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April 11, 2014

You may have heard of the abomination that is human cheese, but it turns out that animal-based cheeses can be just as disgusting.

The Torgovii Dom-Siri cheese factory in Siberia was recently closed when a photo of factory employees taking a naked milk bath hit the internet. According to employee Artem Romanov, they were celebrating an employee's birthday.

The factory's lawyers claim that the incriminating photo is not of the milk used in cheese-making, but a "watery by-product not used in food production." However, investigators allege that the makeshift hot-tub was indeed filled with raw milk.

According to the U.K.'s Orange News, "workers appearing in the photo will also have to be tested for diseases, including STDs, that might have been passed on to cheese customers." That's certainly one reason to embrace veganism. --Meghan DeMaria

11:54 p.m. ET
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said a police helicopter shot at the Supreme Court Tuesday and threw grenades, which could have caused "dozens of deaths."

Witnesses said they heard explosions go off in downtown Caracas, Reuters reports, and Maduro vowed that "sooner rather than later we are going to capture the helicopter and those behind this armed terrorist attack against the institutions of the country." For the past three months, the opposition has protested against Maduro, while the pro-government Supreme Court has made several rulings in his favor. At least 75 people have died during the demonstrations.

Maduro wants a July 30 vote for a Constituent Assembly, which could rewrite the national charter and supersede the opposition-controlled Congress, and the opposition is calling for an early presidential election. Some supporters of the opposition, whose leaders have urged security forces to stop following Maduro's orders, believe the attack could have been staged by the government. Earlier in the day, Maduro said if a violent revolt should occur and Venezuela is "plunged into chaos and violence and the Bolivarian Revolution destroyed, we would go to combat. We would never give up, and what couldn't be done with votes, we would do with arms, we would liberate the fatherland with arms." Catherine Garcia

10:53 p.m. ET
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On Tuesday, Paul Manafort, a former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, retroactively filed paperwork showing that his consulting firm received $17.1 million for work done from 2012 to 2014 for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

Manafort worked with the Party of Regions and politician Viktor Yanukovych, who served as president from 2010 until 2014, when he fled to Moscow after protesters demanded he step aside. Manafort's Foreign Agents Registration Act filing did not reveal how much he received personally, but did show that he met in 2013 with a pro-Russia and now pro-Trump congressman, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). Any American who works in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government or political party has to register within 10 days of agreeing to conduct the work, The Washington Post reports, and Manafort's spokesman told the paper he started preparing the filing in September.

Last August, Manafort resigned as chairman of the Trump campaign after it was reported that the Party of Regions secretly paid him millions of dollars, an allegation Manafort denies. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking at Manafort as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and he's the second close Trump associate to retroactively file as a foreign agent; in March, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn disclosed that in 2016, he worked with a Turkish businessman active in his country's politics. Catherine Garcia

9:52 p.m. ET
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A Cook County grand jury indicted three veteran Chicago police officers Tuesday on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice, accusing the officers of working together to cover up for their colleague who shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

The first police report stated that officers David March, Joseph Walsh, and Thomas Gaffney were "victims" of McDonald, claiming he assaulted them before Officer Jason Van Dyke came to intervene. McDonald lunged toward him with a knife, and that's when Van Dyke shot him 16 times, the report said. One year later, dashcam footage of the incident was released that completely refuted the report, showing Van Dyke shooting McDonald as he walked away. Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder, and pleaded not guilty.

Special Prosecutor Patricia Holmes Brown said in a statement that the indictment "makes clear that these defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial 'code of silence.' Rather, it alleges that they lied about what occurred to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth." If convicted, the officers face years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines, the prosecutor said. March spent more than 30 years on the force, while Walsh and Gaffney were Chicago police officers for more than 20 years. Walsh and Marsh are no longer officers, and Gaffney has been suspended, NPR reports. Catherine Garcia

8:43 p.m. ET
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Sarah Palin is suing The New York Times for defamation, claiming the paper "violated the law and its own policies" in a June 14 editorial that accused the former Alaska governor of "political incitement" before the 2011 shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, the New York Post reports.

Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, was severely injured, and six people were killed after Jared Jee Loughner opened fire at a Giffords event. The Times editorial, written after the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), mentions a Palin political action committee ad that put "Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized crosshairs." Two days later, the paper issued a correction saying it was actually a "map distributed by a political action committee before the shooting. The map depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized crosshairs." The correction went on to say the editorial "incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established."

The suit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, and Palin is seeking damages in an amount to be determined by a jury at trial. A spokeswoman for the Times told the Post the paper has "not seen the claim yet, but will defend against any claim vigorously." Catherine Garcia

7:49 p.m. ET
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In less than a week, four people were attacked by bears in Alaska, with two dying from their injuries.

Brown bears are more likely to attack people, and even that's rare, which is why the involvement of black bears in the two fatal attacks is worrying officials. "All of a sudden you have two in the course of two days, it's a lightning strike," wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott told CBS. Alaskan officials are telling residents to carry bear spray or a gun while hiking, running, or biking through bear habitat, and if attacked, to throw rocks at the bear or hit it in the face, rather than run away or play dead.

On June 18, Jack Cooper, 16, was running a race near Anchorage when a black bear chased him and ultimately killed him. The bear was shot in the face by a park ranger, but it escaped, and later, state biologists killed four black bears in the area, including the one they believe attacked Cooper. The next day, Erin Johnson was near a mine southeast of Fairbanks, collecting geological samples, when she encountered a "hyper-aggressive" bear. She died and a colleague was injured, and the next day, the bear was killed by officials. Authorities say on Saturday, two men were bicycling in the woods near Anchorage when a brown bear attacked one of them; the other man used bear spray to repel the animal, which was likely guarding a cub nearby. Catherine Garcia

7:07 p.m. ET
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The End of Life Option Act went into effect in California in June 2016, and by December, 111 terminally ill people had requested and taken life-ending drugs from their doctors.

The state is the fifth in the country to let people with less than six months to live choose to die with the assistance of drugs. Data released Tuesday shows that 191 people received prescriptions, but not all of the patients ended up using the drugs. Of those who did end their lives, 59 percent had cancer, 54 percent were women, and 90 percent were white. Doctors do not have to write the prescriptions if they are not comfortable doing so, and they do not have to refer their patients to doctors who will. In order to get a prescription, two doctors must confirm that the patient has no more than six months left to live and that he or she is of sound mental capacity.

One of the Californians who chose to end his life was John Minor, 80, who was living with extremely painful terminal lung disease. In September, the retired psychologist had lost 80 pounds and could barely eat or talk, and after switching health care providers, he found a doctor willing to write him a prescription for the life-ending drugs. He took them, surrounded by family. "John did what was right for him," his widow, Sherry Minor, told the Los Angeles Times. "He died peacefully, rather than in agony, and he was in control. He didn't feel afraid or helpless." Catherine Garcia

5:26 p.m. ET
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President Trump on Tuesday called a last-minute meeting of Republican senators at the White House, during which he declared that he'd really like for them to pass the GOP-backed health-care bill. "[W]e have a chance to do something very, very important for the public — very, very important for the people of our country that we love," Trump said in the meeting, which took place hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that he was delaying a vote on the health-care bill due to a lack of support.

But ever the careful negotiator, Trump avoided being too pushy about insisting Republicans get the bill through the Senate. "This will be great if we get it done," Trump said. "And if we don't get it done, it's just going to be something that we're not going to like. And that's okay, and I understand that very well."

When asked for his opinion on the Senate bill — under which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates 22 million more people would be uninsured by 2026 than under current law — Trump insisted it was "going to be great." Becca Stanek

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