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National News

    One of the world’s largest dairy groups has ordered a global recall of millions of baby milk products over fears of salmonella bacteria contamination. >> Read more trending news Lactalis is pulling millions of products made since mid-February and shipped to markets including China, Greece, Pakistan and Britain, according to a company list.  Products in the United States are not affected.  French health officials said 26 infants have gotten sick since Dec. 1. Those cases were linked to products branded Picot SL, Pepti Junior 1, Milumel Bio 1 and Picot Riz. “(Lactalis is) sincerely sorry for the concern generated by the situation and expresses its compassion and support to the families whose children fell ill,” the company said in a statement. Salmonella can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever. Most people are able to recover without treatment. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The Thomas Fire is impacting thousands of California residents, including talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. >> Read more trending news DeGeneres tweeted Sunday night that her Santa Barbara home is in danger from the raging wildfire. “We just had to evacuate our pets,” she wrote. “I’m praying for everyone in our community and thankful to all the incredible firefighters.” The Thomas Fire has burned through at least 200,000 acres through Sunday evening and also interrupted transmission lines in the Santa Barbara area, leaving more than 85,000 customers without power. >> PHOTOS: California wildfires burn thousands of acres The fire began seven days ago and has forced more than 88,000 people to evacuate their homes, KCBS reported. More than 4,000 firefighters have been deployed to the firefight.
  • A federal judge is warning President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman that he shouldn't be trying his case in the press. That includes drafting opinion essays published in other countries.U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Paul Manafort that his editing of an op-ed that appeared in an English-language newspaper in Ukraine is not something she is going to tolerate.The judge's warning came after special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors discovered that Manafort edited an op-ed published in the Kyiv Post last week. The article appeared under the name of a former Ukraine official. It discussed Manafort's consulting work in Ukraine, which is at the heart of the case against him.The judge has barred Manafort and the prosecution from making public statements about his case.
  • A Louisiana private investigator pleaded guilty on Monday to misusing Donald Trump's Social Security number in repeated attempts to access the candidate's federal tax information during the presidential campaign.Jordan Hamlett, 32, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine following his guilty plea in federal court.Authorities have said Hamlett failed in his attempts to get Trump's tax returns through a U.S. Department of Education financial aid website.The Lafayette resident was indicted in November 2016 and had been scheduled to start this week, but the judge originally assigned to the case died on Saturday after a brief illness. U.S. District Court Judge John deGravelles has not yet scheduled Hamlett's sentencing hearing .Defense attorney Michael Fiser had argued Hamlett didn't have any 'intent to deceive' and simply tried 'out of sheer curiosity' to discover whether Trump's tax information could be accessed through the government website.Every president since Jimmy Carter has released tax returns in what has become an American tradition during presidential elections. Trump has refused to release his.Federal agents confronted Hamlett two weeks before last November's election and questioned him in a Baton Rouge hotel lobby. At the time, the agents didn't know if Hamlett had been successful, and they feared a public release of Trump's tax returns could influence the election, according to a transcript of court testimony earlier this year.Treasury Department Special Agent Samuel Johnson testified in March that Hamlett immediately took credit for his 'genius idea' to seek Trump's tax returns from the financial aid website.Johnson also said investigators asked Hamlett if he was familiar with Anonymous, an internet hacking group.'At that time, Anonymous had been established as people that have released some of President Trump's personal identifying information and things of that nature,' Johnson testified.Federal prosecutors had asked to bar Hamlett's lawyer from presenting a trial defense that that he was acting as a benevolent 'white hat' hacker. Brady, a senior federal judge who died Saturday at a Baton Rouge hospital, ruled last month that Hamlett couldn't testify that he had a 'good purpose' in attempting to test security flaws in the website.Fiser said Hamlett had tried to call and notify the IRS about the flaws last September, on the same day he tried to electronically access Trump's tax records.Fiser said Hamlett liked to test security systems for weaknesses in his spare time and would notify system administrators if he found a system vulnerable to a security breach. Hamlett once discovered a security flaw that allowed for public access to the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office's 'raw' reports on open investigations and exposed personal information about police officers.'Hamlett tipped the sheriff's office to the flaw and was met with thanks and appreciation, not an arrest,' his attorney wrote in a recent court filing.After his indictment, Hamlett was arrested again in August for allegedly violating conditions of his pretrial release. Prosecutors said he committed 'numerous violations,' including hacking into email and social media accounts of a man at the request of the man's wife.
