This just in
August 1, 2014
iStock

Three months ago, two American tourists were detained in North Korea after being charged with "anti-state" crimes. Now, the two men are asking for the U.S. government's help in avoiding prison sentences.

Matthew Todd Miller and Jeffrey Edward Fowle told the Associated Press that they were "in good health and were being treated well," but they are still awaiting a trial, for which a date has not been set.

"I don't know what the worst-case scenario would be, but I need help to extricate myself from this situation," Fowle told the AP. "I ask the government for help in that regard."

According to North Korea, Miller and Fowle committed "hostile acts" while visiting the country, though North Korea has not publicized what, exactly, those acts are. Meghan DeMaria

Ongoing investigation
2:24 p.m. ET
Monica Schipper / Getty Images

An internal review of NBC anchorman Brian Williams' reporting has found several more alleged exaggerations, according to multiple reports. The New York Times on Friday reported NBC found a half-dozen such instances; CNN and The Washington Post later upped the tally to 10 and 11, respectively.

In February, NBC suspended Williams as it launched an investigation following his apology for embellishing details of his wartime reporting from Iraq. When completed, the investigation is expected to form the basis of NBC's decision to keep or cut ties with Williams. Jon Terbush

Watch this
1:19 p.m. ET
Screenshot / White House

President Obama and Bill Nye sat down Friday for an Earth Day chat in the Everglades where they discussed America's lagging interest in, and understanding of, science.

After discussing ways to get American kids excited about science again, the conversation turned to Washington's inability to reach a consensus on climate change. And on that front, Obama lamented the way some lawmakers are "being part of the climate-denier clubs and basically stiff-arming what we know are facts — and not rebutting them with other facts, but rebutting them with anecdote or just being dismissive."

'"Oh, I'm not a scientist,'" Nye chimed in, mocking the standard defense climate change skeptics employ when pressed on their beliefs. —Jon Terbush

Watch this
12:27 p.m. ET

A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday, causing substantial damage and killing at least 1,000 people, according to government estimates. Via the BBC, here's some footage of the quake and the immediate aftermath. —Jon Terbush

Smoke if you've got em
11:57 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Hawaii on Friday passed a bill that would raise the legal smoking age to 21 while also banning the sale and purchase of electronic cigarettes for anyone under that age limit. If Democratic Gov. David Ige signs the bill — he has yet to indicate whether he will — Hawaii would become the first state in the nation to raise its smoking age to 21.

"The activities we've engaged in over the years to manage smoking — our additional efforts in education, the raising of cigarette taxes — this is a continuation of those policies," Democratic state Senator Rosalyn Baker told Reuters. Jon Terbush

No justice no peace
11:19 a.m. ET
Alex Wong / Getty Images

Baltimore's police commissioner on Friday conceded that officers made mistakes in their handling of Freddie Gray, the unarmed black man who died last weekend of a severe spinal injury while in custody.

"We know that police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner," Commissioner Anthony Batts said, adding that 30 investigators are probing the incident.

"If someone harmed Freddie Gray, we will have to prosecute him," Batts said.

As they have all week, demonstrators took to Baltimore's streets Friday to protest the incident. Jon Terbush

and now for something completely different
11:09 a.m. ET
Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

After a 40th anniversary screening of the cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the five surviving members of the Monty Python comedy troupe — John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones — reunited live on stage on Friday for a special Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The Q&A was moderated by Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, a longtime Monty Python fan who quickly embraced the anarchic spirit of the evening. As he asked the panel about their career-long commitment to a "healthy disregard for authority," John Cleese wandered around the stage, grabbed Oliver's question sheet, and stuffed his microphone into his mouth, as the rest of the Monty Python members repeatedly switched seats in an impromptu game of musical chairs.

When the Monty Python members did settle down, they spoke engagingly (and often coarsely) on a wide variety of subjects, including the filming of Holy Grail, their 2014 series of live shows at London's 02 stadium, and the state of comedy in general. "I think we don't talk enough about this awful political correctness," complained Cleese. "I do a lot of… I don't know if they're really racist jokes, but jokes like, 'Why do the French have so many civil wars? Answer: Because they like to win one now and again."

"I used to do these jokes, and then I would say, 'There were these two Mexicans,' and the room would freeze. And I would say, 'Why's everybody gone quiet? We did jokes about Swedes, and Germans, and Canadians, and the French. What's the problem about the Mexicans? Are they not big enough to look after themselves?' I find a lot of that very condescending."

The group also recalled the 1989 funeral of deceased Monty Python member Graham Chapman, during which Cleese delivered a legendarily irreverent eulogy. "Graham's whole ceremony was like that, because we were laughing and then crying, and then laughing and crying. It was as though the emotion was sort of flowing through us, instead of getting blocked, like it usually does in England," said Cleese. "When I was writing it, I got that idea, and I thought, 'No, I can't do that.' And then I thought, 'That's exactly what Graham would like.' Because one thing Graham could not stand was what he called mindless good taste."

John Oliver brought the evening to a close by praising Monty Python one last time. "We've established there's nothing less funny than sincerity, but you're the f----ing greatest," he said, to an enthusiastic standing ovation. Scott Meslow

HAHAHAHAHAHA
10:56 a.m. ET

If you've ever wondered what the Joker would look like if he shopped at Hot Topic, now you know.

To celebrate the Joker's 75th anniversary, Suicide Squad director David Ayer on Friday shared a teaser image of Jared Leto as the film's interpretation of the iconic Batman character.

In contrast to previous takes on the villain, the film seems to be going for more of a hip, edgy Joker who could just as easily be seen burning down Gotham as he could be seen sneaking cigarettes behind the high school while cursing his parents. The content of the tattoos may scream "crazy!", but the neat artistry of the designs whispers "Crazytown." Jon Terbush

See More Speed Reads