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December 19, 2014

A new study published in the journal Current Biology found that golden-winged warblers could predict extreme weather events, thanks to their low-frequency hearing.

A recent storm in eastern Tennessee led to 84 tornadoes and killed 35 people, but the golden-winged warblers left in time to fly to safety. Researchers discovered the birds' capabilities by accident — they were testing whether the warblers could carry geolocators on their backs.

Before the storm hit, the birds left Tennessee's Cumberland Mountains, migrating an astonishing 400 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. They escaped more than 24 hours before the storm arrived, and the researchers believe the birds knew the storm was coming because of the weather's low-range infrasounds.

"At the same time that meteorologists on The Weather Channel were telling us this storm was headed in our direction, the birds were apparently already packing their bags and evacuating the area," Henry Streby of the University of California, Berkeley, said in a statement. Meghan DeMaria

5:22 p.m. ET

Iceland defeated England in the European Championship on Monday, besting the Brits in their round of 16 match-up by a score of 2-1. As The Associated Press notes, Iceland was a considerable underdog in the fight, but the Icelandic players took advantage of England's porous defense to take the lead in the 18th minute before shoring up their own defenses to seal the win.

"This defeat will probably go down as England's most humiliating since losing 1-0 to the United States in the 1950 World Cup," AP writes. But it looks like Iceland and its fans are having quite the time celebrating:

England's manager Roy Hodgson — who makes more than $4 million a year, while his Icelandic counterpart is a part-time dentistresigned after the stunning loss. But as writer Karl Sharro pointed out back in February, maybe the scheduling of the whole thing was just too tempting for the fates to pass up. Iceland goes on to face France in the Euro quarter-finals Sunday. Kimberly Alters

3:36 p.m. ET
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn't just slam the two provisions in the Texas abortion clinic law that the court ruled against Monday — she went ahead and took down the very premise of the law, too. In a separate concurrence to Justice Stephen Breyer's majority decision that Texas' provisions placed an "undue burden" on a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, Ginsburg suggested that the law's very claim that it was created in the interest of protecting women's health was a whole lotta baloney.

"The Texas law called H.B.2 inevitably will reduce the number of clinics and doctors allowed to provide abortion services. Texas argues that H.B.2's restrictions are constitutional because they protect the health of women who experience complications from abortions. In truth, 'complications from an abortion are both rare and rarely dangerous,'" Ginsburg wrote, citing a brief by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Furthermore, Ginsburg pointed out that medical procedures, "including childbirth, are far more dangerous to patients, yet are not subject to ambulatory surgical-center or hospital admitting-privileges requirements." The provisions the Supreme Court struck down required that abortion facilities meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, and that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

With that evidence in mind, Ginsburg concluded: "... [I]t is beyond rational belief that H.B.2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions." Becca Stanek

2:54 p.m. ET
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) first day on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton fueled some feisty attacks. Donald Trump, for one, was quick to fire back at Warren's digs towards him with some accusations of his own. "She said she's 5 percent Native American. She was unable to prove it. She used the fact that she was Native American to advance her career," Trump said. "Elizabeth Warren is a total fraud. I know it." Trump also noted that Warren is "a racist," explaining "she made up her heritage, which I think is racist."

Trump wasn't the only Republican to latch onto Warren's Native American heritage. Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who lost his Senate seat to Warren in 2012, was similarly skeptical, and said Warren ought to take a DNA test and release her records from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, where she taught.

However, Brown seemed to have already made up his mind about what such tests would reveal. "Secretary Clinton is considering making someone the vice president who has very serious character flaws when it comes to honesty and credibility in dealing with her heritage," Brown said. "And what did that do? That took away somebody who truly was a Native American and gave that opportunity to somebody who's not, and that's just not right. It's a reverse form of racism, quite frankly."

Only four months to go, folks. Becca Stanek

2:24 p.m. ET
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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) may have ended his presidential run months ago, but he's still paying off the costs of the campaign — thanks, in part, to his music choice for one of his rallies. CNN reported Monday that the failed presidential candidate was slapped with a $25,000 payment by the band Survivor for playing its "Eye of the Tiger" without permission at a rally Huckabee held last year for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Huckabee initially tried to defend his use of the song by saying the event was religious in nature, CNN reports:

In court, Huckabee argued that the anti-gay rights rally was a "religious assembly ... signifying joy and praise at the release of Mrs. Davis" from jail. A religious event would classify the act of playing the song as "noncommercial" and allow him to cite "fair use" — letting him play part of the song without paying for it. [CNN]

However, Huckabee ended up agreeing to a confidential settlement out of court with the company Rude Music, which is owned by one of the song's cowriters.

The former governor's federal election records filed June 20 indicate that he paid half of the $25,000 in May, listed as an "itemized disbursement." The remaining half was listed as "debts and obligations."

Huckabee has yet to say whether the "thrill of the fight" was worth that chunk of change. Becca Stanek

11:58 a.m. ET
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ruthlessly attacked Donald Trump in her first joint appearance with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail Monday in Ohio. "Great for who?" Warren asked of the presumptive GOP nominee's slogan, "Make America Great Again," before joking that she could attack Trump "all day."

Warren was as flattering to Clinton as she was damaging to Trump. "She's been on the receiving end of one right-wing attack after another for 25 years," Warren said of the presumptive Democratic nominee. "But she has never backed down. She doesn't whine. She doesn't run to Twitter to call her opponents fat pigs or dummies. No, she just remembers who really needs someone on their side. And she gets up and keeps right on fighting for the people who need her most."

Clinton was equally pleased with Warren, praising her for "how she gets under Donald Trump's thin skin."

Their joint appearance came amid rumors that Warren is being considered as Clinton's running mate. Becca Stanek

11:56 a.m. ET
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British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Monday that it would be up to the country's next prime minister to negotiate Britain's post-Brexit relationship with the European Union. In the first meeting of Parliament since Britain voted Thursday to exit the EU and Cameron announced his resignation, Cameron said the British government would first assess plans for its future relationship with the EU before beginning the exit process.

He advised that Britain "not turn our back on Europe or the rest of the world," and that the country "hold fast to a vision that wants to be respected abroad, tolerant at home, engaged in the world, and working with our international partners to advance security and prosperity of the nation for generations to come."

Despite his opposition to the referendum, Cameron said the vote must be upheld and implemented "in the best way possible." Becca Stanek

10:36 a.m. ET
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In a win for pro-choice advocates, the Supreme Court on Monday struck down two parts of a Texas law restricting abortion clinics. The provisions in question were a requirement that abortion facilities meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, and a second mandate that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The justices ruled 5-3 that the Texas law violates the Constitution by placing an "undue burden" on women's right to abortion.

Women's groups said that the restrictions would have caused "more than three-quarters of the state's clinics to shut down," NBC News reports. The number of clinics in the state has already dropped from 42 to 19 since the law was passed in 2013, and would have likely dropped to just 10 if law had been upheld.

The state of Texas argued that the law was enacted to "ensure patient safety and raise standards of care." Becca Stanek

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