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June 13, 2018
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As if apartment-hunting wasn't already hard enough.

The low minimum wage in cities across America has made it almost impossible for workers to find a decent place to call home, data released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found. Full-time minimum wage workers can't afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the U.S., the group found, whether they're making the $8.50-an-hour wage in cheaper Arkansas or the $11 wage in expensive California.

It only gets more depressing from there: CityLab reports that there are only 22 counties in the U.S. where people working 40-hour weeks at minimum wage can afford even a one-bedroom apartment.

This may seem like an issue solely for the poor, but the future of renting is looking grim for everyone. "The rents are far out of reach from what the average renter is earning," said Diane Yentel, the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. This is painfully clear when you look across the states and see what hypothetical wage would enable a renter to afford rent: Even in Arkansas, the state where housing is cheapest in the country, a worker would need to earn at least $13.84 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment — more than $5 more than the current hourly wage floor.

With the Trump administration having proposed huge cuts to subsidized housing, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson supporting a bill to raise rent on households receiving housing assistance by 20 percent, the only thing looking up is that rent bill every month. You can read more at CityLab. Amari Pollard

4:21 p.m. ET
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The Saudi government is planning to release a detailed report on missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sources told CNN on Monday.

Saudi officials are reportedly planning to admit that Khashoggi was killed, after previously claiming they had no knowledge about the incident. Khashoggi arrived at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this month before he went missing. The Saudi government will reportedly say that Khashoggi died during an interrogation gone wrong and that there was an unauthorized operation conducted to abduct him from Turkey. Those involved in the operation will face repercussions, the report will likely say.

Information about the new report comes after President Trump said Saudi King Salman "strongly" denied having any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi during a private phone call. Trump seemed inclined to believe this, speculating that the reporter could have been killed by "rogue agents." Turkey previously told the United States it had evidence that a Saudi security team killed Khashoggi at the consulate and dismembered his body.

The Saudi report has not yet been released, and CNN's sources indicate that some details could still change. Brendan Morrow

4:07 p.m. ET

Stormy Daniels never wanted to become a feminist "hero," and that didn't change when she entered the national spotlight.

When Daniels confirmed the leaked story of her alleged affair with President Trump, she only "wanted to set the record straight and not be bullied," she told The Cut in an interview published Sunday. But now, Daniels, an adult film actress and director, says people think she's "in charge of saving the world," and it's become an "emotionally overwhelming" duty.

Before Daniels' revelation, she'd pack clubs with "middle-aged white guys [who] are usually Trump fans," she said. Today, they've been replaced with "large groups of women" who turn out in droves, often in matching T-shirts.

Still, Daniels doesn't see herself as "anybody's hero," The Cut writes. She doesn't want to be attached to the "#MeToo" movement, since she wasn't "forced" to do anything. Tying her to the movement just "takes power away from the people who've been assaulted or raped or [sexually] harassed by their boss," she explains. And she says she's "not a feminist," because she doesn't "necessarily try to help women."

In fact, Daniels actually "feel[s] sorry for men right now," she says, adding that "a guy can't even open a door for a lady without being called a pig." For those who don't like that, well, Daniels says she looks forward to their angry tweets — Twitter has been too "nice" lately. Read more of Daniels' interview at The Cut. Kathryn Krawczyk

3:16 p.m. ET

New Jersey Senate candidate Bob Hugin is bringing out the big, unsubstantiated guns in his narrowing race against Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez.

In a dramatic ad released Monday, the GOP challenger singled out Menendez's call to "believe women" when they come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. "What about the underage girls who accused you, according to the FBI?" the ad menacingly shoots back. What follows is a dive into one aspect of the FBI investigation into Menendez's corruption charges, which were ultimately dropped earlier this year.

The ad cites an FBI affidavit that says "for several years, Senator Menendez had been traveling to the Dominican Republican to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes, some of whom were minors." The affidavit quotes an email from an anonymous tipster, but doesn't provide substantiated evidence, as Hugin's ad implies. The FBI investigated those claims, but they were "never corroborated," reports Politico. Menendez has likewise denied the allegations.

Still, these allegations are treated as fact on a website run by the Hugin campaign. That is, until you scroll to the bottom of the site, where the Hugin campaign answers one big question: "Are you accusing Senator Menendez of having sex with underage girls?" "No," the campaign responded. "We are asking why Senator Menendez says all victims should be believed, but not his alleged victims?" One of the alleged victims, in this case, later said she was paid to lie about having sex with Menendez.

