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    Barnes 6-15 1-2 13, Bjelica 13-18 0-0 30, Holmes 6-8 0-0 12, Joseph 1-5 0-0 3, Hield 10-15 1-1 26, Ariza 3-9 2-3 10, Ferrell 2-6 2-2 6, Bogdanovic 3-9 3-3 10. Totals 44-85 9-11 110. Finney-Smith 5-9 0-0 13, Porzingis 6-12 0-0 13, Powell 2-3 2-2 6, Doncic 10-24 4-5 27, Hardaway Jr. 10-13 0-0 29, Jackson 3-7 0-0 6, Kleber 1-5 1-1 3, Barea 2-6 0-0 4, Brunson 0-2 0-0 0, Curry 1-4 0-0 2, Lee 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 41-86 7-8 106. 3-Point Goals_Sacramento 13-34 (Hield 5-6, Bjelica 4-7, Ariza 2-7, Joseph 1-4, Bogdanovic 1-4, Barnes 0-2, Ferrell 0-4), Dallas 17-44 (Hardaway Jr. 9-12, Finney-Smith 3-7, Doncic 3-12, Lee 1-1, Porzingis 1-4, Curry 0-1, Barea 0-2, Kleber 0-2, Jackson 0-3). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Sacramento 35 (Holmes 9), Dallas 40 (Finney-Smith, Porzingis 8). Assists_Sacramento 24 (Hield, Barnes 5), Dallas 24 (Doncic 8). Total Fouls_Sacramento 16, Dallas 11. Technicals_Doncic. A_19,566 (19,200).
  • Oklahoma State (8-4, Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (7-5, SEC), Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m. ET LOCATION: Houston TOP PLAYERS Oklahoma State: RB Chuba Hubbard, 1,936 yards rushing, 21 rushing touchdowns. Texas A&M: QB Kellen Mond. 2,802 yards passing, 19 touchdowns; 383 yards rushing, seven rushing touchdowns. NOTABLE Oklahoma State: Hubbard’s yardage total is the second-highest for a single season in school history, behind Barry Sanders’ Heisman-winning 1988 season. Texas A&M: All five of the Aggies’ losses are to teams in the current top 10 -- LSU, Clemson, Georgia, Auburn and Alabama. LAST TIME Oklahoma State 30, Texas A&M 29. (Sept. 24, 2011) BOWL HISTORY Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are playing in their school-record 14th consecutive bowl game. Texas A&M: The Aggies last played in the Texas Bowl in 2016, a 33-28 loss to Kansas State. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and twitter.com/ap_top25
  • Max Abmas scored 17 points and Oral Roberts beat NAIA-member Haskell 95-55 on Sunday. Deondre Burns added 16 points, Elijah Lufile and Aidan Saunders had 15 apiece for the Golden Eagles. Lufile also had 11 rebounds. Tristan Keah-Tigh had 13 points for the Fighting Indians and Xavier Littlehead and Antwon Winn each scored 11. Oral Roberts (4-5) will seek its fifth straight home win on Saturday when the team hosts Central Oklahoma. ___ For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com
  • After getting outrebounded by a 48-31 margin in a 75-63 loss to West Virginia on Nov. 27, Wichita State made that part of the game a point of emphasis and it paid off on Sunday. Tyson Etienne scored 19 points and had four assists, and Wichita State won the rebounding battle 42-31, while defeating Oklahoma State 80-61. Erik Stevenson had 13 points and six rebounds, while Jaime Echenique also scored 13 points in just 10 minutes of action, for Wichita State (8-1). Jamarius Burton contributed seven points, eight rebounds, 11 assists and three steals. “I was just getting out there and my teammates were finding me,” said Etienne, a freshman who had his second-highest point total of the season. “I was just shooting the ball with confidence, not doing anything different, just playing my game.” The Shockers shot 82.4% from the floor (14 of 17) over the first 12-plus minutes of the second half, extending a 38-31 halftime lead to 29 points, before putting in their reserves down the stretch. Over the course of the second half, Wichita State’s rebounding advantage was 21-13. “Any time you can go on the road against a program like that, and get a win like that, it’s special,” said Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall. “Our team really performed well. We played a beautiful brand of basketball for the great majority of the game. Congratulations to my guys. We turned the tables on the glass from the West Virginia game, which was a big key for us.” Lindy Waters scored 11 points to lead Oklahoma State (7-2), one game after he connected for a career-high 30 points in an 81-74 loss to Georgetown. Cam McGriff added 10 points and seven rebounds. “Credit to Wichita State, they physically manhandled us in a lot of ways, particularly as it relates to rebounding the ball,” said Cowboys coach Mike Boynton. “We didn’t respond and therefore the result. Losses are never easy to take but certainly this one, just the way the game went, is more disappointing than anything. “I think they pursued the basketball more aggressively than we did. They brought the fight to us, we didn’t necessarily fight back strongly enough. It’s a great lesson. A hard one but a good one.” The Cowboys have now lost two in a row without starting point guard Isaac Likekele, who averages 13.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.9 steals per game, but sat out again due to illness. For Oklahoma State, which won the NIT Season Tip-off Championship with a dominant 78-37 triumph over Ole Miss on Nov. 29 in Brooklyn, it was a reminder that the young team that went 12-20 last season still has a long way to go. “A week ago today, people felt like maybe we had arrived, and obviously, that’s not the case,” Boynton said. “We’ve got to get back to the drawing board. There’s a lot of room for growth for this team.” BIG PICTURE Wichita State: Picking up right where they left off in their dominating 95-69 victory over Central Arkansas on Thursday night, the Shockers started off strong. Wichita State surged to an early 17-6 lead. After connecting on 7 of 11 shots (63.6%) in those opening five-plus minutes, though, the Shockers shots just 6 of 23 (26.1%) the remainder of the half. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys entered the day ranking eighth in the nation in 3-point defense (25.4%) and overall field-goal defense (35.8%), but Wichita State significantly exceeded both of those figures. Oklahoma State held the Shockers to 38.2% shooting (13 for 34) in the first half, including 6 for 17 from the arc (35.3%), but in the opening nine minutes of the second half, they allowed Wichita State to connect on 12 of 14 shots (85.7%), including 4-for-4 from 3-point range. TURNING POINT Coming out of halftime, the Shockers simply dominated the first 12:11 of the second half. In addition to their offensive success, they limited Oklahoma State to just 2-of-15 shooting, while outscoring the Cowboys 37-15 over that stretch. “Our guys knew that the game was basically anybody’s game,” Marshall said. “It was a seven-point game and one of two things was going to happen — they could bring it back and tie it or take the lead, or we’re going to push it over 10. I thought our guys really executed, 1-12. They did a very good job.” UP NEXT Wichita State: The Shockers take on Oklahoma at Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita next Saturday. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are off for a week before traveling to Houston to face the 5-2 Cougars next Sunday. ___ For more AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • An investigator for the Oklahoma attorney general says more than half the overpayments to Grady County elected officials has been repaid and an undisclosed agreement was reached for repayment of the remaining funds. Angela Marsee told The Oklahoman that $401,765 has been has been refunded and the repayment agreements will recover the remainder of the $727,343 in overpayments made during a 10 year period. The overpayments to 13 officials including county commissioners and two sheriffs was revealed in an audit in August 2018. Auditors traced the overpayments to August 2008 when an 18% salary increase was granted to county employees and county officials despite advice from an assistant district attorney that only county employees, not elected officials, should receive the raises. County commissioners reduced salaries in August 2018 after the excessive payments were discovered and have been in compliance with salary limits since then, auditors said. Marsee said no criminal charges are expected.
  • No. 1 LSU (13-0, Southeastern Conference) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1, Big 12 Conference), Dec. 28, 4 p.m. ET. LOCATION: Atlanta TOP PLAYERS LSU: QB Joe Burrow, 4,715 yards passing, SEC-record 48 touchdowns, 77.9 completion percentage. Oklahoma: QB Jalen Hurts, 3,634 yards passing, 32 touchdowns, 71.8 completion percentage, 1,255 yards rushing, 18 TDs. NOTABLE LSU: Making its first appearance in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma: Has yet to get past the semifinals in three previous playoff appearances. LAST TIME LSU defeated Oklahoma 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl for the BCS national championships (Jan. 4, 2004) BOWL HISTORY LSU: Appearing in its 51st NCAA-sanctioned bowl game. This will be the Tigers' fifth trip to the Peach Bowl, their last coming in 2005 when they routed Miami 40-3. Oklahoma: The 53rd postseason game for the Sooners, but their first appearance in the Peach Bowl. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and twitter.com/ap_top25
  • The team that vanquished Alabama vs. the quarterback who left the Crimson Tide. Top-ranked LSU (13-0) will return to Atlanta on Dec. 28 to face Jalen Hurts and No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) at the Peach Bowl semifinal in the College Football Playoff. The CFP selection committee announced the pairings Sunday, with the only drama surrounding which team would be the top seed: LSU or Ohio State. The Tigers got the nod after their impressive 37-10 victory over then-No. 4 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game, held less than 24 hours earlier in the very same stadium where LSU will return in three weeks for its first appearance in the 6-year-old playoff. “We're fortunate to go back to Atlanta,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “I feel like we'll have a lot of fans there. It worked out in our favor.” With Utah and Georgia going down, Oklahoma moved up to take the final playoff spot after beating Baylor 30-23 in overtime for the Big 12 championship. This will be the fourth playoff appearance for the Sooners, though they have never advanced past the semifinals. Last season, they lost to Alabama 45-34 in the Orange Bowl. “It's all about this team, this match-up right now,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “You're going to play great teams, You have to play really well to beat the other teams. That's how it should be. This is important. It's a good accomplishment. But it's certainly not our end goal.” Alabama failed to make the playoff for the first time since it was launched in 2014. LSU handed the Crimson Tide its initial loss with a 46-41 victory in Tuscaloosa, and Bama's final hope of stealing a postseason spot ended with a bitter setback to Auburn in the regular-season finale. Hurts guided Alabama to a pair of national championship games in his two seasons as starting quarterback. But he was replaced by Tua Tagavailoa during the 2018 title game against Georgia, watching as the left-handed freshman led a comeback for an overtime victory. Tagavailoa took over as the starter last season, forcing Hurts to serve in a backup role for his junior year. After graduating from Alabama, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma for his final college season — and wound up back in the playoff with an enormously successful campaign. The dual threat passed for 3,634 yards with 32 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, while rushing for 1,255 yards and 18 TDs. In the Peach Bowl, he'll meet the overwhelming favorite for the Heisman Trophy: LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who turned in another dynamic performance while claiming the MVP award of the SEC championship game. Burrow threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns against Georgia, pushing his season total to 4,715 yards passing with 48 TDs and just six interceptions. He also turned in one of the signature plays of the season, spinning to his left and then to his right to get away from two defenders before delivering a pass that went for 71 yards. “We're seriously considering opening the roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the fireworks we're expecting to see on Dec. 28,” Peach Bowl President and CEO Gary Stokan quipped. Indeed, there should be no shortage of scoring in this game. LSU is the nation's third-highest scoring team at 47.8 points per game. Oklahoma isn't far behind, ranking fifth at 43.2. The Sooners are the only team in the playoff field with a loss. They were upset by Kansas State 48-41 on Oct. 26, essentially putting Oklahoma in a must-win situation the rest of the way. It was a tightrope, to say they least. The Sooners edged Iowa State 42-41, rallied to beat Baylor 34-31 and survived TCU 28-24. Then, in the Big 12 title game, they needed an extra period to beat Baylor again in a rematch. Oklahoma also required some outside help. The Sooners got it from Oregon, which routed Utah in the Pac-12 championship game to snuff out the Utes' playoff hopes, and LSU, which ruined Georgia's bid to give the SEC two teams in the playoff. Now, LSU is standing in Oklahoma's way. There's not much history between these storied programs. Their only two meetings were both at the Sugar Bowl — first in 1950, when Oklahoma romped 35-0 to complete a perfect season under Bud Wilkinson, and again in 2004, when Nick Saban-coached LSU wrapped up the BCS national championship with a 21-14 victory over the Sooners. It's highly doubtful they would have met again on such a big stage if not for their vagabond quarterbacks. Burrow started his college career at Ohio State, but transferred to LSU looking for more playing time. “You have to have good quarterback play to get in the playoff and win it all,” Riley said. “Jalen had a very positive impact on our program. It's rather unique. We're not talking years. It's been months. It's been kind of fast and furious, but it's been very positive.” LSU feels the same way about Burrow, who is expected join Billy Cannon from 60 years ago as the only LSU players to claim college football's top individual honor. “Joe is one of the most important recruits we've ever had at LSU,” Orgeron said. “We couldn't have had the success we've had without him.” ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/APTop25CollegeFootballPoll and https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com
