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Science!
July 12, 2014
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Chocolate and wine may taste much more decadent, but for ladies looking to give their sex lives a boost, an apple a day could get the job done, too.

Researchers in Italy studied 731 women, aged 18 to 43. Half of the participants were asked to include at least one apple in their daily diet, while the other half were asked to abstain — from the fruit, that is. Each group was also instructed to complete a Female Sexual Function Index, which lists 19 questions about the study participants' sexual activities and overall satisfaction.

The findings? Published in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, researchers wrote in the study that women from the apple-noshing group reported higher sexual satisfaction than their non-apple-eating counterparts, notes The Telegraph. The scientists surmised the higher satisfaction may be thanks to the compound phloridzin, present in apples, which is similar to the female sex hormone estradiol. Apples also contain polyphenols and antioxidants (just like chocolate and wine!), both of which stimulate blood flow, assisting in arousal.

Apples, by the way, are still good for things besides sex: Scientists have found the fruit may lower blood fat levels in postmenopausal women (cutting the risk of heart attacks and strokes), and eating the fruit can also help lower cholesterol levels. Sarah Eberspacher

drake isn't worthy
10:54 a.m. ET
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For what's believed to be the first time in history, the U.S. Open women's singles final sold out before the men's singles final, ESPN reports.

There's one reason why: Serena Williams. A victory for the tennis goddess and upcoming tournament's top seed would make history by completing her 2015 Grand Slam sweep, a feat no woman has accomplished since Steffi Graf in 1988. Williams has 21 Slam titles to her name, just three fewer than record holder Margaret Court.

Seats for the women's final, which doesn't even sell out some years, are trading at three times their usual value, according to the United States Tennis Association.

Open play begins Monday. Julie Kliegman

what a pair
10:34 a.m. ET

A ghost of Republican Party past sat down with its current presidential frontrunner Friday night. Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, both known for their colorful, unpredictable sound bites, were surprisingly tame throughout the One America News Network interview, which was more lovefest than hard-hitting policy chat.

"They need someone to fire all those political correct police," Palin said by way of introducing Trump. Trump later called Palin a "terrific person" and also praised her family. He's said before he'd love for Palin to join his administration should he win office.

In between compliments, the two criticized media coverage of conservative candidates, the country's tax code, and treatment of veterans. Watch the softball exchange below. Julie Kliegman

2016 Watch
8:47 a.m. ET
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) addressed the Democratic National Committee in Minneapolis on Friday, taking the opportunity to criticize party leaders over the midterm elections and their hesitancy to take his candidacy seriously, Politico reports.

"Let me be very clear. In my view, Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate, will not gain the House and will not be successful in dozens of governor's races unless we run a campaign which generates excitement and momentum and which produces a huge voter turnout," said Sanders, who is not a member of the party.

Frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who reportedly has a strong grip on party superdelegates, expressed frustration Friday at the continuing focus on her use of a personal email server while secretary of state. Long-shot candidates Martin O'Malley and Lincoln Chafee also spoke, while Jim Webb skipped the meeting. Julie Kliegman

court reports
8:03 a.m. ET
Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

An Egyptian court sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to prison Saturday in a case sparking sharp criticism from human rights groups, Reuters reports. Canadian national Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, and Australian journalist Peter Greste all received three years in prison for operating without a press license and broadcasting "fake news." Mohamed's sentence is six months longer because he reportedly had a spent bullet casing at the time of his arrest.

The new verdict came a year after the men received sentences of seven to 10 years, which prompted an international outcry and a retrial order from Egypt's highest appeals court.

"This is a farcical verdict which strikes at the heart of freedom of expression in Egypt," Amnesty International said in a statement.

Amal Clooney, Fahmy's attorney, said she plans to appeal the verdict. Julie Kliegman

Katrina at 10
August 28, 2015
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush on Friday visited New Orleans to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a catastrophe that was one of the low points of Bush's tenure. Bush praised the city's post-hurricane recovery, saying, "New Orleans is back, and better than ever." President Obama toured the city on Thursday, praising the city's resilience while also saying more needs to be done.

Read more at The New York Times. Ryu Spaeth

Not much has changed
August 28, 2015
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Turns out, Donald Trump was born this way. Even back in his college days, he was the same "brash, blunt, and sometimes bombastic personality" that we're all watching dominate the Republican presidential stage. Indeed, according to a new profile of The Donald in The Boston Globe, his signature antics may date as far back as the second grade.

While Trump is now merely throwing verbal punches at his foes, as a second grader he actually socked his music teacher because he "didn't think the teacher knew enough about music," The Globe reports. From there, Trump's story unfolds with one Donald-esque moment after the other. Here are some of the best:

  • Trump was voted "Ladies Man" by his all-male high school peers.
  • In college, he gave a professor this response when the class was asked why they'd chosen to study real estate: "I'm going to be the king of New York real estate." "Sit down, you [expletive]," one of his classmates recalls thinking.
  • One of Trump's former roommates recalls him being so meticulous that he "fold[ed] his underwear into squares and stack[ed] them neatly on a shelf."
  • During rides home from high school on a Port Authority bus, Trump would point out all of his dad's buildings in Queens. "My dad, he built all those homes over there," one classmate recalls him saying.
  • Trump's college attire, according to actress Candice Bergen, consisted of a "two-piece burgundy suit with matching burgundy patent leather boots, and, a particularly nice touch, a matching burgundy limousine." Bergen turned down Trump's request for a date.

But perhaps even better than these young Trump tales is this quote from one of The Donald's old classmates that sums him up all too well: "Tact wasn't his strong suit then and it isn't now."

Read the full profile over at The Boston Globe. Becca Stanek

This just in
August 28, 2015
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Just one week before its season begins, the University of Illinois has fired head football coach Tim Beckman. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reports Beckman's dismissal comes after an external review into the Illini football program found evidence of "efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players" to avoid treatment and play through injuries.

"The preliminary information external reviewers shared with me does not reflect our values or our commitment to the welfare of our student-athletes, and I've chose to act accordingly," University of Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said in a statement Friday announcing the firing. Thomas added that in addition to the medical concerns, Beckman treated some student-athletes "inappropriately with respect to whether they could remain on scholarship during the spring semester of their senior year," when their time as active members of the team was over.

It seems like the news may have come as a shock to Beckman, given that he had tweeted his excitement about upcoming opening day just an hour earlier:

Beckman coached the Illini for three seasons and amassed a 12-25 record. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit will be the interim head coach for the coming season. Kimberly Alters

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