TIME Congress

Aaron Schock and Downton Abbey Said Farewell at the Same Time

Aaron Schock
Seth Perlman—AP In this Feb. 6, 2015, file photo, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill. speaks to reporters in Peoria Ill. According to a source, the Justice Department is investigating possible criminal violations by resigning Illinois congressman.

Oh, the irony

Rep. Aaron Schock gave his farewell speech to Congress Thursday at the same time that Downton Abbey producers announced the show would end after its next season.

The irony? The Illinois Republican is resigning amid a series of scandals that began when he spent lavishly to model his Capitol Hill office after the show.

We couldn’t help but notice some similarities in how the congressman and the producers of the show said their respective goodbyes:

1. Describing the emotional journey

“I was never more excited than when I walked into this chamber six years ago. I leave here with sadness and humility.” (Schock)

“The Downton journey has been amazing for everyone aboard…I do know how grateful we are to have been allowed this unique experience” (Downton Abbey)

2. Referencing the millions of people they’ve touched

“I will miss joining my colleagues in saving and strengthening social security and Medicare that will directly improve the quality of life for millions of Americans for generations to come.” (Schock)

“Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years.” (Downton Abbey)

3. Talking about the ‘stories’

“I know this is not the ending of a story, but rather the beginning of a new chapter.” (Schock)

“It felt right and natural for the storylines to come together” (Downton Abbey)

Now that Schock’s leaving Capitol Hill, might a cameo on the show be on the cards? It’s not too late.

TIME Television

Downton Abbey Will End After Season 6

The hit British period drama is closing its doors

Time to put away your teacups and scones: the coming sixth season of Downton Abbey will be its last.

“We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans,” executive producer Gareth Neame said in a press release Thursday. “We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up.”

TIME asked creator Julian Fellowes in February whether the show might leap ahead in time before it ended to follow the characters as World War II broke out, but he poured cold water on the idea. “[Lady Mary’s son] George would have fought in that war because he was born in 1921, I think,” he says. “He would be called up by 1941 or 1942. We’d have to hope he’d get through it. Of course fewer people died in the Second World War [than the First] but people did die, and we have to just hope little George gets through.”

Downton Abbey is the most nominated British show in Emmy history, according to ITV, with 51 nominations. The series will air its final episode in the United Kingdom on Christmas Day, and is likely to be shown in the United States in early 2016.

But that might not be the very last of it – a Downton movie could happen after the show ends. “[A movie is] definitely something we’re contemplating, it would be great fun to do,” Neame said, according to Entertainment Weekly.

For now, look at this farewell post on the Downton Facebook page and start emotionally gearing up to say goodbye to everyone in the Crawley household.

Read next: 7 Historic Moments Downton Abbey Could Tackle Next Season

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Congress

Watch Ben Affleck Drop a Batman Reference in His Congressional Testimony

Ben Affleck, actor, filmmaker and founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, testifies before a Senate Appropriations State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing on "Diplomacy, Development, and National Security" on Capitol Hill in Washington March 26, 2015.
Yuri Gripas—Reuters Ben Affleck, actor, filmmaker and founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, testifies before a Senate Appropriations State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing on "Diplomacy, Development, and National Security" on Capitol Hill in Washington March 26, 2015.

Acknowledges a co-star on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee

Ben Affleck testified before the Senate Thursday as a philanthropist, not an actor. But he still found a way to mention Batman in his opening remarks.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs hearing was on diplomacy and national security; Affleck is the founder of Eastern Congo Initiative, an advocacy and grant initiative focused on helping communities in eastern Congo.

As he addresses the ranking members of the panel, Affleck turns to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and says, “I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge my costar in Batman. The role is marginally smaller than mine, but I understand that you are quite good.” Leahy laughs.

Affleck is starring as Batman in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but Leahy is a known Batman fanatic who has appeared in cameos in previous Batman films. So it seems he’ll be joining the caped crusader once again in 2016.

Watch the video here.

TIME White House

Pope Francis Will Visit the White House

Pope Francis arrives under heavy rain, for his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on March 25, 2015.
Gabriel Bouys—AFP/Getty Images Pope Francis arrives under heavy rain, for his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on March 25, 2015.

Will discuss immigration with President Obama, among other things

Pope Francis will meet with President Obama during his trip to the United States later this year, the White House announced Thursday.

The Pope will visit the White House on September 23, according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, where Obama and Pope Francis will speak about “caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.”

