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  • A 12-year-old Michigan boy is raking leaves, collecting bottles and doing odd jobs to raise money for a headstone for his best friend, who died earlier this year. Kenneth “K.J.” Gross, 12, was diagnosed with leukemia as an infant. He endured multiple surgeries and treatments before he died May 1 of congestive heart failure. Kaleb Klakulak, 12, was by his bedside up until the end. The pair had been friends since second grade. Instead of watching TV and playing PlayStation games at home, they did so in a hospital. K.J. was buried in a family plot, but LaSondra “San” Singleton, his mother, is unable to pay for a headstone, which costs about $2,500. “I love Ms. San,” Kaleb told the Detroit News. “I was sad she couldn’t afford it. I wanted people to be able to find (K.J.’s grave) when they went to see him.” So Kaleb’s mother, Kristy Hall, helped him set up a PayPal account and posted on social media.  'I really think this is a great thing for Kaleb to focus on and help him with his healing as well as K.J.'s mom, who misses her baby and has to visit an unmarked grave,' Hall wrote. Singleton appreciates the support.  'He and K.J. were so much alike. They were kindred spirits; they were like brothers,” Singleton told the Detroit News. 'My son’s not here, but (Kaleb) still loves my son enough to (do) this. It just speaks volumes to the type of people that they are, and it speaks to the type of person that K.J. was -- he impacted people to where they want to do this for him.' The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
  • A month after losing their house in the Camp Fire, the homeowners were brought to tears when Madison, an Anatolian shepherd, was found alive and well -- protecting “what was left of his home.” Over a month ago, Madison’s owner, Andrea Gaylord, was not able to get back the home after the Camp Fire forced evacuations and she had to leave him and his brother Miguel at the house.  >> Read more trending news Gaylord told KXTV that she believed that Madison had survived the fire.   Shayla Sullivan located Miguel earlier in neighboring Citrus Heights and asked to use an article of clothing belonging to Gaylord to leave on the now burned out property hoping that Madison would pick up the scent. She said the dog was apprehensive and kept his distance. “I had the idea of placing an article of clothing that would smell like her to keep Madison's hope alive until his people could return,” Sullivan wrote on Facebook. When Gaylord was finally able to return to where her home once stood, she found Madison there waiting for her. 'Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting. It was so emotional,' Gaylord told KXTV. Though Gaylord lost her home in the fire, Miguel and Madision are back at her side.  'He had stayed to protect what was left of his home, and NEVER gave up on his people!' Sullivan wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday. At least 1,643 buildings, most of them homes, were destroyed in the Camp Fire, the worst wildfire in the history of California.
  • Yet another blood pressure medication has been added to the list of recalled hypertension drugs.  >> On AJC.com: Blood pressure medication recalls: Everything you should know, Atlanta doctors, experts say Mylan Pharmaceuticals has voluntarily expanded its recall for its valsartan-containing products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced. The affected pills include valsartan, amlodipine/valsartan and valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide tablets and were distributed in the United States between March 2017 and November 2018. The FDA has listed additional information about the specifics, including doses, lot numbers and expiration dates, on its site. >> Read more trending news  According to the press release, the drugs contain traces of N-nitroso-diethylamine (NDEA). The impurity, typically found in certain foods, drinking water and air pollution, has been classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.  Mylan is notifying its distributors and customers by letter and is arranging for the return of all recalled products. It is also coordinating returns with retailers, wholesalers and consumers.  Patients on the medications are advised to continue taking the tablets and to contact their doctor for advice. The company said, “the risk of harm to a patient’s health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any comparable alternative treatment.” The agency recently recalled several other blood pressure medications due to cancer concerns, and another was recalled for mislabeling.  >> On AJC.com: Yet another blood pressure medication recalled over cancer risk Read the full FDA announcement at FDA.gov.
  • House Republicans on Saturday released a transcript of their private interview on Friday with former FBI Director James Comey, detailing a lengthy closed door skirmish between Comey and GOP lawmakers over the origin of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and how Comey dealt with the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time as Secretary of State. It was the first of two private sessions, as Comey is scheduled to return to Congress on December 17. Because there were no television cameras, the transcript is the only way to get a bead on what was said in the interview, which was not under oath, but where Comey was bluntly warned to be truthful. Under the agreement, Comey was allowed to speak out after the hearing – but lawmakers were not. Today wasn’t a search for truth, but a desperate attempt to find anything that can be used to attack the institutions of justice investigating this president. They came up empty today but will try again. In the long run, it'll make no difference because facts are stubborn things. — James Comey (@Comey) December 8, 2018 So what does the 235 pages of the transcript show? Here’s some tidbits to chew on. 1. When Comey hears “Russia investigation,” it’s two distinct probes. Asked by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) about the overall Russia probe, Comey indicated that he sees things differently than many. To him, there are two complimentary investigations going on: 1) dealing with Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and 2) the counterintelligence probes aimed at people with ties to the Trump campaign who were in touch with Russians or Russian government assets. “We opened investigations on four Americans to see if there was any connection between those four Americans and the Russian interference effort. And those four Americans did not include the candidate,” Comey added. He did not identify the four who were under review, as Comey refused to answer a number of specific questions related to the Russia probe. 2. What does the term ‘collusion’ mean to Comey? In the back and forth between Comey and GOP lawmakers, at one point Comey was pressed to define the word ‘collusion,’ which has become a central flashpoint of the Russia investigation. Often supporters of the President point out that there is no crime called ‘collusion’ – and Comey says he’s not familiar with the term, either. “What is the crime of collusion? I do not know,” Comey said in response to a question from Rep. Gowdy. Comey then gives his review of what collusion means to him with regards to the Russia probe: “I think in terms of conspiracy or aiding and abetting.” Cummings asked Comey how serious it is that Flynn lied about foreign contacts. COMEY: 'The reason it's a big deal is you have an adversary nation attacking America. If Americans in our country are assisting them, it's aiding and abetting the enemy in attacking our country' — Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) December 8, 2018 3. Comey says Flynn did lie, even if he didn’t look it. Supporters of the President have made a big deal out of the evaluation of FBI agents that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn didn’t seem like he was lying about his contacts with the Russian Ambassador during the Trump transition. Pressed about that by Rep. Gowdy, Comey said it was clear that Flynn was lying. “I recall saying the agents observed no indicia of deception, physical manifestations, shiftiness, that sort of thing,” Comey testified, as he summed up by saying of Flynn, “There’s no doubt he was lying.” 4. Comey says he saw no bias from Strzok in Clinton probe. In an answer that is certain to leave many Republican critics fuming, Comey said he did not personally see any evidence that FBI official Peter Strzok was biased against President Trump. To buttress that argument, Comey talked about how Strzok helped draft the controversial letter that was sent to Congress just before the 2016 elections, which said the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails was being re-opened. “So it’s hard for me to see how he was on Team Clinton secretly at that time,” Comey said, as he also reiterated a point made by Strzok in his combative testimony – that Strzok was one of the few people who knew about the investigations into Trump-Russia links, and that Strzok never leaked that information to the press or public. Comey though did say that based on the texts from Strzok, he would have taken Strzok off the Trump-Russia investigation. Comey points out obvious: How could Pete Strzok be on team HRC if he helped draft the letter Comey sent to Congress on Oct. 28, 2016 – days before the election. Many folks think that letter damaged her chances to become president. pic.twitter.com/NOk9ulOu1j — Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) December 8, 2018 5. Comey: I’m not buddies with Robert Mueller. One refrain from President Trump is that Mueller can’t be trusted with his probe because he and Comey are friends. “Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest,” the President tweeted on Friday, just a few hours before Comey went to Capitol Hill for his closed door questioning. So, Democrats asked Comey – are you friends with Mueller? “I am not,” Comey said, telling lawmakers he doesn’t know Mueller’s phone number, and has no relation with him ‘in any social sense.’ But Comey made clear he is a believer in Mueller. “There are not many things I would bet my life on. I would bet my life that Bob Mueller will do things the right way, the way we would all want, whether we’re Republicans or Democrats, the way Americans should want,” Comey said. X. Comey okayed leak investigation involving Giuliani. In the final stretch of the 2016 campaign, Comey testified that he was concerned by a ‘number of stories’ and leaks about Hillary Clinton, which he believed were coming from the New York Field Office of the FBI – and were going to people like former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was a campaign booster for President Trump. “Mr. Giuliani was making statements that appeared to be based on his knowledge of workings inside the FBI New York,” Comey told lawmakers, as the former FBI chief said it seemed to him that the bureau had an ‘unauthorized disclosure problem’ – “so I asked that it be investigated.” Comey said he ordered a leak probe after Giuliani made public statements that indicated he had inside knowledge of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails https://t.co/4fJYZneWX7 — The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 9, 2018