August 6, 2014
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Missouri executed inmate Michael Worthington by lethal injection on Wednesday for the 1995 rape and murder of a Lake St. Louis woman. Worthington was the first U.S. inmate put to death since a controversial execution in Arizona last month in which the condemned man was given 15 doses of lethal drugs and was not pronounced dead until two hours after the execution began. Read more at the Associated Press. Harold Maass

1:00 p.m. ET
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) informed the White House on Monday that his offer of $1.6 billion in border wall funding is off the table after President Trump rejected the deal last Friday during a meeting aimed at averting a government shutdown, Politico reports. "He called the White House yesterday and said it's over," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

Schumer had floated fully funding the wall in exchange for a deal to give Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients legal status, The New York Times reported, although Trump allegedly didn't think the concessions were conservative enough. "In my heart, I thought we might have a deal tonight," Schumer had claimed on the Senate floor.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) expressed doubts to Politico about what was negotiated in Schumer's meeting with Trump, which took place over cheeseburgers. The Democrats "claim that some crazy deal was made," Cotton said. "And then when we say no deal was made, they accuse Republicans and the president of reneging."

On Monday, Trump signed a bipartisan bill to fund the government through Feb. 8, and the Children's Health Insurance Program for six years. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised that immigration legislation will be brought to a vote by Feb. 8 if the issue has not been resolved by then. Jeva Lange

12:46 p.m. ET
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Turns out the Chosen 1 is not actually a great choice — at least at the books.

ESPN reported Tuesday that the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, are a nightmare for casual gamblers this season. The Cavaliers have been awful at beating their predicted point spreads, ESPN explains: Despite compiling a winning 27-18 record, the team is only 11-33-1 relative to their predicted scores, "which is on pace to rank dead last among [any team] since 1990-91."

In point-spread betting, gamblers place money on the margin of the final score of any given game. Unlike the Golden State Warriors, who upend Vegas point spreads by winning games with unpredictable scores, the Cavaliers are fairly easy for Vegas to get a read on. They've regressed this year due to an aging roster plagued with with chemistry problems — but because the Cavs still employ James, arguably the best basketball player ever, casual bettors still throw their money at the team.

That means that despite the fact that the Cavs have lost 7 of their last 10 games and trot out the second-worst defense in the NBA, Vegas has yet to adjust its betting lines because it's still making money on fans' good will, even as the team continually underperforms. As NBA oddsmaker Jeff Sherman explained to ESPN: "It's just hard for the public to go away when you have a commodity like LeBron."

So if you've got a contrarian streak, you're in luck, because the smart bet is to bet against the 2016 champs. Read more at ESPN. Kelly O'Meara Morales

11:10 a.m. ET

Look up. Somewhere out there — beyond the high-rises and the clouds and yes, even the airplanes — there are people. To be precise, there are two of them, and they are more than three-and-a-half hours into the first spacewalk of the year.

Astronauts Scott Tingle and Mark Vande Hei are expected to spend more than six hours Tuesday dangling off the side of the International Space Station, where they are installing a new gripper on the station's robotic arm. The mission is the ISS's 206th maintenance spacewalk since it was launched into orbit in 1998.

"This is going to be a lifetime memory for sure," Tingle told Space.com last week. "I'm looking forward to getting out there and fixing up the systems that we'll be working on."

One of the hardest parts of the spacewalk comes when Tingle has to get out of his boot restraint "and I have to go over to my partner's boot restraint, and I have to move him while he's holding a massive piece of equipment from the robotic arm, so there's a lot of mass there," Tingle said. "I think that will be tricky. I'll probably take that slow and be very cautious."

At least there is a payoff for all the trouble, Phys.org reports: "Make us proud out there," fellow Space Station astronaut Joe Acaba told Tingle and Vande Hei from inside. "We'll have hot chow for you when you get back."

