TIME Television

Stephen Colbert To Succeed David Letterman

Stephen Colbert during the "Been There: Won That: The Returnification of the American-Do Troopscapeon" special of The Colbert Report on Sept. 8, 2010 in New York City.
Stephen Colbert during the "Been There: Won That: The Returnification of the American-Do Troopscapeon" special of The Colbert Report on Sept. 8, 2010 in New York City. Scott Gries—Picturegroup/Comedy Central

The Comedy Central host who plays a conservative pundit will drop the character when he takes the reins from late-night legend David Letterman, who recently announced his plans to retire, CBS announced on Thursday

Stephen Colbert will take over as host of the Late Show when David Letterman retires, CBS announced Thursday.

Colbert, the host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report since 2005, was rumored to be CBS’s top choice to replace its iconic late night host. Letterman said last week on his show that he will retire in 2015, ending more than three decades in late night.

“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves said in a statement. “David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”

Colbert’s ascension will mark a touchstone for his career, which first gained traction while he was a contributor on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and then exploded when he got his own show following Stewart’s.

“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert said in a statement. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.

“I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me,” Colbert said, before adding a playful dig at Letterman’s teeth: “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”

As Late Show host, Colbert will drop the caricature of a conservative pundit he has played to great effect at Comedy Central. Colbert has become known for almost never breaking character in public.

“I won’t be doing the new show in character, so we’ll all get to find out how much of him was me,” Colbert told ABC. “I’m looking forward to it.”

CBS said the producers and the location of the new Late Show have not yet been determined. The network said a premiere date for the show will be determined after Letterman decides when his last show will be.

TIME Crime

School Stabbing Suspect Used ‘Ordinary Kitchen Knives’

Alex Hribal, the suspect in the stabbings at the Franklin Regional High School near Pittsburgh, is taken from a district magistrate after he was arraigned on charges in the attack on April 9, 2014 in Export, Pa. Keith Srakocic—AP

Officials say the teenage suspect in Wednesday's slashing spree at a Pennsylvania high school used kitchen knives during the attack that injured 22

The high school student charged with stabbing 22 people at a Pennsylvania school on Wednesday used two “ordinary kitchen knives,” a local prosecutor said Thursday.

The suspect, 16-year-old Alex Hribal, was charged as an adult on Wednesday with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 other counts, and was being held without bail in a juvenile detention center Thursday. Police say he stabbed 21 other students and a security guard at the school outside Pittsburgh.

Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck did not say whether the kitchen knives, described by police as being 8 to 10 inches long, came from the suspect’s home, the Associated Press reports. But he said it’s unlikely anyone else will be held criminally responsible for the student bringing the weapons to school because such common items don’t need to be specially stored under the law.

Many of the victims were hospitalized and several suffered life-threatening wounds, though all are expected to survive.

Brett Hurt, a student who was stabbed in the back, said during a news conference from a hospital on Thursday that he was walking down the hallway with a friend, Gracie Evans, when the assailant ran by and stabbed him. “Everyone started running in different directions,” he said.

Evans applied pressure on his back to stop the bleeding. “She saved my life,” Hurt said.

Mark Drear, the vice president of a security company with personnel at the school, said Wednesday on CNN that the suspect “was just running down the hall stabbing kids as they were going by.”

Police have not given a motive for the attack.

TIME Autos

GM Puts Two Engineers on Paid Leave During Recall Probe

General Motors CEO Mary Barra, recently grilled by lawmakers about a massive recall linked to at least 13 deaths, says the engineers were placed on paid leave as an independent investigation looks into why it took GM so long to announce the recall

Two engineers at GM have been put on paid leave amid an outside investigation into the automaker’s massive recall linked to at least 13 fatalities, CEO Mary Barra said in a statement Thursday.

Barra said the move was an interim step while former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas leads an independent investigation into why the company delayed the recall, CNN Money reports.

The company issued a recall for 2.6 million cars because of a faulty ignition switch that can cause the car to shut off while driving, disabling airbags, power steering and anti-lock breaks. It recently emerged GM knew of the fault as early as 2004, but failed to act.

[CNNMoney]

TIME Economy

Jobless Claims Drop to Lowest Level Since 2007

Construction worker installs storm water drain pipes at a hydrolysis wastewater treatment project in Washington, D.C., March 18, 2014.
Construction worker installs storm water drain pipes at a hydrolysis wastewater treatment project in Washington, D.C., March 18, 2014. Evelyn Hockstein—Polaris

Newly released figures show 300,000 people filed for unemployment claims last week, the lowest level since before the recession, suggesting employers are dismissing fewer workers. But if the job market is going to continue bouncing back, they'll have to start hiring more

The number of people filing for unemployment claims dropped to the lowest level in nearly 7 years last week, as the job market shows signs of rebounding after the recession.

Jobless claims last week fell to 300,000, down 32,000 from a week earlier and the lowest since May 12, 2007, before the onset of the recession, the Labor Department said Friday. The four-week average—a more stable indicator of labor market conditions—was down to 316,250, a drop from 321,00 the week before.

The drop in jobless claims, which surpassed estimates from all 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, indicates companies dismissed fewer people and suggests employers that are expecting growth are holding onto workers.

The Labor Department said last week that employers added 192,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%.

TIME Retail

Family Dollar Will Close 370 Stores As Sales Drop

The store front of a Family Dollar Stores Inc. location in Mansfield, Texas, Jan. 7, 2014.
The store front of a Family Dollar Stores Inc. location in Mansfield, Texas, Jan. 7, 2014. Ben Torres—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The retail company expects to save up to $45 million as it looks to bounce back from a rough winter by shuttering hundreds of stores, cutting an unspecified number of jobs and slashing prices on nearly 1,000 items

Family Dollar said Thursday it will close about 370 stores and lower prices on roughly 1,000 items amid dropping sales.

