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    Under growing pressure from the House to change how lawmakers deal with workplace harassment claims and damage awards, the Senate on Thursday approved a package of reforms that would not allow members to use taxpayer funds to pay any legal settlements, and change the process for Congressional employees to bring complaints against lawmakers. “This is an incredibly important moment,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who joined with Senators in both parties to forge a compromise that was approved on a voice vote. “We are completely overhauling the sexual harassment policies of the Congress,” Klobuchar said on the Senate floor. The Senate just passed bipartisan reforms to fix Congress's broken process for reporting sexual harassment, and finally end taxpayer-funded harassment settlements. This is a big step in the right direction towards transparency and accountability. — Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) May 24, 2018 “These reforms are commonsense,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who had been more and more vocal in recent days about the lack of action on a similar measure passed by the House. Along with streamlining the process for employees to bring a complaint – and then have it evaluated by Congressional officials – the plan would force members to personally pay for any legal settlement, and not have taxpayers foot the bill. “Hardworking taxpayers should not foot the bill for a Member’s misconduct, and victims should not have to navigate a system that stands in the way of accountability,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). The extra protections for employees would also be extended to unpaid staffers on Capitol Hill, including interns, legislative fellows, and detailees from other executive branch offices. As the Senate approved the plan, the leaders of the House Ethics Committee confirmed that ex-Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) had reimbursed taxpayers for a $39,000 settlement involving a former female staffer in his office. “We understand he sent that reimbursement payment to the Treasury. We welcome that action,” said ethics chair Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), and the top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), in a joint statement. “There is overwhelming bipartisan consensus in the House that Members should be personally accountable for settlements paid with public funds to resolve claims against them alleging sexual harassment,” Brooks and Deutch wrote in a statement. But what about when lawmakers leave the Congress? The ethics leaders said even then – they should still have to pay up. Ethics committee writes in new letter they believe “any proposal to reform the CAA should include provisions to ensure that Members remain personally liable for their own conduct with respect to discrimination and retaliation & that they remain liable even if they leave Congress” — Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) May 24, 2018 Brooks and Deutch also noted that ex-Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) – who had resigned without following through on a promise to pay off an $84,000 settlement – was a perfect example of why the system needs to be changed. “Farenthold publicly promised to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for $84,000 in funds paid to settle the lawsuit brought against him for claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation,” they wrote. “Last week, he announced that he would not do so,” the two added. The House and Senate must still hammer out a compromise measure between the bills passed by each chamber – but the Senate vote gives a new shot of energy to the effort, though there are House members who feel the Senate plan is not strong enough, especially in dealing with lawmakers. “I’m optimistic that we can finish the job and get this bill signed into law,” Gillibrand added.
  • The opioid epidemic has now made its way into marine life in Washington’s Puget Sound. Scientists who track pollution have for the first time, discovered traces of oxycodone in mussels. >> Read more trending news  But scientists say those mussels don’t end up on your plate.  The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, or WDFW, gets clean mussels from Penn Cove on Whidby Island and puts them into areas they want to test for water contamination – like in urban waters. And they’ve discovered there’s enough oxycodone in Elliot Bay for mussels to test positive.  “What we eat and what we excrete goes into the Puget Sound,” said Jennifer Lanksbury, a biologist at the WDFW.  Scientists deposit mussels in cages in 18 locations. They teamed up with the Puget Sound Institute to analyze the data and discovered that three locations were positive for trace amounts of oxycodone - two near Bremerton’s shipyard and Elliot Bay near Harbor Island. “It’s telling me there's a lot of people taking oxycodone in the Puget Sound area. The contamination is likely coming from wastewater treatment plants,” Lanksbury said.  >> Trending: Sunken treasure worth $17 billion on 300-year-old shipwreck discovered off Colombian coast After people consume oxycodone, some of it ends up in the toilet, and it goes into wastewater. The water gets filtered, but King County Wastewater Management said although their system can catch a lot of contaminants, it can't specifically filter out drugs.  >> Trending: Great Pacific Garbage Patch 16 times larger than estimates: 87,000 tons of plastic and growing And opioids, antibiotics, drugs for depression - mussels are testing positive for all of it.  “Those are definitely chemicals that are out there in the nearshore waters and they may be having an impact on the fish and shellfish that live there,” Lanksbury said. Again, Lanksbury says people have nothing to worry about when it comes to eating mussels from a restaurant or shop because they come from clean locations. “They’re clean and healthy and delicious. We love to eat mussels from the Puget Sound. We use them for our food and we use them for contaminant analysis,” Lanksbury said.  But the study shows it’s another sign of what's ending up in the water and harming marine life.  “People should be wary,” Lanksbury said. “Hopefully our data shows what’s out there and can get the process started for cleaning up our waters.”  >> Trending: Your bottled water is probably contaminated with tiny plastic particles, health experts say This was a one-time study for prescription drugs, but Fish and Wildlife officials will seek more funding to continue testing and tracking what happening to in the water over time. 
