Numbers don't lie
June 18, 2014
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With a handful of foreign crises abroad and a stagnant domestic agenda marred by mini-scandals back home, President Obama's approval rating has fallen to a record low of 41 percent, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Obama previously tanked to 41 percent back in March, so the dip is a return to the lowest level ever marked in the survey.

Obama received equally dismal marks on every issue, as well. His net -20 percent approval rating on foreign policy is his lowest ever; only 11 percent say he's "very competent" — a lower mark than the 14 percent George W. Bush recorded, post-Katrina, at the same point in his presidency; and 54 percent say Obama "cannot lead and get the job done."

Obama's marks are so bad, NBC political analyst Chuck Todd said, that it's "as if the public is saying, 'Hey, buddy, your presidency is over.'"

With more than two years to go in Obama's second term, that reading seems a bit premature. Obama has bottomed out before only to rebound, so it's not impossible for him to do so again. For now though, Americans' overwhelming sentiment is clear: Obama stinks at his job. Jon Terbush

love lockdown
May 29, 2015
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Come Monday, the city of Paris will begin removing the hundreds of thousands of "love locks" tourists affix to the Pont des Arts bridge, The Local reports. Visitors might think it's cute, but for locals, the locks are an eyesore and a nuisance.

"This phenomenon generates two problems: a lasting degradation of the heritage of Paris and also a risk to the safety of visitors, Parisians and tourists," a Paris Town Hall statement read.

The city will install glass panels in place of the locks. Last year, a portion of the bridge collapsed under the weight of the locks, which also adorn other bridges throughout the city and even the Eiffel tower. Julie Kliegman

Watch this
May 29, 2015

As part of our ongoing series on the 2016 candidates, produced in partnership with Rubin Report, The Week's Marc Ambinder and Dave Rubin concisely analyze the former Maryland governor's biggest strengths and weaknesses. Watch below:

Nailed it
May 29, 2015
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Every nail salon in New York will be required to post a workers' bill of rights in plain view of employees and customers, The New York Times reports. The announcement comes after the newspaper highlighted widespread exploitation and abuse of manicurists, many of whom are new immigrants.

The posters Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed Friday will be printed in 10 languages. They include information about minimum wage, tipping, safety measures, and a phone number to report violations. Officials will also hand out information cards to consumers outlining questions they should ask upon entering nail salons.

"We’re asking New Yorkers to help; we're asking New Yorkers to get involved," Cuomo said at a news conference with New York City advocate Letitia James. Julie Kliegman

Coming Soon
May 29, 2015
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Empire's first season aired its finale in March, and fans have been eagerly waiting to find out when they'll finally get to see all those dangling cliffhangers resolved.

Unfortunately, the season two premiere date is still pretty far away — but at last you can put it down on your calendar. Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie, took to Twitter to reveal that Empire will return on September 23. Set your DVRs accordingly. Scott Meslow

court reports
May 29, 2015
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Ross William Ulbricht, 31, thec reator of black market website Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

After its 2011 launch, Ulbricht ran the underground cyber-bazaar, where anonymous users used the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to purchase drugs, hacking tools, and fake identification, for about two years before he was arrested.

Ulbricht received the maximum sentence for his felony convictions of conspiracy, money laundering, and drug trafficking. Stephanie Talmadge

Only in America
May 29, 2015
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A Texas high school senior was suspended and barred from graduation this week after a can of Bud Light was found in a cooler in his truck. Quintin Walker says he didn't realize the single beer can was still in the soda-filled cooler that his mother had packed for a family picnic the previous weekend. "I worked 12 years to walk across that stage," Walker said. "It's just crazy." The Week Staff

indictments
May 29, 2015
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Former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert reportedly paid off a man to conceal past sexual misconduct, two federal law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times. A federal grand jury indicted Hastert on Thursday for allegedly evading currency reporting requirements. He reportedly withdrew the cash to give to an unidentified person, who one official claimed is a man Hastert wanted to conceal a past relationship with.

The alleged misconduct, which one source called "sex" and the other confirmed involved sexual abuse, dates back to Hastert's stint as a Yorkville, Illinois, high school wrestling coach and teacher, LAT reports.

"It goes back a long way, back to then," one source told the paper. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office." Julie Kliegman

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