kari watkins

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West Coast's Early Warning System For Quakes Still Spotty

Earthquake scientists on the West Coast would like to build a system that would give people a bit of warning before they get jolted with strong shaking from a distant quake.<p>If we have a quake this afternoon, the Legislature would find the money next week — and we would build this system next week. …

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014

To many Afghans, 2014 is more than a year — it's a sword of Damocles hanging over the fragile nation. It's the year the country will elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai and the U.S.-led military mission will end. Many fear that will open the door to chaos.<p>But on a chilly winter day in …

President Obama Signs Budget, Defense Bills

President Obama on Thursday signed the bipartisan budget bill agreed upon earlier this month, setting the stage for an easing of mandatory spending cuts over the next two years.<p>The Senate approved the spending measure last week, following its passage in the Republican-dominated House.<p>The president …

How Michael Bloomberg Became The Most Influential Mayor Of The Century (So Far)

Money mattered in Michael Bloomberg's case.<p>The billionaire's personal fortune (ranked 10th in the nation by <i>Fortune</i>) allowed him to bankroll his three runs for New York City mayor, freeing him to hire people he believed were the best and the brightest, rather than friends of donors.<p>His philanthropy …

Best apps and sites to plan, record and share your trips

Dreaming up a trip is the easiest part of every journey. All you need is a working imagination. The other bits before you go? Not so easy, or so much fun. You’ve got to book tickets, worry about accommodation, work out budgets, apply for visas…then you’ve got to plan your itinerary. And what about …

In Press-Rights Battle, Reporter Says Accountability's At Risk

Freedom of the press is considered an essential ideal of American democracy.<p>President Obama acknowledged as much last month, when he draped a Presidential Medal of Freedom around the neck of former <i>Washington Post</i> executive editor Ben Bradlee.<p>"With Ben in charge, <i>The</i> <i>Post</i> published the Pentagon …