Luke Bryan Adopts 18-Year-Old Rescue Dog That Previous Owner Left At The Pound

An 18-year-old dog is getting a second chance at life, thanks to country singer Luke Bryan and his wife, Caroline.

The dog, named Poochie, was surrendered to a dog pound by a family who said they had developed allergies, the Proverbs 12:10 animal rescue said on its Facebook page. The Nashville-based rescue group pulled Poochie from the pound, expecting that he would be “a forever hospice foster”:  

That was until the Bryans saw his photo online, fell in love and submitted an adoption application.

“We are so thrilled for Poochie and know he is in great hands,” Lavonne Redferrin, the animal rescue’s director and founder, told People magazine. “Caroline Bryan has graciously given us updates on our sweet boy.” 

Poochie joins the dogs, cats, chickens, goats, kangaroos and other animals on the Bryans’ farm, the Sounds Like Nashville website said.

Luke Bryan summed it up in four words on Twitter:

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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I cant take your guide dog, Ive got an allergy

Discrimination against people with assistance dogs happens more often than you might imagine, and it never gets easier. BBC journalist Damon Rose tells his own story.

Last Friday, Transport for London took a mini cab driver to court for refusing to take my guide dog, and I was due to be the witness. The driver pleaded not guilty but, five minutes before the trial was due to start, he changed his plea to guilty. I won, I’m very pleased.

Over the years, I became fed up – as driver after driver refused to carry me and my dog. I took to getting my iPhone out sometimes to film as I attempted to make journeys. And then, one morning in May last year, I captured one such refusal on video.

When you watch the footage back, I am quite happy leaving the house – talking to my guide dog, telling the camera he’s sweet. He’s a small Labrador retriever cross, he’s three years old and his name is DeeBee.

As I walk towards where I imagine the taxi has parked, it plays out like a textbook case of discrimination – the kind that assistance dog owners are more than familiar with.

The driver greets me in a friendly manner and then he spots the dog.

“Oh I’m sorry sir, I am allergic to dogs,” he says.

I’ve learned that taxi drivers can’t just say they’re allergic and drive away. They need proof of their allergy because many would rather not carry a dog, perhaps not understanding that assistance dogs are highly trained and won’t jump all over the seats like an excitable puppy.

The Equality Act 2010 states that taxi and minicab drivers must carry assistance dogs unless they have genuine health reasons not to do so. Local authorities will provide a driver with an exemption certificate if they give proof from an appropriately qualified medic. The certificates should then be available to show to an assistance dog owner on demand.

The ability to read the certificates is, of course, a bit of an issue for many guide dog owners – but my plan was to capture his paperwork on film and show it to a colleague later.

So, I asked for his exemption certificate. The video shows him hunting through papers in his car and finding nothing – but he assures me he has an allergy and urges: “You can check with my GP.”

“I’m getting sneezy because I’m staying near the dog,” he says. “This is going to put me in danger of my health, and surely you don’t really want that do you?”

And indeed, I really wouldn’t want him to be harmed if he did genuinely have an allergy. But was he being harmed? Or was I being wronged?

“If it’s such a big health issue for you, you would have got an exemption certificate,” you hear me say on the video.

While being questioned in court, the driver maintained he had an allergy but, nine months on from the incident, was still unable to provide proof.

The driver worked for Uber but does not any more. If you open the Uber app, go to the menu, click on Help then Accessibility, you’ll see that Uber provides a specific space for assistance dog owners to report any issues arising when using the Uber partners taxi: “I want to report a service animal issue”.

This is how I have reported five refusal incidents in the past 18 months and have been called by friendly Irish-accented staff asking if I’m OK and then taking down details.

A survey of more than 1,000 assistance dog owners, conducted by Guide Dogs in spring 2015, found that 75% had been refused access to a restaurant, shop or taxi because they had an assistance dog with them.

My video footage helped me to get justice in this case.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

TFL’s lawyer told the court the driver had claimed initially that I had been aggressive and had “chased” him – not easy to do if you are blind. She went on to say that the driver had conceded this was not the case, after having viewed the video in which I was very calm and measured.

The driver in the video I took has been blurred out – at my request. That’s not because he’s innocent – he’s not – but because he’s received a fine plus court fees which amount to almost £1,500 – and I think that’s punishment enough.

The reason I’m sharing the video is because disability discrimination is an odd beast and, to the untrained eye, may not look like discrimination at all. But what happens in this video is a criminal offence – when you become a cab driver, you sign up to this contract. If you don’t want to take dogs, don’t be a cab driver.

Minicab or private hire vehicle drivers (unless they have a medical exemption):

• Must carry the assistance dog and allow it to remain with their owner

• Cannot refuse a booking, or refuse to carry out a booking, due to someone having an assistance dog with them

• Cannot charge extra for carrying an assistance dog

• Have a duty to provide a reasonable service

Taken from the Guide Dogs charity website

If you watch the video and think “he seems nice to me”, that’s not the point. He probably is a really nice fella, but didn’t understand the implications of what he was doing – how it excludes people. That’s why the laws exist. When the next taxi turns up, and the driver lets the dog jump in, that doesn’t fix what just happened. It does not stop what happened spinning round in your mind for days.

