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Read Inspector General Horowitz’ testimony about Clinton email investigation report

Department  of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz testified Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee about his office’s report on the “Oversight of the FBI and DOJ Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election.”

Here is his opening statement before the committee:

“Chairmen, ranking members, and members of the committees: Thank you for inviting me to testify at today’s hearing to examine the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) findings in our “Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election.” The report reviews various actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (Department) in connection with the investigation into the use of a private email server by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (named the Midyear investigation by the FBI). The report can be found on the OIG’s website.

“The 500-plus page report was the product of 17 months of investigative work by a dedicated OIG team that reviewed well over 1.2 million documents, including over 100,000 text and instant messages, and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, many on multiple occasions. Our report provides a thorough, comprehensive, and objective recitation of the facts related to the Department’s handling of the Midyear investigation. The review team followed the evidence wherever it led, and it was through their efforts that we identified the inappropriate text and instant messages discussed in the report. Additionally, as a result of the OIG’s painstaking forensic examinations, we recovered thousands of text messages that otherwise would have been lost or undisclosed. We completed our report when we were satisfied that we had pursued all reasonable investigative leads and finished our detailed forensic examinations. As a result of this approach, our report includes, for example, text messages that we recovered just last month, which were significant to our findings. It also includes an analysis of the FBI’s decision not to request access in May 2016 to certain classified information, a decision that we did not learn of until the later stages of our review.

“As detailed in our report, we found that the inappropriate political messages cast a cloud over the Midyear investigation, sowed doubt about the credibility of the FBI’s handling of it, and impacted the reputation of the FBI. Moreover, we found the implication that senior FBI employees would be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects to be deeply troubling and antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.

“Our review also included a fact-based, detailed assessment of certain specific investigative and prosecutorial decisions that were the subject of controversy. It was necessary to select particular investigative decisions for focused attention because it would not have been possible to recreate and analyze every decision made in a year-long investigation. In examining the decisions we selected for review, the question we considered was not whether a particular decision was the ideal or most effective choice, but rather, whether the documentary and testimonial evidence indicated that the decision was based on improper considerations, including political bias. This approach is consistent with the OIG’s handling of such questions in past reviews with respect to assessing discretionary judgment calls, and recognizes and respects the institutional oversight role of the OIG. Our report provides a comprehensive assessment of these decisions and of the Midyear 2 investigation, and details the factual evidence, so that the public, Congress, and other stakeholders can conduct their own assessment of them.

“Within this framework, as to the specific investigative and prosecutorial decisions we reviewed, we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected those specific investigative decisions, in part because the decisions were made by the larger Midyear team or the prosecutors. This determination by the OIG does not mean that we necessarily endorse the decisions or conclude they were the most effective among the options considered, or that our finding should or can be extrapolated to cover other decisions made during the course of the investigation by FBI employees who sent inappropriate political messages. With regard to the decision to close the investigation without prosecution, we found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were the result of improper considerations, including political bias, but rather were based on the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice.

“Conversely, we found that the FBI’s explanations for its failure to take immediate action after discovering the Weiner laptop in October 2016 to be unpersuasive, and we did not have confidence that the decision of Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.

“We also found that, in key moments, then FBI Director James Comey clearly departed from FBI and Department norms, and his decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the Department as fair administrators of justice. Director Comey concealed from the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General his intention to make a unilateral announcement in July about the reasons for his recommendation not to prosecute former Secretary Clinton. His July 5 statement included inappropriate commentary about uncharged conduct, announced his views on what a “reasonable prosecutor” would do, and served to confuse rather than clarify public understanding of his recommendation. In late October, he again acted without adequately consulting Department leadership – and contrary to important Department norms – when he sent a letter to Congress announcing renewed investigative activity days before the election.

“There are many lessons to be learned from the Department’s and the FBI’s handling of the Midyear investigation. But among the most important is the need to respect the institution’s hierarchy and structure, and to follow established policies, procedures, and norms even in the highest-profile and most challenging investigations. No rule, policy, or practice is perfect, of course. But at the same time, neither is any individual’s ability to make judgments under pressure or in what may seem like unique circumstances. When leaders and officials adhere to their bedrock principles and values, the public has greater confidence in the fairness and rightness of their decisions, and those institutions’ leaders better protect the interests of federal law enforcement and the dedicated professionals who serve us all. By contrast, the public’s trust is negatively impacted when law enforcement officials make statements reflecting bias, when leaders abandon institutional norms 3 and the organizational hierarchy in favor of their own ad hoc judgments, and when leadership of the Department and the FBI are unable to speak directly with one another for the good of the institutions. Our report makes nine recommendations to assist the FBI and the Department in addressing these issues, most of which can be tied together through a common theme – that the FBI and the Department remain true to their foundational principles and values in all of their work.”

Clergy group brings church charges of child abuse, immorality against Jeff Sessions over zero-tolerance policy

A group of United Methodist clergy and laity said it is bringing church law charges against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the  “zero tolerance” immigration policy, according to a story from the United Methodist News Service.

The group has accused Sessions, who is a member of a Mobile, Alabama, Methodist church, of, among other things, child abuse for his part in the policy that leads to migrant children being separated from their parents once they enter the United States illegally.

The  June 18 statement says that Sessions violated Paragraph 2702.3 of the denomination’s Book of Discipline. The charges brought by the clergy include:

  • Child Abuse (examples: Advocacy for and implementation of documented practices that indefinitely separate thousands of young children from their parents; holding thousands of children in mass incarceration facilities with little to no structured educational or socio-emotional support) 
  • Immorality (examples: The use of violence against children to deter immigration; advocating and supporting the separation of children from their families; refusal of refugee/asylee status to those fleeing gang or sexual violence; oppression of those seeking asylum or attempting to enter the United States with refugee status; directing employees and staff members to kidnap children from their parents) 
  • Racial discrimination (examples: Stopping investigations of police departments charged with racial discrimination; attempting to criminalize Black Lives Matter and other racial justice activist groups; targeting incarceration for those engaged in undocumented border crossings as well as those who present with requests for asylum, with a particular focus on those perceived as Muslim or Latin) 
  • Dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of doctrine of the United Methodist Church (examples: The misuse of Romans 13 to indicate the necessity of obedience to secular law, which is in stark contrast to Disciplinary commitments to supporting freedom of conscience and resistance to unjust laws)

The statement went on to say that while other entities of the government played a part in the implementation of the policy, Sessions, being a longtime Methodist, is “particularly accountable” to the church.

“He is ours, and we are his,” the statement reads. 

The Rev. David Wright, a Pacific Northwest Conference elder and chaplain at the University of Puget Sound in Washington state, organized the effort to bring church charges against Sessions. He told the United Methodist News Service that he “really never would have thought I’d be working on charges against anybody in the Methodist connection, much less a lay person.”

Wright said Sessions use of the New Testament passage from the book of Romans, along with the zero-tolerance policy, led him to bring the charges.

“I hope his pastor can have a good conversation with him and come to a good resolution that helps him reclaim his values that many of us feel he’s violated as a Methodist,” Wright told the United Methodist News Service. “I would look upon his being taken out of the denomination or leaving as a tragedy. That’s not what I would want from this.”

Click here to read the full statement issued by the more than 600 church leaders.

 

 

Trump's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy: 4 things to know

The national debate over immigration has ramped up in recent weeks after reports surfaced that authorities on the U.S.-Mexico border are separating migrant children from their parents as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to deal with people who come into the country illegally.

>> Read more trending news

This spring, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge every person illegally crossing the border. Children traveling with the adults have been separated and placed in detention centers.

>> Is the immigration separation policy new, where did it come from, where are the detention centers? 

