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Nanny to the stars dishes out her top tips for new parents

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Nanny to the stars Connie Simpson, also known as Nanny Connie, shared an interesting tidbit about her celebrity clients.

She told Good Morning America that they’re just like the rest of us.

“They’re parents too, and I love each individual person the same,” she said. “What I’ve learned is that all parents have the same struggles.”

Her clients have included Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, and John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. She talks about her methods in a new book, The Nanny Connie Way.

Celebrity or not, there are a few tips that can serve any parent in the early days of baby’s life. Here are her top three:

1. Pay attention to that sleep deprivation.

2. Buy plenty of diapers.

3. Breastfeeding mothers need to be drinking plenty of water.

“Parents, it’s all about that nucleus — and you’re it,” she told GMA. “Children need their parents.”

As for nanny myths, Simpson said there are plenty. But what does she think is the biggest one?

“The biggest myth about being a nanny is that children sleep through the night and a person like me is not needed,” she said. “Well, you are wrong. I am very much needed. If it’s not me, it needs to be your grandmother or your cousin or someone who can help you with that sleep deprivation, because it’s real.”

Nanny Connie has just launched a new app with augmented reality, so now any parent can have access to her expertise.

“This augmented reality thing? They told me to bottle myself,” she said. “Well, hell, here it is. AR, I’m here! Find me in my book or find me on the internet. Just download that AR app.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 4/24/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:

INTERLEAGUE
Chicago Cubs 10, Cleveland 3
Milwaukee 5, Kansas City 2
 
AMERICAN LEAGUE
Seattle 1, Chicago White Sox 0
N.Y. Yankees 8, Minnesota 3
Toronto 4, Boston 3, 10 Innings
Oakland 3, Texas 2
L.A. Angels 8, Houston 7

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cincinnati 9, Atlanta 7, 12 Innings
Arizona 8, Philadelphia 4
N.Y. Mets 6, St. Louis 5, 10 Innings
Colorado 8, San Diego 0
Miami 3, L.A. Dodgers 2
San Francisco 4, Washington 3

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Boston 92, Milwaukee 87
Philadelphia 104, Miami 91
Golden State 99, San Antonio 91

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“The Voice” recap: Kelly Clarkson loses an artist

Tyler Golden/NBC / 2018 NBCUniversal Media(LOS ANGELES) — On Tuesday’s episode of The Voice, the 12 artists who performed on Monday learned that D.R. King, from Kelly Clarkson’s team, was sent home.

King was eliminated a the end of the one-hour results show. He lost an “Instant Save” vote to Rayshun LaMarr, also from Team Adam Levine.

There are now 11 artists remaining in the competition, including those of Teams Blake Shelton and Alicia Keys.

Prior to the vote, King and LaMarr sang for an opportunity to be saved by the viewers. King performed “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by The Temptations, and LaMarr covered Tina Turner’s “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”

The results show also featured Kelly joining her team for a group performance of Bleachers’ “Don’t Take the Money,” and Blake leading his team in version of Sam & Dave’s “I Thank You.”

The evening also included Levine’s band Maroon 5 performing their latest single, “What Lovers Do.”

The Voice returns Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

White House says Trump will defend VA nominee hours after he suggested he step aside

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Hours after President Donald Trump suggested his embattled nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, should step aside, the White House is now saying the president will fight for him.

“The president will be defending him,” White House Director for Legislative Affairs Marc Short told ABC News just moments after Jackson emerged from a late afternoon meeting with Trump at the White House.

A White House official added that Jackson will not be withdrawing his name from consideration.

Those comments came after the president said Jackson, his White House physician and hand-picked nominee to head the VA should withdraw his name from consideration.

“I wouldn’t – if I were him, actually in many ways I’d love to be him, but the fact is I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said in the East Room of the White House during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“What does he need it for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren’t thinking nicely about our country? I really don’t think personally he should do it, but it’s totally his. I would stand behind him. Totally his decision,” Trump said.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is reviewing what it calls “serious allegations” surrounding Jackson that include claims he created a hostile work environment and improperly dispensed medication as a White House physician, congressional and administration sources tell ABC News.

The sources said the medication in question is the prescription sleep aid Ambien.

Committee leaders announced Tuesday that they had postponed Wednesday’s confirmation hearing while they reviewed the allegations.

As part of its defense of Jackson, the administration has just released official copies of 2012 and 2013 “command climate assessments” for the White House Medical Unit as well as signed performance reviews of Jackson by Presidents Obama and Trump. “Dr. Jackson is a great doctor + leader – ‘ 2-star material,” President Trump wrote in his own handwriting in a 2017 fitness report and counseling record.

The administration says that the claims against Jackson of a hostile work environment result from a personal feud Jackson had with another doctor in the White House Medical Unit — a dynamic which was ultimately resolved and morale improved, according to one of the assessments.

“Dr. Jackson’s record as a White House physician is impeccable,” a senior administration official said. “He has improved unit morale, received glowing reviews and promotions under Republican and Democrat presidents, and has been given a clean vet from the FBI. He has never even been the subject of an Inspector General review and he will certainly not be railroaded by a bitter ex-colleague who was removed from his job.”

Earlier this afternoon, just moments before the president suggests he not go through with the confirmation process, ABC News spotted Jackson on Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers about his nomination. He ignored questions about the allegations and said, “I’m looking forward to re-scheduling the hearing and getting the process moving.”

Asked whether the hearing would be rescheduled he said, “That’s going to be up to the committee.”

President Trump praised Jackson as “a fine man” and a “great doctor, great everything,” but said wouldn’t want Jackson to go through a politically damaging nomination process.

“I don’t want to put a man through who’s not a political person. I don’t want to put a man through a process like this,” Trump said. “It’s too ugly and too disgusting. So we’ll see what happens. He’ll make a decision.”

Trump also addressed concerns that Jackson, who is currently the president’s personal White House physician, lacks the overall management qualifications to head the second largest agency in the federal government, saying simply “there’s an experience problem.”

In a letter to Trump, the top Republican and Democrat on the committee ask the White House to turn over “any and all allegations and documents, including those developed during the course of an investigation” related to Jackson’s service in the White House Medical Unit.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, would not discuss details of the allegations but told ABC News “they go to his integrity and his management ability and his credibility to manage that department.”

Committee chairman Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson shared concerns about the allegations but cautioned to ABC News “not everything you read in the news is true.”

The White House was standing by the nomination of Jackson earlier Tuesday, but senior aides concede privately that there is a chance the nomination goes down.

Deputy secretary Hogan Gidley released a statement Tuesday morning on Jackson after news of the allegations broke, saying “He’s served as the physician to three Presidents—Republican and Democrat—and been praised by them all.

“Admiral Jackson’s record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what’s needed at the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve,” the statement said.

Jackson has spoken publicly about prescribing Ambien during White House international trips, a common practice for overcoming jet lag. “When we travel from one time zone to another time zone on the other side of the planet, I recommend that everyone on the plane take a sleep aid at certain times so that we can try our best to get on the schedule of our destination,” Jackson said at a press briefing earlier this year.

Several lawmakers said the White House should be held responsible for the delayed nomination because of a failure to properly vet the nominee.

“It is really frustrating to me that this administration continues to not vet or sloppily send over a nominee that leaves us having to really vet them and look at serious questions, which this Senate is now doing, and that’s the right step,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told ABC News.

Asked if he should withdraw his nomination, she said, “that is up to the White House.”

“But I will assure you that every one of us as members of the committee are looking at every allegation and we have a responsibility to do so,” she said.

President Trump nominated Jackson last month after he fired his first VA secretary, David Shulkin, amid allegations Shulkin misused taxpayer funds and faced growing tension with other senior Trump staff.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘I don’t think personally he should do it’: Trump on Jackson’s nomination to be VA secretary

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump Tuesday suggested that his own nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rear. Adm. Ronny Jackson, withdraw his name from consideration in a stunning turn of events that could likely end all hope that he becomes the next VA secretary.

“I wouldn’t — if I were him, actually in many ways I’d love to be him, but the fact is I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said in the East Room of the White House during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“What does he need it for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren’t thinking nicely about our country? I really don’t think personally he should do it, but it’s totally his. I would stand behind him. Totally his decision,” Trump said.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is reviewing what it calls “serious allegations” surrounding Jackson that include claims he created a hostile work environment and improperly dispensed medication as a White House physician, congressional and administration sources tell ABC News.

The sources said the medication in question is the prescription sleep aid Ambien.

Committee leaders announced Tuesday that they had postponed Wednesday’s confirmation hearing while they reviewed the allegations.

Moments before the president made his remarks, ABC News spotted Jackson on Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers about his nomination. He ignored questions about the allegations and said, “I’m looking forward to re-scheduling the hearing and getting the process moving.”

Asked whether the hearing would be rescheduled he said, “That’s going to be up to the committee.”

President Trump praised Jackson as “a fine man” and a “great doctor, great everything,” but said wouldn’t want Jackson to go through a politically damaging nomination process.

“I don’t want to put a man through who’s not a political person. I don’t want to put a man through a process like this,” Trump said. “It’s too ugly and too disgusting. So we’ll see what happens. He’ll make a decision.”

Trump also addressed concerns that Jackson, who is currently the president’s personal White House physician, lacks the overall management qualifications to head the second largest agency in the federal government, saying simply “there’s an experience problem.”

In a letter to Trump, the top Republican and Democrat on the committee ask the White House to turn over “any and all allegations and documents, including those developed during the course of an investigation” related to Jackson’s service in the White House Medical Unit.

The Defense Department inspector general would not comment on the existence of any possible investigations into Jackson’s conduct and referred all questions to the White House.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, would not discuss details of the allegations but told ABC News “they go to his integrity and his management ability and his credibility to manage that department.”

Committee chairman Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson shared concerns about the allegations but cautioned to ABC News “not everything you read in the news is true.”

The White House was standing by the nomination of Jackson earlier Tuesday, but senior aides concede privately that there is a chance the nomination goes down.

Deputy secretary Hogan Gidley released a statement Tuesday morning on Jackson after news of the allegations broke, saying “He’s served as the physician to three Presidents—Republican and Democrat—and been praised by them all.

“Admiral Jackson’s record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what’s needed at the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve,” the statement said.

Jackson has spoken publicly about prescribing Ambien during White House international trips, a common practice for overcoming jet lag. “When we travel from one time zone to another time zone on the other side of the planet, I recommend that everyone on the plane take a sleep aid at certain times so that we can try our best to get on the schedule of our destination,” Jackson said at a press briefing earlier this year.

Several lawmakers said the White House should be held responsible for the delayed nomination because of a failure to properly vet the nominee.

“It is really frustrating to me that this administration continues to not vet or sloppily send over a nominee that leaves us having to really vet them and look at serious questions, which this Senate is now doing, and that’s the right step,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told ABC News.

Asked if he should withdraw his nomination, she said, “that is up to the White House.”

“But I will assure you that every one of us as members of the committee are looking at every allegation and we have a responsibility to do so,” she said.

President Trump nominated Jackson last month after he fired his first VA secretary, David Shulkin, amid allegations Shulkin misused taxpayer funds and faced growing tension with other senior Trump staff.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What will Prince William, Princess Kate name their newborn son?

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(LONDON) — Now that we know Prince William and Princess Kate’s third child is a boy, the world is awaiting the name of the fifth in line to the British throne.

“You’ll find out soon enough,” William, 35, said to well-wishers gathered outside St. Mary’s Hospital in London Monday.

Royal watchers are not waiting for William and Kate to make a name announcement, instead placing their bets on names with royal significance.

“In terms of middle names, I think Philip is an absolute pretty rock hard certainty, if there is such a thing,” ABC News royal contributor Imogen Lloyd Webber told “GMA.” “Philip would be a lovely tribute to William’s grandfather.”

Prince Philip, 96, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, is the baby’s great-grandfather.

The newborn is expected to have three names, according to Webber, following in the footsteps of his siblings, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, who turns 3 next week.

One of the names leading the speculation among royal watchers is James, the name of Kate’s brother, James Middleton.

Kate and William honored Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton, when they named Charlotte in 2015.

Charlotte is Middleton’s middle name, and it is also the feminine version of Charles, William’s father’s name.

The couple honored Queen Elizabeth and William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, with Charlotte’s middle names, Elizabeth Diana.

In addition to James, the names Arthur, Albert, Philip and Henry are some of the most talked about contenders for the royal baby’s name.

In 2013, the baby’s older brother, Prince George, was named after Queen Elizabeth’s beloved father, King George, who died when the queen was 26 years old.

William and Kate revealed George’s name — George Alexander Louis – two days after his July 22, 2013, birth.

Charlotte’s name — Charlotte Elizabeth Diana – was announced two days after her May 2, 2015, birth.

Prince William’s full name is William Arthur Philip Louis. When William was born on June 21, 1982, his parents didn’t reveal his name until one week later. William’s father, Prince Charles, was a month old before his name was made public.

The new baby, who weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces at birth, is now fifth in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, William, George and Charlotte.

His official title will be His Royal Highness Prince [TBD Name] of Cambridge.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Can being cold help you lose weight?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — No one likes to be cold enough to shiver, but what if being cold could actually increase your metabolism, improve blood sugar and help you lose weight?

A study done on mice at the University of Tokyo supports this idea. The researchers found that a certain type of cells called beige fat can actively break down fat and sugar to improve insulin sensitivity and increase metabolism. Beige fat was also found to help regulate energy balance.

Where do these fat cells come from? Exposure to cold for long periods of time can “stress” the body into turning the bad fat that most people have into good fat.

Some types of fat are good

We have three types of fat — brown, white and, now we are finding out, beige.

Brown fat, which is the fat we are born with that allows babies at birth to go from a warm uterus of 98 degrees Fahrenheit to room temperature of around 74 degrees. This fat is not associated with health problems. It got its name because it looks brown under a microscope due to its containing many mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells that produce energy. Mitochondria contain a protein called UCP1 that breaks down fat to make heat.

Brown fat is usually found in the neck, upper back and around the spinal cord and is responsible for burning calories in order to generate heat. As we get older, we lose this good fat.

White fat is the opposite. It lacks those energy-producing centers, mitochondria, and is the most common type of fat for adults. It insulates and cushions our vital organs such as the kidneys and heart. This fat interacts with hormones such as cortisol, the stress hormone, and insulin. Having a lot of this type of fat is associated with heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers.

How do we get rid of white fat and get more brown fat?

There have been many studies of how fat cells work. Humans were genetically made to survive in cold temperatures and to use fat as an energy source when food was hard to find.

Over time, these genes have become less dominant. Now we store fat even though food is readily available. We have the luxury of warm temperatures all the time through heat in our homes.

