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The Oscars
March 2, 2014

In their never-ending quest to reach the coveted Millennial demographic, the producers of the Academy Awards have hit on everyone's favorite trend-piece subject: Selfies! Host Ellen DeGeneres invited a slew of famous faces — including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, and Brad Pitt — to join her for a meme-ready picture:

Scott Meslow

Full of Secrets
8:39 a.m. ET

The media made quite a fuss this week about revelations that President Obama had secretly summoned Jon Stewart to the White House twice. So on his show Wednesday, Stewart revealed exactly what President Obama wanted to ask the comedian: "Jon, why are you such an a--hole?"

Somewhat more seriously, as Stewart sought to explain the meeting that got the media all in a tizzy, he explained that the underlying reason for pretty much every high-profile meeting he's had — the Obama meeting included — was to discuss his cynicism. Really, he said, the meeting wasn't all that different than Obama's appearance on his show last week, except for one big thing: There was salmon.

Stewart also noted that the meetings were on the White House visitor logs all along. "Something is not secret just because you don't know about it," Stewart quipped, suggesting that the "media has got a serious case of the FOMO." The media made the meeting sound "so much more awesome than what happened," Stewart said. Because in reality, it was this simple: "The president of the United States called my office and asked me to meet with him. And I did."

Watch the full segment here. Becca Stanek

interesting choice of words
8:01 a.m. ET
WPA Pool / Getty Images

British Prime Minister David Cameron's word choice is not going over so well. In a recent interview with ITV News about the Calais migrant crisis, Cameron used the word "swarm" to describe the "people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain." Criticism abounded. The Labour Party's Harriet Harman responded: "He should remember he is talking about people and not insects." The Refugee Council called Cameron's comment "irresponsible" and "dehumanizing." "This sort of rhetoric is extremely inflammatory and comes at a time when the government should be focused on working with its European counterparts to respond calmly and compassionately to this dreadful humanitarian crisis," the Refugee Council said.

The BBC reports that thousands of migrants have attempted to cross the English Channel this week to reach the UK from Calais, France. Nine people have been killed this month attempting to cross. In response, both Britain and France are beefing up border control and security. The French have sent an extra 120 police to the border and Cameron has emphasized that Britain would not become a "safe haven" for migrants. Becca Stanek

This just in
7:45 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Bad news for Hillary Clinton: While she holds a massive lead over Bernie Sanders, with 55 percent of Democratic voters saying they'd pick her in the primaries, compared to just 17 percent for the Vermont socialist, Clinton is only viewed favorably by a mere 40 percent of those polled by Quinnipiac University. Fifty-one percent view her unfavorably. That's Clinton's worst rating in the history of Quinnipiac's poll. Cue the Beltway critics:

Only one in three male voters holds a favorable opinion of Clinton. Female voters are slightly more confident, giving Clinton a favorability rating of 47 percent. Jeva Lange

election 2016
7:20 a.m. ET
Charlie Leight/Getty Images

Trump scored 20 percent in a new national poll of the GOP electorate, the highest tally received by a single candidate in Quinnipiac University's seven surveys over the last two years. However, 30 percent of Republican voters say there is "no way" they would vote for Trump, which is also the highest figure of any candidate.

Trailing Trump's 20 percent support is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 13 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, at 10 percent. Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio are all at 6 percent, putting them in a four-way tie for fourth place.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton remains the frontrunner, with 55 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 17 percent. Joe Biden — who has not announced he is running — holds 13 percent. Despite her vast lead, Clinton also scored her worst-ever favorability rating, with 40 percent of voters viewing her favorably compared to 51 percent unfavorably. Jeva Lange

happening now
2:42 a.m. ET

On Thursday, Malaysian officials said they were "almost certain" that the flaperon, a control surface attached to the wing of an airplane, found on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean belongs to a Boeing 777 aircraft.

"Our chief investigator here told me this," Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said. That is the same type of aircraft as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Reuters reports, and investigators say that MH370 is the only known Boeing 777 to be missing at this time. The airplane disappeared March 2014 with 239 people onboard as it made its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Catherine Garcia

pollution
2:16 a.m. ET
Mario Tama/Getty Images

An investigation by The Associated Press found incredibly high levels of viruses and bacteria from sewage in the water of Rio de Janeiro venues where Olympic and Paralympic athletes will compete next summer.

Over a period of five months, AP conducted four rounds of tests at Olympic sites, and found that none were ready for swimming or boating events. The results consistently showed large amounts of active and infectious human adenoviruses, which can cause respiratory trouble and intense vomiting and diarrhea, with concentrations similar to those seen in raw sewage. At one site that was thought to be cleaned up, Rodrigo de Freitas Lake, there were 14 million adenoviruses per liter to 1.7 billion per liter; for comparison, in Southern California, water officials are concerned when viral counts are at 1,000 per liter. "What you have there is basically raw sewage," marine biologist John Griffith told AP. "It's all the water from the toilets and the showers and whatever people put down their sinks, all mixed up, and it's going out into the beach waters."

Already, some competitors training in Rio have become sick, complaining of fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. The Austrian sailing team has been training for months in the Guanabara Bay, and coach Ivan Bulaja said it "is by far the worst water quality we've ever seen in our sailing careers. I am quite sure if you swim in this water and it goes into your mouth or nose that quite a lot of bad things are coming inside your body." In Rio, most of the waste goes through open-air ditches, down through streams and rivers that feed the Olympic water sites. Even though Brazilian officials have promised that the water will be safe in time for the games, international experts told AP it's too late to get everything cleaned up. Catherine Garcia

someone didn't think this one through
1:39 a.m. ET

It was supposed to be the "first women's museum in the UK." Instead, it will be dedicated to Jack the Ripper, a madman who brutally murdered prostitutes in London's East End during the late 1800s.

Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, the former head of diversity and inclusion for Google, was approved to build a "world class" museum in an old building in the Whitechapel district. In documents, architects Waugh Thistleton said the museum would "retell the story of the East End through the eyes, voices, experience, and actions" of women, the London Evening Standard reports. Now that area residents know about the new direction Palmer-Edgecumbe took, they're not happy. "We feel we have been completely hoodwinked and deceived," filmmaker Julian Cole said. "My neighbor thought it was some kind of sick joke."

The museum is set to open Tuesday, and Palmer-Edgecumbe says he's not going to glorify the murderer. "We did plan to do a museum about social history of women but as the project developed we decided a more interesting angle was from the perspective of the victims of Jack the Ripper," he told the London Evening Standard. "It is absolutely not celebrating the crime of Jack the Ripper, but looking at why and how the women got in that situation in the first place." Catherine Garcia

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