Day: August 11, 2017

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'SNL' writer returns to show after suspension for tweet mocking Barron Trump


“Saturday Night Live” writer Katie Rich appeared to be back at her job after being suspended indefinitely in January for her rude remark about Barron Trump.

Rich was given writer’s credit for Thursday night’s “Weekend Update: Summer Edition.” It’s unclear if she will continue to write for the long running hit show or if this was a one-time return according to the New York Daily News. 

She tweeted ““Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter,” then quickly apologized on Twitter for her comments about the 11-year -old son of President Trump. She also deleted the tweet.

“I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry,” the Chicago native wrote a few days later.”

But some social media users were not swayed.

One user wrote, “Your damn apology is not accepted. @SNLUpdate MUST FIRE YOU. #yourefired”

While another said, “What you said was reprehensible. You should be fired and banned from Twitter…Period!!!”
 



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Trump's drug czar vows to take on doctors and dealers, help opioid addicts


The Trump administration is ready for war, and the president’s top general in this particular fight says there is no more time to waste.

The target is the opioid epidemic, which has helped make drug overdoses the main cause of death for Americans under 50. The plan is to hunt down the bad guys – the drug dealers and unethical health professionals who are dispensing the opioids and either creating, or feeding, addictions, and help people who are addicted by getting them into treatment, said Trump’s drug czar, Richard Baum, in an exclusive interview with Fox News.

“It has to be both law enforcement and health, we have to do more of everything because of the crisis that we’re in,” said Baum, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in a wide-ranging interview this week in his office. “The president is treating this like an emergency and a crisis.”

Violent cartels, greedy doctors and street dealers are all part of a syndicate that floods the nation with drugs, including fentanyl and other dangerous substances.

On Wednesday morning, Baum met with 28 directors of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, created by Congress in 1988 and which the drug czar’s office runs, to discuss the epidemic.

It has to be both law enforcement and health, we have to do more of everything because of the crisis that we’re in. The president is treating this like an emergency and a crisis.

– Richard Baum, Trump drug czar, on the war on the opioid epidemic

“They’re out there partnering with state and local law enforcement to take down the drug trafficking organizations that are threatening their regions,” he said.

“Drug traffickers are out for the money, they’re taking these deadly products and bringing them to every corner of the United States,” Baum said. “They’re looking for how they can get their products out, they’re spreading all over the country, they’re in every community. When a market is saturated, they find other markets, they get embedded in the community, then expand.”

One of the concerns among those in the health profession and addiction recovery organization was that President Trump’s fight against the opioid epidemic would be law enforcement-centric, and not pay enough attention to treatment.

Baum said he wanted to put that concern to rest.

“We need to draw a distinction between people who are basically engaged in drug use, drug possession, and people who are traffickers and significant dealers and violent criminals,” Baum said.

“They’re different people,” he said. “People that are drug traffickers deserve a significant penalty for their crime, they’re threatening the health and safety of our citizens. People that are drug users have an addiction problem, a substance abuse disorder, and I really want to get them into treatment.”

Baum, who has worked in various posts in the Office of National Drug Policy for about 20 years, said Trump is the first president to seriously address the epidemic.

“The president has been engaged on the drug issue from Day One,” said Baum, who noted he has been part of four administrations. “We didn’t have that in the last administration. In the last year of the previous administration, they did some good things, but the previous six or seven years, there was not much discussion of this issue.”

We need to draw a distinction between people who are basically engaged in drug use…and people who are traffickers and significant dealers and violent criminals.

– Richard Baum, White House drug czar

On Friday, Baum said that the announcement by Trump about his intention to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency was the kind of “clear and decisive leadership we need to help us get assistance to those who need it most.”

Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente@Foxnews.com. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.

 



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Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott suspended 6 games for domestic violence case – Suspension could cost Cowboys star nearly $2M


Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended for six games after the NFL’s year-long investigation into his domestic violence case in Ohio.

The 2016 NFL rushing leader was suspended despite prosecutors in Columbus deciding more than a year ago not to pursue the case involving Tiffany Thompson, Elliott’s girlfriend at the time. 

In a letter to Elliott informing him of the decision, NFL special counsel for conduct Todd Jones said advisers brought in by the league “were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that (Elliott) engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016.”