  • Police were called to a restaurant near Lake Hefner Thursday night in  Oklahoma City where several people have been shot or injured. Oklahoma police say the suspected shooter is dead. Police say three people are injured. KRMG has a reporter headed to the scene. Tune to NEWS102.3 and AM740 KRMG for the latest.
  • An idea to help police patrol under area bridges is approved by the Tulsa City Council. The new ordinance gives police the authority to patrol under bridges that were previously considered state property. The plan is designed to help the City of Tulsa deal with damage under bridges. Leaders with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation say sometimes fires started by people living in homeless camps can do damage. ODOT has also paid for environmental agencies to clean out drug paraphernalia and human waste.
  • A Portland, Oregon, family contacted Amazon to investigate after they say a private conversation in their home was recorded by Amazon's Alexa – the voice-controlled smart speaker – and the recorded audio was sent to the phone of a random person in Seattle, who was in the family’s contact list. >> Amazon announces kids-friendly version of Echo 'My husband and I would joke and say, 'I'd bet these devices are listening to what we're saying,'' said Danielle, who did not want KIRO-TV to use her last name. Every room in her family home was wired with the Amazon devices to control her home's heat, lights and security system. But Danielle said that two weeks ago, the family's love for Alexa changed with an alarming phone call. 'The person on the other line said, 'Unplug your Alexa devices right now,'' she said. ''You're being hacked.'' >> Amazon working on home robot, report says That person was one of her husband's employees, calling from Seattle. 'We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house,' she said. 'At first, my husband was, like, 'No, you didn't!' And the (recipient of the message) said, 'You sat there talking about hardwood floors.' And we said, 'Oh gosh, you really did hear us.'' Danielle listened to the conversation when it was sent back to her, and she couldn't believe someone 176 miles away heard it, too. 'I felt invaded,' she said. 'A total privacy invasion. Immediately, I said, 'I'm never plugging that device in again because I can't trust it.'' >> Amazon’s Alexa’s random laugh is creeping users out Danielle says she unplugged all the devices, and she repeatedly called Amazon. She says an Alexa engineer investigated. 'They said, 'Our engineers went through your logs, and they saw exactly what you told us; they saw exactly what you said happened, and we're sorry.' He apologized like 15 times in a matter of 30 minutes, and he said, 'We really appreciate you bringing this to our attention; this is something we need to fix!'' But Danielle says the engineer did not provide specifics about why it happened or if it's a widespread issue. 'He told us that the device just guessed what we were saying,' she said. Danielle said the device did not audibly advise her it was preparing to send the recording, something it’s programmed to do. >> Read more trending news  When KIRO-TV asked Amazon questions, the company sent this response: “Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.' Amazon offered to “de-provision” Danielle’s Alexa communications so she could keep using its 'Smart Home' features. But Danielle is hoping Amazon gives her a refund for her devices, which she said representatives have been unwilling to do. She says she’s curious to find out if anyone else has experienced the same issue. 'A husband and wife in the privacy of their home have conversations that they're not expecting to be sent to someone (in) their address book,' she said.
