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He also reportedly ordered that a man be fed to a crocodile; we've officially hit the "Democrats panic" phase of the election; Cleveland police kill a 13-year-old over an air rifle.
So, uh, have you looked at those polls lately? Um...
- It's not just outliers. The presidential race really does appear to be narrowing. [FiveThirtyEight]
- Democrats aren't panicking yet. Yet. So they say, at least. [BuzzFeed News / John Stanton]
- Part of this is timing. Hillary Clinton has had a rough few days, to say the least (and also pneumonia). But her return to the trail Thursday doesn't change the fact that she's a "freakishly unpopular frontrunner," whose support isn't much of a cushion against a less incompetent challenger. [Vox / Matt Yglesias]
- That's a problem, since Trump appears to be capable of going some time without saying anything outrageously terrible (at least in the eyes of the suburban and moderate white voters who are the only ones he was ever going to win over anyway). [Vox / Dara Lind]
- This could be peak Trump. Everything's gone well for him, and he's still not ahead. [Politico / Glenn Thrush]
- But a narrowing margin could create the real nightmare scenario for Democrats: Trump loses the popular vote but wins the electoral vote. [FiveThirtyEight / David Wasserman]
- Voters don't think Trump will win. That includes voters planning to vote third party or who are undecided — which is to say, voters who might vote for Clinton if they thought it was close. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
- If the phenomenon of "people didn't vote for a side because they thought it would win, and then it lost" sounds familiar to you, congratulations: You officially remember what happened three months ago. Call it the Brexit Scenario.
Open carry for whom?
- Thirteen-year-old Tyre King was killed Wednesday night by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio. [Vox / German Lopez]
- King had an air rifle. Police claim they mistook it for a real gun because it looked like a gun they use. [USA Today / Doug Stanglin]
- Ohio is an open carry state. The police didn't know King was underage, so for all they knew he was carrying the gun legally. But even in open carry states, black men and boys often end up shot for carrying (real or fake) guns. [Vox / German Lopez]
- Indeed, King's case is all too reminiscent of the killing of Tamir Rice in Cleveland in 2014. Rice was 12 and also had a toy gun. After his family won a settlement from the city, the police union expressed the hope that they'd use the money to teach kids about the dangers of realistic-looking toy guns. [Business Insider / Michelle Mark]
- In fairness, the police claim King pulled the gun out of his waistband and therefore they were threatened. But in fairness, the police weren't wearing cameras, so there's no way to know if they're telling the truth. (They've made similar claims in other cases that turned out to be untrue.) [The Guardian / Ciara McCarthy]
- Tyre King is one of 2,195 people killed by police since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. [Vox / German Lopez and Soo Oh]
Rodrigo Duterte, stone-cold killer(?)
- Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, was accused in a Filipino Senate hearing Thursday of ordering several killings while he was mayor of Davao City (including feeding a man to a crocodile) and even conducting some of the killings himself. [Quartz / Isabella Steger]
- The witness is a self-professed former hitman for Duterte, who went into witness protection after leaving his service but came out of hiding once Duterte became president (fearing retaliation). Unsurprisingly, Duterte denies the allegations. [The Guardian / Oliver Holmes and agencies]
- The testimony was part of a Senate inquiry into alleged extrajudicial killings under Duterte in Davao City. Duterte boasted about cracking down on drug dealers while mayor; it's widely rumored (though never officially proven) that his "Davao Death Squad" helped him do it. [Vice]
- The inquiry is spearheaded by anti-Duterte Sen. Leila de Lima, whom Duterte, unsurprisingly, accuses of having ties to the drug trade. [BBC]
- But the inquiry is somewhat sickeningly being overtaken by live events at the national level. Earlier this year, Duterte all but told Filipino citizens it was okay to kill drug dealers. Since then, 3,000 people have been killed — many by police and many by vigilantes. [LAT]
- The Philippines does not have a terribly big drug problem. This is not a reaction (over- or otherwise) to real social events. This is a policy choice made by Filipinos based on their fear. There is a lesson here. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
In Roald Dahl's first draft, the BFG was a pedophile. [Telegraph / Alice Vincent]
- According to a new lawsuit, an eighth-grade student in Detroit once taught seventh- and eighth-grade math classes for a month because a teacher wasn't available. [WSJ / Tawnell Hobbs]
- Male millennials are likelier than women to own a cat. Take that, stereotypes! [Washington Post / Abha Bhattarai]
- What film has the longest Wikipedia plot summary? The Godfather?Titanic? Nah, man. That honor goes to the 2000 Disney Channel bowling epic Alley Cats Strike. [Slate / Ben Blatt]
- Tim Gunn is one of the underappreciated sages of our time. [A.V. Club / Marah Eakin]
"We consume 500 million straws each day. The equivalent of 127 school buses filled with straws. It’s disgusting. There should be children in those school buses, going to school, to learn, not straws." [Adrian Grenier to NY Mag / Anna Silman]
- "Beyond our cultural biases, what really is the difference between a Shakespeare play, an orchestra concert and a basketball game?" [NYT / Roger Pielke Jr.]
- "Being dead? How did it affect my career? Adversely." [Heather Donahue to Vice / Emalie Marthe]
- "In Halden [Norway], there are 190 guards for 259 inmates; in the average U.S. prison, the ratio is 6.4 inmates per guard." [Fusion / Casey Tolan]
- "The real business cycle model explains recessions as exogenous decreases in phlogiston." [Paul Romer]
Watch this: Why red means Republican and blue means Democrat
The major party color schemes, and the terms “red state” and "blue state," are actually a recent phenomenon. [YouTube / Matteen Mokalla and Carlos Waters]