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Woman dies after 9-year-old boy driving ATV crashes in Florida, officials say

A 9-year-old boy driving an all-terrain vehicle crashed over the weekend, killing a 58-year-old passenger in Osceola County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

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Troopers said the boy was trying to avoid another ATV Saturday on 8 Mile Ranch Road when the vehicle he was operating hit a brim and overturned onto Laura Bizzell, of Avon Park.

The boy suffered minor injuries, but Bizzell died, according to the FHP.

The other ATV driver, Samuel Christmas, 53, suffered minor injuries. 

Authorities continue to investigate the incident.

Police release body cam footage after video shows girl, 2, with hands up after traffic stop

Police in Tallahassee, Florida, responded to a video of a toddler exiting a truck with her hands up over her head, mimicking her parents’ arrest, and walking toward officers who had their guns drawn, by releasing body camera footage taken from a different angle, WCTV reported.

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The incident took place Thursday, and after the cellphone video taken by a passerby during a shoplifting arrest went viral, Tallahassee police Chief Michael DeLeo released several clips from officer body cameras, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. DeLeo said 10 different body camera angles were used in reviewing the incident.

"I believe that incidents like this justify our investment in body worn cameras and the importance of getting all the facts," DeLeo said in a video released on the Police Department’s official Facebook page.

The video released by the Tallahassee police shows the original video that went viral, followed by a statement from DeLeo about the incident. It ends with the body camera footage.

On Thursday afternoon, Chad M. Bom, 34, and James W. McMullen, 38, were charged with theft from a Bealls Outlet store in Tallahassee, according to the news release posted on the Police Department’s Facebook page. Both men were charged with petit theft, the Democrat reported. The mother of the toddler was at the scene

Police had responded to reports of a theft by an armed suspect at the Bealls shopping outlet around 4:30 p.m. and pulled over a truck. They were surprised when the toddler got out and began to mimic her parents, WCTV reported.

"It's OK, sweetie. You don't have to put your hands up," one officer can be heard saying in the body camera footage.

Footage also showed the police allowing the child’s mother to hold the baby while they found a pellet gun in the back seat of the vehicle near a 1-year-old boy who was still strapped into his car seat, WCTV reported.

DeLeo said he was "proud" of his officers' response, adding he felt they showed compassion for the family.

“This video footage captures the compassion demonstrated by our TPD officers during an intense situation. I’m very proud of their actions and appreciative of the work these men and women do each day to keep our community safe,” Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey said in a statement. 

2 lying on road, apparently to watch eclipse, hit by police car, officers say

Two people were injured Sunday night after a police car struck them as they lay in a Florida roadway, apparently to watch the lunar eclipse, according to multiple reports.

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The incident happened just before midnight Sunday near the Apoxee Trail, a 2.5-mile nature trail in West Palm Beach, according to WPBF and city officials.

A police officer was patrolling the trail Sunday in a Ford Explorer when he struck a man and a woman, both 24, while traveling 5 mph, WPEC and WPBF reported. At the time, the area was extremely dark, according to officials.

Police told WPBF that investigators believe the pair was lying in the road to photograph and watch the super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse. They were taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to the news station.

The officer who struck the pair, who was not identified, was placed on paid administrative leave as police investigate the incident, WPEC reported.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Citing 'state emergency,' Bernice King calls for action on world crises

Speaking at a commemoration of what would have been her father’s 90th birthday, Rev. Dr. Bernice King criticized the Trump administration Monday for misquoting her father’s works “to suit our own purposes.”

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King’s remarks were aimed at Trump’s border wall push and comments by Vice President Mike Pence, who during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, said: “One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was ‘Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”

“You think of how he changed America. He inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union,” Pence said on the show. “That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do. Come to the table in the spirit of good faith. We’ll secure our border, we’ll reopen the government and we’ll move our nation forward.”

>> Reflecting on MLK: 'The baddest brother of the 20th century'

On Monday, during remarks at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Bernice King said: “If we really want to make real the promises of democracy, now is the time on this King holiday to stop quoting King out of context and misquoting him to suit our own purposes.”

The Ebenezer audience applauded warmly.

Bernice King also called for action on problems facing the country, ranging from the partial government shutdown affecting federal workers’ livelihood to the resurgence of white supremacist ideologies and voter access problems.

“We are in a state emergency because of our humanitarian crises, and it’s not at our southern border,” she said. “The concern for human welfare is being threatened.”

“When prejudice and bigotry are emboldened…. when schools continue to be unsafe spaces because of impotent gun control laws…. this is a humanitarian crisis and we are in a state of emergency,” King said.

>> Delta contributes grant funding to re-open MLK national park

During remarks at the service, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., called for reflection on King’s words, saying: “He often reminded us that what united us is far greater than what divides us.”

The service came on the holiday weekend when the Martin Luther Jr. National Historical Park reopened to visitors after a closure due to the partial federal shutdown. The reopening was funded with the help of a $83,500 grant from Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines.

Reopened for Martin Luther King Jr. weekend through the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, are the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where King was co-pastor, the home where Martin Luther King Jr. was born, the park’s visitor center and historic Fire Station No. 6.

“We ought to be concerned that the cradle of the civil rights movement is also the capital of income inequality in this country today,” said Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Deputies: Florida man kidnaps cab driver, forces him to drive nearly 200 miles

A homeless man is accused of kidnapping a cab driver and forcing him to drive nearly 200 miles from Florida to a south Georgia town, the Valdosta Daily Times reported.

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Joshua Brandon Sexton, 18, is charged with kidnapping, obstruction of an officer and interference with custody, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office said. He is being held without bond.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, Sexton hailed a cab Jan. 13 and told the driver he had a knife, the Daily Times reported. Sexton forced the driver to take him to Hahira, Georgia, Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk told the newspaper.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the cab driver was from Panama City Beach, Florida.

The suspect was not carrying a knife and only had a pen, Paulk told the Daily Times.

"He wanted to come up here to see his girlfriend," Paulk told the newspaper.

How cold is it? Even the mermaids are frozen

Even the mermaids are frozen.

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It sounds like a Disney movie mixed metaphor, but the temperature in Norfolk, Virginia, was 22 degrees at noon Monday and should remain in the 20s overnight.

On its Facebook page, the Norfolk Police Department posted a photo of the mermaid at Nauticus, the city’s maritime-themed science center and museum situated on the waterfront in downtown Norfolk. 

