Day: June 19, 2017


Tennessee courthouse shooting: 2 deputies injured after inmate grabs gun

Two deputies were shot at a county courthouse in Tennessee after an inmate grabbed a gun during a hearing Monday, officials said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on Twitter that two Coffee County deputies were injured in the shooting at the Coffee County Courthouse in Manchester and are undergoing medical treatment.

Lucky Knott, a spokesman for the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, told the Associated Press an inmate who was in the courthouse for a scheduled hearing grabbed a deputy’s gun and fired. Knott said one deputy was shot in the stomach.

A second deputy was wounded in the hand, but it’s not clear if he was shot or injured in a struggle with the inmate, according to Knott.

Knott said the inmate fled the courthouse, and then he suffered a gunshot wound. Knott told the AP the suspect may have shot himself. The TBI later said the suspect involved in the shooting has died.

Both deputies were airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, according to FOX 17 Nashville. Officials did not release their exact condition.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the deputies are with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office.

The county courthouse is located in Manchester, about 65 miles southeast of Nashville.

Read more from FOX 17 Nashville.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Calls to nix August recess gain steam as GOP agenda hits roadblocks – Meghan McCain channels 'Game of Thrones': 'Midterms are coming'

Struggling to make progress on campaign promises like tax and health care reform, rank-and-file congressional Republicans are stepping up calls for their leaders to cancel or at least shorten the upcoming August recess.

The GOP agenda is about to enter a summer slump amid internal disagreements and efforts by Democrats to sideline legislation. These efforts will enter a new phase Monday evening when Democrats plan to start slowing down Senate work even more by making speeches and refusing to let Republicans take procedural shortcuts. 

President Trump took to Twitter Monday morning accusing Democrats of wanting to “stop tax cuts, good healthcare and Border Security.” 

But on the ground, congressional Republicans are looking for more time to break the logjam on tax reform and an ObamaCare overhaul. Perhaps the most pressing reason to cancel the month-long summer break would be to give lawmakers space to pass a budget resolution before the Sept. 30 deadline and avoid a partial government shutdown.

The House Freedom Caucus, which includes roughly 30 of the chamber’s most conservative members, was among the first to support the effort. The group said earlier this month that Congress must remain in session this summer to “continue working to accomplish the priorities of the American people.”

Trump, eager to notch his first major legislative victory, also appears behind the push.

White House budget Director Mick Mulvaney said last week that he supports Congress staying in session through at least part of August.

On Monday, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway argued that Congress needs to pass legislation for the good of country, not with reelection next year in mind. She made clear that Trump, a businessman and real estate mogul by trade, wants faster results.

“When he says drain the swamp, it’s not just about getting rid of all the crocodiles in the water that we don’t need. It’s about moving at a different pace,” she told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “I feel very confident that we’ll get health care and taxes passed this year.”

Republican Senate leaders set goals of having an ObamaCare replacement bill ready for a vote by July 4, or by the end of the month, at the latest. 

So while cancelling the recess won’t help Republicans meet their deadline, a delay could help them pass a bill before returning home to face voters and clear the way for a budget resolution before the September deadline.

Passing a budget resolution also could help pave the way for tax reform and other spending bills.

Still, an ObamaCare repeal deal is proving elusive, after the House passed its version in May. The conservative Republican Study Committee has written to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., voicing “serious concerns” over reports suggesting the Senate is “headed in a direction that may jeopardize final passage in the House of Representatives.”

Congress now has 45 days legislative days before Sept. 30.

While the House has already passed an ObamaCare replacement bill, the chamber also initiates the process for money-related legislation like budgets and tax bills. 

A few Senate Republicans have recently backed the no-recess idea.

“Congress has no business taking a recess when the people’s business remains unfinished,” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told The Hill newspaper.

But getting full support from Senate leaders and rank-and-file members to cancel the recess — an almost perennial request — is unlikely, several Capitol Hill sources told Fox News on Monday.

One problem is that Hill lawmakers historically use August to travel in delegations to foreign countries.

This year, a trip to China is scheduled through the U.S. Asia Institute, and a trip to Israel is being led by the American Israel Education Foundation, according to a high-ranking congressional aide. 

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Mike Emanuel contributed to this report. 

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Jared Kushner makes rare public statement at technology summit

Jared Kushner made a rare public statement Monday afternoon at a technology summit aimed at modernizing the government. 

President Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser attended the four-hour event in Washington, D.C., to present ideas on how to tackle government’s top technology problem. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos joined Kushner at the summit. 