I have initiated two more cases against minicab drivers since this one, both of whom just drove away without saying a word. Now, each time I leave my front door I get my camera ready because I fear I’ll be refused again – like I have been dozens of times before. That goes for restaurants and the occasional shop too.

An old online disability magazine, Ragged Edge, once named this type of thing “little acts of degradation”.

These days we might think of it as the kind of drip, drip, drip effect which causes trauma – chipping away at that part of your brain which stores all your disability insecurities, the job rejections, the name-calling across the street, the mandatory online training at work that turns out to be inaccessible… and taxi drivers, who in this case abandoned me on the pavement from where it took me several minutes to find my front door again even though it was just feet away.

The big irony is that I ordered a mini cab to pick me up from outside the magistrates’ court after the hearing. Can you guess what happened? The taxi driver called me when he arrived, asked me where I was, told me he could see me, then cancelled the job and drove away.

Admittedly, it’s not too easy to park directly outside the court where I was – but he chose to leave a blind person on the kerb, in the rain and sleet, without attempting to find another location and without any explanation.

It’s up to me to guess what happened. I think I can. And if I’m wrong… I’m afraid I’m still thinking it.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

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FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump skeptical about future wall deal as possibility of another shutdown looms

President Donald Trump announces a deal to temporarily reopen the government, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Welcome to Fox News First. Not signed up yet? Click here.
 
Developing now, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019

SHUTDOWN DRAMA FAR FROM OVER: As furloughed federal workers prepare to return to work on Monday, President Trump says he doubts he could accept any deal from lawmakers that give him less than his requested $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, fueling the possibility that there could be another partial government shutdown in a few weeks … In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, the president also was skeptical on whether a bipartisan group of lawmakers chosen to negotiate a budget deal could reach an agreement before funding for most government agencies runs out on Feb. 15, saying, “I personally think it’s less than 50-50, but you have a lot of very good people on that board.”

On Friday, Trump signed a short-term spending bill reopening the government and ending the 35-day shutdown without any funding for his long-promised border barrier, a reversal from last month when he refused to sign any funding legislation that did not provide wall money. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney strongly suggested on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump will construct a border wall using his emergency powers if Congress cannot agree on a compromise to fund the construction in the next three weeks.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

KAMALA 2020 FORMALLY LAUNCHES: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., formally launched her run for the Democratic presidential nomination Sunday with a full-fledged embrace of big government programs, including “Medicare for All” and universal pre-kindergarten education — and taking multiple shots at President Trump’s policies …. “I’m running to fight for an America where the economy works for working people,” Harris told a cheering crowd outside City Hall in her hometown of Oakland. “I am running to declare, once and for all, that health care is a fundamental right, and to deliver that right with ‘Medicare for All.’ To declare education is a fundamental right, and we will guarantee that right with universal pre-K and debt-free college.”

Harris also slammed President Trump’s planned border wall as “a medieval vanity project” and criticized the administration for its hardline immigration policy.

WILL MUELLER CRACK STONE? – Former longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone on Sunday gave mixed signals on whether he would cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation after being indicted for obstruction …  Stone appeared to open the door to cooperating with Mueller, telling anchor George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ “This Week”he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of striking a deal with prosecutors. “hat’s a question I’ll have to determine after my attorneys have some discussion,” he said.

NEW HELP OFFERED IN SEARCH FOR MISSING MOM: A search and rescue team that specializes in K9 searches says its ready to help search for Savannah Spurlock, the Kentucky mother of four who’s been missing since earlier this year, provided local authorities give the go-ahead on Monday, the team’s commander told Fox News … The Cajun Coast Search & Rescue Team is a Louisiana-based group primarily made up of firefighters and police that use teams of trained dogs to help local law enforcement find missing persons.

Spurlock, a native of Richmond, Ky., was last seen leaving a Lexington bar on Jan. 4. Three men have been questioned in connection to her disappearance but no arrests were made.

  • Questions linger after Louisiana suspect in killing of five is captured in Virginia

THE SOUNDBITE

2020 DEMS ‘OUT-LEFTING’ THEMSELVES – “The fact that the Democrats have moved so far to the left and all of their early candidates are trying to see if they can out-left the others, this is where they’re headed, which is great news for the Republicans.” – Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” on the current state of prospective Democratic presidential candidates. WATCH

TODAY’S MUST-READS 
Meghan McCain says she no longer calls herself a Republican, cites Trump’s influence on party.
NBC News’ Tom Brokaw apologizes after comments on Hispanics spark backlash.
Measles outbreak prompts state of emergency declaration by Washington governor.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Sunday Morning Futures‘: Pelosi trying to hold State of the Union ‘hostage,’ Rep. Scalise says.
Do Tesla Supercharging rates cost more than gas?
As Bernie Sanders mulls 2020 bid, here’s a look at his economic policies.
ICYMI: USPS to hike stamp prices by record amount.
Smart things to do with $1,000.