  • The Trump administration is now estimating the Republican tax bill will generate about $1.8 trillion in new tax revenue over 10 years by boosting economic growth.But that's a lot more than nonpartisan congressional analysts have projected. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that growth stimulated by the anticipated tax cuts will generate some $409 billion in additional tax revenue over 10 years.President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have promoted the massive tax plan by promising the tax cuts will boost the economy. The $1.5 trillion House and Senate tax bills combine steep tax cuts for corporations with modest reductions for individuals.The new Treasury Department analysis out Monday says about half the expected increase in economic growth likely will result from tax benefits for corporations.
  • Four people were injured Monday morning when an explosive device went off in an underground passageway near Times Square, New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. Among those injured was a man suspected of strapping the device to himself and carrying it toward Times Square. >> Read more trending news >> Related: New York explosion: Suspect, 3 others injured in 'terror-related' attack New York Police Commissioner James O’Neil identified the suspect as Akayed Ullah, 27.
  • Christmas shoppers can usually find superheroes on toy shelves at Target. But, here’s a twist: shoppers at a Kansas City area Target discovered superheroes shopping for toys at Target. >> Read more trending news Iron Man, Thor, Supergirl, Snow White and Captain America were among the comic book heroes shopping for kids Sunday night at the Target in Mission, Kansas, The Kansas City Star reported. Armed with $17,000 in donations collected by Elite Comics in Overland Park, the superheroes picked out toys that will be given to kids staying at Children's’ Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, the Star reported. “It means a lot,” said Captain America, also known as Jerry Holtorf of Overland Park. Holtorf’s parents battled cancer. In his trips to the hospital, he said he saw children in their own fights against the disease. He wanted to help make the kids’ Christmas a happier time. “Cancer doesn’t discriminate in age,” Holtorf said. “What (my parents) were going through in their room, a 6- or 7-year-old was going through in the next room and it breaks your heart.” The caped crusaders summoned a rental trailer to cart away their packages, bound for children in the hospital. And if anyone wants to join the crusade, there are still opportunities ahead. “We’re not done,” said Elite Comics owner William Binderup, who added that he will be accepting new, unwrapped toys through Dec. 22.
  • Kerry Spencer has an annual Christmas tradition that brings a smile to the faces of her family members, and this year, the public is getting in on the laughs. Spencer, of Parkton, Maryland, every year shares a photo of her son, Samuel, sitting on Santa’s lap at a mall in Provo, Utah. What’s unique about Samuel’s visit with Santa 12 years ago is that he wasn’t crying, and he wasn’t telling the big guy what he wanted for Christmas. “We taught our baby sign language,” Spencer wrote in a Dec. 5 Twitter post. “This is the sign for ‘help.’ You’re welcome.” In the photo, a very authentic-looking Santa smiles for the camera while a solemn-looking, 1-year-old Samuel averts his eyes. His chubby little toddler hands are making the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for “help,” or as close to it as he can get. Mashable reported that Spencer, whose Facebook profile states that she is a faculty member at Stevenson University, taught both of her children ASL. “We taught both our kids baby sign (language) because they can sign before they talk and it is so very useful to be able to communicate with your baby,” Spencer said.  Spencer said she shares the photo each year on Facebook, but this year, her friend, author Mette Harrison, asked her to tweet it so she could retweet it to her own followers. As of Monday morning, the tweet had more than 25,000 likes and had been shared close to 6,700 times.  Some of the reactions to the photo were nearly as funny as the photo itself.  “Wonder what my son was trying to say,” one Twitter user wrote above a photo of a little boy showing Santa his middle finger, with Santa looking on with great interest. “Something boss. I can tell,” Spencer responded. “This is how I signed ‘help,” another woman wrote, sharing a photo of herself as a child, screaming on Santa’s lap and desperately trying to get away. “That works, too,” Spencer wrote. Other commenters pointed out that Samuel’s technique wasn’t quite right.  “It’s ASL baby sign,” Spencer wrote in response. “Like with spoken language, certain words are ‘mispronounced’ by babies learning them.” She posted an image of the ASL sign for comparison.  Overall, people found the photo as hilarious as Spencer and her family do. Samuel, now 13, even got in on the Twitter action. “I happen to be the baby in this photo,” he tweeted. “You may direct all likes and follows to me now.” “You’re a big boy now,” his mom responded. “You got that right, Hun,” Samuel wrote.  Spencer said the entire family laughs at the photo each year. “Posting it is one of our favorite family traditions,” she said, according to Mashable. 
