RIP
June 30, 2014
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The White House on Monday said Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has confirmed he won't hold a vote this year on the immigration overhaul bill that passed in the Senate last summer with resounding bipartisan support.

We've heard immigration reform's eulogy time and again over the past year, but this is the most definitive proof yet that the legislation is indeed going nowhere. And truly, the outcome wasn't too surprising given the House GOP's fervent objections to the bill and lawmakers' aversion to doing anything remotely controversial in an election year.

The news came one day after President Obama requested $2 billion to beef up the nation's border security and speed up the deportation process. The White House said in lieu of an immigration bill, Obama would take some executive actions to deal with the issue on his own. Jon Terbush

This just in
11:40 a.m. ET
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Michael Sam is headed to Canada.

The Montreal Alouettes landed exclusive CFL rights to Sam while he was still in college at Missouri; the team announced that they had signed him to a one-year deal with a team option year on Friday.

"With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today," Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said in a release reported by ESPN. "Not only have we added an outstanding football player, we have added even a better person that brings dignity, character, and heart to our team."

Sam, 25, became the first openly gay player to be drafted in the National Football League — by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. But the Rams waived Sam in their final round of cuts, and a short stint on the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad ended with him being released in October 2014. He participated in the NFL veterans combine in March, but no team chose to make him an offer then, either. Sarah Eberspacher

urban legends
11:30 a.m. ET
Facebook.com/Poltergeist

The original Poltergeist is famous for traumatizing children who grew up in the early 1980s, and today's Poltergeist remake seems primed to do the same for children in 2015. But over the years, 1982's Poltergeist (and its two sequels) have grown legendary for another reason: the whisperings of a "curse" that led to the real-life deaths of cast members.

What's the real story? The subject of a "curse" likely stems from the subject of Poltergeist — a family tormented by ghosts who are enraged at being disturbed — and the bare fact that four cast members from the Poltergeist series died within six years of the first movie's release:

1. Dominique Dunne, who played elder daughter Dana Freeling in the original Poltergeist, died in 1982 at age 22. She was strangled by her ex-boyfriend, slipped into a coma, and died several days later.

2. Julian Beck, who played the villainous spirit Reverend Henry Kane in Poltergeist II: The Other Side, died in 1985 at age 60. He was battling stomach cancer while shooting his role in Poltergeist II, and eventually succumbed to the disease before the film's release.

3. Will Sampson, who played the heroic spirit Taylor in Poltergeist II: The Other Side, died in 1987 at age 53. Six weeks before his death, he had received a heart-lung transplant; he died of complications related to his condition both before and after the surgery.

4. Heather O'Rourke, who played Carol Anne Freeling in all three Poltergeist movies, died in 1988 at age 12. An illness, originally thought to be the flu, turned out to be a bowel obstruction; she died of septic shock on the operating table during a surgery intended to remove the obstruction.

Can these deaths be attributed to a "Poltergeist curse"? Call it whatever you like — but as urban legend debunking site Snopes.com points out, two of the four deaths were older people who had been ill for many months before they died. If that's a curse, it's an unusually slow-moving one. Scott Meslow

not-so elementary
10:55 a.m. ET

As Notorious B.I.G once said, with more money comes more problems.

This holds very true for those wealthy enough to possess cellars full of fine wines. As it turns out, there's a chance that that '82 Petrus you dropped thousands on is actually a fake.

"Wine fraud is not new," Maureen Downey tells Bloomberg Business. As a wine fraud investigator, Downey spots counterfeit wines for a living — a job she has so meticulously honed that she earned the nickname "The Sherlock Holmes of Wine." Downey's craft is extremely particular, requiring her to examine wine labels with magnifying glasses and blue lights in order to determine if a bottle is a counterfeit.

"You have to have looked at tens of millions of dollars of real wine to be able to spot a fake," she says. "It can be really brutal to tell a client that they've got fake wine, so I kind of have to treat it like taking a Band-Aid off." Watch Downey explain her craft in the video below. —Samantha Rollins

2016 Watch
10:48 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The 2016 presidential elections are still many months away, but Hillary Clinton appears to have locked in the vote of one demographic: rappers.

In a recent interview with MTV News, Waka Flocka Flame endorsed Clinton's presidential bid, suggesting he would help with her campaign if she endorsed his music. (Flame had previously attempted to launch his own presidential bid, but he is only 28 years old.)

Rappers Ja Rule and Snoop Dogg have also endorsed Clinton in various interviews. "I'll say that I would love to see a woman in office, because I feel like we're at that stage in life to where we need a perspective other than the male's train of thought," Snoop Dogg said in a Bravo TV interview.

And on Thursday, rapper 50 Cent added his name to the list of Clinton endorsers in an interview with The Daily Beast. CNN notes that rapper A$AP Rocky also recently said Clinton is one of "the best." Meghan DeMaria

Congress!
10:23 a.m. ET
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Since announcing his retirement earlier this year, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has apparently decided to let his uncensored self take a ride all over Washington, D.C., recently calling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, his longtime bete noire, a "lump of coal" and dismissing the entire 2016 Republican presidential field as a bunch of "losers."

So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that he came up with a rather interesting response when asked if he would pursue a lobbying career after his time in the Senate. "I would rather be taken to Singapore and caned," he told Politico.

We'll take that as a no. Ryu Spaeth

The best part of waking up
10:19 a.m. ET
(iStock)

Good news, dudes: You may be able to stave off impotence with an extra cup of Joe, according to a new study. Men who consume more caffeine — the sweet spot seemed to be two to three cups of coffee a day — had a lower risk of erectile dysfunction compared to men who consume little to no caffeine per day.

If you're not a big coffee drinker, the caffeine used in the study included tea, soda and sports drinks as well. Researchers believe caffeine relaxes certain arteries and muscles in the penis, which improves blood flow and the ability to have an erection.

Of course, more research is needed, and men with diabetes are the exception. But otherwise, drink up, buddies! Lauren Hansen

I'm walking here
10:11 a.m. ET

OldNYC.org is an amazing look into the New York of days past. They've taken the historical photos from the New York Public Library database and mapped them out based on where they were taken.

Here's a sample. This is from a parade celebrating the National Recovery Administration going by that selfsame library in September 1933:

And that's just one among thousands. Check it out. Ryan Cooper

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