STAY TUNED

On Fox Nation:

Now available: “The Conservatives – Rough Cut” – The rebirth of the Right and the creation of a movement. A raw and unfiltered oral history, told by the people who lived it. Featuring William F. Buckley Jr., Pat Buchanan, Thomas Sowell, Pat Robertson, Ben Shapiro, and many more.

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On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Andrew McCarthy, Fox News contributor and former assistant U.S. attorney, on Roger Stone’s arrest; Dr. Omar Hamada comes out against New York’s abortion bill; Jill DeManski, a Border Patrol wife who wrote letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Michael Rectenwald, a retired “anti-PC” professor of liberal arts; U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wy., on border wall funding; Chris Tuell, director at the Lindner Center for Hope, talks about drug treatment for internet addiction; Newt Gingrich, former House speaker and Fox News contributor; Cardinal Timothy Dolan talks about New York’s new abortion bill and Catholics calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be excommunicated.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Former U.S. Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y.; Ryan Payne, president of Payne Capital Management (PCM); Antjuan Seawright, Democratic strategist.

The Story with Martha MacCallum, 7 p.m. ET: Anthony Scaramucci, former White House director of communications under Trump.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: Former N.J. Gov. Chris Christie; House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.

The Ingraham Angle, 10 p.m. ET: U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Mark Meadows, R-N.C.

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas.

Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: Mary Anastasia O’Grady, columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman, 3 p.m. ET: Glenn Hubbard, the Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: Fox News’ Garrett Tenney will have the latest in the border wall standoff and the chances of another partial government shutdown in a few weeks. Early retirement sounds like a nice idea, but more than half of Americans who may be forced into early retirement are not financially ready for it. Fox Business’ Linda Bell talks about the financial struggles of folks facing an unplanned retirement. Plus, commentary by Gillian Turner, Fox News correspondent.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Deroy Murdock, contributing editor with  National ReviewOnline and Fox News contributor on how the Trump-hating media are demolishing themselves; Michael Goodwin, New York Post columnist, on how President Trump is down, but can’t be counted out in the battle over his bordel wall; Sarah Friar, CEO of Nextdoor; Bret Baier, “Special Report” anchor, on the top headlines of the day.

The Tom Shillue Show, 3 p.m. ET: Comedian and podcaster Heather McDonald joins Tom Shillue to discuss the new bombshell Michael Jackson documentary.

#TheFlashback
1986: The space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.
1956: Elvis Presley makes his first national TV appearance on “Stage Show,” a CBS program hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey.
1915: The United States Coast Guard is created as President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Have a good Monday! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday morning.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

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1 killed in avalanche at New Mexico ski resort

(CNN)One of the two skiers injured in an avalanche at the Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico has died, a hospital official said Friday.

The avalanche was reported Thursday morning at Kachina Peak, the highest point of the Taos Ski Valley resort, about 14 miles north of Taos.
Two skiers became buried in the snow, according to an earlier statement from Taos Ski Valley.
    They were rescued by the resort’s patrol and bystanders after the snow collapsed and buried them, said Chris Stagg, the resort’s vice president for public affairs.
    The skiers were transported to area medical facilities, a company statement said.
    The skier died as a result of injuries sustained in the avalanche, the hospital official. He had been taken to nearby Holy Cross Medical Center in Taos and initially listed in critical condition, Bill Patten, the center’s chief executive officer, told CNN.
    The other injured skier was in critical condition and was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, hospital spokesman Alex Sanchez said.
    Crews searched the avalanche area using probes, beacons and avalanche dogs but did not find any other skiers trapped, the resort’s Stagg said.
    It’s not immediately clear what triggered the avalanche, but “a full investigation of the incident and its cause will be conducted,” the resort tweeted Thursday.
    Stagg said there has been avalanche mitigation work done there throughout the season and also on Thursday morning.
      “Our thoughts and prayers are with the two individuals who were affected by today’s event and their families. We are grateful to the ski patrol and community of visitors across the mountain who responded without hesitation … ,” Stagg said in a statement. “We appreciate the overwhelming support of the community during this incident.”
      The avalanche comes a day after the resort tweeted that its lift to the Kachina Peak and hiking access would be closed because of visibility issues.

      Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

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      This is why Republicans and Democrats aren’t talking to each other in Washington

      (CNN)The geographic and demographic separation between the two political parties, and the two Americas, has reached a new peak in the House of Representatives.