  • A Florida couple has been arrested after police said they rented a trailer and left a child there alone for months, police said. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said that the boy, whose age was not released, was left at the trailer for about two months until Jennifer Nichols and Joshua Sanders were arrested in November, The Pensacola News Journal reported. >> Read more trending news The woman who leased the trailer to Nichols and Sanders said they made the rental agreement in September, but she told the Sheriff’s Office of the alleged neglect when it became obvious that only the child lived in the residence. The woman said she tried to care for the child, but told the couple that they either had to move into the trailer or move the child to a place where he would be cared for. The landlord said that Sanders told her that it was not a problem as long as the rent was paid, The Journal News reported. The child told police that the couple would leave him a small amount of money and a few meals. He wasn’t able to contact them. The boy was also not attending school and had several cases with Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), but no caseworkers could be named. He has since been removed from the trailer and placed in DCF custody, The Journal News reported.  Nichols and Sanders were both being held at the Escambia County Jail.
  • Prosecutors have dropped a breach of peace charge filed against conservative commentator Lucian Wintrich after a confrontation with protesters last month during an appearance at the University of Connecticut.Wintrich, the White House correspondent for the right-wing website Gateway Pundit, was charged after grabbing a woman who took his notes from the lectern as he prepared to give a speech titled 'It's OK To Be White.'That woman, 35-year-old Catherine Gregory, of Willimantic, turned herself in Sunday to face charges of attempted larceny and disorderly conduct.Gregory, who is free on a $1,000 bond, is due in court on Wednesday.Wintrich, who had argued that he had every right to retrieve his property, tweeted on Monday that justice was finally being served.
  • Three people were hospitalized and 10 are homeless after a Cincinnati woman and started a house fire instead, authorities said. >> Teen trying to kill bedbug starts fire, causes $300,000 in damage, firefighters sayThe rubbing alcohol — which is extremely flammable — ignited because of a nearby open flame, according to authorities cited by the New York Post. The ensuing fire caused $250,000 in damage to the five-unit multi-family Ohio home. Three people had to be hospitalized for smoke inhalation, according to CBS News. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening. For now, the American Red Cross is assisting and providing housing for those displaced by the inferno, WXIX reported. >> Read more trending news This is the second time that a rubbing-alcohol-fueled fire has burned down a Cincinnati house in as many months. Just after Thanksgiving, a 19-year-old lit a match after dousing a bedbug in rubbing alcohol, causing a fire that did $300,000 in damage to six apartments and left eight people homeless. Cincinnati District 3 Fire Chief Randy Freel told WXIX that people should stay away from any home remedies for bedbugs, especially the more flammable kinds. “Get a professional,” he said. Read more here.
