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July 15, 2014

On his first night back after two weeks of vacation, Stephen Colbert caught up on a lot of subjects on Monday's Colbert Report — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)'s lawsuit against President Obama, the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling on contraception and religious rights for corporations, and the World Cup, for starters. Colbert got in some pretty good jokes about Belgium, or "Europe Rhode Island," whose team knocked the U.S. out of the tournament. "Those waffle-sucking sort-of-Frenchies crushed us like we were them in every world war," he said, unkindly.

Colbert then turned to the final match, between Germany and Argentina, which wasn't, he noted, decided by which country has the most Nazi war criminals — "too close to call" — but perhaps by divine intervention? Pope Francis is from Argentina, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is from Germany. "Deutschland's win means Benedict is pope again," Colbert cheered. "Bye-bye Frank." Maybe then the Vatican would stop flirting with baptizing extraterrestrials? --Peter Weber

2:28 p.m. ET

At least four of President Trump's golf clubs display a fake, framed Time magazine with Trump on the cover, The Washington Post reports. The issue purports to be from "March 1, 2009," even though there is no March 1, 2009 issue of Time.

"I can confirm that this is not a real Time cover," the magazine's spokeswoman, Kerri Chyka, told The Washington Post.

There are a number of giveaways that the cover is a fake, including its skinny border and exclamation points ("Time headlines don't yell"). "So how did Trump — who spent an entire campaign and much of his presidency accusing the mainstream media of producing 'fake news' — wind up decorating his properties with a literal piece of phony journalism?" The Washington Post asks.

It isn't clear — neither the White House nor the Trump Organization offered an answer. But Trump takes unabashed pride in his Time covers, both real and fake, boasting incorrectly on the campaign trail that "I think we have the all-time record [of cover photos] in the history of Time magazine."

Read more about the fake cover, and how it got hung in the clubs, at The Washington Post. Jeva Lange

2:03 p.m. ET
Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Due to a lack of votes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has decided to delay the Senate vote on the GOP health-care plan. McConnell, who was pushing for a vote this week, told senators Tuesday that he now plans to hold the vote after the July 4 recess in hopes of rallying more support in the extra time.

Six Republicans have come out against the bill, while four have expressed concerns. McConnell can only afford two defections.

Meanwhile, Republican senators have been invited to the White House for a last-minute meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss health care. Becca Stanek

1:39 p.m. ET

Stock in an Australian biotech company that was questionably promoted to members of the House by Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) plummeted from $1.77 a share to just 5 cents on Tuesday, after the company announced its multiple sclerosis drug had failed trials, The Buffalo News reports. "The news is dire for both the company and investors," Australia's Money Morning wrote, as shareholders' hopes had hinged on the promising drug's success.

Collins is the firm's biggest shareholder; he owns about a fifth of the company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, with his two children. He personally lost $17 million Tuesday, Bloomberg reports.

"Sophisticated investors know there's a risk and as you now know, there was never any inside information that would indicate otherwise," Collins told The Buffalo News, defending his decision to promote the company's stock to his colleagues.

The Buffalo News added:

...Unusual trading activity Friday "suggests that somebody with knowledge of the results was front-running the announcement," [analyst Sean] O'Neill said. "That’s something I'd hope the regulator will be looking closer at."

Collins told The Buffalo News Tuesday morning that he did not sell any of his shares in Innate before its price collapsed. [The Buffalo News]

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a former congressman from Georgia, invested in Innate Immunotherapeutics at Collins' suggestion, a topic that was raised and criticized during his confirmation hearing earlier this year. Collins had reportedly bragged "off the House floor … about how he had made people millionaires from a stock tip." Price sold his shares in February for $250,000. Jeva Lange

12:34 p.m. ET
Paul Kane/Getty Images

Roughly 3.3 million years after ancient humanoids invented the earliest known tools, mankind is on the cusp of perfecting sophisticated self-driving technology that has the potential to revolutionize transportation as we know it.

