The hero we need
August 4, 2014

On Sunday, a fox terrier and beloved family pet named Vimes escaped his owners for a look at the Atlantic Ocean from the cliffs of Lookout Point Dunlicky in Ireland.

The curious dog got an unexpected swim. Vimes lost his footing and plunged over 300 feet (about 91 meters) from the edge, his body traveling past a jagged cliff face and into the wild surf.

The distress call went out from Dunlicky and the Irish Coast Guard was dispatched. After looking frantically in the water for the pup, the coast guard found Vimes happily standing at the base of the cliff.

Of course Vimes already had an existing social media presence, from which his gratitude could be announced. --Michael Brendan Dougherty

sacré bleu!
1:49 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

With 799,000 hectares — or 1.97 million acres — of land set aside for vineyards, China is now the second largest wine-growing area in the world.

Spain remains in first place with 1.02 million hectares, but China pushed France down to third place, the BBC reports. The International Organization of Vine and Wine said France still produces the most wine, 4.67 million hectoliters (mhl) a year, and brings in the most money from selling wine abroad (more than €7.7 billion).

The U.S. continues to consume the most wine in the world — 30.7mhl, or 13 percent of all global wine produced in 2014 — followed by France and Italy. Overall, global wine consumption was down in 2014 by 2.4mhl to 240mhl. Catherine Garcia

last night on late night
1:27 a.m. ET

When Stevie Wonder asked, through an intermediary, if he could take a ride in Cedric the Entertainer's Tesla, Cedric said yes, of course, he told Conan O'Brien on Monday's Conan. But after a very fast spin around the block, Wonder had another request: "This is so cool, you should let me drive." That's where Cedric drew the line, as would any owner of a fancy automobile with a blind passenger: "Stevie, Stevie, the car's electric, not magic." Presumably he will be more generous with his first self-driving sedan. —Peter Weber

Quotables
1:22 a.m. ET

On the streets of Baltimore Monday night, several people — including Vietnam veteran Robert Valentine — stood between rioters and police officers, urging those who took to the streets to go home and not take part in the violence.

In an interview with CNN, Valentine said that he felt it was his duty to defend his neighborhood, and that he wasn't afraid of being hit by bottles and rocks. He spent 30 years in the military, he said, leaving as a master sergeant, and has seen "more than all this. I've been through the riots already. This here is not relevant." Noting that many of the rioters he saw were young people, he added: "They need to have their butts at home. They need to be in their home units with their families studying and doing something with their life. Not out here protesting about something that is not really about nothing. They do not respect this young man's death."

Valentine said he never thought twice about standing up against the rioters. "I love my country, I love my Charm City, and I'm an American," he said. "I'm not black, white, red, yellow, or nothing. I am American." Watch the video below. —Catherine Garcia

Quotables
12:56 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

On Monday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) met with about 30 Orthodox Jewish leaders at the Brooklyn, New York, headquarters of the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools, and he raised some eyebrows with his thoughts on foreign policy. He criticized the decision by George W. Bush to invade Iraq, arguing that Iran has become more powerful without Saddam Hussein, and declared President Obama's topping of Moammar Qadhafi an "utter disaster," The New York Times reports.

"It was a mistake to topple Hussein," Paul told the largely Democratic gathering, adding that along with strengthening Iran, "each time we topple a secular dictator, I think we wind up with chaos, and radical Islam seems to rise." He insisted he is "not an isolationist," and gave partial backing to Obama's nuclear deal with Iran: "The interim agreement that we are under now, while not perfect, is better than no agreement and no inspections."

Paul's meeting with the Jewish leaders was generally positive, even very positive, but not everybody was impressed. "Clearly Sen. Paul does not pander," Michael Fragin, a Republican radio host, tells The Times. "Telling this audience that the Middle East was better off with Saddam Hussein and Moammar Qadhafi in power shocked me. It was a rambling and incoherent expression of foreign policy that puts him closer to Bernie Sanders than anyone in the GOP." Peter Weber

nepal earthquake
12:44 a.m. ET
Omar Havana/Getty Images

In the days since a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday and killed more than 4,300 people, dozens of aftershocks of 4.5 magnitude and greater have hit as well, and the U.S. Geological Survey warns that there is a better than 50-50 chance of another 6.0 quake or higher taking place in the next week and the next month.

The USGS forecast is based on where the earthquake took place — in this case, a deep boundary between colliding continental plates, NPR reports. It released stress that had been building up for 150 years, triggering smaller quakes near the epicenter. "What's happening, particularly for these more remote aftershocks, is they are striking on the neighboring faults," Ross Stein, scientist emeritus at the USGS, told NPR, "and those neighboring faults could rupture in subsequent large earthquakes."

There is a 1-2 percent chance that in the next few years an aftershock more powerful than than Saturday's quake could strike the area. "It's kind of a cruel part of aftershocks that we cannot depend on them getting smaller," Stein said. "They just get less and less frequent with time." Catherine Garcia

Quotables
12:04 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said during a news conference late Monday night that 15 police officers were injured, six seriously, earlier in the day, although their injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.

The officers were hit by flying debris, including rocks, bottles, and sticks. "This is not protesting, this is not your First Amendment rights," he said. "This is criminal acts." He added he was "disappointed in the fact the damage has been done to these communities" and "disappointed we cannot be more responsible." He said the violence is embarrassing to the "beautiful" city of Baltimore, and asked that parents "take control of your kids." Catherine Garcia

Fires
April 27, 2015

In East Baltimore on Monday night, a community center and senior housing complex still under construction went up in flames, and authorities say they do not know if it is linked to the rioting across the city.

A spokesman for the mayor's office told WBAL-TV that the fire destroyed the Mary Harvin Transformation Center, which is run by a community-based organization that supports youth and families. Firefighters arrived at the three-alarm fire at 8:49 p.m., and the flames were visible from blocks away. About 60 members of the Southern Baptist Church located across the street watched as the fire engulfed the structures, many sobbing and asking aloud how this could happen.

The project consisted of the community center and about 60 affordable housing units for senior citizens, and has been in development since 2006, The Baltimore Sun reports. The center was to be used for events, educational programs, and employment training. Catherine Garcia

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