Congressional Democrats issue 1st round of subpoenas in emoluments suit against Trump

Political News Congressional Democrats issue 1st round of subpoenas in emoluments suit against Trump

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Congressional Democrats have begun issuing subpoenas as part of the discovery process in their emoluments lawsuit targeting President Donald Trump, according to a statement issued Monday by the two members of Congress leading the suit.

The 37 subpoenas issued “to a number of Trump business enterprises, including the Trump Organization, [seek] information about foreign government payments accepted by six Trump properties, as well as trademarks granted to Trump businesses by foreign governments,” according to a statement from Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., on behalf of the more than 200 Democrats who signed on to the lawsuit.

Democrats sued President Trump last summer, arguing that under the foreign emoluments clause in the Constitution, Congress must consent to all foreign payments — or emoluments — his businesses earn, including his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The lawmakers are suing for standing to sign off on any foreign business conducted by President Trump’s businesses.

“We are taking an important step towards obtaining key documents to understand the full scope of Trump’s foreign business dealings,” Rep. Nadler wrote in a statement on Monday.

In June, the federal district judge overseeing their case, Judge Emmet Sullivan, denied President Trump’s latest bid to block the lawsuit and allowed Democrats to begin collecting evidence in discovery.

Earlier on Monday, Justice Department attorneys representing President Trump asked the D.C. circuit appeals court to intervene and halt this “extraordinary case,” as they called it.

Appeals are typically filed after a case has been settled. But Trump’s legal team wants an appeals court to intervene now, “given the unique and fundamental separation-of-powers concerns presented by allowing a suit to proceed and discovery to commence,” the Justice Department lawyers wrote Monday.

Elizabeth Wydra, the president of the Constitution Accountability Center, who argued the case in court on behalf of congressional Democrats, wrote Monday that she is “confident that the D.C. Circuit will reject this latest, groundless attempt to delay these proceedings and, as the District Court did, allow discovery to proceed.”

President Trump is facing another emoluments lawsuit brought jointly by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia, which argues that Trump violated the U.S. Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause by benefiting from the patronage of foreign dignitaries at the Trump International Hotel, which is located just a few blocks away from the White House.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jul 2019

Sisters give birth at the same hospital on the same day, which is their dad’s 70th birthday

Alida Almonte-Giannini/Mercy Medical Center(NEW YORK) — Two sisters from New York welcomed babies last week, on the very same day as their father’s 70th birthday.

The sweet coincidence occurred July 3 at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, when Simone Cumberbatch had her scheduled cesarean section. Hours before, Simone’s younger sister Shari happened to go into labor.

“At first I was shocked. I said, ‘Wow this is really happening?'” Simone Cumberbatch, a mom of two, told “Good Morning America.” “When I realized it was real, I said, ‘This is going to be a good thing.'”

Simone Cumberbatch gave birth to a girl, Liberty, at 5:30 p.m.

Liberty’s cousin, a girl named Hailey, arrived earlier that afternoon at 12:57 p.m.

Shari Cumberbatch had been induced and went into labor earlier than doctors expected, she said. The sisters, both from Queens, share the same obstetrician, Dr. Jay Seraji, so Shari’s labor postponed her sister’s C-section, they said.

“The doctor said, ‘We’ve got an issue. Your sister was induced and I didn’t expect her to go into labor until later but she’s 8 centimeters dilated and I’m going to have to take care of that,'” Simone Cumberbatch said.

Both sisters weren’t due to give birth until mid-July. However, Simone Cumberbatch chose July 3 to have her C-section so her father could share a birthday with his grandchild, she explained.

Elmo Cumberbatch, who’s now a grandfather to three girls, has a lot to celebrate — telling Mercy Medical Center that he’s excited to buy the kids presents.

Both sisters said they are pleased by the happy accident.

“I’m kind of hoping her cousin will be her best friend,” Shari Cumberbatch said of her daughter.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump says US ‘will no longer deal with’ UK ambassador who called him ‘inept’ in leaked cables

WORLD NEWS Trump says US 'will no longer deal with' UK ambassador who called him 'inept' in leaked cables

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump in a tweet on Monday said that the United States “will no longer deal with” U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch after his blunt criticism of the president and administration in diplomatic cables was leaked.

