July 23, 2014

An entire city in China is closed off from the rest of the country after a man there died from the bubonic plague.

Located in the northwestern province of Gansu, Yumen is home to 30,000 people. Of those residents, 151 are under quarantine, and the rest are unable to leave the city. No one can get in, either, with police setting up roadblocks along all of the routes in and out of town.

The 38-year-old man who died last Wednesday came into contact with a dead marmot, a small and furry animal related to the squirrel, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) reports. There are no other known cases at this time, and CCTV reports that those in quarantine are in stable condition. Residents aren't sure when they will be able to leave Yumen, but it's not looking like it will be anytime soon; CCTV reports that "the city has enough rice, flour, and oil to supply all its residents for up to one month." Catherine Garcia

3:46 a.m. ET

Donald Trump name-checked Howard Stern in Monday night's first presidential debate, and Stern, who says he was watching the debate in bed, was tickled. "I hung in until about 10:30 almost, heard my name mentioned, and I went to sleep," he said on his radio show Wednesday. "It was kinda thrilling... Well, it always comes up because, you know, Trump was on our show years ago and said yeah, you know, he was kind of for the Iraq War, us going into Iraq. He was saying he really wasn’t for it, and so they were forced to mention my name.... Now I can check that off on my bucket list. I've officially been mentioned in a presidential debate."

You can listen to Stern's new summation of Trump's 2002 comments at BuzzFeed News. On CNN Thursday, New York Times reporter Jeff Zelany told Don Lemon that "it's hard to know if anything is damning or not with the truth scale that Donald Trump operates under here. I mean, it is clear, the record is clear, that at the time of the invasion, that he supported it." Zelany is skeptical Stern's new comments will change the minds of any Trump supporters, and you can watch the clip below. Peter Weber

2:17 a.m. ET

On Wednesday, the House and Senate overwhelmingly voted to override President Obama's veto of a law that will allow the families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed reservations about the new law and said they were open to rewriting it to deal with problems that Obama had warned them about, and then Congress adjourned until after the November election.

McConnell blamed Obama for not warning Congress earlier. "I told the president the other day that this is an example of an issue that we should have talked about much earlier," he told reporters on Thursday. "It appears as if there may be some unintended ramifications of that and I do think it's worth further discussing." Obama had called McConnell about the bill on Monday, then sent him and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) a warning letter on Tuesday (Reid was the lone senator to vote against the override).

"Everybody was aware of who the potential beneficiaries were but no one had really focused on the potential downside in terms of our international relationships. And I think it was just a ball dropped," McConnell said. "I hate to blame everything on him and I don't; it would have been helpful if we had a discussion about this much earlier than the last week."

Senior officials, including CIA director John Brennan, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and Secretary of State John Kerry, had urged Congress not to approve the bill, because, as Obama explained in his Sept. 23 veto statement, it "could encourage foreign governments to act reciprocally and allow their domestic courts to exercise jurisdiction over the United States or U.S. officials — including our men and women in uniform — for allegedly causing injuries overseas via U.S. support to third parties." That was the concern Ryan raised on Thursday.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest rolled his eyes at Congress' "case of rapid-onset buyer's remorse," calling it "an abject embarrassment." "It's hard to take at face value the suggestion that they were unaware of the consequences of their vote, but even if they were, what's true in elementary school is true in the United States Congress," he said: "Ignorance is not an excuse." Peter Weber

2:10 a.m. ET

It has been a busy week in politics, between Donald Trump's controversial remarks about a former Miss Universe, Hillary Clinton's difficulty connecting with millennials, and Gary Johnson's inability to name a current foreign leader.

On Thursday's Late Night, Seth Meyers broke it all down, taking a closer look at some of the stranger events that transpired after Monday night's debate, including Howard Dean's observation that a sniffling Trump might be using a certain white substance. "Okay, first of all, Howard Dean, I'm not sure you should be accusing other people of using cocaine, when you're the guy most famous for this," Meyers said, before playing the 2004 clip of a very excited Dean, then running for president, yelling the names of all the states he was going to. "Also, you can't call call Trump a cokehead. If you do, he'll take it one step further. 'Some people are saying Hillary and El Chapo are the same person. I read it on The Google.'"

