House Democrats pass funding bill despite new Trump veto threat

Political News House Democrats pass funding bill despite new Trump veto threat https://linewsradio.com/house-democrats-pass-funding-bill-despite-new-trump-veto-threat/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

tupungato/iStock(WASHINGTON) — House Democrats passed a bill to reopen the IRS and Treasury Department, pressuring Republicans to break from President Donald Trump and end the partial government shutdown without funding the president’s $5.7 billion request for a border wall.

The $23.7 billion measure is not expected to advance any farther in the legislative process, with Senate Republicans vowing to block it from a vote in the upper chamber and the White House threatening to veto the bill if it ends up on the Resolute Desk.

Last week, seven Republicans supported a Democratic effort to pass a package of six appropriations bills to fund areas of government that have been shuttered since Dec. 21.

Eight Republicans joined a Democratic majority Wednesday night to approve a vote on the Financial Services & General Government spending bill by a tally of 240-188. GOP Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Will Hurd, John Katko, Adam Kinzinger, Elise Stefanik, Fred Upton and Greg Walden all supported the measure.

Herrera Beutler and Kinzinger are the latest Republicans to break party line to end the shutdown. Rep. Pete King, who voted in support of last week’s omnibus, opted to oppose the Financial Services bill on Wednesday.

If signed into law, the bill would send tens of thousands of federal employees back to work and reopen over 20 federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration, Federal Communications Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The White House preempted Wednesday’s vote with a veto threat.

“The administration is committed to working with the Congress to reopen agencies affected b lapsed appropriations, but any effort to do so must address the security and humanitarian crisis on our Southwest border and should restore funding for all agencies affected by the lapse,” a statement of administration policy declared. “Moving these four bills without a broader agreement to address the border crisis is unacceptable.”

With negotiations to end the shutdown at an impasse, Democrats have pledged to continue voting on individual appropriations bills – with votes on two more appropriations bills Thursday covering Agriculture and Interior appropriations.

On Friday, the House will vote on the Transportation appropriations bill.

“House Democrats want to open the government, but the president and the Senate Republicans continue to obstruct and delay instead of working with us to get the people’s business done,” Appropriations chairwoman Nita Lowey said leading into the vote. “The solution to this crisis is simple: pass the bills where we can agree, and extend funding for Homeland Security for a month to allow time for negotiation on border security and immigration policy.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has signaled that the House will vote next week on three remaining bills – Homeland Security, Commerce, Justice, Science; and State, Foreign Ops, & related agencies.

More than 800,000 federal employees are impacted by the shutdown, including more than 420,000 employees who are on unpaid furlough, and 380,000 “essential” bureaucrats working without pay.

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Posted On 09 Jan 2019

Details about Paul Manafort’s contact with Russian raise more questions than answers, experts say

Political News Details about Paul Manafort’s contact with Russian raise more questions than answers, experts say https://linewsradio.com/details-about-paul-manaforts-contact-with-russian-raise-more-questions-than-answers-experts-say/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Keith Lane/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The revelation Tuesday that federal prosecutors have accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of sharing internal polling data on the 2016 presidential election with a suspected Russian intelligence officer may be another piece to special counsel Robert Mueller’s puzzle, but experts on the matter say Tuesday’s inadvertent disclosure leaves plenty of unknowns in its wake.

“This revelation really raises more questions than answers,” said Robert Mintz, a former prosecutor now in private practice, “but it is significant because it provides additional evidence of high-level contacts between the Trump campaign and persons with ties to the Kremlin.”

News of Manafort’s coordination with Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected former Russian intelligence officer, came to light by mistake on Tuesday when his defense team failed to properly redact portions of a court document meant to defend their client from accusations that he lied to investigators.

It was an embarrassing gaffe for Manafort’s legal team. But that information amounts to little more than hints at a larger conspiracy, according to Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. Attorney.

“While sharing polling data with a foreign national is not itself a federal crime, it suggests an interest in promoting the campaign beyond U.S. borders,” Coffey said. “Polling crosstabs and other deeper details can help create a strategy to impact an election.”

Any potential impact on the election is exactly what the special counsel’s office and congressional investigators are keen to uncover.

“Ultimately, this information suggests that the special counsel is building a bridge that, if completed, could have dramatic consequences for the White House,” Coffey said.

