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February 8, 2016

U.S. and British intelligence have identified a second member of a quartet of brutal Islamic State prison guards and executioners known by former Western prisoners as the "Beatles" because of their British accents, The Washington Post and BuzzFeed News report. The leader, "Jihadi John" (Mohammed Emwazi), is believed to have been killed in a U.S. airstrike in November 2015, but the whereabouts of the second identified member, Alexanda Kotey — either "Ringo" or "George" — are unknown.

Kotey, 32, was raised in West London by a Cypriot mother. His Ghanian father died when Kotey was a toddler. He reportedly converted to Islam in his 20s, after falling in love with a Muslim woman with whom he had two daughters, and he is believed to have become radicalized at the same mosque attended by Emwazi, or through a London-based Islamic extremist group known as the London Boys. Kotey left England in 2009 as part of an aid convoy to Gaza organized by British politician George Galloway.

The quartet of Britons earned a reputation as one of the cruelest groups of ISIS guards, subjecting their prisoners to torture and mock executions. Britain's Home Office said through a spokeswoman that she could "neither confirm nor deny" Kotey's identity and role in ISIS. The "Beatles" are responsible for executing seven British, U.S., and Japanese hostages, plus 18 Syrian army troops. Peter Weber

8:12 a.m. ET
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The Pentagon will announce Monday a finalized plan for lifting the military's ban on transgender troops beginning in July. Each branch of the armed services will have a year to determine and implement any resultant changes to uniforms, housing, and recruitment.

The decision is the result of a working group established last summer by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who said at the time he expected to see the ban go — provided the group did not produce evidence it would have an "adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness."

Of the 1.3 million current members of the U.S. military, the Pentagon estimates around 2,500 are transgender and about 65 seek gender reassignment surgery each year. Skeptics of proposals to lift the ban have questioned whether the military will begin including reassignment services in its medical care for soldiers, an issue which was not the primary focus of the Pentagon's research to date. Bonnie Kristian

June 24, 2016
Courtesy Bentley & Skinner

Take heart if you harbor princess aspirations — "tiaras are no longer the sole province of royalty," says Dana Thomas at The Wall Street Journal. The Georgian diamond floral tiara ($210,000) shown here helped trigger the craze when Downton Abbey's Lady Mary Crawley wore it for her 2012 wedding, but just in the past 12 months, fashion houses, including Saint Laurent and Gucci, have introduced glittering diadems into their collections. You could, of course, shop for affordable options, along with other "mere mortals." But London's Bentley & Skinner, jeweler to the queen, is offering 10 antique diamond and pearl tiaras starting at $39,000, including Lady Mary’s 45-carat diamond garland. Until it's purchased, it can be rented for $2,100 a day. The Week Staff

June 24, 2016
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A California man who rescued a family from an overturned vehicle has been billed $143 by paramedics for making sure he was OK, The Washington Times reports. First responders gave Derrick Deanda a bottle of water and checked his pulse after he smashed a window and freed four trapped passengers last fall. "A couple of months later I get a bill," Deanda said. "Makes you wonder why people don't want to stop to help at an accident scene." The Week Staff

June 24, 2016
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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed Friday that it had suspended the laboratory assigned to handle drug testing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The decision, which comes just six weeks ahead of the opening ceremony, was based on a "'noncomformity' with international standards," The New York Times reports. The suspension took effect Wednesday, and the lab has 21 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

However, this isn't the first time the Rio lab has been suspended by the WADA. It last happened in 2013, a year prior to Brazil hosting the World Cup. While the WADA decided to reinstate the lab last year, after nearly $60 million was invested in its facilities and an additional 90 technicians were trained, it has deemed the lab still not up to snuff for the Olympic Games.

The lab will not be allowed to test blood and urine samples during its suspension. So, for now, drug tests are being sent to a lab outside of Brazil to be analyzed. The New York Times reports that it "was unclear Friday if the issue would be resolved — and the suspension lifted — in time for the Rio Games." Becca Stanek

June 24, 2016
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A prominent gun-rights activist is calling on bars to limit alcohol sales so that customers can safely carry guns, The Huffington Post reports. "Control the amount of booze you sell, but don't make them sitting ducks," said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a group that criticizes the NRA for being too soft. "That's what gun-free zones do." The Week Staff

June 24, 2016
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Five people seeking to "unleash the power within!" ended up in the emergency room following motivational speaker Tony Robbins' hot coal-walk exercise in Dallas on Thursday. Dozens more were treated for burns on site, CBS News reports.

Robbins encourages his followers to "turn fear into power" by "storm[ing] across a hot bed of coals." "Once you start doing what you thought was impossible, you conquer the other fires of your life with ease," TonyRobbins.com explains.

At first hundreds of people were thought to have been burned when someone "not familiar with the fire walk observed the event and called 911 erroneously," Robbins Research International said in a statement. "While we are grateful to the quick and robust response from Dallas emergency services, only 5 of 7,000 participants requested any examination beyond what was readily available on site."

The head trainer for the Robbins' organization, Tad Schinke, agreed that five hospitalizations isn't so bad. "I've been doing events with Tony for 23 years," he said, "and while it may not look like that way, this was a successful event." Jeva Lange

June 24, 2016
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Megyn Kelly reminded CNN on Thursday night that its newest hire, former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, hasn't always been so nice to the folks who are now his coworkers. Lewandowski, Kelly pointed out during an episode of her Fox News show, "has had some very ugly language attributed to him when it comes to women and now he will be getting paid by Donald Trump one day and by CNN the next." (It was announced Thursday that Lewandowski had been signed by CNN as a salaried political commentator.)

Kelly also reminded viewers of a past incident between Lewandowski and CNN's Noah Gray. Last November, Lewandowski "threatened" Gray during a campaign event to "get back in the pen or he's f------ blacklisted." "Think about the CNN reporter, the one who he threatened," Kelly said. "I hope they don't bump into each other in the green room. That's going to be awkward. It's really remarkable."

Watch Kelly's full takedown — with additional remarks from media critic Howard Kurtz — below. Becca Stanek

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