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September 29, 2012

A suburban New York man spent $50,000 building an elite Little League team after another team dropped his son. Robert Sanfilippo recruited stars to play with his son on the "Long Island Vengeance," whose helmets were embossed with a skull-and-crossbones. "It was all about revenge," a rival coach said. Sanfilippo was recently charged with sending threatening messages to a coach whose son struck out Sanfilippo's son. The Week Staff

6:05 a.m. ET

Residents of Detroit and elsewhere in southeast Michigan saw a bright flash at about 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, followed by an earth-shaking boom, and meteorologists pretty quickly said thunder and lightening weren't to blame. People who got a good look at the bright light arcing across the night sky would have likely already ruled out lightening. A Michigander named Mike Austin posted this dash-cam recording of what the U.S. Geological Survey eventually confirmed to be a meteor that caused a magnitude 2.0 earthquake.

A meteor blazing across the sky is "certainly a rare occurrence," National Weather Service meteorologist Jordan Dale told the Detroit Free Press. Some people who saw the flash, visible from Flint to Toledo, were concerned, but others saw the lighter side. Luckily, as one wag joked darkly, the meteor didn't fall on Hawaii. Peter Weber

5:23 a.m. ET
Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images)

Senate Democrats said Tuesday that they have 50 votes for a measure to restore net neutrality rules overturned by the Republican majority on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), putting them one vote shy of being able to force the measure. But even if House Speaker Paul Ryan allowed a vote on the measure and it passed, President Trump would likely veto it, despite net neutrality's broad popularity. So Tuesday also saw a handful of federal lawsuits filed to block the FCC's net neutrality repeal.

One suit was filed by the attorneys general of 21 states and Washington, D.C., all of them Democrats, arguing that the FCC's "arbitrary and capricious" decision violated federal law and the FCC's longstanding policy of preventing internet service providers from blocking or throttling websites. "The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers — allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The Mozilla Foundation, the Open Technology Institute, and the public interest groups Free Press and Public Knowledge also filed separate lawsuits.

The 2015 rule giving the FCC teeth to enforce net neutrality, like previous net neutrality rules, was challenged in court by telecom firms, and a federal appellate court sided with the FCC in that case. Broadband companies are now siding with the FCC while the Internet Association, a trade group that includes Google and Netflix, is backing the net neutrality side. The FCC said its December rule stipulated that its net neutrality repeal couldn't be challenged until it was logged in the Federal Registry, so Tuesday's lawsuits were preliminary moves to determine which court will hear this round of legal challenges. Peter Weber

4:31 a.m. ET

White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson gave a rare press conference Tuesday to describe President Trump's annual physical, and it looks like we owe Trump's personal physician an apology for doubting that Trump is in excellent health, Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show. "No heart problems, no dementia, no dentures — but did you test for racism?" he asked. "It turns out, according to the official White House doctor, Trump is completely sane. Which makes me more worried, because that means he's doing all of this s--t on purpose? You 'covfefe' in your normal mind?"

"To us, the non-experts, the only thing that looks healthy about Donald Trump is that he's shaped like a food pyramid," Noah said. "To say that his health is excellent, it's like medicine is gaslighting us now." But Jackson had an explanation: good genes. "Look, to be honest, I'm not really surprised," Noah said. "Donald Trump has dictator blood. We're used to this in Africa and other places in the world: Castro, Mugabe, the queen — we're all shocked at how long they live." He imagined the talk Trump will give to the cockroaches after the nuclear apocalypse.

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert was impressed with Jackson's diagnosis of Trump's cardio health. "So despite all evidence, Donald Trump does have a heart," he joked. And, according to the federal body mass index, he's one pound shy of being obese. "One pound?" Colbert asked, tiptoeing toward "girtherism." "That's awfully convenient."

Jackson "says he has no concern about the president's cognitive ability — which makes one of us," Jimmy Kimmel marveled on Kimmel Live, "and despite the fact that he is borderline obese, Trump is in excellent health. How can he be in excellent health? When he sneezes, gravy comes out...." He ended with a re-enactment of Jackson's press conference, only with a horror-like twist at the end inspired by Trump's anti-baldness medication. Watch below. Peter Weber

3:20 a.m. ET
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

House Republican leaders proposed a fourth stopgap spending measure to their caucus on Tuesday night, betting that a few popular sweeteners and opposition from Democratic leaders would drum up enough GOP support to send the measure to the Senate, with or without Democratic votes. The continuing resolution would finance the government at current levels through Feb. 16, delay several ObamaCare-related taxes for a year or two, and finance the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years. The third and current short-term spending package expires at midnight Friday.

