4:51pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Business

Shell Picks Pittsburgh Area For Major Refinery

Shell Oil plans to open a major new oil refinery, which would convert ethane into more profitable chemicals, in the Pittsburgh area.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Shell Oil Co. has chosen a site near Pittsburgh for a major, multibillion-dollar petrochemical refinery that could provide a huge economic boost to the region.

Dan Carlson, Shell's general manager of new business development, said Thursday that the company signed a land option agreement with Horsehead Corp. to evaluate a site near Monaca, about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

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4:36pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Law

N.Y. Passes DNA Requirement For Convicted Criminals

A forensic scientist processes DNA samples at the New York State Police lab in Albany.
Mike Groll AP

Early on Thursday, lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals — and make its DNA database one of the largest in the nation.

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4:28pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

In Protest, Democrats Zero In On Men's Reproductive Health

Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat, has introduced legislation that would regulated men's use of reproductive health services.
Tony Dejak AP

For perhaps the first time in recent history, male reproductive health is at the forefront of political debate.

In at least six states, lawmakers — all women and all Democrats — have proposed bills or amendments in the last few weeks that aim to regulate a man's access to reproductive health care. It's their way of responding to the ongoing debate around contraception and abortion, said Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University.

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4:08pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Animals

Just How Big Are The Eyes Of A Giant Squid?

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:32 pm

This giant squid was caught about 10 miles off the shores of Oahu, Hawaii, in 1981. The pupil of its eye measured more than 3.5 inches across.
Current Biology

Giant and colossal squids can be more than 40 feet long, if you measure all the way out to the tip of their two long feeding tentacles. But it's their eyes that are truly huge — the size of basketballs.

Now, scientists say these squids may have the biggest eyes in the animal kingdom because they need to detect a major predator, the sperm whale, as it moves toward them through the underwater darkness.

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3:55pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Arizona Telescope Sets New Standard For Optical Astronomy

Lab testing of the LBT adaptive secondary mirror system.
Large Binocular Telescope

A telescope in Arizona has taken some of the clearest pictures ever of distant celestial objects, including the first images of the innermost planet in a planetary system 127 light years from Earth. They achieved this astronomical tour de force using something called adaptive optics, a technique that eliminates the blurring caused by the Earth's atmosphere.

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3:40pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Middle East

For Fleeing Syrians, Jordan Offers Bare-Bones Refuge

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 9:39 am

A family of Syrian refugees in a camp set up near the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the Syrian border. Jordan has welcomed Syrian refugees, but has limited resources to help them.
Khalil Mazraawi AFP/Getty Images

If you're trying to escape the turmoil in Syria for the calm in Jordan, you have two choices.

You can go the legal way. Just get in a car and try to drive across the border. But that's not very easy these days. The Syrian government isn't letting many people out.

Or you can try the illegal way. Wait until nightfall, climb through a barbed-wire fence. It sounds dodgy, but if you make it over, you'll actually be welcomed by the Jordanian army. Troops will take your name, give you a drink of water, let you rest.

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3:19pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Sen. Lugar Declared Ineligible To Vote In His Home District

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Voting along party lines, the Marion County Election Board decided that Richard Lugar, the Republican senator from Indiana, was ineligible to vote in his home precinct.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the board agreed with its staff attorney that according to state law Lugar had abandoned his residency when he sold his house and moved to the Washington area.

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3:13pm

Thu March 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Review: 15-To-1 Spending Advantage Netted Romney Two Third-Place Showings

Mitt Romney and the superPAC supporting him spent more than 15 times as much as Rick Santorum and the superPAC backing him on television ads in Alabama and Mississippi, according to an NPR analysis of data collected by Kantar Media's CMAG unit and reported by the Washington Post.

Santorum won both primaries on Tuesday; Romney finished third in both states.

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3:05pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Local

One of KACU Founders Passes

 

Dr. Thomas K. Kim, longtime supporter and fundraiser for KACU-FM, AbilenePublicRadio passed away Monday, March 12, 2012 at the age of 83.   A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 17th at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 525 Beech St. in Abilene.  

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3:00pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

First Neutrino Message Sent Through Rock; Could One Travel Back In Time?

What if we could shoot a message through the center of the planet and back in time?
NASA

"Researchers from the University of Rochester and North Carolina State University have for the first time sent a message using a beam of neutrinos — nearly massless particles that travel at almost the speed of light," U of R reports.

And they pushed the message — which simply spelled out the world "Neutrino" — through "240 meters of stone" (787 feet).

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2:43pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Asia

Provocative Chinese Cartoonists Find An Outlet Online

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 5:40 am

In this illustration by a Chinese cartoonist who goes by the name Rebel Pepper, an anglerfish, representing the Chinese Communist Party, hypnotizes smaller fish, representing the Chinese people, with the glowing image of a famous, model soldier — with the implied intention of devouring them while they're distracted.
Courtesy Rebel Pepper

Chinese cartoonists have used the Internet in recent years to take aim at the Communist Party. Using Twitter-like microblogs, they try to slip past censors and skewer their government in ways that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.

One of their targets this month is an old-fashioned Communist propaganda campaign extolling the virtues of Lei Feng, a model People's Liberation Army soldier who was devoted to his fellow workers and China's leaders — and who has been dead for half a century.

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2:37pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Salt

USDA To Give Schools More Ground Beef Choices After Outcry Over 'Pink Slime'

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 2:16 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will give schools alternatives to ground beef made with what critics have called "pink slime."
mcnsonbrg@yahoo.com iStockphoto.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has weighed in on the use of so-called pink slime in beef served in the government's free and reduced-price school lunch program.

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2:32pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Middle East

Along Syrian Border, Turks Torn By Divided Loyalties

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 4:59 pm

Syrians and Turks show their support for Syrian President Bashar Assad in Turkey's southern city of Antakya on Feb. 19. Assad is a member of the minority Alawite religious sect, and many Alawites on both sides of the border support him.
Zohra Bensemra Reuters /Landov

The Syrian regime's heavy crackdown on dissent has led to a sharp plunge in relations with neighboring Turkey. But the regime does have its Turkish supporters — mainly members of the Alawite minority, the same Islamic sect Syria's ruling Assad family comes from. And that has resulted in complicated loyalties among some Turks, especially those along the border in southeastern Turkey's Hatay province.

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2:07pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Mitt Romney

For Appeal To Future, Romney's Rhetoric Looks Back

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 4:59 pm

A homemade bumper sticker on the back of a car during a Tea Party rally in Concord, N.H., Romney appeared on Sept. 4.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Every good political campaign has a motif, from President Obama's "hope" to John McCain's "maverick."

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2:00pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Blagojevich Arrives In Colorado, Reports To Prison

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, center, walks with attorneys as he arrives at the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colo., on Thursday.
Ed Andrieski AP

A day after delivering a defiant speech in which he proclaimed his innocence, disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich flew to Colorado and reported to prison to begin serving his 14-year sentence.

The AP reports:

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