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Empire Strikes PAC And Other Punny SuperPAC Names

Aug 1, 2015

This post was updated at 4:30 p.m. ET with comment from Xavier the cat's human.

Because superPACs aren't legally allowed to donate money directly to or coordinate with a political campaign, founders often give them patriotic but purposefully vague names. There's Keep the Promise (supporting Ted Cruz), Opportunity and Freedom (Perry), Priorities USA Action (Clinton), and Pursuing America's Greatness (Huckabee).

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Now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Kerry Aims To Repair Relations With Egypt

Aug 1, 2015
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Aboard a ferry off the coast of Rhode Island, state and federal officials take a close look at a steel structure poking out of the ocean. It's the first foundation affixed to the seafloor for a five-turbine wind farm off the state's coast.

It's a contrast to what's happening off the coast of Massachusetts. Developer Cape Wind has spent more than 10 years and millions of dollars there on a massive wind farm that it may never build.

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A word of caution now. You're about to hear the old nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner" in the creepy voice of one of the world's first talking dolls.

(SOUNDBITE OF TALKING DOLL)

There was a moment of drama in global sports on Friday, when the International Olympic Committee chose Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Games.

The loser was Almaty, Kazakhstan, a major city in an oil-rich central Asian nation that's trying to raise its profile on the international scene.

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It's been 15 years since Zimbabwe launched a campaign to seize large tracts of land from white farmers. At the time, more than 4,000 white-owned farms were taken; that land was to be given to disaffected war veterans, many of whom had little prior experience in agriculture.

The move proved to be a disaster. Many of those farms failed after they changed hands, and Zimbabwe fell into an economic tailspin. Even the country's longtime president, Robert Mugabe, admitted to failures in the program earlier this year.

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It's an open secret among journalists: When reporting a major news story in an unfamiliar country, it's great to have a "fixer."

That's the catch-all term we use for our local guides to language and logistics — the people who can translate documents, interpret during interviews and generally help you figure out the most efficient and the safest way to get from one location to the next.

No Shame, No Euphemism: Suicide Isn't A Natural Cause Of Death

Aug 1, 2015

Beware the mention of natural causes, as in my mother's obituary:

"Norita Wyse Berman, a writer, stockbroker and artist ... died at home Friday of natural causes. She was 60."

Sixty-year-olds don't die of natural causes anymore. The truth was too hard to admit.

Fifteen years on, I'm ashamed of my family's shame. Those attending her funeral and paying shiva calls knew the truth anyway. People talk.

Coding Camp to Baltimore Schools: Bring Us Your Bored!

Aug 1, 2015

On the second floor of Morgan State University's engineering building, Jacob Walker, 12, is putting the finishing touches on a ruler he's just created.

Not yet an actual ruler. One he's designing on the computer. He just needs to add his initials — then it's time to produce it on a 3-D printer.

Jacob starts seventh grade in the fall and has big dreams. Building this ruler is all part of the plan.

"When I was a child," he says, "I loved to play with Legos, and it inspired me to be an engineer when I get older."

Israeli leaders vowed to find the suspected Israeli extremists behind an arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler early Friday.

The Willamette River twists south to north, spanning half the state and reaches two-thirds of its population. It's the country's 13th largest waterway by water volume and is home to a diverse ecosystem.

Through its history, the Willamette has faced a long list of environmental challenges. One of the greatest is thanks to the state's largest city. The Portland Harbor, a 10-mile industrial stretch from the Fremont Bridge to Sauvie Island, was declared a Superfund site in 2000.

Two years after the Civil War an internationally renowned landscape photographer turned his lens to Oregon. In 1867, Carleton Watkins traveled along the Columbia River Gorge by steamship to capture the first comprehensive images of this breathtaking 100-mile stretch.

These photos capture the Columbia River Gorge in a way that's both familiar today and lost with time. What's truly remarkable are the sheer size of these prints — 18 x 22-inch. Watkins was the first American landscape photographer to construct a camera that could create such large negatives.

How Oregon Rivers Carried Millions Of Trees Into Production

Jul 31, 2015

Around the same time famed photographer Carelton Watkins first captured the Columbia River Gorge with his traveling darkroom, on the south fork of the Coos River in southwest Oregon a large dam helped fuel Oregon's burgeoning timber industry.

The Tioga Dam was the largest splash dam in the Northwest. It was the first of what would grow to become 230 splash dams throughout western Oregon.

An Introduction To Oregon's Incredible Rivers

Jul 31, 2015

We’re kicking off our inaugural Greetings From The Northwest with a look at Oregon’s rivers.

“We have, I think, the most incredible suite of rivers in America,” said author Tim Palmer.

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