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National News

    A federal judge has blocked Arkansas from enforcing four new abortion restrictions, including a ban on a common second trimester procedure. U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction late Friday night against the new abortion restrictions, three of which are set to take effect on Tuesday. The laws include a ban on a procedure known as dilation and evacuation. Abortion-rights supporters contend it's the safest and most common procedure used in second-trimester abortions. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights sued Arkansas over the restrictions, which lawmakers approved earlier this year. The groups say the laws would make it nearly impossible for many women in the state to get an abortion.
  • Child neglect charges were filed against the parents of an Oklahoma toddler found wandering down a west Tulsa street earlier this year. >> Read more trending news A passerby found the 18-month-old child and called police. Investigators found the parents living in a nearby house and, during a welfare check, found urine and feces in every room. There was also no running water and open electrical wires. The toddler and her older sister reportedly had untreated bug bites and were poorly dressed. Officials said the home has bedbugs and roaches. Daniel Robertson and Elizabeth Nelson were charged with child neglect this week. Neither has been arrested yet. The children were placed into state custody in February.
  • A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier fired warning flares at Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf on Friday, according to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. >> Read more trending news In a statement Saturday, the IRGC navy said the American ship was “unprofessional and provocative,” CNN reported. The USS Nimitz and a second American ship approached the Iranian ships, the IRGC navy said. The Iranian vessels ignored the flares, and the U.S. ships later left the area, CNN reported. Pentagon spokesman U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis previously told reporters that there had been 35 incidents of unsafe or unprofessional behavior by Iranian vessels in 2016, CNN reported.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said his family was hurt by the backlash caused by the “Beachgate” incident that occurred over the Fourth of July weekend, KYW reported. >> Read more trending news Christie was photographed with his family by NJ.com at Island Beach State Park, which was closed during the New Jersey government shutdown. The outrage that followed was especially tough for his children, Christie said on his New Jersey 101.5 call-in show. “I made this decision, but I will tell you that they were more hurt by this latest episode than they’ve been hurt by anything else that happened in the eight years,” Christie said on the air. “And they don’t understand people’s unfairness and, quite frankly, their ignorance.” Christie had ordered the shutdown of non-essential government facilities, including state beaches and parks, during a budget impasse.
  • A North Carolina man was arrested and accused of hanging a noose from a tree in front of his neighbor’s yard, police said. >> Read more trending news Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves said that Jeffery Lee McDaniel, 59, of Asheboro was charged with one count of placing an exhibit with intention of intimidating others, two counts trespassing, and one count communicating threats, the Asheboro Courier-Tribune reported. He was placed in the Randolph County Jail under a $7,500 secured bond.In addition to the noose, Graves said, a display with racial epithets was placed in front of the home of Jason and Alicia Farrar. The Farrars are a mixed-race couple. Jason is black, while Alicia has a black father and a white mother. The couple has five children.
  • Spending money to save time can help reduce stress, according to a published report. >> Read more trending news The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, asserts that happiness can be improved by spending some extra dollars to save some time for those people who don’t have a lot of time to spare. “People who spent money to buy themselves time, such as by outsourcing disliked tasks, reported greater overall life satisfaction,” Ashley Whillans, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School and lead author of the study, told The New York Times. The study was based on a series of surveys from several countries. Researchers did not see the same effect when people used the money for material goods. In the study, nearly 4,500 people were surveyed in the United States, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands. They were asked about time-saving purchases such as ordering takeout food, taking a taxi cab, hiring household help or paying someone to run an errand, the Times reported. In a second round, using a broader definition of those purchases, the panel surveyed nearly 1,800 Americans. About 28 percent of those in the first round and half in the second reported spending money to save time, the Times reported. In both cases, those who made such purchases reported greater life satisfaction than those who did not.
