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Colin Kaepernick to file grievance against NFL alleging collusion, reports say

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still without an NFL job despite the fact that several players have come out and said there’s no way that there are 64 players — starters and backups included — who are better than him. 

Now, as detailed Sunday by Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, he’s decided that he is going to take action against the owners in the NFL, filing a grievance under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, blaming them for him not having a job right now.

An NFL spokesman told Jason La Canfora, of CBS Sports, he is checking on it. 

Kaepernick may have a good case as there have been owners, like John Mara of the New York Giants, who have publicly spoken on the matter and said that they would not hire him,  while the Denver Broncos reportedly would not pursue him under any circumstances.

The former Super Bowl starter initially became what many are describing as a “distraction” when he started sitting for the national anthem at the beginning of last year. He did so to protest racism and for police brutality that he believes has gotten out of hand in this country. At the behest of former NFL long snapper and military veteran Nate Boyer, Kaepernick started to kneel to be more respectful.

Kaepernick actually opted out of his contract with the 49ers this year, likely in hopes of signing elsewhere. However, he has not been able to find work despite once leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

Kaepernick threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions during the 2016 season.

California inmates paid $1 an hour to battle wildfires

Thousands of California inmates are fighting the wildfires ravaging the state, each earning $1 an hour as they work to contain the fires.

>> Read more trending news

As many as 1,900 inmates at a time are directly fighting fires alongside professional firefighters from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, CNN reports.

Others are “on a rest period from being on a fire line or providing backup to fire protection somewhere,” according to Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Those not fighting fires directly are earning $2 a day. All are drawn from a pool of about 3,800 people who are serving sentences at minimum-security conservation camps across the state.

There are 43 such conservation camps facilities throughout the state. Inmates must apply for the program, which offers less formal penal conditions than serving out their sentence traditionally. Each day of good behavior also translates to two days off their sentence, according to Mashable.

Joe Jonas, Sophie Turner get engaged

Congratulations are in order for Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner.

>> Read more trending news

On Sunday, the DNCE hunk announced in a post to fans on Instagram his girlfriend said “yes” to his proposal.

“She said yes.” the singer, 28, wrote alongside a photo of the gorgeous actress, 21.

The “Game of Thrones” star shared the same photo, writing, “I said yes!”

Jonas’ brothers and former Jonas Brothers bandmates, Kevin and Nick, were among the first to congratulate the happy couple.

“Ahh! Congratulations to my brother… and sister in law to be on your engagement. I love you both so much,” Nick Jonas wrote on Instagram alongside the couple’s announcement.

Kevin Jonas commented on Joe’s photo, writing, “Yeah!!!”

The couple started dating in November and went Instagram official in January.

Raging inferno miraculously spares hundreds of zoo animals as owner loses nearby home 

Deadly wildfires in Northern California have killed at least 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, but the owner of a wildlife park in Santa Rosa is one of the lucky ones. 

>> Read more trending news

Peter Lang, 77, may have lost his home, but the raging inferno spared his Safari West wildlife preserve and the hundreds of animals that live there, according to KCRA 3.

As the flames surrounded Lang’s park, he had a choice to make: leave and save his nearby home or stay and fight to save the more than 1,000 animals, which had not been evacuated, The Press Democrat reported.

"I have a thousand souls I'm responsible for," he told the Press Democrat.

"It wasn't even a decision. This is what I had to do," Lang said in explaining why he stayed at the park to try and protect the myriad of animals, including giraffes, monkeys, cheetahs and zebras.

As the area around the preserve burned last week, fortunately only small areas of the sanctuary caught fire.

"I did not lose a single animal," he said. "It is amazing."

>> Related: California couple survive raging firestorm in neighbor’s pool

The danger is not over, yet. Critical conditions continue in northern California, but Cal Fire said firefighters are making progress in the battle to contain the flames. 

SEE: House cat kind of interrupts live report on ‘large cat’ search,’ social media loved it

During a live news report Thursday in Memphis, reporter Scott Madaus was upstaged by an unexpected development.

>> Read more trending news

Madaus was reporting on rumors that a cougar had been spotted in Hernando, Mississippi, when a house cat hilariously stole the show. You can guess what happened next. The moment went viral.

