TGIF! Nobody gets much done on Fridays anyway, so wake up slowly with these news headlines.
1. President Johnson?
Well, the Republican debate last night devolved into dick jokes, friends. While the four remaining candidates did address foreign policy, Donald Trump’s 2008 donations to Hillary Clinton and his history of failed businesses, the night will mostly be remembered for Rubio’s joke that Trump’s “small hands” correlate with another part of his anatomy. Trump vigorously defended his sexual prowess, saying “I guarantee you, there’s no problem. I guarantee you.” Ladies and gentlemen, the (potential) President of United States. — The New York Times
2. Keep that under wraps too, please
The North Korean state news agency is reporting that leader Kim Jong Un issued a statement saying the country’s nukes need to be ready for use. According to the news agency, a new multiple-launch rocket system is being tested. The Pentagon responded that it was monitoring the Korean peninsula and that it urged North Korea to “refrain from provocative actions that aggravate tensions.” Yes, thanks. — CNN
3. Probably not the main culprits
The two people connected in the drowning death of Alan Kurdi, the toddler who drowned trying to escape Syria and whose picture prompted an international outcry, have been sentenced to four years and two months in prison. They were found guilty of “refugee smuggling” but not of negligent homicide. Alan’s mother and 5-year-old brother also drowned, and in 2016, more than 400 people have drowned making the same journey. — CNN
4. Noggins for science
Brandi Chastain, U.S. soccer star and heroine to athletic little girls everywhere, has announced that she’ll donate her brain to concussion research. (There’s no reason to think Chastain is going to cork off anytime soon, just, you know, when the time comes.) Chastain, who believes she has suffered a concussion or two in her time heading the ball, will donate her gray matter to the Concussion Legacy Foundation at Boston University. So far research on degenerative brain disease has been mostly on males. — Slate
5. Hot hot hot
As of yesterday, the average temperature in the Northern Hemisphere has reached a new, frightening high: It was two degrees Celsius above normal for the first time since scientists began keeping data, and possibly for the first time in all of human civilization. This mark has long been considered a “red alert,” the moment when climate change poses a serious threat to humanity. It’s now really, really, really time to do something. — Slate
6. Also slavery was not the cause of the Civil War
Fun news from Texas: A completely crazy lady who believes that President Obama was once a gay prostitute and that “Middle Easterners” are buying up our textbooks and influencing the content, may now very well influence that content herself. Mary Lou Bruner, a 68-year-old retired schoolteacher, has won 48 percent of the vote in the GOP primary for a place on the Texas State Board of Education. There will be a run-off, but if she wins, she’ll exert considerable control over the content of Texas’s textbooks — and, because the Texas market is obviously so large, over other states’ textbooks too. Oh, she also believes climate change is a hoax perpetrated by Karl Marx. Texas, save us. — The Washington Post