FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
July 23, 2014
iStock

A new study released Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association cautions doctors about using power morcellation to remove the uterus, a procedure close to 50,000 women undergo each year.

Considered to be minimally invasive, power morcellation uses a device to cut uterine tissue into smaller pieces that are then removed via tiny incisions. However, researchers discovered that it's more common than previously thought for a woman undergoing the procedure to have undetected cancer; if the device cuts tumors they might spread cancer cells through the abdomen.

Researchers looked at a database that included 15 percent of hospitalizations in the U.S. from 2006 to 2012. They found 232,882 cases of minimally invasive hysterectomies, including 36,470 women who had power morcellation. Of those patients, 99 were subsequently found to have uterine cancer, meaning one in 368 women who had hysterectomies had cancerous tumors, Dr. Jason D. Wright, the lead author and chief of gynecologic oncology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, told The New York Times. Had doctors known about the cancer, they would not have performed the power morcellation.

Researchers also reviewed the cases of a doctor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and found that cancer spread much faster after morcellation was used to remove a uterus than major abdominal surgery. Wright isn't calling for a stop to the procedure, but is advocating for education. "I don't know that necessarily morcellation should be banned," he said. "But this data is important to allow people to make decisions." Catherine Garcia

2:32 a.m. ET

On Wednesday's Kelly File, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Megyn Kelly that his organization would release potentially "significant" information on Hillary Clinton before the November election, and on Thursday's show, Kelly played the part of the interview where Assange talks about Donald Trump. "You're clearly not rooting for Hillary, but are you rooting for Trump?" Kelly asked. "No, I mean, if we have good information on Trump, we publish that," Assange said.

"You know, some people have asked us, 'When will you release information on Donald Trump?'" Assange said later. "And of course we're very interested in all countries, to reveal the truth about any candidate, so people can understand, but actually it's really hard for us to release anything worse than what comes out of Donald Trump's mouth every second day. I mean, it's part of his charismatic appeal that he speaks off the cuff, but, you know, that's difficult for Donald Trump to overcome, a lot of those things, even with a lot of great material coming out by WikiLeaks and other publications."

If that sounds like WikiLeaks is trying to help Trump, remember, Assange says he isn't taking sides. And he doesn't want you to blame Russian hackers for the Democratic National Committee leaks or other Democratic Party cyber-infiltration, as the U.S. intelligence community does. "The allegations by the Clinton campaign that everyone is a Russian agent are really disturbing," Assange said. "Why is that? Well, bizarrely, Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, has become, has positioned herself now, as being the security candidate. She's palled up with the neocons responsible for the Iraq War and she's grabbed on to this sort of neo-McCarthyist hysteria about Russia, and is using that to demonize the Trump campaign."

Kelly also asked about WikiLeaks' interest in murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, and Assange suggested that Rich was a WikiLeaks source but declined to accuse anyone of his murder. She also asked about an Associated Press report outlining private information on rape victims, gay Saudis, and other "collateral damage" in some of Assange's dumps. "Well, it's a nonsense reports," he said. "Its not by AP, it's not some big team at AP who put this together, it's by a single journalist... who has a conflict of interest — have a look at him on Twitter." You can watch the entire segment below. Peter Weber

2:04 a.m. ET

An explosion ripped through a police checkpoint and headquarters in the town of Cizre, Turkey, on Friday.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency says at least eight police officers were killed and 45 people wounded in the attack, which was carried out with an explosives-filled truck. The city is in Sirnak province, which borders Syria and Iraq, and a majority of residents are Kurds. (This story has been updated throughout.) Catherine Garcia

1:40 a.m. ET

For those wanting to fully understand Donald Trump's immigration stance, Seth Meyers put together a segment Thursday night featuring a dizzying array of statements the Republican nominee has made on the issue.

Meyers said that Trump is shifting his position in order to broaden his appeal, but is trying at the same time to assure his most ardent supporters that he's not actually changing at all. "Here's the problem for Trump," Meyers said. "He's already spent a year whipping up his supporters with vitriolic rhetoric on immigration, and they're not going to let him change now. Remember, they chant, 'Build that wall!' at all of the rallies, and one guy once came dressed like the wall. That guy doesn't want to go home and make an amnesty costume."

