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    Egypt's president said Wednesday that the most painful part of his ambitious economic reform program was over, but cautioned there was still some way to go before it's completed. The reforms included floating the currency, substantial cuts in state subsidies on basic goods, and introducing a wide range of new taxes. The measures led to a significant rise in prices and services, something critics say has hurt the poor and middle class the hardest. The reforms were agreed on with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a $12 billion loan. In televised comments aired live, el-Sissi said Egypt has gone through the worst of the fallout from the reforms. 'Not too much is left and it won't be harsher than what we had already gone through. We are determined to finish it.' El-Sissi thanked Egyptians for 'enduring the harsh and difficult (economic) measures,' something that he has often done since the reforms began in 2016 with the floatation of the currency that cost the Egyptian pound more than half of its value. His thanks and implicit warning that more reforms were to come appeared designed to prepare Egyptians for a widely anticipated wave of price rises this year that could include fuel and electricity. He said his government had no choice but to embark on the reform program. 'Anything else would have led to the collapse of the state,' he said in an address marking Police Day, a national holiday that falls on Jan. 25. Years of political turmoil and violence following a 2011 uprising that toppled the 29-year regime of autocrat Hosni Mubarak has crippled the economy, keeping foreign tourists and investors out and reducing productivity. El-Sissi's reforms and improved security have improved economic indicators, winning praise from Cairo's Western backers but they are yet to filter down to most Egyptians. Removing state subsidies is something that el-Sissi's predecessors could not do because of fears of unrest. The late President Anwar Sadat attempted in 1977 to remove subsidies on bread, a main staple for Egyptians, sparking deadly street riots. He backed down. In comparison, el-Sissi's reforms have fueled popular discontent but that never boiled over onto the streets. Police have brutally dealt with the rare street protests that took place under el-Sissi, in office since 2014. Demonstrations also are virtually banned under a 2013 law, with offenders facing up to five years in prison if convicted.
  • A Texas family sent a sweet message on social media that should resonate with all blended families. Transitioning from a biological father to a stepfather can be difficult, especially for children, but David Mengon and Dylan Lenox have struck a perfect balance because of 5-year-old Willow Mengon. >> Read more trending news  Photographs posted online show the two men kissing Willow on each cheek and embracing her together as the girl left for a daddy-daughter dance in Hubbard over the weekend, KWTX reported. Lenox -- Willow’s soon-to-be stepfather, known as “Bonus Dad” -- is pictured on the left. Mengon -- known as “Daddy David” -- is on the right as Willow beams in the middle. “We have molded ourselves into one unique family, of only for the sake of our children to know the power of love,” Lenox wrote in a Facebook post that has gone viral.'Not only did I gain a daughter, I gained a brother and a best friend.' David Mengon is divorced from Willow’s mother, Sarah Mengon, who is now engaged to Lenox. Lenox said David Mengon, who lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, stays on the family couch when he visits, KXXV reported. 'He is not an outsider, he is and will always be apart of my life for the simple fact that we share the same daughter,' Lenox told the television station. The photographs were taken by Sarah Mengon, who owns Willie + Rose Photography, and the Facebook post has been shared more than 129,000 times since Saturday. “You know, in the back of my head I thought this is something that should be shared but to the sheer volume it reached, no, we never in a million years thought it would go that far,” Lenox told KWTX. “I love these two guys so much. They’re super awesome dads,” Sarah Mengon told the television station. “And I’m really lucky. So thank you everybody for following our little story.”