“The question is why,” asked Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, in an interview on Tuesday. “Why would Russians be interested in polling data on an American campaign? Why would that be of value? How would the Russians make use of that?”

With Democrats back in the majority in the House, Schiff said he plans to reinvigorate his panel’s investigation into possible Russian collusion, telling ABC News he hopes to “get the answers to all these questions.”

Coffey and Mintz agreed that while Manafort’s disclosure of polling information to Kilimnik may not present any immediate legal exposure for the onetime campaign chairman, it could precipitate a larger narrative of criminal intent.

“It is not surprising that Manafort was not charged criminally in connection with this conduct,” Mintz said. “This disclosure, by itself, is not necessarily evidence of criminal conduct – but could potentially play a role in a larger conspiracy.”

The implications of Tuesday’s developments, however, are not shared by all.

Former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney John Lauro does not see the inadvertent disclosure as particularly significant.

Lauro told ABC News that the government often has information from wiretaps and emails and then will test the cooperating defendant to see if he tells the truth. These revelations may simply show that “Mueller considers it an example of Manafort not being totally cooperative.”

“Obviously, Mueller caught him in a lie,” Lauro said Wednesday. “And that presumably doomed the cooperation.”

Manafort is already facing lengthy prison sentences for charges brought by the special counsel’s office in two jurisdictions. In Virginia, a jury convicted Manafort on eight counts of tax and bank-fraud in August. In September, he agreed to fully cooperate with prosecutors and plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy in a separate case in Washington, DC.

But that plea deal fell apart after prosecutors accused him of lying. Manafort’s sentencing in Virginia is scheduled for February 8 and in Washington, DC, on March 5.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jan 2019

Man arrested for allegedly stealing roommate’s $10 million lottery ticket: Police

U.S. NEWS Man arrested for allegedly stealing roommate's $10 million lottery ticket: Police https://linewsradio.com/man-arrested-for-allegedly-stealing-roommates-10-million-lottery-ticket-police/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

Vacaville Police Department(VACAVILLE, Calif.) — A California man who tried to scam his way into hitting the jackpot has been arrested instead.

Adul Saosongyang, 35, allegedly stole a winning scratch-off ticket for a $10 million prize from his roommate, police said.

The unidentified victim bought the $30 Scratchers ticket at a Lucky supermarket in Vacaville, about 45 miles southwest of Sacramento, according to the Vacaville Police Department. After the man scraped off his results, he thought he won $10,000 and went home to share the news with his two roommates, police said.

When the man went to the California State Lottery’s district office in Sacramento to collect his winnings the next day, he was told that the ticket was not a winner and had been altered, police said. The victim suspected that one of his roommates must have stolen the actual winning ticket and filed a report with the police department.

The next day, when Saosongyang went to the lottery office, he was told that the winning ticket he had was actually worth $10 million, police said, adding that lottery workers were unaware at the time that the ticket had been reported stolen.

The lottery office then began its standard administrative investigation it conducts for all winnings over $600. The investigator who went to the Lucky grocery store to obtain surveillance footage of the purchase was then told that the ticket may have been stolen and contacted police to initiate a joint investigation. They both determined that Saosongyang allegedly purchased a similar lottery ticket and altered it before swapping it with the winning ticket, according to authorities.

On Monday, the lottery investigator invited Saosongyang to the Sacramento office to collect his winnings, but he was arrested and charged with grand theft instead, police said.

The California Lottery confirmed in a statement that the theft of the $10 million prize money was thwarted and reminded players to take precautions when playing the lotto.

“Immediately sign the back of Lottery tickets in ink; put them in a secure place you will remember; and, visit one of nine Lottery district offices throughout the state to begin the claims process,” the statement advised.

The man who actually bought the ticket will be awarded his winnings after lottery investigators verify his identity, according to the statement.

Saosongyang was booked into Sacramento County jail on Monday and was transferred to Solano County on Thursday, where he is being held on $65,000 bail.

He is expected to appear in court Thursday afternoon. It is unclear if he has retained an attorney.

