FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
April 16, 2014

Prank calls to the police can lead to criminal charges for humans, but what if the caller is a dog?

The U.K.'s Thames Valley Police received a 999 emergency call followed by heavy breathing, only to discover, as BBC News puts it, that "the caller was a canine."

The culprit was a two-year-old Belgian Malinois, Leighton. According to his owner, Mary Amos-Cole, Leighton has a history of stealing telephones and setting off her home's alarm system. When the police arrived at her home, Leighton was in Amos-Cole's outdoor garden with the phone in his mouth.

"He's a very naughty dog, but, luckily, we all took it as a bit of a joke," Amos-Cole told BBC News.

Meghan DeMaria

4:06 a.m. ET

Republicans in Congress have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times since Democrats enacted it, but this year they won't have President Obama's veto to keep the law in place. They have already started the process of repealing big parts of ObamaCare, Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, but President-elect Donald Trump promised over the weekend that the replacement plan will cover everybody "beautifully." Without specifics, Colbert wasn't reassured: "Oh, don't worry, if you're losing your ObamaCare, you will be beautifully covered, either by insurance or six feet of dirt."

"We know Republicans are going to replace it, and they haven't told us with what, but I think they've given us a hint," Colbert said. "And that brings us to tonight's WERD." Like Colbert's old WØRD segment, most of the jokes are a combination of the host's words and the text in the box, and Colbert walked through the upsides and downsides of replacing ObamaCare before noting tartly that Republicans forbade the Congressional Budget Office from estimating the cost — 3 million jobs and $1.5 trillion — of repealing the Affordable Care Act. "That's right, the GOP is so confident that repeal will save money, that they don't want to know if that's true," Colbert said. "And if Congress can make it illegal for use to know how much it costs to repeal ObamaCare, I think they might have stumbled on the replacement: Just make it illegal for your doctor to tell you your diagnosis." Watch below. Peter Weber

2:07 a.m. ET
AFP/Getty Images

Nearly three years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the underwater search for the missing plane has been suspended.

The plane vanished over the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board. "Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft," Chinese, Australian, and Malaysian officials said in a statement. "The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness." Last July, it was decided by Australia, China, and Malaysia that if the aircraft was not found by the time 46,000 square miles had been covered, the search would be suspended. Some wreckage has been found, including three pieces off the coast of Africa.

In a statement, Voice370, a support group for relatives of those aboard the flight, said commercial airplanes "cannot just be allowed to disappear without a trace. Stopping at this stage is nothing short of irresponsible, and betrays a shocking lack of faith in the data, tools, and recommendations of an array of official experts assembled by the authorities themselves." Catherine Garcia

1:37 a.m. ET

Rob Schneider, star of The Hot Chick and that one Saturday Night Live sketch, thought it would be a good idea on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to explain to civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) how King conducted himself during the movement.

"Rep. Lewis," Schneider tweeted. "You are a great person. But Dr. King didn't give in to his anger or his hurt. That is how he accomplished & won Civil Rights." Lewis told NBC News last week that because of the evidence that Russia interfered with the presidential election to boost Donald Trump, "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president." Trump went on to claim that Lewis' district — home to the headquarters of Delta Air Lines and the Coca-Cola Company, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Emory University — is "crime infested," and he is "all talk, talk, talk — no action or results."

Not long after Schneider decided it was important he tell someone who worked alongside King how King acted, the pile-on began:

Don't feel bad for Schneider — the teasing should stop soon.

Catherine Garcia

1:06 a.m. ET

As liberal America works its way through the seven stages of grief regarding President-elect Donald Trump, CNN host Van Jones has a head start on shock, he told Conan O'Brien on Monday's Conan. The first reason he suspected Trump might beat Hillary Clinton, Jones said, is because he is not like "these people — I just call them now 'data dummies,' who all they can look at in politics and talk about is the data and the polls and the numbers and that sort of stuff." He did not mention Nate Silver or Nate Cohn John King or any other data-driven political analyst, but said that his own "life is a focus group."