In the trove of leaked memos published in the Daily Mail, Darroch called Trump “inept” and “incompetent” and described the White House as wildly dysfunctional.

On Sunday, Trump said Darroch “has not served the U.K. well, I can tell you that.”

“We are not big fans of that man,” he added.

In tweets on Monday afternoon, Trump also slammed the U.K. and outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May’s handling of Brexit and claimed that he offered May advice that was never taken. The leak raised questions about whether the cables were released in order to embarrass Darroch by Brexit supporters from within the British government. Trump has been in favor of Brexit, and while in London last month met with Brexit leader and friend Nigel Farage at the U.S. ambassador’s residence.

“The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister,” Trump tweeted after slamming May.

“While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!”

May’s spokesperson did not criticize the diplomat and said he continues “to have the Prime Minister’s full support.”

“We have made clear to the US how unfortunate this leak is. The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship. At the same time we have also underlined the importance of Ambassadors being able to provide honest, unvarnished assessments of the politics in their country,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Sir Kim Darroch continues to have the Prime Minister’s full support. The UK has a special and enduring relationship with the US based on our long history and commitment to shared values and that will continue to be the case.”

The White House did not respond for a request for comment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jul 2019

Trump says ‘We only have one planet’ as administration continues to roll back regs

Political News Trump says 'We only have one planet' as administration continues to roll back regs

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump said his administration will fight for a better environment in a speech that did not mention the environmental threat of climate change on Monday.

Trump campaigned on rolling back some of the stringent environmental proposals put forth under President Barack Obama, saying they went too far to single out industries like coal, but the administration claims the U.S. still has some of the strongest environmental protections.

The president echoed those statements on Monday, saying the Obama administration wanted to “punish” workers by putting more regulations on industry, but his administration is rolling back those regulations and seeing a strong economy and seeing long-term improvement in air and water in the U.S.

“We have only one America, we have only one planet, that’s why every day of my presidency we will fight for a cleaner environment and a better quality of life for every one of our great citizens,” he said. “Above all we will remain loyal to the American people and be faithful stewards of God’s glorious creation from sea to shining sea.”

The president did not mention climate change, other than to mention his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a landmark international accord to fight climate change signed by more than 190 counties in 2015.

But he did take a moment to attack the Green New Deal, an ambitious resolution proposed by Democrats in Congress to set a framework for combating climate change. Trump said the proposal would cost $100 trillion, repeating a talking point used by Republicans on Capitol Hill, despite the fact that the resolution would not change or implement any new policies.

Trump said the proposal would eliminate jobs and “crush the dreams of the poorest Americans,” and pledged that he would not support it.

The president and administration officials have vocally cast doubt on research that shows significant risks to the U.S. from the warming climate, including more severe, extreme weather, coastal flooding and damage to the economy.

In a new ABC/Washington Post poll, 62% of respondents said they disapproved of the president’s handling of climate change.

The president mentioned some specific efforts from the Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department and other agencies that he said were helping the environment, including work to speed up cleanups of contaminated sites, updating rules on lead and copper pipes, and providing money to build a dike that could prevent the spread of fertilizer, which contributes to algae blooms off the coast of Florida.

He also repeated comments that he wants the U.S. to have the “cleanest air and cleanest water.”

While the U.S. has made drastic improvements on the quality of air and water in recent decades, Trump has reversed course on several policies proposed by the Obama administration to push for more reductions in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

An EPA document on new air quality data, set to be released next week, shows that while air pollution has decreased dramatically in recent decades there have been more unhealthy air days and increased pollution from tiny particles of pollution in the last two years, partly due to smoke from wildfires.

Environmental groups slammed the move in statements and on social media, saying that Trump is trying to mislead the public about his administration’s impact on the environment and take credit for improvements made under several other presidents in recent decades.

Stan Meiburg, a former regional EPA official and acting deputy administrator from 2014 to 2017, said that while air quality in the U.S. has made a lot of improvements, the Trump administration has blocked actions he says would make it even better, or could lose some of the gains as climate change continues to exacerbate air pollution.

“The basic message is we’ve made a lot of progress but the things the administration is doing will both make that progress less likely in the future and make it worse,” he said.

For example, the president recently finalized a rollback of Obama’s signature climate policy, known as the Clean Power Plan, and replaced it with a less aggressive set of rules. The Obama-era policy, which never took effect, would have required states to submit extensive plans on how they would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by requiring power plants to install new technology or switching to more renewable energy sources. The Trump administration said that plan went too far by trying to shut down coal-fired power plants.

Meiburg said an EPA administrator under President George W. Bush called the government’s impact on the environment an “intergenerational relay race” and improvements are long term and not a reflection on the current administration.

“With this administration, not only have they dropped the baton, it’s like they’re trying to run the relay race in the wrong direction,” he said Monday.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told reporters that the administration acknowledges the contributions of previous administrations but is trying to get the message out that the overall air and water quality in the U.S. has improved since the agency was founded in the 1970’s.

“We’re not taking credit for what happened before. But we’re acknowledging, and I think the American public needs to understand if they listen to the news every night they might think the air has gotten worse over the last 49 years. When actually the air has gotten better,” Wheeler said on a call with reporters previewing the remarks.

Wheeler said the administration has made plastic and debris pollution in the oceans a priority and the re-negotiated trade deal with Canada and Mexico includes language where each country pledges to reduce ocean pollution.

Despite Trump’s comments that America has “crystal clean water,” EPA officials under Trump have said they’re concerned about the number of drinking water systems around the country that are violating regulations, and federal and state governments are facing increasing concern about chemicals contaminating drinking water and groundwater in some areas.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jul 2019

Whoopi Goldberg says after ten years, ‘The View’ “isn’t enough” anymore

Entertainment News  Whoopi Goldberg says after ten years, 'The View' "isn't enough" anymore


ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) — Whoopi Goldberg has been on The View for a decade now, and in a new interview with The New York Times magazine, she admits that appearing on the successful morning talk show alone isn’t satisfying anymore.

Asked if The View allows her to fulfill her creative impulses, she says flatly, “No.”  Asked, “What creative fulfillment do you get from doing it?” she simply responds, “It’s my job.”

Whoopi continues, “What you’re asking is ‘Is The View enough?’ It’s not. Ten years is a long time, and now I’m starting to do other stuff. I’m doing books. I’m [venturing] into THC products. I’m creating…clothes.”

Whoopi was referring to the company she and a friend started in 2016 that sells cannabis products for pain relief purposes; and to the clothing line, DubGee, that she started this year.

When asked how The View became a show famous for presenting different, often dissenting points of view, the Oscar-winner tells the magazine, “I don’t really watch the show, so I don’t know. And I didn’t watch the show before I was on.”

“I guess there’s nothing else like it. And because it’s live, I’m always surprised when people say the things they say,” she adds. “But you know, it’s five people talking, and then there’s this fascination with women and fighting.”

When asked her opinion of that fascination, Whoopi responds, “I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. Grow up. It’s a show. This is what we do for a living.”

She does make one thing clear, though.

“When everybody says, ‘Oh, Whoopi is a liberal’ — I don’t stand for either party,” she explains. “Because for me, back then, they were both full of bleep.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jul 2019

‘Stranger Things’ tops second wave of Teen Choice nominees

Entertainment News  'Stranger Things' tops second wave of Teen Choice nominees


Fox(LOS ANGELES) — The second wave of Teen Choice nominees has been revealed.

Stranger Things, which debuted its third season on Netflix July 4, leads the TV categories with six nominations. The show was nominated for Choice Summer TV Show and the cast — including Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo and Noah Schnapp – also scored individual nods.

Spider-Man: Far From Home, which brought home record-breaking box office totals this weekend, snagged three nods in the film categories, tying with Netflix’s Murder Mystery and The Last Summer. Shawn Mendes tops this round of music nominees with three nominations.

Teen Choice 2019 airs on Sunday, August 11 at 8 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed on Fox. Voting is now open on Fox.TV/TCA19 and on Twitter.

