Watch this
July 26, 2014

When I first graduated from college, I took a sportswriting internship out in Phoenix. During my third week, I was driving toward an assignment when teeny-tiny pieces of sand began striking my car. Then, the wheel got harder to hold. Then, I glanced in the rearview mirror and immediately felt like I was living out a scene from Hidalgo.

Okay, it wasn't quite that bad, but the dust storms that periodically blanket the city are still a sight to behold, as this video from The Associated Press, below, shows. Take a look, and if you live anywhere else, be glad it doesn't matter quite so much whether you remembered to roll up your car windows. (If you live in Phoenix, maybe go double check.) --Sarah Eberspacher

natural disasters
12:11 a.m. ET

At least three people in the Texas panhandle were injured after a tornado hit a natural gas drilling rig.

Hemphill County Sheriff James Pearson said in a statement that one person was impaled in the abdomen, another had non-life-threatening injuries to the face, and the third suffered minor injuries. The drilling rig is near the small town of Canadian, where highways were closed due to flooding and fallen debris. Pearson said that there was "extensive damage to the doghouses," referring to general purpose rooms adjacent to the rig floor. Catherine Garcia

Crime and punishment
May 27, 2015
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A French bartender was sentenced on Wednesday after being convicted of manslaughter over the death of a customer he served 56 shots to during a drinking contest last October.

Renaud Prudhomme, 56, broke the drinking record at the bar Starter in Clermont-Ferrand, Agence France-Presse reports. He was served by bartender Gilles Crepin, 47, who said during a hearing that he had made a mistake by tallying how many shots Prudhomme was drinking on a board, encouraging him to continue. Prudhomme was severely inebriated when he went home, and he died in the hospital the next day.

Crepin received a suspended sentence of four months and was banned from working in a bar for a year. His attorney, Renaud Portejoie, placed the blame on Prudhomme and his daughter, saying the man had respiratory and alcohol problems and his daughter wanted him to break the record. "We can't ask every customer who buys alcohol to present their medical certificates," he said. An attorney for Prudhomme's daughter said she was not at the bar when the drinking competition took place, and hopes this case reminds people that it's illegal to serve drinks to customers when they are extremely intoxicated. Catherine Garcia

early humanity
May 27, 2015

Researchers in the Afar region of Ethiopia have found ancient human fossils from 3.3 million to 3.5 million years ago.

The species has been called Australopithecus deyiremeda, the latter part meaning "close relative" in the language spoken in Afar. The researchers wrote in the journal Nature that they discovered jaw bones and teeth that they believe belonged to four individuals with both ape and human-like features. "We had to look at the detailed anatomy and morphology of the teeth and the upper and lower jaws, and we found major differences," lead researcher Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator of physical anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, told BBC News. "This new species has very robust jaws. In addition, we see this new species had smaller teeth. The canine is really small — smaller than all known hominins we have documented in the past."

Because of the age of the fossils, this species likely lived with three other different species of early humans, and Haile-Selassie said more fossils need to be found to fully understand this stage in human evolution. He also said if more bones are unearthed, it could shed insight into how Australopithecus deyiremeda lived and interacted with other species. Catherine Garcia

can't give up that cash cow
May 27, 2015
Facebook.com/19kidsandcounting

TLC has yet to announce if it will cancel 19 Kids & Counting following the release of a police report showing star Josh Duggar was investigated for child molestation as a teenager, but a source says the cable network is mulling a spin-off featuring popular Duggar daughters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald.

Although they have plenty of characters to choose from, the sisters — both newlyweds — have garnered more attention over the past year as they both moved out of the Duggar home to start their own families. "The show has begun to focus more and more on the next generation of Duggars, anyway — mainly Jill and Jessa and their marriages and babies," the source told People. "That's when the show got its highest ratings." Jill and her husband, Derick Dillard, welcomed their first child in April, and a two-hour special on the birth brought in more than 3.6 million viewers, TLC said. Jessa and her husband, Ben Seewald, are expecting their first child later this year on their first wedding anniversary.

The network stopped airing episodes of 19 Kids & Counting after the police report surfaced last week, and companies like Walgreens, Pure Leaf Iced Tea, and Choice Hotels have pulled their ads from the show. TLC did not respond to requests for comment from People. Catherine Garcia

That's a record
May 27, 2015
Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images

Throughout May, severe storms have dumped heavy amounts of rain on Texas, resulting in the state having its wettest month on record.

The average rainfall across Texas has measured 7.54 inches in May, shattering the previous record of 6.66 inches set in June 2004, Time reports. Near the Dallas-Fort Worth area, one region has received more than 20 inches of rain. At least 19 people have died this month due to flooding caused by the record amount of rain.

"It has been one continuous storm after another for the past week to 10 days in several regions of the state," state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said in a statement. "It has rained so much that the ground just can't soak any more moisture into it, and many creeks and rivers are above flood stage." Nielsen-Gammon added that the start of El Niño and wet air coming up from the south contributed to the massive amount of rain, and he predicts that the weather will change over the next few days. Catherine Garcia

Oops
May 27, 2015
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On Wednesday, the Pentagon confirmed that live samples of anthrax were inadvertently sent to private research labs in nine states and one in South Korea.

"The Department of Defense is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their investigation of the inadvertent transfer of samples containing live Bacillus anthracis, also known as anthrax, from a DoD lab in Dugway, Utah, to labs in nine states," spokesman Col. Steve Warren said. "There is no known risk to the general public, and there are no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed lab workers. The DoD lab was working as part of a DoD effort to develop a field-based test to identify biological threats in the environment."

The samples were shipped out on April 30 to a military lab in Maryland, and from there were sent to eight companies across nine states. When a lab in Maryland detected their shipment contained live samples, they contacted the CDC, ABC News reports. Three workers who were possibly exposed to the spores have decided to take antibiotics. The Department of Defense often sends dead or inactivated spores to research facilities, officials say, and when they do ship live samples it is under specific safety protocols. Catherine Garcia

settlements
May 27, 2015
Robin Marchant/Getty images

Tracy Morgan and Walmart have reached a settlement nearly one year after Morgan was seriously injured in a highway crash involving one of the company's trucks in New Jersey, the comedian's attorneys announced Wednesday.

On June 7, 2014, Morgan was returning from a performance in Delaware when the limousine he was in was hit by a Walmart tractor-trailer driven by Kevin Roper. Accident investigators said that Roper was speeding and had been awake for more than 24 hours when he crashed into the limo, killing 63-year-old comedian James McNair and injuring Morgan; his assistant, Jeffrey Millea; Millea’s wife, Krista; and comedian Ardie Fuqua.

The terms of the settlement were not made public, but Morgan's attorneys said Walmart took "full responsibility for the accident." In a statement, Morgan said: "Walmart did right by me and my family, and for my associates and their families. I am grateful that the case was resolved amicably." Roper has pleaded not guilty to one count of death by auto and four other counts of assault by auto, the Los Angeles Times reports. Catherine Garcia

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