  • John McCain seemed poised to be the savior of the GOP health bill when he returned to the Capitol despite a brain cancer diagnosis. He turned out to be the executioner. The longtime Arizona senator stunned pretty much everyone Friday by turning on his party and his president and joining two other GOP senators in voting 'no' on the Republicans' final effort to repeal 'Obamacare.' That killed the bill. And it also dealt what looks like a death blow to the Republican Party's years of promises to get rid of Barack Obama's health law, pledges that helped the GOP win control of the House, the Senate and the White House. It was a moment burning with drama, irony and contradictions, playing out live on a tense Senate floor. Eighty years old and in the twilight of a remarkable career, McCain lived up to his reputation as a maverick. When he walked into the well of the Senate around 1:30 a.m. and gave a thumbs-down to the legislation, there were audible gasps. Democrats briefly broke into cheers, which Minority Leader Chuck Schumer quickly waved his arm to quiet. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood stone-faced, his arms crossed. McCain had just saved the signature legislative achievement of the man who beat him for the presidency in 2008, a law the senator himself had vigorously campaigned against while seeking a sixth Senate term last year. Friday afternoon, McCain's office announced he was returning to Arizona to begin radiation and chemotherapy treatments for his brain tumor. After so many years as a senator, with so little left to lose, McCain had taken a stand for the Senate he used to inhabit, the one where he made deals across the aisle with the likes of Ted Kennedy, not the riven, stalemated Congress of today. 'We have seen the world's greatest deliberative body succumb to partisan rancor and gridlock,' McCain said in a statement. 'The vote last night presents the Senate with an opportunity to start fresh. It is now time to return to regular order with input from all of our members — Republicans and Democrats — and bring a bill to the floor of the Senate for amendment and debate.' President Donald Trump tweeted his disapproval of McCain's 'no'' vote, as well as those of fellow GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska whose opposition had been expected. But a president who once mocked McCain's years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam did not have much sway with the senator when it counted. 'John McCain is blessed with an internal gyroscope of right and wrong,' said Schumer, who negotiated a sweeping immigration bill with McCain several years ago and has been talking with him frequently of late. 'He gets angry, for sure, but when push comes to shove and there are brass tacks, that internal gyroscope of right and wrong guides him.' Vice President Mike Pence lobbied McCain right up to the end. The two men huddled on the Senate floor for about a half hour before the vote. As their conversation ended, McCain and Pence smiled and patted each other on the back, and McCain walked across the floor to talk with Schumer. About a dozen Democrats gathered around him. McCain held out his hands, looked upward and mouthed an expletive. His face looked exasperated. And then, as Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut described it later in a post on the website Medium, 'Time seems to stand still.' The roll was called, and Collins and Murkowski both voted no. With Democrats unanimously opposed, McConnell could lose only two Republicans in the 52-48 Senate. Finally McCain came to the front, raised his arm to get the attention of the tally clerk, gestured no, and walked away past the glowering McConnell. With that one moment, seven years of urgent GOP promises were dead, likely never to be revived. McConnell's remarks in the immediate aftermath were a bitter rebuke. 'I and many of my colleagues did as we promised and voted to repeal this failed law,' the majority leader said on the Senate floor. 'We told our constituents we would vote that way and when the moment came, when the moment came, most of us did.' Just days earlier, on Tuesday, McCain had buoyed the efforts of McConnell — and Trump — when he returned to the Capitol for the first time after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, and cast a decisive vote to open debate on the GOP repeal legislation. Yet even then he forecast that his support could not be counted on, as he took the floor to lecture his colleagues, the scars from his surgery etched severely along the left side of his face. 'Why don't we try the old way of legislating in the Senate, the way our rules and customs encourage us to act,' he said. 'If this process ends in failure, which seems likely, then let's return to regular order.' The outcome McCain predicted came to pass — he made sure that it did. And now if Republicans want to get anything done on health care, they will have little choice but to return to regular order, and turn to Democrats. ___ Associated Press writer Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.
