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National News

    A teenager who started a major wildfire in the scenic Columbia River Gorge in Oregon has been ordered to pay restitution for at least the next decade, though it's unlikely the boy will ever cover his nearly $37 million bill. The Oregonian reports that Hood River County Circuit Judge John A. Olson issued the opinion on Monday, awarding the restitution totaling $36,618,330.24 to cover the costs of firefighting, repair and restoration to the gorge and damage to homes. Victims include the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Department of Transportation. The 15-year-old from Vancouver, Washington, earlier this year acknowledged wrongdoing and said he threw two fireworks in Eagle Creek Canyon on Sept. 2 when flames spread quickly. The fire caused evacuations, an extended shutdown of a major interstate highway and devastation to a major outdoor tourist attraction. The judge's order notes that the boy can set up a payment plan, though payments can be halted after 10 years as long as he complies, completes probation and doesn't commit other crimes. At a hearing last week, the boy's lawyer urged for a 'reasonable and rational' penalty, calling the $37 million sought an 'absurd' amount for the child. The restitution is solely the responsibility of the teen, and not his parents, who came to the U.S. from Ukraine. Olson called it 'an extraordinary amount' and then deferred on a separate restitution order because he wanted more time to review the case. The judge said the largest figure he could find for prior juvenile restitution cases in Oregon was $114,000. The teen in February pleaded guilty to reckless burning of public and private property and other charges. Olson sentenced him to community service and probation, and the boy had to write more than 150 letters of apology to those affected by the fire that burned 75 square miles (194 square kilometers). The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area attracts more than 3 million tourists a year and holds North America's largest concentration of waterfalls. The fast-moving blaze ravaged popular hiking trails and marred stunning vistas. State law allows the Oregon Department of Revenue to garnishee the teen's bank accounts or paychecks. If he's due refunds on his tax returns, the state could take those. If he wins the lottery, the state also could collect all of his winnings. Anger at the boy was so intense that authorities withheld his name to protect his safety. He's listed in court papers as A.B. ___ Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com
  • A Wisconsin teenager who was missing for a week was found beaten to death Sunday, the victim of “a senseless act of violence,” according to his mother. >> Read more trending news The body of Dennis King, 15, was found Sunday night by Milwaukee police, not far from where he’d last been seen on May 11, WISN reported. 'He was a smart kid,' the teen's mother, Dombanee Lincoln, told WISN Sunday night. “He was really sweet. He was kindhearted. He liked to do art. ... I just can't believe this happened to my baby. He didn't deserve this.' A GoFundMe account was established to help the family with funeral and burial costs, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. “This is the worst news I could ever hear about my young son who had plans on being a artist and a basketball player, Lincoln wrote on the fundraising site. “His life was taken due to a senseless act of violence. “My heart is broken and words can't explain how I feel right now.” More than $5,000 has been raised as of Monday afternoon, according to the website. Lincoln said she identified her son, a freshman at James Madison High School, through a photo provided to her by police, WISN reported. In a news release Sunday night, the Milwaukee Police Department said it was investigating as a homicide the death of a teenage boy whose body was discovered in the early morning hours. On Monday they identified the victim as King, the Journal Sentinel reported. Several suspects in the case were arrested, family members told WISN.
  • Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith sued USA Swimming on Monday, alleging the sport's national governing body knew her former coach sexually abused her as a minor and covered it up. Kukors Smith filed the lawsuit in Superior Court in Orange County, California. She alleges Sean Hutchison, who began coaching her at a swim club near Seattle, groomed her for sexual abuse when she was 13, started touching and kissing her when she was 16 and engaging in sexual activity with her when she was 17. Hutchison has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime. Kukors Smith also is suing longtime Olympic coach Mark Schubert, saying he failed to report 'a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or endangerment.' Kukors Smith, the 2009 world champion in the 200-meter individual medley who placed fifth in that event at the 2012 Games, told reporters that 'by doing nothing,' USA Swimming 'enabled Sean Hutchison to abuse me for a decade.' USA Swimming hired a private investigator to look into rumors of a relationship between the two in 2010. The organization said it closed the investigation without finding any misconduct after they and others denied the relationship. The lawsuit says top USA Swimming officials knew in 2005 of allegations of Hutchison having inappropriate relationships with underage swimmers, including Kukors Smith, who was then 16. Top officials at the governing body, according to the lawsuit, also manipulated a background screening system to shield coaches accused of abuse. 'Those at USA Swimming need to change the culture of protecting predator coaches over young and vulnerable athletes such as myself,' Kukors Smith said.
  • The Latest on U.S. policy toward Venezuela (all times local): 2:10 p.m. President Donald Trump has signed an order restricting the Venezuelan government's ability to liquidate assets in the aftermath of an election that the White House is calling a 'sham.' Senior administration officials are announcing new action aimed at preventing the government from selling off public assets in return for kickbacks. It comes after Venezuelan officials declared socialist leader Nicolas Maduro the winner of Sunday's presidential election. Maduro's leading challenger has questioned the legitimacy of the vote and called for new balloting. The sanctions stop short of imposing crippling oil sanctions on the nation atop the world's largest crude reserves. The White House says Trump signed an order that restricts the regime's ability to liquidate state assets 'at fire-sale prices at the expense of the Venezuelan people.' ___ 12:30 p.m. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is calling Venezuela's elections a 'sham — neither free nor fair.' Pence says in a statement that the 'illegitimate result of this fake process' is another blow to democratic traditions in the country. Pence says the United States 'will not sit idly by as Venezuela crumbles and the misery of their brave people continues.' Venezuelan officials have declared socialist leader Nicolas Maduro the winner of Sunday's presidential election. Maduro's leading challenger has questioned the legitimacy of the vote and called for new balloting. Pence says the Maduro government must allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela 'and must allow its people to be heard.
  • Fewer than half of New Hampshire residents ages 20 to 40 say they probably or definitely will remain in the state for the next two years, according to a survey released Monday. The survey was conducted for Stay Work Play, a nonprofit that promotes the state to young workers and recent graduates, and Eversource, a utility that like many businesses has struggled to attract and retain workers at a time when the state has one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates and one of the oldest populations. About 60 percent of participants said they were either very satisfied or completely satisfied with New Hampshire overall, and the state scored well in categories such as education, outdoor recreation and safety. But nearly 30 percent of participants said they would definitely or probably consider leaving New Hampshire in the next two years. 'That's not a place we want to be in,' said Will Steward, the nonprofit's executive director. Work and weather were commonly cited as reasons, though respondents also raised concerns about housing, jobs, cultural opportunities and opportunities to meet people. Highlighting what he called 'the saddest slide' during his presentation, Stewart said he was particularly struck by the fact that one in five said they didn't have a single friend nearby. 'This is critically important and going to be one of Stay Work Play's focuses,' he said. The organization plans to use the data in part to expand its work with networking organizations for young professionals and to advocate on their behalf at the Statehouse. And while the survey, and the group's focus, has been on the 20- to 40-year-old age range, it also plans to target younger people given that about two-thirds of high school graduates going on to four-year colleges leave the state. On Tuesday, Stay Work Play is announcing a partnership with the New Hampshire College and University Council aimed at boosting enrollment in the state's higher learning institutions and retaining more high school graduates. 'We realize that for a lot of those people, it's too late, we need to go upstream,' Stewart said. Bill Quinlan, president of New Hampshire operations for Eversource, said his company recently created a partnership with Manchester Community College to provide internships for students interested in becoming linemen. Unlike in decades past, young people aren't following their fathers and grandfathers into the utility business, and today's technology requires new skills, he said. 'Our biggest challenge is how to keep young talent in the state,' he said. 'And to be successful, we need to hear from the young people we're talking about.' The phone and internet survey of 420 residents ages 20 to 40 was conducted Dec. 8-25 by RKM Research.
