Within minutes of President Donald Trump's selection of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Democrats who will lead the fight in the Senate delivered scathing assessments -- but held fire on perhaps the most important question facing them: whether they will filibuster the nomination.
The whole game won't be in VR, but Fox and its VR partner LiveLike will feature 20 game highlights in the new format.
Fans can watch using the Fox Sports VR app, either with a headset or just straight from a smartphone
During the game, four of the top plays in each quarter will be shown in VR. Those clips will be available in nearly real time but fans can also watch them after the fact. There will also be clips produced in advance.
Six cameras in Houston's NRG Stadium will show the action and fans can toggle between them to get different perspectives. There will be two cameras from the 50-yard press box, two cameras on carts and two in the end zones.
LiveLike and Fox Sports previously worked together on VR broadcasts of college football games and the MLS Cup. This is the first time the two have partnered on an NFL game.
"I can't imagine a better way for us to potentially introduce millions of people to VR than literally the biggest entertainment event on the planet," said Miheer Walavalkar, LiveLike's co-founder.
The matchup between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons will kick off on Fox at 6:30 pm ET.
The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday it will allow 872 refugees to enter the country after they were initially barred from flying to the U.S. under President Trump’s executive order on immigration.
Homeland Security began detaining immigrants arriving at U.S. airports immediately after Trump signed his order Friday evening. The order temporarily suspended the U.S. refugee program and barred entry to most people coming from seven majority Muslim countries — Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.
By Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it was detaining 109 people affected by the ban. DHS officials say all those people were cleared — either allowed to enter the country or returned to their home countries — by Sunday night. But civil rights groups and immigration advocates say people remained in custody at U.S. airports through Monday.
On Tuesday, Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), said more than 500,000 foreigners flew into the country in the 72 hours following Trump’s order. He said CBP agents granted waivers to 1,060 green card holders from the countries affected by Trump’s order, allowing them to enter the country after additional screening.
McAleenan said 75 waivers were granted to other visa holders, including people who had special visas intended for translators who have worked with the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he said 721 travelers were stopped from boarding planes in foreign countries headed for the U.S.
McAleenan said some of those people were prevented from boarding U.S.-bound flights because airlines "over-interpreted" CBP orders. He and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly insisted the department was allowed to review drafts of Trump's order ahead of time and were prepared to immediately issue new guidance to its port officers once it was signed.
Kelly denied reports of "chaos" at U.S. airports, arguing that things were running smoothly inside the international inspection areas even as immigrants were detained and thousands of people protested at terminals around the country.
"Our officers who were at the counters … the only chaos they saw was what was taking part at other parts of the airports," Kelly said. "They knew what they were doing."
Kelly said they will continue implementing Trump’s order, but stressed that they are abiding by emergency rulings issued by federal judges over the weekend. “We are and will continue to be in compliance with judicial orders,” Kelly said.
He added that the executive order "is not a ban on Muslims."
Somali-born British Olympic athlete Mo Farah says the recent travel ban imposed by the United States President Donald Trump was borne out of ignorance and prejudice.
33-year-old Farah is a full British national, he moved to the UK at the age of eight. He was based there till he relocated the US where he has lived since 2011.
‘‘On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.
Mo is relieved that he will be able to return to his family once his current training camp concludes. However, as he said in his earlier statement, he still fundamentally disagrees with this incredibly divisive and discriminatory policy.
‘‘I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years – working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home. Now, me and many others like me are being told that we may not be welcome,’‘ his post on Facebook read.
President Trump late last week signed an executive order that banned nationals from seven Muslim countries. Three African countries and four in the Middle East were affected by the order which was to take immediate effect.
The affected countries were Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Syria. ‘‘It’s deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home – to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice,’‘ his post added.
A federal judge has meanwhile issued a temporary halt to deportation of visa holders or refugees stranded at airports. There were protests at airports across the US against the executive order even though Trump has since defended the move.
The UK Foreign Office clarified that British nationals would be exempt from the order. Afterwards a spokesman for the Olympic champion said he was relieved but stood by his earlier post which had been shared over 240,000 times.
“Mo is relieved that he will be able to return to his family once his current training camp concludes. However, as he said in his earlier statement, he still fundamentally disagrees with this incredibly divisive and discriminatory policy,” the spokesman said.
Veteran goalkeeper Essam El Hadary proved Egypt's hero, saving Bertrand Traore's spot-kick to secure victory.
In normal time Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for Egypt when he curled a superb shot into the top left corner.
Burkina Faso became the first side to score against Egypt this tournament when Aristide Bance chested down Charles Kabore's cross and volleyed in.
The Burkinabe, who were the more adventurous and ambitious side throughout normal play, took an immediate advantage in the shootout.
Goalkeeper Herve Koffi, only 20 years old, magnificently pushed Abdallah El Said's spot-kick on to the post.
But he later turned from hero to villain when he stepped up to take his side's fourth penalty and was unable to beat El Hadary - who at 24 years his senior is the oldest Nations Cup player in history.
El Hadary's experience - he now has a chance to win his fifth African title - proved vital as he then saved Bertrand Traore's effort to send Burkina Faso home.
The happy couple, who married in a top-secret wedding ceremony in New York City in April 2008, are also the parents of 5-year-old daughter Blue Ivy. Beyoncé famously announced her first pregnancy at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.
"Being pregnant was very much like falling in love," Queen Bey said in her 2013 HBO documentary Life Is But a Dream. "You are so open. You are so overjoyed. There's no words that can express having a baby growing inside of you, so of course you want to scream it out and tell everyone."
Beyoncé's mom, Tina Knowles Lawson, also took to Instagram on Wednesday to congratulate the expectant parents. "WOW I don't have to keep the secret anymore," she wrote. "I am soooo happy God is so good twin blessings."
Last year, the pop superstar made headlines when she released her acclaimed visual album Lemonade, which showcased the betrayal of a romantic partner, prompting fans to speculate that Jay Z, 47, had been unfaithful with the so-called "Becky with the good hair." At the end of the hourlong film, the couple seemingly made amends as Beyoncé sang, "True love breathes salvation back into me / With every tear came redemption / And my torturer became my remedy."
HOUSTON -- After leading his team to the greatest comeback win in the greatest Super Bowl ever played, it seems like now is the time that we can all agree on one thing: Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history
Not only was the 25-point comeback the biggest in Super Bowl history, but it was also the biggest comeback win of Brady's career. Before Sunday, the biggest deficit Brady had overcome to win a game was 24 points, but that changed against the Falcons.
To put the Patriots' comeback in perspective, the previous Super Bowl record for largest comeback was just 10 points. Brady and the Patriots had to overcome a four-score deficit to complete their miraculous comeback against the Falcons.
When you're down 28-3 in the second half, you need perfect play from your quarterback, and that's exactly what the Patriots got from Brady. The ageless wonder finished 43 of 62 for 466 yards and smashed several Super Bowl records in the win.
Brady's completion total broke his own record of 37, which he set in Super Bowl XLIX. Brady's 62 passing attempts broke Jim Kelly's previous record of 58, which is a mark that had stood since Super Bowl XXVI.
Also, let's not forget about that yardage total: Brady's mark of 466 yards smashed Kurt Warner's old record of 414 yards, which was set against the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.
Of course, there were also some records that Brady couldn't break -- because he already had them.
The quarterback's two touchdown passes against the Falcons gave him 15 for his career in the Super Bowl, which is four more than second-place Joe Montana.
Going into Super Bowl LI, Brady held the record for most career passes, most career completions and most career passing yards.
By tacking on 43 completions, 62 pass attempts and 466 passing yards to those records, Brady probably put those records far out of reach.
Basically, someone needs to convince Roger Goodell that starting next year, the Super Bowl record book should probably just have a picture of Brady on it.
The Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee postponed a hearing featuring former acting Attorney General Sally Yates after her lawyer advised the Trump administration that she was planning to testify about internal discussions about Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, and his communications with a Russian diplomat, ABC News has learned.
