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August 30, 2014
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Scientists warn in a new study that there is a 50 percent chance of a 30-year "megadrought" suffocating the Southwest, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The study from Cornell University, the University of Arizona, and the U.S. Geological Survey will be published in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate next month. Scientists used climate model projections to determine which areas the conditions would most affect (New Mexico, Arizona, and California appear to be the states most likely to suffer from extreme drought; Australia, southern Africa, and parts of the Amazon could also face such harsh conditions). The resulting megadrought would produce conditions not seen since the 1930s Dust Bowl era, scientists say, and they cautioned governments to heed the findings and begin creating contingency plans in the event of shrinking water resources.

The study's lead author noted that the projections are not certain, but that if climate change continues at its current rate, the drought affecting the Southwest could become much worse.

"I am not trying to say this is imminent," Toby Ault, assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell, said. "But the risk is high." Sarah Eberspacher

11:45 a.m. ET

Saturday night's Republican presidential debate featured a lot of heated conflict — once all of the candidates finally made it out on stage. Watch The Washington Post break down just how delightfully awkward the whole introduction process was. Julie Kliegman

11:26 a.m. ET

At Saturday's Republican presidential debate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio attacked President Obama. A lot. To be exact, Rubio attacked Obama four times with some version of, "Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing."

His performance was widely mocked.

But Sunday on ABC's This Week, Rubio stood by his talking point.

"It's what I believe and it's what I'm going to continue to say, because it happens to be one of the main reasons why I am running," he said.

In other words, Rubio knows exactly what he's doing. Julie Kliegman

11:00 a.m. ET

Beyoncé released a new single and music video Saturday, marking her first major release since she surprise-dropped her self-titled album in 2013. "Formation," which heavily references Hurricane Katrina and the Black Lives Matter movement, centers on black pride.

Two filmmakers have called out Beyoncé, claiming she used footage from their documentary, That B.E.A.T., without permission, The New York Times reports.

Beyoncé's representative countered that the footage is properly licensed. Julie Kliegman

10:30 a.m. ET
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Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will debate in Flint, Michigan, on March 6, the Democratic National Committee announced Sunday. The city is grappling with an ongoing water crisis that has endangered residents' health.

"This debate is an opportunity to elevate the very serious issues facing the residents of Flint, and it's also an opportunity to remind voters what Democratic leadership can do for the economy — so that everyone in America has a fair shot," DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said.

Both candidates have drawn attention to Flint in recent months. Sanders has called on Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to resign. Clinton left the New Hampshire campaign trail Sunday to visit the city. Julie Kliegman

10:18 a.m. ET

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders made a brief cameo on Saturday Night Live alongside host Larry David. The sketch featured the two men on a sinking ship, with David's character asserting that he should be saved due to his wealth. Sanders played Bernie Sanderswitzky, a nod to his Jewish upbringing, and labeled David's character as the 1 percent.

Watch the uncanny duo below. Julie Kliegman

8:06 a.m. ET
Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey is at capacity with accepting refugees, but will continue to do so as people flee Syria, the nation's deputy prime minister said Sunday, The Associated Press reports.

"In the end, these people have nowhere else to go," Numan Kurtulmuş said. "Either they will die beneath the bombings and Turkey will...watch the massacre like the rest of the world, or we will open our borders."

Turkey's border has been closed for three days as they provide aid to 35,000 Syrians on the other side. The nation has 3 million refugees, 2.5 million of whom fled Syria. The European Union has encouraged Turkey to host refugees, offering the nation 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in incentives to do so. Julie Kliegman

7:34 a.m. ET
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

International powers condemned North Korea for defying international warnings Sunday by launching a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others believe is a cover for a test of a ballistic missile that could reach the United States mainland, The Washington Post reports. It comes a month after the rogue state claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb.

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice called it "yet another destabilizing and provocative action" and "a flagrant violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions." South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Britain, France, and the European Union also condemned the launch, CNN reports.

The U.N. Security Council is set to hold an 11 a.m. emergency meeting in New York to go over a potential response to North Korea. Julie Kliegman

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