August 8, 2014
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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been having a rough time of his job lately. He's dogged by rumors that he's plotting Obama's impeachment, he can't corral his party's conservative base, and people won't stop calling him a cry-baby. So, naturally, Boehner is looking to deflect attention by ramping up his criticism of another political man who's down in the dumps: President Obama.

In an op-ed published by Politico on Friday, Boehner called on the commander-in-chief to "do your job" — but specified that he should only do so in tandem with Congress. In other words, no executive actions, especially not on the two issues of the hour: immigration and tax reform. While he touted the House's dedication to the American people, stating "their priority is our top priority," he slammed Obama for backing out of tax reform in 2011 and for considering executive action on immigration.

Boehner condemned the latter in particular, saying it would be a "grievous mistake." He instead pressed the president to fix the immigration system in a "common-sense, step-by-step fashion so that the American people have a say." Unilateral action would the the easy choice, Boehner claimed — and also the wrong one.

Read the rest of Boehner's words at Politico. Kimberly Alters

12:26 p.m. ET
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A top investigator in the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan announced Tuesday that, depending on how the investigation pans out, state and county officials could face charges as serious as manslaughter.

"We're here to investigate what possible crimes there are, anything [from] involuntary manslaughter or death that may have happened to some young person or old person because of this poisoning, to misconduct in office," said Todd Flood, the special counsel for the state attorney general's office and leader of the Flint investigation. "We take this very seriously."

Flood says investigators will be looking to see if officials committed "gross negligence" or a "breach of duty" in the decision to change the city's water source as a cost-cutting measure and the subsequent handling of the city drinking water's high levels of lead. He also noted that the investigation could reveal officials' response to the issue could simply be a result of "honest mistakes."

Since the city switched water sources in April 2014, cases of Legionnaires' disease have increased, with nine cases being deadly. High lead levels in children's blood has also raised concerns about permanent neurological damage. Becca Stanek

12:12 p.m. ET

Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have turned their attention to the minority vote as they head to South Carolina later this month, where approximately 60 percent of registered Democrats are black. Sanders courted the African-American vote in a big way on Wednesday, meeting civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton for breakfast in Harlem.

"My concern is that in January of next year for the first time in American history a black family will be moving out of the White House. I do not want black concerns to be moved out with them. We must be front and center and not marginalized. And Senator Sanders coming here this morning further makes it clear that we will not be ignored,” Sharpton told reporters after the meeting, Reuters reports.

Catherine Robinson, 16, skipped class to see Sanders and Sharpton meet. "[Sanders] cares about African-Americans and any other race because he sees people as people while Hillary is actively trying to get minority votes … I feel it's not genuine. She just wants the job," Robinson told The New York Post.

Sharpton met in the same restaurant with Barack Obama in 2008.

Wednesday also saw Sanders earn an endorsement from Ta-Nehisi Coates, the celebrated writer of "The Case for Reparations" and Between the World and Me, The Hill reports.

Still, Clinton remains a strong favorite with African-American voters. "It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for a Democrat to win the nomination without strong levels of support among African American and Hispanic voters," Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook wrote in a memo obtained by Politico Tuesday night. Jeva Lange

12:06 p.m. ET

Though Bernie Sanders currently has two fewer New Hampshire delegates than rival Hillary Clinton at Tuesday night's primary, he overwhelmingly won the state's popular vote. And when he did, money came pouring in, Politico reports.

From when polls closed at 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., the Vermont senator's campaign netted $2.6 million in donations.

In January, Sanders outraised Clinton by $5 million. Julie Kliegman

11:16 a.m. ET
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If a trip to London's West End this summer to catch the eighth installment of the Harry Potter series just wasn't possible, there's now a Plan B. J.K. Rowling's Pottermore website announced Wednesday that the script for the upcoming play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will also be published in print and e-book in July. The eighth story, which Rowling developed as a sequel to the original seven-book Harry Potter series, jumps forward 19 years to chronicle Harry's relationship with his son, Albus Severus, and his work at the Ministry of Magic.

The news is likely a big sigh of relief for Harry Potter fans, as snagging a seat at the two-part play in London was initially the only way to find out what Harry has been up to lately. And, USA Today notes, tickets have been "nearly impossible" for fans to get their hands on, with digital ticket sales lines being "tens of thousands of people long."

The script will be released twice: First, as a Special Rehearsal Edition featuring the scripts used during the show's preview period, and then as a Definitive Collector's Edition, which will feature the script used during the actual performances of the play.

The script is set to come out July 31, 2016, the day after the play premieres in London and, as Potter fans will note, Harry's birthday. Becca Stanek

11:11 a.m. ET
REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

At least 500 people have been killed since the beginning of a Russian-backed offensive on Aleppo in Syria, which began on the first of the month, Al Jazeera reports. The UK-based monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Wednesday that among the dead are "89 civilians, including 23 children, 143 pro-government fighters, 274 rebels and foreign fighters."

In anticipation of the Syrian government's offensive, which has been supported by Russian air strikes, tens of thousands of Syrians have already fled to the Turkish border. The U.N. has warned that as many as 300,000 people living in Aleppo could be cut off from humanitarian aid if negotiations aren't successful.

"If government advances around the city continue, local councils in the city estimate that some 100,000 to 150,000 civilians might flee," the U.N. has said. Jeva Lange

11:10 a.m. ET
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is reportedly considering suspending his presidential bid as early as Wednesday afternoon, an anonymous source told ABC News.

Christie finished sixth in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary and will not qualify for the next Republican debate.

"We bet the ranch on New Hampshire, and no one ever anticipated the [Donald] Trump phenomenon," the source said. "He's a realist."

Wayne MacDonald, Christie's New Hampshire campaign chairman, was not involved in the decision-making process but said suspending the campaign would be "a logical next step." On Tuesday evening as primary results came in, Christie said he was returning to New Jersey so he could "take a deep breath" and think more about his campaign. Julie Kliegman

10:39 a.m. ET

Following their candidate's trouncing in the New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton supporters are worried that the Bernie Sanders campaign is winning the messaging game.

"I love her but I still don't understand what her campaign is about," a Clinton voter told The Hill. "If I had to take stock, I'd say [lack of clear messaging is] a big, if not the biggest problem facing the campaign," said another. Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist who worked for Al Gore in the 2000 election, agreed, arguing that Clinton "has not laid out a compelling vision for where she wants to take the country," failing to weave varying policy priorities into a coherent theme.

In the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries, Clinton performed remarkably poorly among millennial voters, some of whom cite Clinton's lack of a consistent message as a reason why they're feeling the Bern. "I feel like Clinton lies a lot," said one college-age voter in New Hampshire. "She changes her views for every group she speaks to." Bonnie Kristian

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