After 13-year-old McKenna Pope's Change.org petition garnered more than 40,000 signatures, toy-maker Hasbro has agreed to release a gender-neutral version of its classic Easy-Bake Oven and include boys in its ads. McKenna says she was inspired to start the campaign after discovering that the Easy-Bake Oven she wanted give her 4-year-old brother for Christmas only came in pink and purple. "[Hasbro] really met most or even all of what I wanted to do, they really amazed me," she tells the AP. Samantha Rollins
On July 9, three teenage boys watched a disabled man drown in a pond in Cocoa, Florida, east of Orlando, and they filmed the man's death on a cellphone and taunted him for the duration of the 2-minute video, which they then posted to social media, police say. The teens, age 14 to 16, did not call for help or tell authorities about the death of Jamel Dunn, 32; his fiancée reported him missing on July 12 and his body was recovered from the pond on July 14. A woman who says she is Dunn's sister, Simone Scott, came across the video and posted it on Facebook last weekend, and police identified the boys and questioned them. At least one of them showed no remorse, Cocoa Police Department spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said.
Near the beginning of the video, the audio of which was posted by Florida Today, one boy is heard shouting at Dunn, "Get out the water, you're gonna die." The kids laughed. "He keeps putting his head under," another boy said. "Wow." "Bro, you scared to see a dead person?" one of the boys asked another. Finally, one of the teens said, "Oh, he just died," and they laughed some more.
Police are not going to file any charges against the teens, at the recommendation of state prosecutors, because they did not violate any Florida laws. Floridians are not legally obliged to assist people in distress or call for help. "If there was (a law like that) we would charge them," Martinez tells CNN. "The family is frustrated," she said, and "the detectives are frustrated, that we cannot hold anyone accountable for this." In a statement, the state attorney's office said that while no laws were broken, "we can find no moral justification for either the behavior of persons heard on the recording or the deliberate decision not to render aid to Mr. Dunn."
Cocoa Police Chief Mike Cantaloupe was more direct. "As chief of police, there are times when I wish I could do more, but I'm a firm believer in that good will always win over evil," he said. "It may not come in our lifetime, but there will be justice." Peter Weber
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met "more than just three times" at the G-20 summit earlier this month, but he downplayed the interactions, likening the world leaders to children in kindergarten, NBC News reports.
"When you are brought by your parents to a kindergarten do you mix with the people who are waiting in the same room to start going to a classroom?" Lavrov asked by way of illustration. "I remember when I was in that position I did spend five or 10 minutes in the kindergarten before they brought us to the classroom."
President Trump is undoubtedly a man who likes his bullet points, but Axios reports that six months into his term, the U.S. commander-in-chief still can't pay attention through a national security briefing. "Can you believe this guy?" Trump has reportedly joked as his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, was talking.
McMaster is normally "crisp, linear, [and] dry," Axios adds, but has recently "started to adjust by making shorter points and [speaking in] a more colloquial tone" — that is, he's getting better at communicating in Trumpese. But even still, "Trump likes to be discursive and will frequently turn to others or meander into other subjects while McMaster is briefing him," Axios reports.
That might not be encouraging news to 76 percent of Americans who think the United States is going to enter a "major war" in the next four years. Read more about how administration officials are learning to communicate with Trump at Axios. Jeva Lange
Lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who has represented President Trump since the early 2000s, is out as the president's personal attorney, CBS News reports. The details of the ousting are not immediately clear, although the shakeup comes as the Russia investigation, headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, turns its attention toward the Trump family's business dealings despite the efforts of the president's lawyers.
Additionally, Kasowitz recently sent several threatening, expletive-filled emails to a stranger who told him to resign, with the attorney later blaming his language on exhaustion following "a very long day."
