DC5m United States mix in english 1042 articles, created at 2017-01-24 08:06


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Senate confirms Rep. Mike Pompeo, Trump's pick to run the CIA (24.99/25)

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Monday confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the CIA, despite some Democratic objections that Rep. Mike Pompeo has been less than transparent about his positions on torture, surveillance and Russia’s meddling in the U. S. election.
The vote was 66-32. Pompeo was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on Monday evening.
Pompeo takes the helm at the nation’s top spy agency at a crucial time for U. S. national security as intelligence — traditionally a nonpartisan issue — has been thrust into the political arena. Trump has been critical of intelligence agencies after their assessment of Russian involvement to help him win the election while the new president also has said he is fully behind them.
Senate Republicans had hoped to vote on Pompeo’s nomination Friday, after Trump’s inauguration. But Democrats succeeded in stalling action until they could debate.
Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden on Monday said Pompeo was the “wrong man for the job.”
“He has endorsed extreme policies that would fundamentally erode liberties and freedoms of our people without making us safer,” Wyden said. He said Pompeo’s answers to questions from some senators have been “vague” and “contradictory,” making it impossible to know what Pompeo believes.
“I see no real commitment to transparency and his views on the most fundamental analysis of the day – the involvement of Russia in our election – seemed to shift with those of the president,” Wyden said.
In written responses to questions from the Senate, on Jan. 3, Pompeo said only that intelligence agency assessments in general should be taken seriously. After Trump conceded Russia was behind the campaign hacks, Pompeo on Jan. 12 told the Senate intelligence committee that particular assessment was “solid.”
“We need a CIA director who is direct about his beliefs and his assessments,” Wyden said.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N. C., chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said Democrats were playing politics in its efforts to delay and derail Trump’s choice to run the CIA.
One of Trump’s first stops as president was at the CIA’s headquarters in Northern Virginia on Saturday where he made a speech that focused more on falsely accusing the media of lying about how many people attended his inauguration than on the role the CIA plays protecting the U. S.
Standing in front of a memorial for fallen CIA agents Saturday, Trump assured intelligence officials, “I am so behind you.” He made no mention of his repeated criticism of the intelligence agencies following the election, including his public challenges of their high-confidence assessment that Russia meddled in the White House race to help him win.
In its final days, President Barack Obama’s administration announced intelligence findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election with the goal of getting Trump elected. Trump himself has denied most of the assessment, though eventually conceded Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic emails during the campaign.
Pompeo, a conservative Republican from Kansas and a member of the House intelligence committee, faced a mostly friendly confirmation hearing on Jan. 12.
He enrolled as a teenager at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and graduated first in his class in 1986. He served in the Army at a time when the Soviet Union was America’s No. 1 adversary.

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Rex Tillerson's secretary of state nomination clears key committee vote (14.99/25)

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday voted to advance ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson ’s nomination for secretary of state, a key step toward Tillerson’s confirmation in the full Senate.
Eleven members of the 21-member committee voted for Tillerson’s nomination, compared with ten who voted against it. The votes came down along party lines: all Republicans voted for Tillerson, while all Democrats on the committee voted against him.
His nomination will now go to a vote by the full Senate, where he needs just a simple majority of 50 votes to be confirmed to the post.
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Tillerson’s success in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote Monday afternoon is in large part due to announcements from three GOP senators who had initially expressed concerns about Tillerson.
On Sunday, Sens. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), two lawmakers who had been critical of Tillerson’s close ties to Russia, issued a joint statement saying they planned to support Tillerson. Neither is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but they are influential within the Senate and their support helps ensure Tillerson will get a majority on the Senate floor.
And on Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) announced on his Facebook page that he too would be supporting Tillerson’s nomination despite his reservations -- a move that all but ensured Tillerson’s vote would be
“Given the uncertainty that exists both at home and abroad about the direction of our foreign policy, it would be against our national interests to have this confirmation unnecessarily delayed or embroiled in controversy. Therefore, despite my reservations, I will support Mr. Tillerson’s nomination in committee and in the full Senate,” Rubio wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.
Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, grilled Tillerson during his hearing on issues ranging from whether Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal” to extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
Thus far, just two of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet secretaries have been confirmed: Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly .

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Minnesota Gov. Dayton, 69, collapses during speech (13.99/25)

Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed while delivering his State of the State speech on Monday, striking his head on a lectern. The 69-year-old Democrat appeared to be conscious as he was helped into a back room several minutes later, and a top staffer said he walked out of the Capitol under his own power.
Dayton's chief of staff Jaime Tincher said Dayton quickly recovered after fainting roughly 40 minutes into his annual address. Tincher said he was spending time with his son and grandson after a routine check by emergency medical technicians at his home.
She said he still plans to release a detailed budget proposal Tuesday morning.
Dayton's son Eric, who was watching the speech from the House gallery, tweeted that his father was with him and he was "doing great. " Eric Dayton also tweeted that the governor was doing "a very advanced puzzle" with his grandson Hugo, "so that has to be a good sign! "
Monday night's episode raises new questions about Dayton's health as he is about to turn 70 — his birthday is Thursday — and as he moves into his final two years in office facing a newly GOP-controlled Legislature. He is not seeking re-election.
Dayton was hospitalized in February 2016 after he fainted at a hot and crowded event. His office said at the time that he had been feeling pressure in his lower back — he had undergone elective back surgery the previous December — before he lost consciousness. Dayton spent just a day in the hospital, and said afterward he had been treated for dehydration.
In addition, a series of back and hip surgeries in recent years has left him with a permanent limp.
The governor fell about three-fourths of the way through his speech as he laid out the opening salvo in a brewing battle with Republican legislative majorities over where to bring the state after November's elections, including his proposal for a state-run public health care option for all Minnesota residents.
Dayton appeared to stumble as he first entered the House chamber, but joked it away, saying he should have attended the walkthrough. But he appeared to lose his place in his remarks roughly 40 minutes into his speech, trailing off in the middle of a sentence before pausing to take a long drink of water from a bottle he had below the lectern.
When he tried to resume his address, he spoke only a few slurred words before his shoulders appeared to shake and he crumbled behind the lectern, striking his head. A frantic voice could be heard over the microphone saying "get him to the ground. Get him to the ground please" as those around Dayton rushed to assist him.
Daudt and fellow Republican legislative leaders declined to comment on Dayton's speech, instead only offering their prayers for his health and safety.
"That's our whole focus right now, just praying for our governor," Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said.
Dayton is facing an all-Republican Legislature his final two years in office after the GOP took control of the Senate in November and added to their House majority.
Facing a unified GOP front for his final two years in office — Republicans took back control of the Senate and strengthened their House majority in November — Dayton has increasingly looked to the past as he seeks to cement his legacy.
Dayton entered office in 2011 facing a $6 billion budget deficit. After a stalemate with Republican majorities led to a 20-day government shutdown that year, he and Democrats united to control the Capitol in 2013. They raised taxes on the state's wealthiest earners, increased the minimum wage and legalized same-sex marriage.
The state has posted several years of surpluses, and the governor has pointed to that financial stability as a hallmark of his six years in office, insisting he'll safeguard against a return to painful budget shortfalls.
"In 2010, I campaigned for governor on the promise of a better Minnesota. Now, and two years from now, I expect to be judged by you, the people of Minnesota, on how well I have kept that promise," he said during his remarks. "In my first inaugural address, I promised that I would 'clean up the state's financial mess.' I have kept my word. "

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Ajit Pai, "'net neutrality" foe, picked to head FCC (13.99/25)

NEW YORK -- President Donald Trump has picked a fierce critic of the Obama-era “net neutrality” rules to be chief regulator of the nation’s airwaves and internet connections.
President Trump signed three executive orders on his first Monday in office, one of them on the U. S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnershi...
In a statement Monday, Ajit Pai said he was grateful to the president for his new role as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
He tweeted: “It is a deeply humbling honor.”
“There is so much we can do together to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans and to promote innovation and investment,” he said in another tweet .
“From broadband to broadcast, I believe in a 21st-century version of Jefferson’s 2nd Inaugural: we are all Republicans, we are all Democrats,” he added.
This afternoon, I was informed that @POTUS @realDonaldTrump designated me the 34th Chairman of the @FCC. It is a deeply humbling honor.
Pai had been one of the two Republican commissioners on a five-member panel that regulates the country’s communications infrastructure, including TV, phone and internet service.
There are currently just three members on the panel. The Republicans’ new majority is expected to help them roll back pro-consumer policies that upset many phone and cable industry groups, including net neutrality rules that bar internet service providers from favoring some websites and apps over others.
Also on Monday, President Trump signed three presidential memos. One withdraws the U. S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP); another reinstates the Mexico City Policy barring non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive federal funding from promoting abortion access; and a third freezes federal workforce hiring.

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Melania Trump, First Family settle at White House (13.99/25)

The Trumps are coming off their first weekend as the first family. After all the inauguration events, they started to settle at the White House. After a few rare appearances on the campaign trail, Melania Trump is stepping confidently into the spotlight. She made her debut as First Lady of the United States, she chose to wear American fashion designer Ralph Lauren. The outfit--drawing comparisons to Jacqueline Kennedy's inaugural look from 1961. The First Lady made her first remarks at an inaugural ball honoring the military. "I'm honored to be your First Lady," she said. On Saturday, she sent out the frist tweet from her FLOTUS account. First daughter Ivanka Trump looked more casual, watching her children as her husband Jared Kushner was sworn in. Donald Trump Jr. posted a video of his family bowling in the White House and a photo of his son Tristan enjoying a White House lunch in his pajamas. "One thing that is a common denominator for all first families and particularly first ladies, especially to not let this pressure of being a young child in the White House change their lives too dramatically," said Anita McBride, former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Buch. Mrs. Trump is starting the week in New York with her son Barron. She has chosen to live there for at least the rest of the school year. She is only the second foreign-born First Lady in U. S. history.

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Did Sasha And Malia Write Barron Trump A Farewell Letter? If So, What Would It Say? (13.99/25)

If Sasha and Malia Obama wrote Barron Trump a farewell letter, it’s being kept on the down low. If the former First Daughters wrote the new First Son a goodbye note, what would Malia and Sasha say?
Sasha Obama and Malia Obama are just days removed from the White House. For the last eight years, Barack and Michelle Obama’s daughters called 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home — just like other presidential children have.
Watch the Bush sisters read their heartfelt letter to Malia and Sasha Obama:
— Southern Living (@Southern_Living) January 14, 2017
the pictures of sasha and malia's first visit to the white house are adorable
— georgia (@lemonadenormani) January 15, 2017
They applauded Malia and Sasha for remaining together and strong through the rigors political life has to offer.
“Now you are about to join another rarified club, one of former First Children — a position you didn’t seek and one with no guidelines. But you have so much to look forward to. You will be writing the story of your lives, beyond the shadow of your famous parents, yet you will always carry with you the experiences of the past eight years.”
George and Laura Bush’s daughters bid the Obama sisters farewell and with the promise that they and the world will be “rooting for them.” Malia must have gotten the memo: The day after she and her family ended their term, news broke that Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, hired the elder Obama daughter.
The burning question is this: Did Malia Obama and Sasha Obama follow in their predecessors’ footsteps and pen Barron a farewell letter? Presidents have taken part in the tradition: Obama wrote Trump and Bush penned the 44th POTUS a letter on the day of his inauguration in 2009. There are no reports that the girls kept things in motion, but what would the letter contain?
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— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 23, 2017
My best guess is that Sasha and Malia would have modeled the letter behind the two they received as parting gestures. Like the Bush daughters, they would write how exciting his journey is going to be and where some of the best places to hide are in the sprawling compound. Sasha and Malia would probably advise Barron to get to know the staff members who will sneak goodies to him when mom and pop are busy with their respective duties. The letter from Sasha and Malia to Barron Trump would talk about how he will probably feel lonely at times when his parents are preoccupied with the problems of the world that are sure to happen.
George W. Bush’s daughters offer Sasha and Malia Obama advice on life –
— Kichuu (@kichuu24) January 13, 2017
Sasha Obama and Malia Obama know how the world can be toxic and downright unfriendly on occasion. They know firsthand how their father was the constant target of criticism from the right and left, from liberals to radicals and from rich to poor. The farewell letter to Barron would likely warn the 10-year-old that, despite the rancor at times, there are times when only he will hear rhapsodic hymns, the music of childhood.
Finally, Malia and Obama’s letter to First Son Barron Trump would likely encourage him to smile with unflappable strength in the tough days ahead and advise him to embrace the moment in history that is priceless and boundless in what the future offers. Like the Bush daughters, Sasha and Malia will likely be rooting for Barron.
[Featured images by Tasos Katopodis/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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Senate panel narrowly backs Tillerson for top diplomat (12.99/25)

Washington — Rex Tillerson’s bid to be secretary of state narrowly won approval Monday from the Republican-led Foreign Relations Committee, a move that all but assures the full Senate will confirm President Donald Trump’s pick for the key Cabinet post.
Members of the panel voted along party lines, 11-10, to back Tillerson following a contentious confirmation hearing nearly two weeks ago that stoked concerns he might not win the panel’s recommendation. But just hours before members cast their votes, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., declared his support for Tillerson, backing off from a challenge to the new president.
Rubio said that despite serious reservations about Tillerson, particularly over his views on Russia, he believed a president was entitled to significant deference in assembling his Cabinet.
None of the committee’s 10 Democrats voted for Tillerson. They cited concerns Tillerson would continue to view the world through the lens of a corporate executive and not the nation’s chief diplomat.
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the panel’s top Democrat, said Tillerson “equivocated” during his confirmation hearing on questions about human rights, civil society and press and religious freedoms, and repeatedly prioritized “narrow business interests ahead of these core national security interests.”
Every nominee for the job going back at least four decades has been approved by overwhelming votes from both sides in the Foreign Relations Committee, as senators have traditionally wanted to deliver a bipartisan display of confidence to the nation’s top diplomat. No other nominee since 1977 has received more than two “no” votes from the committee.
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the committee’s Republican chairman, said he has “no doubt” Tillerson is well-qualified, citing his leadership of the energy giant. Corker chided his colleagues who had demanded information about Tillerson’s personal taxes, saying the material had been used to ask “silly, silly questions.”
Corker also criticized unnamed lawmakers who held Tillerson responsible for comments Trump made during the presidential campaign or during his inauguration speech.
“To me, Mr. Tillerson is an adult who’s been around,” said Corker, adding that Tillerson can be a “very good anchor” on issues that Congress cares about.
Rubio announced he would vote for Tillerson in a statement posted on Facebook. “Despite my reservations, I will support Mr. Tillerson’s nomination in committee and in the full Senate,” said Rubio, who’d come under strong pressure from fellow Republicans to back the nomination and avoid dealing Trump an embarrassing setback in the early days of his presidency.
Rubio had clashed with Tillerson at a committee hearing earlier this month, bridling at his refusal to label Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” and his failure to condemn human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and the Philippines in strong enough terms. He chided Tillerson over the need for “moral clarity.” But in the end, after unsuccessfully opposing Trump for the GOP nomination last year before coming around to support him, Rubio decided to fall in line this time, too.
His statement came after the nomination got a boost Sunday from two influential Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who also offered tepid endorsements for Tillerson. Like Rubio, McCain and Graham had voiced concerns in light of Tillerson’s long history of personal dealings with Putin, his record of doing oil deals in Russia and his questioning of the U. S. sanctions on that country.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said he was encouraged by several of Tillerson’s public stances, including “his clear-eyed understanding of the threat posed by Putin’s Russia” and his commitment to NATO. But Coons said the differences on key issues between himself and Tillerson outweighed the similarities.
“I believe that climate change is a pressing national security threat,” Coons said. “I believe that advocating for human rights, a free press, and democracy around the world advances our own security and economic interests here at home.”
Further roiling the debate is U. S. intelligence’s assessment that Russia meddled in the presidential election to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
Even while announcing his support for Tillerson, Rubio laid out a series of concerns in his statement Monday.
“Despite his extensive experience in Russia and his personal relationship with many of its leaders, he claimed he did not have sufficient information to determine whether Putin and his cronies were responsible for ordering the murder of countless dissidents, journalists and political opponents,” Rubio said of Tillerson. “He indicated he would support sanctions on Putin for meddling in our elections only if they met the impossible condition that they not affect U. S. businesses operating in Russia.”

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Sean Spicer's marathon first White House briefing: Lots of questions, few fireworks (10.99/25)

But it was a half hour before Spicer was finally asked to confront the gorilla in the briefing room.
Jon Karl of ABC News had a question about the "nature" of Spicer's new job in the wake of the press secretary's angry, error-filled statement over the weekend, when he upbraided members of the media for reporting accurately on the size of the crowd at President Donald Trump's inauguration.
"Is it your intention," Karl asked, "to always tell the truth from that podium and will you pledge to never knowingly say something that is not factual? "
Spicer said he does intend to be truthful on the job and, over the course of a nearly 10-minute exchange with Karl, owned up to telling at least one falsehood during his statement on Saturday. It was wrong, Spicer conceded Monday, to claim that more people used the Washington, D. C. Metro on the day of Trump's inauguration than on the day President Obama was sworn in four years ago.
Karl was the eighth reporter called on at Spicer's first official White House press briefing, a lengthy but civil affair that stood in contrast to the combative posture taken by Trump and his team over the weekend. But the briefing still provided a glimpse at the administration's new approach to media relations.
In fact, before he even took questions, Spicer revealed a change in the White House's dealings with the media, announcing there will be four "Skype seats" at the briefings designated for reporters who do not live in the Washington, D. C. area.
Spicer then started by calling on the New York Post's Daniel Halper, breaking with a tradition to give the first question to the Associated Press.
The author of "Clinton, Inc.," a book critical of the Clintons, Halper asked about the Trump administration's plans to build a wall on the U. S.-Mexico border and enforcement of the Affordable Care Act mandate. Halper was one of at least three reporters from Rupert Murdoch-owned properties to get a question on Monday. John Roberts and Blake Burman, of Fox News and Fox Business respectively, were also called on.
Ditto for Trey Yingst, the White House correspondent for One America News, a small, conservative cable channel. Yingst, the 11th reporter to pose a question to Spicer on Monday, was also called on at Trump's first post-election press conference earlier this month.
But Spicer, who took questions from 43 reporters over the course of 79 minutes, did not shun outlets that have clashed with the president either. The third question of Monday's briefing went to Janet Rodriguez of Univision, the Spanish language giant that rankled Trump throughout the presidential campaign.
Spicer later called on Jennifer Bendery of The Huffington Post, the liberal website that for months throughout the 2016 race ran a disclaimer on all Trump-related stories calling the president "a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther. " Bendery was the only reporter at the briefing to ask Spicer a question pertaining to climate change.
Spicer also granted a question to CNN's Jim Acosta, the White House correspondent who had a testy exchange with Trump at this month's press conference.
Acosta, who was called on about an hour after the briefing began, brought the discussion back to the debate over the inauguration crowd size.
"Why make this crowd size issue something to talk about at all? " Acosta asked. "Why get into it? "
Spicer said it was "not just about a crowd size," which he asserted earlier in the briefing was the largest to witness an inauguration in-person and on television combined.
Related: Reality Check: How many people really watched Trump's inauguration?
Repeating his pledge on Saturday to hold journalists accountable, Spicer complained that the press was too hard on Trump and had failed to recognize what he said were sacrifices made by the president.
"The default narrative is always negative and it's demoralizing," Spicer said.

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Donald Trump orders freeze on federal civilian hiring (10.73/25)

President Trump ordered a freeze in federal civilian hiring Monday and hinted at even bigger changes to come, as he took quick early action to make good on his campaign promise to cut the size of government.
In a striking memo, the White House said not only has the government grown too quickly, but it hinted that employees are overpaid compared to the private sector — a conclusion that could signal future efforts to take on the massive and powerful federal bureaucracy.
Mr. Trump is reportedly looking to cut $10 trillion from projected federal spending over the next decade.
For now, though, the president started off small, forbidding managers from filling empty jobs or creating any new positions, unless there’s an overwhelming security need. He also ordered the Office of Management and Budget to come up with a more permanent attrition plan by the end of April.
“The symbolism of the freeze is important,” said Chris Edwards, editor of “ Trump wants to show that there is a ‘new sheriff in town’ who wants to handle the federal workforce differently.”
The Congressional Budget Office last month estimated the government could save $50 billion over a decade if it imposed a three-to-one attrition freeze, hiring just one new employee for every three employees that leave. Mr. Trump ’s freeze differs from the plan the CBO scored, going even further in limiting new hires.
CBO analysts said some agencies could handle the freeze without hurting their services. They said the federal workforce has become somewhat bloated with managers and supervisors whose jobs could be cut.
But the analysts also said federal employees are already under strain, with the total workforce about the same size as it was 20 years ago, even though the number of people the government serves has grown.
Democrats in Congress said federal workers have born the brunt of budget cuts in recent years, and said a hiring freeze will only make things worse.
“If President Trump had any experience with leadership in public service, he would know that our federal government cannot serve the American people without its talented, driven federal employees,” said Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat.
American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr. said a hiring freeze won’t just hurt Washington, but will sock communities across the country where federal employees work.
“This hiring freeze will mean longer lines at Social Security offices, fewer workplace safety inspections, less oversight of environmental polluters, and greater risk to our nation’s food supply and clean water systems,” he said.
He also said cutting the number of federal workers will force the government to hire contractors, who he said end up costing as much as three times the price of a federal worker.
Mr. Trump , though, forbade the use of contractors to circumvent the new freeze.
The White House , in explaining the new order, said the federal workforce has grown from 1.8 million civilian employees during the Clinton administration to 2.1 million workers last year, all of them earning “generous” compensation packages such as pensions that have been ditched by the private sector for cost savings.
“We’ve got to respect the American taxpayer,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in detailing the hiring freeze.
The White House initially called the action an executive order, but the document Mr. Trump signed was actually labeled a presidential memorandum.
Mr. Edwards said the freeze should not be considered a radical move, saying private companies regularly go through cycles of workforce contraction.
“Until Trump and his team figure out exactly what budget reforms they want, a short-term freeze makes sense. Why fill empty slots at a bureau if the new administration later decides that it wants to freeze or downsize spending on the bureau?” he said.

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Mexico leader lays out points for talks with Trump (9.99/25)

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Monday his government is prepared to negotiate with U. S. President Donald Trump if Mexico's national sovereignty is respected.
Pena Nieto gave a speech detailing what Mexico's baseline negotiating points would be, including economic integration, respect for the rights of migrants and the money they send home.
Those remittances amount to about $25 billion annually and have become a major source of foreign revenue for the country. Trump had originally suggested that the U. S. might retain some of that money to help pay for a wall between the countries, a project he says Mexico will pay for but which Mexico opposes.
Pena Nieto sought to chart a middle course.
"Neither confrontation nor submission. Dialogue is the solution," he said.
Pena Nieto said over the weekend that he has talked with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the North American Free Trade Agreement ahead of a planned Jan. 31 meeting with Trump.
Trump has pledged to renegotiate the three-nation trade agreement and slap tariffs on imports.
Pena Nieto's office said that during Sunday's conversation, Trudeau and the Mexican president "spoke about the importance of the United States for both countries, and agreed to join forces to continue promoting the economic integration of North America. "
Trump announced Monday that he's set up meetings with Trudeau and Pena Nieto, saying "We're going to start some negotiations having to do with NAFTA. "
Mexico's manufacturing sector has benefited from NAFTA, but Trump claims it has displaced U. S. jobs.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump "has already spoken to both the president of Mexico and the prime minister of Canada about his desire to renegotiate, and as he meets with both of these individuals over the next 30 days or so, that is going to be a topic. "
"If they come in and express their willingness to do that, you could negotiate it in the current parameters and update it through the existing structure," Spicer said. "If they don't, and decide to pull out, we will have to go back to the drawing table in the future. "

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California confirms Trump opponent as attorney general (8.99/25)

Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif. during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Associated Press
Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 | 6:10 p.m.
SACRAMENTO — In their first official action since Donald Trump became president, California lawmakers on Monday confirmed a new attorney general who has vowed to defend the state's liberal policies against the Trump administration and a Republican Congress.
Xavier Becerra easily cleared the final hurdle to become the state's top law enforcement official, with a 26-9 vote along party lines in the Democratic-controlled state Senate. Becerra, who represented the Los Angeles area in the U. S. House for more than two decades, will be the state's first Latino attorney general.
Democrats said Becerra will fight to defend California's protections for the gay and lesbian community, women and immigrants.
"He will be a very strong partner for our state to work with the federal government when we can and to resist when we must," said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat.
Some Republicans said they voted against him because of his promise to challenge federal policies. Republican Sen. John Moorlach of Costa Mesa says he's worried Becerra will jeopardize billions of dollars in federal funding by antagonizing the Trump administration.
Democrats in the Assembly approved Becerra's confirmation earlier this month. Becerra worked as a deputy attorney general for three years before winning an Assembly seat in 1990.
He will replace Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U. S. Senate in November.
Many of California's liberal policies face an uncertain future amid promises by Trump and Republican lawmakers to overhaul the nation's health care, immigration and climate change laws.
"Our state has the law, the grit and the guts to fight for hardworking families," Becerra told lawmakers at a hearing earlier this month, later adding, "I think the best defense is a good offense. "
The day of Trump's inauguration, the White House was already at odds with the country's most populous state over climate change policy. The White House website said Friday that Trump planned to stop former President Barack Obama's climate action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
The same day, California regulators plowed ahead with their own climate change goals, releasing a 157-page plan to reach a target of a 40 percent reduction in emissions from 1990 levels by 2030.
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has called Becerra "battle-tested" from his time in a polarized Congress and said his experience will serve him well in defending California's policies.
In addition to confirming Becerra, Legislative leaders have taken their own steps to challenge the new White House administration. The day after Trump was elected president, de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon issued a joint statement rejecting Trump's campaign message.
"While Donald Trump may have won the presidency, he hasn't changed our values," they said. "We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution. "
Earlier this month, they hired former U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder to advise them on a legal strategy as they prepare to clash with the Trump administration. Holder's firm will be paid $25,000 a month plus expenses from the Legislature's budget to help lawmakers develop strategies "regarding potential actions of the federal government that may be of concern to the state of California," according to the contract with Holder.

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Senate Confirms Trump's Pick to Run the CIA
Becerra on his way to becoming first Latino California attorney general
US Senate confirms Pompeo to be Trump's CIA director
California lawmakers confirm Xavier Becerra as state attorney general
The Latest: California lawmakers confirm attorney general


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The Latest: Trump repeats unproven claim of illegal votes (8.64/25)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local): 9 p.m. President Donald Trump is telling House and Senate leaders he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 election if not for the votes of 3 million to 5 million immigrants living in the country illegally. There is no evidence to support Trump's claim. Trump made the assertion at a meeting with congressional leaders Monday night. That's according to a Democratic aide familiar with the exchange, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting. The Washington Post first reported the conversation. Trump has made the unverified claims before, tweeting in late November that he had "won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally. " Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes but lost the Electoral College to Trump. - By Erica Werner ___ 5:50 p.m. President Donald Trump is meeting with congressional leaders in the White House as he starts his first week as president. Trump was joined by Republican and Democratic congressional leaders from the House and Senate during a reception in the State Dining Room. The reception also included Vice President Mike Pence, top Trump aides Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is Trump's senior adviser. Trump was speaking to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and others as reporters were ushered from the reception. Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional leaders are having a dinner later Monday to discuss health care. ___ 3:30 p.m. President Donald Trump is telling union leaders that he is redoing the nation's trade deals "to put a lot of people back to work. " Trump convened a meeting of about a dozen labor leaders Monday at the White House. He noted that he earlier in the day signed a memorandum announcing the United States' intention to withdraw from the multi-nation trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump also said he would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement "at the appropriate time" and said he wanted future deals to be between just two countries. The president repeated his campaign criticism of the current agreements, saying it was "inconceivable this was allowed to happen. " He has blamed the trade deals for a decline in American manufacturing jobs. ___ 3:10 p.m. Donald Trump's press secretary has reiterated the president's support for energy projects like the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline. Sean Spicer didn't say Monday whether Trump would seek to reverse the Army's decision to explore alternate routes for the $3.8 billion project to move North Dakota oil to a shipping point in Illinois. But he described projects like Dakota Access as "a big priority. " The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters say the pipeline threatens drinking water and Native American cultural sites. Developer Energy Transfer Partners - which Trump once owned stock in - disputes that. The pipeline is nearly complete but stalled while the Army Corps of Engineers does a full environmental study before deciding whether to allow it to cross the Missouri River in North Dakota. ___ 3 p.m. President Donald Trump will visit the Department of Defense Friday to review the anti-Islamic State policy. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that the president will visit the Pentagon to attend a ceremony for his newly confirmed defense secretary, retired Gen. James Mattis. He says that Trump will also hold discussions with Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review the fight against the Islamic State group. The U. S. has nearly 5,000 soldiers taking part in the anti-IS coalition in Iraq, as well as special forces in both Iraq and Syria. __ 2:46 p.m. The Trump administration is vowing to defend territories that are in international waters, including those in the South China Sea. Responding to a question about China's claims over islands in the disputed area, press secretary Sean Spicer says that "we are going to make sure we defend international territories. " China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves. Trump ruffled feathers with China early after his Election Day victory, calling the leader of Taiwan and breaking the longstanding tradition of maintaining unofficial ties with the self-governing island. __ 2:45 p.m. White House spokesman Sean Spicer says President Donald Trump has left his businesses as promised, but another aide acknowledges there's no public documentation proving he's done so. Spicer's comments come after the news organization ProPublica reported there have been no filings in Florida, Delaware or New York showing that Trump has handed over control of his global business empire to his two adult sons. Trump announced his plans to do so at a Jan. 11 news conference. Spicer looked to communication aide Hope Hicks when asked about the issue at Monday's press briefing. Hicks said the documents showing the change of management are "not public at this time. " __ 2:38 p.m. The Trump administration appears to be backing off a campaign promise to immediately end former President Barack Obama's program to protect young immigrants from deportation. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says that for now the administration will focus on criminal immigrants in the country illegally. Spicer says in his first press briefing that "for now, that's not... the focus is going to be on people who have done harm to our country. " He had been asked about the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA has protected more 750,000 young immigrants from deportation and offered those same immigrants work permits. Spicer says Trump is instead focused on enforcement efforts on criminal immigrants and those who have overstayed their visas. __ 2:33 p.m. White House press secretary Sean Spicer says the Trump administration is continuing to build out a White House Spanish-language website but it remains a "priority" to get it back online. Spicer was asked during his first White House press briefing about the recent closing of Spanish-language social media accounts since Trump's inauguration. Spicer says "we've got the IT folks working overtime" to get the website back online along with issue areas on the site. __ 2:25 p.m. White House press secretary Sean Spicer is saying the Trump administration's "intention is never to lie to you. " Spicer faced questions Monday during his first briefing after his angry statement in which he denounced the media's correct reporting that the crowd at Trump's inauguration was smaller than at his predecessor's eight years ago. Spicer said "sometimes we may disagree" about facts and said he wanted to have a "healthy relationship" with the White House press corps. He added that "if we make a mistake, we'll do our best to correct" it. The press secretary said he was given incorrect information about Washington Metro's ridership when he addressed the issue Saturday but insisted that, when TV and online viewership are combined, that it was the most-watched inaugural in history. ___ 2:20 p.m. The Trump administration says it is willing to partner with Moscow to combat the Islamic State group. In his first daily White House press briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that President Donald Trump has been "very clear" that he will "work with any country committed to defeating ISIS. " He says the administration will work "with Russia or anyone else" to defeat the militant group, either on a military front, or an economic front. The president has vowed that he'll defeat the al-Qaida offshoot "quickly" when he takes office, though he has not provided specifics on his plans for U. S. military efforts in Iraq and Syria. The U. S. and Russia have been at odds over Russian-backed Syrian military action in Aleppo. ___ 2:07 p.m. President Donald Trump will be hosting breakfast at the White House with heads of some of the nation's largest automobile manufacturers. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that Trump would host executives at Ford, GM and Chrysler the following day. Trump had made creating American manufacturing jobs a centerpiece of the early days of his term and spoke frequently during the campaign of calling for car manufactures to keep their plants in the United States. Spicer did not reveal the specific agenda for the meeting. __ 2:02 p.m. The White House is moving forward with plans to give what it describes as a more "diverse group of journalists" a chance to ask questions at briefings. Press Secretary Sean Spicer says in his first White House press conference that, beginning later this week, the White House will designate four "Skype seats" in the White House briefing room. The idea is to provide an opportunity to ask question to a more diverse group of outlets that may not have the resources to hire a Washington correspondent. The new administration has been discussing a series of potential changes to press operations. Trump has long had a contentious relationship with the press. ___ 1:56 p.m. President Donald Trump has told Egypt's president that he will continue providing military assistance to his country. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that Trump and President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi discussed ways to deepen the bilateral relationship between the two countries, fight terrorism and boost Egypt's struggling economy. The two leaders also discussed having el-Sissi visit the White House in the future. Egypt is the second largest recipient of U. S. military aid. __ 12:30 p.m. The Pentagon has held its first news briefing since Defense Secretary James Mattis was sworn in on Friday. A spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, on Monday described several of Mattis' first activities as Pentagon chief but declined to discuss any policy issues. That includes potential changes in the U. S. approach to fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, which President Donald Trump has singled out as a priority. Davis said Mattis has made retired Navy Rear Adm. Kevin M. Sweeney his chief of staff and Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller his senior military assistant. The spokesman said Mattis would be meeting with the military service chiefs and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Joseph Dunford, on Tuesday, and had conducted a phone conversation with his Canadian counterpart. ___ 12: 15 p.m. President Donald Trump calls a lawsuit filed Monday against him "without merit, totally without merit. " Ethics attorneys are suing him for allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments in violation of the emoluments clause of the U. S. Constitution. The lawsuit was filed Monday in the Southern District of New York by the liberal-funded watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Trump says he has handed over control of his global real estate and licensing empire to his two adult sons. But he is retaining his financial stake in the business even while in the White House, a break from the tradition of previous presidents to divest. Trump made the comments in response to a reporter's question after he signed his first few executive orders in the Oval Office. __ 11:59 a.m. President Donald Trump is signing a memorandum that freezes hiring for some federal government workers as a way to reduce payrolls and rein in the size of the federal workforce. Trump's directive is fulfilling one of his campaign promises. He tells reporters that members of the military will be exempted from the hiring freeze. The new president has vowed to take on the federal bureaucracy and the action could be the first step in an attempt to curtail government employment. The memorandum signed by Trump's is similar to one that President George W. Bush signed at the start of his administration in 2001. __ 11:55 a.m. President Donald Trump is reinstating a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option. The regulation has been something of a political football, instituted by Republican administrations and rescinded by Democratic ones since 1984. Most recently, President Barack Obama ended the ban in 2009. Trump signed it one day after the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States, the date which is traditionally when presidents take action on the policy. The policy also prohibits taxpayer funding for groups that lobby to legalize abortion or promote it as a family planning method. __ 11:50 a.m. President Donald Trump is signing a memorandum to leave the proposed Pacific Rim trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The move is basically a formality, since the agreement had yet to receive required Senate ratification. Trade experts say that approval was unlikely to happen given voters' anxiety about trade deals and the potential for job losses. Trump called the move "a great thing for the American workers" It remains unclear if Trump would seek individual deals with the 11 other nations in TPP- a group that represents roughly 13.5 percent of the global economy, according to World Bank figures. Trump has blamed past trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and China's entrance into the World Trade Organization for a decline in U. S. factory jobs. __ 11:05 a.m. President Donald Trump has tasked a group of top business leaders with coming up with a series of actions to help stimulate the American manufacturing sector. Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow Chemical, says Trump has given them 30 days to come up a plan. Trump met Monday morning with a group of top manufacturing leaders, including Elon Musk, the head of SpaceX, and the executives from Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, among others. Mark Fields of the Ford Motor Company says he left the meeting confident Trump will work to create jobs. ___ 10:30 a.m. President Donald Trump is planning to nominate Heather Wilson as secretary of the Air Force. A White House statement said Monday that Wilson, a former New Mexico congresswoman and president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, would be the first Air Force Academy graduate to hold the position, if confirmed. Wilson served in Congress from 1998 to 2009, where she was a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and chaired the House Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. She also served on the House Armed Services Committee. __ 10:20 a.m. President Donald Trump is speaking with the Egyptian president. Trump and President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi were scheduled to speak Monday morning. The details of the call have not yet been made public. Trump and el-Sissi have already shown a certain bond. Trump said there was "good chemistry" when they met on the sidelines of the U. N. General Assembly in September. El-Sissi said Trump would "without a doubt" make a strong leader and said he believes Trump will be "vigorously engaged" with issues in the Middle East. __ 9:35 a.m. President Donald Trump is vowing to cut taxes on his first official business day in office. The newly-inaugurated president told business leaders Monday that he wants to lower taxes for the middle class and for companies to "anywhere from 15 to 25 percent," down from 35 percent. He told the business leaders that the deal is contingent upon keeping business operations inside the United States: "All you have to do is stay. Don't leave. Don't fire your people in the United States. " One of the campaign promises Trump listed on his website was to "reform the entire regulatory code to ensure that we keep jobs and wealth in America. " __ 9:30 a.m. President Donald Trump is opening what his team has dubbed "Day One" of his presidency by meeting with business leaders in the White House. Trump said Monday there will "be advantages" to companies that make their products in the United States and suggested he will impose a "substantial border tax" on foreign goods entering the country. The president also repeated a campaign promise to cut regulations "by 75 percent, maybe more. " Trump hosted the breakfast with about a dozen leaders in the Roosevelt Room. Among those in attendance were Kevin Plank of Under Armour, Elon Musk of Tesla, Marilyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin and Mario Longhi of US Steel. Trump suggested he wanted to hold these meetings quarterly. ___ 3:20 a.m. President Donald Trump is meeting with congressional leaders from both parties to discuss his agenda, as he enters his first official week in the White House and works to begin delivering on his ambitious campaign promises. Trump says he considers Monday to be his first real day in office. And he's packing it with meetings that suggest he's keeping an open ear. There's a breakfast and what the White House calls a listening session with business leaders in the morning; another listening session with union leaders and workers in the afternoon; and a reception later on with members of Congress he'll need on board to overhaul the nation's health care system, among other goals. He'll also hold his first meeting as president with the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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What Does Trump's 'Day of Patriotic Devotion' Really Mean? (8.54/25)

You could be forgiven for forgetting the National Day of Patriotic Devotion—technically, it happened before it was ever declared. Donald Trump established it with a stroke of a pen sometime after his inauguration; the official proclamation appeared Monday in the Federal Register.
That bit isn’t all that unusual. Presidents christen National Days Of Things all the time. President Barack Obama, for example, proclaimed the day of his own inauguration in 2009 a “National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation,” calling “upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking this Nation for our new century.” He annually declared September 11 to be “Patriot Day.” But “Patriotic Devotion” strikes a different note—flowery, vaguely compulsory.
Here’s the proclamation:
A new national pride stirs the American soul and inspires the American heart. We are one people, united by a common destiny and a shared purpose.
Freedom is the birthright of all Americans, and to preserve that freedom we must maintain faith in our sacred values and heritage.
Our Constitution is written on parchment, but it lives in the hearts of the American people. There is no freedom where the people do not believe in it; no law where the people do not follow it; and no peace where the people do not pray for it.
There are no greater people than the American citizenry, and as long as we believe in ourselves, and our country, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2017, as National Day of Patriotic Devotion, in order to strengthen our bonds to each other and to our country -- and to renew the duties of Government to the people.
It’s hard to imagine Trump tweeting: “A new national pride stirs the American soul” in one of his tweets. It sounds more like the language of his inaugural address, which the administration has insisted Trump wrote himself, but which was reportedly actually written by former Breitbart News head Steve Bannon and senior adviser Stephen Miller.
The proclamation speaks of the need to “strengthen our bonds to each other and to our country.” That parallels this section from his speech on Friday:
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.
Presidential proclamations can go over the top. Those who felt a shiver of discomfort reading Trump’s florid prose should remember that Bill Clinton sounded similarly grandiose when declaring, say, Irish-American Heritage Month. (Barack Obama, on the other hand, kept his proclamations relatively conversational.)
But it’s not the words that are jarring. It’s the sentiment, which seems out of step with what the president himself usually says. Trump is an individualist; his books and speeches largely center on the ability of one person—often him—to do stuff. When he talks about America as a whole, it’s usually in the frame of his “movement,” which of course reflects back on him.
The proclamation instead focuses on America as a national community —and sounds much more like Bannon. He’s said that America is more than an economy, it’s a “civic society” —implying that the number of successful immigrants in Silicon Valley poses a threat to that. When the proclamation declares that Americans must “maintain faith in our sacred values and heritage,” it’s hard to tell whether it’s a banal sentiment, or an echo of the more troubling rumbles of white-identity politics.
And like his inaugural speech, Trump’s proclamation is devoid of history. He does offer a mention of the Constitution. But while Obama often tried to broaden what it means to be an American by weaving the traditional veneration of the Founding Fathers together with other moments of American triumph, such as the civil-rights movement, Trump leaves what “patriotism” means up to interpretation. That, and the fact that the proclamation was timed to his own inauguration, led critics to suggest it means devotion to Trump himself, the defender of those “sacred values and heritage,” the rightful successor to a president whose legitimacy he never really stopped questioning.
“Patriotic Devotion” is itself a phrase with a decidedly martial ring. The last president to declare a Day of Patriotic Devotion was Woodrow Wilson , marking the enactment of a draft for World War One. In 1943, when Congress attempted to establish December 7 as a day to recognize the “patriotic devotion” of members of the armed forces, FDR vetoed the bill. “I think that a more suitable date can be selected for this purpose,” he wrote .
The president’s critics felt much the same about his decision to declare his own inauguration a holiday. If, as the proclamation declared, its intent was “ to strengthen our bonds to each other,” it ended up having the opposite effect—serving as one more point of division.

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Trump's spokesman promises reporters 'never to lie' (8.49/25)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's press secretary promised reporters on Monday that he would never lie after a weekend briefing in which he made statements about the crowd size for Trump's inauguration that were debunked. ...

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Lawmakers admonish ethics official over tweets about Trump (7.96/25)

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers from both parties on Monday admonished a federal ethics official who sent a series of tweets commenting on President Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest.
Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said the tweets by Walter Shaub Jr., director of the Office of Government Ethics, were inappropriate and could compromise the agency’s objectivity.
In tweets sent in November, Shaub congratulated Trump for agreeing to divest from his business — an agreement Trump had not yet made. Shaub later issued a scathing review of Trump’s plan to turn over control of his business to his sons.
Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah called Shaub’s Jan. 11 comments “highly unethical” and summoned Shaub to a closed-door meeting. Chaffetz and committee Democrats met with Shaub for more than an hour Monday, an unusual meeting prompted by Republicans’ frustration with the ethics office and its operations — rather than Trump.
The OGE is responsible for ensuring that members of the new administration are avoiding potential conflicts of interest.
Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel’s senior Democrat, said lawmakers from both parties were troubled by Shaub’s initial “bravo” tweets, sent soon after Trump was elected president.
“When he did that, it didn’t seem professional,” Cummings said.
Walter M. Shaub Jr., director of the U. S. Office of Government Ethics, arrives for a scheduled meeting with the leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Chaffetz said he and other lawmakers told Shaub they were frustrated by the tweets, calling them unproductive and distracting.
“I don’t think it solves the challenge. It’s not their role,” Chaffetz said, adding that he believes Shaub received the bipartisan message at Monday’s meeting.
Asked if he has confidence in Shaub, Chaffetz said: “I think we better understand each other.”
Shaub called the meeting productive and said lawmakers were “candid” in their remarks. “I think it was extremely useful,” he said.
Despite the bipartisan tone, Cummings said he remains concerned that Trump has not done enough to comply with ethics requirements. He noted that Shaub told lawmakers the ethics office has not yet received documents Trump brought to a Jan. 11 news conference announcing his plan to address possible conflicts of interest.
Cummings also said Shaub described comments by Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, as “chilling.” Priebus said in a TV interview that Shaub “ought to be careful” in his criticism of Trump.
The comment by Priebus “is the very thing I’ll fight against,” Cumming said, adding that he assured Shaub the ethics office would be protected by the committee.
Cummings and Chaffetz also said they would work together to reauthorize the ethics office in the new Congress.
Monday’s meeting came as a watchdog group filed a lawsuit alleging that Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his business to accept payments from foreign governments. The lawsuit claims that a constitutional clause prohibits Trump from receiving money from diplomats for stays at his hotels or foreign governments for leases of office space in his buildings.
Trump called the lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington “totally without merit.”

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Sean Spicer's Dippin' Dots Tweets Put Press Secretary On The Spot (7.90/25)

Sam Sanders
A staple of ball parks and malls, Dippin' Dots has billed itself as the ice cream of the future.
Travis Nicholson/Flickr
hide caption
A staple of ball parks and malls, Dippin' Dots has billed itself as the ice cream of the future.
Dippin' Dots describes its product as "an unconventional ice cream treat that's remarkably fresh and flavorful, introducing the world to beaded ice cream," and "the original and unbeatable flash-frozen ice cream sensation. " Donald Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, disagrees. For years, he's mocked the company and its "ice cream of the future" on Twitter.
In tweets from 2010 and 2011, Spicer said Dippin' Dots was not the ice cream of the future. In 2011, Spicer also tweeted a link to a Wall Street Journal article about the company's bankruptcy, and in his caption described Dippin' Dots as "Ice Cream of the Past. " In September 2015, Spicer complained, "If Dippin Dots was truly the ice cream of the future they would not have run out of vanilla," tagging the Washington Nationals baseball team in an apparent to reference a shortage of vanilla Dippin' Dots at Nationals Park.
we may not have inauguration attendance data yet, but one set of record turnout numbers are in: Sean spicer's angry dippin dots twetes
Since Spicer assumed the role of White House press secretary, these tweets have been making the rounds on the Internet, enough so for Dippin' Dots to write an open letter to Spicer , asking to "be friends rather than foes," and offering an ice cream social to the White House and White House press corps.
Since that letter's release, NPR reached out to Dippin' Dots for further comment on the (one-sided) feud. Here's what Billie Stuber, media relations manager for Dippin' Dots, and Shama Hyder, who handles markets for the company, told us (questions and answers have been edited for clarity):
When did Dippin' Dots realize that Sean Spicer had beef with them?
Stuber: [Laughter] Well, it was a bit of a surprise. We're not used to beef. We're friends with everyone. So we noticed [Sunday] some of his old tweets began to resurface and circulate.
What was your thinking?
Stuber: I scratched my head a little bit at first, and I thought, "Really? " And I had to look back and I thought, "Yeah, that really is seven years old. " First we kinda watched... And then as more folks started to talk about it... we began to get our brainpower all together and think about how we wanted to respond.
Who's idea was the open letter?
Stuber: The open letter was actually Shama's idea.
Shama: As Billy mentioned, Dippin' Dots tries to stay very out of the political scene, because the consumers are across the board ... Ice cream is probably the least political of things you can find. It's about making friends and not foes... The open letter isn't just to Sean Spicer; it's really to the customers as well. This is what Dippin' Dots stands for. We're really abut building a brand that's inviting, that's encompassing. And when the customers say, "Hey, we want to hear from you," they want to hear from us.
Was there any fear in being caught up in politics? Over the last few years we have sen brands like Skittles or M&M's be caught up in some debates about politics and race that have gotten really testy. Were you guys scared?
Shama: From a social media perspective, these things can go either way. It takes one person misreading something. So yeah, that was a concern, but [our CEO's and] the Dippin' Dots team's greater concern was making sure that they responded to their customers... People expected a response... The idea of not being responsive to customers was just so much worse.
Part of your letter talks about making jobs for Americans, ideals people of both parties can get behind. How do you think the White House will respond to that message?
Stuber: I hope they do respond. We're totally as about as American as you can get. Our headquarters are in Kentucky. The company's 29 years old. We hope that he does respond, and maybe he can truly experience Dippin' Dots in a different way.
Were you serious about having an ice cream party at the White House briefing Room?
Both: Absolutely!
Stuber: We are prepared. We were just counting how may pallets we would need to deliver to feed the White House. So I really hope he calls us on that one.
Spicer has yet to respond to NPR's request to comment on #DotGate.
Meanwhile, he has been getting attention for another spat — this one with Target. A 2014 tweet seemed to pick a fight with the department store chain over milk, with Spicer writing, "come on @target — just realized the two gallons of milk you sold me expire tomorrow. " Target's official Twitter account responded soon after that initial tweet, with their apologies.
come on @target -- just realized the two gallons of milk you sold me expire tomorrow

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 17 /1042 

Push to save Pacific Rim trade deal after US exits TPP pact (7.59/25)

Several countries expressed hope Tuesday that the Trans-Pacific Partnership could be salvaged, after President Donald Trump's decision on a U. S. withdrawal from the trade pact left its future in serious jeopardy.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull acknowledged Trump's move was a massive blow to the 12-nation agreement, but suggested other countries, such as China, may help fill the void left by the U. S.
"Losing the United States from the TPP is a big loss, there is no question about that," Turnbull told reporters. "But we are not about to walk away from our commitment to Australian jobs. "
Trump used one of his first actions in office to officially abandon the trade deal on Monday, dubbing it a detriment to American businesses. He favors one-on-one agreements with other nations over multinational pacts.
The move by Trump was expected, and leaders of some of the 11 other nations involved in the initiative earlier said they would move forward with the agreement in some form, with or without the U. S.
Turnbull said he had discussed the future of the deal in recent days with the prime ministers of Japan, Singapore and New Zealand, all TPP members, and believed the pact could survive without the U. S.
Other members of the U. S.-initiated pact are Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
"All of us are working to see how we can ensure we maintain this momentum towards open markets and free trade," Turnbull said. "Believe me, protectionism is not a ladder to get you out of the low growth trap. It is a shovel to dig it deeper. "
Questioned in Japan's parliament, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe likewise said he hoped to gain Trump's "understanding. " Abe has said he hopes to meet with Trump as soon as possible.
Japan completed the TPP ratification process last week, well aware Trump planned to drop out. Abe told lawmakers that such goals were still important for Japan and that TPP would furnish a model for trade deals with other nations, including Europe.
Malaysia's Second Trade Minister Ong Ka Chuan said that the remaining 11 TPP members will hold a meeting to discuss the next course of action on the deal.
"Twelve countries signed the (TPP), but now one wants out. The other 11 can continue by making change to the clauses. There are many possibilities that these 11 countries can still proceed with," the Bernama news agency quoted him as saying. He didn't elaborate.
Turnbull said that in theory China could join the pact following the U. S. departure. But any such change would require a revamp of the deal. In its current form, the TPP can only take effect after it is ratified by six countries that account for 85 percent of the combined gross domestic product of its member nations. The U. S. made up 60 percent of the combined GDP of that group, so TPP could not be implemented as it stands now.
Though he didn't suggest Trump himself would reverse his position, Turnbull did say the U. S. eventually might.
"You have to recognize that his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has been a longtime advocate for it," Turnbull said, referring to Trump's nominee. "The Republican Party in the Congress have been strong supporters of the TPP. It is possible that U. S. policy could change over time on this, as it has done on other trade deals. "
The U. S. about-face on the deal is a setback for leaders of other TPP countries who invested political capital in fighting to get it ratified.
Australia's opposition leader, Bill Shorten, slammed Turnbull for suggesting the deal could continue without the U. S.
"The TPP's dead," Shorten said. "How on earth can Mr. Turnbull want to waste the time of the parliament, asking the parliament to ratify an agreement which includes America, when America is not in it? It's just the peak of delusional absurdity. "
Whatever the deal's fate, the region shows no sign of retreating from the market-opening trend that helped transform its many developing nations into a relatively stable zone of affluent, middle-income economies.
Of broader concern is the uncertainty generated by Trump's threats to impose tariffs of up to 45 percent on some imports. The U. S. is the largest single market for China and Japan, and indirectly a huge source of demand for many of the commodities and goods produced across the region.
Closing U. S. doors to trade may well backfire, said Ong.
"The U. S. was the one encouraging free trade," Ong said. "Suddenly, it is now trying to stop it. There's a possibility this would trigger retaliation by a number of other countries. "

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 18 /1042 

Suspect sought in Vermont capital's first murder in nearly 100 years (7.35/25)

This undated photo shows Jayveon Caballero, of Barre, Vt. Caballero is wanted for the murder of 33-year-old Markus Austin in Montpelier, Vt.
(Vermont State Police)
MONTPELIER, Vt. – A man has been shot dead outside an apartment complex in what police say is the first murder in the nation's smallest capital city in almost a century.
An arrest warrant was issued for Jayveon Caballero on a murder charge following the Sunday morning shooting in Montpelier, police said. Police were seeking Caballero in the killing of Markus Austin, whose body was found in the apartment complex's parking lot.
Caballero is believed to have boarded a bus on Sunday in White River Junction. Police said the bus was headed to New York City but had several intermediate stops where he could have gotten off.
Caballero and Austin had been involved in an altercation outside Gustos bar in Barre earlier Sunday morning, police said. During the altercation Austin assaulted Caballero's girlfriend, witnesses said.
Caballero later confronted Austin outside Austin's apartment and shot him, police said.
Caballero's girlfriend, Desiree Cary, was arrested Sunday evening in Barre, where Caballero lives. She appeared in court Monday, pleaded not guilty to drug charges and was released.
Montpelier has about 7,500 residents, making it the nation's least populous capital.
Police Chief Anthony Facos said the shooting death of Austin was the first murder in the city since the 1920s, when a woman shot her husband. He did not have additional details of that case.

