The most wonderful time of the year
: Once upon a time, America tuned out political candidates around Christmastime because, you know, PRESENTS! Good luck with that this year
. Here's a recap of yesterday's episode of "Goodwill towards men":
The Donald stuck to his guns (surprise!) and said the word he used to describe Hilz' 2008 primary loss - 'schlonged' -- isn't vulgar
Hilz stood by her claim (surprise!)
that ISIS uses Trump videos to recruit terrorists (it doesn't).
The Washington Post posted -- and then pulled -- a cartoon
which depicted Ted Cruz' daughters as monkey-like characters doing daddy's bidding. (seriously?).
And the Clinton camp got a lesson in trying too hard when it tried to list ways how Hilz is just like your abuela. The post backfired spectacularly.
Can you say Hispandering?
SYRIA CIVIL WAR
A sledgehammer approach
: Russia says its air campaign in Syria targets ISIS. The U.S. says it targets the opposition. A damning Amnesty International report says it doesn't matter, because hundreds of civilians are being pummeled to death. Amnesty says Russia's firing off missiles and dropping bombs without really targeting anything. So, they end up hitting homes and hospitals
. Russian President Vladimir Putin said we ain't seen nothing yet. Moscow has more advanced military force it plans to use, he chest-thumped.
The nick of time
: The "rule of threes" is a good guide to long we can live without air, water and food (roughly 3 minutes, 3 days and 3 weeks, respectively). So what happened in Shenzen this morning was something remarkable. Rescuers pulled two people alive from the rubble
where a mountain of construction waste crashed into the city, destroying homes and collapsing buildings. The landslide was Sunday. These were the first survivors. The news wasn't all good though: one of the men later died at a hospital. As many as 73 are still missing.
: Dear Mars, Sorry we're gonna have to bail on our trip. We were really hoping to mosey on up there in March, take some cool pix, do some science-y stuff. But we can't -- BECAUSE OF A LEAK!
The lander we were gonna use has this super sensitive instrument and it needs a vacuum seal around its sensors - kind of important in your harsh Martian conditions. Well, the seal is busted. So we had to send it back to the maker. Oh well, we'll try again in 2018. Sincerely, NASA.
Dotcoming to America
: For nearly four years, the feds have tried to drag Internet bigwig Kim Dotcom back to the U.S. He's the guy who founded Megaupload, where users swapped pirated movies and music and books and games without a care in the world. The entertainment industry wasn't amused. They suffered losses to the tune of $500 million and they wanted Dotcom to face the music. But he was sitting pretty in New Zealand. Not anymore
. A judge there decided today he can be uploaded to a plane and downloaded here.
People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
What rhymes with amicus brief?
Guess who's filed a brief with the Supreme Court as it ponders whether to hear a First Amendment case involving a rap song? Big Boi, T.I. and Killer Mike
(who prefaced it with "It probably is worth noting that he has never actually killed anyone.")
Who's laughing now?
Despite his epic flub, Steve Harvey will probably host the Miss Universe pageant next year
and the next and the next. And make mad bank!
Back from the dead
Thought humanity had tuberculosis, scarlet fever and scurvy licked? Think again
Israel's Antiquities Authority spend 6 months trying to solve the mystery of the gold scepter. Could it be an ancient Jewish relic? Um, no. It's a New Age-y healing thingie
WHAT'S FOR LUNCH
Here's what's coming up later.
Right to rally
A judge granted a restraining order against three Black Lives Matter members who were planning to demonstrate at the Mall of America this afternoon. But it only applies to the trio
; the rest of the group can (and will) protest.
Receive the rebuke
Lakeisha Holloway appears in court this morning where a judge will read the litany of charges she faces for allegedly plowing into pedestrians in the Las Vegas Strip. Among them, murder.
Number of the day: 1 in 7
Number of U.S. adults who got a Starbucks gift card last Christmas. This year, the chain expects to sell even more
. Because Americans like their Starbucks a latte.
AND FINALLY ...
When them burglars are jalapeno business
When three dudes burglarized the Frijoles & Frescas in Vegas, the taco joint trolled them in the most genius way possible -- by turning the surveillance footage into a hilarious ad. The tagline? "We take full responsibility for what our tacos cause people to do." Well played, gentlemen, well played.