07/09/2014 08:49 am ET

Wednesday's Morning Email: Here's Why the NSA Will Spy on You

Brazil fans can take solace in the fact that their “historic humiliation” is an incredible statistical outlier that’d be the equivalent of the Patriots losing by 50+ points in the postseason. If only, if only. This is THE MORNING EMAIL for Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

The Scuttlebutt TOP STORIES

“The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing at least 8 people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. The offensive has set off the heaviest fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas since an eight-day battle in November 2012.” Take a look at a map of the air strikes. And CNN reports a ground operation is in the works. [AP]

“The National Security Agency spied on five American citizens despite a lack of any finding that they posed a threat to national security, The Intercept, an investigative outlet co-founded by Greenwald, is reporting Wednesday.” Meet the five men under surveillance. And if you do this, “you’re all but asking for ‘deep’ monitoring by the NSA.” [HuffPost]

“Gay rights groups are jumping ship on legislation they previously hailed as one of their biggest priorities of the year: the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The American Civil Liberties Union, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center announced in a joint statement on Tuesday that they are withdrawing support for the Senate ENDA bill because of its sweeping religious exemption.” Here’s how the Hobby Lobby ruling caused the switch. [HuffPost]

STATESIDE: Smallpox Chillin’
A government scientist found vials of smallpox in a cardboard box last week in Washington, which is highly concerning considering the only samples of smallpox are supposed to be under lock and key in labratories in Atlanta and Russia. We want to be on this guy’s plane: a pilot ordered pizza for everyone on board after the flight was delayed for several hours. Police believe meth is the reason a Utah mom killed six newborns. Watch out for this mosquito-transmitted virus that’s on the rise here in the U.S. And this is what happens when you offer the President a hit of pot.

In Mickey Mouse news, this Disney surprise went horribly wrong.

Check out what the Nicaragua Canal would look like. When President Obama called Angela Merkel last week, he didn’t know about the intelligence scandal that had been uncovered the day before. Ukrainian military leaders laid out the strategy for the seige on rebel stronghold Donetsk. Chinese investors are cashing in on the American Dream. The author of the “Pamplona Bull Run Guide” should have taken his own advice: he was gored during today’s run. And this Saudi man divorced his wife on their wedding night. Ouch.

In happiness news, this elephant family loves the rain.

BUY! SELL! BUY! Life’s Unfair
High school interns in Silicon Valley may make more than you do. Simon & Schuster isn’t so happy with Hillary Clinton’s book dropping from the number one spot -- they did pay her $14 million to pen the thing, after all. Uber vowed to stop gouging people with ridiculous prices during storm emergencies. High school students really don’t know how to manage money. And forget marrying into the Kennedy clan: meet the 185 families in the U.S. worth more than $1 billion.

In miniature news, this baby hedgehog got a mini birthday cake.

SCOUTING REPORT: Fit People Without Clothes
ESPN’s body issue is here. These photos sum up how Brazil feels after losing 7 - 1 to Germany. A freak storm created quite the visual at the Reds-Cubs game yesterday. Derek Jeter pulled a fast one with this trick double play. And this is what happens when you apply the prisoner’s dilemma to LeBron James’ free agency.

In bean bag chair news, this goat’s having one heckuva hard time.

CULTURE CATCH-UP: Indie Summer Films
Forget summer blockbusters: check out the nine indie flicks you should see this summer. Harry Potter fans rejoiced yesterday when J.K. Rowling released an update on Harry and the gang. Columbus Short, known to “Scandal” fans as Harisson, thinks the show did the right thing by firing him. And look out for Mr. Stork: Disney is making a live-action “Dumbo”. [Image via Vanity Fair]

In strugglebus news, these puppies are having a hard time with stairs.

LIVIN’: Dogs Are the Best
Check out the ten ways dogs teach us about what matters most. Learn how to pick the healthiest seafood. Here’s how to fly to the UK on the cheap. This is the one thing that’s stressing out nearly half of all Americans. Life’s a peach with these recipes incorporating our favorite fruit. Take a look at the unique monikers ruling the baby names charts this year. And here’s how to manipulate nudge your friends into agreeing to your summer plans.

In unison news, these cats are crazy in sync.

So when you’re Emma Watson, you have the power to be named a U.N. ambassador AND then crash the U.N.’s website. George Clooney is really, really, really unhappy with The Daily Mail. Katie Holmes vamped it up for her latest Glamour shoot. Pamela Anderson is back on the market. Khloe Kardashian talks pregnancy rumors. And a video of strung out Angelina Jolie in the 90s shows just how far the huminatarian has come.

In tippy toes news, this dog loves walking on two feet.


@shanedawson: youtube used to be for weird kids who wanted to creatively express themselves. now the cocky popular kids are taking over. makes me sad. lol

@colesprouse: .@ashleytisdale Miss you sis. Miss this #IncrediblyPimpOutfit.

@lenadunham: My cab driver was SO rude that I gave him a 30% tip and thanked him profusely. Just trying to save another woman from the same fate, y'know?

@KellyOsbourne: In a bit of shock! Who pushes a girl?

@dougmillsnyt: Obama reacts as he is greeted by a man wearing a horse-head as he walked the streets of downtown Denver.

We’re dying to try these crazy ice cream combos -- Bacon and waffles meets Vanilla Bean? We’re so there.

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