July 17, 2014

Who says Congress is slacking off this summer? A day after the House passed a bipartisan bill to bar state and federal governments from taxing internet service forever, lawmakers in the lower chamber passed a bill Wednesday aimed at giving legal marijuana businesses access to regular banking services. The amendment to an appropriations bill, which passed 231-192, prohibits financial regulators from spending any money to prosecute banks that do business with marijuana growers and purveyors in states where pot is legal.

Banks have generally refrained from doing business with marijuana operations because while the drug is now legal in Colorado and Washington, and partly legal in dozens of other states — Washington, D.C., decriminalized weed at midnight tonight — possession and sale of pot still violates federal law. Also on Wednesday, the House rejected a measure that would have voided Treasury Department guidelines announced in February aimed at sort-of getting banks to work with the legal pot industry.

So really, the GOP-led House voted for legal marijuana twice in one day — another milepost on pot's long, strange trip to respectability. In May, the House passed another bill the prohibited the Justice Department and DEA from interfering with state medical marijuana programs. It's not clear that any of these wills will be cleared by the Senate. The pot industry is still celebrating. "This is a huge step forward for the legal cannabis industry," said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, in a statement. At least it's a baby step. Peter Weber

4:18 a.m. ET

Stephen Colbert's Late Show kicked off Wednesday night with an homage to the late horror director George A. Romero and the zombie genre he spawned, plus a dig at Zombie TrumpCare.

Yes, Republicans are trying once again to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Colbert said. "This is beyond beating a dead horse. This is getting damn close to beastiality." And they have until Sept. 30 to do it, minus three Jewish holidays, because that's when their filibuster-proof powers vanish for the fiscal year, and they've reserved next year for Democrat-free tax reform. "It's a race against the clock — they've got 10 days to overhaul the health-care system or everybody lives!" Colbert joked.

He explained how the bill works, roughtly, then noted that former President Barack Obama, who has gotten very gray — "That's how bad Donald Trump is," Colbert said. "Obama is aging faster watching someone else be president!" — weighed in on Wednesday, defending the law the colloquially bears his name. But Colbert used a quote from Trump adviser Stephen Moore about people only wanting insurance for their families, and a fake TV ad, to remind everyone what health insurance is actually about.

Colbert then found some bemused mirth in President Trump's invention on Wednesday of a new African country while meeting with African leaders. "Now, there is no such country as Nambia," Colbert said. "Despite that, they might soon have a better health-care system than we do." Peter Weber

3:27 a.m. ET
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An aid truck hired by the International Committee of the Red Cross to deliver aid to Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh drove off a road and into a ditch Thursday morning, killing at least nine aid workers and injuring 10 others. More than 420,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh from their home in Myanmar since Aug. 25, when an attack by Rohingya insurgents sparked a harsh crackdown on the minority group in majority-Buddhist Myanmar. The Bangladeshi workers killed and injured were delivering food packages to 500 Rohingya families, ICRC spokeswoman Misada Saif said, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent are "very shocked and sad" at the deaths of workers "there to help the people who desperately need help."

Hours earlier, a Buddhist mob in the capital of Myanmar's Rakhine state tried to block a shipment of bottled water, food, blankets, mosquito nets, and other supplies for the Rohingya being loaded onto a ship. Some 300 protesters started throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police trying to protect the loading of Red Cross supplies, and police fired in the air to ward them off, an officer tells The Associated Press. Peter Weber

2:35 a.m. ET

Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.) believes the whole Russian election-meddling story is a farce, recently met with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange in London then reportedly tried to trade an Assange pardon for purported evidence exculpating Russia, and is so notably pro-Russia that his House GOP colleagues "joked" last year that he was probably on the take from Russian President Vladimir Putin. So, "who the hell is Dana Rohrabacher?" Seth Meyers asked on Wednesday's Late Night.

