05/09/2014 12:06 pm ET Updated May 28, 2014

Friday's Morning Email: Dems Plot Benghazi Response

To celebrate HuffPost's ninth birthday, here's a nine-year-old shredding some serious axe. This is THE MORNING EMAIL for Friday, May 9, 2014.

The Scuttlebutt TOP STORIES

“A day after claiming to have withdrawn thousands of Russian troops from Ukraine’s border, Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin presided over East bloc military maneuvers Thursday that included tests of Russia’s nuclear forces and live firing of intercontinental ballistic missiles.” Some suspect Putin himself will visit Crimea this afternoon. Time’s “czar” cover seems to be getting more and more appropriate by the day. [LA Times]

“Two weeks after a massacre here, the stench of dead bodies clung to the walls of the Kali-Ballee mosque. Bloodstains marked the ground; shirts, pants and sandals were still scattered about; and torn pages from the Quran were strewn all over the place. ‘If you saw what happened here, you would cry for the rest of your life,’ said Ahmad Bushara al-Dai, 60, a Sudanese merchant who witnessed the attack on this town by rebel forces last month.” Such crimes against humanity are all-too-common, according to a U.N. report. [NYT]

“Clerks scheduling medical appointments for veterans were ‘cooking the books’ at their bosses' behest to hide the fact some had to wait weeks, if not months, for appointments, a VA scheduler in San Antonio said Thursday...The allegations surrounding this Texas VA hospital comes as the federal department fends off claims of potentially deadly delays at other facilities, including claims of a secret wait list in Phoenix...” In response, the VA has now ordered a “face-to-face audit” of all clinics across the country. Watch the American Legion’s response to the allegations. [CNN]

STATESIDE: Monica Theories Abound
Health insureres aren’t covering medical marijuana. Kay Hagan, in a very tight North Carolina Senate Race, has decided to fully back Obamacare. Dems have come up with a strategy to boycott AND manage the Benghazi oversight committee. The Boy Scouts’ gay compromise is leaving everyone unsatisfied, according to a New York Times expose. The White House finally finished its solar panel revamp. And read the craziest Monica Lewinsky conspiracy theories. [Image via Tumblr]

In baby giraffe news, this little one is already taller than you.

INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE: Kidnapped Girls May Have Been Smuggled Out
This video shows the final moments before the Everest avalanche that killed over a dozen Nepalese guides. Family members of the capsized South Korean ferry marched on the presidential palace this morning. Hundreds of youth activists were rounded up in Venezuela. And officials believe the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls may have been smuggled out of the country.

In make way for ducklings news, here are some ducklings struggling to get up the stairs.

BUY! SELL! BUY! Dr. Dre’s Gonna Be a Billionaire
Apple’s about to up its cool factor by buying Dr. Dre’s Beats. This graphic shows how major businesses fail. Burger King’s hopping on the heart-killer breakfast train by offering breakfast burgers. Obama’s top economist isn’t a Thomas Picketty fan. And Amazon is now offering Sunday deliveries in a total of 15 cities -- just in time for your gift to be delivered for Mother’s Day.

In food vs. sleep news, this baby just cannot decide.

The difference between the words used to describe black and white football prospects is disturbing. Johnny Manziel will be flashing those dollar signs in Cleveland, and Twitter loves it. And this guy is the Brooklyn Nets’ best secret weapon.

In Houdini news, this puppy wriggled his way out from under the door.

CULTURE CATCH-UP: Go Go Power Rangers!!!
CW announced which of its shows got the ax. J-Law continues to be the classiest lady around by revealing she voted for Lupita to win the supporting actress Oscar. First it was “Ninja Turtles,” now “Power Rangers” is coming to the big screen. Lifetime’s making a movie out of “The Red Tent.” And listen to Michael Jackson posthumous song, “Blue Gangsta.”

In come-up news, here are some awesome thrift shop finds.

LIVIN’: Don’t Forget Mother’s Day!!!
Here are the plants making allergy sufferers miserable, all in one giant graphic. Put down the sports drinks: they’re linked to unhealthy behaviors. Love Trader Joe’s? Here’s 14 things you don’t know about your favorite grocery store. This is how you fake longer legs. Would you work out if you were paid to? Your world’s about to be rocked: there’s such a thing as an inside-out grilled cheese. And in case you live under a rock and didn’t realize, Sunday is Mother’s Day. Here’s a bunch of last minute gift ideas that will save you from the doghouse. You’re welcome.

In mastication news, here’s a teeny tiny hamster eating a teeny tiny piece of pizza.

OTHER PEOPLE’S BUSINESS: Prince Harry Relationship News
Chrissy Teigen wants to be like Brangelina in one particular way. Hugh Jackman had a second skin cancer health scare. Paula Patton talks her upcoming divorce. Gwyneth Paltrow finally speaks out out about her controversial working mom comments. These are some crazy celebrity college majors we were not expecting. And Vanity Fair thinks Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas are getting back together (try not to cry, ladies).

In darty news, here’s what day drinking is really like.


@UncleDynamite: Pitbull is a genie who lives in a bottle of AXE Body Spray.

@NateSilver538: Found some very @FiveThirtyEight bathroom graffiti.

@TomDumontND: Somedays everything is good. And It's important to take notice and enjoy it & just smile.

@NathanFillion: Ah, NY. The excitement, the fearless citizens, the adventures, the pee smell. I've missed you.

@LIFE: The Road Goes Ever On: Route 66 and the American Dream |

This is how the Air Force would defeat a real-life Godzilla.

Got something to add? Send tips/quips/quotes/stories/photos/events/scoops to Lauren Weber ( Follow us on Twitter (@LaurenWeberHP). Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It's free! Sign up here.