Lawyers Ty Cobb, Jay Sekulow, and John Dowd remain to represent Trump. Jeva Lange
The Trump administration will announce a ban on travel to North Korea by U.S. citizens on July 27, effective 30 days later, two tour agencies said Friday. "We have just been informed that the U.S. government will no longer be allowing U.S. citizens to travel to the DPRK," or North Korea, China-based Young Pioneers Tours said in a statement. "After the 30-day grace period any U.S. national that travels to North Korea will have their passport invalidated by their government." Rowan Beard, of Young Pioneers Tours, told BBC News that his company was given the information by the Swedish embassy, which handles U.S. affairs in North Korea.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had reportedly been considering such a ban since April, but the effort was accelerated after the death last month of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, an American student who was arrested in North Korea in January 2016, sentenced to 15 years hard labor for stealing a propaganda poster, then returned to the U.S. in a coma from which he never awoke. Koryo Tours' Simon Cockerill tells the BBC his agency had also been told about the coming ban by the Swedish embassy, and said he was disappointed by the decision. "It's unfortunate for the industry but also for North Koreans who want to know what Americans are really like," he said. The U.S. has not confirmed the news.
Update 7:37 a.m. ET: Unidentified U.S. officials confirmed to The Associated Press early Friday that Tillerson has decided to enact a "geographical travel restriction" for North Korea, making it illegal to enter the country on a U.S. passport. Peter Weber
Early Friday morning, a strong earthquake struck the Agean Sea between the Greek island of Kos and the Turkish coastal town Bodrum. At least two vacationers, one from Turkey and the other from Sweden, were killed in the old town of Kos when a popular tourist bar, the White Corner Club, collapsed. At least five other people were seriously injured, and there were some 70 minor injuries and significant flooding reported in Bodrum. Greek officials said the earthquake was a magnitude 6.5, with the epicenter 6 miles deep, 10 miles east-northeast of Kos, and 6 miles south of Bodrum. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was a 6.7-magnitude temblor.
"There was banging, there was shaking, the light was swinging, banging on the ceiling, crockery falling out of the cupboards, and pans were making noise," Christopher Hackland, a Scottish diving instructor, told The Associated Press. Tens of thousands of vacationers spent the rest of the night outside, sleeping on beach sunbeds or wherever else they could find a resting spot. Along with the tourist bar, the ferry terminal, several churches, a 14th century castle, and an old mosque were also damaged in the quake. You can see some of Hackland's raw video of the damage in the AP clip below. Peter Weber
Thursday night was the penultimate night of The Late Show's Russia week, and "my favorite night," Stephen Colbert said. He has been showing reports from his Russia trip all week, but "the piece we're showing tonight is really the whole damn reason why we went," he said. Colbert explained that when his executive producer pitched the idea of a trip to Russia back in December, Colbert thought nobody would still be talking about Russia six months into Trump's presidency. "I was a dummy," he said. What changed everything was the leaked dossier on Trump by a former British spy alleging that Trump has deep financial ties to Russia, that the Kremlin was supporting Trump's campaign, and that other part.
In his New York Times interview on Wednesday, Trump claimed that the dossier was "made-up junk" and "a phony deal," and said he had a witness, Phil Ruffin, to disprove the most salacious detail, involving urination and the presidential suite at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. He showed a photo of Phil Ruffin. "Now, the wildest accusations in that dossier have never been confirmed," Colbert said. "But as far as I know, nobody has tried to confirm them. And here's the reason why: The real news, while reporting on the dossier — your CNNs, your MSNBCs, your Fox's — they said, 'Oh, that's too salacious for us to even look into.' But it's the only part we care about!"
In his sometimes giddy report, Colbert asked Andrei Soldatov, a journalist and surveillance expert who has been critical of the Kremlin, what Russians had been told about the alleged "pee-pee tape" (a lot), and whether he thought it plausible that the Kremlin had such compromising evidence on Trump. Colbert then gave a tour of the Ritz-Carlton presidential suite, which is pretty impressive, and tried his best to find evidence to support the dossier's claim. He didn't exactly leave empty-handed. Watch below. Peter Weber