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August 4, 2014
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Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy explained over the weekend that his stand against the federal government was a spiritual battle that came at God's behest. Speaking at an Independent American Party gathering in Utah on Saturday, Bundy told the crowd that the people who stood with him against the government "through that spiritual experience" could not have done so unless God was on their side.

From The Spectrum:

"The Lord told me... if [the sheriff doesn't] take away these arms [from federal agents] we the people will have to face these arms in a civil war. He said, 'This is your chance to straighten this thing up,'" Bundy said. [The Spectrum]

The Bureau of Land Management ultimately stood down when confronted with armed protesters, though it maintains Bundy owes the government more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees and penalties. Jon Terbush

9:33 a.m. ET
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The head of an evangelical legal organization has pledged to carry a gun into Target's bathrooms to defend against transgender women. Liberty Counsel President Anita Staver is calling for a boycott of the retail chain after it announced that it will allow patrons to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, The Huffington Post reports. Staver tweeted the following:

Staver later claimed she always brings guns into public restrooms. The Week Staff

8:32 a.m. ET
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A Copycat Art Scratcher (approximately $190) is expensive as scratching posts go, but buying one a month is "a lot cheaper than your cat destroying an actual priceless piece of artwork," says Andrew Liszewski at Gizmodo. Dutch designer Erik Stehmann had lost only an embroidered painting to his pets' claws when he decided he might be able to rechannel their artistic interests and did so by reproducing famous paintings on embroidered twine. A replica of the Mona Lisa will be the first scratchboard offered when the product begins shipping in May. Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring will soon follow. The Week Staff

8:07 a.m. ET
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Syria called local truces Friday, but put no end to the violence in Aleppo deemed "monstrous" by the United Nations, Reuters reports.

The death toll from a Wednesday airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital has risen to at least 50 people. On Friday, rebel forces reportedly fired mortar rounds into a mosque, killing at least 15 people. More than 200 people have been killed in Aleppo in the last week by pro-government and rebel forces, The Washington Post reports.

Peace talks aimed at establishing a cease-fire recently collapsed. Julie Kliegman

7:37 a.m. ET
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A friend of alleged Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof pleaded guilty Friday to lying to federal officials and withholding information about the attack. Joey Meek faces up to eight years in prison and $500,000 in fines, The New York Times reports.

He agreed to testify against Roof, who is accused of fatally shooting nine black people in a Bible study at a Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June. Roof had claimed to have been planning the attack more than six months in advance, Meek said.

The race-related shooting renewed debate that led South Carolina to remove its Confederate flag from statehouse grounds. Julie Kliegman

April 29, 2016
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Actor Will Ferrell has reportedly nixed plans to play Ronald Reagan in a comedy about the late president's dementia, just days after it was announced he had signed on to star. Ferrell's spokesperson now says he was never officially attached to the project. "While it is by no means an 'Alzheimers comedy,' as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project," his spokesperson said.

Shortly after news of the film broke, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis penned an open letter expressing her disappointment. "Perhaps if you knew more," Davis wrote, "you would not find the subject humorous." Becca Stanek

April 29, 2016

A lot can change in eight years — as Carly Fiorina knows. While the former Hewlett-Packcard CEO is now Ted Cruz's vice presidential candidate, Fiorina actually sung Hillary Clinton's praises back in 2008. While on the campaign trail for Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Fiorina described Clinton as "incredibly intelligent, focused, tough, determined."

"As a woman, I take great pride in the fact that Hillary Clinton ran for president," Fiorina said.

Fiorina added that "bold women, women in power are characterized, scrutinized differently than their male counterparts are." Fiorina has since joined the chorus of conservative voices who have accused Clinton of "playing the woman card," saying that "Hillary Clinton, first of all, calls everybody a sexist and that's not a fair game."

A representative for Fiorina clarified to CNN that the vice presidential candidate "thinks Hillary Clinton is smart and hardworking, but she also believes she is profoundly misguided on the important issues facing this country."

Watch the surprisingly different tone Fiorina had less than a decade ago, below. Jeva Lange


Carly Fiorina in 2008- 'I Have Such Great... by DailyPolitics

April 29, 2016

The White House decided to mix things up at its daily press briefing Friday by having a fictional character step into Press Secretary Josh Earnest's role. Yes, seriously.

Allison Janney, who played the whip-smart press secretary C.J. Cregg on The West Wing, took over the podium while Earnest was supposedly out of commission for a root canal.

"But let's be honest," Janney said, "I'm better at this anyway."

Watch Janney's briefing, which — spoiler alert — Earnest eventually crashes, below. Becca Stanek

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