President Trump intends to tap David Bernhardt as his pick for Interior secretary

Political News President Trump intends to tap David Bernhardt as his pick for Interior secretary

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump intends to nominate David Bernhardt of Virginia to be Secretary of Interior, according to a statement from the White House Friday afternoon.

Bernhardt currently serves as Acting Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Interior a position he took on after the departure of Secretary Ryan Zinke. During his tenure in office, Zinke generated headlines about ethics investigations and criticism of his actions favoring industry.

Bernhardt is originally from Rifle, Colorado and began his early career in the office of GOP Rep. Scott McInnis from Colorado.

Bernhardt, a former partner and shareholder at Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber Schreck, has worked for nearly a decade at the Interior Department. He has served various roles at the agency including the department’s solicitor from 2006 to 2009. He has also served as United States Commissioner for the International Boundary Commission between the United States and Canada.

Bernhardt is no stranger to the confirmation process. He had to appear before the Senate for his position as solicitor in 2006 and President Trump nominated Bernhardt to be deputy secretary of the Interior in April of 2017.

In May, he appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Energy Resources committee

At the time, Bernhadt, who was known as a prominent lobbyist and lawyer in Washington circles, was criticized by opponents who suggested he had conflict-of-interests.

In the past, his firm has worked on regulation issues with the Department of Interior. He has also represented oil companies and agricultural interests.

He was later confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 53-34.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Mar 2019

Migrant father says he was tricked into being deported without his child, refutes Homeland Security secretary’s claims

WORLD NEWS Migrant father says he was tricked into being deported without his child, refutes Homeland Security secretary's claims

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — In her first appearance before lawmakers since Democrats gained control of the House, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Wednesday denied one of the most troubling claims about the Trump administration’s family separation practices at the southern border.

Asked by Rep Kathleen Rice, D-NY, whether Nielsen can confirm that under her tenure, no parents were deported from the U.S. without being asked if they wanted their children deported with them, Nielsen responded: “To the best of my knowledge, every parent was afforded that option.”

Jesus, a migrant from Honduras who requested that for his family’s safety ABC News not print his last name, disputed Nielsen’s statement.

He said he was tricked into being deported from the U.S. without his son and was not given the opportunity to take the boy with him.

Jesus told ABC News about one day last May when he waited at a San Antonio airport for his 6-year-old son, Ariel, from whom he had been separated days earlier when the pair was apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents after crossing the Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas.

Jesus, 31, waited for a reunion that did not happen.

The father and his son came to the U.S. last spring to seek asylum after being beaten and threatened by local gangs back home, he told ABC News.

 Jesus said that while in government detention, officers tore Ariel from his arms after he had told them “I won’t give him to you, you would have to kill me first.”

“Ariel was crying, I was as well,” Jesus said.

Then Ariel was gone.

Jesus said he signed a document in English, a language he doesn’t speak or write; he said he thought it was an asylum application, but it was actually a deportation agreement.

“Was this an asylum request to stay here, I asked, because then I’ll sign. ‘Yes,’ they told me. So I signed,” Jesus recounted.

Jesus said he had been deceived. “You just signed your deportation back to your country,” Jesus said the officer told him. When he asked about his son, Jesus said the officer just said “I know nothing about him.”

On the drive to the airport, Jesus said he repeatedly asked for his son. “We will give you your son at the airport,” he said an officer told him.

At the Texas airport that day, some nine months ago, Jesus searched for Ariel.

When it was time to board, he said he did not see his son and refused to get on the plane without him.

Jesus said he accused the officer of lying to him. He said the officer responded that Ariel “was probably on his way or would be on his way a couple days after, because there was a special plane that would only take minors.”

Jesus ultimately boarded the plane without his boy.

Ariel is currently living with extended family in Washington, D.C., and has not seen his parents or sister since May 2018, according to Jesus.

On Wednesday, Nielsen testified that to her knowledge, deported migrant parents were given multiple opportunities to take their children with them when they were removed from the country.

“Consistent with long standing practice and the law, before we deport any alien after they have gone through the process and receive a final order of removal, we do ask them if they would like to take their children with them,” Nielsen told lawmakers.

“At that same time their consulate or embassy, for purposes of issuing them travel papers, also asks them would you like to be removed with your children as you are removed,” Nielsen said.

But Nielsen also suggested that she was speaking about migrant families who were part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that covers separated children in government custody on or after June 26, 2018, the day that a California federal judge ordered the Trump administration to stop separating families, unless the parent is unfit or dangerous, and try to reunite them.

