Climate change
July 9, 2014

Kentucky State Sen. Brandon Smith (R) took some heat for claiming last week that climate change was a myth because the Earth and Mars are the same temperature. Smith has, understandably, now walked back that argument:

In a July 2 hearing, Smith said he would not debate climate change, adding, "I'll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here." Jon Terbush

happy birthday!
2:03 a.m. ET

At 108, Richard Overton is the oldest living World War II veteran, and he doesn't bother trying to figure out the secret to his longevity.

"That's what God only knows," he told ABC News. "That's God's work. He's the one who keeps me living." The Austin, Texas, resident turns 109 on Monday, but he's been celebrating with family and friends in the days leading up to the milestone: On Sunday, about 100 people, including Mayor Steve Adler, came out to celebrate at his "Mighty Fine at 109" party. "I feel like I've made it," he said. "I know I can't make another 109, so I'm satisfied with this one."

Overton smokes 12 cigars a day — he says he started at 18 — and has outlived two wives. While he doesn't have any children, he never feels like he's missing out. "I have a lot of family," he said. “The biggest family in Austin." Catherine Garcia

The future is now
2:00 a.m. ET

Self-driving vehicles aren't limited to sedans. On Tuesday, Daimler Trucks unveiled the Freightliner Inspiration, the first autonomous commercial truck given permission to drive on public roads, in this case, Nevada highways. At Tuesday's unveiling ceremony, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) ceremonially gave Daimler its special permit to test its self-driving big rig on public roads around Las Vegas. On Wednesday, Daimler gave test-rides to the media. Here is The Associated Press' report:

Daimler says that the Inspiration, when it hits the market, will still require a driver to be behind the wheel, even if he or she isn't touching it. The 18-wheeler can't change lanes on its own yet, for instance. The advantage of semi-autonomous trucks is supposed to be safety and fuel efficiency, but they won't be viable until more than four states and Washington, D.C., allow self-driving vehicles on their roads. Peter Weber

i'm not lovin' it
1:30 a.m. ET

When we last saw the Hamburglar, he was a husky, red-headed cartoon criminal who liked to wear prison attire. Now? He's an actual man who looks like a cross between Inspector Gadget and a bandit who bought his wardrobe at a Party City fire sale.

It's been 13 years since the Hamburglar made his last official appearance in a McDonalds ad, and the company thought his return was overdue. "We felt it was time to debut a new look for the Hamburglar after he's been out of the public eye all these years," Joel Yashinsky, vice president of U.S. marketing for McDonalds, told Mashable. "He's had some time to grow up a bit and has been busy raising a family in the suburbs and his look has evolved over time." The Hamburglar is already shilling the new Sirloin Third Pound Burger online, and will soon show up in TV spots. It remains to be seen if McDonalds will clue us in to why he's decided to return to a life of crime. Catherine Garcia

1:18 a.m. ET

"The 2016 presidential election is already such a big story, get this, TBS is making a made-for-TV movie about it," Conan O'Brien said on his eponymous TBS show. They aren't, of course, but he needed some sort of set-up for his dream cast for the field of 2016 candidates. Conan's biggest laugh was David Spade as Hillary Clinton, but all the real and potential presidential wannabes got the treatment, with a little time travel, gender-bending, and other wistful machinations employed. Some of the casting is dead on — Mike Huckabee, say — and other picks border on mean (poor Bernie Sanders), but most are pretty funny. Watch below. —Peter Weber

that's a lot of money
12:37 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A free cup of coffee could lead to a $750,000 payday for a North Carolina police lieutenant suing Starbucks, saying he was severely burned after the lid came off the cup and hot coffee spilled all over him.

Matthew Kohr and his wife, Melanie, are suing the company to cover legal and medical expenses, ABC News reports. Kohr, who had pre-existing Crohn's disease, said the burns caused his condition to flare up and he had to have intestinal surgery. His wife said she suffered emotional distress from losing her "intimate partner," the lawsuit says.

The incident took place in January 2012, and Kohr said he was not expecting to get burned the way he did. "I didn't know it was that hot," he said. Soon after, he had to take time off from work, and when he was on the job, he felt "edginess, nervousness, [and] wasn't comfortable in the car." Originally, Kohr wanted to sue for $10 million, saying it's "hard to put a price on what my wife had to go through, what my kids had to go through. What's a year and a half, two years of your life worth? I thought it was worth $10 million." A Starbucks spokesperson told ABC News that customer safety is "our top priority," and denied any wrongdoing. Catherine Garcia

This just in
May 6, 2015

Exotic animals are on the loose in Tuttle, Oklahoma, after the Tiger Safari refuge was hit by a tornado Wednesday.

Tiger Safari's owners confirmed to KFOR that some of the animals have escaped, but did not say what kind and how many. Tiger Safari houses tigers, kangaroos, spider monkeys, eagle owls, and other exotic and domestic animals. Residents in the area are being told to stay inside, and to call 911 if they spot any of the animals.

Update: The Grady County Sheriff's Office announced late Wednesday that all of the animals have been found. Catherine Garcia

election 2016
May 6, 2015
Scott Olson/Getty Images

On Wednesday, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum told Fox News that on May 27, he will announce whether he will run again for the Republican presidential nomination.

Santorum said he'll share those plans in his hometown of Butler, Pennsylvania, and is looking for a "facility there to talk about what it was like growing up there and where American needs to go in the future." During the 2012 Iowa caucuses, Santorum barely beat the eventual Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, and told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren he hopes "to win by more than 34 votes and hopefully get a good count" this time around. "It was a great campaign last time, we were clearly the underdog, and we're starting out looking at this race and we'd be in the same position so we're very comfortable there," he said. Catherine Garcia

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