Accusations Curse the VA Nominee

Ronny Jackson, President Trump’s nomination for head of the Veterans Affairs Department, has run into a few unfavorable allegations in his approval process. The accusations include that in the past Jackson has created hostile working environments, drank alcohol while on duty and improperly prescribed drugs to staff during his time as White House doctor to two administrations. Mr. Trump has recently “doubted” whether Jackson should stay as the nominee but has left the decision to Jackson himself and blamed Democratic obstruction and scrutiny. Jackson has not yet denied the allegations, but is waiting to address them in the official hearings.

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FDA Says Juul-ing is NOT Cool

Following months of complaints from politicians, school administrators and parents, federal agencies have begun cracking down on underage use of the popular e-cigarette brand Juul. As of Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings to 40 retail and online stores. This is part of a nationwide effort against the illegal sale of Juul to minors. Juul has become popular among teenagers thanks to its semblance to a small flash drive, making it easy to vape in school and in public. Apparently, the San Francisco-based company monitors all retailers to ensure they follow the law.

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DACA Ruling: US Must Accept New Applications

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the government must continue to implement the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals program in the U.S. and accept new applications. The program protects undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Despite the Trump administration’s efforts to eliminate DACA, many federal judges have ruled that the program must continue as the Department of Homeland Security has failed to defend its position that the program is unconstitutional. The ruling regarding DACA on Tuesday is noteworthy because, in addition to requiring the continuance of the program, the judge also required that the US begin taking new applications. DHS has 90 days to argue its position on the issue or the ruling will go into effect.

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New Royal Baby Boy

There is a new royal baby. The Duchess of Cambridge Catherine and Prince William have a new son, born Monday. The couple’s child was born at 11 a.m. local time at St. Mary’s Hospital. According to the Palace, the son and Catherine are doing well. The family is overjoyed at the announcement. Prince William left the hospital to get their other children, George and Charlotte, to bring them back to the hospital. A golden easel bearing a framed notice was on display in front of Buckingham Palace. The bulletin is on display for 24 hours. This bulletin notice dates back to 1837.

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Former President George H.W. Bush Hospitalized

George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Sunday morning, just a day after former First Lady Barbara Bush’s funeral service.  A spokesman for Bush told reporters that he was admitted “after contracting an infection that spread to his blood,” but he was recovering.  However, another source close to the former president told CNN that he had contracted sepsis and is in critical condition. 

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Collision in Toronto Leaves 9 Dead, Many Injured

The driver of a van collided into a group of pedestrians on a busy street in the North York area of downtown Toronto Monday. The suspect drove through the crowd on the sidewalk for about a mile; nine people are dead and 16 are injured. The driver has been taken into custody, but Toronto police have not released the driver’s name. While the motive behind the attack is unknown, sources believe that the actions seemed to be intentional. Toronto Mayor John Tory expressed his condolences saying, “My thoughts are with those affected by this incident and the front-line responders who are working to help those injured.”

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Barbara Bush Laid to Rest

Over 1,500 attendees paid their respects on Saturday morning to former first lady Barbara Bush, who died last week at the age of 92.  Among the 1,500 in attendance included Michelle and Barack Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, and Melania Trump, with President Trump watching the funeral from Mar-a-Lago.  The last sitting president to attend a first lady's funeral was John F. Kennedy, who went to Eleanor Roosevelt’s service in 1962.  Barbara Bush’s death marked the end of the longest presidential marriage in American history at a 73 years, followed only by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, who have been married for the past 71 years and counting.

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Four Dead in Tennessee Shooting

At a Waffle House near Nashville, Tennessee, four people were killed in a shooting early Sunday morning.  As of Sunday afternoon, the shooter, who is suspected to be 29-year-old Travis Reinking, is still at large and has been placed on Tennessee’s Top 10 Most Wanted list.  Around 3 AM on Sunday, the gunman exited his truck carrying an assault rifle and fatally shot two people before walking into the Waffle House and continuing to fire.  Two more were killed inside the waffle house and several others were injured.  The shooting ended when a customer, James Shaw Jr., wrestled the rifle out of the gunman’s hands, causing him to flee. 

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A Quiet Place Takes No. 1 Box Office Spot

For another weekend, Paramount’s almost dialogue-free horror movie A Quiet Place is number 1 in the box office, beating Amy Schumer’s I Feel Pretty and Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage. A Quiet Place is the story of a family who has to live in silence to protect themselves from aliens who hunt their prey by sound. The production budget was $17 million but the movie has grossed $132.4 million from North American theaters and $74.8 million overseas. The film is Paramount’s highest-grossing domestic release in almost two years.

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CDC Expands Romaine Lettuce Warning Across the United States

On Friday, the Center for Disease Control expanded its original warning of romaine lettuce to include all romaine lettuce in the United States after the current e-coli outbreak spread to its 16 state. Though the source of the outbreak has yet to be identified, public health officials believe it originated in crops from Yuma, Arizona. CDC said consumers should throw away any romaine lettuce unless they are certain it came from a different source. The outbreak has resulted in 31 hospitalizations, including five developments of kidney failure. To avoid e-coli, wash hands and food thoroughly and do not consume raw food.

