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April 3, 2014
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It feels like gaffe-riddled Mayor Rob Ford is still getting the hang of this "being in a position of leadership" thing. The notorious Toronto mayor claims to have accidentally voted against a motion to honor Canadian Olympic athletes and rename a street after the late Nelson Mandela. Audible gasps were heard at the city council meeting when Ford was the only person to vote against the measures.

The mayor's chief of staff approached Ford about his mistake a half hour later, and claims Ford didn't immediately realize his goof. "I guess I pushed the wrong button. Of course I support Nelson Mandela," Ford said, adding that he was stretching his back when he voted. Since city council members had left the chambers once he realized his screw-up, it's not clear if Ford can change his vote.

Ford's colleagues weren't pleased with his latest gaffe. "Rob was pretty stupid to vote against this motion in the first place and should have read the motion," suggested Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong. Jordan Valinsky

8:07 a.m. ET
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Donald Trump supporters have lashed back at journalist Julia Ioffe after she published a piece in GQ revealing Melania Trump has a secret half-brother living in Slovenia. The harassment has been viciously anti-Semitic: "The irony of this is that today, when I was getting all of this horrible anti-Semitic shit that I've only ever seen in Russia, I was reminded that 26 years ago today my family came to the U.S. from Russia," Ioffe told The Guardian. "We left Russia because we were fleeing anti-Semitism."

The harassment has ranged from disturbing images sent to Ioffe's inbox to threatening calls:

On Thursday, she answered a phone call from an anonymous caller who played a Hitler speech. She received another call from "Overnight Caskets." On Twitter, users posted photos of her face superimposed on a mug shot from Auschwitz. The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist site, attacked Ioffe in a blog post titled: "Empress Melania Attacked by Filthy Russian Kike Julia Ioffe in GQ!"

"It's unsettling," she said on Thursday night. "I started the day off having a sense of humor about it but by the end of the day, after a few phone calls like this, with people playing Hitler speeches, and the imagery, and people telling me my face would look good on a lampshade, it's hard to laugh." [The Guardian]

"This is not a heavily critical article. There is nothing in it that is untrue," Ioffe added. "If this is how Trump supporters swing into action what happens when the press looks into corrupt dealings, for example, or is critical of his policies?"

Donald Trump recently adopted an "America first" motto in his foreign policy speech, drawing an awkward comparison to the America First Committee that fought against U.S. involvement in World War II for anti-Semitic reasons. Critics have said Trump seems unaware of the parallel. Jeva Lange

7:42 a.m. ET
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Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) thinks former House Speaker John Boehner ought to "be ashamed of himself" for calling Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) "Lucifer in the flesh" and a "miserable son of a bitch" during a recent talk at Stanford University. "The fact that he has done this is appalling. And he should be ashamed of himself. And I demand he apologize," Lee said on Mark Levin's radio show, calling Boehner's remarks "really vile stuff" and noting that he was "livid to have him talk about my friend Ted Cruz" like that.

Lee, who has endorsed Cruz in the presidential race, says Boehner's comments are all the more reason voters frustrated with the establishment should vote for Cruz. "This is a wake-up call to people who are supporting Donald Trump, thinking that he's the guy that's going to rail against the establishment," Lee said. "He's not. He is the establishment. He's the golfing buddy, the texting buddy of John Boehner. The same guy who praises Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders." Becca Stanek

7:27 a.m. ET

Sometimes the best jokes don't even take embellishment. In Amy Schumer's latest sketch, she and Inside Amy Schumer regular Kyle Dunnigan portray two home-shopping hosts who are excited to push their newest ware: "just your regular run-of-the-mill, meat-and-potatoes handgun."

The episode — which gets fact-checked by Everytown For Gun Safety's Chief Strategy Officer Brina Milikowsky — puts a big hot spotlight on the bleak reality of how easy it is for anyone to get a gun using legal loopholes, be they a felon, terrorist, or child.

While the whole skit could have been at risk of coming across heavy-handed, the funniest jokes are in the subtle details, such as the thousands of guns sales recorded just minutes into Schumer and Dunnigan's spiel and the "mass shooting" alarm that Schumer comments will provoke conversations on gun violence, "which means the government could be coming for your guns soon, which they never have but always might!"

