Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jim Johannson, US Olympic men’s hockey general manager, dies unexpectedly at age 53


Jim Johannson, the general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team, died in his sleep Sunday morning, just weeks before the start of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Leaders to meet with white separatist town official in Maine


Leaders in a Maine town say they will meet with their town manager, who has come under fire for espousing white separatist views.

Jackman town manager Tom Kawczynski (kuh-ZIN-skee) recently made public comments bashing Islam and calling for preservation of white European heritage in northern New England.

The Portland Press Herald reports local officials are scheduled to meet with him Tuesday. Town lawyer Warren Shay said Sunday the town manager’s beliefs aren’t shared by Jackman officials and “do not reflect the beliefs of the townspeople in general.”

Kawczynski and Jackman town officials didn’t return phone calls from The Associated Press.

The Jackman-Moose River Chamber of Commerce president says businesses in the area “do not condone” Kawczynski’s views.

Many social media users are calling for Kawczynski to quit or be fired.

Baker celebrates National Pie Day with amazing celebrity 'pietraits'


A pun-loving baker known on Instagram as @ThePieous, is charming her thousands of followers with a series of involved “pietraits” featuring famous celebrities.

Jessica Clark-Bojin announced the “Celebrity Pietrait” series as a way to celebrate the upcoming National Pie Day – which falls on January 23.


Clark-Bojin, who is on a mission to “take ‘pie art’ to places it’s never been before,” unveiled the series on her social media January 2, and it has proved to be a fast favorite with each labor-intensive pie earning over 700 likes on Instagram.

“I wanted to start the year off with something really fun and interactive that would put a smile on peoples faces,” Clark-Bojin tolds Food & Wine. “Celeb pies are always my top request so I figured that would be a good place to start.”


Clark-Bojin announced the “Pietrait” series — which this Oprah pie is part of — as a way to celebrate National Pie Day, which falls January 23.  (Courtesy of ThePieous Instagram)

Clark-Bojin has recreated popular characters like Eleven from “Stranger Things” and David Bowie as the Goblin King from 1986 clut-classic “Labyrinth.” But Clark-Bojin doesn’t only reproduce fictional characters – the talented pie creator has also made realistic Oprah and musician Prince pies.

Clark-Bojin said each of the pies were designed based on suggestions from her Instagram fans, and have taken much longer to make than her usual pie-designs. Food & Wine reports that the celebrity pies have taken her up to four to six hours to finish.

Despite the time investment, the pie maker feels that her creations can be made at home – something she encourages on her website, where she sells flexible “pie guide” stencils that help aspiring pie designers “create sophisticated and fun pie crust designs quickly.”


Clark-Bojin recommends for those who want to try at home, to have everything ready before starting to bake.


Clark-Bijon credits her successful pie creations to speed and planning. This David Bowie as the Goblin King from “Labyrinth” was suggested by an Instagram follower.  (Courtesy of ThePieous Instagram)

“I would say to anyone who wants to try their hand at pie portraits to make sure they have all their tools ready to go and their dough pre rolled out and chilling in the fridge,” Clark-Bojin says. “Then you can work quickly and keep your pastry nice and light tasting out the other side.”

Clark-Bijon uses cardstock stencils she creates on the computer for her stunning pie crust creations.

'Jumanji' tops box office for third straight weekend


“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” outdid another weekend’s worth of newcomers to top the North American box office for the third straight weekend, making the surprise hit the fifth-highest grossing film of all time for Sony Pictures.

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“Jumanji” sold $20 million in tickets, according to studio estimates Sunday, bringing its five-week domestic total to $317 million. Landing in second is Warner Bros.’ war drama “12 Strong,” starring Chris Hemsworth. It grossed $16.5 million in its debut weekend.

The heist thriller “Den of Thieves” slots in at third place with an opening weekend of $15.3 million. The STXfilms release stars Gerard Butler and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.


This story has been updated to correct the title of “Den of Thieves.”

Las Vegas Women's March set as anti-Trump protests mark inauguration's one-year anniversary


On the heels of nationwide demonstrations to protest against the policies of President Trump, a coalition of liberal activists is headlining a rally in Las Vegas Sunday to kick off a major push to elect Democrats across the country.

Nevada is where a “Power to the Polls” initiative will launch that aims to register 1 million voters and target swing states. According to the Vegas event’s website, it will feature Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, civil rights activist Rev. William Barber III, ex-Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza.

Many other cities have planned Sunday events, including Miami and Knoxville, Tenn. Demonstrators claim to have maintained the momentum that was sparked one year ago by the election of President Trump after hundreds of thousands turned out in cities across the country.

According to estimates from local officials and organizers, about 200,000 people in New York, 400,000 in Los Angeles and 300,000 in Chicago took to the streets to voice their opposition to the Trump administration’s policies around immigration, equal rights and more.

“During a year when pale, male and stale men sitting in a dark room in Washington have tried to drive a wedge through us through hate and sexism and bigotry, we will march!” said New York City public advocate Letitia James during a warmup rally before the march.


People participate in the second annual Women's March in Los Angeles, California, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon - RC11A5F5D510

People participate in the second annual Women’s March in Los Angeles on Jan. 20, 2018.  (Reuters)

The protests came in the wake of the “Time’s Up” and “Me, Too” movements that have put a spotlight on the sexual misconduct and abuse allegations against powerful men in a range of industries.

Guadeloupe Garcia, 17, walked through the streets of Los Angeles holding a sign that read, “I’m Mexican. I’m female. I’m the future,” reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

In Chicago, 80-year-old Sandra Whitmore marched with her four children and told the Chicago Tribune she’s been attending protests since 1968.

Her sign read: “My arms are getting tired from hold’n this sign since the 1960s.”

Emma Hughes poses for a photo with her sign during the Women's March in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Lott - RC16AB3ADFE0

A demonstrator poses for a photo during the Women’s March in Chicago on Jan. 20, 2018.  (Reuters)

“I am female. I am Latina. I am queer,” actress Monica Raymund of the TV show “Chicago Fire” told the Windy City crowd, drawing cheers. “I am their worst nightmare. And so are you. And that’s OK, we’ll be fine.”


The crowd in New York City stretched for 20 blocks along Central Park West and drew a diverse group of activists, families and students — many of whom were drawn to the march for different reasons.

“We need to be the generation that ends ‘Me, Too,’” Erin Long, 20, told Newsday. “It’s time for men to realize that time is up for them to get away with how they treat women. Women also need to start believing that they are equal and that they can do big things.”

People take part in the Women's March in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz - RC13A26F95C0

People take part in the Women’s March in New York City on Jan. 20, 2018.  (Reuters)

In New York City, Lea Sherman, who was selling pamphlets on behalf of the Socialist Workers Party, had a different take on voting when asked by Newsday.

“I do not think that Donald Trump is a fascist, a racist, or any kind of epithets that are being thrown at him,” she said. “I think he’s a bourgeois politician that many working people voted for based on hope and change—the same people who voted for Barack Obama elected Donald Trump.”

Although President Trump tweeted Saturday about the “lowest female unemployment in 18 years,” joblessness among women was only 3.7 percent in December according to the Labor Department. A Pew Research poll in May showed only one-third of U.S. women approve of his job performance. 

Christopher Carbone is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

Historical documentary series ‘Scandalous’ begins with episode detailing Bill Clinton's career


Fox News Channel will have a new addition to its Sunday-night lineup for the next seven weeks, as the network announced on Tuesday that “Scandalous” will debut on Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. ET.

The first installment of the documentary-style series will chronicle the sequence of events that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton during the 1990s with one-hour episodes to coincide with the 20-year anniversary of the scandal.

Network insiders hope the series will become a franchise, with future installments focusing on other moments and scandals that impacted America’s history. 

The Clinton-themed debut of “Scandalous” will be narrated by actor Bruce McGill and features interviews with more than 45 people who were involved on both sides of the Clinton investigation and subsequent impeachment trial.

The premiere focuses on the investigations of then-President Clinton by the Office of the Independent Counsel.

A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting President Bill Clinton at a White House function submitted as evidence in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the House Judicary committee September 21, 1998.

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.  (Getty)

Former independent counsels Kenneth Starr, Robert Fiske Jr. and Robert Ray, and former members of the Office of Independent Counsel Bob Bittman, Sol Wisenberg, Julie Myers Wood and Stephen Bates will participate in the series. Additionally, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and current Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., appear in “Scandalous.”

“Scandalous,” which was filmed in cinematic style, covers everything from the failed 1980s Whitewater land deal in the Ozarks of Arkansas to Clinton’s last day in office and all of the controversy in between. The series will revisit the daily twists and turns of the investigation exactly 20 years after White House intern Monica Lewinsky was revealed and first captivated the world.

Linda Tripp, who secretly recorded conversations with Lewinsky about the young intern’s relationship with the president, will also be part of the seven-part series, along with Susan McDougal, who served prison time for contempt and fraud related to the Whitewater controversy. 

Clinton was famously caught having an affair with Lewinsky in January 1998, and the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment by December of that year – charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice. Clinton was eventually acquitted by the Senate and allowed to finish out his second term in the White House.

“Scandalous” is scheduled to air for seven consecutive weeks on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET 

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.

And Still! Miocic sets UFC heavyweight record with another title defense


BOSTON (AP) — Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou had a violent history of first-round finishes.

By the time their heavyweight bout reached the fifth round, Miocic and Ngannou huffed, puffed and trudged around the cage without a knockout in sight. Miocic set the UFC heavyweight record with his third straight successful title defense, turning the anticipated slugfest against Ngannou into a methodical and masterful ground-and-pound bout to win the main event of UFC 220 at TD Garden.

Miocic won 50-44 on all three scorecards early Sunday and was never seriously tested by the raw and unrefined Ngannou.

Miocic (18-2) and Ngannou (11-2) had UFC fans buzzing with perhaps the most-hyped heavyweight title bout since Brock Lesnar was the class of the division. Both fighters built their reputations on the strength of nasty knockouts, and Ngannou was coming off a GIF-worthy KO just seven weeks ago.

Both fighters were winded by the third round and Ngannou looked sleepy as he whiffed on a few blows in the fifth.

In the first round, the fight seemed like it could reach epic slugfest proportions. Miocic and Ngannou tagged each other several times, leaving each fighter staggered and seemingly on the brink of trouble.

“He’s a tough dude. Caught me in the first round but I took control,” Miocic said.

The fight never really picked up from there. Miocic spent the rest of the fight just banging away as Ngannou mostly covered up, hoping for one last desperate knockout punch.

Ngannou, a Cameroon native who this week criticized President Donald Trump for his profane description of African countries, never found that reserve power.

“I think I underestimated (him) a little bit,” said Ngannou, whose rise from homeless to heavyweight contender captivated a sport eager for a new star.

Miocic beat Fabricio Werdum to win the heavyweight title in May 2016, and followed with wins against Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos and now Ngannou to slug his way into the record book.

Miocic could lay claim as UFC’s greatest heavyweight.

“I mean I’m not the scariest, but I’m the baddest,” he said.

1 Stock I'm Buying More Of in 2018


Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ: HA) has posted impressive earnings-per-share growth over the past several years. As recently as 2014, adjusted EPS was just $1.55. However, EPS doubled to $3.09 in 2015 and continued to surge higher in 2016, reaching $5.19. During 2017, Hawaiian Holdings did an impressive job of offsetting rising fuel and labor costs to keep EPS moving higher. On average, analysts expect it to post full-year EPS of $5.62.

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Not surprisingly, Hawaiian Holdings shares skyrocketed as EPS growth took off, roughly tripling from around $20 in early 2015 to a peak of $60 in late 2016. But since then, Hawaiian Holdings stock has given back more than half of its gains. It currently sits near the $38 mark.

Fears about rising competition from United Continental (NYSE: UAL) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) have caused this bizarre stock slide. However, these worries have been blown way out of proportion. As a result, I purchased additional shares of Hawaiian Holdings stock earlier this month — and I just might buy more in the weeks ahead.

Strong revenue outlooks for the interisland and international markets

Like other airlines, Hawaiian Holdings will face significant cost pressure in 2018 from rising jet fuel prices. The big question is whether the carrier will be able to offset this cost pressure with further increases in revenue per available seat mile (RASM).

On its intra-Hawaii routes, which account for about a quarter of its revenue, Hawaiian Airlines could be primed for explosive unit revenue growth. For much of 2017, RASM was under pressure in this market, as Island Air, Hawaiian’s main rival within Hawaii, expanded rapidly. But in mid-November, Island Air folded, leaving Hawaiian with a virtual monopoly on interisland routes. This development could potentially drive double-digit RASM growth on these routes during 2018.

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International routes — which also account for roughly a quarter of Hawaiian’s revenue — could be another source of strength this year. Hawaiian Airlines will get a big RASM bump in 2018 from rising fuel surcharges in Japan, which is by far its largest international market.

The weakening dollar represents another significant tailwind. Hawaiian Airlines sells most of its tickets in foreign currency for its international routes, and those foreign-currency proceeds are now worth more in dollar terms. In addition, a weaker dollar makes travel to the U.S. more affordable for international tourists, potentially boosting demand.

International unit revenue surged 12% year over year in Q3, the most recently reported quarter. International RASM growth could slow in 2018, but it should remain strongly positive.

The competitive threat is not as big as it seems

Investors’ most immediate worry is that rising competition on West Coast-Hawaii routes will undermine unit revenue there. (Hawaiian Airlines gets about half of its revenue from the West Coast-Hawaii market.) However, this outlook is based on an overly simplistic analysis of the planned growth by United Continental and Southwest Airlines on these routes.

Last month, United added numerous additional flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to secondary destinations in Hawaii — i.e., not Honolulu. This change alone will limit the impact on Hawaiian Airlines, which primarily flies to Honolulu today.

At first glance, Southwest Airlines’ decision to start flying to Hawaii appears more worrisome. After all, Southwest has been known to undercut rivals by as much as 15%-25% when entering a new market. Furthermore, it already has a big customer base in many West Coast cities.

That said, Hawaiian Airlines is likely to get a huge revenue premium over Southwest Airlines on West Coast flights. First, more than 30% of the seats on its A321neos and A330s are in first class or come with extra legroom, whereas Southwest has an all-coach configuration. Second, Hawaiian Airlines serves complimentary meals even in coach, while Southwest Airlines only offers snacks. Third, many customers appreciate the authentic Hawaiian feel of traveling on Hawaiian Airlines.

Lastly, as Hawaiian Airlines retires its remaining 767s in favor of new A321neos over the next year, it will have to reduce capacity on at least half a dozen existing routes. It can strategically target these capacity cuts in markets where competitive capacity is set to surge.

One other common worry is that Southwest Airlines will eventually enter the interisland market, providing much stiffer competition than Island Air ever did. It’s true that Southwest historically thrived on short-haul routes like the 100- to 200-mile hops that are common in Hawaii.

However, Southwest has evolved over the years. Today, its planes are larger and heavier — and more suited to flying longer routes. Furthermore, it has no infrastructure or crew bases in Hawaii as of now. Thus, even Southwest Airlines may be unable to challenge Hawaiian Airlines in the interisland market.

Tax reform and share buybacks will add to EPS growth

Right now, most analysts expect Hawaiian Airlines’ EPS to decline in 2018. That isn’t likely to occur, though. First, the recently implemented tax reform law will significantly reduce the company’s tax rate. This change should boost EPS by about 22%.

Second, Hawaiian’s management has taken advantage of the plunging stock price to ramp up share buybacks. The company has retired about 4% of its shares just in the past two quarters, and the board authorized a new $100 million share-repurchase program last month.

Third, to the extent that Southwest Airlines’ entry into the West Coast-Hawaii market could pinch profits, that expansion won’t begin until late 2018 at the very earliest.

Even if Hawaiian Airlines faces modest margin pressure on its West Coast routes, strong momentum in the interisland and international markets should limit the impact on pre-tax profit. The combined impact of tax reform and share buybacks would then boost EPS by as much as 30%. With shares trading for less than 7 times trailing earnings, Hawaiian Holdings looks like a screaming buy — and I am loading up on the stock for 2018.

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Adam Levine-Weinberg owns shares of Hawaiian Holdings. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Vermont Is Legalizing Marijuana in a Unique Way


Though the U.S. stock market has been akin to a freight train over the past eight years, with virtually nothing getting in its way or slowing it down, it’s marijuana stocks that have really had investors seeing green. A vast majority of pot stocks have doubled or tripled in value over the past year, and legal weed sales growth, along with the public’s perception, are to thank for these solid gains.

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According to Marijuana Business Daily‘s newest report, “Marijuana Business Factbook 2017,” legal weed sales growth in the U.S. is expected to grow by 45% in 2018, probably as a result of California’s opening its doors to recreational pot sales as of Jan. 1. By 2021, the U.S. cannabis market could be generating as much as $17 billion in annual revenue, offering a big-time opportunity for investors to make money if this estimate is accurate.

In addition, the American public has spoken, and they overwhelmingly want to see marijuana legalized. Gallup, which has been tracking Americans’ opinions on pot since 1969, found in October 2017 that almost two-thirds of respondents favored legalizing weed. Comparatively, just 25% felt the same way in 1995, the year before California became the first state to green-light medical cannabis for compassionate use cases.

Since 1996, 29 states have legalized medical cannabis, and voters in eight states have OK’d the sale of adult-use marijuana.

Marijuana businesses face an uphill battle in the U.S.

Nevertheless, the cannabis industry faces an uphill battle in the United States. The federal government continues to classify pot as a Schedule I substance, meaning it’s entirely illegal, has a high potential for abuse, and has no recognized medical benefits. This scheduling, which puts cannabis on par with LSD and heroin, also puts weed-based businesses at pretty substantial disadvantages.

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For instance, marijuana companies have very limited access to basic banking services, including something as simple as a checking account. Since financial institutions report to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the FDIC is a federally created entity, any banks that offer financial services to pot companies could be fined or criminally charged for money laundering.

Marijuana businesses also get the short end of the stick come tax time. U.S. tax code 280E disallows businesses that sell a federally illegal substance from taking normal corporate income-tax deductions. For profitable pot businesses, this could mean paying an effective tax rate of as much as 90%.

And, of course, don’t forget the war on marijuana currently being waged by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Earlier this month, Sessions announced that he and the Department of Justice would be rescinding the Cole memo, which is a loose set of rules that states needed to follow to keep the federal government from intervening. Its elimination allows state-level prosecutors the discretion to bring charges against marijuana businesses and/or persons.

Vermont is about to do something no state has ever done before

One additional challenge we can add to the list is that two dozen states don’t have the initiative and referendum (I&R) process. In the 26 states that do, residents who feel strongly about an issue, and can mobilize to gather enough signatures, can often put an initiative or referendum to vote on a ballot in an upcoming election. In the 24 states without the I&R process, it’s up to that state’s legislature and governor to pass laws. In other words, even if people overwhelmingly favor the legalization of marijuana, very little can be done in the 24 non-I&R states unless the legislature steps up and makes changes.

Since 1996, we’ve seen a small handful of states that lack the I&R process move forward by legalizing medical cannabis. This happened in both Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2016, and most recently it happened in West Virginia last year, which became the aforementioned 29th medical weed-legal state. However, no state has passed a recreational marijuana law through the legislative process before — until now.

On Jan. 4, Vermont’s House passed House Bill 511, which would legalize the possession and limited cultivation of marijuana for recreational purposes. Just six days later, after a bit of debating, Vermont’s Senate concurred and also passed H. 511. Finally, Gov. Phil Scott (R-Vt.) has pledged his support to the bill, meaning Vermont will become the first state to pass a recreational weed law entirely through the legislative process.

Under the terms of the bill, adults will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, two mature cannabis plants, and four immature plants. The sale of recreational marijuana will still be illegal in Vermont, although it’s expected that recreational sales may follow soon after, depending on a report from a study commission.

For those who may not recall, this approval bears even more significance, given that Scott vetoed a similar bill in May 2017. More specifically, Scott vetoed the previous iteration because he felt it didn’t do enough to keep adolescents away from pot, or protect drivers on the roads from those who are under the influence of cannabis. The fact that these issues have been addressed in the new bill holds the door open that Democrats and Republicans can indeed work together on this issue in other battleground states.

A glimmer of hope for marijuana stocks

Perhaps even more important is that Vermont is paving the way for other states to follow suit. With Sessions removing the Cole memo, state-level expansion, along with growing support for weed among the public, might be the only chance the U.S. weed industry has of thriving and coercing changes from Congress.

For example, Canopy Growth Corp. (NASDAQOTH: TWMJF), the Canadian grower expected to have the most growing capacity in 2019, has stated that it plans to stay out of the U.S. market as a result of Sessions’ rescinding the Cole memo. Canopy Growth has been clear about operating only in markets where cannabis is federally legal. Though it could be missing out on a lucrative market in the U.S., Canopy Growth should do be just fine given the expected legalization of recreational pot in Canada, coupled with export opportunities to European countries that have legalized medical cannabis.

Meanwhile, state-level expansion may have a positive material impact on Aphria (NASDAQOTH: APHQF), another major Canadian grower. Unlike Canopy Growth, which has vowed to stay out of the U.S. until weed’s scheduling is altered, Aphria announced its plans to buy one of Florida’s seven legal medical cannabis cultivators in April 2017. Though Florida is one of the 26 states that follows the I&R the process, marijuana laws in Florida require constitutional changes and thus need 60% of the vote to become law, rather than a simple majority. If Florida votes to legalize adult-use weed in the years to come, Aphria could be ahead of its Canadian competition in a volatile and uncertain U.S. marijuana market.