  • The resounding Senate crash of the seven-year Republican drive to scrap the Obama health care law incited GOP finger-pointing Friday but left the party with wounded leaders and no evident pathway forward on an issue that won't go away. In an astonishing cliff-hanger, the GOP-run Senate voted 51-49 to reject Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's last ditch attempt to sustain their drive to dismantle President Barack Obama's health care overhaul with a starkly trimmed-down bill. The vote, which concluded shortly before 2 a.m. EDT, was a blistering defeat for President Donald Trump and McConnell, R-Ky., who've made uprooting the statute a top priority. 'They should have approved health care last night,' Trump said Friday during a speech in Brentwood, New York. 'But you can't have everything,' he added, seemingly shrugging off one of his biggest legislative setbacks. Trump reiterated his threat to 'let Obamacare implode,' an outcome he could hasten by steps like halting federal payments to help insurers reduce out-of-pocket costs for lower-earning consumers. Senate Democrats were joined in opposition by three Republicans — Maine's Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Arizona's John McCain. The 80-year-old McCain, just diagnosed with brain cancer, had returned to the Capitol three days earlier to provide a vote that temporarily kept the measure alive, only to deliver the coup de grace Friday. '3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down,' Trump tweeted Friday. He tweeted later that the Senate needed a rules change to 'immediately go to a 51 vote majority, not senseless 60,' even though on the crucial vote a simple majority of 51 votes, including a tie-breaker by Vice President Mike Pence, was all that was needed. 'Hello, he only needed 51 in the health care bill and couldn't do it,' Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., helpfully reminded reporters. Earlier in the week, Republican defections sank two broad GOP efforts to scrap the 2010 law. One would have erased Obama's statute and replaced it with a more constricted government health care role, and the other would have annulled the law and given Congress two years to replace it. The measure that fell Friday was narrower and included a repeal of Obama's unpopular tax penalties on people who don't buy policies and on employers who don't offer coverage to workers. McConnell designed it as a legislative vehicle the Senate could approve and begin talks with the House on a compromise, final bill. But the week's setbacks highlighted how, despite years of trying, GOP leaders haven't resolved internal battles between conservatives seeking to erase Obama's law and moderates leery of tossing millions of voters off of coverage. 'It's time to move on,' McConnell said after the defeat. Friday morning, House leaders resorted to singer Gordon Lightfoot to point fingers. They opened a House GOP meeting by playing 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,' a ballad about the 1975 sinking of a freighter in Lake Superior. Lawmakers said leaders assured them it was meant as a reference to the Senate's flop. The House approved its health care measure in May, after its own tribulations. In a statement, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pointedly said 'the House delivered a bill.' He added, 'I encourage the Senate to continue working toward a real solution that keeps our promise.' Conservative Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., running for a Senate seat, faulted McConnell for not crafting a plan that could pass. He said if McConnell abandons the health care drive, 'he should resign from leadership.' One moderate Republican said Trump shared responsibility. 'One of the failures was the president never laid out a plan or his core principles and never sold them to the American people,' said Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. 'Outsourced the whole issue to Congress.' In statements Friday, McCain said the Senate bill didn't lower costs or improve care and called the chamber's inability to craft wide-ranging legislation 'inexcusable.' He said Democrats and Republicans should write a bill together and 'stop the political gamesmanship.' Lawmakers spoke of two possible but difficult routes forward. In one, balking GOP senators could be won over by new proposals from leaders or cave under pressure from angry constituents demanding they fulfill the party's pledge to tear down Obama's law. But both of those dynamics have been in play all year without producing results. In the other, there would be a limited bipartisan effort to address the insurance market's short-term concerns. That would provide money to insurers to help them subsidize some customers and prevent companies from driving up premiums or abandoning regions. Schumer said he hoped the two parties could 'work together to make the system better' by stabilizing marketplaces. But many conservatives oppose such payments and consider them insurance industry bailouts, raising questions about whether Congress could approve such a package. McConnell said it was time for Democrats 'to tell us what they have in mind.' But saying he was backed by most Republicans, he added, 'Bailing out insurance companies, with no thought of any kind of reform, is not something I want to be part of.' ____ Associated Press writers Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions is eager to use his aggressive work against the MS-13 street gang to help mend his tattered relationship with President Donald Trump. 