>> Related: Large cat-like animal spotted in Hernando

The video of the incident has even caught the the attention of journalist Katie Couric and Roots frontman Questlove.

Madaus told Buzzfeed the moment wasn't as unplanned as it appears. He shared with the media company that he saw the small cat staring at him while preparing to go live and quickly called a FOX13 producer.

Madaus told the producer to take his live shot before the commercial break so he could tease the story with footage of the house cat.

All in all, the live report gave social media users an opportunity to join in on the fun. And if you're wondering if the original large cat was ever found, the verdict is still out on that one.

Kroger considers selling off almost 800 convenience stores in 18 states

Cincinnati-based Kroger may sell off its convenience store business amid changes in the grocery market, the company said in a statement.

>> Read more trending news

The Kroger Co. said its convenience store business is growing, but is “potentially of more value outside of the company than as part of Kroger.” The company intends to “explore strategic alternatives for its convenience store business, including a potential sale,” the company said.

“Our convenience stores are strong, successful and growing with the potential to grow even more,” said Michael Schlotman, the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We want to look at all options to ensure this part of the business is meeting its full potential.”

“Considering the current premium multiples for convenience stores, we feel it is our obligation as a management team to undertake this review,” Schlotman’s statement said.

>> Related: Kroger introduces 1,000 new products, including low-calorie ice cream

Kroger’s convenience store business includes 784 convenience stores located across 18 states, with 68 franchise operations, the company said in the statement. The stores operate under the names Turkey Hill Minit Markets, Loaf ‘N Jug, KwikShop, Tom Thumb and QuickStop.

>> Related: 5 things to know about Kroger’s future 

Kroger’s supermarket fuel centers and Turkey Hill Dairy are not included in the review.

Read more here.

Rex Tillerson responds to ‘castration’ comment on CNN, ‘I’m fully intact’

If you’ve been paying attention to outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and President Donald Trump’s heated back and forth, you know that Corker threw Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s name into the discussion.

>> Read more trending news

Corker went so far as to say that Trump had “castrated” his secretary of state, in an interview with the Washington Post.

“You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice,” Corker said Friday.

Rex Tillerson made an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, and anchor Jake Tapper cut right to the chase, asking Tillerson to respond to the “castration claim.”

>> Related: Trump disputes Tillerson on North Korea: “Wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man”

Tillerson gave a minute-long response explaining that his and President Trump’s end goals are in alignment, while also describing Trump’s communication methods as “unconventional.”

>> Related: ‘He concerns me’: Republican Senator worries about President Trump and World War III

At the very end of the clip, Tapper asked again if Tillerson was concerned about being “gelded” in front of the whole world.

“I checked, I’m fully intact,” Tillerson replied.

California couple survive raging firestorm in neighbor’s pool

A California couple survived a raging firestorm in their neighbor’s pool as the inferno that swept through Santa Rosa last week burned everything around them.

>> Read more trending news

One minute the Pascos were enjoying an October evening before going to sleep and the next they had just minutes to escape the wildfire that suddenly engulfed their neighborhood early last Monday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jan Pascoe, 65, and her husband John, 70, called 911 before heading over to the pool.

“In my naivete, all night long, I thought someone would come to get us,” Jan Pascoe told the Times.

But no one came.

Authorities have confirmed 40 people have died in the flames, so far, and hundreds more are still missing. Wildfires throughout the state of burned hundreds of thousands of acres and destroyed more than 5,000 homes and businesses, according to Cal Fire.

>> Related: Woman dies in husband’s arms as they try to escape California fires in pool while on vacation

The Pascoes spent six hours in the debris-filled pool as their home and their neighbors’ houses burned down around them.

They survived by submerging themselves in the water and using wet T-shirts to cover their heads when they came up for air.

“I just kept going under,” she told the Times.

“And I kept saying, ‘How long does it take for a house to burn down?’ We were freezing.”

>> Related: Woman escapes Northern California wildfires on bike with 70-pound dog in tow

How hot was the area around the pool? It was so hot that Jan Pascoe’s cellphone, which she put in her shoe at the edge of the pool, melted.

While the fire destroyed almost everything around the water, one thing remained after the inferno subsided: a statue of a cherubic angel overlooking the pool.

Why you should get a flu shot now and why it’s less painful than ever

Vanika Idnani lived across the globe in Australia, but the 3-year-old’s death could be a harbinger for the coming flu season in the U.S.

