TIME Boxing

Floyd Mayweather Finally Thought of a Comeback for Ronda Rousey

Floyd "Money" Mayweather And Andre Berto Host Los Angeles Press Conference Announcing Las Vegas Fight Date
Earl Gibson III—Getty Images

"When she can do that, then, call me"

One of the highlights of the ESPYs last month was Ronda Rousey’s red carpet dig at Floyd Mayweather after beating him for the Best Fighter award.

“I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once,” Rousey said, referring to the battery charges the boxer has faced. “I’d like to see him pretend to not know who I am now.”

Nearly a month later, Mayweather has finally responded. “I’ve yet to see any MMA fighter, or other boxer, make over $300 million in 36 minutes,” Mayweather said during an interview with ESPN after congratulating Rousey on her award. “When she can do that, then, call me.”

Rousey recently retained her UFC women’s bantamweight championship by defeating Bethe Correia in just 34 seconds on Aug. 1, while Mayweather announced this week that he’ll face Andre Berto on Sept. 12.

[Los Angeles Times]

TIME Television

Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show Finale Scores Second-Highest Ratings in Show’s History

It fell just short of besting then-Senator Barack Obama's visit in 2008

Jon Stewart’s final episode of The Daily Show has proved to be a ratings success as well as a critical one. The send-off for the veteran host, which featured appearances from throngs of the show’s famous former correspondents and a pair of songs from Bruce Springsteen, was watched by 3.5 million viewers on Thursday night.

That number makes it the second-most viewed episode in the show’s history, narrowly missing out on the record set by then-Sen. Barack Obama in the waning days of his successful White House bid in 2008. That episode earned 3.6 million viewers.


TIME Bizarre

Game of Thrones Inspires New York Lawyer to Demand Trial by Combat

The Mountain Fights Oberyn in Season 4 Episode 8 of Game of Thrones
HBO Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson and Pedro Pascal fight as The Mountain and Oberyn in Season 4 Episode 8 of Game of Thrones.

He says there's no law specifically outlawing it

Some people love Game of Thrones and some people really love Game of Thrones. A member of the latter group has taken it upon himself to act out one of Westeros’ most absurd and notorious practices: trial by combat.

Richard Luthmann, a Staten Island attorney, is demanding that one of the plaintiffs (or their “champion”) in the suit against him face him in a literal battle to the death unless the case is dismissed. He claims that the practice has not been outlawed in the U.S. or New York state and is suggesting it to point out the absurdity of the plaintiffs’ allegations.

“They want to be absurd about what they’re trying to do, then I’ll give them back ridiculousness in kind,” said Luthmann, who shockingly confesses to being a Game of Thrones fan. Luthmann’s bold challenge is in keeping with his history of full-throated public declarations and proclivity for wearing flashy suits and bowties.

Even so, he may not have thought this one through. On Game of Thrones, trial by combat is typically only requested when the accused has little chance of escaping with his life any other way. This is decidedly not the case for Luthmann, who is accused of helping a client commit fraud, unless he values the $500,000 his client stands to lose more than his own life.

Luthmann has not divulged whether he would serve as his own champion or select a surrogate, though both parties would be wise to seek the services of Hafþór Julius Bjornsson, who plays The Mountain on Thrones and recently retained his title as Europe’s Strongest Man.

[Staten Island Live]

TIME Bizarre

Spider-Man Wrestles With Pedestrian in Times Square

The Amazing Spider-Man
Jaimie Trueblood—Columbia Pictures

The fight was captured on video

A man dressed as Spider-Man was caught on camera in a fight with a pedestrian New York’s Times Square on Thursday. According to the New York Daily News, the pedestrian was the antagonist.

“The guy was harassing a number of performers, other costumed folks,” witness Geoff Goldberg told the tabloid. “They’ve notoriously had issues with him in the past.”

Goldberg was the man responsible for capturing 30 seconds of the brawl on video, though the clip failed to capture the start or outcome of the fracas. The video begins with Spidey throwing the first punch (and kick).

[New York Daily News]

TIME Television

The Wire Creator David Simon Is Bringing Two New Series to HBO

Oh, and James Franco is involved too

It’s been a long 18 months since Tremé, David Simon’s most recent HBO series, ended its four-season run. For those who have waited eagerly for The Wire creator’s triumphant return, their patience has paid off, with HBO ordering a pair of pilots from Simon.

The first (splashier) offering is The Deuce, which will tell the story of New York City twins embroiled in the 1970s Times Square pornography scene and all the mob and drug-related complications that accompany that particular environment. James Franco has signed on to play both twins and two-time Emmy winner Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones) will direct the pilot.

“Porn, prostitution, pimps, the Mob, after-hours nightlife, institutional corruption, and New York in its Wild West heyday,” writer George Pelecanos said. “It’s a world rich in character, and a fascinating story we’re eager to tell.”

The other, an as-yet-unnamed political drama set on modern day Capitol Hill, appears to be in its nascent stages. Carl Bernstein (All the President’s Men) will co-produce and Simon’s The Wire collaborator Ed Burns is also attached.

Simon’s next project to hit the air will be a six-part HBO miniseries, Show Me a Hero, directed by Paul Haggis and starring Oscar Isaac. It debuts on August 16.

[Hollywood Reporter]

TIME norway

Prisoner Surfs Out of Norway’s Most Luxurious Prison

Bastoy Prison
Marco Di Lauro—Getty Images Bastoy prison in 2011.