Any claim that those internal discussions are still confidential "has been waived as a result of the multiple public comments of current senior White House officials," David O'Neil, an attorney for Yates, wrote in a letter to the White House on Friday — the same day that Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., announced that his committee, which has been investigating Russian meddling in last year's presidential election, would no longer hear planned testimony this week from Yates, former CIA Director John Brennan or former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
The White House has denied taking any action to prevent that testimony.
"I hope she testifies. I look forward to it," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said today. "We had no objection to her going forward ... To suggest in any way, shape or form that we stood in the way of that is 100 percent false."
Flynn resigned from the Trump administration last month after acknowledging that he gave "incomplete information" to Vice President Mike Pence and others about multiple calls with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the days before Trump took office.
Pence repeated the false information when asked about the situation in January, prompting Yates to inform the White House that Flynn may have misled Pence and other senior officials about his communications with Kislyak.
In her testimony slated for today, Yates was expected to offer a firsthand account of her discussions with the White House in January.
On Thursday, O'Neil met with attorneys at the Justice Department to discuss — among other things — whether Yates was barred from testifying about certain details of those discussions. But the next morning, the Justice Department sent a letter to O'Neil, telling him any final determination rests with the White House.
"Such communications are likely covered by the presidential communications privilege and possibly the deliberative process privilege. The president owns those privileges. Therefore, to the extent Ms. Yates needs consent to disclose the details of those communications to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence], she needs to consult with the White House. She need not obtain separate consent from the Department," a Justice Department official wrote to O'Neil on Friday.
O'Neil then wrote his letter to the White House, insisting any claim of executive privilege had been waived "as a result of the multiple public comments of current senior White House officials describing the January 2017 communications. Nevertheless, I am advising the White House of Ms. Yates' intention to provide information."
The White House never responded to his letter — which he wrote would be taken as a green light for Yates to move forward.
"We didn't respond. We encouraged them to go ahead," Spicer said, adding that the White House never considered invoking executive privilege to block her testimony.
Spicer also insisted that Nunes' decision to call off today's hearing had nothing to do with any pressure from the White House. Nunes himself said that no one directed him to postpone the hearing.
Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes, similarly denied any coordination between the committee and White House over Yates' testimony.
"Neither Chairman Nunes nor any Intelligence Committee staff members had any communication with the White House whatsoever about Sally Yates' testifying to the committee," Langer said in a statement. "The only person the committee has spoken to about her appearing before the committee has been her lawyer. The committee asked her to testify on our own accord, and we still intend to have her speak to us."
The Washington Post first reported on the letters between O'Neil and the Trump administration.
Yates, an Obama administration appointee, was fired by Trump on Jan. 30 after she instructed the Justice Department not to defend his controversial executive order limiting travel and immigration from seven countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Nunes and the congressional inquiry he's leading into alleged Russian interference have come under increasing criticism in recent days, after he first claimed he had discovered "concerning" evidence that the Trump campaign was monitored after the election.
Last week, Nunes announced he obtained "dozens of reports" showing the U.S. intelligence community — through its "normal foreign surveillance" — "incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition."
But Nunes cannot say whether Trump or any of the president's associates personally participated in the communications that were intercepted, meaning it's possible that the information he's citing merely refers to foreign officials talking about Trump transition team members.
Nunes has yet to share the information with other members of the House Intelligence Committee or further explain what it shows. He said Tuesday that he will "never" reveal sources or methods to fellow committee members but that he still hopes to share the documents.
On Monday, without identifying his source, Nunes acknowledged he obtained the information while on White House grounds, an admission Democrats said should force him to at least recuse himself from the committee probe tied to Russia.
A woman believed to have driven three burglars to an Oklahoma home where they were shot to death during a suspected home invasion has been arrested on murder and robbery warrants but the homeowner's son who shot them has not been arrested while police investigate whether he acted in self-defense under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.
Wagoner County Deputy Nick Mahoney said Tuesday that Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, 21, of Oologah was arrested on three first-degree murder and three first-degree burglary warrants and was jailed without bond after going to police and saying she had information about the shooting at a home just east of the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow.
"It was determined she had driven these individuals to the house and dropped them off with the intent to burglarize the residence," Mahoney said. He said he did not know whether Rodriguez had an attorney.
Oklahoma law allows a person to be charged with murder if they take part in a crime in which people are killed, even if the person does not take part in the slaying. Oklahoma also is one of 24 states which have laws allowing citizens to shoot someone if they believe the person threatens their safety, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.
Mahoney said the homeowner's 23-year-old son used an AR-15 rifle to shoot the three Monday afternoon after they broke through a glass door in the rear of the home.
Their names were not released, but Mahoney said two of the dead were 16 or 17 years old and the third was 18 or 19. The three were found wearing masks and gloves and dressed in black clothing. Brass knuckles and a knife were found among their possessions, he said.
"It looks like self-defense from the preliminary investigation, but that's all speculative," Mahoney said. "There's some speculation as to whether or not that (Stand Your Ground) law applies in this case, the simple answer is I don't know."
Police sometimes make a recommendation to the prosecutor on whether or not to file charges, but Mahoney said he did not know if investigators will do that in this case.
Mahoney said the homeowner was not in the residence at the time of the shooting and that authorities were called to the home by the son shortly after the shooting.
Two UN experts who were missing in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been found dead, officials say.
The bodies of US citizen Michael Sharp and Swedish national Zaida Catalan were discovered in the central Kasai region, a government spokesman said.
They were abducted two weeks ago after going to Kasai to investigate reports of abuses after local rebels took up arms.
Some 40 police officers were found beheaded in the region at the weekend.
Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende confirmed reports of the discovery to the BBC.
Mr Mende said that the bodies were found in a shallow grave, adding that "the woman was found beheaded, but the body of the man was intact".
Earlier, he said that two bodies "of Caucasian or European type" had been discovered on the road linking Bukonde to Tshimbulu in Central Kasai.
"As far as I know, no other white individuals are missing here," Mr Mende said.
He later told reporters that a police commissioner had returned from Kasai with confirmation of their identities.
"According to a witness, they were ambushed by the famous traditionalist Kamwina Nsapu militia, who behead their victims," he said.
Mr Sharp and Ms Catalan were taken, along with four Congolese support staff, into the forest near the village of Ngombe in Kasai.
The Congolese government is fighting a rebel group which operates in the area and is believed to have kidnapped the experts.
The violence in Kasai was sparked by the killing of traditional leader Kamuina Nsapu, who was leading an uprising against President Joseph Kabila.
Before Mr Mende announced the bodies had been identified, John Sharp, Michael's father, expressed his heartbreak on Facebook.
"This is a message I hoped never to write... Dental records and DNA samples will be used to confirm the identities," Mr Sharp wrote.
"All other words fail me."
Ivory Coast's former first lady, Simone Gbagbo, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for her role in the violence that followed the 2010 elections.
Gbagbo, 65, had been charged with undermining state security.
Her husband, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
More than 3,000 people died in the violence that followed the presidential poll after the ex-leader refused to accept defeat to Alassane Ouattara.
She and her husband were arrested in 2011 after troops stormed a bunker where the pair had taken refuge in the main city, Abidjan.
And it was in the same city where Gbagbo - once called the "Iron Lady" and known for her fiery speeches - faced trial. She was also accused of disturbing public order and organising armed gangs.
She denied witness accounts that accused her of personally distributing arms to the death squads that operated in Abidjan during the five-month conflict.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption More than 3,000 people died in the fighting that followed the disputed 2010 elections
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Gbagbos were eventually captured in April 2011 after an assault supported by UN and French troops
The court unanimously sentenced her to 20 years, which is the sentence for undermining state security.
The prosecution had only asked for 10 years - but this had only been for the charge of disturbing public order.
The BBC's Ali Bamba in Abidjan says the verdict was delivered in the early hours of Tuesday morning after eight hours of deliberation by the jury.
The former first lady remained calm, as she had been throughout the trial, almost as if she knew what was coming, he says.
I forgive because, if we don't forgive, this country will burn
Her daughter from a previous marriage, Marie Antoinette Singleton, told the BBC's Newsday programme that the sentence was unfair and a sign of "political justice".
