May 19, 2014

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) declined to tell Yahoo News whether he had ever smoked marijuana in an interview published Monday, saying there was no right answer.

"If you say that you did, then suddenly there are people out there saying, 'Well, it's not a big deal,'" he said. "On the other side of it is if you tell people that you didn't, they won't believe you."

And, he added, he didn't want anyone to use him as an excuse to smoke pot because, "I think there's no responsible way to recreationally use marijuana."

About half of all adults say they've used marijuana at some point in their lives, and seven in 10 say weed is less dangerous to personal health than alcohol. Jon Terbush

10:06 p.m. ET

For about an hour on Tuesday, the Statue of Liberty had a caption: "Refugees Welcome."

Activists moved quickly in the early afternoon, unfurling a 3-by-20 foot banner with the pro-refugee message and affixing it to the public observation deck at the top of the statue's pedestal, National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis told the New York Daily News. This violated park rules, Willis said, which prohibit items from being attached to the statue.

On Twitter, a group calling itself "Alt Lady Liberty" claimed it was behind the banner, saying they are "private citizens who felt like we needed to say something about the America we believe in." One of the activists said their grandparents met in a refugee camp in the aftermath of World War II, and President Trump's executive order banning refugees from entering the U.S. hit close to home. "We wanted to send a reminder about America when we're at our best — the country that's a beacon of freedom to the world, built by immigrants," the activist said. "Walling off countries or entire religions is against our values." Catherine Garcia

9:07 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

While the welcome Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received from the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce was warm, it was downright frosty outside, where hundreds of protesters gathered chanting, "Shame on Mitch! Shame on Mitch!"

The Kentucky Republican is spending the week in his home state, and on Tuesday, he spoke with the Chamber of Commerce about rolling back regulations and the Affordable Care Act. Protesters assembled outside hours ahead of McConnell's appearance, with one demonstrator, Debbie Rowe, telling WLKY she was there because she doesn't "feel that Mitch McConnell represents the people of Kentucky anymore. I think he represents Washington and his own pocket."

Safely inside the building, McConnell said that even though he disagreed with the protesters, he was "proud" of them for showing up. "They don't share my agenda, but I respect their right to be there," he told WLKY. President Trump doesn't share McConnell's sentiments, tweeting on Tuesday night that "the so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!" Trump must have missed McConnell's comments after his meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, when he said the president "would serve himself better by not having as many controversies surrounding his statements because it tends to take us off message." Catherine Garcia

7:58 p.m. ET
David McNew/Getty Images

A federal judge in Austin issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday that keeps Texas from cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood over videos released by anti-abortion activists.

In his ruling, Judge Sam Sparks said state health officials did not present any evidence of any violations by the program and "such action would deprive Medicaid patients of their statutory right to obtain health care from their chosen qualified provider." There are 34 Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas, serving more than 120,000 patients, including 11,000 on Medicaid. Planned Parenthood affiliates in the state received $4.2 million in Medicaid funding in the 2015 fiscal year, and Planned Parenthood estimates it received about $3 million in 2016. The organization says that none of that money went to abortions, but rather services like HIV and cancer screenings.

In 2016, following the release by an anti-abortion group of heavily edited videos it claimed showed Planned Parenthood representatives discussing prices for fetal tissue collected from abortion, a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing and indicted two anti-abortion activists involved in the video for document fraud, with those charges later dismissed, Reuters reports. Catherine Garcia

6:53 p.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Months after it came to light that Wells Fargo employees created as many as 2 million accounts in the names of their customers without permission, the company announced Tuesday that it has fired four senior managers, who will not receive a bonus for 2016 and will forfeit their unvested equity awards and vested outstanding options.

The board unanimously agreed to terminate Shelley Freeman, former Los Angeles regional president and current head of consumer credit solutions; Pamela Conboy, Arizona lead regional president; Matthew Raphaelson, head of community bank strategy and initiatives; and Claudia Russ Anderson, former community bank chief risk officer. Wells Fargo did not explain how the fired executives were connected to the unauthorized accounts scandal.

The bank agreed in September to pay an $185-million settlement with several agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and said it fired around 5,300 workers in connection with the scandal. Last month, Wells Fargo said 200,000 fewer checking accounts were opened and new customer credit card applications dropped 47 percent compared to the same month a year earlier. Catherine Garcia

5:19 p.m. ET
Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Two Muslim-Americans activists launched a crowdfunding campaign Tuesday to raise money to repair a historic Jewish cemetery in St. Louis that was vandalized over the weekend. Within two hours, the fundraising campaign started by Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi had already surpassed its goal of $20,000. "Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America," the crowdfunding webpage read.

More than 100 headstones were toppled or damaged in the attacks, believed to have happened late Sunday night or early Monday. Investigators are reviewing surveillance footage to help identify suspects.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R), who is Jewish, has condemned the attacks as "despicable" and "cowardly" and requested volunteers to help him clean up the cemetery Wednesday afternoon. The Missouri House of Representatives in Jefferson City held a moment of silence Tuesday for the cemetery, which opened in 1893. "Anxiety is high. Your loved ones are there. Your memories are there," said Karen Aroesty, the St. Louis regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

The cemetery attack marks the second instance of anti-Semitic violence this week alone, after a bomb threat was called into a Jewish community center in Wisconsin on Monday. Since early January, 54 Jewish community centers across 27 states have faced threats. Becca Stanek

3:54 p.m. ET

Three-year-old giant panda Bao Bao took off from Washington, D.C., on Tuesday for a 16-hour flight to Chengdu, China. Bao Bao was born at the National Zoo on Aug. 23, 2013, and is moving to China as part of a cooperative breeding program. Her older brother, Tai Shan, was the first panda to make the journey in 2010. "Today marks another milestone in our fight to save endangered species," said National Zoo director Dennis Kelly. "Our team has worked so hard for so many years to make sure giant pandas stay on the Earth."

Bao Bao is traveling on the FedEx Panda Express, a customized Boeing 777F with her picture emblazoned on the side. The 205-pound panda will be seated in an 800-pound crate, and she is being accompanied on her journey by two zoo staffers — as well as plenty of bamboo, sweet potatoes, and apples to snack on.

"Pandas are very good at entertaining themselves," said Brandie Smith, associate director of animal care at the National Zoo. "You give a panda a stock of bamboo and they can entertain themselves for a very long time." Becca Stanek

3:10 p.m. ET

On Tuesday, Milo Yiannopoulos announced his resignation from Breitbart News, where he was a senior editor. Yiannopoulos' departure follows the release of two video clips in which he made comments seemingly condoning pedophilia. In one of the clips he joked about his childhood sexual encounter with a Catholic priest, and in the other he seemed to "speak sympathetically of certain relationships between adult men and 13-year-old boys," CNN reported.

Earlier Tuesday, Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow deemed the remarks "indefensible" and "troubling," though he said "the left" has done worse. "I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues' important reporting, so today I am resigning from Breitbart effective immediately," Yiannopoulos said in a statement. "This decision is mine alone."

On Monday, Yiannopoulos lost a $250,000 book deal with Simon & Schuster and was disinvited from speaking at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference due to his comments.

Yiannopoulos wrote on Facebook after the video clips were released that he does "not support pedophilia," which he called a "vile and disgusting crime." "I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim," he wrote. "My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous."

Read Yiannopoulos' statement of resignation in full below. Becca Stanek

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