He may not have thought that one through

If you’re familiar with Norway’s Bastoy Prison, you’re likely also aware of its reputation as one of the world’s nicest place to be locked up. Situated on a plus one-square-mile island, Bastoy features no walls or fences or cells, instead treating inmates to tennis courts, beaches and a sauna. It’s all part of the Scandinavian country’s emphasis on humane rehabilitation rather than harsh punishment.

But for one convicted sex offender in his 20s, the luxuries of Bastoy just weren’t enough. The inmate set sail from the island on a surfboard, using a plastic shovel to paddle less than two miles to the mainland. He has yet to be recaptured.

Escape attempts are rare at Bastoy, which was founded in 1982 and hosts approximately 115 inmates, partly because of its unparalleled amenities and partly because those who are subsequently caught have little chance of returning. Escapees are usually placed in one of Norway’s high-security facilities.

Bastoy is also notable for the amount of freedom it provides even high-level offenders: many of the prisoners are murderers, rapists and drug traffickers. Even so, the Norwegian approach appears to have proven largely effective. As of 2012, Bastoy had a recidivism rate of just 16% in the two years following prisoners’ release, compared with 43% over three years in the U.S., according to a 2011 study.

Perhaps most remarkable is the prison’s reaction to escapees:

When inmates come to his island jail, [Arne Kvernvik] Nilsen, the governor, gives them a little talk.

Among the wisdom he imparts is this: If you should escape and make it across the water to the free shore, find a phone and call so I know you’re OK and “so we don’t have to send the coast guard looking for you.”

It’s unclear whether the recent escapee paid the prison that particular courtesy.


TIME Infectious Disease

Plague Claims One Life in Colorado

It's the second such incident in the state this year

One adult has died in Colorado from the disease most commonly known as simply “the plague,” according to Pueblo City-County Health Department. Vastly more common in 14th century Eurasia, the plague is rarely found in the modern-day United States, though the Colorado incident is not the first time the disease has made an appearance in recent years.

No other details about the victim have been released, but the Pueblo City-County Health Department said in a press release that “the individual may have contracted the disease from fleas on a dead rodent or animal.”

While bubonic plague is the most common type of the disease, plague can take multiple forms including pneumonic and septicemic.

Colorado has played host to a handful of plague cases in recent years, including eight separate incidents in 2014 and one in 2015 that resulted in the death of a teenager. None, however, occurred in Pueblo County. Typically, the plague isn’t deadly if properly treated with antibiotics and antimicrobials.


TIME Food & Drink

Alabama Approves Blue Bell’s Bid to Resume Production

Blue Bell Creameries Recalls All Products After Listeria Contamination
Jamie Squire—Getty Images

All of the company's products were recalled in March

Less than a month after the maligned Blue Bell ice cream manufacturer resumed testing at its Alabama facility, the state’s Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that it would allow the Texas-based company to officially begin the production and sale of its products.

Blue Bell has had to deal with a wealth of scandal this year:

The ice cream producer was forced to halt production in March after some of its product was discovered to be contaminated with listeria, a dangerous bacteria. Those contaminations were subsequently linked to three deaths and several other cases. Blue Bell has only been able to resume manufacturing activities after reaching an agreement with the Alabama State Health Department (and entering into similar ones with the appropriate bureaus in Texas and Oklahoma).

The company’s distribution plans still seems to be up in the air, but Alabama’s approval could indicate other states aren’t far behind.


TIME Companies

These CEOs Earn 800 Times More Than Their Workers

David M. Zaslav CEO Discovery Communications
Scott Olson—Getty Images David M. Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications, is interviewed at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 7, 2015.

David Zaslav of Discovery Communications makes 2,282 times more than his average employee

A new rule has required that certain companies must disclose the pay gap between their CEO and their workers, revealing an unsurprising disparity between the two. A new analysis conducted by USA Today based on data from Glassdoor.com and S&P Capital IQ has revealed that the average CEO of a Standard & Poor’s 500 company earns 216 times more than the median employee.

Though that figure appears astronomically high in and of itself, there are nine CEOs who make more than 800 times their average employee, according to the survey. David Zaslav of Discovery Communications leads the way: his median employee makes an average of $68,397, while he earns over $156 million for a factor of 2,282. Others on the list include Steven Ells and Montgomery Moran of Chipotle Mexican, Larry Merlo of CVS Health, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, Brian Cornell of Target, Les Moonves of CBS, Robert Marcus of Time Warner Cable and Douglas MacMillon of Walmart.

[USA Today]


Alaskan Woman Mauled by a Grizzly Bear While Jogging

She was jogging with a co-worker

A 20-year-old Alaskan woman was airlifted to a nearby hospital on Tuesday night after being attacked by a roaming grizzly bear while jogging on a trail adjacent to Skilak Lake. According to NBC News, she was upgraded to good condition less than 24 hours later.

Police say that the woman, Gabbriele Markel, was running with 26-year-old co-worker Kaitlin Haley when the bear emerged from the brush along the trail, quickly knocking Markel to the ground. With the bear pinning Markel to the ground, Haley ran three-quarters of a mile to the Alaska Wildland Adventures lodge, where the two work, to get help. As Haley and other employees armed with bear spray ran back to aid Markel, they found her walking toward them.

“She didn’t appear to have life-threatening injuries at the time but they can turn life threatening,” police spokesperson Megan Peters said. “It’s always important to get them to the hospital as soon as possible.”

Wildlife experts say that only one or two such attacks occur in that area annually. It remains unclear what provoked this particular incident.

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