Nielsen testified: “as a part of [the lawsuit], the judge has also asked us to go back and ask the parents again in conjunction with the ACLU which we did. So there was no parent who has been deported, to my knowledge, without multiple opportunities to take their children with them.”

Jesus and Ariel are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, according to their attorney Erika Pinheiro, the litigation and policy director for Al Otro Lado.

The ACLU is seeking to expand the lawsuit to include potentially thousands more families who were separated, deported or discharged before that June date.

Over the last two weeks, Jesus, along his wife, Mira, and his daughter, Riccy, made the journey from Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border town of Mexicali where they joined a group of 29 migrants who claim they were deported from the U.S. without their children.

With assistance from lawyers and volunteers, the group presented themselves at the Calexico Port of Entry on Saturday.

Jesus, Mira and Riccy have applied for asylum and are hoping to finally reunite with Ariel.

Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told ABC News that Jesus and his family arrived on Saturday seeking entry into the U.S. without valid entry documents, were referred to ICE, and following a custody review, were paroled into the U.S. pending the outcome of their immigration case. Mack said that according to ICE records, Jesus was previously removed from the U.S. to Honduras in September 2012 and again in May 2018. She declined to comment on Jesus’ allegations that he was tricked into being deported without his son, citing ongoing litigation.

Spokesmen for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declined to comment on Jesus’ allegations.

On Thursday, the government revealed that at least some other migrant parents may have been deported without being given the opportunity to take their children with them.

Lawyers for multiple government agencies, including DHS, ICE and CBP, wrote in a court filing late Wednesday that the “baseline” number of parents “who were removed from the United States without their children, and without being given the opportunity to elect or waive reunification” in accordance with a judge’s preliminary injunction is 471.

In a statement to ABC News, a spokesperson for DHS sought to clarify that the court document “simply noted that the ‘possible’ universe of parents removed prior to the preliminary injunction was 471.”

“While the preliminary injunction formalized the opportunity to elect or waive reunification, even prior to the preliminary injunction it was the routine practice of ICE to allow parents to choose to take their children with them when being removed,” the spokesperson added.

Jesus told ABC News he did not have that choice.

“They cheated us,” he said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Mar 2019

After week of controversy, Rep. Ilhan Omar says her criticism of President Obama was ‘distorted’

Political News After week of controversy, Rep. Ilhan Omar says her criticism of President Obama was 'distorted'

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has been at the center of controversy all week on Capitol Hill, said Friday that a perceived criticism she gave of former President Barack Obama was the result of a reporter distorting her words.

In an interview Omar gave to POLITICO Magazine, the freshman Democrat said while it is right to criticize President Donald Trump and the policies of his administration, she also feels that there are “ways that our Democratic leaders have conducted themselves within the system is not one that we are all proud of.”

“You know I will talk about the family separation or caging of kids and people will point out that this was Trump — I mean this was Obama. I mean I’ll say something about the droning of countries around the world and people will say that was Obama. And all of that is very true,” Omar, who posted audio of the specific portion of the interview on Twitter, said.

“We can’t be only upset with Trump because he’s not a politician who sells us his policies in the most perfect way. His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was, and that’s not what we should be looking for anymore,” Omar added. “We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished, we want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile so that we can understand the kind of negative impact, or positive impact they will have on us for generations to come.”

After many took Omar’s comments as a harsh critique of Obama, who remains widely popular across the Democratic Party, she took to Twitter to clarify the comments, writing, “I’m an Obama fan! I was saying how Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics.”

In a March 2018 Quinnipiac Poll 49 percent of Democrats ranked Obama as the best president the United States has had since World War II.

Omar has been the subject of scrutiny on Capitol Hill for the better part of the last month, and her comments about Israel earlier this week sparked a debate over anti-Semitism that led the House to pass a resolution Thursday condemning “hate in all its forms.”

In a joint statement released Thursday evening Omar, along with the other two Muslim members of Congress, Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Andre Carson of Indiana, the trio praised the resolution writing, “We are tremendously proud to be part of a body that has put forth a condemnation of all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism and white supremacy … Our nation is having a difficult conversation and we believe this is great progress.”

While her comments earned a rebuke from many House Democrats, Omar was defended by a number of the party’s leading presidential candidates. including Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish and lived in Israel for a time in the 1960s, said that while anti-Semitism “must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world,” the country “must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel.”