      House Democrats hold the vast majority of districts with more minorities and more college graduates than the national average, while Republicans are mostly confined to districts with more whites and fewer college graduates than the national average. Likewise, Democrats now control the vast majority of House districts that are younger, more affluent or contain more immigrants than the national average.
      The widening trench between the two sides promises to further narrow the prospect of them reaching any common ground. For the Democratic majority, the new alignment may make it easier for them to reach consensus on many polarizing cultural issues — from immigration to gun control — but may open new splits on economic questions such as taxes and trade.
        To illuminate the differences between the seats each party holds, CNN producer Aaron Kessler used census data to track some of the key characteristics of all 435 House districts. That exercise, employing data from the American Community Survey’s 2012-2016 district-level estimates, produced a stark divergence between the 235 House Democrats and the 199 House Republicans (for the purpose of this analysis, CNN treated the North Carolina House seat enmeshed in allegations of voter fraud as vacant).
        The divergence is apparent across every key measure.
        In the new House, just over three-fifths of the Democrats represent districts where the minority share of the population exceeds the national average of 38%. Almost exactly 85% of House Republicans represent districts that are more white than the national average of 62%.
        Almost three-fifths of the Democrats represent districts where the share of adults holding at least four-year college degrees exceeds the national average of 30.3%. Over three-fourths of the House Republicans represent districts with fewer college graduates than average.
        Nearly three-fifths of House Democrats hold seats where the median income exceeds the national level of $55,322. Two-thirds of House Republicans hold districts where the median income lags below the national level.
        Nearly 54% of the House Democrats hold seats where the median age is younger than the national level of 37.7. Almost exactly 60% of House Republicans hold districts that are older than the national median.
        Just over three-fifths of Democrats represent districts where the immigrant share of the population (the portion of people born abroad) exceeds the national average of 13.2%. Over 90% of House Republicans represent districts with fewer immigrants than the national average. (These numbers do not include the 18 seats in Pennsylvania, where the immigrant population was not available for the state’s recently redrawn districts.)
        This deep and consistent separation culminates a sorting-out process that has steadily reshaped the House since the 1990s.
        “The tectonic plates have been shifting for a few years now,” said Ken Spain, a former communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
        As recently as the 2009-10 Congress, there was still substantial overlap between the kinds of House seats each party represented. At that point, Democrats still held nearly half the seats defined as mostly rural in the innovative system developed by the CityLab website to classify districts into six groupings on an urban to rural continuum. Democrats dominated the most urban seats, but the two sides were competitive in suburban areas.

        The Obama backlash vs. the Trump backlash

        In 2010, during the midterm election of President Barack Obama’s first term, Republicans swept away dozens of small-town and rural Democrats. Through personal popularity, those Democrats had been holding on to seats with large numbers of blue-collar, older and Christian white voters who usually voted Republican in presidential elections. But they could not survive the backlash among those voters to Obama’s aggressive first two years.
        The November 2018 result is the bookend to that election. This election swept away dozens of Republicans from suburban seats with large numbers of minority or white-collar white voters or both who had been increasingly voting Democratic in presidential campaigns. Those Republicans, from Reps. Mimi Walters and Dana Rohrabacher in Orange County, California, to John Culberson in Texas and Barbara Comstock in northern Virginia, could not survive the backlash among their voters to Trump’s tumultuous first years.
        The losses for Republicans last fall were concentrated in more affluent and better-educated districts. Democrats won 43 seats that Republicans controlled in the previous Congress, while losing three seats of their own, for a net gain of 40 (pending the North Carolina result). Of the 43 seats that Democrats gained, 31 are in districts that exceed the national average in college graduates, according to Kessler’s analysis. Incomes exceeded the national median in 35 of the 43 districts that Democrats captured.
        After these sweeping gains, Democrats now dominate well-educated and upper-middle-class districts, many of them immersed in the information-age economy and connected to global markets. Before the November election, each party held almost exactly half of the 201 districts where incomes exceed the national median; now Democrats hold 136 of those seats, or just over two-thirds. Before the election, Democrats held 57% of the 182 seats with more college graduates than the national average; after the election, they hold almost exactly three-fourths of those seats (135). Similarly in the CityLab classification system, Democrats gained a net of 35 seats in the three most suburban categories and now lead in them by 166 to 51.
        The election left the GOP in an even more precarious position in diverse America: It now holds only about 1 in 6 of the seats with more minorities than the national average and just 1 in 8 of those with more immigrants.

        Where Republicans are focused

        Republicans still control two-thirds of the House seats where whites exceed their share of the national population. That’s less than their three-fourths in the previous Congress, but still much more than in 2009, when the two sides split such seats about evenly. The GOP edge in those seats is a reminder of the big challenges still confronting Democrats in places less touched by economic and demographic change. But in the House math, it isn’t nearly enough to overcome the GOP weakness in diverse districts and its erosion in white-collar suburbs.
        Spain views the lopsided deficits in those places as the inevitable price of his party’s relentless focus under Trump on mobilizing blue-collar and rural whites, especially men. “You want to go all in on white votes, white male voters, sure, the reaction to that is massive hemorrhaging with female voters in the suburbs,” says Spain, who’s now a partner at CGCN Group, a lobbying and communications consulting firm.

