Health & Science

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Aric Toler isn't exactly sure what to call himself.

"Digital researcher, digital investigator, digital something probably works," Toler says.

Toler, 30, is part of an Internet research organization known as Bellingcat. Formed in 2014, the group first got attention for its meticulous documentation of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Toler used posts to Russia's equivalent of Facebook, VK, to track Russian soldiers as they slipped in and out of eastern Ukraine — where they covertly aided local rebels.

In the penguin habitat at an aquarium in Sydney, love is in the air.

The newest penguin couple here are named Sphen and Magic, and the two males are about to take the leap into parenthood.

The government of Nauru, a tiny island nation in the South Pacific, and the charity Doctors Without Borders are in a bitter dispute over mental health care for asylum seekers and refugees.

The controversy revolves around approximately 900 individuals sent to Nauru by the Australian government since 2013. They arrived in Australia by boat, coming from such countries as Iran, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Syria; the government sent them to Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Most of them have been there four years.

As Ebola continues to spread through the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the government has been issuing daily updates. These press releases are mainly a recitation of facts and figures: The total number of confirmed cases since the outbreak was declared August 1 — 165 as of Friday. The death toll – 90 people. The number of individuals who've been given an experimental vaccine – 15,807. And a summary of the latest efforts by responders to reach affected communities.

Friday News Roundup - International

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Journalist Jamal Khashoggi remains missing this week. Khashoggi was critical of the Saudi government, and after he went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to get some routine papers, he never emerged.

Goats (and sheep) have been recruited in the effort to fight wildfires.

Northern Spain has a "Fire Flocks" project, in which dozens and dozens of the ruminants chip in by doing what they do so well: eat.

A new video from BBC World Hacks, which highlights "brilliant solutions to the world's problems," tells the story. It was published on October 11.

The rate of cesarean sections around the world is increasing at an "alarming" rate, reported an international team of doctors and scientists on Thursday.

Since 1990, C-sections have more than tripled from about 6 percent of all births to 21 percent, three studies report in The Lancet. And there are no "signs of slowing down," the researchers write in a commentary about the studies.

They claim to help you sleep, make your hair grow, speed weight loss, improve your sex life and ward off the nasty cold going around the office. Though it's often impossible to tell if dietary supplements work, consumers generally feel certain they can't hurt.

But they can.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hacking The Law.

About Vivek Maru's TED Talk

Often, people who don't understand the law or can't pay for lawyers end up being mistreated. Lawyer and social entrepreneur Vivek Maru calls for a global community of paralegals to place the law on the side of the people.

About Vivek Maru

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hacking The Law.

About Brett Hennig's TED Talk

Brett Hennig says democracy — and the process of voting — is broken. To fix it, he has a radical suggestion: replacing politicians with a demographically representative selection of random citizens.

About Brett Hennig

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hacking The Law.

About Steven Wise's TED Talk

Animals like chimpanzees are autonomous beings with rich emotional lives, says animal rights lawyer Steven Wise. He's working to get courts to recognize them as "legal persons" and grant them rights.

About Steven Wise

Robin Steinberg: How Can We End The Injustice Of Bail?

13 hours ago

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hacking The Law.

About Robin Steinberg's TED Talk

The bail system disproportionately impacts low-income people of color and pressures defendants into pleading guilty. But Robin Steinberg is implementing a plan to fix this--without waiting for reform.

About Robin Steinberg

At 10 a.m. on Sept. 22, Granville Street in Vancouver turned into a river. Brightly colored cardboard salmon, bicycle floats and hundreds of people dressed in costumes flowed down the street, carrying huge silkscreen banners and flags as big as sails printed with the words "Wild Salmon Forever." People sang, beat drums and called the wild salmon home.

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A number of states are blocking web traffic from foreign countries to their voter registration websites, making the process harder for some U.S. citizens who live overseas to vote, despite the practice providing no real security benefits.

A Boston-based online auction house began accepting bids Thursday on a rare lunar meteorite at $50,000. But the firm estimates it could go for $500,000 or more when bidding closes on Oct. 18, according to the item's posting.

There are a few reasons why this meteorite might command such a large price.

First, at about 12 pounds, the lunar rock is very large.

Tents cover the lawn of a cracked government building in Palu. Coloring books are spread out across a tarp on the lawn. Children play tag in the driveway and wag their arms and hips in the popular "floss" dance, under the shade of palm trees.

This is where they bring children who were separated from their families after the earthquake and tsunami hit central Indonesia last month – as well as kids who were reunited but need trauma counseling.

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Police in California made headlines this spring when they charged a former police officer with being the Golden State Killer, a man who allegedly committed a series of notorious rapes and murders in the 1970s and '80s.

Authorities revealed they used DNA from a publicly available genealogy website to crack the case.

In order to see the red of a sunset or the green of spring leaves, developing human eyes need to get the right hormone at the right time.

That's the finding of a team of scientists who studied how color vision develops using hundreds of human retinas grown in the lab.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

After the huge sell-off Wednesday, U.S. stocks fell sharply again Thursday. At one point, the Dow was down nearly 700 points. By late afternoon, it had regained some ground but closed down 546 points or a little more than 2 percent.

Over the past two days, the Dow has lost 1,378 points. The S&P 500 was down 2 percent for the day. The Nasdaq lost 1.25 percent.

Ensuring that people with pre-existing health conditions can get and keep health insurance is the most popular part of the Affordable Care Act. It has also become a flashpoint in this fall's midterm campaigns across the country.

And not only is the ACA protection, which mostly applies to people who buy their own coverage, at risk. It's also possible that pre-existing condition protections that predate the federal health law could be in play.

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A Soyuz rocket booster failed during the launch of a capsule carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin on Thursday, forcing officials to abort their mission. The capsule made a "ballistic landing" and rescue teams recovered the pair, who are reportedly in "good condition," NASA says.

Hague and Ovchinin launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m. ET, heading to join the crew of the International Space Station. But more than a minute after launch, their Soyuz MS-10's booster failed.

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NASA is celebrating an anniversary this month.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Sixty years ago, in October of 1958, it was established as a U.S. government agency and opened its doors for business.

Dave Huhn is a sheriff's deputy for Montezuma County, Colo., a stretch of sagebrush mesas and sandstone cliffs bordering Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, home to Mesa Verde National Park, where ancestral Puebloans' cliff dwellings still stand.

Huhn specializes in the complex world of water law. His job has become more important in this region after a series of hot, dry summers have made farmers more desperate for water, and more willing to steal it or go to battle over it.

Jokes aside about flying squirrels, nuts served on planes and bushy-tailed passengers, squirrels and planes do not actually mix. At least not on Tuesday at Orlando International Airport, where an unidentified passenger hadn't gotten the memo.

If you are one of the 5.7 million Americans who ends up in the intensive care unit each year, you are at high risk of developing long-term mental effects like dementia and confusion. These mental problems can be as pronounced as those experienced by people with Alzheimer's disease or a traumatic brain injury and many patients never fully recover.

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