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July 8, 2014
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The strongest Pacific storm this year — Super Typhoon Neoguri — lashed Japan's Okinawa island chain with winds of up to 150 miles per hour early Tuesday. Four people were injured and a fisherman was missing. The storm was downgraded from super typhoon status as its winds dropped to 120 mph, but it remained dangerous, stirring up waves up to 40 feet high. Neoguri — Korean for raccoon — could intensify again as it reaches the main island in the chain late Tuesday. Harold Maass

9:19 a.m. ET

As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wrestle over the fate of the Democratic Party and their congratulatory calls to one another after primary victories fade to a thing of the past, it can be become difficult to remember a time when the two actually liked each other.

Even as some say Sanders risks cleaving the party by staying in the race — with others murmuring that he is threatening to hand the White House to Donald Trump — it was not so long ago when the two candidates considered each other with admiration:

…The pair had something of an intellectual rapport. In a photo signed "Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1993," she wrote to Sanders, "Thanks for your commitment to real healthcare access for all Americans." Television footage showed Sanders standing directly over Clinton’s left shoulder as she spoke on the topic at Dartmouth College. Even after their campaigns started going in different directions last year, they remained amiable. They ran into each other in the Amtrak Acela waiting room in New York City's Penn Station in June. "Bernie!" Clinton shouted across the room as he walked over to greet her. Sanders said quietly to an aide as they walked away, "Maybe I shouldn't say this, but I like her." [Time]

Still, if Sanders in fact loses to Clinton at the Philadelphia convention as it appears he likely will, the terms of his surrender could get ugly. "Let's all remember, there is far more that unites us than divides us," Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson told Time — but perhaps these days, that's only wishful thinking. Jeva Lange

9:17 a.m. ET

Elephants, it turns out, really do seem to have exceptionally good memories. So good, in fact, that one elephant at a zoo outside of Seoul, South Korea, is able to recall five of the words his Korean trainers say to him most often — and then repeat them. The 26-year-old elephant, named Koshik, can quite literally emulate human speech, and there's video footage to prove it:

In case you aren't fluent in Korean, Koshik was having a conversation with his trainer in Korean there:

Koshik: "choah" (good)

Trainer: "choah choah annyong" (good good hello) [YouTube]

Koshik is able to say the Korean words for hello, sit down, lie down, good, and no. He does it by putting his trunk inside of his mouth, which The New York Times explains he then uses to "modulate the tone and pitch of the sounds his voice makes, a bit like a person putting his fingers in his mouth to whistle." Korean native speakers say that Koshik's pronunciation is so good that they can "readily understand and transcribe the imitations." Becca Stanek

9:03 a.m. ET
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Donald Trump's top adviser Paul Manafort says the Trump campaign has good reason for not considering any women or minorities for the position of vice president. "That would be viewed as pandering, I think," Manafort said in an interview with The Huffington Post, ruling out both groups as potential contenders.

Rather than limit its selections to this or that demographic, Manafort said the campaign will focus its attentions on finding "an experienced person to do the part of the job [Trump] doesn't want to do." "He sees himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO," Manafort said.

So does Team Trump have a certain dream veep in mind? Right now, Manafort said, there is a "long list of who that person could be ... and every one of them has major problems."

Head over to The Huffington Post for Manafort's perspective on other aspects of the race — including why his boss is definitely "gonna win," and easily. Becca Stanek

8:11 a.m. ET

Morning Joe host and part-time rocker Joe Scarborough somewhat inexplicably put Donald Trump in the terms of indie rock on Thursday, saying the presumptive Republican nominee would never reach the status of the Montreal band Arcade Fire.

"He's basically playing a gig where he gets 2,500 really intense fans, and they come out, and they scream every night and they think he's the greatest indie band in the world. But he wants to get to the hockey arenas...but he can't ever discipline himself and be Arcade Fire," Scarborough said during his bizarre, somewhat convoluted analogy:

Outspoken Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, for what it's worth, ironically donned Trump 2016 clothes at a recent concert in Florida. "If you guys wanna move to Canada when Trump gets elected, we'll welcome you with open arms," he told the crowd. Jeva Lange

8:03 a.m. ET
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A Santa Fe, New Mexico, restaurant briefly turned into a debate stage Wednesday when Bill Clinton stopped in. The former president and husband of the current Democratic frontrunner ended up focusing his attention on one table in particular, where 24-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter Josh Brody was sitting. For 30 minutes, Brody tore into the problems with Clinton's administration in the '90s, questioning his ties to Wall Street and his approach to welfare reform. And for 30 minutes — despite aides' five attempts to get Clinton to move on — the former president stayed to argue each point that Brody brought up,

The exchange began when Clinton approached Brody's table, where he was eating with three of his friends. When Clinton reached out for a handshake, Brody declined, instead asking a question about "aid to families with dependent children." He then told Clinton that under his administration "basically" every federal agency — specifically the Department of Education — shrunk.

"That's just wrong. I doubled education," Clinton said. "You have cherry-picked facts, which contradict the truth."

Brody also accused the nation's 42nd president of gifting Wall Street with "a golden parachute straight from the Treasury Department," to which Clinton replied, "It's a nice little narrative."

Read the rest of the testy exchange over at BuzzFeed. Becca Stanek

7:45 a.m. ET

President Obama told reporters at the G-7 Summit in Japan on Thursday that world leaders are "rattled" by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Obama, who has tended to prefer criticizing Trump obliquely rather than speaking about him head-on, minced no words in calling the candidate "ignorant of world affairs" and guilty of displaying a "cavalier attitude."

"[World leaders] are paying very close attention to this election," Obama said. "I think it is fair to say they are surprised by the Republican nominee." Watch the rest of his solemn address, below. Jeva Lange

7:29 a.m. ET
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U.S. productivity is set to drop for the first time in over three decades, the Financial Times reports.

"Last year it looked like we were entering into a productivity crisis: Now we're right in it," think-tank Conference Board's chief economist Bart van Ark said.

Gross domestic product per hour is projected by Conference Board to drop by 0.2 percent this year. Output per person grew only 1.2 percent around the world in 2015, a drop from 1.9 percent in 2014. U.S. growth in output per hour skidded to just 0.3 percent last year, down from 0.5 percent in 2014. From 1999 to 2006, the pace was 2.4 percent.

Productivity growth lies at the heart of economic progress. Without an improvement in output for every hour worked, economies can grow only if people work harder and longer or more people find jobs. A downturn in productivity growth in one year does not matter much because economies will go through ups and downs as technology changes, but a persistent decline is a much more serious prospect. [Financial Times]

"Companies really need to invest seriously in innovation. It is time for companies to move on the productivity agenda to turn this story around," van Ark said. Jeva Lange

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