2:55pm

Thu December 8, 2011
It's All Politics

Professor Gingrich And The Lessons (And Lecture Notes) Of History

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Newt Gingrich used these lecture notes and similar pamphlets as part of the 1994 college course that became central to a later House ethics investigation.

Newt Gingrich once called himself "the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson."

But that was 1995, and the "Contract with America" co-author had just helped to propel Republicans into power in the House for the first time in 40 years, and Gingrich himself into the speaker's role. Even the rarely modest Gingrich had reason to gloat.

Just two years later, of course, he had become the first speaker ever punished by the House for ethics violations, and the end was in sight for both his leadership and congressional career.

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2:48pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Animals

Cagebreak! Rats Will Work To Free A Trapped Pal

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 10:35 am

Science/AAAS

Calling someone a "rat" is no compliment, but a new study shows that rats actually are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage mate who is stuck in a trap.

Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mate; they will do so even when there's a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.

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2:42pm

Thu December 8, 2011
U.S.

Fast And Furious Questions For U.S. Attorney General

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:08 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. He faces tough questions about the Justice Department's "Fast and Furious" gun-control program.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Attorney General Eric Holder got a bruising reception from the Republican-dominated House Judiciary Committee that put the Justice Department on the defensive.

Holder answered questions about the botched gun trafficking operation known as "Fast and Furious" in which federal agents tried to build cases against drug cartels. Instead, they lost track of hundreds of weapons that turned up at crime scenes along the Southwest border.

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2:42pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Humans

Grass Mattress Was A Stone Age Bed And Breakfast

Christopher Miller samples sediments from an excavation site in South Africa. Archaeologists found layers upon layers of burned bedding material, indicating that the hunter-gatherers who lived here 77,000 years ago stayed for a long time.
Courtesy of Lyn Wadley

In archaeology, you get special bragging rights when you can lay claim to the oldest specimen of something.

Scientists in South Africa may now qualify for what they say is the world's oldest bed. Well, not a bed exactly, but more like a mattress made of grass.

What Lyn Wadley, an archaeologist at the University of Witswatersrand, found were mats of grass and sedge piled half an inch thick on the floor of a cavelike rock shelter in South Africa.

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2:40pm

Thu December 8, 2011
All Politics are Local

Limits on Executive Branch Clear House

A bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., that would give Congress more power over regulations made by the executive branch easily passed the Republican-controlled House on Wednesday. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act was introduced by the northern Kentucky congressman earlier this year to “eliminate excessive red tape,” and jump start the economy.

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2:35pm

Thu December 8, 2011
State Capitol

Man Arrested for Stealing TVs

A Frankfort man charged with stealing flat screen TVs from stores in three counties was arrested Wednesday. A tip led the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to arrest Seth Witherby, 34, for shoplifting in Anderson, Scott and Franklin counties, Sheriff Pat Melton says. His accomplice is still at large. “They were going into department stores, and walking out the front door with flat screen TVs,” Melton said.

2:32pm

Thu December 8, 2011
The Commonwealth

Berea College Professor Apologizes for Tweet

A Berea College professor has apologized for a racially charged comment he made on Twitter earlier this week. Jason Cohen, an English professor, sent out a tweet that said, "Given a student named TeQuilla, are my worst assumptions unavoidable? #s--tmystudentsmakemethink that at the end of the semester, I'm right."

2:31pm

Thu December 8, 2011
Lexington/Richmond

I-D Criminals on Line

Lexington police hope a web site coupled with a 25-dollar reward will help them catch financial criminals.  The division of police has signed up with a web site firm which posts pictures of suspects, victims, and witnesses.   Sergeant Jody Stowers hopes Lexington area citizens will peruse I-D-this-person-dot-com .

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2:28pm

Thu December 8, 2011
State Capitol

Inaugural Parade Features Over 4,150 Participants

A cannon shot from the Kentucky Military History Museum will officially kick off the inaugural parade for Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, in downtown Frankfort. More than 4,150 parade participants, including 54 high school marching bands, will travel up Capital Avenue toward the Capitol where Gov. Beshear will take the oath of office at 2 p.m. for his second term as the state’s 61st governor.

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2:23pm

Thu December 8, 2011
The Commonwealth

Changes Planned for Human Trafficking Laws

State lawmakers plan to propose enhancements to Kentucky’s human trafficking laws during the upcoming legislative session. State Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, who sponsored human trafficking legislation in the House in 2007, is prepared to tackle the issue again in 2012, she said. Westrom and state Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, would like to see Kentucky become a safe harbor state. “I think we can enhance our criminal code to better attack this problem and make a real difference and maybe save some lives,” said Tilley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

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