July 2, 2014

There's this great sitcom out there. It's about a big family — an intimidating but loving patriarch, his nosy but loving adult children, their hapless but loving partners, and their bookish/angsty/naive but caring children. Oh man, what is it called?

Oh, I know, Haft Sang.

Sure, it sounds a lot like ABC's Emmy-winning comedy Modern Family. And it looks a lot like it, too. But, no, this is the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting's incredibly accurate, frame-for-frame ripoff of the American sitcom. The stage direction, props, and sight gags are all the same. Even the Iranian version of Alex Dunphy — Claire and Phil's nerdy middle child — looks eerily similar to the American actress, minus the head scarf, of course.

The one glaring difference? Surprise! Iran's Modern Family does not include a gay couple. Sadly, there is no Iranian version of Cam who debuts his and Mitch's newly adopted child in the style of The Lion King opening. (Clearly, a missed opportunity.) Watch the frame-for-frame comparison clip from YouTube user Sina Haghighi and see for yourself. --Lauren Hansen

11:28 a.m. ET
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Whenever hordes of giddy fans camp out in a parking lot, there's a solid chance One Direction is somewhere nearby. But Harry Styles wasn't anywhere to be found at the Georgia church where crowds gathered in their cars and RVs Saturday night and into Sunday morning — it was former President Jimmy Carter the masses wanted to see.

When Carter, 90, announced in August that the cancer in his liver had spread to his brain, he stayed firm on his commitment to teaching Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church. The first Sunday afterward, more than 800 people waited in line, which exceeded the church's capacity.

The crowds have only grown bigger since. People are driving hours and hours — and some are even flying — to make it to the church parking lot before 12:01 a.m. Sunday, when seat assignments in the pews are awarded. The line Saturday was already a half-mile long by 9 p.m., The Washington Post reports.

"We're gung-ho people!" Pat Schroeder, a 93-year-old who roadtripped the 14 hours from Illiinois with her kids, told the Post.

Carter gamely snaps pictures with fans, but unlike photo ops with actual rock stars, selfies are off limits. Julie Kliegman

everything are actually the best
11:18 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As Obama continues to campaign for Congress' support for the Iran nuclear deal, he spoke to Jewish-American publication The Forward's editor-in-chief Jane Eisner about the deal, Israel's safety, and accusations of anti-Semitism.

But then Eisner broke out the tough questions for the president — what's his favorite flavor of bagel?

THE PRESIDENT: I was always a big poppy seed guy.

Q: Poppy seed.

THE PRESIDENT: So the poppy seed bagels at H&H Bagels — which somebody told me they closed —

BEN RHODES: They closed.

Q: It's closed, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Which is shocking.

RHODES: My school was a block from H&H bagels.

THE PRESIDENT: I mean, I would walk down from —

RHODES: Columbia.

THE PRESIDENT: — Columbia just to get H&H bagels on Saturdays or on the weekends.

Q: And what do you like on a poppy seed?

THE PRESIDENT: Just a schmear.

Q: Just a schmear.

THE PRESIDENT: Lox and capers okay, but generally just your basic schmear. [The Forward]

There you have it. Read the rest of the interview over at The Forward. Jeva Lange

Into the wild
11:18 a.m. ET

President Obama should be prepared to survive just about anything after his trip to Alaska this week. While Obama is technically visiting The Last Frontier to talk about climate change, he's also going to make a quick detour to the Alaskan wilderness with survivalist Bear Grylls for an upcoming episode of NBC's Running Wild with Bear Grylls, set to air later this year. Obama will become the first-ever president to receive a "crash course in survival techniques" from Grylls, The Wrap notes.

Plenty of celebrities, from Kate Winslet to Channing Tatum, have appeared on the NBC show, in which Grylls takes a star on a wilderness adventure meant to both test and teach them. The specific challenges Obama will face as he ventures into the wild with Grylls remain unknown. Though in a previous episode of Running Wild featuring guest star Michelle Rodriguez, Mediaite notes that Grylls went so far as to drink the celebrity's urine.

