Rest in peace
April 30, 2014

Actor Bob Hoskins has died after a bout of pneumonia. He was 71 years old.

After spending nearly a decade appearing in a wide variety of British TV shows, Hoskins earned substantial critical acclaim for his starring performance opposite Helen Mirren in the 1980 crime drama The Long Good Friday. Six years later, he earned an Academy Award nomination and a BAFTA Award for his starring role in Neil Jordan's Mona Lisa, in which he played a cabbie shuttling a prostitute from client to client.

But for a generation of children who grew up in the late '80s and early '90s, Hoskins will always be Who Framed Roger Rabbit detective Eddie Valiant and Super Mario Bros' Mario. (He'd probably prefer you didn't recall that last one; in a 2011 Q&A with The Guardian, he called Super Mario Bros. the worst job he's done, his biggest disappointment, and the one thing he wishes he could change about his past.)

Hoskins' more recent appearances included supporting roles in Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol and the miniseries Neverland. His final performance was in the 2012 fantasy blockbuster Snow White and the Huntsman; shortly after its release, he announced he'd be retiring from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Scott Meslow

1:57 p.m. ET

In a recent interview with DJ Whoo Kid, Atlanta-born rapper T.I. said he wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton because women are inherently emotional and irrational.

"I just know that women make rash decisions emotionally," T.I. explained. "It's kind of like it didn't happen or they didn't mean for it to happen." The Grammy winner argued that "the world ain't ready" for a female president, citing the age-old concern that women in power are somehow more likely to set off a nuke than men.

"I think you might be able to get the Loch Ness Monster elected before [a woman]," he theorized.

It didn't take long, however, before backlash prompted the rapper to apologize:

Perhaps T.I. acted... irrationally. Roxie Pell

it's gonna be huge
1:45 p.m. ET

It's happening: Donald Trump is hosting Saturday Night Live.

Although Trump has had a turbulent relationship with NBC this year (they terminated their relationship with him following his derogatory statements about immigrants last June), Trump is something of a fixture on SNL — at least as a punch line. Most recently, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took a jab at him during a brief appearance on the show earlier this month, and cast member Taran Killam has been donning an orange wig to play The Donald this election season.

But hosting The Apprentice and appearing on nearly every news channel aren't Trump's only qualifications for the gig — he actually hosted the show once before, back in 2004.

So set your DVRs: Trump will take the stage on November 7, almost exactly a year before Election Day, with musical guest Sia. Jeva Lange

This just in
12:54 p.m. ET

Just 15 days after first capturing the northern Afghanistan city of Kunduz, the Taliban announced Tuesday that they had withdrawn from it, ending their first occupation of an Afghan city in the last 14 years of war. The insurgents delivered the news of their withdrawal on a website associated with the group, ordering fighters to "withdraw from the city to save ammunition and the lives of its fighters, as well as to protect civilians," The New York Times reports.

The Taliban's announcement comes days after the Afghan government announced that it had retaken the city. Becca Stanek

Democratic debates
11:57 a.m. ET
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

The pressure is on for Bernie Sanders. While the first Democratic presidential debate presents the socialist senator from Vermont with an opportunity to ride a tide of grassroots support into the mainstream, his success hinges on whether he can make a good first impression, Politico reports. And if he fails to do so, his now-surging campaign could face the consequences:

"This is an opportunity for him to introduce himself to a much broader part of the country, so it's important for him to explain where he comes from, who he is," explained top Sanders strategist Tad Devine, adding that the senator had prepared to discuss areas where he disagrees with Clinton, from Syria to college affordability.

Yet it's precisely because of his chance to introduce himself that Sanders has little room for error: he can't afford to make a bad first impression on a wide swath of Democratic voters in the states beyond his own Vermont and New Hampshire, where he leads Clinton. [Politico]

Sanders will have to go toe-to-toe with Clinton on policy and defend his plans "without appearing angry, all the while avoiding the trap of playing defense all night," Politico adds. "Since most voters don't know Sanders, his campaign figures, he can't let himself get defined on stage as simply the anti-Clinton."

If Sanders emerges victorious tonight, successfully imprinting a friendly, lasting impression on the American public, his unexpected gains on Clinton in the polls could continue to creep up. But if he doesn't, his reputation as nothing more than a "fad" could be solidified. Bernie only has one chance.

Read the full story at Politico. Becca Stanek

11:07 a.m. ET

Last year's unprecedented Sony hack led to a revelation for Jennifer Lawrence. In an essay published Tuesday in Lena Dunham's newsletter, Lenny Letter, the Oscar-winning actress explained that, prior to the hack, she had been "ever-so-slightly quiet" on the topic of feminism because she "didn't like joining conversations that feel like they're 'trending.'" But once she discovered in the hack how little she was getting paid in comparison to her male co-stars, she began to realize the full consequences of how Hollywood treats women — and decided, at long last, to speak up:

I'm over trying to find the "adorable" way to state my opinion and still be likable! F--k that. I don't think I've ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It's just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I'm sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share. [Lenny Letter]

The hacked emails showed that for American Hustle, actors Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and director David O. Russell earned 9 percent of back-end profits. Lawrence was originally slated to earn 5 percent, though she and co-star Amy Adams ultimately only ended up receiving 7 percent. Read more about Lawrence coming to terms with her feminism — and fighting back against sexism in Hollywood — over in Lenny Letter. Jeva Lange

10:07 a.m. ET

A Connecticut boy named Sean Tarala is on trial for being too excited at his birthday party. Now 12 years old, Tarala was just eight when he leapt into the arms of his aunt, Jennifer Connell, when she came to his party.

"All of a sudden he was there in the air, I had to catch him and we tumbled onto the ground," Connell testified in court. "I remember him shouting, 'Auntie Jen I love you,' and there he was flying at me." The encounter broke Connell's wrist, and she is now asking a jury to award her $127,000 from her mystified pre-teen nephew.

Connell says the injury has had a significant negative effect on her life. For example, she explained, "I was at a party recently, and it was difficult to hold my hors d'oeuvre plate." Bonnie Kristian

The Donald on Iraq
9:59 a.m. ET
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Donald Trump wants to stop the United States from "nation building" — with the exception being "If there's a problem going on in the world and you can solve the problem," The Guardian reports. "We have to straighten out our own house. We can't go around to every country that we're not exactly happy with and say we're going to recreate them," Trump said.

Trump added that the U.S. may have gone too far in backing the execution of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2006:

Referring to Iraq, he said: "We're nation-building. We can't do it. We have to build our own nation. We're nation-building, trying to tell people who have [had] dictators or worse for centuries how to run their own countries."

"Look what's happened in Iraq. We got rid of Saddam Hussein. I don't think that was a helpful thing. Iraq is a disaster right now and it's going to be taken over by Iran and ISIS, so I think we have to focus on ourselves." [The Guardian]

At the same time, Trump sees the current situation in the Middle East as an exception to his rule. "There are certain cases where you see things going on, atrocities going on, that are horrible," Trump told The Guardian. "ISIS is one of them." Jeva Lange

See More Speed Reads