        Where Democrats are focused

        The House Democratic caucus now revolves around two principal poles. One is the white-collar suburban areas in which the party advanced in November. The other is heavily minority, lower-income districts mostly inside urban centers. Those two poles become apparent when looking simultaneously at the income and racial composition of the Democratic House districts. The 136 Democratic districts that exceed the national median income split exactly in half between those that are more and less diverse than the national average. But three-fourths of the 99 Democratic districts that lag below the median income contain more minorities than average — a reflection of the Democratic dominance in mostly nonwhite lower-income inner cities.
        Overall, with the party’s big gains in suburbia, the share of Democrats who hold seats in districts with more minorities than the national average is notably lower in this Congress (61% ) than it was in the last (66%). But that’s still a significant shift from the party’s last majority in 2009, when it divided almost evenly between districts that were more and less diverse than the national average.
        Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of NDN, a Democratic group that studies the political implications of demographic and economic trends, says the new distribution of seats shows that the party’s House caucus has finally caught up with the changes in the party that Barack Obama consolidated. Obama built his two presidential victories around a coalition that was younger, more diverse, better-educated and more urbanized — at a point when the Democratic House majority still relied on large numbers of right-leaning “blue dog” members clinging to mostly white and culturally conservative rural and small-town seats, including many in the South.
        “It’s fair to say that the House campaign in 2018 executed on a politics that we first saw with Obama in 2007 and 2008: It aligned the House with the way that Obama began to reorient the Democratic Party,” said Rosenberg, who consulted with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee through the campaign. “There were many people who were saying that Obama’s embrace of this new coalition was the cause of Democratic decline in the Senate and the House. It was never true. But what was true was that Democrats had never resigned themselves to having to lean into this new coalition that Obama constructed. Now they did in 2018 — they leaned into it — and look what happened.”

        A more culturally liberal Democratic Party

        Democratic Rep. David Price, a former legislative aide and political scientist, represents the affluent and highly educated Research Triangle Park area in North Carolina. He says the decline since the party’s last House majority in the number of Democrats representing mostly white working-class areas won’t diminish the party’s interest in addressing wage stagnation and widening inequality. “There’s still plenty of sense that we need to address the slipping away of the American dream with blue-collar America,” he said in an interview. “We didn’t do it in 2016. But we’re not about to concede that or to give it up.”
        But Price said that with fewer members representing non-urban working-class districts, the party will likely find it easier to move forward on cultural issues including gun control, gay rights and immigration. Resistance from the moderate coalition of blue dogs made it difficult for the party to act on any of those when Nancy Pelosi last held the speakership, between 2007 and 2010. That change is already evident during the government shutdown fight: Hardly any House Democrats have expressed unease with Trump trying to portray the party as soft on border security, something difficult to imagine a decade ago.
        “The number of members in the House who are given serious heartburn by this shutdown over the wall … is considerably less than it would have been in the last (Democratic-majority) Congress,” Price says.
        The new fault lines for Democrats may track economic issues. Members from the party’s growing suburban center will likely be more hesitant about expensive new government programs, and especially raising income taxes, than their colleagues from lower-income and urban districts. And more of those new members from districts with large numbers of globally connected white-collar professionals may challenge the hostility to international trade that now dominates the party. Those suburban members “are going to look at the economic stakes in trade differently,” predicts Price, an advocate of expanded trade. “That’s still really a work in progress, though.”

        Republicans retreat to Trump country

        For Republicans, the principal challenge in the new alignment may be that they may further cement the changes in the party’s coalition that Trump has accelerated. The GOP House caucus has been pushed back almost entirely into Trump country: mostly white districts with very few immigrants that are also below the national average in education and income. Nearly three-fifths of all House Republicans now hold seats in districts that are below the median income and more white than the national average.
        That means that as the caucus sets its direction, there are very few voices left in the room to worry about how its choices will affect the party’s prospects in the upscale suburban areas that broke so sharply against them and Trump last fall. That dynamic has been apparent in the party’s near lockstep support for Trump’s partial government shutdown over a border wall, which was opposed by two-thirds of nonwhites and college-educated whites in the most recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
        Spain, who directed communications for the National Republican Congressional Committee during the GOP’s 2010 landslide, said Democrats could reopen the door for the GOP in white-collar suburbs if they move too far left on spending or in their response to the agendas of the various minority groups in their coalition. But he acknowledges that recovery won’t be easy as long as the GOP under Trump is defining itself so heavily toward the cultural priorities of older and blue-collar white men.
          “At some point Republicans are going to have to find an equilibrium if they plan to compete,” he says. “Clearly there’s no sign of that occurring in the immediate future. You want to go with older white men, the counterbalance to that is going to be millennials, females and diversity coming back with a vengeance.”
          That action/reaction cycle has now produced a House divided, both demographically and geographically, as deeply and consistently between the parties as any in modern times. It is not just two parties but two Americas that are poised to collide in the 116th Congress.

          Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

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          Freeze continues as snow traps vehicles

          Media playback is unsupported on your device
          Media captionAmbulance rescued on snowy road in Basingstoke

          Freezing temperatures are continuing into the weekend after snow once again left many motorists stuck in their vehicles overnight.

          Highways England said police had worked until 02:00 GMT on Saturday to free vehicles from the M3 near Basingstoke.

          And Kent Police tweeted it had had an “incredibly busy night” with “numerous” collisions and stranded cars.

          The Met Office said temperatures could reach -16C (3F) in Scotland on Saturday night but that Sunday should be milder.

          Highways England South East operations manager Robert Bell said: “We have every sympathy for drivers who found themselves stranded in the severe weather.

          “Safety is our top priority and our teams of gritters and snow ploughs, supported by our traffic officers, worked through the night to keep the roads treated.”

          Disruption on the roads continued in Kent on Saturday, with local highways officers tweeting that drivers may not be able to access vehicles abandoned overnight on the A2045 “due to the continued risk of falling trees”.