  • The African-American community's frustration with Sen. Claire McCaskill is real. The perception that the Missouri Democrat has ignored black constituents haunts the corners of her campaign receptions in Ferguson, it looms near rallies in Kansas City, and it even sneaks into sermons from the church pulpit. Across the nation, African-American voter enthusiasm will help determine whether Democrats can reclaim the House and Senate majorities from President Donald Trump's Republican Party in November's midterm elections. A dip in black voter turnout in 2016 allowed Trump to eke out victories in several key states. McCaskill's challenge is greater than most. Less than six months from Election Day, her standing with Missouri's African-American community is in question. And she's being forced to prove that she's not taking anyone for granted.
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump and the Russia investigation (all times local): 2 p.m. President Donald Trump is meeting with the deputy attorney general and FBI director, a day after promising to 'demand' that the Justice Department investigate whether his presidential campaign was 'infiltrated or surveilled' for political purposes. Press secretary Sarah Sanders confirms that Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general overseeing the Russia probe, and FBI director Christopher Wray will meet with the president Monday afternoon. Sanders said the meeting was scheduled last week and is focused 'on response to congressional requests.' Congressional Republicans have been seeking documents relating to a confidential informant who helped investigate potential Russian collusion by the Trump campaign, but the Justice Department has opposed the move citing the sensitivity of the matter. Rosenstein directed the department's inspector general to investigate Trump's claims of surveillance Sunday. ___ 12:15 a.m. President Donald Trump is intensifying his pressure on the Justice Department by demanding it open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign. Trump made the demand Sunday amid days of public venting about the special counsel's Russia investigation, which he has deemed a 'witch hunt' that he says has yielded no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia. Just hours later, his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said the special counsel has indicated the investigation into the president could be concluded by September if Trump were to sit for an interview in July. Giuliani told The Associated Press the aim was to wrap up the investigation ahead of the national midterm elections in October. The office of special counsel Robert Mueller did not respond to a request for comment.
  • Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix. The former president and first lady have formed their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material. In announcing a deal that had been rumored since March, Netflix offered no specifics on what shows they would make. Netflix said the Obamas would make 'a diverse mix of content,' potentially including scripted and unscripted series, documentaries or features. 'We hope to cultivate and curate the talented, inspiring, creative voices who are able to promote greater empathy and understanding between peoples, and help them share their stories with the wider world,' Barack Obama said in Netflix's announcement. The Obamas can be expected to participate in some of the programming onscreen, said a person familiar with the deal, not authorized to talk publicly about it, on condition of anonymity. The programming itself is not expected to be partisan in nature; a president who often derided the way things were covered on cable news won't be joining in. The type of people that Obama — like other presidents — brought forward as guests at his State of the Union addresses would likely provide fodder for the kinds of stories they want to tell. 'Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others,' Michelle Obama said. No content from the deal is expected to be available until at least 2019, said the person familiar with the deal. The former president appeared in January on David Letterman's Netflix talk show, 'My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.' Obama is said to be friendly with Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, and discussions for other programming were already under way. 'We are incredibly proud they have chosen to make Netflix the home for their formidable storytelling abilities,' Sarandos said. Netflix has 125 million subscribers worldwide. The company has always been reluctant to discuss how many people watch its programming, but it clearly dominates the growing market for streaming services. Roughly 10 percent of television viewing now is through these services, the Nielsen company said. Forty-nine percent of streaming being viewed now comes through Netflix, and no other service comes close, Nielsen said.
