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July 15, 2014
Archie Comics

After 73 years on this earth, Archie Andrews is dying on Wednesday, taking a bullet meant for a friend, Kevin Keller. Keller, an openly gay U.S. senator whose big issue is gun control, is targeted by an assailant whose identity Archie Comics is keeping a secret until the latest issue of Life With Archie — the version of the long-running Archie comic that follows the Riverdale gang as adults — hits the stand Wednesday.

Archie debuted in 1941 as a wholesome teenager, and some people are probably surprised that he is still around, much less a grown-up in the Life With Archie series. Chris Cummins, the self-proclaimed "resident Archie expert" at Den of Geek, notes that though Archie is about to die, his teenage self will live on in other iterations of the Archie story. So might writer Paul Kupperberg's efforts to make the Archie universe's "archetypal characters into realistic and relatable figures dealing with real world problems like gun violence," Cummins adds, before eulogizing:

Not to be too grandiose, but this demise is a fitting and tonally perfect tribute to a character who has always put his friends first. This is a publicity stunt for sure, but one with heart that will have permanent ramifications. [Den of Geek]

Archie isn't the only comic book character to meet an early end, but as Archie Comics publisher Jon Goldwater notes, he's perhaps the first non-superhero comic hero to be killed off. "When you wound him, he bleeds," Goldwater tells The Associated Press. "We hope by showing how something so violent can happen to Archie, that we can — in some way — learn from him." Peter Weber

8:55 a.m. ET
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange warned Wednesday that Hillary Clinton will be the next target of an information leak. In an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, Assange said the impending leak could have "significant" implications for the presidential election, depending "on how it catches fire in the public and in the media."

"We have a lot of material, thousands of pages of material," said Assange, who is in exile at Ecuador's embassy in London. He added: "It's a variety of different types of documents from different types of institutions that are associated with the election campaign, some quite unexpected angles that are, you know, quite interesting, some even entertaining."

The leak would come on the heels of the Democratic National Committee email leak in July, which prompted DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign on the eve of the Democratic convention. Assange didn't reveal when exactly to expect this next batch, though he said "we are working around the clock" and that it will be sometime before the November election.

Watch Assange's full warning on leaks to come, below. Becca Stanek

8:23 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Backlash over the dramatically increased price of allergy drug EpiPen pushed the drug's manufacturer, Mylan, to announce Thursday that it would cut patient costs. The company plans to offer a savings card for patients with higher out-of-pocket costs, which, Reuters reported, will cover "up to $300" for a two-pack of epinephrine dispensers and cut costs for a patient paying list price by about 50 percent. Mylan will also double eligibility for its existing patient assistance program, which benefits those who are uninsured and under-insured.

"We recognize the significant burden on patients from continued, rising insurance premiums and being forced increasingly to pay the full list price for medicines at the pharmacy counter," Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said in a statement. "Patients deserve increased price transparency and affordable care, particularly as the system shifts significant costs to them."

Mylan's announcement comes a day after Hillary Clinton called on the company to decrease the price of EpiPen. Since Mylan bought EpiPen in 2007, the wholesale price has jumped from less than $100 for a set of two epinephrine dispensers to as much as $700. Becca Stanek

8:02 a.m. ET

The Clinton Foundation is developing a plan to insulate Hillary Clinton from potential conflicts of interest if she is elected president — Bill Clinton will stop fundraising and leave the board of directors, though Chelsea Clinton may stay on, and the main foundation will stop accepting corporate and foreign donations but the global Clinton Health Access Initiative may not. But what would happen to Donald Trump's sprawling business empire if he's elected? It's not clear.

If his assessment of his wealth is accurate, Trump would be the wealthiest person elected president, and his holdings include skyscrapers, hotels, golf courses, a winery, a clothing line, and other ventures, many of them abroad, most of them tied to the Trump brand. In a debate in January, Trump said to avoid (unusually large) potential conflicts of interest he would put all of his assets in a blind trust (probably) and leave management of his business to his children, but on NBC News Wednesday night, lawyer and presidential financial disclosure expert Ken Gross said that "to set up a blind trust in the U.S. executive branch is actually quite difficult, and your children can't run it as a legal matter."

In the New York Times article the NBC report featured, Susanne Craig shows that Trump's various companies hold at least $650 million in debt in the U.S., often in complex partnerships with lenders including the Bank of China and Goldman Sachs. The Trump Organization's CFO said that Trump was personally liable for only a "small percentage of the corporate debt" Trump listed on his financial disclosure filing. But he has a clear financial interest in those loans, and his "opaque portfolio of business ties makes him potentially vulnerable to the demands of banks, and to business people in the United States and abroad," Craig writes, citing Richard Painter, George W. Bush's White House ethics lawyer.