  • Defending national champions. Undefeated and owners of a 28-game winning streak, longest in the nation. The Clemson Tigers are one heck of a No. 3 seed. Clemson will play second-seeded Ohio State in prime time Dec. 28 in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, looking to make it three national championship in four seasons. “We’re just excited to be in it,” said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, who has spent much of the last month playing up how his team was being disrespected by being relegated to third in the rankings after starting the season No. 1 in the polls. The other semifinal matches No. 1 LSU and No. 4 Oklahoma. The selection committee revealed the pairings Sunday and the final four was no surprise. The only mystery involved which would be the top seed among three undefeated teams that have been hammering opponents most of the season. The 13-member committee went with Southeastern Conference champion LSU. The Tigers (13-0) will face the Big 12 champion Sooners (12-1) in the Peach Bowl, four hours before the Fiesta Bowl kicks off. 'Anytime, anywhere, anybody, we ready to play,' LSU coach Ed Orgeron said on ESPN. Clemson opened as a two-point favorite against the Buckeyes. LSU was an 11 1/2-point favorite against the Sooners. LSU used a convincing victory against Georgia on Saturday to move up. Ohio State (13-0) had been atop the committee's rankings last week, but the Buckeyes slipped to No. 2 after coming from behind against Wisconsin to win the Big Ten title. The national championship game is Jan. 13 in New Orleans. The No. 1 seed has yet to win the CFP in five years. The Tigers and Buckeyes flip-flopped at No. 1 a couple of times throughout the committee's six weeks of ranking teams and chairman Rob Mullens said the debate was similar each week. “Every weekend one of the them has done something to move above the other,” said Mullens, the athletic director at Oregon. “LSU's performance against a No. 4 ranked Georgia compelled the committee to put them just ahead of Ohio State.' The rest of the New Year's Six bowls were: — Oregon vs. Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. — Georgia vs. Baylor in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. — Florida vs. Virginia in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30. — Memphis vs. Penn State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 28. The final four fell into place thanks to the favorites winning their conference championship games and Utah losing the Pac-12 title game to Oregon. The Utes had been No. 5. That left three undefeated Power Five champions, a fourth with one loss and nobody else with a legitimate case to claim a spot. The intrigue was about the top seed, knowing Clemson was likely locked into No. 3. The Tigers have been mauling opponents for the last two months, but the ACC has not provided Clemson any top-flight competition. Ohio State has five victories against CFP-ranked teams, including Wisconsin twice. LSU has four, all of which were ranked in the top 13. Clemson's only game against a team that made the committee's final rankings was its 62-17 victory Saturday against Virginia. Still, drawing Clemson, which hasn't lost since the 2017 playoff semifinals against Alabama, rather than an Oklahoma team with five victories by a touchdown or less certainly seems like a tougher task for the Buckeyes. Clemson (13-0) is making its fifth straight playoff appearance, tying Alabama for the most. LSU is in the playoff for the first time, the only newbie in the field. The Tigers will likely bring the Heisman Trophy winner with them. Quarterback Joe Burrow capped a record-breaking season by throwing four more touchdown passes against Georgia in the SEC championship. Ohio State is making its third playoff appearance and first since 2016 after just missing out the previous two seasons. The Buckeyes won the first playoff championship in 2014. Their last appearance came after the 2016 season, when they were shut out by Clemson in the semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl. That was all under coach Urban Meyer. Now Ryan Day leads the Buckeyes, and in his first season as Meyer's successor the Buckeyes have won each of their games by double-digit margins. ‘’Do I feel we should have been the 1 seed? Yeah. But LSU's done an unbelievable job and what Joe (Burrow) has done,' Day said. “At the end of the day, you have to go beat the best to win a national championship, and Clemson certainly is that.” The Tigers are 3-0 all-time against Ohio State, all in the postseason. The Buckeyes enter the playoff with a 19-game winning streak, second only to Clemson's streak. “We’ve played them a couple times, and this is easily the most talented and most complete Ohio State team that we’ve played,” Swinney said. Oklahoma is in the playoff for the fourth time, but has yet to win a game. This will be the third consecutive year the Sooners face an SEC team. Oklahoma and LSU have split two previous meetings: The Sooners won the 1950 Sugar Bowl and the Tigers won the BCS championship game at the Sugar Bowl in 2004. Former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts is back in the playoff for the fourth straight year, this time with the Sooners after going three times with the Crimson Tide. Hurts follows Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray as quarterback transfers to find success in coach Lincoln Riley's offense. LSU and Ohio State are also led by transfer quarterbacks. Burrow started his career at Ohio State before switching schools in 2018. Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields was at Georgia last season. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence led the Tigers to a national championship as a freshman last season, the first time since 1985 that happened. ___ AP Sports Writer Mitch Stacy contributed. ___ Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen http://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/ ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/APTop25CollegeFootballPoll and https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • College Football Playoff set: LSU vs. Oklahoma and Ohio State vs. Clemson in semifinals.
  • LSU finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25, followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma. The Tigers will head into postseason having been atop the AP poll for the last seven weeks. The Tigers received 47 first-place votes in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. The Buckeyes had 12 first-place votes and Clemson received three. The Sooners moved up two spots in Sunday's rankings after winning the Big 12 championship. Georgia slipped a spot to No. 5 after losing the Southeastern Conference title game to LSU and Florida was No. 6. Oregon jumped six spots to No. 7 after winning the Pac-12 championship. No. 8 Baylor held its spot after losing to Oklahoma in overtime. Alabama and Auburn were tied for ninth. Wisconsin dropped a spot to No. 11 after losing to Ohio State in the Big Tech championship and Utah fell seven spots to No. 12 after being upset by Oregon. The only team of fall out of the rankings was Virginia, which was blown out by Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. Oklahoma State moved back into the rankings at No. 25. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Even as Democrats press ahead with a historic effort to impeach President Donald Trump in the House, lawmakers in both parties are on the cusp of possibly producing series of major, bipartisan legislative deals, covering everything from a crackdown on surprise medical bills to a compromise establishing the President's plan for a 'Space Force' at the Pentagon in exchange for a big benefits change for federal workers. The calendar doesn't offer much time for action in either the House or Senate, as lawmakers hope to leave town by the weekend before Christmas - which would give the House and Senate until around December 20-23. Here are some of the big issues which might get resolved in Congress at the same time as Democrats force a vote on impeachment. 1. Lawmakers cut deal on surprise medical bills. Sunday brought news that a group of key lawmakers - in both parties from the House and Senate - had reached agreement on a plan to rein surprise bills which consumers often face, especially after emergency care. Backers stressed the bipartisan nature of the agreement. 'The legislation includes proposals from 80 Senators, 46 Democrats and 34 Republicans,' said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in a Sunday statement. That does not necessarily mean this deal gets voted on in the next two weeks. 2. New minimum age to buy tobacco products. The deal on the issue of surprise medical bills also has some other items involved in it, including a provision which would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 years. The idea of raising the legal age for buying cigarettes and tobacco has been supported in recent months by the Senate's top Republican - Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - but it's not clear if McConnell would rush such a bill to the Senate floor over the next two weeks. 3. 'Space Force' might be ready for launch. Lawmakers in both parties were trying to finalize a major defense policy bill early this week, and the details are expected to finally give President Trump his plan to set up a 'Space Force' inside the Pentagon. The plan - which has been resisted by lawmakers in both parties - would not set up a brand new branch of the military, as sought by President Trump. Instead, the Space Force would operate out of the Air Force, sort of like the Marines are considered part of the Navy. Critics argued a plan to set up a separate new branch of the military would have been too expensive, and would create an unnecessary new bureaucracy. 4. Paid family leave benefit for federal workers? The President won't get his Space Force for nothing in this major defense policy bill, as reportedly the deal with the White House will give around 2.7 million federal workers a new benefit - paid family leave. The plan would reportedly include up to 12 weeks of such leave for federal civilian workers. While no final bill language has been released, a tweet from over the weekend by President Trump's daughter shows this exchange could well be part of the defense bill. Stay tuned. 5. USMCA trade deal still a late year possibility. With a flurry of late negotiations involving U.S., Mexican, and Canadian trade officials, it's still possible that the final touches could be put on a new trade deal among the three nations, and have it voted on by the House and Senate. The White House has been quietly working with Mexico and Canada in recent weeks to work out tweaks to the agreement, mainly dealing with labor and environmental enforcement, trade dispute resolution, and issues dealing with some medical drugs. While the President and his allies keep saying the plan has been sent to Congress already for a vote - that is simply not true. 6. Government funding plan remains in limbo. While there were seemingly agreement on surprise medical billing, the Space Force, and more, lawmakers still have not finalized a giant package of bills to fund the operations of the federal government for 2020. The current temporary funding bill runs out on December 20. While there is obviously the threat of a government shutdown, lawmakers in both parties hope they can either reach a deal now - or extend that temporary spending plan into the New Year. So, this could also be part of a late rush of big legislation.
  • A suspect died Friday morning after opening fire at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing at least three people and injuring seven others. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said the shooting was reported just before 7 a.m. local time in a classroom building at NAS Pensacola. Responding deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office exchanged gunfire with the suspected shooter, killing him, officials said. Here are the latest updates: Update 3:42 p.m. EST Dec. 8: Officials are still trying to determine whether Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani acted alone or was part of a terrorist group Friday when he opened fire at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola, The Washington Post reported. Rachel Rojas, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville division, said at a news conference that the agency’s main goal is to determine whether the Saudi air force lieutenant worked as “part of a larger network,” the newspaper reported. Rojas said Shamrani’s weapon, a 9mm Glock, was purchased legally, but she did not describe how Shamrani obtained it and brought it onto the base, according to the Post. Update 10:38 p.m. EST Dec. 7: The third victim of the Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting was identified as Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill Georgia. “The Sailors that lost their lives in the line of duty and showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil,” Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer at the installation, said in a release. 'When confronted, they didn’t run from danger; they ran towards it and saved lives. If not for their actions, and the actions of the Naval Security Force that were the first responders on the scene, this incident could have been far worse.” Update 9:58 p.m. EST Dec. 7: Two of the three victims in the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola were identified. Mohammed “Mo” Haitham, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was killed as he tried to stop the shooter, The Tampa Bay Times reported. Haitham, 19, joined the Navy after graduating high school last year. He was assigned to flight crew training and was expected to graduate later this month. “He said he was going to get his flight jacket for Christmas,” his mother, Evelyn Brady, who also served in the Navy, told the Times. Update 3:08 p.m. EST Dec. 7: Authorities said Mohammed Saeed Ashamrani, the Saudi student who fatally shot three people at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola hosted a dinner party earlier in the week, and he and three other people watched videos of mass shootings, The Associated Press reported Saturday. The official was briefed by federal investigators, according to the AP. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, whose district includes the Pensacola area, tweeted he received condolences from Saudi Ambassador Reema Al-Saud, WEAR-TV reported. Update 11:05 a.m. EST Dec. 7: Family members identified one of the victims fatally shot at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Pensacola News Journal reported Saturday. Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who reported to Pensacola two weeks ago, was one of the three people killed during Friday’s shooting, the newspaper reported. Watson’s brother, Adam Johnson, confirmed the death in a Facebook post, the News Journal reported “Joshua Kaleb Watson saved countless lives today with his own,” Adam Johnson wrote Friday night. ”After being shot multiple times he made it outside and told the first response team where the shooter was and those details were invaluable. 'He died a hero and we are beyond proud but there is a hole in our hearts that can never be filled.” Watson’s father, Benjamin Watson, told the News Journal his son was the officer on deck at the time of the shooting. Joshua Watson was shot at least five times, his father told the newspaper. Update 11:05 a.m. EST Dec. 7: Family members identified one of the victims fatally shot at Florida’s Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Pensacola News Journal reported Saturday. Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who reported to Pensacola two weeks ago, was one of the three people killed during Friday’s shooting, the newspaper reported. Watson’s brother, Adam Johnson, confirmed the death in a Facebook post, the News Journal reported. Update 9:30 p.m. EST Dec. 6: The shooter has been identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani according to WKRG. He is one of hundreds of international military members who are receiving training there. In a news conference Friday night, the FBI declined to comment on his possible motivations. “There are many reports circulating, but the FBI deals only in facts,” said Rachel L. Rojas, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the Jacksonville Field Office. “This is still very much an active and ongoing investigation.” Update 2:25 p.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities declined to confirm the identity of the person who shot several people Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three people before being shot and killed by deputies. “I think there’s obviously going to be a lot of questions about this indivdual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi Air Force and then to be here training on our soil and to do this,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday morning at a news conference. “The FBI is working with (the Department of Defense), they’re working with (the Florida Department of Law Enforcement), they’re working with Escambia County sheriff’s to answer those questions.” DeSantis said he spoke earlier Friday with President Donald Trump. “One of the things that I talked to the president about is given that this was a foreign national in the employ of a foreign service ... obviously the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for the victims,' DeSantis said. 'I think that they, they are going to owe a debt here, given that this was one of their individuals.” Authorities confirmed at a news conference that the suspect used a handgun in Friday’s shooting. Capt. Tim Kinsella, commanding officer of NAS Pensacola, said the suspect was at NAS Pensacola for aviation training. Earlier in the day, deputies said the suspect opened fire just before 7 a.m. local time in a classroom building at NAS Pensacola. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 1:45 p.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities in Pensacola are expected to provide an update Friday afternoon on the investigation into the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola that left four people dead. Update 1:20 p.m. EST Dec. 6: President Donald Trump said Friday afternoon that he’s spoken to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and received a full briefing on the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time,” Trump said. “We are continuing to monitor the situation as the investigation is ongoing.” Update 12:50 p.m. EST Dec. 6: An official told The Associated Press that the person who opened fire Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three people and wounding several others before being shot and killed by authorities, was an aviation student from Saudi Arabia. Authorities are investigating to determine whether the shooting was terrorism-related, according to the AP. Military from around the globe attend the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Authorities are expected to hold a news conference at 12:30 p.m. local time Friday to update the public on the investigation. Update 11:50 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities expect to hold a news conference at 12 p.m. local time Friday to provide more updates on the shooting that left four people dead at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Update 11:05 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities said a total of 11 people were injured or killed in Friday morning’s shooting, including the suspected shooter. The injured included two responding deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff David Morgan said Friday at a news conference. One deputy was shot in the arm and the other was shot in the knee, Morgan said. They were both expected to survive. Morgan described walking through the scene left by Friday’s attack as being similar to “being in a movie.” “You just don’t expect this to happen here at home,” he said. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 10:45 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials are holding a news conference to update the public on Friday morning’s deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Update 10:25 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Vice President Mike Pence said he’s monitoring the situation in Florida after a shooting left two victims and a suspect dead at Naval Air Station Pensacola. “Praying for the victims & their families,” Pence wrote Friday morning in a Twitter post. “We commend the first responders for their swift action in taking down the shooter & getting those on base to safety.”  Update 10:20 a.m. EST Dec. 6: White House officials said President Donald Trump has been briefed on the deadly shooting reported Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Update 10:15 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials with Naval Air Station Pensacola said the base will closed for the day Friday after a shooting left three people dead earlier in the day. Authorities said at least three people, including the suspected shooter, were killed in the incident. Reports indicated at least eight other people were wounded in the shooting. The incident happened two days after authorities said a U.S. sailor shot and killed two civilian employees before turning the gun on himself at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. One other person was injured in that shooting. Naval Air Station Pensacola employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel, according to officials. Update 10:10 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said his office has been in “close contact with all the relevant officials & closely monitoring events” after a shooter opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning, killing two people. Authorities said the shooter also died. “Please pray for everyone impacted by this horrible situation,” Rubio said in a Twitter post. Update 10 a.m. EST Dec. 6: A spokesman at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital told CNN that hospital officials expected to get three patients who had been injured in Friday morning’s shooting, down from the six expected earlier in the day. Hospital spokesman Mike Burke told the news network most victims were taken to Baptist Hospital because of its proximity to the base. Kathy Bowers, a spokeswoman for Baptist Hospital, earlier told the Pensacola News Journal that the hospital had received five patients wounded in Friday’s shooting. Update 9:45 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials with the U.S. Navy have confirmed that a second person has died after a shooter opened fire Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  Update 9:35 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials told the Pensacola News Journal two people were confirmed dead after Friday morning’s shooting, in addition to the shooter. Naval officials previously said at least one person had been killed. Update 9:20 a.m. EST Dec. 6: At least 11 people were hospitalized in the immediate aftermath of Friday’s deadly shooting, according to The Associated Press. Ascension Sacred Heart spokesman Mike Burke told the AP six people were taken to the hospital after a shooter opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola early Friday. The Pensacola News Journal previously reported five other people were taken to Baptist Hospital with injuries. Naval officials said at least one victim was killed in Friday’s shooting. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 9:10 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Officials with the U.S. Navy said at least one person died Friday morning in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. Authorities said the suspected shooter was also dead Friday morning. Update 9 a.m. EST Dec. 6: An official with Baptist Hospital told the Pensacola News Journal five patients were taken to the hospital after Friday morning’s reported shooting. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 8:55 a.m. EST Dec. 6: Authorities with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said a suspected shooter was dead Friday morning at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Original report: Authorities are responding Friday morning to reports of shots fired at Naval Air Station Pensacola, according to base officials. Authorities at NAS Pensacola said both gates to the base were closed Friday morning as authorities investigated. Officials with the U.S. Navy said the base was on lockdown around 7:45 a.m. local time. A spokeswoman for ECSO told the Pensacola News Journal deputies were working to “take down” what was described as an active shooter around 7:30 a.m. local time. Officials with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office told WEAR-TV injuries were reported. Details on the number of people wounded and the extent of their injuries was not immediately available. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • The Supreme Court on Friday blocked the Trump administration from restarting federal executions next week after a 16-year break. The justices denied the administration's plea to undo a lower court ruling in favor of inmates who have been given execution dates. The first of those had been scheduled for Monday, with a second set for Friday. Two more inmates had been given execution dates in January. Attorney General William Barr announced during the summer that federal executions would resume using a single drug, pentobarbital, to put inmates to death. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., temporarily halted the executions after some of the chosen inmates challenged the new execution procedures in court. Chutkan ruled that the procedure approved by Barr likely violates the Federal Death Penalty Act. The federal appeals court in Washington had earlier denied the administration’s emergency plea to put Chutkan’s ruling on hold and allow the executions to proceed. Federal executions are likely to remain on hold at least for several months, while the appeals court in Washington undertakes a full review of Chutkan's ruling. The Supreme Court justices directed the appeals court to act “with appropriate dispatch.” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a short separate opinion that he believes the government ultimately will win the case and would have set a 60-day deadline for appeals court action. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined Alito's opinion. Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said the legal fight would continue. “While we are disappointed with the ruling, we will argue the case on its merits in the D.C. Circuit and, if necessary, the Supreme Court,' Kupec said in a statement. Four inmates won temporary reprieves from the court rulings. Danny Lee was the first inmate scheduled for execution, at 8 o'clock Monday morning. Lee was convicted of killing a family of three, including an 8-year-old. The government had next planned on Friday to execute Wesley Ira Purkey, who raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl and killed an 80-year-old woman. His lawyers say Purkey is suffering from dementia and he has a separate lawsuit pending in federal court in Washington, D.C. Then in January, executions had been scheduled for Alfred Bourgeois, who tortured, molested and then beat his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to death, and Dustin Lee Honken, who killed five people, including two children. A fifth inmate, Lezmond Mitchell, has had his execution blocked by the federal appeals court in San Francisco over questions of bias against Native Americans. Mitchell beheaded a 63-year-old woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter.
  • As one family mourns the loss of a beloved pet, they are hopeful their heartbreaking experience might save other dog owners some unexpected sorrow. >> Read more trending news  Cori and Kris Clark lost 6-year-old Isa one week ago after the wire-haired pointer ate half a container of chewing gum left in a vehicle console, WTVT reported. “Most of you are aware that we lost our sweet Isa last night. We had to make the hardest decision and our hearts are extremely heartbroken,' the couple wrote on Facebook, adding, “Not only did we lose an amazing dog but we lost a part of our family.” Although the family rushed Isa to an emergency veterinarian upon realizing the problem, she succumbed quickly to seizures and liver failure brought on by the ingestion of Xylitol, KTRK reported. Because Xylitol is a strong stimulator of insulin release, the ingredient is lethal for dogs even in small amounts, KTRK reported. “I had a lady message me yesterday to tell me that our post saved her dog’s life,” Cori Clark told WTVT, adding, “We just want people to be aware.”

Washington Insider

  • Even as Democrats press ahead with a historic effort to impeach President Donald Trump in the House, lawmakers in both parties are on the cusp of possibly producing series of major, bipartisan legislative deals, covering everything from a crackdown on surprise medical bills to a compromise establishing the President's plan for a 'Space Force' at the Pentagon in exchange for a big benefits change for federal workers. The calendar doesn't offer much time for action in either the House or Senate, as lawmakers hope to leave town by the weekend before Christmas - which would give the House and Senate until around December 20-23. Here are some of the big issues which might get resolved in Congress at the same time as Democrats force a vote on impeachment. 1. Lawmakers cut deal on surprise medical bills. Sunday brought news that a group of key lawmakers - in both parties from the House and Senate - had reached agreement on a plan to rein surprise bills which consumers often face, especially after emergency care. Backers stressed the bipartisan nature of the agreement. 'The legislation includes proposals from 80 Senators, 46 Democrats and 34 Republicans,' said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in a Sunday statement. That does not necessarily mean this deal gets voted on in the next two weeks. 2. New minimum age to buy tobacco products. The deal on the issue of surprise medical bills also has some other items involved in it, including a provision which would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 years. The idea of raising the legal age for buying cigarettes and tobacco has been supported in recent months by the Senate's top Republican - Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - but it's not clear if McConnell would rush such a bill to the Senate floor over the next two weeks. 3. 'Space Force' might be ready for launch. Lawmakers in both parties were trying to finalize a major defense policy bill early this week, and the details are expected to finally give President Trump his plan to set up a 'Space Force' inside the Pentagon. The plan - which has been resisted by lawmakers in both parties - would not set up a brand new branch of the military, as sought by President Trump. Instead, the Space Force would operate out of the Air Force, sort of like the Marines are considered part of the Navy. Critics argued a plan to set up a separate new branch of the military would have been too expensive, and would create an unnecessary new bureaucracy. 4. Paid family leave benefit for federal workers? The President won't get his Space Force for nothing in this major defense policy bill, as reportedly the deal with the White House will give around 2.7 million federal workers a new benefit - paid family leave. The plan would reportedly include up to 12 weeks of such leave for federal civilian workers. While no final bill language has been released, a tweet from over the weekend by President Trump's daughter shows this exchange could well be part of the defense bill. Stay tuned. 5. USMCA trade deal still a late year possibility. With a flurry of late negotiations involving U.S., Mexican, and Canadian trade officials, it's still possible that the final touches could be put on a new trade deal among the three nations, and have it voted on by the House and Senate. The White House has been quietly working with Mexico and Canada in recent weeks to work out tweaks to the agreement, mainly dealing with labor and environmental enforcement, trade dispute resolution, and issues dealing with some medical drugs. While the President and his allies keep saying the plan has been sent to Congress already for a vote - that is simply not true. 6. Government funding plan remains in limbo. While there were seemingly agreement on surprise medical billing, the Space Force, and more, lawmakers still have not finalized a giant package of bills to fund the operations of the federal government for 2020. The current temporary funding bill runs out on December 20. While there is obviously the threat of a government shutdown, lawmakers in both parties hope they can either reach a deal now - or extend that temporary spending plan into the New Year. So, this could also be part of a late rush of big legislation.
  • The U.S. economy was humming last month, as the Labor Department reported Friday that 266,000 jobs were created in the month of November, with the nation's unemployment rate ticking down again to the historically low level of 3.5 percent, as job growth in 2018 is now almost equal to last year's levels. Not only were 266 thousand jobs added in November, but the latest jobs report also revised growth upwards in both September and October, adding another 41,000 jobs. Monthly average job growth in 2019 stands at just under 180,000 jobs per month, compared to 182,000 in 2018, and 195,000 in 2017. While some of the November job gains were attributed to workers ending a strike against General Motors, the November job gains were the second largest of 2019, trailing only the 312,000 jobs created in January. GOP lawmakers in Congress hailed the new numbers. While the jobs report indicated stronger than expected growth, the overall numbers in terms of U.S. economic output have shown a slower pace of growth in recent months than earlier in 2019. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product was at 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019, but dropped to 2.0 percent in the second quarter. The current estimate is for a 2.1 percent growth rate in the third quarter of 2019. President Trump has repeatedly blamed slowing growth on the head of the Federal Reserve - whom he nominated for the post - arguing the Fed should have cut interest rates more to spur economic activity in the U.S.
  • Invoking the concerns of the Founding Fathers about foreign interference in U.S. elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that she was authorizing the House Judiciary Committee to draw up impeachment articles against President Donald Trump, possibly paving the way for a full House vote on impeachment by Christmas. 'In America, no one is above the law,' the Speaker said in a statement to reporters outside her office in the U.S. Capitol. A day after a closed door meeting with fellow Democrats, the Speaker said Congress could not close its eyes to the evidence gathered so far about the President's actions related to Ukraine. 'The facts are uncontested. The President abused his power for his own personal political benefit,' Pelosi said, as Democrats charge Mr. Trump withheld military aid for Ukraine in an effort to force the government to announce investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine - and not Russia - had hacked Democrats in the 2016 campaign. At the White House, the reaction was one of condemnation. 'They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country,' President Trump tweeted about Democrats shortly before the Speaker's announcement.  'But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy. Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business,' Mr. Trump added. The White House Press Secretary echoed the President's sentiments on Twitter. Democrats quickly showed their support for the Speaker's decision. “The president abused his power,” said Rep. Val Demings (D-FL).  “The president jeopardized our national security.    The president on multiple occasions obstructed justice.” While Pelosi did not set out a timeline for action, top Democrats have talked about action in the next week by the House Judiciary Committee, followed by a vote in the full House later this month. 21 years ago, Republicans faced a similar time crunch before the holidays, and ended up voting to impeach President Clinton on the Saturday before Christmas. It could be this Congress is heading for an impeachment vote holiday repeat.
  • As the focus of work in Congress on the impeachment of President Donald Trump shifted to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, a panel of constitutional experts became the proxies for both parties in this impeachment fight, with the two sides using the testimony to buttress their points for and against the impeachment effort. 'President Trump has committed impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors,' said Harvard law professor Noah Feldman. 'If we are to keep faith with the Constitution and our Republic, President Trump must be held to account,' said Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan. 'If what we're talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable,' added University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt. While Democrats focused their questions on their three witnesses, Republicans gravitated to their sole invitee, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. 'If you rush this impeachment, you're going to leave half the country behind,' Turley warned, comparing the Trump impeachment to that of President Andrew Johnson after the Civil War. 'This is the narrowest impeachment in history,' Turley added, urging Democrats to take extra time to bolster the investigative record related to President Trump. At one point, Turley questions about possible impeachment charges centering on abuse of power by President Trump on Democrats. 'It is an abuse power,' Turley said. 'It's your abuse of power.' While Turley said he was no supporter of President Trump, his testimony against impeachment drew interest - because he had testified 21 years ago for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. 'In my view, President Clinton's conduct demands an open and deliberative review under the conditions created for that purpose by the Framers,' Turley testified in November of 1998. 'Allegations of criminal acts in office by a president are perhaps the greatest threat to the perceived legitimacy of government,' Turley told the same House Judiciary Committee twenty one years ago before the Clinton impeachment. In the hearing, GOP lawmakers belittled today's proceedings. 'What a waste,' said Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH). 'This is not an impeachment, this is a simple railroad job,' argued Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). At the start of the hearing, Republicans forced a series of procedural votes which slowed proceedings, as they demanded testimony from the original Intelligence Community whistleblower who raised questions about the President's actions regarding Ukraine, and demanded the right to question Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the head of the House Intelligence Committee. With Christmas just three weeks away, it was not immediately clear when the Judiciary Committee would move to draw up actual articles of impeachment against the President, or when those votes would take place. 'What are we doing for the next two weeks?' asked Rep. Collins with an aggravated tone. 'I have no idea!' It was a similar situation in December of 1998, when there was talk from GOP leaders - exactly 21 years ago - of not voting on impeachment until the next year. Ultimately, the House Judiciary Committee, and the House, worked through two weekends, holding an impeachment vote in the full House on the Saturday before Christmas.
  • Phone records obtained by the House Intelligence Committee and made public in a new impeachment report from Democrats show President Donald Trump's personal lawyer speaking to the White House and figures in the Ukraine investigation at key times in 2019, and also reveal contacts between Giuliani a mystery phone number labeled only as '-1' in call records. 'Certainly the phone records show there was considerable coordination among the parties, including the White House,' said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Schiff did not reveal how the call records were obtained, though the legal 'Bates' identifiers used in the report might indicate Giuliani's cell phone records were obtained with a subpoena. It was not immediately clear who the '-1' calls were with - but the New York Times reported that a similar number was found in cell phone records introduced as evidence in the trial of Roger Stone. 'We can't confirm yet who that '-1' number belongs to, but certainly there were indications in the trial of Roger Stone that when he was communicating with the President it would show up in phone records as a 'dash-one' number,' Schiff told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview Tuesday evening. The new report from Democrats also had phone records from Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who helped Giuliani along with Igor Fruman in Ukraine. Parnas and Fruman were arrested in early October and charged with illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. elections. The phone records contained in the new impeachment report also showed Giuliani contacts with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as phone calls between Nunes and Parnas. 'Devin Nunes, you should have recused yourself at the outset' of the impeachment hearings,' tweeted Joseph Bondy, the lawyer for Parnas, who was arrested as he and another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, were leaving the country on a flight to Austria. While Nunes refused comment to reporters, he told Sean Hannity on Fox News that he didn't really remember calls with Parnas, saying it was 'possible' they had spoken. Ironically, the revelation of the Nunes-Parnas phone calls came as Nunes filed a $435 million defamation lawsuit against CNN, in which he said, 'Parnas was a renowned liar, a fraudster, a hustler, an opportunist with delusions of grandeur.