sip and spit
July 22, 2014

If you're under 21 in California, congratulations, you can legally drink! But, there's a catch: You must be at least 18, enrolled in an accredited beer-brewing or winemaking class, and you can only swish the drink around and not actually swallow.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed AB 1989 (aka "the sip and spit" bill) into law Monday. Now, California is one of 13 states that lets students under 21 sample alcohol for educational reasons. Andrew Waterhouse, a professor in the department of viticulture and enology at UC Davis, is excited that his students can now try what they make. "It's an experience they can't really get any other way," he told NBC LA. "And it's much better if they do it in an educational setting where they can ask a lot of questions."

Tara Pattison, who studies brewing science at UC Davis, thinks being able to taste the drinks will make the end product much better. "If you cannot test the final products you will never know what mistakes you have made or, in a perfect world, didn't make," she said. Catherine Garcia

Gun Violence
1:04 p.m. ET

Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is being held without bond in connection with Friday's fatal shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dear, who authorities say has an address in Hartsel, about an hour away from Colorado Springs, is reportedly well-known to law enforcement officials in South Carolina, where BuzzFeed News reports he used to live.

Authorities in North and South Carolina have investigated Dear as many as nine times, according to BuzzFeed's public records search.

In 1997, Dear's wife alleged he hit her and pushed her out of a window in Walterboro, South Carolina, but did not file charges against him. He was twice found not guilty of cruelty to animals, and an allegation that he was a peeping tom was dismissed at a preliminary hearing, BuzzFeed reports.

Read more about the incidents here. Julie Kliegman

12:30 p.m. ET
Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Three days after the city of Chicago released video footage of the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a police officer, protesters took to the Magnificent Mile to disrupt Black Friday shopping.

Some shoppers, blocked from entering big-name stores like Apple, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, and Brooks Brothers, told the Chicago Tribune they supported protesters, who are calling for the resignation of Chicago's police superintendent and increased awareness of police brutality against black people. But others didn't take kindly to being barred from shopping by lines of protesters, as the newspaper reports:

At Zara, a Schaumburg man who gave his name only as Scott, 31, violently burst through the line and then through a revolving door like a running back looking to make a first down.

"I'm looking for a sports jacket," he said as he got his breath back. "Compared to what's happening in Syria, what's happening here is nothing much.

"The only thing new is that there's a video of this shooting," Scott said. "It's been going on forever. None of these people could even tell you why they're protesting." [Chicago Tribune]

Nilo Khan, another shopper turned away from Zara, told the Tribune, "We're not trying to stop them from protesting, so why should they stop us from shopping?"

Three people were arrested during the Black Friday protests, The Associated Press reports. Read more about the scene at the Magnificent Mile here. Julie Kliegman

you're fired
11:21 a.m. ET
Ty Wright/Getty Images

More than 100 black religious leaders signed an op-ed published on Ebony's website Friday strongly discouraging their colleagues from supporting or endorsing Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. The real estate mogul had announced he'll receive endorsements from a group of prominent black ministers Monday.

"By siding with a presidential candidate whose rhetoric pathologizes Black people, what message are you sending to the world about the Black lives in and outside of your congregations?" the op-ed read. "Which Black lives do you claim to be liberating?"

After several white people allegedly physically attacked a black protester at a Trump campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, on Nov. 21, the presidential hopeful said, "Maybe he should've been roughed up."

Some attending Monday's meeting have disputed Trump's endorsement claim, The Daily Beast reports. Read the full op-ed on Ebony here. Julie Kliegman

you used to watch me on my cell phone
10:52 a.m. ET
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The National Security Agency will end its program to collect Americans' phone records in bulk Sunday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Friday, The Washington Post reports.

The secret Patriot Act program was brought to light by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. Congress ordered it shut in June. Some Republican senators, including Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.), had tried to delay the surveillance program's end in light of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, Politico reports.

The government has been testing a new system, which reportedly only allows intelligence officials to collect information on people and phones linked to foreign powers and terrorist groups. Julie Kliegman

POTUS speaks
10:34 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama condemned Friday's deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in a statement Saturday.

"This is not normal. We can't let it become normal," he said. "If we truly care about this — if we're going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough."

Three people — one police officer and two civilians — died in the attack. Nine others were reportedly injured. Authorities took the suspected gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, into custody Friday night after an hours-long standoff with police.

"The last thing Americans should have to do, over the holidays or any day, is comfort the families of people killed by gun violence—people who woke up in the morning and bid their loved ones goodbye with no idea it would be for the last time," Obama said.

Read Obama's full statement on the shooting here. Julie Kliegman

Gun Violence
8:13 a.m. ET

Garrett Swasey, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police officer who died Friday after responding to a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic, had also been a champion figure skater, a university spokesman told The Denver Post.

Swasey, 44, and his partner won the junior dance competition at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1992, according to a Baltimore Sun article from that time. He had moved to Colorado Springs from Melrose, Massachusetts, to train in the 1980s, The Boston Globe reports.

A six-year veteran at the campus police department, Swasey also served as a co-pastor of a reformed Protestant church. He was married with two children.

"He was a great dad," David Swasey, the officer's father, told The Globe. "I mean, a super dad. Everybody in the police department loved him. Anybody who ever met him loved him. He was a great guy, a great person." Julie Kliegman

This just in
November 27, 2015
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Update 7:28 p.m.: After an hours-long standoff, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said the gunman involved in the Planned Parenthood shooting attacks is in custody. Police say that at least 11 people, including five police officers and civilians, have been transported to hospitals. It is unclear if there were any fatalities in the attacks.

Update 7:05 p.m.: Authorities are evacuating people from the Planned Parenthood building. Meanwhile, police say the standoff with the gunman, who reportedly brought "unspecified items" with him into the building, is ongoing.

Update 4:54 p.m.: After the most recent exchange of gunfire, a fourth officer was found wounded inside a Planned Parenthood clinic. In addition to the officers, police now say that civilians have been injured, and seven people have been transported to the hospital, although it is unclear if that number includes the police officers. While police previously said that the gunman involved was contained, they later confirmed they were still looking for the person.

On Friday afternoon, Colorado Springs police officers responded to reports of an active shooter at a Planned Parenthood clinic, reports the Associated Press, initially notifying residents and the media via Twitter to stay away from the scene because it was not secure. The gunman allegedly barricaded himself inside the building, reportedly injuring at least three police officers before he was eventually contained. Stephanie Talmadge

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