And, people are more likely these days to have an abundance of white fat, a symptom of an obesity epidemic in the United States.

Researchers in the study of mice at the University of Tokyo found that long-term cold exposure can actually stress the white fat cells into developing more mitochondria and eventually becoming more efficient, calorie-burning beige cells. One group of mice was kept at 39 degrees Fahrenheit and another at 86 degrees Fahrenheit for one week. Without any change in diet, the mice that were kept at the lower temperature had more thermogenic activity — meaning their cells were able to burn calories and stored fat to create heat.

So how does it work?

Shivering creates body heat short-term by warming up the muscles. In a long-term process called thermogenesis, brown fat cells create heat to keep the body warm. When you are cold for a long enough time, the white fat cells are forced to start acting like brown fat. This protein, JMJD1A becomes altered to JMJD1A and this white cells becomes a beige cell, which is thermogenic.

For example, Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps spends much of his day in water of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond the calories needed to swim, his body is also losing heat to the cool water environment which is increasing his calorie breakdown even more.

There is a broader significance to these findings, as the study shows that a molecular mechanism, which in this case occurs when a person is cold for a long-enough period, can affect how genes are expressed. In other words, as one of the study’s authors, Juro Sakai from the University of Tokyo and Tohoku University, believes, although a person’s gene sequence is determined at conception, lifestyle may be able to help determine how those genes are expressed.

“We believe that this is the first time that anyone has collected data to prove that there are two steps between the environmental stimuli and epigenetic changes,” said Sakai, an expert in the epigenetics of metabolism, said.

There is a broader significance to these findings. As one of the study’s authors, Juro Sakai from the University of Tokyo and Tohoku University, believes. Although a person’s gene sequence is determined at conception, lifestyle may be able to help determine how those genes are expressed — meaning that all people genetically have the ability to have more efficient beige fat, so why not tap into those genes?

How might we be able to use this science?

More research is needed on the potential to turn white fat into energy-burning beige fat cells and on how long-term exposure to cold may affect fat cells in humans.

Obesity, which is at epidemic levels in the United States, is a debilitating condition that is related to many fatal diseases. So it is worth exploring further if we could promote weight loss, treat diabetes and stabilize blood sugars through exposure to colder temperatures for enough time to change the bad fat into good.

Studies show that to make a difference in the fat cells the temperature has to be in the non-shivering zone, which has been found by some to be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Becoming too cold can be dangerous and cause hypothermia and even cardiac arrest so it’s important for us to continue to further research this concept.

If more research confirms the findings of this study, maybe this could become a new fitness craze. We will have to play it cool and see.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

High school golfer attacked by goose in hilarious set of photos

(NEW YORK) — Birdies on the golf course are usually a good thing. Just not when that bird is a very angry goose.

At a high school golf tournament last weekend in Adrian, Michigan, a Blissfield High School foursome had teed off and was walking down a fairway where a goose was sitting on an egg in a nest off to the side. There was a sign warning them of the goose and the golfers were respecting its space.

But that’s when an additional goose suddenly came up behind the golfers.

And it was not happy.

The foursome was attacked by the goose, with one particular golfer, in his purple pullover, coming under direct assault.

Devon Gilson-Pitts, whose husband is an assistant coach for the Blissford team, says she drove in a golf cart with her husband to get between the golfer and the goose. She said it took four carts to keep the goose away and help retrieve the golfer’s clubs, which fell out during the attack.

“At no point in my life I ever thought golf would be fun or exciting till yesterday,” Gilson-Pitts wrote on Facebook. “We have a great group of kids on the golf team and had some excitement on the course yesterday.”

Neither man nor goose was injured.

Blissfield finished ninth of the 13 teams in the Saturday tournament.

Isaac Couling, who was competing against Blissfield for Concord High School, was identified as the victim in the attack by The Detroit News. He says he parred the hole.

At least it wasn’t an eagle.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard Roundup 4/24/18

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

 AMERICAN LEAGUE
 Final  Cleveland       2  Baltimore   1
 Final  N-Y Yankees    14  Minnesota   1
 Final  Oakland         9  Texas       4
 Final  L-A Angels      2  Houston     0
 Final  Chi White Sox  10  Seattle     4
   ——
   NATIONAL LEAGUE
 Final  Cincinnati     10  Atlanta      4
 Final  San Diego      13  Colorado     5
 Final  L-A Dodgers     2  Miami        1
 Final  San Francisco   4  Washington   2
   ——
   NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
 Final  Houston  119  Minnesota      100
 Final  Utah     113  Oklahoma City   96
   ——
   NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
 Final  Toronto      3  Boston     1
 Final  Washington   6  Columbus   3

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

High school golfer attacked by goose

iStock/Thinkstock(ADRIAN, Mich.) — Birdies on the golf course are usually a good thing. Just not when that bird is a very angry goose.

At a high school golf tournament in Adrian, Michigan, a Blissfield High School foursome had teed off and was walking down a fairway where a goose was sitting on an egg in a nest off to the side. There was a sign warning them of the goose and the golfers were respecting its space.

But that’s when an additional goose suddenly came up behind the golfers.

And it was not happy.

The foursome was attacked by the goose, with one particular golfer, in his purple pullover, coming under direct assault.

Devon Gilson-Pitts, whose husband is an assistant coach for the Blissford team, says she drove in a golf cart with her husband to get between the golfer and the goose. She said it took four carts to keep the goose away and help retrieve the golfer’s clubs, which fell out during the attack.

Neither man nor goose was injured.

Blissfield finished ninth of the 13 teams in the Saturday tournament.

Isaac Couling, who was competing against Blissfield for Concord High School, was identified as the victim in the attack by The Detroit News. He says he parred the hole.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Man wearing ‘MAGA’ hat, Trump shirt attacks Hispanic subway rider in New York, police say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Police in New York City are searching for a subway commuter who did anything but “Make America Great Again.”

New York ABC station WABC reports the New York City Police Department is looking for a man who attacked a fellow subway rider on Friday. The suspect was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap, sold by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, and a red “Make America Great Again” T-shirt at the time of the attack, police said. 

According to police, the Trump supporter got into a verbal argument with the fellow rider before punching him in the head on a 4 train as it approached the Union Square station in Manhattan. He then followed the victim, described by police as a 24-year-old Hispanic man, off the train and shoved him onto the tracks.

The attacker allegedly made a number of racially derogatory statements during the assault.

The victim suffered cuts on his head, and was treated at an area hospital, police said.

The alleged assault comes just eight days after a Danish tourist wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was attacked and robbed of the hat at the same Union Square subway station. In that case, the attacker actually flashed a knife at the victim, according to police. The attacker in last week’s case does not meet the same description as Friday’s suspect.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Barbara Bush Buried at Presidential Library

HOUSTON (AP) — Former first lady Barbara Bush has been laid to rest at her husband’s presidential library in Texas. A family spokesman says the ceremony was “a very brief but poignant and beautiful ending to a very moving and incredible day.” About 1,500 people attended a private funeral earlier Saturday in Houston for the wife of former President George H.W. Bush. She was buried in a gated plot at her husband’s presidential library at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Barbara Bush Funeral: Security Prevents Trump Attendance

Scott Olson/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — Barbara Bush will be laid to rest in Texas on Saturday as mourners, including dignitaries from across the nation and around the world, gather to remember the former first lady’s life and legacy.

More than 1,500 guests, including former presidents and first ladies, are expected to fill St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston on Saturday morning for the funeral service. Barbara Bush, who died on Tuesday at the age of 92, had requested in her last wishes a modest funeral at the Gothic-style cathedral, where she and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, were devoted members for decades.

Barbara Bush’s casket on Friday arrived at St. Martin’s, the nation’s largest Episcopal church, where she lay in repose as the public was invited to pay respects from noon to midnight, according to the Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home in Houston.

The Rev. Russell Levenson Jr. and the Rev. Dr. Peter Cheney will be co-officiants of Saturday’s service, which is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET. Barbara Bush’s son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will deliver a eulogy along with her longtime friend, Susan Baker, and historian Jon Meacham, according to a statement from the Bush family.

First lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral service Saturday “on behalf of the first family,” White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement. “To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend.”

Following the service, a funeral procession will bring Barbara Bush’s casket to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum near Texas A&M University in College Station for a private service, where she will be buried in a family plot beside her daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia at the age of 3 in 1953. The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets are expected to line Barbara Bush Avenue outside the library to pay tribute to the former first lady.

Barbara Bush served as first lady from 1989 to 1993. She died shortly after deciding to forgo further medical treatments for her failing health.

Former President George H.W. Bush is “broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara, his wife of 73 years,” according to Jean Becker, chief of staff at the 93-year-old former president’s office.

“He held her hand all day today and was at her side when she left this good earth,” Becker said in a statement.

Their eldest child, former President George W. Bush, described his mother as a “fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions.”

“To us, she was so much more,” he said in a statement after her death. “Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read Former FBI Director James Comey’s memos

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department on Thursday turned over to Congress declassified copies of former FBI director James Comey’s memos – his contemporaneous notes about his conversations and encounters with President Donald Trump before he was fired last year.

The 15-page disclosure includes Comey’s account of the briefing he gave Trump at Trump Tower about some of the allegations about his contacts with Russia, as well as his later meetings with Trump at the White House, during one in which Comey said that the president asked him for his loyalty and in another in which Comey says Trump told him: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

Comey says he took that as the president wanting him to end the investigation into retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s fired former national security adviser.

Comey also said that then-chief of staff Reince Priebus asked him whether Flynn was under government surveillance and that Trump claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin told him Russia had “some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.”

Trump, who has previously dismissed the memos as “fake,” claimed on Thursday night that the memos exonerated him in the ongoing Russia investigation while criticizing Comey’s conduct.

You can read the declassified and partially redacted memos HERE.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard Roundup 4/20/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
 Final  Detroit      13  Baltimore    8
 Final  Houston       9  Seattle      2
 Final  N-Y Yankees   4  Toronto      3
 Final  Boston        8  L-A Angels   2
   ——
   NATIONAL LEAGUE
 Final  Chi Cubs       8  St. Louis       5
 Final  Philadelphia   7  Pittsburgh      0
 Final  Atlanta       12  N-Y Mets        4
 Final  Milwaukee     12  Miami           3
 Final  Arizona        3  San Francisco   1
   ——
   NBA PLAYOFFS
 Final  Philadelphia  128  Miami        108
 Final  New Orleans   119  Portland     102
 Final  Golden State  110  San Antonio   97
   ——
   NHL PLAYOFFS
 Final  Boston       3  Toronto    1
 Final  Washington   4  Columbus   1

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Fight looms over Trump, Cohen request to delay Stormy Daniels case

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels is vowing to “vehemently argue” against an attempt by President Donald Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen to delay her lawsuit challenging the validity of a non-disclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election.

 “The American people deserve the truth as quickly as possible,” Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti wrote Thursday on Twitter.

U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero, who is overseeing Daniels’ lawsuit in federal court, has scheduled a hearing for Friday morning in Los Angeles on Trump and Cohen’s request to put the case on hold for at least 90 days. That request followed last week’s FBI raids on Cohen’s New York office and residences, which raised the specter of possible criminal charges against the President’s longtime lawyer and confidant.

If Judge Otero were to grant the defendants’ request, Daniels’ lawsuit – and Avenatti’s efforts to depose Cohen and Trump under oath – could be frozen for months while the criminal investigation is ongoing.

“The court in the civil case has the discretion to order a stay – which is basically calling a ‘time-out’ in the case,” said Darren Kavinoky, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney and legal analyst. “This is done with some regularity.”

Federal agents conducting the April 9 searches related to Cohen’s business dealings seized about ten boxes of documents, plus electronic files on multiple phones and electronic devices, according to court records. Among the items reportedly sought were records associated with Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Daniels, which was routed through a Delaware shell company Cohen set up to facilitate the transaction.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the previously secret agreement in January, and government watchdog groups have since urged the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission to investigate, alleging possible violations of campaign finance laws. Cohen has not been charged with any crime and contends that the payment to Daniels was legal.

The raids came four days after Trump made his first public comments about Daniels’ allegations, denying any knowledge of the payment and referring other questions to Cohen.

“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One earlier this month. “Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”

Through his representatives, the president has repeatedly denied Daniels’ allegations of a sexual encounter with Trump during a Lake Tahoe golf tournament in 2006.

Lawyers for Trump and Cohen argued in court filings that there is “substantial overlap” between Daniels’ lawsuit and the criminal investigation and contended that Cohen’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination could be implicated if the civil case is allowed to proceed.

“Mr. Cohen is a key witness in this action and Defendants’ most knowledgeable person with respect to the facts,” asserts his attorney Brent Blakely, noting that Cohen negotiated the settlement agreement with Daniels’ previous lawyer and arranged for the payment.

“Thus, if the case moves forward,” Blakely writes, “Defendants’ key witness would have to choose between exercising his Fifth Amendment rights, and testifying on Defendants’ behalf.”

Avenatti countered in court filings that “Cohen has failed to meet his evidentiary burden to show his testimony would be self-incriminating” and argues that Cohen has waived his Fifth Amendment rights because he has “already freely and openly discussed this matter in the public.”

That could pose a problem for Cohen, Kavinoky said, because “once someone has let the proverbial cat out of the bag, it’s far tougher to assert their Fifth Amendment right to silence.”

The hearing Friday will be the first in a case that has dominated headlines for weeks, ever since Daniels filed suit in California seeking to invalidate the deal. Her interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes in late March drew more than 22 million viewers.

In court filings, attorneys for Cohen have asserted that Daniels could be on the hook for at least $20 million in damages for her alleged breaches of the nondisclosure agreement. In her lawsuit, Daniels claimed that the hush agreement is invalid because Trump — under the alias “David Dennison” — never signed the contract.

The judge’s decision will be “a close call,” Stanley Goldman, a professor of criminal procedure at Loyola Law School, told ABC News.

“Civil cases get deferred all the time if there’s a criminal case,” Goldman said. “A lot of civil cases are tried when a criminal case could have been filed, but wasn’t. If I were the judge I would let the proceedings go forward for the moment, but demand everyone come back if circumstances change, like if there’s an indictment.”

Dana Cole, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, told ABC News he thinks Cohen and Trump have a good shot at winning at least a brief delay “until the dust settles and the parties can determine whether the criminal investigation directly relates to the civil case.”

“The Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify is paramount, it is one of the key civil rights we have,” Cole said. He believes the potential criminal exposure Cohen faces will persuade the judge “to let things cool down and get more clarity on what the criminal investigation is focused on.”

