July 23, 2014

General Motors on Wednesday announced yet another recall, their 60th so far this year, effecting some 718,000 cars and trucks. All told, GM has now recalled almost 30 million vehicles since the start of February.

For comparison's sake, the entire auto industry sold 15.6 million vehicles in America in all of 2013. In other words, GM has now recalled almost twice as many vehicles in six months as it and its competitors sold all of last year. Jon Terbush

6:46 p.m. ET
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Credit scores are checked by employers, landlords, utility companies, and lenders, and that's one reason why some consumer advocates are worried about Wells Fargo opening millions of phony accounts.

Wells Fargo has been fined $185 million for letting employees open checking and credit card accounts for customers without their knowledge, and while the company says it is contacting customers to find out if the accounts they have are authorized and promises to try to make restitution, it's highly likely credit scores have been majorly affected. When credit cards are issued, it's reflected on an individual's credit report. In some cases, NPR reports, Wells Fargo employees took money from a customer's existing account and moved it into a new account, which could have lead to insufficient funds and late fees. There's also the possibility of customers not paying the annual fee for a credit card, since they couldn't make a payment for an account they didn't know was open.

These little dings to a credit report can add up, Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, told NPR. "You may not have qualified for a mortgage or you might have been dinged by getting charged a little higher interest rate because of what was reported wrongly on your credit report," he said. Rheingold wants to know how Wells Fargo is going to be able to figure out how the fake accounts affected customers — did a person miss out on getting a job because an employer saw late payments on their credit score? Will they be able to find out if a person received a higher interest rate on their mortgage because of inaccurate information? Even if all that can be determined, "once something affects a consumer's credit report and credit scores, it has the potential to have a lot of impact across the consumer's entire economic life," attorney Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center told NPR. Catherine Garcia

6:29 p.m. ET

The first gaffe of the presidential debate goes to … the presidential debate itself!

Of Hofstra University's 10,870 enrolled students, 350 won tickets to attend the debate through a lottery system. Hofstra University spokeswoman Karla Schuster clarified to NBC New York that the misspelled tickets "are not official tickets to the debate. They were printed at the last minute to create a souvenir for the students. We'll be reprinting them for all those who won tickets." Still, students were not having it:

Don't sweat it, kids — in a few years, those "Hilary" tickets might even be collectibles. Jeva Lange

6:08 p.m. ET

Green Party candidate Jill Stein was escorted away from Hofstra University ahead of Monday night's presidential debate — the second time in four years that she's had a run-in with the police at a debate hosted on Hofstra's campus.

Stein won't be appearing on the debate stage Monday because she failed to reach 15 percent in the national polls, the minimum requirement for a candidate to be included in the presidential debate. She is polling at around 2.4 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson also failed to reach 15 percent nationally, and will be live tweeting the debate from Twitter's offices in New York City.

Stein, on the other hand, planned to livestream "from a protest outside the debate venue," The Daily Dot reports, only when she turned up, the Nassau County police promptly sent her packing:

It could have been worse: In 2012, Stein spent eight hours handcuffed to a chair at Hofstra University for protesting her exclusion from the debate. Jeva Lange

4:49 p.m. ET

Data released Monday by the FBI revealed that murders in the United States rose dramatically between 2014 and 2015. After two decades trending downward, the murder rate rose 10.8 percent between 2014 and 2015, the "biggest single-year percentage jump since 1971," The Guardian notes.

The bulk of the increase was due to a jump in the murders of black men, as the data shows at least 900 more black men were killed in 2015 than in 2014. Additionally, 71.5 percent of murders in 2015 were committed with firearms, up from 67.9 percent in 2014.

The increase put the total murders in the U.S. at 15,696, just shy of 2009's number — but still just half of the total in 1991, the peak of the country's violent crime wave. Read more about the FBI's latest data at The Guardian. Kimberly Alters

3:58 p.m. ET

NASA announced Monday that its Hubble Space Telescope has found more evidence of "water plumes" on the surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa. If the plumes, which NASA describes as water vapor "erupting off" Europa's surface, do in fact exist, it would offer scientists hoping to study Europa's massive subsurface ocean a way to study the water without having to drill through miles of hard ice to get there.

Europa's ocean has two times the amount of water Earth's oceans have, making it "one of the most promising places that could potentially harbor life in the solar system," Geoff Yoder, acting associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, said in a press release.

The latest findings mark the second time NASA has reported spotting water plumes on Europa's surface; in November and December 2012, scientists noticed water vapor near the moon's southern pole. NASA is planning to launch two missions to Europa sometime in the next decade, Ars Technica reported.

For more on the plumes — including what they may look like — watch NASA's video, below. Becca Stanek

1:14 p.m. ET
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Not even Glenn Beck — the conservative radio host who reportedly spent $500,000 on travel stumping for Ted Cruz during the Republican primaries — is ready to let the Texas senator off the hook for endorsing Donald Trump. In an interview on Beck's radio show Monday, Beck repeatedly tried to get Cruz to explain his decision to vote for Trump — despite the fact that during the Republican National Convention, Cruz used his speech to advise Americans to "vote your conscience" rather than to endorse the GOP nominee.

At first Cruz tried to paint his convention speech as a way to "lay out a path to uniting Republicans," explaining that this election is "a binary choice" and Hillary Clinton isn't the choice to make. But Beck wasn't ready to let Cruz get away with once again refusing to say whether Trump is fit to be president. "So a man, who you cannot come on [the show] and say, 'Yes, Glenn, he is fit to be president of the United States,' I still am encouraged by you to abandon my principles and vote [for him] because it's a binary choice?" Beck asked.

By the end of the nearly 20-minute conversation, Beck had to admit he "strongly" disagreed with Cruz — and he was reportedly even more candid after he hung up the phone. "I think I have to apologize, and say, maybe, perhaps, those of you who said Ted Cruz is calculating and a smarmy politician, I think I may have to slightly agree with you and apologize for saying, 'No, he wasn't,'" Beck said, as reported by The Daily Beast. Then, Beck apparently twisted the knife, reportedly admitting that maybe, just maybe, he should've supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in the primary instead.

Listen to the entire interview, below. Becca Stanek

11:57 a.m. ET

The weekend's intense rain in the Midwest may finally be subsiding, but in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, floodwaters are continuing to rise. As of Monday morning, the Cedar River crested at 16 feet, which constitutes a "major flood event," Time reported. By Tuesday morning, the river is expected to crest at 23 feet, which NBC News noted would put the water "11 feet above flood stage." The waters are rushing down to Cedar Rapids from Wisconsin, where two people died last week because of flooding.

The last time Iowa waters rose this high was in 2008; that flood, which The Des Moines Register called the "worst in the city's history," resulted in an estimated $10 billion in damages.

Residents of Cedar Rapids and in other areas of Iowa have been advised to evacuate, while curfews have also been installed in some parts of the state. CNN reported Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) have "each declared disaster emergencies for 13 counties, freeing up state resources to respond to the flooding." Becca Stanek

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