'I hope so,' he said Friday, trying to turn the corner from a week of sour performance reviews from his boss. 'It's one of many issues that we share deep commitments about,' he told The Associated Press from a private room in the headquarters of El Salvador's national police force, where he had met law enforcement officials to talk about quashing the violent transnational gang. That common concern about MS-13 was on display Friday as Trump spoke about the gang in Long Island, where MS-13 violence has resurfaced with a vengeance, and as Sessions toured a gang stronghold, motoring around El Salvador's graffiti-laced streets alongside rifle-wielding police officers who had tried to clear the neighborhood of gangsters before he arrived. MS-13 has roots both in Central America and Los Angeles. But in his speech vowing to crush MS-13, Trump never mentioned Sessions. 'These are animals,' Trump told law enforcement officials and relatives of crime victims in Brentwood, in Suffolk County, New York, where MS-13 has been blamed for a string of gruesome murders, including the killing of four young men in April. The president battered Sessions for days with a series of tweets calling him weak and ineffective, his discontent centered on Sessions' decision months ago to recuse himself from the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia. Sessions said Thursday he won't resign unless Trump asks him to and spoke loyally of the president while saying he was right to take himself out of that investigation after acknowledging he had met the Russian ambassador during the campaign. Though thousands of miles apart, Trump and Sessions seemed aligned in their message against MS-13. The gang has become a focal point in the national immigration debate, although it is in some respects a homegrown organization and it is unclear how many of its members are in the U.S. illegally. 'It is in a very expansive mode and we need to slam the door on that,' Sessions said in the AP interview. 'We need to stop them in their tracks and focus on this dangerous group.' The intense focus on gang violence is a departure for a Justice Department that has viewed as more urgent the prevention of cyberattacks from foreign criminals, international bribery and the threat of homegrown violent extremism. But alarm about the gang has grown as it has preyed on largely suburban, immigrant communities. Several top officials in Sessions' office have experience prosecuting the gang in Baltimore, Alexandria, Virginia, and other cities. MS-13, or the Mara Salvatrucha, is believed by federal prosecutors to have more than 10,000 members in the U.S., a mix of immigrants from Central America and U.S.-born members. The gang originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s then entrenched itself in Central America when its leaders were deported. MS-13 and rival groups in El Salvador now control entire towns, rape girls and young women, kill competitors and massacre students, bus drivers and merchants who refuse to pay extortion. One purpose of Sessions' trip was to learn more about how the gang's activities in El Salvador affect crime in the U.S. Officials believe major gang leaders are using cellphones from Salvadoran prisons to instruct members who have crossed into the U.S. illegally to kill rivals and extort immigrants. Zach Terwilliger, who prosecuted gangs in the Eastern District of Virginia before taking a position in the deputy attorney general's office, found that to be true in some of his cases. 'We have to coordinate our intelligence,' Terwilliger said. 'I don't think you can understand MS-13 violence and the way they conduct themselves in the U.S. unless you come down here.' He and leaders of the department's criminal division traveled with Sessions. During his two-day trip, his first visit to El Salvador, the attorney general wandered through a crowded jail where members of rival gangs wearing white T-shirts sat side-by-side in large cells, their backs facing the curious onlookers. He met members of a transnational anti-gang task force and pledged his support for El Salvador's Attorney General Douglas Melendez, congratulating him on charges laid over the last two days against more than 700 gang members, many of them from MS-13. Sessions recalled early conversations he had with Trump about the gang. 'He saw the violent murders in Islip, New York, and he's asked about it personally,' Sessions said. Trump then crafted an executive order in the first weeks of his presidency, directing the Justice Department to go after transnational gangs, and Sessions was eager to make it a priority.