Meyers showed a clip of Trump warning people that Hillary Clinton would be "four more years of Obama," followed by another clip where he compliments the president for deporting large numbers of undocumented immigrants. Trump said he'd keep doing what Obama's doing in regards to deporting people, but would do it with "more energy." "Does Trump even have that much energy?" Meyers asked. "He talks about himself like he's Simone Biles, but he moves around like a bear who's honey drunk." Watch the video below, and get ready to never want to hear the words "Donald," "Trump," and "softening" together in a sentence ever again. Catherine Garcia

1:19 a.m. ET

Apple released an update to the iPhone and iPad operating system on Thursday, and you should probably download and install it as soon as is possible. About 10 days ago, researchers at Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto tech research organization, and mobile security firm Lookout discovered three large security holes in Apple's iOS that could give someone with the right tool access to your entire phone — they could "read text messages and emails and track calls and contacts," The New York Times said, "even record sounds, collect passwords, and trace the whereabouts of the phone user" — and you would never know anything was going on.

Citizen Lab was tipped off when Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates, forwarded some suspicious text messages he was receiving, and sure enough, the messages contained code that would grant an outsider access to an entire phone. The researchers traced the code back to a Israeli cyber-espionage outfit called NSO Group, which The Times calls "one of the world's most evasive digital arms dealers." NSO spokesman Zamir Dahbash told The Times that "the company sells only to authorized governmental agencies, and fully complies with strict export control laws and regulations," but did not say if UAE had purchased its products. Along with Mansoor, NSO tools have been used to target people in Yemen, Turkey, Mozambique, Mexico, and Kenya.

You can learn more about the exploit at Gizmodo, Motherboard, and The New York Times, or watch the Associated Press report below, but upgrade your system before you do — Apple says the new update patches those gaping holes. Peter Weber

12:34 a.m. ET
iStock

When the Foster family moved into the El Dorado Hills neighborhood outside of Sacramento, California, they say they discovered a long-forgotten rule regarding the race of residents.

Clause 13 of the Lake Hills CC&R states as follows: "No person except those of the white Caucasian race shall use, occupy, or reside upon any residential lot or plot in this subdivision, except when employed in the household of a white Caucasian tenant or owner." Liese Foster told ABC 13 that while "everyone knows you can't enforce things like that," it still "sends a message." Some neighbors had no idea that the rule, on the books since 1961, existed, while others said they did know about it, but since non-whites live in the neighborhood and it's never been enforced, they pay it no mind.

Now that Brent Dennis is aware of the rule, he promises things will change. He is with the El Dorado Hills Community Services District, which handles rule enforcement for the community and more than 30 others. Dennis has worked there for four years, and said before he was approached by a local news station, he didn't know about the rule. He told KTXL that he has no clue why it was ever made, but said it has never been enforced and violates federal law, and members of his staff will work quickly to change it. Catherine Garcia

12:25 a.m. ET

Well, this is something you don't see every day. On Thursday's Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon donned his Donald Trump persona and sang a song with the real Barbra Streisand, who looked unsure about the whole endeavor (she is an Oscar-winning actress). "We're going to sing a fantastic song, and together we're going to make duets great again," Fallon's Trump said. "That's if you can sing," Streisand shot back. "Can you?" "I sing all the best words," FalTrump said. The duet is Irving Berlin's "Anything You Can Do," from Annie Get Your Gun, but with slightly different lyrics ("I can build casinos, and deport Latinos," Fallon's Trump sings). If you had any doubt who Streisand is supporting in this election (and you didn't, right?), she laid out her cards in the song, and she got in a few good digs at Trump for good measure. Watch below. Peter Weber

August 25, 2016

It isn't exactly Bill Clinton playing saxophone on Arsenio Hall in 1992 (he also played a ballad), but Hillary Clinton's running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), pulled out his harmonic on Thursday to do a little blues jam with Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Stephen Colbert's Late Show house band. Now, the harmonic isn't the world's, um, coolest instrument, but it's arguably a step up the hep ladder from the Batiste's melodica, and hey, Kaine isn't bad. If Hillary wins, maybe he and Bill can form a White House band. Watch below. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads