8 Things You Need To Know This AM — Oct 23 2015

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The Benghazi hearing recommenced with — what else — questions about Hillary Clinton’s email.

The latest hearing in the Benghazi inquiry quickly escalated into a shouting match after committee members began to squabble over the real mission and intention of the special House panel. Yep — the criticisms were coming from inside the panel! While the House Select Committee was ostensibly assembled to investigate the attack on an American diplomatic compound that left four people dead, some have alleged, including committee member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), that it has evolved into a trial of Hillary Clinton’s email practices. “It is time, and it is time now, for Republicans to end this taxpayer-funded fishing expedition,” Cummings said before the hearing was adjourned for lunch. (New York Times)

Skier Gus Kenworthy is an Olympic medalist, X Games champ, and the sport's first high-profile openly gay man.

Gus Kenworthy came out Thursday in a heartening profile in ESPN. The 24-year-old freeski champion, who took silver in Sochi, talks movingly about winning an Olympic medal and still feeling ashamed for not being brave enough to come out — and worrying that his fans and his sponsors would desert him if he knew the truth. At his next competition, he wants the camera to cut a cheering face in the stands and have the caption read "Gus Kenworthy's boyfriend." (ESPN)

Sheryl Sandberg gave Paul Ryan her "Lean In Award Of The Day." Sadly, she forgot that the congressman voted against equal pay.

Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg probably wishes she can lean out of the hot water she’s found herself in after dishing out some controversial praise for Paul Ryan. After Ryan announced that he would only run for House Speaker if he could be guaranteed sufficient family time, work-life balance advocate Sandberg took to her Facebook page to bestow a figurative award on the politician. “The Lean In Award of the day goes to Paul Ryan,” Sandberg wrote, “for saying he worries how becoming House Speaker would affect his children, ‘Who are in the formative, foundational years of their lives,’ — and that he won’t do the job unless he can still make them a top priority.” Feminists lambasted Sandberg for failing to consider Ryan’s horrible voting record when it comes to a women’s right to choose and fair pay. (Gawker)

Homeland Security now requires a search warrant to spy on your cell phone. So don’t worry, you can re-download Kim Kardashian: Hollywood; no’s one watching and judging...yet.

The Department of Homeland Security has made at least one concession to the myriad of civil liberties groups who have criticized the agency for its lawless tactics. In a new guideline, Homeland Security and related federal law enforcement agencies must now obtain warrants in order to record and track any cell phone’s activity. The trackers, known as Stringrays, drew privacy advocates’ ire due to the technology’s inability to discriminate and its habit of procuring data from all cell phones within a certain area. The new policy is a meager win, since the department maintains the right to search without a warrant in “exigent” and “exceptional circumstances.” (USA Today)

Jeb Bush called Supergirl his favorite superhero, because she looks “pretty hot.” Wonder if he knows that she’s technically an “illegal alien.

Jeb Bush, a man who is running for president, was unable to contain his adolescent excitement when an audience member at a Nevada event asked him about his favorite Marvel superhero. At first, Bush goofed and cited “old school guys, like Batman,” who is actually a DC hero. (What a #FakeGeekGirl, amirite?) Then, the politician really let his geek flag fly — or, well, certainly some flag was flying: “I saw that Supergirl is on TV,” the GOP candidate said, still confusing DC with Marvel. “I saw it when I was working out this morning. She looked kinda...she looked pretty hot. I don’t know which channel it’s on, but I’m looking forward to that.” So now we all have to live with the image of Jeb Bush working out and getting all mouthbreath-y and panty over Supergirl, a character that’s referred to as Supergirl for a reason? Great. (Refinery29)

An entire Canadian town is celebrating Christmas in October for a 7-year-old boy battling brain cancer.

St. George, Ontario, pulled out all the stops for one terminally ill boy, proving that the entire community is well deserving of Santa’s Nice List. The family of 7-year-old Evan Leversage, who has been fighting brain cancer for the past five years, recently discovered that Evan’s tumor had grown, despite multiple rounds of chemo and radiation. With no clear prognosis of how long Evan has left, the boy’s family planned to celebrate Christmas early this year. News of the plan spread pretty quickly and the October Christmas soon grew to include the entire town. After covering homes and buildings with twinkling lights, the St. George community assembled a Christmas parade, which will be hitting the streets this Saturday with dancers and an appearance from Mr. Claus himself. (Huffington Post)

Scientists claim there is a 99.9% chance of a 5.0-magnitude earthquake hitting Los Angeles within the next three years. Guess the Earth’s tectonic plates are Biggie fans.

We’re beginning to think that the future may be more comparable to a scene out of Mad Max: Fury Road than anything Back to The Future promised, especially now that researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have some disaster-movie-like predictions for Los Angeles. A new study predicts that the greater Los Angeles area has a 99.9% chance of experiencing a magnitude 5 earthquake by mid-2017. While a magnitude 5 is fairly moderate and not unlike anything the city has experienced before — just last year, La Habra was seized by a 5.1-mag quake — such an event is still capable of causing millions of dollars in damage. (Business Insider)

A group of seven South Carolina inmates get a total of nearly 20 years in solitary confinement for filming a music video.

A six-minute music video that went viral after it was shared on World Star Hip Hop just landed a group of inmates from South Carolina’s Kershaw Correctional Institution over 7,000 days in solitary confinement. The individual inmates will likely each spend about two years in isolation and lost multiple months-worth of phone, canteen, and visitation privileges. The rap video, which was shot on a contraband cell phone, featured scenes of the inmates dancing in a cell and flashing gang symbols. (Daily News)

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