Watch the spacewalk live at NASA. Jeva Lange

10:40 a.m. ET

On Tuesday, American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp appeared on CNN's New Day and tried very hard to avoid talking about President Trump's alleged affair with an adult film star.

CNN's Alisyn Camerota began by asking Schlapp about a recent report that alleges that President Trump's campaign tried to cover up the tryst, which allegedly took place in 2006 when he was married to wife Melania, with campaign money. Schlapp responded: "I don't really have many thoughts on this, Alisyn. I don't even know what we know."

Schlapp then tried to claim that the report came out of "a gossip publication," referring to a lengthy interview the woman gave to InTouch Weekly. Camerota pointed out in response that the original story about the affair was published by The Wall Street Journal. "Do you think The Wall Street Journal is legit?" she asked.

Schlapp admitted that the Journal is credible, but spun back to referencing InTouch Weekly. "We're going to really talk about about an article by InTouch magazine on facts we don't even know to be true? We are all better than this," he said.

That's when Camerota struck: "Matt, so conservatives don't care anymore about extramarital affairs?" Watch a clip of the interview below, or watch the full segment at Mediaite. Kelly O'Meara Morales

10:35 a.m. ET

Knives are bringing together the unlikeliest of allies in New York as the constitutionality of a nearly 70-year-old statute is being challenged in federal court. Over the past decade, "tens of thousands" of people have been arrested for possessing illegal "gravity knives" — blades that can be flicked open with the skilled snap of a wrist, In Justice Today reports. Arizona-based knife advocacy group Knife Rights, which is representing three plaintiffs in the case, claims that the law is unconstitutional because there is no firm test to define what is or is not a gravity knife.

What's more, because of how vague and arbitrary the law is, "gravity knives" are often unknowingly sold in regular city stores:

"There's literally no way to know whether you're engaged in legal conduct," Daniel Schmutter, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told the three-judge panel on Thursday. Someone seeking to comply with the law, he explained, might set out to perform the wrist flick test themselves, fail, and think the knife is safely "unflickable." But whether a knife's owner can "flick" his or her knife is irrelevant if a skilled police officer can do so. [In Justice Today]

Of the 928 people arrested for possessing gravity knives between July and December 2015, 84 percent were black or Latino men, Legal Aid reports. Although the fear is that the knives will be used as weapons, "in practice, the law results in New Yorkers who work in construction and other blue-collar jobs getting arrested for carrying an indispensable tool for their jobs," the New York Daily News writes.

As a result, groups as disparate as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the National Rifle Association are supporting changes to the law. Read more about gravity knives at In Justice Today. Jeva Lange

10:19 a.m. ET

President Trump does not have any firm beliefs about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney seemed to say in an interview on CNN on Tuesday.

The White House wants "a large [immigration policy] agreement. We want a big deal that solves the reason we have a DACA problem in the first place," Mulvaney said. "If you simply gave amnesty, whatever you want to call it, to the folks who are here, but don't solve border security, then you're simply delaying another DACA problem 10 or 15 years from now."

Pressed by CNN's Chris Cuomo to explain Trump's terms and conditions for allowing DACA recipients, who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children, to stay in America, Mulvaney said Trump's position "depends on what we get in exchange. What do we get for border security? What do we get for the wall?" Watch his comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian

10:09 a.m. ET
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions for "several hours last week," The New York Times reports. The interview is the first known instance of Mueller's office questioning a member of President Trump's Cabinet, although Congress has grilled Sessions on multiple occasions with inquiries pertaining to Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and the Trump campaign's alleged involvement.

Last spring, Sessions recused himself from "any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States" conducted by the Justice Department, following reports that he had twice spoken with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 election. During his congressional interviews last year, Sessions frustrated lawmakers by repeatedly saying he did not recall the answer to questions or otherwise declining to respond.

Mueller is also slated to interview Trump's former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, in the coming weeks. In December, The Washington Post reported that White House lawyers have been "assuring the president that Mueller's investigation is poised to wrap up by January or so." Jeva Lange

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