March 18, 2016
United States Air Force

Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson is poised to become the first-ever female combatant commander, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Friday at a D.C. Politico Playbook breakfast. Carter says that President Obama is planning to nominate Robinson, current head of the Pacific Air Forces, to replace Adm. Bill Gortney as head of U.S. Northern Command, one of the nation's six regional combatant commands responsible for defending the country. "We have coming along now a lot of female officers who are exceptionally strong. Lori certainly fits into that category," Carter said, noting Robinson's "very deep operational" experience.

Once Robinson is nominated, she will then need to be confirmed by the Senate. Becca Stanek

2:24 p.m. ET

Just weeks after rescinding his endorsement, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) is already back on Team Trump. Crapo said Monday that he will be voting for Donald Trump — if only to prevent Hillary Clinton from wining the White House.

Crapo initially endorsed Trump back in May, embracing the GOP nominee's plans for a "very strong and aggressive protection of the border."

But after the release earlier this month of comments Trump made about women in 2005, in which he appears to brag about sexually assaulting women, Crapo was one of many Republican leaders to announce he could "no longer endorse" the Republican nominee. On Oct. 8, Crapo, who The Associated Press noted has "spent more than 20 years working on domestic violence protections," had this to say about Trump:

But apparently, Crapo thinks Clinton would be worse than a man who, as he put it, has repeatedly displayed behavior "inconsistent with protecting women from abusive, disparaging treatment." Crapo had urged Trump to step aside to allow vice presidential nominee Mike Pence to top the ticket after the graphic comments were leaked, but as Trump remains the nominee, the Idaho senator said he would cast a ballot for Trump to protect the Supreme Court. Becca Stanek

2:12 p.m. ET

The upcoming World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians will allow for a refreshing break in having to endure winning teams from Boston or San Francisco — the Indians haven't won since 1948, and the Cubs since 1908.

Things were … a little different back then. To wit: A ticket to see the Indians play at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium against the Boston Braves in the 1948 World Series cost just $6.25:

And to see the Chicago Cubs face the Detroit Tigers at West Side Grounds (Wrigley Field hadn't even been built yet) in 1908 cost just $1.00:


Tickets to the first game of the 2016 World Series, which starts Tuesday at Progressive Field, cost $2,882 on SeatGeek. Jeva Lange

1:29 p.m. ET
Mark Makela/Getty Images

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has yet agreed to a protective press pool, and with just 15 days left until the election, the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) is sounding the alarm, The Huffington Post reports.

Presidents and president-elects are historically followed by a group of reporters who travel everywhere with the individual in order to report on what he or she is doing, with whom he or she is meeting, and are present if there is a historic event or threat on the president's or president-elect's life. Both Trump and Clinton have been criticized for their current traveling press pools, which aren't fully protective — Trump flies without his and has mocked them on the campaign trail, and reporters weren't told where Clinton was for over an hour after she became ill at a Sept. 11 memorial event, raising unnecessary alarm.

The WHCA board wrote stern letters to both Trump and Clinton's campaigns, stating disapproval over the unprecedented break with tradition. "The WHCA expects the new president-elect to have a protective pool immediately, just like the president does, and we are set to take over coordination of the pooling process from the campaign press corps directly after the election," they wrote. "Not having a protective pool accompany the president-elect would be a particularly serious breach of historical precedent and First Amendment responsibilities. It would prompt consistent and public criticism from the White House press corps, represented by the WHCA board. We urge you to take steps now to ensure that a protective pool is put in place."

Reuters correspondent Jeff Mason, who is also the president of the WHCA, told The Huffington Post that Clinton and Trump's situation is "not normal and it is unacceptable." Sen. John McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney both had protective pools as soon as they had finished the Republican conventions, by comparison.

In their letter to Trump, the WHCA board additionally expressed concerns that Trump's campaign is "lagging behind the level of press access provided by its Democratic counterpart." It has been 89 days since Trump last held a press conference. Jeva Lange

1:24 p.m. ET

After more than 16 years in prison, Serial's Adnan Syed may soon be free. Lawyers for Syed, who was featured in the first season of the smash-hit podcast Serial, announced Monday they've filed a motion asking for him to be released on bail. The lawyers are citing the trial's "discredited" evidence as justification for the motion, The New York Times reported.

