The future has arrived
May 20, 2014
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Growth in solar energy increased a lot last year. One third of new power resources brought online in the U.S. last year was from solar.

According to a new report out of the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research, solar power had a record year in 2013, with 4.75 gigawatts of solar energy systems installed, including 2 gigawatts in just the fourth quarter alone.

That growth is going even further in 2014. Current estimates based on the first months of 2014 show solar shipments increasing 30 percent on last year:

[NPD Solarbuzz]

Why? Like computers did twenty years ago, solar energy keeps getting cheaper and more efficient, and is now just as cheap as fossil fuels in countries like Spain and Germany.

Because of this price decrease, even Big Oil sees solar as the dominant source of energy on Earth by 2100. John Aziz

nepal earthquake
2:44 p.m. ET

A rescue team has saved a 101-year-old man who was buried alive after last week's devastating earthquake in Nepal.

The official death toll from the quake is more than 7,000, but Nepal's government said Sunday the toll is likely to climb "much higher," AFP reports. But in a bit of good news, 101-year-old Funchu Tamang wasn't one of the casualties.

Rescuers found Tamang buried in the collapsed remains of his home in Nuwakot's Kimtang village on Saturday. He was taken to a local hospital, where his condition was pronounced stable. Tamang suffered only minor injuries, according to AFP.

Officials also rescued three female survivors from rubble in the district of Sindhupalchowk on Sunday, but it is unclear how long they were buried. —Meghan DeMaria

2016 Watch
2:32 p.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to be the change.

In an interview with ABC's This Week on Sunday, Sanders told host George Stephanopoulos (and viewers), "Don't underestimate me." He knows that most people don't think he'll win the 2016 presidential election, and he wants to alter that mindset.

"We need a political revolution in this country, and I want to lead that effort," Sanders said. He cited his successful bids to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont, as well as being elected to the U.S. House and to the Senate, as examples of his political victories.

Sanders, an independent socialist, is after the Democratic presidential nomination, though many believe he won't defeat Hillary Clinton. "I respect her, and I like her, but... maybe it's a time for a real political shake-up in this country," Sanders said of Clinton.

In the interview, Sanders also praised Norway, Denmark, and Sweden for their democratic socialism, which he said better serve average citizens than the U.S. government does. He cited free college and free health care as examples. "The fact of the matter is, we do a lot in our country, which is good," Sanders said. "But we can learn from other countries." Meghan DeMaria

Baltimore
1:52 p.m. ET
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When NBC's Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) if he agreed that America is "in a national crisis when it comes to the relationship between African-Americans and law enforcement," Boehner responded, "I do."

"I think that if you look at what's happened over the course of the last year, you've just got to scratch your head," Boehner said. He also addressed the death of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody in Baltimore, saying that "public servants should not violate the law."

Referencing the charges against the six Baltimore police officers involved in Gray's death, Boehner said that "if these charges are true, it's outrageous, and it's unacceptable." Meghan DeMaria

Discoveries
1:47 p.m. ET

One Finnish shipwreck is the discovery that keeps on giving.

A team of underwater archaeologists in Finland has discovered a shipwreck that dates to the 15th century, and it's full of treasure. The team believes the find is the wreck of the Hanneke Wromen, a ship that sank on November 20, 1468, with 200 passengers and crew members on board. The ship was en route from Germany to Estonia when it was lost during a storm.

According to historic records, the ship was carrying 10,000 gold coins when it sank. Historians believe the treasure would be worth 50 million Euros (about $56 million) today. The team had been searching for the shipwreck since last year.

Finland's National Board of Antiquities has authorized further investigations into the shipwreck, and the team hopes that they will retrieve the gold coins. Researchers will also date wood from the shipwreck to confirm that it is, indeed, from the Hanneke Wromen. Meghan DeMaria

Baltimore
1:12 p.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said that the recent events in Baltimore underscore America's need to focus on "economic marginalization," Politico reports.

"We haven't had an agenda for American cities probably since at least Jimmy Carter,” O'Malley said to Meet the Press host Chuck Todd. "We have left cities to fend for themselves."

O'Malley also argued against House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)'s suggestion that liberals' poverty solutions have failed over the last 50 years. O'Malley pointed to the decrease in violent crime in Baltimore, as well as lower incarceration rates, saying that Freddie Gray's death and the following riots have been "a heartbreaking setback for an otherwise remarkable comeback."

O'Malley hasn't made any official statements about a Democratic presidential campaign, but he said that if he does announce his candidacy later this month, he "wouldn't think of announcing any place else" than in Baltimore. Meghan DeMaria

Watch this
12:33 p.m. ET

"Chill," commands Saturday Night Live's parody commercial for a Black Widow standalone film. "Marvel gets women."

Scarlett Johansson hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, and she wasn't afraid to poke fun at the mishaps that occurred during the press junket for her new film, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. One such gaffe? In one interview, Johansson's co-stars Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner called her character, Black Widow, a "slut" and a "whore," for which they have since apologized.

Following the controversy, Saturday Night Live created a trailer focused on the idea that Black Widow's character is about more than her sexuality. Her standalone film — a rom-com — features Black Widow as a young woman struggling to make it in New York City, breaking heels on city streets and interning at a fashion publication. Unfortunately, Black Widow's sartorial success at her internship is quickly overshadowed by her romantic relationships — a thinly-veiled jab at her character's portrayal in the Avengers movies. Check out the faux trailer below. —Meghan DeMaria

Baltimore
11:44 a.m. ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Sunday that she was lifting a city-wide 10 p.m. curfew, which had been in effect in Baltimore for five nights. The curfew came after riots protesting the death of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.

"I have rescinded my order instituting a city-wide curfew," Rawlings-Blake announced on Twitter. "I want to thank the people of Baltimore for their patience." She added that she wanted to "not have the curfew in place a single day longer than was necessary."

Rawlings-Blake's announcement comes a day after a "victory rally" in Baltimore on Saturday celebrating the charges brought against the six police officers involved in Gray's death. Though Saturday's events were mostly peaceful, 20 people were arrested during Saturday night's protests. Meghan DeMaria

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