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Posted On 09 Jan 2019

New Jersey Supreme Court rules in favor of NFL over Super Bowl ticket prices

Sports News New Jersey Supreme Court rules in favor of NFL over Super Bowl ticket prices https://linewsradio.com/new-jersey-supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-nfl-over-super-bowl-ticket-prices/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

33ft/iStock(NEW YORK) — The NFL did not skirt any state consumer protection laws when the league decided how to allocate tickets for the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled Wednesday.

The ruling is likely to doom the federal lawsuit of a New Jersey man, Josh Finkelman, who claimed he was forced to pay $2,000 – more than twice the face value – for his Super Bowl seat because the NFL withheld far too many tickets from the general public in violation of the state’s ticket law.

The NFL released one percent of 2014 Super Bowl tickets to members of the public who had won the right to buy them via a lottery. The league gave the remaining 99 percent of tickets to teams, broadcast networks, corporate sponsors and others.

Finkelman claimed a since-repealed state law required the vast majority of tickets be made available to the general public but the court disagreed.

“The Legislature sought to impose a more modest constraint on the sale of tickets to sports and entertainment events,” Justice Anne Patterson wrote. “We do not consider the NFL’s distribution of other tickets to the 2014 Super Bowl to its teams, other selected individuals, and entities to constitute the unlawful withholding.”

The NFL praised the court’s ruling Wednesday.

“We are pleased by today’s ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which unanimously confirmed that the NFL’s distribution of Super Bowl XLVIII tickets was in full compliance with applicable law,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Associated Press in an email.

For his part, Finkelman’s attorney blasted the decision.

“It’s the most anti-consumer opinion that has been issued in decades out of New Jersey,” said Bruce Nagel, a partner at Nagel Rice LLP in Rosewood, New Jersey. “The Legislature passed a law to ensure the public had access to fair-priced tickets and the Supreme Court, at least with regard to the Super Bowl, basically nullified the statute. It’s a sad day for consumers under this ruling today.”

Nagel declined to speculate on what the state ruling might mean for Finkelman’s federal lawsuit, which is pending before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Posted On 09 Jan 2019

Mother of first dead man found in Democratic donor’s house points to his alleged journal for clues

U.S. NEWS Mother of first dead man found in Democratic donor's house points to his alleged journal for clues https://linewsradio.com/mother-of-first-dead-man-found-in-democratic-donors-house-points-to-his-alleged-journal-for-clues/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

TheaDesign/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — The death of a second man at the home of a prominent Democratic donor is raising questions about an earlier death at the same home that was initially ruled an accidental overdose.

One connection between the two deaths is Ed Buck, whose apartment both men were found in and who police say was at home in both instances.

The identity of the second person, who died Jan. 7, has not been released. The first person who died in Buck’s West Hollywood, California, home on July 27, 2017, has been identified as Gemmel Moore.

Although the existence of an alleged journal had been reported on previously, Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, posted a picture of what she claims is a page from the journal on Facebook after the second death at Buck’s home. A spokesperson for Moore’s mother told ABC News that the journal did belong to Moore.

In it, Moore allegedly wrote that he was addicted to drugs.

“Ed Buck is the one to thank, he gave me my first injection of chrystal [sic] meth. It was very painful,” the page Nixon posted reads.

ABC News received no comment from the sheriff’s office when asked about Moore’s alleged journals. The Los Angeles Times reported that redacted portions of a journal in Moore’s possession was included in the coroner’s report.

At the time of the initial investigation into Moore’s death, Buck’s attorney Seymour Amster told The Los Angeles Times that Buck had “nothing to do with this young man’s tragic death,” and went on to call his passing “self-imposed” and “accidental.”

Amster, who did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment, also denied that Buck was at fault in the second death as well.

“This is not a situation where Mr. Buck has caused the death. This is a situation where Mr. Buck has had longtime friends who unfortunately do not handle their life well,” Amster told ABC station KABC.

Amster told the Los Angeles Times that Buck was not arrested and is cooperating with the investigation.

The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department announced on Monday that, in light of the more recent death, “investigators are conducting a thorough investigation, which includes follow-up interviews and a secondary review of the July 27, 2017 incident.”

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Posted On 09 Jan 2019

Lena Waithe explains how Halle Berry “pushed” her to “rebirth” the ‘Boomerang’ series

Entertainment News  Lena Waithe explains how Halle Berry "pushed" her to "rebirth" the 'Boomerang' series https://linewsradio.com/lena-waithe-explains-how-halle-berry-pushed-her-to-rebirth-the-boomerang-series/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

BET(NEW YORK) — Lena Waithe is dishing on the forthcoming Boomerang reboot.