"Why would you want to double it? It's not about justice; it's about getting rid of political adversaries.
"If we say that something wrong happened, it happened on both sides. Nobody looked into bringing all responsible parties to trial," she said.
Simone Gbagbo's lawyer said they would appeal.
"I was expecting Simone to be acquitted," Rodrigue Dadje told the BBC French service.
"There is no proof of her involvement at a personal level… I am ashamed for the Ivorian justice system."
The former first lady was on trial with 82 other supporters of her husband - 15 of whom were acquitted.
Two former military allies also received 20-year jail terms: Gen Bruno Dogbo Ble, once head of the Republic Guard, and the ex-navy chief Adm Vagba Faussignaux.
The other accused got lesser sentences.
Before her sentencing, Simone Gbagbo had said that she forgave the prosecution, despite the humiliation she had suffered during the trial.
"I forgive because, if we don't forgive, this country will burn," she said.
Both sides were accused of atrocities in the conflict that followed the 2010 poll.
But our correspondent says despite a promise from President Alassane Ouattara that both sides would face justice, no-one in the president's camp has been charged.
Laurent Gbagbo, is facing four charges at the ICC in The Hague, including murder, rape and persecution.
The ICC had issued an arrest warrant for Simone Gbagbo too, but this was dismissed by the Ivorian government.
National Security operatives have swung into action to retrieve the V8 Toyota Land Cruiser in possession of popular movie actor John Dumelo.
The operatives caught the actor, who was part of the failed campaign to get John Mahama elected for a second time as president, with a vehicle belonging to the state, and retrieved one of them from a spraying shop at Abelemkpe, Accra, recently.
The second V8, ash in colour, which John Dumelo allegedly claimed was in possession of his girlfriend, is currently being pursued by the operatives, DAILY GUIDE learnt at the weekend.
When news broke that one of the two V8 Toyota Land Cruisers classified as missing from the pool of state vehicles had been retrieved from John Dumelo at an auto mechanic’s shop, he allegedly took to Facebook, a social media platform, to rubbish the publication, claiming that he bought the vehicle impounded by the state.
He posted, “I have not granted any interview both private or public to which I mentioned the name of the first lady for buying me a V8,” although DAILY GUIDE insists that it contacted him on Thursday via telephone and he said, “I wouldn’t like to comment about it.”
He continued, “I bought the vehicle myself; I never said it anywhere that Madam Lordina bought it for me. I have in my entire NDC life met her Excellency only once at a public event. Treat any publication that tries to link my purchase of a V8 to the former first lady as trash.”
“Did I work at the flagstaff house or hold any political appointment that entitled me to a state car? And I’m sure some people within the NDC are rejoicing because of this false news,” he reacted cynically before signing off with “Keep rejoicing…”
The vehicle retrieved at the spraying shop, with chassis number JTMHVOJ2F4159829, 2015 model with full option, had been dismantled and was going through re-modeling, including re-spraying – with parts allegedly imported from Dubai.
When the operatives invited him to the garage, he reportedly panicked before surrendering the expensive vehicle without any protest. The car was subsequently driven to the Office of the President Annex, close to the State House.
The operatives, upon a tip-off, swooped on the garage a couple of weeks ago and got hold of the auto mechanic who told them that the vehicle belonged to John Dumelo.
He was then telephoned to come to the garage and upon arrival, Dumelo reportedly said initially that he bought the V8 from a car dealer – Svani Company Limited – and claimed he was yet to complete the payment.
The operatives then keyed the chassis number into a centralized computer system but the results showed that the vehicle was registered in the name of the National Security Secretariat, which is a property of the Government of Ghana.
Sensing he was getting into trouble, he’s reported to have quickly changed his story, claiming that it was the former first lady, Lordina Mahama, who had given the V8 to him.
The security operatives immediately decided to cross-check from the former first lady to ascertain the facts but the actor (Dumelo) reportedly pleaded with them to stop and just take the vehicle away.
The operatives’ checks at Svani Motors along the Spintex Road indicated that the company imported the vehicle for the National Security Council Secretariat and that it (company) is one of the several auto dealers used by the government to import vehicles for the state.
DAILY GUIDE sources say John Dumelo got two V8s from the erstwhile NDC government, with his girlfriend driving one of them.
When he was asked to direct the operatives to the whereabouts of the other vehicle, he allegedly pleaded with them to allow him to travel to London and come back to produce it, saying by then the girlfriend would have returned from a trip she had made with the ash V8 Land Cruiser.
As at press time yesterday, the second vehicle had not been returned but Dumelo is claiming that he purchased the seized vehicle registered GE 8118 –16.
source:daily guide ghana
oston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas’ sister died in a car crash early Saturday.
Chyna Thomas, 22, was killed on I-5 in Washington state around 5 a.m. when her car veered off the road, according to KIRO7. She died at the scene of the accident.
A witness told the police that Chyna Thomas was driving her 1998 Toyota Camry “normally” but all of a sudden the vehicle began moving “very casually” onto the shoulder of the main highway.
Chyna Thomas’ car drifted nearly 50 feet before hitting a barrier on the side of the roadway and landing on a metal poll.
Authorities believe she may have fallen asleep at the wheel,according to Q13FOX.
“That vaulted the vehicle head-on into the sign post,” State Patrol spokesman Trooper Nick King said.
According to the state patrol, Chyna Thomas was not wearing a seat belt.
Isaiah Thomas, who played college basketball at the University of Washington, is expected to play in the Boston Celtics’ postseason opener against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
He was notified of his sister’s death following the Celtics’ afternoon practice,according to ESPN. Celtics teammate Avery Bradley, who is also from Washington state, pulled Isaiah Thomas away from an interview with a reporter and into a trainer’s room to tell him.
“We are terribly saddened by the tragic loss of Chyna Thomas,” the Celtics said in a statement. “The thoughts & prayers of the entire organization are with Isaiah & his family.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement on her death.
“The NBA family mourns the tragic passing of Chyna Thomas and we send our deepest condolences to Isaiah, his family and the Celtics organization during this difficult time,” he said.
People from around the NBA took to Twitter to send their regards to Isaiah Thomas and his family.
SOURCE:NY DAILY NEWS
(CNN)Bianca Nikol Roberson had just left a mall where she'd been shopping for new clothes for college.
oberson, in her green 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, and the suspect in the pickup truck were traveling along Route 100 in West Goshen, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia on Wednesday evening.
(CNN)A defiant President Donald Trump resumed his attacks on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Saturday morning, calling Scarborough "crazy" and Brzezinski "dumb as a rock," despite days of bipartisan criticism over his initial attacks on the pair earlier this week.
"Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!" Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
When asked about Trump's initial tweets during a House Republican news conference Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan responded, "Obviously I don't see that as an appropriate comment".
(CNN)One Monday in 2013, Dr. Alluri Raju learned that the only hospital in rural Richland, Georgia, would close on Wednesday. But there were still patients in hospital beds and surgeries scheduled for Wednesday.
Ultimately, the hospital closed that Friday, leaving the rural town without a hospital for miles. Raju, who had been the hospital's chief of staff, is now the only doctor left in the town a two-hour drive south of Atlanta.
(CNN)HBO might be looking at a myriad of ways to continue the "Game of Thrones" phenomenon after the series completes its eighth and final season, but Emilia Clake is ready to bring Khaleesi's story to a proper end.
(CNN)Twenty-eight people were wounded early Saturday as gunfire rang out during a concert at a nightclub in Little Rock, Arkansas, police said.
(CNN)Jay-Z dropped his new album "4:44" at midnight on Friday and sent the Internet into a frenzy.
WOODLAND PARK, N.J. — New Jersey residents awoke Saturday to the first day of a state government shutdown, a day many had planned to use to either kick start the Fourth of July holiday at a park or run some errands at state offices.
The shutdown scuttled those plans.
A dispute between Gov. Chris Christie, a deeply unpopular governor in the final months of his second term, and the Democratic leader in the state Assembly, Vincent Prieto, has blocked the Legislature from passing a state budget. Their fight is over a plan to overhaul control of the state’s largest health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, a non-profit that operates under special state laws.
