July 31, 2014

After months of anticipation, the first trailer for Disney's star-studded big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's fairytale mash-up Into the Woods has finally been released. But after watching this first glimpse of the movie, fans of the original stage production will likely be left with a single question: what happened to all the music?

Instead, this first Into the Woods trailer focuses largely on the film's star power. Yes, Into the Woods stars Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, and Chris Pine — but anyone who's unfamiliar with the play will walk away not knowing that those people will spend much of the movie singing. Is this trailer, like the multiple trailers for Disney's Frozen, trying to hide the fact that this movie is a musical? Given director Rob Marshall's work on the Best Picture-winning musical Chicago, it seems like a strange thing to hide.

In any case, audiences can finally get their first glimpse at Into the Woods in advance of its theatrical release next December. Maybe the next trailer will give them a taste of the music, too. --Scott Meslow

2:52 a.m. ET

Madonna has been publicly, provocatively pushing boundaries for about 35 years, but on Wednesday's Late Late Show, she insisted that, at least at this point in her life, it's just an act. "My work is rebellious, but my lifestyle isn't rebellious," she told James Corden in his newest Carpool Karaoke production. "I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't party. I'm quite square." She added that she wanted to be a nun growing up, but that now the Vatican has excommunicated her three times.

Square or not, Madonna doesn't seem to have much use for seatbelt laws. Driving through Manhattan, she unbuckled to stick her leg on the ceiling as she and Corden vogued to "Vogue," then she twerked along to "Bitch I'm Madonna." "That's the first in-car twerk I've ever seen," Corden said. "Really?" Madonna asked. "Really? I'm shocked." They car-danced along to other Madonna hits, sang "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, and chatted — about marriage, Corden's red flannel shirt (Madonna wasn't a fan), and Michael Jackson.

"So you want me to kiss and tell, then, don't you?" Madonna asked coyly when Corden brought up the late King of Pop. "Did you kiss?" he asked. "Of course," she said. "You and Michael Jackson?" Corden asked. "I mean, baby, I've been around," she answered. This is apparently news, and according to Madonna, she made the first move and had to loosen Jackson up with a glass of chardonnay because he was "a little bit shy." You can watch the twerking and the talking below. Peter Weber

2:00 a.m. ET
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

On Wednesday evening, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith effectively ended Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein's recount of Michigan's presidential vote, ruling that with about 1 percent of the vote, Stein had no chance to win the state and therefore has no standing as an "aggrieved" candidate. The recount had begun Tuesday, and more than 20 of 83 counties has already begun counting ballots, recording minor changes to the vote totals. Donald Trump won Michigan and its 16 electoral votes by 0.2 percentage points, or about 10,700 votes over Hillary Clinton.

Earlier in the day, the Michigan elections board had voted, 3-1, to end the recount if Goldsmith lifted his earlier order allowing it to begin. Republicans celebrated Goldsmith's ruling, which seals Trump's victory in the state. Peter Weber

12:59 a.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted out some criticism of United Steelworkers Local 1999 president Chuck Jones less than a minute after Jones, who represents Carrier factory workers in Indianapolis, appeared on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront to talk about how Trump had inflated the number of jobs being retained in Indiana. The chyron underneath him referenced a quote Jones gave to The Washington Post: "Trump 'lied his a** off'"

After Trump tweeted out that Jones "has done a terrible job," Burnett got Jones back on the phone. "That wasn't very damned nice, but with Donald Trump saying that, that must mean I'm doing a good job," he said, noting that Trump has tried to keep unions out of his hotels and casinos. "I don't put a whole hell of a lot of faith in whatever he says, because I just don't pay a hell of a lot of attention to him."

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich was on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 an hour later, and he wasn't just being cute when he alluded to Donald Trump's steady diet of cable news: "Because Donald Trump is probably watching right now, let me just say, with all due respect, Mr. Trump, you are president-elect of the United States. You are looking and acting as if you are mean and petty, thin-skinned, and vindictive. Stop this. This is not a fireside chat, this is not what FDR did, this isn't lifting people up. This is actually penalizing people for speaking their minds."

