The Marine Corps birthday ball is a spectacle every year, a celebration of the military branch's founding more than 200 years ago. In recent years, some Marines have even tried to invite celebrities, such as actress Mila Kunis, who showed up as one Marine's date in 2011. This year, the newfound tradition goes on. Marine Lance Cpl. Jarrod Haschert asked his celebrity crush, the unstoppable mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey, to the upcoming Marine Corps 240th birthday ball with a video.
Rousey responded — with an enthusiastic yes in a video posted to the website TMZ.com, and no one was more surprised than Haschert himself.
"When it happened, I didn't know how to contain myself," Haschert said in a phone interview from his barracks at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he serves in 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, an infantry unit in which Haschert serves in the mortar section. In 2004, the battalion participated in the battle of Fallujah and has deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan in the last 15 years.
While Haschert hasn't talked to Rousey directly, he has been in touch with "her people." Originally she was worried about a scheduling conflict with an upcoming fight, but the fight was moved and now she is free and clear to partake in Marine Corps birthday activities.
Bono praises Europe's change of heart
U2 frontman Bono is applauding Europe's turnabout in accepting refugees. In an interview with Turin daily La Stampa, Bono said the image of little Aylan on the beach — and pictures of German children offering their toys to Syrian refugees — "will remain in the history of Europe." He was quoted as saying, "We might truly be at a turning point for what Europe wants to be in the 21st century." He praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying in a few short days she "has become a moral symbol for Europe." Bono was in Italy to kick off a European tour and participate in a U.N. event on ending world hunger.
advocacy: Prince William will make a rare speech on Chinese television to discuss the need to curb illegal wildlife trade. Palace officials said that William will record the speech in October for use on CCTV1, described as the station with the largest audience in China.
adjourned: A court hearing dealing with allegations that Johnny Depp's wife, Amber Heard, illegally brought the couple's dogs to Australia was adjourned until Nov. 2. Heard was charged in July with two counts of illegally importing Pistol and Boo into Australia and one count of producing a false document.