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 19 /1042 

Suspended ‘SNL’ Writer Inspires #KeepKatieRich Campaign: ‘Our POTUS Tweets Worse Things’ (6.99/25)

Comedy writer Katie Rich’s suspension from “Saturday Night Live” is not sitting well with some fans.
The hashtag #KeepKatieRich was born Monday afternoon after the late night sketch comedy show suspended Rich following a tweet she sent last week disparaging Barron Trump.
An individual familiar with the situation told TheWrap that Rich was suspended immediately after she posted — then deleted — a tweet on Friday in which she joked that Donald Trump’s 10-year-old son could become the country’s first “homeschool shooter.” The suspension is indefinite.
Also Read: 'SNL' Writer Katie Rich Suspended Indefinitely for Barron Trump Tweet
However, the #KeepKatieRich crowd believes the punishment does not fit the crime, especially compared to Trump’s own history on Twitter.
“Our @ POTUS tweets worse things ever 30 minutes..maybe we hold him to a higher standard than a writer for a comedy show. # KeepKatieRich ” said “Frequency” actor Lenny Jacobson.
“She deleted the tweet & apologized sincerely, demonstrating empathy, class & character. She didn’t call it ‘locker room talk,'” added comedy writer Julia Weiss.
“Katie Rich made a joke in poor taste and, unlike Drumpf, actually apologized. Don’t set a horrible precedent by firing her,” said another supporter.
Also Read: Chelsea Clinton Defends Barron Trump From Online Bullies
Rich issued an apology via her Twitter account, which reads: “I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry.”
People immediately began bashing Rich for the joke, with a petition calling for her to be fired reaching almost 80,000 signatures at the time of this publishing.
“Community” creator Dan Harmon seemed to offer Rich a job in light of her suspension, and devoted several tweets to defending her.
Also Read: 'SNL' Writer Deletes Tweet That Barron Trump May Be 'Homeschool Shooter'
“I’m sure Katie Rich will have better offers but I’ll start bidding, will fly her to LA first class and give her what my studio pays me,” he said, adding, “Now you want her fired AND you don’t want her to work somewhere else?”
“I would tolerate all jokes,” Harmon said in response to a question about whether he would tolerate a similar joke about Sasha or Malia Obama. “I do tolerate all jokes. And so do you. Because we have not lost our motherf—ing god d–n minds.”
See below for a sampling of more tweets in support of the comedian.
Aaaaaaaand hired.
— (((Dan Harmon))) (@danharmon) January 23, 2017
Sure, knock knock, who's there, a yummy child, I don't care. Now you want her fired AND you don't want her to work somewhere else?
— (((Dan Harmon))) (@danharmon) January 24, 2017
Maybe we should kill her. You know, for the children. We're good people. Willing to stick our necks out so far. You know like in prison.
— (((Dan Harmon))) (@danharmon) January 24, 2017
Katie Rich made a joke in poor taste and, unlike Drumpf, actually apologized. Don't set a horrible precedent by firing her. #KeepKatieRich
— John The Revehater (@JohnHatesThings) January 23, 2017
Our @POTUS tweets worse things ever 30 minutes..maybe we hold him to a higher standard than a writer for a comedy show. #KeepKatieRich
— Lenny Jacobson (@Lennyjacobson) January 23, 2017
You can't make a joke about a child and write for SNL, but you can talk about sexually assaulting women and be the President. #keepkatierich
— Jacqueline Felker (@whattheFELK) January 23, 2017
A comedy writer getting suspended for a relatively benign tweet followed by a perfect apology is a canary in the coal mine #keepkatierich
— Amelia Bonow (@ameliabonow) January 23, 2017
If SNL aren't going to #keepkatierich can @iamsambee hire her instead?
— Jason Peck (@jasonpeck15) January 24, 2017
Mock the disabled & get to be POTUS. I guess us regular folks are held to higher standards than a leader of the Free World #KeepKatieRich
— JustKate (@punchkatesface) January 24, 2017
So one slip up and profuse apologizing get you suspended. Sexual assault and bragging about it get you elected president. SMH #keepkatierich
— Chase (@Brindiesel12) January 23, 2017
You know what's an actual "attack" on children? Taking away their health care. #keepkatierich
— Marla Caceres (@MarlaCaceres) January 23, 2017
Katie Rich's mistake was using twitter rather than saying it on a bus with Billy Bush.
— Sin's Beggar (@SinsBeggar) January 23, 2017
— Katie Kershaw (@ChaChaKershaw) January 23, 2017
Read original story Suspended ‘SNL’ Writer Inspires #KeepKatieRich Campaign: ‘Our POTUS Tweets Worse Things’ At TheWrap

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 20 /1042 

Trump’s press secretary said taxpayer money funds abortion overseas. It doesn't. (6.73/25)

President Trump reinstated the so-called on Monday — an anti-abortion foreign aid restriction so extreme that it will likely cause thousands of maternal deaths worldwide and deprive millions of women access to safe abortion as well as birth control. And when White House press secretary Sean Spicer explained Trump’s decision Monday during his first daily press briefing, he made a false statement about what the gag rule actually does. Spicer said the global gag rule will "end the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions overseas, along with coercive abortion and sterilization practices. " He added that policy prevents “taxpayer funds” from “being spent overseas to perform an action that is contrary to the values of this president. " That’s not true. For one thing, there’s already a policy in place that does what Spicer describes. It’s called the Helms Amendment, and since 1973 it has banned foreign aid from being used “to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” It’s important to note that the Helms Amendment already has on women’s health. It also makes in conflict zones, which means the US couldn’t have stepped in to help the who became pregnant from rape to obtain an abortion. But the global gag rule goes even further than the Helms Amendment. The rule strips federal funding from international organizations that either provide abortion services with their clients — even if those services are paid for by separate, privately raised funds. Bringing back the global gag rule does more than just refuse to pay for abortions. Federal tax dollars don’t pay for abortion overseas, with zero exceptions. They either, except in rare circumstances (rape, incest, or life endangerment — and no exceptions for other or for fetal abnormalities). Instead, the gag rule tries to control how international organizations use their funds, raised from other sources. It defunds entire organizations if those organizations — many of which also provide contraception and other health care to vulnerable women worldwide — do so much as tell women that abortion is a family planning option. Just like Republican efforts to in the United States, it’s an attempt to stop abortion from happening by forcing organizations that provide it to make a choice: Stop providing or promoting abortion, or lose the large amounts of funding that you get from the US government to support your other medical services. Trump has “made it very clear that he’s a pro-life president,” Spicer said in the briefing. And reinstating the global gag rule is a clear signal that Trump, who said in 1999 that he was is actually willing to pass sweeping anti-abortion measures as president.

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 21 /1042 

Trump moves to pull US out of big Asia trade deal (6.67/25)

Charting a new American course abroad, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, using one of his first actions in office to reject a centerpiece of Barack Obama's attempts to counter China and deepen U. S. ties in Asia.
Trump's move on trade aimed to fulfill a central campaign promise even as he appeared to be fixated on re-litigating the 2016 election.
In a meeting with congressional leaders on Monday night, Trump claimed that 3 to 5 million immigrants living in the U. S. illegally voted in the election, costing him the popular vote, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the exchange who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting. There has been no evidence to back up that claim.
Trump's assertions came in a White House meeting with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders. They were similar to claims he made on Twitter in late November that he had won the electoral college in a "landslide" and "won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally. " Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes despite losing the electoral college.
Trump aimed to make jobs and the economy the focal point of his first few days in office. He has repeatedly cast the 12-nation trade pact — which was eagerly sought by U. S. allies in Asia — as detrimental to American businesses.
"Great thing for the American worker that we just did," Trump said in brief remarks as he signed a notice in the Oval Office.
The Obama administration spent years negotiating the Pacific Rim pact, though the mood in Washington on trade soured over time. Obama never sent the accord to Congress for ratification, making Trump's actions Monday largely symbolic.
For Trump, the start of his first full week in office amounted to a reset after a tumultuous weekend dominated by his and his spokesman's false statements about inauguration crowds and their vigorous complaints about media coverage of the celebrations. While Trump's advisers have long accepted his tendency to become preoccupied by seemingly insignificant issues, some privately conceded that his focus on inauguration crowds was unhelpful on the opening weekend of his presidency.
On Monday, the new president tried to regroup. He spent the day bounding from one ornate room of the White House to another for meetings, often ordering aides to summon journalists from their West Wing workspace at a moment's notice for unscheduled statements and photo opportunities.
In addition to his executive action on TPP, Trump signed memorandums freezing most federal government hiring — though he noted an exception for the military — and reinstating a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option. The regulation, known as the "Mexico City Policy," has been a political volleyball, instituted by Republican administrations and rescinded by Democratic ones since 1984.
The actions were among the long list of steps candidate Trump pledged to take on his opening day as president. But other "Day One" promises were going unfulfilled Monday, including plans to propose a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on members of Congress and terminating Obama's executive actions deferring deportations for some people living in the U. S. illegally.
Spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday that Trump intended to follow through on his proposals, though on a more extended timeframe to ensure maximum attention for each move.
Yet he appeared to suggest that Trump would not move quickly — or perhaps at all — to reinstate deportations for young immigrants protected from deportation under the Obama administration.
Spicer said Trump's focus would be on people in the U. S. illegally who have criminal records or who pose a threat.
"That's where the priority's going to be, and then we're going to continue to work through the entire number of folks that are here illegally," he said.
Spicer — making his first appearance at the briefing room podium since his angry tirade against the press on Saturday — also appeared to back away from Trump's assertion that he could move the U. S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While presidential candidates have long made similar pledges, all have abandoned the idea over concerns that following through would further inflame tensions in the volatile region.
"We are at the early stages in this decision-making process," Spicer said of the possible embassy relocation. "If it was already a decision, then we wouldn't be going through a process. "
Spicer struck a far more conciliatory tone with reporters in Monday's briefing and attempted to make light of his weekend appearance, which included multiple inaccurate statements about the inauguration. He conceded that he was relying on incomplete information when he used public transportation figures to boast about the crowd size, but stood by his unverifiable claim that Trump's swearing-in was the most watched in history, counting internet views as well as TV.
The crowd actually in attendance was clearly smaller than for Obama's 2009 inauguration, though Trump denied that fact.
Monday was mostly a business day for Trump. The new president, who prefers to solicit opinions from numerous people before making decisions, huddled with corporate leaders, including Tesla's Elon Musk and Marillyn Hewson, and union heads. Eager to show off his new digs, Trump ended both meetings by bringing his guests in to see the Oval Office.
In his discussions with executives, Trump warned that he would impose a "substantial border tax" on companies that move their manufacturing out of the United States. He reiterated his campaign pledge to lower taxes for companies that stay in the U. S., as well as for the middle class, "anywhere from 15 to 25 percent," although he has not been clear on how he intends to make up for lost tax revenue.
He said of his incentives for businesses, "All you have to do is stay. "
In the evening, Trump hosted a White House reception for lawmakers from both parties and a separate private meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss Republicans' legislative priorities. His choice for CIA director, Mike Pompeo, was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on Monday night.
As Trump pressed forward with executive actions, a legal watchdog group filed a lawsuit alleging he is violating the so-called emoluments clause in the Constitution by allowing his business to accept payments from foreign governments. The liberal-funded watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics says the clause prohibits Trump from receiving money from diplomats for stays at his hotels or from foreign governments for leases of office space in his buildings.
Asked about the suit, Trump said it was "totally without merit. "
Later Monday, spokesman Spicer said Trump has left his businesses as promised, handing over control to his two adult sons.
Associated Press writers Jonathan Lemire, Jill Colvin, Erica Werner and Ken Thomas contributed to this report.

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 22 /1042 

Trump undoes parts of Obama agenda with executive actions (5.42/25)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed three executive memorandums on Monday, kicking off his first full week in the White House by undoing parts of his predecessor's agenda and renewing a longtime Republican priority on abortion funding.
Trump signed a memorandum that freezes hiring for some federal government workers, a notice to abandon the proposed Pacific Rim trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and another executive action to reinstate a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option.
Here is a look at his three executive actions:
As a candidate, Trump often said he could negotiate better trade deals than past administrations, repeating night after night that he would undo the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which President Barack Obama championed.
The memorandum signed Monday was a first step toward making good on that pledge.
Since the Pacific trade deal had yet to receive the required Senate ratification, there is scant immediate impact to trade, exports or wages. The deal has been stalled amid bipartisan opposition in the Senate. It was widely viewed as dead even before Trump's move Monday.
In its place, the White House has said the president plans to focus on seeking individual deals with the 11 other nations in TPP— a group that represents roughly 13.5 percent of the global economy, according to the World Bank.
"We're going to have trade, but we're going to have one on one. If someone misbehaves, we'll send them a letter of termination, 30 days, and they'll either straighten it out or we're gone," Trump said.
The major benefit to Americans from TPP had been the prospect of lower prices. An analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics also estimated it would lead to a $131 billion increase in inflation-adjusted incomes by 2030.
But Trump has blamed past trade deals such as NAFTA and China's entrance into the World Trade Organization for a decline in U. S. factory jobs. He said in his inaugural address that his administration would follow two rules: "Buy American and hire American. "
A frequent critic of the size of the federal government, Trump also signed a memorandum that freezes hiring for some federal government workers as a way to reduce payrolls and rein in the size of the workforce.
The freeze does not apply to the military, Trump said. The memorandum signed by Trump's is similar to one that President George W. Bush signed at the start of his administration in 2001.
The decision was cheered by conservatives, but denounced by the head of one of the unions that represents federal workers.
"This accomplishes nothing for the American taxpayer," said Randy Erwin, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees. "It only makes it difficult for federal agencies to do the business of the American people. "
Lastly, Trump reinstituted a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information about abortions.
The regulation, known as the "Mexico City Policy" or, by critics, the "global gag rule," has been a political volleyball, instituted by Republican administrations and rescinded by Democratic ones since 1984. Most recently, President Barack Obama ended the ban in 2009.
Trump signed it one day after the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States, the date on which presidents traditionally take action on the policy. It also prohibits taxpayer funding for groups that lobby to legalize abortion or promote it as a family planning method.
The move was predictably polarizing.
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said in a statement that "Americans are humanitarians and the Mexico City Policy reflects our heartfelt compassion for both moms and babies. "
The abortion rights group NARAL condemned the decision as "repressing women. "
"With this action, Donald Trump has turned his anti-women rhetoric into policy, and made it more difficult for women and families all over the world to access vital reproductive care," said NARAL president Ilyse Hogue. "He really is living up to the lowest of expectations. "
Associated Press writers Josh Boak in Washington and Matthew Barakat in McLean, Virginia, contributed to this report.
Reach Jonathan Lemire on Twitter at:

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 23 /1042 

Trump committed to Egypt military assistance (5.39/25)

Washington : US President Donald Trump is committed to providing military assistance to Egypt , White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday, after the new Republican leader spoke with counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

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 24 /1042 

Falcons get back to work after earning trip to Super Bowl (5.30/25)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Georgia (AP) — Dan Quinn certainly knows who the Atlanta Falcons are playing in the Super Bowl. No wonder. It seems as if Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are there every year. One day after reaching the big game for only the second time in franchise history, Quinn and his players were back at their training complex in Atlanta's northern suburbs, rehashing the blowout of Green Bay before turning their attention to the team they'll play next. "Going to the Super Bowl is not a reward," Quinn said Monday. "Playing really well and winning, that's the reward. It's going to be a hell of a battle. " Immediately after the Patriots routed Pittsburgh for the AFC title, Belichick said he didn't even know the Falcons had won the NFC championship game. No such ignorance from his coaching counterpart in Atlanta. "Yes, I know," Quinn said with a smile. He didn't get much sleep the night before. It didn't have anything to do with facing the mighty Patriots, however. "I generally don't after the games," the second-year coach said. "I'm thinking about what we could've done different. Then today, we get right back into our process. Honestly, when you're around our building... whether it's Week 4, Week 8, Week 12, Week 16, Week 19, when you're inside these walls, it should feel the same. We try to put up a championship week every time we go. " The Patriots know a thing or two about championships. They are the first team to reach the Super Bowl nine times, and the coach-quarterback tandem of Belichick and Brady will be going for its fifth Lombardi Trophy. Quite a contrast with the Falcons, who have never won an NFL title in their 51-year history. It's been 18 years since their initial Super Bowl appearance, when a team known as the "Dirty Birds" was beaten handily by the Denver Broncos in John Elway's final game. Atlanta endured plenty of distractions in the buildup to that game, from coach Dan Reeves reliving an ugly breakup with the Broncos to a dispute over the how the players departed their chartered jet in Miami to, most notably, team leader Eugene Robinson being arrested the night before the game for attempting to solicit a prostitute. After all that, it wasn't surprising that Denver cruised to a 34-19 victory. Quinn expects no such problems from his team, before or after it gets to Houston. "With some teams, I might be worried. Not this one," he said. "This team is so tight. The accountability they have for each other is so strong, this brotherhood is so strong. They care about one another. They realize they're playing for something bigger than themselves. This team, this group, I totally trust them. " A bigger concern might be the huge gap in Super Bowl experience. Outside of 36-year-old defensive end Dwight Freeney, who played in a pair of title games with the Indianapolis Colts, the Falcons really have no idea what they'll face over the next two weeks. That's where Quinn might be of help. He was Seattle's defensive coordinator during back-to-back Super Bowl appearances — one a rout of the Broncos, the other a heartbreaking loss to the Patriots. "I've gone when things have gone well, I've been a part of it when it hasn't," Quinn said. "I want to outline some of the keys to playing well in the game and managing some of the things on the outside. That's a part of the process where I can help, and I'll share that with the guys. " Quinn's advice will certainly come in handy for players such as Taylor Gabriel. The speedy receiver was cut by the lowly Cleveland Browns during the preseason and now he's got a shot at a championship, a turn of events that still seems a bit surreal. "It hasn't hit me yet that I'm going to the Super Bowl," he said after the 44-21 victory over the Packers. Gabriel, who is from the Dallas suburbs, expects to get a plethora of ticket requests from family and friends who can easily make the drive to Houston. That's one of those things that every player must deal with to some degree during a Super Bowl week, and some manage it better than others. Another possible distraction for the Falcons is the impending departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is expected to be named coach of the San Francisco 49ers as soon as the season is over. The Falcons will have a normal week of practice through Friday, so Shanahan will likely have a second meeting with 49ers officials on Saturday to hammer out any lingering details about his first head coaching job, according to Quinn. "I'm really proud of him," Quinn said. "A lot of speculation and things are going on in the outside world, but he was able to stay dialed in. He should be commended for being on point and going for it. He totally nailed that. "

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Yahoo mobile business up, Verizon deal pushed to Q2 (5.28/25)

Yahoo and CEO Marissa Mayer announced the company’s Q4 results, which showed an uptick in several segments compared to a year ago.
The results also carried an update on the sale to Verizon, which the company said was still happening, but the timing has been pushed back and is now expected to close in Q2 of 2017, or “as soon as practicable. ".
The results come as Yahoo has been involved in several high-profile stories, including its sale to Verizon, a brand name change to Altaba, Mayer's announcement that she will exit the company's board and ongoing issues over hacking .
"I'm very pleased with our Q4 results and incredibly proud of the team's execution on our 2016 strategic plan, particularly given the uniquely eventful past year for Yahoo,” said Mayer of the results.
"We continued to build our mobile and native businesses – delivering nearly $1.5 billion in mobile revenue and over $750 million in native revenue – while operating the company at the lowest cost structure in a decade. With our 2016 and Q4 financial results ahead of plan, and the continued stability in our user engagement trends, the opportunities ahead with Verizon look bright. "
Mayer called attention to the security breaches the company has had, saying that the company’s priority continues to be enhancing security for its users. It was earlier reported that Verizon had cooled on the Yahoo deal due to the latest breach.
“With security protocols and password changes in place, approximately 90% of our daily active users have already taken or do not need to take remedial action to protect their accounts, and we're aggressively continuing to drive this number up. Our commitment to our users is unwavering, and we continue to be encouraged by their loyalty to us and their ongoing patronage of our products. "
On the business side, Yahoo continued to launch features and improvements across Yahoo Mail mobile apps, achieving a four-plus average rating on iOS and Android over the last year. It also launched Yahoo Sports’ "Game of the Day" for the 2016-17 season of the NHL, connecting fans with free live games and in-game highlights, and partnered with Twitter to host the live stream of Thursday night NFL games.
Yahoo also launched curated watchlists, created by industry experts on Yahoo Finance, to help users discover trending topics and new investment opportunities. It also launched Yahoo View on Android, expanding free access to Hulu TV show clips and movie trailers, Yahoo Answers Now, and new advertiser features for Yahoo Gemini.
The results showed that revenue was up in Q4 2016 for Mavens revenue, total traffic-driven revenue and GAAP revenue. Mobile and desktop revenue was up as well for Q4 and full year 2016 in most elements of mobile, with mobile revenue up to $459m in Q4 from $291m in Q4 2015.
Search revenue was negatively impacted. Gross search revenue was $821 million for the Q4 2016, a decrease of 6% compared to the Q4 2015. Gross search revenue was $3,159m for the full year of 2016, a decrease of 13% compared to the prior year.
"I am very pleased with how we executed against our 2016 plan, achieving GAAP revenue of nearly $5.2b, and revenue ex-TAC within our original guidance range at $3.5b,” said Ken Goldman, CFO of Yahoo. "We're especially proud of attaining GAAP operating cash flow of $1.25 billion. Through excellent cost and capital expenditure management, we increased our year-end cash and marketable securities in 2016 by $1.1 billion to $7.9 billion. "
See the full results on the Yahoo Investor Relations site.

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'The windows exploded': Storm death toll at 20 in the South (5.25/25)

A tornado warning on television sent Anthony Mitchell, his pregnant wife and their three children scrambling for what little shelter their mobile home could provide. They crouched in a hallway as the twister started taking their home apart piece by piece.
"The windows exploded, the doors flew off the hinges, the sheet rock started to rip off the walls and fly out the windows," Mitchell said. "The trailer started to lift up. And about that time a tree fell on the trailer, and I think that's what held the trailer in place from flying away. "
An unusual midwinter barrage of tornadoes and thunderstorms over the weekend was blamed for at least 20 deaths across the Deep South. Among them were three people killed at Big Pine Estates, the mobile home park in Albany where the Williams family lives.
A twister slammed into the southwestern Georgia city of 76,000 people on Sunday afternoon, carving a path of destruction a half-mile wide in places and leaving the landscape strewn with broken trees and mangled sheet metal. Few of the roughly 200 homes at the trailer park escaped damage from the tornado, which was rated by forecasters as at least an EF-2, meaning it packed winds of 111 to 135 mph.
In addition to the three dead at Big Pine Estates, a fourth body was discovered at a home just outside the trailer park.
Mitchell lost his home and marveled that he didn't lose his life, too.
"Something helped us walk out the front door of the house," he said. "There's some people who weren't fortunate enough to have a front door to walk out of. "
Georgia reported 15 deaths Sunday, and four people died Saturday in Mississippi. In northern Florida, a woman died after a tree crashed into her home in Lake City as a storm passed through.
The National Weather Service said 39 possible tornadoes were reported over the weekend. The agency sent out teams to examine the damage and confirm how many of the storms were twisters, which can happen any time of year but are far more common in the spring and early summer.
A day after the violent weather passed, search crews looked for people and pets in the Albany trailer park, stepping over tree limbs and ducking under splintered pine trunks as they went from home to home. One team discovered a terrified dog in a smashed-in trailer, where it had spent the night. Authorities said the pet owner's fate was unknown.
In rural Cook County, about 60 miles southeast of Albany, Aretha Allen prayed aloud in front of the First Baptist Church, where a shelter was set up after a possible tornado destroyed about half the homes at the Sunshine Acres mobile home park.
Allen said her niece, 41-year-old Lawansa Perry, and the niece's brother both lived there, and she drove out to try to help them after hearing the park had been hit.
"We were looking, looking," Allen said, "but couldn't find them. "
The coroner later confirmed seven people were found dead at Sunshine Acres. Authorities said the victims included the niece and her brother.
"They died in the storm trying to save her grandchildren," she said, adding the children survived. "I know they've gone on to Jesus. "
At Sunshine Acres on Monday, crews with cadaver dogs checked the wreckage a second day for anyone dead or alive. But the dogs found nothing, and authorities said owners would finally be allowed back Tuesday on those destroyed and damaged lots deemed safe.
Devocheo Williams, 29, said his home was demolished the day after he moved in.
"The whole trailer park was gone in 15 seconds," Williams said, describing a funnel cloud that appeared to loop back around and hit the neighborhood a second time. "It looked like a ball of fire was going 100 mph. "
Williams said he saw a little girl picked up by the winds and tossed into a ditch. Nearby, the girl's mother and a baby were trapped in rubble. He said he helped dig them out.
Not everyone could be saved.
"I was walking by dead bodies of little kids and grown people," Williams said
Williams and others left homeless by the storm huddled Monday at the First Baptist Church in Adel, a rural community of about 5,300.
Residents turned out in force to help the victims. The church quickly collected an abundance of donated clothing and toiletries. Volunteers cooked free meals for survivors and emergency workers.
"We have turned away more people that just wanted to help because we just can't put them down here," said Brent Exum, chief investigator for the sheriff's department.
Dennis VanBrackle, 75, and his wife, Sylvia, stopped by the church with a checkbook in hand.
"Both of us physically can't do a lot," VanBrackle said. "We want to do what we can. "
Farrington reported from Adel, Georgia. AP writer Russ Bynum contributed to this report from Savannah, Georgia.

Death toll up to 21 as heavy storm batters Eastern US with wind and heavy rain
Southern storm death toll reaches 20
'The windows exploded': Storm death toll at 20 in the South - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports
Storm death toll at 20 in the South
'The Windows Exploded': Storm Death Toll at 20 in the South


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No punishment for Denver officers who shot, killed teenager (5.17/25)

DENVER (AP) — Two Denver officers involved in a fatal shooting that sparked angry protests and followed high-profile killings by police elsewhere in the country will not be disciplined, officials said Monday.
An investigation by the Denver Police Department and other agencies determined the officers used appropriate force when they shot and killed Jessica Hernandez, 17, on Jan. 26, 2015. The review also said they complied with policies in place at the time.
“Nonetheless, this incident is a tragedy for all involved,” the department said in a news release. “Ms. Hernandez had her whole life in front of her and we mourn her loss with the family.”
The Denver District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the officers, saying their lives where threatened when Hernandez drove toward them in a stolen car. The vehicle did not hit either officer, but Mitch Morrissey, who was district attorney at the time, said it was dangerously close.
The officers fired eight shots into the car, hitting Hernandez three times. Four other teenagers who were in the vehicle were not injured.
Shortly after Hernandez’s death, the police department barred officers from shooting at moving vehicles unless someone inside is firing at them. The teen’s shooting marked the fourth time in seven months that Denver police fired into a moving vehicle.
The old guidelines let officers fire on a car if it was bearing down on them and there was a chance they could be struck. An independent monitor of the department deemed those rules inadequate, in part because they didn’t urge officers to avoid entering a vehicle’s path in the first place.
Attorneys for the teen’s family released a statement Monday saying they will continue to advocate for police reform.
“DPD’s changed policies on vehicle stops and shooting into moving vehicles will hopefully prevent future tragedies like the killing of Jessie and other members of the Denver community,” the statement said. “The Hernandez family will continue to work with the community and Denver to try to bring about positive change and ensure that Jessie’s death was not in vain.”
The shooting prompted protests in Denver and came shortly after the officer-involved deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.
Need a break? Play a quick game of solitaire or Sudoku. Or take one of our fun quizzes!
See photos of Saturday's demonstration in D. C.

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White House opens door to military cooperation with Moscow, but it would be illegal (4.89/25)

The White House indicated Monday that President Trump would be open to military cooperation with Russia to fight Islamic State , a move that would be a big policy change for the U. S. government, and one that would run afoul of current law.
“I think if there's a way that we can combat ISIS with any country, whether it's Russia or anyone else, and we have a shared national interest in that, sure, we'll take it,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters, using an acronym for the militant group.
U. S. military cooperation with the Russians would upend the relationship between the two former Cold War adversaries, which have been on the opposite sides in the Syrian conflict since the beginning of Russian military involvement more than a year ago.
But a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act first passed by Congress late in 2014 and renewed since then strictly limits the Pentagon’s ability to work with Russia. The law was passed in response to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continued involvement in the Ukrainian civil war.
Talks between the two countries' militaries have been severely limited since Congress passed the law, which prohibits military cooperation until Russia has “ceased its occupation of Ukrainian territory and its aggressive activities that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”
The Pentagon and the Russian military established an emergency communications line in October 2015 to ensure that the two nations' pilots do not mistakenly run into — or fire on — each other in their bombing runs over Syria. The two sides speak three times a week, U. S. officials said.
U. S. planes have carried out thousands of airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State as part of a coalition that has involved NATO and Arab air forces. The coalition's strikes in Syria and in Iraq are coordinated each day by a U. S. command center in Qatar, where officials from dozens of countries are represented so each knows where others are operating.
Russian aircraft have been conducting a separate air campaign to support Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country’s blood-soaked six-year civil war. Russia began bombing Syrian rebel positions in September 2015.
When U. S. and Russian diplomats announced a temporary Syrian cease-fire agreement late last year, there was hope of additional communication between the two militaries. But that truce effort quickly collapsed after a U. N. aid convoy was bombed by Russia and a U. S. airstrike hit a Syrian army base. Each side accused the other of bad faith.
The Kremlin has repeatedly angled to collaborate further with the U. S. to share intelligence and targeting information in the Syrian war. Pentagon officials have been uneasy about any such arrangement because coordinating with Moscow would mean the U. S. would share responsibility for Russian actions.
The Russian military has routinely bombed Syrian hospitals, schools, and civilian centers in addition to dropping cluster and incendiary weapons with impunity, according to U. S. officials, rebel groups in Syria and independent observers. Russia has hit few Islamic State targets, according to senior Pentagon officials.
“I think their activities in Syria have been backwards and counterproductive,” former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in his final news conference Jan. 10. In a Senate hearing this month, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) accused the Russians of having committed “war crimes” in Syria.
On Monday, the Russian defense ministry said warplanes from the U. S.-led coalition had participated in a strike alongside Russian aircraft and that the U. S. had relayed coordinates of Islamic State positions.
The Pentagon quickly denied the claim.
“The Department of Defense is not coordinating airstrikes with the Russian military in Syria,” Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said in a statement.
Trump's first weekend in office echoes his campaign. Millions march to send a message of defiance to President Trump. The sexy side of South L. A. you don't usually see on TV or in movies. The third in a series of powerful storms pounds Southern California Sunday.
View of Devil's Gate Dam in Pasadena following a series of storms that rolled through the Southland.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is asked how President Trump responds to the women's marches that took place the day after his inauguration.
Mud and debris covered Mel Canyon Road in Duarte after heavy rains saturated the area. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
If you could talk to someone on the other side of the political spectrum about President Trump, what would you say to them?
If you could talk to someone on the other side of the political spectrum about President Trump, what would you say to them?

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Government sources DENY Spicer claims spies cheered Trump (4.73/25)

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer (above) said Monday that CIA employees were the ones heard cheering Donald Trump during his appearance at the agency's Langley, Virginia, headquarters
US government sources are denying a claim made Monday by the chief White House spokesperson that CIA employees cheered President Donald Trump 's overtly political remarks during his controversial appearance at the agency's Langley, Virginia, headquarters on Saturday.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Monday that the applause that was heard in the background during Trump's appearance at CIA headquarters on Saturday were not from 'Trump or White House folks.'
'There were no Trump or White House folks sitting down,' Spicer said.
'They were all CIA (unintelligible). So, not in rows one-through-anything, from what I'm told.'
But an unnamed government official said that the audience members who were heard clapping for Trump were actually a group of over three dozen supporters of the president, Vice President Mike Pence, and House Rep. Mike Pompeo, according to CBS News.
The latest revelations are likely to once again call into question Spicer's credibility with the media.
The White House press secretary was lambasted over the weekend for insisting that the crowd for Trump's inauguration in Washington, DC, was the 'largest ever'.
Press reports citing photographic evidence and official transit data indicate that the audience was significantly smaller than that which turned out for Barack Obama's inaugurations in 2009 and 2013.
Spicer offered some words of contrition to reporters during his first White House briefing – but then repeated his claim that Trump's was the 'most watched inauguration ever.'
But a government source says that the people heard cheering during Trump's (left) appearance on Saturday were actually non-CIA supporters of the president and his pick for CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (right)
After he got asked point blank about whether he would tell the truth, Spicer offered a few accommodating remarks.
'Our intention is never to lie to you,' he told ABC's Jonathan Karl.
'It's an honor to do this. And yes, I believe that we have to be honest with the American people. I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts. There are certain things that we may – we may not fully understand when we come out,' he explained.
On his first full day as president, Trump paid a visit to Langley in what was expected to be a fence-mending appearance aimed at patching up relations with the spy agency.
While Trump did praise the agency and its spies, the president ignited criticism for devoting a large portion of his remarks to criticizing press coverage of his inauguration.
The former head of the CIA, John Brennan, was incensed after Trump stood in front of the CIA's Memorial Wall - which is dedicated to those who died in the line of service - and took the opportunity to boast about his inauguration crowds and decry the 'lying media'.
A government source said that Trump's appearance 'made relations worse' with the intelligence community, particularly because the president made an overtly political speech in front of the CIA's Memorial Wall which honors agents who died in the line of duty (above)
The cheering and applause that was heard for Trump's remarks raised eyebrows among Washington observers who say that the agency should not be endorsing such an overtly political speech.
White House officials said that 400 CIA employees attended the event.
But CBS News quoted a government source on Monday as saying that those cheering were a group of 40 people that were brought to the event by Trump aides, and not actual CIA workers.
Some of those in attendance were supporters of Pompeo, whom Trump had picked to be CIA director.
Pompeo's nomination is still pending after Senate Democrats delayed confirmation.
The front rows were also occupied by the agency's higher echelon leadership.
These individuals did not cheer during Trump's appearance, CBS News quoted a government source as saying.
Sources also said that rather than improve relations with the intelligence community, Trump's 'uncomfortable' visit actually 'made relations worse'.
In recent weeks, Trump took aim at the CIA and other intelligence officials, blaming them for leaking information about alleged ties to Russia and Moscow's purported attempts to hack into the email accounts of Trump's political opponents to help him win the presidency.

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Ivanka Trump's children's custom-made inauguration outfits (4.67/25)

Ivanka Trump had custom-made outfits worth $1600 designed for her three children to wear throughout her father's inaugural weekend.
Eager to keep the rest of the family up to her sartorial standards, the 35-year-old helped design the clothes herself.
She had designer Kate Bowen, the founder of Pretty Peony, fly from Duxbury, Massachusetts, to New York to fit the children three times before the big weekend.
Arabella, five, Joseph, three, and Theodore, aged ten months, wore the outfits to Arlington National Cemetery on January 19 and to the National Prayer Service at Washington Cathedral on January 21.
Among items which are now being sold online as part of the 'inaugural collection' are two $250 coats worn by Arabella and a $98 velvet romper adorned by both boys.
Speaking to on Monday, designer Bowen revealed how Ivanka called her to put the wheels in motion a month before her father's swearing in ceremony.
Ivanka Trump had entire outfits designed and made for her children to wear throughout her father's inauguration weekend. Her five-year-old daughter Arabella is pictured in her $250 Navy Wool Coat as she leaves her Manhattan home to board a plane to Washington DC
Bowen designed the $185 Navy Tulip Dress for Arabella to wear beneath her coat. She is pictured left with her mother at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington as President Trump lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
'Ivanka reached out a couple of days after Christmas and asked if I would design clothes for the children.
'She sent me the color scheme and said she wanted a classic look,' said Bowen who lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, with her husband and three children.
Bowen, who launched the label just two years ago, sent her sketches the day after their first call.
After some slight tweaks from the fashion-conscious mother-of-three, she set about making the garments and traveled to New York to fit the children at their Park Avenue home three times.
During one visit, the oldest children tried to serenade her with their piano playing, she said.
The five-year-old's coat at the National Prayer Service is the $250 Ivory Wool Coat
Bowen also designed a $185 Ivory Velvet Dress (left) and the $105 Ivory Satin Blouse (right) for Arabella to wear with the coat
'They were so charming and such gracious little hosts. Arabella and Joseph both wanted to play the piano for me.'
Theodore, who is not yet one, was also impeccably behaved throughout fittings, she added.
'It was so fun just to hold him. I have kids a similar age to hers so I loved visiting them.'
Arabella wore two complete outfits from the designer. They included two $250 coats, a $105 satin blouse and two $185 dresses.
The five-year-old wore the first of the two outfits to leave Manhattan for Washington and later to watch her grandfather and Vice President Mike Pence lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.
Three-year-old Joseph in his $250 Charcoal Wool Boy's Coat (left) at the National Prayer Service. The product is pictured (right) as it is sold on Pretty Peony's website
Ten-month-old Theodore wore the same coat as his brother to the service but also had the $98 Navy Velvet Romper (right) designed for him to wear beneath it
She stayed in the outfit for a celebration concert held later that night at the Lincoln Memorial.
Joseph and Theodore wore matching coats and rompers worth $250 and $98 respectively to the National Prayer Service at Washington Cathedral on Sunday.
The total cost for all of the outfits is $1671. Bowen said while she hasn't gotten around to sending the family an invoice but that they were 'easy' to work with.
The 34-year-old worked round the clock with her manufacturer, the Good Clothing Company, but was delighted to see her designs on television and in news coverage of the historic day.
'It was so surreal and amazing. My heart just dropped.'
Pretty Peony is now selling all of the outfits on its website as part of 'the Inaugural Collection'
Designer Kate Bowen (pictured with her three children) said the family was 'charming' and 'easy to work with'
All of the Kushner children wore Oscar de la Renta like their mother for President Trump's swearing in ceremony and for the inaugural parade.
She switched between designs from the Dominican-American designer and those of Carolina Herrera throughout the weekend.
First Lady Melania Trump dazzled in a powder blue dress and jacket by Ralph Lauren on Inauguration Day.
She later stunned in an ivory custom made gown by Herve Pierre for the inaugural balls.

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WATCH: Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones Tells Cop ‘I Hope You Die’ (4.41/25)

Cincinnati police have released the 20-minute video of Bengals player Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones aiming several expletives at an officer, including telling the officer that he hopes the officer dies.
Jones was arrested early in the morning on January 3 in a Cincinnati hotel, after causing a disturbance pounding on doors and assaulting a hotel employee by poking him in the eye. Police have already released the recording of the 911 call made my Millenium Hotel staff that morning.
Jones, 33, was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing official business. The police report states that he refused to enter the police car and head-butted an officer and called the officer a b—-, a n—–, told the officer to s— his d— and tells the officer that he hopes he dies tomorrow. Police also stated that he spat on a nurse that was examining him upon arrival to the precinct.
After the video’s release, Jones’ attorney Alex Triantafilou released this statement on Twitter.
Hamilton County Ohio prosecutor Joe Deters said that he wants to know what the Bengals and/or NFL plan to do before he moves forward with any legal action. The Bengals have issued a short statement.
Deters has until mid-February to decide whether or not to follow through on the charges.
The court date for former National Football League running Joseph Randle, accused of committing multiple felonies, has arrived.

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Video: Adam Jones tells cop 'I hope you die'


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What you need to know about Trump and the Emoluments Clause (4.40/25)

- A group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claims President Trump is violating a little-known constitutional provision called " the Emoluments Clause. " ()
What you need to know about Trump and the Emoluments Clause

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Japan trade min says will keep stressing importance of TPP to US (4.35/25)

TOKYO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Japan will continue to stress the strategic and economic importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal to the United States, trade minister Hiroshige Seko said on Tuesday. He said it would be important for the TPP to have the United States as a member. Seko also said that he would closely monitor the impact on Japanese corporations if there were any changes made to the North American Free Trade Agreement. (Reporting by Ami Miyazaki, writing by Kaori Kaneko, Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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Three storms drench Southern California (4.32/25)

LOS ANGELES — Sunshine and rainbows alternated with thunderclaps, downpours, snow and hail Monday as the last in a trio of storms broke up over California after flooding roads and homes and trapping people in swamped vehicles.
At least four people died, three were missing and others were rescued from raging floodwaters during the storms that added to impressive amounts of precipitation in a state that has struggled through years of withering drought.
As of Sunday night, downtown Los Angeles had recorded 14 inches of rain since the start of the water year on Oct. 1, just .77 inch less than the seasonal average, and rain continued to fall in the unstable aftermath of the storm front.
Heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada triggered an avalanche that shut down a highway west of Lake Tahoe. Officials warned of continuing avalanche danger at all elevations of the Sierra.
In northern Nevada, schools were canceled after more than a half-foot of snow fell near Reno.
Flood watches and warnings remained in place for much of Southern California, a day after nearly 4 inches of rain fell south of Los Angeles, inundating roadways, toppling trees and raising fears of damaging mudslides.
Low-elevation snow dusted rural communities just north of Los Angeles, while resort communities to the east in the San Bernardino Mountains were digging out from more heavy snow. Many schools in the inland region closed for the day.
The last of the three storms brought hours of rainfall to Southern California on Sunday.
Ryan Schwarzrock, 35, and his wife, Emily Earhart, 32, were at home in Seal Beach, south of Los Angeles, when the rain began to pound. The couple watched the street that winds through their mobile home community fill with water. Then, the water crept over the concrete step leading up to their home.
“It just started seeping in,” Earhart said. “We started getting towels and realized it wasn’t going to do it.”
The couple propped up couches on empty plastic bins and used paving stones to raise the bed off the floor. They pulled books from lower shelves and stacked them on the kitchen table. In 20 minutes, the floor was covered with 4 inches of water.
“With the drought, no one has really been thinking about rain and floods, and then it all comes,” Schwarzrock said.
Other Southern Californians were able to find some fun in the floods, paddleboarding and rafting through streets. A helmeted man raced a personal watercraft through suburban Fullerton.
The National Weather Service had warned that the system could be among the strongest storms in years, and it delivered.
Long Beach Airport received 3.87 inches of rain by 5 p.m. Sunday, breaking the all-time daily record for rainfall. Los Angeles Airport got 2.78 inches, another single-day record.
Fire departments reported numerous water rescues through the weekend, many involving motorists in high water.
A search resumed Monday for an 18-year-old woman whose car plunged into a rushing creek after a collision in Alameda County southeast of San Francisco on Saturday.
A man’s body was found in a swollen creek in northern San Diego County, which received more than 2.5 inches of rain.
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Send questions/comments to the editors.

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These Were The 15 Stupidest Signs At Saturday’s Women’s March (4.32/25)

Saturday’s Women’s March featured some of the least productive members of society: social justice warriors, feminists, and abortion advocates.
While drawing millions of marchers, event organizers ultimately lost control of the large crowds. As a result, the marches were scattered, if not fractured, failing to deliver a coherent message.
Some protesters demanded abortion. Others, free birth control. And of course, there were tens of thousands of protesters who wanted to federal government to implement socialized healthcare and cover their medical expenses.
But what was particularly striking about the parade of pawns was the fact that not a single protester managed to create a well articulated sign. In fact, most of them alluded to gonads.
Here are 15 of the stupidest signs at Saturday’s Women’s March. (Warning: Some may find the content below disturbing and offensive).

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What Trump Will Do For Agriculture Now That TPP Is Dead (4.32/25)

American farm groups are anxious to see how the White House will negotiate trade deals without starting a trade war now that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is officially dead.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday officially withdrawing from talks to enter into a trade partnership with 11 other countries in the Asia Pacific, and is looking at dropping out of NAFTA, the groundbreaking trade deal of the 1990s. (RELATED: Trump Signs Executive Order Killing Obama’s Legacy Trade Deal)
The most powerful lobby for the beef industry is worried about sparking a trade war with China and Canada, which would have been partners in the TPP.
“Sparking a trade war with Canada, Mexico, and Asia will only lead to higher prices for American-produced beef in those markets and put our American producers at a much steeper competitive disadvantage,” Tracy Brunner, president of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said in a statement Monday.
“TPP and NAFTA have long been convenient political punching bags, but the reality is that foreign trade has been one of the greatest success stories in the long history of the U. S. beef industry,” Brunner said.
Without suitable alternatives, the beef industry would suffer “tremendous loss,” Brunner said.
The White House will begin looking for bilateral trade agreements rather than agreements that put differently sized countries on par, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a press conference Monday afternoon.
Trump is reviewing all current trade deals, and will “increase market access wherever he can,” Spicer said. Any big trade deal could be at risk under the Trump administration if the president believes he can find a better deal negotiating with individual countries.
“[Trump] is always going to be fighting for the interests of the country and American worker,” Spicer said. “How we engage, and with whom, is going to decided on whether or not we can get a deal that benefits our country economically and in terms of national security.”
“It’s not about multi-lateral agreements under a Trump administration,” Spicer said. “It’s about bilateral agreements, where we can figure out, country to country, how can we fight for the American worker gain them access to another market that’s going to benefit our large and small businesses who want to sell additional goods and services.”
Negotiating trade deals soon is important for the agriculture sector, which relies on foreign exports.
“It is critical that the new administration begin work immediately to do all it can to develop new markets for U. S. agricultural goods and to protect and advance U. S. agricultural interests in the critical Asia-Pacific region,” Skippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation said in a statement .
Rural communities, which voted overwhelmingly for Trump, depends on agriculture trade, and “more than 25 percent of all U. S. ag production ultimately goes to markets outside our borders,” Duvall said.
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Trump signs executive order to withdraw US from TPP
President Trump Pulls US From TPP Video
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Trump pulls the plug on TPP: Our view


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Stephen Colbert to host Emmys in eight months and he’s already warming up with a Trump joke (4.29/25)

Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert will host the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in September, organisers announced on Monday. “Stephen is the ultimate master of ceremonies with award-winning creative talents,” Jack Sussman - a top executive at CBS television, whch also is home to Colbert’s “Late Show” - said in a statement. “We look forward to honoring television’s best while entertaining audiences with the creative energy and sharp comedy of Stephen Colbert.” The comedian, who for years has kept America laughing with his biting humour, wasted no time in setting the tone for the September 17 awards. “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the globe,” he said in the same statement - a swipe at comments made by White House press secretary Sean Spicer about attendance at the inauguration of President Donald Trump. In September 2015, Colbert replaced late night legend David Letterman as host of “The Late Show.” Before that, he had spent nine years on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” where he played a conservative talking head. Last year’s Emmys, which honour the best in US television, were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, another late night host. The Emmy Awards will take place at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 17. Nominations will be announced on July 13.

Stephen Colbert to host Emmy Awards in September on CBS
Stephen Colbert Will Host the 2017 Emmys
Comedian Stephen Colbert to host Emmys
Stephen Colbert to host Emmys on CBS in September
Stephen Colbert to host 2017 Emmy awards for television


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US sent $221 million to Palestinians in Obama’s last hours (4.27/25)

A State Department official and several congressional aides said the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning. The official said former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time Thursday. The aides said written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office. In addition to the $221 million for the Palestinians, the Obama administration also told Congress on Friday it was going ahead with the release of another $6 million in foreign affairs spending, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U. N. organizations, the congressional aides said. The aides and the State Department official weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity. Congress had initially approved the Palestinian funding in budget years 2015 and 2016, but at least two GOP lawmakers — Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — had placed holds on it over moves the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organizations. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated. The Obama administration had for some time been pressing for the release of the money for the Palestinian Authority, which comes from the U. S. Agency for International Development and is to be used for humanitarian aid in the West Bank and Gaza, to support political and security reforms as well as help prepare for good governance and the rule of law in a future Palestinian state, according to the notification sent to Congress.

US sent $221 million to Palestinians in Obama's last hours
Obama Uses Last Hours As President To Funnel Money To Palestinian Authority, Which Incites Murdering Jews
Obama defied Congress with $221 million for Palestin
Obama Administration Released $221 Million To Palestinians In Final Hours
Obama Gave Palestinians 200 Million Dollars In Last Hours


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NASCAR overhauls championship race, to award points by race segment (4.26/25)

July 26, 2015: Carl Edwards (19) and Joey Logano (22) lead the field through the first turn on the start of the NASCAR Brickyard 400 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis.
(AP Photo/R Brent Smith)
NASCAR is dramatically changing its format for the upcoming season, cutting every race into stages that reward points in hopes of making every lap matter.
The overhaul announced Monday assigns three stages to every race. The top 10 drivers at the end of Stage 1 and Stage 2 will be awarded points on a 10-through-1 scale and there will be a break in the racing after each segment. The third portion of the race will be for the overall victory, and although traditional point scoring will be applied for that stage, the win will be worth 40 points. The rest of the field will be scored on a 35 to 2 scale, and positions 36th to 40 will only receive 1 point.
All bonus points accumulated through the 26-race regular season can be used in the 10-race playoff, which will no longer be called "The Chase. "
"There are no off weeks, every race matters, not only that, every lap of every race matters," said Denny Hamlin, one of the many drivers who participated on the panel that created the new format.
NASCAR spent nearly seven months working with a wide range of industry stakeholders to come up with the changes. Heavily involved were the television networks, retired drivers Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton, current drivers from the driver council, and team and track executives. Monster Energy, which signed last month as the title sponsor for NASCAR's top series, was only informed of the shakeup in the last few weeks.
"If we created motorsports today, this is exactly how we would have done it," said 2012 champion Brad Keselowski.
NASCAR is energized by the changes, particularly the stages that will allow for a commercial break that doesn't occur during green-flag racing. Segment winners will be interviewed during the breaks, and NASCAR likes that it creates a pause that gives fans a chance to reset.
Race distances will not change under the format. Other changes:
— The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points. Each playoff point will be added to the driver total at the start of the playoffs.
— All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs. The four title contenders will race straight-up in the season finale for the title.
— The exhibition duels during Speedweeks at Daytona next month will now be worth 10 points to the two race winners.
The new format begins with the Feb. 26 season-opening Daytona 500.

NASCAR overhauls points format
NASCAR unveils major changes to races, points
NASCAR overhauls race and playoff format
NASCAR changes points system during races
NASCAR changing point system to reward drivers within race


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Women's March overshadows Legislature's opening day (4.20/25)

SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands of demonstrators poured into the Utah Capitol with a deafening roar Monday to rally around human rights issues as state lawmakers convened the 2017 Legislature.
An estimated 6,000 people marched up State Street through a sudden snowstorm to fill the Capitol rotunda and the floors above. Their loud cheering and singing nearly drowned out legislators considering bills in the House and Senate chambers.
“It’s incredible. It blows my mind,” said Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City. “This is the voice. This is vox populi in droves, on steroids.” Vox populi is Latin for voice of the people.
Chavez-Houck said people are raising their voices to say the presidential election doesn’t represent them on a variety of women’s issues, including equal pay, paid parental leave and reproductive rights.
“For those of us who have been part of the movement for decades, it’s great to see the new generation of activists coming forward to talk about it,” she said.
Amber Measom, who stood in the crowd with a young child strapped to her back, said, "We just want to give a cause to so many different people representing so many different things. "
While Measom said she was disappointed with President Donald Trump, she expressed hope for good decisions and progress to come.
Trump’s election brought Regina Tippets, a Salt Lake mental health therapist, to her first political rally.
“I was offended by Trump saying that he could do whatever he wanted to women and that he minimized it saying it was just locker room talk. The men I know don’t talk that way. I just find that horrifying,” Tippets said over the din of the crowd.
People should unite and be compassionate, not throw sticks and stones at each other, she said.
Tippets said she hopes lawmakers take the demonstration in a positive way.
“I hope they take it as we care and that it does matter. I want to work with them, not against them. I don’t want to hateful,” she said.
The protest continued the Women's March movement that went worldwide Saturday, including in Park City, they day after Trump's inauguration. Many of the women at the rally Monday represented various causes, but many also expressed dissatisfaction with the newly elected president.
"I've been waiting since November to see some dignity, some grace. It's just been lies, lies," Anne Manzies said.
She also said it's troubling that there could be such division and dysfunction in government and still see the same officials being re-elected.
House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said the rally shows that the last election has “opened a spirit of resistance.” He said it’s about a lot more than just being troubled about Trump in the White House, and it goes beyond gender issues.
Speakers from several organizations gave speeches that were nearly inaudible above the deafening noise of those in attendance. Protections against sexual assault were also an important issue, and many protesters demanded the testing of all sexual assault kits.
Women's reproductive rights and health care were central to the protesters' messages. They defended the Affordable Care Act and worried about Trump's promise to repeal and replace the controversial law.
Not everyone shared those opinions.
"It’s really sad, the things that they’re saying, and I don’t think they really know what they’re talking about," said Charlotte Mueller, who was carrying a Trump campaign sign.
Mueller said she felt "uninvited" to the event because she is pro-life.
"But I don’t care. I’m here to support Donald Trump and America," she said.
Utah Highway Patrol Capt. Barton Blair said there were only two or three incidents where a “spontaneous gathering” of people confronting the demonstrators had to be moved to another area of the Capitol.
"There wasn’t any assaults or anything like that,” Blair said, describing the incidents as “really pretty mild.” He estimated the crowd Monday at about 6,000 people — “probably one of the largest ones we’ve seen in here.”
Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer said he was not aware of any vandalism from protesters. Shearer said police accommodated the demonstration by blocking off State Street from North Temple to the Capitol, which was the short distance covered by the march.
Wearing a pink feather boa at the rally, Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, said he intends to introduce legislation to bring back the Equal Rights Amendment.
“This is a game changer for the state of Utah, just like in 2010 when those spontaneous tea party things that broke out across the country. The Republicans and the Trump administration has gone too far. I think this is the beginning of a massive change, not only in the United States but in Utah,” said Dabakis, the state’s only openly gay legislator.
The demonstration continued for more than two hours as groups spoke to the assembled crowd who at times packed four people deep throughout the upper levels of the Capitol and filled the bottom floor to capacity.
Environmental groups also spoke on topics such as the newly declared Bears Ears National Monument and continuing concerns about air quality.
LGBT rights were also a notable topic at the event, and Equality Utah, an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, was present to speak.
"It’s an important opportunity to send a message to state lawmakers that Utah’s progressive community is ready for action," said Troy Williams, the executive director of Equality Utah.
The House wrapped up for the day just as the rally heated up, but the Senate slogged through a few bills throughout the rally, even though several senators complained they were having difficulty hearing.
"We just turned up the mics,” Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said after floor time ended about the same time as the demonstration.
Niederhauser said he wasn’t sure what to take from the rally.
“I just don’t know what they’re saying. I mean, I hear the noise. So the message from the noise is this is obviously a big concern for people in our state,” he said. “I’d like to know more about what their message is.”
The Senate president said he stuck to the scheduled floor time rather than break for senators to focus on the rally because “we have work to do and we have to move forward.”
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, tweeted a list of requests sent in from a demonstrator that included more spending for education, making corporations pay their fair share, improving air quality, and not cutting funding for domestic violence programs.
Weiler said the rally “sounded like freedom to me,” even though it made it harder to hear on the floor. He said he felt he needed to stay put, however.
“I feel like it’s my job. I’m supposed to be at my desk, voting for the people,” he said. “I don’t think this Legislature is going to be taking any rights away from women this year.”
While Monday's rally was peaceful, an incident last year had some legislators on edge, leading to new security measures.
Law enforcement presence has increased at the Capitol this session, with new screening in place to enter the public seating area in the House gallery on the fourth floor. Only one of the two sets of doors to the gallery are being used as a public entrance, on the southwest side.
Blair said the public is being asked not to bring bags to the House gallery, but if they do, the bags will be searched. He said the security measures were put in place at the request of House leaders “to make sure it’s safe for the legislators who are on the floor and the people in the gallery.”
The UHP captain said the changes were not related to the rally but to an incident last year, where the brother of executed killer Ronnie Lee Gardner stormed into the House gallery and displayed a graphic image to protest the death penalty. No changes have been made at this point for the Senate.
Contributing : Ben Lockhart

Doubek: Illinois needs a grassroots protest like Women's March
How celebrities at the Women's March say they'll reflect the change they want to see in America
Metro: Women's March second highest day ever for ridership
Metro: Women's March Second Highest Day Ever for Ridership


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President Bush moved out of ICU, Mrs. Bush released (4.19/25)

HOUSTON – President George H. W. Bush will be moved out of the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital and Mrs. Barbara Bush was released Monday, according to their doctors.
The doctors said that the former president will be moved to a regular floor and that he could be discharged by Friday although more likely not until next week.
Spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted a touching photo of the Bushes in the hospital and said they "thank their fellow Americans and friends from around the world for their prayers and good wishes. "
President and Mrs @GeorgeHWBush thank their fellow Americans and friends from around the world for their prayers and good wishes.
"He's a really strong person. Not your average 92-year-old," Dr. Amy Mynderse said of President Bush.
The spokesman said the former president is getting better by the minute and has come a long way since his breathing tube was removed this past Friday.
"He's a really strong person. Not you're average 92-year-old" on Prez Bush and his recovery #khou11
He’s been at Houston Methodist since Jan. 14 and is being treated for pneumonia.
Mynderse said the former president has been sitting up and watching TV and is “waiting anxiously for his favorite oyster stew for lunch.” He was also joking and talking with nurses.
President Bush still has a fair amount of coughing they said, but that they were addressing it with various breathing treatments.
Meanwhile, Barbara Bush was admitted on Jan. 18 for bronchitis.
Although she too has been receiving treatment, doctor’s say she’s been by his side as much as possible.
“They are essentially therapy for each other. They help in our compliance in terms of when one of them doesn't want to take a breathing treatment the other says get on that. It helps our cause!” Dr. Clint Doerr said.
According to the family spokesman, the former first lady was given the all clear to go home on Sunday but chose to stay another night to be close to her husband.
(© 2017 KHOU)

President George H.W. Bush's health continues to improve
Ex-President George HW Bush Moved Out of ICU Video
Barbara Bush released from hospital, Pres. George H.W. Bush improving
Former President George H.W. Bush leaving ICU, Barbara Bush discharged


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Region poised for change as new era dawns (4.17/25)

BEIJING (AP) — People across Asia are poised for a potentially dramatic change in relations with Washington under President Donald Trump after decades with the United States as a major military and economic presence.
The clues Trump has given about his foreign policy are a break with former President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” which re-emphasized American engagement in the region.
In one of his first actions in office, Trump withdrew the United States from the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement negotiated by the Obama administration and 11 Pacific Rim countries. He has talked about requiring allies Japan and South Korea to pay more for U. S. troops stationed on their soil.
Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods to 45 percent and upended four decades of diplomatic protocol by taking a phone call from President Tsai Ing-wen of self-governing Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory.
“From this moment on, it’s going to be America first,” Trump said at his inauguration Friday. Here’s how people across the Asia-Pacific region think his presidency could affect their lives:
Amol Sharma, owner of a pet services startup, said Trump’s presidency “might be a boon for India.”
“It doesn’t seem like Trump’s going to have a great relationship with China. And if he is going to fall out with China, he would need a backup from a developing, emerging power, and I think India seems to be his best bet,” said Sharma, 36, from Jaipur, in the state of Rajasthan.
Nurse Hitoshi Shiraishi worries about what Trump’s “America first” policy will mean for cooperation and agreements with Japan and other countries.
With Trump abandoning the TPP, “the relations and other things that were built over time with (President Barack) Obama have all at once reversed course,” he said in Tokyo.
Add long-simmering opposition to the stationing of U. S. troops on the Japanese island of Okinawa, and “I’m worried things could get worse,” said Shiraishi, 30. “It feels like what has been built over time until now could come crumbling down, so I’m afraid.”
“Trump wants to keep China in check and that would escalate conflict, which can also affect our country,” said student Kim Eun-sol, 19.
A demand for South Korea to pay more for U. S. forces in the country, or pressure to renegotiate a free-trade agreement “would cause a crack in the South Korea-U. S. alliance,” said Kim, who is from the southern city of Jinju.
“Trump also has mentioned using the military to deal with North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons,” which would add to tension on the Korean Peninsula, she said.
“Once he won the election, he tried to use Taiwan to suppress China. That was really despicable,” said Ma Rui, a retired teacher in Beijing.
“The key is how China will treat him. He is a double-dealer and he tries to boost the economy” by using “Taiwan as a tool to bargain with China,” said Ma, 82. “I don’t think he will succeed in this regard and China has its own ways to deal with him.”
Ma doesn’t foresee any big changes in Sino-U. S. relations. “China will be able to handle him. The relationship won’t go bad, because that is not good for the U. S., either,” said Ma.
Given Trump’s business background, some Taiwanese foresee a friendly relationship based on longstanding U. S. sales of military equipment to Taiwan and an upgrade in the self-governing island’s military defense.
“He will consider things with a business mindset,” said Manhua Chen, 37, from Taipei. “For example, the phone call with President Tsai was just because there is a great amount of trade between us in military weapons.”
Yet Chen, a former Pfizer employee turned Spanish-language tour guide, said she was worried Trump would refuse to discuss “universal values, such as human rights, or climate change.”
“If he does not care enough about these universal values, I really don’t know what will define the United States as a great country,” said Chen. “Then each country could also close their doors and do their own thing.”
Unggul Hermanto, 34, thinks Indonesian politicians will find Trump easier to work with than his predecessors.
“They know that if they play to his ego — and Indonesian politicians are very good at doing this — they can get what they want from him,” said Hermanto, publisher of a lifestyle magazine.
If Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo meets Trump, “will Trump like Jokowi?” said Hermanto, from Lombok island. “Yeah, of course, he’s one of the most polite persons in the world and Trump will come out and say ‘I love him, he’s great,’ blah blah. But it’s just Jokowi being nice, and that’s how he’s going to get things from Trump.”
Student Adib Iliya Azlan, 19, said Malaysians previously viewed the U. S. president as a “representative of democracy and fairness” who would “try to pressure our local political process into becoming slightly more transparent and open.”
“Unfortunately with Trump, I don’t expect him to show up in Malaysia in a few years talking about open elections and transparency,” said Adib. “I don’t see him taking that much of an interest certainly in foreign policy in general and almost certainly not ASEAN” — the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Adib said Trump’s dealings with China, an important economic partner, could determine Malaysia’s relations with the United States.
“If Trump upsets the Chinese or vice versa, that may force Malaysia’s hand in some way,” said Adib, from Petaling Jaya town in central Selangor state. “My concern will be if Trump ends up going on a tirade against the Chinese and putting us in sticky situation, because I think it’s always good as a developing country to sort of have the ear of both the East and the West.”
Wynton Moore, a data scientist who spent seven years in Chicago studying physics, said the only thing Trump has said that would directly affect New Zealand is his actions on dropping the TPP talks.
“I think that the majority of people in New Zealand would probably be happy about that,” said Moore, who lives in Wellington. “It seems like a lot of people here have got very strong reservations.”
Moore, 29, said he thought New Zealand would continue its “very strong cooperative relationship” with the U. S. “just due to the history of New Zealand and U. S. leaders, for the most part, putting politics to one side when it comes to their bilateral relationship.”
AP journalists Shonal Ganguly and Rishabh Jain in New Delhi; Yong Jun Chang in Seoul, South Korea; Peng in Beijing; Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand; Emily Wang in Tokyo; Stephen Wright in Jakarta, Indonesia; Taijing Wu in Taipei, Taiwan; and Eileen Ng and Syawalludin Zain in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, contributed.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Trump in Asia: Region poised for change as new era dawns
'Trump in Asia:' Region poised for change as new era dawns
Trump in Asia: Region Poised for Change as New Era Dawns


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Spicer Clarifies False Claims About Inauguration Crowd Size (3.63/25)

Photo credit: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom
White House press secretary Sean Spicer turned heads on Saturday evening when he called reporters to the briefing room and read from a written statement: "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration—period—both in person and around the globe. " Spicer drew intense criticism because widely-circulated photos showed that the "in-person" audience for Donald Trump's inauguration was much smaller than it was for Barack Obama's first inauguration.
Spicer cited figures about the number of people present in person to bolster his claim:
We do know a few things, so let's go through the facts. We know that from the platform where the president was sworn in, to 4th Street, it holds about 250,000 people. From 4th Street to the media tent is about another 220,000. And from the media tent to the Washington Monument, another 250,000 people. All of this space was full when the president took the oath of office. We know that 420,000 people used the D. C. Metro public transit yesterday, which actually compares to 317,000 that used it for President Obama's last inaugural. This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration—period—both in person and around the globe.
At his first official White House press briefing on Monday, Spicer acknowledged that the figures he cited for Metro ridership did not comport with those of D. C. officials. But he didn't back down from his most controversial claim that this was the "largest audience to ever witness an inauguration—period—both in person and around the globe. "
Spicer said he always meant to claim that the "total audience" watching last Friday's presidential inauguration was the largest ever—including in-person participants on the National Mall and those watching on television and the internet around the world.
"I don't know how you can interpret it differently. That's literally what I said. 'To witness it in person and around the globe.' Total audience, yes," Spicer told THE WEEKLY STANDARD at his press briefing.
Why it took Spicer two days to make this clarification wasn't clear. His original statement was widely interpreted as referring to both the "in-person" audience as well as the audience around the globe (because the word both means "the one as well as the other".) If this was a simple grammatical error, Spicer or a White House aide could have easily corrected it. Instead, in a Meet the Press interview Sunday, Kellyanne Conway simply claimed that Spicer was relying on " alternative facts. "

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Sean Spicer stands by inaugural audience claim in first briefing


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Trump picks Ericksen, Benton to work with EPA (3.51/25)

SEATTLE (AP) - Two Republican state legislators from Washington have been chosen by President Donald Trump to help reshape the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Seattle Times reports ( ) that former state Sen. Don Benton , of Vancouver, and state Sen. Doug Ericksen , R-Ferndale, are among 10 officials who joined the EPA over the weekend as part of a transition effort. Both Benton and Ericksen were early campaign backers of Trump.
Benton was named senior White House adviser supervising the EPA transition. Ericksen will act as communications director for the agency transition.
Ericksen said he does not intend to resign his state senate seat - but instead will fly back and forth to do both jobs. If Ericksen were to quit, it would leave the state Senate temporarily in a tie - a Republican led caucus now holds a 25-24 majority.
In a statement, Benton said he looked forward to working with career EPA employees “to make this transition work as well as possible, and to carry out the agency ’s mission to protect public health and the environment.”
While Ericksen and Benton ’s new roles are temporary - lasting up to a few months - they could transition to permanent jobs in the agency. Ericksen said he doesn’t want to live in Washington, D. C. , but is interested in a local role, such as leading the EPA ’s regional office.
Both Ericksen and Benton have been critics of government environmental regulations.
The local Sierra Club criticized the hiring of Benton and Ericksen .
“It’s hard to imagine two lawmakers less qualified to be put in charge of environmental protection in the Pacific Northwest,” said Cesia Kearns, deputy regional director for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

Senate confirms Trump’s pick to run the CIA
Senate Confirms Trump's Pick to Run the CIA
Arnold Schwarzenegger no fan of Trump's pick to lead the EPA


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Hosting Super Bowl LI gets real for Houston (3.30/25)

HOUSTON, Tx – Now that the Super Bowl teams are set, it’s time for Houston to get down to business.
Super Bowl LI officials held a press conference on Monday to highlight some of the festivities that will take place over the next two weeks.
On display was a VIP hospitality ticker that came in a box with a small window that displays each of the past 50 Super Bowl logos.
Fans will be able to enjoy the annual interactive NFL Experience, which opens on Saturday.
"This is the day when it all starts to become real,” said Peter O'Reilly, senior vice president of events. “We've been working on this for three or so years now. And this is the day, now that we know the two Super Bowl participating teams that everything really kicks into gear.
“Since the games last night, we have been working with the two teams and making sure that all plans are in place as we now sit here under two weeks out. "
"I think for us having the Super Bowl here in Houston, to get the number one offense in the league versus the number one scoring defense, I think its a great matchup,” said NFL free agent linebacker DeMeco Ryans. “And for me I'm excited because you finally get to see, does defense win championships or offense win championships? "
"It's awesome for the city. It's great exposure,” added Owen Daniels, a free agent tight end. “I don't know how many people know about Houston or what it has to offer, but, especially people from the New England area, the Atlanta area, and obviously this is a worldwide event, so you're going to have people from all over the world coming into town and seeing what Houston has to offer.”
Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, will be the site for the NFL’s second annual Monday night Opening Night event, which is a combination of media day interviews and entertainment opportunities for about 12,000 fans to get a look at the teams.
(© 2017 WXIA)
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Patriots' defense ignored critics on the way to Super Bowl
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Samsung's earnings more than double on record chip profits (3.29/25)

Samsung Electronics said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled over a year earlier thanks to record-high earnings from its brisk memory chip business and strong smartphone sales despite costly Galaxy Note 7 recalls. ...

Samsung's 4Q earnings more than double on record chip profit
Samsung’s earnings more than double on record chip profits
Samsung's 4Q Earnings More Than Double on Record Chip Profit
Samsung Elec warns of political risks as chips boost Q4 profit
Samsung Elec Q4 profit jumps as record chip profit masks Note 7 failure


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Trump tears up 'red tape' and trade pact (3.27/25)

Donald Trump used his first full working day in the White House to launch a bonfire of 'red tape' and government waste, pull America out of a major trade deal, and cut funding for abortion.
On what his team called "Day One" of his administration, Mr Trump vowed to cut back regulations "by 75pc, maybe more", and banned his government from hiring any more people unless they were for the military.
"There's been a lack of respect for taxpayers' money in this town for too long. We have got to respect taxpayers' money," said his spokesman, Sean Spicer.
In the Oval Office, Mr Trump signed an executive order formally withdrawing the US from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement with 11 Pacific Rim countries that was backed by president Barack Obama as part of his "pivot" to strengthen ties with Asia.
After signing, Mr Trump said: "Great thing for the American worker that we just did. "
He also reinstated the so-called Mexico City Policy, a ban on giving taxpayers' money to international groups that perform or provide information on abortions. Mr Obama had rescinded the ban in 2009.
The president announced his son-in-law and key adviser, Jared Kushner, would meet with Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, in the run-up to an effort to renegotiate the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) between the two countries and Mexico.
Mr Trump held a breakfast meeting at the White House with a dozen business leaders including Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX founder, and executives from Dell, Johnson & Johnson, US Steel and Lockheed Martin.
He warned them he would impose a "substantial border tax" on companies moving their manufacturing out of the US, and promised tax breaks for those producing in America.
"All you have to do is stay," he said. "A company that wants to fire all of its people in the United States, and build some factory some place else, and then thinks that product is going to just flow across the border into the United States - that's not going to happen. "
He also tasked the business leaders to come up with a plan to help stimulate the manufacturing sector and present it within 30 days.
On a packed first day, Mr Trump also met with construction union leaders, and Republican members of Congress to discuss repealing the Affordable Care Act, Mr Obama's signature healthcare policy.
John McCain, the influential Republican senator, criticised Mr Trump's withdrawal from TPP. He said: "It's a serious mistake that will have lasting consequences for America's economy and our strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region. "
However, Senator Bernie Sanders, the former Democratic presidential hopeful, who like Mr Trump was critical of TPP, said: "I am glad the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead and gone. For the last 30 years, we have had a series of trade deals, including Nafta, which have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs. "
A legal case filed in New York by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington contended that Mr Trump was "submerged in conflicts of interest" because of ties with countries such as China, India and potentially Russia. It cited a constitutional provision known as the "emoluments" clause that bars US officials from accepting gifts from foreign governments.
The group claimed that should include payments by foreign governments for leases at Trump Tower in New York, visits to Mr Trump's hotels, rounds at Trump's golf courses, and rights to rebroadcast Mr Trump's reality TV show 'The Apprentice'.
Meanwhile, Mr Spicer, the combative White House spokesman, stood by his controversial claims that Mr Trump's inauguration was watched by more people than that of Mr Obama eight years ago. Mr Spicer accused the media at the weekend of "deliberately" underestimating the size of the crowd.
Speaking during his first daily White House press briefing yesterday, Mr Spicer said he did believe it was his duty to tell the truth. He said: "It is an honour to do this and yes I believe we have to be honest with the American people. Our intention is never to lie to you.
"I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts. I'm going to come out here and tell you the facts as I know them. And if we make a mistake, we'll do our best to correct it. "
Read more: White House intends 'never to lie to you' - press secretary Sean Spicer
Read more: Trump makes early move on restricting abortions around the world

White House phone comments line won't be down permanently
What Trump's moves on trade, abortion and federal hiring really do — and don't do
Trump's trade boost for Britain before May visits US
Trump torpedoes Pacific trade pact


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Kristol: Spicer 'Fine,' Trump 'Totally Inappropriate' (3.26/25)

Editor-at-large Bill Kristol discussed Sean Spicer's first press briefing and President Trump's unpresidential first days with Jake Tapper on Monday. Spicer was "disastrous" Saturday and "better" at Monday's first official briefing, Kristol said. The president's conduct, on the other hand, shows no such signs of improvement:
"I think Sean Spicer as press secretary, fine. He was pretty disastrous Saturday, did better today. But the White House Press Corps has been nice to him. They're going to have to deal with him for a long time. First day, don't beat him up—you'd like to get access to White House staff for interviews, to the president himself. "
"But what the president did Saturday at the CIA. I happened to talk to a lot of people who have been in previous administrations—and I guess you can therefore dismiss this as the old way of doing it—but for a president of the United States, a sitting president of the United States, not a candidate, not a spokesman, to go to the CIA, stand in front of that wall, and make the rambling and inappropriate comments the president made, people were seriously worried. I talked to serious people who are not unfriendly to the Trump administration who thought, 'Oh, my God.'"
Later in the segment, Kristol called Trump's behavior "totally inappropriate":
"Why was Spicer having this discussion? Because Donald Trump had raised the issue at the CIA. If it's just a quarrel between the Press Secretary and the Press Corps, fine. If the Press Secretary's being deceiving a little, the democracy will survive that. Donald Trump went to the Central Intelligence Agency on the first full day of his presidency and raised the question of whether the media was being unfair in describing the crowd he had at the Inauguration. He treated it as a pep rally, and then his press secretary said, 'Those CIA people were cheering for the president'—that's also totally inappropriate. Those are intelligence professionals; they respect the president of the United States. "

Sean Spicer Scolds Media for Negative Donald Trump Coverage
Spicer Vs. CNN’s Acosta: Media Only Tries To Damage Trump
Trump inauguration was 'most watched ever’ Spicer claims again – video


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Q&A: Protests Over Gas Costs Disrupt Mexico Border Crossings (3.24/25)

Demonstrators have taken control of Mexican border crossings with the U. S. several times in the past month to oppose Mexican gasoline price hikes in an unusual, if not unprecedented, show of protest.
Here are some questions and answers about the protests and their impact:
Protesters in Mexico who are upset about gas prices have occupied inspection lanes several times this month for vehicles entering from the U. S.
At the request of the Mexican government, U. S. authorities have been blocking vehicles from entering Mexico.
In other places, Mexican authorities have abandoned their positions, letting protesters wave people through without being stopped.
On Sunday, U. S. authorities blocked southbound vehicle traffic for 5? hours at the San Ysidro port of entry between Tijuana and San Diego, the busiest crossing on the border. The California Highway Patrol directed motorists several miles east to the Otay Mesa crossing.
It was the third straight weekend that freeway access into Mexico has been blocked at San Ysidro. In Nogales, Arizona, motorists were diverted to another crossing on Sunday for the second time this month.
"I don't know of any precedent for protesters taking over ports of entry in either direction," said David Shirk, associate professor of political science and international relations at the University of San Diego. "It obviously underscores the public sentiment in Mexico today, which is extremely anti-government. "
Travelers entering the U. S. from Mexico and pedestrians going to Mexico have not been affected.
Demonstrators oppose nationwide gas price increases of up to 20 percent at the country's state-owned oil monopoly.
While gas prices were the catalyst, demonstrators are airing a long list of grievances against President Enrique Pena Nieto and other authorities.
In Tijuana, grievances include a weakened peso, a federal sales-tax increase that took effect three years ago, and a water price increase in Baja California state, which was rescinded last week amid a public backlash.
"The gas price increase was the final straw," Mario Lopez , 29, said Sunday as he and other protesters waved motorists in to Tijuana from San Diego.
Protests against the gasoline price hikes occurred elsewhere in Mexico but have died down.
The protests have created enormous lines to enter Mexico and raised potential security risks. Kenn Morris, president of the Crossborder Group Inc. consulting business, said Sunday's actions created a line of about 1,200 cars in San Diego but cargo traffic hasn't been affected.
Mexican authorities have taken a hands-off approach. On Sunday, there were only a few dozen demonstrators at each border crossing in Tijuana.
Shirk said the Mexican military could easily stop the protests but might further galvanize public opinion against Pena Nieto's government. He said the cautious approach recognizes Mexicans' "enormous frustration. "
Only a small percentage of motorists entering Mexico from the U. S. are stopped for inspection under normal circumstances, but the takeovers have been given them an open invitation to bring what they want.
Guns and proceeds from drug sales in the U. S. are often introduced to Mexico by car. Some motorists have brought refrigerators, televisions and other goods to avoid customs duties.

Q&A: Protests over gas costs disrupt Mexico border crossings - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports
Protests over gas costs disrupt Mexico border crossings
Q&A: Protests over gas costs disrupt Mexico border crossings


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If Trump ends America’s world leadership, who will step up? (3.23/25)

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump’s pursuit of an “America first” foreign policy is raising questions about who, if anyone, will fill the void if the U. S. relinquishes its traditional global leadership role. China and Russia are among the aspirants for greater economic and military influence, while an ambivalent Germany could emerge as the West’s moral compass.
For generations, the U. S. has largely set the terms for the global economy, policed international security threats and spearheaded the response to crises like Ebola and Haiti’s earthquake. But after sweeping into office with an isolationist-tinged message rooted in the idea the U. S. needs to refocus on itself, Trump has said and done little to dispel the notion that he wants the rest of the world solve its own problems.
In his inaugural address, Trump said the U. S. for too long has been invested in other countries’ industries, militaries, borders and infrastructure while letting its own fall into “disrepair and decay.”
“That is the past,” Trump said.
In one of his first acts, Trump on Monday formally withdrew the U. S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a project launched under President George W. Bush and negotiated by President Barack Obama to set trade rules with Asia and counter China’s economic influence.
READ: Trump torpedoes Pacific trade pact
Trump said he was doing a “great thing” for U. S. workers by tearing it up. But Sen. John McCain, a fellow Republican, said the withdrawal “abdicates U. S. leadership in Asia to China.”
China isn’t the only country that could profit from U. S. retrenchment. In their own ways, Russia and Germany also could stake a claim to a greater global role. But no one can simultaneously match America’s economic, military and moral might, and a more isolationist U. S. could mean a power vacuum.
“There’s no country or collection of countries that can do what the U. S. has done for the last half-century,” said Jon Alterman, a former State Department official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s partly a question of resources and capacity, and it’s partly a question of ambition.”
“A huge number of things will simply not be done,” he said.
While U. S. rivals like China and Russia would relish the opportunity to try to replace the United States, many countries in Asia, Europe and elsewhere are fretting the prospect of an American retreat. Even Germany is unsettled about being increasingly looked to as a moral example.
China, which has been investing billions in Africa and Latin America to curry influence in the developing world, could become an increasingly dominant economic power. It already is aggressively pursuing a multicountry trade deal that would appear the likeliest alternative to TPP, a scenario Obama’s administration had warned would let China “write the rules” and lead to worse labor and environmental standards.
Beijing has used Trump’s inauguration as an opportunity to ridicule America’s democracy and tout its own communist system as superior. And many of China’s neighbors share its fears about Trump’s threats to trigger a “trade war” with the Asian powerhouse by taxing Chinese products.
“Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, laying out his plans for growth, overseas investments and expanded trade opportunities. It was the type of agenda the U. S. might have previously touted.
America’s military alliances are no sure thing, either.
Trump has suggested a broad rethink, calling NATO “obsolete” and challenging U. S. allies to bear greater cost while beefs up its military in the Pacific and Russia exerts military power in Eastern Europe, which suffered for decades under Soviet domination.
It’s not the only place the Kremlin is flexing its muscles. In Syria, Russia has backed more than a year of successful Syrian government offensives against rebels and is currently directing peace talks between the two sides. The U. S. was but a bystander at the negotiations Monday, while the White House said it could partner Russia to fight the Islamic State group in Syria. Such an arrangement could significantly enhance Russia’s reputation in the Middle East.
“With the election of Donald Trump, the old world of the 20th century is finally over,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote in the Bild newspaper, reflecting a broader European lament about confused international leadership and increased disorder.
Trump’s push has mirrored a broader global debate about globalization vs. isolation. British Prime Minister Theresa May will visit Trump later this week, seeking cooperation from an American leader who cheered her country’s vote to leave the European Union — which Obama campaigned against.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who once cursed Obama for the American’s criticism of his country’s war on drugs, has embraced Trump’s “America first” approach and expressed relief the U. S. will no longer lecture others on how to behave. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, long accused of undemocratic tendencies, echoed that message, declaring “the end of multilateralism” in the age of Trump.
READ: Palace: PH ready to work with Trump
While China’s increased economic strength and Russia’s military vigor may appeal to some, few Western-looking nations will turn to either for moral leadership. Germany has tried to fill that void, embracing hundreds of thousands of refugees and championing a dwindling multilateralism 70 years after being culpable for some of history’s greatest ever atrocities in World War II.
But Germany, Europe’s economic motor, has a glaring shortcoming: An inability to match the hard power of aspiring leaders in Moscow and Beijing. And for all her efforts, German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a tough re-election later this year, where she will find out if her Germany is immune to the new populist surge.

Isolation won't make President Trump's America great again
Trump: America for the Americans! Contact WND
If Trump ends America's world leadership, who will step up?
Hungary's Orban praises Trump's 'end of multilateralism'


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NYC to pay $75 million to end lawsuit over flimsy summonses (3.20/25)

New York City has agreed to pay up to $75 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging police officers issued nearly 1 million legally baseless criminal summonses over several years because they were under pressure to meet quotas.
The settlement announced Monday would allow people issued court summonses for offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct and urinating in public to get $150 per case, if the summons was tossed because it was deemed insufficient.
The suit was filed in a federal court in 2010 on behalf of people who were hit with 900,000 court summonses that were later dismissed for legal insufficiency.
It came amid a growing outcry over the New York Police Department's encounters with minorities. The lead plaintiff in the case, Sharif Stinson, said he was stopped twice outside his aunt's Bronx building in 2010 when he was 19 and was given disorderly conduct summonses by officers who said he used obscene language. But the officers didn't specify what the language or behavior was, and the tickets were dismissed.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs called it the largest false-arrest class-action lawsuit in city history. The settlement is nearly double the $41 million deal the city made with five men who were wrongly convicted in the vicious 1989 rape and beating of a Central Park jogger.
The 2010 lawsuit includes summonses filed from 2007 through at least 2015, and the number tossed for legal insufficiency is about one-quarter of all the summonses filed during that time, according to data in the lawsuit. Insufficiency is not necessarily a lack of evidence; it may be that an officer wasn't clear enough in explaining why someone was ticketed. Summonses may also be dismissed for other reasons; the class-action lawsuit doesn't include those.
According to the settlement terms, those eligible for compensation would receive a maximum $150 per person per incident. A total of $56.6 million would be set aside, and individual payments could end up lower if more claims are made. Any funds not paid go back to the city, which is also paying $18.5 million in legal fees. Possible class members would be notified through social media and other advertisements.
The lawsuit argued police were routinely ordered to issue summonses "regardless of whether any crime or violation" had occurred to meet quotas. It cited claims by two whistleblower officers who said they were forced into quotas by precinct superiors. The quota allegations were explicitly denied in the settlement agreement filed Monday.
Under the agreement, the city said the NYPD must update and expand training and guidance reiterating to officers and their superiors that quotas are not allowed, and officers must not be mandated to make a particular number of summonses, street stops or arrests.
But the department already has undergone major changes since the lawsuit was filed, due in part to public protests and to other cases filed against the department that argued police policy wrongly targeted minorities.
The NYPD curtailed a once-widespread practice of stopping and searching people in the street. Officers now address certain quality-of-life offenses through tickets instead of criminal summonses. The summons form was revised to allow more details so fewer are dismissed.
"This agreement is a fair resolution for class members and brings an end to a longstanding and complex case in the best interests of the city," said Corporation Counsel Zachary W. Carter.
The settlement must be approved by U. S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet.

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NYC to pay $75 million to end lawsuit over flimsy summonses - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports


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Police search for suspect after shooting lands man in hospital (3.19/25)

FLINT TWP, MI - Police are searching for a 30-year-old man in connection with a shooting Monday morning that left out person in the hospital.
Flint Township officers were called out around 8:30 a.m. Jan. 23 to the 2500 block of McCollum Avenue, off Pasadena Avenue for unknown trouble and learned a 39-year-old man that lives in the area had been taken to a local hospital with a gunshot wound.
An initial investigation revealed the man has been shot at a residence on McCollum and then transported via a personal vehicle to the hospital. He was later listed in good condition.
The suspect wanted for questioning was last seen driving a two-tone, blue/gray 1994 Chevrolet Suburban.
Anyone with information about the shooting has been asked to contact Flint Township police at 810-600-3250, or submit a tip anonymously to Crime Stoppers via P3tips mobile app, , or call 1-800-422-JAIL (5245).

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Chief: Man killed after shootout with police in MS


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7 players from Louisiana high schools, colleges going to Super Bowl 2017 (3.19/25)

The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots have seven players from Louisiana high schools and colleges on their Super Bowl-bound rosters. Of those seven players, six play on defense, and four went to LSU.
Scroll through the gallery to learn more about those players.

Wait until you see how much it'll cost you to go to Super Bowl LI
High school with 76% grad rate only prepped 4% for college
Falcons award game ball to player's wife who went into labor during playoff game
Ex-college football player indicted in high school cheerleader's killing


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'Terror' accusations fly at Syrian peace talks (3.14/25)

Syrian peace talks got off to a rocky start in Kazakhstan yesterday after rebel groups refused face-to-face negotiations with the government, which in turn called the delegation "terrorists".
The talks, sponsored by Russia and Turkey, are the first between the armed opposition and the regime since war erupted in the country in 2011.
The two-day summit is a showcase of the new power brokers in the region, with this week's negotiations the first major peace talks to be held outside Geneva and outside the US's sphere of influence.
Russia offered a late invitation to the Trump administration, which declined to send any senior diplomats but said its ambassador to Kazakhstan would act as an "observer".
Yesterday, Russia claimed to have carried out joint strikes with US-led coalition aircraft against Isil, in what would have been the first example of direct US-Russian military cooperation against the group.
However, US officials immediately denied the report.
The 14-member opposition delegation in Kazakhstan is keen to see a deal which strengthens the fragile nationwide ceasefire that came into force last month, as well as the resumption of aid deliveries to rebel-held areas.
But they have made clear they are not willing to move on to political negotiations until the government halts its military operations.
The rebels cited the regime's continued attacks on Wadi Barada, a flashpoint area near Damascus, as its reason for backing out of the first round of direct talks.
In his opening address, Mohammad Alloush, the head of the rebel delegation and political officer for the powerful Army of Islam faction, likened the pro-government forces fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad to Isil and said they were responsible for bloodshed in Syria.
Bashar Jaafari, the regime's ambassador to the United Nations, denounced the speech as "provocative" and "insolent" and accused Mr Alloush of representing "terrorist-armed groups". The regime is pushing for a political solution to the conflict in which rebels would lay down their arms in exchange for an amnesty deal.
The Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies are optimistic about getting a favourable deal. Since the previous talks under the auspices of the UN, the rebel stronghold of east Aleppo has fallen.
The current talks were made possible by the recent detente between Turkey and Russia, whose increasingly close alliance has left the US out in the cold. But analysts believe Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to include Washington, particularly now there is a president less hostile to the Kremlin.

Rough start for first face-to-face talks between Syrian rebels and government - they called each other terrorists
Harsh exchanges make for a rocky start to latest Syria talks
‘New level’ Syrian govt & opposition talks in Astana tense but promising – Russian envoy — RT News
First day of Syrian peace talks end without breakthrough


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Lawyers warn May against short Brexit bill if supreme court says vote is needed (3.13/25)

Government lawyers have warned Theresa May that drawing up a very short piece of legislation in response to Tuesday’s supreme court ruling on whether MPs should be given a vote on Brexit may not be adequate.
The Guardian understands that legal advice to the prime minister and the Brexit secretary, David Davis , suggests that while a single-clause bill would be politically attractive if they lose the case, it could store up difficulties for the government further down the line.
Ministers will only have to put a new Brexit law to a vote of MPs and peers ahead of triggering article 50 if the 11 most senior judges in the country demand it in a much anticipated ruling due at 9.30am on Tuesday morning.
Lawyers representing both sides will be given early sight of the judgment from 8am before the court’s president, Lord Neuberger, reads out the ruling to a packed courtroom. If the government loses the appeal, Davis is expected to make a statement to the Commons at lunchtime, with a bill published later in the week.
Ministers think it is very likely they will be told that MPs must be given a vote on Brexit, and have already drawn up a bill to be published quickly after the ruling. Several versions are understood to have been prepared to deal with all the permutations.
Ministers were keen to make the proposed law as short as possible in order to avoid opposition parties being able to heavily amend the legislation, and to stick to May’s tight timetable for Brexit.
Having promised to start the formal process by the end of March, the ideal formulation from the prime minister’s standpoint would be a single line asking MPs and peers to rubber-stamp the triggering of article 50.
But politicians and strategists have received advice from internal government lawyers who fear that even if the ruling allows a one-line bill, failure to provide enough detail could leave the government vulnerable to further legal appeals in the future.
If the legislation is too short, leading figures in the Labour party would be likely to accuse ministers of being arrogant and wasting time in appealing against the original high court judgment, while the SNP is also concerned.
Gina Miller, the key claimant in the most important constitutional case to ever be heard by the supreme court, said that the government was only facing the challenge because of “how poorly drafted” the original referendum bill had been.
“It would make good legal sense to make sure it is a watertight bill, to avoid loopholes that people can come back on,” she said, arguing that the move towards Brexit was so significant it should be a thorough piece of legislation.
“The normal process in parliament would mean a white paper being published,” she added.
She also said it was important that the judges were not attacked in the aftermath of their ruling. “I think that, whatever the judgment is, it has to be remembered that the question I asked the courts was a legal question and not political. So it is important for those reporting on it, and responding, to remember not to politicise it. This is a legitimate legal question for the courts.”
Despite Miller’s plea the ruling will result in a fierce debate within the media and in parliament, with opposition parties lining up to use a government bill to place demands on the government’s Brexit plans.
Jeremy Corbyn’s party will attempt to amend the legislation to make a vote by MPs on the final Brexit deal much more significant, saying that May will have to return to the EU to negotiate a better agreement if they vote against her proposed divorce settlement. Currently the government is preparing to walk away if parliament rejects the offer.
The Lib Dems will be pressing for a referendum on the overall Brexit agreement, while the SNP wants to make sure that Scotland remains a member of the single market.
Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish government is also part of Tuesday’s supreme court ruling; her party wants MSPs at Holyrood to vote on whether article 50 should be triggered. However, May is not expecting to lose that part of the case.
Jolyon Maugham QC, who is bringing a separate challenge over the reversibility of article 50, said that one legal scenario could involve the supreme court following the suggestion made by its deputy president, Lady Hale, in a speech last year that a “comprehensive replacement for the 1972 [European Communities] Act” would be needed to trigger Brexit.
On that basis a one-clause bill would not be possible, Maugham said. “It’s not easy to see an interim measure between a one-clause bill and the solution mooted by Lady Hale. It might be the matter of rights being removed by article 50 unless further steps are taken to preserve them explicitly.”
Tim Farron, the Lib Dem leader, said: “The government has done everything possible to avoid proper scrutiny of their plan for Brexit, so it’s no surprise they will be looking to get this through parliament as quickly as possible. “But rushing to meet an imaginary deadline could be deeply damaging for our negotiating position going forward, and the government should seriously consider allowing proper parliamentary debate before article 50 is officially triggered.”
The lawyers’ advice comes as fresh polling gives the Conservatives a 16-point lead over Labour. The Guardian/ICM poll also delves into public views on Brexit, suggesting that if talks fail to yield an acceptable outcome within the permitted time frame, almost half (49%) of people believe that we should simply leave the EU without a deal, while a third (33%) would want to see a postponement or suspension of Brexit.
However, if the terms of the deal are not considered to be in the UK’s interest, 63% back the idea of leaving without a trade deal, compared with the 8% who would rather accept a bad agreement.
The poll also suggests that 26% of voters want a second referendum and that Labour could make gains with a clearer strategy to target remainers by suggesting that the final vote by MPs would hold more sway – in line with the party’s latest plans.

Supreme Court set for landmark Brexit ruling
Brexit: Supreme Court to announce judgement
UK Supreme Court to rule if PM can trigger Brexit without parliamentary permission — RT UK


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Grave mistake: 7 buried in wrong places at veteran’s cemetery (3.12/25)

WARWICK, Rhode Island — Seven people were buried in the wrong graves at a veterans’ cemetery because grave markers in one row were off by a burial plot.
Veterans Affairs Director Kasim Yarn apologized on Monday for the grave mix-up.
“We recognize our cemetery is hallowed ground, and we did not meet our obligation to our veterans, their loved ones who are buried here or the families and the veterans who continue to come to our cemetery to pay their respects,” he said at his office in Warwick.
Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery workers left two spaces instead of one to transfer the remains of a veteran’s father in November 2010. The extra space wasn’t accounted for when permanent grave markers were added that spring. Consequently, 21 grave markers were off.
Seven interments occurred in that row since 2010, resulting in those cemetery vaults being buried in the adjacent plots.
The dead people and the markers were moved this past weekend. Families are being contacted.
Yarn said he was alerted to the issue on Thursday, after the grounds crew at the Exeter cemetery discovered the issue as it prepared for a burial in the row that day.
Yarn said there wasn’t a formalized process to prevent mistakes like this and he’s addressing that. Among the changes, when someone buries a vault, a second cemetery worker will verify that it’s correctly placed.
Yarn said he believes the mistake was an isolated incident, and he said no staff members are being disciplined.
The cemetery’s administrator took over in November. More than 34,000 people are buried at the cemetery, with about 1,200 interments occurring annually. CBB

7 people buried in the wrong graves at veterans' cemetery - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports
7 people buried in the wrong graves at veterans' cemetery
7 People Buried in the Wrong Graves at Veterans' Cemetery


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UN: Boko Haram's toll includes 515,000 malnourished kids (3.12/25)

More than half a million children in the West African area wracked by Boko Haram extremists are so malnourished their lives could be in danger unless they get aid, a U. N. humanitarian official said Monday, describing a region where millions get by on one meal a day and some communities have lost all their toddlers.
Military campaigns have driven Boko Haram from much of the territory it took during a seven-year uprising that killed more than 20,000 people, displaced over 2 million and shocked the world with the abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls. But as aid workers got into areas the Islamic militants had controlled, the suffering they left behind became clear in the last six months, said Toby Lanzer, the U. N's humanitarian coordinator for the region.
"What we have seen is extraordinary," he said at a news briefing at U. N. headquarters. "I have seen adults sapped of all energy, who are almost unable to walk. We have had villages and towns devoid of 2- and 3- and 4-year-old children because they've died. "
Some totally destroyed towns had been cut off from the outside world for more than three years, Lanzer said.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari declared that Boko Haram was "technically defeated" in December 2015, but attacks have continued in some places. Two women suicide bombers killed 57 people and wounded 177 in December at a northeastern Nigerian market, in violence blamed on Boko Haram.
Saying that Nigeria and the Lake Chad region are enduring the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa, the U. N. is launching a more than $1 billion appeal and hopes a conference meeting next month in Oslo, Norway will spur donations, Lanzer said.
About 11 million people are "in desperate need" of aid, about 7.1 million of them are "severely food-insecure" — essentially, getting one meal a day if they can — and roughly 515,000 children are or soon will be severely, acutely malnourished, Lanzer said.
"If they don't get the help they need on time, they die," he said.
While the Nigerian government has stepped up efforts to help, an international effort is needed, Lanzer said.
Buhari, however, has accused the U. N. and aid agencies of exaggerating the crisis to seek donations.