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In memos, Comey describes Trump’s reactions to dossier, concerns over Flynn

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In newly released copies of memos written by James Comey, the former FBI Director describes what he says were Donald Trump’s strenuous and repeated objections to claims that prostitutes visited his Moscow hotel room in 2013 as well as the president’s “serious reservations” about his embattled National Security Adviser.

“There were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes,” Comey recalled Trump saying in one of the memos.

ABC News obtained copies of the memos, which are partially redacted, on Thursday after the Justice Department turned over 15 pages of declassified material to Congress. Top House Republicans had requested the documents and threatened to subpoena for them. DOJ plans to transmit unredacted copies of the memos on Friday.

The memos, which emerged as a flash point in the ongoing Trump-Russia probe, detail Comey’s recollections of exchanges with the president about Russian campaign interference and the broader Russia investigation. They include notes of conversations about the Trump Tower briefing on the Russia allegations, on a private White House dinner, and on controversial meetings during which Comey says Trump asked for his loyalty and for him to end the Flynn investigation. Trump has denied making those requests.

Some of Comey’s notes closely mirror the account of the interactions with Trump he has provided in congressional testimony, in his new book and in recent television interviews. But the newly released memos also feature previously unreported details and exchanges, including Trump’s complaints about Gen. Michael Flynn’s judgment. He expressed concern that Flynn, who served briefly as his National Security Adviser, did not alert him about a head of state’s congratulatory call. (The name of the head of state is redacted in the memos released Thursday.)

Comey said Trump pointed to his head when describing Flynn, and said, “The guy has serious judgment issues.”

“I did not comment at any point during this topic and there was no mention or acknowledgement of any FBI interest in or contact with General Flynn,” Comey wrote.

In a meeting several days later, then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked Comey, “Do you have a FISA order on Michael Flynn?” according to Comey’s memo. The question from Priebus came after former acting Attorney General Sally Yates had warned the White House that Flynn was susceptible to blackmail regarding his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

Flynn later became one of the most senior Trump aides to cut a deal with prosecutors and agree to assist the Mueller investigation. He pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment late Thursday.

Other memos from Comey shed light on Trump’s reactions to allegations, some of them salacious, in the so-called dossier –- an unverified, opposition-research document prepared by a former British intelligence officer, and paid for by Trump’s political rivals.

One memo describes a meeting in which Comey says Trump remarked that Russian President Vladimir Putin had told him that Russia has “some of the most beautiful hookers in the world,” without explaining when the conversation took place, according to Comey’s notes.

In a joint statement, Reps. Devin Nunes, R-California, Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, and Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, the chairmen who requested declassified versions of the memos last week, described the documents as “Defense Exhibit A” in a criminal case for obstruction of justice, arguing that they show Comey was motivated by animus, and did not feel that Trump was attempting to obstruct the Russia investigation in real time.

“While former Director Comey went to great lengths to set dining room scenes, discuss height requirements, describe the multiple times he felt complimented, and myriad other extraneous facts, he never once mentioned the most relevant fact of all, which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation,” they wrote.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said the memos are “strong corroborating evidence” of Comey’s claims that Trump “wanted his personal loyalty, that he wanted to end the Russia investigation, and that he wanted Michael Flynn to walk.”

“President Trump’s interference was a blatant effort to deny justice, and Director Comey was right to document it as it happened — in real time,” Cummings said.

Comey said in a CNN interview Thursday he was “fine” with his memos being released to the public.

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Girl, 6, captured on video scoring puck from NHL player after 2 tries

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — The moment has been viewed and shared by millions online: NHL player Brett Connolly trying desperately to get a puck behind the glass to 6-year-old Keelan Moxley.

On Sunday, Keelan and her family were rink-side as the Washington Capitals prepared to face the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Twice, Connolly, a forward for the Washington Capitals, attempted to connect with Keelan. And, both times, the puck was caught by a man and delivered to a different child.

But on his third try, Connolly hit the glass, signaling to Keelan that this puck was going to be hers.

This time, she scored!

“I felt so happy. I felt, I felt amazing,” she told ABC News today. “I was just so happy.”

Her family said today that despite what others had said on social media, the people around Keelan at the time were not her family. Keelan’s parents were actually a few rows behind her.

Despite the confusion and momentary disappointment that day, Keelan told ABC that she was super proud of her new prized possession. She’s already taken her puck to show-and-tell at school. She also said that she bore no hard feelings for the children who’d received pucks before her.

“I felt happy for the boys because the boys were, like, happy,” she said.

This weekend, Keelan will have even more to be happy about. The family will be heading back to the rink and this time the Capitals owner says he will give her and her family his front-row seats.

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Two deputies killed in line of duty in Florida, officials say

iStock/Thinkstock(TRENTON, Fla.) — Two Florida deputies were killed in the line of duty today, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement.

Bondi said the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s deputies were “senselessly killed.”

“The daily risk that law enforcement officers take to protect our communities is overwhelming,” Bondi said. “My deepest condolences and prayers are with their families as they mourn the devastating loss of their loved ones. May their families, friends and fellow officers find peace and comfort during this very difficult time.”

The sheriff’s office tweeted that it suffered a “terrible tragedy” and asked residents to avoid the area where the deputies were killed.

No suspects are at large, the sheriff’s office said.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Meghan Markle joins Prince Harry in support of women’s empowerment

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) — Just one month before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are to marry, the couple stepped out at a reception to promote women’s empowerment and girls’ education.

Markle, who once served as an advocate for UN Women, joined Harry in meeting with representatives of charities and organizations which support global gender equality.

The reception was held as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which brings together heads of state and delegates from the 53 member nations of the Commonwealth.

At a Commonwealth reception on Wednesday, Harry and Markle spoke with LGBT advocates and ensured them that highlighting gay rights would be included in their charitable work.’

Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was one of the earliest high-profile people to break down the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDs. Her sons, Harry and Prince William, have followed in her footsteps as staunch advocates of human rights.

Jacob Thomas, from Australia, who won a Queen’s Young Leaders award, recalled speaking with Harry and Markle about gay rights as a human rights issue.

“Prince Harry said that what was so amazing was that 10 or so years ago we wouldn’t have been having this conversation and how incredible it was that we now were,” Thomas told reporters.

It is significant for Markle, someone who has not yet married into the royal family, to be involved in such a high-profile event as the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit.

Today’s event comes just days after Harry was named Commonwealth Youth Ambassador by Queen Elizabeth.

Harry’s work as ambassador will focus on “supporting the aspirations of young people,” according to a statement released by Buckingham Palace.

Harry discussed his new role with excitement in a keynote speech he delivered Monday.

“In my new role, I will work to support the Queen, my father The Prince of Wales, and my brother William, all of whom know that young people are the answer to the challenges of today,” he said. “I am also incredibly grateful that the woman I am about to marry, Meghan, will be joining me in this work, of which she too is hugely excited to take part in.”

Markle as an advocate for women

While making a name for herself as an actress, Markle worked on women’s rights issues with organizations including World Vision, the Myna Mahila Foundation and One Young World, in addition to the United Nations.

On International Women’s Day last year, Markle wrote an essay on period shaming based on her experience visiting India as an ambassador for World Vision, a global Christian humanitarian organization.

Markle has hinted that she has found her match as a feminist with Harry, who is also known for his humanitarian work.

Since moving to London late last year, Markle has spent her time traveling with Harry to different parts of the U.K., learning about the causes closest to him and meeting stakeholders.

She spoke about the #MeToo movement and women’s empowerment in February at a forum for The Royal Foundation, which she will join as a patron once she and Harry wed.

“I hear a lot of people speaking about girls’ empowerment and women’s empowerment. You will hear people saying they are helping women find their voices,” Markle said. “I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find their voices.”

She added, “They need to be empowered to use [their voices] and people need to be urged to listen. Right now with so many campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp there’s no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people supporting them.”

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Model gets engaged on the runway during Bridal Fashion Week

Masato Onoda for Watters(NEW YORK) — A Bridal Fashion Week model stole the show when her then-boyfriend dropped to one knee in the middle of the runway.

Nicole Kaspar was the finale model in bridal fashion company Watters’ Spring 2019 show last week in New York City. And for the Dallas-based model, it started off like any show.

“It was crazy and chaotic backstage,” she told ABC News. “I was supposed to escort [designer] Elias [Gutierrez] out for a final bow and when I turned to leave and go back to our place for pictures, he grabbed me and didn’t let me go.”

Kaspar, 27, thought she had made a mistake on the runway. But soon, she’d realize that her boyfriend of two years, Chad Stapleton was actually proposing.

Stapleton, who’s a dentist based in Dallas, told ABC News he had been trying to plan the perfect proposal for eight months.

“I wanted to propose to Nicole related to something she loves and that’s traveling and modeling,” he said.

And after meeting a Watters’ designer at their annual model search, the idea was born. He invited their parents to join him at the fashion show to witness it in person. And after Gutierrez’s final bow, Stapleton, 26, dropped down to one knee, proposing in front of family, models and press.

Kaspar, who’s been modeling since age 15, said her now-fiancé pulled it off perfectly.

“When Chad stepped out into the lights, I was just like in shock,” she gushed. “I kind of blacked out. Elias had to push me go move.”

The model’s engagement ring, which has a cathedral setting, features an inverted ruby stone in the lower band. Stapleton said there’s a reason for it.

“About six months into dating, we took a six-week European trip together, which is pretty fast for just dating,” the future groom shared, “but that’s how much we knew each other and liked each other.”

Stapleton continued that he included a ruby in Kaspar’s engagement ring because it’s “the birthstone for July. That’s the month we fell in love.”

The two are now looking forward to planning a wedding in Texas.

“And I’m looking forward to starting a family,” Stapleton added.

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Mention of Trump, Mueller and riot gear in Pittsburgh police email causes stir

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Pittsburgh’s police department found itself in the spotlight Thursday because of a few key words in an email from a head detective: President Donald Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller and riot gear.

The email, sent Wednesday by Major Crimes Commander Victor Joseph, asked detectives who wear plain clothes to bring uniforms and “riot gear” to work in case President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller and detectives are needed to help monitor possible protests. The email was reported by WTAE and confirmed by Pittsburgh’s mayor.

The email

“We have received information of a potential large scale protest in the Central Business District,” the email from Joseph begins.

“There is a belief that President Trump will soon move to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller. This would result in a large protest within 24 hours of the firing,” Joseph wrote. Because of this, “all Major Crimes detectives are required to bring a full uniform and any issued protective equipment (riot gear) with them to work until further notice,” he wrote.

The measures were precautionary, Joseph wrote. “We may be needed to assist in the event that there is a large scale protest,” he said in the email.

The department, backed by the mayor’s office, said it has no inside knowledge of whether the president might fire special counsel Robert Mueller. But social media filled with questions on specifically what protest — and on what day — the Pittsburgh police were preparing for.

“We receive information regularly about potential events and/or threats, assess the credibility of the information and plan for a potential event. In this case, we have not assessed the credibility of the potential for disturbances, and we do not have any knowledge of the President’s decision-making process,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich clarified in a statement.

The department also emphasized that it “receives information daily that we evaluate and prepare for if the event should occur,” including anything from extreme weather to protests.

“Often the events we prepare for do not occur. However, through an abundance of caution, we attempt to adequately prepare for an appropriate response,” the statement said.

Though the department didn’t cite a specific protest, the progressive organization MoveOn.org does have plans for nationwide demonstrations in the event the president fires Mueller. In a statement, a campaign director said MoveOn has “laid the groundwork for more than 900 non-violent and lawful protests nationwide, including one planned in the Pittsburgh area.”

More than 350,000 Americans are signed up to participate across the country, according to MoveOn.org.

In his statement, campaign director David Sievers also emphasized that the protests would be nonviolent. “We hope such protests are never triggered, but if they ever are, police everywhere have an obligation to respect Americans’ right to peacefully protest,” he said.

The social media circulation

On social media, news quickly circulated that a commander with the city’s police force was calling for riot gear, citing a “belief” that Trump would soon fire the special counsel leading the investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign and potential involvement with Russia.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto responded from his own Twitter and called for an end to the “conspiracies.”

“This is an internal email from a Commander to his plainclothes Detectives. It doesn’t claim to know what the President will do. It doesn’t say people can’t lawfully assemble. It says you may be needed to help, bring your uniform,” he tweeted.

The mayor, who runs his own Twitter account, had a little fun with his responses to various Twitter users alleging different backstories. One said Peduto was trying to scare his constituents into thinking Trump was firing Mueller.

Communications director for the mayor, Timothy McNulty, described the directions in the email as “fairly normal operating procedure.”

“I don’t have every last police memo that was issued but I know for a fact that detectives work protests wearing uniforms, it’s very common,” McNulty said.

Tension surrounding the investigation

The email came in the midst of building tensions in the investigation — which the president has repeatedly called a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”

Last week, the residences and office of the president’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was raided by the FBI. The president called it “an attack on our country, in a true sense” and said the situation was “now on a whole new level of unfairness.”

But on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thwarted a bipartisan measure to protect Mueller’s job. It would not be necessary, McConnell said, because Trump would not fire Mueller.

A day later, the president responded to questions about Mueller and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation. “They’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months. And they’re still here,” Trump said during a press conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

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This California restaurant uses a color-coded system to help their staff combat sexual harassment

Homeroom Restaurant(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Chrissel Orcino had a “code red” at one of her tables.

When Orcino, a server at the Oakland, California, restaurant Homeroom, went to pick up the check for her table of three — two men and one woman — something alarming happened.

A man was eager to pay for the tab of the entire table, Orcino said and reached into her apron pocket with his credit card.

“I could, like, feel his, like, hand move all the way down to the bottom of the pocket with his card,” Orcino, 28, recalled.

Orcino was in total shock.

“He could’ve just handed me his card or went up to the register and paid for the whole table,” she said. “It was pretty traumatic to have somebody touch me out of nowhere.”

But instead of explaining to her manager the details of what happened, Orcino told him she had a code red, and he knew what to do.
That’s because, at Homeroom, the staff has a system in place to categorize different types of customer behavior, like Orcino’s experience.

The Management Alert Color System, known as MACS because they’re a mac and cheese restaurant, has three tiers: yellow, orange and red.

“Yellow is just where someone gets a creepy vibe. Nothing has happened. An orange is where they’ve said something that’s a little bit borderline — like it could be sexual harassment, it could not be. Like, ‘Hey I love your shirt.’ Right? It could sort of go either way,” Erin Wade, co-founder and chief executive of Homeroom, explained. “And a red is something that’s overtly sexual, like, ‘Hey, you look super sexy in that.’ Or where someone touches someone else.”

