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Escambia County, Navy Resurrect Land Deal Proposal

Plans for a land swap between Escambia County and the U.S. Navy are moving forward, after unanimous approval by the County Commission to continue the project. Initially, the Navy was to give the landing field near Navy Federal Credit Union to Escambia County. In turn, the county would spend $1.9 million to buy a 600-acre tract in Santa Rosa County near Ard Field Road. Another five million was earmarked for getting that property up to speed as a landing field. That extra cost placed the deal...

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If you tear open a packet of M&M's, what's the first thing you notice?

The colors: bright blue, vibrant orange, bold yellow. Kids love this visual stimulation.

But the sponsors of a new petition on Change.org — which is urging M&M-maker Mars to replace the artificial colorings used to create these distinctive hues — say these dyes can make some kids hyperactive.

"In this petition, I'm asking Mars to change to natural colorings," mom Renee Shutters told me by phone. "It's very doable."

While the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, researchers say.

During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours, a study of mice found.

President Obama will nominate attorney Jeh Johnson to be the next Homeland Security secretary.

Johnson recently served as the Pentagon's top lawyer.

Obama will announce his pick at 2 p.m. Friday, NPR's Scott Horsley tells us.

The Department of Homeland Security is currently without a leader. Former Secretary Janet Napolitano ended her stint six weeks ago. She left to become the president of the University of California system.

Talk to economists about the government shutdown's impact on their forecasts and you'll hear this phrase again and again:

Flying blind.

For economists and investors, "at this moment, we are flying blind," said Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and now president of Greenspan Associates LLC, a consulting firm.

Greenspan is not alone in feeling a little lost without the compass of government reports.

Cory Booker's victory Wednesday in New Jersey's special Senate election didn't surprise anyone.

From the moment he captured the Democratic nomination in the reliably blue state, the Newark mayor was the heavy favorite to defeat Republican Steve Lonegan.

Remember how that fight over the budget was all about Obamacare?

Seems like ancient history now, but House Republicans ostensibly shut down the government 17 days ago, demanding first a defunding, and, when that failed, a year's delay in the health law.

Basing its reporting on documents obtained by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, The Washington Post moved a story last night that details a close collaboration between the spy agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, when it conducts drone attacks against suspected terrorists.

Nearly 30 million people live in slavery worldwide, with most of them in Asia and Africa, according to a report released Thursday.

The Walk Free Foundation's ranking incorporates factors that include the traditional definition of slavery — owning another person — as well as things such as child marriage and human trafficking.

Here are the highlights of the report:

If the ugliness in Washington left a bad taste in your mouth, we have the perfect palate cleanser.

The panda cam at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, which was shutdown along with the federal government, is back online. It means you can once again ogle the now eight-week-old cub and her mother, Mei Xiang.

The zoo writes:

Houston, We Have Dengue Fever

Oct 17, 2013

Dengue fever is in Houston. And it turns out the mosquito-borne illness isn't exactly a stranger there.

Dengue has been roaming around the city since 2003, according to a study published Wednesday. "There was dengue circulating, and we had no idea that it was here because we just weren't looking," says the study's lead author Dr. Kristy Murray of the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital.

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