For the time being, though, all eyes should be focused on Capitol Hill as we await the next step from Jeff Sessions.

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Sean Williams has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Mick Mulvaney on impact of the shutdown, efforts to reopen


This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday,” January 21, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


The federal government partially shuts down as a bitterly divided Congress fails to reach a spending deal.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALI., MINORITY LEADER: Happy anniversary, Mr. President. Your wish came true. You wanted a shutdown, the Trump shutdown is all yours.

REP. STENY HOYER, D-MARYLAND: We will not back down because Republicans are unwilling to compromise.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., MAJORITY LEADER: We believe that the issue of illegal immigration is more important than everything else.

MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: It’s still a Schumer budget. So, I got that nice little ring to it, doesn’t it?

WALLACE: Partisan finger-pointing and uncertainty after a standoff in the Senate over immigration. We’ll discuss the fallout for Americans and who will get the blame with White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Democratic Senator Chris Coons, part of a bipartisan group trying to work out a compromise.

Plus —

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear —

WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel about the Trump presidency one year after his inauguration.

And our “Power Player of the Week,” the story behind the first combat teams on the ground after the September 11th attacks.

How soon after 9/11 did you know you were going to work?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I knew the minute the second airplane hit the second tower.

WALLACE: All right now on “Fox News Sunday.”


WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Congress is still here this weekend, still trying to reach a deal to reopen the government after the clock ran out on funding midnight Friday. The shutdown coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the Trump presidency. The president cancelled a trip to Florida to stay in Washington until they reach a compromise. This hour, we’ll discuss the way forward with White House Budget Chief Mick Mulvaney and Democratic Senator Chris, part of a small group trying to make a deal.

But let’s bring in chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel live on Capitol Hill with the latest — Mike.

MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, there are no visible signs of progress in ending this government shutdown. In fact, things have gotten pretty personal with the Senate majority leader blasting his counterpart Chuck Schumer.


MCCONNELL: The president would not give him everything he wants on the issue of illegal immigration in one afternoon in the Oval Office.

EMANUEL: Republicans were quick to brand it the Schumer shutdown after Senate Democrats blocked a four-week government funding extension late Friday night. It also would have provided a six-year extension of health insurance to an estimated 9 million children. Democrats held out for a deal on the so-called Dreamers, young people brought to this country illegally by their parents and now sound like they are adding to their demands.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NY, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: At this point we feel very, very strongly about the issues, not just Dreamers, but opioids, pensions, not funding the military on C.R. basis, and we feel the American people are on our side.

EMANUEL: House lawmakers aggravated after they passed a government funding extension and it was rejected by Senate Democrats. That led to this dustup on the House floor taking aim at Schumer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Majority in the House and majority in the Senate have voted to prevent the shutdown and keep the government open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring the poster to the chair for his observation.


EMANUEL: Soon, the shutdown will get real if by Monday morning, there is no deal and much of the federal workforce is on furlough — Chris.

WALLACE: Not good if they are arguing over posters.

Mike Emanuel, reporting from Capitol Hill — Mike, thank you.

Joining me now, the White House budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, the man in charge of implementing the government shutdown.

Director, welcome back to FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET DIRECTOR: Good morning. Thank you again for having me.

WALLACE: Describe the extent of the shutdown both in terms of personnel and programs.

MULVANEY: Sure. As of yesterday, federal agencies started setting up their furlough notices. There’s really three categories of employees. Those who will come to work on Monday, those who will not come to work on Monday and is actually a small group that will come to work on Monday for about four hours to help shut things down and then they will leave as well. Those notices went out yesterday, and that over the course of the next couple days, we’ll start to see agencies trying to implement their shutdown plans, which is going to be different, Chris, than it was in 2013 as we try to work to keep more agencies open.

In fact, I talked to the president late, I guess it was Friday night. He said, look, Mick, we need to work hard to keep as many of these folks at work and keep as many of these agencies open as we can. So, that’s the shutdown plan that we’re implementing right now.

WALLACE: Where will we see the effects first, regular American see the effects and where will we see the biggest effects?

MULVANEY: The effects actually won’t be as visible as they were in 2013. Keep in mind, 2013, the only way I can describe it is the Obama administration shows to weaponize the shutdown. They want it to be very showy. They went out of their way to hurt more people and to be more visible.

You remember maybe the barricades up in front of the World War II Memorial to keep the vets away from their own memorial. You won’t see that this year. The national parks will be open. The trash won’t get picked up but —


WALLACE: But it’s going to hurt. I mean, if you’re talking about furloughing 800,000 people.

MULVANEY: It hurts, but you asked me question, is what will people see? The point of the matter is, if you work there, you will see a dramatic difference. But most Americans won’t see a difference. You go to the airport on Monday, the TSA will still be there. The military is still at work.

Now, they’re not getting paid, and that’s wrong, but in terms of what you will see, it will not be as dramatic as what you saw in 2013.

WALLACE: Let’s talk about how we get out of this mess. There are new reports that Senate Republicans are going to offer a deal, a three-week C.R., not a four-week C.R., which would last continuing resolution until February 8th with disaster relief funding and also money for CHIP, children’s health insurance.

Is that true and what about DACA?

MULVANEY: I’m not — a couple of different things. I’m not familiar with the specific deal. I know it’s on the table right now, which is a four-week. I have heard what you just mentioned about three weeks. I know there’s a separate disaster supplemental funding bill sitting over in the Senate. I have not heard about those two things getting married together. You may want to ask Senator Coons about that.

But the fact of the matter is, we probably need at least three weeks to try and negotiate DACA. Let’s be clear, the president wants to resolve DACA. He could’ve taken it away entirely in six months ago and chose to give Congress six months that expires the first week of March to fix it. Unfortunately, Congress is waiting up until the very last day to do that. But we are very interested in getting DACA worked out.

WALLACE: You are calling this — we heard it, saw it in the open, the Schumer shutdown. But the fact is you only have 46 Republicans willing to vote for this congressional, this continuing resolution. So, even if there hadn’t been a Democratic filibuster, you didn’t have the majority needed to pass the C.R. All the more reason, isn’t this on Republicans and the White House and control of the House and the Senate?

MULVANEY: You got (ph) an interesting word, majority. They actually got the majority. This sheds light on one of the difficulties we face in Washington.

WALLACE: It’s not just because of Democrats.

MULVANEY: Well, but you’ve got a majority, you just didn’t get the 60 votes.

WALLACE: The point is, you do not have your own house in order. You only have 46 Republicans supporting this.

MULVANEY: If you had nine or 10 or 12 Democrats. Where are the Democrats, Chris, who say back home that they want to work in a bipartisan fashion, they want to work with Republicans, they want to reach across the aisle? Where were those folks last week?

Only five Democrats voted for a bill that they like. Let’s not lose sight of that. The Democrats have voted, they like the CHIP program. They like delaying the ObamaCare Cadillac tax program. They like funding the government. They always have.

They do not oppose the bill. This is pure politics on their part. Where the Democrats who say one thing back home and do another? That’s what we are focusing on.

WALLACE: But you only had 46 Republicans.

MULVANEY: And again, if you had 10 or 15 Democrats and it still failed, I think your point is fair. But right now, until you have at least nine Democrats, we cannot open the government.

WALLACE: Well, you don’t have 46 Republicans either. I mean, you don’t have 51 Republicans either.

MULVANEY: Right. But again, short of nine, what difference does it make? Without nine Democrats, this government is not opening.

WALLACE: Back in 2013, when Republicans insisted on shutting down the government because they wanted to remove all funding of ObamaCare and they did it for 16 days, private citizen Trump placed the responsibility squarely. Here he is.


DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: Problems start from the top and have to get solved from the top, and the president is the leader and he’s got to get everybody in a room and he’s got to lead.


WALLACE: Question, if President Obama was responsible then, get everybody in the room and lead, isn’t President Trump responsible now?

MULVANEY: Yes, a couple of different things. Actually, the shutdown in 2016 was not about getting rid of ObamaCare —

WALLACE: 2013.

MULVANEY: 2013, excuse me. It was about delaying the individual mandate, which we just got rid of on the tax deal. But compared 2013 and 2016 and how the two presidents have acted. I went through the middle of 2013. I think I was on your show during that shutdown.

And I will look you in the eye and tell you that President Obama wanted that shutdown, and he wanted to weaponize it. He wanted to use it politically to hurt Republicans because he thought Republicans will get blamed politically and he wanted that shutdown.

This president has worked really, really hard to prevent the shutdown. He had folks down to the White House several times over the last couple of days. I think Mr. Schumer was there as recently as the last day before the shutdown. He’s actively engaged yesterday, calling people, trying to get the government open.

WALLACE: But why doesn’t he — I mean, he didn’t have a meeting, a bipartisan meeting with congressional meetings yesterday. Does he have one on the schedule for today?

MULVANEY: Chris, he had one on Thursday, but not yesterday. I mean, we can split hairs on that all the time. The president —


WALLACE: Well, the shutdown happened on Friday night.

MULVANEY: But we knew it was also coming. We had a bipartisan meeting with senators several times. In fact, I think we had several of those meetings leading to the shutdown.

This president, I don’t think anybody could say that this president wants the shutdown. You could not say the same thing about President Obama. In fact, I think he actually did want it.

WALLACE: You blame Democrats for holding the government hostage now, but back in 2013, you supported holding the government hostage on this question of ObamaCare. Take a look.


MULVANEY: We believe that what we did was right. We did for the right reasons. We did for these kids here. They may not recognize that right now, but we really do believe that this is worth having a fight.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: Why was that legitimate then, the right reason to have a fight, but it’s not legitimate now?

MULVANEY: That’s a fair question, but here’s the answer. They were asking us to vote for something in 2013 that we didn’t like, in fact, that we had a principled opposition to it. They were asking us to vote to fund ObamaCare, something that was very difficult for Republicans to do, and we wouldn’t go for it.

Let me finish.

WALLACE: I wasn’t saying a word.

MULVANEY: Here we are today — this is a bill that Democrats support. They are opposing a bill that they don’t oppose in order to make a political point. There’s a significant difference, Chris.

WALLACE: I think that’s a debating point. The fact is, there are budgetary implications to DACA. I mean, if you’re going to deport 800,000 people, that’s going to cost money. You shut down the government in 2013, you writ large, Republicans, because you didn’t like ObamaCare. You wanted to shut down the government again in 2015 because you didn’t like Planned Parenthood.

They are willing to shut down the government because they want a solution to DACA. You can say, well, one thing is what’s in the bill, one thing is what’s not in the bill, the point is that both you then and them now are willing to shut down the government because they oppose or support a policy. Same issue.