A staff member doesn’t have to explain the experience to their manager. All they have to do is report the color, and there’s an automatic action that the manager must take.
In the case of a code yellow, the server can choose if they want a manager to take over the table, and if they report an orange, the manager will automatically take it over. With a code red, the customer is asked to leave.

New hires are introduced to MACS at their orientation and are empowered to bring up potentially problematic behavior and situations in or around the restaurant with their manager, whether it’s involving customers, vendors or a delivery driver.

Watch “My Reality: A Hidden America,” a special report by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer for “20/20” airing on Friday, April 20 at 10 p.m. ET

“All they have to do is come up to me and say, ‘I have a code yellow at a table, and I just don’t feel comfortable serving them.’ And I don’t even have to ask them questions about what happened. I just say, ‘ Not a problem. I’m happy to step in and take over that table so you don’t have to deal with it,’” said Kale Irwin, a Homeroom manager.

The anti-harassment system was started a few years ago when the staff felt they were having a hard time communicating to management when an experience with sexual harassment or other problematic behavior was occurring.

Since the introduction of MACS, Wade says, Homeroom has had fewer code reds, because, “It seems to stem harassment at a really early level.”

For Orcino, the system helped her in a moment she was too distressed to explain her own emotions, let alone what happened when that male customer reached into her apron.

“In any other situation, if we didn’t have the system, then I would have to explain the whole thing and go through the whole process, and in a time when we’re really busy and I can’t even process my own emotions,” Orcino said. “This incident with this guest happened so fast, so abruptly, that I was completely in shock.”

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No one will be criminally charged for Prince’s drug overdose, prosecutors say

Richard E. Aaron/Redferns(ST. PAUL, Minn.) —  No criminal charges will be brought in the accidental drug overdose death of Prince, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.

Prosecutors also announced that Michael T. Schulenberg, the Minnesota doctor who prescribed an opioid painkiller for Prince a week before the musician’s death in 2016, has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle civil charges that he wrote an illegal prescription.

Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz told reporters Thursday that Prince thought he was taking Vicodin to manage pain but unknowingly took counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl.

“Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him,” Metz said.

Despite “intensive” investigation, Metz said law enforcement was unable to determine who provided the counterfeit Vicodin laced with fentanyl that killed Prince.

Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg, who denies any liability, violated the Controlled Substances Act when he illegally wrote a prescription for Prince in someone else’s name, federal prosecutors said Thursday in official settlement documents obtained by ABC News.

“Dr. Schulenberg prescribed Schedule 2 controlled substances in the name of an individual knowing that the controlled substances were intended to be used by another individual,” U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker said. “As licensed professionals, doctors are held to a high level of accountability in their prescribing practices, especially when it comes to highly addictive painkillers.”

Schulenberg agreed to settle the civil charges by paying $30,000 and submitting to monitoring by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“As Minnesota and the nation struggle in the throes of an opioid crisis, the Drug Enforcement Administration will always strive to ensure that those responsible will be held accountable, no matter what their position may be,” DEA Minneapolis-St. Paul Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Solek said.

The settlement is “neither an admission of facts nor liability by Dr. Schulenberg,” court records said. Prosecutors also affirmed in a separate letter to Schulenberg’s attorneys that the doctor is not a target of a federal criminal investigation.

“Dr. Schulenberg decided to settle with the United States regarding alleged civil claims in order to avoid the expense, delay and unknown outcome of litigation. He made no admission of facts nor liability and denies any such liability. The United States Attorneys’ Office for the District of Minnesota has confirmed that he is not a target in any criminal inquiry, and there have been no allegations made by the government that Dr. Schulenberg had any role in Prince’s death,” Schulenberg’s attorney, Amy Conners, said in a statement to ABC News. “After he learned of Prince’s addiction, he immediately worked to refer Prince to a treatment facility and to transfer care to a chemical dependency specialist.”

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Republican senators won’t commit to endorsing Trump in 2020

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Two Senate Republicans, both of whom are leaving the Senate after their current terms, said they would not necessarily back President Donald Trump for re-election in 2020, with one of them speculating that he may not even seek the Oval Office again.

“I have no idea who’s going to run for president in 2020, and I’m not about to say who I will support for that, so we have no idea who’s going to run. Whether the president runs again or not is questionable, candidly,” Sen. Bob Corker, who is retiring from the Senate this year, said on CNN.

The president announced in February that he would run for a second term, and has already named his 2016 digital strategist Brad Parscale as his campaign manager.

Corker added during the interview that he would like to see who else is included in the field of 2020 Republican candidates before making a decision on whom to endorse.

The Tennessee senator, who also chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has had a complex relationship with Trump. He had previously questioned the president’s fitness for office, which led to Trump calling him names on Twitter, but eventually the two men reconciled.

He has been asked several times in recent days if he would support the president for re-election.

Just on Wednesday, he said his position changes by the hour and that many of his colleagues are likewise conflicted.

“Any Republican senator that hasn’t been conflicted over this presidency is either comatose or is pretty useless in their blindness,” Corker said during a breakfast with reporters on Wednesday.

Sen. Ron Johnson, also appearing on CNN on Thursday, chastised an anchor for asking if he would support the current Republican president for re-election, calling it a “gotcha question.”

“It could be a completely different world by 2020. We have a 2018 election first,” Johnson said. Johnson, who was re-elected to his seat in 2016, has said that he will not seek re-election again.

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Doctor fined $30K for illegally prescribing Prince medication week before singer’s death

Richard E. Aaron/Redferns(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — A Minnesota doctor who prescribed an opioid painkiller for Prince a week before the musician’s 2016 death has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle civil charges that he wrote an illegal prescription, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz told reporters Thursday that Prince thought he was taking Vicodin to manage pain but unknowingly took counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl.

“Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him,” Metz said.

Despite “intensive” investigation, Metz said law enforcement was unable to determine who provided the counterfeit Vicodin laced with fentanyl that killed Prince.

Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg, who denies any liability, violated the Controlled Substances Act when he illegally wrote a prescription for Prince in someone else’s name, federal prosecutors said Thursday in official settlement documents obtained by ABC News.

“Dr. Schulenberg prescribed Schedule 2 controlled substances in the name of an individual knowing that the controlled substances were intended to be used by another individual,” U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker said. “As licensed professionals, doctors are held to a high level of accountability in their prescribing practices, especially when it comes to highly addictive painkillers.”

Schulenberg agreed to settle the civil charges by paying $30,000 and submitting to monitoring by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“As Minnesota and the nation struggle in the throes of an opioid crisis, the Drug Enforcement Administration will always strive to ensure that those responsible will be held accountable, no matter what their position may be,” DEA Minneapolis-St. Paul Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Solek said.

The settlement is “neither an admission of facts nor liability by Dr. Schulenberg,” court records said. Prosecutors also affirmed in a separate letter to Schulenberg’s attorneys that the doctor is not a target of a federal criminal investigation.

“Dr. Schulenberg decided to settle with the United States regarding alleged civil claims in order to avoid the expense, delay and unknown outcome of litigation. He made no admission of facts nor liability and denies any such liability. The United States Attorneys’ Office for the District of Minnesota has confirmed that he is not a target in any criminal inquiry, and there have been no allegations made by the government that Dr. Schulenberg had any role in Prince’s death,” Schulenberg’s attorney, Amy Conners, said in a statement to ABC News. “After he learned of Prince’s addiction, he immediately worked to refer Prince to a treatment facility and to transfer care to a chemical dependency specialist.”

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Girls Make Beats trains girls in music production to help close the gender gap

ABC(NEW YORK) — When recording artist and audio engineer Tiffany Miranda walks into a studio, she’s used to standing out.

“As a woman, some of the challenges I faced were just people walking in the door and asking where the engineer is while I was sitting right behind the mixing console,” said Miranda, whose work has appeared on American Idol and X-Factor. She has collaborated with many artists and producers, including Rick Ross and DJ Khaled.

“A lot of guys weren’t really used to seeing girls behind the boards,” she said.

But Miranda didn’t want to accept that as the status quo. Instead, she decided to work toward correcting the gender disparity in music production by founding Girls Make Beats, an organization dedicated to helping young girls interested in becoming music producers.

The group hosts educational seminars, summer camps and networking events — all with the goal of helping girls further their careers in music.

“Girls Make Beats came about because of my own personal story and struggles in the music industry,” Miranda said. “I found out very early on that it was tough for girls to break into music technology fields, and there’s actually never been a woman to win a Grammy for their music production — ever.”

The numbers back up Miranda’s experience. Female songwriters and producers are outnumbered by men, according to a University of South Carolina Annenberg report conducted between 2012 to 2017. Female songwriters and producers made up only 12.3 percent of songwriters for the top 600 songs of the last six years. Also among the findings: Two percent of producers across 300 songs were female, translating into a major gender ratio of 49 males to every female.

“When I was growing up, there were literally no women that I could look up to and aspire to be — the next big audio engineer, that next big music producer,” she said. “So with Girls Make Beats, we’re out there — we’re bringing the program to these girls and their schools. We’re introducing them to these really cool and fun fields like DJing, music production and audio engineering, and getting them excited about it from an early age.”

The organization started in Miami, but recently opened a chapter in Los Angeles and is organizing programs in several major cities across the United States.

The program aims to help young girls such as 11-year-old Bella Villa, whose nickname is DJ Bella.

“I knew there wasn’t a lot of female DJs, and I wanted to finally become one,” she said. “My favorite part was learning how to mix songs together.”

Working alongside other young girls with the same goals has helped 16-year-old Jerica Hatcher, also known as DJ Blessed, gain confidence in her skills.

“My favorite part of the program is just being here with the girls, coming together to make music that people will want to hear,” she said.

Miranda believes that the benefits of the programs extend beyond music production. Regardless of what career the girls pursue, she said she hopes they will carry the sense of accomplishment from Girl Makes Beats with them.

“It’s really about the confidence that they build and knowing that they can tackle anything that they put their minds to,” she said.

Miranda’s advice to young girls is to be persistent and don’t take “no” for an answer.

“Never wait for your opportunities, but create them,” she said. “When you hear ‘no,’ that’s OK. That means ‘not now.’ That means go work on your craft. Make another beat. Go do something that’s going to be proactive in getting you to the next step.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 4/18/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Tampa Bay 4, Texas 2
Detroit 6, Baltimore 5
Oakland 12, Chicago White Sox 11, 14 Innings
Toronto 15, Kansas City 5
Minnesota 2, Cleveland 1, 16 Innings
Boston 9, L.A. Angels 0
Houston 7, Seattle 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 10, Colorado 2
Milwaukee 2, Cincinnati 0
N.Y. Mets 11, Washington 5
Atlanta 7, Philadelphia 3
San Francisco 4, Arizona 3, 10 Innings
L.A. Dodgers 13, San Diego 4
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs 2:20 p.m., postponed
 
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Cleveland 100, Indiana 97
Utah 102, Oklahoma City 95
Houston 102, Minnesota 82

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 3, New Jersey 1
Nashville 3, Colorado 2
San Jose 2, Anaheim 1

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

More history for the Vegas Golden Knights

Harry How/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) – The Vegas Golden Knights went into their inaugural season with a plan most expansion teams follow: form the best roster possible with a mix of veterans and young players while amassing draft picks in an effort to build for future success. Ironically, and luckily for Vegas, things did not go according to plan.

A mix of seasoned veterans like Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal combined with impressive performances by young players like William Karlsson not only allowed Vegas to be serviceable in the Western Conference, but be viewed as one of the most dangerous teams in the league. The misfit bunch soared to the top of the standings early on in the year and almost never looked back, stunning its fans and the league as a whole.

Golden Knights general manager George McPhee soon realized come the trade deadline the team wouldn’t be looking to add more future draft picks, but build this young team for a playoff run. Acquisitions of Ryan Reaves and Tomas Tatar helped fill out the depth in the roster, allowing Vegas to be the first team to clinch a playoff berth in its inaugural season since the 1979-80 Whalers and Oilers.

If the story stopped there it would already be a fairytale, but it hasn’t. Vegas opened the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings, a team known for upsetting top seeds in recent years, and made an emphatic statement, sweeping them in four games. The Golden Knights became the first NHL team, and just the third team in the four major sports, to sweep its first every playoff series.

With the shooting tragedy that occurred in Vegas in October, the Golden Knights were there to give the people of Sin City a way to escape, even just for a  few hours, and rallied behind people who so desperately needed a reason to smile. The Golden Knights are an amazing story already, not only for just the NHL, but for the city of Las Vegas. And, the Cinderella story is not over yet.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wife of wounded veteran wrote book to explain amputations and injuries to children

Paul Morigi/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — “Someone told me daddy is gross. He isn’t gross. He is a hero,” said the oldest daughter of Michael Verardo, a wounded veteran who is missing a limb.

Verardo lost his leg in 2010 serving as an infantryman in Afghanistan. Since then, he has undergone over 100 surgeries and years of physical and occupational therapy, according to a press release.

After hearing their daughter’s words, the Verardo family realized the need for a children’s book that could explain the wounds sustained by many veterans.

“There are many military families who struggle with explaining the complex injuries to their own children, and even more so with children who are not exposed to this life on a daily basis,” said Michael’s wife and caregiver, Sarah Verardo.

She’s now the author and publisher of “Hero At Home,” a children’s book that aims to normalize interactions with injured veterans, especially those with amputations.

“Our goal with this book is to be able to describe this in a way that allows these children to understand the sacrifices made by our nation’s wounded veterans and to see that they are truly heroes,” she said.

The mother of three is also the executive director of the Independence Fund, an advocacy organization for severely wounded Veterans.

One of the pillars of the Independence Fund is the mobility program, which provides all-terrain wheelchairs and adaptive bicycles to veterans “of all eras.”

The cover of “Hero at Home” features an illustration of a veteran in one of those all-terrain wheelchairs. While the book may be for children, a spokesperson says that it’s educational for people of all ages.

“Hero at Home” is currently available on Amazon. The proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards the Independence Fund, according to a spokesperson.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Back to the Category List


Nanny to the stars dishes out her top tips for new parents

Posted/updated on: April 25, 2018 at 8:59 am

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Nanny to the stars Connie Simpson, also known as Nanny Connie, shared an interesting tidbit about her celebrity clients.

She told Good Morning America that they’re just like the rest of us.

“They’re parents too, and I love each individual person the same,” she said. “What I’ve learned is that all parents have the same struggles.”

Her clients have included Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, and John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. She talks about her methods in a new book, The Nanny Connie Way.

Celebrity or not, there are a few tips that can serve any parent in the early days of baby’s life. Here are her top three:

1. Pay attention to that sleep deprivation.

2. Buy plenty of diapers.

3. Breastfeeding mothers need to be drinking plenty of water.

“Parents, it’s all about that nucleus — and you’re it,” she told GMA. “Children need their parents.”

As for nanny myths, Simpson said there are plenty. But what does she think is the biggest one?

“The biggest myth about being a nanny is that children sleep through the night and a person like me is not needed,” she said. “Well, you are wrong. I am very much needed. If it’s not me, it needs to be your grandmother or your cousin or someone who can help you with that sleep deprivation, because it’s real.”

Nanny Connie has just launched a new app with augmented reality, so now any parent can have access to her expertise.

“This augmented reality thing? They told me to bottle myself,” she said. “Well, hell, here it is. AR, I’m here! Find me in my book or find me on the internet. Just download that AR app.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 4/24/18

Posted/updated on: April 25, 2018 at 5:59 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:

INTERLEAGUE
Chicago Cubs 10, Cleveland 3
Milwaukee 5, Kansas City 2
 
AMERICAN LEAGUE
Seattle 1, Chicago White Sox 0
N.Y. Yankees 8, Minnesota 3
Toronto 4, Boston 3, 10 Innings
Oakland 3, Texas 2
L.A. Angels 8, Houston 7

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cincinnati 9, Atlanta 7, 12 Innings
Arizona 8, Philadelphia 4
N.Y. Mets 6, St. Louis 5, 10 Innings
Colorado 8, San Diego 0
Miami 3, L.A. Dodgers 2
San Francisco 4, Washington 3

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Boston 92, Milwaukee 87
Philadelphia 104, Miami 91
Golden State 99, San Antonio 91

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“The Voice” recap: Kelly Clarkson loses an artist

Posted/updated on: April 25, 2018 at 5:59 am

Tyler Golden/NBC / 2018 NBCUniversal Media(LOS ANGELES) — On Tuesday’s episode of The Voice, the 12 artists who performed on Monday learned that D.R. King, from Kelly Clarkson’s team, was sent home.

King was eliminated a the end of the one-hour results show. He lost an “Instant Save” vote to Rayshun LaMarr, also from Team Adam Levine.

There are now 11 artists remaining in the competition, including those of Teams Blake Shelton and Alicia Keys.

Prior to the vote, King and LaMarr sang for an opportunity to be saved by the viewers. King performed “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by The Temptations, and LaMarr covered Tina Turner’s “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”

The results show also featured Kelly joining her team for a group performance of Bleachers’ “Don’t Take the Money,” and Blake leading his team in version of Sam & Dave’s “I Thank You.”

The evening also included Levine’s band Maroon 5 performing their latest single, “What Lovers Do.”

The Voice returns Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

White House says Trump will defend VA nominee hours after he suggested he step aside

Posted/updated on: April 25, 2018 at 1:40 am

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Hours after President Donald Trump suggested his embattled nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, should step aside, the White House is now saying the president will fight for him.

“The president will be defending him,” White House Director for Legislative Affairs Marc Short told ABC News just moments after Jackson emerged from a late afternoon meeting with Trump at the White House.

A White House official added that Jackson will not be withdrawing his name from consideration.

Those comments came after the president said Jackson, his White House physician and hand-picked nominee to head the VA should withdraw his name from consideration.

“I wouldn’t – if I were him, actually in many ways I’d love to be him, but the fact is I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said in the East Room of the White House during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“What does he need it for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren’t thinking nicely about our country? I really don’t think personally he should do it, but it’s totally his. I would stand behind him. Totally his decision,” Trump said.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is reviewing what it calls “serious allegations” surrounding Jackson that include claims he created a hostile work environment and improperly dispensed medication as a White House physician, congressional and administration sources tell ABC News.

The sources said the medication in question is the prescription sleep aid Ambien.

Committee leaders announced Tuesday that they had postponed Wednesday’s confirmation hearing while they reviewed the allegations.

As part of its defense of Jackson, the administration has just released official copies of 2012 and 2013 “command climate assessments” for the White House Medical Unit as well as signed performance reviews of Jackson by Presidents Obama and Trump. “Dr. Jackson is a great doctor + leader – ‘ 2-star material,” President Trump wrote in his own handwriting in a 2017 fitness report and counseling record.

The administration says that the claims against Jackson of a hostile work environment result from a personal feud Jackson had with another doctor in the White House Medical Unit — a dynamic which was ultimately resolved and morale improved, according to one of the assessments.

“Dr. Jackson’s record as a White House physician is impeccable,” a senior administration official said. “He has improved unit morale, received glowing reviews and promotions under Republican and Democrat presidents, and has been given a clean vet from the FBI. He has never even been the subject of an Inspector General review and he will certainly not be railroaded by a bitter ex-colleague who was removed from his job.”

Earlier this afternoon, just moments before the president suggests he not go through with the confirmation process, ABC News spotted Jackson on Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers about his nomination. He ignored questions about the allegations and said, “I’m looking forward to re-scheduling the hearing and getting the process moving.”

Asked whether the hearing would be rescheduled he said, “That’s going to be up to the committee.”

President Trump praised Jackson as “a fine man” and a “great doctor, great everything,” but said wouldn’t want Jackson to go through a politically damaging nomination process.

“I don’t want to put a man through who’s not a political person. I don’t want to put a man through a process like this,” Trump said. “It’s too ugly and too disgusting. So we’ll see what happens. He’ll make a decision.”

Trump also addressed concerns that Jackson, who is currently the president’s personal White House physician, lacks the overall management qualifications to head the second largest agency in the federal government, saying simply “there’s an experience problem.”

In a letter to Trump, the top Republican and Democrat on the committee ask the White House to turn over “any and all allegations and documents, including those developed during the course of an investigation” related to Jackson’s service in the White House Medical Unit.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, would not discuss details of the allegations but told ABC News “they go to his integrity and his management ability and his credibility to manage that department.”

Committee chairman Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson shared concerns about the allegations but cautioned to ABC News “not everything you read in the news is true.”

The White House was standing by the nomination of Jackson earlier Tuesday, but senior aides concede privately that there is a chance the nomination goes down.

Deputy secretary Hogan Gidley released a statement Tuesday morning on Jackson after news of the allegations broke, saying “He’s served as the physician to three Presidents—Republican and Democrat—and been praised by them all.

“Admiral Jackson’s record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what’s needed at the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve,” the statement said.

Jackson has spoken publicly about prescribing Ambien during White House international trips, a common practice for overcoming jet lag. “When we travel from one time zone to another time zone on the other side of the planet, I recommend that everyone on the plane take a sleep aid at certain times so that we can try our best to get on the schedule of our destination,” Jackson said at a press briefing earlier this year.

Several lawmakers said the White House should be held responsible for the delayed nomination because of a failure to properly vet the nominee.

“It is really frustrating to me that this administration continues to not vet or sloppily send over a nominee that leaves us having to really vet them and look at serious questions, which this Senate is now doing, and that’s the right step,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told ABC News.

Asked if he should withdraw his nomination, she said, “that is up to the White House.”

“But I will assure you that every one of us as members of the committee are looking at every allegation and we have a responsibility to do so,” she said.

President Trump nominated Jackson last month after he fired his first VA secretary, David Shulkin, amid allegations Shulkin misused taxpayer funds and faced growing tension with other senior Trump staff.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘I don’t think personally he should do it’: Trump on Jackson’s nomination to be VA secretary

Posted/updated on: April 25, 2018 at 1:41 am

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump Tuesday suggested that his own nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rear. Adm. Ronny Jackson, withdraw his name from consideration in a stunning turn of events that could likely end all hope that he becomes the next VA secretary.

“I wouldn’t — if I were him, actually in many ways I’d love to be him, but the fact is I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said in the East Room of the White House during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“What does he need it for? To be abused by a bunch of politicians that aren’t thinking nicely about our country? I really don’t think personally he should do it, but it’s totally his. I would stand behind him. Totally his decision,” Trump said.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is reviewing what it calls “serious allegations” surrounding Jackson that include claims he created a hostile work environment and improperly dispensed medication as a White House physician, congressional and administration sources tell ABC News.

The sources said the medication in question is the prescription sleep aid Ambien.

Committee leaders announced Tuesday that they had postponed Wednesday’s confirmation hearing while they reviewed the allegations.

Moments before the president made his remarks, ABC News spotted Jackson on Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers about his nomination. He ignored questions about the allegations and said, “I’m looking forward to re-scheduling the hearing and getting the process moving.”

Asked whether the hearing would be rescheduled he said, “That’s going to be up to the committee.”

President Trump praised Jackson as “a fine man” and a “great doctor, great everything,” but said wouldn’t want Jackson to go through a politically damaging nomination process.

“I don’t want to put a man through who’s not a political person. I don’t want to put a man through a process like this,” Trump said. “It’s too ugly and too disgusting. So we’ll see what happens. He’ll make a decision.”

Trump also addressed concerns that Jackson, who is currently the president’s personal White House physician, lacks the overall management qualifications to head the second largest agency in the federal government, saying simply “there’s an experience problem.”

In a letter to Trump, the top Republican and Democrat on the committee ask the White House to turn over “any and all allegations and documents, including those developed during the course of an investigation” related to Jackson’s service in the White House Medical Unit.

The Defense Department inspector general would not comment on the existence of any possible investigations into Jackson’s conduct and referred all questions to the White House.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, would not discuss details of the allegations but told ABC News “they go to his integrity and his management ability and his credibility to manage that department.”

Committee chairman Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson shared concerns about the allegations but cautioned to ABC News “not everything you read in the news is true.”

The White House was standing by the nomination of Jackson earlier Tuesday, but senior aides concede privately that there is a chance the nomination goes down.

Deputy secretary Hogan Gidley released a statement Tuesday morning on Jackson after news of the allegations broke, saying “He’s served as the physician to three Presidents—Republican and Democrat—and been praised by them all.

“Admiral Jackson’s record of strong, decisive leadership is exactly what’s needed at the VA to ensure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve,” the statement said.

Jackson has spoken publicly about prescribing Ambien during White House international trips, a common practice for overcoming jet lag. “When we travel from one time zone to another time zone on the other side of the planet, I recommend that everyone on the plane take a sleep aid at certain times so that we can try our best to get on the schedule of our destination,” Jackson said at a press briefing earlier this year.

Several lawmakers said the White House should be held responsible for the delayed nomination because of a failure to properly vet the nominee.

“It is really frustrating to me that this administration continues to not vet or sloppily send over a nominee that leaves us having to really vet them and look at serious questions, which this Senate is now doing, and that’s the right step,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told ABC News.

Asked if he should withdraw his nomination, she said, “that is up to the White House.”

“But I will assure you that every one of us as members of the committee are looking at every allegation and we have a responsibility to do so,” she said.

President Trump nominated Jackson last month after he fired his first VA secretary, David Shulkin, amid allegations Shulkin misused taxpayer funds and faced growing tension with other senior Trump staff.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What will Prince William, Princess Kate name their newborn son?

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2018 at 10:01 am

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(LONDON) — Now that we know Prince William and Princess Kate’s third child is a boy, the world is awaiting the name of the fifth in line to the British throne.

“You’ll find out soon enough,” William, 35, said to well-wishers gathered outside St. Mary’s Hospital in London Monday.

Royal watchers are not waiting for William and Kate to make a name announcement, instead placing their bets on names with royal significance.

“In terms of middle names, I think Philip is an absolute pretty rock hard certainty, if there is such a thing,” ABC News royal contributor Imogen Lloyd Webber told “GMA.” “Philip would be a lovely tribute to William’s grandfather.”

Prince Philip, 96, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, is the baby’s great-grandfather.

The newborn is expected to have three names, according to Webber, following in the footsteps of his siblings, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, who turns 3 next week.

One of the names leading the speculation among royal watchers is James, the name of Kate’s brother, James Middleton.

Kate and William honored Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton, when they named Charlotte in 2015.

Charlotte is Middleton’s middle name, and it is also the feminine version of Charles, William’s father’s name.

The couple honored Queen Elizabeth and William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, with Charlotte’s middle names, Elizabeth Diana.

In addition to James, the names Arthur, Albert, Philip and Henry are some of the most talked about contenders for the royal baby’s name.

In 2013, the baby’s older brother, Prince George, was named after Queen Elizabeth’s beloved father, King George, who died when the queen was 26 years old.

William and Kate revealed George’s name — George Alexander Louis – two days after his July 22, 2013, birth.

Charlotte’s name — Charlotte Elizabeth Diana – was announced two days after her May 2, 2015, birth.

Prince William’s full name is William Arthur Philip Louis. When William was born on June 21, 1982, his parents didn’t reveal his name until one week later. William’s father, Prince Charles, was a month old before his name was made public.

The new baby, who weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces at birth, is now fifth in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, William, George and Charlotte.

His official title will be His Royal Highness Prince [TBD Name] of Cambridge.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Can being cold help you lose weight?

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2018 at 10:01 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — No one likes to be cold enough to shiver, but what if being cold could actually increase your metabolism, improve blood sugar and help you lose weight?

A study done on mice at the University of Tokyo supports this idea. The researchers found that a certain type of cells called beige fat can actively break down fat and sugar to improve insulin sensitivity and increase metabolism. Beige fat was also found to help regulate energy balance.

Where do these fat cells come from? Exposure to cold for long periods of time can “stress” the body into turning the bad fat that most people have into good fat.

Some types of fat are good

We have three types of fat — brown, white and, now we are finding out, beige.

Brown fat, which is the fat we are born with that allows babies at birth to go from a warm uterus of 98 degrees Fahrenheit to room temperature of around 74 degrees. This fat is not associated with health problems. It got its name because it looks brown under a microscope due to its containing many mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells that produce energy. Mitochondria contain a protein called UCP1 that breaks down fat to make heat.

Brown fat is usually found in the neck, upper back and around the spinal cord and is responsible for burning calories in order to generate heat. As we get older, we lose this good fat.

White fat is the opposite. It lacks those energy-producing centers, mitochondria, and is the most common type of fat for adults. It insulates and cushions our vital organs such as the kidneys and heart. This fat interacts with hormones such as cortisol, the stress hormone, and insulin. Having a lot of this type of fat is associated with heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers.

How do we get rid of white fat and get more brown fat?

There have been many studies of how fat cells work. Humans were genetically made to survive in cold temperatures and to use fat as an energy source when food was hard to find.

Over time, these genes have become less dominant. Now we store fat even though food is readily available. We have the luxury of warm temperatures all the time through heat in our homes.

And, people are more likely these days to have an abundance of white fat, a symptom of an obesity epidemic in the United States.

