Rebel Wilson performs as Fat Amy of "Pitch Perfect" at the MTV Movie Awards / AP

The federal government is spending nearly a half a million dollars to find out why obese teenage girls have a hard time getting dates.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a $466,642 grant last week for the study, which will examine whether social skills have an impact on why obese girls have fewer dating experiences than their less obese counterparts.

White House Exempts Itself from Own Standard on Avoiding Civilian Deaths

Barack Obama

The White House announced that it will not follow strict standards imposed by President Barack Obama last year to avoid civilian deaths in its airstrikes when it comes to military operations in Syria and Iraq. The decision comes just weeks after the State Department said that it supports an investigation of Israel for committing war crimes for civilian casualties during its strikes in Gaza.

De Blasio Top Aide Noerdlinger Urged Retaliation Against Police Union

Rachel Noerdlinger

Rachel Noerdlinger, the controversial chief of staff to New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, once called for boycotts of a local police union and all of its supporters, a position that could cause more headaches for Mayor Bill de Blasio as he seeks to minimize the fallout over Noerdlinger’s relationship with a convicted killer who has made disparaging comments about the police.

China Detains Activists for Supporting Hong Kong Protests

Student protesters in Hong Kong / AP

Chinese authorities have detained or harassed dozens of activists this week who expressed support for the protests in Hong Kong, including some who simply posted messages of solidarity online.

The activist group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) reports that several Chinese dissidents were detained or questioned by police on Monday and Tuesday as the demonstrations in Hong Kong swelled.

De Blasio Top Aide Noerdlinger Urged Retaliation Against Police Union

Rachel Noerdlinger

Rachel Noerdlinger, the controversial chief of staff to New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray, once called for boycotts of a local police union and all of its supporters, a position that could cause more headaches for Mayor Bill de Blasio as he seeks to minimize the fallout over Noerdlinger’s relationship with a convicted killer who has made disparaging comments about the police.

White House Exempts Itself from Own Standard on Avoiding Civilian Deaths

Barack Obama

The White House announced that it will not follow strict standards imposed by President Barack Obama last year to avoid civilian deaths in its airstrikes when it comes to military operations in Syria and Iraq. The decision comes just weeks after the State Department said that it supports an investigation of Israel for committing war crimes for civilian casualties during its strikes in Gaza.

China Detains Activists for Supporting Hong Kong Protests

Student protesters in Hong Kong / AP

Chinese authorities have detained or harassed dozens of activists this week who expressed support for the protests in Hong Kong, including some who simply posted messages of solidarity online.

The activist group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) reports that several Chinese dissidents were detained or questioned by police on Monday and Tuesday as the demonstrations in Hong Kong swelled.