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November 8, 2018

The niece of actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband, former Fox News correspondent Adam Housley, was killed in the mass shooting late Wednesday night at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.

The couple confirmed on Thursday that their niece, 18-year-old Alaina Housley, was one of the 12 victims of the shooting. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Housley said she was "an incredible, beautiful girl who didn't hurt anybody, and was excited to go to Italy for a program overseas." Her death is "just senseless," he added.

Alaina Housley was a freshman at Pepperdine University. Mowry-Housley starred alongside her twin sister, Tia Mowry, on Sister, Sister, and is now a host on The Real. Catherine Garcia

11:10 a.m.

NASA has confirmed plans to send a spacecraft to "the most promising place to look for life beyond Earth" — Jupiter's icy moon, Europa.

The Europa Clipper mission will work to advance understanding of both our cosmic origin and life outside of Earth, said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA in a press release. The Europa Clipper will be ready for launch sometime between 2023 and 2025.

The decision to move forward with the mission brings NASA "one key step closer to unlocking the mysteries of this ocean world," Zurbuchen says.

Scientists think Europa's ocean, which is beneath a 10-to-15-mile ice shell, may contain twice as much water as Earth's oceans combined. If some form of life is discovered on Jupiter's moon, that would confirm life exists in at least two places that orbit the same star — the sun. Then, it would be "reasonable to suspect that life springs up in the universe fairly easily," according to NASA.

Maybe we won't need to storm Area 51 to find some alien comrades after all. Taylor Watson

10:55 a.m.

Enough with the worrying, former Vice President Joe Biden's brain surgeon says.

As some voters murmur that the gaffe-prone Democratic presidential candidate's age is cause for extra concern this campaign cycle, Dr. Neal Kassell — the man who performed surgery on Biden three decades ago following two brain aneurysms — came out swinging for his former patient.

Kassell dismissed fears about the 76-year-old Biden's mental faculties, noting that he's "as sharp as he was 31 years ago" and assuring people that the hemorrhage and subsequent operations did not result in any brain damage. "I am going to vote for the candidate who I am absolutely certain has a brain that is functioning," Kassell told Politico. "And that narrows it down to exactly one."

Biden's physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, backed up Kassell. "Vice President Biden is in excellent physical condition," he said. "He is more than capable of handling the rigors of the campaign and the office for which he is running."

In fact, several experts told Politico that voters are placing too great an emphasis on the age of several candidates, particularly the five septuagenarians who are running, including Democratic candidates Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), 70, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 77, as well as 73-year-old President Trump and his lone Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who is 74.

"They have prospects for survival that extend well beyond the four-year term of the office," said Dr. Jay Olshansky, who led an American Federation of Aging Research study last month that sought to determine how likely it is that a candidate would die while in office. "The bottom line is their chronological age does not matter at all." Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

10:37 a.m.

Apple is getting ready to overload consumers with subscription services, and without a bundle, signing up for all of them won't be cheap.

The company is set to launch its Netflix competitor, Apple TV+, this fall, and a new report from Bloomberg suggests a $9.99 per month price point is being targeted. This is just one of a number of monthly services Apple is set to offer or already is, including one for music, one for news, and one for games, plus a monthly subscription for more iCloud space.

To put the ever-expanding collection of monthly services in perspective, a person signing up for Apple's music, news, TV and movies, and game services, as well as the 200GB iCloud storage option, would currently be spending about $38 a month, or $455 a year, although there is also a cheaper iCloud option. For comparison, you can get an iPhone 7 from Apple for $449 or a trade-in deal for an iPhone XR for $479.

Then again, Apple's "grand plan," NBC News notes, is to bundle these services together and "sell consumers on a full package," although details of this potential package haven't been revealed. Bloomberg speculates one version of this could be Apple tying its subscription services to its iPhone upgrade program.

These, of course, are just Apple's subscription services. For those who want to keep up on all the latest in TV and movies, the streaming market is about to be totally flooded with new streaming platforms from Disney, NBCUniversal, and WarnerMedia on the way. It seems inevitable that bundles will have to emerge for those consumers who can't possibly sign up for all of this, bringing them right back to the world of cable subscriptions they were trying so hard to escape in the first place. Brendan Morrow

9:41 a.m.

Apple is about to enter the streaming wars in a big way, and we're now learning more about how the new platform will compare to its main rivals.

Apple TV+ is now set to launch by November of this year, Bloomberg reports. If something about a streaming service launching in November is ringing some bells, it should: that just so happens to be the month that Disney is planning to debut its similarly-titled new streaming service, Disney+.

Apple is reportedly targeting a $9.99 price point for its service, which would make it more expensive than the $6.99 a month Disney+. It would, however, be less expensive than the standard Netflix plan, which costs $12.99 a month, although the cheapest Netflix option is $8.99 a month. Disney will also bundle Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month.

Unlike Netflix, Bloomberg reports that Apple is considering, at least for certain shows, releasing three episodes at once but then debuting episodes weekly from there rather than dropping the entire season in one go. It hasn't been confirmed how Disney+ will go about this, although weekly releases also seems likely, with a report earlier this year suggesting the Disney+ Star Wars show The Mandalorian won't drop its entire season on the same day like a Netflix original.

Plenty of original content for Apple TV+ is in the works like The Morning Show, a drama series about a Today-esque show starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, while Disney is planning originals based on some of its biggest brands, such as Star Wars and Marvel. The Financial Times recently reported that Apple has $6 billion set aside for original movies and TV shows, below the $15 billion that Netflix is spending this year, although NBC's Dylan Byers disputes this and reports the number is "significantly" smaller. Disney plans to spend $1 billion on original Disney+ programing by 2020.

Get ready to reach peak streaming when both services launch this fall. Brendan Morrow

9:33 a.m.

And then there were 10.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro on Tuesday became the 10th Democratic presidential candidate to qualify for the September Democratic primary debate in Houston. Castro had been close to qualifying for a while, after crossing the donor threshold and polling at 2 percent in three DNC-approved polls, but a new CNN poll, in which the former mayor of San Antonio hit 2 percent for the fourth time, put him over the line.

Castro joins fellow Texan former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on the stage in his home state.

The qualification means that the debate scheduled for Sept. 12 is at capacity, as the DNC is still capping the number of candidates on one stage at 10. So, if any other candidates — such as billionaire Tom Steyer or Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) — pick up the 2-percent polling numbers they need within the next eight days, there will have to be a second night of debates on Sept. 13. Tim O'Donnell

8:09 a.m.

The narrative of the 2020 Democratic primary shifted following a strong performance by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in the first debate in June. But two months later, a new poll puts us roughly back where we started.

While Harris experienced a major polling bump following her break-out first debate, during which she confronted former Vice President Joe Biden on busing, she's been slipping ever since the second debate in July. In the latest poll from CNN and SSRS released on Tuesday, she's down to 5 percent support, a 12-point drop from a post-debate June poll that had her at 17 percent support.

This poll brings Harris down to 10 points behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and 9 points behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as well as 24 points behind Biden; she had been just five points away from the former vice president in June. CNN notes that this 5 percent support for Harris is about where she was before the first presidential debate.

Biden went up seven points in the CNN/SSRS poll compared to the one conducted in June, putting him at 29 percentage points, 14 points ahead of his closest rival, Sanders.

After a performance in the second Democratic debate that clearly did not make as much of an impression on voters as her first, Harris will next have a chance during the third debate in September, which will now have at least 10 candidates. With this CNN poll, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro has met the qualification requirements. Should just one more candidate qualify, the debate will be split into two nights again, meaning Harris may or may not get another rematch with Biden.

CNN's poll was conducted by speaking to 1,001 adults nationally over the phone from Aug. 15-18. The margin of error is 6.1 percentage points. Read the full results at CNN. Brendan Morrow

7:00 a.m.

"After the back-to-back attacks in Dayton and El Paso, this president once again signaled he was open to tougher background checks to help curb gun violence," CNN's Chris Cuomo said Monday night. "But once again, he's lost his spine." On Sunday, Trump was noncommittal and evasive, telling reporters that the U.S. already has "very strong background checks right now," echoing messaging from the National Rifle Association.

Cuomo pointed to internal congressional Republican talking points on gun legislation, including falsely blaming "violence from the left" and claiming universal background checks are a Democratic ploy to start a federal gun registry with an eye toward seizing guns. His guest, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said the NRA has gotten to Trump.

NRA officials have lobbied Trump and his top aides since Dayton and El Paso, arguing that background checks aren't effective at preventing mass shootings and that many states Trump needs to win in 2020 are rich in NRA members who don't want new gun restrictions, White House aides and other sources tell The Washington Post. Also, "Trump's campaign commissioned a poll on guns after this month's shootings, and his political advisers warned him that there is little support for significant action among Republican voters, and even some Democrats." An unidentified White House official insisted to the Post that "the president is not backing down."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has told advisers he won't allow consideration of gun legislation unless Trump is fully on board and it has widespread Senate Republican backing; Trump seems keen to let the Senate take the lead. "I think he personally wants to do something," Brendan Buck, a top aide to former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), tells the Post, "but I'm not sure how equipped he is to maintain his attention on it for the next two months — which this would require — in the face of pushback from people he cares about." Peter Weber

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