With no new spending plan, Christie ordered all non-essential state services halted at midnight Friday. That meant no state parks, no chance to renew a driver’s license and no work for nearly all state employees.
hree cyclists huddled in a small patch of grass figuring out what to do and where to ride after the officer at the entrance informed them that the park was closed because of the shutdown
One cyclist, Neville L’Green, said he thought it was ironic that the government shutdown occurred on Fourth of July weekend.
“My thought is the reason they’ve shut down is they haven’t got a budget,” L’Green said, leaning on his bike. “So they’ve shut down on the weekend that generates the most money for the state. So that’s pretty stupid.”
L’Green said that he usually uses the park a few times a week during the summer.
Wendy Schoeler, who moved to Jersey City two months ago, said she would go on runs regularly at the riverside park.
“I guess Chris Christie is the problem, right?” Schoeler said. “I don’t know, it just seems like really bad timing. Fourth of July weekend. You don’t want to be in the park? And we can’t go to the beaches now, apparently.”
A flier featuring Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto outside the governor's office in Trenton. (Photo: Dustin Racioppi/northjersey.com)
Although many of the beaches in the state are municipal property, some beaches, like Island Beach State Park, are state-owned and are closed.
Along with providing expansive green space, the park also gives visitors on the New Jersey side access to Ellis Island. The historic landmark brings local visitors, as well as some from far away.
“This is one of Jersey City’s biggest attractions,” said Jake Hornstein. “We just saw a car with Canadian license plates. Just to see it”
For many, the weekends are the only time they can make it to local department of motor vehicle offices.
At a Motor Vehicle Commission office in Lodi, some cars were being turned away by a police officer patrolling the lot. Others made it as far as the front door, where they were greeted by locked doors with the sign blaming Prieto.
“We gotta get rid of these guys,” said Tim Kosturko, as he got back into his van. “We’re paying these people. We’re paying for this motor vehicle (office). What the hell’s going on here.”
Many people who came to renew their license were wondering what would happen if they were pulled over with an expired license.
“We need it,” said Norma Villasanta of Garfield. “What are you going to do? The police are going to stop you, ticket you and send you to court.”
The Lodi office is one of the only offices in the area that has a driving test course. Carrying his driver’s permit, which he had received Friday, Julian Henao was there to complete the process and run through the course. Henao, 17, had come from Wallington.
When told he’d have to wait until a budget was approved, Henao sighed.
Gov. Chris Christie addresses the Legislature Saturday afternoon during the government shutdown, which he ordered Friday night after reaching an impasse in budget negotiations with Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. (Photo: Chris Pedota/NorthJersey.com)
Source: USA Today
ichael Bublé spoke in public Wednesday for the first time since announcing his three-year-old son Noah’s cancer diagnosis in November.
The British Columbia-born Canadian singer appeared in Ottawa to accept a medal for the 2017 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, wire service The Canadian Press reported.
“I stand here truly humbled that I have been allowed to be one of your musical representatives, and that you would choose to bestow this honor upon me during what has been an emotional and difficult time for my family,” Buble said.
His son has been receiving treatment in Los Angeles. In April, Buble’s wife Luisana Lopilato said, “Thank God, my son is well.”
Buble did not give any updates on his son’s illness Wednesday, but he did speak about his family.
“My entire life has been inspired by how my family has made me feel,” he said. “There are no words to describe how I feel about you. Sometimes ‘I love you’ just isn’t enough because what I feel is so much more.”
Steph Curry agreed to terms with the Golden State Warriors on what amounts to the richest deal in NBA history, according to his agent Jeff Austin of Octagon.
The five-year deal is worth $201 million dollars with no options.
Curry was finally able to cash in after playing on one of the most team-friendly contracts in the NBA. He had previously been on a four-year, $44 million dollar contract.
urry, a two-time champion, is the first player to agree on a deal worth more than $200 million.
The two-time MVP averaged 25.3 points, 6.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds this past season. He also led the NBA with 324 made three-pointers throughout the regular season as the Warriors eventually won the title.
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Dom Dwyer scored in his international debut, joining Sydney Leroux to become the first husband-and-wife couple with goals for the United States, and the Americans beat Ghana 2-1 on Saturday in an exhibition ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
A 26-year-old English forward who gained American citizenship in March, Dwyer put the Americans ahead in the 19th minute with an acrobatic volley.
Brad Guzan saved Asamoah Gyan's penalty kick in first-half stoppage time, and Kellyn Acosta added his first international goal in the 52nd minute on a low free kick from just outside the penalty area that went through the wall and in on a bounce past goalkeeper Richard Ofori.
Gyan scored for the Black Stars in the 60th minute with a free kick that beat Guzan and went in just under the crossbar. Ofori made an outstanding stop in the 66th to deny Alejandro Bedoya's back-post header from Jordan Morris' cross.
U.S. coach Bruce Arena changed eight starters from his lineup in the June 11 World Cup qualifier at Mexico, retaining only Guzan, Acosta and Paul Arriola. Seven American starters entered with fewer than 10 international appearances
There also were debuts for a pair of midfielders. Kelyn Rowe started and Kenny Saief, who played twice for Israel before switching his affiliation to the U.S. last month, entered in the 71st. The U.S. improved has four wins and four draws in eight matches since Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann in November. Arena's first stint as U.S. coach ended after eight years in 2006 when Ghana eliminated the U.S. in the World Cup's Group stage.
Most Europe-based players are on vacation ahead of preseason training, and Arena chose youth over experience in many instances for his Gold Cup roster, wanting to evaluate the deeper reaches of his player pool. The U.S. opens the Gold Cup against Panama on July 8 at Nashville, Tennessee; then play Martinique on July 12 at Tampa, Florida; and Nicaragua on July 15 at Cleveland.
Wearing new uniforms with red and blue horizontal stripes, the Americans played their first exhibition against a team they met in each of the last three World Cups. Ghana eliminated the Americans in 2006 and 2010, and the U.S. beat the Black Stars in its 2014 opener.
Dwyer, who has played for Sporting Kansas City since 2012, has been married since January 2015 to Leroux, a 26-year-old forward who was born in Canada but has 35 goals in 75 international appearances for the U.S. and was part of the team that won the 2015 World Cup. They are only the fourth husband and wife who both played for the U.S., joining Jim Gabarra and Carin Jennings, Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan, and Zach Loyd and Casey Nogueira. Egan's only goal was in 1993, four years before she married Reyna.
"I'm insanely proud of him and so happy for the overall win for the MNT," Leroux said. "I love the fact that we both came to the USA from other countries and get to chase our dreams together wearing the crest that means so much to us. When he scored, it's really hard to describe the feeling. Just chills. I know this is only the beginning for him."
Dwyer and Leroux announced on Valentine's Day 2015 that they had married a month earlier. She wears No. 2 and he No. 14. Leroux and son Cassius watched the game on television with Becky Sauerbrunn, her Kansas City teammate, and Sauerbrunn posted video of Leroux holding the infant to Twitter, taken in the aftermath of the goal.
"This was taken after we screamed and ran around and scared Cassius. He's calm now," Sauerbrunn tweeted.
Dwyer was dynamic atop a 4-5-1 formation. He broke in alone in the 14th minute but did not get much pace on his angled shot. Played in three minutes later by Rowe, he could not get off a shot from near the penalty spot as he was marked by a pair of defenders.
Jorge Villafana started the action toward the opening goal when he dribbled from a flank past defenders and laid the ball back to Joe Corona, who made his first U.S. appearance in two years. Corona's shot hit Villafana and bounced up to Dwyer, who volleyed in with his left foot from 8 yards, then did a backward somersault.
Dwyer broke in alone again when he was sent tumbling by a studs-up tackle from Ofori, who was given only a yellow card by referee Ismael Ornejo of El Salvador.
Guzan dived left to bat away Gyan's penalty kick in the third minute of first-half stoppage time after Villafana was given a yellow card for pulling down David Accam.
ATICAN CITY — As the Vatican reeled from news that one of its top officials was taking a leave to fight historical sex abuse charges in Australia, the spotlight quickly turned to Pope Francis, with his critics slamming him for failing to do enough to tackle the vexing issue.
