Comedian and best-selling author David Sedaris moved from the United States to England's Horsham district three years ago, and he has now made a name for himself across the pond, too: David "Pig Pen" Sedaris.
The Horsham District Council noticed its new resident's zeal for keeping the area trash-free, as he walked several miles each day picking up litter. So, they decided to thank him for his hard work by naming a local garbage truck "Pig Pen Sedaris" and emblazoning the side with a bright pink pig (check out the delightful photo via the West Sussex County Times, which reported on the honor).
Here's the interesting part: Nowhere in the article is Sedaris' relative fame mentioned. Either the paper did not want to take away from his true calling as "South Downs litter picker," or the writers failed to notice they were honoring one of their own. Either way, it didn't seem to bother Sedaris too much.
"I'm angry at the people who throw these things out their car windows, but I'm just as angry at the people who walk by it every day," Sedaris told the paper. "I say pick it up yourself. Do it enough and you might one day get a garbage truck named after you. It's an amazing feeling." Sarah Eberspacher
A man named Ryan Gonzalez reportedly spent 11 months editing the secretly recorded Planned Parenthood video footage that was released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, a source close to Gonzalez told The Huffington Post. The videos, which appear to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the disposal of fetal tissue and whose content rallied Republicans to threaten to shut down the government, have since been found to have used actors and contain heavy edits that make them entirely unreliable.
The Huffington Post's source said that Gonzalez worked with his friend, David Daleiden, who started the Center for Medical Progress, in an apartment in Orange County, California. The pair began by meeting to edit the videos once or twice a week, then ramped up the frequency in May 2015 until it became a full-time effort. In July, Gonzalez promoted the videos on his personal Facebook page: "This is the first part of a project I've been editing since last August and haven't been able to talk about until now. It was just released today and the news is tracking well so far." The pair later made fun of allegations that the footage was manipulated on their Facebook pages.
The Center for Medical Progress blames the unexplained edits on "bathroom breaks or waiting time between meetings [that] were removed to protect the investigators." Daleiden added in an email to The Huffington Post that "the Center for Medical Progress works with a variety of contractors for technically skilled tasks like acting, legal research, and video editing, but as a general rule we do not publicly comment on or identify these individuals because of serious personal security concerns." He maintains that the authenticity of the videos has been verified. Jeva Lange
When Whoopi Goldberg asked Ben Carson about his recent remark that Hitler "could happen here" in a Tuesday interview on The View, the retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate didn't try to explain the remark away — he doubled down on it. First off, he clarified, he knew exactly what he was doing when made the comment. "I purposely said that because I knew the left wing would go crazy: 'He said Hitler!'" Carson said.
He then went on to explain that his invocation of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany was really just a way to remind people of what can happen if people don't stand up for what they believe in. "So what I said is most people in Nazi Germany did not believe in what Hitler was doing. But did they speak up? No. They kept their mouths shut," Carson said. "And when you do that, you are compromising your freedom and the freedom of people who come behind you. You have to be willing to stand up for what you believe in. I want people in America to stand up for what we believe in."
But no matter what Carson was trying to say, even his campaign manager thinks it's about time he finds a new example to illustrate his point. "It's an example [Carson] has been using for years," Carson's campaign manager Barry Bennett told ABC News, "and, to be honest with you, he needs to find a better example because the problem is as soon as you say Hitler, nobody hears anything else you say."
Watch Carson's interview below. Becca Stanek
With prisons overcrowded and drug offenders facing long sentences, the Justice Department is now set to release 6,000 inmates early from prison, The Washington Post reports. The move, which marks the largest ever one-time release of federal prisoners, follows a decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission last year that reduced the punishment for drug offenders both in the future and retroactively. While President Obama has made headlines for granting clemency to large numbers of nonviolent drug offenders, the Justice Department's mass release is a separate initiative.
Approximately 100,000 drug offenders are serving time in prisons across the United States; sentencing guidelines could result in the early release of 46,000 of that number. While the first wave of 6,000 will be released between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2 — primarily into halfway houses or home confinement — another 8,550 will be eligible between November 2015 and 2016, The Washington Post reports. The program eases sentences by an average of two years; the average sentence is 10.5 years. Jeva Lange
Rihanna calls Rachel Dolezal 'a hero': 'Is it such a horrible thing that she pretended to be black?'
Rihanna doesn't think that Rachel Dolezal, the white N.A.A.C.P. chapter president who identifies as black, is as bad as everyone is making her out to be. While Dolezal was largely scorned after her estranged parents revealed this summer that their daughter was actually white, Rihanna seems to be taking Dolezal's side.
"I think she was a bit of a hero, because she kind of flipped on society a little bit," Rihanna told Vanity Fair in an interview for the magazine's November cover story. "Is it such a horrible thing that she pretended to be black? Black is a great thing, and I think she legit changed people's perspective a bit and woke people up."
While some criticized Dolezal for appropriating black culture, Dolezal maintains that she is "transracial" and that, for her, being black is "not a costume." Read Rihanna's full interview at Vanity Fair. Becca Stanek
In a week, Hillary Clinton will take the stage alongside Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee to duke it out in the first Democratic debate, hosted by CNN in Las Vegas. While the Republicans have had their share of verbal elbowing and name-calling on live TV, Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, has much more to lose if her takedowns backfire — especially if her criticism is leveled at her primary competition in the field, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
"I've seen every attack people have thrown at him, and none of them have worked," former Vermont governor and Clinton supporter Howard Dean told The New York Times, adding that condescending to Sanders' character or political alignments will "only make him stronger, especially with his base — and we need his base." Clinton herself has said that she "knows Bernie" and respects his "enthusiastic and intense advocacy of his ideas." What's left, then, is for Clinton to prove her worth against Sanders using his wobbly record with gun control against him — as well as the flaws in his proposals:
Mrs. Clinton is unlikely to belittle Mr. Sanders. But her debate preparations have touched on, among other things, how Mr. Sanders would accomplish some of his ambitious proposals if he were elected president, according to three people briefed on the private discussions. (Mr. Sanders's spending plans — free public college tuition, a $1 trillion infrastructure program and a single-payer health care system — would be financed with a variety of tax increases; both would be nonstarters under a Republican-controlled Congress.) [The New York Times]
Sanders, however, will likely share none of the same reservations about taking swings at Clinton. "If you think establishment politics and establishment economics is the answer to our problems, fine," he told David Axelrod in a podcast. "There are good candidates out there." Jeva Lange
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) set himself up and Hillary Clinton just couldn't resist. McCarthy's now-infamous Benghazi gaffe in a Fox News interview last week — in which he implied that the House's special Benghazi committee was created to sabotage Clinton — now appears in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad.
In what marks Clinton's first national ad of the cycle, she posits that Republicans "finally admit it." The 30-second spot opens with McCarthy's remark: "Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. What are her numbers today?"
Clinton then turns the tables. "The Republicans have spent millions attacking Hillary because she's fighting for everything they oppose," the ad's narrator says. "From affordable health care to equal pay, she'll never stop fighting for you, and Republicans know it."
Watch the ad, which will begin airing Tuesday, below. Becca Stanek
American commander in Afghanistan Gen. John F. Campbell admitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that the airstrike targeting a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan was the result of "a U.S. decision made within the U.S. chain of command."
"A hospital was mistakenly struck," Campbell said. "We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility." The attack came as Afghan forces were attempting to retake the northern city of Kunduz from the Taliban.