April 10, 2014
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Fox News surely helped boost the Tea Party to prominence, giving it ample air time back in the early years of the Obama presidency. And as Tea Party-aligned lawmakers moved into Congress, squabbling with the GOP establishment and opening a divisive rift within the party — see: government shutdown — many pinned some of the blame for the budding civil war on the network itself.

In a new interview with Fortune, NewsCorp chief Rupert Murdoch — whose media empire includes Fox News — says the criticism is way off base. On the contrary, he argues that Fox has helped the modern GOP.

I think it has absolutely saved it. It has certainly given voice and hope to people who didn't like all that liberal championing thrown at them on CNN. By the way, we don't promote the Tea Party. That's bullshit. We recognize their existence. [Fortune]

The Tea Party's existence, though, is an increasingly tenuous one. Polls have shown support for the movement dwindling, and the party establishment is finally pushing back against it, with GOP leadership and traditional donors trying to squelch insurgent campaigns early this election year.

On another subject entirely, Murdoch offered this somewhat surprising tidbit about the 2016 election: He "could live with Hillary as president."

"We have to live with who we get," he said. "We don't have any choice."

Read the whole interview (paywall) here. Jon Terbush

4:24 p.m. ET

Hong Kong businessman Vincent Lo learned the hard way just how costly getting on Donald Trump's bad side can be. What started out in 1994 as a successful business relationship between Lo and Trump culminated in 2005 in a $1 billion lawsuit, after Trump decided he was displeased with how a deal went down.

Lo, along with other Hong Kong businessmen who bailed Trump out of major financial trouble by investing in one of Trump's midtown Manhattan properties, eventually sold the 77-acre property near Lincoln Center for $1.76 billion, which The New York Times reports is "believed to be the largest residential real estate transaction in the city's history." But instead of being thrilled by the deal, Trump was livid. He said his partners didn't consult with him, and that if they had, they could've gotten more money.

So Trump sued for a "staggering breach" of fiduciary duty and demanded $1 billion in damages. While Lo recalls at first finding the lawsuit to be "a shock" — especially because he claims Trump had been aware of the deal before it happened — he says he's since realized that's just how Trump operates. "Well, that's him," Lo said recently. "To file a lawsuit is nothing. It's just like having lunch."

Read the full story on the lawsuit, and how Trump likes to spin his loss as a win, over at The New York Times. Becca Stanek

3:10 p.m. ET

While you're busy waiting in hour-long lines for your turn in the TSA's X-ray machine this summer, hundreds of pups will have their noses to the ground trying to find bombs before they're even constructed.

As terrorists increasingly adapt new measures to get around security — like enclosing explosives in caulk to prevent vapors from reaching dogs' noses — the TSA is teaching canine teams not just how to detect the individual ingredients that make a bomb, but how to identify the presence of potentially dangerous combinations of chemicals, The New York Times reports.

"So we're now asking dogs not just to find a needle in a haystack — now we're also saying to the dog, 'We need you to find any sharp object in the haystack,'" researcher Clive Wynne said.

Training takes the dogs between 15 and 25 weeks, in which they learn how to sniff warehouses, cargo bays, and the interiors of airplanes. TSA trainers first introduce the scents of chemicals most commonly used in explosives, like TNT, C4, commercial dynamite, and Semtex, but the exact combinations are kept a secret.

To date, more than 900 canine teams are working across the country to keep travelers safe. Watch some of the class of 2016 at work, below. Jeva Lange

1:56 p.m. ET

Stonehenge might not be that impressive after all. While moving massive stones 140 miles through the mountains before the advent of heavy construction equipment has long been thought to be a nearly impossible task, a group of archaeologists from University College London has found that the task may only have required a small team of people.

In an experiment to see how the stones might have been moved, archaeologists set a one-ton stone on a sleigh, which was then dragged along tracks. Much to the archaeologists' surprise, a team of just 10 people was able to move the rock. The team managed to pull the rock one foot every five seconds, which, the experiment concludes, would "net a speed of more than one mile per hour." While the rocks from Stonehenge weigh nearly twice as much as the stones used in the experiment, archaeologists surmise that the team could be doubled to 20 people for the same ease of movement, even with the added challenge of the Preseli Mountains' tough terrain.

