The Daily Showdown
May 20, 2014

Jon Stewart is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it. On Monday night's Daily Show, Stewart turned to the growing scandal at the Veterans Affairs Department over VA hospitals reportedly manipulating their waiting lists to hide long delays in treating military veterans. The long waits at the VA is one of Stewart's causes, and he let loose on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, President Obama, and everyone in the previous administration for half-heartedly expressing their outrage over various delays while failing to solve this festering problem.

"Here's what disgusts me," Stewart said. "We as a country were able to ship 300,000 troops halfway across the world in just a few months to fight a war that cost us $2 trillion" in under-the-table cash, but "it takes longer than that to get someone hurt in that war needed medical care or reimbursement." Stewart's broader case isn't airtight — is the problem really that politicians and bureaucrats aren't acting like angry feral cats? — but this charge is a really good one with no great answer. --Peter Weber

This doesn't look good
4:18 p.m. ET

Ecologist and GMO advocate Patrick Moore wants to set the record straight about a recent WHO report that classified glyphosate, which is found in Roundup and other weed-killers, as "probably carcinogenic" to humans.

Moore appeared on French news channel Canal+ to explain that Roundup isn't dangerous, telling the Canal+ reporter that "you can drink a whole quart of it and it won't hurt you."

Understandably, the reporter's response is, "You want to drink some?" Moore quickly declines the offer, saying that he won't drink it because "I'm not stupid," though he does add that he knows it is "not dangerous to humans." Check out the interview in the video below. —Meghan DeMaria

space stuff
4:05 p.m. ET
Nasa.gov

On Friday afternoon, NASA launched a two-man crew for a one-year space mission on the International Space Station. The pair includes Scott Kelly, an American astronaut, and Mikhail Kornienko, a Russain cosmonaut.

The journey will be especially notable for Kelly, whose identical twin brother, Mark, is staying on Earth. Mark will undergo genetic studies while his brother is in space, and scientists will use data from both twins to further explore how the body changes while in space for longer periods of time.

The mission is also a test for future trips to Mars, where astronauts could stay in orbit for 500 days or more.

bathroom break
3:26 p.m. ET
iStock

Physical attacks, drug deals, and bathroom sex are what Zephyrhills High School administrators are trying to put an end to, but students and parents aren't pleased with a new policy that requires students to be escorted to the bathroom.

"We're in high school; we shouldn't be babysat. We should be able to go to the bathroom," one student told WFTS.

But Zephyrhills High principal Andrew Frelick explained that students have also been spreading feces in the bathroom, fighting in the hallways, and stealing when left unchaperoned. In the face of backlash to the new rule, AOL reports that the policy has been changed slightly, and now only students with disciplinary or academic issues will require an escort.

Braaaaaaaaaiins
3:22 p.m. ET
Facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC

AMC's long-discussed Walking Dead spin-off finally has an official title. The new TV show will be called Fear The Walking Dead — a title that provides a helpful contrast to all those non-scary zombies in the original series.

Few details about Fear the Walking Dead are known, but inside sources say the show is set in Los Angeles at the beginning of the zombie outbreak. Its story is not expected to overlap with the original The Walking Dead, which is set to air its season five finale on Sunday.

Fear The Walking Dead is expected to premiere late this summer. AMC has already ordered two seasons, because come on, this zombie craze is never going to fade, right?

Only in America
3:11 p.m. ET
iStock

A New York state high school celebrating National Foreign Language Week caused an uproar when a student recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. Student Andrew Zink said reciting the pledge in different languages was meant to show that "what makes you American is not the language you speak, but the ideas you believe in." But the district superintendent publicly apologized, saying the use of Arabic "divided the school in half."

Here's looking at you kid
2:45 p.m. ET
iStock

Being hassled at the airport by TSA is a nuisance every traveler wants to avoid — and now a "secret behavior checklist" released by The Intercept may help passengers do just that.

Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, is the program used by TSA officers to spot suspicious-looking characters. Individuals who exhibit certain characteristics such as "excessive throat clearing" and "exaggerated yawning" earn a point or two toward their ranking of likely-terrorist. Conversely, points are deducted if you're a member of a family or if you're of a more advanced age.

Other factors on the 92-point checklist that might cause TSA to pay special attention to you at the airport include "face pale from recent shaving of beard," "unusual items," and "fast eye blink rate."

The SPOT program has repeatedly come under fire by critics who question the effectiveness of behavior detection and those who say the program could lead to racial profiling. In 2013, a Government Accountability Office report found that evidence did not support whether the SPOT techniques were effective in identifying "persons who may pose a risk to aviation security."

Really?
2:28 p.m. ET
iStock

Dating sites and apps often make users take personality questionnaires about their interests. But what if your pastimes include discussing paranormal activity?

Enter The Amazing Kreskin's Supernatural Dating Society, which helps paranormal enthusiasts find similar-minded companions. The site's 80-year-old founder, the Amazing Kreskin himself, spoke to Cosmopolitan about the site, which he says provides users with "a way to express themselves, and not feel embarrassed or humiliated or like they're a kook."

Kreskin explained that after his mentalist shows, people would often tell him they wanted to find others to accompany them in exploring allegedly haunted sites, and his website will allow users with similar paranormal interests, whether that means mind control or UFOs, to connect. In the Cosmopolitan interview, he also offered up some sage dating advice, suggesting that people "put the damn cell phone away" and have actual conversations with one another.

Unfortunately, Kreskin himself plans to stay single: He told Cosmopolitan that he only takes four days off each month, so he doesn't have much time for a relationship.

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