Reich brought up not just the Jones tweet but also Trump's tweet-criticizing Boeing (right after its CEO said Trump was wrong about foreign trade), SNL, and individual journalists. "What you would like, Mr. Trump, is for no one — not a CEO, nobody on television, no journalist, nobody — to criticize you," he said — which to be fair, is probably a pretty universal sentiment. But Reich also noted the Trump-specific stakes: "Well, you are going to be president very shortly. You are going to have at your command not just Twitter but also the CIA, the IRS, the FBI. If you have this kind of thin-skinned vindictiveness attitude toward anybody who criticizes you, we are in very deep trouble, and sir, so are you." Watch below. Peter Weber

December 7, 2016

The president-elect of the United States, it appears, does not take criticism well.

Jones, who represents the employees at the Carrier factory and other plants in Indiana, had said that Trump lied about the number of jobs being saved when he took credit for the deal — Trump said that 1,100 jobs slated to move to Mexico will be kept in Indiana, when the real number is about 800 — and pointed out that his union is still losing 550 jobs at the factory while Carrier gets $7 million in tax breaks.

When someone called Jones on his flip-phone to tell him that Trump was criticizing him on Twitter, "my first thought was, 'Well, that's not very nice,'" he told The Washington Post on Wednesday night. "Then, 'Well, I might not sleep much tonight.'" Then the threatening calls started coming in. Jones said his focus now is trying to keep the spirits of his workers up, since many of them are still getting laid off. As for Trump, "he needs to worry about getting his Cabinet filled," Jones said, "and leave me the hell alone."

Trump followed up his first tweet with some unsolicited advice from management to labor: "If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues." The New Yorker's James Surowiecki offers an alternate explanation for why United Steelworkers is losing union jobs:

Jones, for what it's worth, says a big part of his job is negotiating to keep U.S. factory jobs in Indiana. And if you don't believe him, maybe you'll believe this guy. Peter Weber

December 7, 2016
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Linda McMahon, co-founder and former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and one-time Senate candidate, to head the Small Business Administration, transition team officials said Wednesday. "Linda has a tremendous background and is widely recognized as one of the country's top female executives advising businesses around the globe," Trump said in an announcement, noting McMahon's success in growing WWE from 13 people to 800.

McMahon called small businesses "the largest source of job creation in our country" in a statement, and said her goal would be to ensure those businesses "grow and thrive," Reuters reported. Trump also mentioned she would be vital to his push to reduce federal regulations.

Aside from her failed 2010 bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut, McMahon has not had extensive government experience. However, her ties to Trump go way back: She was a supporter of Trump's presidential campaign from the start, and her husband, Vince McMahon, once got his head shaved by the now president-elect at Wrestlemania XXIII — right after Trump bodyslammed him to the ground and pretended to punch him in the head. Becca Stanek

December 7, 2016
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On Wednesday, Ohio lawmakers passed the "heartbeat bill," a piece of legislation that would ban abortions in the Buckeye State as soon as a fetus' heartbeat can be detected. The heartbeat is typically detectable around the sixth week of pregnancy, but many women are unaware they're pregnant until about the eighth week, when they have likely missed two periods.

If passed, the measure would "effectively be the nation's strictest time-based abortion law," CNN reported. The bill does not offer exceptions, even in instances of incest or rape. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) — who has articulated a strong pro-life stance — will now have 10 days to either veto the bill or sign it into law.

Though the bill has been considered before and rejected by the Senate, Ohio legislators said this seemed like the right time to raise it again. "A new president [and] new Supreme Court justice appointees change the dynamic, and ... there was a consensus in our caucus to move forward," said Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, explaining the timing. He noted he thinks the bill "has a better chance than it did before."

The American Civil Liberties Union has already vowed to challenge the law if it is passed. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) said Wednesday he believes the bill has "been shown to be unconstitutional." Becca Stanek

December 7, 2016
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Two juveniles have been charged with aggravated arson in connection with starting the East Tennessee fires that killed 14 last week, The Washington Post reports. "During the course of the investigation, information was developed that two juveniles allegedly started the fire," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in their announcement.

The fire started in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and burned 10,000 acres due to a severe drought in the region. Additionally, more than 14,000 people had to evacuate the tourist town of Gatlinburg and an estimated 1,750 structures were damaged or destroyed. Nearly 150 people were additionally injured by the blaze.

The suspects are in custody at a local juvenile detention center, authorities reported. Jeva Lange

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