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June 26, 2019

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took humankind's first steps on the moon, they weren't just taking a stroll. They also collected 48 samples of lunar rocks, bringing them back home so that scientists could examine them ... eventually.

Now, 50 years after the first men walked on the moon, scientists are finally getting their hands on the original samples collected on Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972. The lunar samples have been kept in a locked vault at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Fox News reports, waiting for the wonders that 21st-century scientific technology will be able to learn from them.

That was a pretty wise move on the part of NASA officials back in the 70s, said Ryan Zeigler, a sample curator for NASA's Apollo missions. "We can do more with a milligram than we could do with a gram back then," so we can still conserve most of the sample material gathered decades ago. The samples being sent out now range from the weight of a paper clip to so small "you can barely measure it," Zeigler said.

In total, 842 pounds worth of lunar samples were collected on the Apollo missions, collected by 12 astronauts — the only 12 people who have ever walked on the moon. But NASA's new plan will soon expand that number: By 2024, it aims to send more people to the moon's surface.

Until that happens, these moon rocks are the most tangible link we have with our closest satellite. And now, "a new generation of scientists will help advance our understanding of our lunar neighbor and prepare for the next era of exploration of the moon and beyond," said Thomas Zurbuchen, an administrator at NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

Read more at Fox News. Shivani Ishwar

8:53 a.m.

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), the vice chair of the House Republican Conference, is pushing back — though only slightly — after President Trump's rally crowd chanted "send her back!" about a minority congresswoman.

Walker on Thursday tweeted that "I struggled with" the chant at Trump's Wednesday night rally, which came as the president repeated his attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the four minority congresswomen he told to "go back" to where she came from in a weekend tweet. Omar fled to the United States as a refugee from Somalia at a young age.

This language at the rally, Walker suggested, is "painful to our friends in the minority communities." At the same time, Walker didn't veer too far from Trump's talking points by in this same tweet attacking Omar as someone who has "great disdain" for the United States.

Trump's weekend tweets drew some pushback from elected Republicans, while GOP leaders like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defended him and argued he is not racist. On Thursday, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) joined Walker in criticizing the chant by saying "there is no place for that" while defending Trump as someone who "does not have a racist bone in his body," reports TIME's Alana Abramson.

Outside of elected officials, Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, also called the chants "wrong" and "vile," adding that they "don't reflect who we are as Americans," while conservative Bill Kristol tweeted that "'send her back' conservatism is not a conservatism worth defending." Brendan Morrow

7:52 a.m.

As many as 23 people have been killed, and dozens more injured, after an apparent arson attack on Kyoto Animation's studio in Japan.

Thirteen people have been confirmed dead and another 10 are presumed dead, with at least 36 people injured, after an attack on the popular animation studio's three-story building in Kyoto that had more than 70 people in it at the time, The Associated Press reports.

The fire began at about 10:30 a.m. local time after a man reportedly entered the building and spread a flammable liquid while shouting, "Die!", The New York Times reports. A 41-year-old man is in custody, and per the AP, he is not an employee. Kyoto Animation President Hideaki Hatta says the company had received threats, The Washington Post reports.

This attack, if 23 people are ultimately confirmed dead, would be Japan's deadliest mass killing since 19 people were killed in a knife attack in Tokyo in 2016, the AP writes. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday called the attack "so horrifying that I am at a loss for words," the Times reports, offering his "deepest condolences to the victims." Brendan Morrow

1:15 a.m.

This is an early 20th anniversary gift they'll never forget.

When the Camp Fire swept through Grass Valley, California, last fall, it completely destroyed Marc and Mary Taylor's home. All of their possessions were lost in the wildfire, including decades worth of photos. Hoping she could recover some of them, Mary Taylor got in touch with the photographer, Richard Briggs, who shot their wedding on August 14, 1999.

Briggs was thrilled when he started digging around and found the negatives, telling KCRA that usually, photographers don't keep them for so long. "Luckily, they were intact," he said. "They were a little faded. I bought a scanner and scanned them all. And my wife, she's excellent in editing, and she brought back the color and the life into the photos, and from those images, I was able to make an album." He can still recall the wedding, he added, and remembers thinking, "These people are so much in love."

The Taylors cried when Briggs gave them not only their wedding album, but also the negatives, as these are the only photos they've been able to replace. "It gave us a piece of something back after losing everything," Marc Taylor said. "I don't know how to explain it. There's no words." Catherine Garcia

12:15 a.m.

On Wednesday's Late Night, Seth Meyers took to task Republican leaders who are insisting that President Trump's "latest racist comments are not at all racist, despite the fact the they are definitely super racist."

