Billionaire David Koch, Conservative Donor, Dies at Age 79

Billionaire industrialist David H. Koch, who with his older brother, Charles, transformed American politics by pouring their riches into conservative causes, has died at age 79.


Trump Campaign Seeks to Win Over Women Voters

Linda Constant and a couple hundred other women gathered at the Tampa Convention Center on Thursday evening, pledging to reelect President Donald Trump in 2020, even as polls show his approval ratings plummeting among the key constituent group.

The image shows the first image acquired by the DLR-developed MASCAM camera system during Hayabusa2's descent, shortly after separation from the landing module at a height of about 135 feet with a viewing direction towards the south pole. Particularly striking is a huge block near the south pole, which stands out clearly above the horizon line and is named "Otohime Saxum." It is up to 328 feet tall. (Jaumann et al., Science, 2019)

Images From Asteroid's Surface Yield Clues to Its Origin

Scientists have landed a small spacecraft on a near-Earth asteroid named Ryugu, retrieving never before seen images of its surface that hold new information about its creation.


What People Think

Biden & Warren in Statistical Dead Heat With Trump in Arizona

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the only top Democratic presidential candidate who would beat President Donald Trump in Arizona if the 2020 election were held today – and Biden’s lead has shrunk since May, a new poll of likely voters shows.


Over 6 in 10 Americans Disapprove of Trump's Handling of His Job

Though more than six in 10 Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s job performance according to a new survey from The Associated Press, the president’s professed strengths lie in his economic savvy – and whispers of recession could deal a blow to his relatively positive economic optics.


Road to the White House

Sanders Talks Climate Crisis Near Fire-Ravaged California Town

Offering a California town that burned last fall as proof of the devastation global warming can cause, Vermont Senator and 2020 hopeful Bernie Sanders promised wildfire survivors Thursday that as president he will hold the oil industry liable for its “criminal behavior.”


Booker: Gun Conversation Must Include Hardest Hit Communities

U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Cory Booker said Thursday that the national movement for gun control must consider plans to address long-lasting trauma in communities with near-daily shootings.


From Europe

Salvini’s Strategy to Seize Power in Italy May Backfire


In a twist of political fortunes, Matteo Salvini, the far-right leader who’s become Italy’s most popular politician since taking office 14 months ago, faces the possibility of seeing his bid to seize power backfire.


London Abortion Protesters Lose Buffer-Zone Appeal

The Royal Courts of Justice, London, England.

Christian protesters who for years have been telling visitors of a London abortion clinic that they’re going to hell have lost their legal challenge to a clinic buffer zone.


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Life in Space

Atacama Desert Microbes May Hold Clues to Life on Mars

The winds on Mars could be transporting life via dust, given how microbial life moves across the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.


Around the Nation

Avenatti Promises Surprises in Store for New York Extortion Trial

In a bid to delay Michael Avenatti’s extortion trial, attorneys told a federal judge Thursday that their subpoenas of Nike officials is sure to draw out proceedings through the fall.

Michael Avenatti speaks outside court in New York on Dec. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Klobuchar Says Trump Biofuel Waivers Hurt Rural Farmers

Rebuking the White House for giving some oil refiners a pass on the amount of ethanol they must mix into gasoline, U.S. Senator and Democratic hopeful Amy Klobuchar accused the president Thursday of breaking his promises to rural farmers.


Hickenlooper Will Run for US Senate in Colorado

While he won’t be challenging President Donald Trump for the White House, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper launched a bid Thursday for U.S. Senator Cory Gardner’s seat on Capitol Hill.


Minor-Party Petition Rules Roil Minnesota Libertarians

Minnesota Libertarians brought a federal complaint Wednesday over a state law that bans voters who sign their party petitions from voting in primary elections.




When Your Luck Runs Out

Mark Twain wrote that it’s better to be lucky than smart. Tacitus wrote of the benevolent Roman Emperor Titus that his ingenium (nature, or intelligence) made him “fit for the greatest good luck.” From this we may deduce that some people are not fit for good luck.

'Hollywood Ripper' Found Sane by Los Angeles Jury

Michael Gargiulo listens to an opening statement from his defense attorney, Daniel Nardoni, in Los Angeles Superior Court at his murder trial Thursday. Gargiulo, 43, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and an attempted-murder charge stemming from attacks in the Los Angeles area between 2001 and 2008. The former girlfriend of actor Ashton Kutcher is among the victims. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

A Los Angeles jury on Thursday found the so-called “Hollywood Ripper” – convicted a week ago in the murders of two women and the attempted murder of a third last decade – was sane at the time of the crimes, making him eligible for the death penalty.


Pill-Mill Runner Claims Ignorance at 11th Circuit


A defrocked pharmacist who supplied millions of opioids to patients of the bogus pain clinic across the street lobbed a “Hail Mary” appeal Thursday at the 11th Circuit, saying he was in no position to question the prescriptions coming in.


