05/07/2014 09:25 pm ET Updated May 07, 2014

Thursday's Morning Email: Veterans Die On Bureaucratic Waiting List

No blankets for you: these airlines have the rudest flight attendants. So much for the friendly skies. This is THE MORNING EMAIL for Thursday, April 24, 2014.

The Scuttlebutt TOP STORIES

“At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list. The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.” Read the VA spokesman’s response to the horrible allegations. The revelations come after a string of allegations about the terrible conditions of VA hospitals. [CNN]

“The FCC's plan would restructure the rules that govern online traffic by granting Internet service providers the ability to give some websites ‘preferential treatment’ -- i.e. faster traffic -- in exchange for money. If such rules were imposed, activists fear Internet service providers would make bandwidth-exhaustive websites -- think Netflix and Skype -- pay more for smoother delivery, which would theoretically mean higher prices for customers in turn.” A vote on the changes is expected at the FCC’s May 15 meeting. And this is what your internet bill may look like without net neutrality. [HuffPost]

“The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration. While the proposal being issued Thursday won't immediately mean changes for the popular devices, the move is aimed at eventually taming the fast-growing e-cigarette industry.” The move follows the release of a study that stated “nicotine-laced vapor generated by an electronic cigarette promoted the development of cancer in certain types of human cells much in the same way that tobacco smoke does.” [AP]

STATESIDE: Missing Plumbing
A man on trial for murder is worried his massive “murder” neck tattoo might influence the jury. The IRS handed out bonuses to 1,150 workers who owe back taxes. Yes, you read that correctly: IRS employees who owed BACK TAXES. A Georgia gun law allows you to bring a gun to churches, bars, schools, and some government buildings. Bradley Manning, the soldier who leaked classified documents to WikiLeaks, was officially allowed to change her name to Chelsea Manning. Obama looks like he’s getting serious about changing how we deal with climate change. And this map shows where the 630,000 U.S. homes that lack complete plumbing are located.

In best of friends news, here's a cat and weiner dog cuddling.

INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE: Details of Ferry Horrors Emerge
Local media reported many of the South Korean ferry victims have been found with broken fingers, “suggesting the victims had frantically tried to climb walls or floors to escape in their final moments.” Others had strung life jackets together, and descriptions like “No. 93 was clutching a Roman Catholic rosary in her left hand” are the only things relatives have to identify victims. New video shows the possible aftermath of a Syrian gas attack. Obama sided with Japan in an islands fight with China. Three American physicians were killed after a Kabul police officer opened fire at a hospital. Fatah and Hamas, the rival Palestinian factions, are reconciling. The Taliban may finally be ready to trade captive U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl. And one year after the horrorific Bangladesh garment building collapse, not much has changed. [Image via NYT]

In happiness news, here’s a video demonstrating how much of a difference gratitude can make in your life.

BUY! SELL! BUY! The Real Amazon Drones
Sodastream may sell a stake to Starbucks. GMO labels are coming to a state near you after Vermont passed the ground-breaking law that genetically modified food must be labeled as such. A tech millionaire who beat his girlfriend 117 times will escape jail after video of the ordeal was deemed inadmissible in court. Meet the real Amazon drones: the company's thousands of underpaid workers and contractors. Tech companies just created a fund to stop the next “Heartbleed.” And hold onto your lobsters: it looks like catch numbers are on the decline.

In Free Willy news, here’s a rather playful whale.

SCOUTING REPORT: Shaq’s Linkedin Profile is Great
This soccer player was so distraught with his performance he subbed himself out. Yankees pitcher Micheal Pineda was ejected for an obviously illegal substance on his neck. Dude, try a bit harder to hide that next time. You don’t want to miss Shaq’s linkedin profile. And the look on this kid’s face after getting a foul ball reminds us of all that is good in this world.

In time-wasting news, here's seven websites we just blew a few hours on.

CULTURE CATCH-UP: Barbie Taking the Big Screen
Thought the phrase “heart of gold” was cooked up by Southern belles? Turns out its one of the many common terms that Shakespeare coined. See if you caught any of these “Frozen” easter eggs. We have the first "Pitch Perfect 2" photo, and it’s aca-awesome. Amazon Prime just upped its game by adding a bunch of HBO series. Your move, Netflix. Calling all Kens: A live-action Barbie movie is in the works. And this is the first Youtube video, which was uploaded nine years ago yesterday.

In cat lover news, this work table allows you to always have your feline friend close by.

LIVIN’: Facebook: Your Big Brother Since 2004
Coworkers may be judging you for this habit. Make sure you don’t miss each state's most notable tourist traps. These airlines have the rudest flight attendants. Reddit helped this man find his missing mother, who suffers from severe dementia. And this new site shows just how much information Facebook knows about you. It’s truly frightening.

In pig news, here's one that shares food, which makes us more of a pig than he is.

OTHER PEOPLE’S BUSINESS: Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis Had Their Baby!!!
Jodie Foster married her girlfriend, photographer Alexandra Hedison. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is devastated after her brother died at 62 in a freak accident outside a NYC club. Lupita Nyongo was named People’s most beautiful person for 2014, and we couldn’t be happier for her. Jon Hamm’s tired of all that talk about his (ahem) package. Kaley Cuoco actually chopped her hair off this time. And Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcomed their baby boy today with an adorable name.

In throwback news, here are photos that sum up the 2000s.


@lenadunham: Somehow just remembered that I grew up with 8 or 9 ventriloquist dummies hanging around the house, including one built to look like my mom

@Rickafox: “Don't live life so it all works out... Live life for the stories to tell.“

@OfficialWillow: Girls, don't let them suffocate you in masculine smoke.

@TheEllenShow: Why was the man okay with being bald? He didn't want toupée for hair. #ClassicJokeWednesday

@dorseyshaw: 'Ronald Reagan' directed by Wes Anderson

This $1,000 toaster may be worth it.

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