This just in
March 17, 2014

L'Wren Scott, a fashion designer and the girlfriend of the Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, was found hanged to death in her New York City apartment Monday morning. Police say the body of the 49-year-old was found by her assistant around 10 a.m. Sources told the New York Daily News that police don't suspect foul play. Although a medical examiner has yet to determine the cause of death, police are reportedly treating it as a suicide.

Scott was originally a celebrity stylist before starting her own fashion line in 2006. Fans of hers include Oprah, Nicole Kidman and Michelle Obama.

A spokesman for Jagger, who is currently on tour in Australia, said the singer is "completely shocked and devastated" by the news. Jordan Valinsky

that's not jesus
8:54 p.m. ET

Hearing cries coming from a nativity scene, a maintenance worker at a Catholic church in Queens, New York, found, tucked away in a manger, a newborn baby.

Police say the baby was just four or five hours old when he was discovered, swaddled in towels. The Rev. Christopher Heanue of Holy Child Jesus Church said it's likely the infant was in the crèche for about 30 minutes before he was found, and his umbilical cord was still attached. "I believe that this mother came with her child and was able to find in this crèche — a place where Jesus will be welcomed — a place where her child will be welcomed," he told The Wall Street Journal.

Under New York state law, as long as a child is left in a safe place, it is not a crime to abandon a baby, and police still do not know the identity of the mother who dropped off the infant. A couple in the church is interested in adopting the baby, Heanue said, and the boy would be a "gift to our parish, our community. The Holy Child Jesus, that's our namesake. It's a welcoming home for this child, most especially." Catherine Garcia

happening now
7:47 p.m. ET

The city of Chicago released dash cam footage Tuesday evening that shows the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old black teenager in October 2014.

The video is six minutes long, and appears to show Laquan McDonald walking down the middle of a street before he is shot. Jason Van Dyke, the officer who allegedly shot McDonald, was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday; prosecutors say he fired 16 rounds at McDonald in roughly 14 seconds, and was reloading when another officer told him to hold his fire, the Chicago Tribune reports.

A court ordered the release of the video after a freelance journalist filed a Freedom of Information Act request, going against the wishes of McDonald's family. "No one understands the anger more than us, but if you choose to speak out, we urge you to be peaceful," the family said in a statement. "Don't resort to violence in Laquan's name. Let his legacy be better than that." Before the video was posted, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Superintendent Garry McCarthy held a news conference, urging residents to remain calm. "The officer in this case took a young man's life, and he's going to have to account for his actions," McCarthy said. "People have a right to be angry, people have a right to protest. " While he did not predict "doom and gloom," he did say he believed the tape would spark protests. The graphic video can be viewed on the Chicago Tribune website. Catherine Garcia

e. coli
6:58 p.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday at least 19 people in California, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Utah, Virginia, and Washington may have been infected by E. coli after consuming rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco.

Five people have been hospitalized, and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, which can lead to organ damage, Reuters reports. No deaths have been reported. The CDC says 14 of 16 people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco in the week before they became ill. Costco says it stopped selling the salad Nov. 20, the same day the company was notified by health officials about the connection to E. coli cases. The CDC says it has not yet identified which ingredient is linked to the infection. Catherine Garcia

Developing story
6:30 p.m. ET
Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images

At least 12 members of the president's security guard were killed and 20 injured Tuesday evening in Tunis after an explosion ripped through a bus.

Tunisian President Béji Caïd Essebsi called it a "cowardly terrorist attack," and declared a 30-day state of emergency and a nightly curfew starting at 9 p.m. Witnesses said they heard an explosion and saw the bus go up in flames, and a source told Reuters the blast was likely caused by a suicide bomber. "We're going into this war with everything we have," Essebsi said in a televised address after the attack. "Victory will always be on Tunisia's side."