Boko Haram's toll includes 515,000 malnourished kids
Boko Haram toll includes 500,000 malnourished children, says UN
UN: Boko Haram's Toll Includes 515,000 Malnourished Kids


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Trump wrongly blames fraud for loss of popular vote (3.11/25)

President Donald Trump asserted in a private meeting with congressional leaders Monday night that he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 election if 3 million to 5 million immigrants living in the country illegally hadn't voted.
Trump made the debunked claim, without offering any evidence, at a White House meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the exchange who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., alluded to it, telling reporters that Trump and the lawmakers talked about "the different Electoral College, popular vote. " Asked if anything surprised her about the meeting, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, "I won't even go into that. "
There has been no evidence of widespread tampering or hacking that would change the results of the presidential contest. Trump won the Electoral College by a comfortable margin but Democratic rival Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes.
Throughout the campaign, Trump pushed false claims about the propensity of voter fraud, telling his supporters the election had been "rigged" against him.
Trump has made the unverified claims before, tweeting in late November that he would have won the popular vote "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally. " He also alleged at the time that there had been "serious voter fraud" in California, New Hampshire and Virginia and complained that the media wasn't covering it.

Trump falsely tells congressional leaders that millions of illegal ballots cost him popular vote
Trump told leaders 'illegals' cost him popular vote
Trump wrongly tells congressional leaders that millions of 'illegals' cost him the popular vote


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SEC probes Yahoo data breaches (3.11/25)

WASHINGTON — Federal officials are investigating Yahoo over how promptly the beleaguered Internet company informed the public about its historic data breaches that together affected more than 1 billion consumers, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The probe will seek to determine why Yahoo waited weeks to disclose knowledge last year of a hack that occurred in 2014, an incident that compromised 500 million user accounts. An earlier breach, in 2013, left about 1 billion customers at risk, though it was not until last fall that Yahoo discovered evidence of that attack, as well.
The investigation is being handled by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which in 2011 began requiring companies to disclose information about hacking risks or incidents that may affect investors in a “material” way. And it could become a major test case that lays down clearer expectations about when businesses must reveal that information, analysts told the Journal.
The investigation, which began in December, is in its early stages, the Journal reported, and although it could lead to an enforcement action by the agency, such steps are rare.
An earlier SEC investigation into a 2013 breach at Target did not lead to a punishment of the retailer, even though the incident affected tens of millions of customer accounts. The SEC declined to comment for this article.
Shortly after Yahoo made its discovery of the 2014 hack public, critics called on the SEC for a deeper look at the company’s conduct. In September, Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said in a letter to the agency that Americans had the right to know “what senior executives at Yahoo knew of the breach, and when they knew it.”
Yahoo declined to comment for this article, pointing to regulatory filings that say the company is cooperating with government officials – including those from the SEC – examining the hack.
But the investigation’s implications stretch far beyond Yahoo’s immediate business. It also raises fresh questions for the telecommunications giant Verizon, which is in the midst of a $4.8 billion deal to acquire the former Web titan.
“I think it’s going to get a lot uglier for Yahoo going forward over the next year,” said Jeff Kagan, an independent technology and telecom analyst.
Verizon declined to comment. But executives have voiced strong concerns about the hacks, signaling in October that they may have had a significant impact on Yahoo’s core business. Analysts say that a concrete finding of that sort by Verizon could allow it to renegotiate terms or even abandon the purchase.
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Send questions/comments to the editors.

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U. S. governors want say on Trump's infrastructure plan (3.09/25)

Scott Pattison, executive director of the bipartisan National Governor's Association, said on Monday his group, at the request of the White House, has assembled a list of 300 projects costing billions of dollars from 43 states and territories, with more expected to come.
"The good part from a bipartisan standpoint is there seems to be full consensus that we have a lot of infrastructure problems in the U. S., a lot of maintenance issues, also things that need building," he said in an interview.
In his inaugural address Friday, the Republican president said the nation's infrastructure "has fallen into disrepair and decay. "
"We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation," Trump said.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday told reporters that "infrastructure continues to be a huge priority. "
The American Society of Civil Engineers' infrastructure report card has estimated the United States needs to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020.
Pattison said while it was still early in the process, disagreements are likely over how to fund infrastructure. He added that governors want "all the tools" to be made available, including cash, municipal bonds, public-private partnerships and federal matching programs.
"One of the biggest issues that has to be faced is that the gas tax has been primarily the way in which we funded a lot of our transportation projects, and that's a declining revenue source," Pattison said.
Governors also want to make sure their project priorities are immune from congressional earmarking, Pattison said, adding that states have developed "robust" prioritization programs.
(Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Steve Kerr: Players made 'mockery' out of All-Star voting (3.08/25)

The NBA players had the opportunity to vote for All-Star Game starters this season (with their vote counting for 25 percent), and some players did no better than the fans.
The fan vote accounted for 50 percent of the voting total with players and media making up the rest. Warriors coach Steve Kerr submitted his vote for the All-Star reserves on Sunday, but he wasn't pleased about how some players addressed the voting.
He said before the Warriors' game in Miami, via AP :
"I am very disappointed in the players. They've asked for a vote and a lot of them just made a mockery of it. I don't know what the point is. "
The full player voting results revealed that almost 100 players likely voted for themselves, receiving a single vote. Ben Simmons, who hasn't played yet, received three votes.
Stephen Curry also would not have been a starter if the players had the only vote. He finished third in the player vote behind James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Joel Embiid, Dwyane Wade and Zaza Pachulia would have been selected as starters under the old system. They fell short under the new system with media and player voting.

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Questions and answers on Mexican border protests (3.08/25)

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Demonstrators have taken control of Mexican border crossings with the U. S. several times in the past month to oppose Mexican gasoline price hikes in an unusual, if not unprecedented, show of protest. Here are some questions...

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Fatal crash reported on Paris Road (3.08/25)

New Orleans police reported a fatal vehicle crash Monday evening (Jan. 23) on Paris Road.
Two vehicle were involved in the crash in the northbound lane, south of Interstate 510's intersection with Chef Menteur Highway, of the Paris Road Bridge crossing the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.
All three northbound lanes of the bridge were closed Monday evening, police said.
No further information was provided by the NOPD.
The location of the crash provided by NOPD in an earlier version of this story was incorrect.

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Utah Jazz Owners Transfer Team to a Trust (3.07/25)

The Utah Jazz’s owners have transferred their control of the franchise to a trust , thus ensuring that the team will remain in Salt Lake City, Utah indefinitely.
Gail Miller, the widow of Larry Miller, and her son Greg, have been the primary owners of the franchise since Larry passed away in 2009. On Monday, the pair moved their controlling interest of the team from their personal holdings into a legacy trust in the family name.
While that will ensure that the team will remain in the family’s control indefinitely, it also means that should any future generations attempt to sell the team, those members of the team would not profit off that sale. That move improves the likelihood that the Jazz will remain in Utah indefinitely increase exponentially.
According to Gail Miller, this is the first time that the National Basketball Association has allowed a team’s controlling interest to be transferred to a trust. Miller also said that despite several opportunities to sell and re-locate the team, it has always been a priority for her late husband and herself to keep the team in Salt Lake City since the couple bought the team in 1986.
The Jazz have been in Salt Lake City since 1979, when the team moved to Utah from New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Dallas Cowboys' VP of brand marketing has called the prospect of purchasing an eSports team a "no-brainer" under the right conditions.

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Jazz ownership transferred to trust


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2nd arrest made in San Antonio mall shooting (3.07/25)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Latest on the shooting at a shopping mall in San Antonio (all times local):
10:30 p.m.
San Antonio police say a second suspect has been arrested in the deadly shooting and robbery that took place in a shopping mall.
Police confirm the person was taken into custody Sunday night. Additional details were not immediately available.
The shooting occurred Sunday afternoon after authorities said two men robbed a jewelry store at Rolling Oaks Mall. Police Chief William McManus previously said a “good Samaritan” who tried to stop the suspects was shot and killed.
The other robber was shot and injured by another individual, who had a licensed concealed handgun.
7 p.m.
San Antonio’s police chief is describing the death of a man who was shot as he tried to stop two men after they robbed a jewelry store at a mall as “absolutely senseless.”
Police Chief William McManus says the “good Samaritan” came upon the two robbers as they fled a jewelry store at Rolling Oaks Mall on Sunday.
The man was shot by one of the robbers. That robber was then shot and injured by another individual, who had a licensed concealed handgun.
The second robber fled the mall, firing his weapon and injuring two others. Two women suffered non-shooting injuries.
Police are still searching for the second robber.
McManus described the incident as “a robbery gone really, really bad.”
The dead man’s name was not immediately released by authorities.
5:55 p.m.
Authorities in San Antonio say one person is dead and five others have been injured after two men robbed a jewelry store in a San Antonio shopping mall.
Police Chief William McManus said that after the two suspects fled the store on Sunday, one of them fatally shot a “good Samaritan” who tried to stop them.
Another man, who was carrying a licensed concealed weapon, then shot and wounded that robber.
The other robber fled the mall, firing his weapon and injuring a man and a woman. Two other people were taken to the hospital suffering from non-shooting injuries.
McManus says police are still looking for the robber who is believed to have left the mall. McManus initially said that six people were injured.
5:20 p.m.
Police in San Antonio say they have responded to a shooting at a large shopping mall.
Romana Lopez, a spokeswoman for San Antonio police, confirmed that police on Sunday were at Rolling Oaks Mall.
Lopez did not immediately provide any other details about the shooting.
Video from local television stations showed police cars and at least two ambulances at the mall.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Man killed in Texas mall described as selfless
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Idaho man charged with federal hate crime in fatal beating - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports (2.74/25)

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Gang rape in Sweden streamed live on Facebook (2.46/25)

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Three young men suspected of gang raping a woman in Sweden and livestreaming the attack on Facebook have been detained, police said, urging social media users on Monday to turn over the footage.
The suspects, aged 18, 20 and 24, were arrested early Sunday in an apartment in Uppsala, 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Stockholm, in the presence of their 30-year-old victim after members of a Facebook group saw the attack streamed live and alerted police.
The closed Facebook group has 60,000 members.
Josefine Lundgren, 21, was one of the first to call authorities.
She told daily Expressen that the 24-year-old suspect, a repeat offender considered by police to be the main attacker, “tore the clothes off” his victim before raping her.
The attacker also “had apparently filmed everything and took pictures that he put on (messaging site) Snapchat,” she said.
At a press conference on Monday, investigators appealed to social media users who had images of the attack to turn them over to police.
“We have some picture and video material. But we don’t have any images showing the attack itself,” Uppsala deputy chief prosecutor Magnus Berggren said.
The film has been removed from Facebook but it has been circulated on the internet. Swedish media have published excerpts of the footage, showing at least one of the suspects holding a revolver.
According to Berggren, other charges could be pressed against the suspects in addition to one of aggravated rape, for having streamed the attack.
In an email to AFP, a press spokesman for Facebook in the Nordic countries denounced “a hideous crime”.
“Our teams work around the clock to review content that is being reported by users” and Facebook cooperates systematically with police in criminal investigations, he said. CBB

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Hawaii's Lanai Island dark after windstorm knocks out power (2.39/25)

The entire Hawaiian island of Lanai remained without electrical service Monday after strong winds snapped or damaged utility poles over the weekend.
Maui Electric Co. said crews were working to repair 19 utility poles on the 141-square-mile island where about 3,000 people live. Billionaire Larry Ellison purchased 98 percent of Lanai in 2012.
Crews hoped to restore power to Lanai City, where most of the island's residents live, by Monday evening, the utility said.
Windstorm damage across the state was the most extensive in years, knocking out power to thousands of people, said Hawaiian Electric, the parent company of Maui Electric.
Lanai lost electricity and telephone service Saturday night, said Maui County spokesman Rod Antone. Cellphone service was spotty, he said.
The county was working on getting information to Lanai's residents, he said.
"We're pretty much in the dark here. We're getting limited information," said Lanai resident Matt Kawasaki. "Everything that we hear is pretty much by word of mouth right now. "
The island's three main stores were open thanks to generator power and served as gathering places for residents, Kawasaki said, speaking from a cellphone he's been charging through his car.
The only school on the island— Lanai High and Elementary — was closed Monday. "We are working on finding a solution on how we could reopen tomorrow," said Donalyn Dela Cruz, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education.
The public can charge cell phones at the police station's community room, Antone said.
Kawasaki said residents were bracing for a third night without power.
"A lot of people have been barbecuing," taking advantage of plentiful kiawe wood, he said. But they're worried about perishable food spoiling.
"We have a tight community," he said. "We're doing OK. We're just worried that it will go for an extended time. "
There are two large, luxury hotels on Lanai, formerly known for its pineapple crop. Four Seasons Resort Lanai was open and operating — but the main phone line was down — while The Lodge at Koele is closed for renovations, a Four Seasons spokeswoman said.
Ellison purchased the island with a vision of sustainability. Part of that vision involves a future powered by solar energy, according to the website for Pulama Lanai, his management company on the island. A spokeswoman referred questions to the Maui Electric utility.

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What is the Mexico City Policy? (2.27/25)

Last Updated Jan 23, 2017 1:20 PM EST
Among the three executive orders President Trump signed Monday was one reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which deals with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and abortion access.
The Mexico City Policy was originally announced by President Reagan in 1984 and required nongovernmental organizations to agree as a condition of receiving any federal funding that they “would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”
The Reagan-era policy was named for the location of the U. N. conference on population where it was announced.
Abortion rights groups have long opposed the policy, and presidents have rescinded and restored it since 1984. Then-President Bill Clinton revoked it in January 1993 upon taking office because “these excessively broad anti-abortion conditions are unwarranted,” he wrote in his memorandum, adding that the policy had “undermined efforts to promote safe and efficacious family planning programs in foreign nations.”
Eight years later, George W. Bush reinstated it when he took office.
“It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad,” Bush’s statement read. “It is therefore my belief that the Mexico City Policy should be restored.”
And then Barack Obama rescinded it again in 2009, making the same argument as Clinton had.
Clinton and Bush signed their orders on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Obama, however, waited until Jan. 23.
CBS News’ Major Garrett contributed to this report.

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Venus Williams seals place in Australian Open semi-final (2.23/25)

Venus Williams has become the oldest woman to reach the Australian Open semi finals in the Open era, returning to the last four at Melbourne Park for the first time in 14 years.
The 36-year-old Williams beat No 24-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 on Tuesday, winning the last six points in the tie-breaker to seal her 50th career win in Melbourne.
She is into the semi finals for the second time in three majors, after a six-year absence from the last four stage, and for the 21st time overall.
Venus Williams has become the oldest woman to reach the Australian Open semi finals
Williams celebrates after sealing a 6-4, 7-6 victory against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Pavlyuchenkova returns a shot during her quarter-final clash with Williams at Rod Laver Arena
The 36-year-old won the last six points in the tie-breaker to seal her 50th career win
Russian No 24 seed Pavlyuchenkova was no match for a rejuvenated Williams
Williams hadn't reached the last four in Australia since 2003, the year she lost the final to her sister, Serena.
'I'm so excited,' said Williams, who was playing in her ninth quarter final at the season-opening major since her debut at Melbourne Park in 1998. 'It's wonderful to be here - but I want to go further.'
She will next play either French Open champion Garbine Muguruza or CoCo Vandeweghe, who are both in the Australian Open quarter finals for the first time.
Williams hadn't reached the last four in Australia since 2003, losing to her sister in the final

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Chelsea Clinton defends Barron Trump after social media mocking (2.21/25)

While the majority of the country was likely arguing about the size of the inauguration crowd or the Women’s March on Washington this weekend, another controversy was brewing over first son Barron Trump.
U. S. President Donald Trump takes the oath of office as his wife Melania Trump holds the bible and his son Barron Trump looks on.
During the inauguration, off-color tweets began trickling in targeting 10-year-old Barron as he appeared behind his father during the various televised events of the day. Almost immediately, those jokes were condemned as inappropriate by people from both sides of the aisle. Journalists, comedians, and prominent political figures across the spectrum rushed to defend Barron, a child who did not ask to be put in the spotlight.
Perhaps the most notable response came from Chelsea Clinton , a former first child who faced her own media bullying. Clinton tweeted he deserves “to be a kid” while also vaguely alluding to his father’s policies.
Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids.
Even Monica Lewkinsky spoke out on behalf of Barron in a tweet late Monday afternoon.
all children need to be protected from bullying + mockery. (incl #barrontrump ). let's be better than this.
A firestorm of criticism rained down on “Saturday Night Live” writer Katie Rich, in particular, for her offensive joke about Barron posted on Twitter. A petition to NBC to fire her received nearly 84,000 signatures and counting. The network had no official comment, but a source familiar with the situation confirmed she was suspended indefinitely immediately after the tweet was sent. By Monday afternoon, Rich had deleted all of her previous tweets before issuing an apology.
I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I'm so sorry.
Underage first children have traditionally been seen as off-limits bystanders in a political world they did not choose to enter, and therefore protected from the scrutiny given to their parents. But that rule hasn’t always been followed.
From the children of President John F. Kennedy to President Barack Obama, here's a look at first daughters who have grown up in the White House
Clinton herself, just twelve years old when her father took office, was also infamously ridiculed for her appearance by “Saturday Night Live,” which led to an apology from the show’s executive producer Lorne Michaels. After Clinton, the Bush twins became the butt of late-night comedy jokes after they were branded as party girls during their college years. Amy Carter, Jimmy and Rosylyn Carter’s youngest, was also the butt of jokes in a less politically correct era.
Malia and Sasha Obama were criticized by a Tennesee congressman’s spokesperson in a Facebook rant she wrote about the teens’ seemingly uninterested attitudes during their father’s 2014 turkey pardoning. She later resigned after a swift backlash. And after it was announced that Malia would attend Harvard after taking a gap year, a slew of racist remarks reportedly forced Fox News to lock down its comments section.
Despite these lapses, it has been mostly the norm for first children to simply be left alone. The consensus from the weekend seems to be Barron Trump is no exception, no matter how unconventional his father might be. For what it’s worth, Barron also got some warm attention from the internet after he was seen playing peek-a-boo with his nephew, Ivanka Trump’s 10-month-old son Theodore.
LOOK: In sweet moment as Pres. Trump signs orders, Barron Trump plays peek-a-boo with his nephew in the background
President Trump, who has vocally opposed “SNL” and Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him in recent months, has remained mum on the controversy.

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The Latest: Minnesota governor to return to work Tuesday (2.18/25)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Mark Dayton's State of the State address (all times local): 9:10 p.m. A statement from Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's office says the governor "briefly fainted" during a speech Monday night and that he'll be back at work Tuesday. Dayton collapsed while giving his State of the State address and required aid from colleagues. But they said he was soon acting normally and joking about the incident. The statement said Dayton "quickly recovered, walked out of the Capitol and returned home. " It said emergency medical technicians performed a "routine check" at home. The statement also said Dayton will present his proposed budget Tuesday as planned. ___ 8:55 p.m. A son of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is tweeting that his dad is "doing great" after he collapsed while delivering his State of the State address. Eric Dayton, one of the 69-year-old Democrat's two sons, also tweeted that Dayton was doing "a very advanced puzzle" with his grandson Hugo. Eric Dayton added: "So that has to be a good sign! " Dayton fell and struck his head on a lectern about three-fourths of the way through the speech Monday night in the Minnesota House chamber. A state senator who is also a paramedic was among those who went to Dayton's aid, and said the governor was joking about it soon afterward. ___ 8:40 p.m. A spokesman for Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says the 69-year-old Democrat walked out of the Capitol under his own power minutes after he collapsed while delivering his State of the State speech. Linden Zakula (ZAK'-yoo-luh) gave the update in a text message to The Associated Press. It's the first official word on Dayton's status since the governor fell during a joint address to legislators in the Minnesota House. Two other lawmakers said earlier that Dayton was moving around, and one said he was joking about the incident. ___ 8:25 p.m. A Minnesota legislator who is also a paramedic says Gov. Mark Dayton was acting normally and poking fun at himself just minutes after he collapsed while delivering his State of the State speech. Sen. Dan Schoen went to help the governor after the scare Monday evening before a joint session of the Minnesota Legislature. Schoen says an ambulance came but left without Dayton, a 69-year-old Democrat. ___ 8 p.m. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed while delivering the State of the State address on Monday. The 69-year-old Democratic governor appeared conscious as he was helped into a back room about five minutes later. Dayton previously fainted at a campaign event last year. His staff faulted overheating and dehydration for the incident. ___ 7:55 a.m. Gov. Mark Dayton is preparing to lay out his vision for 2017 and beyond. The Democratic governor was set to deliver his State of the State address Monday evening at the state Capitol. It's back to normal for the annual speech after it was moved to the University of Minnesota last year due to ongoing renovations at the Capitol. Dayton's ideas for how to handle a $1.4 billion budget surplus will likely clash with the Republicans who control both chambers of the Legislature for his final two years in office. GOP lawmakers haven't started assembling their own proposals yet. A final look at the state's forecast next month will solidify the budget picture and set the Legislature's major work for the year in motion.

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Thousands protest abortion at Capitol during March For Life (2.18/25)

A quiet prayer kicked off an otherwise energetic rally Monday as thousands of people demonstrated on the steps of the Legislative Building in Olympia to oppose abortion.
“We are going to be the state to turn this around,” Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, told the crowd in a passionate speech.
The Washington State Patrol estimated about 2,500 people attended the annual March for Life. A group of about 50 pro-choice demonstrators staged a counter-protest on the Temple of Justice steps facing the Legislative Building.
Initiative 120, also known as the Reproductive Privacy Act, guarantees Washington women access to abortions. Some lawmakers are trying to undo pieces of that access.
Shea has sponsored a bill that would require women under 18 years old to notify their parents before having an abortion. He also is co-sponsor of a bill that would restrict state funding for abortions.
Sen. Mark Miloscia, a Federal Way Republican who is backing legislation to require parental notification for minors seeking abortions, said he is not optimistic about getting anything passed because of the Democratic majority in the House and the Democratic governor.
“The real important conversation is happening in D. C.,” he said.
Miloscia urged abortion opponents to work on changing their neighbors’ hearts and minds until the Trump administration can change abortion policy, possibly through overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling in the U. S. Supreme Court.
Lauren Johnson, 15, of Olympia, was at Monday’s rally with her mother and a few friends. She called abortion “dehumanizing.”
“We as people need to value life more,” Johnson said, “and understand how we treat forms of life we think are inferior.”
The Rev. Vasyl Mutka of Olympia’s St. George Byzantine Catholic Church said abortion opponents need to focus on educating others.
“We have to teach people about the importance of life,” he said. “We have to be peaceful with people who have different positions.”
Democrats later pledged to block efforts to curtail abortion rights.
“Both I and the Democratic caucus will do everything we can to protect Initiative 120 and a woman’s right to choose,” said Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma.

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Monday’s roundup: Patriots defense gets job done (2.16/25)

Foxborough, Mass. — There’s a mantra that players quickly come to learn when they play for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
It’s placed in different spots in the locker room, it’s on the walls around the team facility, and the coach himself repeats it often: “Do your job.”
Perhaps no other unit for the Patriots has embodied Belichick’s go-to phrase more than his defense this season.
And if New England hopes to won its fifth Super Bowl, no other group will be relied on more as the Patriots face a Falcons offense that has scored a combined 80 points through two playoff games.
Defensive back Duron Harmon, who had a huge touchdown-saving tackle in the second quarter of the Patriots’ 36-17 AFC championship game win over the Steelers on Sunday, said even in their tightknit world they couldn’t help but notice the criticism that surrounded the defense earlier this season.
“Oh yeah, definitely. We try not to focus too much on the media, but we hear it, it’s everywhere,” Harmon said. “We heard that we weren’t tested all year.”
It was back in training camp the Patriots first began to be dogged by questions about what their identity would be on defense following the trade of edge rusher Chandler Jones.
A slow start in struggling to create a pass rush without him during the first month of the regular season also did little to quiet critics.
That was followed by the surprise midseason trade of linebacker Jamie Collins, and a three-week stretch in which the defense failed to force a single turnover.
That turned early compliments for new additions such as former Lion Kyle Van Noy, Chris Long and Eric Rowe into pressure on the shoulders of New England linebacker Dont’a Hightower and a secondary led by Devin McCourty and Logan Ryan to increase their production.
They responded by having the stingiest scoring defense in the NFL over the final three weeks of the regular season, and entered the playoffs giving up a league-low 15.6 points per game.
They’ve maintained that status in the playoffs, allowing just 16.5 points per game.
Turnovers have also been up since that midseason lull.
Including the two playoff games, the Patriots’ defense has come up with 19 turnovers in the past eight games. The defense has had multiple turnovers in seven of those games during that stretch.
Belichick said the formula has simply been his players buying into the program they’ve always tried to foster.
But he said getting to face playoff-bound teams late in the season was a boost as well.
“It doesn’t happen overnight. There’s no switch that you can flip,” Belichick said. “It comes through a lot of hard work, a lot of meetings, a lot of communication on how we’re going to do things and then a lot of on the field execution at actually doing them at a good competitive level so that we can gain confidence in each other as a unit as to how that’s going to happen in a live game situation.”
Extra points
A Boston man described by his lawyer as a “die-hard Patriots fan” has pleaded not guilty to pulling a fire alarm that roused the visiting Steelers from their hotel beds ahead of their playoff game against New England.
Dennis Harrison was released on personal recognizance at his arraignment on charges including disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.
... The Browns have signed linebacker Jamie Collins to a four-year contract worth a reported $50 million.
... Washington turned to internal candidates to fill two critical vacancies, promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator and Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator.
Cavanaugh was the team’s quarterbacks coach and Manusky its outside linebackers coach last season. Washinfgton also hired Kevin O’Connell as quarterbacks coach and Jim Tomsula as defensive line coach.
... Browns vice president of football operations Sashi Brown will not attend this week’s Senior Bowl following back surgery.
A team spokesman said Brown underwent the procedure last week and is not permitted to travel while he recovers. He should be cleared in the coming weeks.

Patriots' defense ignored critics on the way to Super Bowl
Patriots’ defense ignored critics on the way to Super Bowl
Monday’s roundup: Woods makes rare L.A. return


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US pilots ask Trump to block Obama admin ruling they say would kill thousands of jobs (2.14/25)

A group of airline pilots will rally Tuesday outside the White House in hopes of getting President Trump to intervene on a ruling by the former Obama administration that they say could eliminate tens of thousands of U. S. airline jobs.
The group of roughly 100 Southwest Airlines and NetJets pilots will voice their opposition to a December 2 decision by the Transportation Department to allow Norwegian Air International to service the United States, arguing the airline can undercut labor costs because its headquarters is in Ireland.
Critics of that strategy call the business tactic a “flag of convenience scheme.”
Norwegian Air International is a subsidiary of low-cost European carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle, based in Norway.
“Even before President Trump was in office, we supported his pro-worker mantra,” Chip Hancock, a Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association official, said Monday. “He’s looking out for American workers.”
He and Coley George, of NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots, said they were hearted by Trump on Monday -- the start of his first full week in office -- for getting the United States out the Obama-backed international trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“Another bad trade deal approved by Obama,” George said.
The pilots and their unions have until January 29 to get Trump to stop the change.
Norwegian started asking to provide air service to the U. S. as far back as 2013, amid objections from airline carriers, unions and others that the change could undercut labor costs, safety regulations and domestic-airline ticket prices.
However, the agency gave final approval last month, saying it found no legal reason to reject Norwegian’s application.
A group of labor unions has also reportedly filed a lawsuit in a federal appeals court, in an attempt to stop the change.
The legal argument about the Obama administration’s decision is that it violates a part of so-called Open Skies agreements that state unrestricted flights among countries are not intended to “undermine labor standards.”
“This decision is just another failed trade deal by the Obama administration, giving foreign companies an unfair advantage over U. S. companies,” said Captain Jon Weaks, SWAPA president. “Only President Trump has the power to reverse the … reckless approval.”

President Donald Trump to meet with Detroit Three automakers
Trump Pick, Ajit Pai Could Undo Obama Admin. Net Neutrality


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Greek Supreme Court delays Turkey coup suspect ruling (2.14/25)

ASTANA: A first day of indirect talks between Syrian rebels and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Kazakhstan ’s capital Astana ended on Monday without any apparent breakthrough, sources said.

Harsh exchanges make for a rocky start to latest Syria talks
Supreme Court set for landmark Brexit ruling
UK Supreme Court to rule if PM can trigger Brexit without parliamentary permission — RT UK


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New chief sworn in, says reforms will boost SFPD’s public image (2.14/25)

William Scott was sworn in as San Francisco police chief Monday, promising to implement reforms in an embattled Police Department that will make the force more “professional and legitimate in the eyes of the public.”
In front of officers from both San Francisco and Los Angeles, where he served for 27 years before he was hired by Mayor Ed Lee , Scott dwelled on changes intended to improve police relations with nonwhite residents following a series of racially charged scandals and shootings.
“These are very challenging times for law enforcement, in our city and in our nation,” Scott told an audience of several hundred people in the City Hall rotunda, including the mayor and members of the Board of Supervisors . “We have been tasked with reforming our department, not for the sake of change, not for the sake of political purposes, but instead for the sake of being better at what we do, which is keeping our city safe and free from disorder and doing it in a manner that is effective, professional and legitimate in the eyes of the public.”
During Scott’s address, several activists spread throughout the rotunda disrupted his remarks, shouting for justice for the city’s dwindling black community and for District Attorney George Gascón to prosecute officers involved in fatal shootings. They were quickly escorted out of City Hall.
Scott continued speaking through his first brush with San Francisco activism, as his wife and three children sat on either side of him in front of the main staircase. He addressed the San Francisco officers in the audience directly, telling them to “revere the sanctity of human life” and “to police this city in a constitutional manner.”
Lee ordered a nationwide search before selecting Scott, a 52-year-old deputy police chief in Los Angeles who is African American. The mayor bypassed several in-house candidates including acting Chief Toney Chaplin , who had led the department since the fatal police shooting of an unarmed African American car-theft suspect in May prompted then-Chief Greg Suhr to resign.
Scott becomes one of only a handful of outside hires for chief in the department’s 167-year history. Lee’s pick surprised some city insiders who assumed he would stick with Chaplin, who had the backing of the Police Officers Association. Scott said Chaplin will have “a prominent role” in his administration.
Many law enforcement watchdogs applauded the choice, saying an outside hire was needed to implement a new use-of-force policy decreed by the Police Commission that emphasizes de-escalation tactics in dealing with suspects, bans shooting at suspects in moving cars in most instances and forbids officers’ use of carotid holds.
Scott also will have to take the lead in determining whether the Police Department will release footage of incidents recorded on officers’ new body cameras. The issue arose in the first police shooting of 2017, in which a man whose family said he suffered from mental problems was seriously wounded in an Ocean View neighborhood confrontation. The public defender’s office released body-camera footage after the Police Department refused to do so.
Scott told The Chronicle in an interview that he intended to set a “consistent” protocol regarding such footage.
The use-of-force changes and other reforms were prompted in part by public anger over a series of fatal police confrontations, including the December 2015 shooting by several officers of an African American stabbing suspect, Mario Woods , who did not appear to pose an immediate threat to officers.
The department was also rocked by revelations that several officers exchanged racist and homophobic text messages. Two separate such cases came to light in 2015 and 2016, involving a total of nearly 20 officers.
Scott will be in charge of implementing 272 reforms recommended by the U. S. Justice Department ’s community-policing division, which Lee and Suhr invited to review police policies after the Woods shooting.
The new chief told The Chronicle that he not only had the experience needed to lead the department through a time of major change, but the commitment to see through such reforms.
“We have to commit to this,” Scott said. “It just makes sense to do it. It makes for better public safety.”
Several past chiefs attended Scott’s swearing-in ceremony, including Suhr and Heather Fong. Although the Police Officers Association said Lee had “turned his back on the rank and file” in hiring from outside the department, union President Martin Halloran was also in attendance.
In a statement, Halloran said Scott “needs to capture the hearts and souls of the officers out on the street serving our community if he is going to succeed. ... The POA wants Chief Scott to succeed and we will help him, since his success equals success for the department, the officers, and our city.”
Sgt. Yulanda Williams , president of Officers for Justice, an organization representing African American and other nonwhite officers, said she was “very happy” with Scott’s arrival.
The new chief said he has been reaching out to a variety of city leaders and officers, and Williams said she had spoken to him over the phone before his swearing-in.
District Attorney George Gascón, a former police chief who came to the SFPD from Mesa, Ariz., in 2009, said Scott is “already starting in the right direction” in reaching out to others for advice.
“He talked to Greg Suhr. He talked to Heather Fong,” Gascón said. “He’s building up his own knowledge base, and the only advice I would give him is to keep doing what he’s doing.”

William Scott sworn in as SFPD chief
New SFPD chief sworn in, takes on job of reforming department
New San Francisco police chief sworn in at City Hall
San Francisco's new police chief to be sworn in at City Hall


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Daily: Fact, Falsehood, Fantasy (2.14/25)

Trump Takes Action: The new U. S. president signed three executive orders today. The most significant one withdraws the U. S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership , a trade deal that Trump frequently denounced on the campaign trail. The president undertook his first anti-abortion policy , reinstating a Reagan-era rule that prohibits U. S.-funded foreign organizations from providing services related to abortion. He also imposed a hiring freeze on all federal jobs save for military ones. Who will be hiring? In a meeting today with 12 American business leaders, Trump promised to cut down on corporate taxes and regulations—as long as the companies kept production, and jobs, on American soil.
Marching On: Over the weekend, millions of protesters in cities around the world held marches and rallies in solidarity with the Women’s March against Trump in Washington, D. C. Our reporters talked to some of the participants , whose concerns ranged from the rights of women and minorities to issues like health care and economic inequality. In some ways, the march—peaceful and joyful in tone— marked a celebration of protest itself , an inauguration in its own right of the opposition to Trump’s presidency. Yet it also recalled similar protest movements in other countries— for instance, in Russia , where rallies five years ago drew government retaliation and ultimately failed to achieve their aims. The question for Trump’s opponents now is: Will it work this time?
‘Alternative Facts’: The protesters certainly did succeed in surpassing the crowds at Trump’s inauguration. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Trump aide Kellyanne Conway tried to deny that on Sunday, however, with the former quoting false statistics and the latter referring to “alternative facts.” The day before, in a speech at CIA headquarters , Trump had accused the media of inventing his well-documented criticisms of the intelligence community. And things didn’t greatly improve in Spicer’s press conference this afternoon, where he continued to claim the media was trying to undercut the president. Here’s what that could mean for journalists —and how reporters around the world handle fact-resistant regimes.
Lenika Cruz on a documentary that focuses on the perpetrators of a 2014 stabbing :
The three girls, all 12 years old, were best friends. The victim had been stabbed 19 times with a 5-inch blade and had barely survived. After being taken into police custody, the other two girls told interrogators what had happened: They had lured their friend into the woods to kill her so that they could appease someone called Slenderman. …
Beware the Slenderman , directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, is a true-crime film that’s less interested in ascertaining guilt (since the girls confessed) than in the psychology and social factors that led to the stabbing in the first place. It deftly examines the rise of the Slenderman myth online, via online horror stories and art known as “creepypastas,” message boards, fan sites, and social media. But it also looks at the tangled intersection of children’s neurological development, the ubiquity of internet access, literary history, adolescent insecurities, and mental illness—as well as the criminal-justice system responsible for punishing the girls. In response to the question, “How could this have happened?” Beware the Slenderman stubbornly refuses to give a simple answer, or any of the expected ones (bad parenting, the internet is evil, children are gullible, children can be monsters). Despite this complexity, Brodsky succeeds at closing the psychological distance between the viewers and a crime that initially feels remote, weird, and unthinkable.
Keep reading here , as Lenika examines how Brodsky’s documentary “helps make sense of a senseless crime.”
1. In 2016, America’s space program conducted 22 successful launches, Russia’s conducted 16, and China’s conducted ____________.
Scroll down for the answer, or find it here .
2. The singer Madonna is known for provocative public appearances, such as the 1994 episode of Letterman in which she used the word “fuck” ____________ times.
Scroll down for the answer, or find it here .
3. ____________ percent of microbes can’t be grown on a petri dish.
Scroll down for the answer, or find it here .
Answers: 21 , 14 , 99
Twenty years ago today, Madeleine Albright was sworn in as America’s first female secretary of state. In August 2012 , she talked to our partner site The Wire about where she gets her news:
When I get up I read The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times first thing. I really like to hold the actual papers in my hand. When I’m exercising or getting myself organized, I flip on Morning Joe and The Daily Rundown.
Then as I drive to work, I listen to right-wing radio on WMAL in Washington. It’s kind of amazing that I haven’t run over somebody because I get so mad wanting to call in and tell them they’re outrageous. They’re all unnerving. The language that they use and the way they demonize everybody they disagree with as a Communist liberal really drives me crazy. Also, I don’t think it's particularly funny when they say “Osama... oops ... I mean Obama.” I was on the Hill saying something awhile back and by the time I was in the car they were on my case. It’s the type of thing that makes me come into the office a little overwrought. Either way, I long ago decided I needed to tune in to get to know other views that are out there instead of listening to MSNBC all morning.
Read more here , and watch a 2015 interview with Albright here .
What are the most frustrating misconceptions about your vocation? One reader writes:
According to the Tea Party types, teachers are just a lazy and incompetent bunch of (unionized) people that are doing their best to “ruin” the youth of our nation, while feeding off the public trough, via their taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least from what I see of the tremendous work that is being done with students at the public school where I work, in an inner-city neighborhood.
Another reader pushes back:
The way I understood it, the complaint [among Tea Party types] wasn’t that teachers were lazy and incompetent, but that lazy and incompetent teachers could never ever be got rid of. They’d simply go through the nod-wink process of sitting in “ rubber rooms ” all day, with full pay and benefits, for months or years while their cases were being “reviewed.” … This is one reason why I feel I made the right decision to put my kids in a charter elementary school. We had a couple of sub-standard teachers along the way, but they didn’t last long.
Read more comments from teachers here. And speaking of teaching and politics, here’s a guide to 10 education buzzwords that gained traction under Obama—and may or may not last under Trump.
Help shape our future by taking the 2017 Atlantic Audience Survey. The survey will be open through Wednesday, January 25, so now’s your chance to tell us what you like and don’t like about The Atlantic. Click here to get started.
Phones possessed , font of inspiration tapped , twist spins off , protesters count .
The Atlantic Daily is written by Rosa Inocencio Smith. To contact us, email .

Caitlin Stasey argues for tax-free tampons
Doubek: Illinois needs a grassroots protest like Women's March


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Smith, NC State stun No. 17 Duke 84-82 :: (2.13/25)

Posted 11 minutes ago Updated 10 minutes ago
By AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer
DURHAM, N. C. — Freshman Dennis Smith Jr. scored a season-high 32 points to help North Carolina State rally from 12 down late in the first half and stun No. 17 Duke 84-82 on Monday night.
Abdul-Malik Abu added 19 points for the Wolfpack (14-7, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who earned the program's first win at Duke's famously hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1995. N. C. State ran off a 20-5 run to erase a 68-59 deficit in the final 6 ½ minutes, then got one final stop when Jayson Tatum lost control of the ball before getting a shot off on Duke's final possession.
N. C. State — which had lost four of five coming in — shot 55 percent after halftime, with Smith dominating the Blue Devils (15-5, 3-4) all night and finishing 10 for 18 from the floor with six assists.
"We've taken a few hits obviously," Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said. "I think it shows a lot about character after you take a few hits to come and win a game like this here. I thought our guys dug down deep and Dennis made some sensational plays, but I think a lot of guys stepped up and made big plays for us. "
Luke Kennard finished with 20 points to lead Duke, which shot just 38 percent after halftime.
"Dennis was tremendous all game long," Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel said. "He's a very talented kid, and played lights-out basketball tonight. "
N. C. State: Can anyone figure out the Wolfpack? There's plenty of talent, but this group lost by 51 points at rival North Carolina earlier this month to start a stretch that included Saturday's home loss to a Wake Forest team that hadn't won a road ACC game in three years. Yet N. C. State responded with the kind of consistently determined effort it hadn't shown much this season, hanging in even when Duke threatened to stretch out the lead and finding a way to push back with an impressive showing.
Duke: The Blue Devils just couldn't corral Smith all night, and Capel — leading the team in Mike Krzyzewski's absence following back surgery — is still tinkering with lineups and rotations. He brought Kennard and Grayson Allen off the bench for this one, and Duke kept threatening to make this one look like so many games before at Cameron. And yet, when Smith and the Wolfpack made their move, the Blue Devils struggled for an answer in the deciding minutes.
N. C. State: N. C. State gets a few days off before visiting No. 13 Louisville on Sunday.
Duke: Duke stays in its home state, visiting Wake Forest on Saturday.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at
More AP college basketball: and

Wolfpack ends 22-year drought at Cameron with 84-82 win over Duke
Wolfpack’s Smith wins battle of one-and-dones – DeCock
Smith, NC State stun No. 17 Duke 84-82
NC State beats Duke in 84-82 win


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Activists claim women's marches isolated trans community (2.13/25)

An estimated three million participated in women's marches across the United States on Saturday, and all with a clear message - P***y is power.
That message, struck a negative chord with activists in the transgender community, who are upset that the march was not as inclusive as it was set out to be.
Marie Solis, a reporter for, wrote an article that criticized the Women's March, commenting that the march presented a clear message that 'having a vagina is essential to womanhood'.
Marie Solis, a reporter for, wrote an article that criticized the Women's March, commenting that the march presented a clear message that 'having a vagina is essential to womanhood'
A day after President Trump's inauguration, over half a million demonstrators walked through the streets of Washington as a part of the Women's March on Washington
An estimated three million participated in women's marches across the United States on Saturday
Saturday's event to oppose the newly inaugurated President Trump was largely a white, cisgender march, and had too many pink-clad women carrying signs with female reproductive organs, according to Solis.
She said that a fight is brewing between TERFs - 'Trans-exclusionary radical feminists' and transgender women, or non-binary individuals.
Solis wrote that 'the saturation of vagina-related messages and imagery set the tone for a march that would focus acutely on genitalia at the expense of the transgender community.'
Many of the signs that were carried at the protest had messages that said 'P***y grabs back', 'Resistance is Fertile' and 'P***y power', sending a clear and oppressive message to trans women, that they do not count.
The signs, it seems, were largely in reference to President Trump's infamous comments made during an Access Hollywood taping in which he talks about women in derogatory terms, saying he 'grabs them by the p***y.'
Solis wrote that 'the saturation of vagina-related messages and imagery set the tone for a march that would focus acutely on genitalia at the expense of the transgender community'
Solis's article argued that TERF's equate womanhood with having female reproductive organs, and that this brand of feminists believe that 'trans women are actually men in disguise trying to infiltrate their spaces'.
She also commented specifically on the prominence of the 'p***yhats', which were created by two women in Los Angeles and became the unofficial accessory of the Women's March on Washington.
Solis said that the hats set a tone for the march that 'would focus acutely on genitalia at the expense of the transgender community.'
She interviewed a variety of women (trans or not) who took issue with this.
The signs, it seems, were largely in reference to President Trump's infamous comments made during an Access Hollywood taping in which he talks about women in derogatory terms, saying he 'grabs them by the p***y
Solis's article on commented that many of the signs that were carried at the protest had messages that said 'P***y grabs back', 'Resistance is Fertile' and 'P***y power', sending a clear and oppressive message to trans women, that they do not count
One non-binary student from Ohio, Sam Forrey, and zir girlfriend Lillian McDaniel, a trans woman, commented that safety was a factor they had to take into account when deciding whether or not to attend the march.
Forrey told Solis that because legally McDaniel is registered as male, she worried that if she were to be arrested she would be placed in a jail with other men.
Though McDaniel initially intended to attend the march irregardless of these safety concerns, she said that she was turned off when she realized people were using that as an excuse to invoke 'genital based womanhood'.
Solis said that the hats set a tone for the march that 'would focus acutely on genitalia at the expense of the transgender community'
Solis also commented on the prominence of the 'p***yhats', which were created by two women in Los Angeles and became the unofficial accessory of the Women's March
McDaniel said: 'I think it ended up being a white cis women march, there were other marginalized communities there, but it didn't seem like they were the focus.'
However, Solis does credit the marches for their inclusion and feature of trans women, such as Laverne Cox in Los Angeles, and Janet Mock in Washington.
Cox spoke at the Los Angeles march, commenting on North Carolina's House Bill 2, which requires state residents to use the bathroom that coincides with the sex listed on their birth certificate, reported Solis.
Cox said: 'If you are a girl like me, a woman like me, a transgender person like me, you live in a country that shames you, that stigmatizes you, that discriminates against you and criminalizes you.'
However, Solis does credit the marches for their inclusion and feature of trans women, such as Laverne Cox in Los Angeles, and Janet Mock in Washington

Doubek: Illinois needs a grassroots protest like Women's March
Regional Transit caught off guard by crowds at women’s march


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2 Indiana lawmakers under fire for posts after women's march (2.13/25)

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
Amid women’s rights marches that drew massive crowds this weekend, two Indiana lawmakers are facing backlash for controversial Facebook posts, including one that described participants as “fat women out walking.”
Sen. Jack Sandlin, R-Indianapolis, took down the message but not before screenshots had been widely shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Jack Sandlin is a member of the Indiana State Senate. This is what we're dealing with.
Sandlin’s post appeared Sunday and showed a photo of protesters, many in pink hats and carrying signs, with the words, “In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking than Michelle Obama did in 8 years” – referencing the former first lady’s fitness campaign.
Another lawmaker, Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, is facing criticism for a Facebook post he shared Sunday that showed a police officer in riot gear pepper spraying a woman in the face, with the words, “Participation trophies, now in liquid form.” Lucas told IndyStar he doesn’t intend to delete the post.
The organizer of the Indianapolis march said the posts are an example of how out-of-touch some politicians are to women's issues. Other political observers say the posts are among the newest indications of lingering divisiveness after last year’s heated presidential race where the treatment of women was a major issue.
An estimated 4,500 people in Indianapolis and 500,000 in Washington, D. C., participated in events over the weekend.
Sandlin, a rookie senator, deleted the photo and posted a new message late Sunday night.
"Apparently there is an offensive post on Facebook that's attributed to me about women in Washington marching," Sandlin wrote. "Not sure how that ended up on my Facebook wall but that certainly does not reflect my opinion of women. People who know me will know that's not my view. "
Sandlin's explanation received more than 950 comments by 7 a.m. Monday. About two hours later, the explanation had been deleted from his Facebook page.
In an interview with IndyStar, Sandlin said he spent the weekend in Washington for the presidential inauguration. He spent most of Sunday traveling.
He said he thinks someone else posted the message to his Facebook wall. He deleted the post shortly after someone alerted him about 11:30 p.m. Sunday. Screenshots show Sandlin's account sharing the message directly from another Facebook page, not another account sharing to Sandlin's Facebook page.
"I don't believe that I put it there," Sandlin said in response to an IndyStar question. "There's always an outside chance that I could have hit something. I know others that have had stuff show up on their Facebook wall as well. "
As for Lucas, he said he regrets “how out of proportion this has been blown.”
“It wasn’t directed at women in particular,” Lucas said. “Some people are trying to make it a women’s issue. It has absolutely nothing to do with women’s issues. It absolutely has nothing to do with the march.”
Lucas, the House Republicans’ assistant majority whip, said feedback on the post “caught him flat-footed,” but he doesn’t plan to delete it.
“If I were to take it down, that means I’m … allowing myself to be bullied in something that there was no intent or harm meant, and I’m trying to reason with these people,” Lucas said. “If you find it offensive, I get that. I will be more cautious and sensitive moving forward.”
Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, declined comment through a spokesman when asked about his thoughts on the post and whether Sandlin would face any discipline.
However, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, called the post by Lucas “inadvisable.” Bosma said he had spoken with Lucas about it.
“He didn’t intend to insult anyone, but I personally found it to be inappropriate,” Bosma said.
The organizer of the Indianapolis rally said the posts show it’s time for a new generation of leaders.
“There are a lot of lawmakers that seem to be of a certain age that still believe that women should be seen and not heard” said Terri Siler, the organizer of the Indianapolis event who worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Indiana.
Megan Robertson, a Republican strategist, said party members should be trying to understand more about the events.
“It does show how divided things are right now politically,” Robertson said, “instead of asking why people are marching, just flying off the handle and being angry people are marching.”
Sandlin served six years on the Indianapolis City-County Council before he was elected to the state Senate in November. Lucas was first elected to the General Assembly in 2012.
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Doubek: Illinois needs a grassroots protest like Women's March
Nebraska lawmaker in cybersex scandal slammed for offensive Women's March tweet


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Pistons get crowned by Kings again, 109-104, ending win streak (2.12/25)

The Sacramento Kings have won only two of their last seven games.
Both victories have come against the Detroit Pistons.
Nearly two weeks after the Kings overcame an 18-point second half deficit in topping the Pistons at Sacramento, they turned an early deficit into a 109-104 victory tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins led the way again with 22 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.
His baseline jumper with 38 seconds remaining gave the Kings (17-27) a 107-101 lead and sent fans toward the Palace exits.
Reggie Jackson scored 18 points and handed off 11 assists for the Pistons (21-25), who saw their three-game winning streak snapped.
Andre Drummond, who had heated exchanges with Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy in the first half, finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope looked rusty after missing four straight games with a sore left shoulder. He scored 14 points, but was 4-for-14 from the field and he was 1-for-8 from three-point range.
Jon Leuer failed to score after 15 points in the first quarter.
Ty Lawson was the unsung hero for the Kings. Ish Smith and Jackson could not stay in front of him. Lawson finished with 19 points and six assists.
The Pistons continued their hot first quarters with 38 points to take a 38-28 lead into the second quarter.
But the bench unit allowed the Kings to score 16 points in the first 3 minutes of the second quarter. They tied the game, 44-44, forcing a Van Gundy time-out. He pulled Stanley Johnson, who has been playing well recently. He did not go back to Johnson the rest of the game.
The Pistons tried to put Leuer on Cousins, but after his hot start, was mired in foul trouble.
Van Gundy was agitated about defensive breakdowns throughout the first half, but he was really upset late in the first half when Drummond didn’t move his feet and lazily attempted a steal against Cousins.
Van Gundy called time-out to reinsert Aron Baynes, whom had just left the game.
Drummond and Van Gundy had a testy exchange, and it escalated when Van Gundy walked toward the end of the bench to confront the Pistons center.
The testy exchange continued with Johnson getting from his seat to get between the two.
In a humorous note, Leuer picked up his third foul and Van Gundy had to send Drummond back into the game.
Contact Vince Ellis: Follow him on Twitter @vincent_ellis56. Download our Pistons Xtra app on iTunes or Android!