"The success of his empire depends on an ability to get credit, to get loans extended to his business entities," Painter told The New York Times. "And we simply don't know a lot about his financial dealings, here or around the world." Legally, Trump would not have to sell off any of his business holdings or shield himself from their management if he becomes president. So as with many of his plans for the White House, what happens to his business empire has a distinct patina of "trust me." Peter Weber

6:34 a.m. ET

In a wide-ranging interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton discussed the allegations surrounding the Clinton Foundation and its donors, Donald Trump's shifting immigration position, and his calling her "a bigot," but Cooper also got Clinton to talk about her use of a private email server while secretary of state, and whether or not Colin Powell advised her to use a private email account — as she allegedly told the FBI and Powell sort of disavowed.

"Well, look, I have the utmost respect for Secretary Powell," Clinton said, adding that she appreciates all the advice he gave her as she prepared to become secretary of state, but "I'm not going to relitigate in public my private conversations with him." She continued:

I've been asked many, many questions in the past year about emails, and what I've learned is that when I try to explain what happened, it can sound like I'm trying to excuse what I did, and there are no excuses. I want people to know that the decision to have a single email account was mine, I take responsibility for it, I've apologized for it, I would certainly do differently if I could, but obviously I'm grateful the Justice Department concluded there's no basis to pursue this matter further, and I believe the public will be and is considering my full record and experience as they consider their choice for president. [Hillary Clinton on CNN]

You can watch then entire interview below — the email conversation starts at the 6-minute mark.

Cooper ended the interview asking Clinton why she hasn't held a press conference in more than 260 days, and if, as some advisers say, she's trying to "run out the clock" on Trump. "Will you give a press conference?" he asked. "Well, Anderson, I'm talking to you right now, and I've given, I think, way in excess of 300 interviews this year, so I'm going to continue talking with the press and answering questions," Clinton said. "Why not give a press conference, though, with a lot of different reporters?" he asked. Clinton said, "Stay tuned." Peter Weber

5:44 a.m. ET

Stephen Colbert began Wednesday's Late Show with a look at Donald Trump's interesting new pitch to black and Latino voters. "Yes, blacks, Hispanics, what the hell do you have to lose?" he repeated. "Because you should really hide whatever that is before he becomes president." He wasn't done: "By the way, 'What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance' is also how Trump proposed to all of his wives."

That wasn't the only Trump news. Colbert noted the five-fold increase in rent at Trump's campaign headquarters, inside Trump's Trump Tower, as soon as campaign donors, not Trump himself, started paying the bills. "A 500 percent rent increase!" he said. "Man, the landlord at Trump Tower must be a real tool." This disclosure, buried in an FEC filing, raises some questions, Colbert said, but "still, it's nice to hear a story about Trump actually paying someone the money he owes them. Sure, it's to Donald Trump, but...." The but is a slightly racy joke. Colbert ended his monologue with new reports about the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton, and Colbert decided to try to buy an interview with Clinton with a $5 bill, after noting that the Clintons have both pleaded their innocence and pledged to wall themselves off from the Foundation if Hillary is elected. "Okay, so there you have it," he said: "They did nothing wrong, and they promise they will never do it again." Watch below. Peter Weber

5:11 a.m. ET

On Tuesday, four Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) boats approached the USS Nitze near the Strait of Hormuz, two of the vessels slowing and turning course only after coming within 300 yards of the U.S. guided-missile destroyer, a U.S. Navy official told Reuters and CNN on Wednesday night. The vessels harassed the U.S. warship by "conducting a high speed intercept and closing within a short distance of Nitze, despite repeated warnings," the official said. "The Iranian high rate of closure... created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation, including additional defensive measures by Nitze."

The Nitze tried to contact the Iranian vessels 12 times but received no reply, and fired 10 flares, among other warning signals, the official said. The ship and U.S. officials have determined that the Iranians violated the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, and the U.S would lodge a diplomatic complaint if Iran and the U.S. had diplomatic relations. "For four decades the Revolutionary Guard have been told that America is the greatest threat to the Islamic Revolution," Karim Sadjadpour at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told Reuters. "This institutional culture hasn't changed after the nuclear deal." You can learn more, and see footage of the close encounter, in Elise Labott's report on CNN below. Peter Weber

4:12 a.m. ET

Donald trump "is already floating the conspiracy theory that the election might be rigged, and who knows? He could be right," Stephen Colbert said, mysteriously, on Wednesday's Late Show. "Because I heard that millions of Americans are planning to use a secret ballot." Trump and other Republicans have also been pushing the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton is ill, and Colbert played an amusing clip of Karl Rove laying out the theory with the help of whiteboards on Fox News earlier this week. "Oh my god," Colbert said, "Hillary's illness has already spread to Megyn Kelly, causing her vertical blindness in one eye, and uncontrollable giggles, evidently."

But that was just the beginning, the intro to a new segment. "Welcome to the Truth Bunker," Colbert said, "where I share the secret truths they don't want you to know and I actually don't know." He had one Clinton health theory, then said, "Okay, enough politics — that's what they want us to talk about." And the rest of his conspiracies are mostly just conspiracy jokes — you can watch them below. Peter Weber

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