Cardinal George Pell, the most senior figure in church history to face child sex abuse charges, is the Vatican’s financial czar and a trusted adviser to the pope.
Pell, 76, is facing “multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offenses,” said police in the Australian state of Victoria.
“I am looking forward to my day in court,” Pell told a packed media conference Thursday. “I am innocent of these charges. They are false.”
His controversial case has unleashed a wave of criticism from survivor groups and commentators who say the pope has not done enough to root out predators and protect children.
“There is a deep disconnect between the pope’s words and his actions,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the advocacy group Bishop Accountability.
Barrett Doyle was critical of the pope for keeping Pell in his post until now, despite knowledge of the allegations against him.
“The pope is not a reformer when it comes to the crisis,” she said. “He apologizes often and uses buzz phrases like ‘zero tolerance.’ But underneath he remains the minimizer and the defender of accused priests.”
Robert Mickens, an American editor for the French Catholic magazine La Croix, said it was significant that Pell had stepped aside but he criticized the pope’s record on clerical abuse.
“Whether Pell specifically asked for a leave from his Vatican duties to return for the trial, or whether the pope ordered him to do so, the effect is the same. And it is a development from the past,” Mickens said, when the church would have defended Vatican churchmen.
But Mickens said Francis has never made the church’s sexual abuse crisis a priority of his administration.
“It took him more than a year after his election as bishop of Rome before he even mentioned it,” said Mickens, a longtime Vatican commentator. “I think a major reason for that is his experience as a bishop in Latin America, where the issue has not been dealt with openly or effectively.”
After his election, Francis established a Vatican panel for the protection of minors to change church practices and increase awareness about abuse and education in the church.
But survivor Peter Saunders was forced to take a leave of absence from the panel after scathing criticism of Pell. Irish survivor Marie Collins resigned in disgust in March over what she called “shameful” obstruction within the Vatican.
The charges against one of his closest advisors and the architect of his economic and administrative reforms of the Holy See is not only embarrassing for the pope but brings the church abuse scandal to his door.
Paddy Agnew, an Irish commentator who has followed the Vatican for 30 years, said Francis’ record on rooting out predators is mixed.
Agnew said Francis acted quickly to remove Polish Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was accused of sex crimes against minors in the Dominican Republic. Wesolowski died in 2015 before he was tried for child pornography.
“On the other hand, sex abuse survivors and lobbyists argue that Francis has been shamefully irresponsible in defending Chilean Bishop Juan Barros,” said Agnew.
Barros has been accused of covering up clerical abuse in Chile in the 1980s and 1990s.
There is no doubt there has been some change under Francis. He has spoken out many times against clerical sexual abuse and late last year he urged bishops around the world to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy.
“I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst,” he said in a letter to them.
This month, the pope defrocked an Italian priest, Mauro Inzoli, who was convicted of child sex crimes by an Italian court a year ago.
But Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, had initially defrocked Inzoli in 2012 after he was first accused of abusing minors. Francis reversed that decision in 2014, ordering the priest to stay away from children before finally coming to the conclusion that the priest could no longer continue in his duties.
The U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has urged the pope to send Pell home as soon as possible and hoped the Australian investigation would inspire other countries to do more.
“Sexual abuse thrives when it is allowed to flourish in secrecy,” said SNAP spokeswoman Joelle Casteix in a statement.
In the past, the Vatican, as a sovereign state in the heart of Rome, offered officials immunity from prosecution.
In the early 1980s, it refused an Italian request to hand over Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, an American who was wanted for questioning about the fraudulent bankruptcy of a private Italian bank.
And Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston escaped potential prosecution when he moved to Rome after the sex abuse scandal erupted in his diocese in 2002.
Pell, it appears, was not offered that option.
Source: USA Today
hird-generation entrepreneur Ciara Stockeland, 38 — the daughter and granddaughter of window salesmen — always knew she wanted to own a small business. When her pop-up overstock jeans shop in Fargo, N.D., took off about a decade ago, morphing into a storefront called MODE, she didn’t want to stop at just one store. By franchising, she could expand her brand to other communities and enable others to own small businesses, too.
From the get-go, she wanted to make it easy for franchisees not just to be successful, but also to give back. So she came up with a number of ways to weave community engagement into the very fabric of the four MODE stores, in North Dakota and Iowa. Stores regularly organize denim drives to collect jeans for the needy, hold sales where 20 percent goes to a local charity, send staff to volunteer for local nonprofits, and sell merchandise to benefit an international water charity.
“When you give back, it reminds you that small businesses are what make cities and American culture so vibrant,” Stockeland said. “There’s something fantastic about that.” Stockeland’s model of socially responsible business is just one example of the many ways small business owners embed themselves in their communities. Some are leaders in local chambers of commerce and business associations. Others stage neighborhood events such as concerts and gallery nights. And according to the Allstate/USA Today Small Business Barometer, almost half of small business owners contribute to local charities or do community service close to home.
“Everything that’s good for the community is good for your business,” said Steve Blume, 62, owner of an Allstate Insurance agency in Bellevue, Tenn., and director of membership for his area’s chamber of commerce. “It’s the responsibility of every business to be a part of the community and contribute to it.”
At Jirani’s Coffee House in Manassas, Va., co-owners Ken and Detra Moorman, both age 46, have a vision that goes far beyond serving java. After all, they named their one-year-old business after the Swahili word for “neighbor” or “neighborhood.”
It’s all part of the plan to host book launches and open mics, set aside space for a family reading room, and let local bakers and caterers use the kitchen to prep food for their own small businesses.
“We wanted to create a space for people to gather and connect and build relationships,” Ken Moorman said.
Coffee is not the only thing that brings people together. Dave Roggeman, 41, owner of screen-printing, embroidery and design company INDYINK in Denver, Colo., uses art as the draw. The company hosts monthly art exhibitions at its 84 South retail space, giving local artists — professional and amateur — a venue to showcase their work. INDYINK sells the artwork at affordable prices, taking a lower commission from artists than traditional galleries might.
“The art shows are a way for us to be a part of the community,” said Roggeman. He supports the artists in other ways, too, for example by commissioning some to do custom designs for his products.
Down in Opelika, Ala., Jimmy Wright, 55 — owner of Wright’s Market since 1997 — is passionate about zeroing in on the specific needs of people in his town and surrounding rural areas. His 15-passenger van transports shoppers to and from the store for free. And last year he founded a nonprofit to help revitalize two neighborhoods in the city of 29,000 people and improve access to medical care.
“I’ve always lived by the philosophy that our goal was that our business would do well so then we could do good in our communities,” Wright said.
Volunteering and promoting social issues can provide a lot of bottom-line value to companies, large or small, said Jenny Lawson, executive director of the Corporate Institute at Points of Light, a national nonprofit that promotes volunteerism across the U.S.
“Connecting your brand to social issues raises the visibility of your brand and sets you apart from other brands in the community,” she said. In addition, lending employees out for skills-based pro bono services, she said, can boost employee satisfaction and engagement and provide skills-building opportunities.
When Katie Dix, 52, along with her sister, husband and brother-in-law, opened a neighborhood ice cream shop on a tucked-away street in Mt. Prospect, Ill., the health inspector predicted her business wouldn’t succeed.
To prove him wrong and differentiate her store, Capannari Ice Cream, from corporate chains, “I knew I had to be a part of the community and let people know who we are,” Dix said.
To that end, Dix throws and supports dozens of charity events each year, including “The Coolest School,” in which 14 area schools compete to sell the most ice cream and walk away with a share of their earnings.
But even more important than bringing people into the store, Dix says, is the way the events create loyalty among customers and bolster the idea of Capannari as a neighborhood stalwart.
Stockeland, of retailer MODE, said her giveback program reinforces the company culture she’s establishing as she seeks new franchisees.
“We’ve found in visiting with prospective franchisees that the people who are going to align culturally with our brand want to be part of something bigger,” she said.
Giving of oneself and of one’s business brings challenges of limited time, money and staffing. But small business owners rise above those obstacles using their love and commitment to their communities as the driving force.
