Foreign affairs
March 25, 2014

When BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray published a behind-the-scenes look at Russia Today, she probably had no idea the kind of negative pushback it would receive. After all, it's not every day you're accused of being part of a cabal of "Cold War-hungry neocons" who stage managed the resignation of a news anchor.

Until now, Gray has mostly laughed off the criticism, mocking it on Twitter. But today, for the first time, she spoke with me on the record about the accusations, dismissing them as "absurd."

"The idea that this was some kind of 'neocon' conspiracy is just ridiculous," she said. "So no, I mean, there was no conspiracy to get [former RT anchor] Liz Wahl to resign — and then to... plant a story with me..."

You can listen to our full conversation here. Matt K. Lewis

This just in
4:29 p.m. ET
Kris Connor/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced it had opened a civil rights investigation into the death of Freddie Gray, a suspect who suffered a severe spinal injury and died while in police custody in Baltimore.

"Based on preliminary information, the Department of Justice has officially opened this matter and is gathering information to determine whether any prosecutable civil rights violations occurred," a DOJ spokesperson said in a statement.

The 25-year-old Gray died Sunday, one week after his arrest. The Baltimore Police Department suspended six officers while probing the incident, but has so far said it has no idea how Gray sustained the fatal injury. Jon Terbush

Rotten tomatoes
4:07 p.m. ET

You arrive home from work and begin to make that dinner you were mentally preparing all afternoon. You spend thirty minutes chopping vegetables for a beautiful salad, but when you pull the lettuce out of the fridge, the produce bag sags heavily with the weight of that weird green-brown lettuce juice pooled at the bottom.

Surely, many can recall an incident like this, as Americans end up discarding about 25 percent of the food they buy, but a new app called Foodkeeper hopes to significantly reduce that number.

Developed by the USDA, Cornell University, and the Food Science Institute, Foodkeeper serves two main purposes. It will notify you when groceries are about to expire, and it can answer concerns about food mishandling — questions like, "Can I eat this yogurt I forgot to put in the fridge five hours ago?" Granted, you have to manually input information about your groceries (what was purchased and when) in the app for it work, which is an inconvenience, but it could save consumers big bucks in the long run — and spare them from creepy pantry bug infestations. Stephanie Talmadge

3:28 p.m. ET
Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images

Police detained about 40 people at a nightclub during a party that allegedly included a portrait of Hitler,The Moscow Times reports. Authorities believe the gathering was held to commemorate Hitler's birthday, April 20.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Dyomushkin, leader of the nationalist Risskiye movement, told the Times that the party was held to discuss an upcoming "knife fighting tournament."

An Interior Ministry spokesperson told Russia's RIA Novosti that police seized brass knuckles, knives, and four pistols during the event on Monday. After the partygoers were detained, 17 were charged with petty hooliganism, and the rest were released. Meghan DeMaria

Breaking news
2:58 p.m. ET
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Michele Leonhart, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency, will soon resign, according to CNN and CBS. There appear to be two reasons: first, Leonhart's resistance to lenient Obama administration policy towards medical and legal marijuana, and the recent sex and corruption scandal at the agency.

Of the two, the second is likely the major reason. A recent report from the Department of Justice's Inspector General found that DEA agents had allegedly attended "sex parties" paid for by local drug cartels. In testimony before Congress a week ago, Leonhart did so badly that she created actual bipartisan consensus about her poor leadership.

A replacement administrator has not yet been announced. Ryan Cooper

This just in
2:54 p.m. ET

A Saudi-led coalition has ended its bombing campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels, according to a statement read Tuesday on the state-owned Arabiya TV.

Dubbed "Storm of Resolve," the month-long bombing campaign began as Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who had already fled the capital of Sanaa to a redoubt in Aden, fled the country entirely. Though the campaign was ostensibly concerned with aiding the embattled government, it was widely seen as an attempt to head off a perceived threat from Iran, which supports the rebels.

The military campaign will transition into an as-yet undefined mission, called "Operation Restoring Hope," aimed at finding a political resolution to the crisis in Yemen. Jon Terbush

1:44 p.m. ET

Yes, you read that correctly. Starbucks' "Limited Edition Mother's Day Premium Starbucks Card" costs $200, but the gift card's value is only $50.

So where is the other $150 going? According to the product's listing in the Starbucks Store, the card has "laser-etched floral details" and a "satin ceramic finish."

Starbucks ran a similar promotion last holiday season, offering a $50 gift card for $200, though that one was made of silver. If your mom really loves Starbucks, you're probably better off just buying her a regular gift card. Meghan DeMaria

2016 Watch
12:56 p.m. ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The conventional wisdom surrounding the 2016 Democratic primary has long held that Hillary Clinton is vulnerable to a challenge from her left. It's why Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), despite insisting again and again she has zero intention of joining the race, is still considered a dark horse candidate.

So it's no surprise that Clinton has adopted a decidedly progressive tone of late, with her team wanting to prove she "was the original Elizabeth Warren," according to The New York Times.

For anyone who wondered what kind of economic message Mrs. Clinton would deliver in her campaign, the first few days made it clear: She is embracing the ideas trumpeted by Ms. Warren and the populist movement — that the wealthy have been benefiting disproportionately from the economy, while the middle class and the poor have been left behind. [The New York Times]

In an illuminating example, the Times reports that Clinton, while meeting with economists earlier this year, said the economy could use a "toppling" of the top one percent. It's not quite Warren going all in on big banks and Wall Street, but it suggests a more populist platform than many expected from the former secretary of state. Jon Terbush

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