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September 17, 2018
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Tesla founder Elon Musk was hit by a lawsuit Monday, reports BBC, by the British cave diver who he repeatedly called a child abuser.

The diver, Vernon Unsworth, helped rescue the young Thai soccer players who were trapped in a flooded cave in July. He is suing Musk for defamation, seeking financial compensation and an injunction to keep Musk from repeating the claims.

Musk called Unsworth a "pedo" on Twitter after the diver criticized Musk for creating an unnecessary mini submarine to aid in the rescue. Unsworth said the submarine was a "PR stunt" from Musk, and Musk responded by insisting the device would be helpful and suggesting Unsworth was a predator. "We will make [a video] of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo," Musk wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it." The billionaire apologized, but then accused Unsworth of being a "child rapist," saying he moved to Thailand "for a child bride" and writing, "I f--king hope he sues me."

Unsworth is seeking $75,000 and additional "punitive damages" in a California suit, and he plans to file separate charges in London, reports BBC. "Musk's influence and wealth cannot convert his lies into truth or protect him from accountability for his wrongdoing in a court of law," said Lin Wood, Unsworth's attorney. In order to win a defamation case, Unsworth will need to prove that Musk's statements were false and that they caused him intentional material harm. Summer Meza

1:58 a.m. ET
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Michigan's Republican Senate candidate, businessman John James, said on Monday "there's no excuse" for his campaign running a television ad that inadvertently showed a swastika.

The swastika appeared on a bulletin board in a school hallway, which was shown while James spoke off-screen about failing schools, The Associated Press reports. James said the ad used stock footage, and he had to "admit this was a terrible error on our part. We should have caught this error and we didn't, and there's no excuse." James, who is running against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), said he is "responsible for everything that our team does and fails to do, and I will do everything in my power to make sure this never, ever happens again."

James is black, and said he does "not approve of hatred or bigotry in any form," and anyone saying otherwise is proof of "how low people are willing to go." Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy group, brought attention to the imagery on Monday, and executive director Lonnie Scott told AP not having a swastika in an ad should "be a pretty basic thing to figure out," adding that this shows "James' lack of preparedness for the United States Senate." Catherine Garcia

1:04 a.m. ET
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An Idaho Fish and Game commissioner sent in his resignation letter on Monday, following intense criticism over photos he shared showing him smiling over dead animals.

Blake Fischer took the photos while in Namibia with his wife, and sent them to several former commissioners in a Sept. 17 email. In his letter to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R), Fischer wrote that it was "poor judgments" that led him to "sharing photos of a hunt in which I did not display an appropriate level of sportsmanship and respect for the animals I harvested." Fischer, whose appointment to the commission was set to expire in 2022, also said he did not want the photos to "harm the integrity and ethic" of the Idaho Fish and Game Department.

In the email, Fischer bragged that his wife "wanted to watch me and 'get a feel' of Africa. So I shot a whole family of baboons. I think she got the idea quick." He included photos from the trip showing him grinning while standing above the bodies of different animals. Several former commissioners called Fischer out on the images, including Keith Stonebraker, who told NBC News the email was "nauseating" and the photos "flew in the face" of ethical hunting standards. "It would be the same as going out and killing fawns," he said. "I thought, 'Why in the world would anybody want to kill a family of baboons?' It just made no sense at all." Catherine Garcia

12:48 a.m. ET

Stephen Colbert started Monday's Late Show by half-joking that he missed having an audience to share the crazy news with when he was off last week, in part because he wasn't sure if Kanye West really proposed repealing the 13th Amendment in the Oval Office with President Trump, or whether that was just an absinthe dream. "But one of the strangest and most horrifying stories last week was the disappearance and presumed murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi," who Turkish investigators say was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he said.

One of the more gruesome details involves the alleged 15-man Saudi hit squad that arrived in Istanbul with a bone saw shortly after Khashoggi vanished, one of the 15 apparently a Saudi intelligence autopsy expert. "He's also star of the CBS procedural, CS-I Am the Murderer," Colbert joked, darkly. "Very short episodes — they find the body, he did it, roll credits." The Saudis long denied killing Khashoggi, "but the evidence is overwhelming that Saudi Arabia committed a horrific, violent act," he said, "which can mean only one thing: We're invading Iraq!"

