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  • 2014 midterms    10:32am ET 
Facebook/Mitch McConnell
Facebook/Mitch McConnell

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will enjoy some "enthusiastic" support at campaign events this week from supporters who were paid to cheer on the minority leader, according to an email obtained by The Hill.

Sent by a member of the Kentucky Republican Party, the email offers to cover food, lodging, and travel expenses for volunteers who wish to pack events on McConnell's three-day bus tour this week. "You would join local supporters in contributing to an enthusiastic atmosphere at each of his events," the email states.

The state GOP previously organized buses to bring McConnell supporters to the annual Fancy Farm Picnic.

Polls have shown McConnell holding a comfortable edge in his re-election bid. The New York Times' latest forecast gives him a 92 percent chance of holding his seat.

 
  • Today in Bread News    10:23am ET 

There are a lot of weird entrants for the Guinness Book of Records, but a group of Greek bakers in Thessaloniki really rose to the challenge when they built a giant "koulouri" on Sunday around the city's medieval White Tower.

(AP Photo/Grigoris Siamidis)


Similar to a bagel, the koulouri weighed 1.35 tons prior to baking, and the bread strand measured 540 feet long, The Associated Press reports.

The Thessaloniki Bakers Association now must wait to find out whether its feat will be accepted into the Guinness Book of Records; in the meantime, the bakers say they plan to build an even larger koulouri around the nearby Amphipolis burial mound, because why not.

What happened to all that bread, you ask? The bakers distributed it to townspeople and bystanders, which the germaphobe in me is really concerned about, but hey: It's hard to say no to a free bagel. --Sarah Eberspacher

(AP Photo/Grigoris Siamidis)

 
  • Dino Discovery    10:16am ET 

The key to understanding dinosaur ecology may lie in fossilized amber.

Ryan McKellar, a research scientist at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada, studies the amber pieces buried alongside dinosaur skeletons. He uses the fossilized tree resin to draw conclusions about the dinosaurs' habitat. At this week's annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, McKellar presented his recent findings, based on deposits from four bonebeds that date to the Late Cretaceous period.

"Basically, it puts a backdrop to these dinosaur digs, it tells us a bit about the habitat," McKellar told Phys.org. "Just a few of these little pieces among the bones can show a lot of information." McKellar said that friable amber, the type of fragile amber he's studying, "hasn't been pursued in the past."

Phys.org adds that the amber could "close the gaps in knowledge about the ecology of the dinosaurs" by providing information about the plants and atmosphere in the dinosaurs' habitats. When insects are fossilized into the amber, scientists can also track the insects' evolution, which allows them to study the insects' interactions with the dinosaurs.

 
  • Say what?    10:06am ET 

Republican House candidate Anthony Culler on Monday doubled down on his description of gays as "gremlins," posting a video on Facebook in which he warns that same-sex couples threaten to undermine traditional Christian values.

"Same-sex couples that want to destroy traditional marriage and our way of life: They're gremlins," he says. "They're these creatures that are so destructive."

Culler, who is running to unseat Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), came under fire earlier Monday over a Facebook post in which he called same-sex marriage a "pestilence" and likened gays to the titular Gremlins in the 1980s horror-comedy movie. (For those unfamiliar with the film, the Gremlins appear cute and cuddly but quickly transform into crazed, destructive monsters.)

 
  • Ebola Pandemic Panic    9:25am ET 

That finding comes from Gallup's latest survey of what issues facing the nation Americans deem most important.

The economy took the top spot in the poll at 17 percent, followed by dissatisfaction with government (16 percent) and unemployment (10 percent.) And for the first time, the Ebola pandemic appeared on the list, coming in at five percent — which put it ahead of more enduring issues like education, poverty, and terrorism. Racism and violent crime also polled as less important than Ebola, coming in at three percent apiece.

 
  • Braaaaaaaaaiins    9:05am ET 

If you want to make sure you're protected during the zombie apocalypse, Tiger Log Cabins has you covered. The company has designed a "Zombie Fortification Cabin," which includes a 10-year "anti-zombie guarantee."

The ZFC-1 log cabin kit includes three buildings connected to one another, but that's just the beginning of its perks. The cabin is surrounded by barbed wire and has an escape hatch. It also comes with an Xbox, TV, and sound system already in place in the living room, so you can watch your favorite Halloween flicks without worrying they'll actually come true. The cabin also has a deck and a gardening area, so you can live comfortably while protecting yourself from zombies.

Peace of mind from brain-eaters comes at a steep price, though: $113,000 will get you the log cabin kit only, and "zombie cabin installation" will cost an additional $21,000, CNet reports. If you want security cameras and solar panels, that'll be an additional $3,000 and $5,600, respectively. And if the 10-year guarantee doesn't hold up, you'll have to provide "medical evidence of the presence of a real zombie," Tiger Log Cabins notes.

 
  • ISIS Crisis    9:03am ET 
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has been given a personal security detail following an unspecified ISIS threat, according to Politico. The threat was made online, but neither Bachmann's staff nor Capitol Police would outline its exact nature.

Bachmann has been one of Congress' most outspoken critics of radical Islam, and last month she introduced a bill to strip citizenship from those who join ISIS. The security detail will reportedly remain in place until Bachmann leaves office at the end of her term.

 
  • Crisis in Iraq    8:19am ET 

ISIS renewed its offensive in northern Iraq on Monday with 15 nearly simultaneous attacks on Kurdish forces. ISIS also launched fresh attacks against forces guarding the strategically important Mosul Dam, including a truck-bombing that killed six Kurdish peshmerga fighters at one of the checkpoints surrounding the dam. Airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition had halted ISIS attempts to capture new territory recently, and a peshmerga general said he expected strikes soon on two villages the Islamist group seized on Monday. Read more at CNN.

 
  • a night at the opera    8:14am ET 

Hundreds of people protested outside New York's Metropolitan Opera on Monday, saying a controversial show about the murder of a disabled Jewish man by Palestinian gunmen in 1985 glorifies terrorism and is anti-Semitic. Former mayor Rudy Giuliani called the opera, John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer, "a distorted work," and Rabbi Avi Weiss said it was "radioactive" and "inspires violence." The Met's general manager, Peter Gelb, said the opera was not anti-Semitic, calling it "a brilliant work of art that must be performed." Read more at the BBC.

 
  • Ebola    7:55am ET 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new guidelines for protective gear for those treating Ebola patients.

The announcement comes after two Dallas nurses contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., who died of the disease. And last week, another nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Duncan was treated, said that the protective gear the nurses treating Duncan wore had a gap around the neck.

The CDC's new guidelines include full-body protective suits, including hoods to protect healthcare workers' necks. The guidelines also call for a "site manager" to ensure that workers put on and take off the protective gear correctly, adding that workers must know how to use the protective gear before being near Ebola patients.

Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said that the new guidelines provide an "extra margin of safety" for workers, particularly those in U.S. hospitals, where "more high-risk procedures might be used," according to The Associated Press. --Meghan DeMaria

 
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