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August 6, 2014

The next time you try to snag a table for two at your town's chic-est restaurant, be prepared for a new reply from the maître d': "Tickets, please."

NPR reports a growing number of fine dining establishments are eschewing traditional reservations for ticketing systems, employing all-inclusive prix-fixe meal passes to "sell out" dining rooms weeks or months in advance. The concept was originally devised by Chicago restauranteur Nick Kokonas, whose eatery Next specializes in theme menus that change three times a year; diners can buy season tickets to the entire year's worth of meals. In a few hours last December, Next sold $3 million worth of tickets.

Restaurants believe ticketing sharply reduces no-shows, which cost business and pressure establishments to raise prices for other diners. Then, of course, there's the cachet of being the "hottest ticket in town," a la rock concerts or hit Broadway shows. Kokonas anticipates ticketed eateries opening in several major cities, both in the U.S. and around the world, in the next couple of months. The ticket scalpers are sure to follow in short order.

Listen to the full NPR story on restaurant tickets below. --Mike Barry

7:54 p.m. ET

An explosion at a bar in Ansbach, Germany, late Sunday killed one person and injured 11 others, police said.

The mayor of Ansbach, a city near Nuremberg, told reporters an explosive device was used, the BBC reports, and a spokesman for the Bavarian Interior Ministry said the explosion appeared to be intentional. The area around Eugene's Wine Bar has been sealed off by police, German media reports, and Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann is on his way to the area. Last week, a gunman opened fire in Munich, killing nine, and an ax-wielding attacker injured several people on a train in Wuerzburg. Catherine Garcia

4:32 p.m. ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced on Sunday that she will step down after leaked emails seem to show the committee's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders. In one email, the DNC's chief financial officer, Brad Marshall, suggested attacking Sanders for his religious beliefs and painting him as an atheist. Marshall apologized on Saturday, but on Sunday, Sanders said the emails were "outrageous" and called for Wasserman Schultz to resign. "I mean there's no question to my mind and I think no question to any objective observer's mind that the DNC was supporting Hillary Clinton, and was at opposition to our campaign," Sanders said.

The leaked emails, and the resignation, come one day before the start of the Democratic National Convention and at a time when the Democratic Party is showing signs of division after a tense primary season between Sanders and Clinton. Wasserman Schultz will step down at the end of the convention. In a statement following the announcement, Clinton called Wasserman Schultz a "fighter" and thanked her for her service. Jessica Hullinger

2:58 p.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In a surprising move, Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire media executive and the former mayor of New York City, will endorse Hillary Clinton for president, The New York Times reports. Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2000 to become a registered Republican. Earlier this year, he was considering his own presidential run as an independent. While Bloomberg disagrees with Clinton on a variety of subjects, including gun control and immigration, the Times reports he is dismayed at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency, and believes Clinton to be a "far better choice," said Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg adviser.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg will make his case for Clinton on stage at the Democratic National Convention, alongside other convention headliners like President Barack Obama, and Clinton's VP pick, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). The hope, it seems, is that Bloomberg's endorsement will speak to undecided moderates. "As the nation's leading independent and a pragmatic business leader, Mike has supported candidates from both sides of the aisle," Wolfson told the Times. Jessica Hullinger

2:28 p.m. ET
JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

Chris Froome won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Briton to win the race three times. After 89 hours, six minutes, and one second in the saddle over the race's 21 stages, Froome, 31, crossed the finish line in Paris almost three minutes before his closest rival. He won in 2015 and in 2013, and is only the eighth man with three Tours under his belt. Jessica Hullinger

10:39 a.m. ET
NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee said Sunday that it will not completely ban Russia from competing at the Rio Olympics, Reuters reports. Instead, the IOC is putting the responsibility of deciding who can compete in the Games on the bodies that govern the individual sports.

The announcement comes after an independent report found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping among Russian Olympic athletes. Competitors will need to meet a set of criteria to demonstrate they are clean, and anyone who has previously been caught doping will not be allowed to compete. Jessica Hullinger

9:09 a.m. ET
Johannes Simon/Getty Images

German authorities say the gunman who opened fire at a Munich shopping center on Friday, killing 9 people and injuring 35 more, planned the attack for a year. On Sunday, Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian state criminal police office, said 18-year-old David Sonboly left a manifesto on his computer. "He appears to have planned this act since last summer," Heimberger said. "He completely occupied himself with this act of rampage."

In planning his attack, Sonboly, who authorities say was "obsessed" with mass shootings, visited the site of a previous school shooting and took pictures, The Associated Press reports. In 2015, Sonboly spent two months as an inpatient at a mental care facility, where he was treated for depression and a fear of contact with other people. He killed himself after the attack. Jessica Hullinger

7:49 a.m. ET

On Sunday morning, Donald Trump, or whoever was running his Twitter feed, went on a rampage against Hillary Clinton's decision to pick Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) as her vice presidential nominee. Embedded amongst a flurry of exclamation points and all-caps accusations of "BAD JUDGMENT" was an error that's sure to needle grammar snobs: Where Trump should have used "their," he used "there" instead. And in the same breath — er, keystroke — instead of "waste," he used "waist."

Cringe!

Then again, what more do we expect from a presidential candidate who researchers say has the grammatical sophistication of an 11-year-old?

Update at 8:20 a.m.: The above tweet has been deleted and replaced with a corrected version. Jessica Hullinger

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