MULVANEY: Go back and look at 2013 and 2015, we can have a long discussion about it another day, but there were many, many times the House actually voted to open the government, that we voted many times on many different packages that would have opened the government. In fact, I remember voting for stuff that I didn’t like very much so that the government could open. There was a breakdown in the Senate at that under Harry Reid that prevented the government from opening. So, I do think there’s a major difference between now and 2013.

But importantly, the deal that’s on the table right now in the Senate is the type of deal that would have worked in 2013 and would have worked — in fact did work in 2013 and 2015. It’s a bipartisan measure. The bill that the House passed is the old-fashioned typical bipartisan bill that does keep the government open.

But for some reason, the dysfunction specifically with the Senate and Democrats is so dramatic now, it’s not working. It’s almost as if they are so beholden to their left wing that they can’t give the president even a victory on keeping the government open.

WALLACE: I want to take you — because I want to talk about this, I want to take you back to the big meeting that was held on Friday in the White House between President Trump and Chuck Schumer. Senate Democratic sources tell me this — let’s put it up on the screen: Schumer raised full funding of a wall, more than $18 billion and a full increase in defense spending, around $80 billion. But they say the White House Chief of Staff John Kelly later called back and said to Schumer that it was, quote, too liberal.

Is that true?

MULVANEY: Can you put that list back up? Because I can respond to each of those in turn.

WALLACE: Well, I — we can remember it, but go ahead.

MULVANEY: Full funding —

WALLACE: Full funding.

MULVANEY: Full funding for the wall, no. What Mr. Schumer offered the president was an authorization for funding, not an appropriation. I know that’s deep down in the weeds for folks who don’t live in Washington, D.C., but the difference between authorization and appropriation is like night and day. There was already authorization to build wall on the southern border that Chuck Schumer voted for in 2006. It hasn’t been built because the money was never appropriated, it was never funded.

And that’s the same deal that Chuck Schumer offered on Saturday.

WALLACE: Let’s focus on that because I think that’s important. Yesterday, you went after Schumer hard on this issue. Take a look.


MULVANEY: Chuck Schumer actually have the gall to look at the president and said, I’m giving you everything you asked for the wall and then when pressed admitted that he wasn’t doing it. That’s the type of negotiation that Mr. Schumer has been engaging with the president. You have to ask yourself: at one point, doesn’t it even become profitable to continue to work with somebody like that?


WALLACE: Now, this is going to get complicated, because you’ve raised a new issue here. Schumer’s staff says, specifically in response to that, that you are not telling the truth. They say — they say that he offered, not one year funding, which was suggested yesterday, but full funding, $18 billion to 20 billion in year one that they were going to put that on the table, not offer, I should say, that they were willing to discuss that and that you guys walked away from that.

I mean, if you got full funding for the wall, that would be the deal of the century. Why not take yes for an answer?

MULVANEY: It would be the deal of the century because that was not the offer. The offer, again, I don’t want to split hairs —

WALLACE: No, I understand the difference between authorization and appropriation.


MULVANEY: Asked Mr. Schumer’s office if they offer to appropriate $20 billion.

Go to the next thing that was on your list, about full funding for defense. Not true. He was offering something that was in the budget request from FY ’18, I know because I happen to write that budget. What the request is right now and the discussion is about the NDAA levels, which is slightly higher, and that Mr. Schumer not only voted for, but is taking credit for back home for fully funding the military. He won’t give the president that higher figure. He gives him a lower figure as part of the negotiation.

WALLACE: I don’t play a role as the negotiator here, but let me do it just for a moment.


WALLACE: If Senator Schumer comes back and says, no, I’m not talking about authorization, I’m talking about appropriation, $18 billion to $20 billion right now, you can build your wall and there are more Democrats saying that, including Congressman Gutierrez. Would the president accept that and would you make a deal?

MULVANEY: And again, I’m not going to negotiate you with either. But let’s go back to what the request was from the very beginning, that we’re happy to talk about DACA, want to resolve DACA — what is part of DACA deal look like from the administration’s perspective.

Number one, the southern border defense, the southern border security gets fully funded. That means the wall, that means the $20 billion. We also deal with chain migration. We deal with the visa lottery system. And we deal with interior enforcement.


WALLACE: You seem to be suggesting that even if you got the $20 billion, that wouldn’t be enough?

MULVANEY: Well, again, those are the four things, the four principles we’ve asked for in the discussion. Mr. Schumer comes in and offers us none of that. That’s not the basis for an agreement.

WALLACE: Final question in that regard, if you got $20 billion, would you make the deal?

MULVANEY: Again, I’m not going to negotiate on behalf of the president. That would certainly cover one of the four things we’ve asked for.

WALLACE: Final question, this is NFL championship weekend come over under, how long is this going to last?

MULVANEY: A couple of different things. I think, two different answers, I think there’s a chance it get solved before Monday, I really do believe that at heart here, there was an interest by some folks in the Democrat Party to deny the president sort of a victory lap of the anniversary of his inauguration, the chance to talk about the success of the tax bill, success of the economy and jobs.

And I think if they get over that, there’s a chance this thing gets done before 9:00 on Monday morning and folks would come to work.

WALLACE: And if not?

MULVANEY: If that doesn’t happen, it could go several days because I think there’s other Democrats who want to see the president give the State of the Union during a shutdown.

WALLACE: Well, that is more than several days. That’s January 30th.

MULVANEY: That’s nine or 10 days, yes.

WALLACE: It could go that far?

MULVANEY: You have to ask the Senate Democrats, Chris. They could open this today if they wanted to.

WALLACE: Well, you know what? That’s a perfect segue to our next segment.

Director Mulvaney, thank you. Thanks for your time on this very difficult weekend. Obviously, we’ll follow the negotiations.

MULVANEY: Thank you for having me.

WALLACE: Thank you.

Up next, Democratic Senator Chris Coons on what it will take to break the stalemate in Congress and end the shutdown.


WALLACE: Republicans including President Trump say Democrats are holding the government hostage over their demands for Dreamers, the young immigrants brought to this country as children who face possible deportation when their protection runs out in March.

Joining us now, Democratic Senator Chris Coons is part of a bipartisan group trying to find a way out of the shutdown.

Senator, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”

SEN. CHRIS COONS, D-DELAWARE: Thanks, Chris. Good morning.

WALLACE: Well, let’s start with the president’s tweets. He has sent one this morning. Put it up on the screen.

WALLACE: Well, let’s start with the president’s tweets. He has sent one this morning. Put it up on the screen.

Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our military and safety at the border. The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51 percent nuclear option and vote on real long-term budget, no C.R., continuing revolutions.

Your reaction to that?

COONS: Well, this is another example of President Trump growing a tweet in the middle of bipartisan negotiations that are making progress. I think Senator McConnell, the Republican majority leader, in the end will have much more to say about how the Senate is run than the president should.

I think in the last segment, you ran a clip from then-private sector leader Donald Trump in 2013 who said, during a shutdown, the president should lead. It’s the president’s responsibility. And I think he should, instead of throwing tweets from the White House, pull together the four leaders of the House and the Senate on a bipartisan basis today and negotiate.

I spent all day yesterday not going to the floor, not going on cable news, not denouncing Republicans, but meeting with them, listening to them, with a small group that grew and grew, and by the end of the day, we had 20 Republican and Democratic senators listening to each other, trying to not just get out of the shutdown, but address and fix some of the underlying problems that have left us with so many of the priorities that have stacked up over the last couple of months.

I’m hopeful we can get through this.

WALLACE: Let’s talk about meetings, because they had a meeting, the president and Chuck Schumer on Friday, and it ended up may be making things worse, not better.

Now, I want to ask you about a point that I pressed with Director Mulvaney. Did Schumer put on the table $20 billion, full funding for the wall in year one, not over installments, and if so, to Mulvaney’s point, was it an authorization or was it real money, and appropriation?

COONS: Well, I wasn’t in the meeting and I don’t know exactly, but from talking to leaders Schumer, my impression is reluctantly he offered the two things the president really wanted, full funding of the military and full funding to build the wall, or the wall system. We’re never really going to build a 2,000-mile concrete wall.


WALLACE: But you’re saying it wasn’t authorization, it was in appropriation. He was willing to give, say, real money, we’ll give you the money to build the wall?

COONS: Well, I think he had to explain that difference to the president about full appropriation year one versus authorization and a commitment to appropriation. But the reality was the president campaigned on full funding for the military and a border wall and said — remember, two weeks ago, the president brought in a bipartisan group and said I want to solve this, I want us to have a DACA deal, I think you call that a bill of love, and put out a menu and said we need a bipartisan solution. I’ll take the heat, you all come back on Thursday, present me with a solution.

Six senators, Republican and Democrat, came back on Thursday, presented a bipartisan solution and he fairly famously blew it up in an expletive-laden exchange with senators. So, at the end of the day, part of our challenge here is negotiating with the president who struggles to hear yes. I believe Senator Schumer on Friday put a lot on the table and the president accepted it, and then two hours later, after hearing from folks who oppose any reasonable resolution to this DACA challenge, he walked it back.

So, I have a lot of sympathy for Senator Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican caucus, who sat on the floor Friday night, how am I supposed to negotiate on this issue when we still don’t know what President Trump will really accept?

WALLACE: Let me ask you, though. Apparently, what Republicans are going to offer, what Mitch McConnell is going to offer today or tonight or 1:00 a.m. tomorrow morning is a three-week continuing resolution, not four weeks to February 16th, three weeks to February 8th, during which time you can negotiate DACA. Why not accept that?

COONS: Well, I’m not going to negotiate for our leadership. It is my hope that we will have an agreement that all of our unfinished business, disaster relief, opioid funding, coming to an agreement on budget caps that will fully fund the military and our domestic priorities and addressing DACA, that all of this will be negotiated in good faith over the next, let’s say three weeks and voted on, that we will have a date certain for a vote to move forward.

WALLACE: So, is that — and so, in DACA, is that the point is that you want to commitment, a guaranty of a specific date for a vote, not just we’ll agree to talk to you about DACA over the next three weeks?

COONS: Well, let’s play tape here on what happened Friday, where you got Senator McConnell on the floor saying there’s no rush, there’s no hurry, we don’t need to be addressing this, this is an unrelated issue.

For me, it would be a big step forward to have the majority leaders say this is an urgent issue, it’s on the list of things that we must addressed and we will vote on the Senate if we can’t get clarity from the president about what he will embrace. Then, the Senate will be the Senate and we will move forward. I think that will be a good step forward.

WALLACE: Democrats like to say when Republicans shut down the government that real people are going to get hurt.

Here is Secretary of Defense James Mattis on the real effect of the shutdown.