“What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate. That’s wrong,” Sanders added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Mar 2019

Frequent Trump target Bruce Ohr is heard from for the first time

Political News Frequent Trump target Bruce Ohr is heard from for the first time

Zach Gibson/Getty Images)(WASHINGTON) — This is how veteran Justice Department official Bruce Ohr – who’s faced an onslaught of attacks from President Donald Trump and Republican allies – described why he passed information to the FBI alleging ties between Russian operatives and Trump’s inner circle:

“Any time a citizen gets information about a crime or a national security threat it’s appropriate to convey it to the FBI. … It should be passed to the FBI for them to use it or not as they feel appropriate.”

The comments, from a closed-door session with both Republican and Democratic House members several months ago and released by Republicans Friday, mark the first time the public has been able to hear from Ohr himself.

Republicans have long accused Ohr of improperly acting as a conduit between the FBI and former British spy Christopher Steele, who in the months before and after the 2016 presidential election was hearing from foreign sources that Trump and some of his associates may have compromised by Russians.

Steele had been hired by the firm Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump, and the work was being paid for by Democrats tied to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“I think Bruce Ohr is a disgrace,” Trump said in front of the White House last year. “For him to be in the Justice Department, and to be doing what he did, that is a disgrace.”

But Ohr insisted to lawmakers that the actions he took were intended to steer clear of the political bias he is now being accused of perpetuating.

The information Steele first relayed to him in July 2016 was “scary” and “inflammatory,” Ohr said, but he didn’t relay it to his supervisors at the time in the deputy attorney general’s office.

Instead, he shared it with career officials at the FBI “who understood and dealt with these kinds of Russian matters,” he told lawmakers. “I wanted to keep it in career channels and not make it political or not have it treated in a political way.”

Ohr said it’s something he had done before.

“I had been working in this area for many years, so many people … would tell me things, I would pass it to the FBI,” he said.

As a Russia specialist himself, Ohr first met Steele a decade earlier and had come to know and trust Steele’s work, Ohr said. Then in July 2016, a week after news reports began wondering whether Russia was behind the theft and release of thousands of private emails from the Democratic National Committee, Steele met with Ohr and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, for breakfast at a Washington, D.C., hotel, according to Ohr’s testimony.

Nellie Ohr, a Russia expert herself, had been working for Steele for several months, culling online articles and other public documents for information related to business dealings in Russia. She never spoke a word while Steele told Ohr of the allegations he was hearing: The Russians “had Donald Trump over a barrel,” and former Trump adviser Carter Page “had met with certain high-level Russian officials when he was in Moscow,” as Ohr recounted to lawmakers.

“I was very concerned when I got the information,” Ohr said. “It seemed to have very serious national security implications.”

So he went to the FBI to meet with two people he had worked with in the past: then-deputy director Andrew McCabe and then-FBI attorney Lisa Page, according to his testimony.

He provided them with what he heard from Steele, and they introduced him to senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, a career agent who at the time was handling the investigation already underway inside the FBI looking at possible ties between Russian operatives and several Trump associates.

In the weeks that followed, Ohr met with Strzok, Page and three prosecutors from the Justice Department. Strzok, Page and two of the prosecutors would later join Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

“My job, as I saw it, was just to get the information over there and let them figure it out,” Ohr said.

Meanwhile, in August 2016, Ohr began to hear about Steele’s findings not just from Steele but also from the founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, whom – like Steele – Ohr had known for several years. Simpson spoke of “communications back and forth between the Russian Government and the Trump campaign,” Ohr recalled.

“I tried to get Glenn Simpson to speak with the [FBI],” Ohr testified. “[But] he was willing to meet with me and give me some information. So I took the information and passed it to the FBI.”

Ohr said that when he shared the information with the FBI, he “tried to be clear that this is source information” – the same type of unverified information involved in the start of most FBI investigations.

And hoping to make them “aware of any possible bias,” he told the FBI that the information was coming from someone hired by the Clinton campaign who also employed his wife, Ohr said.

“I don’t know how reliable it is,” he recalled telling the FBI of the information he was sharing. “You’re going to have to check it out and be aware.”

In September 2016, just weeks before Election Day, Ohr met Steele again in Washington, D.C., to receive “some additional information,” he told lawmakers. Around that time, Steele was becoming “very alarmed by this information” and “did not want Donald Trump to win,” Ohr testified.