The spending bill needs 218 votes in the House, and most Republicans reportedly backed the measure Tuesday night, sometimes unenthusiastically. But House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) balked. "Based on the number of 'no' and undecided votes, there is not enough votes for a Republican-only bill," he said, dismissing the ObamaCare tax delays as a "gimmick." In the Senate, nine Democrats would have to vote with every Republican to pass the resolution, and Democrats are threatening to withhold their votes unless Republicans include a solution for DREAMers, the 700,000 young immigrants who are already losing their work permits and face deportation starting in March under President Trump's executive order.

Trump and Republicans are banking on Democrats folding, arguing that not voting to avert the first government shutdown since 2013 would harm the military (a decision that appears to rest at least in part with Trump, who can exempt "essential" personnel). Government shutdowns when one party controls both Congress and the White House are rare. "We don't need any Democrats in the House," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). "And I don't think the Democrats in the Senate have the nerve to shut down the government." Lawmakers are working to salvage a bipartisan plan to protect DREAMers, but are pessimistic they would have it ready by Friday, especially with the White House calling it dead on arrival. Peter Weber

2:06 a.m. ET

While riding on a Red Line train in Chicago Friday night, passenger Jessica Bell watched as an act of kindness quietly took place next to her.

Across from Bell was an older homeless man, whose feet were bleeding through his socks and his tattered sneakers. Maurice Anderson, in Chicago to visit his daughter, sat near him, wearing boots "built for a Chicago winter," Bell wrote on Facebook. Anderson asked the man what size shoe he wore, and when he replied "12" — the same size as Anderson — he didn't hesitate to take his boots off and hand them to the man. Having just arrived from Kentucky, Anderson dug into the suitcase he had with him, pulled out socks for the man, and changed into a different pair of shoes he brought.

"He's already in distress, he's out in the cold, riding the train," Anderson told ABC Chicago. "If I'm not reaching out to help someone, I can't say anything." Anderson and Bell said the homeless man was in shock by Anderson's gesture, and so appreciative, telling them he believed he had frostbite from the cold. Bell took a few pictures of the exchange, feeling compelled to share the simple but important moment. "I think that's what really resonated with me," she said. "It was a really selfless and quiet act, no fanfare. It just happened." Catherine Garcia

1:47 a.m. ET

If you were, for whatever reason, excited about the "Most Dishonest & Corrupt Media Awards Of The Year" that President Trump promised for Jan. 8, then postponed until Wednesday, well, don't get your hopes too high. There's nothing about the "Fake News Awards" on Trump's schedule for Wednesday, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that Trump's awards were merely "a potential event."

Arizona's two Republican U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, are using Trump's promised/threatened awards to criticize the president's frequent attacks on the free press, with Flake making comparisons to Joseph Stalin. But late-night TV appears to believe that laughter is the best disinfectant. On Tuesday's Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon's President Trump presented "Fakeys" to CNN, The New York Times, and himself, aided by Melania Trump (Gina Gershon) and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (Rachel Dratch).

Still, nobody will be more disappointed if Trump bails than Late Show host Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, and Samantha Bee at Full Frontal, all of whom are in full-on campaign mode for "Fakeys" of their own. "Personally, I'm excited for the Most Dishonest and Corrupt Media Awards of the Year, or as we call them in the biz, the Fakeys, because nothing gives you more credibility than Donald Trump calling you a liar," Colbert said, kicking off the late-night jockeying. "And I, of course, don't want to be snubbed." He took out a For Your Consideration ad in "Failing New York Times Square."

The Daily Show shot back, claiming that Colbert's Late Show and Bee's Full Frontal were were too fact-based.

Not to be outdone, Bee's decidedly NSFW retort leaned heavily on the F-bombs. If that doesn't bother you, watch below. Peter Weber

1:37 a.m. ET
iStock

They lost their home and all of their possessions in the devastating Montecito mudslides, but Lindsey and Woody Thompson said they held out hope they would be reunited with their cat, Koshka.

The Thompsons didn't know if they were going to survive the mudslide earlier this month, and they said their goodbyes to each other, ABC Los Angeles reports. Because the road outside their house was wiped out, they had to be airlifted to safety, and once they were settled they immediately asked for help finding Koshka. "We knew that she was alive and we knew that she was smart and she would find a safe spot to be and she did," Woody Thompson said.

It still wasn't safe to access the house, but a fire team told Santa Barbara County Animal Services that they saw muddy paw prints. Starting Jan. 9, the property was checked by animal services every day, and on Monday, after officers entered the house through a window, they found Koshka in the rubble "with mud-caked fur ... thankful to see her rescuers." The Thompsons were overwhelmed when they got to hold Koshka again."We needed this," Lindsey Thompson said. "Thank you. You're our heroes." Catherine Garcia

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