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October 7, 2018

"There have been protests in Washington" over the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, "and several cry breaks here at CNN," Saturday Night Live's Kenan Thompson said in character as anchor Don Lemon. He then introduced a live feed from the "GOP locker room," where Republican senators were gleefully celebrating their triumph.

"Republicans read the mood of the country, we could tell that people really wanted Kavanaugh," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (a nearly unidentifiable Beck Bennett). "Everyone's pumped — from white men over 60 to white men over 70." The victory, he added, is "up there with Vietnam, for sure."

Kate McKinnon reprised her role as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) giving a play-by-play of the final moments of the win, with an assist from Cecily Strong's Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the deciding pro-Kavanaugh vote. Watch the full sketch below. Bonnie Kristian

2:37 p.m.

Michael Cohen is soon headed for prison on charges he's now calling "a lie."

Despite spending more than 100 hours cooperating with investigators, President Trump's former fixer still ended up with a prison sentence, and he's pretty darn upset about it. That sentiment — as well as some more frustrations with Trump and a recanting of one of his guilty pleas — was revealed in a recorded conversation with Cohen that actor Tom Arnold gave to The Wall Street Journal.

Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and tax and bank fraud last August, and was sentenced to three years in prison in December. But in a conversation with Arnold, which the actor says he recorded with Cohen's knowledge, Cohen said there "is no tax evasion" and that "it's a lie." He went on to decry how prosecutors still served him a prison sentence, saying he hoped they'd realize "this guy's lost everything" including "my family's happiness and my law license ... [all] because Trump, you know, had an affair with a porn star." Trump has denied the alleged affair with Stormy Daniels.

Arnold is an outspoken Trump opposer, and told the Journal he first met Cohen last summer before calling him again for this conversation on March 25. Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis said that Cohen "meant no offense by his statements" and that he would still "report to prison to serve his sentence," which starts May 6. Read more of Cohen's recorded comments at The Wall Street Journal. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:35 p.m.

One of the most famous scenes in recent true crime history was actually fairly misleading, new court documents suggest.

HBO's 2015 documentary The Jinx, which investigates whether real estate heir Robert Durst is responsible for several murders, ended with a stunning twist. In the final scene, the filmmakers reveal that they captured audio of Durst seemingly confessing on a hot mic he didn't realize was still on. While in the bathroom, Durst can be heard saying, "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course." The day before that final episode aired on HBO, Durst was arrested, and he's currently on trial for the murder of his friend Susan Berman.

But court documents have now revealed that Durst's infamous quote was edited, The New York Times reports. According to a transcript of the recording, Durst did not actually say that last line as one thought. Instead, he said "Killed them all, of course," and then later, "What the hell did I do?" The version in the documentary suggests Durst is answering his own question and describing what he did, while the transcript paints a different picture.

The Jinx editor Zac Stuart-Pontier defended the scene, though, telling the Times that "killed them all, of course" was placed where it was simply to "end the series on a dramatic note." He says the filmmakers didn't think of it as being an answer to the question, "What the hell did I do?"

The Times notes that Durst did say other potentially damaging things in that last scene, including "There it is, you're caught," which he said immediately after director Andrew Jarecki confronted him with evidence that seemed it could implicate him in a murder. But the editing of these last lines is now being scrutinized in the Durst trial, with his attorneys looking to have all evidence obtained during the documentary thrown out. Durst's trial is set to begin on September 3. Brendan Morrow

2:33 p.m.

The World Health Organization shared some startling news on Wednesday — kids, it turns out, should spend more time outside than looking at screens.

New guidelines issued by the United Nations agency say that children younger than one year old should not be exposed to any electronic screens, while those in the two-to-four-year age range should have no more than one hour of "sedentary" screen time per day. The Washington Post reports the announcement stems from growing research into the developmental effects computers and mobile devices have on children — notably that the "mesmerizing effects of videos" can reportedly keep children from connecting with their parents. But there are also concerns that too much screen time can affect the development of language skills.

The argument for less screen time didn't appear out of the blue. After all, there is a growing sentiment that all humans, not just children, are too reliant on technology instead of healthy social interaction. But the WHO getting its two cents in on the matter is a bit of a novelty.

"It's extraordinarily important that someone with the authority and reach of the WHO is saying this," Josh Golin of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood told the Post.