The new TV series, executive-produced by Waithe and Halle Berry for BET, is an adaptation of the original 1992 film. The new comedy follows the children of movie’s main characters as they try make their mark on the business world in Atlanta.

In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, Waithe says, “I’m here to give you a rebirth — Halle Berry pushed me on that.”

“She’s like, ‘Lena, we did the 1992 version of this movie where it’s, like, black people are getting mercy. It was me, it was Robin Givens, Eddie Murphy. We did that. You gotta do something new for your generation.'”

She continued, “I want people to feel like this is the Atlanta version of Boomerang, on BET. That was how I pitched it. But then it evolved into something on its own. I think by the third episode, people are going to forget it was a movie.”

According to the Emmy-Award winning writer and actress, the new iteration will a “beautiful” journey for viewers to watch.

“This is a journey I’m taking the audience on with these six amazing, interesting, unique characters who are gonna put you on a beautiful ride about what it means to be young, gifted, and black — and exhausted from always trying to be perfect all the time,” Waithe explained.

“And we all have trauma from our parents that we can’t shake. That is our journey: to shake our trauma into fine art.”

Boomerang, starring Tequan Richmond, Tetona Jackson, Leland Martin and Lala Milan, premieres February 12 on BET.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jan 2019

Homeless man at the center of $400K GoFundMe scandal arrested: Report

U.S. NEWS Homeless man at the center of $400K GoFundMe scandal arrested: Report https://linewsradio.com/homeless-man-at-the-center-of-400k-gofundme-scandal-arrested-report/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) — The homeless man at the center of a GoFundMe scandal that raised more than $400,000 in his name has been arrested in Philadelphia, according to reports.

Johnny Bobbitt, 34, who allegedly conspired with former couple Kate McClure, 28, and Mark D’Amico, 39, to create a heartwarming story that would inspire thousands of well wishers to donate money to their cause, was arrested Wednesday. A New Jersey judge issued a warrant for Bobbitt’s arrest when he failed to attend a mandatory court appearance in Burlington County, New Jersey, on Tuesday, ABC New York station WABC-TV reported.

The Burlington County prosecutor’s office will begin extradition proceedings to bring Bobbitt to New Jersey, according to WABC-TV.

McClure and D’Amico allegedly met Bobbitt at a Philadelphia casino in 2017, about a month before the ill-fated GoFundMe campaign was created in November of that year, claiming that Bobbitt gave his last $20 to McClure when she ran out of gas on a Philadelphia highway.

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced in November that the story, intended to tug at the hearts and wallets of Americans, was “predicated on a lie.”

Bobbitt, D’Amico and McClure were all charged with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception, according to prosecutors.

McClure’s attorney told ABC News in November that she was duped as well, adding that McClure took part in the fabrication to help Bobbitt. D’Amico’s attorney did not return requests for comment after the charges were filed.

ABC News could not immediately reach a representative for Bobbitt for comment about his latest arrest.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jan 2019

Citizen motorcycle group patrols London’s streets to stop the theft of scooters and other possessions

WORLD NEWS Citizen motorcycle group patrols London’s streets to stop the theft of scooters and other possessions  https://linewsradio.com/citizen-motorcycle-group-patrols-londons-streets-to-stop-the-theft-of-scooters-and-other-possessions/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Huseyin Bostanci/iStock(LONDON) — A motorcycle group has taken the radical step of patrolling the streets of London to prevent scooter crime — including both crimes committed while on scooters or mopeds and the theft of scooters and other two-wheeled vehicles.

Footage obtained by ABC News shows the group, Biker Biker, out on night-time patrols in the streets of London. Despite a police crackdown on scooter crime, the crime rate remains extremely high in the capital.

Biker Biker, which was set up in 2010, recently stepped up its activities and now has nearly 15,000 followers on its Facebook page. The founder, who wishes to remain anonymous, told ABC News he set up the group after three of his motorcycles were stolen to prevent further crimes happening to others.