Researchers in the study of mice at the University of Tokyo found that long-term cold exposure can actually stress the white fat cells into developing more mitochondria and eventually becoming more efficient, calorie-burning beige cells. One group of mice was kept at 39 degrees Fahrenheit and another at 86 degrees Fahrenheit for one week. Without any change in diet, the mice that were kept at the lower temperature had more thermogenic activity — meaning their cells were able to burn calories and stored fat to create heat.

So how does it work?

Shivering creates body heat short-term by warming up the muscles. In a long-term process called thermogenesis, brown fat cells create heat to keep the body warm. When you are cold for a long enough time, the white fat cells are forced to start acting like brown fat. This protein, JMJD1A becomes altered to JMJD1A and this white cells becomes a beige cell, which is thermogenic.

For example, Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps spends much of his day in water of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond the calories needed to swim, his body is also losing heat to the cool water environment which is increasing his calorie breakdown even more.

There is a broader significance to these findings, as the study shows that a molecular mechanism, which in this case occurs when a person is cold for a long-enough period, can affect how genes are expressed. In other words, as one of the study’s authors, Juro Sakai from the University of Tokyo and Tohoku University, believes, although a person’s gene sequence is determined at conception, lifestyle may be able to help determine how those genes are expressed.

“We believe that this is the first time that anyone has collected data to prove that there are two steps between the environmental stimuli and epigenetic changes,” said Sakai, an expert in the epigenetics of metabolism, said.

There is a broader significance to these findings. As one of the study’s authors, Juro Sakai from the University of Tokyo and Tohoku University, believes. Although a person’s gene sequence is determined at conception, lifestyle may be able to help determine how those genes are expressed — meaning that all people genetically have the ability to have more efficient beige fat, so why not tap into those genes?

How might we be able to use this science?

More research is needed on the potential to turn white fat into energy-burning beige fat cells and on how long-term exposure to cold may affect fat cells in humans.

Obesity, which is at epidemic levels in the United States, is a debilitating condition that is related to many fatal diseases. So it is worth exploring further if we could promote weight loss, treat diabetes and stabilize blood sugars through exposure to colder temperatures for enough time to change the bad fat into good.

Studies show that to make a difference in the fat cells the temperature has to be in the non-shivering zone, which has been found by some to be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Becoming too cold can be dangerous and cause hypothermia and even cardiac arrest so it’s important for us to continue to further research this concept.

If more research confirms the findings of this study, maybe this could become a new fitness craze. We will have to play it cool and see.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

High school golfer attacked by goose in hilarious set of photos

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2018 at 7:21 am

(NEW YORK) — Birdies on the golf course are usually a good thing. Just not when that bird is a very angry goose.

At a high school golf tournament last weekend in Adrian, Michigan, a Blissfield High School foursome had teed off and was walking down a fairway where a goose was sitting on an egg in a nest off to the side. There was a sign warning them of the goose and the golfers were respecting its space.

But that’s when an additional goose suddenly came up behind the golfers.

And it was not happy.

The foursome was attacked by the goose, with one particular golfer, in his purple pullover, coming under direct assault.

Devon Gilson-Pitts, whose husband is an assistant coach for the Blissford team, says she drove in a golf cart with her husband to get between the golfer and the goose. She said it took four carts to keep the goose away and help retrieve the golfer’s clubs, which fell out during the attack.

“At no point in my life I ever thought golf would be fun or exciting till yesterday,” Gilson-Pitts wrote on Facebook. “We have a great group of kids on the golf team and had some excitement on the course yesterday.”

Neither man nor goose was injured.

Blissfield finished ninth of the 13 teams in the Saturday tournament.

Isaac Couling, who was competing against Blissfield for Concord High School, was identified as the victim in the attack by The Detroit News. He says he parred the hole.

At least it wasn’t an eagle.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard Roundup 4/24/18

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2018 at 7:14 am

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

 AMERICAN LEAGUE
 Final  Cleveland       2  Baltimore   1
 Final  N-Y Yankees    14  Minnesota   1
 Final  Oakland         9  Texas       4
 Final  L-A Angels      2  Houston     0
 Final  Chi White Sox  10  Seattle     4
   ——
   NATIONAL LEAGUE
 Final  Cincinnati     10  Atlanta      4
 Final  San Diego      13  Colorado     5
 Final  L-A Dodgers     2  Miami        1
 Final  San Francisco   4  Washington   2
   ——
   NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
 Final  Houston  119  Minnesota      100
 Final  Utah     113  Oklahoma City   96
   ——
   NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
 Final  Toronto      3  Boston     1
 Final  Washington   6  Columbus   3

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

High school golfer attacked by goose

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2018 at 3:11 am

iStock/Thinkstock(ADRIAN, Mich.) — Birdies on the golf course are usually a good thing. Just not when that bird is a very angry goose.

At a high school golf tournament in Adrian, Michigan, a Blissfield High School foursome had teed off and was walking down a fairway where a goose was sitting on an egg in a nest off to the side. There was a sign warning them of the goose and the golfers were respecting its space.

But that’s when an additional goose suddenly came up behind the golfers.

And it was not happy.

The foursome was attacked by the goose, with one particular golfer, in his purple pullover, coming under direct assault.

Devon Gilson-Pitts, whose husband is an assistant coach for the Blissford team, says she drove in a golf cart with her husband to get between the golfer and the goose. She said it took four carts to keep the goose away and help retrieve the golfer’s clubs, which fell out during the attack.

Neither man nor goose was injured.

Blissfield finished ninth of the 13 teams in the Saturday tournament.

Isaac Couling, who was competing against Blissfield for Concord High School, was identified as the victim in the attack by The Detroit News. He says he parred the hole.

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Man wearing ‘MAGA’ hat, Trump shirt attacks Hispanic subway rider in New York, police say

Posted/updated on: April 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Police in New York City are searching for a subway commuter who did anything but “Make America Great Again.”

New York ABC station WABC reports the New York City Police Department is looking for a man who attacked a fellow subway rider on Friday. The suspect was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap, sold by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, and a red “Make America Great Again” T-shirt at the time of the attack, police said. 

According to police, the Trump supporter got into a verbal argument with the fellow rider before punching him in the head on a 4 train as it approached the Union Square station in Manhattan. He then followed the victim, described by police as a 24-year-old Hispanic man, off the train and shoved him onto the tracks.

The attacker allegedly made a number of racially derogatory statements during the assault.

The victim suffered cuts on his head, and was treated at an area hospital, police said.

The alleged assault comes just eight days after a Danish tourist wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was attacked and robbed of the hat at the same Union Square subway station. In that case, the attacker actually flashed a knife at the victim, according to police. The attacker in last week’s case does not meet the same description as Friday’s suspect.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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Barbara Bush Buried at Presidential Library

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2018 at 3:16 am

HOUSTON (AP) — Former first lady Barbara Bush has been laid to rest at her husband’s presidential library in Texas. A family spokesman says the ceremony was “a very brief but poignant and beautiful ending to a very moving and incredible day.” About 1,500 people attended a private funeral earlier Saturday in Houston for the wife of former President George H.W. Bush. She was buried in a gated plot at her husband’s presidential library at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Barbara Bush Funeral: Security Prevents Trump Attendance

Posted/updated on: April 21, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Scott Olson/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — Barbara Bush will be laid to rest in Texas on Saturday as mourners, including dignitaries from across the nation and around the world, gather to remember the former first lady’s life and legacy.

More than 1,500 guests, including former presidents and first ladies, are expected to fill St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston on Saturday morning for the funeral service. Barbara Bush, who died on Tuesday at the age of 92, had requested in her last wishes a modest funeral at the Gothic-style cathedral, where she and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, were devoted members for decades.

Barbara Bush’s casket on Friday arrived at St. Martin’s, the nation’s largest Episcopal church, where she lay in repose as the public was invited to pay respects from noon to midnight, according to the Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home in Houston.

The Rev. Russell Levenson Jr. and the Rev. Dr. Peter Cheney will be co-officiants of Saturday’s service, which is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET. Barbara Bush’s son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will deliver a eulogy along with her longtime friend, Susan Baker, and historian Jon Meacham, according to a statement from the Bush family.

First lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral service Saturday “on behalf of the first family,” White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement. “To avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service, President Trump will not attend.”

Following the service, a funeral procession will bring Barbara Bush’s casket to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum near Texas A&M University in College Station for a private service, where she will be buried in a family plot beside her daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia at the age of 3 in 1953. The Texas A&M Corps of Cadets are expected to line Barbara Bush Avenue outside the library to pay tribute to the former first lady.

Barbara Bush served as first lady from 1989 to 1993. She died shortly after deciding to forgo further medical treatments for her failing health.

Former President George H.W. Bush is “broken-hearted to lose his beloved Barbara, his wife of 73 years,” according to Jean Becker, chief of staff at the 93-year-old former president’s office.

“He held her hand all day today and was at her side when she left this good earth,” Becker said in a statement.

Their eldest child, former President George W. Bush, described his mother as a “fabulous first lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions.”

“To us, she was so much more,” he said in a statement after her death. “Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly.”

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Read Former FBI Director James Comey’s memos

Posted/updated on: April 20, 2018 at 2:56 pm

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department on Thursday turned over to Congress declassified copies of former FBI director James Comey’s memos – his contemporaneous notes about his conversations and encounters with President Donald Trump before he was fired last year.

The 15-page disclosure includes Comey’s account of the briefing he gave Trump at Trump Tower about some of the allegations about his contacts with Russia, as well as his later meetings with Trump at the White House, during one in which Comey said that the president asked him for his loyalty and in another in which Comey says Trump told him: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

Comey says he took that as the president wanting him to end the investigation into retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s fired former national security adviser.

Comey also said that then-chief of staff Reince Priebus asked him whether Flynn was under government surveillance and that Trump claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin told him Russia had “some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.”

Trump, who has previously dismissed the memos as “fake,” claimed on Thursday night that the memos exonerated him in the ongoing Russia investigation while criticizing Comey’s conduct.

You can read the declassified and partially redacted memos HERE.

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Scoreboard Roundup 4/20/18

Posted/updated on: April 20, 2018 at 11:46 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
 Final  Detroit      13  Baltimore    8
 Final  Houston       9  Seattle      2
 Final  N-Y Yankees   4  Toronto      3
 Final  Boston        8  L-A Angels   2
   ——
   NATIONAL LEAGUE
 Final  Chi Cubs       8  St. Louis       5
 Final  Philadelphia   7  Pittsburgh      0
 Final  Atlanta       12  N-Y Mets        4
 Final  Milwaukee     12  Miami           3
 Final  Arizona        3  San Francisco   1
   ——
   NBA PLAYOFFS
 Final  Philadelphia  128  Miami        108
 Final  New Orleans   119  Portland     102
 Final  Golden State  110  San Antonio   97
   ——
   NHL PLAYOFFS
 Final  Boston       3  Toronto    1
 Final  Washington   4  Columbus   1

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Fight looms over Trump, Cohen request to delay Stormy Daniels case

Posted/updated on: April 20, 2018 at 7:53 am

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels is vowing to “vehemently argue” against an attempt by President Donald Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen to delay her lawsuit challenging the validity of a non-disclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election.

 “The American people deserve the truth as quickly as possible,” Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti wrote Thursday on Twitter.

U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero, who is overseeing Daniels’ lawsuit in federal court, has scheduled a hearing for Friday morning in Los Angeles on Trump and Cohen’s request to put the case on hold for at least 90 days. That request followed last week’s FBI raids on Cohen’s New York office and residences, which raised the specter of possible criminal charges against the President’s longtime lawyer and confidant.

If Judge Otero were to grant the defendants’ request, Daniels’ lawsuit – and Avenatti’s efforts to depose Cohen and Trump under oath – could be frozen for months while the criminal investigation is ongoing.

“The court in the civil case has the discretion to order a stay – which is basically calling a ‘time-out’ in the case,” said Darren Kavinoky, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney and legal analyst. “This is done with some regularity.”

Federal agents conducting the April 9 searches related to Cohen’s business dealings seized about ten boxes of documents, plus electronic files on multiple phones and electronic devices, according to court records. Among the items reportedly sought were records associated with Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Daniels, which was routed through a Delaware shell company Cohen set up to facilitate the transaction.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the previously secret agreement in January, and government watchdog groups have since urged the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission to investigate, alleging possible violations of campaign finance laws. Cohen has not been charged with any crime and contends that the payment to Daniels was legal.

The raids came four days after Trump made his first public comments about Daniels’ allegations, denying any knowledge of the payment and referring other questions to Cohen.

“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One earlier this month. “Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.”

Through his representatives, the president has repeatedly denied Daniels’ allegations of a sexual encounter with Trump during a Lake Tahoe golf tournament in 2006.

Lawyers for Trump and Cohen argued in court filings that there is “substantial overlap” between Daniels’ lawsuit and the criminal investigation and contended that Cohen’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination could be implicated if the civil case is allowed to proceed.

“Mr. Cohen is a key witness in this action and Defendants’ most knowledgeable person with respect to the facts,” asserts his attorney Brent Blakely, noting that Cohen negotiated the settlement agreement with Daniels’ previous lawyer and arranged for the payment.

“Thus, if the case moves forward,” Blakely writes, “Defendants’ key witness would have to choose between exercising his Fifth Amendment rights, and testifying on Defendants’ behalf.”

Avenatti countered in court filings that “Cohen has failed to meet his evidentiary burden to show his testimony would be self-incriminating” and argues that Cohen has waived his Fifth Amendment rights because he has “already freely and openly discussed this matter in the public.”

That could pose a problem for Cohen, Kavinoky said, because “once someone has let the proverbial cat out of the bag, it’s far tougher to assert their Fifth Amendment right to silence.”

The hearing Friday will be the first in a case that has dominated headlines for weeks, ever since Daniels filed suit in California seeking to invalidate the deal. Her interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes in late March drew more than 22 million viewers.

In court filings, attorneys for Cohen have asserted that Daniels could be on the hook for at least $20 million in damages for her alleged breaches of the nondisclosure agreement. In her lawsuit, Daniels claimed that the hush agreement is invalid because Trump — under the alias “David Dennison” — never signed the contract.

The judge’s decision will be “a close call,” Stanley Goldman, a professor of criminal procedure at Loyola Law School, told ABC News.

“Civil cases get deferred all the time if there’s a criminal case,” Goldman said. “A lot of civil cases are tried when a criminal case could have been filed, but wasn’t. If I were the judge I would let the proceedings go forward for the moment, but demand everyone come back if circumstances change, like if there’s an indictment.”

Dana Cole, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, told ABC News he thinks Cohen and Trump have a good shot at winning at least a brief delay “until the dust settles and the parties can determine whether the criminal investigation directly relates to the civil case.”

