FROM Greg Laughlin
Earth-Sized Planet Found in Alpha Centauri System The blockbuster film Avatar featured a planet imagined to be circling Alpha Centauri B, the star closest to our sun. Now astronomers have discovered there really might be a system of planets there. The new planet orbiting Alpha Centuri B is so close to the star that it would not be habitable to life as we know it. But there could be other planets. Greg Laughlin is Chair of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California Santa Cruz and a blogger at oklo.org .
America's top diplomat faces challenges in Asia Whatever happened to America's "pivot to Asia?" That's just one of the questions left hanging since Rex Tillerson's first trip there as Secretary of State. Is the Trump Administration hoping to change Foreign Policy or maintain the status quo?
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?