FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
Coming Soon
July 10, 2014

Alec Baldwin may have retired from public life, but he's certainly not out of the public eye. Deadline reports that Baldwin is in talks for three new projects: a role in Mission Impossible: 5, a film with Will Smith about football concussions, and — best of all — an NBC cable series where he could play a "Rob Ford-type mayor of New York City."

Wells Tower will write the latter show's pilot, and Baldwin will serve as executive producer along with Cary Brokaw, according to Deadline. There's no word yet on just how closely the show will parody Ford's infamous drug problem and violent acts of clumsiness.

We already know Baldwin has strong opinions about New York City, so playing its mayor wouldn't be much of a stretch for him. The project is still in the early stages, but here's to hoping Baldwin will recreate some of Ford's most memorable moments, like the classic one below. --Meghan DeMaria

This just in
9:35 a.m. ET
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Vester Flanagan (also known as Bryce Williams, the name he used as a television news anchor) appeared to have planned to make an escape after murdering Virginia's WDBJ7 journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, The Washington Post reports. New details revealed that Flanagan had a wig, a briefcase with three license plates, a shawl, an umbrella, and sunglasses in his car.

The car itself was also an indication that Flanagan hoped to get away with murder. It was a rental he had checked out weeks ahead of time, indicating the killing of Parker and Ward was premeditated.

Flanagan was likely tracked down by the police due to a text message he sent to a friend, in which he mentioned "having done something stupid"; the signal from his number could have aided police in finding his location and chasing him down the highway, CNN reports. While police were in pursuit, Flanagan pulled off the road and shot himself, then died after being taken to the hospital.

A Glock pistol, ammunition, 17 stamped envelopes, and a "to do" list were also found in Flanagan's car. Jeva Lange

It's what's inside that matters
9:01 a.m. ET

In Ben Carson's opinion, the war on women isn't about women — it's about babies. The Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon explained at a Thursday event in Little Rock, Arkansas: "They tell you that there’s a war on women. There is no war on women. There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country."

As to what exactly Caron meant by "what's inside of women," he did not say. The Cut jokingly hypothesizes that he meant "there's a war on women's inner confidence, or even a war on the sexual exploits of Anastasia Steele's inner goddess," but, alas, his past comments seem to make it clear that Carson was really just talking about fetuses. Cosmo noted that Carson once told Fox News, "There is no war on [women], the war is on babies." Because the "unborn can't defend themselves," he said that "what we need to do is re-educate the women to understand that they are the defenders of these babies." Becca Stanek

This just in
8:40 a.m. ET

Christopher Starks, a Savannah State University junior, died of gunshot wounds after an altercation at the school's student union, The New York Times reports. No arrests have been made in connection to the shooting.

Located in Savannah, Georgia, SSU is a historically black university of about 5,000 students.

According to a spokesperson, administrators have few details on the incident. "While it may be natural to want to protect an associate," spokeswoman Loretta Heyward said in a statement urging anyone with information to come forward, “the lack of disclosure may do more harm than good in the long run." Jeva Lange

Cars
8:39 a.m. ET

"This is it, the best car Consumer Reports has ever tested," says Jake Fisher, the consumer magazine's auto test director, standing next to the Tesla Model S P85D sedan. "Simply put, the fully electric car is a glimpse into the future of the automotive industry." How impressed was Consumer Reports with the luxury car? It originally gave it 103 out of 100, forcing the magazine to recalibrate its rating system so the P85D got a mere 100 — still beating the regular Tesla Model S, which scored 99 in 2013, under the old system.

Along with being the highest-rated, it's also the fastest car the magazine has tested, and more efficient than even the regular Tesla Model S, Fisher said. But there's one more superlative to come: At $127,820, it's also the most expensive car Consumer Reports has ever tested. And "it has imperfections," Consumer Reports says. "The interior materials aren't as opulent as other high-ticket automobiles, and its ride is firmer and louder than our base Model S."

But in terms of performance, efficiency, and speed — going from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds with a silent electric motor is "frighteningly eerie," and the car is "so explosively quick that Tesla has created an 'insane' driving mode," the magazine said, creating "near-instant g-forces" that "can otherwise be achieved only by leaping off a building— literally" — this Tesla is "the closest to perfect we've ever seen," Fisher says. Elon Musk is probably not blushing. After all that gushing, you can watch Tesla's P85D in action below. Peter Weber

Only in America
8:30 a.m. ET
iStock

A Massachusetts boarding school is being sued by parents who claim the school's Wi-Fi signal is making their child sick, says Scott O'Connell at the Worcester, Massachusetts Telegram & Gazette. The plaintiffs say their 12-year-old son has endured headaches, nosebleeds, and nausea caused by "electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome" ever since the Fay School activated a more powerful wireless signal in 2013. School officials say their Wi-Fi is well within "applicable safety limits." The Week Staff

Clinton Emails
8:15 a.m. ET
Fadel Senna AFP/Getty Images

Newly uncovered State Department emails obtained by ABC News reveal that Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation tried to get approval from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to accept invitations for "lucrative speaking engagements" in the notoriously repressive countries of North Korea and Congo. Ultimately, Bill turned down both speaking engagements.

The invitation to Congo offered a $650,000 speaking fee, but would have required Bill to pose for photos with the dictators of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, both of whose countries have a "particularly grim human rights record," ABC News says. In the instance of North Korea, Bill pretty assumed the State Department would shoot him down even though he still sent an email to double check that it was "safe to assume [the U.S. Government] would have concerns." He got a quick response from a State Department employee: "Decline it."

This system worked out by Bill and Hillary was set up prior to Hillary's confirmation as Secretary of State. In the interest of avoiding conflicts of interest, Bill "volunteered to submit information for proposed paid speeches to the Department of State's ethics agency to review," ABC News reports. Still, even without the speaking fees from the engagements turned down, Bill managed to earn more than $48 million in speaking fees while Hillary was Secretary of State, delivering 215 speeches in four years. Becca Stanek

Ancient artifacts
7:43 a.m. ET
iStock

A large burial ground in East Kazakhstan has archaeologists puzzled over the headless corpses discovered occupying the graves, Tengiri News reports. The bodies, which belong to ancient Huns and Sarmatians, are laid out in a line, with some burial mounds surrounded by circular fences of closely stacked stones, which researchers believe were used to drive away evil spirits. However, of all the bodies found, none of the skeletons had skulls.

There are several possible theories for the decapitated corpses: Grave robbers may have stolen the skulls as a precaution to prevent spirits of the dead from taking revenge; or perhaps the heads were collected by nomadic tribes of the Early Iron Age who believed the fertility of their women depended on the number of skulls they accumulated. Others experts believe that the heads of rulers and leaders were traditionally used as objects of worship; in another version, the skulls might have been gifted to brides as macabre wedding gifts. Or perhaps the heads were simply taken by the researchers of Catherine the Great, or nabbed by enemies as war trophies.

Other bodies in the region have also been found without their heads, in mounds dating back to the first centuries B.C. and A.D. Jeva Lange

See More Speed Reads