GEN. JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I would just tell you that we do a lot of intelligence operations around the world and they cost money. Those obviously would stop.


WALLACE: As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator, are you willing to see that and other vital programs shutdown?

COONS: The government should not be shut down. That’s why I spent all day yesterday listening to, working with Republicans.

WALLACE: But you voted to shut it down. You voted against the C.R.

COONS: I voted against a 30-day C.R. and to be clear on Friday, an assistant to that secretary of defense, Secretary Mattis, put out a statement saying, we shouldn’t have another 30-day C.R. That’s why there were Republicans and Democrats who voted on Friday against a 30-day deal.

So, we offer one day —


WALLACE: So, a three-week C.R., you’re going to go for it?

COONS: It depends on what’s on the table.


COONS: Will turn out what we’re going to move forward on.

What matters less is 30-day, 25-day, 20-day, although we have spent a lot of time on that. What matters more is ending the hostage-taking and moving forward. I’ve got tens of thousands of Delawareans who depend on community health care centers. We’re months overdue in addressing that. I’ve got tens of thousands of families relying on community health insurance program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Remember those hurricanes that tore through Texas and Puerto Rico and Florida? We haven’t funded the relief for those hurricanes. Remember the opioid crisis?

We have this long list of homework unfinished. We need to address them all.

WALLACE: I want to pick up on this, though, because you just said, boy, we don’t want the hostage-taking that’s going on. That’s exactly what Democrat said back in 2013 when Republicans shut down the government over ObamaCare. Take a look.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIFORNIA: I call them legislative arsonists. They are there to burn down what we should be building up.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NEW YORK: Someone goes into your house, takes your wife and children hostage and then says, let’s negotiate over the price of your house. We can say we’re shutting down the government, we’re not going to raise the debt ceiling until you pass immigration reform. It would be governmental chaos.


WALLACE: Senator, right now, aren’t you the legislative arsonists? Aren’t you right now taking the government hostage?

COONS: Well, Chris, just because a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans voted Friday night, including me, against a 30-day C.R., doesn’t mean I’m an arsonist. I supported continuing the government. I supported keeping the government open.


WALLACE: You say you wouldn’t support a three week C.R. either unless
there’s certain conditions met.

COONS: Right.

WALLACE: I mean, it’s the same point. They shut on the government because they didn’t like ObamaCare. You are shutting down the government because there are certain things you were insisting on.

COONS: Right. And notice, I’m spending very little time pointing fingers and saying it’s Trump’s fault versus it’s this person’s fault. That’s not my priority.

My priority, Chris, is finding a way through this. I’m more optimistic after yesterday than I have been a long time because we had 20 senators in a room, Republicans and Democrats, listening to each other talking not just about how to get through this issue, but how to get back to an appropriations process that works.

I’m the senior Democrat on the subcommittee that funds Mick Mulvaney’s OMB office, including the whole federal judiciary, the Department of Treasury, all federal properties. We never even had our final mark up in October. We are four months into the new fiscal year.

Our appropriations process is badly broken and if there was anything good that came out of this weekend whenever buddy had to cancel their plans and stay here is that we are listening to each other and trying to find a way forward.

I call on President Trump to do the same, be the leader that millions of Americans hoped he would be, a real dealmaker. Hear yes, pull together a bipartisan group today and negotiate to a conclusion. I will remind you it’s partly because of that explosive meeting where he rejected a bipartisan solution on border security and Dreamers that we’re in this mess.


COONS: There is a solution.

WALLACE: We can argue about his language, but the fact is he didn’t like the deal.

COONS: That’s correct. He rejected it infamously, forceful language.


WALLACE: But here’s my question, because I can’t — I pressed Director Mulvaney, let me impress you, what is the bottom line? What do you have to have to reopen the government?

COONS: A commitment to move forward on all of these issues that we have been talking about — community health centers, dealing with disaster relief, children’s health insurance program and Dreamers.

WALLACE: To move forward means what?

COONS: Votes, that we are going to have votes that we’re not going to say this is an issue, we don’t need to deal with it.

Look, I got teenagers. It’s like dad comes home at 8:00 and says, how are you doing on your homework, almost done, making progress. Nine o’clock, how are you doing, do you need to help, almost making progress. Ten o’clock, how are we doing on homework, it’s bedtime.

What’s the urgency? It’s not due until tomorrow.

We need a recognition that it’s overdue. We’ve got a list of things we need to move forward on.

WALLACE: I used to just say the dog ate my homework.

Senator Coons, thank you. Thanks for coming in today. Always good to talk with you and good luck in working on a deal.

COONS: Go Eagles.

WALLACE: Go Eagles? Oh, that’s right. You’re from Delaware. I guess that’s close enough.

All right. You’ve now ticked off about 90 percent of the country.

Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss how long the shutdown will last and who will pay the political price.


WALLACE: Coming up, the blame game over the government shutdown.


PELOSI: The Republicans were so incompetent, so negligent, that they couldn’t get it together to keep government open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don’t understand why Schumer went to this extreme. We are committed to solving this problem.


WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel who will blink first coming up on “Fox News Sunday.”



SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-MAJORITY LEADER: The votes were there. The president was ready. The solution to this manufactured crisis was inches away.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-MINORITY LEADER: Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with Jell-O. It’s next to impossible. As soon as you take one step forward, the hard right forces the president three steps back.


WALLACE: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer exchanging blame Saturday for shutting down the government.

And it’s time now for our Sunday group.

The head of Heritage Action for America, Michael Needham. Charles Lane of the Washington Post. Former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center. And Josh Holmes, Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff and now a GOP strategist.

As we just said, Josh, you’re close to senator McConnell. What is the state of play right now on the Senate floor in terms of ending this shutdown?

JOSH HOLMES, FOUNDER, CAVALRY: Well, I think the state of play is Democrats are now in a situation where they’ve locked themselves into a box canyon and, frankly, there’s no way out other than figuring out how to pass what’s currently on the floor. They’ve got a vote that’s currently scheduled for 1:00 a.m., which is —

WALLACE: 1:00 a.m. Monday morning.

HOLMES: Right, which is, again, entirely unnecessary. But basically what it would do is just keep the government open with the same criteria that we talked about on Friday night. You’re funding — full funding of the military, full funding of SCHIP, full funding of all government operations and then get to the business of negotiating the issue of DACA, which is the reason for this shutdown in the first place.

It can be done at any moment. All of this was, I think, irresponsible, but also unnecessary.

WALLACE: President Trump said this week that what Democrats are really trying to do is to distract from all the good economic news. Here he is.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats want to see a shutdown to get off this subject, because the subject is not working for them. The tax cuts and tax reform has not been working well for the Democrats.


WALLACE: Congresswoman Harmon, are you comfortable with where Democrats are right now holding out for either a DACA fix or a commitment for a specific date for a vote on DACA? And do you think they have a strategy for if the shutdown goes on?

JANE HARMAN, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN, D-CALI.: Well, first of all, shutting the government is a live fire exercise. Real people get hurt. There are 36 furloughed employees at the Wilson Center alone. But military training doesn’t happen. Our ships are colliding. I mean this is a — a serious problem. And the government should open now, hopefully tonight.

I — I think the time that’s gone into polling and messaging should have been spent on making a deal. And I understand that as of last night at least 19 senators — and I just asked Senator Coons as he was walking out — have been working together on a bipartisan basis to fix this. And what they’re looking for is an improved deal with a three week term limit.


HARMAN: But at the end of that, guaranteed votes on things like DACA, a DACA fix, which 87 percent of the country supports and most members of Congress support.

WALLACE: So you’re comfortable with them shutting the government down until they get that?

HARMAN: No, I’m not comfortable with anyone shutting the government down. I am comfortable — I’m not comfortable, but I’m hopeful that 20 plus bipartisan members of the Senate will, today, craft something beyond what was offered on Friday, that a minority of people — not 51 Republicans supported, as you pointed out in your interview. I’m comfortable that hopefully there will be an improved package that will get voted on today or at 1:00 in the morning, God save us, that will guarantee votes on all of the things that are — should be part of this package that could have been worked out without shutting the government down.

WALLACE: Michael, back in 2013, when Republicans shutdown the government over ObamaCare, their congressional — or their favorability ratings tanked. And yet, when you got to the midterm election in 2014, they won a big victory and they actually took back the Senate.

Do you think, to a certain degree, Democrats are pursuing the same strategy, which is, we can galvanize our base, we can play to the left wing of our party right now and by next November, months from now, everybody will forget about the shutdown?

MICHAEL NEEDHAM, CEO, HERITAGE ACTION FOR AMERICA: Yes, I think what the 2013 shutdown did was it clarified where the two parties were on an important policy issue. And these things actually are about policy. There was one party against ObamaCare. There was one that was in favor of keeping it.

What this debate is about, it’s not even just about DACA. I mean the president has said he wants a solution on DACA. The Democrats allegedly have said that they’ll give funding for the border.

What this is actually about his chain migration. What that means is, can the people who are currently here illegal bring not just their close relatives, their distant relatives into this country. When we bring somebody into this country, do we choose them based on merit or do we say, you can go bring a cousin with you? And so this is a shutdown over whether or not we could give amnesty to illegal immigrants who are here and have chain migration, allow them to bring distant relatives.

WALLACE: But let me — let me just talk of —

NEEDHAM: That’s not going to work out well in November if they’re the party that says, we’re the party in favor of amnesty and distant relatives (INAUDIBLE).

WALLACE: If you’re — you’re sliding over something, which is, I think there’s really been a sea change in the last 24 to 48 hours among Democrats. I get the sense they are willing to say, you want the wall, we’re going to let you have the wall.

NEEDHAM: Exactly.

WALLACE: You agree with that?

NEEDHAM: That’s what they’re allegedly saying. We’ll figure out. Gutierrez has said that he’ll help build the wall. I mean they are claiming that they’re in favor of the border security.

WALLACE: And you — and you don’t think — I mean that — the president’s main premise was not chain migration. His main promise was build the wall.

NEEDHAM: And the president —

WALLACE: If he gets that, he shouldn’t take yes for an answer?

NEEDHAM: The president’s been very clear from the very start, when he first said we’ll have a six-month reprieve on DACA, that one of the things that he wants is an end to chain migration. And from a policy perspective, he’s exactly right about that. We should have a system that allows people generously into America who can provide merit, who can do it the same way Canada does it, Australia does it. Instead, we have this crazy system where people are allowed to bring distant relatives, like cousins, into the country, and that is the issue that Democrats are shutting the government over.

WALLACE: Chuck, which side do you think is in more political jeopardy now and — which leads to the question, how do you see this ending?

CHARLES LANE, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Well, I think the Democrats have a broadly popular goal, which is DACA, relief for those kids, and they’re using a risky to unpopular tactic in the pursuit of it, which is the government shutdown. And so I think the longer it goes on, the more time the Republicans could have to start saying, hey, wait a minute, you know, they are — they’re putting too much at risk in the pursuit of what we all agree is a laudable goal.