Also around that time, the written reports compiled by Steele – now collectively known as “the dossier” – first made their way to Strzok, according to Strzok’s congressional testimony. Steele had helped the FBI investigate and build other cases in previous years, so he was viewed as a known and credible source of information, the FBI said in court documents.

A month after Strzok first received Steele’s reports, information from them was included in an application secretly submitted by the FBI to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, seeking to monitor Carter Page’s communications. Page has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The application was approved. But in the days afterward, the FBI cut off its relationship with Steele for talking to a reporter about his work. So, it was Ohr who continued to feed Steele’s information to the FBI.

“Chris Steele would continue to call at various times, and I would listen to what he had to say, and I would pass it to the FBI,” Ohr said.

In December 2016, Ohr met Simpson once more, and Simpson handed Ohr a thumb drive, which Ohr then gave to the FBI.

“I suspected it was the dossier,” Ohr recalled. “I had heard there was such a thing as a dossier, but I hadn’t seen it. So he gives me a thumb drive. I assumed this was the dossier.”

Ohr said he didn’t know that Steele himself had already given a copy of the dossier to the FBI and that Strzok received it three months earlier.

Steele’s information would be included in three more applications to continue surveillance of Page through September 2017. Trump has repeatedly blasted what he called the “fake dirty dossier,” insisting last year it “was responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt.”

The transcript of Ohr’s testimony became public on Friday because the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, released it.

Speaking with reporters afterward, Collins said Ohr “should not have” gotten involved in the Russia matter.

But as Ohr described it, “I didn’t have any input or work on those investigations. I’m just providing information.”

Strzok was later fired from the FBI and Page left on her own, after internal investigators uncovered a massive cache of text messages over several months showing intense disdain for Trump.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Mar 2019

Ratcatcher and Polka-Dot Man? We could see some REALLY strange characters in the ‘Suicide Squad’ sequel

Entertainment News  Ratcatcher and Polka-Dot Man? We could see some REALLY strange characters in the 'Suicide Squad' sequel


Clay Enos/ TM & (c) DC Comics(LOS ANGELES) — It looks like the guy who made action movie stars out of a tree and a talking raccoon is flexing some similarly strange muscles on his sequel to Suicide Squad.

If a report in Collider is to be believed, James Gunn, who is writing — and likely directing — the follow-up to the movie, is lining up some very unfamiliar supervillains for the next Suicide Squad film.

Collider says the film, for which Idris Elba will be replacing Will Smith as Deadshot, will also feature super-obscure DC Comics characters like Ratcatcher, King Shark, and Polka-Dot Man.

As his name suggests, Ratcatcher was an exterminator in Gotham City, who eventually raises an army of the rodents to do his bidding. Collider says Gunn has gender-swapped the baddie to be female.

King Shark is a man/shark hybrid: He’s got a hammerhead shark’s head, and a human’s body.

Polka-DotMan, as his name suggests, is a dude whose skin’s spots can become explosive devices — and he’s embarrassed about it.

Also included will be Peacemaker, a militant so desperate to bring about peace that he’s willing to kill for it.

But admittedly, this lineup is only slightly more odd than the baddies featured in the original film, like Slipknot, who was described as “the man who can climb anything.”

The movie series’ premise is that comic book baddies are considered expendable by the U.S. government, and are forced to to carry out nearly impossible missions.

Warner Bros. is slated to release The Suicide Squad on Aug. 6, 2021.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Mar 2019

US Women’s National Team sues soccer’s governing body for gender discrimination on International Women’s Day

Sports News US Women's National Team sues soccer's governing body for gender discrimination on International Women's Day

Omar Vega/Getty Images(NEW YORK) —  Athletes on the world champion U.S. Women’s National Team sued the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Friday for gender discrimination, blasting the sport’s governing body for allegedly paying mere “lip service” to gender equality and dishing out markedly more pay to the decidedly less successful men’s team.

The scathing lawsuit, filed in California federal court on International Women’s Day, comes after years of public battles from the USWNT for equal pay and conditions and three months before the team is scheduled to begin competition at the FIFA World Cup, where they will be returning as defending champions.

“In reality, the USSF has utterly failed to promote gender equality,” the lawsuit reads. “It has stubbornly refused to treat its female employees who are members of the [women’s national team] equally to its male employees who are members of the [men’s national team].”