There is only one problem: kangaroos.

Volvo's new self-driving technology uses a "large animal detection" system to prevent its S90 and XC90 car models from plowing into deer or moose while on the go, the BBC reports. But during tests in Australia, researchers realized the technology is completely befuddled by the hops of kangaroos.

"We've noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight when it's in the air, it actually looks like it's further away, then it lands and it looks closer," Volvo Australia's technical manager, David Pickett, told ABC.

To fix the problem, Volvo first needs to "start identifying the roo," Pickett explained. That would make sense, seeing as the company initially developed its large animal detection software by dodging moose in Sweden.

Determined, Volvo has spent the past 18 months in Australia teaching its software not to hit kangaroos. The company needs to get it exactly right, after all, as there are more than 16,000 roo collisions a year in the country, NRMA Insurance reports.

"We identify what a human looks like by how a human walks, because it's not only the one type of human — you've got short people, tall people, people wearing coats," Pickett explained. "The same applies to a roo." Jeva Lange

12:29 p.m. ET
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Just a month after releasing a budget proposing drastic cuts to AIDS treatment programs, President Trump delivered a heartfelt statement on National HIV Testing Day.

Trump in the statement encouraged people to "take the first step — discovery — in fighting" HIV and expressed gratitude for the "concerted efforts to diagnose and treat more and more people," which have allowed Americans with HIV to live "longer, healthier lives than ever before." He vowed his administration would "build upon those improvements and continue supporting domestic and global health programs that prioritize testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS."

However, The New York Times reported in May that the Trump administration has proposed slashing funding for "programs that buy antiretroviral drugs for about 11.5 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, by "at least $1.1 billion — nearly a fifth of current funding." The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) estimated that the proposed budget cuts to AIDS programs could "cost more than 1 million lives and orphan more than 300,000 children."

BuzzFeed News reported earlier this month that six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned because they felt Trump "simply does not care" about combating the disease. On Tuesday, Trump said AIDS "has been one of the world's most significant health challenges." Becca Stanek

11:28 a.m. ET

A massive worldwide cyberattack is causing disruptions from Spain to India, with Ukraine the heaviest hit and the apparent initial target, The Independent reports.

The attack is the biggest in Ukraine's history, affecting everything from the banks to the electricity grids and metro. Ukraine's prime minister called the attack "unprecedented," but clarified that "vital systems haven't been affected."

Ukraine has faced a history of cyberattacks or hacking attempts in the past several years. The country has blamed such attacks, including one on its power grid in 2015, on Russia, The Guardian reports. Russia has denied the charges.

Abroad, other companies, including Russia's Rosneft oil company and the Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, have also reported being hacked. Security experts believe the virus is a variant of the "Petya" ransomware and are already likening the attack to the WannaCry ransomware attack in May, which infected an estimated 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries.

Some already fear the Petya attack could be even bigger than the WannaCry attack. Jeva Lange

10:37 a.m. ET
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After Monday's news that Seattle's $15 minimum wage experiment is actually lowering low-wage employees' income, restaurant workers in Maine must be feeling pretty prescient. Their minimum wage saga started back in November, when voters approved a referendum raising their minimum wage from $3.75 an hour in 2016 to $12 by 2024.

The intention was to lessen servers' reliance on tips, a plan that only sounded good to people who aren't servers. Since that vote, restaurant workers have lobbied the state legislature to undo the change, arguing it will mean lower income and preferring to maintain the tips system instead. This month, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in their favor, and Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed the bill into law late last week.

The servers' stance has them at odds with labor activists who insist tipped wages expose restaurant workers to exploitation. "I don't need to be 'saved' [by activists], and I’ll be damned if small groups of uninformed people are voting on my livelihood," said Sue Vallenza, a Maine bartender who saw her tips decrease after the referendum. "You can't cut someone off at the knees like that."

Similar wage debates are brewing in other states, including Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New York. There too, tipped workers have begun to organize to oppose changes to their pay. Bonnie Kristian

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