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July 12, 2018
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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will be retiring at the end of the year, meaning he will lose his security detail — and driver — and be forced to cruise around town in his Chevrolet Suburban like the rest of us schmucks. Only it sounds like Ryan won't be going anywhere fast: "My car was eaten by animals," he regretfully informed the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday.

It really was: The Washington Times reports that Ryan left his car at his mother's house in Wisconsin when he went to Washington, and that she would start it every month to make sure it was running. Then she went to Florida for the winter and while the car sat unsupervised, a family of woodchucks decided to take up residence — as well as take advantage of the free continental breakfast of wires and gears.

Woodchucks certainly might not be the #Resistance anyone expected, but it's definitely the #Resistance everyone deserves. Jeva Lange

12:43 a.m. ET

Senate Republicans are willing to hear Christine Blasey Ford's testimony about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's alleged rape attempt when both were in high school, but they won't delay the hearing until after the FBI investigates. "Oh, so the hearing comes before the investigation, just like on the classic TV show Order & Law," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. And President Trump won't even authorize an FBI investigation, saying that's not really the bureau's thing, he added. "Yeah, the FBI really doesn't have time to investigate sexual assault — that takes precious time away from finding real criminals like the author of the anonymous op-ed."

There's clear precedent for the FBI investigating sexual misconduct claims against a Supreme Court nominee, Colbert noted. "I guess all Dr. Blasey Ford's asking is that Congress treat her with the same respect and dignity they gave Anita Hill. The bar could not be lower if you dropped it in the Marianas Trench."

Colbert walked through the various, sometimes suspect defenses of Kavanaugh from Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and the Judicial Crisis Network official who referred to Kavanaugh's alleged rape attempt as "rough horseplay" — which, Colbert said, "raises the question, What has Brett Kavanaugh done to horses?" And he took special exception to the anonymous lawyer close to the White House who said if Kavanaugh can be sunk "by accusations like this," then "every man" should be worried: "No, no they shouldn't. Not 'every man' goes through a sexual assaulter phase. And, to anyone out there who's saying 'boys would be boys,' you should not be allowed to raise boys. Or girls. Maybe a plant." Watch below. Peter Weber

September 19, 2018

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings "were already controversial and contentious" before Sunday, when a woman stepped forward to accuse him of attempted rape in the early 1980s, Trevor Noah said on Wednesday's Daily Show. Kavanaugh denies the allegation, but "this is like the fifth prominent person Donald Trump has supported who's been accused of mistreating women," Noah said. "It's almost like he doesn't realize it, but if he likes someone, it's because they have a shady history with women."

Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, wants the FBI to investigate the incident before she testifies, and the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee Republican majority says that while they want to get to the bottom of this, she'll testify Monday or they'll just move on, Noah said. "How tone-deaf is it that in the case of an alleged sexual assault, the woman is saying 'I think you guys are moving too fast,' and these dudes are like, 'Well, we're ready, so we're doing this!'"

Noah explained why he had little patience for the people questioning the timing of Ford's accusation, a tiny bit of empathy for those questioning her motives, but zero tolerance for the "boys will be boys" defense from those who conceded Ford's allegation may be true and don't care. "All I'm saying is I think it's worth taking the time to try and find out the truth," he said, "because if it turns out that this allegation is true, would you want a guy making decisions about all women's rights if he couldn't even respect one woman's right to choose?"

Between the on-air segments, Noah had an incisive look at Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-Utah) particular argument that the Kavanaugh he knows wouldn't try to rape a girl, drawing on Bill Cosby, Oscar Pistorius, and other people with skeletons in the closet. You can watch that below. Peter Weber

September 19, 2018
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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban apologized on Wednesday to women who were sexually harassed while working for the organization, following the release of a report that detailed numerous cases of improper conduct over the span of 20 years.

The independent investigation took seven months to complete, and found, among other things, that former team president Terdema Ussry made inappropriate comments and forcibly touched and kissed 15 female employees, while former ticket sales executive Chris Hyde made unwanted sexual advances, viewed and shared pornographic images, and made unsolicited comments of a sexual nature, The Dallas Morning News reports. The report found no wrongdoing by Cuban, who has owned the Mavericks for 18 years, but stated he made "significant errors of judgment."