The USSF, the lawsuit claims, “has paid only lip service to gender equality and continues to practice gender-based discrimination against its champion female employees on the WNT in comparison to its less successful male employees on the MNT.”

“Despite the fact that these female and male players are called upon to perform the same job responsibilities on their teams and participate in international competitions for their single common employer, the USSF, the female players have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts,” the suit says.

“This is true even though their performance has been superior to that of the male players – with the female players, in contrast to male players, becoming world champions.”

The U.S. men’s soccer team did not qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Their best finish was third place — in 1930. The U.S. women’s team, on the other hand, has won the World Cup three times — in 1991, 1999 and 2015 — and the gold medal at the Olympics four times, most recently in 2012.

The 28 members of the 2015 winning team are all named as plaintiffs, including stars Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd, and the suit requests class action status to represent players who have been on the team since February of that year.

The suit seeks back pay including interest and benefits, damages, attorneys’ fees and other relief.

The suit says that female players earned $15,000 for making the World Cup team in 2013. On the other hand, men earned $55,000 for making the team in 2014 and $68,750 in 2018.

“The pay for advancement through the rounds of the World Cup was so skewed that, in 2014, the USSF provided the MNT with performance bonuses totaling $5,375,000 for losing in the Round of 16, while, in 2015, the USSF provided the WNT with only $1,725,000 for winning the entire tournament,” the lawsuit reads. “The WNT earned more than three times less than the MNT while performing demonstrably better.”

The lawsuit cites not just pay, but also the denial of “at least equal playing, training, and travel conditions; equal promotion of their games; equal support and development for their games; and other terms and conditions of employment.”

In 2015, athletes complained about playing conditions after Rapinoe tore her ACL during training on a grass field that was reportedly described as being in bad shape. U.S. Soccer then canceled a match in Honolulu as its turf was “not suitable.”

That the women’s team, but not the men’s, was subjected to playing on turf fields was a regular issue between athletes and U.S. Soccer.

In 2017, the women’s team reached an agreement with the USSF after filing a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over pay.

The agreement included direct and bonus pay increases and per diems equal to the men’s team, according to ESPNW, as well as improved travel and financial support for pregnant or adopting players. It also included required improvements in National Women’s Soccer League standards.

In February, the EEOC issued the soccer players a “right to sue,” the new lawsuit indicates, which is required to sue for discrimination under federal law.

The USWNT is not the only women’s team fighting for equal pay and conditions. The women’s national hockey team has been on its own mission, following the soccer team and spurred by its victory at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Similarly, the WNBA and tennis players have also been making calls for equal pay, prize money, conditions and infrastructure.

U.S. Soccer told ABC News it does not comment on ongoing legal matters.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Mar 2019

Unvaccinated 6-year-old boy spent 57 days in hospital after tetanus diagnosis: CDC

Hailshadow/iStock(PORTLAND, Ore.) — An unvaccinated 6-year-old boy in Oregon spent 57 days in a hospital, including 47 days in the intensive care unit, and racked up almost $1 million in medical costs after being diagnosed with tetanus, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

The boy was Oregon’s first case of tetanus in almost 30 years, according to the CDC, citing the Oregon Health Authority. Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in dirt that can enter the body through breaks in the skin, and vaccines are the best way to prevent it, per the CDC.

The child was cut while playing outside on a farm in 2017 and his wound was treated at home, according to the report, which was written for the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report, which was written by members of the Oregon Health and Science University Department of Pediatrics and the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division, comes after a large measles outbreak in Clark County, Washington, on the Oregon and Washington border.

In that outbreak, 61 of the 70 cases were in non-immunized patients, according to the Clark County, Washington, Public Health Department.

The report also comes days after an Ohio teenager spoke to a Senate committee about getting vaccinated after growing up in an anti-vaccine home and after Facebook pledged to fight misinformation about vaccinations.

Six days after the Oregon boy got the cut, according to the CDC report, he had “episodes of crying, jaw clenching, and involuntary upper extremity muscle spasms,” then had arching in his back and neck as well as more spasms. Once he had difficulty breathing, he was transported by air to a pediatric medical center, where he was diagnosed with tetanus, according to the CDC.

The report said the boy had jaw muscle spasms and could not open his mouth for water, requiring doctors to insert a tube in his trachea and a ventilator.

He was given a tetanus immune globulin as well as the diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, and then taken to the pediatric intensive care unit to be treated in a darkened room with ear plugs and minimal stimulation due to his spasms, according to the report. He also had his wound cleaned and treated again, the CDC said.

