The Upshot

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  • Man’s soda refill costs him $525 and gets him slapped with a federal charge
    Man’s soda refill costs him $525 and gets him slapped with a federal charge

    A Charleston, South Carolina man is speaking out after receiving a $525 ticket following his soda refill at a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital.

  • Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say
    Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats reluctant to embrace President Barack Obama's much-maligned health care overhaul in this year's congressional elections may be having second thoughts now that enrollment in the program is higher than expected and cost estimates are lower.

  • Pro-Russia separatists take armor, humiliating Ukraine forces
    Pro-Russia separatists take armor, humiliating Ukraine forces

    By Stephanie Nebehay and Christian Lowe GENEVA/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Foreign ministers from East and West will try to defuse the Ukraine crisis on Thursday in Geneva, once frequently the scene of Cold War negotiations, but will risk being upstaged by Russian President Vladimir Putin. With Russian troops massed on the border with Ukraine, prospects of significant progress at the four-way talks appear slim. By contrast, what Putin says during his annual "hotline" session with the Russian people may have far greater influence on events in Ukraine's rebellious east. Thursday's talks will bring the ministers of Russia, Ukraine and the United States together with the European Union's foreign policy chief to discuss a crisis in which Kiev is struggling to reassert its authority in eastern towns largely controlled by armed pro-Russian separatists.

  • Rare Video Shows People Riding Infamous New Jersey Looped Water Slide
    Rare Video Shows People Riding Infamous New Jersey Looped Water Slide

    Rare footage has New Jersey residents recollecting memories from a time when summer debauchery was far from limited to just the Jersey Shore.The Cannonball Loop was as talked about by New Jersey residents as the theme park it could be found in. Now, rare footage of the slide has park-goers recollecting memories of past visits. Visitors to the theme park referred to the place by a litany of nicknames: Friction Park, Class Action Park, and Accident Park to name a few. Chances are if you grew up in northern New Jersey, you have heard of or paid a visit to Action Park. The Vernon, N.J., attraction was one of America's first water parks. Welcoming patrons from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it opened its doors in 1978 and first closed in 1996.

  • Someone's Handing Out Leaflets in Eastern Ukraine Telling Jews to 'Register'
    Someone's Handing Out Leaflets in Eastern Ukraine Telling Jews to 'Register'

    In a disturbing reminder of an era that's supposed to be bygone, an image has been circulating of what appears to be a leaflet asking all Jews over the age of 16 in Donetsk, Ukraine, to "register" with separatist militants. The leaflet, reported by Ynet and picked up by USA Today, bears the signature of the head of Donetsk's temporary pro-Russia "government" Denis Pushilin. However, the Ukranians attempting to bring the region under Russian control have denied any involvement with the flyer. Secretary of State John Kerry declined to assign blame for the leaflets in a Thursday statement. According to Ynet's English report, the leaflet, written in Russian, reads: 

  • Democrats hark back to the politics of race
    Democrats hark back to the politics of race

    So now it's out there. After five years of studied reticence, Democratic leaders in Washington finally went public last week with what they really think is motivating Republican opposition to Barack Obama. As Steve Israel, one of the top Democrats in Congress said the Republican base, "to a significant extent," is "animated by racism."

  • Snake’s last meal comes back to bite her
    Snake’s last meal comes back to bite her

    A young viper was found dead with a centipede’s head protruding out of the snake’s body. As reported by NBC News, Ljiljana Tomovic, a Serbian herpetologist, was tagging snakes in Macedonia when she made the eye-catching discovery.

  • Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach
    Centipede Bursts from Snake's Stomach

    A group of researchers stumbled upon a grisly scene during a field study in Macedonia last year: a dead nose-horned viper with a centipede's head sticking out of its ruptured abdomen. "All of us were astonished, as nobody has ever seen something like this," Ljiljana Tomovi?, a herpetologist at the University of Belgrade, told Live Science in an email. The remnants of the death match were discovered when one researcher, Dragan Arsovski, turned over a stone, Tomovi? The unfortunate nose-horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) was a young female that stretched about 2 inches longer than the centipede (7.9 vs. 6 inches, or 20.3 vs. 15.4 centimeters), the researchers wrote last month in a brief report published in the journal Ecologica Montenegrina.

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