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September 20, 2017

Sean Penn is slated to star in an upcoming Hulu original series about humanity's first mission to Mars. The series, called The First, was made by Beau Willimon, the creator of the Netflix original smash-hit series House of Cards.

This marks the two-time Oscar winner's "first regular role" on a television series, Variety noted. The show, set in the near future, "will depict the challenges a group of astronauts face while trying to achieve interplanetary colonization, while following the lives of their loved ones on Earth and the ground team overseeing the mission," Mashable reported. Penn's role has not yet been revealed.

The show is set to premiere next year. Becca Stanek

1:16 a.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced on Monday she wants to see the Electoral College eliminated.

During a CNN town hall in Jackson, Mississippi, the Democratic presidential candidate said she considers the need to get 270 electoral votes a form of disenfranchising voters who live in states where one political party dominates. "Come a general election, presidential candidates don't come to places like Mississippi, they also don't come to places like California or Massachusetts, because we're not the battleground states," Warren said.

As the crowd cheered, Warren added she holds the view that "every vote matters and the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College." In 2016, Hillary Clinton got three million more votes than President Trump, but lost the Electoral College 304 to 227. Catherine Garcia

12:24 a.m.

The private texts between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, published in January were supplied to the National Enquirer by her brother, Michael Sanchez, who was paid $200,000 for the messages, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The Enquirer published its story about their affair two days after Bezos was asked for comment, and the same day the billionaire announced he was separating from his wife. Michael Sanchez, a talent agent for reality show judges and pundits and a fervent supporter of President Trump, frequently passed along stories to top Enquirer editor Dylan Howard, the Journal reports. He began talking to the Enquirer and its publisher, American Media, about the affair in October, after the tabloid had already started investigating the relationship between Bezos and his sister, a former television reporter.

American Media CEO David Pecker — a longtime Trump friend who suppressed negative stories about him prior to the 2016 election — wasn't thrilled with the idea of publishing the story because he was worried Bezos would sue, the Journal reports. Trump is an unabashed critic of Bezos, and one of Pecker's advisers reportedly told him if the article did run, it might look like he was doing Trump's bidding. He eventually approved the deal, which was for more than the company usually pays sources, people with knowledge of the matter told the Journal.

The Enquirer's 11-page article featured quotes from texts and photos of Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, who is now separated from her husband, together. When reached by the Journal, Michael Sanchez said the story was based on "old rumors" and he didn't want to "dignify" the reporting. He also denied sending "the many penis selfies." Catherine Garcia

12:19 a.m.

President Trump, "mostly alone in the White House on Saturday and Sunday," averaged "just over a tweet per hour through the weekend as he decried various subjects, from unflattering television coverage to the late Republican Sen. John McCain," The Washington Post reports. Almost none of his 50-plus tweets dealt with Friday's terrorist attack that murdered at least 50 Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, evidently carried out by an avowed white nationalist.

"After a tweet Friday expressing his 'warmest sympathy and best wishes' for the people of New Zealand — and a brief statement decrying 'the monstrous terror attacks' that transformed 'sacred places of worship' into 'scenes of evil killing' — the president largely devoted his weekend to personal grievance," the Post notes. This matches what critics call a familiar pattern for Trump, who "has often seemed eager to highlight attacks and hate crimes perpetrated by Muslims but has frequently been slower and less forceful when Muslims are the victims," the Post says, adding:

One former senior administration official said Trump often associated Muslims with terrorism and rehashed grim Muslim terrorist attacks, even in private. "He thinks, and says sometimes, that Muslims are taking over Europe," this person said. This former official, as well as a second person, said they'd never heard Trump use a derogatory term for Muslims in private. But they said many of his political calculations are based on how his supporters, whom he often calls "my people" or "the base," will see an issue. [The Washington Post]

Along with tweet-complaining about Fox News and SNL, Trump called allies "all weekend to vent," one person who spoke with Trump told the Post. One of those allies, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), said Trump briefly mentioned the New Zealand shooter in their hour-long talk Sunday, asking "how could someone be so cruel?" Overall, Trump "was actually in a good spot," Graham added. Read more at The Washington Post. Peter Weber

March 18, 2019

President Trump has a long history with Deutsche Bank — one that the bank didn't want scrutinized after he was elected in 2016, The New York Times reports.

