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White House officials alarmed at education secretary's '60 Minutes' performance

Betsy DeVos alarms WH with interviews

White House officials were alarmed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' struggle to answer basic questions about the nation's schools and failure to defend the administration's newly proposed school safety measures during a tour of television interviews Sunday and Monday, according to two sources familiar with their reaction.
Though DeVos was sworn in to her Cabinet position 13 months ago, she stumbled her way through a pointed "60 Minutes" interview with CBS' Lesley Stahl Sunday night and was unable to defend her belief that public schools can perform better when funding is diverted to the expansion of public charter schools and private school vouchers. At one point, she admitted she hasn't "intentionally" visited underperforming schools.

Qatar has evidence of UAE's 'illicit influence' on Kushner: report

UAE influence on Jared KushnerQatari officials obtained evidence of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) "illicit influence" on U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and other Trump associates, including top-level secret meetings but decided not to share it with U.S. Special Council Robert Mueller, NBC News reported Monday.

Qatari government officials who visited the United States earlier this year considered turning over information to Mueller that they believed demonstrated their neighbors in the Gulf were coordinating with Kushner to hurt Qatar, NBC News said, citing four people familiar with the matter.


Stormy Daniels offers to return 'hush agreement' money to speak freely

Stormy Daniels offers to returnsAdult film actress Stormy Daniels is offering to return the $130,000 payment she received from President Donald Trump's attorney in exchange for dissolving a so-called "Hush Agreement."

Last month, Michael Cohen said he paid $130,000 of his own money to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, ahead of the 2016 election in exchange for her silence regarding an alleged sexual encounter with Trump. Both Cohen and the White House have denied any sexual encounter between the President and Clifford.

CNN’s Jim Acosta: The Trump Trolls Who Want Me Dead

CNN's Jim Acosta: Trolls want me dead

After all the insults, acrimonious exchanges, accusations of grandstanding, attacks by Fox News personalities, and even occasional death threats from Donald Trump-loving trolls, Jim Acosta is just flesh and blood.

“Not everybody is comfortable taking this guy on,” CNN’s chief White House correspondent told The Daily Beast on Thursday—“this guy” meaning the president of the United States. “It’s uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable.”


3rd Explosion in Austin After 2 Package Bombs Linked

Austin bomb explosionsPolice are responding to another explosion in Austin that badly injured a woman, hours after a package bomb killed a teenager and wounded a woman in a different part of the city.

Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted that an explosion Monday in southeast Austin injured a woman in her 70s, who has been hospitalized with potentially life-threatening injuries. A second woman from that address has been hospitalized with an unrelated medical issue.


White House proposes arming teachers, backpedals on raising age to buy guns

WH proposes arming teachersThe Trump administration on Sunday night proposed providing some school personnel with "rigorous" firearms training and backed a bill to improve criminal background checks on gun buyers, but backpedaled on the idea of increasing the minimum age to buy certain firearms -- a policy President Donald Trump had said he would support.

The proposals, which come more than three weeks after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, also include a plan to establish a commission chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that will recommend policy and funding proposals for school violence prevention, including possible age restrictions on some firearms purchases.


Pilot: Luggage may have cut engine's fuel in NYC chopper crash

Pilot says luggage may have cut engine fuel The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in New York City's East River -- killing five people -- said a piece of luggage may have inadvertently shut down the engine and caused the aircraft to fall into the water.

Officials said the Eurocopter AS350 chopper, operated by Fly Liberty Charter, left Kearny, N.J., and was on a photo shoot when it plunged into the frigid river after a flight of about 11 minutes.


'Pilot error' blamed for deadly Kathmandu plane crash

Pilot error in KatmandouAt least 49 people have been killed when a Bangladeshi plane carrying more than 70 people crashed and burst into flames as it landed in Nepal's capital Kathmandu.

Manoj Neupane, a spokesman for Nepali police, told Al Jazeera that at least 40 people died when the US-Bangla Airlines plane crash landed on Monday. Nine others died at the hospital.

At least 22 passengers were undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the city, he said.


China’s Parliament Votes To Abolish Presidential Term Limits

Xi Jinping can stay in office indeffinitelyChina removed presidential term limits from its constitution on Sunday, giving President Xi Jinping the right to remain in office indefinitely, and confirming his status as the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong died more than 40 years ago.

China’s ruling Communist Party announced the proposed amendment only last month and there was never any doubt it would pass as parliament is packed with loyal party members who would not have opposed the proposal.


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