>> Photos: Massive winter storm hits Midwest and Northeast

“Want to know what it feels like in #NorfolkVA,” the post reads, showing a photo of icicles hanging from the mermaid’s arms, torso and tails.

It doesn’t take Dumbo to realize that it is cold in Norfolk -- and in plenty of other places affected by the winter storm that has hit the Midwest and the Northeast.

Police chase ends with man jumping off freeway overpass in Washington, officials say

A man was hospitalized Sunday after a police chase ended with him jumping off an overpass, according to officials.

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The incident started around 5 p.m. Sunday near 176th Street and Canyon Road in Spanaway when Pierce County deputies tried to stop a car that they say was being driven recklessly.

Officials said the driver fled and police began a pursuit. During that time, the driver hit at least one vehicle, authorities said. The chase continued in the eastbound lanes of State Route 512 and onto the northbound lanes of State Route 167, where authorities said the suspect got caught up in traffic.

Officials said the driver struck cars on an overpass. His car became so damaged it would no longer run, so he got out of the vehicle and jumped off the overpass, authorities said.

Police said the driver fell at least 75 feet to the brush-covered ground below, near Valley Avenue East. Officials found him with multiple broken bones and a collapsed lung. He was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, where he underwent surgery, authorities said.

The other people whose cars were hit suffered minor injuries, according to officials.

Authorities said the suspect will face charges including eluding authorities and eight counts of hit-and-run.

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

Thousands sign petition for Saints-Rams rematch after blown call

More than 150,000 people have signed a petition calling for a rematch of Sunday’s NFC championship matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams after referees missed what many are calling an obvious case of pass interference.

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Change.org petition launched shortly after Sunday’s game had garnered more than 150,000 signatures by Monday afternoon.

“Due to refs’ inability to properly officiate at the game, we … want a re-match against L.A. on Sunday, Jan. 27,” wrote the petition’s organizer, Terry Cassreino, of Madison, Mississippi. “It’s the only fair solution to this travesty of epic proportions.”

>> Saints fans blast officials over missed pass interference call in NFC championship loss

The petition was aimed at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Saints owner Gayle Benson.

"Don’t let the Rams walk away with an NFC championship handed to them by refs that missed a blatant pass interference call late in the fourth quarter — a call that could have won the game for the Saints," Cassreino wrote.

The Rams won Sunday’s game with a final score of 26-23.

>> Louisiana eye care center offers free vision exams for NFL refs

Saints coach Sean Payton said he spoke with the NFL office after Sunday’s match and that he was told Los Angeles cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman should have been flagged after committing a blatant interference penalty in the game's fourth quarter. 

“Not only was it interference, it was helmet to helmet,” Payton said. “I don’t know if there was ever a more obvious pass interference.”

The Rams are set to face off against the New England Patriots on Feb. 3 for Super Bowl LIII.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trump tweets late Hall of Fame support for Curt Schilling

President Donald Trump made a late push for former major league pitcher Curt Schilling to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, tweeting Sunday night that the right-hander had a “Great record, especially when under pressure and when it mattered most.”

>> Read more trending news 

The endorsement came three weeks too late, however, as ballots for the Hall of Fame were due Dec. 31, Sports Illustrated reported. 

The results of the votes will be announced Tuesday, and the new members will be inducted July 21 in Cooperstown, New York.

Schilling, 52, is an outspoken conservative and Trump supporter. He appeared in four World Series, winning with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 and the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. He also appeared in the 1993 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies.Schilling had a 162-111 record during his 20-year major league career, but was 11-2 during the postseason and won four of five World Series decisions. He is considered an outside shot to earn election to Cooperstown this year, according to Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Tracker. 

Schilling has appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot every year since 2013 but has only received a high of 52.3 percent support, Sports Illustrated reported.

Government shutdown: Senate to take up Trump plan this week

The partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 continues as a stalemate between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders over his demand for more than $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

>> Read more trending news

Update 11:30 a.m. EST Jan. 21: The partial government shutdown entered its 31st day Monday.

Democrats and Republicans took first steps over the weekend toward reaching a compromise in the ongoing budget battle, however, it remained unclear Monday whether negotiations would prove fruitful.

Trump on Sunday pressed Democrats to accept a deal he offered Saturday, which would give temporary protections to some immigrants in the United States in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund the border wall. The president also pushed back against critics who accused him of offering amnesty for immigrants who came into the U.S. illegally.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump denies offering amnesty, hits Democrats over shutdown, border wall

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to hold a vote on the president's plan as soon as Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.

Update 5 p.m. EST Jan. 19: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans Senate action this week on President Donald Trump’s proposal to end the partial government shutdown.

Democrats, who control the House, said they find the president’s offer unacceptable.

The plan faces an uphill path in the Senate and virtually no chance of survival in the Democratic-controlled House, according to The Associated Press.

Update 3 p.m. EST Jan. 19: President Donald Trump announced a proposal for Democrats in a televised speech Saturday afternoon to end the the 29-day partial government shutdown.

In his speech, he said he wants to trade temporary protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants for money to build his wall.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Trump’s proposal as a “nonstarter” moments before for the announcement.

Democrats want the protections to be permanent and want him to reopen government before negotiating on border security.

Update 6 p.m. EST Jan. 18: President Donald Trump said in a tweet that he will make a major announcement on the government shutdown and the southern border on Saturday afternoon from the White House.

Saturday will mark the 28th day of the partial government shutdown, the longest in US history.

Update 2:10 p.m. EST Jan. 18: The Office of Management and Budget released a memo Friday barring Congressional delegations from using aircraft paid for with taxpayer money amid the ongoing shutdown.

The memo, from Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought, was released one day after Trump abruptly pulled military air support for a planned Congressional delegation that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Under no circumstances during a government shutdown will any government owned, rented, leased, or chartered aircraft support any Congressional delegation, without the express written approval of the White House Chief of Staff,” Vought said in the memo. “Nor will any funds be appropriated to the Executive Branch be used for any Congressional delegation travel expenses without his express written approval.”

Pelosi told reporters Friday that lawmakers had planned to continue their planned trip to Afghanistan after it was scrapped by Trump’s announcement.

"We had the prerogative to travel commercially and we made plans to do that until the administration then leaked that we were traveling commercially and that endangers us,” she said.

Update 11:50 a.m. EST Jan. 18: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she canceled plans to travel to Afghanistan after Trump pulled military travel support for the trip one day earlier and shared that she planned to visit a war zone.