The report said after 47 days in the ICU, the boy spent another 10 days in an intermediate care unit, where he was able to walk 20 feet with assistance and have his tracheostomy removed.

He was eventually transferred to a rehabilitation center for 17 days, and one month after rehabilitation was able to go back to normal activities, according to the report.

The family’s total charges for the hospital stay were $811,929, not including air transportation, rehabilitation and follow-up costs, per the report, which noted the average pediatric hospitalization in the U.S. in 2012 cost $11,143.

Use of tetanus vaccines and tetanus immune globulin had led to a 95 percent decrease in tetanus cases and 99 percent decrease in tetanus-related deaths since the 1940s, according to the CDC, which recommends that children receive the DTaP vaccine at ages, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months, and then at 4-6 years old, and that adults receive tetanus and diphtheria (Td) boosters every 10 years.

The Oregon family ultimately decided against a follow-up DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccination “and any other recommended immunizations” for the boy after his recovery from tetanus, according to the report.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Serena Williams pens powerful letter on International Women’s Day

Sports News Serena Williams pens powerful letter on International Women's Day

Chris Hyde/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Serena Williams wrote a heartfelt essay for International Women’s Day about the meaning of day to her and the lessons she wants to impart to her daughter.

The tennis star, who is an outspoken proponent of equality and empowering young women, described the special day as a “reinvigorated call to action,” in her piece for Fortune.

She discussed some of the standards she feels are forced upon women in society.

“In our fast-paced world, expectations for women continue to rise, as do workplace demands and, unfortunately, double standards,” she wrote.

“Navigating it all is especially tough for working moms, myself included —- I feel the pressure both on and off the court,” she continued. “Even with all the resources I’m incredibly blessed to have, motherhood comes with so many unexpected challenges, especially when it’s time to go back to work.”

She expanded on the balance she’s trying to find between motherhood and her career, after giving birth to daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in 2017.

“Now that I have Olympia, she is my absolute priority —- spending as much time as possible with her every day is so important to me,” she wrote. “But I’m still training to win Grand Slams and sometimes I have to make hard choices about how I spend my time.”

“I’ve cried over Olympia so many times that I’ve lost count,” she continued. “I cried when I stopped breastfeeding. I sat with Olympia in my arms, I talked to her, we prayed about it, and I told her, ‘Mommy has to do this.’ I cried when I missed Olympia’s first steps because I was in training.”

“I’m honest about my struggles as a working mom because I want other women out there to know they are not alone,” she added. “We have to show ourselves and our female counterparts compassion and reality.”

However, she realizes that she doesn’t have to sacrifice her career choices in order to have a family.

“Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of being the best tennis player in the world … but I also dreamed of having a family,” she wrote. “The dream was not divided — it was to be successful in both arenas.”

“I want to stay in this game long enough for Olympia to watch me, cheer me on, and be proud to say, ‘That’s my Mom.’ I want her and all women out there to know you can be whatever you want to be,” she continued. “Dream big. The sky is the limit. Take risks.”

She said that her dreams are “just beginning.”

“I want Olympia to see and remember her mom winning a Grand Slam title,” she wrote. “I want her to know that my work fulfills me, that I’m proud and passionate about what I do even if I’m not perfect at it, and that she should never give up on her dreams.”

“I want her to see a world of possibilities at her feet and to believe in those first steps she took when I was training, every time she takes a leap toward her goals— however big the risk,” she added.

In working to balance time with her daughter and being one of the most successful athletes in the world, she wrote that she’s come to an important realization.

“I want to make it clear that perfection is an impossible goal and should never be a true pursuit in life. And this is something I’ve had to come to terms with myself,” she shared.

Williams believes in the power of supporting other women and feels others should as well.

“While I think all women are superheroes, we are not superhuman and we need each other’s support,” she wrote. “We need to give each other grace when we fall short—and when society sets unrealistic expectations or our workplaces have antiquated rules.”

For the piece, she also asked SurveyMonkey, an online survey company for which she is a board member, to conduct surveys focusing on adversity women face in different aspects of their every day lives.

“One focuses on the experiences of working parents, while the other delves into those of all women in the workforce,” she explained. “After reviewing the results, one thing is clear: many of us are facing strikingly similar challenges.”

“Our data show that women are four times more likely to say they provide more childcare than their male partner—pulling a double shift at work and home,” she explained.

