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May 8, 2014
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There's something about being in an outpost like Portland, Oregon, that makes one almost immune to both fame and scandal. Maybe that's what explains why the Acela Corridor crowd has largely ignored the bizarre stories coming out of Oregon this week about Mitt Romney-endorsed Senate candidate Dr. Monica Wehby.

Where to begin? Let's start with the fact that a medical child-abuse case involving Dr. Wehby is set to begin on May 19 — the day before her primary. In the case, a woman is being accused of "harming her children with unnecessary medical procedures, several of which were performed by pediatric neurosurgeon and U.S. Senate candidate Monica Wehby." Putting aside questions of innocence or guilt, one can only suppose this is — at best — a major distraction.

Then there's the fact that Democrats are filing a complaint over a super PAC running ads attacking Wehby's GOP opponent. The problem? Wehby is reportedly romantically linked to a major funder of the group — raising questions about coordination.

Another large contributor to that same super PAC is a man named Loren Parks, who was recently profiled in a Mother Jones post titled, "Meet the Sex Hypnotherapist Helping the GOP Retake the Senate." (Need I say more?)

Now, it wouldn't be surprising for Wehby's GOP opponent to be pushing all these storylines. But it seems unlikely this is coming from him. It's probably more a combination of tough timing and Democrats trying to take out the candidate they fear most before November.

Regardless, I'm stunned that these stories haven't gained more national attention. This might all be much ado about nothing, but it's all still weird. Wehby is just lucky she doesn't live in New York. Matt K. Lewis

1:30 a.m. ET

Republican Greg Gianforte, the projected winner of Montana's special election to fill its vacant House seat, used part of his victory speech Thursday night to apologize to the reporter he has been charged with assaulting.

"Last night, I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can't take back," Gianforte said in front of a crowd in Bozeman. "I'm not proud of what happened. I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that, I am sorry." At that point, someone in the audience yelled, "You are forgiven," which resulted in some cheers of agreement. Gianforte shushed the crowd and continued, "I should not have treated that reporter that way and for that, I'm sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs."

The Guardian's Jacobs and a Fox News crew in the room say Gianforte "body slammed" Jacobs at an event in Bozeman, resulting in his glasses being broken; he had to go to a local hospital to be checked out and have X-rays taken of his elbow. The Gianforte campaign released a statement that claimed Jacobs "aggressively" put a recorder in Gianforte's face, then "grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both the ground," but not long after, Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna posted her eyewitness account of the incident, which lined up with what Jacobs said and an audio recording that was released by The Guardian. Catherine Garcia

1:05 a.m. ET

President Trump has landed in Sicily for a G7 summit and the final leg of his eight-day trip abroad, and he's been giving a lot of speeches on this tour, Jimmy Kimmel noted on Thursday's Kimmel Live. Trump has been reading from prepared scripts, which is a good idea, he said. "I've noticed, though, it sounds like a fourth-grade book report. He speaks very slowly and simply, not too bigly, he just stays in the middle and uses vocabulary even a child could understand. And to highlight that, we asked some actual fourth graders to read parts of Trump's actual speeches from this trip, to show how they stack up with the big kid in the Oval Office."

The kids are adorable, of course, and it turns out they are pretty good at reading presidential speeches, too. Maybe one of them will grow up to be president. In the meantime, you can decide who read it better below. Peter Weber

12:53 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republican Greg Gianforte is projected to win the Montana House seat left vacant by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Gianforte has 167,871 votes, compared to Democrat Rob Quist with 143,410 votes and Libertarian Mark Wicks with 19,251 votes. On Wednesday night, Gianforte was charged with assault, following an altercation with The Guardian's Ben Jacobs, who accused Gianforte of "body slamming" him and breaking his glasses. Gianforte's campaign claimed Jacobs, who recorded audio of the incident, "grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground," but eyewitnesses backed Jacobs' account. Going into Thursday's election, 37 percent of Montana's registered voters had already voted absentee. Catherine Garcia

12:36 a.m. ET
Ty Wright/Getty Images

On two separate occasions, a senior mortuary employee at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware allegedly asked inspectors if they wanted to look at John Glenn's remains prior to his burial, a Defense Department official wrote in an internal memo obtained by Military Times.

Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, a decorated Marine, and a former U.S. senator, died on Dec. 8 at age 95, and his family asked the Air Force to care for his remains between his death and burial April 6 at Arlington National Cemetery, to ensure privacy and security, Military Times reports. In her memo, dated May 11, Deborah Skillman, the Defense Department's director of casualty and mortuary affairs, wrote that on Feb. 28 and March 2, mortuary branch chief William Zwicharowski "offered to allow the inspectors to view the deceased," which was "clearly inappropriate and personally shocking." She was so concerned she asked his deputy commander to address the matter with Zwicharowski, Skillman wrote in the memo. Officials told Military Times that Skillman and additional inspectors refused to view the remains.

In her memo, Skillman also wrote that Zwicharowski said he believed the inspection was due to him being a whistleblower six years ago; along with two other employees, he revealed that the mortuary had lost or improperly disposed of the body parts of some soldiers who died while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was nearly fired for going outside his chain of command to report this, but he ultimately received a Public Servant of the Year award. Military Times was unable to reach Zwicharowski for comment. Catherine Garcia

12:19 a.m. ET

Some observers found it rude when President Trump casually pushed Montenegro's prime minister, Duško Marković, out of the way so he could get to the front row for a NATO photo-op on Thursday, but Marković calls the encounter "an inoffensive situation." Journalists are "differently commenting" on the scene, he added, but "I want to tell you that it is natural for the president of the United States to be in the first row."

So there you go, no hard feelings. Here's the moment Marković was referring to:

Marković is right about U.S. presidents being in the front row, naturally.

Though maybe that wasn't what people found bemusing about Trump's actions. Peter Weber

May 25, 2017
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With 64 percent of precincts reporting their results, Republican Greg Gianforte is ahead of Democrat Rob Quist in Thursday's special election in Montana for the House seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Gianforte has 145,859 votes compared to Quist's 129,416, while Libertarian Mark Wicks has 17,222 votes. Gianforte, a millionaire businessman, was charged with assault Wednesday night after an altercation with The Guardian's Ben Jacobs, who said Gianforte "body slammed" him and broke his glasses. Gianforte's campaign released a statement claiming Jacobs "grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground." Catherine Garcia

May 25, 2017
Facebook/Wayzata Public Schools

With multiple generations of her family looking on, Esther Begam, 88, collected her high school diploma, decades after she was denied an education by the Nazis.

Begam grew up in Poland, and when she was 11 years old, she had to quit school and move into a Jewish ghetto. Later, she was sent to a forced labor camp. Her father, a rabbi, was a chaplain in the Polish army, and was never heard from again. Begam lost her mother and brother at Auschwitz, and her older sister and every other member of her extended family at other camps. She fell in love with another Holocaust survivor, and after marrying at 17, they moved to Minnesota and started a new life together.

Seven years ago, Begam shared her story with Candice Ledman's English class at Wayzata High School in Plymouth. A student asked Begam what her biggest regret was, and her answer surprised Ledman. "I expected her to say I wish we would have run, I wish we would have hidden, I wish we would have saved pictures — and she said, 'The one thing I regret is not getting my high school diploma,'" Ledman told KARE-TV. Ledman wanted to do something about this, and when new principal Scott Gengler arrived on campus, he loved the idea of giving Begam an honorary diploma. "It's 71 years overdue," he said. This month, Ledman's class set up a ceremony just for Begam, complete with a special cake and her own cap and gown. In front of proud family, friends, and students, Ledman accepted her diploma. "It's wonderful," she said. Catherine Garcia

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