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Crime and punishment
March 20, 2014
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Disgraced paralympic star Oscar Pistorius is being forced to sell the South African villa where he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to cover his legal expenses. His lawyer said it has become "necessary" to put the upscale estate on the market because the trial is running beyond the three-week period it was slated for.

Pistorius' legal team, which includes three lawyers, forensic experts, and a crime-scene reconstruction company, reportedly costs the athlete $10,000 a day. Since the incident, he's been living at his uncle's house in Pretoria. An estate agent told AFP that the house is located in a gated community and is listed for $500,000. Jordan Valinsky

their luck ran out
2:05 a.m. ET
Facebook.com/IllinoisLottery

Until the state of Illinois passes a budget, lottery winners with prizes above $25,000 will have to settle for an IOU.

"Due to the ongoing budget situation in Springfield, some lottery winner payments have been delayed," Illinois Lottery spokesman Stephen Rossi said. "All winners will be paid in full as soon as the lottery and the Illinois comptroller have the legislative authority to do so." Players who win $600 or less can turn their tickets in for cash at retailers, and bigger prizes between $601 to $25,000 can be redeemed at lottery claims centers, CNN Money reports. Since the fiscal year started July 1, the big jackpots of more than $25,000 have had to wait.

Susan Rick, whose boyfriend won $25,000 from a scratcher in July, was shocked to find out they would be getting an IOU for the prize. "You know what's funny?" she told the Chicago Tribune. "If we owed the state money, they'd come take it and they don't care whether we have a roof over our head." Rick planned on cutting back and not working seven days a week anymore, and to head to Minnesota to visit her daughter. Her plans quickly changed when the check never came, and she had to cancel her trip. "Who do you think buys lottery tickets most of the time?" Rick said. "Not millionaires. People who don't have a lot of money. You're messing with all those dreams." Catherine Garcia

Science!
1:04 a.m. ET
iStock

A new, very small study suggests that people can shrink the blind spot in their eye by doing certain training exercises.

In the human eye, the blind spot is where the visual field corresponds with an area in the retina that has no receptors for light. Researchers studied 10 people, and over the course of 20 days had them take part in a "direction-discrimination" task. An image of a ring was centered in the blind spot of one eye, and the participants had to say which way waves of dark and light bands were moving through the ring. After some manipulation of the image by researchers, the study subjects were able to better detect the images in their blind spot, shrinking it by 10 percent.

That's "quite an improvement, but people wouldn't notice, as we are typically unaware of our blind spots," study author Paul Miller of the University of Queensland told Live Science. "The real significance is that our data shows that regions of blindness can be shrunk by training, and this may benefit people who suffer from pathological blindness." The results seem to show that the training made receptors that overlap or are adjacent to the blind spot more sensitive, making the eye more sensitive to signals coming from the site of blindness. Catherine Garcia

campaign 2016
12:37 a.m. ET

On Monday's Tonight Show, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) complained about being ignored at the first Republican presidential debate, saying the Fox News moderators went 20 questions without asking him one. Given Christie's pugilistic reputation, Jimmy Fallon asked the governor why he didn't just force his way into the debate. "What do you think, I'm like Morton Downey Jr.?" Christie asked, laughing. "What do you think I'm doing here?"

Fallon pressed the point, and Christie took a thinly veiled jab at Donald Trump. "No, you're not supposed to" jump in, he said, "but a few people did. But, you know, I didn't think that was appropriate for that night." Fallon had a pretty good rejoinder: "It seems to be working for whoever did it."

"Stay tuned: On Sept. 16, we may be changing tactics," Christie said. "If I get to, like, 15 questions in a row — count 'em at home — if I get to 15 in a row, they're gonna go, 'Uh oh, he's gonna go nuclear now!'" Fallon actually punched the air in excitement — and given that there will again be nine other candidates on stage, including Trump, there's a pretty good chance Christie will have to put his money where his mouth is. Peter Weber

Gay marriage
12:00 a.m. ET
Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected without comment a Kentucky county clerk's request to be excused from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Kim Davis is the elected clerk of Rowan County and an Apostolic Christian opposed to same-sex marriage, The Washington Post reports. Davis said it would violate her religious convictions if she had to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and has stopped providing licenses to both same-sex and straight couples. If she doesn't start issuing the licenses, she could be held in contempt, and will face daily fines and possibly jail time.

In early August, U.S. District Court Judge David L. Bunning also rejected the argument that her religious beliefs are being violated, saying Davis is "simply being asked to signify that couples meet the legal requirements to marry. Her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk." Catherine Garcia

Clinton Emails
August 31, 2015
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday night, at 9 p.m. on the East Coast, the State Department released 7,121 new emails from Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, just meeting a court-ordered deadline to release a certain number each month. The emails were sent and saved on a private server at the Clinton residence in New York. Reporters are digging through the new dump, covering parts of 2009 and 2010, to find anything beyond mundane scheduling requests, and this early look from Politico has a few tidbits.

First, close friend Sid Blumenthal, who did not work for the State Department at the time, appears to be Clinton's version of that friend who sends you lots of articles on Facebook or over email. In one email chain with the subject line "H: Yes, there is a vast right wing conspiracy. Sid," Blumenthal pasted articles from Israeli newspaper Haaretz on the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and a New Yorker articles on Charles and David Koch and their support for the Tea Party. To the long New Yorker article, Clinton replied: "Ah, a little lite vacation reading!"

Also, it appears Clinton didn't know how to use an iPad before June 2010. "That is exciting news — do you think you can teach me to use it on the flight to Kyev next week?" Clinton asked top aide Philippe Reines when he advised her that her "hPad" had arrived. In another email to top advisers in March 2010, Clinton used the subject line "Gefilte fish," with the email body simply asking: "Where are we on this?"

Of the 7,121 emails released, 125 had been retroactively deemed classified, all at the lowest level, "Confidential," the State Department said. Parts of those emails were blacked out. On Monday, State Department spokesman John Kirby apologized to reporters for the late-night email dump, explaining that the department was straining to meet the release schedule set by a judge. He promised the department will try to get the next batch out earlier in the day on Sept. 30. Peter Weber

Climate change
August 31, 2015
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

In a sobering speech on Monday, President Obama said no one is "moving fast enough" to combat climate change and soon we will "condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair."

Obama was in Anchorage for the Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER) conference, and told his fellow world leaders if they don't act quickly the world can expect more drought, refugees, and conflict. "Any leader willing to take a gamble on a future like that, any leader who refuses to take this issue seriously or treats it like a joke, is not fit to lead," he added.

He said the United States "recognizes our role in creating this problem and embraces our role in solving it," and said those who say climate change isn't happening are "on their own shrinking island." Obama urged everyone at the conference to return to their countries ready to act. "It's not enough just to talk the talk," he said. "We've got to walk the walk." Catherine Garcia

This just in
August 31, 2015
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

On Monday night, the State Department released more than 7,000 emails sent by Hillary Clinton from a private server during her time as secretary of state.

Out of those emails, 125 are now considered classified, all at the lowest classification, "Confidential," Politico reports. Earlier Monday, the State Department told reporters none were deemed classified when they were sent, Time reports. At the time, a State Department spokesman had estimated that 150 of the emails were now deemed classified. Clinton has continously said that she did not send any emails marked classified from the server. This is the third and largest release of Clinton's emails from her tenure as secretary of state, and the new batch of 7,121 emails puts the State Department back on track with the court-ordered release schedule. Catherine Garcia

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