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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

3:40 p.m. ET

Ted Cruz is not what one would call a communist. That is why, as a joke, some witty young man reportedly decided to ask the Texas senator to sign Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel's seminal work on the philosophy, The Communist Manifesto.

Get it? Because Cruz hates communists. This is funny.

Ted Cruz, though, apparently did not get it:

Way to ruin a good laugh, Ted. Jeva Lange

3:11 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Republican Party has not been this unpopular since 1992, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center released Thursday. According to the numbers, a whole 60 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the GOP — up from 58 percent last October. Only a third of Americans view the party favorably.

Americans have held a more level opinion of the Democratic Party over recent years, with the numbers sticking around 50 percent with an unfavorable view and 45 percent viewing the party in a good light. A quarter of the public has a negative opinion of both parties.

Pew reports that the failing faith in the GOP mostly came from people who identified as Republicans. Eighty-eight percent of those who identified as Democrats, on the other hand, had a favorable image of their party.

Pew surveyed 2,008 people by phone between April 12 and 19. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 points. Jeva Lange

2:46 p.m. ET
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A Florida GOP official somehow decided it was appropriate to use Hillary Clinton's husband's past as a metaphor for how the Democratic frontrunner would fare against likely GOP nominee Donald Trump in general election debates.

"I think when Donald Trump debates Hillary Clinton she's going to go down like Monica Lewinsky," Bob Sutton, chairman of the Broward County GOP Executive Committee, told The Washington Post, referencing former President Bill Clinton's sex scandal with Lewinsky, which infamously involved oral sex.

Here's hoping Trump doesn't catch wind of the comment and get any ideas. Becca Stanek

1:36 p.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The brother of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook was arrested during searches on Thursday, as was the brother's wife and her sister, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California said in a statement. All three were charged with federal conspiracy, marriage fraud, and giving false statements.

The family was arrested in two different Southern California locations: Farook's brother, Syed Raheel Farook, and his wife Tatiana were arrested in Corona; Tatiana's sister Mariya Chernykh was arrested in Ontario. Chernykh is married to a man who is awaiting trial for conspiring with Farook in 2011 and 2012.

"Today's arrests open a new phase in the process of bringing to justice all individuals who allegedly committed crimes that were uncovered during our exhaustive investigation," U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said.

Farook and his wife were killed in a shootout with police after murdering 14 in attacks last year. Jeva Lange

1:22 p.m. ET
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When the body of "Jane Doe 59" was discovered with 150 stab wounds in the chest in the brush off Mulholland Drive on Nov. 16, 1969, it led to speculation that the unidentified woman had been killed by the Manson family — who just months before had murdered actress Sharon Tate and four others five miles up the road.

Forty-six years later, Jane Doe 59 has been identified as 19-year-old Reet Jurvetson. She was IDed after her sister, Anne Jurvetson, recognized Reet in a photo that had been discovered online by a mutual friend. A DNA test confirmed their relationship.

Reet Jurvetson grew up in Montreal and had dreamed of traveling to California; she vanished shortly after saving up enough money to fly there in 1969. "As months and then years passed, we imagined that she was making a new life for herself," Anne Jurvetson said, adding that it was "devastating" to learn her sister had been murdered.

Despite the nearness of Jurvetson's body to the Mansons' crime scene, officials are hesitant to draw conclusions but say they won't "rule out" the possibility Jurvetson is another Manson victim. One theory that has circulated since at least the 1970s is that Jane Doe 59 was present during the killing of a Manson follower and she was subsequently killed as to not be able to discuss it. An interview with 81-year-old Charles Manson revealed no new information or clues.

"It's a convenient thing, since [the Mansons] were obviously so capable of any disgusting violent act, to link them with murders that haven't been solved," Manson biographer Jeff Guinn said.

However, experts have long believed the cult was behind more killings than were confirmed. Jeva Lange

12:22 p.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Uber riders are about to start paying a literal price if they keep their drivers waiting for more than two minutes. The ride-sharing company announced this week that it's rolling out a pilot program in Phoenix, Dallas, New Jersey, and New York City where, starting two minutes after the driver arrives at the designated location, riders will start getting charged for every minute they're late. Previously, riders had a five-minute grace period before they started getting charged.

Uber also plans to cut the time that customers have to cancel on their drivers from five minutes to two minutes. Now, if you cancel after 120 seconds have gone by, you'll be charged a $10 cancellation fee.

"Drivers' time is valuable, and while we expect riders to request a ride only once they're ready, we know that waiting for a rider at their pickup location can be frustrating," Uber said in a statement. With both of these changes, Uber explains, its drivers will still be "compensated for their time even when riders are running a bit late or have a change of plans." Becca Stanek

11:41 a.m. ET

Actor and activist George Takei gently reminded his fellow Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) supporters in a Facebook video Wednesday that, at the end of the day, they're all still in the Democratic family. And that means, come November, they'll still need to support their nominee even if it is looking like it will be Hillary Clinton, not Sanders.

Besides, Takei explains from his perch in a floral armchair, the only reason that Sanders and Clinton supporters ever even got so terse with each other in the first place is because it's a true family-style argument. "Ultimately," Takei says, "we Democrats know that a bit of a tussle isn't a bad thing. It makes us stronger, keeps us sharp. It's like a family squabble, where only family — those very close to us — can truly get under our skin. But remember this, too — it's precisely because we like and respect each other that the words and criticisms sting as much as they do."

Then, after listing off the many similarities between Clinton and Sanders, Takei made this final appeal to the "Bernie or bust" crowd: Even Sanders prefers Clinton to the Republican options. "If Bernie believes that," he said, "his supporters can too."

Watch Takei's appeal below. Becca Stanek

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