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February 24, 2016
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With an easy trot to victory in Nevada Tuesday night, Donald Trump is officially being taken seriously by even the last of his doubters. The Republicans now turn their attention to the 13 Super Tuesday states — where scant polls make it an unknowable race.

Well — unknowable to an extent. Taking numbers with a grain of salt due to some insufficient and outdated polls, Real Clear Politics predicted Trump victories in Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and Vermont. Sen. Ted Cruz beats Trump in only two states: Arkansas and his home turf, Texas. Wyoming and Colorado are also Super Tuesday states, but their most recent polls are so out of date that they show Ben Carson and Rand Paul in the lead.

The polls do indicate at least one thing pretty clearly: Sen. Marco Rubio is going to be fighting to make headway in all 13 states. While betting markets are about as uncertain an indicator as shaky polls, they likewise indicate Rubio fighting an uphill battle:

Super Tuesday is less than a week away, on March 1. Jeva Lange

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
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"How often do you get to buy a fossilized T. rex skeleton?" Keep that in mind, LuxuryLaunches.com 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
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"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

July 22, 2016
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A textbook on Mexican-American heritage approved by the Republican-controlled Texas Board of Education says Mexican laborers "were not reared to put in a full day's work," The Associated Press reports. Activists said the textbook "is deeply offensive" and contains "multiple factual errors," including a suggestion that most Latinos are in the country illegally. More than 50 percent of Texas' public school students are Hispanic. The Week Staff

July 22, 2016
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Confidential Malaysian police documents obtained by New York show that the pilot of MH370 apparently once plotted a murder-suicide flight path similar to the one ultimately followed by the doomed plane, which vanished into the southern Indian Ocean in 2014. Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah had apparently used his Microsoft flight simulator program to "test" taking a plane northwest over the Malacca Strait, then turn south over the ocean until the fuel ran out. The recovered data points on his flight simulator were plotted less than a month before he apparently flew the plane along a similar course. One major difference, though, is that the simulated end point is 900 miles from where officials believe the plane actually went down.

Malaysian authorities apparently kept hidden the evidence that Zaharie was seemingly behind the plane's disappearance and crash; he was described in an official report as having "no known history of apathy, anxiety, or irritability." The U.S. and Australia have long been suspicious of Zaharie's involvement.

Officials said Friday that once the current seabed search for MH370 wreckage is completed, they won't continue their current efforts to find the plane. The search has cost many millions of dollars. The passenger jet went down in the ocean with 239 people on board. Read the full report in New York. Jeva Lange

July 22, 2016

Watching Donald Trump's acceptance speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention somehow didn't make it to the top of President Obama's to-do list. During a Friday press conference alongside Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Obama admitted he didn't turn on the TV to hear what the Republican presidential nominee had to say. "I've got a lot of stuff to do," Obama said, adding that conventions "are pretty long events":

However, Obama said he did "read some of what was said," and in his opinion, some of the things Trump was saying didn't exactly "jive with the facts." "This idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn't really jive with the experience of most people," Obama said, citing FBI statistics showing America has actually gotten less violent in the last 30 years. "We're not going to make good decisions based on fears that don't have a basis in fact," Obama said. "And that, I think, is something that I hope all Americans pay attention to." Becca Stanek

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