April 7, 2014

Our boss here at The Week — "the eccentric and very wealthy publisher Felix Dennis," in the words of The Independent — just helped broker a deal to provide a new laptop to each of the 12,500 secondary school children in the small Caribbean nation St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The deal — partially financed by Venezuela — also involves Microsoft, Acer, and the Japanese company Trend Micro.

Mr. Dennis, 66, hopes the initiative will help St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which has a population similar to that of Chesterfield, to grow into a technology hub with a population trained in computer skills. "The schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines have very limited access to IT facilities at the moment, let alone each individual child," he told The Independent. "I'm delighted that Dennis Publishing has managed to help push this deal through so that every secondary school child can have a laptop to learn with." [The Independent]

As The Independent notes, Felix's relationship with this small nation stretches back some 15 years, ever since he bought "Mandalay, David Bowie's hilltop villa" in the Grenadines.

Check out the whole story at The Independent. The Week Staff

4:06 p.m. ET

Voting is well underway in New Hampshire, but a handful of farm animals are hoping they might be able to sway last-minute undecideds. Reporting from the center of the action in Manchester, Nancy Chen of Boston's WHDH spotted a few Bernie-backing barnyard critters who came out to "support" the Vermont senator.

Take a look at the menagerie, below. Jeva Lange

3:35 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

America's neighbors aren't so happy about the possibility of a President Trump: In a poll released Tuesday, it was revealed that most Canadians fear "the very prospect" of Donald Trump being elected president, Politico reports.

Nearly two-in-three Canadians polled said they were fearful of Trump in the White House, with only 23 percent saying the thought didn't give them chills. The majority of Canadians preferred that the States elect Hillary Clinton — she was viewed favorably by 54 percent of those polled.

Canadians might not be losing too much sleep over the American elections, however: Only 19 percent think Trump would actually win a general election, and 55 percent said they think there is a President Clinton in the future.

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz — who is Canadian-born — was only viewed favorably by 14 percent of Canadians. Thirty-six percent of Canadians said they don't even know who he is.

The poll was conducted by Canadian polling firm Leger from Feb. 1-4, and sponsored by the newspapers Le Journal de Montréal and Le Devoir. It surveyed 1,524 Canadian voters, and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. Jeva Lange

2:45 p.m. ET

Behold the power of Beyoncé: A single mention on one of her tracks can apparently boost sales for a brand by more than 30 percent. Just days after the pop star released her new track, "Formation," Red Lobster — which gets a brief mention in the song as a reward for sex — reported that its sales saw a 33 percent spike over the previous year.

Sales weren't all that went up for Red Lobster, either. The brand also got mentioned on Twitter 42,000 times in just one hour and trended on the social media site for the first time ever, spokesperson Erica Ettori said. In fact, Beyoncé helped Red Lobster out so much that the seafood chain jokingly considered renaming its Cheddar Bay Biscuits "Cheddar Bey Biscuits."

After what Red Lobster described as "one heck of a weekend," it had to admit: "You definitely slay, Beyoncé." Becca Stanek

1:43 p.m. ET

Over at Fox News, the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary briefly appeared to have already been called — even though the polls don't close for another six hours. Thanks to what Fox's Chief Digital Officer Jeff Misenti says was a "malfunction" that occurred during "routine testing," the site's election results page briefly showed Donald Trump as the decisive winner of the New Hampshire primary early Tuesday morning, with 28 percent of the vote and 14 delegates.

The errant results showed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in second, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in third, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in fourth. Longshot candidate Jim Gilmore got 574 votes in the incorrect Fox data, registering at 0 percent.

The error has since been corrected on Fox News' website. The actual results should be announced sometime Tuesday evening after the last polls in New Hampshire close at 8 p.m. ET. Becca Stanek

12:07 p.m. ET

After Donald Trump called Texas Sen. Ted Cruz a "pussy" on the campaign trail Monday for his stance on waterboarding, he played off the inflammatory comment as just a crowd having a good time. "We were all just having fun," Trump said Tuesday on MSNBC's Morning Joe, clarifying that he was simply repeating what a supporter shouted out during the rally so "everybody could hear."

Making off-the-cuff remarks and apologizing later isn't a new strategy for the outspoken real estate mogul. Here, five other times Trump has made a controversial comment and then later cast it as nothing but a joke. Becca Stanek

The issue: Cruz's hesitation on whether he would support waterboarding
Trump's comment: "She just said a terrible thing. You know what she said? Shout it out, 'cause I don't want to. Okay, you're not allowed to say — and I never expect to hear that from you again — she said... he's a pussy."
The excuse: "We were all just having fun. I was just repeating what she said so everyone could hear. I was doing everybody a favor. I got a standing ovation [and] the place went wild. You're talking about close to 5,000 people. It was a great moment. The world is politically correct."

The issue: His unshakeable popularity with voters
Trump's comment: "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."
The excuse: "That comment was said with me laughing and thousands of other people laughing. It was said as a joke — obviously it was a joke."

The issue: Climate change
Trump's comment: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
The excuse: "Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I'd be — received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you could burn; they couldn't care less. They have very — you know, their standards are nothing. But they — in the meantime, they can undercut us on price. So it's very hard on our business."

The issue: His daughter, Ivanka
Trump's comment: "Yeah, she's really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren't happily married and, you know, her father..."
The excuse: "I said on a certain show — my daughter's a beautiful young woman — so I said, and I said it joking, everybody laughed, everybody laughed. I said, 'My daughter's so beautiful that if I weren't married, etc., etc. I'd be dating her.' Cute. It was cute. Everybody laughed... The next day [the headline was] 'Trump Wants to Date His Daughter.'"

The issue: Trump's treatment of women
Trump's comment: Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly referenced Trump's past remarks about women during the first GOP debate, asking him to explain why he has called women "fat pigs," "dogs," "slobs," and "disgusting animals."
The excuse: "I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. Frankly what I say — and oftentimes, it's fun; it's kidding; we have a good time — what I say is what I say."

11:52 a.m. ET

Whatever happened to predictability? It's right here in the new trailer for Fuller House, which premiered exclusively on Ellen today (skip ahead to around 2:30):

This new trailer, which is the first to contain actual footage from the Netflix series, alternates between meta-references to how long it's been ("Damn, we all still look good!") and clumsy callbacks to the original Full House ("How rude," "Cut. It. Out," and "Have mercy!" uttered within the span of about eight seconds). You can say this for Fuller House: It's coming back in a way that feels totally in line with the quality of the original series.

Fuller House premieres on Feb. 26. Scott Meslow

11:44 a.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Obama unveiled his eighth and final budget plan Tuesday. The $4.1 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2017 — which starts Oct. 1, just months before Obama leaves office — focuses on progressive issues including clean energy, education, and Medicaid and requests $19 billion for a new cybersecurity initiative.

The proposal seeks to raise an additional $2.6 trillion in taxes over the next 10 years by hiking taxes on big banks and the wealthy. Revenue is projected to increase by $308 billion in the next fiscal year and spending is estimated to increase by $196 billion.

Even before the plan was sent to Congress Tuesday, Republicans vowed to reject it. Becca Stanek

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