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said Thursday that the House speaker planned to travel with a Congressional delegation to Belgium and then Afghanistan to visit troops on the front lines. Trump pulled military air support for the trip one day after Pelosi asked him to postponed his State of the Union address, scheduled to take place on Jan. 29, in light of the ongoing shutdown. The president also cited the shutdown and suggested that lawmakers could make the trip on a commercial airline. 

Hammill said Friday that Pelosi and the rest of the delegation were prepared to fly commercially but he said the plan was axed after the Trump administration “leaked the commercial travel plans.” 

“In light of the grave threats caused by the President’s action, the delegation has decided to postpone the trip so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights,” Hammill said.

Update 10:35 p.m. EST Jan. 17: President Donald Trump has canceled the U.S. delegation’s trip later this month to an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that out of consideration for the 800,000 federal workers not getting paid, the president has nixed his delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum. Trump had earlier pulled out of attending the forum because of the shutdown.

Update 3:55 p.m. EST Jan. 17:  An overseas trip that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set leave for on Thursday, before Trump abruptly announced he had pulled military travel support for the trip, was intended to show appreciation for American troops abroad, Pelosi’s spokesman said.

In a letter sent Thursday to Pelosi’s office, the president said a Congressional Delegation, or CODEL, that Pelosi had planned was canceled amid the ongoing government shutdown. Trump said the CODEL intended to make stops in Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan.

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said the speaker planned to stop in Brussels, as required to give the pilot time to rest, and meet with top NATO commanders before continuing on to Afghanistan. He said the trip did not include any stops in Egypt.

“The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation and thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service and dedication, and to obtain critical national security briefings from those front lines,” Hammill said. “The president traveled to Iraq during the Trump Shutdown as did a Republican CODEL (Congressional Deligation) led by Rep. (Lee) Zeldin.”

Update 2:55 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump on Thursday pulled military travel support for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ahead of a planned trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.

Pelosi had planned to leave for a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip, also known as a CODEL, later Thursday, CNN reported.

According to the news network, Trump has “the authority to direct the Department of Defense to not use military assets to support a congressional delegation to military theaters.”

However, CNN noted that it was not immediately clear whether the Defense Department was notified of the cancellation ahead of time.

The cancellation came one day after Pelosi asked Trump to postpone his planned State of the Union address in light of the shutdown.

Update 2:25 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump said Thursday that he's postponing a trip planned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan amid the ongoing partial government shutdown.

>> From Cox Media Group’s National Content Desk: In escalating shutdown fight, Trump cancels plane for Pelosi overseas trip

"It would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown," the president said. "Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative."

Trump addressed the letter to Pelosi’s office one day after she asked him to postpone his planned State of the Union address in light of the shutdown.

The House, which is controlled by Democrats, has passed several bills to re-open government agencies closed by the partial government shutdown, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated earlier this month that he would not bring funding bills passed by the House before the Senate, as the president has signaled several times that he would not sign a spending bill that failed to fund his border wall.

Update 1:35 p.m. EST Jan. 17: The State Department ordered U.S. diplomats in Washington and at embassies around the world to return to work starting next week, saying in a message to employees that they will be paid despite the shutdown.

It was not immediately clear where the money was found, but the department said it had taken steps to "make available additional funds to pay the salaries of its employees, including those affected by the current lapse."

“Employees will  be paid for work performed beginning on or after January 20,” the notice, from Deputy Under Secretary for Management Bill Todd, said. “Beyond (that pay period), we will review balances and available legal authorities to try to cover future pay periods.”

Officials noted that employees would not be paid for work done between Dec. 22, when the partial government shutdown started, and Jan. 20 until after the shutdown ends.

Department officials said they were taking the step because it had become clear that the lapse in funding is harming efforts "to address the myriad critical issues requiring U.S. leadership around the globe and to fulfill our commitments to the American people." 

Officials added that the department's leadership was "deeply concerned" about the financial hardships employees are facing.

Update 12:45 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Trump signed a bill Wednesday that requires the government to compensate federal workers affected by the ongoing shutdown for wages lost, work performed or leave used during the shutdown.

The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 passed in the House last week. It requires that employees be compensated “on the earliest date possible after the lapse ends, regardless of scheduled pay dates.”

Update 2:35 p.m. EST Jan. 16: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday that despite the partial government shutdown, federal officials are prepared to deal with issues that might arise when Trump delivers his State of the Union address later this month.

“The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union,” Nielsen said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Her comments came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the president to delay the address, scheduled January 29, due to security concerns as the shutdown dragged into its 26th day.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: TSA: “Financial limitations” causing airport screeners not to show up for work

Update 10:25 a.m. EST Jan. 16: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday asked Trump to delay his State of the Union address, which is expected later this month, as the partial government shutdown continues.

>> Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union amid shutdown

“Given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi said in a letter sent Wednesday.

Update 1:41 p.m. EST Jan. 15: A federal judge has denied a request from unionized federal employees who filed a lawsuit requiring the government pay air traffic controllers who are working without pay during the shutdown, CNN reported.

>> FDA restarts inspections during shutdown, inspectors working without pay

Update 1:45 p.m. EST Jan. 14: A group of federal employees who was ordered to work without pay amid the ongoing shutdown filed suit last week against the government, comparing their situations to involuntary servitude and accusing Trump and other officials of violating the 13th Amendment, according to The Washington Post.

In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday by four federal workers from Texas and West Virginia who are employed by the departments of Justice, Agriculture and Transportation, attorneys said the workers could face discipline or removal if they failed to continue working despite the fact that they were not getting paid during the shutdown. The Post reported the lawsuit also accused officials of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.

>> Atlanta airport security lines more than an hour long amid federal shutdown

“Our plaintiffs find themselves in the exact same boat as virtually every other furloughed federal employee: bills to pay and no income to pay them,” the workers' attorney, Michael Kator, told the Post. “As this drags on, their situation will become more and more dire.”

The partial government shutdown entered its 24th day Monday, making it the longest in history. The second-longest government shutdown lasted 21 days in the mid-90s, during President Bill Clinton's time in office.

Update 9:05 a.m. EST Jan. 14: Trump railed against Democrats on Monday morning as the partial government shutdown entered its 24th day.

"I've been waiting all weekend," Trump wrote Monday in a tweet. "Democrats must get to work now. Border must be secured!"

The House, which is controlled by Democrats, has passed six bills to re-open government agencies closed by the partial government shutdown, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump heads to see farmers with shutdown in fourth week

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated earlier this month that he would not bring funding bills passed by the House before the Senate, as the president has signaled several times that he would not sign a spending bill that failed to fund his border wall.