Dealing with congressional Republicans might look pretty easy after this. Becca Stanek

trump stumps
11:18 a.m. ET
Jason Davis/Getty Images

Republican grandstander Donald Trump is more than happy to attack his fellow Republicans on Twitter, Instagram, the campaign trail, and live television. But running attack ads? Heavens no!

Speaking to CNN in Nashville, Tennessee, Trump said he'd like to avoid attack ads during the primary election. "I just want to talk about my accomplishments. I'm not looking to attack anybody," he said. "I would rather have positive TV ads. Absolutely."

He also explained that so far, he hasn't felt the need to run any television ads at all, because he gets so much news coverage already: "It is all news, all the time, all Trump, all the time," he said. So the self-proclaimed billionaire is "saving a lot of money" by holding off for now. Bonnie Kristian

The police state
11:00 a.m. ET

An Ohio man named John Felton has uploaded to Facebook a video of his interaction with a Dayton, Ohio, police officer who says he pulled Felton over for making "direct eye contact." Earlier in the recording, the cop says he initiated the traffic stop because Felton did not employ his turn signal a full 100 feet in advance of turning, an infraction he claims to have observed after trailing Felton for two miles.

After the officer takes Felton's license back to his car, Felton, who is black, turns to the camera and explains to his friend that he knew he would be pulled over after the police officer began following him for no apparent reason. "I'm keeping this sh-t recording," he adds. "He ain't about to Sandra Bland me."

"A Dayton Police Officer pulled John Felton over on Aug. 15 for not signaling within 100 feet of a turn. During the stop the officer additionally acknowledged that Mr. Felton made sustained direct eye contact prior to being stopped," the City of Dayton said in a statement after Felton's video amassed nearly 50,000 views on Facebook. "The traffic infraction was verified by the video; however making direct eye contact with an officer is not a basis for a traffic stop." Bonnie Kristian

Blast from the past?
10:50 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The latest Iowa survey has left at least one pollster wondering if history might repeat itself. At this point eight years ago, Hillary Clinton led Barack Obama in the Iowa polls by the same margin of seven points that she now leads Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). This uncanny parallel led Iowa Poll pollster J. Ann Selzer to posit, "This feels like 2008 all over again."

By late November 2007, Obama had surged ahead and ended up winning Iowa's Democratic caucuses in early 2008. And we all know what happened after that.

But could Bernie really pull off a similar upset, based on his performance in Iowa? NPR notes that there are definitely some similarities between the two candidates. Just like Obama, Sanders is winning young voters. The Des Moines Register notes that Sanders is also claiming 43 percent of first-time caucus-goers votes while Clinton only captures 31 percent.

Still, as NPR contends, "Sanders is no Obama." NPR points out that "he doesn't have the kind of field operation, for example, at this point needed to go the distance." Furthermore, Obama enjoyed serious institutional support from the Democratic Party, which Sanders does not.

But even if Sanders can't go the distance, he can still definitely make Clinton sweat a little as she feels 'the Bern.' Becca Stanek

The Daily Showdown
10:42 a.m. ET

Confused about why renaming an Alaskan mountain is causing so much controversy? Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper investigated the issue on the show back in July, attempting to sort out why "people who don't live anywhere near the mountain" have been able to prevent the U.S. Board of Geographic names from even considering the proposal to change Mount McKinley's name to Mount Denali.

In the segment, Klepper speaks with Kimberly Kenny, a curator at the William McKinley Library and Museum. "So what does [Mount McKinley] have to do with Ohio?" Klepper asks.

"Well, it's our president, whose name is on a mountain, and he was the best president that came from Ohio," Kenny says.

"One of our greatest presidents?" Klepper asks.

"An above-average president," Kenny replies. Klepper frowns at the not-so-ringing endorsement.

"He's not one of our best presidents," Kenny explains, "but he's certainly not one of the worst."

"That counts for something, not being the worst," Klepper agrees.

Watch the entire exchange unfold below. Jeva Lange

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