- Rest in peace 1:17pm ET
Afghanistan's outgoing president, Hamid Karzai, lost a cousin, Hashmat Khalil Karzai, to a suicide bombing on Tuesday.
The late Karzai was a "staunch supporter of the president," the Associated Press reports, and he was involved in the country's campaign to select Hamid Karzai's successor. The AP notes that Hashmat Karzai was a campaign manager for Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who is competing against Abdullah Abdullah for the Afghan presidency. Afghanistan is currently holding an audit of the 8 million votes that were recently cast in the second round of its presidential election.
Hashmat Karzai was killed by a suicide bomber who hid explosives in his hat, according to a local official. The bomber blew himself and Karzai up when kissing his hand during the Muslim morning prayers for the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
"Just like all other Afghans who are the daily targets of terrorist attacks, our family too is no exception and as every other Afghan, we too will have to bear it," President Karzai said in a statement.
- Quotables 12:45pm ET
Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2016 — at least, according to the rest of the nation. No, she hasn't officially declared her candidacy, but the book tour, speech appearances, and talk show visits have everyone hanging on her every word, just waiting for a formal proclamation.
Of course, this type of scrutiny on everything she says has gotten Clinton into trouble recently — especially when it comes to discussing her fortune. After her now-infamous "dead broke" gaffe, the former Secretary of State has once again addressed her wealth in a new interview with Fusion's Jorge Ramos.
Asked by Ramos to put an exact number on her net worth, Clinton demures, saying she knows "within a range" how wealthy she is. Ramos pushes her a bit, asking whether it's in the "millions," to which Clinton responds: "Yes, yes indeed." Watch the exchange below:
- This just in 12:42pm ET
A gun store in central Florida was robbed earlier this month — and George Zimmerman has taken it upon himself to patrol the location.
Pat Johnson, owner of the DeLand, Fla. store Pompano Pat's, told Orlando's WKMG Local 6 that he has not employed Zimmerman at the store, but Zimmerman has been seen "patrolling" the area.
Pompano Pat's sells firearms and ammunition as well as motorcycles. The store gained national attention when it offered Zimmerman a gun — for free — after his murder trial.
- Quotables 12:24pm ET
President Evo Morales is running for reelection in Bolivia, and he believes his socialist movement, which "guarantees economic and political stability," is best discussed by couples across the country — in bed.
"The couple decides its vote in bed, and before it decides it in bed, we have to reach those people, explaining our program," Morales told supporters at an event on Sunday, reports The Associated Press.
Morales currently leads in polls ahead of the October election.
- This just in 12:15pm ET
After suspending purchases from a Chinese supplier over an expired meat scandal, McDonald's is offering tofu McNuggets at its Japan locations.
The Tofu Shinjo Nuggets include "onions, soybeans, carrots, and minced fish," with a side of ginger sauce, and will be available starting Wednesday until late September.
"Because it isn't meat, it tastes a bit different. It's a bit softer," a McDonalds spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. "Calorie-wise, it is a bit lower than chicken as well." She also noted that Japan has been planning to introduce the new nuggets since before the scandal in China was revealed.
Watch a commercial for the new McNuggets below. --Meghan DeMaria
- Onward! 11:48am ET
After nearly 18 months without a permanent executive director, the National Basketball Players Association finally filled the vacancy on Monday with Michele Roberts, a Washington, D.C. trial lawyer.
The position, left open by ousted Billy Hunter, makes Roberts the first woman to lead a major sports union in North America, notes ESPN.
"Even though she's a female, she's very relatable to a lot of our players," Chris Paul, of the Los Angeles Clippers, said. "I think that's what really hit home for not only myself but some of these other guys as well."
Roberts' confirmation was neither swift nor without vocal detractors. One of two original finalists in February, she had to go through a second round of applications and interviews after players and agents called for the search to be broadened. Some questioned Roberts' lack of knowledge about the NBA's inner workings. Ultimately, said Clippers player rep Jared Dudley, the union made its decision because players can opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement in just two years (after the 2016-17 season).
"Lebron [James], signing his two-year deal, set the tone," Dudley said. "We know that the league is making money. They can't hide behind that now."
- Interesting... 11:14am ET
Last year, Dubai offered its adult residents an incentive to lose weight: The government would match the amount of weight they lost with gold, exchanging one gram of gold for every kilogram of weight lost. Now, the country is implementing a similar program for children.