"The package presented yesterday by Democratic leaders can only be seen as a time wasting act," he said on Jan. 3.

Update 3:15 p.m. EST Jan. 11: Trump said Friday that it would be easy for him to declare a national emergency to get a wall along the country’s southern border built, but that he has no plans to do so.

“I’m not going to do it so fast,” the president said during a discussion about border security with state, local and community leaders at the White House. “This is something that Congress can do.”

Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, will miss their first paycheck on Friday, and Washington is close to setting a dubious record for the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Update 1:25 p.m. EST Jan. 10: Trump said Thursday he will not travel later this month to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum amid the ongoing partial government shutdown.

The president was scheduled to leave for the trip Jan. 21.

“Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum,” Trump wrote Thursday afternoon on Twitter. “My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!” 

Last year, a brief government shutdown threatened to derail his trip to Davos, where he asserted that his "America First" agenda can go hand-in-hand with global cooperation.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is leading the U.S. delegation to the annual Davos event, which courts high-profile businesspeople and political figures and other elites. Other members of the Cabinet are scheduled to attend as well as Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Update 9:05 a.m. EST Jan. 10: Trump will travel Thursday to Texas to visit the southern border after negotiations to end the partial government shut down crumbled.

The president walked out of discussions Wednesday with Congressional leaders after Democrats again refused to approve of $5.7 billion of funding for his border wall.

“The Opposition Party & the Dems know we must have Strong Border Security, but don’t want to give ‘Trump’ another one of many wins!” Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter.

The president is set to travel to McAllen on Thursday, where he plans to visit a border patrol station for a roundtable on immigration and border security.

Update 3:40 p.m. EST Jan. 9: The president walked out of discussions with leaders in the House and Senate on Wednesday amid the ongoing government shutdown.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the president asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi whether she would agree to fund his border wall and that he walked out of the meeting when she answered in the negative.

“He said, ‘If I open up the government, you won’t do what I want,’” Schumer said.

The president wrote on Twitter that the meeting was “a total waste of time.”

“I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier?” he wrote. “Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

Update 2:35 p.m. EST Jan. 9: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans are standing beside the president Wednesday as the debate over border wall funding continues.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with Senate Republicans for their party lunch Wednesday afternoon.

“The Republicans are unified,” Trump told reporters after the meeting. “We want border security. We want safety for our country.”

The president accused Democrats of blocking funding for the wall, “because I won the presidency and they think they can try and hurt us.” Democrats have called the proposed wall costly, ineffective and "immoral" and say Trump's "manufacturing a crisis."

Trump and Pence are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. with House and Senate leaders from both parties at the White House.

Update 1:30 p.m. EST Jan. 9: Trump said Wednesday that his border wall has "tremendous Republican support” ahead of a meeting with GOP lawmakers as the shutdown drags into its 19th day.

"I think we're going to win,” Trump said. “We need border security, very simple.”

In response to a reporter’s question about how long the president would be willing to let the shutdown last in order to secure funding for the wall, Trump said, “whatever it takes.”

Update 12:50 p.m. EST Jan. 9: During a bill signing at the White House on Wednesday, the president pushed again for funding of his border wall, arguing that human trafficking can’t be stopped without it.

"As long as we have a border that is not secure, we're going to suffer the consequences of that," Trump said.

The president brushed off critics who have said a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would be ineffective to address immigration issues.

“They say a wall is a medieval solution, that’s true,” Trump said. “It worked then, it works even better now”

Democrats have called Trump's promised wall costly, ineffective and "immoral" and say he's "manufacturing a crisis."

The bill Trump signed is designed to enhance an annual State Department report that measures global efforts to eliminate human trafficking.

Update 10:35 a.m. EST Jan. 9: Officials will hold a series of meetings Wednesday in an attempt to end the government shutdown that began 19 days ago, according to Politico.

The president, Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will meet Wednesday afternoon with Senate Republicans for their party lunch, the news site reported. Then, at 3 p.m., the president will meet with House and Senate leaders from both parties at the White House, Poliltico reported, noting it will mark “the third such bipartisan meeting in a week’s time.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday morning that Trump is still considering the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get the wall built.

"(It's) something we're still looking at, something that's certainly still on the table," she said, according to Bloomberg News. "The best solution is to be able to work with Congress to get this done."

The president did not mention the possibility of declaring a national emergency to get the wall built Tuesday night, during his first address from the Oval Office. He wrote Wednesday morning on Twitter, “we MUST fix our Southern Border!”

Trump is scheduled to visit the border Thursday.

Update 10:50 p.m. EST Jan. 8: In his first ever televised Oval Office address, President Donald Trump urged congressional Democrats to fund his border wall Tuesday night, blaming illegal immigration for the scourge of drugs and violence in the U.S. 

Democrats in response accused Trump appealing to “fear, not facts” and manufacturing a border crisis for political gain.

He argued for spending some $5.7 billion for a border wall on both security and humanitarian grounds as he sought to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats amid the extended shutdown.

He will visit the Mexican border in person on Thursday.

Update 8:07 p.m. EST Jan. 8: The New York Times is reporting that Trump will not declare a national emergency this evening in order to circumvent Congress to get funds to build the wall. According to the times, “administration officials who had seen a draft copy of his speech said the president was not preparing to do so.”

Update 10:45 a.m. EST Jan. 8: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will deliver the Democratic response to Trump's planned prime time address, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.

Update 1:50 p.m. EST Jan. 7: Trump said he plans to address the nation Tuesday night as Democrats continue to stand firm on their refusal to fund the president’s border wall.

“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security  crisis on our Southern Border Tuesday night at 9 P.M. Eastern,” Trump said Monday afternoon in a tweet.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Trump to visit Mexican border as White House pushes for security funding

The announcement came after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump plans to visit the southern border on Thursday.

Update 1:40 p.m. EST Jan. 7: Trump on Thursday will visit the southern border amid the ongoing shutdown impasse, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Update 9:10 a.m. EST Jan. 7: The partial government shutdown entered its 17th day Monday with no end in sight despite meetings over the weekend meant to help bring the shutdown to a close, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.

Update 3:30 p.m. EST Jan. 4: Trump said Friday that he’s considering using his executive authority to get a wall built on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely,” Trump said. “I haven’t done it. I may do it.”

The president spoke with reporters Friday after meeting with congressional leaders amid the ongoing budget impasse. He said he’s designated a team to meet over the weekend with lawmakers to resolve the standoff. 

Update 2:40 p.m. EST Jan. 4: At a news conference Friday, Trump confirmed he told congressional leaders that he would be willing to allow the government shut down to continue for months or years if Democrats refuse to fund his border wall.

“I don’t think (the government will remain closed that long) but I am prepared,” Trump said. “I hope it doesn’t go on even beyond a few more days.”

Trump met with top leaders from the House and Senate on Friday morning to discuss the ongoing partial government shutdown and his demand for $5.6 billion to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump: Shutdown could go ‘months or even years’ in border wall dispute

The president said Friday’s meeting was “very, very productive,” though top Democrats told reporters after the meeting that little was accomplished.

“How do you define progress in a meeting?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked reporters after the meeting. “When you have a better understanding of each other’s position? When you eliminate some possibilities? If that’s the judgement, we made some progress.”

Update 1:40 p.m. EST Jan. 4: Top Democrats said a meeting with Trump aimed at bringing the ongoing partial government shutdown to an end was contentious on Friday, with neither side willing to budge in the ongoing battle over funding for a border wall.

“We told the president we needed the government open," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after the meeting. "He resisted. In fact, he said he'd keep the government closed for a very long period of time -- months or even years."

Update 9:20 a.m. EST Jan. 4: Trump is set to meet Friday morning with congressional leaders, though it was not clear whether the meeting would help bring to an end the partial government shutdown that began nearly two weeks ago.

The meeting, scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m., will include newly sworn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top leaders from the House and Senate, NPR reported

House Democrats approved of a spending bill Thursday to re-open the government, prompting a veto threat from Trump.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump threatens vetoes as House passes bills to end partial shutdown

“If either H.R. 21 or H.J. Res. 1 were presented to the President, his advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,” the White House said in a veto threat against the plans passed by House Democrats in the opening hours of the 116th Congress, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.

Update 11:45 p.m. EST Jan. 3: House Democrats have approved a plan to re-open the government without funding President Donald Trump’s promised border wall. 

The largely party-line votes by the new Democratic majority came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room to pledge a continued fight for his signature campaign promise. 

The Democratic package to end the shutdown includes a bill to temporarily fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Feb. 8 as bipartisan talks continue. 

It was approved, 239-192.

Update 11:15 p.m. EST Jan. 2: President Donald Trump said he remains “ready and willing” to work with Democrats to pass a government spending bill even as he refuses to budge over funding for his long-promised border wall. 

Trump tweeted “Let’s get it done!” as the partial government shutdown continues with no end in sight.

Trump has invited the group back for a follow-up session Friday, the day after Nancy Pelosi is expected to become speaker of the House.

Earlier, they met Trump at the White House Wednesday for a briefing on border security.

The session did not yield any breakthroughs according to The Associated Press, and Democrats said they remained committed to introducing the legislation Thursday. The administration has so far rejected the plan, which does not include funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Schumer said Trump could not provide a “good answer” for opposing the bills. He added that Trump and Republicans “are now feeling the heat.”

Update 9:30 a.m. EST Jan. 2: Congressional leaders are expected to attend a briefing on border security Wednesday at the White House as the partial government shutdown continues, The Associated Press reported.

Among the lawmakers expected to attend the meeting are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to the AP. Top incoming House Republicans, Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, are also expected to attend.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m., The Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper noted that few, if any, compromises are likely to be offered at the session, which comes one day before Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.

Update 5 p.m. EST Jan. 1: Trump has invited congressional leaders to a border security briefing scheduled for Wednesday. The Associated Press reported the top two Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate have been invited. Other possible attendees and agenda have not been released.

The White House has not commented on the apparent invitations, the AP reported.

Update 12:35 p.m. EST Dec. 28: Trump threatened Friday to close the southern U.S. border if Democrats continued to refuse to fund his border wall.

“We build a Wall or we close the Southern Border,” he said in a series of tweets Friday morning.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News on Friday that Trump had canceled his plans for New Year’s Eve in light of the ongoing shutdown. Still, Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, told The Associated Press on Friday that Democrats won’t fund the president’s “immoral, ineffective expensive wall.”

“While we await the President’s public proposal, Democrats have made it clear that, under a House Democratic Majority, we will vote swiftly to re-open government on Day One,” Hammill said.

Update 3:15 p.m. EST Dec. 27: The partial government shutdown that started Saturday is expected to last into the new year. 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said in a statement obtained Thursday by C-SPAN that no votes were expected in the U.S. House of Representatives this week as the shutdown continues.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday showed 47 percent of Americans hold Trump responsible for the partial government shutdown, despite the president’s assertion that Democrats are at fault.

The poll found 33 percent of adults blame Democrats in Congress.

In a pair of tweet Thursday, the president accused Democrats of “obstruction of the needed Wall.”

Update: 3:35 p.m. EST Dec. 25: President Trump spoke to members of the five branches of the U.S. military via video conference Tuesday, sending them his well-wishes before discussing the partial government shutdown and the country's need for a wall: 

“I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it."

Update 3:50 p.m. EST Dec. 23: Incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” that the shutdown could continue into the next year.

“It is very possible that the shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress,” Mulvaney said.

Update 3:55 p.m. EST Dec. 22: The Senate does not estimate a vote on a deal to end the partial government shutdown until next Thursday at the earliest, tweeted Jamie Dupree, Cox Media Group Washington correspondent.

The Senate Cloakroom, a Twitter account for the Republican side of the Senate floor, tweeted the following schedule for the Senate: “Following today’s session, the Senate will convene on Monday, December 24th at 11:00 am for a Pro Forma Session. Following the Pro Forma Session, we will next convene at 4:00 pm on Thursday, December 27th and consider business if a deal has been reached on government funding”

President Trump has been active on Twitter today, saying he’s in the White House today “working hard,” and reaffirming his support for tough border security.

“I won an election, said to be one of the greatest of all time, based on getting out of endless & costly foreign wars & also based on Strong Borders which will keep our Country safe. We fight for the borders of other countries, but we won’t fight for the borders of our own!” the President tweeted.

Update 3:00 p.m. EST Dec. 22: White House officials are warning that the government shutdown will last through the holidays, as Trump is not relenting on his demand, tweeted New York Times White House correspondent Katie Rogers. "We have continued to put forth what we think is an important expectation ... which is $5 billion in border security," a senior White House official told reporters, according to Rogers’ tweet.

