Huh?

South Korea has robots to cheer at its baseball games

July 25, 2014

When one of South Korea's least popular baseball teams can't fill the stadiums, the country has an interesting solution: using robots to cheer for its players.

The Hanwha Eagles have only won the South Korean Championship once — and it was 15 years ago, Quartz reports. Their losing streak earned the team the nickname "Hanwha Chickens," which isn't exactly drawing fans into the seats.

For those fans who don't want to be caught actually cheering on the team, they can attend games through robot proxies. The so-called "fanbots" sit in the stadium and cheer for the Eagles, even performing the wave. Meanwhile, the fans who send the robots can control them from their smartphones.

The creepiest part? The fans who purchase the robots can place their faces on the robots, too. That way, they can be at the game without actually being at the game.

Watch a video explaining the rationale behind the robot fans below. --Meghan DeMaria

2016 Watch

Mike Huckabee on 2016 bid: 'I'm moving in that direction'

1:19pm ET
Screenshot / NBC

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said Sunday he is leaning toward another run at the White House.

"I think it's pretty evident that I'm moving in that direction," Huckabee said on Meet the Press.

Earlier this month, Huckabee left Fox News after more than six years with the network, a move widely seen as a prerequisite for a 2016 bid. You can watch Huckabee's entire Meet the Press interview here.

2016 Watch

Bobby Jindal backs constitutional amendment on gay marriage

12:58pm ET
Screenshot / ABC

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Sunday joined the push for a constitutional amendment that would allow states to define marriage for themselves.

The Supreme Court this month agreed to hear arguments over whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. A decision is expected this summer, and Jindal said shoud the Justices side with same-sex marriage advocates, he would support a legislative effort to override that ruling.

"I certainly support Ted Cruz and others that are talking about making an amendment — a constitutional amendment — to allow states to continue to define marriage," he said in an interview with ABC.

Watch this

Saturday Night Live on Deflategate: Tom Brady did it

12:10pm ET
Screenshot / NBC

Mystery solved: Tom Brady deflated all those footballs, according to Saturday Night Live's take on Deflategate.

As expected, SNL opened this weekend with a sketch lampooning the New England Patriots' alleged ball tampering, with a curmudgeonly Bill Belichick throwing his squirming QB under the bus. And yes, there were some jokes about balls. —Jon Terbush

Greece votes

Greece holds election that could serve as referendum on austerity

11:36am ET
Milos Bicanski / Getty Images

Greek voters headed to the polls Sunday for a crucial election that could set the stage for a showdown with the European Union over austerity measures.

The left-wing Syriza party, which led in the run-up to the election, has vowed to renegotiate a $270 billion international bailout it blames for the country's poor financial health. Led by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, Syriza has also said it will demand creditors write off billions of dollars of Greece's debt.

"Democracy will return to Greece," Tsipras said Sunday.

Deflategate

Bill Nye on Deflategate: Patriots' explanation 'didn't make any sense'

11:18am ET
Screenshot / ABC

Bill Nye, the celebrity scientist and former host of an eponymous TV show, on Sunday threw cold water on New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick's amateur science explanation for why footballs used in last weekend's AFC Championship game were underinflated.

"What he said didn't make any sense," Nye said in an interview with ABC.

Belichick on Saturday said atmospheric conditions, not deliberate tampering, caused the balls to fall below the minimum allowable PSI, saying the team "absolutely followed every rule to the letter." —Jon Terbush

Crisis in Ukraine

Rebel missile attack kills 30 civilians, injures 100 in Ukraine

9:30am ET
Screenshot / The Associated Press

Pro-Russian separatists on Saturday launched missile attacks on the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, killing 30 civilians and injuring more and 100.

"This is a crime against humanity to be tried by the Hague tribunal," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a statement.

Rebels fired around 60 missiles in two separate attacks, with the scope of the bombardment suggesting, according to Western officials, some degree of Russian involvement. Secretary of State John Kerry called the attack "reprehensible" adding that it was "aided and abetted by Russia’s irresponsible and dangerous decision to resupply" the rebels despite a delicate truce.

Moscow denied any role in the attack.

2016 Watch

Republican presidential hopefuls gather in Iowa for 2016 kickoff

9:02am ET
Scott Olson / Getty Images

A slew of potential Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination descended on Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday for a conservative summit considered the unofficial kickoff to the next election cycle.

Sponsored by Iowa Rep. Steve King (R), the event drew prospective candidates ranging from the moderate (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie) to the Tea Party-aligned (Texas Sen. Ted Cruz), the latter of whom challenged his fellow speakers to "show me where you stood up and fought" President Obama's policies. Other featured attendees included Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Notably, two of the most prominent potential GOP candidates — Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney — did not attend, citing scheduling conflicts.

ISIS Crisis

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe  'speechless' over ISIS execution of hostage

7:54am ET

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday that though intelligence experts had yet to verify a video purporting to show ISIS had executed one of two Japanese hostages, the evidence had "a high chance of being real."

The video, which surfaced Saturday, showed one of the hostages, Kenji Goto, holding an image of what appeared to be the decapitated body of the other prisoner, Haruna Yukawa. Though ISIS initially sought a $200 million ransom for the two men, the group instead offered in the latest video to swap Goto for the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, a woman sentenced to death in Jordan for a 2005 terror attack.

President Obama called Abe Sunday to offer his condolences, saying the US. stood "shoulder to shoulder" with Japan.

football follies

Bill Belichick addresses Deflategate: 'I'm not a scientist, and I'm not a league official'

January 24, 2015
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Bill Belichick spoke after the New England Patriots' practice on Saturday, saying the team had conducted an internal study on how footballs used in Sunday's AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts might have become deflated.

The short explanation? Science.

The Pats' head coach suggested that "atmospheric conditions" could have affected the footballs' air pressure, so that while the footballs were initially set to a proper 12.5 PSI, they eventually "adjusted to climatic conditions and...reached an equilibrium state" lower than originally set. Belichick said that he and other team officials had spoken to "a lot of people," and that they learned that while a football's texture is easy to identify, the pressure is "a whole different story."

Belichick again reiterated that the Patriots delivered footballs to the officiating crew that had been set to the proper PSI, and he lamented spending the week before the Super Bowl answering inquries about the controversy.

"I'm not a scientist, and I'm not a league official," he said. "(But) we feel like we followed the rules of the game to the letter."

This just in

Pro-Russian militants attack key Ukrainian port, officials say at least 30 dead

January 24, 2015
AP Photo/Sergey Vaganov

Having rejected further peace talks on Friday, pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine launched a new offensive a day later, attacking the country's strategic port of Mariupol, Reuters reports.

Mariupol city officials said at least 30 people were killed and more than 80 were injured in the Saturday clashes. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered an emergency security council meeting, to be held on Sunday.

"We are for peace, but we accept the challenge of the enemy," Poroshenko said. "We will protect our motherland."

The European Union's foreign policy chief called openly on Russia to use its "considerable influence over separatist leaders," to halt the offensives; Moscow has continued to deny that it is supporting the rebels.

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