Archaeologists also point out that the same technique has been used to tackle far more impressive feats. The system was also used to move China's Forbidden City's stones, which weigh 120 tons a piece — more than 60 times that of Stonehenge's stones. Becca Stanek

1:32 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal asserting that the death penalty violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishments, Reuters reports. Only two of the court's eight justices — liberals Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — said they would have accepted the case.

The appeal was filed by Lamondre Tucker, who was sentenced to death for the 2008 murder of his 18-year-old girlfriend when she was five months pregnant. Tucker has argued that black males such as himself have an increased likelihood of being given the death penalty due to systemic issues of racism in Louisiana's Caddo Parish.

Tucker "may well have received the death penalty not because of the comparative egregiousness of his crime, but because of an arbitrary feature of his case, namely geography," Breyer wrote. "One could reasonably believe that if Tucker had committed the same crime just across the Red River in, say, Bossier Parish, he would not now be on death row."

However, by declining the appeal, the Supreme Court moves no closer to taking on a case challenging the death penalty directly. Louisiana's Supreme Court ruling from September 2015, which upheld Tucker's conviction and death sentence, will be left in place. Jeva Lange

1:07 p.m. ET

Right-wing extremists attacked a vegan cafe in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Sunday evening — only the attackers' weapons weren't knives or crowbars, but sausages.

"They pulled out some grilled meat, sausages, and fish and started eating them and throwing them at us, and finally they started to smoke," Kiwi Cafe wrote in a statement. "They were just trying to provoke our friends and disrespect us."

According to Radio Free Europe, the incident erupted after the men were told to leave the no smoking area of the cafe during a screening of the animated sitcom Rick And Morty. "Customers said the group of rowdy Georgian men entered the cafe as the screening was under way, wearing sausages around their necks and carrying slabs of meat on skewers," Radio Free Europe reports.

And while "antivegan provocative action" is a somewhat preposterous-sounding accusation, the attack on the counterculture and LGBT-friendly Kiwi Cafe is symbolic of a larger trend of intolerance in Georgia, where neo-Nazis and "fascist ideas" are on the rise.

However, Kiwi Cafe has said they are still "ready to accept all customers regardless of their nationality, race, appearance, age, gender, sexual orientation, or religious views" — just not, perhaps, diet. Jeva Lange

12:29 p.m. ET

Much has been made about Donald Trump's historic refusal to release his tax returns — but apparently the presumptive Republican nominee requires similar IRS documents from charities before he releases donations to them.

Trump's campaign has been criticized for being slow to gift money to veterans groups, to which he had promised $6 million after a fundraiser in January. Trump excused his tardiness by saying his team needed the proper paperwork to be in order before donations could be released. However, by the time he finished naming recipient organizations at his press conference on Tuesday, Trump said his campaign was still waiting to release $10,000 to Project for Patriots because "they have to give us that final document" — an "IRS determination letter."

The irony, apparently, was lost on Trump. Watch below. Jeva Lange

11:49 a.m. ET

Donald Trump took on the press during a news conference on Tuesday, slamming the media for being "dishonest" and made up of "not good people." Trump had appeared in order to account for charitable contributions his campaign said it made toward veteran organizations during an Iowa fundraiser in January, but he repeatedly lashed out at the press in attendance for requiring him to do so.

The press returned fire, with CNN's Jim Acosta accusing Trump of not being able to cope with the scrutiny it takes to run for president.

"I've seen you on TV, you're a real beauty," Trump replied.

Trump later pivoted to calling ABC reporter Tom Llamas, who was in attendance, "a sleazy guy."

"He's a sleaze, in my book." Trump said.

"Is this what it is going to be like covering you, if you are president?" another reporter finally asked.

"Yeah," Trump said. "Yeah, it is." Jeva Lange

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