Update 12:30 p.m. EST Dec. 22: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave an update on government funding negotiations. He said a procedural agreement was made to “create space” to allow discussions between Senate Democrats and White House. There will be no votes until Trump and Senate Democrats reach an agreement.

Update 9:06 a.m. EST Dec. 22: The Senate is expected to meet today at noon to see if they can hammer out an agreement that President Trump will sign.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told press Friday night that “constructive talks are underway," for such an agreement, reported CNN.

If any new deal is announced, lawmakers would be given 24 hours notice to return to Washington for a vote.

Update 1:31 a.m. EST Dec. 22: In a joint statement released shortly after the partial government shutdown went into effect, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y,) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were critical of President Donald Trump and called the government closures the “Trump shutdown.”

"President Trump has said more than 25 times that he wanted a shutdown and now he has gotten what he wanted," Schumer and Pelosi said in the statement. “Democrats have offered Republicans multiple proposals to keep the government open, including one that already passed the Senate unanimously, and all of which include funding for strong, sensible, and effective border security -- not the president’s ineffective and expensive wall.

“If President Trump and Republicans choose to continue this Trump Shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government in January.”

Update 10:45 p.m. EST Dec. 21: With a partial government shutdown expected at midnight, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney instructed agencies to plan for a shutdown.

Mulvaney says in a memo for government executives that “we are hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration” but that employees should report to work when scheduled to “undertake orderly shutdown activities.”

Update 8:19 p.m. EST Dec. 21: The Senate adjourned without a deal on spending, just after 8 p.m. Friday evening ensuring a partial government shutdown at midnight Friday.

Senators expect to return at noon Saturday as talks continue.

Update 7:09 p.m. EST Dec. 21: The House adjourned Friday evening and will return Saturday at noon which will likely trigger a partial shutdown.

Update 5:55 p.m. EST Dec. 21: With just over 6 hours left until the midnight deadline, Vice President Pence’s tie-breaking vote advanced the 47-47 tally after a marathon, five-hour voting session in the Senate that dragged on as senators rushed back to Washington.

The move doesn’t immediately end the threat of a partial federal shutdown, but it kick-starts negotiations as Congress tries to find a resolution to Trump’s demand for the wall.

Senators say they won’t vote on a final bill to fund the government until Trump and congressional leaders all agree to a deal.

Update 3:15 p.m. EST Dec. 21: Trump spoke with reporters before signing a criminal justice reform bill Friday. 

"It's possible that we'll have a shutdown,” the president said. “I think the chances are probably very good because I don't think Democrats care so much about maybe this issue, but this is a very big issue”

The Republican-led House approved funding Thursday for Trump's border wall and sent the bill to the Senate.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: With impasse over wall funding, federal workers gear up for shutdown

Senators are holding a procedural vote Thursday afternoon to determine whether to move forward with the bill.

During a meeting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer last week, Trump said he’d shut down the government if lawmakers failed to secure $5 billion in funding for a wall to span the U.S.-Mexico border.

“If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government,” Trump said. “I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: VIDEO: Trump and top Democrats spar in Oval Office showdown

Update 10:20 a.m. EST Dec. 21: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the officials plan to discuss “the funding bill and the importance of border security” at 10:30 a.m.

The president insisted on Twitter Friday morning that, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!”

Ten days earlier, Trump said during a meeting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer that he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.”

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: VIDEO: Trump and top Democrats spar in Oval Office showdown

Original report: A potential government shutdown looms and President Donald Trump is tweeting, saying that if a spending plan isn’t passed and signed by midnight, it will be the Democrats fault when the government closes.

On Thursday night, after a meeting between House Republicans and the president, the House passed a spending bill that included $5 billion for Trump’s border wall. 

>>From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: With Friday night deadline, funding fight shifts to Senate

The vote was 217-185, CNN reported.

The bill is in the hands of the Senate whose members have to act on it before the midnight deadline or the government closes. 

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Shutdown chances jump as Trump demands money for his border wall

Washington watchers believe the bill will not pass because of the money earmarked for the wall, CNN reported

Democrats have said they will not support the money for the border and both sides of the Senate aisle are needed if the spending plan is to pass.

>> Government shutdown: What will close; will you get your Social Security check, SNAP, WIC?

In a series of morning tweets by the President, he placed the blame on Democrats if the government shuts down.

The president said he would not sign the Senate-backed spending bill that does not include money for the border wall. The Senate plan would grant funding to keep the government operating until Feb. 8, The Washington Post reported

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jimmy Buffett drops mic after singing national anthem at NFC title game

Singer Jimmy Buffett caused a stir on social media after his a cappella performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before Sunday’s NFC Championship game, several media outlets reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Reactions were mixed after Buffett’s emphatic drop before the New Orleans Saints hosted the Los Angeles Rams. After the final line of the song, the “Margaritaville” singer raised his right arm and dropped the microphone near the 50-yard line, Rolling Stone reported.

“Wonderful honor. Thank you,” Buffett posted on Twitter.

Buffett’s actions were met with sharp criticism by some.

“Wow. One of the worst renditions of all time. Awful,” New England Patriots color analyst Scott Zolak tweeted.

“Are Jimmy Buffet (sic) concerts as bad as his national anthem?” People quoted one social media poster.

>> Louisiana eye care center offers free vision exams for NFL refs

“Bring in Danny DeVito for the Super Bowl. America is ready,” tweeted Foster the People.

A representative for Buffett “did not immediately return a request for comment,” Fox News reported.

Here is a sampling of reactions posted on social media.

12-year-old girl dies after snow fort collapse

A 12-year-old girl died Sunday afternoon after a snow fort that she and a friend were making outside of an Illinois church fell on top of them, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

The 12-year-old girl and her 9-year-old friend were attending services at Rothem Church in Arlington Heights when they went outside around 2:40 p.m. to play in the snow, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

After an hour passed without the girls’ return, family members left the church to search for them. They found the girls buried in snow, according to the Chicago Tribune. It was not immediately clear how long the girls were in the snow before they were found.

Authorities rushed the girls to Northwest Community Hospital, where the 12-year-old was pronounced dead, WGN-TV reported. Doctors treated the 9-year-old girl for hypothermia and held her for observation, but Arlington Heights police Sgt. Charles Buczynski told the Sun-Times that she was expected to survive.

“This appears to be a tragic accident,” Buczynski said, according to the Tribune.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Barges break loose, force Pittsburgh bridges to close

Barges broke loose early Monday morning along the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, forcing the closure of bridges in Pittsburgh, officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

The barges were reported to have broken loose about 5 a.m.