“The Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify is paramount, it is one of the key civil rights we have,” Cole said. He believes the potential criminal exposure Cohen faces will persuade the judge “to let things cool down and get more clarity on what the criminal investigation is focused on.”

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In memos, Comey describes Trump’s reactions to dossier, concerns over Flynn

Posted/updated on: April 20, 2018 at 7:11 am

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In newly released copies of memos written by James Comey, the former FBI Director describes what he says were Donald Trump’s strenuous and repeated objections to claims that prostitutes visited his Moscow hotel room in 2013 as well as the president’s “serious reservations” about his embattled National Security Adviser.

“There were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes,” Comey recalled Trump saying in one of the memos.

ABC News obtained copies of the memos, which are partially redacted, on Thursday after the Justice Department turned over 15 pages of declassified material to Congress. Top House Republicans had requested the documents and threatened to subpoena for them. DOJ plans to transmit unredacted copies of the memos on Friday.

The memos, which emerged as a flash point in the ongoing Trump-Russia probe, detail Comey’s recollections of exchanges with the president about Russian campaign interference and the broader Russia investigation. They include notes of conversations about the Trump Tower briefing on the Russia allegations, on a private White House dinner, and on controversial meetings during which Comey says Trump asked for his loyalty and for him to end the Flynn investigation. Trump has denied making those requests.

Some of Comey’s notes closely mirror the account of the interactions with Trump he has provided in congressional testimony, in his new book and in recent television interviews. But the newly released memos also feature previously unreported details and exchanges, including Trump’s complaints about Gen. Michael Flynn’s judgment. He expressed concern that Flynn, who served briefly as his National Security Adviser, did not alert him about a head of state’s congratulatory call. (The name of the head of state is redacted in the memos released Thursday.)

Comey said Trump pointed to his head when describing Flynn, and said, “The guy has serious judgment issues.”

“I did not comment at any point during this topic and there was no mention or acknowledgement of any FBI interest in or contact with General Flynn,” Comey wrote.

In a meeting several days later, then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked Comey, “Do you have a FISA order on Michael Flynn?” according to Comey’s memo. The question from Priebus came after former acting Attorney General Sally Yates had warned the White House that Flynn was susceptible to blackmail regarding his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

Flynn later became one of the most senior Trump aides to cut a deal with prosecutors and agree to assist the Mueller investigation. He pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment late Thursday.

Other memos from Comey shed light on Trump’s reactions to allegations, some of them salacious, in the so-called dossier –- an unverified, opposition-research document prepared by a former British intelligence officer, and paid for by Trump’s political rivals.

One memo describes a meeting in which Comey says Trump remarked that Russian President Vladimir Putin had told him that Russia has “some of the most beautiful hookers in the world,” without explaining when the conversation took place, according to Comey’s notes.

In a joint statement, Reps. Devin Nunes, R-California, Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, and Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, the chairmen who requested declassified versions of the memos last week, described the documents as “Defense Exhibit A” in a criminal case for obstruction of justice, arguing that they show Comey was motivated by animus, and did not feel that Trump was attempting to obstruct the Russia investigation in real time.

“While former Director Comey went to great lengths to set dining room scenes, discuss height requirements, describe the multiple times he felt complimented, and myriad other extraneous facts, he never once mentioned the most relevant fact of all, which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation,” they wrote.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said the memos are “strong corroborating evidence” of Comey’s claims that Trump “wanted his personal loyalty, that he wanted to end the Russia investigation, and that he wanted Michael Flynn to walk.”

“President Trump’s interference was a blatant effort to deny justice, and Director Comey was right to document it as it happened — in real time,” Cummings said.

Comey said in a CNN interview Thursday he was “fine” with his memos being released to the public.

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Girl, 6, captured on video scoring puck from NHL player after 2 tries

Posted/updated on: April 20, 2018 at 12:38 am

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — The moment has been viewed and shared by millions online: NHL player Brett Connolly trying desperately to get a puck behind the glass to 6-year-old Keelan Moxley.

On Sunday, Keelan and her family were rink-side as the Washington Capitals prepared to face the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Twice, Connolly, a forward for the Washington Capitals, attempted to connect with Keelan. And, both times, the puck was caught by a man and delivered to a different child.

But on his third try, Connolly hit the glass, signaling to Keelan that this puck was going to be hers.

This time, she scored!

“I felt so happy. I felt, I felt amazing,” she told ABC News today. “I was just so happy.”

Her family said today that despite what others had said on social media, the people around Keelan at the time were not her family. Keelan’s parents were actually a few rows behind her.

Despite the confusion and momentary disappointment that day, Keelan told ABC that she was super proud of her new prized possession. She’s already taken her puck to show-and-tell at school. She also said that she bore no hard feelings for the children who’d received pucks before her.

“I felt happy for the boys because the boys were, like, happy,” she said.

This weekend, Keelan will have even more to be happy about. The family will be heading back to the rink and this time the Capitals owner says he will give her and her family his front-row seats.

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Two deputies killed in line of duty in Florida, officials say

Posted/updated on: April 20, 2018 at 12:36 am

iStock/Thinkstock(TRENTON, Fla.) — Two Florida deputies were killed in the line of duty today, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement.

Bondi said the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s deputies were “senselessly killed.”

“The daily risk that law enforcement officers take to protect our communities is overwhelming,” Bondi said. “My deepest condolences and prayers are with their families as they mourn the devastating loss of their loved ones. May their families, friends and fellow officers find peace and comfort during this very difficult time.”

The sheriff’s office tweeted that it suffered a “terrible tragedy” and asked residents to avoid the area where the deputies were killed.

No suspects are at large, the sheriff’s office said.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Meghan Markle joins Prince Harry in support of women’s empowerment

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 5:28 pm

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) — Just one month before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are to marry, the couple stepped out at a reception to promote women’s empowerment and girls’ education.

Markle, who once served as an advocate for UN Women, joined Harry in meeting with representatives of charities and organizations which support global gender equality.

The reception was held as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which brings together heads of state and delegates from the 53 member nations of the Commonwealth.

At a Commonwealth reception on Wednesday, Harry and Markle spoke with LGBT advocates and ensured them that highlighting gay rights would be included in their charitable work.’

Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was one of the earliest high-profile people to break down the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDs. Her sons, Harry and Prince William, have followed in her footsteps as staunch advocates of human rights.

Jacob Thomas, from Australia, who won a Queen’s Young Leaders award, recalled speaking with Harry and Markle about gay rights as a human rights issue.

“Prince Harry said that what was so amazing was that 10 or so years ago we wouldn’t have been having this conversation and how incredible it was that we now were,” Thomas told reporters.

It is significant for Markle, someone who has not yet married into the royal family, to be involved in such a high-profile event as the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit.

Today’s event comes just days after Harry was named Commonwealth Youth Ambassador by Queen Elizabeth.

Harry’s work as ambassador will focus on “supporting the aspirations of young people,” according to a statement released by Buckingham Palace.

Harry discussed his new role with excitement in a keynote speech he delivered Monday.

“In my new role, I will work to support the Queen, my father The Prince of Wales, and my brother William, all of whom know that young people are the answer to the challenges of today,” he said. “I am also incredibly grateful that the woman I am about to marry, Meghan, will be joining me in this work, of which she too is hugely excited to take part in.”

Markle as an advocate for women

While making a name for herself as an actress, Markle worked on women’s rights issues with organizations including World Vision, the Myna Mahila Foundation and One Young World, in addition to the United Nations.

On International Women’s Day last year, Markle wrote an essay on period shaming based on her experience visiting India as an ambassador for World Vision, a global Christian humanitarian organization.

Markle has hinted that she has found her match as a feminist with Harry, who is also known for his humanitarian work.

Since moving to London late last year, Markle has spent her time traveling with Harry to different parts of the U.K., learning about the causes closest to him and meeting stakeholders.

She spoke about the #MeToo movement and women’s empowerment in February at a forum for The Royal Foundation, which she will join as a patron once she and Harry wed.

“I hear a lot of people speaking about girls’ empowerment and women’s empowerment. You will hear people saying they are helping women find their voices,” Markle said. “I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find their voices.”

She added, “They need to be empowered to use [their voices] and people need to be urged to listen. Right now with so many campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp there’s no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people supporting them.”

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Model gets engaged on the runway during Bridal Fashion Week

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Masato Onoda for Watters(NEW YORK) — A Bridal Fashion Week model stole the show when her then-boyfriend dropped to one knee in the middle of the runway.

Nicole Kaspar was the finale model in bridal fashion company Watters’ Spring 2019 show last week in New York City. And for the Dallas-based model, it started off like any show.

“It was crazy and chaotic backstage,” she told ABC News. “I was supposed to escort [designer] Elias [Gutierrez] out for a final bow and when I turned to leave and go back to our place for pictures, he grabbed me and didn’t let me go.”

Kaspar, 27, thought she had made a mistake on the runway. But soon, she’d realize that her boyfriend of two years, Chad Stapleton was actually proposing.

Stapleton, who’s a dentist based in Dallas, told ABC News he had been trying to plan the perfect proposal for eight months.

“I wanted to propose to Nicole related to something she loves and that’s traveling and modeling,” he said.

And after meeting a Watters’ designer at their annual model search, the idea was born. He invited their parents to join him at the fashion show to witness it in person. And after Gutierrez’s final bow, Stapleton, 26, dropped down to one knee, proposing in front of family, models and press.

Kaspar, who’s been modeling since age 15, said her now-fiancé pulled it off perfectly.

“When Chad stepped out into the lights, I was just like in shock,” she gushed. “I kind of blacked out. Elias had to push me go move.”

The model’s engagement ring, which has a cathedral setting, features an inverted ruby stone in the lower band. Stapleton said there’s a reason for it.

“About six months into dating, we took a six-week European trip together, which is pretty fast for just dating,” the future groom shared, “but that’s how much we knew each other and liked each other.”

Stapleton continued that he included a ruby in Kaspar’s engagement ring because it’s “the birthstone for July. That’s the month we fell in love.”

The two are now looking forward to planning a wedding in Texas.

“And I’m looking forward to starting a family,” Stapleton added.

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Mention of Trump, Mueller and riot gear in Pittsburgh police email causes stir

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Pittsburgh’s police department found itself in the spotlight Thursday because of a few key words in an email from a head detective: President Donald Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller and riot gear.

The email, sent Wednesday by Major Crimes Commander Victor Joseph, asked detectives who wear plain clothes to bring uniforms and “riot gear” to work in case President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller and detectives are needed to help monitor possible protests. The email was reported by WTAE and confirmed by Pittsburgh’s mayor.

The email

“We have received information of a potential large scale protest in the Central Business District,” the email from Joseph begins.

“There is a belief that President Trump will soon move to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller. This would result in a large protest within 24 hours of the firing,” Joseph wrote. Because of this, “all Major Crimes detectives are required to bring a full uniform and any issued protective equipment (riot gear) with them to work until further notice,” he wrote.

The measures were precautionary, Joseph wrote. “We may be needed to assist in the event that there is a large scale protest,” he said in the email.

The department, backed by the mayor’s office, said it has no inside knowledge of whether the president might fire special counsel Robert Mueller. But social media filled with questions on specifically what protest — and on what day — the Pittsburgh police were preparing for.

“We receive information regularly about potential events and/or threats, assess the credibility of the information and plan for a potential event. In this case, we have not assessed the credibility of the potential for disturbances, and we do not have any knowledge of the President’s decision-making process,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich clarified in a statement.

The department also emphasized that it “receives information daily that we evaluate and prepare for if the event should occur,” including anything from extreme weather to protests.

“Often the events we prepare for do not occur. However, through an abundance of caution, we attempt to adequately prepare for an appropriate response,” the statement said.

Though the department didn’t cite a specific protest, the progressive organization MoveOn.org does have plans for nationwide demonstrations in the event the president fires Mueller. In a statement, a campaign director said MoveOn has “laid the groundwork for more than 900 non-violent and lawful protests nationwide, including one planned in the Pittsburgh area.”

More than 350,000 Americans are signed up to participate across the country, according to MoveOn.org.

In his statement, campaign director David Sievers also emphasized that the protests would be nonviolent. “We hope such protests are never triggered, but if they ever are, police everywhere have an obligation to respect Americans’ right to peacefully protest,” he said.

The social media circulation

On social media, news quickly circulated that a commander with the city’s police force was calling for riot gear, citing a “belief” that Trump would soon fire the special counsel leading the investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign and potential involvement with Russia.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto responded from his own Twitter and called for an end to the “conspiracies.”

“This is an internal email from a Commander to his plainclothes Detectives. It doesn’t claim to know what the President will do. It doesn’t say people can’t lawfully assemble. It says you may be needed to help, bring your uniform,” he tweeted.

The mayor, who runs his own Twitter account, had a little fun with his responses to various Twitter users alleging different backstories. One said Peduto was trying to scare his constituents into thinking Trump was firing Mueller.

Communications director for the mayor, Timothy McNulty, described the directions in the email as “fairly normal operating procedure.”

“I don’t have every last police memo that was issued but I know for a fact that detectives work protests wearing uniforms, it’s very common,” McNulty said.

Tension surrounding the investigation

The email came in the midst of building tensions in the investigation — which the president has repeatedly called a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.”

Last week, the residences and office of the president’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was raided by the FBI. The president called it “an attack on our country, in a true sense” and said the situation was “now on a whole new level of unfairness.”

But on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thwarted a bipartisan measure to protect Mueller’s job. It would not be necessary, McConnell said, because Trump would not fire Mueller.

A day later, the president responded to questions about Mueller and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation. “They’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months. And they’re still here,” Trump said during a press conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

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This California restaurant uses a color-coded system to help their staff combat sexual harassment

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Homeroom Restaurant(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Chrissel Orcino had a “code red” at one of her tables.

When Orcino, a server at the Oakland, California, restaurant Homeroom, went to pick up the check for her table of three — two men and one woman — something alarming happened.

A man was eager to pay for the tab of the entire table, Orcino said and reached into her apron pocket with his credit card.

“I could, like, feel his, like, hand move all the way down to the bottom of the pocket with his card,” Orcino, 28, recalled.

Orcino was in total shock.

“He could’ve just handed me his card or went up to the register and paid for the whole table,” she said. “It was pretty traumatic to have somebody touch me out of nowhere.”

But instead of explaining to her manager the details of what happened, Orcino told him she had a code red, and he knew what to do.
That’s because, at Homeroom, the staff has a system in place to categorize different types of customer behavior, like Orcino’s experience.

