Look at this

Even New Orleans cops caught the Mardi Gras spirit

March 5, 2014

Despite concerns that the ratio of revelers to law enforcement officers in New Orleans would top 2,000 to 1, the cops of Mardi Gras joined in the multi-day fun. Homicide detective Winston Harbin impressed partiers with his rendition of the Wobble, a line dance popular with the young audience. Many passersby joined Detective Harbin as he expertly navigated the steps, thrusts, and wiggles of the dance. A warning: Watching this video may make you love Mardi Gras again. --Celeste Mora


Indiana will expand Medicaid coverage under landmark ObamaCare deal

7:20am ET

On Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) announced that his state will accept the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid, after gaining some concessions from the Obama administration. Under the deal, all new Medicaid enrollees will have to pay for part of their monthly premium, from $1 to $26 for single adults, depending on income, and they'll lose coverage for six months if they fall behind. Beneficiaries who inappropriately overuse the emergency room will also face copays of up to $25.

The Indiana waivers are "the latest example of how the GOP is trying to broaden its reach by appealing to lower earners," as well as "a growing willingness by the Obama administration to cut deals with states in order to expand insurance coverage under the 2010 health law after the Supreme Court hampered that effort," The Wall Street Journal explains. The deal could pave the way for a handful of on-the-fence GOP-led states to expand Medicaid, too — and prompt states that already adopted the ObamaCare expansion to seek similar waivers.


After Israeli airstrikes in Syria, Hezbollah attacks Israeli army convoy

6:18am ET
Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Hezbollah is claiming responsibility for an attack Wednesday against an Israeli military convoy near the Israel-Lebanon border. After the attack — in which an anti-tank missile hit a vehicle, injuring four Israeli soldiers, a military source tells Reuters — Israel sent helicopters and fired at least 35 artillery shells into Lebanon, according to Lebanese security officials.

The attacks follow weeks of rising tensions in the Lebanon-Syria-Israel border area. Earlier Wednesday, Israeli jets hit Syrian military artillery posts, apparently in retaliation for Tuesday's Syrian rocket attack into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. An Israeli airstrike on Jan. 18 killed a Hezbollah commander and a general in Iran's Revolutionary Guards; Iran is a primary sponsor of both Hezbollah and the Syrian government.


X-ray shows SpongeBob SquarePants inside of child

2:13am ET

When Dr. Ghofran Ageely received the X-ray of his 16-month-old patient, he was not expecting to see SpongeBob SquarePants looking back at him.

The radiology resident at King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was caught off guard when he saw the cartoon character clearly show up in the image. "I thought it was just a pin," Ageely told ABC News in an email. "But when I opened the front view I was shocked to see SpongeBob looking at me with a big smile. Its angle and rotation are just perfect."

The tiny figure appeared to be a pendant, and it was safely removed from the child through a scope.


Deflategate: The NFL is hiring Columbia physicists to advise on 'gas physics'

1:59am ET

Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged that he's "not a scientist" when he floated the theory that "atmospheric conditions" and not human meddling was behind New England's under-inflated footballs in their Super Bowl–clinching win against the Indianapolis Colts. So the National Football League is hiring actual scientists — the Columbia University physic department, in fact — to help the league understand how weather and temperature affect football pressure, The New York Times reports.

Lorin Reisner, a partner in law firm the NFL hired to look into "deflategate," called the Columbia physic department on Monday requesting "to consult with a physicist on matters relating to gas physics," according to notes taken by an administrative manager and a follow-up email, both seen by The Times.

There has actually been a fairly heated debate over Belichick's espoused theory, though it should be noted that team loyalties may be clouding judgments: Some of the high-profile scientists siding with Belichick are from the Boston area (a.k.a Patriots central), while Bill Nye ("the Science Guy"), who pooh-poohed the explanation on TV, is from Seattle, home to New England's rival Seahawks in the upcoming Super Bowl. For what it's worth, NFL football maker Wilson Sporting Goods Co. calls Belichick's nature-did-it excuse "BS."

Luckily, the NFL isn't relying entirely on science: It has hired investigators from Renaissance Associates to look over video and other electronic evidence.

you're a poet and you didn't even know it

Let this website turn your tweets into poetry

1:52am ET

Do you compare your tweets to a summer day? If so, a new website can help you turn your 140-character prose into a sonnet (possibly) worthy of Shakespeare.