Serial Killer Executed in Florida

Gary Ray Bowles, a serial killer who preyed on older gay men during an eight-month spree that left six dead, was executed by lethal injection Thursday at Florida State Prison.


Veteran Homelessness Falls, But Barriers to Housing Remain

State and national experts testified before members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on Thursday, highlighting strides made to decrease veteran homelessness over the past decade and continued challenges to getting housing vouchers accepted in cities facing housing crises.

This is the graphic of Anabaena cylindrica, a filamentous cyanobacterium, 1946 watercolor by G.E. Fogg, FRS.

Enzyme Stalled Development of Early Life on Earth for 2 Billion Years

A special enzyme may be directly responsible for significantly slowing down the evolution of life on Earth, according to a new study published Thursday.


Must West Virginia Governor Live in Capital? Suit Continues

Can a governor be forced to live in the state capital? A lawsuit seeking to do just that with West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice was back in court Wednesday.

Surgeons work on a kidney during a kidney transplant surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C., Tuesday, June 28, 2016.    (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Wrangle Over Liver Transplant Policy Changes Hits 11th Circuit

An 11th Circuit panel heard arguments Thursday over a proposed policy change that would affect how patients on the liver-transplant waiting list would receive their new, life-saving organs.


Terminally Ill Man Sues Hospital Over Aid-In-Death

A terminally ill Colorado man diagnosed with cancer and his doctor filed a lawsuit against the Centura Health Corporation for prohibiting its doctors from prescribing aid-in-dying medication.


Oregon Sheriff Declines to Investigate Local Paper for Reporting

The sheriff of a remote Oregon county closed an investigation Wednesday that began when local officials accused newspaper reporters of harassment for emailing them after office hours.

Federal agents hold a detainee, center, at a downtown Los Angeles parking lot after predawn raids that saw dozens of people arrested in the L.A. area Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. U.S. authorities have unsealed a 252-count federal grand jury indictment charging 80 people with participating in a conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a range of fraud schemes and laundering the funds through a Los Angeles-based network. The U.S. Attorney's Office says Thursday most of the defendants are Nigerian nationals. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

80 People Charged in $46 Million Nigerian Fraud Case

Federal authorities Thursday announced an indictment charging 80 people with stealing at least $46 million through schemes that targeted businesses, the elderly and anyone susceptible to a romance scam. Most of the defendants are Nigerians.

Signs on a bank of computers tell visitors that the machines are not working at the public library in Wilmer, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. Cyberattacks that recently crippled nearly two dozen Texas cities have put other local governments on guard. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Cyberattacks in Texas Put Other Cities on Guard

Cyberattacks that recently crippled nearly two dozen Texas cities have put other local governments on guard, offering the latest evidence that hackers can halt routine operations by locking up computers and public records and demanding steep ransoms.


North Korea Calls Pompeo a 'Poisonous Plant'

North Korea’s foreign minister on Friday called U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “poisonous plant of American diplomacy” and vowed to “shutter the absurd dream” that sanctions will force a change in Pyongyang.

Transferring Monsanto's Lasso herbicide. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

French Mayor Fights for Ban on Pesticide Use Near Homes

A French mayor on Thursday urged a court to uphold his ban on the use of pesticides near homes in his community, saying his stance against pollution would be “vindicated by history.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin aims a sniper rifle during a visit to the Patriot military exhibition center outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Putin chaired a meeting that focused on new arms programs. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Putin Vows ‘Symmetric Response’ to US Missile Test

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he has ordered the military to prepare a “symmetric response” after Washington tested a formerly banned missile.


In Brief


Walt Girdner was born in central Iowa in 1922, one of five children. His father took a job as a Christian minister in Alameda after the family moved to California in 1925. Growing up during the Great Depression, Walt worked double shifts at a cannery to make money for college. He attended Stanford where he put together a string of letters and wins, running the quarter and half-mile. An invitation to join the U.S. Olympic team was negated by World War II and cancellation of the games. During the war, he disembarked in Normandy, fought in the infantry and marched into Germany .

As a young man, he developed an interest in imagery, first through drawing then through the developing technology of photography. Although he left the church where his mother and father were pastors, he kept a lifelong faith in the power and mystery of the natural environment, seeing in its beauty an overriding and everlasting spiritual force. His subjects focused on people and their settings. Farmers, flower sellers, youth were recurring themes.

He traveled in large part to find new images and capture them, in France at first, then the rest of Europe and later Africa and Mexico. Towards the end of his life, Walt focused on images in nature, including letters and numbers that emerged through abalone shells, beach tableaus and patterns in the sand.  He had faith that imagery was a powerful way to communicate and believed young people were much better at interpreting the language of imagery, gifted with imaginations more agile and unencumbered.


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The monoliths at St. Just in France. (Bill Girdner/CNS)