Here are the second wave of TV and movie nominees:


Choice Summer Movie
Late Night
Murder Mystery
Spider-Man: Far From Home
The Last Summer
Toy Story 4

Choice Summer Movie Actor
Adam Sandler – Murder Mystery
Charles Melton – The Sun Is Also a Star
Corey Fogelmanis – Ma
Himesh Patel – Yesterday
K.J. Apa – The Last Summer
Tom Holland – Spider-Man: Far From Home

Choice Summer Movie Actress
Jennifer Aniston – Murder Mystery
Maia Mitchell – The Last Summer
Mindy Kaling – Late Night
Selena Gomez – The Dead Don’t Die
Yara Shahidi – The Sun Is Also a Star
Zendaya – Spider-Man: Far From Home


Choice Summer TV Show
Cobra Kai
Nailed It!
So You Think You Can Dance
Stranger Things
The Bold Type

Choice Summer TV Actor
Caleb McLaughlin – Stranger Things
Diego Tinoco – On My Block
Finn Wolfhard – Stranger Things
Gaten Matarazzo – Stranger Things
Luka Sabbat – grown-ish
Noah Schnapp – Stranger Things

Choice Summer TV Actress
Chloe Bennet – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Hilary Duff – Younger
Jessica Marie Garcia – On My Block
Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things
Rose McIver – iZombie
Yara Shahidi – grown-ish

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jul 2019

See Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in new ‘Judy’ trailer

Entertainment News  See Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in new 'Judy' trailer


Roadside Attractions/LD Entertainment(LOS ANGELES) — Renee Zellweger steps into the legendary Judy Garland’s shoes for the upcoming biopic, Judy.

In the first official trailer for the film, we see Garland 30 years after she shot to stardom in The Wizard of Oz as she prepares for a sold-out run at London’s The Talk of the Town in 1968.

Her voice isn’t what it once was and she’s battling an addiction to pills, but through it all she tries to be a good mother to her two children Lorna Luft and Liza Minnelli and even manages to find love again with her soon-to-be fifth husband Mickey Deans, played by Finn Wittrock.

Less than a year after those London performances, in June 1969, Garland died of an accidental overdose at age 47.

The film also stars Rufus Sewell as her third husband Sid Luft and Michael Gambon as her manager Bernard Delfont.

Judy hits theaters on September 27.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jul 2019

Obamacare faces major court test with health benefits on the line

bangkok/iStock(WASHINGTON) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday will consider the fate of the Affordable Care Act, setting the stage for a major decision later this summer that could impact health care benefits for millions of Americans and supercharge debate over the law in the heat of the 2020 campaign.

A group of 18 Republican-led states, backed by the Trump administration, is asking the court to invalidate Obamacare over its requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance. California leads a group of 20 states, supported by the Democrat-led House of Representatives, in defending the law.

Both sides will present oral arguments in New Orleans before a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, seven months after a federal judge struck down the entire law.

In December, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas declared the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional and inseverable from the rest of the law, invalidating all aspects of Obamacare.

If the decision stands, Americans would no longer receive protections for pre-existing conditions, free preventive benefits coverage in all plans, mandatory acceptance of children on their parents’ plans up to age 26, premium subsidies to buy policies on the exchange, and greater access to Medicaid in dozens of states.

While the Supreme Court previously upheld the individual mandate as constitutionally permissible under Congress’ taxing power, Judge O’Connor and opponents of the law argue that it became unconstitutional in 2017 when congressional Republicans’ reduced the mandate’s penalty to zero, no longer qualifying as a tax.

Defenders of Obamacare counter that Congress explicitly voted not to repeal the law, leaving most of it in place despite reducing the financial penalty for non-insurance. The law “no longer compels any individual to maintain healthcare coverage – or to take any other action,” supporters write in court documents. “At most, the remaining provision is a precatory encouragement to buy health insurance, which poses no constitutional problem.”

O’Connor issued a stay of his decision – meaning, it has not yet taken effect – during the appeal.

“Together, the Trump Administration and the Texas-led coalition risk the health of nearly every American — from the young to the elderly, the sick to the gainfully employed,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “Our coalition of states stands ready to defend the law and every person whose life may be on the line.”