          However the A249, which was closed overnight on Friday, has now reopened.

          Services on South Western Railway – which runs trains from London as far west as Exeter – could face disruption until midday on Saturday after “a band of heavy snow”, National Rail warned.

          Yellow weather warnings for snow and ice are expected to remain in place across the UK until noon on Saturday.

          Pitch inspections

          The weather has also affected this weekend’s football programme, with Saturday’s match between Port Vale and Tranmere Rovers postponed because of a frozen pitch.

          Five Scottish League One and Two matches have also been postponed.

          Several of Saturday’s matches will be subject to pitch inspections on Saturday morning but fans heading for matches can check for the latest updates on postponements on the BBC Sport website.

          London City Airport cancelled or diverted several flights on Friday evening because of heavy snowfall but normal services have now resumed.

          The airport said any concerned passengers should “check their flight status in advance” with their airline.

          Bristol airport also closed its runway due to snow on Friday. Services are expected to return to normal on Saturday, but the airport said there may be some further delays due to the de-icing of runways.

          Cardiff airport was also anticipating some disruption “due to adverse weather”.

          Image copyright Gareth Fuller/PA
          Image caption The A2045 in Walderslade is closed due to falling trees

          Southern England bore the brunt of Friday’s fresh snowfall, with the Met Office recording snow at a depth of 19cm (7.5in) at RAF Odiham near Basingstoke on Friday evening.

          Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital made an appeal for nursing staff within walking distance to help, as it faced staffing issues when the town’s roads becoming gridlocked on Friday.

          Temperatures fell to their lowest level this winter in the early hours of Friday, with Braemar, Aberdeenshire, dropping to -15.4C (6F).

          This is the lowest in the UK since 2012 – when temperatures fell to -15.6C in Holbeach, Lincolnshire.

          What’s the weekend forecast?

          BBC weather presenter Helen Willetts said there was lying snow in many parts of the UK, and the ice risk remained high through Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

          Snow showers would ease in the later part of the day, but the weather is expected to turn very cold overnight, with experts predicting “the coldest night of the winter so far”.

          Temperatures even in cities such as London and Birmingham could fall to a “very unusual” -4 or -5, with -12 expected over the snowfields in Scotland.

          However Sunday will mark “a day of change” with milder air pushing in bringing heavy rain and some windy conditions in the coming week.

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            How have you been affected by the bad weather? Tell us your story by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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            Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

            adminadminFreeze continues as snow traps vehicles
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            Amid shutdown, federal workers face health struggles: ‘We are the ones that are suffering’

            (CNN)The government shutdown has hit much more than some workers’ wallets — it has affected their health.

            Those are just a few ways the ongoing partial lapse in government funding has impacted the health of employees who are not receiving paychecks. As of Tuesday, the government has been partially shut down for over a month.

              What a government shutdown means for you

            Health insurance benefits for furloughed government employees continue even if they don’t receive a paycheck, but their lack of pay can make certain health needs and medications unaffordable.
              In addition, “many agencies do not have the HR employees working that process paperwork for qualifying life events,” said Dania Palanker, an assistant research professor in the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute in Washington, DC, whose husband is a furloughed federal employee.
              “This means that employees that are eligible to change their insurance election — because they had a child, got married, or a family member lost coverage — are not able to make the change until the government reopens,” she said. “Another important piece is that after two pay periods where there were no paychecks, employees will receive bills for their vision or dental insurance.”

              ‘I’ve cried so much that it’s just making my head hurt’

              Worthen normally takes metformin twice daily to treat her type 2 diabetes, “and then I take high blood pressure medicine, one in the morning and one in the evening, and then I take my high cholesterol medicine,” she said.
              Now, “I’m not able to get either one,” she said. “My body and everything is aching. I don’t know whether it has something to do with because I haven’t had my medicine.”
              Every three months, Worthen also gets her diabetes checked in a lab test called A1C, but she said that she hasn’t been able to go because she needs a $30 copay.
              As a security worker at the Smithsonian Institution, Worthen has been furloughed without pay. All Smithsonian museums have been closed due to the federal government shutdown.
              “I’m just more concerned about me being able to get my mortgage paid, and my electric and my water and my medicine. All of that is important to me. I’ve cried so much that it’s just making my head hurt,” she said. “It’s not fair to us.”
              As the shutdown continues, Worthen has turned to her two rescue dogs — a Yorkie named Miso and a Jack Russell Terrier mix named Frozen — for comfort.
              “We’re a family, you know? They trust me,” she said, adding that paying for their food has become stressful as well.