But as this is a home shopping channel, the gun is a limited time offer, and Schumer and Dunnigan swiftly move on to hawking their next product: congressmen. Schumer swings for the fences, too — using actual congressmen's names.

Once again, Schumer walks the line between being hilarious and completely depressing — all while doing little more than telling the brutal truth. Watch below. Jeva Lange

7:15 a.m. ET

On Thursday, Donald Trump made his first campaign visit to California since February, as the GOP presidential candidates start focusing on the pivotal June 7 California primary. Trump held a big, racuous rally at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, and hundreds of demonstrators were waiting to protest Trump's immigration policies and campaign rhetoric. Ten men and seven women were arrested for alleged unlawful assembly after the rally as the protest turned violent. Police were out in force, and protesters smashed the window of a police cruiser, punctured the tires of a police SUV, and even tried to flip over a police car. The mayhem was over by 10:15 p.m., Orange County sheriff department Lt. Mark Stichter told the Los Angeles Times, and no major injuries were reported.

The protests were peaceful but larger than expected before the rally, but when Trump supporters couldn't get in to hear the candidate, the confrontation between Trump backers and critics started growing tense. Police helicopters hovered overhead and law enforcement in riot gear and on horseback stepped in to clear the streets of Trump protesters, some of whom carried Mexican flags. "We could be peaceful and do things different," Arianna Perez, 19, told the L.A. Times, "but if we did, we wouldn't get our voice heard." You can watch an Associated Press report below. Peter Weber

6:00 a.m. ET
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On Friday, North Korea's Supreme Court found U.S. citizen Kim Dong Chul guilty of espionage and subversion, and sentenced the 62-year-old businessman to 10 years with hard labor. Kim is the second American sentenced to hard labor recently, after 21-year-old tourist Otto Warmer was given 15 years for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. The brief trial was conducted a week before North Korea's ruling party holds its first congress in 36 years.

Kim was arrested in October. Last month, he confessed before North Korean media to having collaborated with South Korean intelligence to bring down North Korea's leadership — which National Intelligence Service says is untrue — and trying to spread religion in the country. Previous North Korean prisoners have said their confessions were coerced. Peter Weber

5:15 a.m. ET

Legendary former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight is a big fan of Harry Truman and Donald Trump, the latter of whom he has endorsed for president. At a Trump rally in Indiana on Thursday, Knight raised some eyebrows when he compared the two men. "Harry Truman, with what he did in dropping and having the guts to drop the bomb in 1944 saved, saved billions of American lives," Knight said, with Trump smiling next to him. "And that's what Harry Truman did. And he became one of the three great presidents of the United States. And here's a man who would do the same thing, because he's going to become one of the four great presidents of the United States."

A 2015 survey of 162 American political scientists did find Truman ranked highly among U.S. presidents, at No. 6, but his decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan, especially the second one on Nagasaki, is still controversial. Trump himself warns that nuclear weapons are the "single greatest threat" to the world, though he said Thursday morning that he "will never, ever rule... out" using a nuclear weapon on the Islamic State. On CNN Thursday night, Wolf Blitzer asked Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson about Knight's comments. "Well, I think this is just an example of what people are associating with Mr. Trump's strength and leadership, not the fact that he would actually drop an A-bomb," she said. You can watch below. Peter Weber

4:33 a.m. ET

Ted Cruz naming Carly Fiorina his potential vice president was "bold," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. "After Tuesday's huge wins by Clinton and Trump, Bernie Sanders saw the writing on the wall and laid off hundreds of staffers. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz saw the writing and covered it up with a 'Hang In There, Baby' poster." Colbert compared Cruz naming a running mate to the captain of the Titanic calmly announcing his "vice captain" as the ship sank, but said "Fiorina was clearly honored to accept this important job that will never exist." And that song she sang at the VP unveiling? "It's like Disney gave the wicked stepmother her own song."

Cruz isn't alone, though, Colbert said — every candidate is talking about vetting VP candidates. In the clip below, Colbert offered his unsolicited advice to Elizabeth Warren and all the other people whose names are being mentioned in the veepstakes. Peter Weber

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