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Jeff Mangan is Montana's new commissioner of political practices.
Corin Cates-Carney

Montana's New Political Cop Focusing On Transparency And Accessibility

Montana’s commissioner of political practices basically serves as the state’s top political cop. The commissioner oversees campaign finance and ethics laws. It’s a complicated, sometimes controversial job. In this interview with MTPR's Edward O'Brien, Montana’s brand new Political Practices Commissioner Jeff Mangan says he believes most Montanans are glad the position is there:

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Take A Survey To Help Shape The Future Of Public Media Technology

As a Montana Public Radio listener, you're probably aware that we've been working hard for the past several years to stay ahead of rapid changes in the radio landscape. Now we're asking you to make your voice heard to help shape the future of public media technology . Our goal is to continue to provide the Montana news, arts & culture, and hand-picked music you want and in the way that you want it, so we're inviting you to share your feelings about technology in our annual survey.

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MTPR Features

Bumblebee (Bombus nevadensis).
Sesamehoneytart (CC-BY-SA-4)

Why Would A Bumblebee Ignore A Hillside Of Flowers?

I headed home with my head full of questions about what the bumblebee had been doing and why. Why would it ignore food in favor of bare and uninviting ground?

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Threshold Podcast

Season 01: Oh Give Me A Home

Could we ever live with wild, free-roaming bison again? Should we?

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HBO CEO Richard Plepler is saying something a lot of the television network's fans have been waiting to hear — that its content could be offered to customers directly through their Internet service providers instead of a cable company.

Right now, HBO must be purchased through a cable provider. Plepler tells Reuters that HBO Go, an online streaming service launched by the network in 2010 (but still only available as an extra to your cable TV) might also be sold through ISPs.

Gay marriage opponents say they're protecting women and children first.

When the Supreme Court hears oral arguments about same-sex marriage next week, much of the debate will turn on legal questions surrounding issues such as federalism and due process.

But the underlying questions are more emotional, with moral objections frequently raised by members of the faith community.

Drug-sniffing dogs, those cute bellwethers of illegal activity, are dropping Marijuana from their repertoire in Washington state.

A 2012 ballot initiative legalized the use of marijuana in the state (although federal law still prohibits its use). Since then authorities have been working to implement the law. Part of that process is, apparently, to employ canines who don't react to the smell of marijuana. The AP explains why:

In a phone call today with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey over the 2010 Israeli raid of a flotilla that left nine people dead. The flotilla was attempting to break an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, when it was intercepted by Israel.

Two teens accused of rape in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted and sentenced this week. Host Michel Martin talks to the Barbershop guys about how the victim — and the perpetrators — were treated in the press. Writer Jimi Izrael, political science professor Lester Spence, civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar and Republican strategist R. Clarke Cooper discuss the week's news. ADVISORY: Please note, this conversation includes a discussion about rape and may not be suitable for all listeners.

Chinua Achebe, widely considered the grandfather of modern African literature, has died at the age of 82. His popular book, Things Fall Apart, tackled the effect of colonialism on Africa, and has sold more than 10 million copies. Host Michel Martin is joined by NPR Africa Correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton to look back on his life and work.

Bosco Ntaganda, a notorious warlord accused of crimes against humanity during Congo's civil war, is headed to an international court after turning himself in at the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda earlier this week.

NPR's Gregory Warner reports that the surrender of Ntaganda, nicknamed "The Terminator," came as a surprise. He's been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2006 for crimes against humanity, including conscripting child soldiers, murder, rape and sexual slavery allegedly committed in 2002 and 2003 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

For many years, across the world, the extraordinarily powerful noses of dogs have been successfully used to help detect crime.

Now, in Britain, moves are under way to recruit humans to perform the same subtle work.

Police are encouraging the British to step out of their homes, raise their nostrils aloft, and see if they catch the whiff of wrongdoing wafting from the next-door neighbors.

Visitors to these crowded islands are often charmed by the small redbrick terraced houses that are in every town and city.

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 4: Richard catches up with one of the gurus of climate science out on the reef.

Ken Caldeira loves a challenge, and he has a big one right under his feet. He's standing on an expanse of coral reef out in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's being washed with water as the tide streams over the reef, from a lagoon to the open sea.

The chairman of the Federal Communication Commission announced during a staff meeting on Friday that he intends to step down "in the coming weeks."

Julius Genachowski's resignation comes just a day after Commissioner Robert McDowell announced his plans to step down.

The New York Times reports the Obama administration has not settled on a replacement for Genachowski. It reports:

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