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July 20, 2014
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Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, best known for playing Mel Gibson's youngest daughter in The Patriot, died Saturday in Houston. She was 21.

Her cause of death has not yet been determined, but Bartusiak’s mother, Helen McCole Bartusiak, told CNN her daughter had recently suffered from several epileptic seizures.

In addition to 2000's The Patriot, Bartusiak also appeared in the movies The Cider House Rules and Don't Say a Word, with her last role in 2012's Sick Boy, a low-budget thriller. According to her mother, Bartusiak was getting ready to produce and direct her first feature film. "She was a kind and really beautiful girl," Helen McCole Bartusiak told CNN. "The girl has lived such an amazing life." Catherine Garcia

10:35 a.m. ET

An Irish Wolfhound made history recently when she delivered a litter of puppies that contained the first-ever confirmed set of identical twins. The puppies, both attached by individual umbilical cords to the same placenta, were delivered via a Caesarean section in South Africa's Rant en Dal Animal Hospital in Mogale City by veterinarian Kurt de Cramer.

After the puppies' delivery, de Cramer had reproductive specialists confirm that the dogs were, indeed, twins. "When I realized that the puppies were of the same gender and that they had very similar markings, I also immediately suspected that they might be identical twins having originated from the splitting of an embryo," de Cramer told BBC.

While this is the first time a pair of canine identical twins has been confirmed, identical twin puppies isn't necessarily a rare occurrence, researchers say: "There have been rumors about twins in dogs before," Carolynne Joone, one of the reproductive specialists working on the case, told BBC. "We just happened to be lucky enough to be able to confirm it genetically."

What does appear to be rare, however, is that both puppies survived and are healthy; cases of identical twins have been reported in horses, for example, but none of those fetuses have survived. Becca Stanek

9:15 a.m. ET
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Donald Trump is going to Mexico, and Mexicans are ... not pleased.

Trump plans to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday for a closed-door meeting ahead of his scheduled immigration speech in Arizona. But Trump's favorability rating in Mexico is even lower than it is in the U.S.: Only 2 percent of Mexicans like Trump, with 75 percent feeling unfavorable about him and the rest either not caring or not knowing who he is.

Many reporters in the region are surprised by Peña Nieto's extension of an invitation to Trump, especially since the Mexican president struggles with low ratings:

Demonstrations against Trump's visit are already being planned in Mexico City:

Because the meeting between Trump and Peña Nieto is private, it will be hard to know for certain what is actually said, discussed, or agreed upon. As Politico notes: "We'll have to rely on Trump and the Mexican press to give us a readout. Will Peña Nieto reverse himself and say he'll pay for the wall? Probably not, but who knows what Trump will say?" Jeva Lange

9:08 a.m. ET

Netflix confirmed Wednesday that there will be a second season of Stranger Things via this short, spooky trailer:

The second season, set to premiere next year, picks up in the fall of 1984, about a year after the first season ends. Details are scarce, but back in July, the creators of the Netflix original series, Matt and Ross Duffer, spoke to Variety about what they envisioned for a second season. "We leave these dangling threads at the end," Ross Duffer said. "If people respond to this show and we get to continue this story — we had those initial discussions of where we might go with it. If there was going to be a season two, we would reveal more of [the parallel dimension the "Upside Down"], but we'd still want to keep it from the point of view of our original characters."

There will be nine episodes to the show's sophomore offering, up from the eight of its inaugural season. It will debut sometime in 2017. Becca Stanek

8:29 a.m. ET
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Never in Hillary Clinton's decades in the public eye has her favorability rating been as low as it is now. That's according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll out Wednesday. While 41 percent of Americans view Clinton favorably, a striking 56 percent view her negatively, which, The Washington Post reported, marks "the worst image Clinton has had in her quarter-century in national public life."

Prior to these numbers, Clinton's lowest favorability rating was in July, at 42 percent. Her highest unfavorable rating was in June, at 55 percent.

At first glance, Clinton's favorability rating might at least look better than Donald Trump's. But, The Washington Post noted, when only registered voters are taken into consideration, "Clinton's image is about as bad as Trump's." While Clinton sees a split of 38 percent favorable and 59 percent unfavorable, Trump's split is 37 percent favorable and 60 percent unfavorable.

The poll, conducted among 1,020 adults from Aug. 24 to Aug. 28, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Becca Stanek

8:26 a.m. ET
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Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's new campaign CEO, is reportedly the subject of a voter registration investigation, NBC News reported Wednesday. Election officials in Miami-Dade County in Florida confirmed that a local state attorney's office requested Bannon's voter records last week, when reports surfaced that Bannon had registered to vote using an address to a now vacant Florida home that he never lived in. Bannon reportedly rented the home for his ex-wife, Diane Clohesy.

Miami-Dade state attorney's spokesman, Ed Griffith, declined to either confirm or deny the investigation, though he did note that the office is able to investigate any potential violation that is brought to light. But the executive assistant to the county's election supervisor did not think "there was anything obvious in Bannon's voter record that suggested fraud," NBC News reported, especially because Bannon never voted in the county after registering there. "There is nothing here that I see that he did wrong," Rosy Pastrana told NBC News.

Prior to registering in Miami-Dade County in April 2014, Bannon was registered to vote in California, which is where his primary residence is reported to be. Within the last few weeks, Bannon reportedly sent in a change of registration form with a new address listed in Florida's Sarasota County. Becca Stanek

8:23 a.m. ET

When Mel Brooks paired with the late Gene Wilder, the two were unstoppable, producing three of the most hilarious American comedies to ever hit screens — The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. But following the death of "his dear friend," Brooks took Jimmy Fallon back to when the two first met, and The Producers was still nothing more than an idea.

"I said, after we get the money, you are going to be Leo Bloom," Brooks recalled telling Wilder. "He said, 'Oh, yeah, when you get the money. You're doing a play about two Jews who are producing a flop instead of a hit knowing they can make more money with a flop, and the big number in it is 'Springtime for Hitler.' Yeah, you're going to get the money!" Of course, the rest is history.

Brooks told Fallon that he knew Wilder was sick. "I expected it, I expected he would go, but I don't know. When it happens, it's still tremendous. It's still a big shock. I'm still reeling from that. No more Gene. I can't call him. And he was such a wonderful part of my life," Brooks said. Hear him reflect on their time together, below. Jeva Lange

7:31 a.m. ET
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Hillary Clinton's team is unimpressed by Donald Trump's trip to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto, citing the Republican candidate's record of inflammatory statements about the U.S.'s southern neighbor, Politico reports.

"From the first days of his campaign, Donald Trump has painted Mexicans as 'rapists' and criminals and has promised to deport 16 million people, including children and U.S. citizens. He has said we should force Mexico to pay for his giant border wall. He has said we should ban remittances to families in Mexico if Mexico doesn't pay up," Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement.

"What ultimately matters is what Donald Trump says to voters in Arizona [during his immigration speech], not Mexico, and whether he remains committed to the splitting up of families and deportation of millions," she added.

The battleground states of Florida, Colorado, and Nevada have large Hispanic and Latino populations, and Trump needs to make gains with such groups if he wants to win the electoral college votes. In his campaign kickoff speech last year, Trump even conceded that "some [Mexicans], I assume, are good people." Jeva Lange

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