Syed began serving a life sentence in 2000 for the murder of his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, after being sentenced for the crime in 1999. In a filing submitted to a Maryland court, Syed's lawyer C. Justin Brown insisted Syed was serving time "based on an unconstitutional conviction for a crime he did not commit." "He has no history of violence other than the state's allegations in this case, and if released, he would pose no danger to the community," the filing read.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Martin P. Welch granted Syed a retrial three months ago, noting that Syed's lawyer did not question a state expert about cell phone towers, which were used to determine Syed's location on the day of the murder. That, Welch wrote, could create "a substantial possibility that the result of the trial was fundamentally unreliable." Cell tower evidence proved instrumental in Syed's original conviction.

The New York Times reported the Maryland attorney general's office was "not immediately available on Monday to respond to a request for comment." Becca Stanek

12:43 p.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As WikiLeaks continues to publish emails from the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, Bernie Sanders has emerged as the unfortunate victim in the whole mess. Sanders apparently suffered from collusion between CNN's Donna Brazile and Clinton's campaign, which was intended to give Clinton a leg up at a primary debate, and was even branded as a "doofus" by Podesta. One might imagine that would make things a little awkward between Sanders and his party's nominee.

Not so, according to Sanders — in fact, if he was hacked, he says Clinton wouldn't exactly come out unblemished. "Trust me, if they went into our emails — I suppose which may happen, who knows — I'm sure there would be statements that would be less than flattering about, you know, the Clinton staff," Sanders told The Washington Post. "That's what happens in campaigns."

Sanders added that even the DNC's apparent bias doesn't make him surprised. "It's amusing," he said instead. "Was I shocked to find out that the DNC was partial toward Clinton? Not exactly. That's something we knew from day one."

If anything, Sanders said the emails just prove how differently he and Clinton operated — his campaign, for one, didn't exactly labor over jokes: "We did not have a committee deciding what kind of jokes I would be telling," he said. "In fact, we usually had me scrambling to write my speech on a yellow piece of paper, which I finished three minutes before I would go up there. So, you know, they were much more prepared and much better organized and careful about what they were saying or not saying. … The way they do politics is very different." Jeva Lange

11:56 a.m. ET
Graeme Robertson/Getty Images

William Shakespeare is no longer getting all the credit for the saga of Henry VI. Oxford University Press has announced it's going to list writer Christopher Marlowe's name alongside Shakespeare's on the title page for each of the three Henry VI plays in upcoming editions of the works.

The decision followed new "textual analysis and the use of computerized tools to examine the scripts" by 23 international scholars, whose research determined rivals Marlowe and Shakespeare more than just influenced one another's work, BBC reported. "We have been able to verify Marlowe's presence in those three plays strongly and clearly enough," Gary Taylor of Florida State University told The Guardian. Marlowe, who was once mistakenly thought to actually be Shakespeare, has been suspected of being involved in the creation of the Henry VI plays since the 18th century, but this marks the first time he's getting a share of the credit.

The research further revealed that these three plays might not be the only ones Shakespeare got some help on; now, researchers say the Henry VI trio may be among "as many as 17 plays that ... contain writing by other people, sometimes several hands," The Guardian reported.

That's close to two-fifths of Shakespeare's plays, of which there are 44 in total, that the Bard may not have written entirely alone. But as Shakespeare — or any of his potential co-writers — put it: "What's in a name?" Becca Stanek

11:24 a.m. ET

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project had intended to find out how quickly water levels rose in the Black Sea after the last Ice Age, but the team ended up discovering a whole lot more than they had bargained for, Quartz reports. While examining the seabeds, the scientists found dozens and dozens of previously undiscovered shipwrecks — 41 in all.

"The wrecks are a complete bonus, but a fascinating discovery, found during the course of our extensive geophysical surveys," the project's principal investigator, Jon Adams, said in a statement.

Many of the shipwrecks were in spectacular condition due to the low oxygen levels that exist nearly 500 feet below the surface. "Certainly no one has achieved models of this completeness on shipwrecks at these depths," Adams said.

Many of the ships date back to the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The researchers are using photographs to build 3D models of their finds and hope to learn more about "the maritime interconnectivity of Black Sea coastal communities and manifest ways of life and seafaring that stretch back into prehistory." Jeva Lange

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