In his "check-in" on Rohrbacher, Meyers explained how "Putin's favorite congressman" came to admire the Russians, how he met and cavorted with Putin in the early '90s, and why Rohrbacher seems to turn up at meetings with many of the same Kremlin-linked figures tied to the Trump-Russia investigation. Oh, and he admitted to smoking marijuana. "So he's a weed-loving, pro-Russia guitar player," Meyers said. "He's basically the guy who ruined every party I went to in college." For the fuller picture, watch below. Peter Weber

1:53 a.m. ET

Senate Republicans plan to vote next week on the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill, despite opposition from every major medical and patient health association, the insurance trade group AHIP, Blue Cross Blue Shield, every Democrat, Jimmy Kimmel, President Trump's ally Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and a handful of other Republican governors, and no Congressional Budget Office analysis of its affects on consumers and coverage. The legislation is believed to have the support of at least 48 Republican senators, with Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Rand Paul (Ky.) voicing opposition — though Paul also opposed earlier versions of similar bills and voted for them anyway — and Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) noncommittal. It needs 50 votes to pass. With so much at stake, CNN dabbled in a little bit of body-language analysis from video of the Senate floor on Wednesday evening. You can watch below. Peter Weber

1:13 a.m. ET
Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

When President Trump announced that he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris global climate agreement, there were only two other countries who had not signed on to the pact, designed to slow or reverse the effects of climate change: Syria and Nicaragua. On Wednesday, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said his country will sign the agreement "soon." Nicaragua did not sign in 2015 on the grounds that it did not require deep enough emission cuts from wealthy nations, but Ortega said on state TV Wednesday that the country has decided to sign the accord now out of solidarity with "this large amount of countries that are the first victims, that are already victims, and that are going to continue suffering the affect of these disasters," namely countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Peter Weber

12:36 a.m. ET

Jimmy Kimmel read Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) the riot act on Tuesday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, explaining how Cassidy lied to him when he promised to support a bill that protects people with pre-existing conditions. On Wednesday, Cassidy sadly shook his head and said Kimmel just doesn't understand the bill, prompting a Politico analysis with the headline: "Kimmel, not Cassidy, is right on health care, analysts say." Kimmel tweeted that story out, but did not mention it Wednesday night's show. He did, however, push back against some high-profile personalities who dismissed his critique of the Graham-Cassidy bill as uninformed.

Cassidy "either doesn't understand his own bill or he lied to me, it's as simple as that," Kimmel said, giving a short but pretty cogent rundown of some problems with the legislation. On CNN, Cassidy "played the all-comedians-are-dummies card," Kimmel said, but "could it be, Sen. Cassidy, that the problem is that I do understand and you got caught with your GOPenis out?"

"I don't want to turn this into a Kanye-and-Taylor Swift type situation," he said, but Cassidy came on his show, promised he would oppose any bill that didn't meet his "Jimmy Kimmel Test," then sponsored what is, "by many accounts, the worst health-care bill yet," a point Kimmel illustrated by showing an MLB pitch to the nuts. He got a little personal with Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), and — in a backhanded-complimentary way — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who does bear some resemblance to Kimmel's Grandma Jane.

President Trump is all-in on the bill, but Kimmel said Trump only cares about defeating ObamaCare. "Can you imagine Donald Trump actually sitting down to read a health-care bill?" he asked. "It's like trying to imagine a dog doing your taxes — it just doesn't compute, you know? But I don't necessarily blame him. I did more homework this week than all my years of college combined. This health-care bill, it's confusing, especially for people who aren't experts in the field." So he tried to make it easier to understand by imagining himself as a customer at a coffee shop where the GOP Senate was a terrible barista. He ended by noting that while people "liked" his monologue from yesterday, they didn't flood phone lines, so he put up the numbers for five key GOP senators. Watch below. Peter Weber

September 20, 2017

While walking along the water in Laguna Beach, California, Alex Noble stepped on something hard. Thinking it was a rock, he bent over to take a closer look — and discovered it was a camera, caked in sand.

Noble brought it to his girlfriend's brother, who was able to recover 172 pictures from the battered device. The photos were of a wedding, and hoping to find the couple, they uploaded the pictures to Facebook. Soon, they heard good news from a friend of a friend: the couple in the pictures were newlyweds Heather and Kole, high school sweethearts who married in Laguna Beach two months earlier.

After their ceremony, Heather, Kole, and their guests placed all of their belongings on a sea wall. A big wave came in and pulled everything into the sea; Heather and Kole jumped into the ocean, trying to get the camera with their wedding pictures, but couldn't find it. Heather and Kole were shocked when they heard the camera had been found, and thankful. "There are not enough words to say how grateful we are," Heather told Inside Edition. Catherine Garcia

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