Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died. The health of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud had previously been the subject of rumors; word emerged earlier this month that he was indeed ill with a lung infection.

Abdullah was 90 years old. He ruled Saudi Arabia for nearly 10 years, having assumed the throne after his brother King Fahd died in 2005.

The kingdom's new ruler is King Salman, Abdullah's half-brother, according to state TV. Salman is reportedly 79.

The news has just emerged. We'll update this post as we learn new details.

We all could probably eat more fruits and vegetables. But if forced to choose between whole fruit or a glass of juice, which one seems more healthful?

Dave Kutilek

Midway Atoll is the winter home of nearly a million nesting albatrosses. Laysan Albatrosses return to Midway in November to breed. Roughly 450,000 pairs wedge their way into a scant 2½ square miles of land surface.

And why do Laysans nest in winter? Well, the big birds forage mostly at night, so the longer hours of darkness in winter provide more time to find food for their rapidly growing chicks.

And just how big do the chicks get? By mid-May, they may weigh seven pounds, half a pound heavier than an average adult. The young birds will need that extra fat - and energy - as they learn to fly.  

Ed Ronco/KPLU

The website Skiplagged.com seems to offer a sure-fire way to find cheap airfare. But it’s also the target of a lawsuit, with claims that it creates unfair competition for airlines and other travel websites.

Kyle Stokes / KPLU

Seattle Public Schools officials will enter an auction for a vacant building downtown, the first significant step the board has taken toward opening what would be the first public school in the neighborhood since 1949.

School board members voted unanimously Wednesday night to authorize the district to enter a bid for the former Federal Reserve Bank building.

SDOT / Flickr

The lethal effects of urban runoff that kills some salmon and their prey can be reversed by filtering the water through a common soil mix, according to new research by state and federal scientists.

When it rains or people wash their cars, the water that runs over pavement picks up toxic chemicals such as oils, heavy metals and residue from car emissions. This can go straight into our waterways.

Right now, according to government surveys, about a quarter of the cut-up chicken you buy — and about half of all ground chicken — is contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

It's a surprisingly high number, and it was a surprise to the USDA's food safety officials, too, when they realized this about a year ago. Because up to that point, their efforts had been focused on whole chickens, rather than the cut-up parts.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata, a favorite of many of the city's progressives during his 17 years on the council, announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election this year.

Licata, who has been on the council since 1998, cited a desire to tackle "one major challenge ahead of me" as his reason for leaving. He doesn't know where that will land him yet, but he says he has a book coming out and wants to spread his vision of Seattle as a model for urban governance.

Eugene Beckes

If you watch backyard birds for even a few minutes, you will likely see some characteristic behaviors.

One example is "foraging" styles – the behaviors a given type of bird uses to find its food. Some types of birds, such as sparrows, are famous for their "double-scratch" behavior. This is a maneuver in which the sparrow jumps forward and back, quite quickly...twice.

In each forward jump, the bird lightly hooks leaf litter with its toes. Each return jump pulls the litter aside, exposing, perhaps, seeds underneath. Other species of birds, however, like robins, might be too big to pull off this sleight-of-foot and instead use their bill to simply grab any leaf litter and toss it aside. Two strategies, one goal: expose and grab that food!  

Kid Clutch / Flickr

Later this week, volunteers will fan out across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties to try to tally all of the people without a home as part of annual counts that take place at the end of January. 

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