Having said that, look, the Republicans do control all the levers of the government and the Democrats have a strong argument that says, in that situation, it shouldn’t shutdown.

What’s kind of going on here, and I think some other people on the panel have already touched on this, both parties are only addressing these arguments at their bases. They are not, anymore, contesting over some middle ground of undecided people who are persuadable on this. And so, in a way, it’s already a stalemate and it’s going to just perpetuate as a stalemate, which makes it only — which makes it only crazier that we’re — that we’re going to let it go on at all.

HOLMES: Let — let me push you on that just for a second. I think Democrats —

WALLACE: Real quick.

HOLMES: That’s absolutely true with Republicans. That is not a — the case at all in the context of this discussion. All they want to do is keep the government open and fund SCHIP. It’s really clear what the discussion is about the government shutdown. It has nothing to do with DACA policy.

WALLACE: All right. We are going to have to take a break here. But I have a feeling — well, I hope that we don’t have to discuss this next week, but we may.

Up next, this weekend marks one year since President Trump took the oath of office. What has he done right? What has he done wrong?

Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about the president’s first year. Just go to FaceBook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and we may use your question on the air.



TRUMP: 2017 was a year of tremendous achievement. Monumental achievement, actually. I don’t think any administration has ever done — has done what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished in its first year.


WALLACE: President Trump showing his characteristic gift for salesmanship as he celebrates his first year in office.

We’re back now with the panel.

Michael, how do you rate President Trump’s first year?

NEEDHAM: Well, it has been a very successful year when you look at what the White House can do without Congress. And, obviously, the Congress has, at various times, been — ben more dysfunctional. But you had a huge tax cut with Mitch McConnell, the Senate, the House deserve a big credit for the role that they played in helping that get across the finish line. You have a great regulatory rollback. I think we finally have an American foreign policy that’s confidently pushing itself abroad.

I would say it’s been a conventional conservative year of success. And part of what got Trump elected was reaching out to new audiences, finding ways to appeal to some issues, some anxieties that are out there that I don’t know from a policy agenda we fully captured yet. I think when you look at something like Apprenticeship Week, which the president — the White House did earlier this year, that’s a theme. That’s one of the types of issues that will reach out to some of those new Trump voters. I think we have to find ways to have more policy victories on those types of issues also.

WALLACE: Chuck, I think it’s fair to say you are often critical of this president, but take a look at this list. A big surge in GDP. A big drop in unemployment. Record highs in the stock market. We’re seeing them now at new — breaking through the thousand mark every seven, eight days. A record list of conservative appointments to the court and a big rollback of ISIS.

I understand that you don’t agree with some of the policies, but would you agree that this has been a consequential and then perhaps a successful first year for this president?

LANE: Yes, I think — in fact, I was preparing to acknowledge that on his terms, and on the Republican Party’s terms, you have to give credit where credit is due. They have achieved a number of their goals. And you just spared me the work of listing them.

But the presidency is both a policymaking job and a statesmanship job. A national embodiment job. A symbolism job. And on that latter part, on the part that revolves around character and temperament and bringing the country together and modeling behavior, this has been a disastrous year. And I would go to issues such as the remarks he made after Charlottesville. The comment — the unprintable comment he made just a couple of days ago. All the tweets.

In terms of the part of the presidency that involves representing the country and modeling the kind of behavior that George Washington did when he established the office, I don’t see how anyone could call this a successful year.

WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel and we got this on Facebook from Tamara Hyland. She writes, “Will Trump ever get a modicum of respect for some of the good things he has done? Economy, taxes, unemployment, ISIS.”

Josh, how do you answer Tamara? And given the fact that the president’s personal approval rating lag so far behind, for instance, satisfaction with the economy, is part of the problem the style points that Chuck was just talking about, that in a sense he steps on his own success?

HOLMES: Yes. I think that’s exactly right. I think Chuck actually laid it out pretty well. There — there’s an issue of trying to — to take a look at this presidency from kind of two silos. One is, what are the accomplishments? And in that category, he’s got an awful lot done. I mean generational tax reform alone is — is pretty big. Supreme Court, all the judges and regulatory rollbacks, they might talk about, huge.

Stylistically, on the other hand, there’s an awful lot of Americans that have a big problem with it. And where that runs into is it that most people can’t make a — a fair evaluation of the substance of the argument because they can’t get around what his style is. And I — so I think that’s the — the burden that this administration has in getting a fair report card one year in.

WALLACE: Congresswoman Harman, as our foreign policy expert, I want to ask you specifically about that area, foreign policy, whether it is rolling back ISIS, whether it’s dealing with rogue states like Iran and North Korea, whether it’s dealing with the great powers, China and Russia, how do you think this president has done?

HARMAN: Well, mix, but a lot of good. I don’t disagree with any of this. Let’s remember, he was elected by Democrats and Republicans who were frustrated with Washington. Washington isn’t getting better, including his role as a uniting president. He gave an inaugural speech year ago, which could have been — united the country. It didn’t. He picked an issue, rolling back ObamaCare, which divided the country. He should have picked infrastructure. He would have had a record twice as big as the one he now has.

And on foreign policy, he’s alienated a lot of our allies. He’s embraced a lot of dictators around the world. He’s about to go to the globalist swamp, that would be the Davos meeting this week. I’m actually going too (ph).

WALLACE: Well — well, he may not because of the shutdown.

HARMAN: Well, he may not, but he is at least scheduled to go.


HARMAN: That’s another huge opportunity. How will he use that?

On foreign policy, I give him some accomplishments. He might — he is — we are getting somewhere with North Korea. On Iran, Iran’s bad behavior in the neighborhood deserves more sanctions. But blowing up the deal is pointless.

I — I think I would give him the lowest marks on trade. I think jettisoning TPP created a huge market and opportunity for China in Asia. And China is our biggest competitor out there in the world. We’re sort of working with them, but we have a lot of issues that — that are — you know, that — that are problematic. And I think our foreign policy — his foreign policy score would be better if his temperament were different and if the language he uses weren’t this coarsening language about demonizing immigrants from Africa for anything.

WALLACE: Michael, your reaction, because you were the one who started all of this both on substance and on — we call it style points, but behavior, conduct.

NEEDHAM: Yes, I think there’s no doubt that as a country we need to find ways to take a kind of civic coming apart that’s going on. People who, on the one hand, feel like the Democrat Party is always against them, that they don’t understand them or their values, and bring them together with Republicans who — who — or others who feel, obviously, the exact other way.

I think sometimes the whole political system gets left off the hook a little bit for exacerbating some of these cultural problems. When Barack Obama passes a law that says that catholic nuns are going to have to buy birth control, and when that goes all the way to the Supreme Court, and when one party is completely united around the idea of using the force of government to compel catholic nuns to buy birth control, I don’t think that’s any more unifying than this president has been.

And so certainly there are aspects of this president, his demeanor, his use of Twitter that make many Americans look at Washington and feel disconnected, feel ashamed. I think that the left has to understand how so much of what they’ve been doing, as they’re on offense on the cultural wars, as they think that the tide of history is — is inextricably behind them, that makes many other Americans feel left out, feel persecuted and cause them to show up and vote for Donald Trump as president.

WALLACE: Congresswoman?

HARMAN: So let’s have a unifying president. He can still do this. He could start this week in Davos or here saying to this bipartisan group that’s trying to keep the government — reopen the government, OK, finally, I agree. Let’s have votes on these — all these issues and put a package together that moves the country forward and makes Congress work again and then I’ll take credit for being the — the first president in this century that’s made Congress work.

LANE: I — I would just — I think we’re drawing a distinction between style and substance that is a little bit false here because I think it’s not just style when a president says something like he said after Charlottesville, where he drew a moral equivalence between the neo-Nazis and the people against them. And — and that has a substantive impact.

There — there really is a problem in this country were many, many people don’t just feel dissed by the president, but in some way actively threatened. And, you know, too bad if he thinks that’s unfair or whatever. His job is to — and he’s failed at it — to reach out to everyone and — and leave everyone feeling included.

WALLACE: Well, we’re going to have to end on that somewhat negative point, but having said that, I was surprised what — generally, pretty high marks for this president. And 2018 still to come.

Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.

Up next, our “Power Player of the Week.” How a new Hollywood film shines a light on the untold story of our first military operation in Afghanistan after 9/11.


WALLACE: After 9/11, the first U.S. military operation to strike back was top-secret. Most of us never heard the real story of what happened in Afghanistan, until now. Here’s our “Power Player of the Week.”


LT. GEN. JOHN MULHOLLAND (RET.), FORMER “TASK FORCE DAGGER” COMMANDER: I think it’s hugely important because it fills a void that I think exists about completing the story of 9/11.

WALLACE (voice over): Retired Lieutenant General John Mulholland is talking about the new movie “12 Strong.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It’s us. We’re going in.

WALLACE: It tells how small units of American Special Forces helped overthrow the Taliban and drive al Qaeda out of Afghanistan.

WALLACE (on camera): How soon after 9/11 did you know you were going to war?

MULHOLLAND: Well, truthfully, I knew the minute the second airplane hit the — hit the second tower.

WALLACE (voice over): Back then, Mulholland was a colonel, commander of the Fifth Special Forces Group. By October, he was in Uzbekistan, ready to send 12 man teams of Green Berets, known as ODAs, Operational Detachment Alpha, into Afghanistan to link up with anti-Taliban warlords.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I chose you. You and 11 men. Task Force Dagger.

WALLACE: It was a bold plan and Mulholland admits he felt a heavy burden.

MULHOLLAND: Here we were, America’s first response. So we very much felt that we were carrying kind of the weight of the nation, if you will, responsible to them for getting the job done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is for the towers. You carry that with you. Five weeks ago, 19 men attacked our country. The 12 of you will be the first ones to fight back.

MULHOLLAND: I cut that steel up into little pieces and I gave one to every one of my teams that went to Afghanistan. And I told them, when you find a place that makes sense, I want you to bury it.

WALLACE: The movie focuses on ODA 595 that teamed up with Northern Alliance General Abdul Rashid Dostum.

But right away the Americans ran into trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, who are we doing this for? Anyone?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Summer camp when I was nine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cancun, spring break. What — spring drunk (ph).

WALLACE (on camera): Did you plan ahead for your Green Berets to end up fighting on horseback?

MULHOLLAND: Did not. Did not. That — that — that was a bolt out of the blue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Left to go left. Right to go right. Pull back to stop.

WALLACE (voice over): The Special Forces and local tribes attacked the Taliban, who were armed with tanks and artillery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The target. Tanks in the open.

WALLACE: They called in air strikes if possible, but often fought the enemy in close combat. Why send in so few soldiers?