  • Four New York Police Department transit officers helped deliver the child of a homeless woman in a Brooklyn subway station, the New York Daily News reported. >> Read more trending news Officers Ana Martinez, 29, and Stephen Geniale, 26, were standing outside the transit bureau headquarters when they noticed a homeless woman doubled over in pain about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Daily News reported. The woman was in labor and was trying to get to a hospital, the officers said. “I knew she was in trouble,” Geniale said. Then the woman began yelling, “Baby's coming,” the officers said. The woman was already crowning Three minutes from the time she was brought into the transit bureau headquarters, the pregnant woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Alson, the Daily News reported. “It was amazing. I'm glad I could help,” Martinez said. “Looking at those little fingers and little toes ... I was tearing up.” The mother, who lives in a homeless shelter, and her daughter were taken to Brooklyn Hospital in good condition. “It could have happened anywhere else and thankfully it happened in front of us,” Martinez told the Daily News.
  • We have updated information regarding a man accused of breaking into several businesses around Tulsa, through rooftop air-conditioning units. Police report Rory Parker was caught on Friday, leaving a Tulsa Gold and Silver store. The alleged ‘rooftop burglar’s” east Tulsa neighbors were surprised by the news, but happy he's in jail. “I’m glad he’s caught, finally,” a neighbor said.   While searching his home, officers recovered cell phones, electronics, antiques, sports memorabilia, golf clubs, swords and other items.  It’s said to thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise. Parker has been booked into the Tulsa County Jail.   
  • If you have outdoor plans for Saturday, the forecast will be in your favor. National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Plate says we have a beautiful day ahead of us. “Looking mostly sunny, with a high temperature around 90,” Plate said.   The low Saturday night will be around 67 degrees. NWS reports there will be a few more clouds in the sky on Sunday, but not much of a difference in temperature.  The high is expected to be around 88 degrees. For reference, the average high for this time of year in Tulsa is around 95 degrees.  
  • Personal and financial details of the divorce settlement between former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Lynn Aronberg and Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg were released in an unusual press statement Thursday. The statement notes that, “according to a source familiar with the negotiations, the former Lynn Lewis, who spun her old Dolphins gig into a successful PR firm, is receiving about $100,000 worth of benefits in exchange for her signature on the dotted line. The deal calls for Aronberg, 46, to pay for half of Lynn’s rent in a luxury Boca Raton condo until next summer. She’s also reportedly getting a brand new BMW and $40,000 cash.” Lynn Aronberg said she does not know how the press release came to include the settlement’s financial details, which she described as confidential, even though she works for the public relations firm, TransMedia Group, that issued the press statement on her behalf. “Whatever’s been put out there, I haven’t gotten to the bottom of it,” Lynn Aronberg told The Palm Beach Post Thursday. Adrienne Mazzone, president of TransMedia, said her client announced the divorce settlement to satisfy a curious public. “Lynn is certainly a media maven,” Mazzone said. “The public has been asking a lot of questions, and we’re simply accommodating that.” Aronberg not only is a client, but an executive vice president of TransMedia, whose website says she has recently returned to the firm where she worked “before launching her own PR firm, Lynn Aronberg Public Relations, which she will maintain to serve a select group of private clients.” Lynn Aronberg said she and her ex-husband agreed to release a single joint paragraph, which reads: “After much consideration over the past few months, we’ve decided to respectfully and amicably part ways and end our marriage. We are, however, dedicated to remaining close friends. We kindly ask for your supporting in preserving our privacy as we start to navigate this new chapter in our lives.” Beyond that paragraph, however, the release includes eight other paragraphs with personal information not typically made public and sent to the press. Dave Aronberg proposed at the Eiffel Tower, according to the statement. Nearly two years later, the statement describes the Aronberg split as the “Trump Divorce,” noting that Dave Aronberg is a Democrat and describing Lynn Aronberg as “a staunch Republican and supporter of President Donald Trump” who “said she felt increasingly isolated in the marriage.” In addition to their different political views, children were also an issue in