Here are some things to know about the immigration policy:

1. The ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy was announced in April.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in April that he had directed prosecutors along the southwest border “to have a zero tolerance policy toward immigration.”

>> Immigration: Trump administration defends 'zero tolerance' policy

“Our goal is to prosecute every case that is brought to us,” Sessions said in April. “There must be consequences for illegal actions, and I am confident in the ability of our federal prosecutors to carry out this new mission.”

2. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from families after the policy announcement.

In the six weeks after Sessions’ announcement, nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told reporters Friday.

>> Laura Bush, Melania Trump speak out on separation of immigrant children, parents at border 

From April 19 to May 31, officials said, 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults who said they were the guardians of the children, CNN reported.

3. Trump claims the separations are the Democrats’ fault.

“It is the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime,” Trump wrote Monday in a tweet. “Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration. Change the laws!”

4. No law mandates the separation of migrant children from parents.

Despite the president’s insistence that Democrats are to blame for the recent rash of separations, fact checkers with PolitifactSnopes and other organizations agree that the surge is not due to a law, but is due to Trump’s order.

>> Trump border policy: How to help immigrant children separated from families

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Sunday in a tweet, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

Officials with DHS clarified in a news release Monday, saying that while the department has no “blanket policy of separating families at the border,” it will do as much “under certain circumstances.”

Officials said the circumstances include “when the parent or legal guardian is referred for criminal prosecution,” as many would be if accused of entering the country illegally.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Is the immigration separation policy new, where did it come from, where are the detention centers?

Amid calls for the end of a policy that has separated upward of 2,000 migrant children from their parents along the southern border of the United States since April, President Donald Trump said Monday that “the United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee-holding facility… not on my watch.”

The growing outcry has included Republican and Democratic voices, as well as a former and the current first lady. 

Former first lady Laura Bush called the practice “cruel” and “immoral.” First lady Melania Trump issued a statement saying she “hates” to see families separated at the border, and hopes both Democrats and Republicans can come together to reform the nation’s immigration laws.

What has caused the most recent uproar? Here is what you need to know about the government’s “zero tolerance” policy and its practice.

What is the policy?

In April, the Justice Department notified all U.S. attorney’s offices along the Southwest border of a “zero-tolerance policy” when it comes to violation of immigration laws. The notification addressed both “attempted illegal entry and illegal entry into the United States by an alien." 

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the government was committing to criminal immigration enforcement instead of seeing the crimes as a violation of civil law. He directed federal prosecutors to prioritize the prosecution of certain criminal immigration offenses. 

The practice had been that when parents arriving illegally with their children were caught, they were quickly released with orders to appear later in court on a civil charge of entering the country illegally.

The Southwest border mentioned in the notification includes the districts of Arizona, New Mexico, the Western and Southern Districts of Texas and the Southern District of California.

Is this a new policy?

No, it is not a new policy. The “zero-tolerance” policy is related to another policy called Operation Streamline. Operation Streamline was an initiative by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice that was initiated in 2005. Under Operation Streamline those caught in the act of crossing the U.S. border without authorization may be rounded up and subject to criminal prosecution. Prior to implementing Operation Streamline, most prosecutors brought civil charges for illegal entry into the U.S.

Penalties under Operation Streamline were:

First-time offenders are prosecuted for misdemeanor illegal entry (8 U.S.C. Section 1325) which carries a six-month maximum sentence.

Any migrant who has been deported in the past and attempts to re-enter without authorization can be charged with felony re-entry, which carries a two-year sentence. It could involve more time, up to 20 years, if the migrant has a criminal record.

Why the policy change in April?

According to the notification, the zero tolerance policy “comes as the Department of Homeland Security reported a 203 percent increase in illegal border crossings from March 2017 to March 2018, and a 37 percent increase from February 2018 to March 2018 — the largest month-to-month increase since 2011.”

Why are children being taken from their parents? 

Children are being separated from their parents because their parents are being arrested and put into federal criminal custody. Children cannot be housed in prisons, so they are being taken to centers to be cared for if relatives in the United States cannot be located to care for them. 

What happens to them and where are they being held?

When a child is separated from their parent after entering the country illegally, he or she is classified as an unaccompanied alien child – meaning a minor who is not in the company of a parent or guardian and is not in the country legally.

Unaccompanied alien children are put into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, an umbrella organization of the HHS, is responsible for the care of these children. ORR contracts with child care providers to take care of the children. 

According to The New York Times, ORR is now overseeing an estimated 100 shelters in 17 states. The Corpus Christi Caller has reported that Southwest Key Programs “operates 16 of the 35 shelters that contract with the ORR” in Texas. It was one of those shelters where U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, (D-Oregon),  was denied entrance last week.

How many children are we talking about?

The number varies, but nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents in April and May – after the zero-tolerance policy was put into effect.

 

 

A president resigns, dies or is impeached: What is the line of succession?

Since 1789, eight U.S. presidents have either died or been killed while in office. One has resigned. 

On the death of the eight men and the resignation of the other, their vice presidents stepped into the role of president, following the requirement laid out in the Constitution for an orderly change of leadership.

>> Read more trending news 

But what would happen if the president and the vice president were simultaneously unable to carry out their duties? Who would step in to be president?

The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 outlines the order of succession to the presidency with a list that includes congressional members and those serving in the president’s cabinet. Congress is authorized to enact legislation concerning the order of succession under Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the U.S. Constitution. The Twentieth Amendment, adopted in 1933, and the Twenty-fifth Amendment, adopted in 1967, also address who will sit in the Oval Office and under what circumstances.

There have been three presidential succession acts passed in the country’s history, with the 1947 act being the latest. 

In 1792, the act declared that, the president pro tempore of the Senate would be first in line for the presidency should the president and the vice president both be incapacitated. The speaker of the House was second in line.

The 1886 act replaced the president pro tempore and speaker on the list with the members of the president’s cabinet. 

The order of succession reflected the order in which the cabinet positions had been created, with the secretary of state first in line after the vice president.

In 1947, the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House were brought back in to the line of succession. This time, the speaker of the House was first in line behind the vice president, and the president pro tempore second in line. Members of the cabinet fill out the line as they did in the 1886 act, by when the cabinet positions were created.

Here is the line of succession for the United States government with the names of the current office holders. 

  1. Vice President: Mike Pence
  2. Speaker of the House: Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin)
  3. President pro tempore of the Senate: Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
  4. Secretary of State: Mike Pompeo
  5. Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin
  6. Secretary of Defense: James Mattis
  7. U.S. Attorney General: Jeff Sessions
  8. Secretary of the Interior: Ryan Zinke
  9. Secretary of Agriculture: Sonny Perdue
  10. Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross
  11. Secretary of Labor: R. Alexander Acosta
  12. Secretary of Health and Human Services: Alex Azar
  13. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson
  14. Secretary of Transportation: Elaine L. Chao – Chao would not be able to assume the presidency because she was not born in the United States
  15. Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry
  16. Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos
  17. Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Robert Wilkie – Wilkie was nominated by Trump to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs; he has not yet been confirmed for that position
  18. Secretary of Homeland Security: Kirstjen Nielsen  

When is Amazon’s Prime Day 2018?

It will likely come on a Tuesday, but it will seem like a Black Friday in July when Amazon’s Prime Day rolls around.

>> Read more trending news

Begun four years ago, Prime Day is a midsummer mad rush of deals from the world’s third-largest retailer. And it has grown more popular each year. Prime Day 2017 saw the busiest day of online sales in Amazon’s history, even outdoing Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

Amazon has not officially released the date for the sale but in the past it has fallen on the second Tuesday in July. This year, that date is July 10. Sales generally start the evening before Prime Day (this year, July 9) and some linger past the midnight deadline.

Deals often include deep cuts on electronics, home goods, laptops and phones.

Click here for all the details on Prime Day. 

Father’s Day 2018: Where can dad eat free, get a discount on meals?

Father’s Day is Sunday, and it’s time to show dad some love -- or at least a decent meal that he doesn’t have to pay for.

>> Read more trending news 

If you are looking to take your dad out on his special day, below is a list of some meal deals and freebies crafted just for him.

>>Father's Day 2018: Here are 25 ideas for last-minute gifts

(Note: Not every restaurant in a chain may be honoring the deals, so be sure to check with local restaurants to confirm which deals are available before you go. Most offers are dine-in only and can’t be used with any other discount or coupons. Prices may vary with location.) 

Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar: Dads eat free at participating locations on Father’s Day with the purchase of another meal of equal or greater value. Offer doesn’t include wings or daily specials. You must purchase a beverage.

Baskin Robbins: Get $3 off ice cream cakes or cookie cakes valued at $15 or more. Order in-shop or online. Offer excludes the Polar Pizza Ice Cream Treat. Print the official offer coupon or use code CAKE at checkout online.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s: Dads eat free Sunday with a purchase of a meal of equal or greater value, up to $10.

California Pizza Kitchen: California Pizza Kitchen is offering a dine-in Father’s Day prix-fixe menu for $49.99 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The deal includes guests’ choice of small plates, entrees and dessert from the Father’s Day menu.

Firehouse Subs: Dad can get a free medium sub on Father’s Day with the purchase of an additional medium or large sub, side and drink. Print the coupon offer or show it on your smartphone to redeem.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: If your dad likes steak, a lot of it, here’s a deal for him. Fleming’s is offering a 35 oz. Tomahawk Steak Dinner for $90. Dinner comes with salad and choice of dessert. A “Bourbon Tasting Experience” can be added for an additional $20. Available Friday through Sunday.

Hooters: Ten free boneless wings for dad with the purchase of any 10 wings on Sunday.

Medieval Times: Dad gets in free with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket. Offer is valid between now through Sunday. Use Code DAD18 when buying tickets online.

Mimi’s Cafe: Dads can get a coupon for a free breakfast, lunch or dinner entree on their next visit. Purchase of a second entrée of equal or greater value and two beverages is required on that visit. Offer can be redeemed through July 7, 2018.

Morton’s The Steakhouse: Morton’s is featuring a three-course Father’s Day menu on Sunday for $59 per person that includes a choice of salad, entree and dessert from a select menu. Entree choices include filet mignon, prime pork chop, and salmon. Click here for more details.Outback Steak House: Outback has steak and surf and turf specials on Father’s Day. See the Outback Father’s Day Menu for more details.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Dine in on Saturday or Sunday and your dad can get a $25 dining card, good for a future visit. Cards are valid through Aug. 31, 2018. Limit one per table.

Spaghetti Warehouse: On Sunday, dad can get a free 15-Layer Lasagna or any Original Recipe spaghetti entrée. Dine-in parties only. Two free meals per party/table. Some restrictions apply. Click here for details.

Sonny’s BBQ: Sonny’s is offering dad an all-you-can-eat baby back ribs deal for $18.99 on Father’s Day. Dine-in only. 

Tony Roma’s: On Saturday and Sunday, Tony Roma’s will offer the $35 Father’s Day menu, which includes a 12 oz. New York Strip topped with Kickin’ Shrimp, choice of salad or soup, and a fresh vegetable. See details.

Wienerschnitzel: Dads get a free Old Fashion Sundae on Sunday.

Who is Sarah Huckabee Sanders? 8 things to know about the White House press secretary

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been on the job for just under a year now, taking over for embattled predecessor Sean Spicer last July after Spicer resigned, and she’s had no easy go of it.

>> Read more trending news 

Sanders has been the public face of the administration in the daily news briefings, fending off reporters’ pointed questions and presenting a calm face during intense questioning over tumultuous issues, scandals and steady staff turnover in the Trump White House. She’s spent countless intense hours now behind the briefing room podium in the glare of an international spotlight, remaining stoic and calm while repeatedly explaining and defending her boss and his remarks, many of them on Twitter, to persistent journalists.

Here are eight things to know about Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

-She was was born in Hope, Arkansas, in 1982, to pastor-turned-state Gov. Mike Huckabee and Janet Huckabee. She’s the youngest of three children and the only girl, according to her biography.

>> Related: Sean Spicer resigns, Sarah Huckabee Sanders named next White House press secretary

-She was no stranger to politics, even before joining the Trump team. Her father, Mike Huckabee, is not only a former Arkansas governor, but also a two-time Republican presidential hopeful. Sanders started her career in politics when she served as a field coordinator during his re-election campaign for governor in 2002, according to Biographytree.com. She also served at the Department of Education as a regional liaison and as a field director in Ohio for former President George W. Bush during his 2004 presidential campaign.

-When she was 25, Sanders was the national political director for her father’s 2008 presidential campaign and helped him win an upset victory in the Iowa caucuses. After he bowed out of the race, she became the director of Huck PAC, a political action committee that promotes conservative principles and helps elect conservative candidates to office.

-When Sanders became White House press secretary, she was only the third woman to hold that job, after Dana Perrino in 2007 and Dee Dee Meyers in 1993. 

-Sanders met Bryan Chatfield Sanders during her father’s 2008 presidential campaign and married him in May 2010. The couple has three children together, according to the website imdb.com.

>> Related: Sean Spicer resigns: A look at his 6 months as White House press secretary

-Sanders is a 2004 graduate of Ouachita University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, with a degree in political science.

-She is an evangelical and reads from a book of Christian devotionals before every briefing, according to The New York Times.

-Sanders was named one of Time Magazine’s “40 under 40” in politics in 2010.

 

Florida’s gun laws: How have they changed after the Parkland shooting?

On the day 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, Gov. Rick Scott stood in front of TV cameras in the school’s parking lot and vowed there would be changes to the gun laws of his state.

Three weeks to the day after the shooting, Scott signed into law the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act , a comprehensive bill that includes a provision that raises the age to purchase a gun, bans bump stocks and allows law enforcement, with the approval of a judge, to bar a person deemed dangerous due to mental illness from owning guns for up to a year.

The bill passed in the wake of the school shooting and just short of 21 months after the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead. 

>>Photos: Remembering Parkland Florida school shooting victims

It not only addressed gun ownership for those with mental health issues but also allocated more than $300 million for school safety initiatives.

In the past, Florida has been the target of gun control advocates who claimed the state has weak gun laws. 

The Giffords, a gun-control group, founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords, (D-Arizona), and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, gave Florida an F rating, saying the state ranked low in part because of a change to its “stand your ground” law which allows citizens to use deadly force without having the requirement to try to retreat if they believe they face "imminent death or great bodily harm." The law changed in 2017 when the burden to prove that a person was immune from prosecution under the “stand your ground” law switched from the defense to the prosecutors.

The law signed by Scott in March made sweeping changes to Florida’s gun culture. Here is a look at some of the highlights of the bill. 

  • Minimum age to purchase a gun: The bill raises the minimum age to purchase a long gun to 21. The minimum age was 18. The federal minimum age to purchase a shotgun or rifle is 18.
  • Waiting period: To purchase a gun, you must wait three days or until a background check is completed, whichever is longer. Exceptions to the three-day waiting period include licensed hunters and licensed concealed carriers, police officers and military members.
  • Ban bump stocks: Bump stocks, devices that attach to rifles that can make it easier to fire a weapon faster, are banned in the state. The National Rifle Association endorses a national ban on bump stocks.
  • Extreme Risk protection order: Law enforcement agencies will be able to petition a court for a temporary order that stops a person from purchasing or possessing firearms. The orders will be sought only when a person demonstrates behaviors that pose a significant danger to themselves or others. 
  • Baker Act measures: If a law enforcement officer takes a person into custody for an involuntary examination under the Baker Act, the officer may to seize and hold a firearm or ammunition in the person’s possession and seek the voluntary surrender of other firearms or ammunition kept in the residence. Those seized firearms and that ammunition must be available for return no longer than 24 hours after the person taken into custody can document that he or she is no longer subject to involuntary examination and has been released or discharged from any inpatient or involuntary outpatient treatment provided or ordered. 
  • Mental competency: The law prohibits a person who has been judged “mentally defective” or who has been committed to a mental institution from owning or possessing a firearm until a court orders otherwise.
  • School “guardian” program: Allow school superintendents and country sheriffs to arm school personnel under a voluntary program wherein certain employees — librarians, guidance counselors, and coaches, but not full-time classroom teachers — could be trained and allowed to carry guns on campus. 
  • Safe-school officer: Requires each district school board and school district superintendent to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to assign one or more safe-school officers at each school facility. 

Where in Florida can you carry a gun?

First, open carry is illegal in Florida. Open carry means openly carrying a weapon on your person in public. Here are the places in Florida you can have a gun:

  • In vehicles: “It is lawful for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purposes within the interior of a private vehicle, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Securely encased means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.”
  • In state parks: It is legal to carry a weapon in state parks, state or national forests, state game management units and roadside rest areas.
  • In restaurants, under certain conditions: You may carry a weapon into a restaurant. If the restaurant serves alcohol in a separate part of the restaurant, you may not take a weapon to that area. You may not take a weapon into a fully licensed bar. 

In Florida, a permit to purchase a gun is not required. A permit to carry a handgun is required.

You do not have to register a gun in Florida.

There is no restriction on the size of magazines you may own.

Background checks on private gun sales are not required.

What is net neutrality and what does the repeal of it mean for you?

On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of the net neutrality rules went into effect.

The rules had prohibited internet providers from charging more for certain content, in addition to offering equal access to all web content.

>> Read more trending news

What does that mean for the average consumer in a world that is so dependent on the use of the Internet?

Here’s a look at the repeal of net neutrality and what it means to you. 

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is a plan that regulates how Internet service providers deal with their customers.

The regulatory plan was passed in 2015. It labeled broadband service a public utility, thus giving the FCC authority to regulate it. 

The regulations created in 2015 prevented Internet service providers from doing three things: curbing access to any lawful content; creating “fast lanes” for companies and individuals who would pay a premium price for faster connection speeds; or slowing down the transmission of any lawful content. 

Those three rules were repealed on a 3-2 vote in December. The repeal of those rules took effect Monday.

What does that mean for the average person’s use of the Internet?

Probably not much, at least right away. Proponents of the repeal say maybe not at all. 

Those against the repeal of the rules say it could mean a great deal to Internet users in the future. They argue service providers could adopt a payment model similar to the one cable and satellite companies have been using. It would involve consumers choosing a bundle package for services, maybe paying one price for a basic social media package that includes Twitter and Facebook, and paying more for, say, a streaming video package.

Those in favor of dropping the net neutrality rules, including the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, said that idea is far-fetched, and that protecting the Internet user’s experience is what the Federal Trade Commission is now charged with doing.

In an op-ed published Monday, Pai said, “Transparency is also a critical part of our framework. In the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, the FCC strengthened its transparency rule so that internet service providers must make public more information about their network management practices. They are required to make this information available either on their own website or on the FCC's website. This information will allow consumers to make an informed decision about which internet service provider is best for them and give entrepreneurs the information they need as they develop new products and services. Our transparency rule will also help ensure that any problematic conduct by internet service providers is quickly identified and corrected.”

Who is arguing against the repeal?

Twenty-nine states legislatures have introduced more than 65 bills that would force internet service providers to ensure various parts of the 2015 net neutrality regulations. Oregon, Vermont  and Washington have passed net neutrality legislation.

Governors in HawaiiNew JerseyNew YorkMontanaRhode Island and Vermont have signed executive orders requiring internet service providers to adhere to the net neutrality regulations. In addition, the Senate passed a measure in favor of preserving the net neutrality rules in May. Senate Democrats have urged Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a vote on the measure.

Twenty-two states have filed a lawsuit to stop the net neutrality repeal. 

 

Father’s Day 2018: Here are 25 ideas for last-minute gifts for dad

If ads for Father’s Day gifts could be converted into a picture of the typical American dad, that picture would look something like this: He’d be a funny T-shirt-wearing, beer-swilling, tool-using, fisherman, camping kayaker who grills every meal after constructing the table he eats it on. Next to the table would rest a pair of $95 running shoes.

>> Read more trending news 

He’d have a desk full of paperweights with photos of his smiling children – some of the photos etched into the glass – a leather-bound portfolio embossed with his initials, a pen in the shape of a .50-caliber bullet, and a plaque that anoints him the world’s greatest pop.

>>Father’s Day 2018: Where can dad eat free, get a discount on meals?

So, as not to disappoint, here’s the proof – a list of gifts to help satisfy the guy you love to call dad. Remember, Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 17.

  1. Personalized pint set, the ammo can version: The ammo can includes two laser-etched pint glasses and a personalized .50-caliber bottle opener. Dad also gets a couple of beef sticks. It costs $69.99
  2. Lew’s Laser TXS Baitcast combo: Is your dad all about the bass? Then get him a graphite rod and reel for hours of casting fun. It’s $59.99. You can get a free Lew’s cap with purchase.
  3. Craftsman mechanic tool sets: A variety of sets are available starting at $49.98. You can give him a list of all the things you need to have fixed in the Father’s Day card.
  4. Fabric hammock with stand: If dad can get those kids off his lawn, he can enjoy a summer of relaxing yard naps for $198. 
  5. Heritage Tours: If your dad is the wandering type, give him a destination and send him on his way. Heritage Tours offers excursions to exotic locales. Prices vary.
  6. A “greatest dad” cap from LIDS: Let everyone know your dad is the greatest by having it stitched on a cap for him. Or, you can have other things stitched on a cap -- your choice. 
  7. Bellroy leather note sleeve wallet: Dad will love the look of leather in this slim wallet. It’s $89.95; available at Amazon. Remember, you can join Amazon Prime for free for a limited trial and get free two-day shipping on many items. 
  8. Filippo Loreti Venice moonphase gold watch: Dad deserves a gold watch for all he puts up with. You can get him this one for $249.
  9. Omaha Steaks n' Burgers gift box: Dad’s a griller at heart, so how about a box of steak and burgers? It’s $59.99. Maybe he’ll invite you over for dinner.
  10. MLB Shop custom men's jersey: So dad’s a Yankees fan? Even if you go for the Sox, think about how big his smile will be when he opens that jersey with his name and Derek Jeter’s number on it. It’s $124.99 from the official MLB Shop. 
  11. Fanchest gift boxes: Regular and “baby boxes” of your dad’s team’s sports stuff starts at $59. They also have memorabilia boxes starting at $130 (that include signed or game-used merchandise from a choice of players.) Father's Day boxes begin at $59. 
  12. Allbirds wool runner shoes: Wool sneakers you can toss in the wash are all the rage this year. You can snag a pair for dad for $95. They come in eight colors.
  13. The Amazon Echo Spot: You know dad wants one if only to ask it “how’s the weather” seven times a day. It’s $129.99. 
  14. Arccos 360 golf tracking system: For the dad who sees himself as the next Tiger Woods, a performance tracking system. It costs $214.93.
  15. The Art of Shaving beard maintenance set: If your dad is a little shaggy, beardwise, here’s a pretty swell gift. It’s $60.
  16. Yeti Rambler 30 oz. tumbler: Seriously, you haven’t gotten your dad one of these yeti? It’s $34.99.
  17. The Good Hurt Fuego Hot Sauces sampler pack: Does your dad put hot sauce on everything? Give him a sampler pack so he can refine his ability to eat things as hot as the sun. It’s $34.99.
  18. Mott & Bow Wooster stretch jeans: Maybe your dad is a fashion plate. A pair of Mott & Bow jeans could be the perfect gift. They are $118 a pair. Oh, and they stretch. You’re welcome, Dad. 
  19. MeUndies men's boxer brief 10-pack: OK, this company claims its undies are three times as soft as cotton. Get a 10-pack of boxer briefs for $150. 
  20. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Is your dad a reader? Get him a Kindle Paperwhite so he can read the latest John Grisham novel.
  21. Happy Socks The Beatles collector box set: Ever wished you could live in a yellow submarine? Your dad probably does right now, if just for five minutes of peace and quiet. At least let his feet have the chance. The collector box set costs $84.
  22. Leatherology money clip: It’s a full-grain leather clip that can hold up to 20 bills. But let’s face it, if your dad still has 20 bills in his pocket, you are clearly not doing your job as an offspring. The clip cost $25.
  23. Grafomap custom map poster: This website allows you to create a map poster of any place in the world. Map out dad’s hometown, the city where he had his first job or where he met mom. The maps start at $49.
  24. Fandango gift card: Does your dad love a good movie? Then give him the gift of one with a gift card from Fandango. Of course, he’s on his own for popcorn.
  25. Ancestry DNA kit: Is dad really who he says he is? One way to find out: order a DNA kit. The results will prove if dad is indeed a Viking as he has claimed for so many years. An Ancestry DNA kit costs $69 through June 18. 

 

What is a tariff, and why should you be worried about it?

While attending the annual meeting of leaders of countries that belong to the Group of Seven last week, President Donald Trump criticized as “ridiculous and unacceptable” tariffs imposed on American goods by other countries.

An advocate for free trade among nations, Trump said he believes the United States has for too long been the loser on trade deals with other countries. On Saturday, he vowed to put an end to “being like a piggy bank that everybody is robbing.”

>> Read more trending news

Before leaving the meeting, he reiterated that he wants to eliminate all tariffs and subsidies on trade between the seven allies.

What is a tariff and why is the president upset by them? Here’s a look at trade tariffs and what they do.

What is a tariff?

A tariff is a tax on imports or exports that increases their prices. Tariffs are used by governments to make foreign products less attractive to consumers in order to protect domestic industries from competition. Money collected under a tariff is called a duty or customs duty.

What types of tariffs are there? There are two types of tariffs – an ad valorem tariff and a specific tariff.

An ad valorem tariff is a tariff that is a fixed percentage of the value of an imported good. If the price of the imported good goes up, the ad valorem tariff goes up. If it goes down, the tariff goes down.

For instance, if a company exports an item to the United States costing $50 and the ad valorem tariff on that product is 20 percent, the company would have to pay the tariff -- $10 in this case -- to export the product to the U.S. If the price of the item goes up to $75, the company will have to pay a tariff of $15 to sell the item in the US.

A specific tariff is a fixed amount of money placed on the item no matter the cost. Say there is a $20 specific tariff on that $50 item. The company exporting the item to the US would have to pay $20 to sell the item in the U.S. If the item goes up in cost to $75, the company will still have to pay $20 to export the item.

Why should I care if the US government puts a tariff on items? The manufacturer pays for that, right?

Sure, manufacturers pay the tariff upfront, but the cost of the tariff will be passed along to the consumer. Or, if the cost of the tariff is too high for those exporting goods, then they stop exporting goods.

Tariffs affect the cost of goods you buy, and the U.S. buys many more products than it sells. In April, the U.S. sold $211.2 billion in goods to other countries, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and purchased $257.4 billion worth of goods from other countries.

So, why slap tariffs on goods if it will hurt the US consumer?

The theory is that as goods made by people outside the U.S. get more expensive, manufacturers within the country will either increase their production of the product  or other companies will begin to produce the product, thus strengthening the U.S. economy.

What happened with tariffs surrounding the G-7 summit in Canada, and why are U.S. allies angry at Trump?

Trump left the G-7 summit early on the way to his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un. He tweeted from Air Force One that he was withdrawing his support for a communique (or agreement) crafted during the summit. The agreement referenced shared priorities among the seven allies, such as their standing on trade, sustainability and national security.

Where do the hard feelings about tariffs come in? 

In the days prior to the meeting, the United States imposed a 25 percent tariff for steel and 10 percent tariff for aluminum on imports from Canada, the European Union (EU) and Mexico. Trump claimed the move was made to protect US security.

Trump also complained about Canada’s tariffs on dairy products. Canada levies a tariff of 270 percent on milk, 245 percent on cheese and 298 percent on butter. The tariffs are in place to protect the Canadian dairy industry, effectively eliminating any foreign competition.

In his tweet about withdrawing support for the communique, Trump criticized Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling him “weak and dishonest” for his comments about the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Trudeau responded by announcing that Canada will impose retaliatory tariffs on $12.8 billion worth of US goods including yogurt, beer kegs, non-decaffeinated coffee, steel rods, sleeping bags, toilet paper, plywood, bobbins, “Combined refrigerator-freezers, fitted with separate external doors” and scores of other items.

The EU has promised similar tariffs against the United States.

North Korea summit coin: If you like the meeting, you’ll love the memento

If you like the summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jung-Un, you are going to love the coin commemorating it. At least the staff at the White House gift shop hopes so.

In May the gift shop began taking pre-orders for the coin that commemorates the historic meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim. The coin was still available even after the summit was called off before it was back on again and set for Tuesday.

>>Read more trending news

The coin depicts Trump and Kim facing each other with the flags of the United States and North Korea in the background. 

According to officials at the Gift Shop, the coin is the first of three to commemorate the summit at which Trump will spend one day. 

From the gift shop’s website:

“President Donald J. Trump and North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un on Front of Coin in Now Famous 3-D Facing Silouhettes [sic] by the Original Designer with Iconic Colors You Have Seen Plus Significant Diplomatic Elements to Make This #1 Coin in Series Perfect and Significant as a Representation of the the [sic] Momentous Korea Peace Talks.”

>> PHOTOS: Trump arrives in Singapore

The coin was first offered for $24.94. The price was dropped to $19.95 after the summit was canceled, then went up to $49 when the meeting was back on. It is being offered as a “deal of the day” for $39. Some coins have been offered on eBay for $69 to $100.

The coins will be shipped Aug. 1, 2018. 

Trump-Kim summit: What you need to know about the historic meeting

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un will meet on Tuesday in Singapore for the first face-to-face summit between a sitting U.S. president and the head of North Korea.

Trump has made it known that since taking office in 2017, he has wanted North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons and has suggested that if that happens, the U.S. would ease economic sanctions on the country.

>>Read more trending news 

Despite a year of name-calling and threats, the two leaders are set to meet Tuesday at a resort on an island off the coast of Singapore.

The meeting, which was first announced in May, was canceled after Kim criticized the U.S. a couple of weeks later. Trump officially called off the talks soon after that with a signed letter, only to say the summit was back on a week later.

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s summit.

>> PHOTOS: Trump arrives in Singapore

Why have a summit now? In the past 20 years, the United States, along with the United Nations and other countries, have sought to stem North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons by imposing economic sanctions for violation of international law concerning nuclear arms development.

Since coming to power, Kim has continued to develop and test those weapons. Many believe North Korea has now developed a missile and the means to directly deliver that missile to the U.S. mainland.

The United States has become more concerned with North Korea’s nuclear program and is now demanding Kim dismantle his nuclear arsenal. The summit is a means for the U.S. to deal face-to-face with Kim over his nuclear weapons program.

The U.N. and U.S. sanctions, along with the incredible expenditure on nuclear weapons development, have crippled North Korea’s economy and left its people among the world’s poorest.

Sanctions by the United Nations, the United States and other nations target 90 percent of Pyongyang’s publicly reported export products. The country’s per capita gross national income is $1,342.

For those reasons, Kim seems anxious to come to the summit, as well.

When is the summit?

The meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m. local time Tuesday, or 9 p.m. ET Monday. Singapore is 12 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone in the United States. Trump and Kim will start the summit with a one-on-one session with only their translators, according to the White House. The president will leave at 8 p.m. local time to return to the United States.

Where is it being held?

The meeting will take place on Sentosa, an island off the coast of Singapore. The island, a tourists destination, was originally named Pulau Blakang Mati. It was renamed Sentosa following a contest sponsored by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board. Sentosa means “peace and tranquility.” Pulau Blakang Mati means “island of death behind.”

The island, which was once a Japanese prisoner of war camp, now hosts a number of hotels, golf courses, a light rail system, a mile-long sheltered beach, a casino and a resort that features a Universal Studios Singapore theme park. The tourists' destination sees more than 20 million visitors a year.

Who are the main players at the summit?

These men will be meeting face-to-face to discuss nuclear disarmament: U.S. President Donald Trump North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Secretary of State Mike Pompeo U.S. national security adviser John Bolton Gen. Kim Yong-chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea for South Korean affairs and North Korea’s top nuclear weapons negotiator

Who else will be there? Dennis Rodman, NBA Hall of Famer and a longtime friend of Kim, is in Singapore. Trump said last week that while he was a “nice guy,” Rodman was not officially invited to attend the summit.

What does the United States want? What the United States wants is “complete, permanent and verifiable denuclearization.” While Trump has said he wants the weapons gone as soon as possible, that process could take many years. It is estimated that North Korea has enough nuclear material to produce anywhere from 20 to 30 nuclear weapons.

What does Korea want?  Kim wants relief from economic sanctions placed on his country by the United States, and according to Pompeo, he has expressed a willingness to get rid of his nuclear weapons in order to have those sanctions rolled back. In addition, Kim wants the eventual removal of U.S. troops from South Korea. There are roughly 30,000 U.S. troops in South Korea.

What can be achieved?

That’s yet to be seen. Trump has said he sees the summit as a first step in the process of denuclearization and the lifting of sanctions.

"I never said it goes in one meeting. I think it's going to be a process, but the relationships are building and that's a very positive thing,” Trump said.

Kim has also talked about a formal end to the Korean War being part of the ongoing talks. The Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950, did not end in a peace treaty; rather, it ended on July 27, 1953, in an armistice, or an agreement to stop military action. The war has never officially ended.

How can I watch it?

Here are the plans by the major networks for coverage of the summit:

ABC NewsCBS NewsCNNFox NewsNBC News / MSNBC

See also:

>>Discussions between U.S., North Korea moving quickly, officials say

 

NBA Finals 2018: What time, what channel, what are the odds for Cleveland vs. Golden State?

The NBA Finals are underway as the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors.

If the names sound familiar, there’s a reason. This is the fourth year in a row the Cavs and the Warriors will play for the title. Cleveland defeated the Boston Celtics in conference play to earn their way into the finals, while Golden State beat the Houston Rockets to punch their ticket to the championship game.

This is the first time in a major U.S. sport that two teams have met four consecutive years in the championship game.

What time is it on, what channel, what are the odds? Here’s a look at the upcoming series.

Who is playing: The Cleveland Cavaliers play the Golden State Warriors.

What channel: The games will be broadcast on ABC.

What about livestreamWatchESPN

What are the odds: The Warriors are 4.5-point sportsbook favorites in the latest odds for Game 3, with the over-under for total points scored set at 216.5, according to Sports Illustrated

NBA Finals 2018 Schedule: Here is the schedule for the NBA Finals, the times and the channel they will be broadcast on. 

Game 1 from Oakland: Thursday, May 31, 9 p.m. ET, ABC (Warriors 124, Cavaliers 114)

 

Game 2 from Oakland: Sunday, June 3, 8 p.m. ET, ABC (Warriors 122, Cavaliers 103)

 

Game 3 from Cleveland: Wednesday, June 6, 9 p.m. ET, ABC (Warriors 110, Cavaliers 102)

Game 4 from Cleveland: Friday, June 8, 9 p.m. ET, ABC

 

Game 5* from Oakland: Monday, June 11, 9 p.m. ET, ABC

 

Game 6* from Cleveland: Thursday, June 14, 9 p.m. ET, ABC

 

Game 7* from Oakland: Sunday, June 17, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

*if necessary

Robert Kennedy assassination: What happened to RFK’s children after he was killed?

When Robert Kennedy was murdered on June 5, 1968, he left behind 10 children and his wife, who was pregnant with the couple’s 11th child.

Robert and Ethel’s children’s lives were shaped by the dynamics typical in a large family. What wasn’t typical for the children was that whether it be triumphs or tragedies, their lives were played out on a public stage. 

>> Read more trending news 

Here are profiles of Kennedy’s children and what they have accomplished in the years following their father’s death.

An overview:

  • Robert and Ethel Kennedy were parents to seven boys and four girls. They are in birth order: Kathleen, Joseph II, Robert Jr., David, Courtney, Michael, Kerry, Christopher, Max, Douglas and Rory.
  • Two of his children, David and Michael, died at an age younger than Kennedy was when he was killed. The other nine children have all lived more years than their father, who died at age 42.
  • Five went to law school.
  • All but two – David and Courtney – earned college degrees.
  • Kennedy never saw any of his children graduate from prep school.
  • In 1974, Kennedy’s children were the target of kidnap threats and were assigned Secret Service protection.

>>Robert Kennedy assassination: Who is Sirhan Sirhan, the man who killed RFK?

Here’s a look at Kennedy’s children:

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (born July 4, 1951): Robert and Ethel’s first child, Kathleen, was 16 when her father died. Like her father, Kathleen would attend law school, become an attorney and enter politics. She ran for Congress in 1986 but lost the election. She was a deputy assistant attorney general of the United States. In 2002, she became Maryland’s first female lieutenant governor. She has taught college courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University and the University of Maryland. She has served as a visiting fellow at Harvard and St. Mary’s College. She has received 12 honorary degrees. She founded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. She is married to David Townsend, a professor at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy II (born Sept. 24, 1952): Joseph Kennedy was 15 when his father was killed. Named after his grandfather, Joseph Kennedy saw his share of trouble as a young boy. He was known for his quick temper, and he was expelled from several private schools before he graduated from Manter Hall School. He dropped out of college, though he would eventually return and earn his degree. In 1972, he was a passenger on a plane that was hijacked. He and his fellow passengers were released unharmed the next day. In 1973, he injured his brother, David, and paralyzed David’s girlfriend, Pam Kelley, when the Jeep he was driving overturned. He was cited for reckless driving. In 1979, he founded Citizens Energy, a nonprofit organization that raises money to provide discounted heating oil to low-income families. In 1986, Kennedy was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts – a seat that was held by his uncle, John F. Kennedy. and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill Jr. Kennedy would serve six terms in Congress. He returned to Citizens Energy in 1999 and remains in charge of the organization. He married Shelia Rauch in 1979, and in 1980 became the father of twin boys. Rauch and Kennedy would divorce in 1991. Kennedy asked the Catholic Church to annul his marriage to Rauch, saying he was not mentally fit to have entered into marriage when he did. The annulment was granted, but Rauch appealed the decision to the Holy See. The original decision was overturned. In the meantime, Kennedy married former staffer Elizabeth Kelly in 1993 in a civil ceremony. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (born Jan. 17, 1954): Robert Kennedy’s namesake, Robert Jr., was 14 when his father died. He was at boarding school when his father was shot, and he, his sister, Kathleen, and brother, Joseph, were flown via Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s plane to Los Angeles to be with their father as he died. He graduated from Harvard and earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. In 1983, he was arrested for heroin possession. He pleaded guilty, and as part of his sentence, he worked with the Hudson Riverkeeper organization, a nonprofit formed to clean up New York’s Hudson River. After his probation was over, he was hired as the organization’s lawyer. From 1986 until 2017, Kennedy worked as an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. He continues to work for environmental causes and formed a law firm that represented clients against big business on pollution issues. He is an environmental-law professor at New York’s Pace University and co-host of the radio show “Ring of Fire.” He has written or edited 10 books. Kennedy has spoken out strongly about the use of a mercury-based preservative in vaccinations and has said he believes they are a contributing factor in the development of autism in some children. He has been a vocal supporter of his cousin, Michael Skakel. Skakel was convicted of the 1975 murder of his Greenwich, Connecticut, next-door-neighbor, Martha Moxley. Skakel spent a decade in prison before his conviction was overturned. He was granted a new trial earlier this month. He has said he believes that neither the murder of his father nor the murder of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, were the work of lone gunmen. He has called for the reopening of the investigation into his father’s murder. Robert Kennedy Jr. has been married three times – first to Emily Black, then to Mary Richardson and then to actress Cheryl Hines. Kennedy has six children. Kennedy’s second wife, Richardson, committed suicide in 2012.

David Anthony Kennedy (born June 15, 1955 - died April 25, 1984): David Kennedy was Kennedy’s fourth child and, by all accounts, was very close to his father. On the day his father was assassinated, June 5, 1968, Kennedy saved his 12-year-old son from drowning as David and his siblings were swimming in the Pacific Ocean near Malibu, Calif. He would watch his father be shot on live television hours later. Following the assassination, David became a recreational drug user. He enrolled in Harvard but dropped out. In 1973, five years after his father’s death, he was injured in an accident when the car his brother Joseph was driving overturned, paralyzing his girlfriend and breaking one of his vertebrae. He became addicted to painkillers as a result of the accident and was in and out of rehab facilities for several years. In 1984, after another stint in rehab, he joined family members in Palm Beach, Florida, to celebrate Easter. After spending time with family, he was not seen for several days. He was discovered dead of a drug overdose in a hotel room in Palm Beach. He was 28 years old.

Mary Courtney Kennedy (born Sept. 9, 1956): The second daughter of Robert Kennedy, was 11 when her father died. She chose not to go to college and instead went to work at the Children’s Television Network. She met her first husband, Jeffrey Ruhe, through her work and was married to Ruhe from 1980 to 1990. She married Paul Hill in 1993. Hill, an Irishman, and three others were wrongly convicted for the bombing of a pub in the “Guildford Four” case. Courtney and Hill had a daughter, Saoirse, in 1997. The couple lived in Ireland from 2002 to 2006. They legally separated in 2006. 

Michael LeMoyne Kennedy (born February 27, 1958, died Dec. 31, 1997): Michael Kennedy, named for an Irish priest (Michael Kennedy) and his uncle John’s college roommate and family friend (Kirk LeMoyne Billings), was 10 years old when his father died. He went on to graduate from Harvard and the University of Virginia. He worked in a private law firm before he took over running Citizens Energy Corporation, the nonprofit company started by his brother, Joseph. In 1994, he helped to run his uncle Edward Kennedy’s Senate re-election campaign. He married Victoria Gifford, the daughter of NFL star Frank Gifford, in 1981. They had three children. In 1997, he was investigated for an alleged affair with his children’s former babysitter. Kennedy was investigated for statutory rape as the babysitter was 16 when the two had sex. He separated from his wife and soon after checked himself into a Maryland rehab center for alcoholics. On New Year’s Eve of that year, Kennedy was killed when he skied into a tree while playing football. His sister, Rory, tried in vain to get his heart restarted by performing CPR.

Mary Kerry Kennedy (born Sept. 8, 1959): Kerry Kennedy was born a day before her sister Cortney’s third birthday and was 8 when her father died. She graduated from college and law school and became a human rights activist. She has traveled extensively, taking delegations around the world in the cause of human rights. She is the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights. She is the chair of Amnesty International Leadership Council. She has been honored for her work and has received several honorary doctorates of law. She married Andrew Cuomo in 1990. They divorced in 2005. They have three daughters. She was arrested in 2012 for suspicion of driving while under the influence of a drug. Kennedy said she had accidentally taken Ambien, a sleep aid, and had fallen asleep. She was acquitted of the charges after a blood test showed she had the drug in her system.

Christopher George Kennedy (born July 4, 1963): Christopher Kennedy was born on his sister Kathleen’s 12th birthday. He was 4 when his father was killed. He graduated from Boston College and Northwestern and started a career in business. He was president of Merchandise Mart Properties in Chicago, worked for Archer Daniels Midland and is now the chairman of the Kennedy family investment firm, Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises. In May 2012, he started the Chicago-based non-profit Top Box Foods, which provides discounted fresh groceries to families who don’t have access to grocery stores. He ran for the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois but was defeated in the primary in March 2018. He married Shelia Brener in 1987. The couple has four children.

Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy (born Jan. 11, 1965): Matthew Kennedy, known as Max, was born in New York City, the first of Robert Kennedy’s sons born after President Kennedy was assassinated. He was named after Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, a former American Ambassador to Vietnam. He was 3 when his father was killed. He graduated from Harvard and the University of Virginia with a law degree. He served as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia and as director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. He helped to found the Urban Ecology Institute at Boston College and taught classes there. He is a civil and human rights activist and an author, having written two books and several magazine articles. He married Victoria Strauss in 1991. They have three children.

Douglas Harriman Kennedy (born March 24, 1967): Douglas Kennedy, named for former New York Gov. W. Averell Harriman, was just over a year old when his father was assassinated. He graduated from Brown University and pursued a career in journalism. He worked at the New York Post on major breaking stories. He moved to the Fox News Channel as a general assignment reporter. He hosts a biweekly program on the network, "Douglas Kennedy’s American Stories." He was married to Molly Stark in 1998, and they have five children. Kennedy was involved in a scuffle at a hospital after the birth of his youngest child. He said he wanted to take the baby out of the hospital for some fresh air and two nurses tried to stop him. The nurses claimed Kennedy pushed and kicked them while holding the child. He was acquitted of harassment and child endangerment.

Rory Elizabeth Katherine Kennedy (born Dec. 12, 1968): Rory Kennedy never met her father as she was born six months after he was killed. She has made a successful career out of documentary films, producing and directing “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,” “American Hollow,” “Last Days in Vietnam,” and other films. She graduated from Brown University and formed a film company with some of her classmates. In July of 1999, she was set to marry fellow filmmaker Mark Bailey, but her wedding had to be postponed for two weeks when her cousin, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, and sister-in-law were killed in a plane crash on the way to the wedding. Kennedy and her husband have three children.

Supreme Court decision on wedding cake case: Things to know

The Supreme Court announced Monday morning that a Colorado baker was protected by the Constitution when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. 

