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Only in America
August 2, 2012

A former Minnesota state Senate aide who was fired after having an affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch is suing the state for gender discrimination. Michael Brodkorb's lawsuit claims that "similarly situated female legislative employees" have been allowed to keep their jobs "despite intimate relationships with male legislators," and that he was fired, in effect, for being a man.  The Week Staff

wtf
July 29, 2015
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This isn't your great-great-great-great-grandmother's Little Women.

Because now we have to go back to the 1800s for our television shows, the CW is putting into development a series that takes the beloved March sisters and throws them into a situation much worse than living with scarlet fever and rejecting marriage proposals. As Deadline reports, the project is being described as a "hyper-stylized, gritty adaptation of the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott, in which disparate half-sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy band together in order to survive the dystopic streets of Philadelphia and unravel a conspiracy that stretches far beyond anything they have ever imagined — all while trying not to kill each other in the process." OK.

Why stop there? Let's make Tom Sawyer an android anarchist attempting to survive life in a hellish police state, and have Moby Dick live in a post-apocalyptic ocean where he's just misunderstood and not really out to destroy ships and kill people. Now that Atticus Finch is a racist, it's not like the classics are sacred anymore, anyway. Catherine Garcia

See you in court
July 29, 2015
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Three University of Virginia graduates and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brothers are suing Rolling Stone magazine and journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely for defamation, claiming that an article that ran in December 2014 and has since been retracted identified them as participants in a gang rape.

George Elias IV, Stephen Hadford, and Ross Fowler filed the lawsuit in New York federal court on Wednesday, and are seeking more than $75,000 for "mental anguish and severe emotional distress" caused by the article and its aftermath, The Washington Post reports. The story centered around a junior referred to as Jackie, who said that during a September 2012 party at the University of Virginia Phi Psi house, she was raped by seven fraternity members as two older brothers watched.

The filing states that the "plaintiffs have been embarrassed to admit that they are members of Phi Kappa Psi as a result of the article and its accusations," and Elias said that since he lived in the frat house at the time, people believed he was involved. None of the fraternity brothers were named in the 9,000-word article, which was retracted after a Columbia Graduate School of Journalism review in April concluded it was profoundly flawed. Catherine Garcia

sports
July 29, 2015
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Wednesday in Minnesota, the National Football League Players Association filed a lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of Tom Brady  to vacate his suspension.

The New England Patriots quarterback was suspended for four games May 11 after a report maintained that while he did not improperly handle deflated balls used in the AFC Championship game won by the Patriots 45-7, he "at least" was "generally aware" of the alleged involvement of Patriots staff. On Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall upheld the suspension, and the NFLPA said it would file an appeal.

The suit claims that Brady's punishment was not fair and consistent, and the appeal hearing "defied any concept of fundamental fairness," NFL.com reports. It also alleges that Goodell was partial in his decision to uphold the suspension. Catherine Garcia

Oh Florida
July 29, 2015

On Wednesday, the Florida state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations sued a gun store that declared itself a "Muslim-free zone."

In a complaint filed in federal court, CAIR accuses Florida Gun Supply of Inverness with violating the federal public accommodations law and seeks an injunction to stop the discrimination, Reuters reports. "We just can't let segregation rear its ugly head in Florida again," Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of the group, said. "This is part of Islamophobia that we need to challenge."

On July 18, the store's owner, 28-year-old Andrew Hallinan, posted on Facebook a video stating that the shop was a Muslim-free zone because of the shootings at military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After the post went up, Hallinan invited Shibly to attend a course at Florida Gun Supply of Inverness and then explain the Koran to him, but Shibly said Hallinan later canceled the meeting. Hallinan's attorney, Robert Muise, says the lawsuit is "absolutely bogus." Catherine Garcia

bad customer service
July 29, 2015

A 911 dispatcher has resigned following the release of a recording where he was heard telling a caller whose friend was shot she could "deal with it yourself."

