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Monday Morning Scoop: Tense Texas Capital

Plus, Putin, UMBC and Sister Jean.

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Another Explosion in Austin Sets Texas Capital on Edge 

17-year-old musician Draylen Mason was one of two people killed in the Austin bombings (Image: Austin Soundwaves)

Two men in their 20s were taken to the hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries in Austin, TX last night after a fourth explosion in less than a month set an already nervous city on high alert.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, who urged residents of the southwest part of the Texas capitol to stay indoors until Monday morning, suggest that a tripwire may have triggered the latest explosion. He said school buses would not be sent into the area today.

The blast comes on the heels of a police announcement that three previous explosions — in which two were killed and two injured — were likely connected. The deceased, Stephen House, 39, and Draylen Mason, 17, were African-Americans who belonged to the same church, according to an NBC News report.

Investigators, who have announced a reward of $100,000 for information that will solve the case, have not announced a possible motive.

Big Surprise, Not: Putin Wins Fourth Term

Here’s some news that probably isn’t news to anyone: Russian President Vladmir Putin was elected to a fourth term in a landslide vote this weekend, handing him another six years in charge of the country. If he serves out the term, he would become the longest-serving Russian leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Putin’s only credible challenger was disqualified from the election after he was arrested on fraud charges shortly before the voting was to take place. Most observers saw the arrest as politically motivated.

Though the Russian Constitution limits a president to two terms, Putin sidestepped that requirement by becoming Prime Minister in 2008, only to win the presidency again in 2012.

Today in a Tweet 

But look at it this way, everyone’s bracket kinda sucks.

UMBC, Sister Jean and No Perfect Brackets: Wild Opening Weekend Sets Sweet 16

The first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was one of the wildest in recent memory, with the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) becoming the first #16 seed to ever take out a #1 seed, dumping UVA out of the tournament on Friday. Some called it the greatest upset in college sports history. The incredible win also ensured there were no perfect brackets left in the country after just one round.

UMBC’s fairy tale ended with a 50-43 loss to Kansas State last night, but Loyola Chicago — with adorable 90-year-old team chaplain and superfan Sistern Jean Dolores Schmidt becoming an overnight celebrity — kept Cinderella dreams alive by sweeping into the Sweet Sixteen with upset wins over Miami and Tennessee.

#1 seed Xavier was knocked out by Florida State last night, but the two other top seeds, Kansas and Villanova, are still alive. The tournament resumes Thursday.

ICYMI: Catch Up With Last Week’s White House Drama

Torture, replacements and divorce, oh my!

Last week’s drama in the White House was centered around the firing of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, personal drama in the Trump family and the dubious backgrounds of the new nominees for Secretary of State and CIA Director.

Catch up with everything in Rachael Blandau’s column for CMN. As usual, this week is shaping up to be another dramatic week in the West Wing.

Last But Not Least: Pickle Juice Slushies… A Food Creation Gone Too Far?

Has the unique food creation trend gone too far? Recently, Sonic Drive-Ins added Pickle Juice Slushies to their upcoming summer menu and the online reaction is mixed.

Get the reactions and details in Evguenia Gololobova’s story for CMN. 


This Monday Morning Scoop was compiled by Natalia Kolenko, Evguenia Gololobova, Rachael Blandau, and the CMN Staff. So, we know your bracket got busted, but how was the rest of the weekend?

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

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