President Obama is in Africa for a summit with the continent's leaders, an event made all the more notable because the president himself is from Africa, according to MSNBC correspondent Chris Jansing.
Appearing on The Reid Report Tuesday, Jansing said the trip would factor into Obama's legacy because of "the fact that he's from Kenya, and the fact that when he was elected there were expectations on the African continent that he would do great things for them."
To be fair, Jansing corrected her flub a little later, saying she meant Obama's father is from Kenya. Here's video of the mixup, courtesy of Raw Story. --Jon Terbush
In a court filing, the State Department proposed to post online large bundles of Hillary Clinton's emails from her time as Secretary of State starting June 30, and then every 60 days thereafter.
"The Department will strive to produce as many documents as possible on each production date, and will file a status report one week after each production to inform the Court of the number of pages posted," Justice Department lawyers wrote. "The Department is keenly aware of the intense public interest in the documents and wants to get releasable materials out as soon as possible."
The State Department last week proposed that it have until January to produce the bulk of the emails, but U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered they release the emails on a rolling basis. The Department said it will get every email out by January, Politico reports, but hopes to get them all released before then. Catherine Garcia
A bomb threat made by an anonymous caller on Tuesday targeted EVA Air Flight 12 as it flew from Taipei to Los Angeles.
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) May 27, 2015
After it landed safely at around 3:30 p.m., the plane was directed to a secure area reserved for planes that are experiencing problems, CBS Los Angeles reports. At about 5:30 p.m., passengers began to get off the plane and were driven away in buses. FBI agents, Homeland Security officials, and Los Angeles Police Department officers are all on the scene, and in a statement, the FBI said that "all threats, regardless of known credibility, are taken seriously."
On Monday, at least six anonymous calls were placed threatening international flights as they headed to airports in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Authorities said those threats, which were not credible, could have been made by the same source, but did not say if there is a connection to the threat made against the EVA flight. Catherine Garcia
A new study published in The BMJ has found that women who take birth control pills that use newer types of the hormone progestogen have three times the risk of developing blood clots compared to women not taking the oral contraceptive.
Blood clots have been a known risk of taking the pill since the 1990s, and developers have been changing the progesterone levels of the pill since it was first introduced in 1960 in order to lower side effects like weight gain and acne. Those tweaks could be the reason why the risk of blood clots went up, considering that the scientists adjusted for factors like cancer, varicose veins, smoking, and obesity on the risk of blood clots, and the link between newer contraceptives and an increased risk of blood clots remained high, Time reports.
"Our study suggests that the newer contraceptives have a higher risk of [blood clots] than the older agents," Yana Vinogradova, research fellow at the University of Nottingham and lead for the study, told Time. "While [blood clots] are a relatively rare problem, they are serious and potentially avoidable with the appropriate drug choice. Doctors need to consider all health issues when prescribing contraceptives, selecting a drug type associated with the lowest risk for patients with particular susceptibilities." Catherine Garcia
Vox Media has acquired Revere Digital, the parent company of the tech website Re/code.
— Re/code (@Recode) May 26, 2015
Re/code was started by journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg about 18 months ago after they left The Wall Street Journal, Mashable reports. In a post on Re/code, Swisher and Mossberg wrote that the site will "continue to publish under the same name and leadership, with editorial independence." Re/code will "collaborate where appropriate" with Vox Media's tech news site, The Verge, and and will "benefit from joining Vox Media by integrating Vox Media's various capabilities — including marketing, communications, audience development, sales, and production." Catherine Garcia
From February to May, data thieves were able to gain access to the tax return information for roughly 100,000 taxpayers, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said Tuesday.
During those four months, the thieves attempted to get information 200,000 times through the agency's "Get Transcript" online application, Reuters reports, and were successful about half of the time. It wasn't a hack, since the cyber criminals already had names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and other personal information that they used to access the system. IRS data outside of the application was not affected, and the agency said it plans to strengthen its security measures.
Koskinen did not share any information on who might have been behind the attack, and said the data theft was intended to steal information in order to submit fraudulent tax returns next year. "We're confident these are not amateurs," he said. "These are actually organized crime syndicates that not only we but everyone in the financial industry are dealing with." Catherine Garcia
One month after officially announcing his intention to run for president in 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) officially kicked off his longshot campaign in Burlington, Vermont Tuesday. The self-described Democratic socialist, who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, will challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president by positioning himself as a populist alternative to the presumed frontrunner.
Sanders' campaign will focus on income inequality, campaign finance reforming, and fighting climate change. In his speech Tuesday, Sanders called out the lavish treatment of America's top one percent as unfair. "This type of rigged economy is not what America is supposed to be about," he said. Samantha Rollins
As always, alcohol is playing a crucial part in bridging gaps between people — this time between House representatives on opposing sides of the aisle. A bill introduced to the lower chamber by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), which proposes cutting the excise tax on certain spirits, is being co-sponsored by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.). It's likely the two came together on the issue over the prominence of distilleries in their home states. (You may have heard of Kentucky's bourbon industry.)
The bill, known officially as the Distillery Innovation and Excise Tax Reform Act, targets the high excise tax rate — taxes imposed on the purchase of specific goods that are often built into the price of that good — on distilled spirits. The Hill reports the legislation would cut the current rate from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 10,000 gallons produced by each distiller. After the first 10,000 gallons, distillers would be subject to a $9 per proof gallon tax.
"All around southern Indiana, many new craft distilleries are popping up, creating jobs and adding to the tax base," Rep. Young said. "But there's a lot of red tape involved in getting a new distillery off the ground and this bill helps reduce that burden."
Bipartisanship, more jobs, and cheaper booze? We'll drink to that. Kimberly Alters