Meyers also scoffed at Trump's son Eric saying his father showed "courage" by not mentioning Bill Clinton's infidelities during the debate (he waited until after to bring it up during several interview); people expecting Bernie Sanders to secure the millennial vote for Clinton ("What's everyone expecting of Bernie? He'll take out his flute and the millennials will flock to his side?"); and an incredibly weird interview Johnson gave where he bit his tongue through part of it (Meyers gently encouraged him to "maybe next time only eat half the brownie"). He was impressed, though, by Michelle Obama's ability to tell people not to vote for Trump without ever uttering his name. "Is there any better way to get under Trump's skin than refusing to say his name?" Meyers asked. The only thing worse, he concludes, would be buying Trump Tower and renaming it "You Know Who Tower." Watch the video below .Catherine Garcia

1:33 a.m. ET

Emily Post never established the etiquette for what to do when you tase someone, but it stands to reason the proper protocol does not involve sending that person a cake with the icing apology, "Sorry I Tased You."

Florida resident Stephanie Byron has filed a lawsuit against Michael Wohlers, a former Escambia County sheriff's deputy, claiming that in June 2015, he stopped by the apartment complex where she worked, and used his "apparent law enforcement authority to intimidate, harass, and threaten" her. Her attorney says at one point, Wohlers took Byron's sweet tea, and as she went to retrieve it, he fired his stun gun at her, then kneed her in the chest, The Associated Press reports. The lawsuit claims that Wohlers told his superiors that he mistakenly fired the taser into a pillow at his house.

Later, Byron says Wohlers presented her with the homemade cake, featuring stick figures, what appears to be a taser with wires coming out of it, and the sugary expression of regret. A photo of the edible apology was entered into the court file, but as Gizmodo reports, it's not the same photo that is going viral on social media — that image was uploaded to the internet at least a year before Byron's alleged tasing. Her attorney says that "the cake Wohlers baked provides his version of the encounter and clearly shows a person, Wohlers, firing the taser at Ms. Byron," but Wohlers, who resigned from the sheriff's department last year, denies any wrongdoing. Next time, send pie. Catherine Garcia

12:47 a.m. ET

Vice President Joe Biden was on Thursday's Tonight Show, and when Jimmy Kimmel asked him about Monday's debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Biden (a Catholic) crossed himself and joked, "Bless me, Father, for I am about to sin." He said he watched the debate by himself, and "I've never quite seen anything like that." When Fallon asked if he'd ever seen so much fact-checking, Biden replied, "Well, I can tell you what, I've never seen anybody who knew as few facts." "It's not a joke," he added, as everybody laughed. "I mean, it's like, whoa."

Then he got serious. "What amazes me about Donald Trump," Biden said, "he's probably a decent guy, but his lack of sensibilities. I mean, the way he talks about, you know, 'Well, you know, I was rooting for the housing market to fail,' and 'because that's business' — that's not business, that's callous." And Trump's claim that paying no taxes makes him "smart"? "What's that make the rest of us, suckers?" Biden asked. "No, I really mean it. Think about it. Can you think of any president — any president you've read about, studied, or knew — who would say anything like that? Name me one president who would do that. It angers me, quite frankly." And no Biden interview would be complete without some wisdom from his parents. "My dad had an expression, for real," Biden said: "When someone would say, 'You know, Joe, I pay too much in taxes,' he said, 'Look, that's a small price to pay to live in this country.' I mean, just pay your fair share, for God's sake." Watch below. Peter Weber

12:20 a.m. ET
AFP/Getty Images

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte used a speech on Friday to ratchet up his literal war on drugs. Adolf "Hitler massacred 3 million Jews," Duterte said, undercounting the Holocaust by about 3 million Jews. In the Philippines, he continued, "there's 3 million drug addicts. There are. I'd be happy to slaughter them."

Speaking to reporters after a trip to Vietnam, Duterte said that he has been "portrayed to be some cousin of Hitler," then made that comparison himself. "If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have..." he paused and pointed at himself, Reuters reports. While running for president, Duterte took a strong anti-drug and corruption stance, and since taking office on June 30, more than 3,100 people, primarily drug users and dealers, have been killed by police and in vigilante killings. "You know my victims," Duterte said. "I would like [them] to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition." Catherine Garcia

September 29, 2016

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, first shot himself in the foot when, on MSNBC's Morning Joe, he appeared baffled at mention of Aleppo, a Chicago-sized city under siege in Syria. He just had his second self-described "Aleppo moment" on Wednesday — also, coincidentally, on MSNBC — when he was unable to name a world leader he likes — or, really, any world leader. Matt Negrin at Bloomberg Politics took that low-hanging fruit and made it into a delicious crow pie. Watch below. Peter Weber

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