A husband and wife in southern Texas believe that the hairless animal with big claws that they caught in their yard is the legendary chupacabra. The chupacabra is said to be a grotesque creature that sucks the blood out of goats and cattle, and it's almost certain to cause nightmares if you ever decide to do a Google Image search.
Jackie Stock and Arlen Parma discovered the animal on Sunday; it has dark skin, lots of teeth, and a distinctive growl. Parma is an avid hunter, and says he's never seen — or heard — anything like it.
"A coon doesn't make that noise, or a possum," he told Newscenter25. "What makes that noise? I guess a chupacabra does."
Brent Ortego, a wildlife diversity biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife — who, to be fair, has only seen photos of the creature — says he believes this chupacabra is a small canine with mange, which is why it has no hair. Whatever it is, it's currently being kept in a cage outside, and being fed corn and cat food. --Catherine Garcia
On Friday, World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren released a report he says conclusively proves that Russian athletes and government officials were involved in a massive "institutional conspiracy" to give performance-enhancing drugs to Olympic athletes and cover up that doping. The conspiracy involved the Russian Sports Ministry, the FSB intelligence service, and the Russian anti-doping agency, the Canadian law professor said, with irrefutable proof — including DNA analysis — that athlete samples across 30 sports were swapped on a large scale to avoid detection at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics — including 12 Russian medalists.
The report, which will be passed on to the International Olympic Committee, expands on a preliminary report WADA issued in July. The IOC, which has two commissions looking into doping allegations, declined to issue a blanket ban on Russian athletes for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The organization will have to decide what to do with Russian athletes in the 2018 Games in light of McLaren's investigation. Peter Weber
President-elect Donald Trump took a moment at his victory tour rally Thursday night to defend his selection of several billionaires and millionaires for his Cabinet. "One newspaper criticized me: 'Why can't they have people of modest means?'" Trump said, while speaking in Des Moines, Iowa. "Because I want people that made a fortune! Because now they're negotiating with you, okay?"
Trump has not yet finished making appointments, but already his Cabinet is shaping up to be one of the wealthiest ever. Trump's pick for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is worth an estimated $2.5 billion; Betsy DeVos, who Trump tapped for education secretary, comes from a family worth $5.1 billion; and Trump's pick for head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon, and her husband have an estimated net worth of $1.16 billion.
But, Trump said Thursday, these billionaires are going to put money-making on hold to join his administration. "These people have given up fortunes of income in order to make a dollar a year, and they're so proud to do it, and you watch, you watch what's gonna happen," he said. "It's gonna happen fast, too."
Watch Trump make his case below. Becca Stanek
Pres.-elect Donald Trump on why he doesn't appoint people of 'modest means': "I want people that made a fortune." https://t.co/MHeCcYKAPa
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 9, 2016
Trevor Noah is confused at how Hillary Clinton can win more than 2.5 million more votes than Donald Trump and still lose the presidency, and if you support the Electoral College that allowed this to happen — as many Republicans do after Trump's win — Noah makes some good points that are maybe more obvious to someone approaching the U.S. electoral system from the outside. "If you're like me, you probably thought that on Election Day, Americans were going to the polls to elect a president," he said on Wednesday's Daily Show. But no, confusingly, voters elect electors to vote on their behalf.
"There are two ways to pick a president," Noah said: "There's giving it to the person with the most votes — commonly known as democracy — and then there's how America does it," the Electoral College. "The person with more votes should win," he argued. "This is a weird system, because no other country decides elections this way. It's even weird in America, you understand that? You don't elect mayors like this in America, you don't elect governors like this, you don't even elect idols like this. The presidency is the only office where for some reason you don't trust the popular vote."
By the way, Noah said — before you can accuse him of playing partisan politics — "this is not about Trump. You know the system is broken because the person with more votes lost in two of the last five elections. That's 40 percent — 40 percent! If a plumber told me that every time I flushed my toilet, there'd be a 40 percent chance s—t would spray back at me, I'd be like, 'Maybe I need a new toilet.' But America's like, 'I've had this toilet for 200 years, I'll be fine, I'll be fine — [flush] — Trump!"