DOLPHINS, QUARTERBACK JAY CUTLER REPORTEDLY AGREE TO TERMS ON CONTRACT

The NFL also said he violated the league’s “personal-conduct policy,” according to NFL.com.

Elliott, 22, who would have started his second NFL season on Sept. 10 may not be on active roster until Oct. 23. The running back, who has denied the allegations, was given three days to appeal the ruling.

The league revised its personal conduct policy in 2014 following sharp criticism of a case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. The policy gave Commissioner Roger Goodell authority to suspend players for at least six games in domestic cases, with or without a conviction.

DERWIN JAMES RETURN TO FIELD BUOYS FLORIDA STATE BOUNCE-BACK HOPES

In July 2016, Thompson told police that Elliott assaulted her five times in one week. The NFL investigated the police report immediately.

This was not the first time the NFL investigated Elliott for off-field incidents. Last year, Elliott was seen in a legal marijuana shop during the preseason in Seattle and was caught on video pulling down a woman’s shirt during a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas this past spring.

He was also involved in a bar fight in Dallas a week before training camp. The NFL said those incidents were not involved in his suspension.

Elliott, the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft, finished with 1,631 yards rushing in helping lift the Cowboys to the best season record in the NFC at 13-3 before losing to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional playoff game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Judicial Watch sues Justice Department for Comey documents


Judicial Watch sued the Justice Department on Friday in an effort to obtain any non-disclosure agreements signed by former FBI Director James Comey. 

The Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, after the DOJ did not respond to the conservative watchdog’s June 13 FOIA request. The group wants to see any such agreements in light of Comey’s controversial decision to leak notes describing conversations with President Trump. 

“How is it the FBI allowed Mr. Comey to walk out the door with sensitive documents about President Trump?” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “It is remarkable that we have to sue the FBI in federal court to get these answers about this scandal.”

In the lawsuit, Judicial Watch is seeking “any and all non-disclosure agreements pertaining in full or in part to the handling, storage, protection, dissemination, and/or return of classified and/or sensitive information that were signed by or on behalf of former FBI Director James Comey.” 

Fitton also wrote to the FBI in June urging them to recover and release federal records and memos it claims were “unlawfully” removed by Comey. 

“As you may be aware, the Federal Records Act imposes a direct responsibility on you to take steps to recover any records unlawfully removed from the FBI,” Fitton wrote in that letter, claiming Comey unlawfully removed memos that could contain contents regarding the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. 

The FBI, at the time, told Fox News that they had no comment on the letter from Fitton.

JUDICIAL WATCH SEEKING DOCUMENTS ‘UNLAWFULLY REMOVED’ BY COMEY

The memos in question were written by Comey himself, leaving unclear how the FBI or the courts would view them; Judicial Watch insists they are official records.

Comey testified in June before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he gave one of his memos regarding a meeting with President Trump to a friend, Columbia University Professor Daniel Richman, who then leaked the contents of the memo to the New York Times.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter—I thought that might prompt the appointment of special counsel,” Comey said in his testimony.

But when asked about the contents of that memo, Richman told Fox News it was “a non-story.”

“No memos were given to the press, and no memos were classified at the time I received them,” Richman told Fox News, explaining the “substance” of the memo was given to the press, but not the physical document.

“This was not classified at the time, and remains unclassified,” Richman said.

Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.



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Michigan vet's 'no foreigners' home sale sign violates law, state agency says


A Michigan veteran selling his home faces a civil rights complaint over a front-yard sign that says he won’t sell to foreigners.

The exclusionary sign in front of James Prater’s house in Mason says “Terms No foreigners Iraq vet.”

The complaint was filed by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The agency says the sign violates state and federal discrimination laws, and wants it removed.

“When an ad like this goes unchallenged, it sends a message to the community that such ads are legal and accepted,” Civil Rights Director Agustin Arbulu. “Not only may it encourage others to use similarly discriminatory language in advertising, the perception that a community accepts discrimination of this sort discourages potential purchasers from considering other properties in the area.” 

Prater said in a previous interview he hasn’t discriminated against anyone because he’s had no offers.

He’s a former Army sergeant who did two tours in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, the Lansing State Journal reported Friday.