“We have challenged ourselves to pursue change that will provide utilities to Americans far beyond our tenure here,” Kushner said during his speech. “Together we have set ambitious goals and empowered interagency teams to tackle our objectives.” 


Kushner said the White House Office of American Innovation was created to bring “business sensability” to the White House that’s still relying on practices from previous administrations.  

Other topics that were expected to come up during the summit were cybersecurity, analytics and future technology trends.  

This is the first public statement Kushner has made since news broke of his involvement in the Russia probe. Kushner met with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak at Trump Tower in December to talk about Syria, a source told Fox News. 

Kushner is expected to travel to the Middle East on Monday for meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah, an effort to broker a peace deal between the two sides.  

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Are Mueller reports really bombshells?

The special counsel’s investigation of President Trump and his associates seems to be exploding into the news.

There’s a steady flow of huge headlines that immediately echo across cable news, across cyberspace, and across social media.

Make no mistake, a president being investigated by an independent prosecutor is extraordinary. But the individual developments may not be.

Again, these stories are legitimate, accurate and fair game. But is there some hype behind the headlines?

Take the Washington Post report the other day that Robert Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner’s business dealings. It sounds like a big expansion of the probe.

But the paper had previously reported that investigators planned to look at Kushner, a top White House official and the president’s son-in-law. Since he’s a former real estate developer and had contacts with the Russian ambassador and a Moscow banker, how would any probe not look at any financial dealings he may have had with Russia?

In other words, this is simply Mueller doing his job.

Kushner’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, said it “would be standard practice for the special counsel to examine financial records to look for anything related to Russia,” and that’s right. She said Kushner will fully cooperate. So the real question is whether Mueller will find anything.

The other news here is that sources are leaking information from a criminal investigation, which is illegal, but the media are far less interested in that.

Or take the earlier Post story that Trump is under investigation for possible obstruction of justice. That, of course, was a game changer. Trump had not been under investigation, as James Comey testified, but Comey’s firing triggered a series of events now being examined by Mueller.

The details of the Post piece are that Mueller has arranged interviews with Dan Coats, the national intelligence director, and Mike Rogers, head of the NSA. They were previously reported to have told associates that Trump asked them to intervene with Comey’s FBI probe, and that they declined.

Of course Mueller was going to look into that. He would be shirking his responsibilities if he didn’t talk to the two men.

And then there are developments like Mike Pence hiring a lawyer. This was treated as big breaking news. But what official wouldn’t retain an attorney ahead of an interview with FBI investigators? That is, as Pence says, “very routine.” The vice president was always going to be interviewed because he was the one who Mike Flynn lied to about his Russia contacts before being fired.

When normal things happen in an investigation–officials interviewed, witnesses hiring lawyers, financial records scrutinized–they should be reported.

But the sometimes breathless tone, especially among some picking up the newspaper scoops, suggests that the investigation is dramatically widening and prosecutors moving closer to their prey.

That really isn’t happening, at least not yet. And if it does, there will be no need for the media to crank up the volume.

And if it doesn’t, Trump supporters and others may well be asking what all the noise was about.

Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 a.m.). He is the author of five books and is based in Washington. Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz. 

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Man gets $870G after doctor removes wrong testicle

A Pennsylvania jury has awarded a man $870,000 after his doctor removed the wrong testicle during a botched 2013 surgery.

Steven Hanes, 54, had suffered from chronic pain in his right testicle for years, Fox 43 reported. He sought treatment from Dr. V. Spencer Long, who recommended surgical removal after an ultrasound revealed scarring from a previous injury. However, at some point during the procedure Long removed the wrong testicle. 


“At this point it appeared that the left testicle and cord may actually have been removed instead of the right one,” Long wrote in the postoperative report, according to the Hamilton Spectator.

A jury later found that Long was “recklessly indifferent” in the treatment of his patient and awarded Hanes $620,000 in compensatory and $250,000 in punitive damages, Fox 43 reported.


“The doctor gave an explanation that really made no anatomical or medical sense,” Braden Lepisto, Hanes’ attorney, told the Hamilton Spectator.

Lepisto said Hanes has not sought further treatment after the procedure left him with a “debilitating fear.” 

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CHANGING ROLE Spicer to oversee entire WH comm operation

Press Secretary Sean Spicer will soon be taking on a new role at the White House, overseeing the entire communications operation including the press office while giving up some of his day-to-day duties at the podium, Fox News has learned.