The WHO says it's also important, screens or no screens, that infants and young children should not remain sedentary or "restrained" for too long, BBC reports. Instead, physical activity is key.

That said, some researchers aren't quite convinced that the WHO's guidelines are necessary. "The restricted screen time limits suggested by the WHO do not seem proportionate to the potential harm," Max Davie from the The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom told BBC. Tim O'Donnell

2:23 p.m.

Pete Buttigieg is no Bernie Bro.

The upstart presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, mayor told The New York Times that he has a "hard time" seeing Americans "ultimately coming together" to vote for his competitor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a general election against President Trump in November 2020.

Buttigieg's reasoning, the Times reports, is that Sanders' left-wing proposals are no longer as "provocative" as they were when Sanders ran against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary, which he ultimately lost. "People were refreshed by the novelty of that boldness," said Buttigieg. But that was then.

Sanders' campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, responded to Buttigieg's comments, telling the Times the senator's "unifying progressive agenda" best-positioned him to beat Trump in the general election.

The Times also reports that Buttigieg, while speaking to high school students in New Hampshire, went so far as to call Sanders supporters and Trump supporters "two sides of the same coin," suggesting both wanted to "blow up the system" in 2016. Buttigieg, it seems, is aiming to employ more hopeful rhetoric in his campaign, taking a page from former President Barack Obama's book. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

2:21 p.m.

Twenty-nine years ago today, on April 24, 1990, NASA launched its brand-new Hubble Space Telescope into orbit around Earth. Since then, it's been consistent in giving us stunning pictures and data from outer space, having made hundreds of thousands of rounds around our planet. In total, it's traveled over 4 billion miles, made over 1.3 million observations, and contributed to more than 15,000 scientific papers. So today, it's time to celebrate.

To mark the occasion of the Hubble's anniversary in orbit, NASA has released a never-before-seen image of the Southern Crab Nebula, an outer space cloud of dust and gas that lives several thousand light years from Earth. The image shows off the distinct hourglass shape of the Southern Crab Nebula, formed because of the pair of stars in its middle.

This stunning picture is a testament to the incredible trove of data that Hubble has collected over the years, with amazing attention to detail: The telescope's mechanism has the power to detect the equivalent of "a human hair seen at a distance of 1 mile," with the accuracy of "being able to shine a laser beam on President Roosevelt’s head on a dime about 200 miles away," NASA explained.

See the Hubble Space Telescope's latest image, and learn more about its contributions to our study of outer space, in the video below. Shivani Ishwar

Shivani Ishwar

1:53 p.m.

As numerous Fox projects are brought under the Disney umbrella, not all of them may survive intact.

Steven Spielberg's upcoming West Side Story remake is one of a number of films that had been in the works at Fox prior to the recent Disney sale. But The Hollywood Reporter reports that some of these projects "are being met with scrutiny," with Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn reportedly "questioning the apparent plan to have young characters smoking onscreen" in West Side Story.

Disney has indicated it will continue releasing R-rated movies like Deadpool under the Fox banner and just not branding them as family-friendly Disney movies, so it's unclear whether this means the studio is now eying West Side Story as a traditional Disney release. If that's the case, Horn has suggested that smoking wouldn't be allowed. The Reporter quotes a previous interview the Disney chief gave in which he named Bohemian Rhapsody as a movie Disney couldn't release before the Fox purchase because it includes smoking and "there are certain things we just can't include because we'll get letters."

Additional details about this apparent smoking dispute weren't available, but the good news is that West Side Story is at least moving forward. As the Reporter notes, other projects that were previously in the works at Fox but are being purged from Disney's slate weren't so lucky. Brendan Morrow

1:29 p.m.

John Delaney might be the most hopeful 2020 hopeful out there.

Despite being the first Democrat to launch a 2020 run back in 2017, the former Maryland congressmember has failed to gain any ground in the many 2020 primary polls since. So in what's probably another futile attempt to generate some buzz, Delaney has launched a campaign to "#UnfollowTrump" on Twitter "and hit him where it actually hurts him ... his ego."

The call to arms went out to Delaney's 19,500 Twitter followers, as well as his mailing list of unknown proportions. Even if all those people followed Delaney's directive, there's a strong chance Trump, with his 59.9 million-user following growing every day, wouldn't even notice the difference. Kathryn Krawczyk

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