Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis listens to a customer following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse on Tuesday. Timothy D. Easley/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Timothy D. Easley/AP

The Two-Way - News Blog

Kentucky Clerk Due In Federal Court For Contempt Hearing

The plaintiffs in the case are asking a federal judge to begin fining Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk, for her refusal to hand out marriage licenses in protest of same-sex marriage.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (second from right), the ranking member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said it's "certainly understandable" that Bryan Pagliano would be advised not to appear before the committee. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

It's All Politics

Former Clinton Aide Who Built Private Email Server Pleads The 5th

The Select Committee on Benghazi had asked Bryan Pagliano, a former State Department employee, to field questions next week. His lawyer has declined.

A woman looks on at the U.S. Capitol in 2013 after the last government shutdown. Congress has made no progress toward avoiding a government shutdown when it will run out of funding Sept. 30. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP

It's All Politics

With Iran Deal Looking Like A Done Deal, Here Are The Next Crises For Congress

President Obama may have secured enough votes to keep his Iran deal in tact, but potential problems loom for Congress on the debt ceiling, highway funding and a possible government shutdown.

Military vehicles carrying Wing Loong, a Chinese made medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, drive past Tiananmen Gate during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat in Beijing on Thursday. Andy Wong/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Andy Wong/AP

The Two-Way - News Blog

China Flexes Muscles With Parade, But Announces Troop Cut

More than 12,000 precision-drilled soldiers, 500 pieces of military hardware and 200 aircraft filed through Tiananmen Square to mark 70 years since Japan's defeat at the end of World War II.

In a previously unreleased letter, Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan told the Department of Health and Human Services to devise an action plan for reducing wasteful Medicare and Medicaid payments. Gary Cameron/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Gary Cameron/Reuters/Landov

Shots - Health News

White House Takes Aim At Medicare And Medicaid Billing Errors

Improper payments by Medicare and Medicaid are wasting billions of dollars a year, the budget director said. He called for urgent corrective action in a letter that is now public.

Squirrels closely mimic bird warning calls, and help spread the alarm throughout the forest that hawks, owls or other predators are nearby. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound

Squirrels Mimic Bird Alarms To Foil The Enemy

It can take more than just a keen ear to figure out what animals are saying. Sometimes, scientists are learning, you have to talk back to map the rich networks of conversation in a forest.

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Max Richter has written SLEEP, an eight-hour lullaby for our fast-paced lives. Rhys Frampton/Deutsche Grammophon hide caption

itoggle caption Rhys Frampton/Deutsche Grammophon

Deceptive Cadence

Trouble Sleeping? A Composer Wants To Help

If counting sheep isn't working, British composer Max Richter's latest piece might. Sleep is eight hours long and designed to help listeners get some shut-eye.

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Donald Trump and Jeb Bush were polite to one another at the first GOP debate. But it's been gloves off since then, especially on Instagram, a social media outlet not known for its vitriol. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Harnik/AP

It's All Politics

Is Instagram The New Political War Room?

The Donald Trump-Jeb Bush feud has spilled over into Instagram, which was one of the tamer social media outlets. Not anymore.

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A Justice Department report laid out 113 lessons learned and a half-dozen themes that "permeated all aspects of the police response" during the height of the demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., last year. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Two-Way - News Blog

Federal Ferguson Review Finds More Than 100 Lessons For Police

An assessment of police response to the demonstrations in the Missouri city calls into question strategies like the overwatch tactic, with officers using rifle sights to survey the crowd from tactical vehicles.

In the video for "Wildest Dreams," Taylor Swift and Scott Eastwood act out the story of a love affair set in Africa (although her scenes were filmed in California). YouTube hide caption

itoggle caption YouTube

Goats and Soda

Director Of Taylor Swift's New Video Defends His Work

"Wildest Dreams" depicts a love story set in Africa around 1950, Joseph Kahn notes. It did not have a political agenda, he says, and it did have people of color both in front of the camera and on the creative team.

An impala strikes a pose under a forest canopy in Zimbabwe. Morkel Erasmus/Getty Images/Gallo Images hide caption

itoggle caption Morkel Erasmus/Getty Images/Gallo Images

Goats and Soda

Global Tree Census Leaves Researcher Astonished — And Worried

Earth is home to more than 3 trillion trees, a new map of forest density shows. That's more than anyone realized. But the total is also down about 46 percent since the first humans arrived.

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