Atheist lawmakers are few and far between, but one Arizona State Representative tasked with delivering the opening prayer for Tuesday's House session delivered a Carl Sagan quote instead.
Democratic Representative Juan Mendez, of Tempe, spoke about the secular humanist tradition and noted that he is just one of 1.3 million Arizonans not affiliated with a religious tradition or organization, according to the Phoenix New Times.
Mendez closed with the Carl Sagan quote, "For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love."
Mendez also introduced members of the Secular Coalition for Arizona sitting in the House gallery. One member said she was "witnessing history."
"I hope today marks the beginning of a new era in which Arizona's non believers can feel as welcome and valued here as believers," Mendez concluded.
An FBI agent shot and killed a man Wednesday morning in Orlando who was being interviewed about his ties to the Boston bombing suspects.
The FBI did not immediately confirm the identity of the man killed, or whether he was connected to the Boston bombings, but a friend who came forward to local news stations said the agency had been questioning the man in connection to the April attacks.
The man was originally cooperative, but died when he was shot attacking the agent, NBC News confirmed.
Khusn Taramiv, told media he was friends with the victim, and identified him as Ibragim Todashev, 27.
Taramiv said his friend had been investigated in connection to the Boston bombings because he knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev through the mixed-martial arts community. He told media the FBI had interviewed them both for three hours Tuesday night before he -- but not Todashev -- was let go.
"(The FBI) took me and my friend [Todashev], the suspect that got killed," Taramiv said. "They were talking to us, both of us, right?"
Taramiv said Todashev "felt inside he was going to get shot" that night, and had already undergone several rounds of questioning with the FBI.
Tamariv said he and Todashev, among other Chechnyans at the apartment complex, were first contacted by the agency the day after the Tsarnaev brothers were identified as the bombing suspects.
Todashev had apparently been planning to fly back to Chechnya Tuesday night for a trip scheduled before the bombing.
"He cancelled the tickets because, the FBI had been like, I don’t know, they’ve been pushing him, you know what I’m saying," Taramiv explained. "They’ve been pushing him they say 'don’t leave, don’t leave' so he decided to stay. But we had a feeling, worst case scenario something like that was going to happen."
The FBI confirmed that a shooting involving a special agent had occurred overnight in Orlando, but little else.
"The agent encountered the suspect while conducting official duties," Special Agent Dave Couvertier said in a statement. "The suspect is deceased. We do not have any further details at this time. We expect to have more information later this morning."
The death penalty phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial took yet another bizarre turn Tuesday, when the convicted murderer made her final plea before the jury who will decide her fate.
She told the jury to spare her, not on her own behalf, but the spare her family more pain and because she could contribute to the lives of her fellow prison inmates.
In a nearly 20-minute presentation, Arias clicked through a slideshow of pictures of her life from the time she was a child, pictures of her artwork, and showed off her "survivor" t-shirts, which would benefit victims of domestic violence.
Arias also ran down a few of her ideas on how she might become "employed and self-reliant," should she spend her life behind bars, rather than fighting round after round of appeals if given the death penalty.
"In prison there are programs I can start, and people I could help," she said.
"A few months before trial, my hair was past my waist, I donated it to Locks of Love," the organization that donates wigs to cancer patients, she said. "If I'm allowed to live in prison, I will continue to donate to that organization for the rest of my life."
She offered to teach her fellow inmates Spanish or American Sign Language, and to start a recycling program at the prison.
"Along the lines of literacy, I'd like to start a book club or a reading group, something that brings people together in a positive and constructive way," she said.
The jury began debating her fate Tuesday, and will continue their deliberations Wednesday.
The Breitling Top Time watch worn by Sean Connery in the 1965 James Bond film "Thunderball" was picked up at an English yard sale for just $38, and now it could fetch $100,000 at auction, according to The Telegraph.
Made by Breitling in 1962, it was adapted by the James Bond art department and was the only example produced for the movie. The watch was the first to be modified by the famous Q Branch and was equipped with a Geiger counter to help 007 detect radiation and find two NATO atomic bombs stolen by SPECTRE.
The whereabouts of the watch was unknown for decades until it was discovered by a British bargain hunter. It is believed a crew member at Pinewood Studios where the film was shot passed the watch along.
The small piece of cinema history will go under the hammer at Christie's in London next month, and has an estimated sale price of between $60,000 and $100,000.
In October last year, Christie's celebrated the 50th anniversary of 007 on film, with 50 Years of James Bond - The Auction. The auction raised nearly $2.5 million, which was donated to twelve charities including UNICEF, Barnardo's, Women for Women, Parkinson's UK and ChildLine.
McCarthy's skills as a leader were put to the test when she allegedly fired an extra for abusing a child.
According to TMZ, the 42-year-old actress noticed that an extra was unable to keep her child quiet during the shoot. After the mother's scolding proved to be a distraction on set, a source says that McCartney saw her "jerk" her child up in the air by the wrist.