  • President Donald Trump plans to move forward with a State of the Union address next week at the nation’s Capitol. Unless it’s somewhere else. >> Read more trending news Several media outlets are reporting that Trump is ready to disregard House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request last week that he delay the annual speech because of the government shutdown. >> Government shutdown: Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union address  NPR is reporting that plans are moving forward for Trump to give the address before a joint session of Congress next Tuesday, as was originally scheduled. On Sunday, the White House sent a letter to the House sergeant-at-Aarms requesting a walk-through of the House in advance of the speech. Pelosi denied the request for a walk-through last week as she asked Trump to reschedule his speech until the government is reopened. Trump jumped into the tug-a-war this Sunday via Twitter, telling Pelosi he has options on when and where to give the speech but reminded her she had extended an invitation and he had accepted it. 'Nancy, I am still thinking about the State of the Union speech, there are so many options - including doing it as per your written offer (made during the Shutdown, security is no problem), and my written acceptance. While a contract is a contract, I'll get back to you soon!'  >> State of the Union 2019: What day, what time, who will be there? Can Pelosi disinvite Trump? Yes, in a way. The invitation to address a joint session of Congress is technically a House resolution that sets aside a day and time for the president to come to the Capitol and address a joint session of Congress. A joint session of Congress means both the members of the House of Representatives and the members of the Senate are together in one chamber to hear a speaker. Because the speech involves a joint session, both the House and the Senate must pass resolutions to OK the joint session. The passing of the resolutions, in essence, constitutes an invitation from both the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader for the president to appear before both chambers of Congress. So far, neither the House nor the Senate has passed such a resolution that invites the president to give the State of the Union address on Jan. 29. Pelosi controls when a vote comes to the House floor. Pelosi could hold back the vote on the resolution to create a day and time for the president to speak, and prevent him from addressing House members. Can Pelosi keep the president from coming to the House next Tuesday? No, while there are restrictions on who can walk on the floor, the restrictions don’t apply to the president of the United States. However, who can speak from the floor is a different matter. While the president can speak from the floor of the House, he could not speak from the dais in the House unless a session is called to order. The speaker is the person who calls the chamber to order. The president could be removed from the House floor if he were to begin speaking without Pelosi calling the session in order. According to some media sources, the White House is considering moving the speech outside of Washington, D.C., perhaps to somewhere along the southern border. The Washington Post is reporting that Trump has prepared two State of the Union speeches. One would be for a traditional delivery in the House to a joint session of Congress. The other would be for a location outside of Washington in a more political rally-type gathering.  
  • The Latest on Britain's exit from the European Union (all times local): 3:30 p.m. The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator says if Britain withdraws without a deal with the EU, he still wants to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Michel Barnier said at a conference on Wednesday the EU will have to protect consumers and businesses with checks on British goods if Brexit takes place on March 29 without an agreement. Barnier said: 'We will still have to do checks and controls somewhere.' He didn't specific where the inspections might happen. He said it would be most challenging in the Republic of Ireland, an EU member country that shares a land border with the U.K.'s Northern Ireland. Reintroducing a hard border there after a peace deal that ended decades of sectarian and nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland is a sensitive issue. Barnier said: 'We will have to find out an operational way to carrying out checks and controls without putting back in place a border.' __ 2:10 p.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is working for a 'well-ordered' Brexit as confusion reigns over how Britain is to leave the European Union on March 29. Addressing delegates at the World Economic Forum, she said everyone involved in the EU is working out how to 'deal with the shock of Brexit.' Merkel said she is looking for a 'good' future partnership, particularly with regard to security and defense issues in which Britain has taken a lead in the EU. And on issues of trade, she said it would be best if the future relationship between Britain and the EU is as frictionless as possible. She said, 'the easier the relationship, the easier for all of us.' Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May overwhelmingly lost a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal with the EU. Since then, there's been growing talk that Britain could crash out of the bloc without a deal or that it will end up extending its date of departure. ___ 1:45 p.m. Germany's economy minister says a request from Britain's government for an extension on the looming Brexit deadline would 'certainly be considered seriously' — if a majority in Parliament seeks one. Peter Altmaier says a no-deal or 'hard' Brexit 'must be avoided.' He called for patience as the British parliament considers a new plan by Prime Minister Theresa May's government to make good on the verdict of the British people two years ago to leave the European Union. Altmaier told reporters Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Britain and the bloc share a 'joint responsibility' to avoid a hard Brexit. 