Poetweet was developed by the Brazil Contemporary Art Center (b_arco) in San Paolo, which says the poems "are made by combining all user tweets and finding rhymes between them, creating curious results and sometimes surreal." The process is simple: Go to the site, enter your Twitter handle, and then choose between a sonnet (14 lines), rondel (4 lines, 4 lines, 5 lines) or an indriso (eight verses).

In mere moments, Poetweet scans your profile and gives you a poem based on your musings. Results will vary, of course, depending on what you've tweeted about — Carolyn Kellogg from the Los Angeles Times said her poem turned out "pretty awful" — but who knows, it could show you're the next Dickinson or Frost.

hollywood 411

'Let it Go' team writing song for Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris

1:03am ET
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Since we haven't reached peak Frozen yet, the songwriters behind the movie's earworm "Let It Go" will pen an original musical number for this year's Academy Awards.

Host Neil Patrick Harris and special guests will perform an "original multimedia musical sequence" called "Moving Pictures," producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced Tuesday. Songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez said they are huge fans of Harris, and "when he asked us to write him a song for this year's show we said 'Yes!' before he could finish the sentence — it's possible he may have been asking us for something else." The Academy Awards will take place Feb. 22.

gold rush

Thieves steal gold from museum after smashing car into entrance

12:24am ET

A trio of brazen thieves crashed a stolen SUV into the entrance to the Wells Fargo History Museum in San Francisco and took off with $10,000 worth of gold nuggets.

At about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, the ski mask–wearing suspects held up a security guard at gunpoint and then grabbed at least 10 ounces of gold before taking off in a four-door sedan, NBC Bay Area reports. Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido said in a statement the company was "disturbed" by the heist, but "grateful no team member was harmed." Historic stagecoaches on the premises were not damaged.

This wasn't the first time thieves in San Francisco have used vehicles in their bold burglaries; last year, burglars drove into the Chanel store near Union Square, and two weeks ago two men backed a U-Haul into a Patagonia store near Fisherman's Wharf. Police do not think any of the incidents are related.


Sheldon Silver is out as New York Assembly speaker

12:04am ET
Yana Paskova/Getty Images

After a second day of closed-door meetings, Democrats in the New York State Assembly announced late Tuesday that embattled Speaker Sheldon Silver's long tenure will end Monday. It's unclear if Silver agreed to step aside, though he told reporters he "will not hinder a succession process." Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, from Rochester, will take over as interim speaker until the Assembly elects a new speaker, with a vote tentatively scheduled for Feb. 10.

Morelle is a leading candidate to replace Silver, 70, who has led the Assembly since 1994, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is eager to have a speaker from the city, like Silver. Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, from Brooklyn, said that the Assembly Democrats won't allow de Blasio or Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) any input in their selection. Silver, fighting federal corruption charge, is not resigning his seat.

Foreign affairs

After investigation, Mexico declares 43 missing students dead

January 27, 2015
Brett Gundlock/Getty Images

The 43 college students who have been missing from southern Guerrero state in Mexico since September have been declared dead by Mexico's attorney general, Jesus Murillo Karam.

Murillo Karam cited confessions from suspects and forensic evidence from the scene where he said the students were killed after being captured by police and handed over to a gang in the city of Iguala. "The evidence allows us to determine that the students were kidnapped, killed, burned, and thrown into the river," he said during a press conference.

Murillo Karam said that a local gang, Guerreros Unidos, thought the men were rival gang members, but analyst Alejandro Hope told The Associated Press this motive makes no sense, as several suspects say they knew they were students. "We know the who, the what, the when and the where," he said. "We don't know the why. They have yet to tell a compelling story of why this happened. It doesn’t matter how many people they detain — unless they answer that question, the whole thing will remain under a halo of mystery."


Congressman says Hillary Clinton willing to testify again regarding Benghazi

January 27, 2015
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she will testify again in front of Congress about the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.

"She said, I'll do it, period," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House select committee on Benghazi, told The Hill. "If the committee wants her to come, she's willing to come."

On Tuesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of committee, said that he planned to summon Clinton. "Every witness who has relevant information needs to be talked to," he told reporters. If she didn't testify, it would be "an incomplete investigation." The attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and an inquiry by the House Intelligence Committee found that "there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks."

See More Speed Reads