2014 Watch
July 28, 2014

Natalie Tennant, West Virginia's Secretary of State and now the Democratic nominee for a U.S. Senate seat, is widely seen as a serious underdog against the Republican nominee, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, in the race to succeed retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller. So in her debut TV ad, Tennant promises to cut off power for President Obama — literally.

"Where do they think their electricity comes from?" an indignant Tennant says, over a visual of the White House.

"You and I know it's our hard-working West Virginia coal miners that power America," Tennant adds, as she is shown standing proudly outside a power plant. "I've fought to protect our coal jobs right alongside [Democratic Sen.] Joe Manchin, and I'll stand up to leaders of both parties who threaten our way of life."

"I'll make sure President Obama gets the message," she concludes, as she then flips a large switch downward at the power plant — setting off a series of events that result in the lights going out at the White House.

Literally cutting off power to Obama might actually be kind of mild in comparison to what Joe Manchin previously did to distance himself from the national Democrats. Back in West Virginia's 2010 race for the U.S. Senate, Manchin ran an ad in which he told the voters, "I'll take dead aim at the cap-and-trade bill," as he fired his rifle into a printed representation of the proposed bill. And it worked for him, at least in that particular election.

It's decided
9:54 p.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gender was not the reason former partner Ellen Pao was passed over for a promotion at prominent venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers, a California jury in Silicon Valley ruled on Friday. The jury also determined that the firm had not retaliated against Pao following her allegations, Time reports.

Pao's suit had asked for $16 million in compensatory damages from Kleiner Perkins, an early investor in companies such as Google and Genentech. The suit prompted intense debate around gender politics at play in Silicon Valley; Pao alleged that in her seven years with the firm, she was overlooked for promotions because of her gender, and subject to inappropriate behavior from male colleagues who went undisciplined. But Kleiner Perkins argued that Pao was a difficult employee who failed to improve in areas on which she was critiqued, and that she failed to build “thought leadership” with fellow employees.

Following the verdict, Pao, who is interim CEO at online forum Reddit, said she hoped her suit still help other women working in Silicon Valley.

"My story is their story," Pao told reporters. "If I've helped to level the playing field for women and minorities in venture capital, then the battle was worth it."

March Madness
10:30 a.m. ET

For much of the 2014-15 regular season, Michigan State's men's basketball team was decidedly average. The Spartans went 21-10, and there was some talk as to whether they'd even land a spot in the NCAA tournament. Having downed No. 2 seed Virginia and, on Friday night, No. 3 seed Oklahoma, the No. 7 Spartans are headed for the Elite Eight as the lowest seed left standing.

And Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo should be happy, especially considering he's now earned 12 wins coaching the lower-seeded team in the NCAA tournament — the most by any coach in history. You can check out the rest of this weekend's matchups via Sports Illustrated, but ahead of the Spartans' Sunday game against Louisville, let's enjoy this gem of a commercial for Werner ladders, in which someone convinced Izzo to dance to Ginuwine's Pony.

Why? Why not? —Sarah Eberspacher

Shady Dealings
9:24 a.m. ET

Director Sam Mendes is keeping the mood dark, at least in the first official trailer for new 007 film Spectre. Set for a November release, the James Bond flick features our favorite spy peeling back the layers of a sinister organization called — you guessed it — Spectre (the evil operation seeking world domination isn't a new invention in the 007 world; it previously featured in films such as Thunderball and You Only Live Twice).

Watch Bond dig deep into his past — and possibly uncover a troubling, personal connection to Spectre — in the cryptic new trailer, below. —Sarah Eberspacher

This just in
8:57 a.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said Friday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wiped "clean" all private emails from her server, defying a subpoena from Gowdy requesting "any emails relating to Libya, weapons located in the country, the Benghazi attacks, and administration statements following the attacks on the compound," Politico reports.

Gowdy, who is chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, subpoenaed Clinton following reports that she had saved emails on a private server and used a personal email account while at the State Department. He said it appeared she deleted the emails permanently sometime after October 28, 2014.

An attorney for Clinton, David Kendall, responded to Gowdy in a letter stating that the 900 pages of emails Clinton has already provided to the panel cover the subpoena's requests. Gowdy responded that Clinton's defiance of the subpoena could move him and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to consider new legal actions against the former secretary.

case closed
8:24 a.m. ET
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Speaking from her Seattle home on Friday night, 27-year-old Amanda Knox said she was "tremendously relieved and grateful," following the decision earlier that day by Italy's highest court to overturn the 2009 murder convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito.

"The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal," Knox added in her short statement reported by USA Today. "I'm so grateful to have my life back."

The controversial case has captivated people across the U.S. and Europe. Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of the 2007 murder of Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher, who was found stabbed to death in the apartment she shared with Knox. In 2011, a lower Italian court reversed Knox's and Sollecito's convictions and set them free. But a Florence appeals court reversed that decision in 2013, overturning their acquittals.

Friday's ruling from the Court of Cassation officially brings the eight-year saga to a close.

This doesn't look good
March 27, 2015

Ecologist and GMO advocate Patrick Moore wants to set the record straight about a recent WHO report that classified glyphosate, which is found in Roundup and other weed-killers, as "probably carcinogenic" to humans.

Moore appeared on French news channel Canal+ to explain that Roundup isn't dangerous, telling the Canal+ reporter that "you can drink a whole quart of it and it won't hurt you."

Understandably, the reporter's response is, "You want to drink some?" Moore quickly declines the offer, saying that he won't drink it because "I'm not stupid," though he does add that he knows it is "not dangerous to humans." Check out the interview in the video below. —Meghan DeMaria

Correction: This article originally referred to Patrick Moore as a Monsanto lobbyist. In a statement written after this article was published, Monsanto said Moore "is not and has never been a paid lobbyist for Monsanto." This article has since been corrected. We regret the error.

space stuff
March 27, 2015

On Friday afternoon, NASA launched a two-man crew for a one-year space mission on the International Space Station. The pair includes Scott Kelly, an American astronaut, and Mikhail Kornienko, a Russain cosmonaut.

The journey will be especially notable because Kelly's identical twin brother, Mark, is staying on Earth. Mark will undergo genetic studies while his brother is in space, and scientists will use data from both twins to further explore how the body changes while in space for longer periods of time.

The mission is also a test for future trips to Mars, where astronauts could stay in orbit for 500 days or more.

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