  • After days of increasingly bellicose statements from Pyongyang, President Donald Trump on Thursday pulled the plug on a scheduled June 12 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but left the door open to future negotiations over efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. “If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting,” the President said at the White House. Mr. Trump’s remarks came several hours after he sent a letter to Kim Jong Un, calling off their summit, as U.S. officials laid the blame directly on the North Koreans. “While many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead, potentially, I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world,” the President said. I have decided to terminate the planned Summit in Singapore on June 12th. While many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead potentially, I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world… pic.twitter.com/jT0GfxT0Lc — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2018 Both in his letter to Kim, and in his public remarks, the President edged back toward some of the tougher rhetoric that had characterized the Kim-Trump relationship of last year, when the two men lobbed threats of possible military action. “Hopefully, positive things will be taking place with respect to the future of North Korea. But if they don’t, we are more ready than we have ever been before,” Mr. Trump said. His letter was even more direct. “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used,” Mr. Trump wrote, labeling the cancelled summit a ‘missed opportunity.’ On Capitol Hill, lawmakers asked the Secretary of State – who happened to be at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – what would happen next, as Secretary Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would continue with the “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions against Pyongyang, and wait for the response of Kim Jong Un. Pompeo on what's next: 'It's Kim's choice. We welcome that call, that outreach.' Sounding somewhat dejected: 'In some ways, situation normal. The pressure campaign continues.' — Michelle Kosinski (@MichLKosinski) May 24, 2018 “I am hopeful that we can continue to have conversations so that we can put his back on track,” Pompeo said, though he admitted it was not clear why the North Koreans suddenly went from being willing partners to not answering phone calls. “I don’t really know I want to speculate why they took those actions, because I don’t think we know,” Pompeo added. “In some ways, it’s situation normal,” Pompeo said to one question. “The pressure campaign continues.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the US wants the complete denuclearization of North Korea https://t.co/ZvF0b8XHpG https://t.co/LNKUmWLNww — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 24, 2018 Pompeo sparred with several Senate Democrats during the hearing, as he rejected assertions that the U.S. had rushed into a summit with Kim, and wasn’t really prepared to deal with a North Korean leader who is known for sudden course changes. “Unfortunately, it seems that our chief diplomat is negotiating war,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) of Pompeo. “From the beginning, when Trump impulsively decided that he would meet with Kim Jong Un, it has been clear that the summit involved very little preparation,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “We cannot return to the name-calling and saber-rattling of the last year,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).
  • China, Japan and the European Union condemned the Trump administration’s decision to launch an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on imports of vehicles and automotive parts into the United States. President Donald Trump invoked a provision authorizing the president to restrict imports and impose unlimited tariffs on national security grounds. The move is seen as an effort to gain a bargaining chip in stalled talks with Canada and Mexico over the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico is the top exporter of passenger vehicles and light trucks to the U.S followed by Japan, Canada, Germany and South Korea, according to the Department of Commerce.
  • The Food and Drug Administration issued warnings Tuesday addressing dietary supplements that claim to protect the public from sun damage. >> Read more trending news  “There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen,” the agency wrote. “We’ve found products purporting to provide protection from the sun that aren’t delivering the advertised benefits. Instead they’re misleading consumers, and putting people at risk.” The warning letters were aimed at four companies and accused them of “illegally marketing pills and capsules labeled as dietary supplements that make unproven drug claims about protecting consumers from the harms that come from sun exposure without meeting the FDA’s standards for safety and effectiveness.” >> Related: Mom warns other parents after baby burned by sunscreen  The FDA specifically called out the following products for putting people at risk: GliSODin Skin Nutrients’ Advanced Skin Brightening Formula Napa Valley Bioscience’s Sunsafe Rx Pharmacy Direct’s Solaricare  Sunergized LLC’s Sunergetic The agency said the companies need to reverse any federal violations associated with their products. A representative with Napa Valley Bioscience told Time in a statement that their product “is made with ingredients that published clinical studies show protect skin from damage,” and is useful for supplemental protection and for users with sensitive skin. >> Related: How to pick the right sunscreen — and which ones to avoid  “However, to be abundantly clear: the sun is dangerous, and UV rays damage your skin. We don’t market Sunsafe Rx as a sunscreen, and we certainly don’t tell consumers that they don’t need any other protection from the sun or that they don’t also need to use a topical sunscreen,” the company said. “Everyone should exercise caution when exposed to the sun.” Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And one in five Americans are at risk of developing the condition in their lifetime. >> Related: 6 mistakes people commonly make when applying sunscreen  The FDA is also researching the effectiveness of current sunscreens on the market as some research has purported some ingredients popular in conventional sunscreens may seep through the skin, though human harm due to this hasn’t been concluded.
  • Actor Morgan Freeman has been accused of inappropriate behavior and harassment by at least eight women, CNN reported Thursday. >> Read more trending news Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • After days of uncertainty about a planned June 12 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump on Thursday told Kim in a letter that because of hostile statements from the Pyongyang regime in recent days, the summit in Singapore would not take place. “Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is in appropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” the President wrote in his letter to Kim. The decision came as North Korean officials seemed to back away from public assurances that they would give up on their nuclear weapons program, which had been Mr. Trump’s demand from the start – as the President delivered a clear warning to Kim about a possible conflict. “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used,” Mr. Trump wrote. Here is the President’s letter to Kim Jong Un.
  • Under growing pressure from the House to change how lawmakers deal with workplace harassment claims and damage awards, the Senate on Thursday approved a package of reforms that would not allow members to use taxpayer funds to pay any legal settlements, and change the process for Congressional employees to bring complaints against lawmakers. “This is an incredibly important moment,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who joined with Senators in both parties to forge a compromise that was approved on a voice vote. “We are completely overhauling the sexual harassment policies of the Congress,” Klobuchar said on the Senate floor. The Senate just passed bipartisan reforms to fix Congress's broken process for reporting sexual harassment, and finally end taxpayer-funded harassment settlements. This is a big step in the right direction towards transparency and accountability. — Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) May 24, 2018 “These reforms are commonsense,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who had been more and more vocal in recent days about the lack of action on a similar measure passed by the House. Along with streamlining the process for employees to bring a complaint – and then have it evaluated by Congressional officials – the plan would force members to personally pay for any legal settlement, and not have taxpayers foot the bill. “Hardworking taxpayers should not foot the bill for a Member’s misconduct, and victims should not have to navigate a system that stands in the way of accountability,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). The extra protections for employees would also be extended to unpaid staffers on Capitol Hill, including interns, legislative fellows, and detailees from other executive branch offices. As the Senate approved the plan, the leaders of the House Ethics Committee confirmed that ex-Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) had reimbursed taxpayers for a $39,000 settlement involving a former female staffer in his office. “We understand he sent that reimbursement payment to the Treasury. We welcome that action,” said ethics chair Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), and the top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), in a joint statement. “There is overwhelming bipartisan consensus in the House that Members should be personally accountable for settlements paid with public funds to resolve claims against them alleging sexual harassment,” Brooks and Deutch wrote in a statement. But what about when lawmakers leave the Congress? The ethics leaders said even then – they should still have to pay up. Ethics committee writes in new letter they believe “any proposal to reform the CAA should include provisions to ensure that Members remain personally liable for their own conduct with respect to discrimination and retaliation & that they remain liable even if they leave Congress” — Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) May 24, 2018 Brooks and Deutch also noted that ex-Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) – who had resigned without following through on a promise to pay off an $84,000 settlement – was a perfect example of why the system needs to be changed. “Farenthold publicly promised to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for $84,000 in funds paid to settle the lawsuit brought against him for claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation,” they wrote. “Last week, he announced that he would not do so,” the two added. The House and Senate must still hammer out a compromise measure between the bills passed by each chamber – but the Senate vote gives a new shot of energy to the effort, though there are House members who feel the Senate plan is not strong enough, especially in dealing with lawmakers. “I’m optimistic that we can finish the job and get this bill signed into law,” Gillibrand added.
