National News

A view of the central area of Atlassian's office in San Francisco. The software company found that desks were used only 20 percent of the workday — half as much as conference rooms were used.

How A Bigger Lunch Table At Work Can Boost Productivity

The loft-like San Francisco office of software maker Atlassian has an open central amphitheater, where all-staff gatherings and midday boot camp exercises are held.

Jay Simons, Atlassian's president, says the building was originally a book printing factory. He describes it "as a big, two-story warehouse with a lot of steel girders, a lot of natural light."

But the office's rapid expansion to 300 employees has led to gripes about conference room shortages. "We're butting up on growing out of the space," Simons says.

Shannon Rivers, a member of the Akimel O'odham tribe, lights a fire for the purification ceremony at the Coconino County jail. Inmates will help him put blankets over the sweat lodge structure, place heated rocks inside and pour water over them.

Many Native American Communities Struggle With Effects Of Heroin Use

A decade ago, Ken Lewis almost lost his arm to an intravenous (IV) drug addiction. Twice he developed cysts in his veins that exploded in the hospital. When he came out of surgery the doctor prescribed painkillers. So he traded his meth and heroin for the prescribed opiates.

"I was at my wit's end. I mean I was mentally gone, dead," he says. "Spiritually, I didn't believe in a god. Emotionally, didn't realize I was hurting people or hurting myself. Physically, I probably should've been dead."

The most recent common ancestor of all today's snakes likely lived 120 million years ago. Scientists believe it used needle-like hooked teeth to grab rodent-like creatures that it then swallowed whole.

Earth's First Snake Likely Evolved On Land, Not In Water

Some scientists have speculated that snakes first evolved in water and that their long, slithery bodies were streamlined for swimming. But a new analysis suggests that the most recent common ancestor of all snakes actually lived on land.

This ancestral protosnake probably was a nocturnal hunter that slithered across the forest floor about 120 million years ago. And it likely had tiny hind limbs, left over from an even earlier ancestor, says Allison Hsiang, a researcher at Yale University.

Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's Son, Hospitalized

Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's son, is being treated at a military hospital outside Washington, the vice president's office said.

A Reddit mascot is shown at the company's headquarters in San Francisco. Reddit has published a new policy aimed at harassment on the site.

Reddit's New Harassment Policy Aimed At Creating A 'Safe Platform'

Reddit, billed by its founders as "the front page of the Internet," has long been known as a place of unbridled free speech on the Web where users, known as Redditors, post text, pictures and videos.

But that unbridled free speech sometimes spills over into harassment, sexism and racism. Over the past couple of years, Reddit has been at the center of several controversies concerning harassment, including the release of hundreds of private celebrity photos. It's also become infamous for its unbridled vitriol.

A 19th-century samovar made from silverplate, from the private collection of Sheldon Luskin. On loan to The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis

Tea Tuesdays: Cold Weather, Gogol And The Rise Of The Russian Samovar

There are two drinks most people associate with Russia — vodka and tea, prepared in a giant hot-water urn known as a samovar.

Yet while vodka may have actually originated in Russia (Poland is another contender), tea is a thoroughly foreign product.

Most historians believe the Chinese first brought tea to Russia sometime in the 1600s. As for the samovar? "The origins are shrouded in mystery," says Maria Zavilova, curator at the Museum of Russian Art in Minnesota.

Families harvest poppy bulbs in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. To collect the opium, they score the bulbs and let the milky substance ooze out. The dried residue contains about 10 percent morphine.

Home-Brewed Morphine Is Around The Corner

Making morphine — or heroin*, for that matter — isn't easy. You have to know a bunch of fancy chemistry to synthesize the drug from scratch. Or you have to get your hands on some opium poppies and extract morphine from the flowers' milky juice.

The latter is tougher than it sounds. Sure, the beautiful flowers grow across millions of acres around the world. But farming and trading poppies are tightly regulated both by laws and by drug kingpins.

Pressure To Act Unethically Looms Over Wall Street, Survey Finds

A new survey of financial professionals tends to confirm the widely held belief that the financial industry has an ethics problem.

Among the more than 1,200 financial professionals in the U.S. and Britain who were surveyed, about half the respondents believe their competitors in the industry have behaved unethically or illegally to gain an advantage in the market.

A car is engulfed by flames during clashes in Ramadi on Saturday. Islamic State militants drove Iraqi security forces out of the city, which is just 70 miles west of Baghdad.

After A Big Victory For ISIS, Iraqi Forces Look To Regroup

The black flag of the self-proclaimed Islamic State is flying over the Iraqi city of Ramadi after government forces collapsed and the extremists seized control over the weekend.

Thousands of civilians have fled Ramadi and those left behind face a chaotic situation.

"No food, no fuel, no electricity. It's very difficult there," says Sheikh Hekmat Suleiman, an adviser to the governor of Anbar Province. Ramadi is the provincial capital, and the local government has now fled the city, just 70 miles west of Baghdad.

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks at a small-business forum at Bike Tech bicycle shop Tuesday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

After A Month, The 7 Questions Hillary Clinton Answered From The Media

Until Tuesday, it had been almost a month since Hillary Clinton had answered a question from the press.

After taking questions from Iowans in Cedar Rapids, where she spoke about small business, the former secretary of state then answered six questions from reporters. She also took an awkwardly timed one about whether she'll answer questions from media in the middle of the event. The questions after the event ranged from the release of her emails when she was secretary of state and criticism over foreign donations to the Clinton foundation to the state of Iraq and more.

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