'We need clarity and we should work together,' he said, alluding to the March 29 deadline for Britain to leave the bloc, with or without a deal. 'We have a debate going on in the U.K., and if a majority of the U.K. parliament and government would ask for such an extension, it would certainly be considered seriously.' ___ 1:10 p.m. The Czech Parliament's lower house has approved a government plan to guarantee the near-term rights of British citizens in the event of a 'no-deal' Brexit. The plan means the roughly 8,000 Britons currently living in the country would retain their rights in the immediate aftermath of Brexit even if Britain crashes out of the EU in March with no deal. They would retain basically the same rights as the citizens of EU countries for a transitional period until Dec. 31, 2020. The upper house, the Senate, is also expected to approve it. Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. After the British lawmakers rejected the divorce agreement Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the bloc, the prospect of a 'no-deal' Brexit has been raised. ___ 12 noon The European Union is offering Britain an option to continue fishing in EU waters for the rest of the year in case of a no-deal Brexit, if Britain grants the same rights to EU fishermen. The EU wants to mitigate the worst impact of a possible cliff-edge departure for Britain on March 29, and officials want to make sure that fishermen would not have to fundamentally change their decades-old fishing traditions overnight. British and EU fishermen have long been fishing in each other's waters since they are all EU waters. Britain's departure could keep EU fishermen out and the same could happen to British boats in the waters of the 27 member states. The EU Commission is also proposing financial compensation for EU fishermen if they find UK waters suddenly closed off. ___ 11:20 a.m. Britain's senior counter-terrorism police officer is warning of the dangers of leaving the European Union without a withdrawal deal in place. Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said Wednesday that a 'no-deal' Brexit that cut off Britain's access to shared data and intelligence systems would leave both Britain and the EU in a 'very bad place.' Basu said the security threat would increase if Britain is not able to exchange data or biometrics on suspected criminals and terrorists as it currently does with EU nations. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU bloc on March 29. A 'no-deal' Brexit is possible because the British Parliament has rejected the arrangement the government negotiated with EU leaders. Basu says a police team is working on contingency plans to handle a 'no-deal' departure. ___ 10:45 a.m. A senior British Cabinet minister says businesses need to prepare for the possibility the U.K. will leave the European Union in March without an exit deal, as a growing number of British firms say they are stockpiling goods or shifting operations overseas. Last week British lawmakers threw out Prime Minister Theresa May's EU divorce deal, and attempts to find a replacement are gridlocked. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said Wednesday that 'no deal is a possibility.' Many business groups say a 'no-deal' Brexit will cause economic chaos by imposing tariffs, customs checks and other barriers between the U.K. and the EU, its biggest trading partner. Carolyn Fairbairn of the Confederation of British Industry says politicians must rule out a no-deal Brexit 'to halt irreversible damage and restore business confidence.
  • One of Zimbabwe and Africa's most iconic musicians, Oliver Mtukudzi, died on Wednesday in the capital, Harare, at age 66, a fellow musician confirmed. Albert Nyathi, a veteran Zimbabwean musician and poet who performed with Mtukudzi, was with several other mourners at the hospital where the star passed away. 'It is difficult to accept, I have no words,' Nyathi said. 'What is left is to celebrate his life.' Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper reported that Mtukudzi had 'succumbed to a long battle with diabetes.' With his distinctive husky voice, Mtukudzi had a career that stretched from white minority-ruled Rhodesia to majority-ruled Zimbabwe, producing a string of hits that spread his fame across Africa and eventually to an international audience. Tuku, as he was widely known, avoided political controversy. The closest he came was with his 2001 song 'Bvuma,' which in the Shona language means 'accept that you are old' and was taken as a message to longtime leader Robert Mugabe to retire. Paul Mangwana, a senior official with Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party, praised Mtukudzi for remaining 'apolitical,' saying he supported calls for the singer to be buried at the national heroes' acre, a shrine that is a preserve of ruling party elites. 'He was a nation-builder. Where it was necessary to criticize he would, and where it was necessary to praise he would,' Mangwana said at the hospital. In a country where political tensions are high and party loyalties matter, Mtukudzi cut across the divide, singing at ruling party events but also performing at late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's wedding and funeral. One of Mtukudzi's biggest hits was 'Neria,' a mournful song about the tribulations of a woman who was thrown into poverty when her husband died because customary law did not allow her to inherit his property. It was the title song of a movie of the same name. In 1980, Mtukudzi celebrated Zimbabwe's independence by singing the country's new national anthem, 'Ishe Komborera Africa' (God Bless Africa) with a reggae inflection. Mtukudzi's rollicking, captivating performances won him devoted fans. He sang, played guitar and danced while directing a tight band of guitarists, keyboards, percussionists and dancers who seamlessly performed his catchy songs. He made several successful international tours and performed in South Africa late last year. He also was known for mentoring young Zimbabwean musicians. 'He was like a father figure,' said MacDonald Chidavaenzi, a songwriter and producer who said he was mentored by the singer. Mtukudzi wrote songs in a style that were a mix of Zimbabwean and neighboring South African rhythms that became known at 'Tuku music.' Zimbabwe's government quickly expressed its 'heartfelt condolences' to Mtukudzi's family. 'Zimbabwe music is poorer without our music legend,' the information ministry tweeted. The ruling African National Congress in South Africa tweeted simply 'Rest in peace.' ___ Meldrum reported from Johannesburg. ___ Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa
  • A white supremacist pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing a black man with a sword as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime. James Jackson admitted to fatally stabbing 66-year-old Timothy Caughman in 2017 after stalking a number of black men in New York City. Jackson, who is white, told police he traveled from Baltimore to carry out the attack because New York is the media capital of the world. He also said the slaying had been practice for further assaults on black people. Jackson had been scheduled to stand trial Wednesday. A judge had ruled that jurors would hear his detailed confession. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 13 for his plea to murder charges. Caughman, who was remembered as a gentleman and a good neighbor, was alone and collecting bottles for recycling when he was attacked from behind with a sword. He staggered, bleeding, into a police station and died at a hospital. Jackson is from Baltimore and a veteran who served in Afghanistan. Family friends said previously that the allegations were out of line with how he was raised, in a tolerant and liberal middle-class family. In a 2017 jailhouse interview with the Daily News, Jackson said he intended the stabbing as 'a practice run' in a mission to deter interracial relationships. He said he would rather have killed 'a young thug' or 'a successful older black man with blondes ... people you see in Midtown. These younger guys that put white girls on the wrong path.
  • Jeff Bezos' rocket company, Blue Origin, has launched NASA experiments into space on a brief test flight. The New Shepard rocket blasted off Wednesday from West Texas, hoisting a capsule containing the experiments. The eight experiments were exposed to a few minutes of weightlessness, before the capsule parachuted down. The rocket also landed successfully, completing its fourth spaceflight. This was Blue Origin's 10th test flight, all precursors to launching passengers by year's end. The capsules have six windows, one for each customer. Blue Origin isn't taking reservations just yet. Instead, the Kent, Washington, company is focusing on brief research flights. Wednesday's flight lasted just over 10 minutes, with the capsule reaching 66 miles high, or 107 kilometers, well within the accepted boundary of space. Bezos is the founder of Amazon.
  • Georgia's new elections chief is asking lawmakers for $150 million to replace the state's aging electronic voting machines, which experts have warned are vulnerable to hacking. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Georgia legislators holding budget hearings Wednesday that a new voting system is his top priority. However, he all but closed the door on options that use hand-marked paper ballots, which cybersecurity experts favor. Experts say the touch-screen machines Georgia has used since 2002 make auditing elections difficult because they produce no verifiable paper record. The machines and Georgia's registration practices became the subject of national criticism during last year's governor's race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Before winning, Kemp served as secretary of state and refused calls to resign from overseeing his own election.
  • A powerful House committee now led by Democrats is opening an investigation into how security clearances have been handled in President Donald Trump's White House and 2016 presidential transition. The inquiry by the House Oversight and Reform Committee takes direct at some of those closest to the president over the past two years, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and former White House aide Rob Porter. The review also sets up one of the first potential fights between a Democrat-led House committee and a White House bracing for a number of investigations in the wake of last year's midterm elections that eroded GOP control in Washington. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the committee chairman, said in a letter released Wednesday that he was undertaking the investigation in response to 'grave breaches of national security' involving Flynn and others. Flynn maintained his security clearance even after the White House learned he lied to the FBI about his conversations with Russia's ambassador. He later pleaded guilty to a felony and is awaiting sentencing. The committee also is seeking information about Kushner, who failed to initially disclose some of his foreign meetings, and Porter, who had high level access with an interim security clearance even though the FBI told the White House of past allegations of domestic violence involving Porter.
