New York Officials Did Not Take It As Seriously
The massive alert that shut down all of Los Angeles Unified School District schools on Tuesday -- affecting 650,000 students in the second largest district in the country -- was spawned by a hoax threat routed through an email server ("Cockmail") described by tech blog Boing Boing as "an Internet meme sewer." New York officials reportedly received the same, or a similar, email and did not take similar action on what Mayor Bill de Blasio described as a "generic," "outlandish" threat. Los Angeles officials admitted later in the day that the threat -- which included talk of explosives at schools planted by "people with ISIS connections" and attacks with weapons -- was not credible; L.A. schools will reopen today.
Hillary Clinton Lays Out Her Plan To Beat ISIS
Before the Republican candidates began debating national security issues, leading Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton detailed her plan to defeat terror group ISIS on Tuesday in Minneapolis. Clinton acknowledged the threat of homegrown radicals while warning that Islamophobia is both offensive and harmful to national security. "Shallow slogans don't add up to a strategy. Promising to carpet bomb until the desert glows doesn't make you sound strong -- it makes you sound like you're in over your head," Clinton said, alluding to GOP candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Her strategy involved stopping jihadists from getting training and financing overseas and cutting off the terror group's ability to recruit online. She also called for stricter screening of visa applicants who've been to countries with Islamic State-controlled areas and working with Muslim-American communities.
'Affluenza' Teen Reported Missing
The Texas teen who got 10 years probation after killing four people while driving drunk, Ethan Couch, has reportedly gone missing. His attorneys said the teen's probation officer has been unable to make contact with Couch or his mother. Couch's case drew outrage when a psychologist told the jury that the then-16-year-old was suffering from "affluenza," because his parents had never set limits for him. An arrest order has been made and if the court finds that Couch has violated his probation he could face up to 10 years in jail. A video reportedly surfaced on social media recently allegedly showing Couch at party where alcohol was being served.
Quick Take 1: The man who allegedly bought the assault rifles used in the San Bernardino mass shooting, Enrique Marquez, may face a number of charges in the case. Legal experts told the Los Angeles Times that the 24-year-old could be hit with lying on his application to buy the guns and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism in connection with the rifles he legally purchased in 2011 and 2012; there is no record of him transferring the weapons to killers Syed Rizwan Farok and Tashfeen Malik.
Quick Take 2: Executions by states fell this year to their lowest point in 25 years. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there were 28 executions in the U.S. this year, the least since 1991, when there were 14. The Center's executive director said the dip was in keeping with the drop in public support for capital punishment.
Wait, What?: How bad is the air in Beijing, China? So bad that after the recent first-ever red alert air pollution warning, two Canadian entrepreneurs, Troy Paquette and Moses Lam, have turned what was originally a joke into a money-making business. The pair sell canisters off fresh air from the Rocky Mountains as Vitality Air for $16-$46 and have reportedly moved more than 4,500 canisters in the past two weeks.
Trending Topic: One of the strangest trending topics Tuesday night was #WhitesAgainstTrump, which was started by comedians W. Kamau Bell and Adam Mosbach. Bell described the inspiration for the later meme in a Salon piece in which he discussed his outrage at the lack of push back from white people over Trump's outrageous comments.