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February 18, 2016
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On Thursday morning, Angela "Big Ang" Raiola died at the age of 55 after a year-long battle with cancer.

If you don't know who Big Ang is, you haven't seen the VH1 reality series Mob Wives, which follows a tight-knit group of women in Staten Island, New York, with alleged mob ties.

I was skeptical of the show, which in the first season seemed to be mostly quick-tempered and distrusting women screaming and clawing at each other. And while that drama doesn't let up, the second season saw a light in the catty darkness. Granted that light was this big-breasted, pinched-nosed, orange-hued, crushed-gravel-voiced hot mess named Big Ang, but there was no looking away. While the rest of the women plotted and fought, Big Ang just wanted to have fun. She would brush off tension with a mimosa, try to unite quarreling women with a house party, often act as the optimistic negotiator, and offer a surprisingly patient ear to any enraged mob wife who needed it.

Big Ang was the best part of this ridiculous reality series (so popular, in fact, that after appearing in the second season, she became a regular cast member through season six and even got her own breakout reality series, Big Ang) because she was fun to watch, sure, but also because she was surprisingly down to earth, warm, friendly, and open in a community that thrived on fortifying its walls. She embodied the "you do you" ethos and taught us all, if you've got it flaunt it.

"I am who I am and that's just how I'll be," she said. RIP Big Ang, may you forever enjoy that big house party in the sky. Lauren Hansen

2:07 p.m. ET
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A Georgia appeals court ruled that a man who took pictures up a woman's skirt did not break any law, The Washington Post reports. Brandon Lee Gary admitted to "upskirting" at a store, but the court ruled that a law that prohibits photographing people "in any private place" means a physical location, not a part of the body. A dissenting judge argued that a woman should be able to expect privacy "in the area under her skirt." The Week Staff

1:22 p.m. ET

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine contradicted reports Friday from both his camp and running mate Hillary Clinton's that he'd come around to supporting Clinton's stance against the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment.

Just a few days ago, Bloomberg reported that Kaine will support Clinton's plan to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding from being used for abortion, and which Clinton contends is "making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights."

However, when CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked Kaine about that change of heart Friday, he denied it had ever happened. "I have been for the Hyde Amendment, and I have not changed my position on that," said Kaine, a Catholic who has said he's personally opposed to abortion.

So, what gives? A Kaine-Clinton spokesperson's comment to The Wall Street Journal this week might clear up the seeming contradictions. The spokesperson said that while Kaine is "not personally for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment," he is "committed to carrying out Secretary Clinton's agenda."

It seems the Democratic duo has agreed — to disagree. Becca Stanek

1:17 p.m. ET
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On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled against North Carolina's voter identification law, deciding unanimously that the "North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent." Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote the opinion, which is yet another victory for civil rights and voting rights groups; the court also struck down changes the state made in 2013 to restrict early voting.

The decision noted the "new provisions target African-Americans with almost surgical precision," and as a result the restrictions on voting and registration "disproportionately affected African-Americans." "'In essence, the State took away [minority voters'] opportunity because [they] were about to exercise it,'" the decision read, quoting the case League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.

North Carolina can appeal the decision to the 4th Circuit Court or to the Supreme Court. Becca Stanek

1:07 p.m. ET
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The Navy plans to commission an oiler and name it after gay rights activist Harvey Milk, an official confirmed Friday to CNN. The first openly gay man to be elected to office in California, Milk was assassinated in 1978.

The USNS Harvey Milk will join the John Lewis class of oilers, which are named after civil rights leaders. Other ships will honor former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth.

Milk was a member of the Navy himself, having taught diving lessons in California during the Korean War; he was wearing his Navy belt buckle when he was killed. Still, some are upset over the Navy's decision, given Milk's outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War. Jeva Lange

12:49 p.m. ET

Sure, people are allowed to change their minds, but Donald Trump changes his mind ... a lot. Take, for example, this video dug up by former NYC deputy mayor Howard Wolfson, in which Trump sings the praises of then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in October 2013:

Maybe it was a…slip of the tongue? Nope:

After Bloomberg's endorsement of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention this week, though, Trump seemed to suffer a bout of convenient amnesia:

Just keep telling yourself that. Jeva Lange

12:05 p.m. ET

If it weren't for the sage words of an unnamed "highly respected" Republican governor, Donald Trump would've been taking out all the people at the Democratic National Convention who said bad things about him. "The things that were said about me. I mean, should I go through some of the names," Trump said at a rally in Davenport, Iowa. "You know what? I wanted to. I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard."

Trump said he wanted to hit one person in particular — a "very little guy" — "so hard his head would spin, he wouldn't know what the hell happened." "They'd never recover," he said of all the Democrats he would've hit, before adding, "that's why I still don't have certain people endorsing me. They still haven't recovered."

Watch Trump's tough talk, below. Becca Stanek

11:35 a.m. ET
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Another six Michigan state employees have joined the growing list of officials facing criminal charges over the Flint water crisis. On Friday morning, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed charges including misconduct in office, willful neglect of duty, and various conspiracy counts against three employees from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and three from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, The Associated Press reported.

This marks the second round of charges Schuette has filed in connection to Flint's lead-contaminated water scandal. In April, two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees and one City of Flint official were hit with felony charges, including official misconduct and tampering with evidence.

Flint has been dealing with its drinking water being contaminated with dangerous levels of lead since 2014, when the local government, under a state-appointed emergency manager, switched the city's water sources. Becca Stanek

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