Comics Fans Assemble!
July 17, 2014

Marvel Comics is rolling out its latest revamp of one of its main superheroes — following up on the announcement that a woman will pick up the hammer of Thor — with an African-American character becoming the new Captain America.

In the comic's storyline an incapacitated Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, will hand off the role to his longtime friend and superhero partner the Falcon, real name Sam Wilson, to take over in the patriotic costume and iconic circular shield.

Sam Wilson has a long history as part of the Captain America mythos. The Falcon first appeared as an ally of Captain America in 1969, co-created by Marvel's legendary writer and editor Stan Lee. Then during the 1970's, a time when some Marvel books were retitled to have the main hero teamed up with a partner, the two characters shared the billing as Captain America and the Falcon. In the most recent Captain America movie, the Falcon was portrayed by Anthony Mackie.

Joe Quesada, the chief executive at Marvel Entertainment, made the announcement Wednesday night during an appearance on The Colbert Report. The company has also posted a picture of the new Captain America, with a design that combines both the traditional Captain America costume and that of the Falcon. --Eric Kleefeld

conan goes to cuba
9:04 p.m. ET

During his recent trip to Cuba, Conan O'Brien had just one goal: To make new friends. In the opening of his special "Conan in Cuba" episode, the host does his best to ingratiate himself with some ferocious dogs, elderly women, and confused grocery store employees, all while using the few Spanish phrases he knows. Watch the clip below to see how successful he was on his mission. —Catherine Garcia

8:28 p.m. ET

Anna Duritskaya, the girlfriend of slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, is now in hiding in her native Ukraine.

The 23-year-old actress and model is the only known witness to the murder of Nemtsov on Friday. Duritskaya did not attend his funeral on Tuesday, and fled to the Ukraine just hours after his burial, the Los Angeles Times reports. She has erased her social media profiles and is not answering calls to her cell phone.

In the hours before she was told she could leave Russia, Duritskaya held a Skype interview with the Ukrainian television channel Dozhd, and said she was under "virtual house arrest" after the incident. She was interrogated for three days, and said she told investigators over and over that she did not see the killer and only saw that the getaway car was a light color. Duritskaya also alluded that investigators were trying to make it look like Nemtsov was killed during a "crime of passion" committed by an unknown romantic rival, the Times reports.

This just in
6:57 p.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

In a press conference Wednesday evening, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles announced that one of the Ferguson Police Department officers involved in sending racist emails has been terminated, and two are still under investigation.

"This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Ferguson Police Department or any department in Ferguson," Knowles said. "These actions taken by these individuals are in no way representative of the employees of the city of Ferguson." Knowles said that several new initiatives are already taking place in the city, including the hiring of an African-American woman as a correctional officer and the creation of an explorer program with local children and a civilian oversight board. He also said that all officers have completed mandatory diversity training. Knowles did not take any questions from the media.

This just in
6:28 p.m. ET

The U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was seriously injured Thursday morning after an armed assailant attacked him on his way to a lecture in central Seoul, the Yonhap News Agency reports.

Lippert was bleeding heavily after the attack and was rushed to the hospital. Sources told the Yonhap News Agency that the suspect was immediately arrested, although their identity is not yet known. CNN is reporting that a razor blade was used, and there is no known motive for the attack.

Lawmakers are just like us!
5:17 p.m. ET

Yep, even your elected legislators are artfully ducking calls from Fannie Mae. It’s news that’s sure to either make you smile with vengeful glee or depress the hell out of you.

According to new stats released from, which tracks money in politics, the number of lawmakers saddled with student debt increased from 41 members in 2012 to 47 in 2013. Most of the debtors are House members and only three are in the Senate.

The average amount of debt these legislators owe is about $68,500, but at least six owe more than twice that. And curiously, more Republicans (28) have student debt than Democrats (19). So, I guess not all government programs are frowned upon, eh, GOP?

5:06 p.m. ET
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

A House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi embassy attack plans to subpoena Hillary Clinton's personal emails following the revelation that the former secretary of state exclusively used a private email account to conduct government business, according to The Washington Post.

"The American people have a right to a full accounting of all the former Secretary's emails, and the committee is committed to working to uncover all the facts," Jamal Ware, a spokesperson for the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said.

The committee plans to request all emails from concerning the attack, which left four Americans dead. A two-year investigation by the House Intelligence Committee cleared the Obama administration of wrongdoing in its handling of the attack.

The issues
4:16 p.m. ET
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Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) has a long history of opposing abortion, but he hasn't always been as open in discussing his opposition as he is now.

In 2014, during a particularly tough re-election campaign, Walker said of a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, "Those are things that we'll have to talk about in the next legislative session if it comes up."

Today, however, the likely 2016 presidential contender finally comes out and confirms that he will support such legislation:

"As the Wisconsin legislature moves forward in the coming session, further protections for mother and child are likely to come to my desk in the form of a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. I will sign that bill when it gets to my desk and support similar legislation on the federal level.

I was raised to believe in the sanctity of life and I will always fight to protect it." [Friends of Scott Walker]

Watch this
3:44 p.m. ET

In this week's video from our sister site, Mental Floss, Mike Rugnetta fills in as host of the List Show. This week's topic? Thirty very, very weird apps that actually exist.

It's probably TMI, but there is, in fact, an app called "Bowel Mover," which allows you to track your bowel movements, along with your food and water intake for the day. And there are two separate games that consist of little more than holding your finger on your iPhone's screen for an extended amount of time.

If you love fruit, perhaps "Melon Meter" may be somewhat useful — you can use your phone's microphone to knock on the outside of a watermelon and determine whether it's ready to eat.

Check out all 30 weird apps in the video below. —Meghan DeMaria

2:56 p.m. ET
Ron Sachs/CNP/AdMedia/AdMedia/Corbis

In the event that the Supreme Court rules against the Affordable Care Act in the King v. Burwell case, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has plans for a health care law to replace it.

"The administration has done absolutely nothing to prepare for an upcoming Supreme Court decision that could leave millions of Americans unable to afford insurance thanks to this failed law," Cruz said, so he and many fellow Republicans plan to repeal "every last word of ObamaCare."

The "Cruzcare" bill, called the "Health Care Choices Act," would come close, The Hill reports, by voiding the mandate that requires everyone to buy insurance and by getting rid of major subsidies. The legislation would also allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines.

Cruz's bill is the most detailed of many proposals offered by the GOP, and it's possible that Republicans may ultimately approve a plan that combines aspects of various bills.

So far, Cruz's bill has five co-sponsors, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision on the King v. Burwell case by June.

This just in
2:55 p.m. ET
Jay Mallin/ZUMA Press/Corbis

Senate Republicans on Wednesday failed to cobble together enough votes to override President Obama's veto of legislation approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The override attempt failed by a 62-37 vote; it needed 67 votes to pass. Nine Democrats voted with Republicans to approve the bill, the same number who voted for the legislation in January.

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