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August 5, 2014
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True Detective's impressive ratings and critical acclaim came, in no small part, from Matthew McConaughey's performance as protagonist Rust Cohle. The character's pessimistic philosophical monologues are one of True Detective's most memorable trademarks, and they'll probably earn McConaughey a Best Actor Emmy later this month.

But as series creator Nic Pizzolatto prepares True Detective's second season, some viewers are accusing him of plagiarizing the very monologues that put his HBO drama on the map. Mike Davis, the editor of The Lovecraft eZine, collaborated with Thomas Ligotti Online founder Jon Padgett to track down similarities between Rust Cohle's dialogue in True Detective and a Thomas Ligotti book called The Conspiracy Against the Human Race. The duo found nearly a dozen instances in which Cohle's dialogue seemed to be cribbed from Ligotti; you can compare them for yourself at The Lovecraft eZine.

"As I reviewed Jon's research, and did more of my own, any doubts I had about plagiarism disappeared," Davis writes. "It became obvious to me that Pizzolatto had plagiarized Thomas Ligotti and others — in some places using exact quotes, and in others changing a word here and there, paraphrasing in much the same way that a high school student will cheat on an essay by copying someone else's work and substituting a few words of their own."

Pizzolatto hasn't responded to the accusations, but he has occasionally acknowledged Ligotti's influence on the show. "I read The Conspiracy Against the Human Race and found it incredibly powerful writing," he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "For me as a reader, it was less impactful as philosophy than as one writer's ultimate confessional: an absolute horror story, where the self is the monster. In episode one [of True Detective] there are two lines in particular (and it would have been nothing to re-word them) that were specifically phrased in such a way as to signal Ligotti admirers." Consider them signaled. Scott Meslow

11:53 a.m. ET
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Refugees are arriving in Europe by boat at a faster rate in 2016 than at the beginning of 2015, the United Nations Refugee Agency said in a report released Friday.

In the first six weeks of 2016, more than 80,000 refugees have arrived in Europe. That's more than in the first four months of 2015.

Many European countries, including Turkey, say they're struggling to keep taking in refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in Syria.

More than 400 refugees have died crossing the Mediterranean so far in 2016. Julie Kliegman

11:10 a.m. ET
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Across 10 programming languages, women are considered better coders than men, a new study published by computer science researchers shows.

Researchers examined 3 million pull requests, or contributions to projects, on GitHub, an open-source software community, and found that code written by women was accepted at 78.6 percent to men's 74.6 percent.

But there's a catch, The Guardian reports. Women's work was only accepted more than men's if their GitHub profiles were gender neutral. When users clearly identified as women, their acceptance rate was lower than that of their male peers. Julie Kliegman

10:35 a.m. ET
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More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have been infected by the Zika virus, the country's national health institute said Saturday. In the nation, 31,555 people in total have the virus, Reuters reports.

The Zika virus, which the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency, is thought to be linked to microcephaly, a birth defect. So far there are no cases of microcephaly linked to Zika in Colombia.

The mosquito-borne virus, which has been traced back to Brazil, has spread to more than 30 countries. Julie Kliegman

9:36 a.m. ET
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The mother of Dylan Klebold, one of two boys who killed 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999, gave her first televised interview Friday. Speaking to ABC's Diane Sawyer, Sue Klebold said she missed warning signs her son was depressed.

"I think we like to believe that our love and our understanding is protective, and that 'if anything were wrong with my kids, I would know,' but I didn't know, and I wasn't able to stop him from hurting other people," she said.

Klebold's interview, which you can watch here, comes as she promotes her Feb. 15 memoir, A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Julie Kliegman

7:57 a.m. ET
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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev criticized the West for worsening relations with his nation over the conflict in Syria, USA Today reports.

"NATO's attitude toward Russia remains unfriendly and opaque, and one could go so far as to say we have slid back to a new Cold War," he said at a high-level security conference Saturday. "Sometimes I wonder if it is the year 2016 or 1962."

Medvedev disputed a widely held belief that Russian planes have bombed civilians in Syria, The Guardian reports. At the same conference, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of a political solution to Syria's five-year civil war, rather than resorting to violence. Julie Kliegman

7:30 a.m. ET
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) will testify before a congressional committee on the Flint water crisis, the Detroit Free Press reports his office said Friday. In the hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, Snyder is expected to speak to what has happened in the city since it switched to lead pipes for tap water in 2014 and what reforms he recommends.

"The people of Flint have suffered because they were failed by all levels of government, and so it is understandable that there are questions at all levels of government," Snyder said in a statement. "In Michigan we are learning a great deal from this crisis and I am hopeful the federal government also will use this as an opportunity to examine health and safety protections in place, assess infrastructure needs, and avoid this type of crisis in the future."

On Thursday, Snyder had called U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and asked to testify. Julie Kliegman

February 12, 2016
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On Friday, New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejía made Major League Baseball history by becoming the first player to be permanently banned from the league for using performance-enhancing drugs. This marks Mejía's third positive test for PED use in a single calendar year, after he failed a drug test in April 2015 and then another three months later. The Mets said in a statement they were "deeply disappointed" in Mejía, who can apply for reinstatement to the MLB in one year, but would have to sit out a minimum of two years before returning to major league action. Kimberly Alters

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