April 7, 2014
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After a week break, the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius resumed today with the disgraced former Olympian taking the witness stand and speaking out for the first time since last year's shooting. He apologized to Reeva Steenkamp's family for the "pain, sorrow, and emptiness" he caused them and reiterated his defense that he accidentally shot Steenkamp, his girlfriend and popular South African model, after mistaking her for an intruder.

"I wake up every morning and you're the first people I think of, the first people I pray for," said Pistorius in a trembling voice. "I can't imagine the pain and the sorrow and the emptiness that I've caused you and your family." The double-amputee faces life in prison if convicted of murder. He told the court that he had been on anti-depressants and sleeping pills that caused him to be in a disturbed state of mind.

"I'm scared to sleep," he said, according to Reuters. "I have terrible nightmares about things that happened that night," he said. "I can smell blood. I wake up to being terrified." Reeva's mother, June Steenkamp, looked impassive and steely faced while he was talking.

The trial continues later today. Jordan Valinsky

9:38 a.m. ET

Victoria Gotti may be the daughter and former wife of Gambino Mafia bosses, but she said even they didn't talk about women the way Donald Trump has. "I was married to the #1 gangster and would have cut his throat if he ever said such a foul thing to me," Gotti told a pen pal at The Daily Beast, referring to the Access Hollywood tapes in which Trump brags about kissing and groping women.

Gotti, who was also a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice in 2012, added that she considers Trump a "spoiled, rich brat" and "an embarrassment to the country." On Facebook, Gotti added she was "hoping you women out there who have any ‘class or dignity’ remember what this ‘crude obnoxious megalomaniacal mutt’ really thinks about women." Jeva Lange

9:22 a.m. ET

In a tweet Tuesday night, Donald Trump aide Dan Scavino Jr. declared former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) the winner of his on-air squabble with Fox News' Megyn Kelly. The two got into a heated argument during Tuesday night's episode of the The Kelly File, after Kelly brought up the sexual misconduct allegations made against Trump, a claim Gingrich insisted Kelly couldn't defend.

Though Kelly got the last word, advising Gingrich to "spend some time" working out his "anger issues," Scavino was certain Gingrich, who accused Kelly of being "fascinated with sex," had emerged victorious:

After thoroughly insulting Kelly's intelligence, Scavino fired off this ominous warning:

During her fiery exchange with Gingrich, Kelly said she brought up the allegations against Trump because she is concerned with the "protection of women and understanding what we're getting in the Oval Office." Becca Stanek

8:59 a.m. ET

Now here is a face we haven't seen on late night television in quite some time — former President George W. Bush. Although Bush, in his Tuesday night "appearance" on @Midnight With Chris Hardwick, happened to look suspiciously similar to Will Ferrell, who impersonated the Texan to hilarious ends throughout the last Republican presidency.

On the show, Bush/Ferrell insisted on saying a few words to defend the family honor after his cousin, Billy Bush, was caught making lewd comments on an Access Hollywood tape with Donald Trump (or, as he is known in the Bush family, "that disgraced pumpkin").

"I just want to say one thing. We Bushes don't act like that, okay," explained "Bush," but what specifically he is talking about you probably won't guess. Watch for the punchline, below. Jeva Lange

8:36 a.m. ET
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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared Wednesday that he will seek to expel foreign military troops from his country within the next two years, Reuters reports. "I have declared that I will pursue an independent foreign policy," he said. "I want, maybe in the next two years, my country free of the presence of foreign military troops. I want them out."

Duterte's predecessor had agreed to visiting U.S. military troops in a security deal that was arranged in response to China's military forwardness; those troops now reside in five Philippine military camps. But Duterte has increasingly turned to China for support, claiming at a talk there last week that he would "separate" from the United States.

Duterte and President Obama have exchanged harsh words in the past, with Duterte calling Obama a "son of a b----" and telling him to "go to hell." Obama, for his part, has been outspoken against Duterte's violent and bloody war on drugs: "We're not going to back off on our position that if we're working with a country, whether it's on anti-terrorism, whether it's on going after drug traffickers, as despicable as these networks may be, as much as damage as they do, it is important from our perspective to make sure that we do it the right way," Obama said.

In his speech Wednesday, Duterte added "if I have to revise or abrogate agreements, executive agreements, this shall be the last maneuver, war games between the United States and the Philippines military." Jeva Lange

8:06 a.m. ET
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With 13 days until the election, Hillary Clinton is in Florida on Wednesday, with Tim Kaine and Elizabeth Warren in Pennsylvania and Chelsea Clinton cruising through Ohio. Donald Trump, meanwhile, is off the campaign trail Wednesday morning to open the Trump International Hotel in deeply liberal Washington, D.C.