Industry groups and independent health care analysts say wiping out Obamacare without an alternative would mean a highly disruptive shift in the health care of millions of Americans.

The Affordable Care Act has sharply reduced the number of uninsured Americans since 2010, covering 20 million more people than if the law had not taken effect, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

An estimated 52 million Americans have pre-existing health conditions that insurers could have denied coverage to under pre-ACA rules in most states, the Foundation says.

If millions were to lose insurance coverage at once, the costs for all consumers could skyrocket, says Kaiser health care analyst Larry Leavitt. “If this Texas decision on the ACA is upheld, it would throw the individual insurance market and the whole health care system into complete chaos,” Leavitt said on Twitter.

There is not currently a viable alternative to the law that can pass the House and Senate and get signed into law by President Trump. Republicans were unsuccessful at repealing and replacing the law in 2017 when they controlled both chambers and the White House.

Trump told ABC News in June that he will be unveiling a “phenomenal” health care plan within the next two months.

“We almost had health care done. Health care’s a disaster, Obamacare,” Trump said. “If we win back the House, we’re going to produce phenomenal health care. And we already have the concept of the plan, but it’ll be less expensive than Obamacare by a lot.”

While President Trump has promised to protect Americans who have relied on Obamacare insurance subsidies and pre-existing conditions protections, the administration has not said how it would respond to a decision striking down the law.

The appeals court decision, expected by the end of the summer, could add pressure on the administration and Republicans to put forward a viable alternative to Obamacare.

Public polling consistently shows that health care is voters’ top issue headed into the 2020 presidential campaign. During the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats credited their electoral success, in part, with a focus on health care issues.

The three-judge panel on the 5th Circuit includes one judge appointed by Trump, another appointed by President George W. Bush and a third by President Jimmy Carter.

Legal analysts see three possible outcomes in the appeals case: the court could affirm the lower court ruling, striking down the individual mandate and entire ACA as unconstitutional; it could invalidate the mandate alone and sever it from the rest of the law, leaving much of the ACA in place; or it could leave the law functioning as-is.

Regardless of the decision, both sides expect an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could potentially hear the case sometime in 2020 if the justices decide to take it up.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Try not to cry”: Season four ‘Queer Eye’ trailer teases even more emotional transformations

Entertainment News  "Try not to cry": Season four 'Queer Eye' trailer teases even more emotional transformations


Christopher Smith/Netflix(KANSAS CITY) — As Jonathan Van Ness says in the new season four trailer for Queer Eye, “Try not to cry. Try not to lose it.”


The Fab Five – Jonathan, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown and Tan France – returns to Kansas City this season for even more emotional transformations.

In the clip, we get our first look at this season’s new subjects, which include Jonathan’s former high school orchestra teacher, a man who says he’s never spoken to a gay person before and a woman who’s been doing the same makeup and hair style since the ‘90s.

Season four debuts on Netflix July 19.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jul 2019

Freeform responds to Halle Bailey’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ casting backlash

Entertainment News  Freeform responds to Halle Bailey's 'The Little Mermaid' casting backlash


Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney(LOS ANGELES) — After the chatter on social media with hashtags like #NotMyAriel regarding the game-changing casting of Halle Bailey in the live-action The Little Mermaid, Freeform, the network that airs grown-ish, in which she’s featured, had some serious thoughts.

The network posted a message Sunday with the caption, “An open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls.” In the letter, the network took haters to task and stepped up big time for its star.

“Yes. The original author of ‘The Little Mermaid’ was Danish. Ariel … is a mermaid,” the post began. “She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants.”

For the sake of the online arguments from a certain segment of Little Mermaid fans, the post followed the assumption that Ariel is actually Danish.

“Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black,” it continued. “Ariel can sneak up to the surface anytime with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian … and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also *genetically* have red hair.”

The post then hammered home the real purpose of the message, to support the young actress and remind folks Ariel is a work of fiction.

“So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she ‘doesn’t look like the cartoon one,’ oh boy, do I have some news for you … about you,” it closed, adding the hashtag #MyAriel.

ABC News and Freeform are both part of parent company Disney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 08 Jul 2019