March 30, 2016
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Reports that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry didn't vote in the Lone Star State's Republican presidential primary are further stoking rumors that the onetime Republican presidential candidate is considering running as an independent. While Perry insists that he filled out a ballot and mailed it in "within 72 hours of receiving it," the election administrator in Fayette County — where Perry is registered to vote — says that a "voted ballot was never received" from Perry.

If true, that would check off one of two requirements for someone in Texas to run as an independent candidate, the Texas Tribune reports:

There are two key requirements in Texas for someone to run as an independent candidate for president. First, a candidate would have had to abstain from voting in one of the state's primaries because doing so would declare themselves as either a Democrat or Republican. Second, a candidate would need to gather 79,939 signatures by May 9 from Texans who had also not voted in either of the primaries that year. [Texas Tribune]

Despite reportedly being floated as a possible independent candidate by GOP leaders, Perry maintains that he has no plans to run. He has already endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the Republican race and, just last week, Perry's former campaign manager Jeff Miller once again said that Perry's "got no interest in running."

Read the full story over at the Texas Tribune. Becca Stanek

11:07 p.m. ET
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On Monday, Apple sent invitations out for its autumn product launch Sept. 7 in San Francisco, leading many to believe the company will debut the iPhone 7 at the event.

Apple did not confirm any details, but typically during the annual September event, at least one iPhone model is announced, as well as new models or features of popular products like the MacBook and Apple Watch. Sources say they expect the new phones to come without a headphone jack. While Apple has sold more than 214 million iPhones over the past year, sales are down from the same time in 2015. Catherine Garcia

10:12 p.m. ET
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A spokesman for Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R) said Monday that the FBI told state officials in June that Russians were behind a hack targeting the Arizona voter registration system.

The spokesman, Matt Roberts, told The Washington Post the FBI said the threat was "an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10." Reagan shut down the system for almost a week, and investigators determined that the hackers did not compromise any state or county systems, but did get the user name and password of an elections official in Gila County. Roberts said the FBI did not say if the hackers were part of the Russian government.

In July, Illinois officials also found that hackers were able to get into their election systems, The Post reports. No data was altered, but they were able to retrieve "a fairly small percentage of the total" of voter records, said Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois elections board. After notifying the FBI, state officials closed the voter registration system down for a week. "I'm less concerned about the attackers getting access to and downloading the information," Brian Kalkin, vice president of operations for the Center for Internet Security, told The Post. "I'm more concerned about the information being altered, modified, or deleted. That's where the real potential is for any sort of meddling in the election." Catherine Garcia

9:11 p.m. ET

The Italian coast guard says on Monday it rescued roughly 6,500 migrants off the coast of Libya.

The migrants, most from Eritrea and Somalia, were in overcrowded and poorly built vessels that had enough fuel to make it 12 miles off the coast of the Libyan town of Sabratha, The Associated Press reports. There, rescue boats from Italy, the EU border agency Frontex, Doctors Without Borders, and Proactiva Open Arms were waiting for them, the BBC says. The coast guard said more than 1,100 migrants were rescued from the same area on Sunday.

Because of Balkan nations closing their borders to migrants and a EU deal with Turkey to prevent refugees from crossing to Greece, there are fewer people making it to Europe from Syria. There are still plenty of migrants from African countries like Nigeria, Eritrea, and Somalia trying to get from Libya to Italy, however, with 106,000 people arriving in the country so far this year and 2,726 who died trying, the International Organization for Migration said. The IMO says there are still 275,000 migrants in Libya waiting to make the journey to Italy. Catherine Garcia

8:06 p.m. ET

The passing of Gene Wilder at the age of 83 is hitting Hollywood hard, with friends and co-workers remembering the man who brought Willy Wonka, the Waco Kid, and Dr. Frankenstein to life.

Mel Brooks, his director in Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers, called Wilder one of the "truly great talents of our time," and said he "blessed every film we did with his magic and he blessed me with his friendship." Steve Martin said Wilder was "one of the great screen comedians," who was "original and surprising every time," while Billy Crystal called him a "true genius" and "giant of comedy" whose "legacy of films is inspiring."

Rain Pryor tweeted a photo of Wilder with her father, the late Richard Pryor, a frequent co-star. She told The Hollywood Reporter her dad thought Wilder "was amazing," and always said, "'That man's a genius, and he's a good man, that's for sure.'" She believes the pair "helped each other grow as artists in their art form and who they were outside of their art form. They are the people who set the stage outside of the Laurel and Hardy type of thing."

Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, told BBC Radio 5 he was a "wonderfully kind, generous, and mega-talented man, but without an ego. He was not grand, he was not a star, he was not a diva, he was just very sweet and kind." Jim Carrey recalled Willy Wonka in his remembrance, saying Wilder was "one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form. If there's a heaven, he has a Golden Ticket." Catherine Garcia

7:06 p.m. ET
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Fox News on Monday denied claims made by former anchor Andrea Tantaros, who filed a lawsuit earlier this month saying she was taken off the air in April in retaliation for ignoring advances from former chairman Roger Ailes.

The network said Tantaros is an "opportunist," piggybacking off the publicity of an earlier sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Ailes by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. In a filing made Monday in a New York state court, lawyers for Fox News said Tantaros's lawsuit "bears all the hallmarks of the 'wannabe,'" and said she signed an agreement to keep employment-related disputes out of court. The lawyers also asked to send her lawsuit to arbitration.

In her lawsuit, Tantaros said the alleged harassment began in 2011, with Ailes making comments about her looks and asking her to "twirl" for him, Reuters reports. Fox News says Tantaros was removed from the air because she wrote a book, Tied Up In Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable, without permission, and when it came out in April, she promoted it without authorization. Catherine Garcia

4:46 p.m. ET
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President Obama has presided over some of the best years to invest of the last century, The New York Times reports. The stock market has risen 11.8 per­cent on an annualized basis since Obama took office, the third best performance during an American presidency since 1900. Market performance was only better under Calvin Coolidge (25.5 per­cent) and Bill Clinton (15.9 percent).

Consider that had you been prescient enough to buy shares of a low-cost stock index fund on Mr. Obama's first inauguration day, on Jan. 20, 2009, you would now have tripled your money. Stock market performance of this level has rarely been surpassed. [The New York Times]

Now, presidents often don't deserve direct credit for market performance. Part of the trend just comes down to timing: With the economy in such a sorry state around the time Obama came into office, any vague signs of recovery naturally sent the market marching upward. The Federal Reserve has also pushed an "extraordinarily accommodative monetary policy," which began before Obama even took office. You can read more about the reasons behind the stock boom of the Obama years at The New York Times. The Week Staff

4:00 p.m. ET

Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke has recorded a robocall touting his candidacy for Senate in Louisiana, and in the recorded message he explicitly ties his campaign to Donald Trump's. Duke has been piggybacking on Trump's increasingly prominent campaign for months; this winter, Trump was forced to disavow Duke's endorsement several times after initially offering a muddled response.

In the call, Duke issues a joint plea to voters on behalf of both men. "It's time to stand up and vote for Donald Trump for president and vote for me, David Duke, for the U.S. Senate," he says:

In announcing his candidacy for Louisiana's Senate seat last month, Duke again drew comparisons to Trump's movement, saying he was "overjoyed to see Donald Trump, and most Americans, embrace most of the issues that I've championed for years." The Trump campaign has already distanced itself from the robocall, telling Politico: "Mr. Trump has continued to denounce David Duke and any group or individual associated with a message of hate. There is no place for this in the Republican Party or our country. We have no knowledge of these calls or any related activities, but strongly condemn and disavow." Kimberly Alters

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