Burning questions
March 20, 2014
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Ever since Kurt Cobain was found dead in his Washington home 20 years ago, conspiracy theorists have claimed the death was not, as the medical examiner determined, a suicide, but rather an orchestrated murder. Well, Seattle police will only further fuel that speculation, as they've delved back into the case, according to the local KIRO news.

Police last month developed four rolls of 35 mm film from the scene that had been sitting in storage for years, according to the station. The film reportedly shows the scene more clearly than did old Polaroids used in the initial investigation, though there is no word yet on what authorities hope to find on the film, or why they chose to take another look at the case now.

Cobain died in 1994 of a gunshot wound to the head. Though the coroner deemed the wound self-inflicted, skeptics have maintained that someone else — possibly Cobain's wife, Courtney Love — pulled the trigger.

UPDATE: As The Washington Post points out, police have no new leads in the case. Rather, a detective poking through the old file simply found the undeveloped film, and authorities decided they may as well develop it. Jon Terbush

9:07 a.m. ET

The chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), seems to be having a bit of trouble defining her own party. Speaking with MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, she appeared confused by his question concerning if self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders would be allowed to speak at the Democratic convention.

"Bernie Sanders has been a good Democrat," Wasserman-Schultz said as Matthews barraged her with questions. "Of course he should speak."

"Speak in primetime?' Matthews continued, to Wasserman-Schultz's increasing confusion. He finally insisted to know the difference between Democrats and socialists, leaving Wasserman-Schultz looking utterly baffled.

"I used to think there was a big difference," Matthews said. "What do you think?"

"The real question is, what's the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican?" Wasserman-Schultz said, attempting to dodge the question.

“Okay, but what’s the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist?” Matthews persisted. “You're the chairwoman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist.”

“The relevant debate that we’ll be having over the course of this campaign is, what's the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican," Wasserman-Schultz said again.

Matthews finally threw up his hands. "I think there's a huge difference."

Watch the whole thing unfold below. Jeva Lange

got beef?
8:42 a.m. ET

After GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz charged earlier this week that the Iran nuclear deal would make President Obama the leading sponsor of global terrorism, the GOP's 2012 nominee pushed back on Twitter:

The Texas senator was having none of it. On air with KFYO’s Chad Hasty, Cruz responded to the tweet with a couple words aimed especially at Romney — and his failed 2012 campaign. (The relevant section starts around the 12-minute mark.)

"Now it's interesting, in the past couple of weeks we've seen both Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, both of them talking about, 'Now take it easy, guys, you don't really need to oppose this Iranian nuclear deal quite so forcefully,'" Cruz told Hasty. "You know, it's interesting, two days ago, or three days ago, President Obama was in Africa. And he chose to attack me directly for saying that if this deal goes through, the Obama administration will become the leading global financier of radical Islamic terrorism. And he attacked me personally. But you know what he didn't do? He didn't disagree with the facts."

Cruz went on: "The unavoidable consequence of those facts is if this deal goes through, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry will be the leading global financiers of radical Islamic terrorism on the face of the Earth."

"One of the reasons Republicans keep getting clobbered, is we have leaders, like Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, who are afraid to say that," Cruz added.

Cruz pointed to Romney's failed 2012 campaign against Obama as proof. "We all remember that third debate where Barack Obama turned to Mitt and said, 'I said the Benghazi attack was terrorism and no one is more upset by Benghazi than I am,'" Cruz said. "And Mitt, I guess listening to his own advice, said, 'Gosh, I don't want to use any rhetoric so okay, never mind, I'll just kind of rearrange the pencil on the podium here.' We need to stand up and speak the truth with a smile. The truth has power." Jeva Lange

The Daily Showdown
7:55 a.m. ET
Rick Kern/Getty Images

Jon Stewart is keeping things especially friendly in his last episodes of The Daily Show, which will air next week. Fellow comedians Amy Schumer, Denis Leary, and Louis C.K. will be joining him on stage as his final guests, he announced Thursday.

The guests aren't exactly a giant surprise, as they're all Stewart's friends. Earlier this year, Schumer reportedly turned down an offer to take over The Daily Show after Stewart's departure (the job eventually went to Trevor Noah). Stewart has said in the past that Leary and C.K. are two of his favorite guests.

Not much else is known yet about Stewart's finale, which will air on Thursday Aug. 6. Pretty much all we know so far is that it will run an extended 50 minutes, and the lead-up will consist of a day-long Comedy Central marathon of old episodes, beginning at 10:30 a.m. But don't let that deter you from running with some additional rumors: The Washington Post, for example, suggests that Stephen Colbert might be making an appearance. Jeva Lange

7:31 a.m. ET
Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images

Jewish arsonists are believed to be responsible for torching a Palestinian home in the West Bank on Friday, killing an 18-month-old toddler and injuring three other family members inside. Israel's prime minister has called the attack an act of terrorism.

The suspected Jewish attackers wrote "revenge" outside the house in Hebrew, and threw fire bombs inside the home just before dawn, marking the worst attack by Israeli aggressors since a Palestinian teenager was set on fire in Jerusalem a year ago. The Palestinian group Hamas has called for retaliation for Friday's attack. Read more at Reuters. Jeva Lange

7:25 a.m. ET
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Amidst an eruption of internet fury over the killing of Zimbabwe's beloved Cecil the lion by American dentist Walter Palmer (who admits to killing Cecil, but contends that he thought it was legal), the African nation has asked the United States to extradite Palmer. Oppah Muchinguri, Zimbabwe's environment minister, charged that Palmer "had a well-orchestrated agenda which would tarnish the image of Zimbabwe and further strain the relationship between Zimbabwe and the U.S.A." Palmer has not been seen publicly since the controversy first erupted this week. U.S. officials have also launched an investigation of Palmer's hunt. Ben Frumin

This just in
7:15 a.m. ET

The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks charged that the U.S. has spent the past eight years or more spying on Japanese cabinet officials, banks, and other companies, the BBC reports. The National Security Agency apparently targeted at least 35 Japanese telephone numbers, including those linked to the Bank of Japan, Mitsubishi, and government ministries and offices. The U.S. allegedly snooped on discussions on trade, climate change policy, and nuclear policies. The U.S. also allegedly got intel on a confidential briefing that took place in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's residence.

Japan is a close U.S. ally, as are Germany, France, and Brazil — other nations WikiLeaks has revealed as subjects of NSA surveillance. Jeva Lange

Back to Beijing
6:10 a.m. ET

The Chinese capital, which also hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, was selected by the International Olympic Committee on Friday as the official host of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Beijing will be the first city ever to host both a Winter and Summer Olympics. Almaty, Kazakhstan, was the runner-up for the 2022 Games.

Human rights activists are angry with the IOC's decision. "There is no hope that China would make any more progress on human rights than it did with the 2008 Games, and in fact things have declined radically since then under [President] Xi Jinping," John J. MacAloon, a University of Chicago historian, told the Los Angeles Times. Critics also contend that Beijing is "burdened by a host of major environmental and logistic issues, including air pollution, extreme water scarcity, and a dearth of high mountains and natural snow." Ben Frumin

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