As everyone knows by now, on Sunday Trump tweeted that four Democratic congresswomen of color should "go back" to their "crime infested" home countries. Three of the women were born in the United States, and the fourth arrived as a refugee from Somalia and is now a naturalized citizen. "If their country is broken and crime infested, that's on you," Meyers said. "Trump accidentally burned himself. It's like if someone said, 'Man your parents must have really screwed you up,' and that someone was your mom."

Since posting the tweets, Trump has defended himself multiple times by accusing the women of saying "horrible things" and saying over and over again that anyone who isn't happy in the United States should leave. "Trump's brain disease won't let him backtrack, no matter how far over the line he goes," Meyers said. "If he says, 'I'm going to eat this apple,' and you said, 'Dude, that's an onion,' he would stand there and eat the whole thing with tears streaming down his face."

Most of Meyers' ire went beyond Trump to Republican lawmakers who are bending over backwards not to comment on the situation, and he played a montage of some senators who fled to elevators to avoid having to speak to reporters. He also singled out Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who was a congressman during the Obama administration. In the new book American Carnage, author Tim Alberta writes that in 2016, Mulvaney said Republicans would not let "Donald Trump dismantle the Bill of Rights," and bristled at the idea that their constant pushback against Obama was racist, saying they would treat a president of their own party the same way. That's just not true, Meyers said, as Republicans "are literally hiding in elevators to avoid criticizing Trump." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

July 17, 2019

Netflix stock fell more than 10 percent after the market closed Wednesday, following the company's announcement that for the first time since launching its digital service eight years ago, it saw a drop in U.S. subscribers.

In the second quarter, Netflix lost 126,000 paid U.S. subscribers, and also only added 2.7 million subscribers worldwide, far below the five million investors expected. With its hit show Stranger Things now streaming new episodes, Netflix expects to add more than seven million subscribers during the current quarter. Right now, there are more than 60 million U.S. subscribers.

The market is getting more and more crowded, with Disney Plus and HBO Max set to enter the streaming world soon. In 2020, Friends, the second-most watched show on Netflix last year, will only be available to U.S. and Canadian customers on HBO Max. The Office is also leaving Netflix next year, as the show's owner, NBCUniversal, agreed to pay $100 million a year for the next five years in order to have streaming rights. Catherine Garcia

July 17, 2019

A protester armed with pictures of President Trump and Jeffrey Epstein with the words "CHILD RAPIST" disrupted Trump's Wednesday night rally in Greenville, North Carolina.

CNN reports that the man was "removed in a more aggressive manner than most protesters and pulled down behind a sign where he remained for a while as supporters took pictures." After the demonstrator was taken away with his hands behind his back, Trump said he was going "home now to mommy, and he gets reprimanded and that's the end."

Epstein, a financier, was arrested earlier this month and charged by prosecutors in New York with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy. More than a decade ago, Epstein was accused of sexually abusing girls, but pleaded guilty to felony prostitution charges instead and received a lenient 13-month jail sentence.

In 2002, Trump told New York magazine, "I've known Jeff for 15 years, terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side." After Epstein's arrest, Trump said he "knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. I had a falling out with him. I haven't spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you." Earlier on Wednesday, MSNBC aired footage from NBC's archives showing Trump and Epstein in 1992, laughing at a party. Trump appears to point at a woman and say "she's hot," and is also seen grabbing another woman in attendance. Catherine Garcia

July 17, 2019

President Trump continued to lob insults at four Democratic congresswomen, calling them out by name during a rally Wednesday night in North Carolina.

On Sunday, he tweeted racist comments targeting Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), saying they need to "go back" to their home countries. The lawmakers — all outspoken Trump critics and women of color — are fueling "the rise of a dangerous, hard left," Trump said Wednesday.

After blasting Omar — who came to the U.S. from Somalia as a child and is a naturalized American citizen — and accusing her of "launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds," the crowd erupted in chants of "Send her back!" This not only echoed Trump's tweets, but also "Lock her up!" the longtime rallying cry of Trump supporters aimed at Hillary Clinton.

Trump referred to Ocasio-Cortez as "Cortez" because "I don't have time to go with three different names," and said she is a liar and behind "outrageous attacks against the men and women of law enforcement." He also asked if Pressley is "related in any way to Elvis" (who spelled his last name with just one "s") and said she "thinks that people with the same skin color all need to think the same. She said we don't need any more brown faces that don't want to be brown voices. ... Can you imagine if I said that? It would be over, right? It would be over." Catherine Garcia

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