The hotel opening will be Trump's second marketing event this week. At an event Tuesday, Trump boasted about Trump National Doral Miami, calling it "one of the greatest places on Earth" and bragging that "bookings are through the roof." On Monday, Trump's campaign also did a soft-launch of a new nightly Facebook live TV program that many believe is a precursor to a Trump media organization.

Trump's campaign has defended their candidate's decision to go to Washington on business so late in the game. "Mr. Trump is attending the opening of his latest project, what many say is the finest hotel in the country," his spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, told Politico. "He is extremely proud of the development, which was finished under budget and ahead of schedule."

Many others don't see it that way. "This is the worst message to send to all of those true and loyal Trump supporters out there who actually did believe in him and actually did have a stake in this election," Kevin Madden, a former adviser to Mitt Romney, told The New York Times. "With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, Mr. Trump is repaying them by using their campaign to showcase his hotel. He said he wouldn't let them down, but he already has. They have a right to be disappointed."

"Politics is a side hobby for Trump, kind of like fishing or model railroading. Hotels, that's serious business, and I hear the hotel is fabulous," top Republican strategist Curt Anderson told Politico. "Which of his aides would like to take credit for scheduling this trip to D.C.? Is no one able to stand up to this guy? No one at all?" Jeva Lange

7:55 a.m. ET
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You may have noticed that Donald Trump loves to win and really, really hates to lose. Well, The New York Times now has pseudo-scientific proof to back up your observation. And it turns out, what really burdens Trump, says Times reporter Michael Barbaro, is "his deep-seated fear of public embarrassment." There's quite a bit of evidence for this, including the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner, but Barbaro and his colleagues listened to more than five hours of interviews Trump gave to biographer Michael D'Antonio in 2014, plus conversations with first wife Ivana Trump and Trump's children. D'Antonio, who doesn't support Trump's candidacy, made them available to the Times.

"The recordings reveal a man who is fixated on his own celebrity, anxious about losing his status, and contemptuous of those who fall from grace," Barbaro writes, and the Times embedded some snippets so you can judge for yourself. "Trump makes clear just how difficult it is for him to imagine — let alone accept — defeat." In the interviews, Trump says he loves to fight, doesn't have any heroes, doesn't "like talking about the past," and doesn't want to think about the meaning of his life. "I don't like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see," he said. He feels the same way about others, too. "For the most part," he said, "you can't respect people because most people aren't worthy of respect."

Trump told D'Antonio that he "never had a failure... because I always turned a failure into a success." That will be tested on Nov. 8, but other than rebounding from bankruptcies, there is other evidence of his lemons-to-lemonade prowess in the tapes, including a story told by Ivana Trump where she inadvertently humiliated him on the ski slopes after they first started dating and he stormed away leaving gear behind; she still married him. On Monday, Trump told The New York Times that the recordings are "pretty old and pretty boring stuff. Hope people enjoy it." You can, if you like, at The New York Times. Peter Weber

6:45 a.m. ET
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Donald Trump basically can't win the presidential race without Florida, so his campaign got some good news on Wednesday morning in a new Bloomberg Politics poll showing him beating Hillary Clinton by 2 percentage points in the state. In a four-way race, Trump has 45 percent to Clinton's 43 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 4 percent and the Green Party's Jill Stein at 2 percent. In a two-way race, Trump leads Clinton in Florida by 1 point, 46 percent to 45 percent. Trump's edge, says J. Ann Selzer, the pollster who conducted the survey, appears to be from his 2-point lead with independent voters in a head-to-head matchup. "This race may come down to the independent vote," she said. "Right now, they tilt for Trump. By a narrow margin, they opted for Obama over Romney in 2012."

The same poll shows Sen. Marco Rubio (R) with a 10-point lead over Democratic challenger Rep. Patrick Murphy, 51 percent to 41 percent, thanks again to a lead among independents. The poll of 953 likely voters was conducted Oct. 21-24, and has an overall margin of error of ±3.2 percentage points. It is also a bit of an outlier, so far. The RealClearPolitics average of polls has Clinton up 3.1 points in Florida, and FiveThirtyEight has Clinton with a 72 percent shot at winning the state, though neither average includes this new Bloomberg Politics poll. Peter Weber

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