September 30, 2014

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has discovered a "mysterious feature" on Saturn's moon Titan. Scientists are working to determine, what, exactly, this feature might be.

NASA reports that the feature is roughly 100 square miles, and it lies in Ligeia Mare, one of Titan's hydrocarbon seas. Cassini's radar has observed the feature twice, but its appearance changed between the two sightings. Scientists suspect the feature's change in appearance could be the result of Titan's changing seasons, which Cassini's current extended mission will monitor.

The feature's first sighting was in July 2013, and the radar images depicted a bright spot, which stood out from the dark sea. Scientists were "perplexed" when the feature couldn't be located with follow-up radar experiments, but they found it again on August 21, 2014.

Though the scientists aren't sure what the feature is, NASA reports that they are "confident" the feature is not a "flaw in their data." Some of their current explanations for the feature include "surface waves, rising bubbles, floating solids, solids suspended just below the surface, or perhaps something more exotic."

Titan's hydrocarbon lakes have long been a source of curiosity for scientists who speculate that life may be able to survive on the moon's surface. "But if life exists on Titan, it would be very different than life on Earth, which is intimately tied to liquid water," notes.

"Science loves a mystery, and with this enigmatic feature, we have a thrilling example of ongoing change on Titan," Stephen Wall, the deputy team lead of Cassini's radar team, said in a statement. "We're hopeful that we'll be able to continue watching the changes unfold and gain insights about what's going on in that alien sea." Meghan DeMaria

9:16 a.m. ET

For Corey Lewandowski, it's always just been a simple matter of respecting the rules.

The newly-minted CNN contributor appeared Monday morning on the network's New Day with Alisyn Camerota, who asked Lewandowski about his fraught relationship with the press and the backlash that followed the announcement of his hiring at CNN.

"Well look, there are rules to follow," Lewandowski said in defense of his sometimes aggressive attitude toward the media. "We asked people to respect those rules." Lewandowski went on to defend his tactic of blacklisting certain reporters and news outlets from Trump events, but said he has "a great relationship with the press" and "a lot of friends at all the networks." Watch the whole segment below. Kimberly Alters

8:54 a.m. ET
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

With a candidate like Donald Trump, a little disorganization is no big problem — at least that's what Trump's new campaign chair, Paul Manafort, said Sunday on Meet the Press. "The good thing is, we have a candidate who doesn't need to figure out what's going on in order to say what he wants to do," Manafort said, admitting that Team Trump is still "getting organized."

Though it may seem like Trump lags far behind rival Hillary Clinton in terms of fundraising and operation size, Manafort insisted that was not the case. "They're muscle-bound. We're not," Manafort said, pointing out that the Trump campaign actually has "thousands of people in the battleground states, political organizers who are now in place, we have state organizations that are in place, we have our campaign plans in place, we have our budgets in place."

Manafort's TV appearance followed a rough week for the Trump campaign, during which former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was fired and a Federal Election Commissions report revealed that Trump had just $1.29 million on hand to Clinton's $42.5 million.

Watch Manafort's full defense of the Trump campaign, below. Becca Stanek

8:32 a.m. ET
Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Gettty Images

Even as Britain's pound plummeted to a 31-year low, U.K. Treasury Chief George Osborne remained optimistic about the state of the economy post-Brexit. In his first appearance since the historic decision Thursday to leave the European Union, Osborne assured Britain on Monday that its current situation was nowhere near as bad as it was in 2008, at the start of the financial crisis. "It will not be plain sailing in the days ahead," Osborne said. "But let me be clear: You should not underestimate our resolve. We were prepared for the unexpected."

Osborne's speech came as the British pound traded at around $1.320 early Monday morning, slightly down from Friday when it dropped to $1.3224 — the lowest the currency has fallen in 31 years. The Associated Press reports that some companies are rumored to be planning a Brexit of their own, and "looking to move business out of the country." Meanwhile, stock markets across Europe have declined.

Despite the situation, Osborne promised Monday that he would not impose an austerity budget. Following Britain's vote Thursday, he said that he has been working with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, as well as "fellow financial ministers and international organizations," The Associated Press reports. "We are prepared for whatever happens," Osborne said. Becca Stanek

8:12 a.m. ET

Beyoncé won best video honors at Sunday night's BET Awards, as well as the viewers' choice award, for her hit "Formation," but her mother, Tina, accepted it on her behalf, explaining that Beyoncé had dashed off to London after her opening performance of "Freedom," with Kendrick Lamar in a pool of water.