  • Texas holds its primary runoff election just four days after a 17-year-old student killed 10 people and wounded 13 others at his Santa Fe High School near Houston. That sent shockwaves through Texas and the nation. But it's unlikely to be a major factor in Tuesday's balloting, which will decide 34 races, including party nominees for governor and Congress, where no candidate won at least 50 percent of the votes cast during Texas' March 6 primary. Here's a look at why: ___ HOUSE DEMOCRATIC IN-FIGHTING Texas has 17 U.S. House runoffs, 11 Democratic and six Republican. Getting the most attention is a tony Houston district where the national Democratic Party openly criticized Laura Moser, who is running to unseat Republican Rep. John Culberson. The seat is one of three held by the GOP that Democrats hope to flip in November because they supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016. Moser made the runoff anyway behind Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, an abortion rights activist and prominent lawyer. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee blasted Moser for writing jokingly in 2014 that she'd rather have teeth pulled than live in small-town Texas. Fletcher and Moser agree on the need for stricter federal gun laws and also say that local issues, such as the ongoing recovery after Hurricane Harvey's devastation, are driving the race — not intraparty squabbles. Still, the result will be viewed as a test of the Democratic establishment's efforts to tame an insurgent wing. The other two possibly vulnerable incumbents are U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions in Dallas, who has rarely been challenged since arriving in Congress in 1997, and Rep. Will Hurd, whose sprawling border district has frequently changed parties. Former NFL linebacker turned civil rights attorney Colin Allred is expected win Tuesday to face Sessions. Gina Ortiz Jones, a Lesbian, Filipina-American, ex-Air Force intelligence officer, should meet Hurd in November. Texas has a record eight open House seats, with six Republicans and two Democrats all leaving Congress. But none of those seats are likely to switch parties — meaning the bulk of the state's 36-member congressional delegation will remain strongly in favor of gun ownership rights. ___ GUNS AND THE GOVERNOR'S RACE The only statewide runoff features little-known Democratic gubernatorial candidates: ex-Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez against Houston businessman Andrew White, whose father, Mark, was governor from 1983 to 1987. Valdez, Texas' first openly gay, Hispanic sheriff, topped White in March without cracking 50 percent. Both reacted to the Santa Fe shooting by calling for tightening gun sale limits and 'universal background checks,' while criticizing Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for failing to stand up to the national gun lobby. Beginning Tuesday, Abbott is convening statewide roundtables to discuss preventing future school shootings, but has failed to even mention the notion of gun control. So far, some students who survived the Santa Fe shooting have been more supportive of Abbott and wary of organizing in favor of the national gun control than their counterparts who survived the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. That gives Abbott political cover if little comes out of the discussions. Neither Valdez nor White should seriously challenge Abbott. Texas hasn't elected a Democratic governor since 1990 and the party hasn't won any statewide office since four years after that — the nation's longest political losing streak. --- Sign up for 'Politics in Focus,' a weekly newsletter showcasing the AP's best political reporting from around the country leading up to the midterm elections: https://bit.ly/2ICEr3D
  • The restaurant group co-owned by Mario Batali says it has been 'actively negotiating' to buy out the celebrity chef facing sexual misconduct allegations. The B&B Hospitality Group says Batali and partner Joe Bastianich have signed a letter of intent and final terms could be set by July 1. The New York Police Department confirmed it's investigating Batali after a woman told '60 Minutes' that Batali drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005. Batali denies assaulting the woman. B&B says it had been unaware of what it calls the 'chilling' and 'deeply disturbing' allegations. Batali stepped down from daily operations at his restaurant empire and cooking show in December after four women accused him of inappropriate touching. He's apologized for those encounters. Batali's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
  • The National Rifle Association’s incoming president has linked school shootings and other violence to using medications such as Ritalin. Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North told “Fox News Sunday” that perpetrators of school violence “have been drugged in many cases” and “many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten.” He also blamed a “culture where violence is commonplace,” pointing to TV and movies. North’s comments followed the attack Friday at Santa Fe High School outside Houston that left eight students and two teachers dead. Investigators have given no indication that they believe the 17-year-old suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, used Ritalin, which treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or other drugs. Pagourtzis’ attorney, Nicholas Poehl, said Sunday that he was not aware that his client was on any specific medication. He said he was surprised that someone with North’s experience with the criminal justice system would “make those kind of generalizations with a case that’s less than 48 hours old.” An NRA spokesman, Andrew Arulanandam, confirmed North was speaking on the organization’s behalf and said “there are others who share this viewpoint.”