A Colorado state commission had ruled against Jack Philips and was at the center of the Supreme Court case, Masterpiece Cakeshop V. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, No. 16-111, The New York Times reported.

Here is what you need to know about the potentially landmark case.

>>From Jamie Dupree: Supreme Court rules for Colorado baker in same-sex wedding cake case

When did the case begin?

It all started in 2012. David Mullins and Charlie Craig went to Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood Colorado. They were planning on marrying in Massachusetts but having a reception in Colorado. Philips said that he would not make a cake, because doing so would show that he agreed with same-sex marriage, which his religious views did not allow.

Craig and Mullins said they were embarrassed by not being able to have a custom wedding cake made at the shop, so they field a complaint with the state’s civil rights commission. The couple said they were discriminated against based on sexual orientation, The New York Times reported.

The commission and the state courts agreed with Craig and Mullins. 

How did the case get to the Supreme Court?

The case was heard by the Colorado Court of Appeals, which said that Phillips’ right to free speech was not violated because both sides, the baker and the couple, hadn’t discussed the cake before Phillips said no. The court also said that people wouldn’t assume that Philips would be making a statement on whether or not he supported gay marriage by simply making a cake. He was still free to voice his opinion in any other setting, The New York Times reported.

Religious groups, however, said that the government shouldn’t force anyone to go against their principles to make a living.

>> Read more trending news 

How did the Supreme Court rule?

It was a 7-2 decision, saying that the Constitution protected Philips’s First Amendment rights of free speech. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission acted with “clear and impermissible hostility” to religious beliefs. He added that one commissioner went too far when the person said that “freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, either it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust.” 

Kennedy said that “this sentiment is inappropriate for a commission charged with the solemn responsibility of fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.”

The judgement was 7-2, but the opinion was 6-2, CNN reported.

Who wrote the dissent?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the remarks made by the commissioner were not enough to rule for Phillips.

“What prejudice infected the determinations of the adjudicators in the case before and after the commission? The court does not say,” Ginsburg wrote.

Who represented whom?

Alliance Defending Freedom represented Philips and said that the court’s ruling was a victory of religious liberty.

“Government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society, yet the state of Colorado was openly antagonistic toward Jack’s religious beliefs about marriage,” Kristen Waggoner, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom said. 

“Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs,” Waggoner said in a statement, CNN reported.

But the American Civil Liberties Union represented Mullins and Craig and said that while the court ruled on the side of Philips, the court was also aware of and reaffirmed protections for the LGBTQ community.

“The court reversed the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision based on concerns unique to the case but reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against L.G.B.T. people,” Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director, told The New York Times.

Can Trump pardon himself?

President Donald Trump said Monday that he has “the absolute right to PARDON” himself after his attorney Rudy Giuliani suggested he had the authority to do as much in interviews Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

“As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” Trump wrote in a tweet Monday morning. 

One day earlier, Giuliani told ABC’s “This Week” that Trump “probably does” have the power to pardon himself.

>> Trump says he has 'absolute right' to pardon himself

The comments raised a question: Does Trump actually have the power to pardon himself? Several legal experts have weighed in on this question in recent months, and it turns out that the answer depends on who you ask.

What does the White House say?

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that the Constitution “very clearly lays out the law” in regard to presidential pardons.

>> Trump pardons Scooter Libby: Who is he and what did he do?

What does the Constitution say?

According to Article II, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, “The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

So does that mean that he can pardon himself if he faces charges connected to the Russia probe?

Some legal experts think so, while others aren’t so sure.

>> Trump considers pardoning Martha Stewart, commuting Rod Blagojevich's sentence

John Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a previous legal adviser to President George W. Bush’s administration, wrote in an opinion piece last year for The New York Times that a read of the Constitution shows “President Trump can clearly pardon anyone -- even himself -- subject to the Mueller investigation."

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation 

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, wrote in an opinion piece for USA Today that “as a textual matter, there is nothing to prevent Trump from adding his own name to the list of pardoned individuals.”

So who argues that the president can’t pardon himself?

Several legal experts say that the Constitution implicitly blocks the president from pardoning himself.

Brain Kalt, a Michigan State University law professor who has studied presidential self-pardons for years, wrote last year in an article for Foreign Policy Magazine that the word “pardon” is key to the issue.

>> President Donald Trump grants pardon to late boxer Jack Johnson

“The word ‘pardon’ means something inherently bilateral, something that a sovereign bestows upon a subject,” he wrote. “While there is admittedly no explicit limitation on self-pardons, there is no need for one, because a self-pardon is by definition not a ‘pardon.’”

Further, he pointed to the “venerable maxim that no one may be the judge in his own case.”

>> President Donald Trump pardons Dinesh D'Souza

“Like a judge who would have to submit to the authority of another judge if he were being prosecuted, a president must seek a pardon from his successor,” he wrote.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel reached that conclusion in 1974, days before President Richard Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal.

“Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the President cannot pardon himself,” then-acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lawton wrote.

Teachers, school personnel eat free at Red Robin on Tuesday

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews is offering teachers, counselors, administrators, education professionals, retired teachers and school bus drivers a free meal Tuesday to show gratitude for “educating us on the fundamentals.” 

“Red Robin knows that remarkable people make us better, and we look forward to welcoming all educators to our restaurants on June 5 to show our appreciation for all the hard work they put in throughout the school year,” said Dana Benfield, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Red Robin.

>> Read more trending news

The chain is offering teachers a Tavern Double Burger and bottomless steak fries on dine-in orders. Red Robin has five Tavern Double Burgers with fries on its menu for $6.99.

The deal requires a valid school ID. No purchase is necessary. For more information about Red Robin’s teachers eat free promotion, click here.

Read also:

>>Teacher pay: Which states pay teachers the most?

 

Belmont Stakes 2018: What time, what channel, who is racing, updated odds

The Belmont Stakes will be run Saturday in New York, with Justify, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, as the sentimental favorite. 

The race is known as the “test of champions,” and if Justify can win the 150th running of the Belmont, he will take horse racing’s Triple Crown. The last horse to do so was American Pharoah in 2015.

>> Read more trending news 

What time is the Belmont Stakes, what channel is it on and what are the latest odds for the race?

Here’s all you need to know about the 2018 Belmont Stakes. 

When is the 2018 Belmont Stakes?

The race is on Saturday, June 9. 

Where is it run?

The Belmont Stakes is held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

How long is the track?

The track at Belmont is 1½ miles long.

Who runs in it?

The race is open to 3-year-old thoroughbreds. 

What time is the Belmont Stakes? 

The race is scheduled to start at 6:37 p.m., ET. Race coverage begins at 2 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network and will switch to NBC at 4 p.m. EST. 

What channel is it on?

NBC is broadcasting the race. You can find your NBC channel by clicking here. 

Livestream:

The coverage will also be streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Record: 2:24, Secretariat (1973)

Purse: $1.5 million ($800,000 first)

Here are the post positions for the 2018 Belmont Stakes

  1. Justify
  2. Free Drop Billy
  3. Bravazo
  4. Hofburg
  5. Restoring Hope
  6. Gronkowski
  7. Tenfold
  8.  Vino Rosso
  9. Noble Indy
  10. Blended Citizen

What are the odds?

As of Saturday, here are the odds on the race .

  1. Justify 4-5
  2. Free Drop Billy 30-1
  3. Bravazo 8-1
  4. Hofburg 9-2
  5.  Restoring Hope 30-1
  6. Gronkowski 12-1
  7. Tenfold 12-1
  8. Vino Rosso 8-1
  9. Noble Indy 30-1
  10. Blended Citizen 15-1
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