Thanks to the Electoral College, millions of people end up voting for the candidate they didn't vote for, Noah pointed out. "So the 4 million people who voted for Hillary in Texas? Or the 2.5 million who voted for Trump in New York? They just don't count. They're like lines of dialogue in a Fast and Furious movie — they're there, but they have no real value." He turned to a virtual Thomas Jefferson (Jordan Klepper) for advice on fixing the Electoral College, but there's only so much a smartphone app can do. Peter Weber
President-elect Donald Trump got into a high-profile Twitter spat on Wednesday with Chuck Jones, the president of the United Steelworkers local that represents the union workers at the Carrier furnace plant where Trump intervened to save jobs. Jones had criticized Trump for claiming 1,100 jobs would be kept in Indiana instead of the roughly 800 jobs that actually won't be sent to Mexico. It turns out, even those 800 jobs won't all stay in Indianapolis for long, according to the CEO of Carrier's parent company, United Technologies, and the reason is the other part of the Trump-brokered deal.
"We're going to make a $16 million investment in that factory in Indianapolis to automate, to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive," United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told CNBC's Jim Cramer this week. "Now, is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower-cost labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we'll make the capital investments there. But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs." You can watch the relevant part of the interview starting at about the 12:50 mark:
United Technologies isn't alone in building robots to replace manual labor. U.S. factories are actually producing more goods today than in the post-World War II boom — domestic factory output has risen 150 percent in the past 40 years, according to Federal Reserve data — but U.S. manufacturing jobs have contracted by more than 30 percent in the same period, thanks largely to automation, CNNMoney notes, arguing that "automation is the only way that a plant in Indiana that pays about $20 an hour can compete with Mexican plants where workers earn $3 an hour."
"You can't just blame cheap labor" in Mexico and other countries, LNS research analyst Dan Miklovic tells CNNMoney. "Certainly many of the jobs that we've lost, especially in more sophisticated industries, it's not so much that they've been offshored, but it has been automation that replaced them. We use a lot more robots to build cars." Peter Weber
Late Thursday night, Alabama executed Ronald Bert Smith Jr., 45, for the 1994 fatal shooting of Casey Wilson, a store clerk in Huntsville who was pistol-whipped before being shot. Smith was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m., about half an hour after prison officials began the three-drug cocktail to end his life. He coughed, heaved, and clenched his fists for the first 13 minutes of the execution, and the prison officials injected the final two lethal drugs after two indeterminate consciousness checks to make sure he was sedated. The Alabama prison commissioner said he did not see any movement after the second test, but according to The Associated Press, he raised his arm slightly in both tests.
Smith was sentenced to death by a judge despite the jury's 7-5 recommendation that he be given life without parole. Smith's case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which twice paused the execution. Finally, the high court split 4-4 on Thursday evening, with the four liberal justices voting for a stay of execution; five votes were needed. Alabama's death penalty system is the only one in the country that still allows a judge to override a jury. Peter Weber
Congratulations are in order for rock legend Mick Jagger and ballerina Melanie Hamrick, who gave birth to a son on Thursday. This is the eighth child for Jagger, 73, and the first for Hamrick, 29. The couple has been dating since 2014. The new child's seven siblings range in age from 17 to 46, and collectively the eight children have five mothers. Jagger also has grandchildren and one great-grandchild, born in 2014. Jagger's band, The Rolling Stones, released their 25th studio album last week, and their first in 11 years. You can learn a bit more, with a rock soundtrack, in the CNN primer below. Peter Weber
President-elect Donald Trump continues to roll out his nominees for Cabinet positions, and Stephen Colbert is a little queasy. "Watching Trump pick these people is like watching your nana get a sponge bath," he said on Thursday's Late Show: "You know it has to be done, but it's still upsetting." He focused on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier and EPA critic, to head the EPA. "If I were him, I'd change my phone number, or else he's going to get some pretty angry calls from himself come January," Colbert said. But generally, "there's a trend out there of Trump appointing people to head things that they're against," he added. "I'm looking forward to Surgeon General Joe Camel."
Meanwhile, Trump's time transitioning in Trump Tower is costing New York City $500,000 a day in extra security, and Congress only approved $7 million of the $35 million the city requested to cover those costs. "The rest of that cost will fall on New York City taxpayers, which — fun fact — does not include Donald Trump (as far as we know)," Colbert said.
Trump has already met with reality TV producer Mark Burnett about staging his inauguration, and Burnett reportedly proposed that it begin with a parade down Fifth Avenue, followed by a (Trump-branded) helicopter ride from Trump Tower to Washington, D.C. Colbert did not approve: "Why hold a Trump parade here in Manhattan when Hillary Clinton won 87 percent of the vote in New York? That's like holding a gay pride parade in Mike Pence's backyard — it makes no sense." Watch below. Peter Weber