first time for everything
October 21, 2020

Mel Brooks is ripping President Trump for his COVID-19 response and backing Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president in what is evidently his first political video ever.

The icon of comedy in a video shared Wednesday by his son Max endorsed the Democratic nominee for president, doing so while his son and grandson stood outside behind him.

"They can't be with me," Brooks explained. "Why? Because of this coronavirus, and Donald Trump's not doing a damn thing about it. So many people have died, and when you're dead, you can't do much!"

Brooks went on to endorse Biden, saying he's voting for the former vice president because "Joe likes facts, because Joe likes science" and because he "will keep us going."

Max Brooks previously shared a hilarious social distancing PSA in March featuring the Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles director in isolation, but he noted on Wednesday that at 94, his father "has never made a political video. Until now." Brendan Morrow

October 13, 2020

During a highly-anticipated event on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said it's the "beginning of a new era" for the iPhone.

Apple on Tuesday officially announced the new line of iPhones that will for the first time support 5G networks. The iPhone 12 will start at $799, while the iPhone 12 Pro will start at $999 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max will start at $1,099. There's also the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, which will start at $699 and which Apple described as the "smallest, thinnest, lightest 5G phone in the world."

Apple touted the "impressive new capabilities" that will come with 5G networks, but CNBC notes that "the networks aren't fully built out yet in the U.S., which could disappoint some users." Additionally, The New York Times recommends users "tamp down your expectations," as "in most cases, 5G will only be incrementally faster, if at all."

In conjunction with the Apple announcement, Verizon announced it would be rolling out its nationwide 5G network, which according to Engadget means that "all three major carriers offer at least some kind of easy-to-find 5G."

Among the other notable details in Apple's announcement were that its new line of iPhones won't include a power adapter and EarPods in the packaging, which Apple said would help the company in "reducing carbon emissions." The iPhone 12, Apple said, will be available for pre-order on Oct. 16, while the iPhone 12 mini will be available for pre-order on Nov. 6. Brendan Morrow

January 24, 2020

President Trump is about to attend the yearly anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington, D.C., becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

Trump on Friday will speak at the rally that occurs annually to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, drawing demonstrators who call for the decision legalizing abortion nationwide to be overturned. According to March for Life, Trump will be the first sitting American president to ever attend the event, which was first held in 1974.

Past presidents have addressed the March for Life rally, but not in person; former Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan spoke to demonstrators via telephone, CNN reports. Vice President Mike Pence and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also both previously attended the March for Life, and Pence became the first sitting vice president to attend in 2017, The New York Times reports.

Trump, who once described himself as "very pro-choice," has supported the March for Life in past years and in 2018 became the first president to deliver a video address to the rally, according to the Times.

The Washington Post notes that Trump's decision to attend the March for Life this year "comes as he has sought to consolidate support from evangelicals in his reelection campaign amid signs that a portion of his conservative base has been troubled by his conduct." Past Republican presidents generally haven't attended in person, The Associated Press writes, "to avoid being too closely associated with demonstrators eager to outlaw" abortion.

Trump is expected to speak between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. ET, the Post reports, shortly before Democrats' opening arguments in the Senate's impeachment trial will resume. Brendan Morrow

December 26, 2018

President Trump just paid an unannounced visit to troops in Iraq, the first time he has done so as president.

This visit came as a surprise Wednesday, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders revealing it on Twitter with a photo of Trump with American troops. The president was joined by first lady Melania Trump, and the two spent about three hours at the Al-Asad Air Base near Baghdad, CBS News' Mark Knoller reports.

Trump had faced criticism for never having visited troops in a war zone overseas as president, especially when it seemed he would be bucking a 15-year tradition of doing so over the holidays. But as it turns out, Trump kept the tradition alive with this visit, which took place one week after he controversially announced he would be withdrawing troops from Syria. While in Iraq, Trump defended this decision, saying per Reuters, “I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It's time for us to start using our head."

The Associated Press' Jill Colvin reports Trump also said he has "no plans at all" to withdraw troops from Iraq. Brendan Morrow

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