Less than a year ago, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stood side-by-side, laying out a joint plan to rid Syria of its dangerous chemical weapons stores.
That, of course, was before Russian troops invaded the disputed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which voted to secede and join Russia a week ago. Subsequent sanctions from Western nations, the United States included, have eroded Russia-U.S. relations but have not stopped Moscow from continuing its push for Crimean control.
So where does that leave the plan to eliminate chemical weapons from Syria, asks Geoff Brumfiel over at NPR.
It’s a valid question, as disposal of the weapons relied on joint measures by Russia and America. A United States naval ship was supposed to destroy the chemicals while being escorted by cooperating Russian naval vessels. That plan is now on hold, and Syria may read the situation as a prime time to stall its shipments, with the superpowers otherwise occupied, says Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy:
I think what you're likely to see is that the Assad regime will comply just enough, at a slower pace, as it consolidates its hold over the country militarily...The usefulness of the Assad regime drops off significantly after those chemical weapons are destroyed, because we no longer need the Assad regime to secure their safety. [NPR]
With just a month to go until the premiere date for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, we're finally getting our first official glimpse at modern life in Stars Hollow. On Tuesday, Netflix offered up a two-and-a-half minute glimpse into all that awaits our favorite mother-daughter pair in the four-part mini-series, which will be released Nov. 25.
While Lorelai and Rory are still noshing on obscene amounts of junk food, not much else seems to have stayed the same for the Gilmore girls. Lorelai's notoriously stuffy mother Emily is wearing a T-shirt, bookworm Rory is floating around jobless, and Luke and Lorelai are — finally! — in a relationship.
Details about what's up with the rest of the crew — including Sookie, Dean, Jess, Logan, Miss Patty, Lane, and Kirk — are scarce, but the trailer confirmed they all will definitely be making appearances.
Watch the trailer below — and be prepared to start your Thanksgiving countdown now. Becca Stanek
Nearly 70 percent of American voters think that Hillary Clinton will win the presidency in November, with only 57 percent of Donald Trump's own supporters thinking he'll be moving into the White House next year, a new CNN/ORC poll has found. But there is a catch: If Clinton wins, 61 percent of voters don't think Trump will accept the results or concede after they're certified. Trump's own supporters have a little more confidence in him, with 56 percent saying he'll accept the outcome, whereas 75 percent of Clinton backers think he will not.
Sixty-six percent of voters have at least some confidence that the ballots will be accurately cast and counted, which is actually up from 58 percent in 2008 and slightly below 2004's 72 percent.
The poll sampled 1,017 adults by landline and cell phone from Oct. 20-23. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percent. Monday's poll also showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 5 points. Jeva Lange
This guy definitely jinxed the Cubs by predicting they'd win the 2016 World Series in his 1993 yearbook
Reddit is usually a hotbed for hoaxes, but a keen prediction in a 1993 yearbook that was shared on the website appears to be the real deal. According to the original post, a man named Michael Lee used his senior quote at Mission Viejo High School in California to predict the Chicago Cubs would be the 2016 World Champions. "You heard it here first," he bragged.
The Cubs have not won a World Series in 108 years; they will have to beat the Cleveland Indians four times in order to claim the trophy. Still, they have a solid 63 percent chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.
To dispel concerns about photoshopping, the same yearbook photo was posted by a Twitter user:
*mom walks into my room* -look at my yearbook from '93 #...
This dude called the cubs winning the series in 2016 for his senior quote. pic.twitter.com/Dq4kWFIziy
— ThomAss j Dale (@tommydale33) October 25, 2016
It's official, then. If the Cubs lose, you know who to blame. Jeva Lange
The latest round of emails from the Clinton camp published by WikiLeaks indicates President Obama might not have found out about Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state at "the same time everybody else" did. Shortly after Obama told CBS in March 2015 that he learned about the server "through news reports," Clinton's former chief of staff at the State Department, Cheryl Mills, sent this email to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta:
Here's how top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills reacted to news that Obama claimed he didn't know about Clinton's private server. pic.twitter.com/Q7B4Nwd2yq
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 25, 2016
Mills' urging to "clean this up" suggests that Obama not only knew about Clinton's personal email address, but he knowingly communicated with her via her non-government account as well. The Washington Examiner reported FBI agents "revealed in notes from their closed investigative file that Obama communicated with Clinton on her private server using a pseudonym."
Politico noted White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest later clarified Obama's claim he was unaware of Clinton's email setup, explaining the president was simply "not aware of the details of how that email address and that server had been set up." "The president, as I think many people expected, did over the course of his first several years in office exchange emails with his secretary of state," Earnest said at a daily briefing. Becca Stanek
If this 2008 clip of Donald Trump gushing over Hillary Clinton's huge potential is any indication, not even he knew he'd someday be trying to convince American voters she'd be a "disaster" for the country. During an interview with NY1 eight years ago, Trump said Clinton was "going to go down" in history "at a minimum as a great senator," but he had an inkling "her history [was] far from being over." "I think she is a great wife to a president and I think Bill Clinton was a great president. You know, you look at the country then, the economy was doing great," Trump said, going on to call the then-New York senator "a great woman."
Perhaps even more surprising was Trump's sadness at how Clinton was "roughed up" in the 2008 election. "I'm not knocking the other side — you know, you want to win a battle so if it gets a little bit nasty, it is politics, and politics is a tough game. But I thought she was perhaps unnecessarily roughed up," Trump said.
Which begs the question: What would 2008 Trump have to say about someone calling Clinton a "nasty woman"? Catch a glimpse of the Trump that was, below. Becca Stanek
Donald Trump basically cutting a campaign ad after the 2008 election for his lifelong friends, the Clintons. Wow. pic.twitter.com/9Q71NaTFOR
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 25, 2016
Donald Trump appeared at the Trump National Doral Miami on Tuesday to boast that 80 percent of the resort's employees are Hispanic. As he was making his way through the press afterward, though, Trump was bombarded with questions about rigged elections.
"Do you still think the election is going to be stolen from you?" someone can be heard asking in a clip captured by CNN's Jeremy Diamond. "Ask Obama," Trump replies. "Tell him to look at his tape when he was running eight years ago."
Asked if he still thinks the election will be stolen from him, Trump says "ask Obama" and refers to some tape from 2008 election pic.twitter.com/dxFJHYmocv
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) October 25, 2016
The Daily Caller appears to have posted the video Trump is talking about over the weekend. During a campaign stop at Kent State University in Ohio in 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama was asked, "I would just like to know what you can say to reassure us that this election will not be rigged or stolen?"
"Well, I can tell you what, it helps in Ohio that we got Democrats in charge of the machines," Obama said to applause. Obama added after a pause: "Look, I come from Chicago, so I want to be honest, it's not as if it's just Republicans who have monkeyed around with elections in the past. Sometimes, Democrats have, too."
Donald Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway finally answered the question that's likely been on the tips of millions of Americans' tongues during the Republican candidate's many tweetstorms: "Can't you delete his Twitter account?" In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, Conway said that people "will seriously say that" to her — just in time for Bash to admit that was one of her prepared questions. "It's not for me to take away a grown man's Twitter account," Conway said.
But put in the full context of the interview, it's clear Conway isn't conceding to Trump so much as picking her battles. Conway recounted how she has tried to artfully steer Trump away from making comments at his rallies that aren't exactly helpful to his campaign. "I told him yesterday, on the plane, 'You and I are going to fight for the next 17 days.' And he said, 'Why?' And I said, 'Because I know you're going to win. And that comment you just made sounds like you think you're going to lose. And we're going to argue about it until you win.'"
Trump's response? According to Conway: "Okay, honey, then we'll win."