  • Star receiver Larry Fitzgerald is returning to the Arizona Cardinals for a 16th NFL season. The Cardinals announced Wednesday that they signed the 35-year-old Fitzgerald to a one-year contract. Team president Michael Bidwell says, 'No player has meant more to this franchise or this community than Larry Fitzgerald.' In the finale of his 15th season, Fitzgerald still looked the part of an NFL wide receiver and exceptional pass catcher with four catches for 36 yards. He caught the 116th touchdown pass of his career and became the third player with at least 1,300 career receptions. He matched the franchise record for career games played with his 234th game in a Cardinals uniform and became the second receiver in league history with 2,000 yards receiving against three different teams, joining Jerry Rice. Fitzgerald's future was one of the big questions going into the Cardinals' offseason. Arizona fired coach Steve Wilks and replaced him with former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury. During his introductory news conference, Kingsbury said he would love to have Fitzgerald on his team but would let the front office figure out whether the 11-time Pro Bowler was coming back. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • With no resolution of an over month-long partial government shutdown that has blocked paychecks for over 800,000 federal workers, Democratic leaders in the House said on Wednesday that they would not sign off on the scheduled State of the Union Address by President Donald Trump next Tuesday, unless shuttered federal agencies are re-opened before the original scheduled date for the speech, January 29. “Unless the government is re-opened, it is highly unlikely the State of the Union will take place on the floor of the House,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the head of the House Democratic Caucus. The comments of Jeffries came just after a closed door meeting of House Democrats, in which Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged rank-in-file Democrats to stick together on the shutdown, as Democrats continue to argue that no negotiations should take place on funding border security until the government has been funded. In private caucus meeting, Pelosi urged her caucus to stay united and stick with the plan, referring to reopen government first before border security talks, per sources. She emphasized to caucus that they are more powerful when they are united, not when they are freelancing. — Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 23, 2019 While Democrats want the government to open first, Republicans, and the President, say the opposite should take place – that negotiations on border security should go first, before the partial government shutdown is ended. GOP leaders scoffed at the idea that the State of the Union should be postponed simply because of the funding dispute, which began before Christmas. “It doesn’t matter what crisis America had in the past, we were able to still have a State of the Union,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House Republican leader. House GOP leaders argued that Democrats were at fault for the partial shutdown – which has now stretched for 33 days – as they demanded that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offer a plan for extra border security measures. Not one time has Nancy Pelosi come forward with an alternative,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the second-ranking Republican in the House. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says the State of the Union address should be held 'in the House chamber just as it has done for generations before us' https://t.co/No7mzAhmGm pic.twitter.com/FYc5xsjodp — This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 23, 2019 While the House on Wednesday was ready to approve more funding bills from Democrats to fully fund the government, most eyes were still on the Senate, where leaders set two votes for Thursday – one on a GOP plan that mirrored the President’s immigration proposal set forth last weekend, and a second plan from Democrats which would fund the government until February 8. The White House has already threatened to veto that Democratic plan; officials on Wednesday morning issued a letter in which they said President Trump would sign the GOP proposal. But Republicans would need the votes of seven Democrats to get 60 votes to proceed to that bill; for now, that seems unlikely.
  • Denver teachers voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to go on strike after more than a year of negotiations over base pay. Rob Gould, lead negotiator for the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, said 93 percent of unionized teachers voted in favor of a strike. The union represents 5,635 educators in the Denver Public School system, which could see a strike as soon as Monday. “They’re striking for better pay, they’re striking for our profession and they’re striking for Denver students,” Gould said. The main sticking point was increasing base pay, including lessening teachers’ reliance on one-time bonuses for things such as having students with high test scores or working in a high-poverty school. Teachers also wanted to earn more for continuing their education.
