Only in America
August 1, 2012

When Tennessee man Lowell Turpin, 40, saw a photo of a strange man on his live-in girlfriend's Facebook page, he reportedly accused her of planning an affair. Turpin demanded to know who the man was, and his girlfriend told him: GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney. Apparently still quite angry, Turpin allegedly grabbed his girlfriend's laptop, threw it against the wall, and hit her in the face. He has been charged with domestic assault. The Week Staff

e. coli
6:58 p.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday at least 19 people in California, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Utah, Virginia, and Washington may have been infected by E. coli after consuming rotisserie chicken salad sold at Costco.

Five people have been hospitalized, and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, which can lead to organ damage, Reuters reports. No deaths have been reported. The CDC says 14 of 16 people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco in the week before they became ill. Costco says it stopped selling the salad Nov. 20, the same day the company was notified by health officials about the connection to E. coli cases. The CDC says it has not yet identified which ingredient is linked to the infection. Catherine Garcia

Developing story
6:30 p.m. ET
Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images

At least 12 members of the president's security guard were killed and 20 injured Tuesday evening in Tunis after an explosion ripped through a bus.

Tunisian President Béji Caïd Essebsi called it a "cowardly terrorist attack," and declared a 30-day state of emergency and a nightly curfew starting at 9 p.m. Witnesses said they heard an explosion and saw the bus go up in flames, and a source told Reuters the blast was likely caused by a suicide bomber. "We're going into this war with everything we have," Essebsi said in a televised address after the attack. "Victory will always be on Tunisia's side."

This is the third major attack by militants in Tunisia this year, and took place on Mohammed V Avenue near Avenue Habib Bourguiba, where several landmarks and ministry headquarters are located, The New York Times reports. After the attacks in Paris and Beirut earlier in November, Tunisian authorities stepped up patrols around the city, deploying soldiers and police officers. No organization has claimed responsibility yet for the bombing. Catherine Garcia

The latest
3:32 p.m. ET
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police on Tuesday afternoon said they had arrested two suspects in the shooting near a Black Lives Matter protest camp in Minneapolis Monday night, and were still seeking other suspects. The Guardian reports that a 23-year-old white man and a 32-year-old Hispanic man were taken into custody in connection with the incident that non-fatally injured five black protesters.

Witnesses say the shooting happened after protesters tried to get three counter-protesters to move away from the camp outside the police station in north Minneapolis, where demonstrations have been ongoing since Jamar Clark, a black assault suspect, was shot dead on Nov. 15. Becca Stanek

have it your way
2:14 p.m. ET
Andy Buchanan/AFP/GettyImages

When visiting the newly-minted Trump National Golf Club on Lowes Island in Sterling, Virginia, golfers can stop between the 14th and 15th tees and pay their respects to the many soldiers who died in a Civil War battle there.

Or did they?

Even though there's a monument and plaque commemorating "casualties [that] were so great the water would turn red and thus became known as 'The River of Blood,'" all the local historians reached by The New York Times denied anything of the sort ever happened in the area.

"No. Uh-uh. No way. Nothing like that ever happened there," Richard Gillespie, the executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, the region's historical preservation group, said. Alana Blumenthal, who curates the Loudoun Museum in nearby Leesburg, agreed there had never been a battle at or near the site, as did another expert who chose not to be named.

When told about the historians' denial of the so-called River of Blood massacre, Trump replied, "How would they know that? Were they there?"

He elaborated, explaining that the place he marked on the river was a "prime site for river crossings." "So, if people are crossing the river, and you happen to be in a civil war, I would say that people were shot — a lot of them," Trump said.

Mr. Trump repeatedly said that "numerous historians" had told him the golf club site was known as The River of Blood. But he said he did not remember their names.

Then he said the historians had actually spoken not to him but to "my people." But he refused to identify any underlings who might still possess the historians' names.

"Write your story the way you want to write it," Mr. Trump said finally, when pressed unsuccessfully for anything that could corroborate his claim. "You don't have to talk to anybody. It doesn't make any difference. But many people were shot. It makes sense." [The New York Times]

Jeva Lange

media matters
1:44 p.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

How Americans perceive Muslims is linked primarily to headlines — which makes sense, because most Americans haven't even spoken to a Muslim in the past year, The Washington Post reports.

According to the Public Religion Research Institute's American Values Survey, which was conducted before the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks, 56 percent of Americans believe the values of Islam conflict with values of the United States.

However, since the U.S. Muslim population is relatively small — only about 1 percent — and spread out across a handful of cities, many Americans are forming opinions about Islam from a distance. In 2011, seven in 10 Americans said they hadn't even talked to a Muslim in the past year. In 2013, another survey found that a majority of Americans couldn't even locate Syria — a predominantly Muslim country — on a map.

That's a problem, considering "the act of simply knowing someone from a minority group can be a powerful perception game-changer," The Washington Post reports.

Look no further than the recent speedy cultural shift toward accepting gay and lesbian Americans [...] In fact, by the time the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June, nine in 10 Americans said they knew someone who was gay. It would seem Americans don't have that kind of connection with Muslims.

Filling that knowledge gap is, of course, the media. And the brutality of the Islamic State — taped beheadings, brash threats, the Paris attacks — is dominating most American news coverage about Islam these days. [The Washington Post]

President Obama has also recently condemned the media for its portrayal of Islam. "We will not give in to fear, or start turning on each other, or treating some people differently because of religion or race or background. That's precisely what terrorists like ISIL want, because, ultimately, that's the only way they can win," he said. Jeva Lange

'Today we stand with you'
1:19 p.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

During a Tuesday press conference with French President Francois Hollande, President Obama vowed to "do even more" to fight ISIS. "This was not only a strike against one of the world's great cities, it was an attack against the world itself," Obama said of the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris that left 130 dead. "As Americans, we stand by our friends in good times and in bad."

Obama urged the E.U. to adopt a version of a no-fly list, and he called on Americans to fulfill their "humanitarian duty to help desperate refugees" despite calls from the GOP to bar them from the U.S. for fear that terrorists could slip into the country with the flow of migrants. "We cannot, and we will not succumb to fear," Obama said. "For that's how terrorists win."

World leaders will meet in Paris next week for a climate conference in what Obama says will be a "powerful rebuke" to terrorists. Hollande will also meet with the leaders of Germany, Italy, and Russia this week. Becca Stanek

This just in
12:03 p.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

A state prosecutor charged Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke with first-degree murder Tuesday for shooting black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, marking the first time an on-duty officer in Chicago has been charged with murder in 35 years. The news comes as the city prepares to publicly release video footage of the incident, which took place last October.

The footage, captured by a dashboard camera in a police car, allegedly shows McDonald walking away from police with a small knife in hand. As he is walking away, Van Dyke "can allegedly be seen opening fire from about 15 feet and continuing to shoot even after McDonald fell to the ground, hitting McDonald a total of 16 times," ABC News reports. McDonald was reportedly hit with two shots in the back.

Police say that McDonald had been ordered to drop the knife and had refused to do so. Van Dyke has turned himself in to authorities and is scheduled to appear at a bond hearing later Tuesday.

Van Dyke had been on paid administrative leave since the shooting in October 2014. Prior to the lawsuit being filed, the city had offered a $5 million settlement to McDonald's family in April. Becca Stanek

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