March 17, 2015

Seth Meyers' Late Night audience was mixed politically on Monday night, which became apparent when guest Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) brought up his ObamaCare filibuster and Meyers asked knowingly how that worked out for him. Cruz noted that ObamaCare is unpopular, which led Meyers to bring up gay marriage. With 59 percent of Americans supporting gay marriage now, including 40 percent of Republicans, he said, why did Cruz think it a good time to support a bill letting states decide whether to allow same-sex marriage?

"Listen, I'm a constitutionalist," Cruz began. "For over 200 years, marriage has been a question for the states. Now, personally, I believe in traditional marriage between one man and one woman, but if you want to change the marriage laws, the way to do it constitutionally is convince your fellow citizens, go to the state legislature, and change it. It shouldn't be the federal government or unelected judges imposing their own definition of marriage — we should instead respect our constitutional system." Meyers wasn't buying it: "You know, I read the Constitution this morning, and I'm not sure you're right on all that stuff." The federal courts aren't, either. We'll probably find out if the Supreme Court agrees with Cruz sometime soon. —Peter Weber

October 14, 2019

A Fort Worth, Texas, police officer who shot and killed a woman inside her home early Saturday was charged with murder on Monday, shortly after he resigned from the force.

Aaron Dean is being held at the Tarrant County Correction Center, Fort Worth Police Sgt. Chris Daniels said. The woman, 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson, was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when she was shot. A neighbor had noticed Jefferson's front door was slightly open, and called the police department's non-emergency line, asking them to do a wellness check. Body camera footage released by the police department shows an officer shining a flashlight into the house, then yelling, "Put your hands up, show me your hands," before firing one shot.

The white officer shooting a black woman inside her home caused immediate outrage in Fort Worth, and Daniels had a message for all concerned. "To the citizens and residents of our city, we feel and understand your anger and your disappointment and we stand by you as we work together to make Fort Worth a better place for us all," he said. Jefferson's older sister, Ashley Carr, said she was "simply going on along with her life, living a law-abiding citizen's peaceful life, and she was killed by a reckless act of a Fort Worth police officer. There is simply no justification for his actions." Catherine Garcia

October 14, 2019

During her testimony before House lawmakers on Monday, Fiona Hill, President Trump's former top Russia adviser, said that Rudy Giuliani wanted to see certain things happen in Ukraine in order to benefit Trump, so he went around U.S. officials and career diplomats, a person familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.

Hill met with lawmakers from the three House committees investigating Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Throughout her 10-hour, closed-door testimony, she shared her concerns over Giuliani's role in Ukrainian foreign policy, the Post says. Hill was a member of the National Security Council, but left one week before Trump's call with Zelensky.

Hill also reportedly praised Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, and told lawmakers she was angry when Yovanovitch was removed in May, after Giuliani pressured Trump to recall her from the post. Last week, Yovanovitch testified as part of the impeachment inquiry, and said Giuliani and some of his Ukrainian allies saw her as a threat, standing in the way of their political and financial interests. Catherine Garcia

October 14, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's former senior adviser Michael McKinley is set to testify privately on Wednesday before the three Congressional committees leading the House impeachment inquiry, two officials involved in the matter told The Washington Post on Monday.

McKinley, a career diplomat who served as ambassador to Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, stepped down last week. He was not directly involved with Ukraine, and reportedly resigned because he felt Pompeo did not do enough to publicly support State Department personnel caught up in the Ukraine scandal.

A person with knowledge of the matter told CNN McKinley will appear for a transcribed interview, indicating he is not coming under subpoena. Catherine Garcia

October 14, 2019

Federal investigators in Manhattan are taking a close look at Rudy Giuliani's business dealings in Ukraine, as well as his bank records, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

They want to know about meetings he held and specific work he did in the country. Investigators have been questioning witnesses since at least August regarding Giuliani's relationship with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, business associates who were arrested last week and accused of campaign finance violations, the Journal reports. The scope of the inquiry is unknown.

Giuliani, who is President Trump's personal lawyer, told the Journal on Monday he has done nothing wrong, and "they can look at my Ukraine business all they want." Giuliani is ensnared in Trump's Ukraine scandal, and as part of the impeachment inquiry, House committees have heard testimony from witnesses regarding Giuliani's role in the affair, including how he pushed Trump to remove Marie Yovanovitch, the ambassador to Ukraine. Catherine Garcia

October 14, 2019

Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo are the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize, it was announced Monday.

First awarded in 1969, the Booker Prize is one of the literary world's most distinguished honors. "We were told quite firmly that the rules state that you can only have one winner," Peter Florence, the chair of the judges, said. However, "the consensus was to flout the rules and divide this year's prize to celebrate two winners." After asking the prize's trustees three times if they could give the award to two winners, the trustees finally relented.

Atwood won for The Testaments, the sequel to 1985's The Handmaid's Tale; she also received the award in 2000 for The Blind Assassin. Evaristo won for Girl, Woman, Other, becoming the first black woman to win the Booker Prize. "I hope that honor doesn't last too long," she said. Atwood and Evaristo will split the $63,000 prize money. Catherine Garcia

October 14, 2019

We officially have our new Catwoman.

Zoe Kravitz is set to take on the role of Selina Kyle in The Batman, in which she'll star opposite Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader, The Hollywood Reporter writes. This decision was reportedly reached at the end of a "rigorous testing process," during which Ana de Armas, Ella Balinska, and Eiza Gonzalez were also considered for the part.

Director Matt Reeves confirmed the news on Twitter by way of an image of Kravitz from HBO's Big Little Lies.

Kravitz will be the latest actress to take on the iconic Batman character on film after Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Lee Meriwether. Meriwether, Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt also played Catwoman on the original Batman TV series, while recently, Camren Bicondova took on the role on Fox's Gotham.

In addition to Pattinson and Kravitz, The Batman is also reportedly eying Jonah Hill for a key villain role, potentially the Riddler. The film, which comes after Ben Affleck hung up his cape following three Batman appearances, hits theaters in 2021. Brendan Morrow

October 14, 2019

NBA players don't seem very happy with the league, commissioner Adam Silver, or Houston Rockets' general manager Daryl Morey right now.

Silver held a meeting last week in Shanghai with players from the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, who were there for an exhibition game, ESPN reports. The players reportedly vented about being asked by local Chinese reporters to address the controversial situation that arose following a now-deleted tweet sent by Morey that offered support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy, anti-Beijing protests before Silver himself spoke on the matter. China, which is home to a massive NBA fan base, was angered by Morey's tweet, placing the NBA's relationship with the country in jeopardy.

It's become a pretty big deal stateside, as well, with numerous coaches and players getting thrown into hot water over their attempts to answer questions about the fiasco, which have frequently received criticism from across the political spectrum.

While the players seemed unhappy with Silver and the media, they also reportedly questioned whether Morey will be disciplined. It's unclear if the players think Morey — whom the NBA has sort of, but not really defended — should face consequences, but ESPN reports that they at least felt it was hypocritical of Silver to let him off the hook; several players reportedly said they believe they would have been disciplined if they were in Morey's shoes. Read more at ESPN. Tim O'Donnell

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