The paper broke the story about the sign last week after a local realtor spotted it.

Readers told the paper that exemptions in the federal Fair Housing Act cover private sales of property by individuals. Prater is selling his home himself without a real estate agent.

But state officials said that while there are exemptions for the sale of the property by private individuals in the anti-discrimination law, discriminatory advertising is not exempted under any circumstances, the paper reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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DR. MANNY: Mr. Trump, it's time for you to get a dog


President Harry Truman once supposedly said: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Just about all presidents before and since have taken that advice – until President Trump. There’s even a book about the presidential pets, titled “First Dogs, American Presidents and Their Best Friends.”

President Trump could sure use a good friend right now. I can only imagine all the tough, challenging decisions he is facing. I am still very bullish in supporting his agenda for our country. I still believe that he is a man who is thinking, working hard and keeping his promises to the American people.

Over the years, we have had many presidents who have worked very hard and have faced many challenges. As a physician, I have witnessed how pressure, long hours, and commitment to their country have placed a toll on their health and overall levels of stress. When they leave their presidencies, they seem to have aged from the burden of leading our country.

One way that presidents have decompressed is to have a furry friend. In fact, my research shows that possibly over 200 pets have resided in the White House. All the presidents have had some sort of dog or cat, and amazingly those pets developed a following.

From a physician’s point of view, I can tell you that pets do generally improve your health, especially dogs.

For example, Teddy Roosevelt, who was intimately connected with land preservation and the creation of national parks, had enough animals for a small a zoo in the White House. The president’s pets and subsequent involvement in preserving land and national parks made him more human and connected with the American people. For this reason, President Trump should think about a pet.

From a physician’s point of view, I can tell you that pets do generally improve your health, especially dogs. To me, one of the greatest benefits they bring is keeping you fit and active. In a study of dog owners published this year by BioMed Central, dog owners typically walked an extra 20 minutes each day, the recommended length of a normal workout.

Thus, if the president had a dog and didn’t delegate dog-walking duty to an aide, he would be walking outside more. The exercise would help to keep his weight in check. At the same time, he would definitely improve his heart health by lowering his blood pressure and even controlling some of the blood chemistries.

For the president’s sake, the most important benefit of pets is that they reduce stress. According to a report in Scientific American, researchers found that pet owners felt more confident and productive in their goals than their peers, even when the owners just thought about their pets. The pet owners also had lower blood pressure than their pet-less friends during a high-stress time.

In America, we doctors and health professionals have made dogs part of our health team, and for good reason. We bring them into hospitals, and we can see the magical changes the dogs create as a sick person spends time with them.

In addition, dogs definitely improve a person’s dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin levels. In one Japanese study, researchers realized that dog owners who spent a lot of time staring into their dogs’ eyes increased levels of oxytocin (the bonding hormone) by up to 300 percent. By spending quality time with your dog or other pet, you will ease tension, improve your thinking, learn how to trust, and receive unconditional love.

In this crazy world of ours, where North Korea is threatening America with nuclear weapons, where terrorists are trying to kill civilians in the name of crazy ideology, and where economic ruin is sometimes unpredictable, we might just need a moment to reflect on what paths to take to achieve a better future.

For all these reasons from health benefits to relief from stress, I urge President Trump to get a dog or other pet.   

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny’s work, visit AskDrManny.com.



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Texas boy, 11 invents device to prevent hot car deaths


The news was on, and it was an all-too-familiar story for North Texas in the summertime.

A father had accidentally left his baby daughter in the back of a van, only to find her lifeless body hours later.

Bishop Curry V, 11, was watching the news that night with his family. The baby who died was from his small town, Melissa, Texas, and she was about the same age as Curry’s baby sister.

His mother, Tia Curry, told Fox New what happened next.

HOT CAR DEATHS TARGETED BY NEW TECH AND FEDERAL LEGISLATION

“He said, ‘Well, somebody has to do something about this…’ and I told him: ‘Why don’t you go do something about it?’”

What could an 11-year-old do? Turns out, plenty. But Bishop is no ordinary 11-year-old.

His father is an engineer, his mom is a teacher, and Bishop, from an early age, showed an interest in creating things. He carries a journal with him to jot down ideas. That night, about a year ago, he sketched out a car seat and started thinking. After the sketch, Curry worked with his dad to build a prototype, and another, and then two more.

He ended up creating a device to prevent hot car deaths. Once the device detects movement, from a baby or pet locked in, a fan kicks on to help lower the rising temperatures and it sends out a notification to police and the parents.

OKLAHOMA INFANT DIES AFTER GRANDMA FORGETS HER IN HOT CAR

“It basically senses the baby,” Bishop said. “It cools down the baby and contacts authorities.”

Bishop now has a patent pending and is talking with car companies and manufacturers.  

“It blew my mind,” said his mom.

An average of 37 children die each year after being left alone in a hot car, according to one Northern California researcher. Texas leads the nation in hot car deaths and most of the victims here and nationwide are under 2 years old.

Children’s Health Dallas is part of a group of organizations trying to bring attention to the issue. Lori Vinson, a registered nurse who is senior director of trauma at Children’s Health said heat is particularly dangerous for children.

“They don’t sweat like we do, so they don’t release the heat in the same way we do,” Vinson said. “Their respiratory system will be compromised. Then, they actually get into cardiac problems with irregular heartbeats and that can get them into a fatal situation.”

It will take time before Curry’s device, called “Oasis” goes on the market. In the meantime, experts say there is a low-tech option everyone with a young child should try.

By leaving a physical reminder in the back seat – a cell phone, a purse or even a shoe since you can’t go far without it – a life could be saved.  

Saving lives is also what would convince Bishop Curry that his device is a success.

“Our mission is to save at least one life,” Curry told Fox News. “If I can get just one that has been saved, that basically tells me it works.”

Casey Stegall joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 2007 and currently serves as a correspondent based in the Dallas bureau. He previously served as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.



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Trump slows federal regs to a crawl in first six months – VIDEO: President Trump delivering on promise


Just halfway through his first year in office, President Trump is delivering on a key campaign promise to cut red tape, according to a new study. 

The six-month review of Trump’s regulatory agenda by the American Action Forum shows the federal government practically slamming the brakes on regulation. The number of new rules is now at a record low, according to the study, in sharp contrast to the start of the Obama administration. 

“If you look at what’s happening in the first six months for President Trump compared to President Obama, it’s staggering,” group president Douglas Holtz-Eakin told “Fox & Friends” on Friday.

On the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump promised that “for every new regulation, we’re going to cut two,” and to “get rid of all the unnecessary regulations.”

The data from AAF, a conservative-leaning think tank, shows a total of 27 rules have been withdrawn so far this year, which is slightly lower than the 41 rules that were approved.

But the study shows the regulatory push at the beginning of the Obama administration was roughly 20 times more costly to the U.S. economy than at the start of the current administration. 

TRUMP SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ROLLING BACK OBAMA-ERA ENERGY REGS

The Obama administration’s first six months of regulations imposed $24.4 billion in total costs, compared with the $1.2 billion for the Trump administration. And the 41 rules approved represents a fraction of the number approved at the start of previous administrations. 

“The business community really feels like the beatings have stopped, Washington is not trying to put them in the bullseye, and they can go about running their businesses and not worrying about the regulations,” Holz-Eakin, who ran the Congressional Budget Office under then-President George W. Bush, said.

ROLLING BACK ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS WILL SHORE UP ECONOMY, EXPERTS SAY

A Fox News review of Trump’s first 100 days in office in April also showed the president following through on vows to roll back red tape. Thirteen of the 28 bills signed at the time were done under the Congressional Review Act to roll back Obama-era regulations.

According to AAF, those measures overturned a series of Obama-era rules that produced annual cost savings of $1.1 billion–or $3.7 billion in lifetime cost savings. 

“No longer can we allow these rules and regulations to tie down our economy, chain up our prosperity, and sap our great American spirit,” Trump said in June at the Department of Transportation. 

TRUMP’S REGULATORY CZAR COULD HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON HOW AMERICANS WORK AND LIVE IN THE FUTURE

The rollback has affected a range of sectors. 

In March, he signed an executive order to review the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. 

In April, Trump ordered the Agriculture Department to eliminate unncessary regulations that “hurt farmers and ruraly communities,” and just this summer, Trump moved to scrap an Obama-era rule that withdrew hundreds of millions of acres of federally owned land from energy exploration, and another that expanded the number of waterways covered by the federal Clean Water Act.

EPA MOVES TO NIX OBAMA’S ‘WATERS OF THE US’ REGULATION

But the rollback of Obama-era energy and environment regulations drew considerable pushback from Democrats. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., blasted the administration for a “spitefaul assault” on the Clean Power Plan.  

Fox News’ Kevin Corke and Sam Chamberlain contributed to this report. 

Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.



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Rescuers seek to recover students' bodies from car in California river


Rescuers say they are trying to devise a plan to recover the bodies of two crash victims, whose car plunged down a cliff two weeks ago and now is perched precariously on a rock in the middle of a raging California river.

The effort involves the military which used a Chinook helicopter to survey the area Thursday, the Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said. She confirmed two bodies are in the car.

“Several ideas on how to best approach the recovery are being discussed,” she said.

The victims are Bhakapon Chairatanathongporn, 28, and Thiwadee Saengsuriyarit, 24, exchange students from Thailand attending the University of South Florida, according to reports.

A relative of one of the victims has criticized the recovery effort, which has been big news in the Thai media, the Fresno Bee reported Thursday.

“Two weeks have passed and the state of California failed to retrieve the bodies of both students,” Chairanathongporn’s uncle said in an August 9 letter to the U.S. embassy in Thailand, according to the paper.

“Had this incident occurred in Thailand, the Thai rescue team would have been able to complete the operation within 12 hours regardless (of) the weather condition without the assistance of a helicopter,” the uncle Ekachai Taidecha said.

The uncle said he is working on sending a Thai rescue team to California to recover the bodies, according to the paper.

“To reiterate, recovering the bodies is a top priority, but the safety of our personnel is also a top concern, and it will dictate any efforts we make moving forward with the operation,” Mims said Thursday.

The students were in a rental car on Highway 180 on July 26 when it went through a guardrail, off a 500-foot cliff and into the Kings River, about 75 miles east of Fresno, Mims said.

Photos of skid marks suggest the students failed to negotiate a turn.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Family members of the two students arrived in Los Angeles Saturday and went to the crash site where a monk led them in Buddhist prayer, said the Thai consulate, according to The Associated Press.



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BIAS ALERT: ABC's Trump-voter hating 'Scandal' star gets pass


Producer Shonda Rhimes fired Katherine Heigl from ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” for reportedly being difficult to work with, but one of the stars of her “Scandal” series has managed to stay in her and the network’s good graces despite calling every single person who voted for Donald Trump “stupid c–ks.”

Joshua Malina, who plays Attorney General David Rosen in Rhimes’ political drama, tweeted on Tuesday that Trump voters were “stupid c—ks.” The next day, he doubled down, repeating his insult, and adding that they were, in addition, “homophobic, antisemitic, misogynistic, transphobic, and unfunny.”

Rhimes did not return Fox News’ request for comment, and ABC told Fox News they had no comment on Malina’s headline-making statements.

Dan Gainor, VP of business and culture at the Media Research Center, said Malina’s outburst and the network’s silence are par for the course.

He told Fox News that Malina’s comments did not surprise him as this is the “way of things in Hollywood, where millionaires tell the rest of us that we’re idiots and then curse at us.

“Our response should be simple: Turn off their shows. Let them go get real jobs.”

Several Twitter uses agreed, saying they won’t be tuning in to ABC anymore specifically because of Malina’s remarks.

The network — and Rhimes’ — decision to overlook Malina’s offensive tweets comes on the heels of ABC having to continuously deny they canceled “Last Man Standing” over the show’s promotion of conservative values.

“Last Man Standing” star Tim Allen tweeted days after the cancellation, “Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years.”

ABC told Fox News they canceled Allen’s top-rated Friday sitcom for “scheduling reasons,” while they still found room to add “Inhumans” despite critics and viewers bashing the show’s trailer.

They also paid a reported $25 million to Katy Perry to be a judge on its attempted revival of “American Idol.”

Both Perry and Rhimes were vocal supporters of the candidacy of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Rhimes, considered the most powerful producer at ABC, also made a film called “Hillary” for the Democratic National Committee.

 



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