More than 20 current and former executives and board members told the Times that despite Deutsche Bank saying Trump was not a top priority, it's just not true. Beginning in the late 1990s, Deutsche Bank gave Trump loans despite his business bankruptcies and knowing he overinflated his net worth and the worth of his real estate assets. At the time, the German bank wanted to make a name for itself on Wall Street, so it worked with clients deemed risky by other entities, a former employee told the Times.

In 2008, Trump defaulted on a loan and then sued Deutsche Bank, claiming the financial crisis was a "tsunami" and thus an act of God, preventing him from paying the loan back, the Times reports. In 2010, the bank concluded that he was inflating some of his assets by up to 70 percent, yet still gave him a $100 million loan to buy the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami.

One managing director, Rosemary Vrablic — who'd helped get Trump more than $300 million in loans — tried to get Trump a loan in early 2016 for his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, the Times reports. An executive, Jacques Brand, opposed the loan because of Trump's divisive rhetoric, Vrablic appealed, and top executives were aghast that the bank was considering lending him money during the campaign, ending the transaction in March.

After Trump's election, Deutsche Bank commissioned reports to figure out how the bank became so entwined with him, and employees were told they couldn't even say "Trump" in public, the Times reports. All told, Trump is believed to have received more than $2 billion from the investment banking and private banking arms. The New York state attorney general and congressional committees are now investigating the relationship between Trump and Deutsche Bank. You can read more about the various loans Trump managed to secure at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

March 18, 2019

Baylor is the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA women's basketball tournament, which starts Friday.

The other No. 1 seeds are defending national champion Notre Dame, Louisville, and Mississippi State. Baylor (31-1) is a two-time national champion. For the first time since 2006, UConn is not among the No. 1 seeds.

ESPNU accidentally showed the bracket two hours before it was set to be revealed on Monday night; ESPN has since apologized to "the NCAA and the women's basketball community." The Final Four is scheduled to start April 5 in Tampa. Catherine Garcia

March 18, 2019

For decades, the identity of Jack the Ripper has remained a mystery, but two British forensic scientists say that because of DNA testing, they finally have a name.

Jack the Ripper gained notoriety in the late 1800s when he murdered and mutilated at least five prostitutes in London's East End. There were several suspects, but no one was ever definitively proven to be the serial killer.

Earlier this month, British researchers Jari Louhelainen of Liverpool John Moores University and David Miller of the University of Leeds wrote in the Journal of Forensic Science that after testing semen and blood found on a shawl discovered near victim Catherine Eddowes, they determined that the DNA belonged to Aaron Kosminski, a prime suspect at the time.

Kosminski, a 23-year-old Polish barber, reportedly disappeared from London after the Jack the Ripper murders. Louhelainen and Miller said they've spent the last eight years studying the silk shawl, which is "the only piece of physical evidence known to be associated with these murders." Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from a person's mother, and the researchers compared what was found on the shawl with samples taken from living relatives of Kosminski and Eddowes. Catherine Garcia

March 18, 2019

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) sued Twitter for $250 million on Monday, alleging that the social media platform "shadow banned" conservatives, including himself, ahead of the 2018 midterms, Fox News reports.

Shadow banning is described as purposely making a user's content undiscoverable to everyone except the original poster, without their knowledge; Twitter had repeatedly denied ever shadow banning any user. His lawyers allege Nunes was shadow banned in 2018 "in order to restrict his free speech," adding that access to Twitter "is essential for meaningful participation in modern-day American democracy" and a "candidate without Twitter is a losing candidate. The ability to use Twitter is a vital part of modern citizenship."

The suit, filed in Virginia state court, also claims Twitter wanted to interfere with Nunes' work when he was still chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and allowed users with Twitter handles like "@DevinNunesMom" to harass him. "In her endless barrage of tweets, Devin Nunes' Mom maliciously attacked every aspect of Nunes' character, honesty, integrity, ethics, and fitness to perform his duties as a United States congressman," the suit claims.

This is one of several users named in the complaint, accused of forcing Nunes to endure "an orchestrated defamation campaign of stunning breadth and scope, one that no human being should ever have to bear and suffer in their whole life." Nunes is asking that Twitter reveal the identities of those users. Catherine Garcia

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