  • An “explosive eruption” happened at Kilauea's summit on Hawaii's Big Island early Monday, prompting officials to warn residents to protect themselves from ash fallout as the Kilauea volcano eruption continues into its third week. >> Read more trending news More than 40 structures have been destroyed in the eruption that started May 3. It has since inundated almost 325 acres around Kilauea with lava and lead to concerns about laze, a toxic mixture of lava and haze that forms when hot lava hits ocean waters. Update 12:35 p.m. EDT May 21: Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said early Monday that a small explosion happened just before 1 a.m. local time at the Halemaumau crater at Kilauea's summit. The explosion shot ash about 7,000 feet into the air. 'Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time,' USGS officials said. The Hawaiian County Civil Defense Agency warned residents to be aware of ashfall after the 'explosive eruption.' Update 12:38 p.m. May 20: Lava from the Kilauea volcano has crossed Highway 137 and entered the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaii County Civil Defense said Sunday. A second lava flow is about 437 yards from the highway, the Star Advertiser of Honolulu reported. Big Island residents may now have to contend with laze -- a mixture of lava and haze -- that forms when hot lava hits the ocean, CNN reported. After making contact with the water, the laze sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air. Laze can lead to lung, eye and skin irritation, CNN reported. 'This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows,' the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory wrote on its website. Officials have told people to avoid areas where lava meets the ocean, CNN reported. Powerful eruptions accompanied by thunderous booms punctuated the air Friday around Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island. The volcano spewed lava bombs the size of cows as molten rock flowed from several of the 22 fissures that have opened around the volcano.  Update 2 a.m. EDT May 19: Fast-moving lava isolated about 40 homes in a rural subdivision, forcing at least four people to be evacuated by county and National Guard helicopters, the Star-Advertiser of Honolulu reported. According to the Hawaii County Civil Defense, police, firefighters and National Guard troops were stopping people from entering the area. Update 11:30 p.m. EDT May 18: Hawaiian authorities have sent the National Guard, police and fire units into the East Rift Zone in Puna, according to the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency. “There are approximately 40 homes in the area that are isolated. Officials are gaining access by helicopter to the area to assess how many people are there and if they need assistance. All persons in that area are asked to stay where they are and wait for further instructions,” the agency said on its website. The Hawaii Volcano Observatory has confirmed another fissure opened on Friday, bringing the total number of fissures to 22.  Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as Kilauea continues its violent eruptions. Update 8:30 a.m. EDT May 18:  More lava is spewing  from the Kilauea volcano as the 21st fissure opened Thursday, CNN reported. Meanwhile, state officials have been handing out masks to protect people who live near Kilauea, ABC News reported. About 18,000 masks have been distributed, CNN reported. The safety measure protects residents from breathing in pieces of rock, glass and crystals that fall as the volcano continues to erupt, ABC News reported. Update 10:45 p.m. EDT May 17: Lava is erupting from points along the fissure system on Kilauea volcano, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but the agency is calling it a “low-level eruption” at this point.  Although lava is still spattering from Fissure 17, the flow has not advanced significantly over the past day, the USGS said. There are currently 18 fissures that have opened due to seismic activity on Kilauea’ over the past two weeks.  Volcanic gas emission are still elevated throughout the area and residents are urged to remain on alert.  “This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area,” the USGS reported late Thursday.  Rain on the Big Island Thursday helped the situation with the ashfall, but volcano experts are warning the situation on Kilauea is  still very dynamic. Original report: Several schools were closed as ash continued to fall Thursday due to elevated sulfur dioxide levels. Officials warned people in the area to take shelter and protect themselves from the falling ash. >> Here's how to help victims of Hawaii volcano, earthquakes 'The resulting ash plume will cover the surrounding area,' officials with the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said in a 5 a.m. alert. In a subsequent update, USGS officials said the ash plume was moving to the northeast. The plume could be seen in an image taken from a webcam at the USGS’ Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. 