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April 15, 2014

Last Friday, the internet was gripped by a photo of a woman walking a man on a leash in London. Speculation about the incident's purpose swirled as the hashtag #manonleash exploded on Twitter. Some thought it was an erotic experiment, while others said it might be an elaborate PR prank.

Turns out, it was for a theatrical project.

The woman in the picture, Eden Avital Alexander, is an actress and told the London Evening-Standard that the intent of the stunt was to capture onlookers' reactions to a man being walked on a leash in public. To record the scene, a hidden camera was placed in a tissue box by a woman walking beside the pair.

"It was not a BDSM or a PR stunt; the project seemed at the start like a funny thing to be a part of and was all about the audience, which for me I think is the most important part of acting," she said. Read the rest of the interview at the London Evening-Standard. -- Jordan Valinsky

1:11 p.m. ET

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said in a Monday night interview that Hillary Clinton might be "too stupid to be president," if she really believed her husband Bill Clinton over then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky when he denied early allegations of their affair in the 1990s. "She didn't just stand by him, she attacked Monica Lewinksy," Giuliani said. "After being married to Bill Clinton for 20 years, if you didn't know the moment Monica Lewinsky said that Bill Clinton violated her that she was telling the truth, then you're too stupid to be president."

While Donald Trump was too "gentlemanly" and "reserved" to bring up the subject at the presidential debate Monday night, Giuliani suggested he would not have hesitated to mention Bill's past indiscretions. Giuliani also said the fact that Trump didn't broach the topic is evidence he's a feminist.

You can hear the rest of Giuliani's evidence in his full interview, below. Becca Stanek

12:47 p.m. ET

Monday night's presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York began at 5 a.m. Tuesday in Moscow, but that didn't deter journalists of the country's state-owned media from rising bright and early to cover the event. They didn't exactly take an unbiased stance, either: "At the very least, [the coverage] shows exactly how smoothly Donald Trump's policy positions dovetail with Moscow's," Julia Ioffe wrote at Foreign Policy.

One such example was when Trump claimed the U.S. shouldn't be the "world's policeman," a stance that Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly backed. The quote was promptly shared by Russian newspaper Izvestia:

Ioffe runs through other examples of where Trump sounds eerily similar to the Kremlin's messaging, such as in his assertion that Americans created the conditions for the rise of the Islamic State or his denial that there is any evidence to suggest Russia hacked the DNC. See more examples of the overlap at Foreign Policy, here. Jeva Lange

12:27 p.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton wasn't particularly impressed with Donald Trump's debate performance Monday night, and she suggested Tuesday that Trump's complaints about his microphone indicate he wasn't either. Earlier Tuesday, Trump wondered whether his debate microphone was purposely tampered with, because he said his volume seemed lower than Clinton's and his microphone seemed to be capturing a sound some thought sounded like the sniffles. "Anyone who complains about the microphone is not having a good night," Clinton said, in response to a question about their microphones during a brief presser aboard her plane.

Clinton thought Trump's biggest stumbles of the night were his "charges and claims that were demonstrably untrue" and the opinions he offered that "a lot of people would find offensive and off-putting." "I'm excited about where we are in this country," Clinton said. "He talks down America every chance he gets. He calls us names. He calls us a third-world country."

Clinton and Trump will face off again Sunday, Oct. 9, in a presidential debate hosted by Washington University in St. Louis and moderated by ABC's Martha Raddatz and CNN's Anderson Cooper. Becca Stanek

11:30 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Donald Trump apparently upset his fans on the alt-right message board 4chan during the first presidential debate Monday night, when he characterized the perpetrator of the hack on the Democratic National Committee as probably "someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds." One anonymous user posted an image titled "fat-computer-guy.gif," alongside the comment, "[Your face when] Trump calls you out for being a 400-pound hacker." Another asked, "Which one of you 400lb a** holes hacked the DNC."

4chan users have previously supplied Trump's campaign with some of its favorite controversial memes, but it's safe to say their comments Monday certainly won't be retweeted by any Trump surrogates. As The Daily Beast reported, Trump's remark blaming the DNC breach on a 400-pound hacker rather than on Russia — which U.S. officials have suggested is the real culprit — was just the one of the issues 4chan users had with their preferred candidate's performance. "I watched it with family mixed Democrat/Republican," wrote one user. "Every single person on both sides thought Trump looked horrible." Another flat-out wrote: "Trump actually sucked tonight."

You can read the rest of 4chan users' takes on Trump's debate performance over at The Daily Beast. Becca Stanek

11:24 a.m. ET

Archaeologists have uncovered a forgotten 200-year-old pub beneath the city of Manchester, England. And the best part? It still has full, untouched bottles of brandy inside, The Independent reports.

Archaeologists discovered the underground pub — once known as the Astley Arms — when they were brought in to inspect the site of a future skyscraper. During the excavation, they found pottery belonging to Thomas Evans, who was the landlord of Astley Arms in 1821. "It's brilliant because you can suddenly connect it to the local people in the area. We looked online about [Evans'] family history and one of his descendants now lives in Texas," said the site's archeological supervisor, Aidan Turner.

As many as 20 bottles have also been found in the former pub, Manchester Evening News reports. "We opened the cork on a few and you can still smell it," said James Alderson, the site's developer. "It's amazing knowing there's so much history at this site and it's really exciting." Jeva Lange

11:05 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

During one of the most memorable moments of Monday night's first presidential debate, moderator Lester Holt gave Donald Trump the opportunity to apologize for perpetuating the conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Trump — never one for apologies — sidestepped by claiming he managed to get President Obama to publish his birth certificate. When pressed by Holt further, Trump finally said he had "nothing" to say to Americans of color who might be offended by his promotion of birtherism.

Trump apparently wasn't backing down on one of his other favorite conspiracies, either. Having repeatedly suggested his Republican primary opponent Ted Cruz's father played a part in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Trump's campaign after the debate refused to clarify the matter to The Weekly Standard. "A lot of things have been said out on the campaign trail. Mr. Trump hasn't been shy that he's a very strong competitor out on the campaign trail," Trump's senior communications adviser Jason Miller said. "The fact that Sen. Cruz came out and endorsed Mr. Trump I think really says a lot. I think it talks about how the party's coming together, how it's united."

Okay. Next? "I don't remember," senior Trump adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. "You should ask him."

New York Rep. Peter King (R) tried to lay the whole thing to rest. "That wasn't even up tonight," he said. "That's between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Obviously, if it's good enough for Ted Cruz, it's good enough for me." Jeva Lange

10:37 a.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Almost every time Donald Trump's chances at winning the presidency have dropped this election season, the Mexican peso's value has risen. And on Tuesday morning, after the first presidential debate Monday night, the peso's value increased by more than 2 percent.

That surge, Reuters reported, is a sign the markets seem to have agreed that Hillary Clinton won round one. "Markets started to call the debate for Hillary within the first 15 minutes or so, with the Mexican peso surging in what is probably its busiest Asian session in years," Sean Callow, a Westpac senior currency analyst in Sydney, told Reuters. If Trump were to win the presidency, Mexico's economy, which relies heavily on exports to the United States, could suffer greatly were he to follow through on enacting his proposed trade policies and building his much-touted border wall.

Prior to the debate, as Trump climbed in the polls, the peso had hit an "all-time low," Reuters reported. Becca Stanek

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