China Rising
August 26, 2014

Scientists at China's Harbin Institute of Technology are "a step closer to creating a supersonic submarine that could travel from Shanghai to San Francisco in less than two hours," reports The South China Morning Post. The scientists have reportedly succeeded in replicating an air bubble that would allow vehicles and projectiles — such as a torpedo — to travel more quickly through water, which produces much more drag than air.

In theory, a supercavitating vessel could reach the speed of sound underwater, or about 5,800km/h, which would reduce the journey time for a transatlantic underwater cruise to less than an hour, and for a transpacific journey to about 100 minutes, according to a report by California Institute of Technology in 2001. [SCMP]

Of course, there are some significant obstacles to the dream of traveling frictionlessly across the Pacific. For one, such a vessel would need an immensely powerful rocket to reach supersonic speeds, which in turn would create problems with steering. However, this new technology could prove useful in other ways. "[T]here's plenty of reason to believe a submarine could be built that would significantly exceed the speed of today's fastest models, which lumber along at a speed of 40 knots (about 46 mph)," writes Terence McCoy at The Washington Post. Take a look at the design below. --Ryu Spaeth

(South China Morning Post)
9:58 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jeb Bush better watch his back — and not just for Donald Trump's incessant stabs. While Bush and Trump have been noisily duking it out, another Republican presidential contender has been "quietly rising in the polls in New Hampshire," The Hill reports. That candidate? Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

With many an eye in the Republican Party turned to Trump's antics and Bush's reactions to said antics, Kasich has been "capitalizing on a strong debate performance," as evidenced by his second place showing in New Hampshire in a Public Policy Polling survey released this week. Moreover, the PPP poll also showed that Kasich might just be Hillary Clinton's toughest competition in the state.

Kasich's numbers are potentially bad news for Bush. The Hill reports that if Kasich manages to top Bush in the New Hampshire, that could shake up the remainder of the primary. "Of all the candidates out there in terms of corralling the establishment voters, Kasich is a clear and present danger of taking them," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told The Hill. While Bush won't be an easy one to beat, O'Connell said, "if [Kasich] can actually win New Hampshire, then the game board changes." Becca Stanek

This just in
9:35 a.m. ET

Vester Flanagan (also known as Bryce Williams, the name he used as a television news anchor) appeared to have planned to make an escape after murdering Virginia's WDBJ7 journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, The Washington Post reports. New details revealed that Flanagan had a wig, a briefcase with three license plates, a shawl, an umbrella, and sunglasses in his car.

The car itself was also an indication that Flanagan hoped to get away with murder. It was a rental he had checked out weeks ahead of time, indicating the killing of Parker and Ward was premeditated.

Flanagan was likely tracked down by the police due to a text message he sent to a friend, in which he mentioned "having done something stupid"; the signal from his number could have aided police in finding his location and chasing him down the highway, CNN reports. While police were in pursuit, Flanagan pulled off the road and shot himself, then died after being taken to the hospital.

A Glock pistol, ammunition, 17 stamped envelopes, and a "to do" list were also found in Flanagan's car. Jeva Lange

It's what's inside that matters
9:01 a.m. ET

In Ben Carson's opinion, the war on women isn't about women — it's about babies. The Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon explained at a Thursday event in Little Rock, Arkansas: "They tell you that there’s a war on women. There is no war on women. There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country."

As to what exactly Caron meant by "what's inside of women," he did not say. The Cut jokingly hypothesizes that he meant "there's a war on women's inner confidence, or even a war on the sexual exploits of Anastasia Steele's inner goddess," but, alas, his past comments seem to make it clear that Carson was really just talking about fetuses. Cosmo noted that Carson once told Fox News, "There is no war on [women], the war is on babies." Because the "unborn can't defend themselves," he said that "what we need to do is re-educate the women to understand that they are the defenders of these babies." Becca Stanek

This just in
8:40 a.m. ET

Christopher Starks, a Savannah State University junior, died of gunshot wounds after an altercation at the school's student union, The New York Times reports. No arrests have been made in connection to the shooting.

Located in Savannah, Georgia, SSU is a historically black university of about 5,000 students.

According to a spokesperson, administrators have few details on the incident. "While it may be natural to want to protect an associate," spokeswoman Loretta Heyward said in a statement urging anyone with information to come forward, “the lack of disclosure may do more harm than good in the long run." Jeva Lange

8:39 a.m. ET

"This is it, the best car Consumer Reports has ever tested," says Jake Fisher, the consumer magazine's auto test director, standing next to the Tesla Model S P85D sedan. "Simply put, the fully electric car is a glimpse into the future of the automotive industry." How impressed was Consumer Reports with the luxury car? It originally gave it 103 out of 100, forcing the magazine to recalibrate its rating system so the P85D got a mere 100 — still beating the regular Tesla Model S, which scored 99 in 2013, under the old system.

Along with being the highest-rated, it's also the fastest car the magazine has tested, and more efficient than even the regular Tesla Model S, Fisher said. But there's one more superlative to come: At $127,820, it's also the most expensive car Consumer Reports has ever tested. And "it has imperfections," Consumer Reports says. "The interior materials aren't as opulent as other high-ticket automobiles, and its ride is firmer and louder than our base Model S."

But in terms of performance, efficiency, and speed — going from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds with a silent electric motor is "frighteningly eerie," and the car is "so explosively quick that Tesla has created an 'insane' driving mode," the magazine said, creating "near-instant g-forces" that "can otherwise be achieved only by leaping off a building— literally" — this Tesla is "the closest to perfect we've ever seen," Fisher says. Elon Musk is probably not blushing. After all that gushing, you can watch Tesla's P85D in action below. Peter Weber

Only in America
8:30 a.m. ET

A Massachusetts boarding school is being sued by parents who claim the school's Wi-Fi signal is making their child sick, says Scott O'Connell at the Worcester, Massachusetts Telegram & Gazette. The plaintiffs say their 12-year-old son has endured headaches, nosebleeds, and nausea caused by "electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome" ever since the Fay School activated a more powerful wireless signal in 2013. School officials say their Wi-Fi is well within "applicable safety limits." The Week Staff

Clinton Emails
8:15 a.m. ET
Fadel Senna AFP/Getty Images

Newly uncovered State Department emails obtained by ABC News reveal that Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation tried to get approval from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to accept invitations for "lucrative speaking engagements" in the notoriously repressive countries of North Korea and Congo. Ultimately, Bill turned down both speaking engagements.

The invitation to Congo offered a $650,000 speaking fee, but would have required Bill to pose for photos with the dictators of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, both of whose countries have a "particularly grim human rights record," ABC News says. In the instance of North Korea, Bill pretty assumed the State Department would shoot him down even though he still sent an email to double check that it was "safe to assume [the U.S. Government] would have concerns." He got a quick response from a State Department employee: "Decline it."

This system worked out by Bill and Hillary was set up prior to Hillary's confirmation as Secretary of State. In the interest of avoiding conflicts of interest, Bill "volunteered to submit information for proposed paid speeches to the Department of State's ethics agency to review," ABC News reports. Still, even without the speaking fees from the engagements turned down, Bill managed to earn more than $48 million in speaking fees while Hillary was Secretary of State, delivering 215 speeches in four years. Becca Stanek

See More Speed Reads