'Driving conditions may be dangerous so if you are driving pull off the road and wait until visibility improves,' the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency warned. Michelle Coombs, of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, told Hawaii News Now that the situation remained “very, very active and very dynamic,” on Thursday. “The potential for larger explosions is still there,” she said. Officials with the USGS warned Tuesday that an eruption of Kilauea's volcano appeared 'imminent.' >> Red alert declared on Hawaii’s Big Island; major Kilauea eruption ‘imminent’ The eruption on Kilauea began May 3. It has since forced thousands of people from their homes, destroyed nearly 40 structures -- including dozens of homes -- and created more than two dozen fissures in the ground surrounding the volcano. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • The New York Police Department is investigating celebrity chef Mario Batali, but police haven’t said exactly what they are investigating CBS News reported on “60 Minutes” that multiple former female employees of  The Spotted Pig, a restaurant that caters to the rich and famous in New York, claim that Batali and the co-owner of the eatery, Ken Freidman, sexually harassed or assaulted them. >> Read more trending news  Trish Nelson called Batali a monster, saying “Behind the scenes, he’s hurtful and he does not respect women.” Nelson told Anderson Cooper for the “60 Minutes” interview that Batali was called “The Red Menace” and a warning would go out when he was expected to show up at the restaurant. Other employees told “60 Minutes” of times they claim Batali would grab them and come on to female servers, making inappropriate comments. A woman who did not want to be named said that Batali drugged her in 2005. She woke up by herself in a room on the third floor of The Spotted Pig. The woman was an employee at Babbo, one of Batali’s restaurants. He had invited her to The Spotted Pig for a party. They drank white wine together when she said she lost time. “I remember a moment where I was on his lap, kissing him. Like he was kissing me. And then I remember throwing up -- in a toilet. And that is all,” the woman told 60 Minutes. The woman said she woke up, alone, in an empty room. She said she saw empty bottles and had deep scratches on her leg.  “The first thing I think is, ‘I’ve been drugged.’ That was the first thing I thought is, ‘I’ve been -- I’ve been assaulted.’” the woman told 60 Minutes. The woman returned to work hours after waking up, when she said that Batali called into the restaurant. She claims he wouldn’t talk to her when she asked what happened the night before. She spoke with a detective from the NYPD, but declined to file a report, 60 Minutes reported.  Batali responded to the accusations, telling 60 Minutes via a statement, “I vehemently deny the allegation that I sexually assaulted this woman.” B&B Hospitality Group, the restaurant group founded by Batali and Joe Bastianich, told Fox News that the company is breaking ties with Batali, saying, “The accounts tonight were chilling and deeply disturbing. This was the first we learned of them. Our partnership with Mr. Batali is ending.” In December, Batali was fired from “The Chew” on ABC and has left day-to-day operations from his businesses, NBC News reported.
  • For a second straight day, President Trump used Twitter to go on the attack over the probe into links between Russian interference into the 2016 elections and his own campaign for President, this time targeting a former CIA Director in the Obama Administration, John Brennan, who publicly ridiculed the President and GOP leaders in Congress on Sunday, after Mr. Trump launched a Twitter barrage over the fairness of the Russia probe. “John Brennan is panicking,” the President said of the former CIA chief. “He has disgraced himself, he has disgraced the Country, he has disgraced the entire Intelligence Community.” In his tweets, Mr. Trump placed Brennan at the center of a conspiracy to use the ‘Steele Dossier’ to start what the President says was a politically motivated investigation of the Trump Campaign. “This guy is the genesis of this whole Debacle,” the President wrote, quoting Dan Bongino, a conservative commentator who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Florida and Maryland. “This was a Political hit job,” the President wrote. “John Brennan is panicking. He has disgraced himself, he has disgraced the Country, he has disgraced the entire Intelligence Community. He is the one man who is largely responsible for the destruction of American’s faith in the Intelligence Community and in some people at the…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2018 ….top of the FBI. Brennan started this entire debacle about President Trump. We now know that Brennan had detailed knowledge of the (phony) Dossier…he knows about the Dossier, he denies knowledge of the Dossier, he briefs the Gang of 8 on the Hill about the Dossier, which…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2018 …they then used to start an investigation about Trump. It is that simple. This guy is the genesis of this whole Debacle. This was a Political hit job, this was not an Intelligence Investigation. Brennan has disgraced himself, he’s worried about staying out of Jail.” Dan Bongino — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2018 Mr. Trump’s tweets came just a few hours before he was going to the CIA to swear in the new Director of Central Intelligence, Gina Haspel, who was confirmed to the post last Thursday by the U.S. Senate. Ironically, Brennan has been a strong public supporter of Haspel, breaking with many Democrats, who had pressed for her rejection in the Senate. Brennan, who was CIA Director during the second term of the Obama Administration, earned the ire of the President with a Sunday tweet that not only slammed the President, but as GOP leaders in Congress, accusing them of doing nothing in the face of an effort by Mr. Trump to interfere in a lawful investigation of Russian meddling in 2016. Brennan has sniped at Mr. Trump on Twitter before, accusing him earlier this month of lying about the Iran nuclear deal, and arguing he has diminished the office of the President of the United States. “Your hypocrisy knows no bounds,” Brennan tweeted in late April, when Mr. Trump accused former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper of leaking the Steele Dossier to CNN and lying about it. Senator McConnell & Speaker Ryan: If Mr. Trump continues along this disastrous path, you will bear major responsibility for the harm done to our democracy. You do a great disservice to our Nation & the Republican Party if you continue to enable Mr. Trump’s self-serving actions. https://t.co/uAhgL6wfIC — John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) May 20, 2018 Mr. Trump: Your hypocrisy knows no bounds. Jim Clapper is a man of integrity, honesty, ethics, & morality. You are not. Jim Clapper served his country for over a half century, including in Vietnam. You did not. By your words & behavior, you diminish the Office of the Presidency. https://t.co/bYlmZInDoM — John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) April 28, 2018 The tweets by the President on Monday morning did not rival his outburst on Sunday, in which he savaged the probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and said he would demand a review of whether the investigation was political in nature. Top Justice Department officials responded on Sunday evening by saying they would have the Inspector General review Mr. Trump’s claims. It was not immediately clear if that move satisfied the President, who made this declaration Sunday afternoon on Twitter: I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018 Democrats derided the President’s outburst on Twitter, again saying the Mueller investigation should be allowed to go forward without interference. “Trump can wriggle and squirm and spew on Twitter all he wants, but in America the law will run its own course,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
  • Years after fighting for our country in Iraq, Cherice Jackson found herself in another fight – this time for her best friend, her therapy dog Ms. Pooh.  Jackson said two pit bulls mauled Ms. Pooh to death and she couldn’t stop it.  >> Read more trending news “I spent probably 20, 30 minutes trying to wrestle her from him,” Jackson told Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon. “It’s probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. I feel like I failed her.' She said shortly after taking her dog out for a walk early Friday morning in her Decatur neighborhood, the pit bulls attacked. Jackson suffered cuts and bruises, but her dog was gone. “When I was finally able to get ahold of her and get her in the house and see the damage they did to her, it hurt … because she was my baby,” Jackson said.  DeKalb County Animal Control set a trap with the hope of catching the pit bulls that animal control believes are strays. Jackson suffers from PTSD and her dog comforted her after she came home from war. Blake Rashad, the founder of the Top Dog Canine Foundation, told Wilfon he was about to evaluate Ms. Pooh to see if the therapy dog could become Jackson’s service dog. “That’s what these dogs do. They bring her anxiety down. They help with depression,” Rashad said. For now, Jackson’s heartbroken that she couldn’t save the life of the dog that made her life so much better. “She’s like … been everything to me,” Jackson said.  The Top Dog organization is now raising money to pay for a new service dog for Jackson. DeKalb Animal Control continues to look for the dogs responsible, but so far, no luck. Jackson wants them put down when or if they are caught.