There's not much news out of presidential primaries these days, but there was one surprise yesterday in West Virginia's Democratic primary. A convicted felon serving time in a Texas prison won 41 percent of the vote to President Obama's 59 percent.
For more on this unusual candidate and what his strong second-place showing says about Democratic voters in West Virginia, I'm joined from Charleston by Associated Press reporter Lawrence Messina.
Twice a week, local seniors in Warrenton, Virginia, flock to a hip new dinner spot called the Bistro on the Hill for good food, a great view, and musical accompaniment by a retired piano player from a nearby Nordstrom's.
<strong>Oh, get on with it:</strong> Ryan Seacrest's increasingly elaborate fake-outs when he's delivering results is just one of the most irritating things about the current season of <em>American Idol.</em>
Ryan Seacrest's double/triple/quadruple fakeouts. Our host used to screw with the contestants by teasing the results before throwing to a guest performance or commercial. Now he gives those results using sentences so convoluted, with so many double-backs and twist-arounds, that you need a white board to diagram them and unpack their actual meaning. Frustrating the singers, yes. Confusing them entirely, no.
Many headlines and stories (including some of ours) have been saying that a "double agent" infiltrated al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and foiled a plot to get another underwear bomb aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet.
But we've been looking at definitions of spy terms and think that based on what we have been told so far, the person at the center of the story wasn't a double agent.
What if it's not just our genes or our lifestyle, exactly, that makes us skinny or fat, healthy or sick? What if it's also the makeup of the bacterial ecosystem that inhabits our gut?
A growing pile of scientific studies is pointing us in that direction. Researchers in this hot new field describe the microbes in our gut as a vital organ that's as essential as our liver or kidneys. They're finding that this organ, which they call the "microbiome," varies greatly from person to person.
The amount of plastic debris in the part of the Pacific Ocean known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has grown 100-fold in the past 40 years.
In a paper published today by the journal Biology Letters, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography report that most of that plastic has degraded into pieces no bigger than a fingernail. But that wasn't the major finding the scientists are reporting.
The scientists have found that all those pieces of plastic have provided ample opportunity for insects called "sea skaters" to breed.
On June 11, 2011, Matt Rutherford set sail from Annapolis, Md., on an epic voyage. He traveled down the Chesapeake Bay, up the East Coast, then through the Northwest Passage, down the Pacific, around Cape Horn, back up the coast of South America, and all the way back home.
In 10 months, he sailed over 27,000 miles in a 27-foot sailboat — named the St. Brendan after the 6th-century explorer — and became the first person to complete a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas.
The fall of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya was hailed as one of the great successes of the Arab Spring. More than six months later, attacks continue on the prime minister's compound and well-armed mercenary fighters and stockpiles of weapons have made their way into Sub-Saharan Africa.