"Your Child in Gold" doubles the reward, with two grams of gold offered to families for every kilogram of weight lost by in children aged two to 14. For reference, one gram of gold is worth $41.92, Quartz notes, and one kilogram is 2.2 pounds. There are, of course, stipulations: Only two children per family can participate, and children must each lose at least two kilograms of weight to be eligible. Participants visit official weigh-in sites to track their progress, and the program will run until Sept. 15.
Last year's adult program resulted in 2.8 million dirhams, or $762,340, in payouts, so the incentive may help parents encourage healthy habits in their children. A 2012 survey in the BMC Public Health journal found that the United Arab Emirates is the world's sixth most obese nation, so the incentive may help its citizens develop healthier lifestyles. (For reference, the U.S. was the world's most obese nation, according to the survey.) According to a report from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, 33.7 percent of adults in the UAE are obese.
When the program launched on July 15, roughly 15 percent of the 9,200 who enrolled did so as families. More than 25,000 people have enrolled in this year's program, while last year's enrollment was roughly 9,000.
Some nutrition experts have expressed concern with the program, however. "If a child is dramatically overweight, then two [kilograms] over the course of a month is fine," Dr. Fawad Khan, a consultant in family medicine at Al Noor Hospital, told The National. "But if the child is under four and they're losing that much weight, that might pose some health concerns."
- Pen and phoning it in 11:03am ET
Speaking to the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders this week, President Obama touted the rule of law as vital to a nation's success:
Regardless of the resources a country possesses, regardless of how talented the people are, if you do not have a basic system of rule of law, of respect for civil rights and human rights, if you do not give people a credible, legitimate way to work through the political process to express their aspirations, if you don't respect basic freedom of speech and freedom of assembly... it is very rare for a country to succeed. [Devex]
Obama explained that though some short-term success might be possible in the absence of the rule of law, long-term failure would be inevitable.
As civil libertarians have readily pointed out, Obama's comments are incongruous with his willingness to defend the NSA's unconstitutional activities, to ignore laws which contradict his campaign promises, and to govern by "pen and phone" if Congress does not pass his preferred legislation. Speaker of the House John Boehner recently announced his desire to sue the President on charges of lawlessness.
- medical alert 10:57am ET
Ebola — which first appeared in 1976 in the Congo and Sudan — is a brutal virus, with some strains killing up to 90 percent of people infected. People infected with Ebola, which is transmitted through bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, and diarrhea, can remain symptomless for between 2 and 21 days before being stricken with flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, and vomiting which can lead to the hemorrhaging of the eyes, mouth, and internal organs.
The current outbreak in West Africa is the biggest yet, killing 672 people since February, including at least two American citizens. The disease could potentially start spreading even faster after a Liberian man infected with the virus was allowed to board a plane that made a stopover in Ghana, changed planes in Togo, and died in Lagos, the world's fourth most populous city.
Some even worry that the disease could spread to the U.S. after the wife and children of a Texan doctor who came down with the virus were allowed to fly back to America. CDC director Tom Frieden says the CDC is ready for the possibility: "We do not anticipate this will spread in the U.S. if an infected person is hospitalized here, but we are taking action now by alerting healthcare workers in the U.S. and reminding them how to isolate and test suspected patients while following strict infection control procedures."
The only happy news is that the disease is showing signs of becoming more treatable. Deborah-Fay Ndhlovu of Nature points to a 2012 study that showed that "monkeys infected with Ebola have been cured by a cocktail of three antibodies first administered 24 hours or more after exposure. The result raises hopes that a future treatment could improve the chances of humans surviving the disease caused by the deadly virus."
But sadly, even if this research leads to an effective human treatment, a cure in monkeys is no use to humans infected today.
- Artistic license 10:45am ET
Scathing street art highlighting scandals that have plagued the Obama Administration popped up in Silicon Valley during the president's fundraising tour to California.
The first series of posters co-opted the logo of ABC's Scandal while Obama met with donors at the home of showrunner Shonda Rhimes. Against a backdrop of references to scandals like NSA surveillance, DOJ seizure of AP phone records, Benghazi, IRS targeting of political groups, and more, the President's face is captioned, "Don't be an #asshole."
Soon, more art appeared. A play on the classic iPhone ads shows Obama, silhouetted, and labeled "iSnoop." And a mock invitation to "A Feast in Time of Plague" — Obama's $32,000 per plate fundraiser — was delivered to the neighbors of the event's host. Take a look at two of the images, below, and check out a full gallery of the second batch of street art, viewable on Imgur here. --Bonnie Kristian
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