The company, which took in $2.7 billion in sales in the second quarter, down from $2.9 billion a year earlier, also said it will cut jobs, without specifying how many. The measures are expected to boost profits by $40 to $45 million.

Like other stores in its category, Family Dollar has struggled to hang on to customers gained during the recession, particularly during this year’s cold winter. Customers are also buying less.

Family Dollar, which has about 8,100 stores in 46 states, said it plans to open 350 to 400 stores next year, down from 525 in fiscal year 2014.

TIME National Security

Report: Russia Withheld Intelligence on Boston Bombing Suspect

Tamerlan Tsamaev at a boxing event in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2009.
Tamerlan Tsamaev at a boxing event in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2009. Glenn DePriest—Getty Images

An unreleased government report shows Russian authorities didn't tell U.S. officials about an intercepted call between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother about Islamic jihad until after the attack on the Boston Marathon, which might have put him under greater scrutiny

Russia did not share some intelligence that could have subjected one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects to greater scrutiny before the attacks, according to an unreleased government review.

The New York Times, citing unnamed sources, reports that the review claims Russia told the FBI of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s radicalization during a trip to the country but declined to share additional data, including information from an intercepted phone conversation he had with his mother about Islamic Jihad, prior to the attack.

Law enforcement in the U.S. considered Tsarnaev more of a threat to Russia at the time, though it’s unclear the extent to which the additional information could have helped them prevent the attack.

The government report, which also finds some faults in the FBI investigation before the attack, was compiled by the inspector general of the Office of the Intelligence Community, which has oversight over the disparate federal agencies. Congress will be briefed on the report Thursday, and some findings are expected to be released to the public on Tuesday, the attack’s one year anniversary.

Authorities believe the suspected brothers attacked alone in the bombings that killed three people and wounded 264. Tsarnaev was killed evading police days after the attack. His younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, some of which carry the death penalty, and his trial is slated to begin in November.

[NYT]

TIME Ford

Ford Recalls Nearly 435,000 Cars to Fix Faulty Parts

The car company is making two recalls, covering five models, in order to repair faulty parts. The larger recall was of Ford Escapes, which can rust and lead to steering issues. No injuries were linked to either recall

Ford said Monday it was recalling nearly 435,000 cars and SUVs in total to fix two separate potentially faulty parts, the Associated Press reports.

The larger recall comprises 386,000 Ford Escapes from models years 2001 through 2004, which have frames that can rust and hamper steering control. That recall covers models sold or registered in 20 states and Washington, D.C. as well as six Canadian provinces, where salt used to clear snow and ice from area roads can exacerbate the problem.

The other recall, which applies to 49,000 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape and C-MAX vehicles from model years 2013 and 2014, will replace seat back frames that weren’t welded properly.

No injuries were linked to either recall, though Ford said it was aware of one crash related to the rusting frames.

Ford’s recall comes as rival automaker General Motors is in the hot seat over allegations it mishandled manufacturing problems that have been linked to at least 13 deaths.

[AP]

TIME Joe Biden

Watch: Joe Biden Scores With His Latest Sex Joke

There's one and only one community college professor in his life, Biden clarifies.

Vice President Joe Biden drew laughs from the American Association of Community Colleges Monday with a joke about sleeping with a community college professor — his wife.

Jill Biden, speaking to the convention, told the crowd that her husband “knows the value of a community college education–and not just because he’s married to a community college teacher.”

In his own turn at the podium, the vice president praised educators and said his wife “is probably right.”

“I think I’d have the same attitude did I not sleep with a community college professor every night,” Biden quipped.

He clarified, lest you believe otherwise: “The same one. The same, the same one.”

TIME movies

D.C. vs. Marvel: Captain America Slated To Take on Superman and Batman in 2016

Marvel and Warner Bros. are shooting for the same release date.

It’s the fight of the century: Captain America is scheduled to take on the combined powers of Superman and Batman on May 6, 2016 — in the box office, that is.

Marvel on Monday confirmed speculation that Captain America 3 will be released on that date, the same day Warner Bros.’s untitled Superman-Batman movie is set to hit theaters. However, one of the films is largely expected to switch dates to avoid cannibalizing one other, Variety reports.

Marvel had scheduled an unspecified film for May 6, 2016 only for Warner Bros. to announce that it was pushing back its Superman-Batman film to the same date.

Marvel execs are likely riding high after the release of the second installment in the Captain America line this week: Captain America: The Winter Soldier grossed $96.2 million this weekend in the U.S. for the largest April opening ever.

You won’t have to wait till 2016 to see Captain America in action again: Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron is slated for May 1, 2015.

TIME India

Airline Passenger Attempts Suicide During Flight

The 30-year-old man, who works as a draftsman in Dubai, was on a flight to the Indian industrial hub of Hyderabad.

A passenger on an Emirates flight from Dubai to India attempted to commit suicide in the aircraft’s lavatory, the airline and police said Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Crew members found the passenger bleeding heavily shortly before the descent into Hyderabad, India. They administered treatment on board the aircraft before giving the passenger to a medical team on the ground.

The 30-year-old man, who works as a draftsman in Dubai, had wounds on his neck, ankles and wrists. He was in stable condition at an area hospital Monday. It’s still unclear what he used to injure himself or why he attempted suicide.

Emirates said the plane returned to Dubai without passengers for maintenance.

[AP]

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