Grey's Anatomy actor Jesse Williams injected a bit of politics with a speech on racial injustice, and several recipients urged people to vote against Donald Trump. "I'm really not political but it's serious out here, and for those who think that, you know, 'Oh he's not going to win' — think again," said Empire star Taraji P. Henson, when accepting her best actress award. "Don't get tricked like they got tricked in London!" said Samuel L. Jackson, accepting a lifetime achievement award.

But much of the three-hour award show was dedicated to Prince, who died in April. There were musical tributes by Shelia E., Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Bilal, The Roots, Janelle Monae, and Maxwell, among others. Jamie Foxx and Laila Ali remembered Muhammad Ali, who died in May. You can watch some highlights from the BET Awards in the AP video below. Peter Weber

7:23 a.m. ET

A dozen Labour shadow ministers resigned on Sunday, and another half dozen have quit on Monday, in protest of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's firing of shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, who told Corbyn he's lost confidence in his leadership. Labour officials also accuse Corbyn of only tepidly supporting the push to remain in the EU, and Labour MPs will likely hold a secret-ballot vote of no confidence in Corbyn on Tuesday. Labour is currently Britain's official opposition party.

Corbyn, who was elected last September and says he will run again for leader if the MPs oust him, named a new shadow cabinet on Monday. On Sunday's Andrew Marr Show, Benn called Corbyn "a good and decent man but he is not a leader." Shadow chancellor John McDonnell disagreed Monday, and you can watch his defense of Corbyn to the BBC's Andrew Neil below. Peter Weber

6:30 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton's running mate is a matter of pretty intense speculation, and the Republican National Committee, like the news media, thinks Clinton will probably pick Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), or HUD Secretary Julian Castro, according to an RNC strategy memo obtained by The Huffington Post. The RNC research team, the memo says, "has been quietly building a framework to systematically dismantle the records" of Clinton's running mates for "several months," with the goal to "pre-emptively influence coverage and define top contenders ... in a manner that will peel away the most votes."

RNC Research director Raj Shah calls the VP vetting endeavor "Project Pander," and his two proposed means of peeling those votes away are to use Clinton's VP pick to "drive wedges between these top contenders and either Clinton and/or traditional Democrat constituencies, such as labor, environmentalists, and gun control advocates," and, "where applicable, frame the choice as an insult to the large, deep base of Bernie Sanders supporters who are struggling with the notion of supporting Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democrat nominee."

Each likely candidate is given a frame — Kaine is a "career politician" who's not liberal enough for "the Sanders wing" but too liberal for America; Warren is "a rich, liberal egoist" with "intensely liberal and uncompromising positions on taxes ... at odds with Middle America"; and Castro "could easily be portrayed as a John Edwards-esque pick, whereby someone with good looks but a thin resume is viewed as a novice on the national stage" — and Shah says it will use the research "to release or pitch on background prior to the nomination, and during the first hours after the announcement is made."

RNC communications director Sean Spicer told The Huffington Post that the RNC is digging deep on each candidate, while Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said "no amount of Googling by RNC researchers" will make Donald Trump fit to be president. You can read more about the GOP's planned attacks on Clinton's likely running mate — or learn why you should opposed each candidate — in the RNC memo, or at The Huffington Post. Peter Weber

5:24 a.m. ET

John Oliver's Last Week Tonight began on Sunday with his native United Kingdom, "a place whose very name, after this week's events, is beginning to sound a bit sarcastic." Oliver had warned against Britain leaving the European Union last week, and Britons ignored him — and their prime minister, who's stepping down after the Brexit debacle of his own making. Cameron's fall "should make me happy, but in this situation it doesn't," Oliver said. "It's like catching an ice cream cone out of the air because a child was hit by a car."

Leading Brexit proponents Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage both declared the vote Britain's "independence day," which Oliver found odd, because first, "Britain was already independent — in fact, it's what many other countries celebrate their independence from — and second, the sequel to the movie they're quoting actually opened this week, and features the wholesale destruction of London, which is beginning to feel pretty f—ing appropriate right now."

Some British "Leave" voters seem to sense that, and they are expressing buyer's remorse — perhaps because they Googled what they'd just done — and Oliver had no patience for that. "As if all this couldn't get any worse, as the full impact of what Britain had just done was sinking in, Donald Trump showed up in Scotland to promote his f—ing golf course," he said, deconstructing Trump's meaningless reaction — and then his claim that America is next. "You might think, well that is not going to happen to us in America — we're not going to listen to some ridiculously haired buffoon peddling lies and nativism in the hopes of riding a protest vote into power," Oliver said. "Well, let Britain tell you, it can happen, and when it does, there are no f—ing do-overs." Watch below — but we warned, there is decidedly NSFW language. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads