July 12, 2012

President Obama eats a cone of mint chocolate chip ice cream from Deb's Ice Cream and Deli in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on July 10. During the swing-state campaign stop, Obama reminded Iowans of his surprise 2008 caucus victory: "This was the state that gave me a chance when nobody else would." He also called on Iowa to "cut through the nonsense" of negative political ads, even though, as the Des Moines Register points out, he has aired more ads in the Hawkeye State than Mitt Romney — most of them attack ads. The Week Staff

10:02 p.m. ET
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As outrage over current and retired National Guard soldiers being told they must pay back reenlistment bonuses they received erroneously continues to grow, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced he has tasked a top Pentagon official with fixing the problem.

Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times revealed that in the mid-2000s, at the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, soldiers in California were told if they reenlisted, they would receive bonuses of more than $15,000. An audit found that many of these soldiers were not eligible for the bonuses or overpaid, and a former official was sentenced in 2012 to 30 months in federal prison after being convicted of submitting more than $15 million in false claims to the Department of Defense. The audit was finally completed last month, and the Pentagon told the affected soldiers if they didn't pay the money back immediately, they could face interest charges, wage garnishments, and tax liens. Many told the Times they were struggling to come up with the money, with some talking about selling their homes.

During a press conference in Paris on Tuesday, Carter said he was aware of the issue, and while it has "complexities to it," he has tasked Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work with resolving the matter. Any person who "volunteers to serve in the armed forces of the United States deserves our gratitude and respect," Carter said. "Period." Catherine Garcia

8:57 p.m. ET

She's called him a "pathetic coward," a "thin-skinned racist bully," and a "chicken," and on Tuesday during a Hillary Clinton rally in North Carolina, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) came up with a new way to insult Donald Trump.

"I hope you heard Donald Trump in the debate, when he said he was smart not to pay any taxes," she told the crowd. "He is smart, and all of you who pay taxes are dumb. Everyone who pays taxes to keep our roads and bridges working is dumb. Everyone who pays taxes to support our world-class military is dumb. Everyone who pays taxes to support medical research and scientific research is dumb, dumb because Donald Trump doesn't plan to pay, he just plans to use all those things you pay for." So, Warren asked, "what kind of man does that? A selfish little sleazeball, a man who will never be president of the United States."

Warren then set her sights on Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who is seeking a third term. Trump "hasn't been hiding who he is," Warren said, and Burr is "like a puppy on a leash, sticking right there with Donald Trump. If Richard Burr is just going to be Donald Trump's lap dog, then let him go off and do that, but the people of North Carolina need a strong, independent voice to fight for the families of North Carolina, and that is Deborah Ross," the Democratic nominee. Trump has yet to respond, but it's easy to imagine him high up in Trump Tower muttering, "That nasty woman!" Catherine Garcia

7:42 p.m. ET
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The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC with ties to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is investing $25 million in six key races, with the fund's president saying they'll "go out guns blazing."

Steven Law told Politico Tuesday that Republicans won't have an easy time keeping their majority, and in many close races, Democrats are outspending GOP candidates by millions of dollars. "Democrats feel like the presidential race is in the bag for them and are looking for fresh game in the Senate," he said. The fund will send $7.5 million to Nevada, where Republican candidate Joe Heck recently announced he is no longer supporting Donald Trump. More than $5 million will be spent in to Pennsylvania, $4 million in Indiana, $3 million in North Carolina, and $2 million in New Hampshire and Missouri. Most of the money will go to purchase commercials, which are very expensive this late in the campaign season. "This isn't a cheap date," Law said.

Karl Rove, a former adviser to George W. Bush, assisted the Senate Leadership Fund with its fundraising efforts. Law would not reveal the names of any donors to Politico, but did say they are aware "we're going to take casualties but we're going to go out guns blazing." Catherine Garcia

6:55 p.m. ET
Eric Thayer/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Apple announced annual sales fell to $216 billion in the 2016 fiscal year ending September 30, the company's first annual sales decline since 2001, the year the iPod was introduced.

Apple had a record $234 billion in sales in 2015. The company's largest source of revenue is the iPhone, CNN Money reports, and only 45.5 million were sold in the September quarter, down from 48 million during the same time in 2015. Analysts say because the newest iPhone is very similar to the previous two models, customers are not clamoring to upgrade. The company says it is projecting it will have sales of $76 to $78 billion in the upcoming quarter, up from $74.8 billion last year. Catherine Garcia

6:12 p.m. ET
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The 2016-2017 NBA season is upon us, with the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers kicking things off Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena in Ohio. Later Thursday, the Utah Jazz face off against the Portland Trail Blazers in Oregon, while a matchup of Western Conference heavyweights rounds out Opening Night as the San Antonio Spurs take on the Golden State Warriors in Oakland.

It's been four long months since LeBron James tearfully hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy, and lots of big names have changed jerseys this offseason. So what should you be looking out for as NBA basketball finally tips off? Below, four stories to watch for. Kimberly Alters

1. Can we just fast forward to the Cavaliers-Warriors Finals rematch?
You may have heard that a young man named Kevin Durant moved from Okahoma to California this summer. So you might be wondering: Can't we just skip the 82 games of regular season melodrama and get to the inevitable, which is a Finals reprise? While, yes, a supercharged Warriors team looks like the prohibitive favorite — especially when you swap the underwhelming Harrison Barnes for four-time scoring champion Durant — and LeBron James seems as dominant as ever, there's plenty of fun to be had in among the other 28 teams. Like:

2. Will the New York Knicks surge to relevance as "super-team," as their new legally-challenged point guard predicted?
The short answer here is: No. When your franchise cornerstone starts the offseason saying it's totally cool if he never wins an NBA championship, you know things are dicey. But the great Phil Jackson experiment continues, and this latest version involves betting on Derrick Rose's famously unreliable knees and Joakim Noah's aging defensive chops. But they still have this guy.

3. Is where the heart is also where the fun is?
Both Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard made high-profile moves home this season. Wade joins the jammed Chicago Bulls backcourt of Jimmy Butler and fellow new addition Rajon Rondo, while Howard follows a string of tumultuous temporary stays by parking himself with the Atlanta Hawks. Just two years ago the Hawks topped the Eastern Conference, but they sputtered last season, leading them to significant roster changes this summer. Home may be where the heart is, but will it be where Wade and Howard find peace for the rest of their careers?

4. Will the Los Angeles Lakers win the championship?
Yes. Absolutely yes.

5:25 p.m. ET

Writer Paul Beatty became the first U.S. author to win the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday, in recognition of his critically acclaimed 2015 novel, The Sellout. The novel is set in Beatty's hometown of Los Angeles, and, per BBC's recap, "tells the story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation." The five judges unanimously chose Beatty's book as the winner ahead of five other finalists.

The chair of the judges, Amanda Foreman, hailed Beatty's racial satire for managing to "eviscerate every social taboo" and displaying "an absolutely savage wit" akin to that of Jonathan Swift or Mark Twain. "This is a book that nails the reader to the cross with cheerful abandon," she said. "But while you are being nailed you are being tickled."

Though the award was first given out in 1969, it wasn't until 2014 that it was opened to authors outside of Britain, Ireland, and the Commonwealth nations. The winner gets £50,000 — nearly $61,000. Becca Stanek

4:57 p.m. ET
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The New York Giants announced Tuesday that they've cut kicker Josh Brown from the team. The announcement followed last week's release of journals, letters, and emails in which Brown admitted he'd been abusive toward his wife, Molly Brown. ABC News reported that in one journal entry, Brown wrote, "I have abused my wife."

The Giants have maintained they did not know about the documents before they were released last Wednesday. "We believed we did the right thing at every juncture of our relationship with Josh," team president John Mara said in a statement. "Our beliefs, our judgments, and our decisions were misguided. We accept that responsibility."

In a statement Tuesday, Brown apologized and said he has "never struck his wife, and never would." "I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of the New York Giants, Mr. Mara, or any of those who have supported me along the way," Brown wrote, promising to tell "more of the pain I had caused and the measures taken to get help so I may be the voice of change and not a statistic."

The NFL placed Brown on the commissioner's exempt list Friday, which meant he couldn't attend practice or games, but could still collect his base salary of $1.15 million. Prior to that, he served a one-game suspension, sitting out the first game of the 2016 season for "violating a protective order against his wife in 2015," Sports Illustrated reported. Though Brown was arrested over that incident, he was not charged.

Brown and his wife have filed for divorce. Becca Stanek

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