  • With two weeks until Christmas, the to-do list is a long one for the Congress, as GOP lawmakers try to finish work on a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, fund the government into 2018, and look to deal with a number of other contentious issues that have eluded lawmakers and the White House, but it’s not clear how much the House and Senate will be able to accomplish before going home for the holidays “If things don’t get done, we are going to have quite a catastrophe,” said Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), one of many GOP lawmakers who remain confident that Republican leaders will find a way to reach a deal on tax reform. “I think this is one that we’re going to get done,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). “There’s unanimity in the conference to get this done.” Here is what lies ahead for lawmakers in the Congress: 1. GOP must move quickly to finish tax reform bill. If Republicans are going to get a tax reform bill on the President’s desk before Christmas, they don’t have much time. Lawmakers certainly don’t want to be on Capitol Hill after Friday the 22nd; the first formal meeting of the House-Senate tax reform “conference” committee is on Wednesday, but that’s really more for show. Behind the scenes, key GOP lawmakers have already been trying to reach agreements on final language in the bill. If you want a full rundown on the differences between the House and Senate versions, read this comparison from the Joint Committee on Taxation. There have already been a number of stories about mistakes and loopholes in the GOP tax reform plan – we’ll see if those get resolved as well. This is no slam dunk, but the odds still favor the GOP. Tight squeeze. Conference draft by 11th. Many hairy issues. Must finish by 18th to do budget due on 22nd. Stephen Cooper and Dylan Moroses: 'Brady Says International Tax Changes May Need Transition' https://t.co/LutCCAUq2V — Martin Sullivan (@M_SullivanTax) December 8, 2017 2. Next stop gap budget runs out on December 22. There isn’t enough time to write a full “Omnibus” spending bill (Speaker Ryan said that last week), so the question is more likely how much will Congress get done on funding the operations of the federal government, and how much gets booted into 2018. Republicans have been making noise about approving a funding bill for the military, keeping all other agencies on a temporary budget, and then adding in a bunch of year-end sweeteners to the bill. It’s also possible that such a deal could increase the ‘budget caps,’ allowing for a larger defense budget, and maybe more domestic spending as well. The idea of increasing spending just before the holidays does not sit well with more conservative Republicans. And what about DACA and the immigrant Dreamers? There could be a lot of wheeling and dealing in the days ahead. Would Freedom Caucus support a CR compromise that includes CHIP, health CSR, or defense/non=BCA cap breaking? If not, Dems may be able to demand DACA in CR without getting full blame for shutdown or threat — Matt Grossmann (@MattGrossmann) December 10, 2017 3. Will there be more shoes dropping on Capitol Hill? After what was a historic week – where three members announced their resignations due to allegations of sexual misconduct – it’s not unreasonable to wonder if more stories will surface in coming days. There’s already pressure on Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) to resign – an ethics probe was announced last Friday on Farenthold, who says he will pay back an $84,000 sexual harassment settlement with a former staffer. Over the weekend, reports surfaced about another possible taxpayer payout related to a harassment lawsuit, involving Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL). As a reporter, I cannot stress how unusual last week was on Capitol Hill. If you have one lawmaker announce a resignation, that’s a big deal. Two resignations was a major headline. And then a surprise third. One cannot discount the possibilities that more such stories are in the pipeline. Stay tuned. Taxpayers paid $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment suit involving Florida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings… https://t.co/j5dQct1nea — George Bennett (@gbennettpost) December 9, 2017 4. From member of Congress to anti-filibuster PAC? Last Thursday, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) stunned his colleagues by announcing his resignation, effective January 31. But on Friday, he decided to make it effective immediately, citing the hospitalization of his wife, after revelations that he had tried to get female staffers in his office to be a surrogate for his child (not a campaign surrogate). In between those events, a Minnesota television news crew that was in Washington to cover the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), stumbled into Franks at their hotel, as they overheard the Arizona Republican on the phone soliciting big money donations to start a political action committee that would fight to get rid of the filibuster in the Senate, which Franks, and other more conservative Republicans in the House have been blaming for inaction on the GOP agenda. The news crew that stumbled into that story must still be shaking their heads about their luck. Amazing: Minnesota news crew in DC for Franken overhears Trent Franks soliciting $2 million to start an anti-filibuster PAC https://t.co/TkAzUXx6Yz — Matt DeLong (@mattdelong) December 9, 2017 5. Roy Moore and the Alabama U.S. Senate race. Tuesday is finally Election Day in the Yellowhammer State, and no matter what else is happening in the halls of Congress this week, the outcome of this race will be a big deal. If Moore wins, a lot of GOP Senators won’t like the outcome. If Democrat Doug Jones wins, that will be a setback for President Donald Trump, who tried to stir support for Moore during a Fright night rally in Pensacola, Florida. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell telegraphed last week that if Roy Moore wins, then the new Alabama Senator is certain to face a review by the Senate Ethics Committee. Alabama’s senior Senator, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), made it clear again on Sunday that he wrote in someone else – instead of voting for Roy Moore. Just that part of the story is highly unusual, let alone all the other news stories that keep coming out about Moore’s past actions and beliefs. It would be an unprecedented situation if Moore wins, since so many GOP Senators have made it crystal clear that they want no part of him.