  • With no evidence that President Donald Trump’s weekend speech on immigration and a border wall had changed the dynamic in Congress related to a partial government shutdown, Senate leaders set a pair of votes on competing plans from Democrats and Republicans for Thursday afternoon, the first time Senate Republicans have allowed votes to end the shutdown since before Christmas. “The President’s made a comprehensive and bipartisan offer,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “It’s a strong proposal, it’s the only thing on the table.” “It was not a good faith proposal. It was not intended to end the shutdown,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. “The President’s proposal is one-sided.” The political jousting came as representatives of federal workers – who seem likely to go without a paycheck again this Friday – urged the Congress and the President to fully fund the government, and then settle their differences over border security spending. Your Coast Guard leadership team & the American people stand in awe of your continued dedication to duty, resilience, & that of your families. I find it unacceptable that @USCG members must rely on food pantries & donations to get through day-to-day life. #uscg pic.twitter.com/TZ9ppUidyO — Admiral Karl Schultz (@ComdtUSCG) January 23, 2019 “Every family in the FBI has mortgages, car payments, bills that come in at the end of the month,” said Tom O’Connor, the head of the FBI Agents Association. “You have to pay those. Try doing that without a paycheck,” O’Connor told a Washington news conference. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration announced it was calling more federal employees back to work – as the Department of Agriculture said Farm Service Agency offices would resume operations on Thursday. “The FSA provides vital support for farmers and ranchers and they count on those services being available,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Farmers have complained for weeks that the lack of FSA offices was hampering all sorts of work, like applying for bailout payments related to retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., filing paperwork for operating loans, and a variety of other crop programs. But those Farm Service Agency workers won’t be paid until the Congress resolves the shutdown. Good News: @USDA just announced that all Farm Service Agency offices will reopen beginning Thursday, January 24th and offer expanded services to #Ag producers. More information and a list of services here: https://t.co/o8oiQkdnaS — Senator Deb Fischer (@SenatorFischer) January 22, 2019 Back on Capitol Hill, there were no signs that the President’s immigration offer from Saturday was going to break the gridlock over Mr. Trump call for $5.7 billion in border security funding. But the mere fact that there were going to be votes in the Senate related to the shutdown – the first votes on government funding since before Christmas – was seen by some as a welcome event. “I’m pleased that the gears of the legislative process are moving,” said Matt Glassman, a fellow at the Georgetown University Government Affairs Institute. Senate leaders agreed to two procedural votes on Thursday – with 60 votes needed – first on the President’s border plan, plus funding for the federal government, and then on a Democratic plan which combines disaster aid with a plan to simply fund shuttered agencies through February 8. For Glassman and a few others – the decision to set those votes so that Republicans would go first, and then Democrats second, raised questions about whether GOP Senators might vote first to approve money for a border wall, and then also vote to re-open the government, despite the President’s opposition. 1/ My Twitter feed tells me it's folly to think that Thursday's second cloture vote (open government with a 2-week CR) will get 60 votes (47 D + 13 R). I'm not so sure. Just because only 10 GOP signed a bipartisan letter doesn't mean that's the full lid on GOP votes. — Sarah Binder (@bindersab) January 22, 2019 A spokesman for the Senate Majority Leader rejected that idea, saying that Sen. McConnell was against the Democratic plan – but the schedule on Thursday does give GOP Senators the option to first vote for the border wall funding – and when that fails – then vote to re-open the government for about two weeks.
  • It's one thing to WATCH a show like Game of Thrones, but it’s something else to take a swing at an actual sword fight! Tomorrow night starting at 6:00 p.m., the Flying Tee driving range in Jenks is hosting a fundraiser for Tulsa Tyrants, a team in the Armored Combat League, which is just what it sounds like. These guys put on suits of armor and fight with real swords and battle axes and maces. League rules mandate that they dull the edges on the weapons, but they still pack a punch. Once they're done fighting, they'll walk out to the range and raise money by letting people buy chances to hit golf balls at them! They'll then cap the night by having a watch party for the new TV show on the History Channel called Knight Fight, which is all about sword-fighting competitions. You can find out more about the event here.
  • The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma hosted an event designed to help federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay as a result of the ongoing partial federal shutdown. CFBEO Executive Director Eileen Bradshaw told KRMG her agency was contacted by federal “These are folks who don’t need to navigate the charitable assistance system,” she told KRMG Tuesday, pointing out that many of them don’t even know where to start. “211 is a real treasure for folks who find themselves in this situation,” she added. “If they need something other than food, they can call 211, explain what the need is, chances are there’s someone in our community who’s willing to help.” She told KRMG people lined up at 2:00 p.m. for the event, which ran from 3:00 to 7:00 so that both day and evening workers could make time to take advantage of the free food. KRMG spoke with federal workers who said they’d never expected to need food assistance, and had never visited a food bank before. But they were extremely grateful for the assistance.