While Spicer’s new title is still being decided, his new role will be considered a promotion to a position at the level of deputy chief of staff.

Unclear is who will take over the regular duties as press secretary — though President Trump is fond of Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ performance to date — or who will become communications director.

“We have sought input from many people as we look to expand our communications operation. As he did in the beginning, Sean Spicer is managing both the communications and press office,” the White House said in a statement.

The new approach represents a departure. Traditionally, the White House carves out separate roles and staffs for the press secretary and communications director.

In the early days of the Trump administration, Spicer was filling both roles. Michael Dubke was hired as communications director, but his departure a few weeks back left Spicer once again filling both positions.

With the upcoming changes, Spicer will assume a supervisory role over both the press and communications offices.

Speculation has been rampant for weeks about Spicer’s status at the White House, especially in the wake of President Trump’s abrupt decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. While Spicer was on Navy reserve duty in the immediate aftermath, his deputy Sanders took the podium in his absence and earned generally positive remarks for her handling of the tough press questions that followed.

More and more of Spicer’s briefings have been off-camera in recent weeks, including Monday’s.

While the president would still like Spicer to do briefings from time to time, Spicer’s preference is to work solely behind the scenes.

Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.

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MMA fighter turned boxer dies from bout injury

Tim Hague, UFC fighter turned boxer, died Sunday after he suffered a serious injury during a boxing match in Canada. He was 34. 

Jackie Neil, Hague’s sister, released a statement announcing his death. 

“It is with incredible sadness, sorrow and heartbreak to report that Tim has passed away today. He was surrounded by family, listening to his favorite songs. We will miss him with [sic] so greatly,” the statement read. 

Hague was critically injured Friday night during a match against Adam Braidwood, a former Edmonton Eskimos defensive end, at the Shaw Conference Centre. Hague was knocked out in the second round when Braidwood delivered a punch that sent the boxer crashing to the mat. The match, promoted by KO Boxing, was scheduled at the last minute. 

“I know Tim actually begged for this fight,” training partner and friend Victor Valimaki told CTV News. “He talked to the promoters and begged for this fight. He wanted it.”

Hague was in critical condition on Saturday and Sunday morning until he passed away just after 1:30 p.m., CTV News reported. 

Hague grew up in Boyle, Alberta, and was a heavyweight trained in jiu-jitsu, The Associated Press reported. He switched to boxing last summer after a career as an MMA fighter known as “The Thrashing Machine.” 

Before he became a fighter, Hague was a kindergarten teacher. He was also father to a 9-year-old boy. 

Valimaki said the match should have ended before the last punch knocked out Hague.

“It could’ve been stopped quicker, but it’s always hard to tell when you’re in the heat of the moment, and with the ref and when Tim’s saying he’s good to go,” Valimaki said. 

The Edmonton Combative Sports Commission is conducting a review into the fight, according to CTV News. 

“As part of Edmonton Combative Sports Commission combative sports protocol, a post-fight official review is conducted immediately after each competition,” Director Pat Reid said in a statement released before news of Hague’s death. 

“Following the news that boxer Tim Hague is in critical condition following a professional boxing match on Friday, June 16, 2017, we have extended the request for reports to all referees, ringside judges, physicians, chief inspector, paymaster and the presiding inspectors assigned to the bout,” the statement read. 

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Cosby alternate tells all

An alternate juror in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case said Monday he “probably” would have voted to convict and was “ridiculously sick” when he found out the main jury couldn’t reach a verdict.

A mistrial was declared Saturday after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked. Prosecutors plan to retry the 79-year-old star on charges he drugged and molested a woman in 2004.

As an alternate, Mike McCloskey heard all the testimony but didn’t participate in deliberations.

He told Pittsburgh radio station WDVE that jurors did not discuss the case on the bus ride after the trial, maintaining “complete silence.” The trial took place outside Philadelphia, but the jury came from the Pittsburgh area.

“It was the craziest, eeriest bus ride I’ve ever taken,” said McCloskey, 43.

McCloskey posted his juror’s badge on Facebook as proof of his role in the case. He did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press on Monday.

Jurors deliberated more than 52 hours over six days before telling a judge they couldn’t break their deadlock. The juror’s names haven’t been made public and the split on the vote hasn’t been disclosed, shrouding the case in mystery.