“I wanted to reach out to other victims and try to prevent such things happening rather than play policeman and try to cure the problem,” he said. “I wanted to hit at the very base level of motorcycle theft. We as a small group started to patrol and look for stolen bikes without being noticed, but then we decided to go public after a number of years, and since then, we have had a lot of support from companies and the public.”

Between January 2018 and December 2018, there were 13,721 offenses committed on scooters (or mopeds) in London. That amounts to 38 per day -– more than one an hour. Astonishingly, this is a reduction of 41.6 percent from 2017 which saw 23,477 offenses committed on scooters, the Metropolitan Police told ABC News.

They credit stronger police work, including a new controversial “ramming” tactic, which has resulted in two potential lawsuits due to injury, as reported by ABC in December.

“We patrol the streets in a large group to deter would-be thieves from operating in that area,” the founder said. “We plan our areas using social media intelligence including fake accounts to infiltrate the theft rings. We also offer a free recovery service thanks to Knights Recovery and Transport, who will deliver a found bike free of charge.”

Biker Biker patrols can lead participants into direct confrontation with would-be motorbike criminals, as the dramatic footage shows.

However, Biker Biker told ABC News they always act within the law and regularly communicate with the Metropolitan and Surrey Police forces.

The group now has hopes of expanding the organization across the Atlantic.

“We have successfully set up satellite groups all around the UK, from Dundee in Scotland to Sheffield [in England] and have plans to branch out to Australia and the United States this year,” the founder said.

The Metropolitan Police force said they do not support the group’s activities, but stopped short of saying what they were doing was illegal, telling ABC News that “individuals or groups who target potentially violent criminals could be putting themselves at risk.”

“The Met does not support activities by individuals or groups who target suspected criminals. Those who seek to take the law into their own hands put themselves at risk and will be liable to prosecution,” the force said.

“This type of action could jeopardize or interfere with ongoing investigations, and our advice to anyone who has information about a suspect or witnesses a crime is to contact police as soon as possible so it can be investigated and, where possible, bring people to justice.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jan 2019

Trump walks out of latest shutdown talks with Democrats, calls meeting ‘waste of time’

Political News Trump walks out of latest shutdown talks with Democrats, calls meeting 'waste of time' https://linewsradio.com/trump-walks-out-of-latest-shutdown-talks-with-democrats-calls-meeting-waste-of-time/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

uschools/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Democrats came out of the latest shutdown talks at the White House on Wednesday claiming that President Donald Trump walked out in a “temper tantrum’ when they repeated their refusal to meet his demand that they agree to fund his border wall and the president then tweeted that the negotiations were “a waste of time.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that after Trump asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi whether she would “agree to my wall,” and she said, “No,” Trump said, “We have nothing to discuss,” got up and left.

Earlier Wednesday, with the government shutdown in Day 19, Trump made a rare drive up Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill Wednesday to shore up support for his border security funding demands with Senate Republicans.

Some Senate Republicans are breaking ranks and saying the president should reopen the government while discussions over border security continue.

Earlier Wednesday, in the Oval Office for a bill signing to combat human trafficking, the president claimed lawmakers from both sides of the aisle could strike a deal and claimed he has “tremendous” Republican support.

“I really believe the Democrats and the Republicans are working together. I think something will happen, I hope, otherwise we’ll go about it in a different manner,” Trump said.

He said it would be “foolish” to give up on border security.

As he arrived on Capitol Hill, he said there was “tremendous” and “unwavering” GOP support.

Following lunch with Republicans, the president declared the party is “unified” but added that some members expressed concerns about what he described as “strategies.”

“There was no discussion about anything other than solidarity,” the president said.

The president’s trip to Capitol Hill is only his fifth public outing since the shutdown began in late December and it follows his first Oval Office address to the nation Tuesday night looking to make his case directly to the public.

The president argued that a “growing humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border requires the government to put down $5.7 billion for a border wall, in addition to new technology and detention beds. Those demands have put negotiations between Republicans and Democrats at a standstill, as Democrats say they will not capitulate to what they call a “waste” of taxpayer dollars for “an expensive and ineffective wall.” Meanwhile, nearly 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed.

Also on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference with federal workers to draw attention to federal workers who may end up missing a paycheck on Friday if the shutdown continues.

