The Upshot
  • Update: 5:42pm EST

    Police in Oregon say the mother of three children allegedly abandoned in a shed has been found. They released the following statement on Friday afternoon: "The mother of the missing children has been located, and we thank everyone who helped with information. We do not need any additional tips."

    The search began on Thursday when the three children, all aged 3 and under, were found living among a group of homeless people inside an abandoned shed on a residential property in Portland.

    CNN reports that the children appear to be related, with the youngest being a baby girl estimated to be 8-15 months old.

    Local resident Judy Baxter said she notified a neighbor that there were homeless people gathered in an empty shed next door to his home but that she had no idea there were children among them.

    "Little did I know they had three babies in the backyard," Baxter told the Oregonian. "It was real sad when we saw the kids come out.''

    When police arrived, the homeless people on the scene told authorities they believe the children belong to a woman who abandoned them there on Wednesday night.

    Read More »from UPDATE: Mother of three abandoned Oregon children found
  • The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

    Think members of Congress act like a bunch of high school students? You might be on to something. A recent study from the Sunlight Foundation found that members of Congress tend to speak at about a 10th-grade level.

    The Sunlight Foundation analyzed every word spoken by every member of Congress on the floor of the House or Senate. Sunlight imported the words into a searchable database and then "ran them through an algorithm to determine the grade level of congressional discourse," according to a buzzy story from NPR.

    The finding: Congress is speaking at a lower academic level. Back in 2005, members of Congress spoke at a level equal to a high school junior. Now, the numbers have dropped off. Congress talks like a bunch of sophomores. Sunlight used something called the "Flesch-Kinkaid" scale to determine speech level. Longer sentences and words with more syllables equal higher grade levels.

    Some interesting factoids from the Sunlight Foundation's study:

    —"Prior to 2005, Republicans on

    Read More »from Is Congress getting dumber?
  • Almost a year after a tornado leveled large portions of Joplin, Missouri, new footage from a hospital security camera shows the devastation as it occurred.

    St. John's Medical Center was among the most heavily damaged buildings in Joplin. Winds of 200 miles per hour ravaged the interior. The footage shows chairs and tables swept up and tossed against the ceiling and walls. No people appear in the 36 seconds of video.

    [Photos: Joplin's tornado one year later]

    The tornado and its aftermath killed more than 160 people. On Monday, President Obama will deliver the commencement speech to the graduating class at Joplin High School. A White House press release reads, "The Joplin community's resilience and selflessness in the face of tragedy continues to inspire our nation."

    Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will also attend.

    Read More »from New footage from Joplin tornado


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