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July 16, 2014

A crater in northern Siberia thought to be 262 feet wide has caught scientists off guard, and questioning just how the enormous hole came to be.

Aerial footage of the crater in the Yamal area was posted online last week, and scientists from the Center for the Study of the Arctic and the Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Scientists headed to the site on Wednesday. As NPR reports, it looks as though rock and earth exploded from the inside of the hole, and it could have been caused by a gas explosion (Yamal is home to the largest natural gas reservoir in Russia), a meteorite, or an eruption of underground ice. The internet, of course, is convinced it's the work of aliens.

Before the mysterious crater appeared, The Siberian Times says Yamal — which translates to "the end of the world" — was most famous for being home to birds, reindeer, and wooly mammoth fossils. --Catherine Garcia

3:15 a.m. ET

Whether it's Donald Trump appearing at the Republican National Convention with the strains of Queen in the background or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) playing the Dropkick Murphys during a campaign stop, politicians have long been using music at their events against the wishes of the artists.

On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver urged musicians to come together and take a stand against the unauthorized use of their work, and Usher, Michael Bolton, Josh Groban, Sheryl Crow, and others accepted his call to action. Watch the video below to hear their message to politicians, and also for a free song that any one of them could — and should — start using on the campaign trail. Catherine Garcia

2:47 a.m. ET
Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

It didn't work for Kramer and Newman, and prosecutors say it also didn't work for a man found with 10,000 empty cans in the back of a rented Budget truck.

In Michigan, recyclers receive 10 cents for the bottles they return, a higher refund than in most states where it is 5 cents. Under Michigan's bottle deposit law, it is illegal to recycle bottles and cans purchased out of state, with the maximum sentence being five years in prison. Prosecutors say that this is exactly what Brian Everidge planned to do when he was pulled over about 40 miles away from Detroit in April for speeding. The trooper said he found more than 10,000 aluminum cans in the back of Everidge's truck, and Everidge told him they were from Kentucky and "his intent was to return them; he just didn't say where he was going to return them."

Everidge's attorney is arguing that his client was improperly charged, since the trooper "caught him too early," The Guardian reports. "He attempted to attempt to return the bottles." He is charged with one felony count of beverage return of non-refundable bottles, and faces up to five years in prison. Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning said if Everidge is found guilty, he doubts he'll be put in prison — it would cost the state $35,500 a year for him to be incarcerated. Had Everidge returned all of the bottles in Michigan, Henning estimates he would have pocketed about $1,000. Catherine Garcia

1:48 a.m. ET

Goodbye Twilight Zone, hello Guardians of the Galaxy.

At Comic-Con in San Diego, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced Disney is revamping its popular California Adventure elevator drop ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The ride, which sends thrill seekers plummeting down several stories, will close in January and reopen in the summer of 2017 with a new theme: Guardians of the Galaxy. Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4 billion, and fans have predicted that the attraction will be part of a new Marvel land at the Anaheim theme park, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fans of the ride in its original form are not happy with the plan, and have let Disney know about their anger on Twitter and by launching a Change.org petition. One person even offered up another tower to be sacrificed instead:

Are you listening, Disney? Catherine Garcia

12:52 a.m. ET
Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

Heat warnings and advisories are in place across 26 states, with higher than normal temperatures expected through the next week.

In Michigan, at least five people are dead from heart attacks or breathing difficulties related to humidity and high temperatures, Roseville Fire Chief Mike Holland told The Macomb Daily. Meteorologists say a dome of high pressure is affecting most of the United States, trapping hot air and causing extremely high temperatures. The heat is fueling fires in California and will make for an uncomfortable Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where on Monday it is expected to feel like it's 108 degrees. Catherine Garcia

July 24, 2016

Four people died Sunday afternoon after a Dallas Cowboys bus and passenger van collided in northwestern Arizona.

The accident occurred on U.S. 93, roughly 28 miles north of Kingman, and officials say the van was making an illegal left turn onto the road when it collided with the bus. The Arizona Department of Public Safety said no one on the bus was seriously injured, and the dead were passengers in the van; KTNV reports two of the victims were adults and two were teenagers. No players were on the bus when the accident took place, but four staff members, including the team mascot, have bumps and bruises, WFAA says. Catherine Garcia

July 24, 2016
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The two newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, were inducted on Sunday afternoon.

Griffey, an outfielder who started and ended his career with the Mariners, and Piazza, a Mets catcher, both spoke during a ceremony at the hall of fame in Cooperstown, New York. Griffey, a 13-time All Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner, told the crowd he is "damn proud to be a Seattle Mariner," and there are "two misconceptions about me — I didn't work hard and everything I did I made look easy. Just because I made it look easy doesn't mean that it was. You don't become a Hall of Famer by not working, but working day in and day out." He thanked his parents, especially his mother, who is "the only woman I know that lives in one house and runs five others."

Piazza, a 12-time All-Star and recipient of 10 Silver Slugger Awards, also shared his gratitude for his mother and father, and remarked on the home run he hit in the first sporting event played in New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "To witness the darkest evil of the human heart…will be forever burned in my soul," he said. "But from tragedy and sorrow came bravery, love, compassion, character, and eventual healing." Griffey was the first pick of the 1987 amateur draft and the highest draft pick ever inducted into the Hall of Fame, while Piazza, the 62nd-round pick in 1988, is the lowest. Catherine Garcia

July 24, 2016
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On Monday, Verizon will announce it has agreed to buy Yahoo for about $5 billion, sources with knowledge of the deal told Bloomberg.

The deal includes Yahoo real estate assets, but the company will keep its stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan Corp., with a combined market value of close to $40 billion, the sources said. If the deal goes through, it will double the size of Verizon's digital advertising, and will likely end the tenure of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. "The deal speaks to a clear strategy shift at Verizon," analyst Craig Moffett told Bloomberg Sunday. "They are trying to monetize wireless in an entirely new way. Instead of charging customers for traffic, they are returning to charging advertisers for eyeballs." A spokesman for Verizon and spokeswoman for Yahoo declined to comment on the report. Catherine Garcia

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