              A young son asks his mother to pray

              As for Yvette Hicks, caring for her household also has become nerve wracking.
              “My first day of work was the day that the government shut down,” Hicks, a security officer for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, said during a public roundtable last Wednesday in Washington, DC.
              “By this government being shut down it’s affecting my whole lifestyle … I’m literally crying everyday and looking at my kids and asking myself how am I going to provide to them because they’re looking at me to be their provider,” she said. “I have an 8-year-old that asks me everyday, ‘Mommy what’s wrong?’ And I have to put on a brave face and say, ‘Nothing.’ “
              Hicks has two children who have asthma and use a nebulizer machine, which gives the children albuterol medication to prevent and treat the difficulty breathing, coughing and other symptoms of asthma.
              The children typically need treatment every four hours, but for now Hicks has been spacing out their treatments over longer time periods due to the costs. She said that the children have been staying indoors to prevent any worsening of their asthma symptoms.
              Hicks said that she has one son whose asthma symptoms are flaring due to having a cold. Along with her children’s health needs, Hicks also needs her own medication to control high blood pressure — and that’s an added cost, she said.
              As the shutdown continues, Hicks said that her 8-year-old son has asked her to pray.

              An autoimmune disease causes concern

              As the spouse of a federal employee, Dania Palanker has seen the impacts of the government shutdown firsthand — and it has influenced her own health care.
              “I have an autoimmune condition that causes nerve damage and that means I have severe pain throughout my body and fatigue,” Palanker said, adding that she was told last month that her nerve damage has worsened.
              “We decided it was best for me to cut my work hours so I can focus on my health and my family — we have a 4-year-old daughter — but it was after open enrollment ended and we couldn’t get paperwork in before the shutdown,” she said.

                Diabetic federal worker: I went to bed, hoped to wake up

              So Palanker went back to working her normal hours and hopes to change her hours in about a month, “but I’ve been in a lot of pain this month so it has been really difficult to work the extra hours,” she said.
              As the shutdown continues, starting in February, she expects that she will be paying premiums on her health insurance through COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which is about $1,200 per month more for her family, she said.

              ‘I’m worried this is an additional stressor’

              Meanwhile, John Kostelnik’s health remains in limbo.
              Around the same time the government shutdown took place, Kostelnik was in the process of screening for colon cancer. As his doctors tested for any illnesses — other than cancer — the results came back negative.
              “They have ruled out some of the things I wish I had,” said Kostelnik, a federal law enforcement agent at the United States penitentiary in Victorville, California.
              Now Kostelnik needs a colonoscopy, but as essential personnel, he can’t take leave until the shutdown ends.
              Kostelnik, a single father of three girls, also said that the shutdown has made it difficult to make child support payments.
              Overall, several federal employees are struggling, he added.

              Sign up here to get The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Tuesday from the CNN Health team.

                As a local president of the American Federation of Government Employees, Kostelnik said that he is worried about the federation’s members, of which a substantial number are military veterans and some suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
                “With the shutdown and people having trouble putting food on the table, I’m worried this is an additional stressor,” Kostelnik said. “We are the ones that are suffering.”

                Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

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                Seth Meyers: ‘What Does Trump Have Against Dogs?’

                Even in the Trump administration, every dog has its day. But that’s not always a good thing.

                On Thursday’s broadcast of “Late Night,” Seth Meyers referred to a quote from Cliff Sims’ new book, “Team of Vipers,” that described how Trump talked to former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

                “I remember being in Wisconsin and your own people were booing you,” Trump told him. … “You were out there dying like a dog, Paul. Like a dog! And what’d I do? I saved your a―.”

                “What does Trump have against dogs?” asked the “Late Night” host, who dotes on his Italian greyhound named Frisbee. “He’s always attacking people by saying they were ‘fired like a dog’ or ‘choked like a dog’ or they were ‘begging for money like a dog’ or they got ‘kicked out of the ABC News debate like a dog.’”

                Meyers said that using dogs in these contexts makes no sense. 

                “Dogs don’t do any of those things,” he said. “And if a dog got up on a stage at a debate with you, not only would it not get booed, it would probably get elected.”

                Check out the clip above, beginning at 6:45.

                Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

                adminadminSeth Meyers: ‘What Does Trump Have Against Dogs?’
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                Neighbors were ‘armed and ready’ if suspect in Jayme Closs kidnapping showed up

                (CNN)The neighbors who took in Jayme Closs after another woman found her in the street told CNN they armed themselves while waiting for police in case her kidnapper had followed her.

                Jayme, 13, had vanished after her parents were found dead more than two months ago, the neighbor told Kasinkas. And her alleged kidnaper was still out there, likely hunting for her.
                Kasinskas told CNN she and her husband retrieved a gun they kept inside the house and brought the skinny teenager, with unkempt hair and oversized shoes, into the living room.
                  Kasinskas and Nutter called 911, passing the phone back and forth between them, while Kasinskas’ husband stood at the front door with the gun, in case Jayme’s alleged abductor came into the yard before the police arrived. “We were armed and ready,” Kasinskas said in an interview Sunday.
                  “My neighbor and I … legitimately thought someone was coming for her,” Kasinskas said. “We didn’t even really have time to be scared, it was happening quickly.”
                  Then, as the teenager the whole state was looking for was sitting in her living room, Kasinskas made a startling realization: she knew the man Jayme identified as her kidnapper.
                  The suspect, Jake Thomas Patterson, a 21-year-old Gordon resident, was arrested shortly after Jayme was discovered last Thursday. He faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for killing Closs’ parents and one count of kidnapping, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Friday.
                  CNN has reached out for comment to Patterson’s lawyers and is waiting to hear back.