  • The opioid epidemic has now made its way into marine life in Washington’s Puget Sound. Scientists who track pollution have for the first time, discovered traces of oxycodone in mussels. >> Read more trending news  But scientists say those mussels don’t end up on your plate.  The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, or WDFW, gets clean mussels from Penn Cove on Whidby Island and puts them into areas they want to test for water contamination – like in urban waters. And they’ve discovered there’s enough oxycodone in Elliot Bay for mussels to test positive.  “What we eat and what we excrete goes into the Puget Sound,” said Jennifer Lanksbury, a biologist at the WDFW.  Scientists deposit mussels in cages in 18 locations. They teamed up with the Puget Sound Institute to analyze the data and discovered that three locations were positive for trace amounts of oxycodone - two near Bremerton’s shipyard and Elliot Bay near Harbor Island. “It’s telling me there's a lot of people taking oxycodone in the Puget Sound area. The contamination is likely coming from wastewater treatment plants,” Lanksbury said.  >> Trending: Sunken treasure worth $17 billion on 300-year-old shipwreck discovered off Colombian coast After people consume oxycodone, some of it ends up in the toilet, and it goes into wastewater. The water gets filtered, but King County Wastewater Management said although their system can catch a lot of contaminants, it can't specifically filter out drugs.  >> Trending: Great Pacific Garbage Patch 16 times larger than estimates: 87,000 tons of plastic and growing And opioids, antibiotics, drugs for depression - mussels are testing positive for all of it.  “Those are definitely chemicals that are out there in the nearshore waters and they may be having an impact on the fish and shellfish that live there,” Lanksbury said. Again, Lanksbury says people have nothing to worry about when it comes to eating mussels from a restaurant or shop because they come from clean locations. “They’re clean and healthy and delicious. We love to eat mussels from the Puget Sound. We use them for our food and we use them for contaminant analysis,” Lanksbury said.  But the study shows it’s another sign of what's ending up in the water and harming marine life.  “People should be wary,” Lanksbury said. “Hopefully our data shows what’s out there and can get the process started for cleaning up our waters.”  >> Trending: Your bottled water is probably contaminated with tiny plastic particles, health experts say This was a one-time study for prescription drugs, but Fish and Wildlife officials will seek more funding to continue testing and tracking what happening to in the water over time. 
  • Police were called to a restaurant near Lake Hefner Thursday night in  Oklahoma City where several people have been shot or injured. Oklahoma police say the suspected shooter is dead. Police say three people are injured. KRMG has a reporter headed to the scene. Tune to NEWS102.3 and AM740 KRMG for the latest.
  • An idea to help police patrol under area bridges is approved by the Tulsa City Council. The new ordinance gives police the authority to patrol under bridges that were previously considered state property. The plan is designed to help the City of Tulsa deal with damage under bridges. Leaders with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation say sometimes fires started by people living in homeless camps can do damage. ODOT has also paid for environmental agencies to clean out drug paraphernalia and human waste.
  • A Portland, Oregon, family contacted Amazon to investigate after they say a private conversation in their home was recorded by Amazon's Alexa – the voice-controlled smart speaker – and the recorded audio was sent to the phone of a random person in Seattle, who was in the family’s contact list. >> Amazon announces kids-friendly version of Echo 'My husband and I would joke and say, 'I'd bet these devices are listening to what we're saying,'' said Danielle, who did not want KIRO-TV to use her last name. Every room in her family home was wired with the Amazon devices to control her home's heat, lights and security system. But Danielle said that two weeks ago, the family's love for Alexa changed with an alarming phone call. 'The person on the other line said, 'Unplug your Alexa devices right now,'' she said. ''You're being hacked.'' >> Amazon working on home robot, report says That person was one of her husband's employees, calling from Seattle. 'We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house,' she said. 'At first, my husband was, like, 'No, you didn't!' And the (recipient of the message) said, 'You sat there talking about hardwood floors.' And we said, 'Oh gosh, you really did hear us.'' Danielle listened to the conversation when it was sent back to her, and she couldn't believe someone 176 miles away heard it, too. 'I felt invaded,' she said. 'A total privacy invasion. Immediately, I said, 'I'm never plugging that device in again because I can't trust it.'' >> Amazon’s Alexa’s random laugh is creeping users out Danielle says she unplugged all the devices, and she repeatedly called Amazon. She says an Alexa engineer investigated. 'They said, 'Our engineers went through your logs, and they saw exactly what you told us; they saw exactly what you said happened, and we're sorry.' He apologized like 15 times in a matter of 30 minutes, and he said, 'We really appreciate you bringing this to our attention; this is something we need to fix!'' But Danielle says the engineer did not provide specifics about why it happened or if it's a widespread issue. 'He told us that the device just guessed what we were saying,' she said. Danielle said the device did not audibly advise her it was preparing to send the recording, something it’s programmed to do. >> Read more trending news  When KIRO-TV asked Amazon questions, the company sent this response: “Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.' Amazon offered to “de-provision” Danielle’s Alexa communications so she could keep using its 'Smart Home' features. But Danielle is hoping Amazon gives her a refund for her devices, which she said representatives have been unwilling to do. She says she’s curious to find out if anyone else has experienced the same issue. 'A husband and wife in the privacy of their home have conversations that they're not expecting to be sent to someone (in) their address book,' she said.