"This is not something that just is an incident and then it's over," Cuban told ESPN. "It stays with people. It stays with families. And I'm just sorry I didn't see it. I'm just sorry I didn't recognize it." Cuban said he "wasn't as focused on the business as I should have been," and "never in my wildest dreams did I think that this was happening right underneath me." Cuban will make a $10 million donation to organizations that support domestic violence victims and women in the workplace, and said he has to "recognize I made a mistake, learn from it, and then try to fix it." Catherine Garcia

September 19, 2018
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President Trump seems to have one go-to solution for any problem: Build a wall.

Josep Borrell, Spain's foreign minister, revealed this week that Trump told his government that in order to keep migrants from entering Spain, they needed to build a wall across the Sahara. Borrell said they told Trump the wall would have to stretch for 3,000 miles to cover the desert, but Trump was undaunted. "The Sahara border can't be bigger than our border with Mexico," he said. The U.S.-Mexico border is approximately 1,954 miles.

Spain does have two autonomous cities on the north coast of Africa, but the wall would have to be built almost entirely on foreign land. So far this year, more than 33,600 migrants have arrived in Spain by sea, three times as many as in 2017, and 1,723 have died on the journey. More migrants are coming to Spain than Italy and Greece, and while it is straining resources in some areas of southern Spain, Borrell said in July the government does not consider this a crisis. "We're talking about 20,000 migrants so far this year for a country of more than 40 million inhabitants," he said. "That's not mass migration. We're trivializing the word 'mass.'" Catherine Garcia

September 19, 2018
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An Australian boy was arrested on Wednesday for putting sewing needles inside strawberries.

New South Wales police said the boy admitted he had put the needles inside the strawberries as a prank, ABC News reports, but they do not believe he's behind other recent cases of food contamination and they are looking for additional suspects. Since Sept. 12, three brands of strawberries have had to be recalled in Australia, due to several reports of consumers finding needles inside the berries. Authorities said it's possible other brands could be targeted as well, and to be safe people should cut strawberries before eating them.

Needles have been found in strawberries in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, and South Australia. Police have also heard reports of needles in bananas and apples, but those are considered isolated incidents. Anyone found guilty of purposely contaminating food could be sentenced to prison for up to 10 years. "Whether it's done with the intention of prank, whether it's done with the intention of serious harm to another individual, it's no difference," Stuart Smith, acting assistant commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force, said. "They are going to be charged with that offense and they are going to find themselves in front of a court." Catherine Garcia

September 19, 2018
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Christine Blasey Ford's lawyer released a statement Wednesday night reiterating her client's request for an FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before she testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teenagers. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has scheduled a hearing Monday, giving Ford and Kavanaugh the opportunity to speak about the allegation. Grassley also said he'll send staffers to California to interview Ford privately there if she prefers.

On Tuesday, Ford, through her lawyers, asked for an FBI investigation, and on Wednesday, lawyer Lisa Banks criticized the committee for only inviting Ford and Kavanaugh to testify. "The committee's stated plan to move forward with a hearing that has only two witnesses is not a fair or good faith investigation; there are multiple witnesses whose names have appeared publicly and should be included in any proceeding," Banks said. "The rush to a hearing is unnecessary, and contrary to the committee discovering the truth." Grassley asked Ford's lawyers to let the committee know by Friday if she will attend Monday's hearing; Banks did not mention in the statement if Ford will be there. Catherine Garcia

September 19, 2018
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On Wednesday, Jack Ma, founder and chairman of the Chinese retailer Alibaba, walked back a promise he made to President Trump in January 2017.

During their meeting, Ma told Trump he planned on creating 1 million jobs in the United States over five years, getting American businesses and farmers onto Alibaba's online platform to sell their wares in China. There's no way this could happen now, Ma told the Chinese news outlet Xinhua on Wednesday. "The promise was made on the premise of friendly U.S.-China partnership and rational trade relations," he said. "That premise no longer exists today, so our promise cannot be fulfilled."

On Monday, in the latest round of tariffs the U.S. imposed levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China retaliated by slapping tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports. During an Alibaba investor conference on Tuesday, Ma called the trade tensions "a mess," but told Xinhua he will not "stop working hard to contribute to the healthy development of China-U.S. trade." Catherine Garcia

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