And it was during his visits to college campuses — "I sing for my supper" — and his interaction with people on TV and Twitter that he had his second insight, Jones said: People weren't all that into Clinton. "If you get on stage, even now, and you say 'Barack Obama,' people go nuts," he said, and "people go nuts, usually the other way," when you say "Donald Trump." "But I would say Hillary Clinton's name and it would be crickets," Jones said. It was partly that Democrats were lulled into complacency by the data showing Clinton with a 95 percent chance of winning, he added, shaking his damn head: "It's a 5 percent chance of an asteroid destroying the Earth! You might want to get busy!" He saw Democrats work harder to defeat John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, Jones said, which he still thinks is crazy: "Why would you work so hard to stop a John McCain and then do nothing to stop Trump except to say, 'Oh, Trump is terrible'?" Watch below. Peter Weber

12:32 a.m. ET
Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump was adamant at his first press conference in months last week that "the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters," but a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 74 percent of respondents think he should release his tax records.

Of the people who said his tax returns should be made public, 40 percent are his own supporters, while 94 percent backed Hillary Clinton and 93 percent supported someone else during the election or had no preference. Overall, 41 percent say they "care a lot" about the returns being released. When it comes to ethics, 43 percent said they think Trump, his family, and advisers are complying with federal ethics laws, while 44 percent think they aren't. Overall, 52 percent say his plan to continue owning his businesses while placing them in a trust managed by his eldest sons is sufficient, and 42 percent say he should sell his businesses.

The poll was produced by Langer Research Associates, and the full results will be released Tuesday morning. It was conducted by landline and cellphone Jan. 12 to 15 among a random sampling of 1,005 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, with partisan divisions of 31-23-37 percent Democrats, Republicans, independents. Catherine Garcia

12:19 a.m. ET
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Haute Living

President-elect Donald Trump had tapped two fellow New York-area real estate developers and partners, Richard LeFrak and Steve Roth, to lead a council of 15 to 20 builders and engineers that would oversee his $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, Trump tells The Wall Street Journal. Trump and his transportation secretary nominee, Elaine Chao, propose that most of the improvements to America's roads, bridges, and other infrastructure be privately financed, encouraged through tax breaks of up to 82 percent for participating investors. Trump said that the council would throw out some proposed projects, and "some of the projects they'll expand. But all of the projects, they'll make sure we get a tremendous bang for the buck."

LeFrak (pictured), like Trump the wealthy scion of a New York real estate dynasty, has known Trump for decades and the two men socialize together. Roth, The Journal reports, is chairman and CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, which controls two of Trump's most valuable assets — the president-elect earned some $22.7 million pretax last year from the two projects, office buildings at 1290 Sixth Ave. in New York City and 555 California Street in San Francisco. Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he had just met with LeFrak and Roth, and "they've already agreed to do it." Neither man responded to The Journal's request for comment. Peter Weber

January 16, 2017
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Not wanting to tick off The Boss, a Bruce Springsteen cover band says it won't play the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala on Thursday.

Since 1980, the B-Street Band has played 200 shows a year, and in 2013, after performing during President Obama's inauguration, signed a contract to play four years later. They obviously didn't know who would be president at the time, but once Donald Trump was elected, "the complexity of the situation became real immense and intense," Will Forte, keyboardist, manager, agent, and publicist for the band, told Rolling Stone. The group received "thousands of emails from both sides" when it was announced they would be playing the gala, Forte said, and they had to "get out of the storm."

Springsteen is a vocal critic of Trump, and after Forte started seeing headlines declaring that the band was personally hired by the president-elect, he knew it was time to call it quits. "We felt that we had to make it known that we didn't want to seem disrespectful, in any way, shape, or form, to Bruce and his music and his band," he told Rolling Stone. "I don't want to upset them. We owe everything to him, and our gratitude and respect to the band is imperative above all else." Forte said he doesn't think there will "ever be a cover band of our size in the history of music that has gotten the attention of something this big," and "whatever the consequences are for breaking a contract, I'm willing to take because this is much more important." Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads