January 26, 2016

The long, messy, aborted recount of votes in Florida in the 2000 election — and the U.S. Supreme Court's last-minute intervention — was a big moment in U.S. politics. It was also a big moment in the life and career of Ted Cruz, a 29-year-old policy adviser to George W. Bush's campaign who was sent to help out the Bush legal team in Tallahassee. In his book, A Time for Truth, Cruz paints himself as a central figure in the legal and political drama, which ended up sending Bush to the White House. The New York Times interviewed more than a dozen of Cruz's colleagues, and found a more complicated story.

Cruz's legal work was recalled as exemplary by those who remembered him in Tallahassee, but his personality, obvious ambition, and tendency to insert his opinion rubbed plenty of Bush aides the wrong way, The Times notes, adding that some people avoided meetings they knew Cruz would be at. Cruz hints at that in his book, noting: "I was far too cocky for my own good... and that sometimes caused me to overstep the bounds of my appointed role."

According to The Times, Cruz often reminded people of his résumé: Princeton, Harvard, a Supreme Court clerkship, Washington law firm. And his period as a GOP insider might help explain how he became a disruptive outsider. Cruz met his wife, Heidi, while working for the Bush campaign, and while Heidi Cruz was offered a job in the Bush White House, Ted Cruz was not. "He thought he should get the No. 1 policy job in the White House, and he was extremely ambitious," former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told The Times. "In Ted’s case in 2000, it backfired."

You can read more about Cruz's work on the 2000 recount — and learned why Bush called him "Theodore" (his name is Rafael Edward Cruz) — at The New York Times. Peter Weber

8:42 a.m. ET
Johannes Simon/Getty Images

The 18-year-old gunman who killed 10 people, including himself, in an attack on a Munich shopping mall Friday evening was fixated on mass murder, local authorities have revealed.

"Documents were found about mass shootings," said Hubertus Andrae, Munich police chief. "The perpetrator was obviously obsessed with the issue." A search of the attacker's home located multiple books on the subject, including one titled, Rampage in Head: Why Students Kill.

The gunman's name has yet to be released, but early investigations suggest the German-Iranian man was not motivated by Islamic extremism and had no ties to the Islamic State. Bonnie Kristian

8:31 a.m. ET
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At least 130 people have died and dozens more remain missing after torrential rains caused flooding and landslides throughout China since the extreme weather began on Monday.

Hit hardest is Hebei Province, located near the capital city of Beijing in the northeast of the country, where 300,000 people have been evacuated and about 80 of the deaths occurred. Photos of drowned children purported to be from this area are circulating online.

Meteorologists say additional rainstorms are expected in coming days, and authorities estimate some 8 million people have been affected already. Some Hebei residents have accused the government of causing the disaster by opening a nearby reservoir, but officials insist the reservoir drains into a different river and did not cause these deadly floods. Bonnie Kristian

7:58 a.m. ET
Johannes Simon/Getty Images

A mass shooting at the Munich shopping center Olympia Einkaufszentrum Friday evening left 10 people dead, including the gunman, who has since been identified as an 18-year-old German-Iranian whom authorities say had no apparent ties to an outside terrorist organization.

"Based on the searches, there are no indications whatsoever that there is a connection to Islamic State," said Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae in a press conference Saturday. Andrae noted that his officers had not found evidence tying the shooter to refugee communities or to past criminal activity, but did uncover a history of psychiatric care.

Nearly all of the victims were teenagers, with three just 14 years old. Another 16 people were wounded before the attacker killed himself and three remain in a life-threatening condition. Bonnie Kristian

July 22, 2016

Hillary Clinton has officially selected Sen. Tim Kaine, a Spanish-speaking former governor from the battleground state of Virginia, as her 2016 running mate.

The two are expected to appear together at an event on Saturday. Ben Frumin

July 22, 2016
Taco Bell

A cashier at a Taco Bell restaurant in Alabama refused to serve two police officers, CNN reports. The unidentified worker said she would not take the deputies' order, and when they asked if she was kidding, she said, "No, I'm not serving you." Another customer allegedly thanked her, saying she "didn’t want to eat somewhere with a cop." The company apologized and said the cashier had been fired. The Week Staff

July 22, 2016
Courtesy image

"How often do you get to buy a fossilized T. rex skeleton?" Keep that in mind, says, when you see the price tag on the Mounted Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton ($2,390,000) currently available as catalog number TE-036 from a Texas-based commercial paleontological company. Roughly 45 percent of the theropod's bones are real, making it more complete than many museum specimens. Three fossil sites, in Montana and Wyoming, contributed those bones, and the rest are high-quality replicas. The mounted skeleton is 38 feet long and stands 12 feet tall. "As much as it belongs in a museum, we're kinda hoping it's snapped up by an eccentric billionaire."
The Week Staff

July 22, 2016
Alex Wong/Getty Images

"Until now," The Washington Post editorial board writes, Donald Trump was "a Republican problem." But after he officially accepted the Republican nomination for the presidency Thursday night, "he became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome."

So begins an editorial published by The Washington Post on Friday, wherein the paper's editors make the case for why, just a single day after Trump officially took the helm of the Republican Party, they are already positive they will not be endorsing him:

We cannot salute the Republican nominee or pretend that we might endorse him this fall. A Trump presidency would be dangerous for the nation and the world. Why are we so sure? Start with experience. […] There is nothing on Mr. Trump's résumé to suggest he could function successfully in Washington. He was staked in the family business by a well-to-do father and has pursued a career marked by some real estate successes, some failures and repeated episodes of saving his own hide while harming people who trusted him. Given his continuing refusal to release his tax returns, breaking with a long bipartisan tradition, it is only reasonable to assume there are aspects of his record even more discreditable than what we know. The lack of experience might be overcome if Mr. Trump saw it as a handicap worth overcoming. But he displays no curiosity, reads no books, and appears to believe he needs no advice. [The Washington Post]

Read the Post's entire takedown of Trump here. Kimberly Alters

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