The little girl is the most recent victim of a virulent strain of flu well-known to doctors everywhere.

>> Read more trending news

And that strain is already showing up this flu season in the U.S. How the U.S. responds depends on how influenza experts engineered this year’s vaccine and whether residents get a flu shot — which can be done on a quick trip to the grocery or drug store or at school.

Convincing people to take advantage of that opportunity is another story.

“It’s sort of odd. One country’s experience doesn’t always mean it will be our experience,” said Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist in the influenza division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Flu is just really hard to anticipate what it is going to do. There are a lot of factors.”

For instance, while Australia, Hong Kong and Southern China had a bad flu season, New Zealand did not, she said. Still, in Australia, more than 50 people have died from the flu this year, including little Vanika. The culprit is the H3N2 strain of the flu which has already surfaced this summer.

Florida teenager Jenny Spell knows all too well the danger of this strain. The Palm Beach Post earlier this year chronicled Spell’s near-death struggle with the flu that forced her onto a heart-lung machine for five days and required a kidney transplant and nearly a year-long rehabilitation.

>> Related: How a Florida teen almost died from the flu

Spell encourages everyone to get a flu shot because it is unknown whose immune system might be the one that can’t fight it off. “If you won’t do it to protect yourself, do it to protect the people you love,” said Spell, now a college student at the University of Florida.

Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, echoes Spell’s sentiments: “You might not only be protecting yourself you will be protecting a young baby or an elderly person who may be next to you.”

Even if someone comes down with a flu strain not included in the vaccine, he or she will get less sick than if they didn’t get the shot, she added.

Dr. Allan Greissman, a specialist at Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida in Hollywood, said he is concerned about the myths about the flu vaccination. Few excuses for not getting the flu shot carry any weight, doctors say.

Five Reasons To Get A Flu Shot Now

  • The Flu Season Is Just Starting: The CDC suggests getting a flu shot as the season starts. It takes awhile for the vaccine to get up to full speed.
  • You Touch Everything: The virus lurks in places you wouldn’t think. Everyone is vulnerable to picking up the virus.
  • A Flu Shot Won’t Make You Sick: It’s a myth. The vaccine is made up of antibodies, an inactive virus that can’t transmit infection.
  • Do It For Others: You can unknowingly pass on the flu to your spouse, your children and those vulnerable, like the elderly
  • The flu can kill: The recent pandemic in Australia killed more than 70.

Source: MyPhysiciansNow.Com

Read more here.

Black man beaten at Charlottesville white nationalist rally turns self in

A counterprotester who was beaten by a group of protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

A picture and video of DeAndre Harris, 20, being attacked by a group at the August rally quickly went viralthe Root reported. The attack left Harris bloodied, with a fractured wrist, a knee injury, abrasions and a cut on his head that required staples, according to CBS News.

>> See the photo here

On Monday, a warrant was issued for Harris’ arrest on behalf of self-described “Southern nationalist” Harold Ray Crews, the Washington Post reported. Crews obtained a warrant from a local magistrate on a felony charge of unlawful wounding after accusing Harris of striking him with a pipe during the Charlottesville rally.

Harris turned himself in to police on Thursday, WSET reported.

Harris’ lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, agrees that Crews was attacked with a pipe but argues Harris wasn’t the attacker. Merritt notes that a picture of Crews being hit in the head with a weapon shows the hand of a white counter-protester — Harris is black. Merritt also denounced another video that allegedly shows Harris hitting Crews with a pipe.`

>> Read more trending news

“The incident that DeAndre was involved in showed [Crews] as the aggressor, driving his pole into [counterprotester] Corey Long, the sharp end of his flag pole. DeAndre responded to that defensively, which is an affirmative defense to the charges filed against him,” Merritt told the Root.

Merritt called the charges against Harris “clearly retaliatory.” In the Washington Post article, he said, “We find it highly offensive and upsetting, but what’s more jarring is that he’s been charged with the same crime as the men who attacked him.”

Detective Sgt. Jake Via of the Charlottesville Police Department said the department was “not expecting” the warrant and had planned to do its own investigation into Crews’ claims when they learned of the warrant, the Post reported.

Two men were already charged with malicious wounding in the attack carried out against Harris, CBS News reported.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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