This is the third major attack by militants in Tunisia this year, and took place on Mohammed V Avenue near Avenue Habib Bourguiba, where several landmarks and ministry headquarters are located, The New York Times reports. After the attacks in Paris and Beirut earlier in November, Tunisian authorities stepped up patrols around the city, deploying soldiers and police officers. No organization has claimed responsibility yet for the bombing. Catherine Garcia

The latest
3:32 p.m. ET
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police on Tuesday afternoon said they had arrested two suspects in the shooting near a Black Lives Matter protest camp in Minneapolis Monday night, and were still seeking other suspects. The Guardian reports that a 23-year-old white man and a 32-year-old Hispanic man were taken into custody in connection with the incident that non-fatally injured five black protesters.

Witnesses say the shooting happened after protesters tried to get three counter-protesters to move away from the camp outside the police station in north Minneapolis, where demonstrations have been ongoing since Jamar Clark, a black assault suspect, was shot dead on Nov. 15. Becca Stanek

have it your way
2:14 p.m. ET
Andy Buchanan/AFP/GettyImages

When visiting the newly-minted Trump National Golf Club on Lowes Island in Sterling, Virginia, golfers can stop between the 14th and 15th tees and pay their respects to the many soldiers who died in a Civil War battle there.

Or did they?

Even though there's a monument and plaque commemorating "casualties [that] were so great the water would turn red and thus became known as 'The River of Blood,'" all the local historians reached by The New York Times denied anything of the sort ever happened in the area.

"No. Uh-uh. No way. Nothing like that ever happened there," Richard Gillespie, the executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, the region's historical preservation group, said. Alana Blumenthal, who curates the Loudoun Museum in nearby Leesburg, agreed there had never been a battle at or near the site, as did another expert who chose not to be named.

When told about the historians' denial of the so-called River of Blood massacre, Trump replied, "How would they know that? Were they there?"

He elaborated, explaining that the place he marked on the river was a "prime site for river crossings." "So, if people are crossing the river, and you happen to be in a civil war, I would say that people were shot — a lot of them," Trump said.

Mr. Trump repeatedly said that "numerous historians" had told him the golf club site was known as The River of Blood. But he said he did not remember their names.

Then he said the historians had actually spoken not to him but to "my people." But he refused to identify any underlings who might still possess the historians' names.

"Write your story the way you want to write it," Mr. Trump said finally, when pressed unsuccessfully for anything that could corroborate his claim. "You don't have to talk to anybody. It doesn't make any difference. But many people were shot. It makes sense." [The New York Times]

Jeva Lange

media matters
1:44 p.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

How Americans perceive Muslims is linked primarily to headlines — which makes sense, because most Americans haven't even spoken to a Muslim in the past year, The Washington Post reports.

According to the Public Religion Research Institute's American Values Survey, which was conducted before the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks, 56 percent of Americans believe the values of Islam conflict with values of the United States.

However, since the U.S. Muslim population is relatively small — only about 1 percent — and spread out across a handful of cities, many Americans are forming opinions about Islam from a distance. In 2011, seven in 10 Americans said they hadn't even talked to a Muslim in the past year. In 2013, another survey found that a majority of Americans couldn't even locate Syria — a predominantly Muslim country — on a map.

That's a problem, considering "the act of simply knowing someone from a minority group can be a powerful perception game-changer," The Washington Post reports.

Look no further than the recent speedy cultural shift toward accepting gay and lesbian Americans [...] In fact, by the time the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June, nine in 10 Americans said they knew someone who was gay. It would seem Americans don't have that kind of connection with Muslims.

Filling that knowledge gap is, of course, the media. And the brutality of the Islamic State — taped beheadings, brash threats, the Paris attacks — is dominating most American news coverage about Islam these days. [The Washington Post]

President Obama has also recently condemned the media for its portrayal of Islam. "We will not give in to fear, or start turning on each other, or treating some people differently because of religion or race or background. That's precisely what terrorists like ISIL want, because, ultimately, that's the only way they can win," he said. Jeva Lange

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