Prosecutors are fighting to keep the jurors’ identities a secret, arguing in court documents Monday that releasing them would result in a “publicity onslaught” and make picking a jury for the second trial more difficult. Media organizations urged a judge to release them, saying the public has an interest in “confirming that the outcome of the first trial was the result of an impartial process.”

Pennsylvania law allows the public release of jurors’ names, but judges have discretion to keep them a secret under certain conditions.

Judge Steven O’Neill, who presided over the Cosby trial, has yet to rule on the release of the names.

He advised jurors when the trial ended Saturday that they didn’t need to discuss the case.

“It can never be clearer that if you speak up, you could be chilling the justice system in the future if jurors are needed in this case,” O’Neill told them.

Cosby, the actor and comedian once known as “America’s Dad,” was charged with three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault stemming from Andrea Constand’s allegations that he drugged and violated her at his suburban Philadelphia home. He said the encounter was consensual.

It is not yet clear why jurors could not reach a verdict, or how close they came.

In a retrial, District Attorney Kevin Steele could ask the judge to allow testimony from more of Cosby’s 60 accusers, or to disclose to jurors that Constand is gay. That never came up in her seven hours of testimony. The defense had hoped, if it did, to introduce evidence she had previously dated a man.

“The key to retrying a case is to do it differently the second time because the defense expects you to do it the same way,” said Constand’s lawyer, Dolores Troiani.

Cosby remains free on $1 million bail in the criminal case. O’Neill could schedule the retrial within weeks.

The entertainer is also battling sexual battery or defamation cases still pending by 10 women in California and Massachusetts. Several of them attended the criminal trial with their lawyers.

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Brave father stops shooter during Father's Day dinner at Florida restaurant – Myrtle Beach shooting captured on Facebook Live injures 6, suspect nabbed

Ocala Fire Rescue confirms that one person is dead after being shot at the Ken’s Winghouse of Ocala around 10 p.m. last night.

Two men reportedly got into an argument at the restaurant. Blows were exchanged and one man pulled a gun on the other. Numerous shots were fired into his chest and back. 

A witness, 39-year-old Matthew Boyd, said he was with his 14-year-old daughter celebrating Father’s Day dinner when the incident occurred.  He said he saw a guy run in front of them, then heard ” a popping noise.” Boyd went on to say that his daughter saw a man hit another man at the restaurant.


“[A] Gentleman was shooting at another guy. [The] Guy was done shooting and walked away. I followed after him and told him to get on the ground.”

Boyd said he held the suspect down, without any weapons, until police got there.

The victim was transported to the hospital, but declared dead. The shooter is in custody.


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College students get probation for falsifying hate crime

Two former University at Albany students who falsely reported a hate crime on a bus were sentenced on Friday to three years of probation. 

Asha Burwell and Ariel Agudio were also sentenced to 200 hours of community service, The Daily Gazette reported. They were convicted in April on two counts of falsely reporting an incident and faced up to two years in jail. However, the judge saw no reason to sentence the women to jail time because they had faced “significant consequences” already. 

“I don’t think there’s any benefit in sentencing you to a jail term. No benefit for society and no benefit for you,” Judge Roger McDonough said. 


Agudio, Burwell and Alexis Briggs got into a physical confrontation with a group of men on a CDTA bus on Jan. 30, 2016. They called 911 shortly after the incident and told police the men called them the “N word” and “[expletive] ratchet.” Cameras on the bus captured the assault, but not of offensive words the women claimed the men said. 

People on the bus also recorded cellphone videos of the incident that allegedly captured bystanders yelling slurs at them. Mark Mishler, Agudio’s attorney, said in an interview that the offensive phrases included people calling them “[expletive] ignorant” and saying they should “get a job.” 

Briggs pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct last summer. She apologized for lying about the incident and received 100 hours of community service, according to the Daily Gazette. She also did not have to testify against Agudio and Burwell. 

Briggs was suspended from the university for two years after the incident. Agudio and Burwell were expelled last May. 


McDonough said the women’s actions hurt people involved in legitimate hate crime cases. 

“What’s clear…is you chose to selfishly manipulate the village, just like the boy who cried wolf,” McDonough said in the courtroom. 

However, attorneys for both women said justice was not served. 

“I think there’s no question that Ms. Agudio and Ms. Burwell were prosecuted, brought to trial and convicted, and now sentenced because they dared to say that they experienced a racial incident,” Agudio’s attorney Mark Mishler said after the sentencing. 

The attorneys have 30 days to file appeals on behalf of Agudio and Burwell, otherwise the women will be on probation until June 16, 2020. 

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