Game thread: Pistons lose to Kings, 109-104
Caldwell-Pope returns for Pistons against Kings
Live: Detroit Pistons vs. Sacramento Kings


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Liberty completes F1 takeover, Ecclestone replaced (2.12/25)

Bernie Ecclestone's 40-year reign as Formula One's commercial supremo ended on Monday with the sport's new owners Liberty Media replacing the 86-year-old Briton with American Chase Carey.
Signalling the end of an era, Liberty said in a statement that it had completed the acquisition of Formula One and appointed Chairman Carey to the additional role of Chief Executive.
Ecclestone will become 'Chairman Emeritus', with Liberty saying he would remain "available as a source of advice for the board of F1".
Liberty also named two managing directors -- former Ferrari technical director and ex-Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn for motorsports and former ESPN executive Sean Bratches for commercial operations.
Both roles had been widely signalled in media reports.
"I'm proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula One," Ecclestone said in the statement. "I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport. "
Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei said Carey, 62, would lead the business from now on and thanked Ecclestone for his "tremendous success" in transforming Formula One into a $1 billion business.
"There is an enormous opportunity to grow the sport, and we have every confidence that Chase, with his abilities and experience, is the right person to achieve this," he said.
The takeover, valued at $8 billion including debt, has been broadly welcomed in a sport featuring famous car brands such as Ferrari, McLaren and world champions Mercedes and which has the Monaco Grand Prix as its jewel in the crown.
Huge potential
Carey has spent his time since September familiarizing himself with the sport, and has made clear that fundamental changes need to be made to the business model.
Formula One currently lacks a marketing department and has derived much of its revenue from television rights and race hosting fees, with Ecclestone making the deals.
"F1 has huge potential with multiple untapped opportunities," said Carey.
"I have enjoyed hearing from the fans, teams, (the sport's governing) FIA, promoters and sponsors on their ideas and hopes for the sport. We will work with all of these partners to enhance the racing experience and add new dimensions to the sport. "
Ecclestone took the F1 circus to new destinations, such as Azerbaijan and Bahrain, that were prepared to pay handsomely to host a round of the championship even if they lacked the motorsport heritage of historic European circuits.
He has controlled every aspect of the paddock, however, and teams and fans have long chafed at the lack of a digital strategy and the focus on maximizing profits rather than developing the sport.
Liberty, owned by U. S. cable TV mogul John Malone, has emphasized the importance of traditional European venues and wants to expand in the Americas.
"My days in the office will be somewhat quieter. Maybe I'll come to a Grand Prix. I still have lots of friends in Formula One," Ecclestone had told Germany's Auto, Motor und Sport before the announcement.
"I have enough money to be able to afford to visit a race. "

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Bereaved Parents Visit California Creek Where Teen Trapped (2.12/25)

A distraught mother clutched her head, and family members wept as they stared into the surging waters where an 18-year-old woman's car is believed to be trapped with her still inside of it.
The young woman has been missing since Saturday, when authorities say she lost control during a rainstorm and hit another car before plunging into Alameda Creek.
Rushing, deep water has prevented rescuers from entering the muddy creek, which was exceptionally high after this winter's intense rainfall.
On Monday, her bereaved parents and other family members visited the accident site and stood on the banks of the raging creek. They embraced and wept as authorities pointed out where the car had swerved off the road, and then led the family a few hundred yards downstream where the car is thought to be still submerged.
The Alameda County Sheriff's office deployed a drone carrying a 3D image camera and captured footage that appeared to show where the car is trapped.
Officials said they hoped to reduce the flow of water into the creek so rescuers can enter without danger, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The woman has been identified only as an 18-year-old from Tracy, California .

Bereaved parents visit California creek where teen trapped - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports
Bereaved parents visit California creek where teen trapped


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Three Puppies Found In Rigopiano Hotel Avalanche Boost Rescue Efforts (2.11/25)

Emergency workers have rescued three puppies from the hotel destroyed by an avalanche in...
More Three puppies were found five days after an avalanche was triggered by earthquakes in Farindola, Italy on Jan. 18. Fire brigade team members rescued the white Abruzzo...
FARINDOLA, Italy — Italian emergency crews pulled three wiggling, white sheepdog puppies out from under tons of snow and rubble at an avalanche-struck hotel on Monday, ...
Five days ago, an avalanche struck a hotel central Italy’s Abruzzo region—leaving seven dead and many others missing. But on Monday, rescuers found three sheepdog puppies...
FARINDOLA, Italy Italian emergency crews pulled three wiggling, white sheepdog puppies out Monday from under tons of snow and rubble at an avalanche-struck hotel, lifting ...
Rescuers recovered three puppies from under the rubble of Italy’s avalanche hotel Monday sparking fresh hopes some of the 23 people still missing after five days could be ...
Emergency rescuers broke down a wall to rescue three puppies buried alive in an avalanche in central Italy. The puppies are in good health. ...
A sign of hope for emergency crews digging into an avalanche-slammed hotel in Italy. Rescuers found three puppies...
Last week, the Hotel Rigopiano in central Italy was partially buried under an avalanche which killed or injured many guests and employees. Nearly two-dozen remain...

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Puppies found alive at Italy avalanche hotel
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Cuomo Echoes Trump’s Words In ‘Buy American’ Speech (2.10/25)

SYRACUSE, N. Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo had a different tone Monday as he talked about his future plans.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, nobody quite expected that Cuomo would start talking like President Donald Trump’s apprentice when they met at Trump Tower last week.
But now, the Democratic governor is sounding a whole lot like the Republican president of the United States. It was hard not to notice the similarities between Cuomo on the stump in Syracuse Monday and Trump’s inauguration speech.
“I don’t care – Democratic, Republican, conservative, liberal – keep the politics out of Albany,” Cuomo said,
On Friday, Trump said, “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.”
Cuomo on Monday said: “We want to put New York first and the people of New York first – the people, the people.”
Trump said Friday, “January 20, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So, Kramer suggested, Cuomo may have been trying to flatter the new president when he talked up a “buy American” proposal in which state agencies are required to give a preference for American-made products.
“We have to protect our jobs. We have to protect our manufacturing jobs. A lot of them are moving overseas. A lot of the companies are overseas,” Cuomo said. “We want to have the most aggressive buy America proposal in the United States of America.”
On Friday, Trump said: “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries, making our products, stealing our companies, and stealing our jobs.”
CBS2’s Kramer spoke to one political expert, Baruch College professor Doug Muzzio, who pointed out that Cuomo’s rhetoric flies in the face of his progressive agenda.
But Cuomo is probably echoing Trump, according to Muzzio, “because he thinks it will work” and will help when he runs for reelection next year.

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Sundance: Netflix Nabs Global Rights to ‘The Incredible Jessica James’ (2.09/25)

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to “ The Incredible Jessica James ,” which will be the closing night film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It continues what has been a busy festival for the streaming giant. Netflix came to Sundance with eight films and has picked up such high-profile projects as “Chasing Coral” and “Fun Mom Night.”
Jordan Peele Horror Film ‘Get Out’ is Sundance Secret Screening
“The Incredible Jessica James” stars Jessica Williams as a playwright trying to get over a breakup. On the rebound, she gets into an unlikely relationship with Chris O’Dowd (“Bridesmaids”). Lakeith Stanfield (“Atlanta”) and Noël Wells (“Master of None”) co-star. The film was produced by Michael B. Clark and Alex Turtletaub of Beachside and executive produced by Williams and Kerri Hundley. Jim Strouse directed the comedy.
The movie will be branded as a Netflix original film and will stream to over 190 countries.
“We are honored to get to work with Jim Strouse as we introduce film lovers around the globe to ‘The Incredible Jessica James,’ which marks the arrival of Jessica Williams, a true star in the making,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, in a statement.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Judge postpones sentencing of PG&E in case tied to blast (2.08/25)

A federal judge said Monday he is inclined to require Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to mention its convictions in ads and have employees do thousands of hours of community service as part of its sentence in a criminal case stemming from a deadly natural gas explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.
U. S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson made the comment as he pushed back his final sentencing decision, saying he needed more time to consider comments by attorneys for the government and PG&E.
Henderson's move followed a lengthy hearing that included emotional testimony from three victims of the 2010 explosion of a PG&E natural gas pipeline that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in the city of San Bruno.
"The loss of my loved ones, my personal belongings, my neighborhood, my life happened due to the negligence of a greedy company that put profits ahead of safety," said Sue Bullis, 56, who lost her husband, son and mother-in-law in the explosion.
She was hopeful the sentence would lead to changes at PG&E.
Henderson postponed his final decision on sentencing until Thursday.
The sentence will close one of the final chapters in the legal and regulatory fallout from the San Bruno blast.
California regulators have previously fined PG&E $1.6 billion for the explosion, and the company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars settling lawsuits by victims.
Julie Kane, a PG&E executive, apologized Monday in court to the victims and said the company was committed to safety.
"We are profoundly sorry," she said.
PG&E is prepared to pay the maximum $3 million fine it faces and has agreed to a monitor to oversee it as part of any sentence, said Steven Bauer, an attorney for the company.
However, he asked Henderson to set a time limit on the requirement involving ads and link the messages to improved safety.
Prosecutor Hartley West said she wanted to make sure PG&E isn't able to get out of the advertising requirement through a carefully worded ad that avoids using the term "safety. "
Prosecutors have also asked Henderson to restructure PG&E's bonus program for employees — a sentencing requirement PG&E opposes.
Jurors convicted the company in August of five of 11 counts of pipeline safety violations, including failing to gather information to evaluate potential gas-line threats and deliberately not classifying a gas line as high risk. Prosecutors said the company deliberately misclassified pipelines so it wouldn't have to subject them to appropriate testing, choosing a cheaper method to save money.
Jurors also convicted the utility of obstructing investigators after the blast.
PG&E attorneys said during trial that the company's engineers did not think the pipelines posed a safety risk, and the company did not intend to mislead investigators.
The stakes in the case dropped dramatically, however, when prosecutors made the surprising decision several days into jury deliberations not to pursue a potential $562 million fine if PG&E was found guilty of any of the pipeline safety counts. No PG&E employees were charged, so no one is facing prison time.
Henderson said Monday that requiring PG&E to mention its pipeline convictions in any publicity about its commitment to safety seems an "appropriate punishment and deterrent. " He said he was inclined to require 10,000 hours of community service, with 2,000 of those performed by high-level PG&E personnel.

Judge postpones sentencing of PG&E in case tied to blast - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports
The Latest: Judge postpones sentencing of utility in blast
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Kansas bank robber chooses prison over wife (2.08/25)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A 70-year-old man who told investigators after robbing a Kansas bank that he’d rather be imprisoned than with his wife has admitted carrying out the holdup.
Lawrence Ripple pleaded guilty Monday in Kansas City, Kansas, to a federal bank robbery count. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Court documents show that Ripple gave a Kansas City bank teller a note in September demanding cash and warning he had a gun. Ripple grabbed nearly $3,000, sat in the lobby and told a guard he was the “guy he was looking for.”
An FBI agent says Ripple had argued with his wife earlier.
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Kansas man admits robbing Kansas bank to escape wife
Kansas Man Admits Robbing Kansas Bank to Escape Wife


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70-year-old admits robbing bank, says jail is better than staying with his wife (2.08/25)

A 70-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man pleaded guilty Monday to robbing a bank last year because, he said, he was tired of living with his wife. Lawrence John Ripple pleaded...

Kansas man admits robbing Kansas bank to escape wife
Kansas Man Admits Robbing Kansas Bank to Escape Wife


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1 dead, thousands flee as rains continue to batter Mindanao (2.07/25)

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte – A 16-year-old boy was killed and thousands fled their homes anew as heavy rains continued to pound southern Mindanao, triggering landslides and floods, disaster and local officials on Tuesday said.
Classes at all levels have been suspended in Compostela Valley province since Monday as moderate to heavy rains brought by a cold-front pelted the province, causing rivers to nearly burst their banks.
In New Bataan town in Compostela Valley, a teenage boy said to be suffering from a mental illness was swept away as he tried to cross a swollen river in Magangit village around 8 a.m. on Monday, according to Raul Villocino, provincial disaster action officer. The boy’s body was recovered at 3 p.m. the same day.
At least 158 families fled to evacuation centers as flooding hit several villages of Nabunturan town, Compostela Valley’s capital, according to provincial spokesperson Fe Maestre.
Gov. Jayvee Tyrone Uy on Monday ordered the suspension of classes at all levels throughout the province and kept the order up on Tuesday “as high risks due to the heavy downpour” persisted.
“We are still assessing the situation as seven municipalities have already been affected,” Villocino said on whether the province would be declared under a state of calamity so funds for assistance to those affected could be released./ rga
Thousands stranded as floods swamp VisMin cities
Killer weather

Deadly Storm Batters Eastern US With Wind And Heavy Rain
Deadly storm batters Eastern US with wind and heavy rain


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21-year-old man wounded in Wrightwood shooting (2.07/25)

A 21-year-old man was wounded Monday night in an Wrightwood neighborhood shooting on the Southwest Side.
Someone pulled up in a vehicle as the man was walking around 6:50 p.m. in the 2400 block of West 79th Street and they began to argue, according to Chicago Police.
A gunman then got out of the car, opened fire, got back in and took off. The victim was shot in the ankle and taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition was stabilized, police said.
Area South Detectives are investigating.

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Fossils of wolf-sized otter unearthed in China (2.07/25)

Scientists have unearthed fossils of an otter as big as a wolf that frolicked in rivers and lakes in a lush, warm and humid wetlands region in south-western China about 6.2m years ago.
The outsized otter, called Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 50kg (110lb) and measured up to 2 metres (6.5ft) long, making it bigger than any of its cousins alive today, the researchers said on Monday.
“Siamogale melilutra reminds us, I think, of the diversity of life in the past and how many more questions there are still to answer. Who would have imagined a wolf-size otter?” said Denise Su, Cleveland Museum of Natural History curator of paleobotany and paleoecology.
It had enlarged cheek teeth and strong jaws that appear to have been used for crunching hard objects, perhaps large shellfish and freshwater mollusks, and was capable of swimming in shallow, swampy waters.
“I think it used its powerful jaws to crush hard clams for food, somewhat like modern sea otters, although the latter use stone tools to smash shells,” said Xiaoming Wang, head of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
“If Siamogale melilutra was not smart enough to figure out tools, perhaps the only option left was to develop more powerful jaws by increasing body size,” Wang added.
The fossils, found at a site in China’s Yunnan province, include a largely complete cranium and lower jaw, various teeth, and limb bones.
The skull was crushed eons ago during the fossilization process. The researchers used sophisticated scanning to digitally reconstruct it, discovering it boasted a mix of otter-like and badger-like skull and dental traits.
There was intense interest in the fossil site because an important prehistoric ape skull previously had been unearthed there. Others fossils found include elephants, rhinos, tapirs, deer, beavers, crocodiles and water birds including ducks, swans and cranes.
The largest otter alive today is the South American giant river otter, weighing up to about 32kg (70lb). Otters belong to a mammalian family including the weasel, badger, marten and mink. The earliest-known otter lived about 18m years ago. But otter evolution is not well understood, with fossils rare and scattered around the world.
Siamogale melilutra may not be the largest otter ever, with fossils of another one that may be the biggest previously found in Africa.
The research was published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

Giant Prehistoric Otter's Fossil Found In China
This wolf-sized otter once swam the waters of ancient China


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Police investigate video showing officer throwing coffee at biker (2.07/25)

Chicago police are investigating a video that shows an officer throwing a cup of coffee at a motorcyclist. The GoPro-type video has gone viral since it was posted on YouTube Sunday. It shows several motorcycles traveling through Chicago's River North neighborhood, then an officer throwing his coffee at the filmmaker. "I was shown that video a little while ago, and I tell you there's nothing I can say to defend actions like that. We expect every officer to be professional, treat people fairly and responsibly," said CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson. Johnson said the officer will be disciplined appropriately. He has not yet been identified.

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Video Appears To Show Chicago Cop Throwing Coffee At Motorcyclist


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Woman's car located by family member, officials to retrieve it from Alameda Creek (2.06/25)

Law enforcement officials are crediting the family of a missing 18-year-old with finding her vehicle in Alameda Creek after she went missing Saturday. Out of respect for the family, law enforcement is not naming the victim at this time. They shared she was a college student who aspired to be a social worker. They believe they'll be able to recover her body Tuesday morning with her family close by. "That determination and that love for her is what helped find that car today," said Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. Approximagely 30 family members walked along Niles Canyon Road Monday. One noticed an unusual pattern in the water. "Actually, one of the family members picked up a rock and threw it at the object in the water, and it sounded like it hit a tire," said Kelly. A drone overhead confirmed images of the car's tires. Officials say the car traveled about 100 yards from the point of entry to where it is now. The 18-year-old was driving from Tracy to see family in Menlo Park Saturday. When she didn't arrive, her family reported her missing. Shortly after, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said her car clipped another one before entering the creek. Her bumper and license plate remained on land. When first responders ran the plate, it came back to the missing woman. Multiple law enforcement agencies spent the morning searching for the vehicle, but officials won't be able to recover the vehicle until Tuesday morning because of high, fast-moving water. Overnight water levels are expected to recede. Officials will also turn off water from the Del Valle and Calaveras reservoirs. "It's not like turning off a faucet," Kelly told ABC7 News. "So the water takes six to eight hours to see a noticeable dissipation. "Officials say they'll re-close Niles Canyon Road to resume the recovery operation.

Bereaved parents visit California creek where teen trapped
Bereaved parents visit California creek where teen trapped - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports


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China's birthrate rises after one-child policy loosened (2.06/25)

The number of births in China has risen nearly 8 percent in the year after the government loosened its unpopular one-child policy.
China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said this week that 17.86 million children were born last year, an increase of 1.31 million from 2015. Nearly half of the children born were to couples who already had a child.
China enacted its one-child policy in 1979 to control population growth, enforced with fines and in some cases state-mandated abortions. But it now faces a rapidly aging workforce and the prospect of not having enough younger workers to support them.
The government allowed all married couples to have two children beginning in 2016.
The commission acknowledged many families remain reluctant to have a second child for financial reasons.

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Pa. man convicted of 3 murders as teen kills himself in prison (2.06/25)

CAMP HILL, Penn. -- A man who broke into a classmate’s home in 2007 and stabbed the teenager and his parents to death has killed himself in prison, authorities said Monday. Cumberland County Deputy Coroner Jeff Miller said Alec Kreider, 25, was found hanging in his cell Friday at the state prison in Camp Hill. The Department of Corrections said staff members tried to revive Kreider after a guard found him unconscious in his cell.
The State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill said that staff provided CPR, which EMS personnel continued, CBS Harrisburg affiliate WHP reported. Holy Spirit Hospital medical command pronounced Kreider dead at 4:31 p.m.
Kreider was 16 when Kevin Haines and his parents, Thomas and Lisa Haines, were killed in May 2007. The couple’s daughter, a college student, was awakened by the attacks and escaped unharmed. Kreider pleaded guilty in June 2008 to first-degree murder and was sentenced to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors in Lancaster County said Kreider lived with his mother in 2007, and their home was about a 10-minute walk from the home of Kevin, his 10th-grade Manheim Township High School classmate. Kreider was wearing dark clothing and wielding a hunting knife with a four-inch blade when he entered the victims’ suburban Lancaster home through an unlocked door around 2 a.m., prosecutors said. He attacked Kevin’s parents and then the youth in their bedrooms, they said. The couple’s daughter, a Bucknell University student home that night, awoke to the sounds of a struggle in Kevin’s room and rushed to her parents’ room, where her mortally wounded mother told her to get help. She ran to a neighbor’s home to call police. Prosecutors read aloud excerpts from a journal Kreider wrote after the slayings expressing a “want/need to kill people” and admitting having “murderous thoughts.” Told by the judge at his 2008 sentencing that the family and community deserved an explanation, Kreider replied, “There is none.” He told the judge he had received treatment for depression and continued to take medications daily. Kreider’s father, Tim, told Lancaster newspapers in 2014 that when his son confessed, he “never gave a motive... only said something about Kevin annoying him lately.”

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Minnesota officer charged with punching handcuffed teen in face (2.06/25)

A St. Paul police officer was charged Monday with punching a 14-year-old girl twice in the face after she spit on him while handcuffed in the back of a squad car. ...

Soulja Boy facing felony weapons charges
St. Paul officer charged with punching handcuffed teen


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10 Things to Know for Tuesday (2.06/25)

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday.
The new president views the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership pact — which was eagerly sought by U. S. allies in Asia — as detrimental to American businesses.
That's how Anthony Mitchell of Albany, Ga., describes a tornado that hit his family's mobile home, among violent storms that killed at least 20 people across the Deep South.
The rebel delegation and Syrian government envoys remain deeply divided over who's to blame for repeated cease-fire violations as the civil war continues.
Two Republican senators say they'll propose legislation that lets states keep "Obamacare" or opt for a new program providing trimmed-down coverage.
They want the president to fulfill a campaign vow to appoint a "pro-life" Supreme Court justice.
Matt Ryan of the Falcons and New England's Tom Brady will lead their high-power offenses into the championship game.
Man-made drugs like "bath salts" hit the street faster than courts can react.
A man fatally shot outside a bar in Montpelier, Vt., is the sole murder there since the 1920s, state police say.
A federal judge clears up an ownership dispute and rules that a South Dakota museum is entitled to a Martin six-string The King played not long before his death in 1977.
Researchers say the drag from long-distance travel can cause big league pitchers to give up more home runs, and take some punch out of a team's bats.

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A Dog's Purpose supplier says video was 'falsely edited' (2.06/25)

The animal supplier behind A Dog's Purpose has claimed a damaging video showing a German Shepherd being forced into turbulent water onset is 'falsely edited'.
Birds and Animals Unlimited, which provides production companies with animals for films, says Hercules the dog in fact loves swimming and later jumped in to the water happily from a different spot but that the video deliberately left that part out.
The dog only resisted the rapids because he hadn't yet rehearsed jumping in from that exact spot beside the pool, they claimed.
They refused to comment on whether it was cruel to repeatedly try to force him into the water but admitted it was 'apparent' the dog was uncomfortable in the section of video that has been widely circulated.
'Last week a falsely edited video was released to the media. It portrayed a dog being forced into a pool against its will... no such thing ever occurred,' representatives told on Monday.
The animal supplier behind A Dog's Purpose said a video showing one of its dogs being forced into water on set (above) had been 'maliciously' edited
The video shows a distressed Hercules clinging to an animal trainer as he tries to force him into fast moving water from a ledge. Another member of crew laughed: 'You just gotta throw him in.'
After almost a minute of the dog struggling against the rapids, the footage cuts to a show him completely submerged in it from a different angle.
The footage was taken on the film's set in Winnipeg, Canada, in 2015 and was leaked to TMZ last week.
It sparked outrage among animal lovers including PETA which asked followers to boycott the film and an investigation was launched by animal welfare watchdogs.
The film's Los Angeles premiere was cancelled on Thursday as a result of the scandal and an investigation into animal cruelty has been launched.
Birds and Animals Unlimited claim the tape was 'maliciously' edited and that the only reason he was resisting the water was because he hadn't practiced jumping in from that spot on the water's edge.
They refused to comment on claims the scene should have been stopped when Hercules first showed resistance, saying only that he was not left harmed by filming the scene.
The dog was filmed trying to get away from the trainer several times before he was eventually lowered into the water
Hercules was briefly lowered in to the water but was then brought back out before being completely submerged
'The shot that Hercules performed began with his jumping from the end of the pool into the water as he’d been conditioned to do, then swimming out to a stunt actor and pulling her to safety.
'After many successful takes throughout the day, a request was made to have Hercules perform the same behavior, but changing the point from which he was to enter the pool.
'As the camera started rolling, the trainer in the water began to call the dog. It quickly became apparent that Hercules did not want to enter the pool from this location.
The supplier said Hercules was chosen for the role for 'his love of water'
'After less that one minute of Hercules insisting on getting back to his original starting point, this plan was abandoned and he was brought to the end of the pool from which he’d been conditioned to enter, and he did so happily.'
The second part of the footage, which shows Hercules being rushed towards the wall by strong currents as trainers and crew members appear to panic around him, was not as dangerous as it seemed, the supplier added.
'When the dog reached the wall, he was briefly submerged at which point the diver an trainer immediately pushed him to the surface. Trainers poolside then pulled him out of the water. Hercules shook the water off and wagged his tail.'
The crew member heard laughing for the dog to be thrown in to the water had no say over its welfare, the representative added.
The supplier said it was reviewing its legal options after being condemned by animal rights' groups and accused of cruelty.
The film's producer Gavin Polone joined the debate on Saturday, telling Deadline that while the animal didn't appear to be in any danger, the scene should have been stopped when Hercules first showed signs of discomfort.
They say he later jumped in to the water happily from a previously rehearsed spot. Above, he is seen diving into fast moving water in a trailer for the film
PETA demanded animal lovers boycott the film after the video was leaked last week
The film starring Dennis Quaid (above with a different animal used in its production) cancelled its Los Angeles premiere as a result of the scandal last week
'Whoever was in control of the set should have told them to stop, but the dog was not in danger and the dog was and is OK.'
Canada's Chief Veterinary Office received a formal complaint about the footage.
Crew members could technically face criminal charges if they are found to have been in breach of animal protection laws.
Members of the production who weren't onset for the scene in question shared their concerns after seeing the video.
Both director Lasse Hallstrom, and Josh Gad, who voices one of the main characters in the movie, took to Twitter to call for an investigation into the upsetting video.
The America Humane Association suspended its safety representative for the film and is conducting an independent investigation into the footage.

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Producer Slams PETA And Shares The Truth About The ‘Misleading’ Set Video
'A Dog's Purpose' producer pens emotional op-ed on 'misleading' video: The 'dog was NEVER forced into water'


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Alan Cumming to Star in CBS Pilot Based on James Patterson Novel (2.06/25)

CBS has picked up two new drama pilots, TheWrap has learned.
The first comes from former “Royal Pains” producer Michael Rauch as well as Secret Hideout’s Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin. Alan Cumming is attached to act in the pilot as well as executive produce.
Formerly titled “Dr. Death,” the pilot “Killer Instinct” follows a former CIA operative who has since built a “normal” life as a gifted professor and writer is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose.
Also Read: Pilot Season 2017: TheWrap's Complete Guide
The project is based on a soon-to-be-published novel by best-seller James Patterson, who will also serve as executive producer alongside Bill Robinson and Leopoldo Gout.
The network has also ordered a pilot from “The Good Wife” alum Craig Turk and CBS Television Studios.
Titled “Perfect Citizen,” the drama follows the former General Counsel for the NSA embarks on a new career at a storied law firm in Boston after his involvement as a whistleblower in an international scandal. He must face the reality that while half the country thinks he’s our greatest patriot, the other half thinks he’s a traitor.
Also Read: 'Extant' Creator Sells Drama Pilot 'Reverie' to NBC
The two projects join CBS’s previously ordered drama pilot “Mission Control,” which will follow the next generation of NASA astronauts and scientists who must juggle both their personal and professional lives during a critical mission with no margin for error.
On the comedy side, the network has “Me, Myself and I” from writer and executive producer Dan Kopelman, as well as “9J, 9K, AND 9L,” which will star and be co-written by “Royal Pains” star Mark Feuerstein.
Read original story Alan Cumming to Star in CBS Pilot Based on James Patterson Novel At TheWrap

CBS Orders Drama Pilots From Alan Cumming, Craig Turk
Alan Cumming-James Patterson Drama Among CBS Pilot Pickups


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Jane Fonda is selling her Beverly Hills mansion For $12.995 million (2.06/25)

If anyone knows how to "work out" a sale, it's exercise tycoon Jane Fonda. The two-time Academy Award winner is saying goodbye to the home in Beverly Hills, CA , she bought in 2012 with longtime partner Richard Perry. Located in the coveted Trousdale Estates, where everyone from Elvis Presley to Courteney Cox has owned property, the contemporary masterpiece overlooks stunning canyon and ocean views.
The 7,100-square-foot home includes a glass elevator that leads to the main level, which encompasses a combined dining room and living room, butler's pantry and bar, office, and sprawling chef's kitchen in a stylish yet warm and inviting environment. The kitchen, with verde quartz countertops, a center island, and breakfast bar, adjoins another family room that opens out to a terrace perched over the backyard.
The first floor houses the media room, with a full bar, cork floors, and a spacious gym. When you're the creator of the Jane Fonda Workout, you've got to have a place to tone those buns at home! A his-and-hers master suite with jewel-like tiles, a steam shower, soaking tub, radiant-heated porcelain floors, and large walk-in closets is perfect for a power couple like Jane and Richard. Located on a 36,000-square-foot lot, the home occupies a tranquil, resortlike setting with multiple covered and open patios, a swimming pool, a viewing pavilion with a fire pit, and a meditation garden with fountain.
Peek inside the stylish abode:
Always the eco-warrior, Jane enjoyed the home's green amenities, such as photovoltaic panels, a solar-heated pool, ecofriendly ventless fireplaces, thermal glass, double-glazed UV windows with motorized room-darkening shades, and bamboo floors.
Jane and Richard bought the four-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bathroom estate for $7.3 million back in 2012 from TV director John Rich, the creative force behind shows like Gilligan's Island and All in the Family, who had owned it for more than 44 years. In a video, Jane reflected on how special the house was to her. "Richard and I must have looked at more than 30 houses, and the day we pulled in through the gate... I took one look at this house and I knew. I just knew!... This was the place where we could live very happily. "
If Jane snags that $13 million asking price, she's set to make a nice $5.6 million profit. Maybe one of Hollywood's other power couples will look to scoop up this gem!
Images courtesy of Coldwell Banker Previews International. The listing agents are Jade Mills and Valerie Fitzgerald of Coldwell Banker Previews International. Video from Carlo Alberto Orecchia.
Jane Fonda - Carla Ridge 90210 from Carlo Alberto Orecchia on Vimeo .

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Jane Fonda and Richard Perry list home for $13million


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Browns, LB Jamie Collins agree to 4-year, $50 million deal (2.06/25)

Other than the incessant losing, Jamie Collins enjoyed his half season with the Cleveland Browns.
He's sticking around for four more.
Collins agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract on Monday with the Browns, who made signing the 27-year-old one of their offseason priorities and locked him up before he could hit the free-agent market. The deal includes $26 million guaranteed.
A Pro Bowler for New England, Collins made a major impression during the eight games he started after arriving on Oct. 31 in a trade with the Patriots. Collins recorded 69 tackles, two sacks and forced a fumble while playing every defensive snap.
"From the day I walked in the door, I felt welcomed by my new teammates and everyone in this organization," Collins said. "The past is the past as far as last season's record, but today is a new day. I'm only looking forward. "
After they let several of their own free agents — including center Alex Mack and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, who will play with Atlanta in the Super Bowl — leave last winter, the Browns weren't going to make a similar mistake with Collins.
"We are going to be aggressive about acquiring talent, and when we had the opportunity to trade for Jamie back in October, it was done with the intent of him becoming a long-term part of our defense," said Sashi Brown, the team's executive vice president of football operations. "Jamie has shown throughout his NFL career that he is a very talented player with a rare skill set that allows him to impact games in a number of ways.
"He's a versatile, smart, competitive and physical football player who has experienced winning at the highest level. Jamie was great to have in our building this season, and we look forward to him being a Cleveland Brown for a number of years to come. We are counting on him to be a big part of us becoming a winning team. "
Now that they've got Collins under contract, the Browns can focus on signing wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, who had 78 catches for 1,049 yards in his first full season at the position.
The Browns went 1-15 this past season, but they see Collins as a major piece to a defense that will be led by new coordinator Gregg Williams.
Collins met with Williams and Jackson on Monday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. The Browns' staff is coaching the South team this week and in Saturday's game.
"It's no secret how I feel about Jamie Collins," said Jackson, who late in the season said it would be "a coup" if the Browns signed the linebacker. "He's an outstanding football player and a guy we think can be part of the foundation of a tremendous defense. I was excited when we were able to trade for him last season, and now, I'm even more excited knowing that he is going to part of our future. We all know we have a lot of work to do to get our team where we feel it needs to be. Jamie wants to be a part of that. He wants to help build this team for success.
"He was outstanding in our locker room last year because he's seen what success in the NFL looks like and our players respect the way he carries himself. We are all looking forward to him being a part of the success we plan to earn through our hard work and preparation. "
Collins was originally selected in the second round by the Patriots in 2013. He led New England in tackles and played every snap during the team's win in the 2015 Super Bowl.
The Browns can upgrade their defense in free agency and they have the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft and four selections in the top 50.

Cleveland Browns agree to 4-year deal with Jamie Collins
Browns sign linebacker Jamie Collins to 4-year contract


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Nets say injured Jeremy Lin will miss another 3 to 5 weeks (2.06/25)

Jeremy Lin has had another setback while rehabbing a hamstring injury, and this time the Brooklyn Nets won't let him risk further injury trying to rush back.
The Nets said Monday that Lin will miss three to five weeks after aggravating his strained left hamstring, an injury that has sidelined him most of the season.
Lin was nearing a return when he was hurt again. With the Nets owning the worst record in the NBA and no urgency to get Lin back, general manager Sean Marks said the team will use a "conservative, long-term approach. "
"There's no need to rush him to back," Marks said. "He's a part of this franchise for the future so let's not do anything that's detrimental to his healthy, first and foremost. "
Lin was first injured Nov. 2, just five games into the season, then strained the hamstring again on Dec. 26 against Charlotte. He has played in just 12 of Brooklyn's 43 games.
"Occasionally, unfortunately this is what happens in the rehab process," Marks said. "Unfortunately it happened to him, unfortunately it happened this way, and yes, we'll definitely be very cautious with him moving forward"

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Florida woman breaks into Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club (2.06/25)

A woman is being charged with sneaking onto President Donald Trump 's private Mar-a-Lago club shortly before his inauguration and smearing bananas on cars in its parking lot. Kelly Weidman, 48, also allegedly typed a profanity about Trump on a computer at the Palm Beach, Florida club and moved some balloons in the Grand Ballroom to bushes outside a few hours before Trump was sworn in on Friday. Weidman, of Clearwater, was confronted by security guards and would not leave. Guards then called police. She allegedly told officers she wanted to be arrested because no one was paying attention to her claim of being 'cyber attacked,' Palm Beach police said. She also said she had typed 'F***UTrumpB' on the computer, WPTV reported. She was charged with misdemeanor trespassing and released. Earlier on Friday, Weidman had come to Mar-a-Lago by car but was turned away. She later returned on foot. Because Trump wasn't at the ritzy club, the Secret Service wasn't involved. No one answered a phone number listed for Weidman and court records didn't list an attorney.

Florida woman accused of smearing bananas on cars at Mar-a-Lago, typing Trump profanity on its computer
Woman smears bananas on cars at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, police say


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Tom Brokaw on Donald Trump: ‘It’s a Big Roll of the Dice’ (2.06/25)

Less than a day after covering the inauguration of President Donald Trump , Tom Brokaw braved a snowstorm to travel to the Sundance Film Festival. The veteran newsman wasn’t there to report on the indie film market. He touched down in Utah to promote “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman,” a Discovery Channel documentary he narrates about a group of Red Staters who become global warming believers as they try to stem the effects of climate change.
“It’s about citizens who become environmentalists and who become political activists for the right reason,” Brokaw told Variety , as he sat at a steakhouse table that offered up a tableau of the winter storm blanketing Park City. “They do it because it’s their life. It’s their livelihoods. It’s their legacy. It’s what their families have done all their lives.”
It’s an issue and a way of life that resonates with Brokaw. He grew up in South Dakota, in the heart of America’s agricultural center, and he returns frequently to a ranch he’s owned in Montana since 1989. There he’s raised sheep, cattle, and other animals, and put easements on his land to keep it preserved.
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“Tom’s connection to the story was unique,” said Rich Ross, president of the Discovery Channel. “We wanted someone who had a connection to these type of people.”
Brokaw’s interest in conservation dovetailed with Discovery’s recent focus on shows and films that deal with environmental issues. Last year, for instance, Discovery bought the documentary “Racing Extinction” out of the festival and debuted it on its channel. As part of the premiere, the channel created a social advocacy campaign designed to educate Americans about animal species that could be eradicated by human behavior.
“Discovery is a purpose-driven company and we have to be a moral voice for a lot of these issues,” said David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications, and a former colleague of Brokaw’s at NBC.
Even half-a-continent away from D. C., politics loom large at Sundance. Brokaw sat down with Variety an hour after 8,000 protesters marched through the streets of Park City in opposition to the new president. The former NBC News anchor acknowledged that Trump had done little in his inaugural to temper his pugilistic message or to reach out to his political foes.
“It was much more of a campaign speech than I expected,” he said. “I thought he might make some transition. On the other hand, I’ve been talking to people inside the organization and they were pretty clear that even if he had changed his rhetoric, they’re not going to change what they intend to do or his style. It’s a big roll of the dice.”
Brokaw said that Trump’s political stock will never be higher than it is right now, but he stressed that the working class discontent he harnessed to get into the White House cuts both ways.
Trump’s ascent could be problematic for the ranchers and farmers in the Discovery documentary, and for others feeling the effects of a warming planet. The president has expressed skepticism about climate change, at one point tweeting that it was a hoax perpetrated by China. Brokaw thinks that at some point, despite his dismissals, Trump will become a convert.
“The president’s going to hear from the military, because they think it is a potential conflict issue,” said Brokaw. “The water gets higher, countries lose ground.” He adds that he talked to a Trump economic adviser who told him, “he’s very enthusiastic about Trump, but he said he’s going to have to get this.”
Brokaw believes that Trump’s election was also a repudiation of the mainstream media, and noted that in the wake of his upset victory NBC News had committed to sending more correspondents out into the middle of the country.
“There are lessons to be learned from the media in all this,” said Brokaw. “They’re also voting against us. People in fancy suits who think we have all the answers.”
With shows like “Gold Rush” and “Deadliest Catch,” Zaslav and Ross say that Discovery gets the concerns and aspirations of the people who fueled Trump’s rise. That’s not to say the company didn’t take stock of their programming in the wake of the country’s rightward lurch.
“If there’s any programer in America who programs to Middle America it’s Discovery,” said Zaslav. “But we did have a number of meetings where we said are we hearing that voice enough? Are we telling enough of their stories? Are we talking about every day Americans living a life that people can relate to, fighting to get the best life that they can?”

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At least 1 dead in fiery tractor-trailer crash in Ohio (2.06/25)

A tractor-trailer has crashed and burst into flames on a highway in central Ohio, killing at least one person.
Dublin police Lt. Steve Farmer says authorities believe the driver is the only person killed in the crash Monday morning in the Columbus suburb.
Police say the truck carrying gasoline caught fire after the driver hit a guardrail at the exit from the U. S. 33 bridge to Interstate 270. Burning gasoline then spread down the ramp. Parts of both roads were closed for a time Monday.
Authorities say it wasn't immediately known how much gasoline the truck was carrying at the time. But Farmer says it could hold up to 8,000 gallons.
State transportation officials say the ramp could remain closed for up to a week.

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Who Is Julio Jones? 5 Things To Know About The Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver (2.05/25)

1. His actual name is Quintorris Lopez Jones.
Although he goes by Julio Jones , the football star’s real name is Quintorris Lopez Jones. We have to admit Julio is a lot easier to remember! The 27-year-old all-pro WR was born Feb. 3, 1989 in Foley, Alabama and towers over most corner backs at 6 feet 3 inches.
2. Julio isn’t just good at football. He’s an athletic freak of nature!
The Falcon wide-receiver attended Foley High School in Alabama and became a star not only in football, but also broke records in track as well as shining in basketball. Incredible! After high school, Julio was recruited to one of the nation’s top colleges for football, the University of Alabama. Dang!
3. He was the 6th pick out of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Julio is considered one of the Alabama’s greatest receivers of all time , statistically just behind Oakland Raiders’ Amari Cooper. After racking up the numbers in three seasons at the SEC powerhouse, Julio decided to skip his senior year of college to be eligible for the draft. Atlanta was desperate to get the stud WR, giving up five draft picks so that they could have Julio on their team. The athlete chose the number 11 as his jersey number for the Falcons in honor of the year that he was drafted.
4. Julio Jones loves his fans!
The 27-year-old football hunk has a big heart and is absolutely adorable when it comes to his fans. With almost half a million followers, Julio turns to Twitter to often share his excitement about a game or even to show his fans where they can get some deals on merchandise. The wide-receiver even creates contests on his website so fans can win tickets too. So nice!
5. Julio may be the best WR in the game!
He’s been an acclaimed wide-receiver since he was drafted 6 years ago, and Julio just seems to keep getting better. He has more career catches of 79-plus yards than football legends such as Andre Johnson, Steve Largent, Anquan Boldin , and many more. This season the Alabama-native’s performance against the Panthers made him the sixth player in NFL history to ever to have at least 300 receiving yards. Julio helped his team absolutely destroy the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 22, officially advancing them to the Super Bowl to play against the New England Patriots on Feb. 5th in Houston.
HollywoodLifers , how do you think Julio Jones will do against the Patriots?
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Florida sheriff’s deputy accused of trying to kill elderly woman he stole dog from and defrauded (2.05/25)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Authorities say a sheriff’s deputy in southwest Florida tried to kill a woman he had been defrauding.
Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight told reporters Monday that 46-year-old Deputy Frankie Bybee had befriended the victim, a 79-year-old Sarasota woman, while responding to a service call in October.
Knight said when the woman entrusted Bybee -- an 18-year agency veteran -- with her dog, the deputy sold the dog through Craigslist.
Knight said Bybee was placed on administrative leave earlier this month after the deputy’s fingerprint was found on checks totaling $65,000 that the victim said had been fraudulently signed.
Days later, Knight said Bybee attempted to kill the woman and make it look like a suicide.
Sheriff Knight escorts long-time employee Frankie Bybee to sallyport door, faces slew of felonies including Attempted Murder #Accountability
Bybee was held without bail on attempted murder and other charges. Jail records didn’t show whether he had an attorney.
CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP reports the woman first reported the harassment two months after befriending the deputy. He reportedly took possession of the dog while she was in the hospital, and sold it without warning her. After alerting officials to Bybee fradulently cashing checks in her name, he allegedly tried to kill the woman by forcing her to take pills.
Bybee allegedly then tried to cover up her death by leaving the door from her house to the garage open with the car running, fulling the home with carbon monoxide.
“It is beyond unacceptable an individual who works in a postilion of trust and guardianship to their community and is capable of the heinous crimes like Frankie Bybee committed. It is a disgrace to this agency and to the law enforcement profession,” Sheriff Knight said.

Florida sheriff's deputy is arrested for attempted murder
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Judge blocks $37 billion merger of health insurer giants Aetna and Humana (2.04/25)

A federal judge has prohibited the merger of two health insurance giants, Aetna and Humana, upholding the Justice Department’s decision that the $37 billion deal would hurt competition and raise prices for consumers.
“The court is unpersuaded that the efficiencies generated by the merger will be sufficient to mitigate the anticompetitive effects for consumers in the challenged markets,” U. S. District Judge John Bates wrote in his 158-page opinion.
In July, the Justice Department sued to block the merger, arguing that it would reduce competition in the Medicare Advantage market and in some of the exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act. Medicare Advantage plans are Medicare health plans offered by private insurers.
“We are reviewing the opinion now and giving serious consideration to an appeal, after putting forward a compelling case,” Aetna spokesman T. J. Crawford said. The companies’ merger agreement, which has already been extended twice, is due to expire Feb. 15.
Bates wrote in his opinion that the proposed merger would have decreased competition substantially in the Medicare Advantage market in 364 counties. Aetna and Humana had proposed that divesting some of that business to a smaller insurer, Molina, could have addressed those concerns, but the judge did not agree.
The merger was also deemed to lessen competition in the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act in three Florida counties. Aetna withdrew from the majority of the exchanges that it had participated in this year, citing financial losses. The judge, however, wrote that Aetna withdrew from 17 counties highlighted in the case “specifically to evade judicial scrutiny of the merger.”
In a statement, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder called the decision a victory for consumers and said taxpayers and customers would save up to half-a-billion dollars each year.
“This merger would have stifled competition and led to higher prices and lower-quality health insurance,” Snyder said.
In a research note, Ana Gupte, an analyst at Leerink Partners, wrote that she had expected the deal to have a one in three chance of closing. She said other bidders could now emerge for Humana.
In a separate case, Anthem and Cigna have proposed a $54 billion merger that was also blocked by the Justice Department and appealed. The decision in that case is still pending, but Gupte said that deal is also expected to be blocked.
Matthew Cantor, a partner at Constantine Cannon, an antitrust law firm, said the decision was based on a thorough analysis by the judge and argued that an appeal would likely be difficult from a legal standpoint. But he noted that a wild card could be the role of the Trump administration, which is currently pressing to replace the Affordable Care Act and will be negotiating with insurers who sell plans in the marketplaces and in whatever replaces them.
“You have a White House – at least when they were in the president-elect phase – that has seemingly been receptive to having discussions with executives whose mergers are under review,” Cantor said. “It could be that the independence of the Justice Department is cast aside here, in order to create a settlement which would benefit, from a political standpoint, the Trump administration. If they, in fact, revise the ACA so drastically and they can get public statements from these insurers – these large insurers – that they support the transition.”
Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health, said that whether on appeal or in new deals, he expects insurers to continue to make acquisitions or attempt mergers. He said it’s possible that insurers could turn to data and analytics firms.
“Health plans have been and will continue to be acquisitive,” Mendelson said. He pointed out that the largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, “has already scaled up to a very large degree, so the other companies are interested in following suit.”
A request for comment from Humana was not immediately answered.
The stock prices of both companies fell on the news.
The decision was applauded by advocates for doctors and patients.
“The court ruling halts Aetna’s bid to become the nation’s largest seller of Medicare Advantage plans and preserves the benefits of health insurer competition for a vulnerable population of seniors,” Andrew Gurman, president of the American Medical Association, said in a statement.
Gurman said the decision sets a precedent by determining that the Medicare Advantage market does not compete with traditional Medicare.
“Today’s ruling is a decisive victory for jobs, consumers, and health care. Mega mergers like the proposed consolidation of Aetna and Humana raise prices, lower health care quality – and kill jobs,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Ct., said in a statement.
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Federal judge swats Aetna-Humana insurer combo
Judge blocks Aetna’s $37 billion deal for Humana


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Harbaugh taking Michigan to Rome for 3 practices (1.13/25)

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is taking his team to Italy this spring. The Wolverines will hold three spring practices at the training facility of Italian league soccer club Roma in Rome. Michigan held part of its spring practice last year at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, during spring break. Power Five conferences last week voted to ban off-campus trips for practice during any vacation period outside a sport's season. The new NCAA rule goes into effect in August. Michigan did not announce on Monday the exact dates of the trip, but said in a release it would take place "after finals toward the end of winter semester in April. " The school said the team will visit landmarks and U. S. military personnel during the trip. ___ More AP college football: and ___ This story has been changed to delete incorrect reference to spring break ban, clarify Michigan's trip to Italy will be held toward the end of the semester. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Michigan plans Rome trip for practices, tour sites in April


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Trump makes early move on restricting abortions around the world (1.12/25)

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - U. S. President Donald Trump on Monday reinstated a global gag rule that bans U. S.-funded groups around the world from discussing abortion, a move that was widely expected but nonetheless dismayed women's rights advocates. ...

What Trump's moves on trade, abortion and federal hiring really do — and don't do


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Enhanced competition format for NASCAR (1.11/25)

Beau, born with multiple birth defects, introduced himself to NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson by giving him three hugs.
Two 3,200-square-foot flags pulled by Chevrolet pickups made it into the Guinness World Records for the largest flags pulled by a vehicle. Never attempted before, the 2017 Silverados pulled giant U. S. and Texas flags around Texas Motor Speedway without touching the ground on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016.
Heading into National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NASCAR superstar Jimmie Johnson and soccer legend Mia Hamm joined NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers, representatives from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and dozens of breast cancer survivors to paint pit wall pink.
NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and his team were honored for his 2015 Sprint Cup Series championship at the White House on September 28, 2016.
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.talks about hoping to return to racing after concussion.
Before the first gate drops for the Monster Energy MXGP of the Americas on Sept. 2-3 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, former NASCAR driver and 1986 North Carolina AMA champion Scott Riggs completed a full-speed test run of the challenging, one-mile dirt SuperCourse on Tuesday.
As race cars zip around tight turns, their tire rubber burns and their gas tanks empty. This is where pit stops come in. Front Tire Carrier Matthew Donley reveals how pit boxes are set up and how pit stops work.
Jason Eidson, who goes by Spanky after the Little Rascals character who he describes as "the little short fat guy with fat cheeks," is a chef. Instead of wearing a white chef's coat and working in a kitchen at a restaurant, however, he sports a blue NASCAR team jersey and cooks outside surrounded by revving race cars.
William Byron reacts to being signed by Hendrick Motorsports to drive Xfinity series in 2017.
Rick Hendrick discusses the signing of William Byron, who will drive Xfinity.