                  ‘I think he was my student’

                  A mysterious phone call early on October 15 led authorities to discover that Jayme’s parents — James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46 — had been shot dead at their home near the small town of Barron in northwestern Wisconsin. The call came in from Denise Closs’ cell phone. No one on the line talked to the dispatcher, but the dispatcher “could hear a lot of yelling.” Jayme vanished that day.
                  Tips poured in. Some 2,000 volunteers — a number equivalent to two-thirds of Barron’s population — searched for Jayme at one point. The town never gave up hope. But there was still no sign of her, until Nutter, who was walking her dog, came across the teenager last Thursday.
                  Jayme was alone, without a coat or gloves in the Midwestern chill, Nutter said.
                  “I’m lost, and I don’t know where I am, and I need help,” Nutter recalled Jayme saying before she brought the girl to the Kasinskas’ home.
                  The teenager said she was being held captive by someone in a home nearby who “killed my parents and took me,” Kasinskas told CNN last week.
                  “When I was on with 911, I was asking the questions. Jayme wasn’t really talking on her own. I asked her, ‘Who had you?’ and ‘Where did they have you?’ I asked her about the vehicle, she said ‘red car, Jake Patterson,'” Kasinskas said.
                  Kasinskas said she told the 911 dispatcher: “Jake Patterson, Jayme, this is real.”
                  When Jayme said the name, Kasinskas said she immediately recognized it. She teaches science to middle and high school students, and she remembered one middle schooler named Jake Patterson.
                  “In my mind, I said, ‘oh, that can’t be the same person,'” she said. But Jayme said he was 21, and Kasinskas realized the ages lined up, too.
                  “I think he was my student,” she recalled saying.
                  Nothing in particular stood out about Patterson in middle school, Kasinskas said.
                  “He was very quiet, not a troublemaker that I can remember. Just a quiet, very smart kid,” she said. “He wasn’t super active in student body life. He did well in class, he was a good student. I wouldn’t say the most popular kid, but he had friends.”

                  ‘He was in the neighborhood’

                  Jayme told them Patterson wasn’t going to be home until midnight, Kasinskas recalled. But they were still concerned he might be after her.
                  Kasinskas said she and her husband put their two children in the basement with the dogs, “and told them to watch the TV until we said it was OK to come back upstairs.”
                  The two women hovered around Jayme as they waited for the police to arrive. Police showed up about 20 to 30 minutes later.
                  “The officer told us to get away from the windows and get downstairs,” Kasinskas said. “An officer sent my husband to the back door and told him to stand there with the gun in case he comes that way.”
                    Minutes later, the police radio crackled: Patterson had been apprehended. He wasn’t very far away when police found him, Kasinskas said.
                    “We were kind of terrified when we heard that,” Kasinskas said. “We realized he was in the neighborhood coming back for her.”

                    Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

                    adminadminNeighbors were ‘armed and ready’ if suspect in Jayme Closs kidnapping showed up
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                    Naked Virginia man charged after allegedly biting dog and off-duty FBI agent: police

                    A Virginia man who was reported to be wandering around without clothes on Tuesday morning was detained and charged following a series of events in which he allegedly smoked weed, bit his dog on the ears and bit an off-duty FBI agent in the neck, police said. (Prince William County Police Department)

                    A Virginia man who was reported to be wandering around without clothes on Tuesday morning was detained and charged following a series of events in which he allegedly smoked weed, bit his dog on the ears and bit an off-duty FBI agent in the neck, police said.

                    Upon arriving to the scene in Manassas around 8:35 a.m., a responding officer found the suspect, Cory Michael Phillips, 31, “standing naked in the middle” of the road, Prince William County police said in an incident report.

                    The officer eventually used pepper spray on the suspect, who was thought to be under the influence of something, after initial efforts to detain him proved unsuccessful, police said.

                    MASSACHUSETTS FIRE DEPARTMENT, VETERINARIANS FREE CHEW TOY STUCK IN DOG’S MOUTH

                    “The accused then advanced toward an off-duty FBI agent who had stopped to assist the officer, and a struggle ensued between all the parties,” according to the incident report. “During the struggle, the accused bit the FBI agent, identified as a 51-year-old male, on the neck causing a minor injury.”

                    Authorities later determined that Phillips was allegedly smoking marijuana at home that morning and “started acting erratically,” police said.

                    “At some point, the accused picked up his 5-year-old Labrador-boxer mix dog and began to squeeze it before biting the dog on the ears and chest causing minor injuries,” the incident report said. “The accused then went outside where he eventually pushed a neighbor, identified as a 60-year-old woman, to the ground who had attempted to intervene before officers arrived.”

                    The woman wasn’t hurt in the encounter, authorities continued.

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                    Phillips was ultimately detained and taken to a hospital before being transported to the Adult Detention Center and held without bond, police said.

                    He was hit with a slew of charges including malicious wounding, animal cruelty, possession of marijuana, assault & battery, obstruction of justice and public intoxication, according to the incident report.

                    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

                    adminadminNaked Virginia man charged after allegedly biting dog and off-duty FBI agent: police
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