Good morning, 2017

Making headlines this morning, NBC News fires ‘Today’ anchor Matt Lauer after sexual misconduct review (95,000+ shares), as reported by Erik Ortiz of NBC News. Jim Rutenberg has the story for The New York Times, NBC Fires Matt Lauer Over Misconduct Allegations. “Good morning, 2017,” tweets Karla Miller. “Photo is stark reminder of @jodikantor & @rtraister point that many of these men shaped our ideas of gender, power,” tweets Amy Chozick. “The floodgates remain wide open,” says Jamil Smith.

Still birthering

“Actual headline, 2017 edition,” tweets Nolan Hicks, referring to Trump Once Said the ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Was Real. Now He’s Not Sure, by Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin of The New York Times. “Trump has again begun falsely claiming that Obama wasn’t born in the US,” notes Nicholas Riccardi. Yes, “Trump is still birthering. From the White House,” as Kaili Gray tweets. The piece also reveals that “Advisers say Trump continues to privately harbor a handful of conspiracy theories that have no grounding in fact,” tweets Sid Acker.

Nuclear North Korea

Here’s the scary latest about North Korea’s nuclear power status. The report from CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Taehoon Lee, New missile test shows North Korea capable of hitting all of US mainland. Thomas Maresca and Jim Michaels of USA Today report, U.N. Security Council to hold emergency meeting after North Korea's latest ICBM launch. Tweets USA Today, “South Korea and Japan agreed in 20 minutes to seek additional U.N. sanctions against North Korea.” And Trump pledges new wave of ‘major sanctions’ on North Korea after call with China's Xi, reports The Washington Post’s Simon Denyer. Neil Connor of The Telegraph writes, As North Korea reaches its endgame, world leaders may now be forced to invite Kim Jong-un to the table.

This is absolutely insane

Zeeshan Aleem is referring to War Crimes Hearing Halted After Defendant Claims to Drink Poison, by Marlise Simons of The New York Times, who writes, “When judges announced that they had upheld a 20-year sentence against Slobodan Praljak, the former general addressed the bench in Croat. In a solemn voice, he said: ‘Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. I reject your judgment with contempt.’ Mr. Praljak then raised a small vial and drank from it.” Tweets William Turton, “classic war criminal thing to say.” “There's been a lot of news this morning, but this has to be the most bizarre,” says Sarah M. Wojcik. Adds Noah Johnson, “this is so so crazy also you only get 20 years for war crimes? seems a little light but i dunno.”

It just gets weirder

Janet Hook links to Undercover conservative activist rented basement apartment in home of top Democratic operative, by The Washington Post’s Beth Reinhard, who tweets, “Fake Roy Moore accuser/would-be Washington Post scammer stayed in ex-DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse's basement.” Tweets Perry Stein, “Love a good story about D.C.’s crazy rental market.” “Airbnb hosts beware,” adds Jana Monji.

Meanwhile, Meet the people bankrolling James O’Keefe’s group, courtesy of Josh Israel and Joshua Eaton at ThinkProgress. Tweets Judd Legum, “James O’Keefe is creating fake rape victims to discredit real ones. These are the people funding his efforts.”

Hilarious and disturbing

“What a bizarre fraud,” says Omar Mouallem, who links to British comedians' exposure in Calgary: their headshots lifted for public art, by Jason Markusoff of Macleans. “Love this very funny @markusoff opus,” tweets Paula Simons. Markusoff writes, “Like many cities, Calgary has a policy of setting aside one per cent of infrastructure budgets for public art pieces, but its projects have a remarkable tendency to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.” Tim Querengesser calls the story, “Hilarious and disturbing.”

Just go see a Star War

“I've been training my whole life for this,” says Luke O’Neil. Brian Hiatt has the details in the new Rolling Stone cover, Jedi Confidential: Inside the Dark New ‘Star Wars’ Movie. Yohana Desta highlights “the single most important thing in this article,” which is Adam Driver asking, “What is emo?”

Wednesday round-up:

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