Former Olympian Oscar Pistorius must complete a month of psychiatric testing — thus putting his murder trial on indefinite hold — the judge in the case ruled Wednesday. The order was prompted by a psychiatrist who testified that the South African sprinter suffers from a "generalized anxiety disorder" that might have affected his actions the night he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius denied he was mentally incapacitated when he shot Steenkamp last February — he says he mistook her for an intruder — but the psychiatrist's allegation raised questions about the 27-year-old's mental health, the judge said.
CNN's legal analyst Kelly Phelps said the panel of experts who will evaluate Pistorius could push the case in a number of different directions. If they find that he was mentally incapacitated at the time he shot Steenkamp, for instance, he would be found "not guilty" by reason of mental illness, but also sequestered in a mental health facility until he's declared mentally fit again. The experts could also rule that he had "diminished responsibility" at the time of the killing, which would mean his mental state would be taken into account in the case, but not decide it outright. Jordan Valinsky
A U.S. Marine is appealing a court-martial for refusing to remove a Bible verse from her desk. Monifa Sterling posted the Old Testament passage "No weapon formed against me shall prosper," which her supervisors deemed to be "contrary to good order and discipline" because the workplace must remain free of "divisive or contentious issues," such as politics and religion.
The U.S. formally removed Cuba from the list of states that sponsor terrorism Friday, according to a State Department news release.
The White House first announced this move last month. In a December 2014 step toward normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba after 50 years, President Barack Obama ordered the department to review the nation's inclusion on the list.
"While the United States has significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these fall outside the criteria relevant to the rescission of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designation," department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in the release. Julie Kliegman
In the summer of 2014, former President Bill Clinton accepted a lifetime achievement award from the Happy Hearts Fund, a charity that builds schools in regions affected by natural disasters. But as the The New York Times reports, the former executive director of Happy Hearts alleges Clinton only agreed to attend the Happy Hearts event after Happy Hearts offered to make a $500,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation:
"The Clinton Foundation had rejected the Happy Hearts Fund invitation more than once, until there was a thinly veiled solicitation and then the offer of an honorarium,” said the former executive director, Sue Veres Royal... "Petra [the founder of Happy Hearts] called me and said we have to include an honorarium for [Clinton] — that they don't look at these things unless money is offered, and it has to be $500,000."
That $500,000 could have funded the construction of 10 preschools by Happy Hearts in Indonesia. A representative of the Clinton Foundation denied fund solicitation and said the $500,000 would be spent on currently undetermined projects in Haiti. Bonnie Kristian
Yesterday, a Quinnipiac University released new presidential poll results, which found that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) currently holds sixth place in the Republican field — but, along with Marco Rubio, performs best against Hillary Clinton in a general election match.
But when that same poll popped up on Fox News, something was missing:
If you guessed that what's missing is Rand Paul and his 7 percent support, you've guessed correctly. This is the second time this month Paul has been absent from a Fox poll report.
For supports of both Rand and his father, Ron Paul, this is nothing new. During the 2008 election cycle, Fox excluded then-Rep. Ron Paul from a presidential debate, even though he polled higher and raised more money than candidates who were invited. And in 2011, Jon Stewart dedicated a segment to discussing how Fox and other channels deliberately ignored Ron Paul's near-tie for the Iowa Straw Poll victory. Bonnie Kristian
As many as 60 drug-sniffing dogs in Oregon are about to be out of a job thanks to legislation that has legalized recreational marijuana use starting July 1. Members of the police's K-9 unit have been trained, at the cost of $10,000 each, to smell for four odors: methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. While 3 of those drugs will remain illegal, soon the ability to identify marijuana will become a liability. The dogs are trained sniff out marijuana and not budge until they are rewarded — a skill that will no longer be needed. And since pot is often around drugs that will remain illegal, cops and prosecutors will no longer be able to prove that the dog smelled an illegal drug, rather than a legal drug, that led to the arrest or search warrant.
While many of these dogs will be in early retirement, at least some will find new jobs. One dog, Dora, will be reassigned to a prison, one of the few places that marijuana will still be illegal. But that means being separated from her longtime human partner, Travis Dahl. "I'll stay away from her for a while. It would be too hard for her, and for me,” Dahl told The Guardian about their impending separation. Meanwhile, Dahl and the rest of the police force will replace their dogs with 'three-scent' dogs that were never trained to sniff for pot. Marshall Bright
Mitt Romney had Meat Loaf's endorsement in 2012. And now, Ted Cruz has the support of Christian rap group We Are Watchmen for the 2016 GOP nomination. The group, which describes itself as "a movement that uses music and message to mobilize American Christians to civic duty," recently released "Set It on Fire," a conservative rap anthem that, true to its word, name-drops Ronald Reagan during its first verse.
"The banner is in the air for the conservative ascendancy," We Are Watchmen declare. "Collectivism, everyone's a victim like the reds do," the song continues, before dropping the money line: "And for our next president, we're all in for Ted Cruz." Listen to the track in full below. Samantha Rollins
Forget business class: If you were an upscale male traveler between 1953 and 1970, United Airlines wanted to offer you an entire "executive" plane.
In the mid-20th century, United appealed to businessmen with "executive flights" across two routes — between New York and Chicago and between Los Angeles and San Francisco — that were "for men only," according to the flying-focused blog Boarding Area. Neither children nor women were allowed on the planes — except for the stewardesses, who catered to the passengers with special meals and complimentary cigars.