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January 11, 2016

Ever wonder how David Bowie crafted his memorable song lyrics? The English singer and songwriter, who died Sunday, once described his method to BBC as part of the documentary Cracked Actor. He'd mash up words and phrases he'd picked out first on albums like Low, Heroes, and Lodger, and on later works, including Outside and Earthling, by using a computer program:

"I'll take articles out of newspapers, poems I've written, pieces of other people's books, and put them all into this little warehouse — this container of information — and then hit the random button and it'll randomize everything and I'll get reams of pages back out with interesting ideas," he told BBC.

It's a strategy that dates back to the 1920s, at least, when Dadaist artist Tristan Tzara used it to write poetry. Bowie was apparently directly influenced by Beat writer William Borroughs, who told Bowie about the cut-up technique he had developed in the 1960s. It's an idea that Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt further popularized in the '70s with Oblique Strategies, a printed predecessor of the computer program Bowie would later cite using on albums like Outside and Earthling.

In turn, Bowie inspired others. As Atlas Obscura notes, he is the indirect reason everyone used to have silly poems on their fridges. Julie Kliegman

1:37 a.m. ET

At least two suicide bombers carried out an attack early Monday in the Lebanese village of Qaa near the Syrian border, local media reports.

At least six people were killed, Al Jazeera says, and Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV reports at least 19 were wounded. Earlier, the broadcaster said two people carried out the attack, but later revised its report to say even more suicide bombers were involved. The village's mayor told Voice of Lebanon that all of the victims were civilians, and three of the injured are Lebanese soldiers. No group has claimed responsibility. Catherine Garcia

1:10 a.m. ET
Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

Spaniards were hoping for some clarity in national election on Sunday, but collectively they appear to have endorsed the gridlock that has prevented the formation of a new government since similarly inconclusive elections in December. As in the last vote, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party won the most seats, 137 (up from 123), but was again shy of the 176 seats need for a majority in the 350-seat parliament. The opposition Socialist Party won 85 seats (down from 90), while two relatively new parties, the leftist, anti-austerity Unidos Podemos party and center-right Ciudananos came in third and fourth, with 71 seats and 32 seats, respectively.

Rajoy declared victory Sunday night, telling supporters in Madrid that "we have won the elections, we demand the right to govern." The election came three days after Britain voted to leave the European Union, and Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias said his party isn't anti-EU, telling the BBC that he's "sad" about Brexit and that his party hopes "for a different Europe, we will fight for a Europe with social rights as a reality, and we are for Europe and the people in Europe." Peter Weber

1:10 a.m. ET
Jacky Naegelen/AFP/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are on the same page when it comes to dealing with the UK's decision to leave the EU.

An aide to Hollande told Reuters the pair had a 30 minute phone conversation on Sunday to discuss the aftermath of the Brexit vote, and "noted their full agreement on how to handle the situation created by the British referendum." They talked about setting specific priorities and "hoped for full clarity to avoid uncertainties," the aide said. Merkel will host Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and European Council President Donald Tusk Monday in Berlin to further discuss the matter.

Hollande said it's important for there to be a united front, since "separated, we run the risk of divisions, dissension, and quarrels," and added that what "was once unthinkable has become irreversible." While the European Commission's president said the UK's withdrawal from the EU should start "immediately," Merkel's chief of staff doesn't think there's a need to rush. "Politicians in London should take the time to reconsider the consequences of the Brexit decision‚ but by that I emphatically do not mean Brexit itself," Peter Altmaier said. Catherine Garcia

12:27 a.m. ET
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Donald Trump is returning from a weekend in Scotland to a terrible new poll from The Washington Post/ABC News, and while he'll likely ignore the survey, other Republicans might be concerned. In the poll, conducted June 20-23, Hillary Clinton opens up a 12-point lead, beating Trump 51 percent to 39 percent among registered voters; in the last Washington Post/ABC News survey in May, Trump led Clinton 46 percent to 44 percent. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, also released Sunday, Clinton leads Trump by just 5 points, 46 percent to 41 percent.

Clinton's rise is due in part to supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders coming over to Clinton's side — in the May Washington Post/ABC News poll, 20 percent of Sanders voters said they would support Trump, versus 8 percent in the new poll — but mostly because of Trump's unforced errors. For example, 68 percent of voters (including 39 percent of Republicans) said Trump's comments about Judge Gonzalo Cureil, who is overseeing a Trump University fraud lawsuit, were racist, and 85 percent said they were inappropriate, including 71 percent of Republicans. Voters approved of Clinton's response to the Orlando nightclub massacre over Trump's by an 18-point margin, and 66 percent of voters said Trump's comments about women, minorities, and Muslims are "unfairly biased."

It's not all great news for Clinton — 56 percent in the Washington Post/ABC poll disapprove of her handing of email while secretary of state, 18 percent who think Trump is racist plan to vote for him anyway, and Trump leads her 64 percent to 26 percent among the 56 percent of voters who want the next president to lead the country in a new direction. (Confusingly, President Obama's approval rating is 56 percent in the poll.) But 61 percent of voters said Clinton is qualified to be president, while 64 percent say Trump is not qualified, including 56 percent who say they feel that strongly and almost a third of Republicans.

In both the Washington Post/ABC poll, which has a margin of error of ±4 points, and the WSJ/NBC poll, with a ±3.1 points margin of error, 79 percent of Republicans backed Trump, while at least 85 percent of Democrats supported Clinton. When Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party's Jill Stein were included, Clinton's lead shrank to 1 point in the WSJ/NBC poll (Johnson: 10 percent; Stein 6 percent), while in the Washington Post/ABC poll she retained a 10-point lead over Trump (Johnson: 7 percent; Stein: 3 percent). Peter Weber

12:07 a.m. ET
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Chile won its second consecutive Copa America title Sunday after beating Argentina 4-2 on penalty kicks.

No one was able to score during regulation and 30 minutes of extra time, and each team saw an ejection. Argentina's Lionel Messi, a five time FIFA Player of the Year, lost a final for the third year in a row, after losing to Chile in last year's Copa America and to Germany in the 2014 World Cup. Following the game, Messi announced he was retiring from international soccer, saying, "For me, the national team is over. I've done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion."

To celebrate its 100th anniversary, South America's championship was expanded to 16 countries and played in the United States. The game was played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in front of a crowd of 82,076. Catherine Garcia

June 26, 2016
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Rapper 50 Cent was detained in St. Kitts and Nevis on Saturday and charged with using "indecent language" following a performance at the St. Kitts Music Festival, police say.

The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, and a member of his entourage, Bajar Walter, have been released on bail, but have a court appearance in the Caribbean country scheduled for Monday. Under the Small Charges Act, it's an offense to use profanity in a public place, and a person found guilty could be sent to jail, The Associated Press reports. Another rapper, DMX, was detained in 2003 on the same charge.

The police didn't reveal what word 50 Cent allegedly used, but TMZ reports it was "motherf—er." In a statement, representative Amanda Ruisi said the rapper, who also hosted the festival, did use profanities during the performance, and he has vowed to keep his swearing stateside. Catherine Garcia

June 26, 2016

A rollercoaster at the M&D's theme park in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, derailed and crashed Sunday, sending eight children and two adults to the hospital.

Details of their injuries have not yet been released. The Tsunami ride can go up to 40 mph, and boasts corkscrew turns and loops. A witness told the BBC "people were trapped upside down on the ride" after the crash, and a police officer said "five gondolas connected on a train on the Tsunami ride" fell "less than 20 feet" after apparently coming around a bend. After the accident, the park was evacuated.

This wasn't the first time the Tsunami experienced trouble — in 2011, nine passengers were stranded for eight hours on the ride when it broke down with gondolas 60 feet above the ground. In March, firefighters had to rescue eight people on the park's Tornado rollercoaster when it shut down 20 feet in the air. Catherine Garcia

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