The two leaders met last year when Obama visited the Vatican in March 2014. The upcoming visit in September is part of a larger trip for Pope Francis; during his first visit to the United States as Pope, he will also be addressing Congress and speaking at the U.N. The trip is set to take place from September 22-27.

Read next: Why Pope Francis Is Obsessed With Mary

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME celebrities

Watch Cate Blanchett Lose It in a Cinderella Interview

"Seriously, that's your f**king question?"

Cate Blanchett, one of the stars of the new Cinderella, reacted in a way befitting the evil stepmother in an interview about the movie.

First, after fumbling through an awkward set of questions, Channel Ten’s Jonathan Hyla jokingly says he’s going to add alcohol to the mix: “I was going to bring like a six pack of beer. You seem like the type of person that we should just crack open a beer and just have a chat,” he says to Blanchett.

To which she responds: “This date is not going well, I do not drink beer.”

Yikes. But it gets worse. The two agree to “start over” and reintroduce themselves to each other. But Blanchett is not amused when Hyla’s first new question is about how she wrangles a cat on a leash in the film.

“I tried to put my girlfriend’s cat on a leash, and it just never works for me,” Hyla says. Blanchett snaps, “Seriously, that’s your f**king question?”

Watch the clip above.

Read next: Watch This Princess Rap Battle Between Cinderella and Belle

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina’s Anecdotal Campaign

Conservative Activists And Leaders Attend The Iowa Freedom Summit
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg/Getty Images Carly Fiorina, former chairman and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., during the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 24, 2015.

She doesn't have any legislative experience, so she talks about life experience instead

If you want to hear about health care, Carly Fiorina will talk about her fight with breast cancer. If you want to know about the economy, she’ll talk about working as a secretary in a small real-estate firm. If you want to learn about ISIS, she’ll even cite her degree in medieval history.

It seems that Fiorina has a personal anecdote for just about every policy question.

As she prepares to join the race for the Republican presidential nomination, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO has put together a well-polished set of personal stories for use on the stump. In recent weeks, she’s used the same anecdotes in speeches to very different audiences at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a conservative women’s organization and a group of investors.

To be fair, every presidential candidate relies on stock anecdotes about themselves. As he launched his campaign Monday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz talked at length about his dad fleeing from Cuba and his wife selling bread in elementary school.

But as one of the only candidates with no prior political experience (former neurosurgeon Ben Carson is the other), Fiorina is unusually dependent on personal stories. Without a track record of votes, bills or executive actions to point to and, like many candidates at this stage, without a well-developed policy playbook, she has only her own history.

During an event on leadership and technology in Virginia Wednesday morning, she was asked by a member of the audience about innovation in government. Her response: health care.

“I’m a cancer survivor,” she said. “So I understand how important it is to make sure that people can get care despite pre-existing conditions or that people have access to quality affordable health care regardless of their circumstances.”

At a conference on women and leadership in Virginia Saturday, she talked about how social welfare programs have created a “web of dependence” for people who need help.

“Every one of us needs a helping hand sometimes,” she said. “When I battled cancer, I needed many helping hands. When my husband Frank and I lost our younger daughter Lori from the demons of addiction, we counted on the kindness of strangers.”

One of Fiorina’s favorite all-purpose anecdotes is the fact that she graduated from Stanford with a degree in medieval history and philosophy. It never fails to draw chuckles from the crowd when she brings it up, which she does, often.

She used it to knock President Obama’s comments on ISIS during her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC): “I was fortunate enough to enroll in Stanford University where I would earn a degree in medieval history and philosophy. All dressed up and nowhere to go. That degree has come in handy recently since our President, he’s talking about the Crusades. Yes Mr. President, ISIS indeed wants to drive the whole world back to the Middle Ages, but the rest of us moved on about 800 years ago.”

Other times, she uses her liberal arts degree to talk about education policy. At the event Wednesday, Fiorina was asked about whether education should be more vocational. She said, “While I joke that my medieval history and philosophy degree prepared me not for the job market, I must tell you it did prepare me for life… I learned how to condense a whole lot of information down to the essence. That thought process has served me my whole life… I’m one of these people who believes we should be teaching people music, philosophy, history, art.”

Sometimes she segues her degree into a discussion of small businesses. After graduation, she felt unprepared for the job market, so she tried law school. She hated it, dropped out after one semester and got a job as a secretary to pay the bills. “I filed and answered the phones for a little nine-person real estate firm,” she said at CPAC. “Most Americans get their start the way I did: in a small business. The dry cleaners, the coffee shops, the hairdressers and the real estate firms of American Main Street create most of our new jobs and employ half of our people. So if we want more jobs, we need more small businesses.”

