Nature's Nightmares
March 4, 2014
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Last year, the world celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first successful effort to reach the peak of Mt. Everest. But the celebration was tempered by activists who brought attention to the tons and tons of garbage that thousands of climbers have left over the years.

While there has always been a rule requiring climbers to pick up after themselves, it's rarely been enforced. But as this year's climbing season kicks off, Nepali authorities are vowing to crack down on litterbugs.

"We are not asking climbers to search and pick up trash left by someone else," Maddhu Sudan Burlakoti, head of the mountaineering department at the Tourism Ministry, told the AP. "We just want them to bring back what they took up."

Climbers who don't return trash after they finish their trek will be forced to forfeit a $4,000 deposit. While it won't do anything to clean up the tons of trash already burdening the slopes, authorities are hopeful that it will at least prevent the problem from getting any worse. Hayley Munguia

Clinton Emails
2:34 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On Tuesday night, the State Department released a batch of about 3,000 pages of emails from the first few months of Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. Most of the emails, previously hosted on Clinton's home server, deal with meetings, phone calls, and other logistical details, but there are some points of interest for Clinton watchers.

Clinton appears to have been pretty insecure about serving in the administration of a president who defeated her in the primaries, asking aides about several possible slights from the White House, The New York Times reports. Both White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (now the mayor of Chicago) and Obama adviser David Axelrod had to ask Clinton aides for her private email address in the first half of 2009, and her aides asked Clinton before passing them on.

Informal Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal also at least attempted to play a large role in Clinton's early months, sending her detailed memos on various parts of the world and apparently acting as liaison between the U.S. secretary of state and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Reuters reports. From other emails we learn that she calls Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) "DiFi," advised John Podesta to wear socks to bed, asked an aide about a pattern of carpet she saw in China (subject line: "Don't laugh!"), mocked her former campaign adviser Mark Penn, and was friendly with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who, The Associated Press reminds us, " is now running for president, primarily on a foreign policy platform focused heavily on attacking Clinton's credentials."

Thanks to a judge's orders, we will be getting a new batch of Clinton emails every 30 days until January 2016. Peter Weber

Airline Tragedies
1:28 a.m. ET

At least 142 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of an Indonesian military transport plane that crashed Tuesday in a busy neighborhood of Medan, the country's third-largest city, including the remains of the 122 people on the C-130 Hercules aircraft and 20 people on the ground. Air Force Marshal Agus Suprianta said that along with 12 military personnel, the plane was carrying members of their families.

This is the sixth Indonesian Air Force crash in the past decade, and its recent history with commercial airlines isn't much better, The New York Times reports. You can watch an Associated Press report on the crash below. Peter Weber

you can't make this stuff up
1:15 a.m. ET

A northern California woman experienced an intense three days, beginning Thursday when she delivered a baby in the middle of a forest and ending Saturday when she started a wildfire in order to be rescued.

Amber Pangborn, 35, was driving to her parents' house when she started to go into labor, NBC News reports. She decided to take a back road in the Plumas County National Forest, and wound up giving birth, then running out of gas in a remote area without cell phone reception. Pangborn said she survived by drinking the tiny bit of water she had with her and eating some apples. By Saturday, Pangborn was afraid she and her daughter, Marisa, would die, so she used a lighter and hairspray to start a brush fire. "The whole side of the mountain caught on fire," she said. "I was looking at Marisa and was like, 'I think Mommy just started a forest fire.'"

Pangborn's plan worked, and she was found by members of the U.S. Forest Service, who came racing to the quarter-acre blaze. Pangborn and her baby were taken to separate hospitals, and were expected to be reunited Tuesday. Although not everyone will approve of Pangborn starting a fire in a drought-stricken state, her mother, Dianna Williams, thought it was a great idea. "I'm elated and the baby's beautiful," she told NBC affiliate KCRA. "I'm glad that she's a smart kid. She's always been smart." Catherine Garcia

Highbrow Emo
12:41 a.m. ET

If all you know about Justice Antonin Scalia's blistering dissents last week is his whimsical use of "jiggery-pokery" and "pure applesauce" (ObamaCare) and his accusation that he and his colleagues are a "threat to American democracy" (same-sex marriage), you want to know more, but you don't like reading long legal documents, the band Coheed and Cambria is at your service.

In the song below, posted to Funny or Die, the band takes some of the more poetic parts of Scalia's dissents on gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act and spin them into a ballad for two acoustic guitars, an acoustic bass, a shaker, and two singers. Never has so much disappointed anger sounded so lovely.

If listening to nearly 4 minutes of prog balladry is too much, Daniela Lapidous at McSweeney's has distilled Scale's gay marriage dissent into a haiku:

You're not a poet,
Kennedy. And by the way,
Democracy’s dead. [McSweeney's]

She created remarkably evocative haikus of the other three dissents and Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion, too, and you can read them all at McSweeney's. Peter Weber

Not funny
12:39 a.m. ET

In totally justifiable lawsuit news, Paris Hilton is reportedly planning on suing the Egyptian television host who set up an elaborate prank that tricked the socialite into thinking the plane she was traveling in was crashing.

Hilton was in Dubai when Ramez Galal, host of Ramez in Control, invited her to go on a sightseeing plane. Hilton says she had no idea that it was all a gag — the plane was under the control of a stunt pilot, who shut off the engines and took the aircraft into a nose-dive. Footage from inside the plane shows an obviously terrified Hilton screaming and crying, surrounded by actors who are playing along with the "joke" that the plane is about to crash.

TMZ reports that Hilton is "furious" over the stunt, and has contacted her lawyers, who said she has a case for emotional distress. She no longer wants to get on airplanes, and said the prank was even worse than it appears on tape, with the plane nearly hitting the water. Watch the video below, and get ready to feel sympathy for Paris Hilton. Catherine Garcia

June 30, 2015
Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday, three cables that deliver internet service to Sacramento, California, were cut in what was likely a coordinated attack.

The FBI is now investigating the case, with special agent Greg Wuthrich of the Bureau's San Francisco division saying the incident could be the latest in a string of cuts that have happened in the San Francisco Bay area over the past year. The cables were severed in Livermore, 40 miles east of San Francisco, at 4:20 a.m. Tuesday, Reuters reports. While repairs are underway, there is no estimated time for when internet service will be back up.

Wave Broadband spokesman Mark Peterson said only suburban areas of Sacramento have been affected by the outage. Wave is a customer of Level 3 Communications and Zayo Group Holdings Inc., the companies that own the cables. Catherine Garcia

This just in
June 30, 2015

Firefighters in Greeleyville, South Carolina, are battling a blaze at the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, a black church that was set on fire 20 years ago by members of the KKK.

The Mount Zion AME Church is located about an hour away from Charleston. The cause of the fire is not yet known. Mark Keel, chief of the State Law Enforcement Division, told The Post and Courier that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and other federal agencies have been notified and are on their way to the scene.

This is the seventh black church in the south to catch on fire in recent weeks, with at least three cases known to be arson. Catherine Garcia

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