8 Things You Need Know This AM — Oct 30 2015

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Taylor Swift filed a countersuit against the radio DJ who allegedly groped her.

Earlier this fall, David Mueller, a Denver radio personality, sued Taylor Swift after allegations that he non-consensually grabbed the singer’s butt caused him to lose his job. More than a month later, the pop star has launched a countersuit, claiming that the DJ “intentionally reached under her skirt and groped, with his hand, an intimate part of her body in an inappropriate manner, against her will and without her permission.” Swift has promised to donate any monetary damages she may win from the case to “charitable organizations dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard.” (Refinery29)

Paul Ryan was elected the 54th Speaker of the House, surprising no one.

After weeks of fraught courting and “will they or won’t they” tension, Paul Ryan and House Republicans finally sealed the deal on Thursday morning, when Ryan became the youngest House Speaker in 150 years. Ryan is committed to establishing a new tenor in the House, telling reporters, “We are not going to have a House that looks like it’s looked the last two years. We are going to move forward.” The Wisconsin Republican would not agree to run for Speaker until he was guaranteed that a unified party would stand behind him, a stipulation that accompanied a demand for more family time. (Refinery29)

France calls Jeb Bush’s debate jab about their work week “bombastic nonsense,” which is French for “shots fired.”

The French ambassador to the United States had some choice words for Jeb Bush last night after the presidential hopeful insulted the French workweek, along with Sen. Marco Rubio, during the Republican debate. While attacking Rubio for his hundreds of missed Senate votes, Bush joked, “The Senate, what is it like a French workweek? You get like three days where you have to show up?” Gérard Araud took offense at the comparison, pointing out that Germans work four hours a week less than the French. “A French work week of 3 days? No,” the French ambassador tweeted. “But a pregnancy paid leave of 16 weeks, yes! And proud of it.” (Time)

Lyft is offering free zombie deliveries in New York City and San Francisco this Halloween Eve.

Has your zombie supply been dwindling as of late? Need more Halloween spirit in your life, but can’t make it to a haunted house? Thanks to Lyft, a.k.a. Uber For People Who Hate Uber, if you’re a resident of either New York City or San Francisco, the haunted house can come to you. Any time between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. today, users can order a zombie through the Lyft app, which will be delivered, free of charge, by the startup’s normal drivers. All zombies will be played by comedians from the Upright Citizens Brigade theater who died waiting for their podcasts to take off. (Entertainment Weekly)

China has overturned its one-child policy after three decades. Welcome to sibling rivalry, Chinese children!

After decades of controversy, China has lifted its notorious one-child policy in the face of a large aging population, a dwindling workforce, and an escalating number of male bachelors. A statement from the Community Party’s Central Committee announced that couples will now be allowed to have a second child in the hopes that a more robust birthrate will “improve the balance development of population.” As it stands, about 30% of Chinese citizens are over the age of 50. (Refinery29)

U.N. scientists found a record-sized hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica, but claim it’s “no reason for undue alarm,” which is exactly what people say when we should be alarmed.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the U.N.’s weather and climate agency, the ozone hole over Antarctica that has expanded this month to its largest size on record, reaching 28.2 million square kilometers. Despite the growth, scientists are relatively unfazed; evidently, the hole fluctuates in size from season to season, depending on atmospheric temperatures. As the stratosphere has been particularly frigid this year, the hole widened to its largest recorded size. (The Guardian)

A plane caught fire on the tarmac of a Florida airport, injuring 14 people.

A Dynamic Airways passenger plane caught fire on a tarmac as it was preparing for takeoff from Florida’s Fort Lauderdale—Hollywood International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration revealed in a statement that “fuel was leaking from the aircraft before the fire started,” causing passengers to quickly evacuate to the nearby terminal building. In total, 14 people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. (Refinery29)

Mexico deployed its navy to combat a smelly seaweed invasion. We’ve never identified with a country more.

If you’re ever been in the ocean, you know that seaweed was created by the devil to destroy all summer lovin’ and having of blasts. Slimy, smelly, and evidently committed to wrapping itself around you in the worst possible ways, seaweed needs to be taught a lesson. Mexican officials are stepping up to the plate to take down this fearsome foe, once and for all. A particularly pungent breed of seaweed known as sargassum is plaguing Mexico’s coastline and beaches due to higher ocean temperatures and changing ocean currents. The sargassum influx has already cost Mexico $9 million in cleanup, yet miles of stinking seaweed continue to come. The Mexican navy’s oceanographers are currently at work to understand “what provoked this arrival.” (Washington Post)

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