"No reasonable person would take Saudi Arabia's denial seriously," Colbert said, cutting to footage of President Trump suggesting "rogue killers" murdered Khashoggi because the Saudi king denied any involvement. "Here's how weak Trump's excuse is: Even Saudi Arabia is not buying it," he said, pointing to reports saying the Saudis will assert Khashoggi died during an interrogation gone wrong. "Let me ask an obvious question: Any interrogation that involves 15 men and a bone saw, how does that go right?" Colbert ended with one possible explanation for Trump's repeated bending over backwards to excuse the Saudis, and you can watch below. Peter Weber

12:20 a.m. ET

After watching a movie about the Iron Cowboy — a man who completed 50 triathlons in 50 days — Niall McDermott thought, "I could do that."

The 10-year-old from San Francisco tweaked it a little, telling his parents he'd like to run 50 5K races in 50 days. After getting the okay from his pediatrician, McDermott ran his first 5K, with his parents letting him know he could stop whenever he wished. He kept at it, and on Sunday, he ran his 50th 5K alongside a friend. He told KPIX that while he was running, "I was thinking, 'I'm gonna finish this and I can do it, and when I finish it, I won't have to do it anymore.'"

McDermott's grandfather has lung cancer, and McDermott turned his running into a fundraiser, getting $4,000 in pledges that will be donated to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. His mother, Maggie McDermott, is proud of her son for not giving up. "He never complained a single day, said he didn't want to do it, or he's too tired or something hurt," she said. "He was just ready to go every day. I'm amazed." Catherine Garcia

October 15, 2018

"Today was one of those crazy, interesting days," Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show, and he was mostly referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) DNA test and "Trump having to eat his words." The news that Warren appears to have a small amount of Native American ancestry, as her family lore holds, has prompted "an interesting ball of emotions for everyone involved," including Native Americans, some of whom seem to be arguing that Warren is claiming tribal membership, and Trump, who promised a $1 million donation if Warren took a DNA test.

As he sees it, Noah said, Warren's "not saying, 'Hey, I'm Native American!' She's just saying, 'Hey, as you can see, it's not like some random lie that my family made up, like I'm not even trying to claim the heritage, I'm just saying that this is where the story came from.' And then Donald today, not only did he say, basically, that he's not going to pay," but he later stipulated that he'll only pay now if he can test Warren himself. Trevor looked confused. "Like, he's the only person that says, 'I will only accept it if it's not an expert,'" he said. "That's such a strange thing to do."

But one thing is clear, Noah said: If he were Warren and entering a presidential debate against Trump, he would make sure they were playing a certain Rihanna song when she walked onstage.

You can watch Noah's full segment on Warren versus Trump below — including the "DNA plot twist," footage of Trump denying he said what he said, Kool-Aid, and this final twist of the knife: "So basically, this white man made a promise to Sen. Warren and then went back on what he said...." Peter Weber

October 15, 2018
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Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, doesn't have any kind of formal cooperation agreement with the government, but he has still spent more than 50 hours in meetings providing information for several investigations, people familiar with the matter told Vanity Fair's Emily Jane Fox on Monday.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to violating campaign finance laws, in connection with payments he made to women who said they had affairs with Trump, and he said in court that he did so under Trump's direction. A longtime friend of Cohen's told Fox that Cohen is offering his assistance to investigators because he regrets what he did while working for the Trump Organization. "What you see now is a return to who he was before all of this," the friend said. "He's an open book, and he's adamant to make it right."

It looks like Cohen is also trying to get back at Trump in an additional way. He's a Democrat again, after becoming a Republican in 2017 while working as the Republican National Committee's deputy finance chief, and he spent his weekend tweeting about the upcoming midterms. "The #MidtermElections2018 might be the most important vote in our lifetime," he tweeted on Sunday. "#GetOutAndVote #VoteNovember6th." Catherine Garcia

October 15, 2018
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If you planned on drowning your sorrows over climate change in a bottle of beer, it's time to pick a new beverage.

In a new report published Monday in the journal Nature Plants, scientists say that in the future, more extreme heat waves and droughts caused by climate change will stifle barley production. Barley is the key ingredient in beer, and in the U.S., Brazil, and China, at least two-thirds of the barley crop goes into beer production. Researchers estimate that the yield could drop by as much as 17 percent, making beer not only harder to find, but also more expensive.

Even adjusting for inflation, beer prices on average would double, the researchers said, and in Ireland, where beer is already more expensive, prices would triple. Barley is one of the most heat-sensitive crops in the world, and researchers only looked at how heat waves and drought would hit barley, not even considering an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Last week, a U.N. panel released an alarming report about how climate change is going to have a catastrophic impact in just a few decades if major action isn't taken globally, and Department of Agriculture scientist Lewis Ziska told The Associated Press it's studies like the one about beer that really get through to people. "One of the greatest challenges as a scientist doing research on climate change and food is to illustrate it in a way that people can understand," he said. Catherine Garcia

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