"The director IMMEDIATELY had PAs bounce the woman ... saying she wouldn't tolerate abuse on her set ... and that was that," TMZ reported.
There's no word yet from McCarthy's camp.
"Tammy," a comedy about a woman on a road trip with her alcoholic grandmother, stars McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd and Kathy Bates. It's due in theaters in the summer of 2014.
Television personality and entertainment presenter Giuliana Rancic has already hosted Miss USA -- the pageant co-owned by Donald Trump -- twice. But Nick Jonas will join her as a co-host for the first time this June, NBC announced Tuesday.
"We are excited to announce a veteran and a newcomer as hosts for this year's MISS USA Competition," the Miss Universe Organization said in a statement, according to E! Online. "The diverse backgrounds of Rancic and Jonas in the entertainment industry will bring a new and exciting energy to the stage."
According to Idolator, the 20-year-old musician's two brothers will also join him on the Miss USA stage for a performance that should include material from their new album.
"My brothers and I have been working on an album for the last about seven, eight months now and we have just finished," Joe Jonas told Parade magazine in March.
"We’ve been able to incorporate a lot more instruments, and even Nick, used some of the electronic drums and what his computer can do. It's pretty phenomenal," he said.
Rancic, Nick Jonas and the Jonas Brothers all shared the news with their Twitter followers:
Exciting announcement... tinyurl.com/obj86m6— Giuliana Rancic (@GiulianaRancic) May 21, 2013
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer laughed off an awkward moment with an Oklahoma tornado victim named Rebecca on Tuesday. When Blitzer asked if Rebecca "thanked the Lord" for her family's survival, she admitted, "I'm actually an atheist."
The two laughed off Blitzer's assumption and Rebecca added, "We are here, and you know, I don't blame anyone for thanking the Lord."
A member of the Westboro Baptist Chuch, an extremist religious clan notorious for picketing the funerals of servicemen, Roger Ebert, and most recently, Boston Marathon victims, has linked the deadly Oklahoma tornado to Jason Collins' decision to come out. The 34-year-old NBA player recently made headlines by becoming the first openly gay athlete in a major American team sport.
Fred Phelps Jr., the son of Westboro's leader Fred Phelps, tweeted Monday that God "smashed" Oklahoma when Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant said he supported Collins.
"OK Thunder's Durant flips God by praising f** Collins. God smashes OK. You do the math," Phelps Jr., said.
"God's wonderful wrath in Oklahoma reminds me: #GodCursesUForF**Marriage #GodIsYourTerrorist #GodWillRepay #GodAvengesHisPeople #GodH8sU," he continued later.
This isn't the first time anyone has blamed severe weather on homosexuality. Christian chaplain John McTernan said in 2012 that Hurricane Sandy was caused by the "homosexual agendas" of both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
The "700 Club's" Pat Robertson made similarly controversial declarations about tornadoes last year. He said tornadoes occurred because Americans weren't praying enough.
"God didn't send the tornadoes," the televangelist said. "God set up a world in which certain currents interfere and interact with other currents. If enough people were praying, He would intervene. You could pray. Jesus stilled the storm. You could still storms.”
Christie Prody recently told "Inside Edition" that her ex-boyfriend O.J. Simpson was "very charming," but he often threatened her and compared her to Nicole Brown Simpson after he was famously acquitted of his ex-wife's murder.
Prody was 21 when she started dating the 46-year-old Simpson. The ex-NFL star had just been acquitted of Brown's murder, but often compared his new girlfriend to his ex-wife.
“I was young and so he could try to shape me, mold me, into what he wanted," Prody, now 38, alleged in the interview. She also said Simpson wanted her to dye her hair blonde to look more like Nicole.
“It was very hard to deal with that everyday, comparing me to Nicole. ‘Nicole did this, Nicole did that. You should do this, that’s what she did,'” Prody said, according to the The New York Post.
Prody, now 38, also claimed that Simpson threatened her.
“He would say things to me like, ‘You better watch out so something bad doesn’t happen to you like Nicole,'" she said.
Prody and Simpson ended their 12-year relationship in 2008, shortly after he was arrested for armed robbery in Las Vegas. He is now serving a 33-year prison sentence.
Maria Shriver filed for divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2011, after she discovered that the former governor of California had fathered a son with one of his household employees, Mildred Baena, and had had affairs with other women.
Though the separated couple have finalized the terms of the divorce, TMZ said Tuesday that neither Schwarzenegger nor Shriver are in a rush to make it official.
Some sources told the gossip site that that the two haven't divorced yet because it has no immediate impact on their lives. But other sources say that they're both holding out for a reconciliation.
Media outlets caught them kissing at a Beverly Hills event last month.
Schwarzenegger and Shriver managed to put aside their differences for the graduation of their daughter, Christina, over the weekend.