MULHOLLAND: The Afghans traditionally — the only thing they hate more than fighting with each other is foreigners. And nothing brings them together like a foreign presence.

WALLACE: In 49 days, the Taliban regime fell. Forty-nine days.

WALLACE (on camera): How impressive an accomplishment is that?

MULHOLLAND: Historic. Absolutely historic.

WALLACE: For most Americans, this is the first time they will have heard this.

MULHOLLAND: We’re not ones to kind of blow our own horn. And then we’ve been very busy.

WALLACE (voice over): One of the few markers of the campaign is a 16-foot statue of a horse soldier near New York’s Ground Zero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be able to take that city. The World Trade Center’s just the beginning.

WALLACE: And now there is a movie to tell the story of the 12 man teams of Americans that struck back after 9/11.

MULHOLLAND: We were able to take that fight back to the enemy and bring down that regime and — and — and drive al Qaeda back into — under their rocks.

It’s a symbol of what America can do. It’s a symbol of what America did when its enemies dare attack us.


WALLACE: I asked General Mulholland how accurate the movie is. He said, while there is some Hollywood in it, you get a good sense of how the Afghan campaign was fought and won. “12 Strong” opened in theaters nationwide this weekend.

And that’s it for today. Have a great week. And we’ll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”


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Tennessee restaurant gives discounts to government employees during shutdown


A restaurant in Knoxville, TN, was offering discounts to government employees during the government shutdown on Saturday.

Holly’s Gourmets Market and Cafe made the decision to offer the 10 percent meal discount as a way to help “support” the community.


“To come to the support of our neighbors and offer a little incentive to come in and have breakfast,” restaurant owner Holly Hambright said to WBIR. “And take a little bit of the pain away if they got furloughed.”

Hambright tells the news station, the restaurant is offering the discount to both Tennessee government employees – who are not currently impacted by the federal shutdown – and federal employees who are affected.

“I’m not trying to politicize anything, I’m just trying to be a good neighbor and help some of our neighbors out that might be affected.”


The government shutdown officially went into effect 12:01 a.m. Saturday, and still remains shut Sunday. The last time the United States had a government shutdown was in 2013, which lasted for 16 days.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote to end the shutdown by 1 a.m. Monday morning. If it continues, hundreds of thousands of federal workers from different government programs could be furloughed.

This Top Dividend Growth Stock Sees No End in Sight


Antero Midstream Partners (NYSE: AM) is one of the fastest growing master limited partnerships (MLPs) around. Last year, the company grew its payout 30%, and it has more than doubled the distribution since coming public in 2014. But it still has plenty of growth left in the tank.

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That’s evident by Antero Midstream’s recent guidance. The MLP reaffirmed its belief that it can grow the payout another 28% to 30% this year, and by that same clip through 2020. Furthermore, the company now believes it can increase its payout another 20% in both 2021 and 2022. That growth rate suggests that investors who buy today aren’t locking in a 4.6% yield but one that’s on pace to reach an astounding 12.9% by 2022. That fast-growing payout makes Antero Midstream a top dividend growth stock to consider buying for the long haul.

Drilling down into what’s fueling this growth

Driving this forecast is the expectation that the company will invest $2.7 billion in high-return expansion projects over the next five years to support its fast-growing parent Antero Resources (NYSE: AR). It will spend the bulk of this money building pipelines and related facilities to move the rising production from Antero’s newly drilled wells to the country’s pipeline system. In addition, the company plans to invest about $800 million into a joint venture with fellow MLP MPLX (NYSE: MPLX). That partnership will continue building and operating facilities that help process natural gas by extracting and separating the natural gas liquids (NGLs), which then get shipped out to market centers on NGL pipelines.

Antero Midstream Partners can time these investments to match its parent’s production, which should supply it with a steadily growing cash flow stream. Furthermore, it can pay for them with a balance of internally generated cash flow and debt, which insulates it from having to sell additional equity to finance growth. In fact, its growth forecast requires no acquisitions or other outside assistance, which enhances visibility. That’s a significant distinction, because organic expansions generate much higher cash flow per investment dollar than acquisitions. In fact, Antero Midstream can build projects at 3 to 6 times EBITDA multiples, while drop-downs and other acquisitions often cost 8 to more than 12 times EBITDA. That means Antero is generating about double the cash flow on its investment dollars, which is why it can grow its distribution at such a high rate.

In addition to the $2.7 billion of expansion capital Antero Midstream expects to spend over the next five years to support its parent, the company has identified more than $1 billion of investment opportunities further downstream. These include regional gathering pipelines as well as long-haul pipelines. If it moves forward with these investments, it could grow at an even faster rate.

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Numbers dividend lovers will love

One noteworthy aspect of Antero Midstream’s dividend growth forecast is that it expects to achieve that fast-past growth while maintaining top-tier financial metrics. For example, the company covered its payout with cash flow by 1.4 times last year and anticipates coverage to be between 1.25 and 1.35 in 2018. It also expects to maintain at least 1.25 coverage through 2020, and a still-comfortable 1.1-plus coverage ratio in 2022.

Leverage, likewise, should remain conservative, with the company planning to keep it between 2.0 to 2.5 times debt to EBITDA over the long term. That’s well below the 4.0 comfort level of most other MLPs. In fact, the company noted that this gives it the ability to flex up to a 3.0 ratio on a short-term basis to complete an accretive transaction, such as sanctioning one of its downstream opportunities.

The fuel for market-crushing returns

Antero Midstream is just starting to hit its stride and is on pace to grow its already attractive 4.6%-yielding payout by an impressive 20%-plus rate for the next five years. That top-tier growth rate will not only supply investors with a growing stream of cash flow but should also significantly increase the company’s value in the coming years. That income with upside sets the company up to deliver total returns that should beat the market with ease.

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Kremlin spokesman: Putin, Ukraine's leader meet unannounced


The Kremlin’s spokesman says some contacts between Ukraine’s leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin have taken place outside the public eye.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, did not specify how many contacts the Russian president has had with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko or when the most recent one took place.

Putin and Petroshenko met in Berlin in the fall of 2016 as part of a four-way summit aimed at resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where a war with Russia-backed separatists has killed more than 10,000 people in the past three years.

Russian news agency reports, citing a national television broadcast that aired in the Far East on Sunday, quoted Peskov as saying: “Such meetings take place, but we don’t report about them.”

Ethiopia refuses World Bank arbitration over Nile River dam


Ethiopia’s leader has rejected arbitration by the World Bank on a disagreement with Egypt over the hydroelectric dam that Ethiopia is building on the Nile River.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Saturday refused the suggestion made by Egypt in late December that the World Bank should be brought in to resolve the dispute with Ethiopia over the construction of the dam on the Nile River that Egypt says threatens its water security. Sudan is also part of the negotiations because the Nile flows through it on the way to Egypt.

“Ethiopia will not accept Egypt’s request to include the World Bank in the tripartite technical committee’s talks on the dam,” Desalegn told the state run Ethiopian News Agency after visiting Egypt on Friday where he met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. “There is an opportunity for the three countries to resolve possible disputes by themselves.”

Egypt’s suggestion came amid a 10-month impasse over technical negotiations for the dam, which will be Africa’s biggest hydro-electric plant. Egyptian officials have called the World Bank “neutral and decisive” and said the organization could facilitate negotiations “devoid of political interpretation and manipulation.”

But the Ethiopian leader said that “seeking professional support is one thing; transferring it to an institution is another thing. So we told them (Egypt) that this is not acceptable with our side.” Desalegn said that Egyptians are not getting accurate information about the source of Nile waters and how Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam will operate.

The $5 billion dam is about 63 percent complete. When finished it will generate about 6,400 megawatts, more than doubling Ethiopia’s current production of 4,000 megawatts. The dam will also help to spare Ethiopia from drought and famine.

Ethiopia maintains that the dam’s construction will not reduce Egypt’s share of the river’s water. It insists the dam is needed for development, pointing out that 60 million of its citizens don’t have access to electricity.

But Egypt fears that if the reservoir behind the dam is filled quickly and if too much of the Nile waters are retained each year, the reduction of the river’s flow would have negative effects on Egypt’s agriculture.

Desalegn tried to reassure Egyptian during his visit to the country. “The people of Ethiopia did not nor will ever subject Egyptians to danger,” said Desalegn, in Cairo Saturday on his first visit to Egypt as prime minister. “We will not hurt your country in any way and will work closely together to secure the life of the people of the Nile basin and take them out of the cycle of poverty.”

While Ethiopia has said the dam is a “matter of life or death” for its people, Egypt has said water is a “matter of life or death” for its people.

Mulvaney: Trump won't 'weaponize' shutdown like Obama team did


White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney tried Sunday to calm Americans’ fears about the government shutdown, vowing those going to work Monday won’t see a “dramatic difference” because President Trump isn’t trying to “weaponize” the situation like the Obama administration did in 2013. 

“The effects won’t actually be as visible as they were as in 2013,” Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday.” “Keep in mind that in 2013, the only way I can describe it, was the Obama administration chose to weaponize the shutdown. They wanted it to be showy. They went out of their way to hurt more people and to be more visible.”

Mulvaney argued the former administration put barricades in front of the WWII memorial, on the National Mall, arguably to keep out military veterans and to try to put the blame on Republicans.

The most recent shutdown started overnight Friday, after the GOP-controlled Senate failed to pass a temporary spending bill to give the government the money needed to stay fully operational.

The GOP-controlled House passed its spending bill because it had enough Republican members and didn’t need Democrats’ support.

However, the bill stalled in the Senate because Republicans needed votes from at least nine Democrats to advance the bill.

Republicans blame Democrats for insisting that any spending bill to avoid a shutdown include protection from deportation for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.

Democrats argue the GOP spending bill falls short on several issues — including funding for community health centers, the opioid crisis and hurricane relief for Puerto Rico.

President Trump, who is ending the Obama-era deportation protection in early March, has vowed to find a permanent solution.

But he says any comprehensive immigration-reform plan must include funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall and changes to the country’s so-called “chain” and “diversity-based” immigration programs.

Mulvaney also said Sunday that Trump told his top staffers Friday to try hard to “keep as many as folks at work and as many of these (federal) agencies open as we can” during the shutdown.

Still, Mulvaney acknowledged that the shutdown will have an impact on the country, including nearly 1 million federal workers being furloughed at the start of the workweek.

“Those notices went out yesterday,”’ he said.

Mulvaney also said any temporary spending bill would have to be at least three-weeks long to negotiate a change to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protected young illegal immigrants from deportation.

“Let’s be clear, the president wants to resolve DACA,” Mulvaney said.

Still, he expressed some optimism about congressional Democrats and Republicans reaching a deal soon.