“This contributes to the fact that nearly half of women say they have sacrificed career goals for their family. I know I did,” she added. “More than half of moms feel guilty leaving their children to go to work and a third say their job makes it challenging to do the things they want and need to do for their family. Forget the cliché of ‘having it all,’ the reality is, women are trying to do it all.”

Williams finished the piece with a call to action.

“On International Women’s Day, let’s promise to come together and support one another in honor of all the groundbreaking women who came before us—and those who are proudly following our lead.

“We must band together and fight for what’s fair,” she added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Mar 2019

President Trump claims Michael Cohen asked him directly for a pardon, Cohen calls it ‘lies’

Political News President Trump claims Michael Cohen asked him directly for a pardon, Cohen calls it 'lies'

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that Michael Cohen, his former longtime fixer and personal attorney, asked him “directly” for a pardon and subsequently lied to Congress about it – a claim Cohen was quick to deny.

“Bad lawyer and fraudster Michael Cohen said under sworn testimony that he never asked for a Pardon,” Trump wrote. “His lawyers totally contradicted him. He lied! Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again!” 

In testimony before the House Oversight Committee last week, Cohen stated definitively: “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump.”

While he and his legal team insist that statement remains true, Lanny Davis, a spokesman for Cohen, conceded earlier this week that Cohen did ask one of his attorneys last summer to inquire with Rudy Giuliani, the president’s current personal attorney, about receiving a pardon.

But Davis said Thursday that Cohen stands by his testimony, citing the language Cohen used in front of the committee.

“[Cohen] never asked President Trump for a pardon,” Davis told ABC News on Thursday, before Trump’s tweet. “His lawyer explored the disingenuous ‘dangle’ repeatedly floated by Rudy and Trump in one meeting and never followed up.”

Shortly after President Trump made his claim, Cohen responded in a tweet of his own, calling the president’s suggestion that Cohen directly asked for a pardon “just another set of lies.”

Friday’s social media exchange marks the latest escalation of Cohen’s fraught relationship with the president, a man whom Cohen served for almost a decade.

Just a day earlier, Cohen filed a civil lawsuit in New York state court against the Trump Organization for legal fees accrued as part of numerous congressional hearings and federal investigations, seeking nearly $4 million.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, congressional Republicans have taken new steps to pin Cohen with lying to Congress – charges to which he already pleaded guilty last year.

Two top Republicans on the panel, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., referred Cohen’s testimony to the Justice Department last week, alleging he committed perjury on six occasions during his open hearing, including his denial that he sought a White House job as Trump first came into office.

On Thursday, Jordan said his staff is preparing to send an updated criminal referral to the Justice Department to include Cohen’s comment about never asking Trump for a pardon.

Cohen pleaded guilty late last year to charges including campaign finance violations, tax fraud and lying to Congress. He was sentenced in December to three years in prison, and his term is expected to begin May 6.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Mar 2019

LSU suspend’s men’s basketball coach Will Wade indefinitely

Sports News LSU suspend's men's basketball coach Will Wade indefinitely

Sean Gardner/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) — LSU has suspended men’s basketball coach Will Wade indefinitely after reports said he was heard on FBI wiretap’s discussing an ‘offer’ for a recruit, the school announced Friday.

The calls were between Wade and aspiring businessman Christian Dawkins and were intercepted in October 2017 when the FBI was monitoring one of Dawkins cell phones as part of the FBI’s secret investigation into college basketball corruption.

Dawkins was sentenced to six months in jail earlier this week after being found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the investigation.

According to people familiar with the calls, the recruit mentioned is current LSU guard Javonte Smart, who was a top-50 recruit from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander and Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva released a joint statement about Wade’s suspension.

“Recent media reports regarding Coach Will Wade are without question concerning to us all. As such, we and university officials have taken deliberate and purposeful steps to fairly assess and adequately address the situation. As we have done since media reports first surfaced months ago, we are closely coordinating with the NCAA with every step. They have our full full cooperation and we will continue to report to them all facts and information on this matter. All of us at LSU share the obligation to protect the integrity of this institution, as such we have suspended Head Coach Will Wade indefinitely until such time as we can ensure full compliance with the NCAA, as well as institutional policies and standards. Assistant coach Tony Benford will assume the duties of interim coach.”

LSU is ranked tenth in the nation with a 25-5 record and is tied for first in the SEC with a 15-2 record. The Tigers play Vanderbilt on Saturday in their final regular season game.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Mar 2019