“Being part of the community gives me and my business that human quality that’s so important,” said Alison Doner, 37, owner of an Allstate Insurance agency in Cincinnati. She regularly volunteers with her local Rotary International Club and a children’s charity, and at any community service event Allstate hosts in the area — on top of giving her customers every minute of her working day.
Lynn Le, 28 — co-owner of Society Nine, a Portland, Ore., sports gear company that sells women’s boxing apparel — and her Boston-based partner manage their charitable commitments by focusing on nonprofits that champion the fighting spirit in women. Beneficiaries have included an organization that offers free self-defense classes to women in Oregon and other states and a Boston nonprofit that holds charity boxing events to raise money to fight cancer.
By aligning the ways they give back with their business mission, Le said, they’re able to make sure, “people register exactly what it is we’re all about.”
For small business owners, waking up every morning and loving what they do is a dream come true. And serving the community is a big reason why they feel it’s worth it.
Jirani's Ken Moorman says that the existence of a thriving coffee shop in Manassas was a dream for lots of people — something the community had desperately needed.
“For me, it’s about how we contribute to the place we live, work and play in. How do we make it better through giving back and helping others,” he said. “Ultimately, that’s what it’s about.”
Source USA today
SAN FRANCISCO — Prominent technology investor Dave McClure has been demoted by the start-up incubator he co-founded for engaging in "inappropriate interactions with women in the tech community," 500 Startups said in a statement late Friday.
McClure stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Christine Tsai, who now directs the management team and runs day-to-day operations.
"I sincerely apologize for the choices he made and the pain and stress they’ve caused people. But apologies aren’t enough without meaningful actions and change. Because of this, we made the decision a few months ago to change the leadership structure at 500," Tsai said in a blog post.
McClure's role is now limited to "fulfilling his obligations to our investors as a general partner," Tsai said. "In addition, he’s been attending counseling to work on changing his perspectives and preventing his previous unacceptable behavior."
McClure declined to comment for this article. He retweeted the 500 Startups statement.
His demotion was spurred by a complaint in November 2016 by entrepreneur Sarah Kunst.
In 2014, when Kunst was discussing a possible job at 500 Startups, McClure sent her a Twitter message during a conference they were attending. The message sent at 4 am said in part: "I was getting confused figuring out whether to hire you or hit on you."
Kunst, 31, who now runs the fitness start-up Proday, said she rebuffed McClure, an alumnus of PayPal who has invested in hundreds of tech companies. In November 2016, she contacted a friend, one of McClure's colleagues, about the incident. 500 Startups then cut off communications with her, she said.
In an interview with USA TODAY, Kunst said the experience was "sadly all too common in the tech and investing community."
She confided in friends and wrestled with speaking publicly about it, ultimately deciding to speak with the New York Times so she could protect other women.
"I knew I had to tell them my experiences and hopefully spare them what happened to me," she said.
The venture capital world in Silicon Valley is facing heavy scrutiny after six women accused Binary Capital partner Justin Caldbeck of making unwanted sexual advances, with several saying the misconduct took place when they sought funding or guidance on their businesses. The explosive allegations have brought the venture capital firm Caldbeck co-founded to the brink of collapse.
Source USA Today
AN FRANCISCO — Steve Case, who helped foment the Internet age as AOL's co-founder, has crisscrossed the country the last few years championing a new revolution: the third wave of the Internet.
Just as the technology boom lifted the economies of Silicon Valley, New York and other coastal cities, its latest iteration will benefit the Midwest and other pockets of the U.S. as health care, energy, agriculture, education and other industries become ripe for disruption.
Such is the thesis of his 3-year-old initiative, Rise of the Rest. In an interview with USA TODAY, Case discussed the rise of tech start-up ecosystems in America's heartland.
Q: What got you launched on this mission?
A: I was working more on the policy side. And then a little over three years ago, we decided to hit the road and do these Rise of the Rest bus tours. We have done five so far and we are planning our next one in October
I concluded that while advocating for policies that are pro-innovation, pro-entrepreneurship, pro-start-up, it's something I continue to do, but there also was a role to play I felt in terms of trying to be a catalyst within some of these cities and helping to build more of a network effect and network density in these cities and shine a spotlight on what's happening with entrepreneurs in these cities to attract more media and attract more investor attention.
Each city is different but there are dynamics kicking in across all of them that are encouraging and ultimately will result in more start-ups in more places and will ultimately level the playing field so everybody everywhere really does feel like they have a shot at the American dream and so we are creating economic growth and jobs everywhere not just in a few places.
Q: What is it about Midwest cities that makes them uniquely attractive to entrepreneurs and investors?
A: I'd say some general reasons. There are a lot of people who have a connection to these cities: they grew up there, went to school there, have some affinity and they'd rather live there and raise their families there. There are also some financial considerations. Money raised goes a lot further.
As for city specific reasons, each of these cities has an interesting history and some of that history and some of that perspective and some of that culture and some of that DNA is increasingly helpful as we shift to the third wave of the Internet, which is less about the software and the apps and more about integrating technology and the Internet in important aspects of our lives and disrupting big sectors of the economy. I think partnerships are going to become more important and being closer to some of the big companies, many of which are in the middle of the country, is important.
Qualified retirement accounts can offer great tax advantages for people saving for retirement. Those advantages work incredibly well if you use them to save for several decades and then retire at age 59 1/2 or later, but if you need to tap your money early, the benefits can evaporate. For instance, while qualifying Roth IRA withdrawals are completely tax-free, early withdrawals of earnings from a Roth IRA can result in both taxes and penalties on those withdrawals.
Still, there are strategies you can use to tap into your retirement money before age 59 1/2. These four techniques will let you tap your retirement money early, gaining access to your cash if you need it before that traditional age.
While the standard age to tap retirement accounts without penalty is age 59 1/2, there's an exception if you separate from service from your employer in the year you turn 55 or later. If you do, you can take withdrawals from your employer-sponsored retirement plan without facing the early withdrawal penalty. If you are able to take advantage of that rule, there are three key things to know.
First, the ability to tap that money early without penalty works only for employer-sponsored plans. If you roll the money into your IRA first, you lose that benefit. Second, if you've worked for more than one employer, it applies only to the specific plans of any employer you separated from in that year you reached age 55 or later. Third, the age 55 rule applies only to the early withdrawal penalty, not to any taxes you might otherwise face.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Another way to take money from your retirement accounts before age 59 1/2 is to set up a withdrawal plan from your retirement accounts known as a "Substantially Equal Periodic Payments" (SEPP) plan. The primary advantage of these plans is that you can set them up well before a traditional retirement age to avoid the 10% penalty on early withdrawals. The key disadvantage is that once you start one, you must continue it for at least five years or until you turn 59 1/2, whichever is longer.
That combination of factors makes the SEPP program attractive for people with significant amounts of money in their traditional retirement accounts who want to retire really early. It does add risk to those who are just looking for a short-term infusion of cash to tide themselves over through a temporary period of unemployment. If you start a SEPP plan and then later get a job, you're still tied to the SEPP until the last of five years or age 59 1/2 comes around, even if you no longer need the money.
If you do set up a SEPP plan, you have three payment plans to choose from:
The second and third methods generally result in higher payments in the beginning of the SEPP, though the Required Minimum Distribution method can get higher if your account balance increases. If you choose the Fixed Amortization or Fixed Annuitization method and later decide that you're at risk of prematurely depleting your account, you're allowed to switch to the Required Minimum Distribution method.
(Photo: Getty Images)
If you're able to plan ahead for an early retirement, your Roth IRA can be an incredibly flexible source of funding for you. Money you directly contribute to your Roth IRA can be withdrawn at any time for any reason, without tax or penalty. Money you get into your Roth IRA through a rollover or conversion from another retirement account can be tapped penalty-free after it's been in the plan for at least five years. These rules only hold true for your contributions -- not any growth that money may see.