  • As Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues his probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and any ties to the campaign of President Donald Trump, Republicans in the Congress have joined Mr. Trump in stepping up attacks on the FBI, raising questions about political bias inside the top ranks of that agency, an effort that could well form the basis for partisan opposition to the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Those sentiments were on full display last Thursday at the first Congressional oversight hearing for the new FBI Director, as Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly pressed Christopher Wray for answers on GOP allegations that partisan bias among top FBI officials had infected both the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, and the review of any ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. At the hearing, it didn’t take long for Republican frustration to boil over, as the FBI Director repeatedly refused to give detailed answers about the Clinton and Trump probes, saying – accurately – that the Inspector General of the Justice Department was reviewing how those matters were handled, as Wray sidestepped GOP requests for information. But that didn’t matter to GOP lawmakers. “I think you’re walking into a Contempt of Congress,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) snapped, criticizing Wray for fending off a variety of questions, as a number of GOP lawmakers all but asserted that the FBI was illegally withholding information from Congress on a number of fronts. Republicans also pressed for more background about two leading FBI officials, who were involved in both the Clinton and Trump probes, demanding more information about Peter Strzok and Andrew Weissman, who GOP lawmakers say expressed anti-Trump feelings to others inside the Justice Department, impacting both of those probes. Tied into all of this is the contention of some in the GOP that the FBI wrongly used the controversial “dossier” put together about President Trump during the 2016 campaign – which the GOP says was paid for by the Democrats – and possibly funneled to the FBI for its use. “I mean, there are all kinds of people on Mueller’s team who are pro-Clinton,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), as some Republicans suggested a top to bottom review of key people in the Russia investigation to see if they are harboring anti-Trump sentiments. During the over five hour hearing, Democrats asked Wray several times about President Trump’s recent assertion that the FBI was in “tatters” after the stewardship of former Director James Comey. NEW: FBI Director Chris Wray responds to Pres. Trump's claim that bureau's reputation is in 'tatters': 'The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women…decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and professionalism.' pic.twitter.com/e7hb6GjK2u — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 7, 2017 “I am emphasizing in every audience I can inside the bureau, that our decisions need to be made based on nothing other than the facts and the law,” Wray said. But judging from the reaction at this oversight hearing – which could have covered any subject – the biggest concern for Republicans right now is pursuing allegations that the FBI was too lenient on Hillary Clinton, and too quick to investigate Donald Trump.
  • All crimes are bad, but a theft on Saturday at a south Tulsa Walmart can be described as despicable. KRMG has learned someone drove up to the front of the store near 81st and Lewis and stole a Salvation Army donation kettle filled with money.  The thief even got away with the tripod.   Capt. Ken Chapman, area commander of the Salvation Army Tulsa Metro Command, summed up the situation. “They’re literally taking food out of the mouths of people who are hungry,” Chapman said.  “People who need clothing and shelter.”  It's believed the kettle could have had around $800 at the time.  Investigators hope they find a suspect by reviewing surveillance video.   Chapman adds the theft is especially distressing because they are running about 20 percent behind on donations. Anyone with information regarding the theft is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.   
  • Get ready for a major change in the weather today. National Weather Service Meteorologist Chuck Hodges says the sun will come out and the forecast is looking gorgeous. “We should bounce back into the 60s,” Hodges said.  “Probably the mid-60s for the high.  It’s going to feel considerably warmer than what we’ve had for the last several days.” The low Sunday night will drop to 33 degrees. Your work week is going to be up and down temperature wise.  Hodges reports we’ll see highs in the 60s and the low 50s.   One thing we won’t have in Tulsa is snow.   “At least looking out at the next seven days, no, we’re looking pretty dry,” Hodges said.   Would you like to see snow in the Tulsa area?  Let us know in the comments.