the marriage, according to the statement. “They have no children, which was a problem for Lynn,” the statement reads. “She said she wanted children, but Aronberg was in no hurry.” Efforts to reach Dave Aronberg Thursday were unsuccessful. Lynn Aronberg said the information about her disagreement with Dave Aronberg on the subject of children was not a secret. “I told people a long time ago that I wanted a baby and that he wasn’t moving quickly enough,” she said. The statement notes that Dave Aronberg is considering a challenge to U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City. At one point, Lynn Aronberg was about to dip into the GOP legal ranks for help with the divorce, according to the statement. “When the divorce seemed to be stalling last month Lynn started interviewing nationally famous divorce lawyers and one, Larry Klayman, the right wing founder of Freedom Watch and Judicial Watch, was ready to pounce until the former lovebirds settled,” the statement reads. Lynn Aronberg said she does not believe the release of personal and financial information from the divorce will have any political impact on her ex-husband. “Do you?” she asked. “I think he looks great. He makes for a great ex-husband. I don’t wish him anything but goodwill. I want the best for him.”
  • For a second straight Friday, there was major job news from the White House, as President Donald Trump used Twitter to announce that his Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was on his way out, to be replaced by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, in another internal shakeup at the White House. “I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country,” the President wrote on Twitter. “We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!” But it had been obvious for some time from news reports that Priebus seemed to be on thin ice in the Trump White House. The news broke as the President returned to Washington from an event on Long Island, in New York. Pres. Trump: 'Reince is a good man. John Kelly will do a fantastic job. General Kelly has been a star.' https://t.co/MpIEM5p38Q pic.twitter.com/WW6db9g3SV — ABC News (@ABC) July 28, 2017 Priebus had been on the trip, but according to the White House Pool report, the car he was riding in was separated from the President’s motorcade, as Mr. Trump headed back to the White House. I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017 …and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017 A week ago, Anthony Scaramucci was unexpectedly brought in as White House Communications Director, prompting the resignation of Press Secretary Sean Spicer. That brought immediate questions about the ability of Scaramucci and Priebus to co-exist inside the Trump White House – and it took just a week for Priebus to be on his way out. On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan – a fellow Wisconsin resident like Priebus – had downplayed the idea that Priebus was in trouble. . @SpeakerRyan: 'Reince is doing a fantastic job at the White House and I believe he has the president's confidence.' pic.twitter.com/UmGCxUaSpX — CSPAN (@cspan) July 27, 2017 Priebus had been the head of the Republican National Committee during Mr. Trump’s ascendancy in the GOP primaries, moving over to help with the campaign for November. He then was tapped as White House Chief of Staff, despite some concerns from some Trump backers, who saw Priebus as too much of the GOP Establishment.
  • The Tulsa Police Department is in the process of renewing its accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, commonly referred to as CALEA. An important part of that process is to get feedback from the community on the department’s job performance. The department will be rated based on four criteria: Policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services. TPD Officer Dan explains that the department needs to know how it’s doing. “It’s basically a public service question,” he told KRMG. “Are we fulfilling the goals and the desires you have for how a police department should act?” There are several ways by which citizens can provide feedback. TPD employees and the public can attend a meeting on August 14th at 7:00 p.m. at the COMPSTAT conference room at the 600 Civic Center. They can also comment by phone from the hours of 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. August 14th by calling 918-596-9339. An independent assessment team will gather those comments, which must be limited to ten minutes. Written comments can be sent by mail to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcoat Blvd, Suite 320, Gainesville, VA 20155. Ashley tells KRMG so far, the process is going quite smoothly - despite a year of violent incidents including several fatal police shootings. “The guys that are actually doing the paperwork for getting the accreditation up said ‘man, we’re getting our stuff in (in) a timely manner, we’re not having any problems,” he said Friday.