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Supreme Court Takes Ax To Voting Rights Act

Supreme Court Takes Ax To Voting Rights Act

he Supreme Court dealt what looks like a mortal wound to the Voting Rights Act today, striking down the law’s key enforcement metric. The court did not, as some had expected, strike down Section 5, which gives the federal government oversight over states and localities with a history of voter discrimination. Instead, in a 5-4 decision, the court’s conservative justices ruled that the formula used to determine which places require oversight is out of date, CNN explains. (The Washington Post has a quick primer on the law’s specifics.) Read more on Newser…

North West Is Not A Direction, Says Kimye

North West Is Not A Direction

Still chortling over Kim Kardashian and Kanye West naming their baby North West? Well, the couple would like you to stop. They’ve been explaining to friends that the name has nothing to do with the direction “northwest,” sources tell TMZ. Their explanation: “What’s north of North? Nothing.” In other words, as TMZ helpfully decodes, the baby is the highest point of their relationship and their “north star.” Read more on Newser…

James Gandolfini’s Last Meal

James Gandolfini's Last Meal

James Gandolfini’s autopsy was conducted today in Italy, and though no official word has been given, a hospital source tells Reuters it confirmed the actor’s cause of death was a heart attack. An Italian official gives the same confirmation to CNN. Doctors will make the official announcement later today, after the US Embassy and Gandolfini’s family are officially informed. Meanwhile, both the New York Post and the New York Daily News ran what are purported to be the last photos taken of Gandolfini, dining on Tuesday night in Rome. Read more on Newser…

Need to Get Creative? Dim the Lights

Need to Get Creative? Dim the Lights

If you’re working on a project that demands a burst of inspiration, try turning down the lights. So say German researchers who conclude that “darkness increases freedom from constraints, which in turn promotes creativity,” reports Pacific Standard, picking up on a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. The researchers put test subjects in rooms with dim, normal, and bright lighting and found that the first group performed best on problems that required outside-the-box thinking. Read more on Newser…

Melissa Etheridge Says Angelina Jolie’s Double Mastectomy Was Not ‘Brave’

When Angelina Jolie revealed her choice to have a preventative double mastectomy, celebrities fell all over themselves in their rush to call her courageous—but not Melissa Etheridge. In an interview with the Washington Blade last week that apparently just got noticed by the celebrity media, Etheridge—a breast cancer survivor herself—says, “I wouldn’t call it the brave choice. I actually think it’s the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer.” She says she, too, carries the breast cancer gene mutation that caused Jolie to make her decision. Read more on Newser…

After 9-Mile Run, Woman Gives Birth To Baby She Didn’t Know She Was Having

Trish Staine didn't know she was pregnant, gave birth after 9-mile run.

Trish Staine felt pretty crappy after running nine miles as part of her half-marathon training on Sunday. Thinking she was dealing with a pulled muscle or pinched nerve, she tried painkillers, baths, and laying down; nothing worked, and her husband finally called an ambulance the next day. Turns out Staine was in labor—odd, since she’d had no idea she was pregnant. “I said ‘no, no, that’s impossible,’” the 33-year-old told the AP from her hospital room, where she delivered baby girl Mira—short for Miracle—five weeks early at 6 pounds, 6 ounces. Read more on Newser…

Actress Jiah Khan’s Suicide Stuns Bollywood

Jiah Khan Committed Suicide Shocking Bollywood

Bollywood actress Jiah Khan, 25, was found dead at her Mumbai home last night. Her mother discovered her hanging body, according to police, who say they haven’t found a suicide note, the BBC reports. A hospital post-mortem is set to investigate the cause of Khan’s death, police say. Bollywood colleagues were stunned by the New York-born, London-raised actress’ death.

One in particular had a lot to say: “Never ever seen a debutant actress with more spunk and more spirit than Jiah,” tweeted director Ram Gopal Varma. Read more on Newser…

11 Child Stars Who Sought Emancipation

11 Child Stars Who Sought Emancipation

urns out Jaden Smith doesn’t really want to be emancipated from his parents—but these 10 child stars, rounded up by the Huffington Post, did:

  • Drew Barrymore petitioned for emancipation in 1991, when she was 15, in order to skirt child labor laws that were restricting the hours she could work.
  • Alicia Silverstone did the same thing, at the same age, so she could film The Crush in 1993.
  • Michelle Williams was also emancipated at age 15, but she later said she was “stupid” to live on her own: “I didn’t know what I was taking on.” Read more on Newser…

Sewage Pipe Baby’s Mom: It Was An Accident

Baby Saved From Sewage Pipe In China, Mom Says It Was An Accident

The mother of a baby boy saved from a sewage pipe in China says she “deeply regrets” what happened—but she was the one who raised the alarm. The 22-year-old woman, who is unmarried and had concealed her pregnancy, says the newborn slipped through a hole in the squat toilet after she unexpectedly gave birth, CNN reports. She then told the landlord she had heard noises that sounded like a baby coming from the toilet and was on hand during the dramatic rescue. Read more on Newser…

At Least 10 Dead In Tornado Strike

A two-mile-wide tornado touched down in a suburb of Oklahoma City today, leveling the suburb of Moore and leaving at least 10 dead reports CNN. “It is absolutely devastating, this is horrific,” Oklahoma Lt. Governor said, as per ABC News. “We’re going to have fatalities. … We’re going to have significant injuries. … We just don’t know what those numbers are. Schools have been hit, a hospital has been hit, businesses have been flattened, neighborhoods have been wiped away — we don’t have the numbers in yet but it is going to be significant and it is going to be horrific.” Read more on Newser…

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