Listen Up
April 2, 2014

Why would you ask Samuel L. Jackson to recite a beat-style poem about the 1993-2000 ABC sitcom Boy Meets World? That would be a great question to ask Jimmy Fallon (isn't the upcoming sequel, Girl Meets World, on a rival network?) or Jackson himself (he's promoting a new Captain America movie, right?) — but ultimately it doesn't matter: Jackson's performance, on Tuesday night's Tonight Show, is answer enough.

Never seen Boy Meets World? It doesn't really matter. The Tonight Show could have done this with any 1990s sitcom — and hopefully will. James Earl Jones poetically recapping Friends? Bruce Willis doing Freaks and Geeks? How about Sarah Silverman waxing poetic about Family of Five? Any other suggestions? --Peter Weber

2:18 a.m. ET

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) thinks the USA Freedom Act is better than the Patriot Act, but he's still voting against it, he told Seth Meyers on Tuesday's Late Night. There are better, most constitutional ways to combat terrorism, the 2016 Democratic presidential contender said. "We can't go around telling people we're a free country when either the government or the corporate world knows every damn thing about you — that's not really freedom."

Then Meyers started pitching softballs. Sanders looked a little nervous when Meyers started bringing up an essay Sanders published in 1972 that touches on rape and fantasy, but relaxed when Meyers turned it into a question about 50 Shades of Grey. "I think I could make a good president, but I write fiction pretty poorly," Sanders said. Also, that folk album he talked-sang on in the 1980s wasn't a great idea, he said, when Meyers broached the subject. "I almost feel like you should say, 'Vote for me or I'll put out another album'," Meyers quipped. There are probably worse campaign slogans. Listen to Sanders orate about liberty (and sing) below. Peter Weber

fixing a hole
1:33 a.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration's poor track record with airport security, highlighted in a report on Monday, did not go unnoticed by the TSA's parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson replaced the TSA's acting administrator, Melvin Carraway, with its acting deputy director, Mark Hatfield, until a permanent replacement is installed — President Obama nominated Coast Guard Vice Adm. Pete Neffenger in April, but the Senate hasn't confirmed him. Carraway was reassigned to another post at DHS.

Johnson said that the numbers reported from the classified DHS inspector general's report — TSA agents failed to detect fake bombs and other weapons in 67 of 70 covert tests — "never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security." He announced several steps meant to improve airport security, including new screening procedures, training for all TSA officers and especially supervisors, and re-evaluating current screening systems. Undercover, randomly timed security tests will continue.

Despite the bad report, "TSA screened a record number of passengers at airports in the United States," Johnson said, and "seized a record number of prohibited items." Still, he added, he is taking the reports findings "very seriously." Peter Weber

last night on late night
12:25 a.m. ET

If you're a fan of The Cardigans' angelic cover of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," or of English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Jimmy Fallon has a bit for you. "That's right, pop music's cherub-faced troubadour sings 25 of the darkest, most skull-crushing songs ever written," Fallon, in character, said in a faux late-night commercial on Monday's Tonight Show. And Sheeran was on hand to provide a taste of a few of those songs.

He kept up a straight face, mostly, through Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" and Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff," but he cracked up a bit during his track from the bonus album, Ed Sheeran Sings Hardcore Rap, probably because it's even funnier, and more improbable, hearing Ed Sheeran sing Ty Dolla $ign than Iron Maiden. Watch below. Peter Weber

June 1, 2015

Late Monday, a chartered cruise ship carrying 458 passengers and crew up China's Yangtze River capsized in a storm, and as of Tuesday morning, only between 10 and 20 have been rescued, according to Chinese media. Rescue efforts were hampered at first by strong wind and rains, and then darkness. But by daylight Tuesday, hundreds of police officers, military personnel, and divers were on hand for the rescue and recovery operation.

According to the English language version of Chinese state news site Xinhua, the captain and chief engineer were among those rescued, and "both claimed the ship sank quickly after being caught in a cyclone." Search crews reported hearing noises from within the upturned boat 12 hours after it capsized, China's CCTV reports, and are trying to determine if the sounds are coming from people trapped inside. The four-deck boat, built in 1994, sank in a part of the river about 50 feet deep. For more information, watch the Reuters report below. Peter Weber

High Hopes
June 1, 2015

Joel McHale and Conan O'Brien have more in common than their freakishly tall stature, they discovered on Monday night's Conan. His show, Community, was "canceled by NBC," McHale noted, adding, "I don't know if you have any experience with that." After a round of boos from the audience, Conan deadpanned: "Nothing but smooth sailing with that gang." But both shows got second lives, Conan on TBS and Community on Yahoo.

After a great season on Yahoo, McHale said, he didn't know what the future held for Community. Yahoo said it is interested in more, though "I don't think we are, unless they pay me a lot of money." But fear not Community community. "I think we will do a movie, if Dan [Harmon, Community's creator,] will write the script," McHale added. You can watch the tease below. Peter Weber

This just in
June 1, 2015
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

Is the noose circling around FIFA President Sepp Blatter?

The New York Times reports that his top deputy, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, transferred $10 million in FIFA funds to an account controlled by Jack Warner, an official who has been accused by U.S. law enforcement authorities of taking kickbacks to help South Africa secure hosting rights for the World Cup in 2010. Valcke has not been officially charged with any wrongdoing, though he makes an appearance in the U.S. indictment against FIFA officials as a "high-ranking FIFA official" responsible for the transfer. It remains unclear whether the transfer was a part of the bribe that Warner allegedly accepted.

According to the Times, Valcke "said in a brief email that he had not authorized the payment and did not have the power to do so."

Still, the report suggests the alleged bribery ring came closer to Blatter than was previously known.  Ryu Spaeth

June 1, 2015
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The state of Oklahoma launched an investigation on the Tulsa County Sheriff's Department after a volunteer deputy's fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Reuters reports.

Reserve deputy Robert Bates, a 73-year-old white man, said he confused his stun gun with his handgun when he shot Eric Harris, 44, on April 2. The incident was caught on video. Bates pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and resigned from his position with the sheriff's office.

The Oklahoma State Investigative Bureau is looking for possible misconduct at the sheriff's department. Some say Bates, a personal friend of Sheriff Stanley Glanz, benefited from special treatment and did not receive proper volunteer training. There is no set timetable for the investigation. Julie Kliegman

See More Speed Reads