would have given consumers more control over how ISPs use the data they collect. Most notably, the rules would have required explicit consent from consumers if sensitive data — like financial or health information, or browsing history — were to be shared or...

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Wikimedia

How Oregon PERS Got Into Such A Deep Hole

One of the major issues with balancing the state budget in Oregon is the amount of money needed to make sure retired public workers get the pensions they were promised. PERS, the Public Employee Retiree System, needs more money to match what retirees expect with what has been saved for them. Tim Nesbitt knows PERS from both labor and management sides. He worked for a couple of Oregon governors and once led the AFL-CIO in the state.

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HPV Vaccine Could Protect More People With Fewer Doses, Doctors Insist

You'd think that a vaccine that protects people against more than a half dozen types of cancer would have patients lining up to get it. But the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which can prevent roughly 90 percent of all cervical cancers as well as other cancers and sexually transmitted infections caused by the virus, has faced an uphill climb since its introduction more than a decade ago. Now, with a dosing schedule that requires fewer shots of a more effective vaccine, a leading oncology...

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First Episode Of 'All Things Considered' Is Headed To Library Of Congress

Quick quiz: What do Judy Garland's rendition of "Over the Rainbow," N.W.A's seminal Straight Outta Compton and the inaugural episode of NPR's All Things Considered have in common? That little riddle just got a little easier to answer on Wednesday: The Library of Congress announced that all three "aural treasures" — along with roughly two dozen other recordings — have been inducted into its National Recording Registry. "These sounds of the past enrich our understanding of the nation's cultural...

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Legislation Would Close Gaps Along Oregon Coast Trail

Mar 20, 2017
Zach Urness/Statesman Journal

Few pathways conjure up more conflicting emotions than the Oregon Coast Trail.

One moment you’re hiking to the top of a rocky headland and looking upon a vast sweep of ocean. The next you’re risking life and limb on the shoulder of Highway 101 as cars and trucks scream past a few feet away.

Oregon students would learn more about the history of ethnic and social minorities under a measure being considered by state lawmakers.

For three years, recreational pot has been legal in Colorado, but using it in public is still against the law. That will change this summer when pot clubs are slated to open.

A blinking "open" sign hangs on the outside of an old building in a dark industrial zone just outside the Denver city limits. When the front door opens, smoke billows out.

Inside is one of the state's few pot clubs, called iBake. Recently, members celebrated the anniversary of its opening.

Glassy-eyed patrons bounce off each other in the small space.

California May Leave Federal Flood Insurance Program And Go It Alone

Mar 20, 2017
Californbia Department of Water Resources

Massive storms and flooding in California this winter killed six people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Federal flood insurance will pay for a lot of the repair, but state water managers say in the future, they may not want federal flood insurance; it’s not worth it. Now, California could become the first state in the nation to dump federal flood insurance and go it alone.

ESO, http://www.eso.org/public/images/ann13075a

We grew up thinking about people living on other planets, thanks to the likes of Superman and Star Wars. 

But planets outside of our solar system (and outside science fiction) were really just a theory until the 1990s.  That's when telescopes and other detectors improved enough to find the first true "exoplanets." 

Now we know of thousands of them, and an overview is provided in Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life beyond Our Solar System

Desiree Kane, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51417472

The Lakota people of the Standing Rock Reservation put up spirited fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), but President Trump's executive order cleared the way for the pipeline's completion, and oil may be flowing through it now.

The Lakota People's Law Project worked on DAPL protest issues, including on behalf of the 800 or so people arrested.

Project attorneys work on behalf of the tribe and its interests, and the team includes Daniel Sheehan, a veteran of high-profile cases, including representing the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case. 

Oregon State Parks Seek More Rangers, Money As Crowds Continue To Grow

Mar 20, 2017
Bryan M. Vance/OPB

The number of people visiting Oregon’s state parks has skyrocketed during the past decade, hitting a record 51 million visits in 2016.

But the number of park rangers hasn’t changed much during the same period, officials said, leading to challenges in keeping parks clean and facilities up to date.

On the third floor of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, or PICA, a group of men and women are huddled around a table, buried in their laptops.

They’re part of a massive editing session to create more diverse voices and content on Wikipedia, with a focus on women artists.

A study by the Wikipedia Foundation found fewer than 10 percent of site editors on the open-source website were female.

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Making Tobacco Illegal Until Age 21

Mar 20, 2017

The campaign to increase the age for buying and using tobacco to 21 is moving around the nation.

California and Hawaii already have statewide laws and Oregon politicians are scheduled to consider the legislation this week.

Sharon Meieran is both an emergency room doctor and a commissioner with Multnomah County. She’s waiting for state legislators to act, and if they don’t, she says she’ll move forward with the idea locally.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow Oregonians to once again vote for the state’s top education official.

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