The West End, McKees Rocks, Fort Pitt, Liberty and Smithfield Street bridges were closed, but they have since reopened.

Barges could be seen resting against the Fort Pitt and Smithfield Street bridges.

Bridge inspection crews worked to determine whether any of the bridges sustained damage before reopening them, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials said.

According to the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the Panhandle Bridge took a direct hit from one of the loose barges. A contractor will inspect the bridge to determine whether it’s safe for the light rail system to use.

“With safety our top priority, we will need to inspect the bridge for any damage before operating service on it,” the Port Authority tweeted.

The Glenwood, Birmingham, Hot Metal, South 10th Street and Interstate 79 Neville Island bridges remained open Monday morning and were able to be used as alternate routes, according to PennDOT.

Louisiana eye care center offers free vision exams for NFL refs

After the New Orleans Saints’ controversial loss in Sunday’s NFC Championship game, a Louisiana eye care business offered free vision care for NFL officials before next season, WWL reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Saints fans were seeing red after a disputed non-call for pass interference late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Tommylee Lewis before Drew Brees’ pass arrived inside the 5-yard line, forcing the Saints to settle for a field goal with 1:41 left in regulation. Los Angeles tied the game moments later and then won in overtime, 26-23.

>> On Boston25News.com: Patriots win AFC Championship in OT

Sunday night, Louisiana Family Eyecare posted its offer for free eye exams for referees on its Facebook page.

“After having time to consider things we will GLADLY provide no cost eye exams to all NFL officials prior to next season to prevent the atrocity that occurred tonight," the Covington, Louisiana, business posted. “We would hate for someone else to feel our pain."

A Texas vision center in College Station made a similar offer, WWL reported.

"In light of the atrocious lack of calls during the New Orleans Saints game, we would like to extend free eye exams and glasses to any NFL referee in need. You know who you are," CrystalVisionCenter tweeted.

Here is the controversial play.

Reflecting on MLK: 'The baddest brother of the 20th century'

Late last year, 88-year-old Clarence Jones found himself in the ICU for 17 days for what turned out to be a heart condition. From his hospital bed, the former personal attorney and speechwriter for Martin Luther King Jr. began reflecting on his own life, then it hit him: King would have turned 90 this year.

He had the idea of gathering together people who had worked with King, along with a host of younger leaders.

“I thought there would be no more fitting tribute to Dr. King than those of us to come together and reflect on what his legacy meant to us and the world,” said Jones, who penned an early version of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

>> Read more trending news

King was born Jan. 15, 1929, the same year as Anne Frank. When he was killed in 1968, he was 39 years old – younger than Barack Obama and Stacey Abrams are now.

Were he still alive, even at 90, King would be younger than Jimmy Carter. Younger than Cicely Tyson. Younger than Harry Belafonte.

>> Photos: The life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday’s celebration of King allows the nation to honor the life of a kid from Auburn Avenue who went on to win a Nobel Peace Prize and get a holiday named for him posthumously.

But the nice round number of 90 also invites scholars, social activists and veteran civil rights leaders to consider King’s messages of racial equality, economic justice and political and social transformations through the lens of today’s lingering problems.

>> 5 things you didn't know about Martin Luther King Jr.

Earlier this month, Jones’ round-table of three dozen past, current and future leaders met at Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in California. They talked about the erosion of past gains and bemoaned what he called the “repetitive routine” that annual King celebrations have become.

“We watch in anguish as many achievements toward a more just and equal society we believed were secure are being eviscerated in front of our eyes,” Jones wrote in the document “A Call to Conscience on the 90th Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.,” published after the gathering. “In this hour of constitutional crisis and moral emergency, do we wish to truthfully honor Dr. King’s life and further his legacy? If we wish to honor Dr. King, we must shake the foundations of our grotesquely unequal social and economic order.”

>> MLK Day of Service: What is it and how to get involved

Reporters at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached out to some of the people who signed on to the document, as well as established and budding civil and human rights activists, to talk about King’s legacy and his relevance 90 years after his birth.

For Bernard Lafayette — a veteran civil rights worker who was with King on April 4, 1968, the day he died — it’s clear.

“It would be a different world if he were still alive.”

Clarence Jones, founder of Gandhi King Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice, which is based at the University of San Francisco, and organizer of King retreat 

“The nation tends to get into a repetitive routine about celebrating Martin Luther King. Most of the celebrations have one thing in common — they want to sanitize who he was. They want to distill it. But when they distill it, they take out the essences of who he was. He was the baddest brother of the 20th Century.” 

Susannah Heschel, professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College 

“We’re facing terrible times. The shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, people painting swastikas on tombstones in Jewish cemeteries and graveyards, made me think of the shooting at Mother Emanuel in South Carolina. But my father used to say, ‘Evil is never the climax of the story.’ We may come into a time when things are grim, but we shouldn’t stop and say, ‘I give up.’ We change and persist.” 

 The Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor Ebenezer Baptist Church

“Part of why we are drawn to Dr. King is that he managed to be on the right side of history, while living history. There is an integrity to his vision for humanity that cohered. It drove the civil rights activists to also be concerned about Vietnam. It showed the connection to militarism and poverty and the larger issue on race. He was a living canon. I am inspired that he called upon us to resist a cruel logic of a fear-based world. Fear is driving us now. That is why we can’t get the obvious things done. We fail to listen to him at our peril.”

Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance. Poo says King’s core message of human dignity is the foundation of her organization’s work. 

“Nannies who take care of our children, home-care workers who protect and care for our elders, women maintaining order and sanity in our homes as housekeepers, they are making it possible for us to go out and do our jobs, but they are working for poverty wages and without protections in the workplace. They usually have no benefits, no safety net and no protections from sexual harassment. So, the people we are counting on to take care of us can’t take care of their own families, their basic human dignity is compromised. … He would be on the front lines building this movement with us. He knew these issues of racial inequality were fundamental to the devaluing of the work and of the women who do this work. The struggle for civil and human rights and dignity at work are one in the same.” 

Clayborne Carson, Stanford University professor and director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute 

“The civil rights struggles went on for more than 50 years prior to the 1960s. You don’t just stage a protest and get major civil rights reform. You have to stay in it for the long haul. It may take another 50 or 60 years to achieve results. But you have to be in it for the long haul and celebrate every victory you get.” 

