April 27, 2014
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After an audiotape surfaced Saturday purporting to catch Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making offensive racial remarks, everyone from current and former players to late night TV hosts weighed in with their opinions on the controversy. But President Obama, who perhaps more publicly than anyone grappled with America's lingering racial issues when he ran for president, blasted the comments as "incredibly offensive" and "racist" on Sunday, framing them within the broader context of America's segregated past.

"When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk," Obama said.

In the tape, a man presumed to be Sterling tells his girlfriend not to bring black people to his team's games, and says people of different races shouldn't even associate with each other. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday the league is investigating whether it is indeed Sterling's voice on the tape before it will decide whether to punish him. Jon Terbush

7:40 a.m. ET
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On the campaign trail, Ted Cruz is a staunch opponent of the government collecting citizens' personal data. "When the focus of law enforcement and national security is on ordinary citizens rather than targeting the bad guy, we miss the bad guys while violating the constitutional rights of American citizens," Cruz said during a speech on national security at the Heritage Foundation in the weeks following the San Bernardino shooting.

But when it comes to collecting information for the sake of his campaign, Cruz, the son of mathematicians and data processing programmers, is not quite as committed. The Associated Press reported Thursday that Cruz's "Cruz Crew" campaign app was used to gather detailed information from supporter's phones, including their personal movements and the names and contact information of their friends.

"Analytics gives the campaign a roadmap for everything we do. [Cruz] has an acute understanding of our work and continually pushes me on it," the campaign's data and digital director Chris Wilson told the AP. However, while many campaigns siphon some data about their supporters, Cruz's goes the furthest of anyone in the race and doesn't give the user the option of using the app without giving up their personal data.

Cruz's campaign has argued there is a difference between the government collecting data and a campaign doing the same. "It's not like we're giving it to the NSA," a paid field representative said. Cruz's campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart agreed.

"Why wouldn't we want to use every tool available to us to win?" she said. Jeva Lange

5:12 a.m. ET

On Thursday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert shared some "shocking news" — at least it might be shocking if you haven't read the news this week. "J.K. Rowling has announced that there will be a new Harry Potter book... ish." The book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is actually the script for an upcoming play, and it takes place 19 years after the last book, when Harry is trying to juggle his job at the Ministry of Magic with being a father.

"That really sounds depressing," Colbert said. "I love that we're going to get something else about that world, but let's all admit that Harry Potter's life peaked when he was 17." He's no longer Quidditch captain or "big chosen one on campus," but just some guy. "Who are his enemies even going to be? Phil from accounting?" Colbert asked. "It might as well be called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Prostate." If that's not downer enough, watch and see Colbert predict the futures of Holden Caulfield and the Narnia kids. Peter Weber

2:16 a.m. ET

When actor Richard Dreyfuss was spotted attending a Ted Cruz campaign event, the blowback was pretty fierce. People decided that Dreyfuss, "a beloved actor, needed to be kicked out of Hollywood," Megyn Kelly summarized at the beginning of an interview with Dreyfuss and his son Harry on Thursday's Kelly File. Harry Dreyfuss had written an online post slamming his father's online critics, accusing them of "attacking my dad for his curiosity," he explained. Then Kelly turned to the actor himself.

Dreyfuss comes from a long line of socialists, Kelly said. "Were you surprised by the backlash?" No, Dreyfuss said, explaining that his other son, Ben Dreyfuss, an editor at Mother Jones, "always warned me never to read comments on the internet, because they were from people who were dropped on their head." He went to the Cruz event out of curiosity, Dreyfuss said, because he wanted to "hear whether or not there'd be a difference between what I was hearing through the TV camera and live. And what was disappointing was that there was no difference. They sounded equally, kind of, silly."

Kelly said that Dreyfuss sounded like Glenn Beck, because they both love the Constitution. That prompted a civics lesson from Dreyfuss, who runs a nonprofit dedicated to raising civic awareness among school children. "If anyone tells me that America is exceptional, my response is, if you don't defend that statement and prove it, I'll hit you right in the mouth," he said. "Because people don't think that it needs defending, and it does." Watch below. Peter Weber

2:06 a.m. ET

A man who injured four people in a machete attack inside a Columbus, Ohio, restaurant Thursday evening was shot and killed by police following a vehicle pursuit.

Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner said the assailant had a conversation with an employee of Nazareth Restaurant and Deli, then came back 30 minutes later and started attacking a couple in a booth. "Some of the patrons there started throwing chairs at him, just trying to get him out of there," Weiner told The Associated Press. "There was no rhyme or reason as to who he was going after."

The man eventually ran out of the restaurant and led police on a short chase. After he pulled over and got out of his car, officers tried to use a stun gun against him, but were unsuccessful. The man had the machete and another knife in his hand, and after he lunged across his car's hood at officers, he was shot and killed. The man's name has not been released, and the victims are all expected to recover. So far, there's no motive, and Weiner said "there's nothing that leads us to believe that this is anything but a random attack." Catherine Garcia

1:33 a.m. ET

One message Ted Cruz no longer approves of is a campaign ad that featured a softcore porn actress.

Prior to appearing in Cruz's "Conservatives Anonymous" commercial targeting Marco Rubio, Amy Lindsay had parts in Erotic Confessions, Carnal Wishes, Secrets of a Chambermaid, and Insatiable Desires. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Lindsay, a self-described conservative Christian and Republican, said she's never been in any XXX films, and thought everyone involved in the commercial knew about her previous credits. Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler told BuzzFeed News Lindsay went to an open casting call and was "not vetted by the production company" after getting the job. "Had the campaign known of her full filmography, we obviously would not have let her appear in the ad," he said.

"Conservatives Anonymous" is being yanked from the air, he said, and will be replaced with another commercial. As for Lindsay, she told BuzzFeed News she was trying to decide if she wanted to support Cruz or Donald Trump, but later tweeted she was "extremely disappointed" by the Cruz campaign pulling the ad. Catherine Garcia

1:31 a.m. ET

PBS hosted a spirited, earnest, mostly break-free Democratic debate in Milwaukee on Thursday night, and its post-debate analysis by Hari Sreenivasan was similarly different from the post-game chatter we've seen on cable news and network TV. When they joined Sreenivasan, liberal columnist Mark Shields and conservative columnist David Brooks agreed that Hillary Clinton started out the debate stronger and Bernie Sanders ended the night fighting on his home turf.

Clinton's "strategy was pretty simple, it struck me," Shields said. "She ran as Hillary Obama. She hugged the president, she wouldn't let any daylight between them, and accused Bernie of infidelity." Brooks laughed, quipping, "That's good, coming from a Clinton." He argued that Clinton's "Obama moment is the moment that will go viral, when she dropped the Obama bomb" on Sanders. But Sanders ended the night in good shape, he said, in part because he has a "core narrative" and so these debates are "always sort of on his turf," but also because "he's unhindered by budgetary reality," while Clinton "limits herself to what is practically possible."

Brooks returned to that theme later. "I think the question for Sanders is, is there a point where the Democratic voters begin to say, 'Wait, is any of this actually going to happen?'" he said. "Are people going to think, 'Is any of this ever going to happen?' Because it seems highly implausible unless the Democrats sweep everything.... Whether people get that, sort of, into the wonkery of it, or whether they just want to express some anger, is really the core question between these two." Watch the earnest Shields-Brook wonkery below. Peter Weber

12:46 a.m. ET
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On Thursday, a damaged gas well in Porter Ranch, California, finally stopped leaking, four months after it was first discovered that the well was spewing out natural gas.

Crews drilled down almost 8,500 feet to pierce the casing, and the well was then injected with a mud-like compound. Crews could begin pumping concrete into it as early as Friday. The leak was found on Oct. 23, and at its peak in November, the well was releasing close to 60,000 kilograms of methane an hour into the atmosphere, the Los Angeles Times reports. Residents complained about the smell, saying it permeated their furniture and carpets, and nearly 5,000 households moved out of Porter Ranch due to health concerns. The leak has cost $300 million, and there are 67 pending lawsuits against Southern California Gas Co. Catherine Garcia

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