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‘Feminist’ Taylor Swift bashed for absence in Women’s March (1.11/25)

A number of Taylor Swift’s fans had “bad blood” after she tweeted her “pride” for those who participated in the Women’s March on Washington although she herself was absent from the historic event.
Instead of joining other pop stars such as Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande and Madonna in the rally for women’s rights, the “Shake It Off” hitmaker bypassed the occasion and supported the movement via Twitter . “So much love, pride, and respect for those who marched. I’m proud to be a woman today and every day,” Swift said.
Her tweet of support didn’t stop some American users from berating her, saying she should have walked alongside her fellow feminists in standing up for women empowerment. “This is gross opportunism. Be better,” one user quipped.
Swift, 26, remained apolitical during the election campaign and desisted from endorsing politicians. She only posted a snap of herself posing after casting her ballot during Election Day.
Back in 2014, Swift branded herself as a feminist after she became close pals with “Girls” creator and author Lena Dunham.
She told The Guardian , “Becoming friends with Lena [Dunham]—without her preaching to me, but just seeing why she believes what she believes, why she says what she says, why she stands for what she stands for—has made me realize that I’ve been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so.”
Swift has also said she was inspired by feminists and their movement and, hence, adhered to their beliefs.
“As a teenager, I didn’t understand that saying you’re a feminist is just saying that you hope women and men will have equal rights and equal opportunities. What it seemed to me, the way it was phrased in culture, society, was that you hate men. And now, I think a lot of girls have had a feminist awakening because they understand what the word means. For so long it’s been made to seem like something where you’d picket against the opposite sex, whereas it’s not about that at all.” Gianna Francesca Catolico
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Lions' Levy, Bademosi take part in Women's March (1.11/25)

DeAndre Levy continues to use his platform to voice his opinion on social issues. The Detroit Lions linebacker traveled to Washington D. C. over the weekend to participate in the Women’s March.
The event drew hundreds of thousands of participants to the nation’s capital, with hundreds of thousands more taking part in similar demonstrations in other states and countries. It was designed to voice the continued demand for women’s rights, including equal pay and access to birth control, and spills over into broader calls for racial equality and immigration reform.
The rally was intentionally designed to immediately follow the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
Levy, who has been a vocal supporter for an increasing number of social issues, posted a photo of himself holding a sign outside the U. S Capitol reading “Dissent is Patriotic.” His caption on the photo read, “When it's post inauguration and you can still smell the misogyny in the air.”
When it's post inauguration and you can still smell the misogyny in the air. #DontGrabPussies #WomensMarch
A photo posted by DeAndre Levy (@dre_levy) on Jan 21, 2017 at 4:42pm PST
In addition to the Women’s March, Levy has supported multiple causes in Detroit, including raising money for the processing of more than 10,000 untested rape kits, promoting black-owned businesses, and participating in benefits for youth leadership programs in the city.
“A lot of (NFL players) are selling themselves as a brand, so they ignore what’s happening around them,” Levy told the Detroit News in October. “I can’t do that. This platform is bigger than us. Once this ends, we still have to operate in this world. This is the biggest the platform is ever going to get for most of us. We have to use it for good.”
Levy didn’t respond to a request for comment on his participation in the Women’s March. He also wasn’t the only Lions player in D. C. for the event.
Cornerback Johnson Bademosi also posted a photo from the rally. His photo was of an unidentified protester holding a sign saying, “Claustrophobics and Introverts for Equality.” Bademosi’s caption announced, “We're here. All 500,000 of us #WomansMarch.”
Bademosi uploaded another photo from the march on Monday with the caption: "Most of my lifelong supporters have been women, who have taken every opportunity to march for me. Support those who support you. #WomansMarch #WhyIMarch. "
We're here. All 500,000 of us #WomansMarch
A photo posted by Johnson Bademosi 🇳🇬🇺🇸🏈 (@jbademosi29) on Jan 21, 2017 at 11:40am PST
Most of my lifelong supporters have been women, who have taken every opportunity to march for me. Support those who support you. #WomansMarch #WhyIMarch
A photo posted by Johnson Bademosi 🇳🇬🇺🇸🏈 (@jbademosi29) on Jan 23, 2017 at 2:53pm PST

Doubek: Illinois needs a grassroots protest like Women's March


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Raleigh Women’s March called an unexpected ‘phenomenon’ (1.11/25)

Some marchers had to wait an hour for their turn to walk down Fayetteville Street.
And the parade stopped some drivers on Blount Street for nearly as long.
But otherwise, city police and organizers of the Women’s March on Raleigh gave positive reviews of Saturday’s event downtown, where thousands of people raised their voices and homemade signs to protest President Donald Trump for his treatment of women and minorities, as well as discriminatory policies at the state and federal level.
“It was a very orderly demonstration. There were no issues,”said Jim Sughrue, city police spokesman. “They peaceably assembled and exercised their First Amendment rights. No charges resulted.”
Organizers expected 5,000 people to gather at City Plaza and walk the sidewalks to Moore Square. Instead, a crowd that organizers estimated at 20,000 marched up Fayetteville and east on Martin Street to Moore Square without much trouble. The only problem: It took more than an hour for all the participants to march that 0.3 miles to Moore Square.
That’s a lot longer than organizers expected, said Jen Ferris, director of reproductive advocacy for Progress NC, a liberal nonprofit advocacy group.
“We started marching at 10:20 (a.m.) and at 11:20, I was getting texts from people at the back of the line asking, ‘When are we gonna start marching?’” Ferris said.
That meant police had to stop traffic on southbound Blount Street, which marchers crossed on their way to Moore Square. Traffic was stopped for so long that some drivers got out of their cars.
“Most of the people were getting out to observe or photograph the event, and that didn’t pose a problem, because everyone was back in their cars and ready to go by the time Blount Street traffic was allowed to move again,” Sughrue said.
It’s unclear exactly how many people showed up for the march. The Raleigh Police Department doesn’t provide crowd size estimates, Sughrue said.
“It’s very difficult to estimate the size of a crowd in a large open area,” he said. “Unless you’ve got a gate people are passing through, it’s really hard to be accurate.”
Some volunteers had training in measuring crowd sizes, said Anna Grant, a 28-year-old who’s been active in political organizing for eight years.
“The low I’ve heard is 17,000 and the high estimate is 30,000, so we’re going with 20,000,” Grant said.
Estimates aside, Sughrue described the event as a “phenomenon” due to its unexpected size and how “neither the organizers, the police, the media, nor anyone else had a completely similar event on which to base expectations and planning.”
Organizers like La-Mine (pronounced La-mean) Perkins, a-34-year-old mom who lives in Fuquay-Varina, credited the police department for its customer service.
“They were amazing to work with. They worked really hard to keep the lines of communication open. It’s so key,” Perkins said. “They were very responsive and accessible. They gave me a sense of comfort going into Saturday and, given the outcome, I know the confidence was not misplaced.”
Perkins said she got involved because she’s worried about keeping her son, who’s a senior in high school, on her health insurance plan after he goes to college. A month or so ago, she expected to be one of only a few hundred people involved. But the count got higher and higher as Trump’s Inauguration Day approached.
“Within two weeks, it was clear it would be closer to about 3,000,” Perkins said. “Then, in the last week, we started talking to the police captain almost daily.”
By Friday, more than 10,000 people used Facebook to confirm their attendance for Saturday. But organizers didn’t expect that many, and put only 5,000 on their picketing permit when they filed it on Friday.
“The general rule (for planning marches) is that only half of the people who say they’re going actually turn up,” Grant said. “So that’s why we were predicting 5,000 to 7,000.”
Things went smoothly despite the miscalculation, said City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin.
“The city was obviously well-prepared. I haven’t heard any complaints, only compliments,” she said. “This was a positive expression of many people’s fears and concerns. It was well-organized, peaceful and passionate.”

Doubek: Illinois needs a grassroots protest like Women's March


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Trump could be forced out of owning D. C. hotel on Monday (1.09/25)

The Trump Administration's General Services Administration will reveal on Monday whether the Trump Organization is in violation of its government lease on its new luxury hotel in Washington, a top Oversight Committee Democrat said tells
President Trump made the new Trump International DC hotel, which is located in a building leased from the government, a fixture of his campaign – holding press events there, attending an inaugural luncheon there on Thursday, and getting out of his protected limo in front of the hotel during his inaugural parade.
Now, the government must decide whether he is in breach of the lease as president, due to a provision in the contract dealing with federal employees.
Trump got out of his armored limousine to walk by the hotel during his inaugural parade
A provision of the lease bars any elected official from being admitted to 'any share or part of this Lease'. Trump pictured during his inaugural address on Friday
'We'll know Monday, because that's when they go back to work,' Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee told
'In other words, the moment he was sworn in, he breached the lease. Because you can't be an elected official. So GSA is supposed to make some kind of determination on Monday,' Cummings said.
GSA didn't provide immediate comment about whether it was readying a decision.
Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint on Friday, citing the lease, immediately after Trump took the oath of office Friday.
'Unless GSA has received new information demonstrating President Trump no longer owns Trump Old Post Office LLC, and there is no evidence it has, it is now time for GSA to initiate the process for establishing that President Trump's company has breached the lease and is in default,' the group's executive director, Noah Bookbinder wrote in the complaint.
'CREW requests that GSA initiate this process by immediately notifying Old Post Office LLC that it is in breach of the ground lease,' he added.
'The lease bans elected officials from benefiting to avoid conflicts of interest with their duties,' Bookbinder said. 'We know Trump likes to renegotiate contracts for better deals. If that happened here, it will be the President negotiating against the government he leads. His best interests are not the same as those of the American tax payer
The 60-year-lease from the federal government is for $180 million.
The lease states: 'No … elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.'
The letter asks the government to kill the lease if Trump is still an owner.
Trump said at his only press conference since the election that he would maintain his business holdings and transfer them to the control of his children.
The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee says the agency will issue a decision on Monday, the first business day of the Trump administration. Crowds pictured outside the hotel
A separate issue is whether Trump's ownership of the hotel would violate the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits gifts from foreigners and foreign governments.
GSA issued a release after Trump's press conference saying it was seeking 'new information' about the hotel's business structure.
'GSA understands that an announcement has been made to change the business structure of the Trump Organization,' the agency, which Trump now heads, said in a statement.
'We are seeking additional information that explains and describes any new organizational structure as it applies to the Old Post Office lease,' the agency continued, The Hill reported.
'Upon receipt, consistent with our treatment of any contract to which we are a party, we will review this new organizational structure and determine its compliance with all the terms and conditions of the lease.'
According to Politico, Trump officials argue that the provision is meant to target elected officials who are in office at the time a contract is being negotiated, not those who are elected afterward.

Trump will name his own landlord of his new hotel in D.C.
Democrats Challenge Trump’s Right to Lease DC Hotel Building


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NBC Orders Virtual-Reality Drama Pilot From ‘Extant’ Producers (1.09/25)

NBC has ordered a drama pilot set in the world of virtual reality from writer and executive producer Mickey Fisher.
“ Reverie ” is a described as a grounded and dramatic thriller about a former detective specializing in human behavior who is brought in when the launch of an advanced virtual reality program has dangerous and unintended consequences.
Fisher is the creator of former CBS drama “Extant” starring Halle Berry. The pilot is produced by Universal Television and Amblin Television. In addition to Fisher, Brooklyn Weaver, and Amblin’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey serve as executive producers.
“Extant” ran for two seasons on CBS from 2014 to 2015. Season two averaged a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen live-plus-same day numbers, and 4.7 million total viewers. The first season of the summer science-fiction drama series averaged a 1.1 ratind and 6.2 million total viewers. “Extant” starred Berry as an astronaut who comes home from a 13-month mission in space pregnant.

Seth Meyers-Mike O’Brien Comedy Gets Pilot Order From NBC
CBS Orders Drama Pilots From Alan Cumming, Craig Turk
‘Extant’ Creator Sells Drama Pilot ‘Reverie’ to NBC


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Stunt man, 28, killed after being shot by a 'blank round' (1.08/25)

Industry sources have claimed an actor who was shot while filming a music video at a Brisbane bar may have been fatally struck with a blank round.
Johann Ofner, 28, was shot and killed at Brooklyn Strand in central Brisbane about 2pm on Monday. A blank round is a type of cartridge for a firearm that contains gunpowder but no bullet or shot, but can be fatal if defective.
The stuntman was shot dead on the set while filming a music video for hip hop group Bliss n Eso may have been killed by a double-barrel shotgun.
Johann Ofner (left), 28, was shot and killed at Brooklyn Strand in central Brisbane about 2pm on Monday. This footage was shared on his Instagram earlier in the day (right)
Police have not said what kind of weapon or ammunition was involved, but industry sources say Mr Ofner was shot at close range with a blank round, The Courier-Mail reported.
They are focusing on whether the weapon that killed the carpenter was a shotgun and if live ammunition was being used.
'Several firearms' were discharged during the filming on Monday it was revealed.
Queensland Police are also investigating whether workplace health and safety laws governing the use of weapons on film sets were followed.
'It is a requirement by law that if you have firearms, even imitation, having a licensed armourer [is also required] under film safety code, which falls under health and safety act,' weapons specialist John Bowring said.
Mr Ofner (left, and right with his girlfriend Kati Garnett) was shot while filming a music video for hip hop group Bliss n Eso
He uploaded footage of props like this gun (pictured) just hours before he died
'You then also normally have a safety officer, who oversees things that are happening on a film set when any stunts or hazardous procedures are underway.'
It comes as the stuntman's girlfriend posted a touching tribute to the 'love of my life'.
Mr Ofner left behind a daughter and girlfriend, named Kati Garnett, according to his Facebook page.
On Monday, Ms Garnett posted a photo of the couple, saying she still cannot believe her partner had been taken from her.
Ms Garnett (pictured right with Mr Ofner) is still coming to terms with his death

Stunt man killed on Bliss n Eso clip died from shotgun
Police: 'Good Samaritan' shot robber who had killed man


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#AlternativeFact; LGBT buying power; flack over ‘sexy’ first lady (1.08/25)

Hashtag this
There are many variations, such as #AlternativeFacts or #SpicerFacts, but the gist is the same: Tweeters love ridiculing White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer over falsely saying that President Trump ’s inauguration crowds were the biggest ever, and Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway for describing Spicer’s misstatements as “alternative facts” — rather than, say, bald-faced lies. There are tons of fun ones to choose from, including Courtney Love Cobain saying that she’s never done drugs nor smoked in public. Another portrayed Conway as Propaganda Barbie in her red, white and blue inauguration outfit, with the slogan, “Telling the truth is HARD!” Be careful, though: The box says, “Alternative Facts Sold Separately.”
Number of the day
$917 billion
That the estimated LGBT buying power as of 2015 in the United States, according to a fresh report from the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The trade group estimates that LGBT businesses contribute more than $1.7 trillion to the U. S. economy and have created over 33,000 jobs.
Asking whether Melania Trump is “the first sexy first lady” might have gotten the Philadelphia Inquirer a lot of clicks on Sunday, but the question also came with a huge helping of Internet blowback. The Billy Penn blog reported the Inquirer received critical tweets from such people as actress Holly Robinson Peete and state Rep. Jordan Harris. A couple of hours later, the Inquirer tweeted an apology: “The headline and tweet were inappropriate.”

White House press secretary: ‘Our intention is never to lie’


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MTA to test employees for sleep apnea after the condition was blamed for recent train derailments (1.08/25)

This should have commuters sleeping sound at night.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members backed a $7.5 million contract to test the crews on subways, buses and commuter rail roads for sleep apnea — a dangerous condition that has been investigated as a cause of recent train derailments.
The sleep apnea tests for the first time will cover Long Island Rail Road conductors and engineers, NYC Transit train crews and bus drivers.
After a fatal Metro-North derailment in the Bronx on Dec. 2013 that was blamed on an engineer's undiagnosed sleep apnea, the agency began a pilot program to test all 438 engineers and trainees, diagnosing 51 employees with the condition.
Sen. Schumer calls for review on sleep apnea tests for conductors
Sleep apnea is being investigated as a cause for the LIRR crash at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn earlier this month.
The contract — unanimously approved by the MTA board Finance Committee’s eight members — will let MTA test 20,000 employees.
“Safety is our top priority and MTA is going further than any other transportation agency in the country to prevent the risks of apnea,” outgoing MTA Chair and CEO Tom Prendergast said in a statement.
Four companies — ENT & Allergy/Night & Day Sleep Services, Respira, Northwell Health and Catholic Health Services of Long Island — will get the contract once the full MTA board approves it.
Engineer identified in LIRR train crash at Atlantic Terminal
“We need to do the initial screenings, prioritized by looking at at-risk MTA employees, and get these apnea tests under way,” said Larry Schwartz, an MTA board member and former top aide to Gov. Cuomo.
“It’s an important way to assure the riding public that we’re doing everything humanly possible when it comes to their safety.”

MTA will finally start testing employees for sleep apnea


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Box office top 20: Shyamalan's 'Split' trounces 'xXx' (1.08/25)

NEW YORK (AP) — M. Night Shyamalan's psychological thriller "Split" blew away box-office expectations, earning $40 million in ticket sales over inauguration weekend, according to final figures Monday. The director's second collaboration with the low-budget horror outfit Blumhouse Productions proved an unexpected hit at the North American box office. Though originally expected to vie with the Vin Diesel action sequel "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage," ''Split" doubled its business. The top 20 movies at U. S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Monday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Tuesday by comScore: 1. "Split," Universal, $40,010,975, 3,038 locations, $13,170 average, $40,010,975, 1 week. 2. "xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage," Paramount, $20,130,142, 3,651 locations, $5,514 average, $20,130,142, 1 week. 3. "Hidden Figures," 20th Century Fox, $15,721,606, 3,416 locations, $4,602 average, $83,710,357, 5 weeks. 4. "Sing," Universal, $9,003,780, 3,193 locations, $2,820 average, $249,328,975, 5 weeks. 5. "La La Land," Lionsgate, $8,427,583, 1,865 locations, $4,519 average, $89,758,080, 7 weeks. 6. "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," Disney, $7,210,470, 2,603 locations, $2,770 average, $512,376,033, 6 weeks. 7. "Monster Trucks," Paramount, $7,072,602, 3,119 locations, $2,268 average, $22,684,156, 2 weeks. 8. "Patriots Day," Lionsgate, $5,753,016, 3,120 locations, $1,844 average, $23,392,961, 5 weeks. 9. "Sleepless," Open Road, $3,453,212, 1,803 locations, $1,915 average, $14,940,116, 2 weeks. 10. "The Bye Man," STX Entertainment, $3,430,655, 2,220 locations, $1,545 average, $19,990,285, 2 weeks. 11. "The Founder," The Weinstein Company, $3,404,102, 1,115 locations, $3,053 average, $3,405,368, 1 week. 12. "Moana," Disney, $2,695,781, 1,296 locations, $2,080 average, $236,970,483, 9 weeks. 13. "Passengers," Sony, $2,247,012, 1,556 locations, $1,444 average, $94,480,200, 5 weeks. 14. "Lion," The Weinstein Company, $1,765,427, 575 locations, $3,070 average, $16,347,957, 9 weeks. 15. "Underworld: Blood Wars," Sony, $1,738,855, 1,466 locations, $1,186 average, $28,649,814, 3 weeks. 16. "Live By Night," Warner Bros., $1,718,017, 2,822 locations, $609 average, $9,385,366, 5 weeks. 17. "MET Opera: Romeo And Juliette (2017)," Fathom Events, $1,500,000, 900 locations, $1,667 average, $1,500,000, 1 week. 18. "20th Century Women," A24, $1,385,337, 650 locations, $2,131 average, $2,311,978, 4 weeks. 19. "Fences," Paramount, $1,214,742, 693 locations, $1,753 average, $48,714,426, 6 weeks. 20. "The Resurrection Of Gavin Stone," Independent, $1,206,771, 890 locations, $1,356 average, $1,206,771, 1 week. ___ Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

Shyamalan's 'Split' scares away competition at box office


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Officer-involved shooting near Milton (1.07/25)

Dillon Zachary Nash, 22, is arraigned Jan. 13 in Pierce County Superior Court, in connection to a fatal wreck in Lakewood. The Oct. 21 crash on Interstate 5 killed 46-year-old Jason Ley. Prosecutors accused Nash of causing the wreck by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and they charged him with vehicular homicide.
Jose Miguel Trinidad, 41, pleads not guilty at arraignment to vehicular assault and reckless endangerment Jan.13. Prosecutors accuse him of causing a wreck on state Route 512 that left a woman in a coma and bogged down traffic there and on Interstate 5 for hours Jan. 12.
A motorbike stolen from a North End home in Tacoma has special meaning for its owner. It was a Christmas gift from a now deceased dad to his son.
Matthew Leupold was charged with 2 counts of first-degree aggravated murder and first degree arson and held without bail Wednesday while sister Lindsey was charged with first degree rendering criminal assistance with $500,000 bail.
A surveillance video of a robbery in progress at a University Place gas station near 56th Street and Orchard Street West.
Anthony Creighton, 26, talks about his 15-year-old brother, Dylan, who died earlier this year. Dylan's stepmom, 49-year-old Karen Inskip of Gig Harbor, pleaded not guilty at arraignment Friday to second-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors accuse her of accidentally killing Dylan by giving him the wrong medication.
Dakota Collins compares his experience in Remann Hall with other detained juveniles versus his current conditions in Pierce County Jail.
A moment of blessing was held on Wednesday for Tacoma police Officer Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez.
Five shots were fired into a window at the Pierce County sheriff's station in Bonney Lake Saturday night while two deputies were inside. No one was injured and the suspect remains at large.
The memorial for slain police Officer Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez continues to grow at Tacoma Police headquarters on South Pine Street.

2 dead, officer involved
Scene of officer-involved shooting near Milton
Two dead in officer-involved shooting near Milton


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Storm That Roared Through the South Sweeps Into the Northeast (1.07/25)

The storm that devastated parts of the Southeast over the weekend swept into the Northeast on Monday, bringing heavy wind and rain, and disrupting transit in some areas.
“It has all the aspects of what a strong nor’easter would have — a lot of wind with it, some heavier rain,” Bruce Sullivan, a meteorologist with National Weather Service , said early Monday evening.
In Cape May, N. J., winds reached about 60 miles per hour, and similar gusts are expected as the storm strengthens throughout the night, he said. The storm is expected to reach its peak overnight, though strong winds are likely to remain into Tuesday.
Central Pennsylvania to southern New York may see four to six inches, or more, of wet snow, Mr. Sullivan said, but the Interstate 95 corridor will most likely be spared from snowfall.
The weather forced the suspension of AirTrain service at Newark Liberty International Airport at 1 p.m.; buses ran in its place.
New Jersey Transit and Amtrak temporarily suspended service along some lines after power lines came down in strong winds, The Associated Press reported. Both had resumed service by 6 p.m.
Two low-pressure systems were contributing to the storm, Mr. Sullivan said. One, from the south, was weakening as another, moving in from off the coast of the Delmarva Peninsula, was gaining strength.
Rain was expected to move into southern New England overnight Monday, the National Weather Service reported.
Tornadoes and thunderstorms over the weekend were blamed for at least 20 deaths in the Deep South, including at least 15 in Georgia, according to The Associated Press. Dozens of people were injured.

Storm death toll at 20 in the South


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WATCH: New ISIS Video Shows Fighting Around Deir ez-Zor, Syria (1.07/25)

In a new video short purportedly released by the Islamic State, ISIS militants are shown fighting the Syrian Arab Army and Shia militias around the besieged city of Deir ez-Zor, Syria. The video was released on ISIS terrorist channels on January 23.
ISIS recently retook large portions of the government-held city in the southeast Syria, including a military airbase. According to Al-Masdar News , to help counteract the threat, “high-ranking Syrian Arab Army commander, General Mohammad Khaddour, has reportedly returned to the Deir Ezzor Governorate after a year-long hiatus.”
According to RT , earlier today Moscow sent six Tupolev Tu-22M3 to conduct airstrikes on ISIS militants and their weapon stockpiles around Deir ez-Zor.
Reuters reports that after the airstrike, the bombers returned to Russia.
Find more ISIS news, photos and videos here.
Heavy is an independent news organization. We report acts of terror and violence so that the public may be fully informed. This may include content considered graphic, which is identified. We do not support, in any way, the individuals or organizations involved.
In a new photo report purportedly released by the Islamic State, daily religious life in a ISIS-occupied village near Abu Kamal. It ends with an image of an ISIS religious police officer flagellating a man.

The U.S. and Russia Aren’t Teaming Up to Fight ISIS in Syria — But the White House Is Open to It


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Trump to meet with US auto CEOs amid jobs push (1.07/25)

U. S. President Donald Trump will have breakfast on Tuesday with the chief executives of General Motors , Ford and Fiat Chrysler as he pressures automakers to boost American employment.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump "looks forward to hearing their ideas about how we can work together to bring more jobs back to this industry. " Trump has criticized automakers for building cars in Mexico and elsewhere and has threatened to impose 35 percent tariffs on imported vehicles.
The meeting is the latest sign of Trump's uncommon degree of intervention for a U. S. president into corporate affairs as he has repeatedly jawboned automakers and other manufacturers to "buy American and hire American. "
It will be the first time the CEOs of the big three automakers meet jointly with a U. S. president since a July 2011 session with President Barack Obama to tout a deal to nearly double fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Fiat Chrysler is the Italian-American parent of the former Michigan-based Chrysler.
U. S. and foreign automakers have been touting plans to boost American jobs and investments in the face of Trump's comments. The Republican president made attacks on Ford's Mexico investments a cornerstone of his campaign.
Automakers have praised Trump's policies, but emphasized that the recent employment moves were the result of business, not political decisions, that had mostly been in the works for a long period.
Early this month, Ford scrapped plans to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico and said it would invest $700 million in a factory in Michigan. Ford will still move production of Focus small cars to Mexico but will cut total production of the cars by consolidating their assembly in an existing Mexican plant.
Ford CEO Mark Fields, who was among business leaders meeting with Trump on Monday, said earlier this month that Ford would have made the same investment decision even if Trump had not been elected.
Last week, GM confirmed it would invest an additional $1 billion in its U. S. factories this year and would move some parts production from Mexico to the United States that was previously handled by a supplier. The investments are in addition to $2.9 billion the automaker announced last year, GM said.
GM said the $1 billion investment would create or retain 1,500 jobs. GM CEO Mary Barra joined a Trump economic issue advisory panel last month.
Earlier this month, Fiat Chrysler said it would invest $1 billion to modernize two plants in the U. S. Midwest and create 2,000 jobs, and possibly move production of a Ram heavy-duty pickup truck to Michigan from Mexico.
The auto executives are likely to raise concerns about higher fuel efficiency standards and the potential impact on border adjustment taxes.
Fiat Chrysler faces investigations by the EPA and Justice Department after it was accused this month by the EPA of illegally using hidden software to allow excess diesel emissions to go undetected in about 104,000 U. S. cars and trucks, the result of a probe that stemmed from regulators' investigation of rival Volkswagen AG.
The company vowed to work with the Trump "administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably. "

President Donald Trump to meet with Detroit Three automakers


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Brexit is opportunity to pull Europe closer together: EU official (1.06/25)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The European Union Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator on Monday said Britain's decision to make a clean break from the EU was an opportunity to reform Europe and avoid a further breakdown in ties between its remaining member states.

Brexit is opportunity to pull Europe closer together - EU official
Brexit is opportunity to pull Europe closer together -EU official


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Naomie Harris and Kate Beckinsale win London Critics’ Circle film awards (1.06/25)

Actresses Naomie Harris and Kate Beckinsale were among a winners during a London Critics’ Circle Film Awards.
Bond star Harris collected a best ancillary singer esteem for her purpose in Moonlight, while Beckinsale won British/Irish singer of a year.
French singer Isabelle Huppert picked adult dual awards – singer of a year for her purpose in Things to Come and another for value in cinema.
La La Land was named film of a year.
Other behaving awards went to Casey Affleck, who won actor of a year for Manchester by a Sea, and Andrew Garfield, star of Silence and Hacksaw Ridge, who was named British/Irish actor of a year.
Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake – about a male struggling to make ends accommodate by a UK advantages complement – collected a esteem for British/Irish film of a year, while Laszlo Nemes won executive of a year for Son of Saul.
The awards rite came forward of a Oscar nominations on Tuesday, where Harris, Huppert and Affleck are all approaching to collect adult behaving nods. Full list of winners:
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Injured Wings Vanek and Larkin out, Jurco in (1.06/25)

They’ll be without forward Dylan Larkin (upper body) for games against Boston on Tuesday and Toronto on Wednesday, while Thomas Vanek (lower body) is out for the Boston game, but coach Jeff Blashill wouldn’t rule Vanek unavailable against Toronto.
The news comes after the return of Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm after lengthy stays on the injured list.
“It’s part of the league, certainly this year with the condensed schedule it plays a bigger factor even,” Blashill said of the injury situation. “But in the end, I’m not worried about it. We’ll have 20 guys who are dressed who are good enough to win a game in Boston and we have to execute.”
Vanek was hit by an Andreas Athanasiou shot late in the first period of Sunday’s 1-0 overtime loss against the New York Rangers.
Vanek hobbled to the bench and down the hallway to the locker room and did not return to the game.
Larkin was hurt late in the game, according to Blashill.
So with Vanek and Larkin not playing, who will take their place?
For sure, Tomas Jurco.
Blashill said Jurco will re-enter the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the last nine games. Jurco has no points in 11 games this season, with a minus-3 plus-minus rating.
“I’m just going to play my game,” Jurco said. “All I need is some lucky bounces. I need to score. Playing good isn’t good enough for me, because it doesn’t make my stay in the lineup. I need a lucky bounce or something to go my way to help me get some points.”
Blashill wants to see Jurco establish his skating, then everything else should fall into place.
“Jurcs is a really good hockey player,” Blashill said. “Jurcs can play in the NHL and be a good player in the NHL. When Jurcs plays his best hockey, he’s skating on the forecheck, skating on the track and he allows his skill to do the rest.
“He’s had opportunities to score this year and it hasn’t gone in. If he keeps getting those opportunities, he’ll score eventually. He’s got that kind of talent.”
Krupa: Red Wings making room for ripened defensemen
The other forward spot will be filled by either Drew Miller or Steve Ott.
Miller cleared waivers Monday – no other team claimed him after he was waived Sunday – and was assigned to Grand Rapids Monday, per collective bargaining rules. Miller is expected to rejoin the Red Wings in time for Tuesday's game.
The Red Wings could also activate Steve Ott (shoulder), who has missed the last five games but practiced Monday and appears close to returning.
Ott hurt the shoulder in a fight with Toronto’s Matt Martin during the Centennial Classic on Jan. 1.
“It’s getting better,” Ott said. “I’ve been trying to practice hard and keep my legs going. I’m going through the soreness issue right now, but I’m getting close and it’s a lot better.”
The injuries come at an unfortunate time, given the importance of these next two games against teams that are ahead of the Red Wings in the division.
“They’re big games, division games against teams that we’re chasing,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “We know going down the stretch there’s going to be a lot of these games, which is a good thing for us. If we win these games, we’re gaining ground.”
Said Blashill: “There’s no question there are teams we’re trying to jump and in order to jump teams, you have to beat them at some point, so we have to find a way to do that.”

Red Wings put Larkin on 7-day injured reserve
Injured Wings' Vanek, Larkin out, Jurco in


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Wynonna Judd responds to Ashley's 'nasty woman' speech (1.06/25)

Wynonna Judd is taking on her fans who think she should condemn her younger sister Ashley Judd following her fiery speech at the Women's March on Washington Saturday.
The country singer, 52, has been trying not to be drawn into the backlash from Trump supporters who have asked her via social media what she thinks of the actress's 'nasty woman' rhetoric.
'A reminder for people visiting my site. For me it's about love of [music] & fellowship with fans. I don't do politics on here,' the country singer tweeted.
'I don't do politics here': Wynonna Judd, 52, took to Twitter to deflect negative reaction to her sister Ashley's 'nasty woman' speech at the women's march in D. C. on Saturday
Tweeted response: The country star explained to her fans that she didn't want to comment because 'the whole thing is toxic' and she's focused on 'love and fellowship'
Wynonna went on to continue to dampen critics of her 48-year-old sister by posting messages celebrating her own patriotism, her own freedom and her own religious faith.
'I try to stay away from that toxicity. . the whole thing is toxic. I'm not giving her all the credit. She doesn't have that kind of power,' she tweeted.
But as the debate raged on and people kept tweeting her, she clearly lost patience.
On Monday after noon she tweeted somewhat exasperatedly: 'I love how so many are telling me what I should or should not be doing about my relationship w/ my sister. Wow.'
Siblings: The singer and the actress, whose mother is Naomi Judd, haven't always had a smooth relationship but Wynonna tweeted Monday they each support 'who we are'
She added: 'Last time I saw my sister we hugged. And, in our family we agree to disagree and we support WHO we are. Anyone else relate?'
Finally she told her followers: '(1) I will not defend what doesn't need defending, (God knows my heart & my family does too), & (2) I am not my sister's keeper. The end.'
Wynonna and Ashley share mother Naomi Judd. Wynonna's father is Charles Jordan who left Naomi, then aged 18, after the birth of their daughter. Ashley's father is Naomi's first husband Michael Ciminella.
Enough: Wynonna made her feelings about the controversy clear on Monday afternoon as the debate raged on. She basically told Twitter users to back off about her relationship with Ashley
Ashley took the stage at the rally in the nation's capital on Saturday and recited a poem written by a 19-year-old Tennessee woman Nina Donovan.
Donovan was inspired to write the piece after now President Trump called his Democratic rival Hilary Clinton a 'nasty woman' during the second presidential debate.
'I am a nasty woman. Not as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheeto dust, a man whose words are a dis to America, Electoral College–sanctioned hate speech contaminating this national anthem,' Judd shouted out to the cheers of the crowd.
She went on: 'Our p*****s ain't for grabbing, they're for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America's ever will be. They're for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, bossy, brave, proud, nasty women.'
'Nasty woman': Ashley gave a fiery and provocative speech in D. C. on Saturday reciting an anti-Trump poem written by Tennessee teen Nina Donovan saying: 'Our p*****s ain't for grabbing'

Katy Perry is spotted with Ashley Judd at Women's March
Wynonna Judd Responds to Ashley Judd’s Women’s March Speech


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Police looking for men who stole $115,000 worth of cigarettes from a Miami-Dade warehouse (1.06/25)

One could call it the lung cancer caper.
Miami-Dade Police are looking for four men who broke into a warehouse and made off with $115,000 worth of cigarettes.
The burglary happened around 5 a.m. Dec. 18 at 3580 NW 119th St., just down the street from Miami-Dade College’s North Campus. Detectives said four men broke into the business, a distributing company, by busting a metal security door. The men then ransacked the business, stealing a ton of tobacco.
Police don’t have information for the getaway vehicle. Video surveillance shows the suspects putting the cigarette boxes into carts before leaving.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at 305-471-8477.

Burglars steal $115K worth of cigarettes in Miami
Officer fatally shoots suspect in knife attack of teen boy in Vallejo


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WATCH: Women’s March proves that any single injustice in the world is an offense to us all (1.06/25)

Salon videographer Peter Cooper and journalist Amanda Marcotte, who both attended the event, quickly discovered that the breadth of reasons for marching did not lead to any ideological incoherence. Participants acknowledged and championed how feminism, anti-racism, economic justice and health care access — to name just a few issues — intersect. The result was the cohesive feminist worldview that any single injustice in the world is an offense to us all.

Celebrities attend Women's Marches around the world


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Vox Sentences: The US is officially no longer down with TPP (1.06/25)

Some of the biggest demonstrations in US history; President Trump's first executive orders; the Iraqi army's progress in Mosul gets undermined. President Donald Trump boasted his inauguration would have an "unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout. " Here we compare what the crowds looked like on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in 2009 and in 2017. [ ]

Donald Trump’s Executive Order Against Abortion: See Voter Reactions On Twitter


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Lawmaker facing sexual harassment complaints won't testify (1.06/25)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Republican legislator from Tulsa who's been the subject of sexual harassment complaints said Monday he won't testify before a special closed-door House committee looking into the allegations and the use of government

Oklahoma lawmaker accused of sexual harassment won't testify
Oklahoma Lawmaker Accused of Sexual Harassment Won't Testify


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Trump Foreign Profits in Violation of Constitution, Suit Claims (1.06/25)

Two days after staff at Donald Trump’s Washington hotel dropped balloons and popped champagne corks to salute his inauguration, America’s first billionaire President was put on notice – he is being sued because of profits that the hotel and other businesses earn from foreign governments.
“The founders of our country were so worried about foreign governments paying cash and giving other benefits to an American president, and the distortion that can have on a President's decision making, that they put a prohibition on it in the Constitution,” said Norm Eisen, a former White House ethics counselor to President Obama.
Eisen helps run the non-partisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, which filed the suit in federal court in New York, calling President Trump’s continued ownership of his vast business empire a violation of what’s called the “emoluments clause” of the U. S. Constitution.
“It's the original conflicts law of the United States, it's called the foreign emoluments clause,” Eisen said. “Emoluments is just a fancy, 18th century word for payola.”
Trump brushed off the lawsuit with just two words Monday, calling it “without merit,” but he also “resigned from all position of management and authority with the Trump Organization and its affiliates,” according to a statement for that organization.
“President Trump also transferred title, management and authority of those companies to a trust, or subsidiaries thereof, collectively managed by his children, Don and Eric, and longtime executive and chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg,” the statement also said.
A copy of the resignation letter dated Jan. 19 -- the day before the inauguration -- seen by ABC News reads: "I, Donald Trump, hereby resign from each and every office and position I hold in the entities listed. "
A list of business holdings follows his signature.
But ethics and constitutional scholars, as well as some members of Congress, have been sounding alarms about the potential violation for months.
Many assumed Trump would relinquish control of his business empire in order to put the issue to rest. Instead, during a press conference earlier this month, Trump announced that he would not give up ownership.
Trump lawyer Sheri Dillon said at the time she had taken efforts to iron out potential conflicts by transferring operation of the company to Trump’s adult sons, Don Jr. and Eric Trump.
“President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built,” she said, noting that Trump would “take all steps realistically possible to make it clear that he is not exploiting the office the presidency for his personal benefit.”
That, said Harvard Law Prof. Laurence Tribe, is not enough.
“You could be President of the United States or you could be a tycoon, but you can’t be both at the same time,” said Tribe, who is assisting with the lawsuit. “He is enriched not by a penny here or a penny there, it’s a billion dollars here, a million dollars there. And pretty soon it adds up.”
The Trump International Hotel, just a few blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, may be of greatest concern, Eisen said.
In one of the great product placement campaigns of all time, Trump twice showed up at his new Washington hotel before being sworn in, complimenting himself on its design.
“This is a gorgeous room, a total genius must have built this,” he said. “Under budget, ahead of schedule.”
Among the claims in the lawsuit – taking money from foreign governments to rent rooms at the hotel violates the Constitution.
Eisen noted that officials from Bahrain chose the hotel just a few weeks ago to hold a reception. And others are likely to follow.
And the hotel is not the only concern, according to the case.
Anything from foreign interests leasing space at Trump Tower in New York, money from development deals, even foreign residuals from his TV program the Apprentice, could create an issue.
The President has said he is trying to resolve the matter. He told reporters, for instance, that he would channel hotel profits from foreign governments to the U. S. Treasury.
“He has resigned from the company as he said he would before he took office,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. “Don and Eric are fully in charge of the company. He's taken extraordinary steps to ensure that that's happened.”
ABC News’ Paul Blake, Cho Park and Alex Hosenball contributed to this report.

Lawsuit: Trump business ties violate Constitution


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Helmet cam captures motorcyclist's brush with death on freeway (1.06/25)

Hilltop’s Valhalla Hall in Tacoma is demolished Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017.
Traffic reporter Adam Lynn finds the answer to a reader’s question about what the state is doing with the homeless encampments along state Route 16 near 19th Street in Tacoma.
An estimated 10,000-plus supporters of women's rights gathered on the Capitol Campus before marching through downtown Olympia the day after the presidential inauguration.
Mildred Smith of Lakewood shared the spotlight, and birthday cake, during a 100th. birthday celebration with her older brother Lyal Schlotterbeck who said "She was always on the good side of life. "
Pinging sounds produced by a pile-driving project on the Tacoma Tideflats is driving some Tacomans "nuts. "
Cyndi Hoenhous proudly talks about her support for Donald J. Trump and why she voted for the New York billionaire for President.
Puyallup’s Fiesta Taqueria
Tacoma Fire put out a fire that appears to have started in the kitchen and moved to the attic of a home at East 61st Street and McKinley Ave.
Members of Tacoma's African-American community reflect on the history, legacy and impact of Barack Obama's presidency.
Numbering in the thousands, supporters of increased statewide education funding and student civil rights gathered Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, for a rally on the steps of the Legislative Building in Olympia.

Video shows motorcyclist clinging to moving car after high-speed freeway crash
Olympia motorcyclist ‘held on for dear life’ in crazy crash captured on helmet cam


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Suspect flees after Bowie shooting (1.05/25)

BOWIE, MD (WUSA9) - A suspect fled after police say a victim was shot in the stomach on Monday.
The shooting happened on Elder Oaks Blvd. in Bowie, Md.
Police say the suspect fled the scene in a blue Dodge Charger.
No further information has been released at this time.
(© 2017 WUSA)

Long Beach police fatally shoot armed suspect after hours-long standoff


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Idaho to stop enforcing telemedicine abortion bans (1.05/25)

Women will no longer be banned from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine in Idaho under a new agreement.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands announced Monday that the lawsuit settlement lifts unnecessary burdens on women seeking safe abortions.
"Women in Idaho deserve the right to have access to the safest, highest quality health care —these misguided laws do just the opposite by creating unnecessary hurdles to safe and legal abortion that are not grounded in science, but instead rooted in politics," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of the regional Planned Parenthood office, in a prepared statement.
The organization's lawsuit was directed at two laws passed in 2015.
The first requires doctors to be present when administering pregnancy-ending pills rather than do so via telehealth. Also called telemedicine, the practice allows doctors to consult with patients or review medical records remotely, using a computer or telephone connection. While it's become a popular method for treating patients, particularly in rural areas, the practice of dispensing abortion-inducing medication is still a new concept.
The second law — sponsored by former House Minority Leader John Rusche, a Democrat from Lewiston — outlined acceptable telemedicine practices in Idaho but included a strict one-line sentence banning doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs through telehealth. The law allows other forms of medical procedures without a doctor's presence.
Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of the legislation argued that the law better protects women's health against so-called "webcam abortions," which are not accessible in Idaho.
Under the agreement, the Idaho Legislature has until the end of the 2017 legislative session to repeal the one-line ban from the state's telehealth law and repeal the law requiring physicians to be in the same room before a medication abortion.
If not, U. S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill will declare the laws unconstitutional and unenforceable. Doing so would create possible case precedence for organizations to use in future court cases against telemedicine abortion bans.
"Based on the stipulated facts, and the entire record herein, the Court hereby finds that the challenged laws ... provide few, if any, health benefits for women," Winmill wrote. "And that these benefits, if any, are outweighed by the burden these laws impose on access to abortion. "
House Speaker Scott Bedke was not aware of Winmill's decision Monday afternoon, but said he could not immediately think of anyone in his caucus who would take the lead on repealing those laws.
A spokesman for Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter, who signed the two laws in 2015 and was named in Planned Parenthood's lawsuit, did not immediately return a request for comment.
"I voted against the (telemedicine) bill because I felt it was a violation of women's reproductive rights and I'm glad Judge Winmill agrees," said House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, who voted against both laws in 2015.
Erpelding said he would be happy to see both of the laws repealed this year.
Currently, 19 states require that abortion-inducing medication must be given in person, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research center that supports abortion rights. Thirty-seven states — counting Idaho — require licensed physicians to be the only ones to give abortion medication.
However, Planned Parenthood won a similar lawsuit in 2015 when the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a restriction that would have prevented doctors from administering medication abortions, saying the rule would have placed an unconstitutional burden on women by requiring a doctor's physical presence in the room.

Trump Bans U.S. Funding For Groups That Promote Abortion Overseas


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Pelicans' Anthony Davis ruled out vs. Cavaliers (1.05/25)

All-Star Anthony Davis will not play for the New Orleans Pelicans in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
Before New Orleans made the announcement, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Terrence Jones would start at center if Davis was sidelined by his right quad contusion, which occurred during New Orleans' loss to Brooklyn on Friday night.
Davis leads the Pelicans with 28.6 points, 12 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.
Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue says the Cavaliers, who've lost four of six, should know better than to suffer a letdown against a New Orleans squad missing its best player. Lue noted that the Pelicans beat Cleveland in a game two seasons ago in which Davis played only six minutes because of a chest injury.

Cleveland Cavaliers at New Orleans Pelicans live updates and fan chat
Anthony Davis to miss Monday's game vs. Cavaliers with right quad contusion


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Panama ex-dictator Noriega moves to house arrest for brain surgery (1.05/25)

Panama's former dictator Manuel Noriega has been allowed to move from prison to house arrest in order to undergo an operation for a non-malignant brain tumor, his lawyer said Monday.
The country's Supreme Court granted the lesser detention after hearing recommendations from the 82-year-old's doctors, attorney Ezra Angel told AFP.
Noriega, who is increasingly frail, is serving three 20-year sentences for the disappearances of opponents during his 1983-1990 rule.
The United States invaded Panama in 1989, seizing Noriega on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
After time behind bars in the US then France, he was extradited to Panama in 2011 where he was incarcerated in El Renacer prison on the banks of the Panama Canal.
The tumor was detected several years ago and "has grown pretty rapidly during the time Noriega was here in Panama," Reyes said.
He added that removing the tumor was necessary to avoid "convulsions and even cardio-respiratory arrest. "
No date has yet been set for the surgery, according to the lawyer and Noriega's daughter Thays Noriega.
Reyes said authorities would decide after the operation whether Noriega would return to prison or see out the rest of his sentence at home.

Lawyer: Panama to allow ex-dictator Noriega house arrest
Jailed Panama dictator moved to house arrest for brain surgery


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Trump's regulatory freeze: What happens to 'startup visa' alternative? (1.05/25)

The International Entrepreneurs Rule is the creative alternative to a startup visa and would extend "parole status" to foreigners building fast-growing companies in the U. S.
Just last week, final rules for the program were published in the Federal Registrar.
But on Friday, the Trump administration issued a freeze on all new and pending regulations, which includes this particular rule.
It's pretty standard for incoming presidents to issue a rule freeze, according to Dan Carpenter, a Harvard University Allie S. Freed professor of government. "It's symbolic -- doubly so for Trump because he wants to be seen as rolling back on regulations," he told CNNTech.
The order calls for temporarily postponing the start dates of rules that aren't yet effective for at least 60 days. The new parole program was slated to become effective on July 17.
Related: Bipartisan bill aims to reform H-1B visa system
A Department of Homeland Security spokesman told CNNTech that they are awaiting guidance on the freeze and how it will impact this particular visa program. He declined to comment further.
According to Stuart Shapiro, director of Rutgers University's public policy program, changing or eliminating the program would likely require more action because it has already been entered into the registrar.
The rule is particularly important to the U. S. tech ecosystem, which does not have a startup visa.
Related: How Congress might crack down on H-1B abuse
Under the new parole rules, entrepreneurs must show that their young companies -- no more than five years old -- have the potential for "rapid growth" and job creation by way of government grants or at least $250,000 from qualified investors. The rule explicitly eliminates small businesses from consideration.
Other requirements include the ability to operate legally in the country, and founders must own a minimum 10% stake of the firm.
Other countries have recently established visas that cater to entrepreneurs. Just last week, France announced its French Tech Ticket, program that enables entrepreneurs to apply to a 12-month accelerator program to build companies in France. The visas are valid for four years and can be renewed.