The Management Alert Color System, known as MACS because they’re a mac and cheese restaurant, has three tiers: yellow, orange and red.

“Yellow is just where someone gets a creepy vibe. Nothing has happened. An orange is where they’ve said something that’s a little bit borderline — like it could be sexual harassment, it could not be. Like, ‘Hey I love your shirt.’ Right? It could sort of go either way,” Erin Wade, co-founder and chief executive of Homeroom, explained. “And a red is something that’s overtly sexual, like, ‘Hey, you look super sexy in that.’ Or where someone touches someone else.”

A staff member doesn’t have to explain the experience to their manager. All they have to do is report the color, and there’s an automatic action that the manager must take.
In the case of a code yellow, the server can choose if they want a manager to take over the table, and if they report an orange, the manager will automatically take it over. With a code red, the customer is asked to leave.

New hires are introduced to MACS at their orientation and are empowered to bring up potentially problematic behavior and situations in or around the restaurant with their manager, whether it’s involving customers, vendors or a delivery driver.

Watch “My Reality: A Hidden America,” a special report by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer for “20/20” airing on Friday, April 20 at 10 p.m. ET

“All they have to do is come up to me and say, ‘I have a code yellow at a table, and I just don’t feel comfortable serving them.’ And I don’t even have to ask them questions about what happened. I just say, ‘ Not a problem. I’m happy to step in and take over that table so you don’t have to deal with it,’” said Kale Irwin, a Homeroom manager.

The anti-harassment system was started a few years ago when the staff felt they were having a hard time communicating to management when an experience with sexual harassment or other problematic behavior was occurring.

Since the introduction of MACS, Wade says, Homeroom has had fewer code reds, because, “It seems to stem harassment at a really early level.”

For Orcino, the system helped her in a moment she was too distressed to explain her own emotions, let alone what happened when that male customer reached into her apron.

“In any other situation, if we didn’t have the system, then I would have to explain the whole thing and go through the whole process, and in a time when we’re really busy and I can’t even process my own emotions,” Orcino said. “This incident with this guest happened so fast, so abruptly, that I was completely in shock.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

No one will be criminally charged for Prince’s drug overdose, prosecutors say

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm

Richard E. Aaron/Redferns(ST. PAUL, Minn.) —  No criminal charges will be brought in the accidental drug overdose death of Prince, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.

Prosecutors also announced that Michael T. Schulenberg, the Minnesota doctor who prescribed an opioid painkiller for Prince a week before the musician’s death in 2016, has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle civil charges that he wrote an illegal prescription.

Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz told reporters Thursday that Prince thought he was taking Vicodin to manage pain but unknowingly took counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl.

“Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him,” Metz said.

Despite “intensive” investigation, Metz said law enforcement was unable to determine who provided the counterfeit Vicodin laced with fentanyl that killed Prince.

Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg, who denies any liability, violated the Controlled Substances Act when he illegally wrote a prescription for Prince in someone else’s name, federal prosecutors said Thursday in official settlement documents obtained by ABC News.

“Dr. Schulenberg prescribed Schedule 2 controlled substances in the name of an individual knowing that the controlled substances were intended to be used by another individual,” U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker said. “As licensed professionals, doctors are held to a high level of accountability in their prescribing practices, especially when it comes to highly addictive painkillers.”

Schulenberg agreed to settle the civil charges by paying $30,000 and submitting to monitoring by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“As Minnesota and the nation struggle in the throes of an opioid crisis, the Drug Enforcement Administration will always strive to ensure that those responsible will be held accountable, no matter what their position may be,” DEA Minneapolis-St. Paul Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Solek said.

The settlement is “neither an admission of facts nor liability by Dr. Schulenberg,” court records said. Prosecutors also affirmed in a separate letter to Schulenberg’s attorneys that the doctor is not a target of a federal criminal investigation.

“Dr. Schulenberg decided to settle with the United States regarding alleged civil claims in order to avoid the expense, delay and unknown outcome of litigation. He made no admission of facts nor liability and denies any such liability. The United States Attorneys’ Office for the District of Minnesota has confirmed that he is not a target in any criminal inquiry, and there have been no allegations made by the government that Dr. Schulenberg had any role in Prince’s death,” Schulenberg’s attorney, Amy Conners, said in a statement to ABC News. “After he learned of Prince’s addiction, he immediately worked to refer Prince to a treatment facility and to transfer care to a chemical dependency specialist.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Republican senators won’t commit to endorsing Trump in 2020

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Two Senate Republicans, both of whom are leaving the Senate after their current terms, said they would not necessarily back President Donald Trump for re-election in 2020, with one of them speculating that he may not even seek the Oval Office again.

“I have no idea who’s going to run for president in 2020, and I’m not about to say who I will support for that, so we have no idea who’s going to run. Whether the president runs again or not is questionable, candidly,” Sen. Bob Corker, who is retiring from the Senate this year, said on CNN.

The president announced in February that he would run for a second term, and has already named his 2016 digital strategist Brad Parscale as his campaign manager.

Corker added during the interview that he would like to see who else is included in the field of 2020 Republican candidates before making a decision on whom to endorse.

The Tennessee senator, who also chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has had a complex relationship with Trump. He had previously questioned the president’s fitness for office, which led to Trump calling him names on Twitter, but eventually the two men reconciled.

He has been asked several times in recent days if he would support the president for re-election.

Just on Wednesday, he said his position changes by the hour and that many of his colleagues are likewise conflicted.

“Any Republican senator that hasn’t been conflicted over this presidency is either comatose or is pretty useless in their blindness,” Corker said during a breakfast with reporters on Wednesday.

Sen. Ron Johnson, also appearing on CNN on Thursday, chastised an anchor for asking if he would support the current Republican president for re-election, calling it a “gotcha question.”

“It could be a completely different world by 2020. We have a 2018 election first,” Johnson said. Johnson, who was re-elected to his seat in 2016, has said that he will not seek re-election again.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Doctor fined $30K for illegally prescribing Prince medication week before singer’s death

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm

Richard E. Aaron/Redferns(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — A Minnesota doctor who prescribed an opioid painkiller for Prince a week before the musician’s 2016 death has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle civil charges that he wrote an illegal prescription, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz told reporters Thursday that Prince thought he was taking Vicodin to manage pain but unknowingly took counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl.

“Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him,” Metz said.

Despite “intensive” investigation, Metz said law enforcement was unable to determine who provided the counterfeit Vicodin laced with fentanyl that killed Prince.

Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg, who denies any liability, violated the Controlled Substances Act when he illegally wrote a prescription for Prince in someone else’s name, federal prosecutors said Thursday in official settlement documents obtained by ABC News.

“Dr. Schulenberg prescribed Schedule 2 controlled substances in the name of an individual knowing that the controlled substances were intended to be used by another individual,” U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker said. “As licensed professionals, doctors are held to a high level of accountability in their prescribing practices, especially when it comes to highly addictive painkillers.”

Schulenberg agreed to settle the civil charges by paying $30,000 and submitting to monitoring by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“As Minnesota and the nation struggle in the throes of an opioid crisis, the Drug Enforcement Administration will always strive to ensure that those responsible will be held accountable, no matter what their position may be,” DEA Minneapolis-St. Paul Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Solek said.

The settlement is “neither an admission of facts nor liability by Dr. Schulenberg,” court records said. Prosecutors also affirmed in a separate letter to Schulenberg’s attorneys that the doctor is not a target of a federal criminal investigation.

“Dr. Schulenberg decided to settle with the United States regarding alleged civil claims in order to avoid the expense, delay and unknown outcome of litigation. He made no admission of facts nor liability and denies any such liability. The United States Attorneys’ Office for the District of Minnesota has confirmed that he is not a target in any criminal inquiry, and there have been no allegations made by the government that Dr. Schulenberg had any role in Prince’s death,” Schulenberg’s attorney, Amy Conners, said in a statement to ABC News. “After he learned of Prince’s addiction, he immediately worked to refer Prince to a treatment facility and to transfer care to a chemical dependency specialist.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Girls Make Beats trains girls in music production to help close the gender gap

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 7:07 am

ABC(NEW YORK) — When recording artist and audio engineer Tiffany Miranda walks into a studio, she’s used to standing out.

“As a woman, some of the challenges I faced were just people walking in the door and asking where the engineer is while I was sitting right behind the mixing console,” said Miranda, whose work has appeared on American Idol and X-Factor. She has collaborated with many artists and producers, including Rick Ross and DJ Khaled.

“A lot of guys weren’t really used to seeing girls behind the boards,” she said.

But Miranda didn’t want to accept that as the status quo. Instead, she decided to work toward correcting the gender disparity in music production by founding Girls Make Beats, an organization dedicated to helping young girls interested in becoming music producers.

The group hosts educational seminars, summer camps and networking events — all with the goal of helping girls further their careers in music.

“Girls Make Beats came about because of my own personal story and struggles in the music industry,” Miranda said. “I found out very early on that it was tough for girls to break into music technology fields, and there’s actually never been a woman to win a Grammy for their music production — ever.”

The numbers back up Miranda’s experience. Female songwriters and producers are outnumbered by men, according to a University of South Carolina Annenberg report conducted between 2012 to 2017. Female songwriters and producers made up only 12.3 percent of songwriters for the top 600 songs of the last six years. Also among the findings: Two percent of producers across 300 songs were female, translating into a major gender ratio of 49 males to every female.

“When I was growing up, there were literally no women that I could look up to and aspire to be — the next big audio engineer, that next big music producer,” she said. “So with Girls Make Beats, we’re out there — we’re bringing the program to these girls and their schools. We’re introducing them to these really cool and fun fields like DJing, music production and audio engineering, and getting them excited about it from an early age.”

The organization started in Miami, but recently opened a chapter in Los Angeles and is organizing programs in several major cities across the United States.

The program aims to help young girls such as 11-year-old Bella Villa, whose nickname is DJ Bella.

“I knew there wasn’t a lot of female DJs, and I wanted to finally become one,” she said. “My favorite part was learning how to mix songs together.”

Working alongside other young girls with the same goals has helped 16-year-old Jerica Hatcher, also known as DJ Blessed, gain confidence in her skills.

“My favorite part of the program is just being here with the girls, coming together to make music that people will want to hear,” she said.

Miranda believes that the benefits of the programs extend beyond music production. Regardless of what career the girls pursue, she said she hopes they will carry the sense of accomplishment from Girl Makes Beats with them.

“It’s really about the confidence that they build and knowing that they can tackle anything that they put their minds to,” she said.

Miranda’s advice to young girls is to be persistent and don’t take “no” for an answer.

“Never wait for your opportunities, but create them,” she said. “When you hear ‘no,’ that’s OK. That means ‘not now.’ That means go work on your craft. Make another beat. Go do something that’s going to be proactive in getting you to the next step.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 4/18/18

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 5:36 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Tampa Bay 4, Texas 2
Detroit 6, Baltimore 5
Oakland 12, Chicago White Sox 11, 14 Innings
Toronto 15, Kansas City 5
Minnesota 2, Cleveland 1, 16 Innings
Boston 9, L.A. Angels 0
Houston 7, Seattle 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 10, Colorado 2
Milwaukee 2, Cincinnati 0
N.Y. Mets 11, Washington 5
Atlanta 7, Philadelphia 3
San Francisco 4, Arizona 3, 10 Innings
L.A. Dodgers 13, San Diego 4
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs 2:20 p.m., postponed
 
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Cleveland 100, Indiana 97
Utah 102, Oklahoma City 95
Houston 102, Minnesota 82

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Pittsburgh 5, Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 3, New Jersey 1
Nashville 3, Colorado 2
San Jose 2, Anaheim 1

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

More history for the Vegas Golden Knights

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 12:45 am

Harry How/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) – The Vegas Golden Knights went into their inaugural season with a plan most expansion teams follow: form the best roster possible with a mix of veterans and young players while amassing draft picks in an effort to build for future success. Ironically, and luckily for Vegas, things did not go according to plan.

A mix of seasoned veterans like Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal combined with impressive performances by young players like William Karlsson not only allowed Vegas to be serviceable in the Western Conference, but be viewed as one of the most dangerous teams in the league. The misfit bunch soared to the top of the standings early on in the year and almost never looked back, stunning its fans and the league as a whole.

Golden Knights general manager George McPhee soon realized come the trade deadline the team wouldn’t be looking to add more future draft picks, but build this young team for a playoff run. Acquisitions of Ryan Reaves and Tomas Tatar helped fill out the depth in the roster, allowing Vegas to be the first team to clinch a playoff berth in its inaugural season since the 1979-80 Whalers and Oilers.

If the story stopped there it would already be a fairytale, but it hasn’t. Vegas opened the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings, a team known for upsetting top seeds in recent years, and made an emphatic statement, sweeping them in four games. The Golden Knights became the first NHL team, and just the third team in the four major sports, to sweep its first every playoff series.

With the shooting tragedy that occurred in Vegas in October, the Golden Knights were there to give the people of Sin City a way to escape, even just for a  few hours, and rallied behind people who so desperately needed a reason to smile. The Golden Knights are an amazing story already, not only for just the NHL, but for the city of Las Vegas. And, the Cinderella story is not over yet.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wife of wounded veteran wrote book to explain amputations and injuries to children

Posted/updated on: April 19, 2018 at 12:46 am

Paul Morigi/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — “Someone told me daddy is gross. He isn’t gross. He is a hero,” said the oldest daughter of Michael Verardo, a wounded veteran who is missing a limb.

Verardo lost his leg in 2010 serving as an infantryman in Afghanistan. Since then, he has undergone over 100 surgeries and years of physical and occupational therapy, according to a press release.

After hearing their daughter’s words, the Verardo family realized the need for a children’s book that could explain the wounds sustained by many veterans.

“There are many military families who struggle with explaining the complex injuries to their own children, and even more so with children who are not exposed to this life on a daily basis,” said Michael’s wife and caregiver, Sarah Verardo.

She’s now the author and publisher of “Hero At Home,” a children’s book that aims to normalize interactions with injured veterans, especially those with amputations.

“Our goal with this book is to be able to describe this in a way that allows these children to understand the sacrifices made by our nation’s wounded veterans and to see that they are truly heroes,” she said.

The mother of three is also the executive director of the Independence Fund, an advocacy organization for severely wounded Veterans.

One of the pillars of the Independence Fund is the mobility program, which provides all-terrain wheelchairs and adaptive bicycles to veterans “of all eras.”

The cover of “Hero at Home” features an illustration of a veteran in one of those all-terrain wheelchairs. While the book may be for children, a spokesperson says that it’s educational for people of all ages.

“Hero at Home” is currently available on Amazon. The proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards the Independence Fund, according to a spokesperson.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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