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Environment
3:38 am
Thu July 25, 2013

La. Flood Board Sues Oil Industry Over Wetlands

Canals created for navigation and oil and gas pipelines cut through the marsh off the coast of Louisiana, seen in 2010.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 11:49 am

Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost roughly as much land as makes up the state of Delaware.

"If you put the state of Delaware between New Orleans and the ocean, we wouldn't need any levees at all," says John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. "There is this large buffer of land that has disappeared, and that buffer makes New Orleans much more vulnerable to hurricanes."

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It's All Politics
7:42 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

King Wing Presents Both A Problem And An Opportunity For GOP

Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, is taking heat for comparing many young immigrant DREAMers to drug mules.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:37 pm

Both for the Republican Party, in general, and the GOP House leadership, in particular, Rep. Steve King's controversial comments about young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally are a setback, to put it mildly.

King, as anyone knows who hasn't been single-mindedly focused in recent days on the birth of Prince George Alexander, caused a sizable ruckus with comments that are being called "hateful," "inexcusable" and "reprehensible" — even by some of his fellow House Republicans.

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The Two-Way
7:22 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

George H.W. Bush Shaves His Head In Support Of Ailing Boy

George H.W. Bush with Patrick, the two-year-old son of one of the members of his security detail.
Office of George H.W. Bush

In a very sweet gesture, President George H.W. Bush shaved his head to show solidarity for Patrick, the two-year-old son of one of the members of his Secret Service detail.

Patrick, Bush's spokesman Jim McGrath said on Twitter, is undergoing treatment for leukemia, so he lost his hair.

McGrath tweeted this picture of Bush with the little guy:

And this one of Patrick with Bush and the entire Secret Service detail:

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Train Derailment In Spain Leaves Dozens Dead

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:22 am

Update at 3:20 a.m. Thursday: Death Toll Rises

The Associated Press reports that 77 people were killed when a train derailed in northwestern Spain, according to Maria Pardo Rios, spokeswoman for the Galicia region's main court. Four died at hospitals, while 73 were found dead at the scene, she said.

Our Original Post Continues:

The Spanish newspaper El País paints a bloody picture of the scene of a train derailment in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Wednesday.

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Environment
5:48 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

What's Swimming In The River? Just Look For DNA

Biologists normally look for the hellbender slamander, which is known by the nickname "snot otter," under rocks in streams. But now there's a gentler way: They can take water samples and look for traces of the animals' DNA.
Robert J. Erwin Science Source

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 7:34 pm

If you want to protect rare species, first you have to find them. In the past few years, biologists have developed a powerful new tool to do that. They've discovered that they can often find traces of animal DNA in streams, ponds — even oceans.

The idea took root just five years ago, when biologists in France found they could detect invasive American bullfrogs simply by sampling pond water and looking for an exact genetic match to the frogs' DNA.

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