Schumer teed up his message for Trump: “The House passed legislation to reopen the government. It’s time for President Trump [and] our Republican colleagues in the Senate, to accept it,” Schumer said. “Our federal workers just want to do their job. It’s time that you do yours.”

Pelosi said Trump “is being unfair” and that his address from the Oval Office last night was “not factual.”

“Last night, the president spouted more malice and misinformation appealing to fear instead of facts,” Pelosi said. “The reality is that the president could end the Trump shutdown and reopen government today, and he should.”

Calling the shutdown a “dark time for America’s workers,” Pelosi urged Trump to “end the senseless shutdown” in over to pave the way for lawmakers to debate border security.

“You wanna negotiate on the wall? Let’s proceed in a way that is respectful of our security and respectful of our values,” Pelosi said.

Schumer said the shutdown “ought to end now” and warned that federal workers could miss a paycheck without a speedy resolution to the impasse.

“The president needs to come to his senses and end this shutdown now,” Schumer said. “I don’t think he persuaded a soul with his talk last night. It was same old, same old. Mistruths. Divisiveness.”

Pelosi ducked a question asking whether she’d strike a middle ground on the president’s $5.7 billion request, and said she wants a Republican offer “in writing” to share with the public.

“We have been negotiating,” she said. “The White House seems to move the goalposts every time they come with a proposal. They walk away from it. Pretty soon these goal posts won’t even be in the stadium.”

“The first order of business: open up the government,” Schumer stressed.

Leadership from both parties will join the president for their third meeting in the Situation Room later this afternoon. Democrats say they plan to once again present the president with the House legislation to reopen the government — neither bills, however, included money for a wall.

Over the weekend, congressional staffers and the White House met multiple times in an effort to find common ground and reopen the government, but no progress was made.

The president has maintained he will declare a “national emergency” to obtain border wall funds if the talks aren’t fruitful.

When asked by ABC News’ Cecilia Vega why the president hasn’t already declared a national emergency, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said it is ‘certainly still on the table.”

“The best solution is to be able to work with Congress to get this done, you can close a lot of the loopholes, fund border security fully and that’s what we’re hopeful they’ll do,” Sanders said.

On Thursday, the president plans to make a trip to the U.S.- Mexico border in McAllen, Texas, to demonstrate the need for border security. But privately, according to the New York Times, the president has expressed doubts about the trip and his speech would make any difference.

“It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,” Trump said to news anchors on Tuesday, according to the Times.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 Jan 2019

Two women charged after allegedly groping transgender woman in North Carolina bar

U.S. NEWS Two women charged after allegedly groping transgender woman in North Carolina bar https://linewsradio.com/two-women-charged-after-allegedly-groping-transgender-woman-in-north-carolina-bar/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

Raleigh Police(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Two women have been arrested and charged with second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery after allegedly harassing a transgender woman in the bathroom of a North Carolina bar, according to police records.

The two women allegedly groped a transgender woman, asked about her genitals and exposed themselves to her in the bathroom of Milk Bar in Raleigh on Dec. 9, according to a 911 call released Tuesday by the Raleigh Police Department.

Jessica Fowler, 31, and Amber Harrell, 38, have both been charged with sexual battery and second-degree kidnapping, according to police records.

ABC News’ calls to Fowler and Harrell were not immediately returned.

Fowler turned herself in on Tuesday and is being held on $30,000 bond, while Harrell turned herself in this weekend and was released from jail Monday after posting a $50,000 bond, The News and Observer reported.

Neither the alleged victim nor the caller has been publicly identified.

The 911 caller, whose name has been redacted and voice disguised, told police the alleged incident took place in the bathroom of Milk Bar.

The 911 caller told police what started as a friendly conversation took a turn when one of the women allegedly grabbed the transgender woman’s genitals and asked if she had a penis.

The caller then said one of the women allegedly pulled “her shirt up and she says ‘You wanna see my boobs?'”

The alleged harassment continued after the three women left the bathroom, according to the caller, who said that one of the women continued to grab the transgender woman even though they were told to stop by the bartender.

Transgender rights in bathrooms have been particularly contentious issue in North Carolina after a 2016 law was passed in the state stating that transgender individuals had to use the bathroom matching their gender on their birth certificate.

A subsequent bill in 2017 rescinded those requirements.

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Posted On 09 Jan 2019