Hugin's ad comes on the heels of a poll showing him statistically tied with Menendez. Kathryn Krawczyk

3:12 p.m. ET
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Director Bryan Singer appears to be worried that an upcoming exposé could destroy his career.

Singer said on Instagram Monday that Esquire is preparing to publish a "negative" article about him that will "attempt to rehash false accusations and bogus lawsuits." Last December, Cesar Sanchez-Guzman brought a lawsuit against the X-Men director, claiming Singer raped him when he was 17. Previously, a civil suit was brought against Singer in 2014 accusing him of raping an underage boy, Michael Egan, in 1999. That suit was later withdrawn. Also in 2014, Singer was accused of sexually assaulting an anonymous man when he was 16. This case was later dropped. Additionally, in 1997, the parents of a 14-year-old boy alleged in a lawsuit that Singer filmed their son naked for a shower scene without permission. This suit was dismissed due to insufficient evidence. Singer has denied all allegations against him.

Singer said in his Instagram post that Esquire is "attempting to tarnish a career I've spent 25 years to build," also saying that in "today's climate," careers "are being harmed by mere accusations." The director knows about the article, he says, because his friends and colleagues have been contacted about it. He also says the article will quote sources who have "intimate" knowledge of his personal life.

Even as the #MeToo movement has swept through Hollywood over the last year, Singer has not been brought down like other men accused of misconduct. He's the credited director of the new Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, although 20th Century Fox fired him from the project and had Dexter Fletcher complete the film; this was reportedly due to unprofessional behavior, including frequently being missing from the set, per Variety. Singer was also just hired to direct a new comic book movie last month, per The Hollywood Reporter. Brendan Morrow

1:32 p.m. ET
Palm

Looking to spend less time on your phone? Palm has the solution: Get a second one.

Beginning next month, Palm will sell Verizon users a new tiny smartphone that's intended to be used in addition to your regular-sized smartphone, per The Verge. The idea is that when you want to disconnect from your primary smartphone with all its distractions, you can take this minimalist device with you in its place. In fact, the Palm can't even be purchased as a standalone phone; it's only available as an add-on. Users connect the Palm to their main phone so that both devices use the same number, and you can receive texts and calls on both. "Do you really need to bring a supercomputer everywhere you go?" co-creator of the device Dennis Miloseski told Variety.

It's not like the Palm is a cheap "dumb" phone, though. It retails for $350 and runs Android 8.1, meaning you can download a fair number of apps on it. The device is also available for iPhone users, but you can't download any Apple-exclusive apps, CNET reports.

The Palm is only 3.3 inches tall, about the size of a credit card, and it weighs just 2.2 ounces. That's less than half of what your apparently super cumbersome iPhone weighs. Brendan Morrow

12:52 p.m. ET
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Republicans may have dominated the Midwest in the 2016 election. But it doesn't look like 2018 will deliver a sequel.

If today's polls remain steady, Democrats in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania will hold their Senate spots and even pick up a few House and governors' seats, The Washington Post reports. In some cases, once vulnerable Democrats, including Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), are even ahead by double digits.

It's an astonishing turnaround for the Democratic Party after President Trump unexpectedly flipped much of the Midwest in 2016, sweeping down-ballot Republicans into power alongside him. The Washington Post attributes the reversal to Trump's divisive behavior and policies fueling Democratic turnout, but some Republican strategists have a slightly different read. "We forget about the power of Hillary Clinton being on the ballot in 2016," a GOP consultant for the flagging Senate campaign of Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.) told the Post, adding that if "if Hillary was on the ballot, Republicans would probably be doing better in all of these states."

Read more about Republicans' swing state problem in The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

11:55 a.m. ET

As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeks answers in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump is already floating a possible conclusion.

Trump told reporters Monday that after speaking with Saudi King Salman over the phone, it "sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers" who were involved in Khashoggi's disappearance, although he added, "Who knows?" Turkish officials told the United States last week there is evidence that a Saudi security team killed Khashoggi when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document for his wedding, The Washington Post reports. The Saudi government has denied any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi.

While it's unclear what Trump's theory is based on, he noted that the Saudi king's "denial to me could not have been stronger," also calling it "firm" multiple times. Trump added that he did not "want to get into [Salman's] mind" by speculating, however.

The president previously announced that Secretary of State Pompeo would be leaving for Saudi Arabia to speak with Salman, and Trump told reporters that they are going to "leave nothing uncovered" and will "try getting to the bottom of it." But based on what Trump said, it sounds like he is inclined to believe the Saudi king. Watch Trump's statement below. Brendan Morrow

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