February 14, 2016

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) vowed Sunday on ABC's This Week to filibuster any nominee President Obama puts forth to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court bench.

"This is a 5-4 court — the next election needs to be a referendum on the court," Cruz said. "People need to decide."

Other Republicans in the Senate have made similar calls, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Meanwhile, Obama said Saturday he'll name a nominee soon, and Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are urging their colleagues to approve him or her before Obama leaves office.

"I don't think the American people want a court that will strip our religious liberties," Cruz said. "I don't think the American people want a court that will mandate unlimited abortions on demand, partial birth abortion with taxpayer funding and no parental notification, and I don't think the American people want a court that will write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution."

Watch Cruz's interview here. Julie Kliegman

10:03 p.m. ET
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The midnight curfew put into place Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina, following protests over the fatal officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, was lifted Sunday by Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

In a statement, Roberts and Trevor M. Fuller, the chairman of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, said they wanted the community to "show their unity in a peaceful and legal manner." After Scott's shooting on Tuesday, protesters took over the streets of uptown Charlotte, with some incidents of violence — a 26-year-old man was shot and killed by a civilian, police say, and several protesters and officers were injured.

The protests over the weekend, including one outside of the NFL game Sunday between the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings, were all peaceful. As "The Star-Spangled Banner" played inside Bank of America stadium, demonstrators went down to their knees, NBC News reports, with riot police watching. Catherine Garcia

9:06 p.m. ET
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Arnold Palmer, the beloved golfer who helped popularize the game, died Sunday. He was 87.

His death was confirmed by Arnold Palmer Enterprises CEO Alastair Johnson. In a career that spanned six decades, Palmer won 62 PGA tour titles and seven majors, in addition to making millions as a pitchman and golf course designer — he put his touch on more than 300 golf courses in 37 states and 25 countries, including the first modern course built in China in 1988. Born Sept. 10, 1929, in Pennsylvania, Palmer's father, a pro and greenskeeper at a country club, first put a club in his hands at the age of three. Before winning the 1954 U.S. Amateur at the Country Club of Detroit, Palmer attended Wake Forest University on a golf scholarship, spent three years in the Coast Guard, and sold paint in Cleveland. Palmer, nicknamed "The King," said his 1954 win was the "turning point in my life. It gave me confidence I could compete at the highest level of the game."

Palmer was also known to non-golfers for the famous beverage carrying his name: The Arnold Palmer, half iced tea and half lemonade. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2012, the highest honors the United States can give to a civilian. His wife of 45 years, Winifred Walzer, died in 1999. He is survived by his second wife, Kit; daughters Amy Saunders and Peggy Wears; and six grandchildren, including PGA Tour golfer Sam Saunders. Catherine Garcia

12:49 p.m. ET
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Charlotte city officials say they are planning extra security for the Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings game their city will host Sunday, because protests over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott are expected to move to the Bank of America Stadium. The city has labeled the game an "extraordinary event," a category which permits police to ban backpacks in the stadium as well as items like box cutters and chains that might be used as weapons.

Protesters took to the streets for a fifth night on Saturday after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released dash and body camera footage depicting Scott's death. The video does not settle the issue of whether Scott had a gun or whether he was holding it while interacting with officers, a major point of contention between police and the Scott family.

"There is no definitive evidence in this video as to whether or not there is an object in his hand, and if there is, what that object is," said an attorney for Scott's family, Justin Bamberg. "But what we do know is that the moment Mr. Scott is shot, it appears as though he's not aggressively moving toward law enforcement; he's actually doing the opposite. He's passively stepping back."

Some protesters have expressed hope that an NFL player, like the Panthers' Cam Newton, who has spoken on race-related issues in the past, might declare their support for the rally at the stadium. Bonnie Kristian

12:17 p.m. ET
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North Korea held its first air show Sunday, and only two of the planes were remote-controlled scale models.

Intriguingly, one of the models was a miniature American F-16, an odd choice for the isolated, communist nation whose government regularly declares its hatred for the United States. Likewise odd, another demonstration featured U.S.-made Hughes MD 500 military-use helicopters, which in theory should not be in North Korea thanks to U.S. sanctions.

The show also featured parachutists, passenger planes, and fireworks. Watch a portion of the demonstration below. Bonnie Kristian

11:51 a.m. ET
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French United Nations Ambassador Francois Delattre said Sunday the barrage of Syrian government airstrikes that have pounded rebel-held areas of Aleppo since Friday amount to "war crimes" by the Bashar al-Assad regime and cannot be left unpunished.

The "Security Council simply cannot accept such war crimes — yes, war crimes — to repeat again," Delattre argued, proposing "an immediate humanitarian truce in Aleppo and the Ghouta [a region of Syria near Damascus], 20 years after the siege of Sarajevo."

Since Friday, more than 200 strikes have hit Aleppo, killing at least 100 people and leaving 2 million civilians without running water. The U.N. Security Council convened at 11 a.m. Eastern time Sunday to discuss the situation. Complicating matters, the council includes Russia, which is allied with the Assad regime.

Update 1:06 p.m.: British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday also said "war crimes" are occurring in Syria and suggested Russia is responsible because of its alliance with Damascus. American U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power took a slightly more measured approach, avoiding the war crimes label but terming Moscow's actions in Syria "barbarism, not counter-terrorism" and calling the conditions in Aleppo "apocalyptic."

A Russian spokeswoman immediately rejected Johnson's remarks. "The foreign minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson said in a broadcast of the BBC that Russia is guilty of protracting civil war in Syria and, possibly, of committing war crimes in the form of air attacks on convoys with humanitarian aid," Maria Zakharova said on Facebook Sunday. "All this is right except for two words: Instead of 'Russia' it needs to be 'Great Britain' and instead of 'Syria,' 'Iraq.'" Bonnie Kristian

11:10 a.m. ET
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Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence promised Sunday his running mate, Donald Trump, will "absolutely" tell the truth while debating Hillary Clinton on Monday because he "always speaks straight from his mind and straight from his heart."

Trump is "going to speak the truth to the American people," Pence said in an interview with CBS' Face the Nation. "That’s why you see the tremendous momentum in this campaign."

The veep candidate also weighed in on Trump's informal style of debate prep — which poses a sharp contrast to Clinton's more studied approach — arguing that Trump "has been preparing for this debate for his entire lifetime." After all, "he's built a great business and he's traveled the country," Pence said, "and particularly in this campaign he's given voice to the frustration and aspirations of the American people like no leader in my lifetime since Ronald Reagan." Bonnie Kristian

10:46 a.m. ET
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Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson said intergalactic travel is part of the long-term plan of dealing with climate change while speaking with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.

Stephanopoulos played a clip from several years ago in which Johnson argued, "the long-term view is that in billions of years the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right? So global warming is in our future." Asked whether that means "we don't do anything about it now," Johnson said that line was a joke but then got serious, arguing his mention of the sun highlights "the fact that we do have to inhabit other planets. I mean, the future of the human race is space exploration."

Still, right now, "we should be prudent with the environment," he added as the interview ended. "We care about the environment. Look, clean air, clean water. I think the EPA exists to protect us against individuals, groups, corporations that would do us harm. Pollution is harm." Bonnie Kristian

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