Bernard Lafayette, chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Auburn University professor

“People thought the problem with racism was over when Obama got elected. Some people got too relaxed. And the young people who lived through the Obama Administration had a whole different view and had no idea of the racism incubating that is shown through our current president. Racists were ready to burst out. … If Martin, John F. Kennedy and Malcolm X had lived longer, they would have come together as a coalition and things would be totally different. Martin Luther King would have the influence around the world to also get that kind of support in other countries as well. Only one person is celebrated more than Martin Luther King, that is Jesus Christ himself.”

Latosha Brown, founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, an Atlanta-based voter advocacy group that she said was built on the teachings of King

“Most of my work has been shaped by Dr. King. (Civil rights leader) James Orange was one of my mentors, so the shaping of my political ideology and work was heavily influenced by Dr. King. That is why I do civil rights, voting rights and social justice work. I believe that he was a prophet and his prophetic voice is as relevant now as it was then. There have been those who wanted to mainstream his message and not talk about his positions on the inequity in economics, or policing and or militarization. But I love the radical King.”

Lady Gaga slams Trump over shutdown, Pence over LGBTQ rights

Lady Gaga isn't holding back when it comes to her feelings about the partial government shutdown and LGBTQ rights.

>> Bon Jovi's restaurant to serve free meal to federal workers furloughed during shutdown

According to Billboard, the award-winning singer and actress got political during a weekend show in Las Vegas, blasting President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. 

>> Watch the moment here (WARNING: Linked video contains profanity.)

"If the [expletive] president of the United States could please put our government back. ... There are people who live paycheck to paycheck and need their money," she said to cheers from the audience.

Gaga also slammed Pence and his wife, Karen Pence.

>> Read more trending news 

"To Mike Pence, who thinks it's acceptable that his wife works at a school that bans LGBTQ: You are wrong," she said, calling him "the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian."

Gaga was referring to reports that the second lady was hired by Immanuel Christian School in Virginia, where students can be expelled or denied admission for “condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity,” according to the Washington Post.

Read more here.

Saints fans blast officials over missed pass interference call in NFC championship loss

New Orleans Saints fans are crying foul after officials missed what many are calling an obvious case of pass interference in Sunday's NFC championship.

>> On Boston25News.com: Patriots beat Chiefs to win AFC Championship, earn spot in Super Bowl LIII

According to The Associated Press, the controversial play came as the Saints and Los Angeles Rams were tied in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. That's when the Rams' Nickell Robey-Coleman "committed a blatant interference penalty with a helmet-to-helmet hit" on the Saints' Tommylee Lewis, the AP reported

>> Watch the moment here

The Saints then settled for a field goal before the Rams followed suit, tying the game 23-23 and forcing it into overtime. The Rams ultimately won 26-23.

>> Read more trending news 

Angry fans blasted officials on social media. Scroll down to see what they were saying: According to WVUE, Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters after the game that a league official admitted the play should have been called pass interference.

“I got away with one tonight,” conceded Robey-Coleman, the AP reported.

Read more here or here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Who is Kamala Harris? 5 things to know

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, announced Monday that she is running for president in 2020.

>> Read more trending news 

Here are some things to know about Harris.

She’s a California native.

Born Oct. 20, 1964, in Oakland, California, Harris is the daughter of Donald Harris, a Stanford University economics professor who immigrated from Jamaica, and Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who was a cancer scientist and the daughter of an Indian diplomat. She has a sister named Maya who is a public policy advocate.

She’s an HBCU grad.

Harris studied political science and economics at Howard University, the oldest historically black university in America. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 and got her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

She’s an attorney.

Although she hasn’t practiced since she’s been in office as a senator, Harris was deputy district attorney in Oakland, California, from 1990 to 1998. While there, she specialized in prosecuting sexual assault cases involving children.

From 2004 to 2011, she was the 27th district attorney of San Francisco. She  made history in 2010 when she was elected attorney general of California, becoming the first female and first African-American to have the position. She ran again in 2014 and was re-elected.

She’s an author.

Harris wrote “Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor's Plan to Make Us Safer” in 2009. The book examines myths in the criminal justice system and solutions to improve approaches to fighting crime. Her memoir, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” will be released in 2019.

She’s a stepmother of two.

Harris married Doug Emhoff, a lawyer, in 2014, making her stepmother to his children from a previous marriage, Ella and Cole Emhoff.

Super wolf blood moon: 10 stunning photos from the lunar eclipse

Astronomy buffs got a special treat Sunday as a combined lunar eclipse, blood moon and supermoon added a red glow to the night sky.

>> PHOTOS: Super wolf blood moon lunar eclipse delights skygazers

>> Super wolf blood moon: A viewing guide for the coolest sounding lunar eclipse

Social media users are sharing their snapshots with the hashtag #SuperBloodWolfMoon. Here are some of our favorites:

>> Read more trending news 

1. San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Photo by @PatrickDillons, Twitter

2. New York City

Photo by @maximusupinnyc, Instagram

3. Austin, Texas

Photo by @zandi_photography, Instagram

4. Toronto

Photos by @TorSunphoto21, Twitter

5. Walland, Tennessee

Photo by @OneLanePhoto, Twitter

6. Colorado

Photo by @jason_odell, Twitter

7. Birds Hill Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada

Photo by @ryanlucenkiw, Instagram

8. Olin, Iowa

Photos by @BillWeirCNN, Twitter

9. Martinez, California

Photo by @jcfphotog, Twitter

10. New York City

Photo by @guygabriel57, Instagram

Oregon man shot dead after killing 4 family members, including baby, deputies say

An Oregon man is dead after police say he killed four of his family members, including his baby daughter, deputies said. 

According to The Associated Press, Clackamas County sheriff's deputies shot and killed Mark Leo Gregory Gago, 42, of Woodburn, at his home late Saturday as he was attacking his girlfriend's 8-year-old daughter.

"Deputies used deadly force on Gago, saving the girl's life," the Sheriff's Office said in a news release Sunday.

>> Read more news stories 

Authorities said Gago had killed four others before deputies arrived, including Gago's parents, Jerry Bremer, 66, and Pamela Bremer, 64; his girlfriend, Shaina Sweitzer, 31; and his 9-month-old daughter with Sweitzer, Olivia Gago. Officials have not said how Gago killed the victims.

"We're not sure what was used at this time," sheriff's Sgt. Brian Jensen said Sunday, the AP reported. "I've been told that there were numerous weapons, swords, things of that nature in the residence."

A roommate also was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, deputies said. 

Read more here or here.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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