On June 26, Esperanza Quintero, 17, called 911 in Albuquerque after her friend, Jaydon Chavez-Silver, 17, was shot at a party during a drive-by shooting. ABC News reports that on the tape, dispatcher Matthew Sanchez is heard asking Quintero multiple times if Chavez-Silver was breathing. Quintero said she was "frustrated" with being asked the question multiple times, and said, "He's barely breathing? How many times do I have to f—ing tell you?" Sanchez replied, "OK, you know what ma'am? You could deal with it yourself. I'm not going to deal with this, OK?" and then hung up.

A spokeswoman for the Albuquerque Fire Department told ABC News that "the dispatcher did dispatch units prior to disconnect" and "the response time was four minutes and 26 seconds, which exceeds national standards." Sanchez was removed from the dispatch center and placed on administrative assignment before resigning, but that's not enough for Quintero. "It was his job," she told KOAT. "I don't understand why he would've hung up. I cussed at him once. I was frantic, I was scared. You know, I'm only 17. ... He didn't talk me through it. Obviously, helping people is not for him."

Chavez-Silver died at the hospital, and no suspects have been arrested yet in connection with the shooting. Catherine Garcia

This just in
July 29, 2015
Yannick Pitou/AFP/Getty Images

Officials are investigating plane debris that washed ashore on Réunion Island, in the Indian Ocean, for any possibility that the piece might be linked to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went missing sixteen months ago en route from Kuala Lampur to Beijing.

"It is not possible at this time to ascertain whether the part is from a [Boeing 777] or from MH370," a French accident investigation agency said, although officials have confirmed that the piece, which appears to be from a wing, is not from a "small plane." Malaysia has sent a team to verify if the debris is indeed from Flight 370, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai announced during a press conference.

The debris could not be linked to other aviation accidents in the region, either, The Wall Street Journal reports, and while Réunion lies outside of the search zone for the missing flight, aviation consultants believe it's possible that debris from the missing plane could have washed up there. Jeva Lange

Mirror mirror on the wall
July 29, 2015
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Because everyone was just clamoring to know who's hot and who's not on Capitol Hill, D.C. publication The Hill did us all a favor with its annual release of "The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful" list. Both Michelle and Barack Obama made the list — with Michelle beating Barack — alongside a slew of press assistants, political journalists, congressmen, and lobbyists.

According to The Hill, this year there was a "record-breaking number of nominations," meaning those who got nominated — or nominated themselves — truly must be the fairest of them all. Below, the 10 most groan-worthy moments and quotes from the profiles of The Hill's Most Beautiful Class of 2015. Becca Stanek

10. "Pulling out six lipsticks from her clutch bag, Sophia Anwar proudly proclaims herself to be an 'assertive girly girl' and boasts that she can do her makeup during her commute."

9. "He switches between a pair of brown or black boots almost every day on Capitol Hill."

8. "Gindlesperger is passionate about style, accessorizing his outfits with tiny details such as vintage lapel pins, eyewear, and sneakers from his collection of more than 50 pairs."

7. "She likes Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's clothing line, but considers them 'impractical' for Capitol Hill, opting for fashion brand Zara instead."

6. "'It's like driving down an open road really fast with your arm out the window,' Bolden said of skydiving."

5. "You can't tell, but the dress Chris Jansing is wearing is reversible."

4. "When he's not producing Washington Watch with Tony Perkins for the Family Research Council, Jennings likes to golf, read American history, and help out at Triumph D.C., a church in the city's Southeast."

3. "A self-described news junkie who 'loves words,' Sacks once adapted John Milton's Paradise Lost into a screenplay. 'I love rock 'n' roll, reading and the Supreme Court.'"

2. "He's served four tours in Iraq, hosted a TV show, and earned degrees from Harvard, but Seth Moulton insists he's a 'boat shoes, no socks' kind of guy."

1. "Mike Sacks is just your average National Law Journal congressional correspondent who digs air guitar competitions, epic poems, and yoga pose attempts."

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