The flexibility comes from the fact that you can take any amount out of your Roth IRA up to the total you've contributed that qualifies for the penalty free withdrawal. So if you don't need the money, you can let it keep compounding for you, penalty and potentially tax free. The downside is that if you're going to rely on converted contributions for a long term early retirement, you'll need to start converting at least five years in advance to get at the money penalty free.
If none of the other three methods appeal to you, you can always just take the money directly out of your retirement accounts early and pay the 10% federal penalty on top of any income taxes you owe. If the money you need to tap from your retirement accounts early is small enough -- such as to cover for short-term job loss instead of for early retirement -- it may be the lesser of evils to just pay the penalty.
While it's not ideal to pay Uncle Sam any more than you absolutely have to, it may ultimately be a lower-cost option when compared to a plan that may trap you into withdrawals over several years.
Regardless of the method you choose, each and every one of these approaches requires you to have money in your retirement accounts in order to withdraw it. The more you plan ahead for your retirement, the more you'll likely have in those accounts, and the easier it will be to have enough in the plan to cover the costs of an early retirement. So get started now, and improve your chances of being able to start the retirement you're looking for earlier than you otherwise might have.
Source: USA Today
(CNN)Humanity could face one less doomsday scenario if NASA has its way.
(CNN)They wasted little time in keeping patients safe when a disgruntled former employee opened fire Friday at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York.
(CNN)Looking for an easy diet to lose a quick few pounds? If you're searching on the Internet, chances are you've stumbled on something called the "military diet."
(CNN)If you're a busy parent, chances are you've been in the company of hungry children, desperate to find the nearest place to eat and refuel.
(CNN)Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular natural health products around, with claims for everything from sanitizing toothbrushes to whittling waistlines.
"Whether any of those claims are based on science is another matter".
(CNN)If you've read about the latest wellness trends, you may have entertained the idea of a diet detox.
CNN)The widow of one of the nine environmental campaigners who were executed by the Nigerian military government has won a 22-year battle to bring oil giant Shell to court.
(CNN)The mighty peaks of Kilimanjaro and Kenya are the highest points in Africa, towering over the East Coast nations.
(CNN)The force of crashing waves can generate huge amounts of energy.
(CNN)North Korea has fired an unidentified ballistic missile Tuesday from North Pyong'an Province that flew into waters east of the Korean Peninsula, according to a press release from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.
(CNN)Facing questions from the media at Wimbledon about her involvement in a fatal car accident, a tearful Venus Williams said what has happened has been "devastating."
After beating Mertens, Williams was repeatedly asked about the incident by the media and eventually became so emotional she began to cry.
CNN)The US conducted a targeted airstrike Sunday against a regional commander of the al-Shabab militant group, al Qaeda's affiliate in Somalia, according to two US defense officials.
Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, who oversees US troops in Africa, told reporters in April that the US seeks to help Somali security forces gain the ability to provide for their own security by 2021.
(CNN)It was an embarrassing collapse for Kenya's ruling party.
by Briana Duggan, CNN
Updated 0120 GMT (0920 HKT) July 4, 2017
(CNN)It was an embarrassing collapse for Kenya's ruling party.
(CNN)A suicide bomber blew himself up in central Damascus on Sunday, killing at least 20 people, according to the Syrian foreign ministry.
Rob Kardashian's latest X-rated social-media rant could end up costing him more than just the usual online contempt — it could be considered a crime in California.
Kardashian, the reality-TV personality best known as the brother in the Kardashian-Jenner clan, attacked his estranged ex-fiancée, Blac Chyna, on Wednesday in an especially repulsive way on Instagram and Twitter, posting pictures of her naked breasts, backside and genitals and accusing her in profane terms of sleeping with another man in "the same bed Chyna and I made our baby in."
To scores of horrified readers, it smacked of revenge porn — the crime of posting intimate pictures or videos by a disgruntled spouse or lover without the other party's consent and with the intent to inflict serious emotional distress.
Invasion of privacy laws have long been on the books, but California is one of 38 states and the District of Columbia that have recently passed laws designed to combat revenge porn, a crime of the Internet Age. California's law, Penal Code 647(j)(4) PC, took effect in September 2014.
The crime is a misdemeanor and is punishable by six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. Also, regardless of whether a local district attorney prosecutes a defendant in a case — in Kardashian's case, that would likely be the DA in busy Los Angeles County — an accuser can also bring a civil suit for monetary damages under the revenge-porn law.
"Attempting to slut-shame the mother of his child is truly sick behavior, as the law recognizes," says Lisa Bloom, the women's rights lawyer who represented Mischa Barton in her recent successful civil suit against an ex to prevent revenge-porn images of her from being released. "I encourage Ms. Chyna to stand up for her rights as a woman to control which images of her own body will be made public."
But prosecuting revenge porn under the law can be challenging, says Mitch Jackson, a California trial attorney and expert on social media and cyber bullying, because multiple elements must be proven for a conviction.
Did the defendant take pictures or videos of the victim's intimate body parts with the mutual understanding that they will be kept confidential? Were those images distributed and was the victim identifiable? Did it cause serious emotional distress and was there intent? And did the victim, in fact, suffer distress?
"It appears straightforward, but in reality it can be difficult to prove all four elements," Jackson says. "There is something wrong with anybody sharing pictures without permission, true, but with this misdemeanor you have to show intent."
And another wrinkle, he says: Did the victim truly suffer distress? TMZ reported that Chyna signaled she "liked" the pictures on Kardashian's Instagram page. That could not be verified because Instagram took down the page for violating its community guidelines, hours after Kardashian posted the pictures. (He then posted the pictures on Twitter, which also bans revenge porn; the tweets were taken down by evening.)
But if it's true that Chyna approved, then "this makes it tough to pursue criminally," Jackson says.
In revenge porn cases, Jackson says, the pictures or videos almost always were created with mutual consent. It's when one party releases those pictures or videos without the other's consent that the crime occurs.
Thus, Jackson says, it matters whether a celebrity victim secretly consented to the distribution of the pictures or videos as a means to build a brand. It's been known to happen, for instance, with sex tapes that are leaked, thus leading to later fame and fortune for the alleged victim.
Jackson thinks California's law isn't strong enough in its consequences, and he is among those pushing the legislature to tweak it.
"When it comes to social media, the law (in general) is 10 years behind the times," Jackson says. "These kinds of cases help raise awareness that the consequences of this law are not severe enough. We're finding that old laws need to be tweaked and new laws need to be enacted to serve as a deterrent so that other people don’t do the same thing."
Meanwhile, what do his Kardashian-Jenner relatives have to say about all of this? Nothing. Instead, his mother, Kris Jenner, tweeted a picture of Rob's half-sister, Kendall Jenner, walking the runway at the Fendi show in Paris.
As Courtney Minor began a master's program in vocal performance, she made sure to heed some well-known advice: Stick to federal government student loans.
In completing the two-year program at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston in 2009, Minor racked up $60,000 in debt using six different loans, which required her to pay a total of $800 a month for 10 years following her graduation.
Her decision to avoid private companies’ loans turned out to be a smart move. Federal loans come with a variety of benefits — such as the ability to defer payment or adjust monthly bills based on income — that are rarely available with private loans. And having gone through periods of unemployment and part-time jobs, Minor, now a mother of two, has used the benefits to lower her monthly payments to $500.
Her loans — and those of millions of other students — could be in for a big shakeup in the coming months as President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress set out to remake the complex business, potentially eliminating benefits and protections that borrowers like Minor depend on.
Lobbyists for private lenders and loan servicing companies are emboldened by the Trump administration, which reflexively disdains regulations and favors market-based solutions. Alarmed by Trump’s agenda, consumer advocates and student groups also are gearing up to fight any efforts to change the government’s role and student debtors’ rights
Just a little more than a year removed from telling the world that he hated Golden State Warriors fans, Nick Young has decided to join the Warriors.
Young has agreed to a one-year, $5.2 million contract, his agent Mark Bartelstein told USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick.
Young became a free agent when he declined the player option in his contract for next season with the Los Angeles Lakers. That deal would have paid him more than $5.6 million.
He said in April he was about 60% sure he would leave the Lakers because he wanted to be part of a playoff team. He certainly got his wish.
Young is a Los Angeles native and realized a childhood dream by joining the Lakers, but the 10-year NBA veteran's tenure has coincided with the worst four-year stretch in the 16-time NBA champions' history.
Then Young struggled on the court during the 2015-16 season and endured upheaval in his personal life because of a video scandal with then-rookie D'Angelo Russell -- that at times took attention away from Kobe Bryant's farewell tour. Young enjoyed a career revival last season under new coach Luke Walton.
Young averaged 13.2 points and 2.3 rebounds with the Lakers last season and a career-high .588 true shooting percentage, hitting 66.5% of his shots from three-point range, making 40.4% of them.
Young's signing is the latest in a crazy free agency frenzy and a big-spending offseason for the defending champs. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry recently agreed to a record $201 million, five-year contract; NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant agreed to a two-year deal for approximately $53 million; 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala got a three-year contract with $48 million guaranteed; fellow key reserves Shaun Livingston for $24 million and three years, and David West on a one-year contract for the veteran minimum $2.3 million.
Also knowns as "Swaggy P", Young has done his share of trash talk. With the news of his deal, Durant returned the favor, taunting him for celebrating what turned out to be a missed three-pointer.
Whether Manny Pacquiao fights again or not, his trainer of 16 years, Freddie Roach, believes that being a fighter and a senator simply doesn’t work if you want to be at the top of your game in both.
That was never been more obvious than last weekend in Brisbane, Australia, when Pacquiao, the first term Senator and only eight-division champion in boxing history, lost his WBO welterweight title to unheralded Jeff Horn by unanimous decision, an outcome few thought was even possible.
Roach, a seven-time trainer of the year, told USA TODAY Sports Tuesday that Pacquiao’s loss, though highly controversial, might be traced back to their training camp, which was held in the Philippines. The senate was in session during the first half of camp.
“Being a congressman, it seemed like Manny really wasn’t pressed or challenged by it,” Roach said. “But being a senator, he’s like a whole different person. It takes a lot of his time, and the thing is, the first half of training camp wasn’t the best because he was being a senator, and sometimes they’d let him out at three o’clock and sometimes they let him out at nine o’clock. Sometimes 10 o’clock. And then we have to train after he gets off work. Being a great fighter and being a great person in politics, it’s just very, very difficult to do both, I feel.”
Roach said after the stunning loss to Horn, “I told Manny, give it a week, we’ll sit down and talk and see what’s next.” He said he did not urge Pacquiao, who will be 39 in December, to retire.
“I said either we retire or fight a rematch at this point,” he said. “Which decision? We should take some time and watch the fight on tape, and then I’ll have a long talk with Manny about what’s the best place to go: To fight (Horn) in a rematch, or possibly retire, or go on to bigger and better guys. Those are his options.”
Roach, who knows Pacquiao probably better than anyone except for Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee and lifelong friend Buboy Fernandez, was asked if he knows what the future Hall of Famer is thinking right now. “I think what’s on his mind is what we talked about, having two jobs and you can’t really do both. I hope that sunk in to him so he thinks about it. But right now, more realistically, is either a rematch with (Horn) or nothing. That’s it. That’s pretty much my thoughts, and I don’t think we ought to go after any other world champions right now. I would like a rematch and then if he wins that, it’s over. But is that possible? Can you retire off a win?”
Roach, a former fighter, said it’s much tougher to retire off a win than a loss.
Which brings us back to Horn, who was much bigger than Pacquiao during the fight, and was very dirty, said Roach. “He had a very dirty style. Headlocks, pushing a guy down, using his elbows, head butts, and the referee didn’t say nothing about nothing. The only thing (referee Mark Nelson) said to me was ‘Freddie, when a southpaw fights a righty it’s going to happen.’ I said, ‘not when he leads with his head. Those are intentional head butts.’
The head butts caused two gashes on Pacquiao’s hairline that took 17 stitches to close, and they affected Pacquiao during the fight.
“He doesn’t get a lot of cuts, and when he does cut he panics a little bit,” Roach said. “In between rounds when the referee was talking to him, Manny wanted to have the ring doctor look at them. “For a fighter to say that, he knows where he’s at and he wants to know how bad the cut is. The doctor OK’d it, so Manny fought on pretty well. He’s never done well when he’s had those issues, you know, blood in the face. It affects everyone differently.”
Roach said Pacquiao also might have over-trained.
“His work ethic is still very, very good, and he trains very hard, but he probably trains too hard. He tries to do what he did when he was younger, and you can’t do that. It’s part of life getting old. . . . He’s got to realize he’s 38 years old now and not 28,” the trainer said.
“Basically, he’s a senator, a fighter and father. He has a wife and kids. So the last thing I want to see is for Manny to get hurt. That’s why I lean toward retirement or one more fight with Horn. I think Manny got robbed. He definitely won the fight.”
Roach also addressed Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s complaints that Pacquiao’s handlers were too overconfident coming into the fight and his corner was out of control during the fight.
“It’s hard when Buboy (Fernandez) is yelling, and (cutman) Miguel (Diaz) is telling me he has to get in the middle to work on the cuts,” said Roach. “And to get my message across to Manny what he should be doing is very difficult. Miguel is getting older and he has trouble getting in and out of the ring, and Buboy gets excited. Control in that corner has always been a little difficult.”
Roach wonders if Horn will give Pacquiao a rematch, and if so, “does he give us a rematch in America? Does he give us a rematch in The Philippines? Does he give us a rematch (in Australia) again?”
If Pacquiao has any notions about moving on and fighting undefeated 140-pound champion Terence Crawford or someone like that, “Manny would have to make a decision,” said Roach. “Either be a senator or boxer. Pick one or the other and that’s it. You can’t do both officially. It’s almost impossible.
“I’ve had a great run with Manny. It’s been a great ride. If he retires or fights one more time, we’ll see. But I want to watch the (Horn) fight very closely and break it down and see where that brings me. And I’ll give Manny a call and we’ll talk. We’re really good friends.”
Jeans designer and retailer True Religion is seeking a revival through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, having fallen to its knees amid the retail sector's crisis and the rise of "athleisure wear."
The retailer and manufacturer filed for court protection from its creditors early Wednesday in a federal court in Delaware. True Religion plans to close at least 27 of its approximately 140 stores, according to a court filing and USA TODAY research.
Snagged by similar trends that ensnared teen retailers American Apparel, Aeropostale and Pacific Sunwear, True Religion said it had failed to adapt to the industrywide shift to online sales and the decline of trendy denim.
The company, which also sells and designs other apparel, said it had won support from a majority of its top-tier secured creditors for a debt-cutting plan and secured a bankruptcy loan that would need authorization from a federal bankruptcy judge.
“After a careful review, we are taking an important step to reduce our debt, reinvigorate True Religion’s iconic brand and position the company for future growth and success,” True Religion CEO John Ermatinger said in a statement.
Founded in 2002 by Jeff Lubell, Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based True Religion has more than 1,900 employees. It also sells its products in about 500 locations in North America and South America, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue.
True Religion requested court permission to reject about 30 store leases, meaning those stores are likely set to close.
The company went private in 2013 in a deal arranged by investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, which owns the retailer.
True Religion said its business had been undermined by discounts at other retailers, online competition and the athleisure trend, in which yoga pants have become a substitute for jeans.
The company closed 20 stores in 2016, cut 25% of its corporate workforce and sought to bolster its digital operations, but those moves were insufficient.
(CNN)It wasn't Hobby Lobby's scrapbook supplies, their seasonal decorations or their generous selection of fabrics that got the attention of the Department of Justice. It was the ancient clay artifacts from modern-day Iraq.
New York (CNN)A New York police officer of 12 years and mother of three was fatally shot early Wednesday as she sat in a command vehicle in the Bronx, authorities said.
By Keith Allen, Jessica Suerth and Eric Levenson, CNN
Updated 6:40 PM ET, Wed July 5, 2017
New York (CNN)A New York police officer of 12 years and mother of three was fatally shot early Wednesday as she sat in a command vehicle in the Bronx, authorities said.
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