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Research Shows Youtube Ran Ads From Extremists

According to a recent CNN investigation, Youtube has run ads from over 300 companies and organizations that promoted white nationalists, Nazis, pedophilia, conspiracy theories and North Korean propaganda. Popular companies like Adidas, Amazon, Hershey, Netflix, and more may even have unknowingly helped these channels because of the advertisements they paid for. Some of these companies have paused its advertising buy on Youtube because of this. Further fueling the fire, this is not the first time Youtube has put major companies’ ads up against controversial or extremist content. It brings many to question Youtube’s ability to protect companies’ advertisement integrity.

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Trump's New Legal Team

Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, joined President Trump’s legal team as Trump and his administration look to finish the investigation and inquiries into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. Giuliani served as a chief federal prosecutor previously. He will join Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow as well as former federal prosecutors Serene and Marty Raskin. The addition of these three comes a month after the resignation of attorney John Dowd.

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Cuba's President is No Longer a Castro

Miguel Díaz-Canel is officially Cuba’s president. This transition marks the first time in over 40 years that the country has not been led by a Castro. Fidel Castro served as president from 1976 to 2008 and his brother Raúl from 2008 until Thursday, when he stepped down. Raúl will remain the head of Cuba’s Communist Party, leaving many to wonder how much power the new president will truly have. Díaz-Canel served as the minister of education and then as the first vice president before being unanimously elected as Castro’s successor by Cuba’s National Assembly.

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New Ominous Earthquake Warning for Bay Area

Everyone knows about the famous San Andreas fault line spanning across California and the potential danger it poses, but according to geologists, northern Californians have another troublesome fault to worry about.  According to a report from the United States Geological Survey, scientists believe that the largest immediate threat of an earthquake lies in the Hayward Fault, due to the highly populated areas of Oakland and Berkeley being located directly above it.  Scientists believe a major earthquake from this fault would result in catastrophic damage and the loss of hundreds of lives.  On top of that, major faults usually produce earthquakes every 150 years or so, and the last one from this fault line came exactly 150 years ago, leading geologists to believe that this fault could be due for a major quake.

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Puerto Rico Plunged Back into Darkness

On Wednesday, a freak accident plunged the territory of Puerto Rico back into darkness. The island suffered heavy damage from Hurricane Maria several months ago and has been slowly rebuilding their electrical grid. However, an excavator removing a downed transmission tower came too close to a high-voltage line, which lead to subsequent power station shutdowns across the island. Residents have aired their frustration as homes and businesses are again without power. The disruptions and slow rebuilding process have been a drain on Puerto Rico’s economy and population as residents who can afford to leave are.

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Starbucks Stores to Close for Anti-Bias Training

On May 29, Starbucks will close its more than 8,000 stores to provide anti-bias training to 175,000 employees after an incident where two African-American men were arrested at one of the stores last week. The incident, whereby the men were arrested after asking to use the Starbucks restroom, has prompted outrage. After the employee refused them because they had not purchased anything, the men sat down, were asked to leave, and then the police were called. The arrest scene was recorded in a video which has been viewed over 10 million times on Twitter.

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Barbara Bush Dies at 92

Former First Lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at the age of 92, a spokesperson for the family announced. Mrs. Bush was the only woman in history to live to see both her husband and son serve as president. In addition to her role as First Lady, mother to 6, and grandmother to 17, Bush adopted literacy as a cause, eventually founding the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and raising over $1 billion to support widespread literacy across the nation and world. 

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One Dead in Mid-Flight Engine Explosion

A Southwest Airlines flight going from New York to Dallas had an engine explode while in the air, forcing the plane to emergency land in Philadelphia. The explosion blew shrapnel into the side of the plane, puncturing a small hole in the cabin and shattering a window. The suction from these openings nearly sucked one woman out of the plane. It is reported that fellow passengers pulled her back. Shrapnel from the explosion injured some, and one person was killed, although it has not been made clear who. In response to the chaotic and traumatic event, Southwest CEO has said Southwest will do everything they can to support the victims during this difficult time.

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NASA Launches Planet-Hunting Satellite TESS

NASA’s new planet-hunting satellite, TESS, was launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida Wednesday. During its two-year mission TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, will search for exoplanets, planets that are outside our solar system and planets that could support life. TESS will spend its first 60 days orbiting Earth to test its systems and will go on to replace the Kepler Space Telescope, which launched in 2009. The satellite will also search an area 400 times larger than the Kepler. NASA Astrophysics Division Director Paul Hertz said, “Until 20 years ago, we didn’t know of any planets beyond our own solar system. We’ve expanded our understanding of our place in the universe, and TESS will help us keep expanding.”

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Sean Hannity Named Client of Michael Cohen

Judge Kimba Wood ordered that Stephen Ryan, Michael Cohen’s attorney, disclose his client’s third client, which until Monday had been kept in secret.  Ryan named him as Sean Hannity, the Fox News host and prominent Trump supporter.  Cohen’s other two clients, who were already known, are Trump and Republican donor Elliot Broidy, for each of which Cohen paid women to sign non-disclosure agreements regarding their affairs with these men.  When Hannity’s name was revealed, audible gasps could be heard throughout the courtroom.   The hearing was held to determine whether Cohen’s attorneys will be able to review the documents seized in the FBI’s raid of Cohen’s home and office before being examined by prosecutors.  Judge Wood ruled in favor of Cohen. 

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