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March 16, 2016

Judge Merrick B. Garland got teary-eyed as he accepted President Obama's Supreme Court nomination in a Rose Garden speech on Wednesday, calling the opportunity a "great privilege" for which he is "grateful beyond words."

"This is the greatest honor of my life, other than Lynn agreeing to marry me 28 years ago," Garland said as he choked back tears. "I know my mother is watching this on television and crying her eyes out," he added.

Garland, 63, is the chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and a highly respected moderate judge. Obama is hopeful this pick will satisfy Republicans, who have vowed to block any Obama nominee in favor of letting the next president fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Becca Stanek

11:51 a.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Amish are a unique Christian community known for their radical forgiveness, pacifism, and eschewal of worldly goods. Donald Trump believes he needs no forgiveness from God, advocates bombing women and children, and lives in a penthouse that is entirely covered in gold.

But Trump allies with ties to Ben Carson and Newt Gingrich think it's a political match made in heaven. In fact, they've formed a PAC called "Amish PAC" in an attempt to persuade the 70,000 Amish people in Pennsylvania and Ohio, both swing states, to turn out for Trump this November.

The project faces an uphill battle. Though a few Amish voters do show up at the polls each election, most do not vote for theological reasons. Of course, the Amish have been spared Trump's Twitter feed thanks to their rejection of computer technology — but it is difficult to fathom that a religious group which considers buttons too ostentatious will be convinced to back the king of ostentation. Bonnie Kristian

11:36 a.m. ET

A 4-year-old boy sustained serious injuries after crawling into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday, ABC News reports. A 17-year-old, 400-pound male gorilla named Harambe picked up the boy and dragged him around after he fell at least 10 feet into a moat.

A zoo employee fatally shot the gorilla so firefighters could enter the enclosure and rescue the child, whose name has not been released. The boy was hospitalized with injuries that are reportedly not life-threatening.

"The zoo security team's quick response saved the child's life. We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically endangered gorilla," the zoo director said in a statement. "This is a huge loss for the zoo family and the gorilla population worldwide. Julie Kliegman

10:54 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Marco Rubio apologized to Donald Trump for making fun of his hand size, the former Republican candidate said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper that aired Sunday.

"I actually told Donald — one of the debates, I forget which one — I apologized to him for that," Rubio explained on State of the Union. "I said, 'You know, I'm sorry that I said that. It's not who I am and I shouldn't have done it.' I didn't say it in front of the cameras. I didn't want any political benefit." Rubio recently indirectly indicated he will support Trump this November.

The Trump-Rubio tiff dates to February, when the Florida senator hit back at Trump after the presumed GOP nominee began calling him "Little Rubio." "You know what they say about guys with small hands," he quipped, adding after a pause, "You can't trust 'em!" Trump has been sensitive to suggestions that his hands are small since a 1988 magazine article called him a "short-fingered vulgarian." Bonnie Kristian

10:52 a.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Top Donald Trump adviser Paul Manafort is gently walking back his Wednesday assertion that the presumptive Republican nominee wouldn't choose a male person of color or a woman as a running mate because that would be "pandering."

In an interview with ABC's This Week on Sunday, Manafort clarified that candidates from those groups wouldn't be omitted from Trump's list of potential running mates; rather, they just won't earn spots on the list solely because of their race or gender.

"If a female is qualified, that's a totally different story," he said. "And there are many Republican women who are qualified, and several who might be on the list."

Manafort also confirmed that Trump is seeking a vice president with Washington, D.C., experience. Julie Kliegman

10:18 a.m. ET
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Paula Broadwell, the biographer of former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, with whom he had an affair, opened up to The New York Times in an interview published Saturday.

"I'm the first to admit I screwed up," Broadwell said. "Really badly, I know that. But how long does a person pay for their mistake?"

Petraeus resigned from his CIA post in 2012 after an FBI investigation revealed he had shared confidential information with Broadwell. The biographer told the Times she has received rape and death threats in the years since the news came to light. Read more about her life in the aftermath of the scandal here. Julie Kliegman

9:14 a.m. ET
Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders is pushing for the ouster of two high-ranking Democrats who support his rival, Hillary Clinton, but his party isn't sympathetic to his cause.

Former Rep. Barney Frank and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy co-chair the Democratic National Convention rules and platform committees, respectively, placing them in key positions to frustrate Sanders' plan to reshape his party — perhaps by getting rid of the superdelegate system — even if he does not win the nomination.

Sanders alleged the two cannot perform their duties in an unbiased fashion, but the convention's Rules and Bylaws Committee dismissed his complaint Saturday, the Connecticut Post reports. Frank, however, has promised to recuse himself from any committee matters that could affect the party's choice of presidential nominee. Bonnie Kristian

7:43 a.m. ET
Aris Messinis/Getty Images

Around 700 migrants from Libya may be dead after the three small boats they were using to cross the Mediterranean capsized on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the United Nations' refugee agency reported Sunday.

The largest boat was carrying some 670 migrants and did not have an engine. So far, only about 100 of its passengers have been rescued, while 15 bodies have been found.

All three boats were attempting to cross from North Africa to the southern shores of Italy. Libya has remained in chaos since the NATO-assisted overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, a power vacuum which permitted the Islamic State terrorist organization to set up shop in the seaside city of Sirte. Bonnie Kristian

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