Call Trump's 'alternative facts' what they really are — lies


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Fact check: Trump and the intelligence community (1.05/25)

President Trump engaged in revisionist history when he accused the “dishonest” media of making “it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community.” In fact, Trump made numerous disparaging remarks about the U. S. intelligence community.
On his first full day as president, Trump visited the CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. In his remarks, Trump promised to support the intelligence community. But then he went too far in blaming the media for distorting his past statements about U. S. intelligence.
At his press briefing on Jan. 23, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump went to the CIA “to dispel the myth that there was a quote unquote rift.”
But the fact is that Trump belittled the intelligence community’s work and questioned its motives in a series of statements and tweets before and after the election. His disagreement with the intelligence community stemmed from the IC’s investigation of Russian cyber attacks on Democratic committees and officials.
On Oct. 7, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence put out a statement saying the Russian government “directed” the hacking “to interfere with the US election process.”
On Jan. 6, 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence went further and released a declassified report that said Russian President Vladimir Putin “developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump” and that he had waged a broad “influence campaign” to “undermine public faith in the U. S. democratic process” and to help elect Trump.
For months, Trump refused to accept the intelligence community’s findings of Russia’s meddling in the election.
During an Oct. 9, 2016, debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump said “maybe there is no hacking.” That was two days after the intelligence community said the Russian government “directed” the hacking.
In an interview on Fox News Sunday two months later, Trump said the intelligence community did not know who was behind the hacking.
In a statement around that time, Trump also questioned the intelligence community’s track record — citing its intelligence work prior to the Iraq War in 2003.
A month after that, Trump escalated his criticism of the intelligence community by questioning its motives.
In a Jan. 3, 2017, tweet, Trump claimed that intelligence officials had delayed a briefing with him on the Russia report. In that tweet, Trump dismissively used air quotes around the word “intelligence” to describe the briefing, and questioned whether the delay was needed “to build a case” against Russia.
A day later, Trump quoted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to cast doubt on the intelligence community’s findings about Russia’s involvement in the election. According to the U. S. intelligence report, Russian military intelligence used WikiLeaks to publicly release hacked emails that were damaging to Clinton — a claim Assange denied.
On Jan. 11, 2017, Trump accused U. S. intelligence agencies of leaking an unsubstantiated report that Russia had damaging information on Trump. He claimed the leak was done to take “one last shot at me,” and compared it to “living in Nazi Germany.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denied that “the leaks came from within the IC.”
We have no reason to doubt Trump’s words when he says that, as president, he will have the CIA’s back and will be its biggest supporter. But Trump can’t take back words that he said about intelligence and falsely claim that the media misreported them.
An annotated transcript of the president’s remarks at the CIA can be found on's transcript homepage .
Read more:

Call Trump's 'alternative facts' what they really are — lies


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Opinion: The high school where our kids belong (1.05/25)

Almost a decade ago, I chose to leave my job and return to school. My dream? A history classroom with a Lincoln bust on my desk and a new career in education.
My experience was a mixed bag, student-teaching at a large Chicago Public School neighborhood high school and later working full-time as a history teacher in a Chicago charter school.
I eventually quit and headed back to an office job as many do, especially in charters. But with charter school champion Betsy DeVos set to preside over federal education policy, I thought I might highlight some key differences between the public and charter school models.
Before we go to the T-chart, a couple preliminaries.
I’m not identifying either school because my points are about broader issues, not just schoolhouse particulars. That said, neither school is a top-performer and both qualify as about average in the context of CPS. The charter school, in fact, tests slightly below the public school.
Both schools have student populations that are predominantly minority — one African-American, the other Latino. Both schools also have a large number of students receiving free or reduced lunches, meaning they’re from poor families.
I’ll stop there. The pattern’s clear enough.
The charter school, which touts a science-and-math focus, is housed in a former elementary school that CPS decommissioned when nearby public housing was demolished. It still feels like a grade school, and none of its rooms or common spaces were designed for larger, teenage bodies. The school has a couple of nice science labs but lacks so much more. That it has no library pretty much says it all.
The public school, while not a feeder to the Ivy Leagues, looks and feels a lot more like what I suspect readers imagine when they read the words “high school.” It’s a comprehensive institution, offers a breadth of classes and activities to a wide range of students with varying abilities and interests, and it functions as a neighborhood hub. Parents and siblings attend plays, concerts, sporting events, the usual.
Importantly, the public school also offers continuity. Many of its teachers and staff are lifers. Like anywhere else, some of these lifers are great and dedicated teachers and some are phoning it in. But the chances your two or three kids would all have the same history or English teacher in ninth grade are far better at the public school. It’s more stable, and stability offers realistic opportunities to improve a lot of educational outcomes – as the school’s recent academic record shows.
The charter school was and remains anything but stable. The year I was hired to teach, all except one of the 10th grade teachers were new to the school, including English, math, history, and foreign language. All of them have since moved on, most after a single year. The principal who hired me is gone, the department chair is gone, dozens of teacher positions have turned over, in some cases multiple times, in the last five years.
It was always a scramble and it still is, in large part because these charter jobs are undesirable. They work on a burnout model and they pay poorly. Anyone who can get out, does. Some teach elsewhere, others find different jobs.
One reason the pay is so bad is the same reason people like Betsy DeVos and certain high-ranking Illinois politicians prefer charters: They cost less! Charter operators agree to take 75 cents on the dollar compared to what public schools receive. The charter schools then seek to make up that difference either through fundraising or cost-cutting, or both.
The fundraising responsibilities are, I suspect, another reason why people such as DeVos like charters so much. These schools are forced to ask rich donors for handouts, and the rich donors get a bunch of attention and influence they wouldn’t otherwise have. And what’s the point of wealth if not to achieve attention and influence?
During my time at the charter school, I attended an after-hours fundraiser hosted by a big-money guy inside his Wilmette home. A dozen or so hand-picked students attended in their school uniforms and we all got pizza, the kids got pop. There were several speeches and everyone agreed on the importance of education.
I ran into the big-money guy in the kitchen and he talked about school reform.
“What do you think about property tax reform?” I asked, meaning de-coupling statewide education funding from local property taxes.
The big-money guy walked away. Maybe I should have asked nicer.
On the way home that night, we drove by New Trier — a really great public high school.
The kind most of us imagine when we think of the high school where all our kids belong.

Community rallies at Withrow High School


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Man's ear bitten off in fight over Trump (1.04/25)

PITTSBURGH — Police say a man bit the ear off another man in Pittsburgh as they argued about President Donald Trump.
The 30-year-old victim was bitten at his apartment at around 6:45 a.m. Monday in the city’s East Liberty neighborhood after a verbal argument turned physical. He ran to a gas station for help.
Police spokeswoman Emily Schaffer says she isn’t able to say whether the victim supported Trump or opposed him.
The victim’s ear was recovered by police in the apartment. Police say he was taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital in stable condition.
Police say they know who bit the man’s ear and are searching for him. They wouldn’t give his name.

Texas man gets 'Trump' tattoo on neck


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Women march at Utah State Capital against newly elected president (1.04/25)

SALT LAKE CITY -- On Monday, Utahns protested in the Women's March, against the newly elected President Donald Trump.
According to the Facebook event's post, this march is in solidarity with the January 21 'Women's March on Washington.'
The Facebook event's post wrote, ' Utah Women Unite exists to protect and advance the rights of all Utah women and girls, including Utah’s marginalized groups, women of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, women of all abilities and from every financial status. We seek to unite as an intersectional collective to address the political, legal, and cultural problems faced by Utah women and to elevate the status and dignity of all people. '
The crowd met at City Creek Park, 110 North State Street at 2 p.m. and finished at the State's Capital.
UPH estimated more than 6,000 men and women came to the march.
Check out Fox 13 for updates.

Thousands in anti-Trump women's march pack Utah Capitol


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NHL-National Hockey League roundup (1.04/25)

Jan 23 (The Sports Xchange) - New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes, who is third on the team in scoring with 35 points, is expected to miss the next two to three weeks with a lower-body injury, the Rangers announced Monday. Hayes sustained the injury in the second period of the Rangers' 1-0 overtime win against Detroit on Sunday. Newsday reported that Hayes' ailment appears to be a leg injury. An MRI performed Monday indicated the severity of the injury. - The Detroit Red Wings placed forward Dylan Larkin on injured reserve and assigned forward Drew Miller to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. Larkin suffered an upper-body injury in Sunday's loss to the New York Rangers and will miss the next two games leading up to this weekend's All-Star break. - The Minnesota Wild reassigned forward Kurtis Gabriel to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League. Gabriel, 23, has one assist, 29 penalty minutes and 26 hits in 13 games with Minnesota this season. (Editing by Frank Pingue)

NBA-National Basketball Association roundup
National Football League roundup


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Dunkirk woman charged over friend's overdose (1.04/25)

WINCHESTER, Ind. – A Dunkirk woman faces a felony charge over her response to a friend’s drug overdose.
Alicia D. Moore, 28, of the 700 block of North Main Street, is charged in Randolph Superior Court with neglect of a dependent.
Authorities said Moore came to St. Vincent Randolph Hospital in Winchester on the evening of Jan. 16, ostensibly to use the restroom, and quickly left after a Randolph County sheriff’s deputy, who was working as a security guard, asked if she was in need of help.
The deputy determined Moore’s license was suspended, and contacted city police with a description of her vehicle.
A short time later, a Winchester officer pulled Moore’s car over along Greenville Avenue.
The officer and the deputy – also at the scene – found an unresponsive woman in the back seat of Moore’s vehicle, with purple lips and apparently not breathing.
The officers administered two doses of a medication used to counteract heroin overdoses. The overdose victim – a 27-year-old Redkey resident – eventually regained consciousness after being loaded into an ambulance.
In a report, the officer wrote that when he asked Moore while she had not sought help for her unconscious friend, the Dunkirk woman claimed she had called a hospital in Winchester, Mo., for medical advice.
The neglect charge filed by Randolph County Prosecutor David Daly’s office is a Level 6 felony carrying a maximum 30-month prison term.
In 2014, Moore was convicted of unlawful possession of a syringe in Jay Superior Court.

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The Latest: Chief Calls Shooting 'Horrible Chain of Events' (1.04/25)

The Latest on the fatal police shooting of a Pittsburgh homeowner by officers responding to a burglar alarm at his home (all times local):
5:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh's acting police chief is describing the fatal police shooting of a homeowner by officers responding to a home burglar alarm as a "horrible chain of events. "
Christopher Thompkins was killed by police early Sunday. Officers say someone fired at them when they got to his house.
Police say they are still unsure who fired the shots.
Thompkins' ex-wife says he had grabbed a gun when an intruder appeared and chased after him. Police didn't find a gun on the intruder, who was arrested on a charge of criminal trespass.
Acting Chief Scott Schubert said Monday "it's difficult to find the words to describe the amount of empathy" he has for Thompkins' family and the two officers involved.
He says there are many unanswered questions as the shooting is investigated.
9:20 a.m.
The ex-wife of a Pittsburgh homeowner fatally shot by police responding to a burglary call says officers "shot the wrong guy. "
Brenda and Christopher Thompkins were in bed when they spotted an intruder in the house at about 4 a.m. Sunday.
Christopher Thompkins grabbed Brenda's gun and was headed downstairs when he fired at the intruder. Police say two officers who responded to a security alarm thought the shots were fired at them. They returned fire and killed Thompkins.
The officers are on administrative leave and the police and district attorney are conducting separate reviews. The officers' names haven't been released.
Brenda and 57-year-old Christopher Thompkins were divorced, but the couple reconciled years ago.
The intruder was arrested on a criminal trespass charge.

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Is ‘Bachelor’ Nick Viall Still Engaged? Final Rose Mixup Could Prove ‘Reality Steve’s’ Spoilers Wrong (1.03/25)

Right before the season premiere aired in early January, Nick went on a press tour and shared with ET Online that he found love while filming his season. Although he stated that he couldn’t go into detail about his final pick, he made it clear that he had “no regrets” going on TV to find the girl of his dreams.
So, he’s on a roll right now and although WetPaint has revealed that he didn’t get it right with four other seasons (Desiree Hartsock, Ali Fedotowsky, and both of Brad Womack’s seasons), Steve claims that his sources this season were great and his spoilers for Nick Viall’s final rose ceremony are spot on.
Although ABC ‘s preview video (above) shows that there will be plenty of confusion as Nick decides who to give his final rose to, Steve claims that his decision isn’t really as tough as it appears. In a recent blog post on Reality Steve’s website, he said that Nick’s season was the easiest to spoil and his final two girls are Raven Gates and Vanessa Grimaldi.
He goes on to say that Nick got engaged to Vanessa, a special education teacher from Montreal, Canada — but fans who have been following her on Snapchat may now be questioning Steve’s prediction for the final rose ceremony.
Did Nick send Vanessa home and propose to Raven?
Last weekend, Vanessa was all hanging out with several girls from this season including Danielle Maltby, Kristina Shulman, and Taylor Nolan. She also posted some of the photos from her weekend on Twitter and it looked like she was having a great time with some of the girls Nick rejected on the show.
Hey y'all. ???????? #nashville @daniellemmaltby @kristinaschulma @taymocha
— Vanessa Grimaldi (@VanessaGrimaldi) January 21, 2017
[Featured Image by ABC Television Network]

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Woman charged with biting officer at Women’s March rally in Augusta (1.03/25)

AUGUSTA — A Newcastle woman allegedly bit a police officer on the hand Saturday during the Women’s March on Maine rally outside the State House.
Capitol Police Chief Russell Gauvin said one of his officers working at the rally was bitten on the hand when he was trying to get a topless woman down off a pillar.
“There was a woman who was standing on one of the pillars bare-chested, and the officer asked her to get down,” Gauvin said.
In Maine, Gauvin said, there is no prohibition against women going topless. Rather, he said, it was a safety move.
“We were trying to get people down from everywhere,” he said. “People were trying to climb all sorts of things to see better. It was a safety issue. The crowd around her assumed it was because she had taken her shirt off.”
The topless woman was not identified.
Gauvin said Officer Alan Carr tried to grab the belt loop on the woman’s pants when he was bitten by another woman.
Initially, the crowd would not allow officers to get close to that woman, he said, but after the rally broke up, Teresa Frisbie-Calder, 64, was issued a summons on a charge of assault.
Kelly Spence, who was also attending the rally and standing nearby, said an officer asked the topless woman to get down and cover up because children were present. Spence said crowd members told the officer that toplessness is legal in Maine. Other officers arrived, and one tried to get the woman off the pillar by pulling on the waistband of her jeans.
While she didn’t see the alleged assault, Spence said she did see the officer tell the woman on the pillar that toplessness was illegal.
Gauvin said Carr was treated at the scene by Augusta Fire and Rescue, which had responded to help someone who had apparently suffered a seizure. After the event, Gauvin said, Carr went to the hospital, where the wound was cleaned and he was given an antibiotic.
Attempts to reach Frisbie-Calder on Monday weren’t successful.
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Send questions/comments to the editors.

Women's March protestors give thanks to police during rally


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Sydney's housing market second most expensive in the world (1.03/25)

Incoming NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has made it one of her top priorities to address the state's housing affordability crisis.
That issue is more pressing than ever, as it was revealed on Tuesday that Sydney homes are the second most expensive in the world - topped only by Hong Kong.
'I want to make sure that every average, hard-working person in this state can aspire to own their own home,' Ms Berejiklian told reporters at a press conference before being sworn into the state's top political job on Monday.
Incoming NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has made it one of her top priorities to address the state's housing affordability crisis. She is pictured speaking at a press conference on Monday
A new study has named the NSW capital's housing market 'severely unaffordable.' Only Hong Kong is more expensive. Pictured, a house in Sydney's exclusive Bondi Beach suburb
'Sydney is in a Looney Tunes category,' said Hugh Pavletich, a co-author of the study. Pictured, a house in Melbourne, which ranked sixth on the list of the least affordable housing markets
'That is the biggest issue people raise with me in Sydney; it's the biggest concern people have across the state,' she said.
The problem was highlighted in a new study, which labelled the NSW capital's housing market 'severely unaffordable,' ranking the city above other famously expensive ones like London and New York.
'Sydney is in a Looney Tunes category,' said Hugh Pavletich, a co-author of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.
The survey compares major housing markets based on the 'median multiple,' a figure that is derived by dividing median house prices by median household incomes.
Sydney scored a median multiple of 12.2, which means that a household would need to pool its gross annual income for 12 years to pay for a home up-front.
Demographia considers a score of three or less affordable; anything over five is rated 'severely unaffordable.'
'These are lunatic figures, there's no other way to describe it,' Mr Pavletich told Daily Mail Australia.
He went on to call Sydney's housing market 'a crisis situation.'
A co-author of the new study said Sydney's two major problems were inadequate land supply and inappropriate infrastructure financing
The survey compares major housing markets based on the 'median multiple,' a figure that is derived by dividing median house prices by median household incomes. Sydney scored 12.2
'There are two major problems in Sydney: inadequate land supply, and inappropriate infrastructure financing,' Mr Pavletich said.
'Australia is a vast continent, but unfortunately the authorities on local and state levels are strangling the land supply, driving costs through the roof. It's absolutely lethal.'
At Monday's press conference, Ms Berejiklian did not offer specific suggestions for how to solve the housing cost problem, but said she would announce plans 'in the near future,' the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
However, she said that housing supply was 'the best way to address housing affordability.'
While state residents wait to see if the new premier can offer solutions, Mr Pavletich had one piece of advice for young families trying to start a life in Sydney: 'Keep renting.'
'Young people just want to avoid committing themselves to artificial bubble prices. They're going to be faced with a life sentence of having to pay back excessive housing costs.'
Hong Kong, pictured, was ranked the least affordable major housing market with a median multiple score of 18.1
'We do know from history that no bubbles are sustainable. It's not a matter of if it will burst, it's a matter of when, and what will trigger it.'
The other cities in the bottom-five of affordability were Vancouver, Canada, Auckland, New Zealand, and San Jose, California, USA.
Melbourne placed number six on the list of least affordable major housing markets, with a median multiple score of 9.5.
Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth were all ranked in the top 20 most expensive.
The 11 most affordable major housing markets were all in the United States, with Rochester, New York in first place with a median multiple score of 2.5.

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Republicans propose giving U. S. states option to keep Obamacare (1.03/25)

By Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Two Republican senators said on Monday that U. S. states should be allowed to stay in the Obamacare medical insurance program if they like, with one also saying she was confused by President Donald Trump's broad but unspecific executive order targeting the program. Trump and congressional Republicans campaigned on a promise to dismantle Obamacare, and they are working on carrying out that pledge as an early product of united Republican control of the White House and Congress. But the legislative proposal by Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana would let states choose to keep Obamacare or move to a replacement program, for which states would also receive some federal funding. Cassidy, himself a doctor, said such an approach could help attract Democratic votes that will be needed for an eventual replacement for Obamacare, former Democratic President Barack Obama's health insurance program approved in 2010. The proposal did not, however, win over the Senate's leading Democrat, Chuck Schumer, who denounced the idea as an "empty facade" and a "far cry" from a full replacement for Obamacare. Democrats strongly oppose a repeal of Obamacare, officially called the Affordable Care Act. But after a meeting Monday of congressional leaders and Trump, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats were willing to discuss Republican healthcare proposals if they accomplish the same goals. "Well, we talked about the Affordable Care Act, and said, what the Affordable Care Act has been successful in doing is improving quality, expanding access and lowering costs. And any proposal that they might have that does that - we'd be interested in hearing about," Pelosi said after the meeting at the White House. At the Republican news conference earlier, Collins called Trump's executive order issued Friday against Obamacare "very confusing," adding that whatever actions the Trump administration takes, legislation will still be needed to replace the law. "We really don't know yet what the impact will be," Collins, a moderate Republican, said, adding that it will be difficult to assess the order's impact until there is a new Cabinet secretary in place in charge of health. Trump signed his executive order on Friday within hours of taking office. It directs U. S. agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation" of provisions of Obamacare deemed to impose fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals. The order did not specify which parts of Obamacare would be affected or the timing. Trump's nominee to head the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Representative Tom Price of Georgia, has said there is no plan for "pulling the rug out" on millions of Americans' healthcare as a replacement is designed. Any changes are unlikely to affect in 2017 the government-funded or subsidized insurance plans covering more than 20 million people. (Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Leslie Adler)

States – like Congress – are divided on replacing Obamacare


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Repealing Obamacare would be 'devastating,' top Pa. officials say (1.03/25)

Top Pennsylvania officials today said they were bracing for "disastrous" consequences if Medicaid expansion under Obamacare is repealed — including the loss of health insurance for more than 670,000 Pennsylvanians, many of them from poor and rural areas.
Another 400,000 residents who signed up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchange will also be left in the lurch, they said.
"There would be no way for the state to continue to provide health care for those folks," said Ted Dallas, Pennsylvania's secretary for Human Services, speaking shortly before a Capitol rally to keep Obamacare intact. "Repeal without replacement would have potentially devastating impacts across the state. "
The state's two top financial officers echoed that sentiment Monday, saying a repeal would also lead to the loss of thousands of jobs and contribute to the state's already-gaping budget deficit, one projected to grow to $1.7 billion this summer without steps to address it.
The warnings from the administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf came as President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress prepared to begin acting on one of his signature pledges — to repeal or replace Obamacare.
A study by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, a Harrisburg-based, liberal-leaning think tank, concluded that more than 137,000 Pennsylvania workers in health care, construction and other areas would lose their jobs.
The report also found that the state's deficit could grow by another $1.4 billion, in part because the state would once again have to pick up the tab for several health care programs that the ACA now pays for.
"There will be irreparable harm if Medicaid expansion is rolled back — and it will fall disproportionately on our lowest income residents," said Treasurer Joe Torsella at a joint press conference Monday with Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.
DePasquale stressed that Medicaid expansion has helped 63,000 residents get drug treatment -- a critical tool in fighting what Gov. Wolf has called an "epidemic" of opioid addiction and overdoses.
"We obviously know these are divisive times," DePasquale said, noting that governors, regardless of political party, are urging that a replacement plan at least be put into place before a repeal. "The impact of this, if not done right, will last for decades. "

Congress Should Continue Its Hard Work In Repealing Obamacare


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Sentencing delayed as PG&E prepared to pay maximum fine for deadly San Bruno gas pipeline explosion (1.03/25)

The long criminal case surrounding the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion was expected to come to an end Monday, but didn't. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said it was prepared to pay the maximum fine of $3 million after a jury convicted the company of deliberately violating pipeline safety regulations before a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area. But California's largest utility is asking a federal judge not to restructure its bonus program for employees or require an advertising campaign publicizing its conviction. U. S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson was scheduled to sentence PG&E on Monday, and prosecutors wanted him to impose the bonus and advertising requirements. They said a $3 million fine alone would be a "drop in the bucket" for PG&E. "PG&E's crimes compel a serious sentence that will alter its culture for good," prosecutors said in a sentencing memo filed with the court. Henderson will likely issue his ruling Thursday. He is expected to impose the maximum fine. The 2010 blast of a PG&E natural gas pipeline sent a giant plume of fire into the air, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes in the city of San Bruno. Jurors convicted the company in August of five of 11 counts of pipeline safety violations, including failing to gather information to evaluate potential gas-line threats and deliberately not classifying a gas line as high risk. Prosecutors said the company deliberately misclassified pipelines so it wouldn't have to subject them to appropriate testing, choosing a cheaper method to save money. Jurors also convicted the utility of obstructing investigators after the blast. PG&E attorneys said during trial that the company's engineers did not think the pipelines posed a safety risk, and the company did not intend to mislead investigators. The stakes in the case dropped dramatically, however, when prosecutors made the surprising decision several days into jury deliberations not to pursue a potential $562 million fine if PG&E was found guilty of any of the pipeline safety counts. No PG&E employees were charged, so no one is facing prison timeIn addition to the advertising campaign, prosecutors are asking Henderson to restructure the company's employee bonus program to reward safety over meeting budgets and earnings. They have also told the judge that blast victims may want to speak at the sentencing hearing. PG&E says changes to the bonus program could jeopardize safety by limiting the company's ability to attract and retain talented employees and interfering with state oversight of the utility's compensation programs - oversight that the company says prioritizes safety. The advertising campaign is not necessary because the trial and verdict were widely covered in the media, the utility said. It has agreed to prosecutors' request for a monitor to oversee compliance with pipeline safety regulations. "Both since the accident in San Bruno and since the criminal trial, PG&E has taken steps to move beyond the legal disputes and focus its energies on becoming the safest public utility in the country," attorneys representing PG&E said in their sentencing memo. PG&E has previously been fined $1.6 billion for the San Bruno blast by California regulators.

PG&E to get maximum sentence for pipeline safety violations
PG&E prepared to pay maximum fine for deadly San Bruno gas pipeline explosion


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Ex-college football player indicted for killing ex-lover (1.03/25)

A grand jury in Tennessee indicted a former college football player on Monday in the murder of a 16-year-old high school cheerleader who prosecutors say was slain because she ended their romantic relationship. William Riley Gaul, 18, was formally charged with seven counts, among them first-degree murder, aggravated stalking, and tampering with evidence, according to the Nashville-based newspaper The Tennessean. Gaul was arrested by authorities on November 22, less than 48 hours after 16-year-old Emma Jane Walker was found shot dead in her bedroom. The high school student's body was discovered at 6:30am the day before by a family member. Gaul posted tweets professing his love for Emma both before and after she was found dead, despite the fact that the teenager had recently ended their relationship. His Twitter bio also read: 'Living everyday through Emma Walker. I love you beautiful and I know you're in a better place now.' Scroll down for video According to the indictment, Gaul began stalking Emma weeks before she was gunned down. Prosecutors say that Gaul had stolen a gun from his grandfather and used it to kill Emma. The stalking allegations appear consistent with statements from both Emma's relatives as well as Gaul's family who say that Gaul refused to come to terms with her decision to break off their romance. In fact, Gaul was so heartbroken over the breakup that he told family members he was contemplating suicide just days before the shooting, according to a search warrant. After Gaul made the statements to family members, Gaul's grandfather remembered that on November 18 he and his grandson briefly swapped vehicles. The grandfather then searched his car and noticed that a pistol he usually kept under the driver's seat was missing. It was only two days later - on November 20 - that the grandfather reported the gun stolen. Emma Walker was found dead by her parents the next day. In a late November interview with the Knoxville News Sentinel Emma's aunt Jenny Weldon spoke about the break-up that police believe may have been Gaul's motive for the murder. 'She had chosen to move on,' said Weldon. 'He refused to accept it. He chose not to accept her wishes.' She went on to describe Emma as a 'beautiful soul' and said that she had dreamed of one day working as a neonatal nurse. Weldon also spoke about the support that family has been receiving from those who knew her niece. 'We have not ceased to have support and encouragement and love from all over,' she said. 'We feel every bit of that.' She then added: 'We adored her, and it's nice to know so many others did as well.' Authorities say Gaul stood outside the window of Emma's bedroom before firing off the fatal gunshot that killed the teenager. Police put Gaul under surveillance soon after the young girl was found dead and according to the warrant, he was heard soon after speaking about destroying evidence in the case. He is being held in the Knox County Jail in lieu of $1million bond. Gaul and Emma met when both were students at Central High School, with Gaul graduating last year and going on to play football at nearby Maryville College. Maryville revealed that Gaul had been removed from the football team and released a statement saying: 'Maryville College is cooperating fully with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department in this investigation. 'Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends and other individuals affected by this tragedy.' Just before he was arrested by police, Gaul wrote on Twitter: 'I love you Emma, I can't be around any of that yet, it's too soon. I know you know I'm dying to be there but understand I can't. I love you.' At the same time, friends and family of Emma gathered for a memorial at Central High School, asking that members of the press not attend. A crowdfunding page has been created to help her family with funeral costs.

Ex-college football player indicted in high school cheerleader's killing


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America First, Donald Trump's ego, media 'weepings,' patriotism, protesters, #notmypresident (1.03/25)

Ruining America's reputation
Re: "'America first' -- Analysis: President delivers defiant message against political order," Saturday news story.
Good grief! I expected a puffed-with-pride President Donald Trump to say something kind of icky like, "This USA will be strong again now that it has the greatest, strongest president of all time. "
I would have gagged, but also laughed. I don't remember Trump's exact words, but he slobbered a bib full of negativity. The picture his words painted for me was of a wasteland dotted with rusty machinery and dark, empty, rusted-out cities. And the money the poor middle-class people used to have has been torn from their arms and thrown to enrich foreigners.
Hasn't Trump done a little business with foreigners?
What is most scary is Trump's determination to end trade agreements and make his policy America first, always America first. I felt worse about that when I found there is an America First Party.
What about needing allies? What about God's order to love your neighbor? What about not ruining the reputation of the United States in order to be sure you get credit for making it great when you start admitting that this is a great nation?
Willa Kulhavy, Garland
Will work ethic edge out ego?
So we now have a new president, Donald J. Trump. One good thing I can say about our new president is that he did not squander his sizable inheritance like some wealthy heirs, but managed to multiply its worth many times over by careful management. It appears he has also instilled this work ethic in his adult children.
On the other hand, I'm not sure his healthy ego is a desirable quality for our national leader. His lack of ability to accept criticism is troublesome. Instead of thoughtful responses defending his position, he responds by attacking the critic's character and resorting to what amounts to fourth-grade playground name-calling.
One thing for sure, I believe, is that there will be no middle ground with this president. He will either go down as one of our worst or one of our better presidents. Let's all hope it's the latter.
Lawrence W. Griffin, Providence Village
More front-page 'weepings'?
The word media used to be related to "middle" and not just "left. " And they used to report "news" and not just "views. " Perhaps all this is due to the fact that the iconic Hillary Clinton was not elected. On the other hand, she had enough political sense to attend the inauguration of our duly elected friend.
How many more front-page "weepings" must we put up with?
Robert Sargent, Carrollton
Trump will govern his way
President Donald Trump's masterful inaugural address made clear, to the horror of the Washington corruptocrats and the left-wing media, that he intends to govern as -- gasp! -- Donald Trump!
Paul Lonsdorf, Plano
Don't buy into Orwellian credo
In his inaugural address, President Donald Trump declared, "through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. "
Hogwash. My belief in America's greatness doesn't compel me to prejudge anyone, but it certainly doesn't prevent it, either. As George Bernard Shaw has written, "Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it. "
Worse than their falsehood, the president's words absolve the "true" patriot of any charge of bigotry: If I love my country enough, in the right way, any fear or hatred I direct against others must be attributed to the threat they pose to America's greatness.
In a speech full of bombast and hyperbole, it is this Orwellian credo that should cause the greatest alarm.
Paul Zoltan, Dallas/Little Forest Hills
What drives #notmypresident
Re: "Don't tune out inauguration -- Whether fit or not, Trump will be our president, Michael Lindenberger says," Friday Viewpoints.
In response to Lindenberger's column, it's now President Donald Trump's responsibility to be everyone's president, not only in name but through action. Yes, he does have the title but being my president is more than a title. That's what I believe is behind the #notmypresident trend.
Trump becomes my president when he fulfills the promise in his inauguration speech that all his decisions will "be made to benefit American families. " I don't believe that will be the result of appointing billionaires from Goldman Sachs to high-level positions.
When Trump appoints an education secretary with direct experience with public schools and student loans, then I will see him as my president. When Trump releases his tax returns to show he is paying a proportionate share to help veterans, defend our shores, protect our environment and shield us from violence, then I will proudly call him my president. Trump becomes my president through constructive action to keep our country great.
Julie Waller, North Dallas
Protesters right to speak out
Michael Lindenberger's observations are a classic example of a false equivalency. Barack Obama was elected twice by a plurality of the popular vote and a significantly higher percent of the electoral votes. He did so without any help from the Russians or a partisan FBI director. He did so without the attacking and name-calling of every opponent and member of the press. He did so with class and grace. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was as wrong as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S. C., to give Obama no opportunity or respect.
The protesters today have every right to rise in righteous indignation against a man who by every action and appointment shows he has no regard for average Americans beyond conning them with impossible promises and bumper-sticker policy positions.
The slogan of the protesters should be Make America Think Again.
Robert Barrese, Far North Dallas
Give the president a chance
Re: "Over 200 arrested in violence, riots -- Many protesters stayed peaceful, holding signs against Trump, his stands," Saturday news story.
During the recent inauguration of President Donald Trump there were nationwide protests. Some protesters were vandalizing and destroying cars and businesses in Washington, D. C. Police had to use tear gas and flash-bang grenades to control crowds.
I believe that people should give Trump a chance at being president and accept the fact that Hillary Clinton did not win the election. I also agree that people have the right to peacefully assemble. But vandalism and destruction will not change anything and it also violates the rights of peaceful protesters to assemble because the police cannot tell them apart from the vandals.
I hope that the new president can prove himself as a good man and a good leader and that the country can put itself back together again.
Noah Smith, Keller

Trolling Trump? Defense Dept tweets on mental health, social media use — RT America


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Suspect sought in stabbing at east-valley apartments (1.03/25)

By Jesse Granger ( contact )
Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 | 5:15 p.m.
Metro Police said they were investigating a stabbing Monday night in the east valley.
About 4:30 p.m. a person was stabbed by an unknown suspect at the Arcadia Palms Apartments, located on East Sahara Avenue near Boulder Highway, according to police.
The victim was transported to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in unknown condition, and no arrests have been made, police said.

Charlotte pedestrian struck and killed on Monroe Road


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‘The Bachelor’ Villain Corinne Olympios Spotted Wearing An Engagement Ring, Could She Actually Win? (1.03/25)

Could the engagement ring photo be Olympios’ way of garnering more attention?
“They would not introduce Raquel and make her such a big part of this if we weren’t going to meet her. That’s my theory. We are going to meet Raquel.”
On the latest episode, Olympios took Viall aside and sprayed some whipped cream on her boobs. She then straddled the leading man in a bounce house while wearing a bikini. For Viall, he doesn’t mind a woman who takes charge.
“I like an aggressive woman, but at the same time, I have to manage certain things. I love a woman who takes initiative, but that can rub the other women the wrong way,” Viall explained. “It’s definitely a juggling act.”
ABC released a sneak peek for the coming installment of The Bachelor and it looks like ladies are in for a barnyard experience. All but one of the contestants seem eager to please Viall while shoveling cow manure.
“Where is Corinne?” Viall is shown asking the group.
Olympios apparently felt like it was a good time to grab a bite to eat. “I need sushi,” she later told the camera.
Despite Olympios’ behavior over the first couple episodes, Viall has come to her defence. In the latest trailer, however, Viall admits that he’s had enough of her antics. “My blood’s boiling right now,” he shared.
Things aren’t looking good for Olympios, especially if she doesn’t start turning things around. Whether or not her latest actions are enough for Viall to give her the boot is yet to be seen. If Caridi is right, then fans can expect Olympios to be around for a lot longer.
Peri also slammed fans for harassing her daughter online and constantly calling her cell phone. Some fans apparently discovered Olympios’ phone number and haven’t let up trying to contact her. Producers have yet to respond to Peri’s claims.
[Featured Image by ABC]

Nick Viall Baby Rumors: Did ‘The Bachelor’ Really Get a Contestant Pregnant?


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Austrian official: suspect potentially dangerous radical (1.03/25)

Austrian official: suspect potentially dangerous radical Associated Press - 23 January 2017 16:59-05:00 News Topics: General news, Arrests, Bombings, Law and order, Crime, Government and politics People, Places and Companies: Vienna, Austria, Germany Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

UN: Preventive diplomacy in Gambia avoided bloodshed
Amnesty urges Egypt to investigate Sinai killings by police
Iraq premier orders probe into violations by troops in Mosul
Chile's worst wildfires destroy everything in their path


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Sketches of east Atlanta robbery suspects released (1.03/25)

ATLANTA, Ga -- Police have released sketches of two men wanted in a series of east Atlanta robberies.
Police and Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta are offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to their arrests and indictments.
Any information on the case can be submitted anonymously to the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477), online or by texting CSA and the tip to CRIMES (274637).
(© 2017 WXIA)

Winston-Salem police release video of men possibly involved in several armed robberies


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The internet suspects the U. S. Dept. of Defense is subtweeting President Donald Trump (1.03/25)

The U. S. Department of Defense denied that it was targeting President Donald Trump on Monday after tweeting about links between mental health and social media posts.
"Social media postings sometimes provide an important window into a person's #mentalhealth," the department tweeted. "Know what to look for. "
FROM FOOTBALL TO PRESIDENT: Johnny Manziel gives President Trump some advice, Twitter account disappears
Other people on Twitter brought up President Donald Trump and questioned if the department is subtweeting him.
A Pentagon official told BuzzFeed that the "tweet was about suicide prevention and nothing more. "
The U. S. Department of Defense's tweet was compared to the U. S. Interior Department, which had its Twitter account deactivated and recently reactivated. The reason? The U. S. Interior Department shared two tweets that were not so flattering to the president.
The U. S. Department of Defense seems to have control of its Twitter account, for now.

Trolling Trump? Defense Dept tweets on mental health, social media use — RT America


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Here are the 10 least affordable world cities in 2017 – report (1.03/25)

Hong Kong has retained its title as the least affordable city in the world, according to a new survey ranking the most expensive cities in the world for median income earners.
The study conducted by US-based consultancy firm Demographia, which concentrated on Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK and US, covers 406 housing markets in the nine countries over the third quarter of 2016.
The world’s most expensive cities to buy a house in 2017 are:
China, Hong Kong, 18.1
Australia, Sydney 12.2
Canada, Vancouver, B. C. 11.8
N. Z., Auckland 10.0
U. S., San Jose, Calif. 9.6
Australia, Melbourne, 9.5
U. S., Honolulu, Hawaii 9.4
U. S., Los Angeles, Calif. 9.3
U. S., San Francisco, Calif. 9.2
U. K., Bournemouth & Dorset 8.9
In the study, a score of 3 or under is considered affordable, 3.1 – 4 is moderately unaffordable, 4.1 – 5 seriously unaffordable, and 5.1 and over is deemed severely unaffordable.
The survey used a metric known as the ‘median multiple’ to determine housing affordability within a city or wider metropolitan area, which determines the median multiple by dividing the median house price by the median household income.
“The ‘median multiple’ is not a perfect measure because it does not account for house sizes or build quality. But it is the only index that allows a quick comparison of different housing markets, and it is the best approximation of housing affordability measures we have to date,” the survey’s foreword notes.
According to the study, this particular metric is widely used by organizations ranging from the World Bank and the United Nations, to academic institutions like the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
The study found that among the countries studied, “there are 94 severely unaffordable markets, with 36 (of 262) in the United States, 33 (of 54) in Australia, 11 (of 33) in the United Kingdom, 7 (of 40) in Canada, 6 (of 8) in New Zealand and the one market in China. Singapore, Japan and Ireland have no severely unaffordable housing markets.”
In terms of their respective median markets, the United States is the only country surveyed that can boast a ‘moderately unaffordable’ overall median housing market. All other countries surveyed are classed as ‘seriously unaffordable.’

Sydney has the second least affordable housing in the world: study


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Motorcyclist slams into car on NSW south coast in video (1.03/25)

A motorcyclist has somehow escaped serious injury after slamming into the side of a turning vehicle on the New South Wales south coast.
Shocking dash cam footage of the accident which was recorded in Ulladulla on Friday shows just how close the motorbike rider came to death.
The footage which was posted to Facebook page Dash Cam Owners Australia is shot on a wet day and shows a truck slowly creeping up to an intersection as several cars in front apply their brakes intermittently.
A motorcyclist has somehow escaped serious injury after slamming into the side of a turning vehicle on the New South Wales south coast
Just before the truck driver is about to cross the intersection, the driver sees a car approaching from the opposite direction with their indicator flashing.
The truck driver stops to allow the white Honda CRV to turn in front of them but as they do a motorbike rider accelerates up the trucks left hand side which is a left turn only lane.
The truck driver who must be able to see the motorcyclist coming up the inside of his vehicle tries to warn them by beeping the horn but to no avail.
The motorcyclist slams into the back of the turning car, sending them somersaulting through the air.
The motorcyclist's bike comes to a stop several metres up the road as the rider slams to the ground, landing heavily on their left leg.
The motorcyclist slams into the back of the turning car, sending them somersaulting through the air
The motorcyclist's bike comes to a stop several metres up the road as the rider slams to the ground, landing heavily on their left leg
The rider then begins to get to their feet before the footage cuts away.
Several commentators to the video have slammed the rider as irresponsible saying that they were lucky to still be alive while others have said the truck driver caused the accident.
'Rider should count their lucky stars they weren't killed. Blasting down a turning lane in the wet...a recipe for disaster!,' one person wrote.
'The guy on the bike going straight ahead in a left turning lane is just silly,' said another.
'It's illegal to stop in an intersection,' was one person's view.
'It's the truck drivers fault you should never let people in when you have right of way. It gets confusing and cause things like this to happen,' wrote another.

Video shows motorcyclist clinging to moving car after high-speed freeway crash


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Rapper Soulja Boy charged with possessing handgun stolen from Huntington Beach police (1.03/25)

Rapper Soulja Boy was charged Monday on suspicion of illegally possessing firearms including a handgun at one time stolen from the Huntington Beach Police Department, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The 25-year-old rapper, whose real name is DeAndre Cortez Way, pleaded not guilty on Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The Studio City resident faces up to four years in prison if convicted of two felony weapons-possession counts, and a misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property.
The rapper was arrested at his home on Dec. 15 after police found him in possession of a Mini Draco AR-IS, and a Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun that had been reported stolen from a Huntington Beach police vehicle , Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Michael Morse said.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.
More details to come.
Contact the writer: 714-796-7767 Twitter: @thechalkoutline

Rapper Soulja Boy could spend 4 years in prison over felony gun charges


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iPhone assembler Foxconn may invest $7B in US display plant (1.02/25)

The Taiwanese company that assembles Apple's iPhones and other electronics is considering investing $7 billion in a U. S. factory to produce display panels that would create as many as 50,000 jobs.
Foxconn CEO Terry Gou discussed the potential expansion Sunday during a company meeting in Taiwan. His comments were broadcast by Taiwanese media.
Foxconn, founded by Gou in 1974, assembles smartphones and other devices for Apple, Sony, Blackberry and other brands. Most of its operations are in mainland China, where its vast factories employ more than 1 million people.
Little-known to consumers, Gou's company raised its global profile with its purchase last year of Japan's Sharp Corp., which is decades older than Foxconn but was struggling financially.
A Foxconn partner, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, revealed the company was considering a $7 billion investment in the United States after a December meeting with then-President-elect Donald Trump.
Gou said a decision would depend on factors including whether a state where the factory might be built would be willing to provide low-cost land or power. He said if the plant is built, it would work with Sharp.
"If American state governments were willing to provide these terms and we calculate it is cheaper than shipping from China or Japan, why shouldn't Sharp build a factory in the United States? " Gou said.
He said investment would "exceed $7 billion" and the facility, if built, would employ 30,000 to 50,000 people. He said Pennsylvania is a leading candidate but Foxconn is in discussions with other states, too.
In a written response to questions, Foxconn said it could not confirm details of the possible investment or give additional information.

Foxconn CEO Calls Plans For U.S. Plant 'Wish,' Not Promise


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Margot Robbie is unrecognisable in Tonya Harding's mullet (1.02/25)

It is not often this blonde beauty skates on thin ice when it comes to fashion.
But Margot Robbie was a woman transformed as she wore a teased mullet from the 1980s as she shot her latest film I, Tonya in Georgia at the weekend.
The actress, who is playing disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in the biopic, was spotted marching around the Atlanta set with her costar Sebastian Stan.
Skating on thin ice: Margot Robbie wore a distinctly 80s haircut on the set of I, Tonya in Georgia at the weekend
The 26-year-old, who wore a cut Pat Sharp himself would be proud of, completed her look with a red chequered shirt, identically hued high waisted jeans and pink trainers.
But if anything her unfortunate on-set sidekick, who is playing her husband, looked even worse in a striped top, jeans and running shoes.
The movie follows Tonya and husband Jeff Gillooly, played by Sebastian Stan, who secretly hired a thug to break rival Nancy Kerrigan's leg to force her to pull out of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer in Norway.
The attack was botched and Nancy was badly bruised. But despite her injuries she went on to compete, winning a silver medal with Tonya coming eighth.
Pat Sharp would be proud: The Funhouse legend will approve of Margot's questionable mullet
What a waist: The slender starlet was wearing a pair of lurid red high-waisted jeans
A hair-raising experience: Old pro Margot was grinning and bearing it
Hardly identical: Silver screen beauty Margot does not look much like the real Tonya Harding
When details of the crime - known as The Whack Heard Round The World because Nancy's knee was clubbed with a baton - came to light, Tonya received a lifetime ban from skating competition. Gillooly got a two-year prison sentence.
Aside from her starring role, she and Tom are both co-producing I, Tonya.
Margot told Glamour magazine about learning to skate last year, saying: 'I'm really excited because I love acquiring a new skill for a role, it's one of the biggest treats of acting.
'On the producing side of it - if I get an injury I'm scared I'm going to ruin everything so I'm nervous.'
Making his point: Her on-screen husband Sebastian Stan was doubtlessly complaining that he looked even worse
Bling it on: The newly married actress was wearing her enormous wedding ring
Brolly dolly: A helpful lackey made sure the starlet was protected from sprinkles
Girl in the hood: She protected herself further by covering her head
Mama mia: Her costar Allison Janney was even more difficult to identify

Margot Robbie Is Unrecognizable as Tonya Harding in New Pics


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Lundqvist stops 36 shots, Rangers beat Kings 3-2 (1.02/25)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 36 shots to lead the New York Rangers over the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Monday night.
Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel and Mats Zuccarello scored to help New York win its third straight since a three-game skid.
Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford scored, and Jeff Zatkoff finished with 14 saves for Los Angeles, which has lost four straight and five of seven.
Lundqvist has given up just four goals on 84 shots during the winning streak — including a 1-0 shutout at Detroit on Sunday — after allowing 20 on 113 shots the previous four games.
The veteran goalie needed to be at his best in this one as the Kings, who last played Saturday across town against the Islanders, seemed a step faster from the start and controlled play for most of the first two periods.
After a giveaway by Zatkoff, J. T. Miller chased down the puck in the right corner and sent a pass back to Zuccarello in the right circle, and he fired it past the goalie for his ninth of the season at 6:40 of the third to make it 3-1. It was Zuccarello's first goal since Dec. 15 at Dallas and extended his point streak to six games.
With Zatkoff pulled for an extra skater, Clifford pulled Los Angeles within one with about one second left on the clock.
With New York leading 1-0 after one period, neither team could muster many offensive chances over the first half of the second. Dwight King got the Kings' first shot on goal of the period 6:19 in, and Miller got the Rangers' first 2:24 later.
Michael Grabner hit the crossbar for the Rangers with just over seven minutes remaining, and Los Angeles' Nolan hit a post eight seconds later.
Puempel, back after missing eight games with concussion symptoms, then doubled the lead with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the second. On an odd-man rush, Derek Stepan sent a pass to the left to Puempel, who wristed it past Zatkoff for his sixth.
Nolan got the Kings on the scoreboard, rifling a shot top shelf from outside the left circle with 2:01 left in the second for his third.
Los Angeles had a 10-1 advantage on shots over the first 11 1/2 minutes of the game until the Rangers took advantage of a Kings turnover. Brayden McNabb sent a pass from behind the Kings' net that went off Nick Shore's stick right to Pirri, who wristed it past Zatkoff for his eighth.
Lundqvist made a pair of nice saves on Kings leading scorer Jeff Carter in the opening period. First, he made a pad save on a tip attempt shortly before the Rangers' goal, and then stopped Carter on a short-handed breakaway with about 1 1/2 minutes to go.
Tempers also flared late in the first as McNabb had a hard hit on Zuccarello into the end boards and the two got into a shoving match in front of the Kings' net seconds later, with King joining. New York's Kevin Klein then skated in and fought McNabb.
NOTES: Kings coach Darryl Sutter remained one win from breaking a tie with Jacques Lemaire for 12th on the NHL wins list at 617. ... C Anze Kopitar tied Rob Blake for fifth place on the franchise's games played list with 805. ... The teams conclude their season series March 25 at Los Angeles. ... The Rangers' Alain Vigneault coached his 1,100th game, becoming the 18th coach in NHL history to reach the milestone. ... New York was without RW Kevin Hayes due to a lower-body injury. Hayes began the day third on the team with 35 points. ... New York improved to 20-7-1 when scoring first and 19-2-0 when leading after two.
Kings: At New Jersey on Tuesday night in the third game of a five-game trip.
Rangers: Host Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

Lundqvist looks revived as Rangers make every shot count


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Laura Prepon and Ben Foster expecting their first child (1.02/25)

First come loves, then comes... baby. Then marriage, depending on the wedding date.
Laura Prepon and fiancé Ben Foster are expecting their first child together, according to People .
This news comes after Prepon, 31, and Foster, 36, went public with their engagement in October, after knowing each other for 18 years.
Baby makes three! Laura Prepon and fiancé Ben Foster are expecting their first child together, according to People, seen here at The Creative Coalition's Annual Spotlight Awards in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday
The Orange is The New Black star and her soon-to-be husband made their last public appearance before the story broke at The Creative Coalition's Annual Spotlight Awards in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday.
'Ben seemed really protective and kept very close to Laura the entire night,' a source told People, of the couple's interactions at the Kia Supper Suite event.
'He was holding on to her arm as they walked in and kept by her side during the dinner.'
Newly engaged: Prepon, 31, and Foster, 36, went public with their engagement in October, seen here at The Hero premiere at Sundance FIlm Festival in Park City, Utah on Saturday
The couple have been known to keep their personal life quiet in the past, with even close friends not aware of their engagement until the rest of the world knew, as well.
Their secrecy has prompted chiding remarks from Ashton Kutcher for not getting the head's up from his That '70s Show co-star.
'I get it. But private lives include friends!' Kutcher teased his long-time pal on the set of Live with Kelly in October, a few days after her engagement went public. 'Like, I shouldn’t find out when I get off the plane!'
Too busy to call? The couple's secrecy has prompted chiding remarks from Ashton Kutcher for not getting the head's up on their engagement from his That '70s Show co-star, seen here in the Variety Studio at Sundance on Sunday
Perhaps Prepon was just too busy to make the call, while working on Orange is The New Black, The Girl on The Train, and The Hero this past year.
Foster has also been busy acting, with three films in post-production and set to be released this year. Those titles include comedic musical Rock'n Roll out February 15, and criminal drama Galveston and the adventure western Hostiles, both with undisclosed release dates.
As for the wedding date and due date, the couple has yet to confirm those details at this time.

Laura Prepon Pregnant — Expecting 1st Baby With Fiance Ben Foster


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Lawyers for Ghost Ship organizer claim warehouse fire started next door (1.02/25)

Lawyers for a man who is the subject of an investigation and lawsuit over the infamous Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people in Oakland have publicized a report they claim casts doubt on his culpability.
The lawyers for Derick Ion Almena, the warehouse master tenant, said today that the report “should reasonably foreclose any criminal negligence charges against” their client.
The ten-page document titled “Was Ghost Ship fire caused by inadequate Utility Wiring?” seeks to cast doubt on Almena’s responsibility by, in part, suggesting that the fire originated in the warehouse next to the Ghost Ship, not inside the artist enclave itself.
The report, compiled by Almena’s legal team, which includes well-known defense attorney Tony Serra, reads like an expert witness analysis of the fire and runs through technical explanations focused on the building’s PG&E power supply.
“(T)here appears to be a single feed that goes in to the (neighboring) building to serve multiple customers,” the report says. “It also appears that there is fire affecting more than just the Ghost Ship occupied section.”
The report, illustrated by several photographs and a diagram that purports to show the building’s external PG&E connections, says there is no direct utility connection to the Ghost Ship warehouse and that the connection to the warehouse next door is “undersized.”
Also, some kind of electrical equipment was on a pole secured to the roof of the neighboring warehouse but that equipment “was removed post-fire,” according to the report.
“Did the equipment now removed catch fire or was it the point of origin,” the report asks.
A lawyer for the families of two people killed in the Dec. 2 fire dismissed the report as irrelevant.
“Wherever the fire started, and I’m not saying it was next door, the people couldn’t get out and it’s because of (Almena) building this makeshift second floor (and) makeshift stairs,” said attorney Mary Alexander. “They couldn’t find a way out. (There were) no sprinklers, exit signs, light for exits. (There was) only one way out that (the victims) could find and
then it’s a maze to get out.”
Also, the music event did not have the proper permits to proceed, Alexander said.
Alexander represents the families of Michela Gregory and Griffin Madden, who filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Dec. 23 against Chor Ng, the owner of the warehouse.
Also named are Almena and his wife, Micah Allison. “In my view he can’t get off the hook,” Alexander said. “It’s beyond a reasonable doubt that he contributed to the deaths of these people.”
The suit also targets that night’s performer, Joel Shanahan, whose stage name is Golden Donna, Jon Hrabko and a business called “100 % Silk,” claiming they, along with Almena and Allison, were organizers of the event, which was attended by at least 100 people.
In addition, two men who leased buildings neighboring the Ghost Ship warehouse, Daniel Lopez and Omar Vega, are also named in the suit, which claims the pair provided electricity to the warehouse and bathroom access to event attendees.
A separate suit was also filed against the City of Oakland and Alameda County.
The Oakland Fire Department is currently working on its own report about the cause of the fire. When it’s completed, that report will be forwarded to the Alameda County district attorney’s office, which will then decide whether criminal charges are warranted.
A spokeswoman with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has been assisting in the investigation, said the fire department’s report is still being compiled.
“We are in the midst of our investigation. Until that is complete, I cannot comment further on our findings, nor opine on the assertions of Mr. Serra and his team,” said district attorney’s spokeswoman Teresa Drenick.

