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Hollywood, french fries, cocaine and Cookie Monster, the gang that couldn't govern straight
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Published Thursday, July 13, 2017 @ 8:49 AM EDT
Jul 13 2017

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Today is Thursday, July 13, the 194th day of 2017 in the Gregorian calendar, with 171 days remaining. This is the 175th day of Donald Trump's presidency. There are 1,288 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign or is otherwise removed from office.

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What happened on July 13 from On This Day.

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On this day in 1923, The Hollywood Sign is dedicated in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. It originally reads "Hollywoodland," but the four last letters are dropped after renovation in 1949.

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Among other things, today is also National French Fry Day.

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Florida man arrested for hiding cocaine in 'Cookie Monster' doll.

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Quote of the day:

"It's not the years, it's the mileage."
-Harrison Ford (July 13, 1942)
(More Harrison Ford quotes)

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Big stories:

Trump-Russia investigators probe Jared Kushner-run digital operation. Investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign's digital operation- overseen by Jared Kushner- helped guide Russia's sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Democrats sue Trump campaign over leaked emails tied to Russia. Two Democratic Party donors and a former party staff member have filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit against President Trump's campaign and a longtime informal adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr., accusing them of conspiring in the release of hacked Democratic emails and files that exposed their personal information to the public.

Senate Republicans, preparing new health bill, have no votes to spare. The likely defection of two Senate Republicans has left their leaders no margin for error as they move on Thursday to unveil another version of their bill to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act- without an assurance that they have the votes even to begin debate next week.

FBI head nominee Wray pledges he would resign before improperly dropping an investigation.

Authorities discover human remains in Bucks County, PA, where 4 men went missing. The discovery of the remains marked a grim turning point in the arduous search for the missing men, which has gripped this picturesque county, one of the wealthiest in the state.

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Amazon may give developers your private Alexa transcripts. Amazon is currently looking at opening up this private transcript data to its developers, which could help them build better voice apps for Alexa. It would also raise serious privacy concerns for users.

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United wants to sell your seat to someone else for more money. If you’ve bought a seat on a flight that’s overbooked, the airline may try to resell your spot for a higher price. But don’t freak out yet: There’s an upside for passengers, too.

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Scientists can use CRISPR to store images and movies in bacteria. A scientist encoded a GIF into DNA, and then inserted those strands into living microbes using CRISPR. This technique is best known as a tool for editing genes by cutting strands of DNA at precise locations. But it has another trait that's often overlooked: It's an amazing tool for recording information, effectively turning bacteria into living hard drives.

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Question raised about timeline of Earhart documentary. A Japanese military history buff has apparently undermined a new theory that Amelia Earhart survived a crash-landing in the Pacific Ocean during her historic attempted round-the-world flight in 1937.

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An iceberg the size of Delaware just broke off of Antarctica. The iceberg, which at around 1 trillion tons is one of the largest on record, poses no immediate threat to sea levels. But scientists say the break may have altered the profile of the continent's western peninsula for decades to come and offers a rare preview of what global warming might do to marine ice shelves.

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Source: A "sense of panic" at Apple as the next flagship iPhone's software problems persist. Apple is still finishing up key features in the "iPhone 8," which could ship with some of its signature functionality not yet activated.

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Why are there so many more species on land when the sea is bigger? "The deep sea is basically a big fridge with the door closed for a long time."

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Google launches a new Backup & Sync desktop app for uploading files and photos to the cloud. The utility is meant to replace the older Google Photos desktop app, as well as the Google Drive client applications for both Mac and PC.

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Verizon partner data breach exposes millions of customer records. Verizon confirmed that six million records were compromised by Nice Systems, a Verizon partner that facilitates customer service calls.

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Canada whale rescuer killed after cutting endangered animal loose. "They got the whale totally disentangled and then some kind of freak thing happened and the whale made a big flip."

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First images of Jupiter's Great Red Spot reach Earth.

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Kid Rock tweets tease US Senate run in Michigan. As of Wednesday afternoon, there appear to be no Federal Election Committee records filed under "Kid Rock" or his legal name Robert James Ritchie or Robert Ritchie.

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Microsoft's Calibri font is at the center of a political scandal. Fontgate could topple Pakistan's prime minister.

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Trump Dump:

Read 'em and weep... Trump's Twitter archive.

(As of midnight...)

Rancor at White House as Russia story refuses to let the page turn. The Russia story has become the brier patch from which the president seemingly cannot escape. It dominated his trip to Europe last week and, after he leaves on Wednesday night for a couple of days in France, it may dominate that trip as well. Every time Mr. Trump tries to put the furor behind him, more disclosures thrust it back onto the Washington agenda.

New reports raise some big questions about Michael Flynn and Russian hackers. The Wall Street Journal describes how one Trump supporter reached out to hackers- and dropped Flynn's name.

US intel caught Trump team talking with Russians in 2015, before presidential campaign began. In 2015, U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring the communications of Russian agents overheard them talking "about meetings held outside the U.S. involving Russian government officials and Trump business associates or advisers."

Trump's Russia lawyer isn't seeking security clearance, and may have trouble getting one.

Hackers steal Trump Hotel guests' credit card numbers and other info. Again.

Rep. Brad Sherman hopes his article of impeachment will trigger intervention at White House.

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That's it for the week... see you Monday.

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