There was a clear winner last Tuesday in Oklahoma's 3rd congressional district Republican primary: Rep. Frank Lucas, who received 82.8 percent of the vote. Too bad he's dead, and a body double has been impersonating him since 2011.
Well, that's what his opponent, Timothy Ray Murray, is claiming. Murray came away with just 5.2 percent of the vote, and is now contesting the results, saying on his website: "It is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed by a look alike. Rep. Lucas' look alike was depicted as sentenced on a white stage in southern Ukraine on or about Jan. 11, 2011," then hanged by "The World Court."
A rep for Lucas says that he is alive and well and has never been to Ukraine. Lucas himself told news station KFOR: "It does come as kind of a shock to read that you're not you."
This weird Dave meets Weekend at Bernie's scenario might take the cake for most bizarre conspiracy theory. "A lot of stupid things happen in Oklahoma politics, but this may be the stupidest I've ever heard," Keith Gaddie of the University of Oklahoma told The Washington Post. "Welcome to Oklahoma." Catherine Garcia
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) addressed the Democratic National Committee in Minneapolis on Friday, taking the opportunity to criticize party leaders over the midterm elections and their hesitancy to take his candidacy seriously, Politico reports.
"Let me be very clear. In my view, Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate, will not gain the House and will not be successful in dozens of governor's races unless we run a campaign which generates excitement and momentum and which produces a huge voter turnout," said Sanders, who is not a member of the party.
Frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who reportedly has a strong grip on party superdelegates, expressed frustration Friday at the continuing focus on her use of a personal email server while secretary of state. Long-shot candidates Martin O'Malley and Lincoln Chafee also spoke, while Jim Webb skipped the meeting. Julie Kliegman
An Egyptian court sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to prison Saturday in a case sparking sharp criticism from human rights groups, Reuters reports. Canadian national Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, and Australian journalist Peter Greste all received three years in prison for operating without a press license and broadcasting "fake news." Mohamed's sentence is six months longer because he reportedly had a spent bullet casing at the time of his arrest.
The new verdict came a year after the men received sentences of seven to 10 years, which prompted an international outcry and a retrial order from Egypt's highest appeals court.
"This is a farcical verdict which strikes at the heart of freedom of expression in Egypt," Amnesty International said in a statement.
Amal Clooney, Fahmy's attorney, said she plans to appeal the verdict. Julie Kliegman
Former President George W. Bush on Friday visited New Orleans to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a catastrophe that was one of the low points of Bush's tenure. Bush praised the city's post-hurricane recovery, saying, "New Orleans is back, and better than ever." President Obama toured the city on Thursday, praising the city's resilience while also saying more needs to be done.
Turns out, Donald Trump was born this way. Even back in his college days, he was the same "brash, blunt, and sometimes bombastic personality" that we're all watching dominate the Republican presidential stage. Indeed, according to a new profile of The Donald in The Boston Globe, his signature antics may date as far back as the second grade.
While Trump is now merely throwing verbal punches at his foes, as a second grader he actually socked his music teacher because he "didn't think the teacher knew enough about music," The Globe reports. From there, Trump's story unfolds with one Donald-esque moment after the other. Here are some of the best:
- Trump was voted "Ladies Man" by his all-male high school peers.
- In college, he gave a professor this response when the class was asked why they'd chosen to study real estate: "I'm going to be the king of New York real estate." "Sit down, you [expletive]," one of his classmates recalls thinking.
- One of Trump's former roommates recalls him being so meticulous that he "fold[ed] his underwear into squares and stack[ed] them neatly on a shelf."
- During rides home from high school on a Port Authority bus, Trump would point out all of his dad's buildings in Queens. "My dad, he built all those homes over there," one classmate recalls him saying.
- Trump's college attire, according to actress Candice Bergen, consisted of a "two-piece burgundy suit with matching burgundy patent leather boots, and, a particularly nice touch, a matching burgundy limousine." Bergen turned down Trump's request for a date.
But perhaps even better than these young Trump tales is this quote from one of The Donald's old classmates that sums him up all too well: "Tact wasn't his strong suit then and it isn't now."
University of Illinois fires its head football coach after report finds he pressured athletes to play through injuries
Just one week before its season begins, the University of Illinois has fired head football coach Tim Beckman. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reports Beckman's dismissal comes after an external review into the Illini football program found evidence of "efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players" to avoid treatment and play through injuries.
"The preliminary information external reviewers shared with me does not reflect our values or our commitment to the welfare of our student-athletes, and I've chose to act accordingly," University of Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said in a statement Friday announcing the firing. Thomas added that in addition to the medical concerns, Beckman treated some student-athletes "inappropriately with respect to whether they could remain on scholarship during the spring semester of their senior year," when their time as active members of the team was over.
It seems like the news may have come as a shock to Beckman, given that he had tweeted his excitement about upcoming opening day just an hour earlier:
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 28, 2015
Beckman coached the Illini for three seasons and amassed a 12-25 record. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit will be the interim head coach for the coming season. Kimberly Alters
Facing a need for $743 million worth of repairs to crumbling infrastructure, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, has told residents the city can fix its many potholes through the power of prayer. "Yes, I believe we can pray potholes away," said Mayor Tony Yarber, who is also a church pastor, on Twitter. "Moses prayed," he said, "and a sea opened."
Former St. Paul's prep student Owen Labrie, 19, was found not guilty in a high profile rape trial that cast a pall over the prestigious New Hampshire school. Labrie faced nine charges, three of which were for felony sexual assault. The jury only found Labrie guilty of a few misdemeanors, such as seducing a minor on the internet and misdemeanor sexual assault, NBC reports.
Prosecutors claimed that Labrie had raped a 15-year-old as part of a school tradition, called Senior Salute, where graduating students try to have sex with underclassmen. Labrie testified that he had two consensual sexual contacts that stopped before intercourse.
"I said, 'No, no, no, keep it up here,'" his accuser told the court, describing how she had tried to fight Labrie off. "I tried to be as polite as possible … I wanted to not cause a conflict." Jeva Lange