Lawyers: Deadly Oakland fire didn’t start in Ghost Ship warehouse


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Another protest planned for Gwinnett commission over "racist pig" comment (1.02/25)

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga – Another protest is being planned for Tuesday night’s Gwinnett County commission meeting, calling for Commissioner Tommy Hunter to resign.
Hunter called U. S. Rep. John Lewis “a racist pig” on a now-deleted Facebook posting after Lewis called then-President-elect Donald Trump “an illegitimate president.”
Hunter has since apologized for what he called “a poor choice of words.”
However, the Gwinnett Democratic Party is continuing to call for Hunter’s resignation, and is calling for supporters to attend the commission meeting, according to party chairman Gabe Okoye.
“John Lewis as a leader of the civil rights movement is to be commended and emulated,” said Hunter during last week’s commission meeting.
“That doesn’t mean that I will always agree with him politically,” Hunter said. “I will not allow baseless accusations of racism against me or anyone to keep people from speaking up when something is wrong.
“I have learned a lot from this and will continue to work hard to serve all of District 3 and the people of Gwinnett County.”
Lewis made his remarks during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” the week before Trump’s inauguration. Lewis was referring to allegations that Russian hacking interfered with the presidential election’s outcome.
“I understand emotions are high and many are upset about the post,” Hunter acknowledged last week.
County commission chairwoman Charlotte Nash has sent a letter to Lewis, also apologizing for Hunter’s comments.
“I want to assure you the remarks posted by one commissioner do not reflect the opinion of the Board of Commissioners as a whole,” Nash wrote. “Nor do we condone the use of social media to spread negative thoughts about any one individual.
“Further, comments expressed by one individual do not reflect the opinions of Gwinnett County residents as a whole.”
Okoye said Hunter “is a disgrace to Gwinnett County and Georgia.”
“It's OK to disagree with Congressman Lewis, but you don't have to do it by name calling on social media,” Okoye said. “Mr. Hunter left middle school ages ago and should find a more dignified manner in which to express himself. His remarks not only reflect poorly on himself but also on Gwinnett County. What business would want to come here when we have Commissioners who conduct themselves this way?”
(© 2017 WXIA)
Commissioner who called Lewis "a racist pig" apologizes
Dems call for ouster of commissioner who called Lewis 'racist pig'

Calls for Mayor Jim Fout's resignation expected at Warren City Council Tuesday


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Walker proposes new welfare work requirements in Wisconsin – Twin Cities (1.02/25)

MADISON, Wis. — Parents who work fewer than 80 hours a month could face food stamp benefit cuts under a proposal Gov. Scott Walker released Monday.
Walker’s proposal, which met with immediate backlash from Democrats who don’t have the votes to stop it, would also require adults with children between age 6 and 18 to attend job training and search for work five days a week. It was part of a package of welfare reforms called “Wisconsin Works for Everyone” that Walker released during a series of news conferences across the state.
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This deeply blue Wisconsin village still seems surprised it voted for Trump Under current state law, only childless adults in the FoodShare program have to meet the work requirement. They lose all food stamp benefits after three months of non-compliance. Benefits would be cut, but not eliminated, for families that could be affected by the new proposal. Details on how much benefits could be reduced, and how long parents would have to comply, will come in the governor’s budget released next month.
Since the law requiring childless adults to work at least 80 hours a month took effect in April 2015, about 21,000 able-bodied food stamp recipients have found work and about 64,000 have lost their benefits.
Walker is also calling for a similar work requirement for people receiving housing vouchers from the federal government.
Democrats and child advocates blasted the move, saying it was counterproductive and would hurt more families than it would help. But Republican legislative leaders and the state chamber of commerce, which typically backs conservatives, praised the idea as giving incentives to put more people back to work.
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who appeared with Walker in Madison and championed welfare reform in the 1990s, urged Democrats to get behind the effort like many did to his reforms 20 years ago.
“This could be a bipartisan opportunity to continue to change Wisconsin’s face for the better,” Thompson said.
But Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jen Shilling said the proposal is another example of Walker setting a double standard, making it hard for poor families to get benefits while the state hands out millions of dollars in tax breaks to wealthy corporations “with no strings attached.”
Walker’s proposals could require law changes by Congress and waivers from President Donald Trump’s administration before taking effect. They would also have to pass the Republican-controlled state Legislature.
Walker has been saying that he hopes to work closely with the Trump administration on a variety of initiatives, including welfare reform. Walker is expected to seek a third term in 2018 and will be spelling out his priorities for the next two years in the state budget he releases in February.
The new work requirement would start as a pilot program in several counties, Walker said. The goal would be to extend it statewide, but he didn’t have a timeline or estimate on how much it would cost.
Walker said he also wants to ease people off receiving child-care assistance from the state once they become employed and start earning more money. Once someone becomes employed and hits 200 percent of the poverty line, they would start contributing $1 copay for child care for every $3 they earn.
He also wants to expand programs to help people released from prison re-enter the workforce; create a tax credit to help young people aging out of foster care and those with disabilities who are working; and create a new tax credit for low-income parents who do not have custody of their children but are fulfilling their child support obligations.
Walker is also calling on the Trump administration to clear the way for the state to drug test some welfare recipients.
“All of these with the idea that we want to get people to work,” Walker said at a Milwaukee news conference. “We fundamentally believe that public assistance should be a trampoline not a hammock.”

Scott Walker Proposes Aggressive Welfare Reform Plan for Wisconsin


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Blake Griffin 'most likely' to play for Clippers against 76ers (1.02/25)

Griffin has missed the last 18 consecutive games recovering from right knee surgery.
The media tried to pin Rivers down on an absolute time on Griffin, but he still felt like joking about things even if the team and Griffin said Tuesday was the expected date for his return.
“Most likely, definitely. It’s an alternate fact,” Rivers, smiling, joked as the media laughed along.
Rivers laughed some more at his joking ways.
But the fact is that Griffin said he has been yearning to play after having a procedure to remove loose bodies from his knee on Dec. 20. He had told the media Saturday that “this trip, this is it” for him coming back.
Before the media left the Clippers’ shootaround Monday morning, Griffin was dressed in his workout gear shooting.
He has increased his workouts over the last several days and has been preparing to play for the Clippers before this three-game trip is over.
Griffin, who was averaging 21.2 points and 8.8 rebounds before the injury, last played in a game Dec. 18 at Washington.
They were indecisive a couple of times on offense Saturday night against Denver, leaving Jamal Crawford with the difficult task of having to bail out the Clippers during a time when his own offense has veered off course.
Crawford has been one of the NBA ’s best shot-makers over his 17-year career,...
They were indecisive a couple of times on offense Saturday night against Denver, leaving Jamal Crawford with the difficult task of having to bail out the Clippers during a time when his own offense has veered off course.
Crawford has been one of the NBA ’s best shot-makers over his 17-year career,...
At some point, Rivers is hopeful that the Clippers will get their own NBA Development team.
Rivers said having their own team would allow the players they send to the D-League to work under the Clippers’ system and for him to get their medical attention.
Rivers also said “location is very important” in having one near the Los Angeles area.
“It is in the future for sure,” Rivers said. “We have to get one, there’s no doubt about it. We’re looking. We haven’t committed to anything yet — whether we are or are not. But we are definitely aggressively looking at different places to see if it can work. It would be nice [to have a team] as soon as next season, but that’s got to happen quickly.”

Clippers' Griffin out again, nears return from knee surgery


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Pegasus looks like a two-horse race between California Chrome and Arrogate (1.02/25)

The two heavyweights will have to take roundabout paths from opposite ends of the starting gate to lock up in the world’s richest horse race.
California Chrome , the two-time horse of the year, was installed Monday as the morning-line favorite at 6-5 despite drawing the outside post in the 12-horse field for Saturday’s inaugural $12-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational.
Younger rival Arrogate, who dealt California Chrome his only defeat in 2016 by half a length in the Breeders’ Cup, also received a tough assignment on the inside post. Arrogate is the next pick at 7-5 in what is expected to be a two-horse duel over 1 1/8 miles on the dirt at Gulfstream Park.
Keen Ice , who finished third in the Breeders’ Cup in November, will start from the ninth spot. He is rated third at 12-1.
The rematch between California Chrome and the Bob Baffert -trained Arrogate has sparked interest in an event that already had plenty of luster because of the uniqueness of the 12 entrants putting up $1 million apiece to buy a spot in the field.
The winner will collect $7 million.
“We’ll both have to be a jockey’s race, I think,” said Art Sherman , the 79-year-old trainer of California Chrome. “They’re going to be heads up coming away from there and hopefully get a clean break and we’ll see what happens.
“The only good thing I thought about this is he won’t have to be in the starting gate for long. You can’t make any excuses. Chrome is Chrome. He’s got tactical speed. I was hoping that we might get closer inside. But he’s going to overcome all of this.”
There is little question that California Chrome is the world’s most popular horse, but on Saturday night he was also named the best horse, winning the Eclipse Award for horse of the year for the second time.
The annual crowning of the best horses in a mind-numbing array of specific categories...
There is little question that California Chrome is the world’s most popular horse, but on Saturday night he was also named the best horse, winning the Eclipse Award for horse of the year for the second time.
The annual crowning of the best horses in a mind-numbing array of specific categories...
California Chrome will need to use his speed for a quick break in the short dash to the first turn to avoid getting parked. Odds are stacked against horses starting from the outside in a large field.
Notably, Big Brown won the 2008 Florida Derby from the 12 post at Gulfstream, then went on to win the Kentucky Derby from the No. 20 post, only the second horse in 52 years to win it from outside the 16th starting spot.
Arrogate, who won the Eclipse Award as the outstanding 3-year-old in 2016, will have a shorter route to the turn but will have to guard against being cut off by others with early speed.
“If the horse is good enough, he’s going to perform,” Sherman said, adding about California Chrome, “He’s good enough, believe me when I tell you, he’s a once-of-a-lifetime horse. He’s the real McCoy.”
This will be the final race for California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2014. Despite the loss to Arrogate, he received his second Eclipse Award as horse of the year on Saturday on the strength of winning his other six starts, all stakes, including the $10-million Dubai World Cup.
The Pegasus Cup is the brainchild of Gulfstream owner Frank Stronach, who spent $30 million to erect the 110-foot bronze statue of the mythical horse Pegasus slaying a dragon in the parking lot outside the race track.
Stronach has entered Shaman Ghost, a 5-year-old who won the 2016 Woodward Stakes. When positions were determined Monday, Shaman Ghost was the second-to-last entry to pull a spot, at No. 7. That left California Chrome alone on the outside at 12.
The start of the West Coast preps for the Kentucky Derby couldn’t have produced a more rousing stretch duel than Saturday in the $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. In the end, the more experienced Gormley pushed his head in front at the wire to beat favored American Anthem.
With most of the...
The start of the West Coast preps for the Kentucky Derby couldn’t have produced a more rousing stretch duel than Saturday in the $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. In the end, the more experienced Gormley pushed his head in front at the wire to beat favored American Anthem.
With most of the...
California Chrome will have one notable advantage on his chief adversary, having arrived two weeks early, while Arrogate remained in California where his training has been hampered by rain.
“What a big move that was for me. They’re just getting flooded,” Sherman said. “I know how Bob Baffert must feel when he couldn’t get to work his horse.”
California Chrome was impressive in his final timed workout Saturday at Gulfstream. The 6-year-old galloped six furlongs in 1:12.41.
Arrogate held his final workout the same day at Santa Anita, breezing six furlongs alongside stablemate Uninvited. Arrogate was scheduled to ship to South Florida on Tuesday.
After the workout, Baffert told reporters in California, “He is so fit, he’s ready for the challenge. We just need to ship there and get some racing luck.”
Every other horse in the Pegasus field has double-digit odds, which reflects the consensus thinking that the Pegasus is a two-horse race.
The Pegasus will be the final race on a 12-race program and will be televised on NBC.
Here are the post positions with morning-line odds (and jockeys in parentheses):
Trainer John Shirreffs was ticking off all the things he liked about his Kentucky Derby hopeful Gormley.
“Not too big or too small,” he said. “Beautiful conformation. Well-muscled. Keen. Intelligent.”
Wait, how do you know a horse is intelligent?
“I guess when he counted to 1,000, it took my breath...
Trainer John Shirreffs was ticking off all the things he liked about his Kentucky Derby hopeful Gormley.
“Not too big or too small,” he said. “Beautiful conformation. Well-muscled. Keen. Intelligent.”
Wait, how do you know a horse is intelligent?
“I guess when he counted to 1,000, it took my breath...
Chargers owners Dean and John Spanos talk about the team as it prepares to relocate to L. A.
New Rams Coach Sean McVay talks about his vision for the team.
Lindsey Thiry and Nathan Fenno discuss the Chargers' announcement they are moving to Los Angeles.
The Rams introduced Sean McVay as their new coach. Bill Plaschke, Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry react to his first news conference.
The Chargers are moving from San Diego to Los Angeles. Will there be a turf war with the Rams? Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry discuss the possibility.
The Chargers are moving from San Diego to Los Angeles. Will there be a turf war with the Rams? Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry discuss the possibility.

California Chrome the favorite for $12M Pegasus World Cup


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Rays trade 2B Forsythe to Dodgers for De Leon, add Tolleson (1.02/25)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Rays have traded a key component of their offense for a young pitcher the budget-minded franchise believes can help it re-emerge as a playoff contender. Second baseman Logan Forsythe was dealt Monday to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jose De Leon, a 24-year-old right-hander who's viewed as one of the top starting pitching prospects in baseball. Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander described the opportunity to land a player with De Leon's potential as simply too good to pass up. "At the same time, it's bittersweet," Neander said, adding that Forsythe has been an important part of Tampa Bay's lineup and the Rays had no intention of entering the 2017 season without him before learning they might have a chance to obtain De Leon. The 30-year-old Forsythe's departure leaves the team without a clear-cut plan for second base. He hit a career-high 20 homers last season, when he batted.264 with 52 RBIs in 127 games, and is signed for this year at $5.75 million. His contract includes a $9 million team option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout - an option price that escalated by $500,000 because he had 550 plate appearances last season. "Replacing Logan Forsythe is not going to be easy. We recognize that," Neander said, adding that he hopes to have a better idea of which direction the Rays will go in the "next couple of weeks. " De Leon made his major league debut in September and was 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA in four starts. He went 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 16 starts and 86 1/3 innings last year at Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was sidelined for stretches by ankle and shoulder injuries. The Rays think the young right-hander is not far away from having a chance to join the big league rotation. "We're acquiring a player who's very talented in his own right," Neander said, adding that the move should not be perceived as the Rays sacrificing the 2017 season for the future. "We still feel we have a talented roster... and can be successful" this year, Neander said. The Dodgers are excited about acquiring Forsythe, a player manager Dave Roberts knows from the second baseman's days with the San Diego Padres. "We feel like he will fit in incredibly well with the fabric of our group," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said, adding that obtaining Forsythe fills the team's "most acute need" after it re-signed three free agents in closer Kenley Jansen, third baseman Justin Turner and starting pitcher Rich Hill. "He's a grinder, a professional hitter who can really handle left-handed pitching and has some versatility," Friedman said. Tampa Bay also announced Monday it had finalized a $1 million, one-year contract with free agent right-hander Shawn Tolleson, who can make an additional $1.15 million in performance bonuses based on relief appearances. The 29-year-old Tolleson was 2-2 with 11 saves and a 7.68 ERA in 37 games for Texas last year, when his season was cut short by a lower back strain. He became a free agent in October when he refused an outright assignment to the minors. Tolleson saved 35 games for the Rangers in 2015, when he was 6-4 with a 2.99 ERA in 73 appearances. He would get $50,000 for 35 relief appearances, $75,000 each for 40 and 45, $100,000 for 50, $150,000 for 55, $200,000 for 60 and $250,000 apiece for 65 and 70. He would get a one-time $50,000 assignment bonus if traded. ___ AP Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this report. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rays trade Forsythe to Dodgers for De Leon, add Tolleson


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WWE News: Eric Bischoff And Jim Ross Think WWE Should Bring In Kenny Omega Just... (1.02/25)

One of the hottest wrestling stars in the world right now is Kenny Omega and everyone knows it. His current deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling expires at the end of this month and there is a bit of confusion as to his current status with the

WWE News: Eric Bischoff And Jim Ross Think WWE Should Bring In Kenny Omega Just Like WCW Brought In the NWO


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Britain and US give conflicting accounts in Trident missile row (1.02/25)

Britain and America last night gave contrasting accounts of a Trident missile failure following 24 hours of chaos over the incident which has seen Prime Minister Theresa May accused of a "cover-up".
There were calls for an inquiry on Sunday after a newspaper reported there had been a "serious malfunction" during an unarmed Trident test in June last year and that the missile may have "veered off in the wrong direction towards America". In a statement the British government said the Trident nuclear submarine had been "successfully tested and certified, allowing Vengeance to return into service".
On Sunday morning Mrs May appeared on the BBC's 'Andrew Marr Show' and refused four times to say that she knew about the Trident misfire off the coast of Florida in the weeks before she forced a Commons vote calling for the renewal of the nuclear deterrent.
Yesterday, Mrs May's official spokeswoman admitted the prime minister was informed about the test before she addressed MPs on the £40bn nuclear deterrent's renewal last summer.
But US broadcaster CNN reported that an unnamed US defence official confirmed the unarmed Trident II D5 missile veered off course after being launched from a Royal Navy submarine off the coast of Florida.

PM Theresa May did know about Trident failure


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Hotel boss pleaded for help before avalanche (1.02/25)

The death toll from Italy's avalanche disaster has risen to six, as it emerged that the owner of the mountain hotel had begged authorities to evacuate his guests just hours before the disaster struck.
The body of a man was pulled out of the wreckage of the Hotel Rigopiano, high in the Apennine mountains, on Sunday night as more than 130 soldiers, police and alpine rescue specialists continued to search for survivors amid atrocious weather conditions.
More snow fell over the area and there was a risk of fresh avalanches, rescue officials said.
The owner of the hotel sent an urgent email to regional government authorities, the police and the local mayor on Wednesday, just hours before the avalanche barrelled into the four-star resort, smothering it in up to 16ft of snow.
Bruno Di Tommaso said his guests had been left "terrified" by the four powerful earthquakes, all of more than magnitude 5.0, that shook central Italy that day.
He urged authorities to clear the road from the hotel to the nearest village, Farindola, so that they could be evacuated.
"As a result of recent events [the earthquakes], the situation has become worrying," he wrote in the email, which he sent to provincial authorities in the nearby city of Pescara, local police and the mayor of Farindola.
More than six feet of snow had fallen and the hotel was totally cut off, with diesel for the hotel generators at risk of running out within a day.
"Guests are terrified by the seismic shocks and have decided to remain outside of the hotel," Mr Di Tommaso wrote.
"We have done our best to calm them, but they are not able to leave because of the blocked roads, and they are thinking of spending the night in their cars. "
Two men survived the avalanche because they were outside the hotel when it hit, and nine people, including four children, have been pulled out alive in the last five days and been treated mostly for hypothermia and shock.
The email, which will be studied by prosecutors who are investigating the disaster, added to questions as to why a promised snow plough had not been sent to the hotel to clear the road and enable an evacuation.
At least 20 people are still missing, presumed to be buried under the mountain of snow, ice, rock and debris that smothered the spa resort.
Survivors have recounted how they ate snow to stay alive while they were trapped in the shattered remains of the hotel, which was hit by a 300-yard wide front of snow, rock and uprooted pine trees.
The hotel is buried under around 120,000 tonnes of snow.

RAW: Puppies rescued from Italy avalanche hotel


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Asif Zardari, Pakistan's former presdident, urges Trump to send envoy to region (1.02/25)

President Trump should quickly appoint a high-level envoy to South Asia to underscore U. S. leadership in the region and seize an opportunity missed by the Obama administration to coordinate a top-level response to the regional terrorist threat, said former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. Mr. Zardari, the only elected Pakistani... ...

Asif Zardari, Pakistan's former president, urges Trump to send envoy to region


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Kerry Washington calls on women to support women at Sundance (1.02/25)

Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP
Actress Kerry Washington addresses the audience at the Women at Sundance Brunch during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in Park City, Utah.
Associated Press
Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 | 6:20 p.m.
PARK CITY, Utah — Olivia Pope gets a lot of credit for being a powerful woman, but it's the woman behind the fictional character who is helping to create real change in an industry that's woefully lacking in women and people of color behind the camera. Kerry Washington on Monday spoke to a group of women at the Sundance Film Festival's annual Women in Film Brunch, telling guests that progress is going to take "courage on all of our parts. "
"Sometimes the people who are in charge of those rooms, they want us to feel lucky to be in the room. And we are because we're all really blessed to be doing what we do... but that doesn't mean that I don't get to bring other people with me," Washington said. "Being alone in the room is exhausting... you feel like you have to stand up for the entire gender or race. "
Speaking with "Manchester by the Sea" producer Kimberly Steward, both women agreed that in order for the system to change, women have to support other women. It's what brought the two together in the first place. Washington remembered reading a profile of Steward, who mentioned Washington as a woman she admired in the business.
"A woman who shouts out other women? That's just something we all have to do," Washington said.
Washington has, in her stead as a producer of things like the HBO movie "Confirmation," has made it a priority to hire other women, people of color and people of the LGBTQ community to work on their sets.
"(It's) making sure people in society who we've labeled as other have a seat at the table," she said.
Earlier in the event, Caroline Libresco, who heads up Women at Sundance, said they'd found the main obstacles to women getting jobs behind the camera were "access to and knowledge of financing" and "male dominated networks. "
Steward said that producers have to be willing to take more risks, too, while Washington chimed in that it's not a risk to make movies for and about women and people of color.
"Why do we allow this myth of risk to remain? " Washington asked. "And if it doesn't work, who cares? So many movies don't work. "

Kerry Washington shows off post-baby body in black dress


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Angelina Jolie to donate entire salary from new fragrance to charity: report (1.02/25)

Angelina Jolie’s handing her new paycheck over to charity.
The “By the Sea” actress has signed on to be the face of the new Mon Guerlain fragrance, but she’ll be donating all of her earnings to one of her charities, according to E! News .
“We create perfumes for the women we admire,” Jacques Guerlain said in a press release.
Jolie, who serves as a special envoy for the UN Refugee Agency, has stayed mostly out of the spotlight amid divorce drama with estranged husband Brad Pitt.
Biological mom of Zahara Jolie-Pitt pleads to talk with daughter
The couple split after Jolie filed for divorce in September and have been feuding over custody of their six children — Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10 and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8 — since then.
According to the current temporary custody agreement, Jolie has full physical custody of their children, while Pitt is allowed supervised visits with a therapist’s approval.

Angelina Jolie to donate Guerlain gig salary to charity


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Supreme Court won't hear 'Sister Wives' appeal over bigamy law (1.02/25)

In this file publicity photo provided by TLC, Kody Brown, center, poses with his wives, from left, Robyn, Christine, Meri and Janelle, in a promotional photo for the reality series, "Sister Wives," which aired in March, 2011.
The U. S. Supreme Court said Monday it won't hear an appeal from the family on TV's "Sister Wives" challenging Utah's law banning polygamy.
The decision ends the family's long legal fight to overturn a seldom used and unique provision of Utah's law that the Browns and other polygamous families contend has a chilling effect by sending law-abiding plural families into hiding because of fear of prosecution.
The provision bars married people from living with a second purported "spiritual spouse" even if the man is legally married to just one woman, making it stricter than anti-bigamy laws in other states.
The reality TLC cable channel TV show follows the lives of Kody Brown, his four wives and all their children. When it debuted in 2010, it was considered ground-breaking by offering viewers a glimpse into how a plural family navigates the unique complexities of the arrangement.
Utah prosecutors say they generally leave polygamists alone but that they need the ban to pursue polygamists for other crimes such as underage marriage and sexual assault. Only 10 people were charged with violating the law between 2001 and 2011, prosecutors say.
The Utah Attorney General's Office declined comment on the Supreme Court's denial of the case, which the justices issued without comment.
The saga between the Browns and Utah officials began in September 2010 when the first episode aired of the TLC show, "Sister Wives. " A county prosecutor opened an investigation, leading the Browns to leave their longtime of Lehi, Utah, in 2011, to settle in Las Vegas where they still live today.
That same year, the Browns filed a lawsuit calling the opening of the investigation government abuse. The case was closed without filing any charges.
In 2013, the Browns scored a key legal victory when a federal judge in Utah ruled the law violated polygamists' right to privacy and religious freedom.
But an appeals court in Denver decided last year that the Browns could not sue because they were not charged under the Utah law. It did not consider the constitutional issues. That ruling will now stand.
The Brown's attorney, Jonathan Turley, said in a statement posted on his blog that he and the family are disappointed but not surprised because the high court is on a pace to hear less than 1 percent of the 7,500 appeals it is likely to receive this term.
Turley emphasized that an appeals court ruling was not made based on the merits of the Browns' assertion that Utah's law violates their rights of speech and religion.
"Our victory in Salt Lake City will remain as a cautionary decision for legislators who wish to marginalize or sanction this community in the future," Turley said. "It has been a long road for all of us and it is not the end of the road. Plural and unconventional families will continue to strive for equal status and treatment under the law. "
Kody Brown is legally married to Meri Brown, but says he is "spiritually married" to three other women. They live together in a plural relationship and belong to a religious group that believes in polygamy as a core religious practice. Their show continues to air on TLC.
About 30,000 polygamists live in Utah, according to court documents. The mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abandoned the practice in 1890 and strictly prohibits it today.

US Supreme Court declines to hear polygamy case


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Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson Breakup Inspired New Movie (1.02/25)

“Oh dude, this movie is like full-frontal heartbreak. I’m definitely not shying away from that, that’s absolutely what it’s about. It’s that first fall to this existential netherworld. You can attack yourself with memories or, depending on perspective, you can take a step back and say, ‘Actually, it wasn’t so bad. That was fun, we did have fun and it was nice.'”
“I don’t want to reduce it to one relationship. Thinking about [this film] for four years.”
But unlike her movie, Pattinson’s ex-girlfriend has moved on and seen her love life moving forward with Miley Cyrus’ ex Stella Maxwell. Since her heart-breaking relationship with Pattinson, Stewart has been open about her romances. She dated her long-time assistant Alicia Cargile and was seen dating French singer and songwriter Soko.
“It was incredibly painful. Ugh, fucking kill me.”
“S–t happens, you know? It’s just young people…it’s normal! And honestly, who gives a s–t? The hardest part was talking about it afterwards.”
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have not come face-to-face since their breakup. The actors have maintained personal and professional distance. In September 2014, Pattinson started dating singer FKA Twigs. The two are known to be going strong, despite rumors.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]

The casts of 'Wilson,' 'Landline,' 'Strangers' and 'The Last Word' in the L.A. Times photo studio


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Women’s Top 25 Fared (1.02/25)

1. UConn (18-0) did not play. Next: at East Carolina, Tuesday.
2. Baylor (19-1) did not play. Next: at No. 25 Kansas State, Wednesday.
3. Maryland (19-1) did not play. Next: at Illinois, Thursday.
4. Mississippi State (20-1) lost to No. 5 South Carolina 64-61. Next: vs. Texas A&M, Sunday.
5. South Carolina (17-1) beat No. 4 Mississippi State 64-61. Next: at Georgia, Thursday.
6. Florida State (19-2) did not play. Next: at Georgia Tech, Thursday.
7. Washington (19-2) did not play. Next: vs. California, Friday.
8. Notre Dame (18-3) did not play. Next: vs. No. 14 Duke, Thursday.
9. Louisville (18-4) did not play. Next: at Clemson, Thursday.
10. Stanford (17-3) did not play. Next: at Washington State, Friday.
11. Oregon State (18-2) did not play. Next: at Oregon, Friday.
12. Texas (14-4) did not play. Next: at TCU, Wednesday.
13. UCLA (15-4) did not play. Next: vs. No. 16 Arizona State, Friday.
14. Duke (17-3) did not play. Next: at No. 8 Notre Dame, Thursday.
15. Ohio State (17-5) did not play. Next: at Minnesota, Thursday.
16. Arizona State (14-5) did not play. Next: vs. No. 13 UCLA, Friday.
17. Miami (14-5) did not play. Next: vs. North Carolina, Thursday.
18. N. C. State (15-5) did not play. Next: vs. Pittsburgh, Thursday.
19. Virginia Tech (16-3) did not play. Next: at Virginia, Thursday.
20. Oklahoma (15-5) did not play. Next: vs. Iowa State, Wednesday.
21. DePaul (16-5) did not play. Next: at Creighton, Friday.
22. West Virginia (15-5) did not play. Next: vs. Texas Tech, Wednesday.
23. South Florida (15-3) did not play. Next: at SMU, Wednesday.
24. Green Bay (17-2) did not play. Next: at Youngstown State, Tuesday.
25. Kansas State (15-5) did not play. Next: vs. No. 2 Baylor, Wednesday.
Need a break? Play a quick game of solitaire or Sudoku. Or take one of our fun quizzes!
See photos of Saturday's demonstration in D. C.

NCAA reveals potential top 16 seeds for NCAA women's hoops


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Mexico captures son of Sinaloa drug cartel boss 'El Azul' (1.02/25)

Mexican authorities say they have captured a top Sinaloa cartel leader's son who is suspected of running a drug distribution network and managing cartel finances. National Security Commissioner Renato Sales...

Mexico Captures Son of Sinaloa Drug Cartel Boss 'El Azul'


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Paris tries a self-driving, train-linking minibus (1.02/25)

PARIS - In a city hit by chronic pollution and traffic problems , Paris officials are experimenting with a self-driving shuttle linking two train stations in the French capital.
Two electric-power EZ10 minibuses, which can carry up to six seated passengers, were put into service Monday and will be tested until early April between the Lyon and Austerlitz stations in Paris. The GPS-guided vehicle is free and will be running seven days a week.
Tesla has announced that all of its cars will come standard with self-driving technology. CNET senior editor Scott Stein joins CBSN with details.
“To respond to the pollution emergency in big urban zones it is urgent to innovate with new transportation systems that are more environmentally friendly,” said Catherine Baratti-Elbaz, head of the local district where the test is taking place.
Jean-Louis Missika, a Paris deputy mayor in charge of innovation, said self-driving vehicles “will change the urban landscape in a spectacular fashion” within the next 20 years.
Conceived by the French company Easymile, the EZ10 will also be tested between two main green spaces in southern Paris later this year. The company said fleets of the small shuttle are already operating in several countries across the world including the United States.
“Let’s see how people will adopt them, how they will react in a vehicle without a driving wheel and no driver,” Missika said.
With a commercial speed of 15 kph (9 mph), the shuttle has been designed for public transportation to cover short distances. Equipped with a system detecting objects, the EZ10 can adjust its trajectory to avoid obstacles and does not need heavy infrastructure to be operated.
On the Charles de Gaulle bridge linking the two train stations, the shuttles are running on separate lanes and don’t mix with other vehicles in traffic.

Paris experiments with driverless buses


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Chelsea Handler Won't Interview Melania Because Of English (1.02/25)

Chelsea Handler refuses to interview Melania Trump because she “can barely speak English.”
(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
The comedian — who was wearing a pink hat that said “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” — gave a firm no when she was asked if she would hypothetically ever have the first lady on her Netflix series.
“No,” Handler said during an interview with Variety. “Melania? To talk about what? She can barely speak English.”
When Handler was asked what she thinks of Melania, she said, “Exactly what I think about him [Donald Trump] as the first man. Nothing. I don’t respect either one of those people.”
Handler said if Trump was present during the interview right then she would tell him to “fuck off.”
“Fuck off,” she said. “I mean, ugh. He is the grossest.”
Melania speaks five languages — her native Slovene, English, French, Serbian and German.
After Hillary Clinton lost the election, Handler was in tears and said she “really, really wanted to move to Spain.”
“Obviously the result is not what I was hoping for,” Handler said. “Like a lot of people in this country I’m sad, I’m disappointed and I’m confused, but if Hillary can make it through a concession speech then I can make it through a stupid television show.” (RELATED: Chelsea Handler Breaks Down In Tears While Speaking About Hillary’s Loss)

Chelsea Handler Trashes The First Lady, Won’t Have Her On Her Show: “I Don’t Respect Her”


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The over-18s who still get pocket money (1.02/25)

More than a million middle-aged couples are still paying pocket money to their grown up children, according to finance industry research.
Yesterday's report said that nearly half of parents continue to subsidise their children with pocket money even after they have passed the age of 18.
The findings indicated that the 'boomerang generation' of adult children who do not leave the family home, or who return their after finishing a university education, is relying on the support of parents for more than a place to live.
They drew warnings that some parents may be over-protective of children who should, at a time of low unemployment, be earning their own money.
More than a million middle-aged couples are still paying pocket money to their grown up children, according to finance industry research
The survey carried out for the Loans at Home organisation said that 42 per cent of parents pay pocket money to adult children, a proportion the company's report described as 'quite a large chunk.'
The evidence of high numbers of parents supporting their grown-up children with cash comes at a time when official estimates say there are 3.3 million people in their 20s and early 30s – one in four of everyone in Britain in the age group – living in their family homes rather than on their own or with partner or spouse.
The boomerang generation is usually reckoned to be a product of sky-high housing prices and rents, together with the shift towards forming long-term relationships or marrying at a later age. However the indicator that many boomerangers are also content to take money from their parents suggests they are becoming deeply dependent on their parents.
Yesterday's report said the 42 per cent figure meant a major commitment by parents 'considering the majority of parents start giving pocket money to their children before their eighth birthday.'
It added: 'Some believe that cutting allowances when children get their first part-time job is a sensible time.'
But it said that 'all depends on parents' situation and point of view.'
The average level of pocket money paid to a child, the survey said, is just over £9.00 a week. However the subsidy parents give to an adult child is likely to be much higher, and may cover the high costs of travel and going out socially.
'It is important to give only what you can afford and under conditions that you are comfortable with,' the report said.
There have been growing numbers of signs over recent months that younger people who have trouble affording to buy or rent a home, and who face high living costs, especially in London, are coming to rely on the assets of their parents.
Yesterday's report said that nearly half of parents continue to subsidise their children with pocket money even after they have passed the age of 18
Middle-aged and older couples are likely to have benefitted from decades of rising property prices and from generous occupational pensions that are now beyond the grasp of many younger employees.
A study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies earlier this month said that three quarters of everybody born in the 1970s has had or can expect an inheritance from their parents, a much higher share than in earlier generations, but that pressures on home ownership and pensions are making it more difficult for younger people to accumulate wealth.
Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation think tank said: 'If these figures are anything like accurate this is a shocking finding.
'It suggests that a whole generation of young people is being over-protected, and that parents are doing too little to persuade their children to strike out on their own and find their own success.
'I know the cost of housing has risen dramatically, and I am sympathetic over the problems that brings, but sometimes parents are doing their children no favours if they don't tell them to find their own way in the world.'
The survey for Loans at Home, a branch of the S. D. Taylor finance company, was carried out among 1,000 parents by Atomik Research.

MTA board member slams the agency for misleading New Yorkers about delays in subway service


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Keisha Knight Pulliam’s Baby Is Born: Star Welcomes 1st Child Ella Grace (1.02/25)

Amidst her nasty divorce to Ed Hartwell , 38, Keshia Knight Pulliam , 37, welcomed a beautiful baby girl named Ella Grace into the world on Monday, Jan. 23, and we can only imagine how excited she must be to be a new mom! This is her and Ed’s very first child. But it’s also one he didn’t believe was his. (We’ll get to that later.)
“Ella Grace has arrived!!!” Keshia captioned an Instagram photo of her daughter’s feet in a pair of socks, while announcing the birth on Jan. 23. And those are the only details available at this time.
Ella Grace has arrived!!! 📸: @mrpulliam
A photo posted by Keshia Knight Pulliam (@keshiaknightpulliam) on Jan 23, 2017 at 1:53pm PST
Keshia announced her pregnancy back in July , revealing the happy news via Instagram and telling fans that she and Ed were expecting a little girl. But sadly, just one week later, Ed filed for divorce from the child star, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The couple had only been married for six months! He even demanded a paternity test because he didn’t think the child was his.
But little Ella has been Keshia’s saving grace throughout this difficult year. In fact, on Nov. 24, the actress revealed via social media what she’s truly thankful for — her daughter. Sharing a sonogram of her baby girl, Keshia posted a heartfelt message expressing her gratitude for the challenges that she’s overcome with help from her.
“This has been this single most challenging year of my life. However, I wake up this Thanksgiving more grateful & in awe of God’s power than ever,” she began. “Thru it all this little face has kept me going & helped me tap into strength I didn’t even know I possess. I am so eternally grateful for my little Ella. I would not trade any of what I have gone thru for her. She is my greatest accomplishment & joy. She has inspired my smile even thru the tears. I am so proud she has chosen me to be her mommy.” Aw!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — are you excited for Keshia now that she’s a new mom? Send the happy star your congratulations below!
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Cosby Show star Keshia Knight Pulliam welcomes daughter


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Deep South digs out after devastating tornadoes leave at least 20 dead (1.02/25)

One by one, they trampled over the muddy grass, clambering over smashed pine trees and ducking under downed power lines. Weaving past huge piles of mangled metal — taking care not to stumble over frying pans, brooms and microwaves — they tried to reach the wreckage of their shredded homes.
“It looks like an atomic bomb went off,” Nathan Mahan, 62, said as he carried two black garbage bags full of clothes out of what remained of his destroyed white single-wide trailer at the Big Pine Estates mobile home park.
Mahan, a disabled former loom operator who lived with his wife on Lot 212, was lucky: He made it from his bedroom to the bathroom just before a tornado tore through the park Sunday afternoon, crashing pine trees through the roof and onto the bed, busting out windows and slashing holes in the walls.
He still trembled Monday as he hauled his belongings in the drizzling rain.
“We’re going to need some help,” he said quietly as he scanned the neighborhood where he’s lived the last 17 years. Many of the trailers no longer had walls. Those still standing had been marked with large orange crosses — a sign rescue teams use to identify homes that have been checked for survivors.
At least 20 people have been killed — 15 of them in south Georgia — after a cluster of violent tornadoes churned across the Deep South. Some of the heaviest damage was in and around Albany, a city of 75,000 people about 170 miles south of Atlanta that was still reeling from a powerful Jan. 2 storm that spawned several tornadoes.
Officials have confirmed four deaths here and warn that the number is likely to rise. At a Monday news conference, Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas said he had just gotten a call about a 2-year-old who had been swept away in the tornado.
“We have a lot of people that have been separated from their families,” he said, “that have no homes, no food, no warmth and no hope.”
The storm slashed through the southern outskirts of the city just after 3 p.m. Sunday, pounding warehouses and pecan orchards. It ripped the steeple off the Living Waters Church of God. It pulled the roof off the Flash Foods gas station. It struck down power lines, traffic lights and highway signs.
At Big Pine Estates, high winds crashed towering trees onto trailer homes, flipping them over and flinging their contents into the mud.
As soon as she heard a whistling sound, Enola Posey, 31, a stay-at-home mother, grabbed her son and ran into the hallway.
“The tornado was sucking me up,” Posey said. “My uncle grabbed me and laid on top of me. Me and my family came off the floor, our house did a 360 in the air and turned us around and threw us back on the ground.”
Just as the roof started to lift up, Posey said, a tree crashed down, pushing the roof back onto the trailer.
“When I walked outside, my friends were everywhere and I was pulling people out of the wreckage, bandaging them up.”
Earlier Sunday, near the Georgia-Florida line, seven people were killed in Cook County, Ga., when a tornado ripped through the Sunshine Acres mobile home park, destroying many of its structures. Pink fiberglass insulation clung to downed power lines. Blankets dangled from pine trees.
Two more fatalities were confirmed Sunday in Berrien County, according to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. And in Brooks County, a husband and wife were killed after a tornado picked up their mobile home.
Four people were reported dead in Mississippi and one in Florida. Those number also may climb, officials said.
At the Big Pine Estates in Albany, emergency workers wearing hard hats worked with chainsaws, wheelbarrows and forklifts. Residents were told not to enter, but some managed to find a way inside, hauling out pets, suitcases and boxes.
Camesha Williams, 23, picked through the rubble with her husband and sister-in-law, hoping to locate her children’s clothes, shoes and socks.
“Y’all need to get back,” an emergency worker yelled, forcing them to turn around.
Outside the trailer park, a steady stream of residents walked up and down the two-lane road with a flurry of questions: When would they be allowed inside? Could they look for their pets? How could they stop people from stealing what was left of their possessions?
Terrence Byrd, a 32-year-old equipment operator who lived in Lot 125 with his mom, had managed to collect a plastic bag full of his mom’s prescription medicine. Still, he lingered, waiting to hear from animal control about his two missing pit bulls, Diamond and Bella.
Random fights broke out as estranged family members hauled contested belongings, even pets, from the wreckage. Yet for the most part, the community was steeped in charity and goodwill. Scores of people who lived nearby arrived with clothes and blankets, and church volunteers handed out cookies, pizza slices and bottles of water.
Shannon Raynor, a 39-year-old cook at Olive Garden, clutched her 1-year-old grandchild tight to her chest as she peered into the mobile home park. She left her single-wide just before the storm hit, and said at least two of her neighbors died and another was in the hospital.
Though Raynor wanted to get back home to retrieve her mom’s ashes and family photos, she understood why officials wouldn’t let her inside.
“It’s a safety thing,” she said. “This is like a war zone. All we have is the clothes on our backs. "
Trump's first weekend in office echoes his campaign. Millions march to send a message of defiance to President Trump. The sexy side of South L. A. you don't usually see on TV or in movies. The third in a series of powerful storms pounds Southern California Sunday.
View of Devil's Gate Dam in Pasadena following a series of storms that rolled through the Southland.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is asked how President Trump responds to the women's marches that took place the day after his inauguration.
Mud and debris covered Mel Canyon Road in Duarte after heavy rains saturated the area. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
If you could talk to someone on the other side of the political spectrum about President Trump, what would you say to them?
If you could talk to someone on the other side of the political spectrum about President Trump, what would you say to them?

Georgia expands state of emergency after tornadoes; 20 dead across Southeast


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More charges for Florida mom accused of sex with teens at her child's party (1.02/25)

BRADENTON, Fla. -- A Florida mother is facing additional charges stemming from alleged sexual encounters with teenagers at a party her own child was hosting.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has now identified five alleged victims in the case of 40-year-old Jaimie Ayer. The Bradenton News Herald reports that Ayer is facing seven counts of unlawful sexual activity involving 16- and 17-year-old boys.
Authorities say the charges involve a Dec. 23 party in which Ayer was allegedly giving alcohol to and having sex with minors. Students from two local high schools were invited. Ayer was arrested last week and remained jailed Sunday.
It wasn’t clear from court records whether she has an attorney to speak for her.

Layton mom found passed out in gutter sent to prison for child endangerment, sex with teen


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Black NC State student’s car trashed (1.02/25)

Elliot G. Holliday is a junior at N. C. State University. He’s 20, from Durham and studies physics. After hanging out with friends on campus Sunday night, he walked back to his car and found it covered in trash.
He said he’s afraid he might have been targeted because of his race.
Holliday posted photos of his trashed car on Facebook and wrote about how the vandalism upset him. But upon closer inspection, the type of trash left on his car was even more upsetting.
A box of Popeye’s fried chicken, a bottle of chocolate milk, an afro pick (still in its packaging) and an open bag of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.
“I am trying my best not to play the racism card, but whoever did this is making it incredibly difficult,” Holliday, an African American, wrote. “The combination of the afro pick, chocolate milk, and the box of chicken scream that this was racially motivated.”
Holliday’s post had been shared nearly 200 times by Monday evening. It had nearly 450 reactions and about 70 comments.
Holliday said in a comment to his post that he reported the incident to campus police. He said that’s how he learned that the parking lot his car was in – near Wolf Village Apartments at N. C. State, did not have security cameras. He said he wouldn’t be ignored by the university.
“I will scream about this so loudly God will tell me to lower my voice,” he wrote. “You will listen when I speak, you will hear what I have to say, and you will take the appropriate course of action necessary to handle events like this.”
The incident happened two days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration and Holliday linked the two events.
“With the assumption that this was racially motivated and using context clues that a racist individual has just been sworn in to the office of POTUS, let me make one thing specifically clear. I don't care what he thinks or what he claims about racism, it is WRONG, it is DISRESPECTFUL, and I will fight it until Hell freezes over and then continue to fight on the ice,” he wrote.
Holliday told The Huffington Post that he hoped “some stupid college kid making ignorant decisions” trashed his car.
“I don’t want to believe that this was racially motivated ... However, I can’t ignore the fact that there was a box of chicken and an Afro pick placed on my car in a vandalizing manner … I hope this isn’t racist, but I don’t want to ignore the fact that it could be.”
Maj. David Kelly told The Huffington Post that Holliday did file a report with the university’s police department, but because there was no indication that a crime was committed, such as damaged property or assault, it’s just a “university information report” for now. But the department still is investigating, along with NCSU’s Bias Incident and Response Team.
Kelly said there was no indication that Holliday’s incident was linked to the election, and there had been no other complaints about other similar incidents since the November election.

'Support black students'


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Trump-themed vandalism found spray-painted on Queens cars (1.02/25)

Nine vehicles were spray-painted on a Queens street Monday morning by a vandal with President Trump on his mind, police sources said.
“Trump” was sprayed onto seven of the vehicles parked on an Elmhurst street. Another was tagged “F--- Trump” and yet another said “Trump p---y grab,” a reference to the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which he told Billy Bush how much he enjoyed grabbing women by their private parts.
The side mirrors on two other autos were busted.
The cars were parked on 60th Ave. near Woodhaven Blvd.
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The vandalism was discovered about 3 a.m. Monday. Police are hoping video will help them find the culprit.

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Van Gundy has full, healthy roster to face Kings (1.02/25)

Auburn Hills — Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy was a little incredulous when he thought about it. Now, he has some decisions to make.
For the first time this season, Van Gundy has a full, healthy roster, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope returning from his shoulder injury for Monday’s game against the Sacramento Kings and Jon Leuer playing in Saturday’s win over the Washington Wizards.
Reggie Jackson missed the first 21 games and over the past 24, the Pistons have been without Reggie Bullock, Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes and others for at least one game.
So in Monday’s practice, having a full complement of players was an oddity for Van Gundy.
“We had 15 guys out there, so I didn’t really know what to do,” Van Gundy joked.
The latest quandary is who will be in the starting lineup. Van Gundy said he’d definitely put Caldwell-Pope back in the first five, but was unsure about Leuer, who was a reserve for his first game back, contributing 10 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes against the Wizards. He had moved into the starting role ahead of Tobias Harris, but with Harris and Marcus Morris starting the previous five games in the forward spots, Van Gundy might be leaning toward staying with that lineup.
Beyond that, with everyone available, Van Gundy will have to figure out how to handle the playing rotation. He generally likes to use a nine-man group, but with Bullock playing so well since his return, he’s made the case to be in a 10-man rotation.
“It’s been really good,” he said. “We’ll have to figure out the rotation with 10 guys we like the way they’re playing. That’s a good problem to have.”
The timing is good as well. The Pistons entered with a three-game winning streak and crept within a game of the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. They’ll have four days off before their next game, at Miami on Saturday.
Caldwell-Pope injured his left shoulder going through a screen on Jan. 12 at Golden State, just four minutes into the game. He missed the next four games, leaving the Pistons without their best perimeter defender.
Some similar shoulder injuries take up to 4-6 weeks to heal, but Caldwell-Pope responded well to treatment, and when he tested the shoulder in shooting drills found that the injury wasn’t as severe as first thought.
Van Gundy said Caldwell-Pope did some 4-on-4 work on Sunday but in Monday’s shootaround looked ready to return to the lineup.
“I was a little surprised by that myself,” Van Gundy said.
Forward thinking
Morris had one of his best games of the season against the Wizards Saturday, with 25 points including the tip-in winner. It was his third game in the last five with at least 20 points — and he’s averaged 10 rebounds over the last three games.
That’s in stark contrast to a month-long stretch from mid-December to mid-January when he was in a self-proclaimed slump, shooting just 37 percent from the field and averaging 11.5 points.
“Everybody is going through it. We need everybody playing well, but he’s certainly has played much better — and that’s been a big difference for us,” Van Gundy said. “His toughness and things are really big for us.
“We need his toughness and that presence physically more than we need anything out of him.”
He’s worked his way out of it in the last five games, boosting those numbers to 18.8 points and 41 percent on field goals, with 33 percent on 3-pointers. More than the stats, though, he’s provided some grit and leadership on the court, including being in the right place at the right time for the putback.
Busy day
Former Piston Joel Anthony signed a 10-day contract with the San Antonio Spurs and welcomed a new daughter, Jade Olivia.
Van Gundy reached out to Anthony, who immediately texted back a picture of the new arrival.
“You’re always happy for a guy like that,” Van Gundy said. “He’s one of the truly best professionals you’ll run into in this league and any time something good happens to him, we’re happy.”
Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard