News Daypop Archives

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch Announces He Will Retire At End of Term

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said on Tuesday he would retire when his current term ends next year, opening the door for a possible political comeback by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Ending speculation of whether he would seek reelection after more than three decades in office, Hatch, 83, made the announcement in a short video, saying “every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves.” President Donald Trump had urged Hatch to run again, a move that would have prevented Romney from potentially filling his seat.  Romney issued a statement shortly after Hatch’s announcement, writing on Facebook, “I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Senator Orrin Hatch for his more than forty years of service to our great state and nation.”... [Read Full Story]

Florida, Georgia and South Carolina Brace For Snow and Ice Storms

A new storm is making its way to the Southeast Wednesday, likely dumping rain, sleet and some snow before moving north. The storm has prompted schools to close in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Ice has already formed on fountains in some southern cities, including Savannah, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. In northern Florida and southern Georgia, a dangerous mix of snow and ice are in the forecast for Wednesday morning, and residents of cities including Tallahassee, Florida, and Valdosta, Georgia, may see up to an inch of snow on the roadways during the Wednesday morning commute. Georgia and the Carolinas may see 1 to 3 inches of snow.... [Read Full Story]

U.S. Airports Suffer Technical Glitch As Passport System Goes Down

A two-hour outage in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s processing systems caused delays at some of the nation’s biggest airports on New Year’s Day. In a statement, CBP said the outage began at 7:30 p.m. and ended at 9:30 p.m. All the airports involved are currently back online, according to CBP, though some are still experiencing effects from the outage. “CBP took immediate action to address the technology disruption,” the agency said in a statement. “CBP officers continued to process international travelers using alternative procedures at affected airports. Travelers at some ports of entry experienced longer than usual wait times as CBP officers processed travelers as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest levels of security.... [Read Full Story]

Costa Rican Plane Crash Victims Include New York And Florida Families

A family of five from New York, vacationing in Costa Rica, were among the victims of a New Year’s Eve plane crash that killed all 12 people on board, investigators and local media have revealed. The small plane carrying 10 American tourists and two local crew members crashed and burst into flames in a wooded area in in Guanacaste, northwest Costa Rica, the government reported Sunday. Five of the victims were identified as Americans Bruce, Irene, Matthew, William and Zachary Steinberg, from Scarsdale, New York.  In St. Petersburg, Florida, Rabbi Jacob Luski of Congregation B’nai Israel said Monday that four members of his congregation, Drs. Mitchell Weiss and Leslie Weiss and their two children, Hannah and Ari, also died in the crash.... [Read Full Story]

NYC Tightens Security For Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration

Days before the ball drops in Times Square, security is already building. To protect about 1 million revelers in the city, the NYPD is promising to step up patrols, canine teams and heavy-weapons squads. Concrete barriers are back, along with sand trucks to block vehicles. And the NYPD is putting special focus on aerial security, with spotters on buildings and officers stationed in every hotel along 7th Avenue in the event of a sniper-style attack. Other big cities are beefing up their security too. Chicago police said they are adding specialized teams with a focus on vehicle-style attacks, and for the first time Miami will conduct random security checks at its outdoor events. ... [Read Full Story]

Alabama Makes Doug Jones Win Official As Judge Rejects Roy Moore’s Challenge

Alabama officials certified the results of its special Senate election Thursday, officially naming Democrat Doug Jones the victor not long after a judge rejected a last-minute challenge from Republican Roy Moore. Late Wednesday, hours before the Alabama State Canvassing Board was scheduled to meet Thursday to certify Jones’ victory, Moore and his campaign filed a lawsuit alleging that voter fraud had tainted the election results and requesting that certification be delayed.... [Read Full Story]

Border Patrol Agent, 2 Others Dead After Collision With Hog

A U.S. Border Patrol agent and two other people have died after a sport utility vehicle collided with a wild hog in Southwest Texas, authorities said. The accident happened late Monday on a rural road near Uvalde, about 110 miles southwest of San Antonio. On Tuesday after a preliminary investigation there was indication that a Ford Expedition collided with the hog, which caused the vehicle to swerve into oncoming traffic and hit a Mercedes SUV head-on. The Expedition’s driver, 51-year-old Ruby Garza, and the driver of the Mercedes, 27-year-old Antonio Cordova, were pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the Expedition, 51-year-old Julia Vasquez, died later at a hospital. ... [Read Full Story]

Power Restored At Disneyland After Outage Stalled Rides

Power was largely restored at Disneyland on Wednesday after an outage at the California theme park forced some guests to be escorted from stalled rides. About 12 rides were affected and no one was hurt, a parks spokeswoman said.  A transformer problem caused the late morning outage in Toontown and Fantasyland, and an unknown number of guests were taken off rides. No one else was being allowed into the park and power was restored in Toontown and much of Fantasyland within a couple hours.  Power was expected to be fully restored later in the day. ... [Read Full Story]

Singer Files Assault Complaint Against Ex-Trump Campaign Manager

A singer and potential congressional candidate said Tuesday that she has filed a sexual assault complaint against President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager for hitting her twice on her buttocks during a Washington gathering in November. Joy Villa, a Trump backer who wore a “Make America Great Again” dress at the Grammys, says she will meet with detectives in Washington next week about the complaint against Corey Lewandowski. Villa said she was initially reluctant to come forward because she was worried about any backlash, but after a friend who witnessed the incident spoke about it publicly, and other friends urged her to come forward.... [Read Full Story]

Christmas Storm Brings Record 53 Inches Of Snow To Erie, Pennsylvania

A Christmas storm dumped a record amount of snow on the Pennsylvania city of Erie and surrounding areas. The National Weather Service office in Cleveland says the storm brought 34 inches on Christmas Day — a new all-time daily snowfall record for Erie. Another 19 inches fell before dawn Tuesday, bringing the total to 53 inches — the greatest two-day total in commonwealth history. The city of Erie issued a snow emergency, citing “dangerous and impassable” roads, and asked residents to stay off city streets until the snow stops and roads can reopen.... [Read Full Story]

Christmas Brings Northeast Blizzard And Bitter Cold In Midwest

For many in the Northeast and Midwest it was a White Christmas. A blizzard swept into parts of New England and bitter cold enveloped much of the Midwest as blizzard warnings were issued Monday for portions of central and northern Maine, and part of the New Hampshire coast.  In addition to slowing travel in New England, the storm was responsible for some power outages. More than 20,000 customers in eastern Massachusetts without electricity.  Mountain areas in parts of Colorado, Montana and Wyoming received more than 1 foot of snow, which started Saturda, but it meant a heightened warning of avalanches in higher elevations outside of ski areas.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump And First Lady Melania Trump Release Video Message On Christmas Day

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump released a joint Christmas Day video message on Monday. Mr. Trump tweeted out the video, which was pre-recorded at the White House before he left for his holiday vacation at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. “My fellow Americans, Melania and I are delighted to wish America and the entire world a very Merry Christmas,” the president says in the video. The first lady says that at this time of year, “we see the best of America and the soul of the American people,” and pays tribute to “our brave men and women in uniform.”... [Read Full Story]

Health Coverage Sign-Ups Stay Strong at 8.8 Million, Despite President Trump’s Claims That Obamacare Has Been “Essentially Repealed”

Nearly 9 million Americans have signed up for health coverage in 2018, nearly reaching last year’s total, a significantly higher number than had been expected. The Trump administration had taken steps to discourage signups, in fact President Trump said this Wednesday: “We essentially repealed Obamacare.” While Republicans did pass a tax bill Wednesday that undoes one of the central components of Obamacare: the mandate that people have health insurance, or pay a fine. Health-care experts say that does not mean Obamacare is dead. ... [Read Full Story]

Girl Convicted In ‘Slender Man’ Stabbing Sentenced To 25 Years In Mental Hospital

One of two Wisconsin girls who tried to kill a classmate to win favor with a fictional horror character named ‘Slender Man’ has been sentenced to 25 years in a mental hospital. Anissa Weier pleaded guilty in August to being a party to attempted second-degree intentional homicide, but claimed she wasn’t responsible for her actions because she was mentally ill.  On Thursday the 16-year-old Weier was sentenced to be hospitalized for 25 years from the date of the crime, which would keep her institutionalized until age 37. She and Morgan Geyser lured Payton Leutner into a wooded park near Milwaukee in 2014, where Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier urged her on. All three girls were 12 years old at the time.... [Read Full Story]

US Ambassador Nikki Haley Warns Diplomats On Jerusalem: President Trump Is Watching You

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has emailed members of the United Nations, who are set to vote Thursday in favor of a General Assembly resolution urging the United States to rescind its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In the email, Haley wrote: “As you consider your vote, I want you to know that the President and U.S. take this vote personally,”  “The President will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us. We will take note of each and every vote on this issue.”   Haley also said the U.S. is not asking other countries to follow its lead, and move their embassies to Jerusalem, “though we think it would be appropriate.”... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Calls Tax Bill ‘Historic Victory For The American People’

 President Donald Trump applauded Republicans for passing a sweeping tax bill Wednesday, promising Americans they would see relief by February. During a cabinet meeting Wednesday, Trump said the “historic” bill would be an “incredible Christmas gift for hardworking Americans” and touted the lower corporate rate that he says will keep businesses in the country.  GOP senators and members of Congress came to the White House later Wednesday — after the House voted on the measure a second time — to celebrate the bill’s passage. The bill also marks the first significant legislative achievement of Trump’s presidency. ... [Read Full Story]

12 Dead, 20 Injured In Mexico Tour Bus Crash

At least 12 people died when a bus carrying cruise ship passengers to Mayan ruins in eastern Mexico flipped over on a highway early Tuesday, officials said. The crash occurred as the bus was on its way to the ruins at Chacchoben, about 110 miles south of Tulum. Seven Americans and two citizens of Sweden are among the injured, according to authorities. Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises said in a statement that passengers from two of its ships, the Celebrity Equinox and Serenade of the Seas, were involved in the crash. The cause of the accident was under investigation.... [Read Full Story]

House Passes GOP Tax Overhaul Bill

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a sweeping tax overhaul bill, moving the legislation on to the Senate for consideration. The bill passed 227-203. The 500-page, $1.5 trillion bill lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent. The Senate was expected to pass the vote Tuesday night. Even if all 48 Democrat senators vote against the tax bill, Republicans expect to have enough votes to pass it. ... [Read Full Story]

ESPN President John Skipper Resigns, Citing Substance Addiction Problem

ESPN President John Skipper resigned Monday, citing a substance addiction problem, in a move that stunned the sports media business.  Skipper, who took over as president of the sports network in 2012, said in a statement he has battled substance abuse issues for “many years” and decided “the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem.” He did not share any details of the nature of his substance abuse problem. George Bodenheimer, who served as ESPN’s president from 1998 to 2011, is taking the helm at ESPN for the next three months and helping find a permanent successor for Skipper, Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger said. ... [Read Full Story]

Multiple Fatalities Reported As Amtrak Train Derails In Washington State

An Amtrak train derailed on Monday in Washington State in its inaugural run on a faster route from Seattle to Portland, Oregon, sending passenger cars tumbling from a bridge onto a major highway, killing a number of riders and injuring nearly 100. The derailment caused multiple fatalities among the passengers, and as the train struck several cars on Interstate 5 it caused additional injuries but no more reported deaths. Thirteen of the train’s 14 cars jumped the tracks, and five vehicles plus two semi-trailer trucks were involved in the accident. It was not immediately clear whether the derailment was connected to the rerouting. A statement from the state transportation department said the track had undergone “weeks of inspection and testing” before Monday’s launch.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Says He’s Not Planning To Fire Robert Mueller

President Trump said Sunday he is not considering firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the wake of calls from some Republican allies to shut down the Mueller probe into Russian involvement in the 2016 over allegations of bias by FBI officials. “No, I’m not,” the President told reporters upon his arrival back at the White House from Camp David. Mr. Trump’s attorneys are embroiled in a fresh spat with Mueller, the former FBI director, over his team’s reported acquisition of thousands of emails from Trump’s transition team. Trump’s legal team wrote in a letter Friday that the emails had been obtained inappropriately from a federal agency and called for Mueller to return the documents. A spokesman for Mueller said all documents related to the investigation had been obtained through normal means.... [Read Full Story]

Power Outage At Atlanta Airport Cancels Flights

A power outage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest, ground operations to a halt on Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered a ground stop on flights, meaning planes are held at their departure points, the airport said. Delta Air Lines diverted some Atlanta-bound flights and expected delays as a result of the loss of power, a spokesman said. The airline is based in Atlanta and the airport is its main hub. Southwest Airlines cancelled the remainder of its flights to and from the Atlanta airport on Sunday. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said some international flights were sent to other airports. It was not immediately clear what caused the outage, but Georgia Power and the airport said they were investigating.... [Read Full Story]

New York Woman Charged With Laundering Money To Help ISIS

U.S. prosecutors said Thursday that they had charged a Long Island, New York woman with laundering more than $85,000 in fraudulently obtained money through Bitcoin to help Islamic State. Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, was arrested Wednesday on charges of bank fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Shahnaz pleaded not guilty on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tomlinson in New York. Prosecutors said that between March and July of this year, Shahnaz obtained a loan and multiple credit cards by making false representations to financial institutions, and used them to buy Bitcoin. A lawyer for Shahnaz, Steve Zissou, could not immediately be reached for comment.... [Read Full Story]

FCC Votes to Dismantle Net-Neutrality Rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to dismantle landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies the power to potentially reshape Americans’ online experiences. The agency scrapped the so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or certain content. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility, like phone service.... [Read Full Story]

US Ambassador Nikki Haley To Present “Irrefutable Evidence” On Iran

US Ambassador Nikki Haley will present “irrefutable evidence” that Iran has tried to cover up violations of international obligations, the US mission said Wednesday. Haley will hold a press conference in Washington on Thursday on Iran’s “ongoing destabilizing activities in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.” The United States and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of supplying weapons to Yemen’s Huthi rebels, who fired a missile intercepted near Riyadh airport on November 4. ... [Read Full Story]

House And Senate GOP Leaders Reach A Tax Package Deal

House and Senate GOP leaders forged an agreement Wednesday on a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax laws, paving the way for final votes next week to slash taxes for businesses and give many Americans modest tax cuts starting next year. Top GOP aides said lawmakers had reached an agreement in principle on the final package. Details still need to be drafted and assessed by congressional scorekeepers, but the final House-Senate compromise is on track to be unveiled this week, the aides said.... [Read Full Story]

Alabama Senate Election: Doug Jones Wins In Major Upset, Roy Moore Won’t Yet Concede

Democrat Doug Jones has pulled off a major upset in Alabama by defeating Republican Roy Moore in Tuesday’s special election, becoming the first Democrat to win election to the Senate from the deeply conservative state in 25 years. “We have come so far and the people of Alabama have spoken,” Jones said during a victory speech in Birmingham late Tuesday. But in a late-night speech to supporters, Moore refused to concede. Moore told the crowd that when the “vote is this close…it’s not over.” With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Jones had 49.9 percent to Moore’s 48.4 percent.... [Read Full Story]

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Calls President Trump’s Tweet A “Sexist Smear”

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand fired back at President Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying she would not be silenced after he attacked her on Twitter. After Gillibrand called for an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct against him, Trump attacked the Senator in a tweet which implied Gillibrand would do just about anything for money, prompting a swift and immediate backlash. Gillibrand replied directly to Trump on Twitter: “you cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office.”  And at a news conference later on Tuesday, Gillibrand called Trump’s tweet “a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice.”... [Read Full Story]

Three Female Accusers Call For Congress To Investigate President Trump For Sexual Harassment

Three women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct detailed their allegations at a press conference Monday and demanded a congressional investigation to hold him accountable. Samantha Holvey, Rachel Crooks and Jessica Leeds appeared at a press conference Monday with Robert Greenwald, the founder of Brave New Films. A video the film company produced was shown before the press conference began, which included testimonials from 16 women who have alleged President Trump had sexually harassed them. Calling on Congress to put aside partisan affiliations, Ms. Crooks urged the legislative chamber to investigate the President.... [Read Full Story]

NYC Port Authority Terror Attacker Linked To ISIS, Officials Say

An ISIS-inspired terrorist with a crude bomb strapped to his chest injured three people and himself and caused panic inside a busy Midtown subway station Monday morning in the latest terror attack on New York City. The suspect, Akayed Ullah, detonated an “improvised, low-tech explosive device,” similar to a pipe bomb, at 7:20 a.m. as he walked in a pedestrian tunnel underneath 42nd Street. Ullah, 27, of Flatlands, Brooklyn, was in custody at Bellevue Hospital Monday where he’s being treated for serious injuries including burns and wounds, officials said. Three other people suffered minor injuries consistent with being in the area of an explosion.... [Read Full Story]