Anna Epstein, press secretary at Fiorina’s Unlocking Potential Project, says these stories are how Fiorina gets through to the audience.

“Carly has always related to people at a personal level,” Epstein said. “Like all of us, her experiences shape her world view. People relate to story telling more easily than they relate to numbers and figures.”

Fiorina hasn’t said exactly when she’ll announce a run for the White House, but whenever it is, you can be sure she’ll tell some of these anecdotes in her speech.

TIME viral

Did the ‘Face of Jesus’ Appear in a Colombian Rockslide?

A landslide in Colombia has reportedly yielded what some are calling a miracle — the face of Jesus, etched on a hillside.

So many worshippers came to the site in Putumayo that police have been brought in to manage the crowd, Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reports, and some locals have begun charging the pilgrims to see the face.

“If you believe in Jesus, you will see your image,” Ximena Rosero Arango, one of the people who came to the site, told the newspaper. The image has also been making the rounds on social media since Saturday, when the crowds first began arriving.

If the image is real it would be a departure for the Son of God; usually, the countenance divine is revealed in foodstuffs.

[El Tiempo]

TIME Drones

Drones Help Find Stray Dogs in Texas

Drones Texas Tests
Eric Gay—AP A test drone with a wing span of almost 13 feet flies over a ranch near Sarita, Texas, Jan. 15, 2014.

It's for a TV show

We all know about drones and their more dangerous missions – flying in war zones, crashing onto the White House lawn. But now they’re being used in Texas for a gentler reason: to find stray dogs.

The World Animal Awareness Society (WA2S) is filming a new television show called “Operation Houston: Stray Dog City,” USA Today reports, to examine the stray dog problem in Houston and profile the people trying to save the animals.

That’s where the drones come in. Tom McPhee, executive director of WA2S, said the drones will “draw a big circle in the air” while volunteers and GPS technology work on the ground, and that combination will help them count all the stray dogs in the Houston area.

“It’s another amazing tool,” McPhee said of drones.

[USA Today]

TIME Crime

Italy’s Highest Court to Rule on Amanda Knox Conviction

Amanda Knox reacts while being interviewed on the set of ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York in this January 31, 2014 file photo.
Andrew Kelly—Reuters/Corbis Amanda Knox reacts while being interviewed on the set of ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York in this January 31, 2014 file photo.

Legal battle over extradition could follow if murder conviction let stand

Italy’s highest court will decide Wednesday whether to uphold the 2007 murder conviction of Amanda Knox, a ruling that could set up a legal battle over the American’s extradition.

The country’s Supreme Court must decide whether to let stand an appeals court ruling upholding the convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, in the murder of Meredith Kercher, who was found stabbed to death in the home in Italy she shared with Knox.

Knox and Sollecito have already been found guilty twice by Italian courts and served four years in jail. Knox has been in Seattle, Wa. since 2011, when she was freed on appeal. That acquittal was later overturned.

Read more at Reuters.

TIME Education

UVA Fraternity Considers Legal Action Over Rolling Stone Article

UVa Fraternity
Ryan M. Kelly—AP Protestors carry signs and chant slogans in front of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia, Nov. 22, 2014, in Charlottesville, Va.

The Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi said it is "exploring its legal options to address the extensive damage caused by Rolling Stone"

The fraternity at the center of the controversy over a Rolling Stone article on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia may seek legal action against the magazine, after a police investigation found no evidence of the sexual assault depicted in the article.

“Following the publication of the defamatory article, the chapter launched an extensive internal investigation, which quickly confirmed that the horrific events described in the Rolling Stone article did not occur,” Stephen Scipione, president of the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi, said in a statement.

He said that Phi Psi is “exploring its legal options to address the extensive damage caused by Rolling Stone.”

A November story in Rolling Stone depicted a brutal gang rape at a party at the Phi Psi fraternity house, which ignited a national conversation about campus rape. But Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said Monday that its investigation was “not able to conclude to any substantive degree” that the events described in Rolling Stone had actually taken place.

“These false accusations have been extremely damaging to our entire organization, but we can only begin to imagine the setback this must have dealt to survivors of sexual assault,” Scipione said to ABC News. “We hope that Rolling Stone’s actions do not discourage any survivors from coming forward to seek the justice they deserve.”

Read more:

No Evidence of UVA Gang Rape Depicted in Rolling Stone, Police Say

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