“I think there’s a chance it gets solved before Monday,” Mulvaney said. “I really do believe that at heart here there was an interest by some folks in the Democratic Party to deny the president sort of the victory lap of the anniversary of his inauguration, the chance to talk about the success with the tax bill … . And I think if they get over that there’s a chance this thing gets done before 9 o’clock on Monday morning and folks will come to work.”

Terrifying video shows pilot handle a sideways landing as 70-mph winds rock plane


The pilot of a Eurowings flight managed to safely land his plane despite dramatic and nauseating turbulence on Thursday.

There were about 70 passengers onboard the plane as it landed at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport.

According to The Mirror, the airplane was battling winds at 70 miles per hour as it came in for a landing. The winds violently rocked the plane back and forth, captured in a stomach-clenching video.

The final seconds of the landing were particularly intense as the pilot had to fight winds that seemed to constantly push the Dash Q400 aircraft off course. The pilot managed to land on the runway and straighten the aircraft as it slowed down.

Despite the fact that crosswind landings are terrifying to watch — and even more so when you’re in the cabin — these dramatic landings are fairly common (although the instance captured in the video is fairly extreme).

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“It’s not really dangerous. It just requires the utmost of your training to kick in,” Daniel Fahl, a commercial airline pilot, told CNN. “It does look dramatic, but that’s just because the airplanes are so susceptible to the wind. But that’s how they’re designed. They’re designed to be weather vanes that point into the wind.”

For those who can stomach it, there’s a plethora of crosswind landing videos available online to test pilots’ nerves of steel.

The Latest: German Social Dems vote to enter coalition talks


The Latest on efforts to create a new coalition government in Germany (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Germany’s Social Democrats have voted to enter coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, a key step toward ending political gridlock and forming a new government.

Delegates in Bonn voted 362 to 279 on Sunday in favor of opening the coalition talks.

Once a coalition agreement is reached with Merkel’s Union bloc, the Social Democrats’ membership still would have to approve it before a government can be formed.

Ahead of the vote, party leader Martin Schulz told delegates he would push for more concessions from the conservatives on labor, health and migration policies.


3:20 p.m.

The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats is urging party members to vote for opening coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, saying a stable German government was needed as a bulwark against right-wing extremism.

The center-left party has governed with Merkel’s Union bloc since 2013, but party leader Martin Schulz initially vowed not to renew the so-called “grand coalition” after his Social Democrats took a beating in September’s election.

Schulz told party members gathered in Bonn that his view of the political situation changed after Merkel failed to form a coalition with two smaller parties.

He said: “Europe is waiting for a Germany that knows its responsibility for Europe and can act decisively.”


12:05 p.m.

Germany’s center-left Social Democrats are debating whether to enter coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, and help break the political deadlock since September’s election.

If the Social Democrats reject entering the talks, the only options left are for Merkel to form a minority government or for new elections.

Social Democrat deputy leader Malu Dreyer, the Rhineland-Palatinate governor, told delegates in Bonn on Sunday that since Merkel’s Union bloc has indicated it wouldn’t form a minority government, their vote will either be for entering talks on forming a new so-called “grand coalition” with the chancellor, or new elections.

Urging the delegates to vote for entering coalition talks, she told them “we can’t force the Union into a minority government, that’s an illusion.”

The vote is expected later Sunday.

Woman dies after falling 'several decks' from a balcony on a Carnival cruise


A woman sailing on a Carnival Cruise Line ship from Florida fell from her cabin’s balcony and died.

The accident happened aboard Carnival Elation early Friday morning, when the woman plunged “several decks below,” according to a statement that Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Vance Gulliksen gave to the Miami Herald.  

The ship was on a four-day Bahamas cruise from Jacksonville that departed on Thursday; the woman has not yet been identified.

“The ship’s medical team responded immediately, but, unfortunately, she passed away,” Gulliksen said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and her family,” he said.


Tampa resident Maureen La Bryer, whose daughter and son-in-law Megan and Matthew Burdewick are on the Elation, told the Herald that they texted her about the incident. The Burdewick’s said their cabin was near that of the woman who fell.

“We weren’t [allowed] off the boat to Freeport until they investigated it. They were taking pictures [and everything],” Megan Burdewick texted her mother, according to text messages La Bryer shared with the Herald.”

She added that, after the fall, “there was blood everywhere.”

In October, an 8-year-old girl fell over the inner railings of a Carnival Glory ship to her death.

The incident comes amid a spate of negative stories involving cruise ships.

On Jan. 2, about 200 passengers aboard a Sea Princess Cruise ship were sickened with a norovirus outbreak. Last month, more than 300 passengers on the Independence of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, fell ill with a stomach virus.

Apple, Inc.'s Q1 Services Revenue Could Top $9 Billion


Much of the focus on Apple‘s (NASDAQ: AAPL) business around the holidays is often centered on the iPhone. With new iPhone models launching in September and November and considering the fact that the product segment accounted for 62% of Apple’s trailing-12-month revenue, it only makes sense for investors to watch Apple’s smartphone business closely. But there’s another Apple business segment worth giving some attention: services.

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Not only has services grown into Apple’s second-largest product segment, accounting for 16% of Apple’s fourth-quarter revenue, but it’s growing much faster than Apple’s iPhone segment. In addition, the services it includes represent a more steady and predictable source of growth for Apple than its hardware segments.

Apple’s services segment will likely shine brightly in the company’s first quarter, potentially bringing over $9 billion in revenue. Here’s a look at the segment, and why investors should keep a close eye on it in fiscal 2018 — starting with Apple’s first-quarter results.

Breaking down Apple’s services business

Apple services segment includes revenue from digital content and services (iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Music), AppleCare, Apple Pay, licensing, and other services.

Its growth is unmistakable. In the trailing 12 months, services accounted for 13% of Apple’s revenue, up from 11% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 and 9% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. Making things even more interesting, growth in Apple’s services business has accelerated recently. When excluding a favorable one-time adjustment of $640 million for services revenue in Apple’s most recently reported quarter, revenue in the segment rose 24% year over year — the highest growth rate for the segment in fiscal 2017.

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Apple’s services business has primarily benefited from breakneck growth in its App Store, which hit an all-time record in Q4. But there are other strong catalysts for the segment.

Apple Music’s growth is strong enough that it has helped Apple’s overall music business — including digital music sales on iTunes — return to growth. Declining sales in digital music had been plaguing Apple’s music business for years as users increasingly turned to streaming music services. But the number of paid subscribers for Apple Music has been soaring, up 75% year over year in Apple’s fourth quarter.

Further, between Apple Music subscribers and subscribers to other apps on the App Store, Apple has seen huge growth in paid subscriptions across apps. Total paid subscriptions by the end of fiscal 2017 hit more than 210 million, up 25 million in 90 days.

Then there’s Apple Pay, which Apple said saw its active users more than double and its annual transactions soar 330% in fiscal 2017 compared to fiscal 2016.

Strong momentum

Sharp growth in Apple’s services revenue is an extraordinary achievement, considering Apple’s services business alone is the size of a Fortune 100 company. But this is only the start.

With so many positive catalysts for Apple’s services business, combined with a wave of new products just before the holidays, year-over-year growth in the segment could accelerate even more in Q1. In the months leading up to Christmas, Apple launched the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K, and the iMac Pro — all products that could help drive services revenue higher.

Add in the underlying momentum in App revenue, Apple Music, and Apple Pay, and it’s likely that Apple’s services segment could see revenue rise as much as 30% year over year in Q1, to $9.3 billion.

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Macedonians protest bill to make Albanian second language


Hundreds of people have gathered in Macedonia’s capital to protest a bill that would make Albanian the country’s second official language.

The protest in front of the parliament building in Skopje on Sunday was peaceful, although participants burned the European Union flag.

The bill would give ethnic Albanians, who make up about one-quarter of Macedonia’s 2.1 million population, the right to use their language, along with Macedonian, in all transactions with state institutions.

The groups that organized the protest — Macedonian Unity Force and “Hardcore — say bilingualism would diminish Macedonia’s unified character.

Macedonian lawmakers approved the bill this month during a vote the main opposition party boycotted.

President Gjorge Ivanov vetoed it last week, describing the legislation as unnecessary and unconstitutional.

Pence accuses Congress of playing politics with military pay


Vice President Mike Pence, weighing in from the Middle East on the shutdown in Washington, accused the U.S. Congress of playing politics with military pay, and told American soldiers stationed near the Syrian border that the Trump administration would demand that lawmakers reopen the government.

Pence said they deserved their pay and benefits and service members and their families “shouldn’t have to worry about getting paid.”

“Despite bipartisan support for a budget resolution, a minority in the Senate has decided to play politics with military pay,” Pence said at the base, speaking in front of a large U.S. flag and a line of soldiers dressed in military fatigues. “But you deserve better. You and your families shouldn’t have to worry about getting paid.”

The vice president spoke as Democrats and Republicans in Congress showed little indication of progress on negotiations to end the government shutdown in a feud over immigration and spending. While Pence did not identify the culprits by party affiliation, Republicans argue that Democrats are blocking additional funding for the Pentagon by keeping the government closed. The shutdown means uniformed service members are currently working without pay.

Pence said the Trump administration would “demand that they reopen the government” and will not reopen negotiations “on illegal immigration” until Congress reopens the government and they give soldiers and their families “the benefits and wages you’ve earned.”

“We’re going to get this fixed. We’re going to meet our obligations to you and your families,” Pence said. He added, “I urge you, on behalf of your commander in chief, set aside any distractions, mind your mission, take care of one another.”

Landing aboard a C-17 military aircraft, Pence visited the undisclosed military base in the Middle East following his meetings in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. Journalists covering the vice president were asked to withhold the name and location of the base, and the number of troops stationed here, because of security and diplomatic concerns.

The 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing is stationed at the base and has dropped nearly half of the munitions during the operation to destroy the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Pence credited the troops’ “heroic actions” to dismantle terror organizations in the region.

“We will not rest, we will not relent, until we hunt down and destroy ISIS at its source,” he said.


On Twitter follow Ken Thomas at @KThomasDC.

Families of Islamist prisoners in Lebanon rally for amnesty


Hundreds of protesters have rallied in the Lebanese capital demanding that Islamist prisoners be part of a discussed general amnesty.

The rally in central Beirut Sunday was attended by hundreds of families of Islamist prisoners. They were pressing the government to include their relatives in a general amnesty expected to come ahead of the country’s first election in ten years. The elections are scheduled for May. Lebanon had one general amnesty after the end of the civil war in 1990.

Lebanese authorities have rounded up hundreds of Sunni Islamists over the last years, including some who clashed with the military, following clashes between Sunnis and Shiites in northern Lebanon. They also include extremists believed to belong to al-Qaida-linked groups and the Islamic State group.

UMass gets Chan Zuckerberg grant for scientific project


The University of Massachusetts has received a $5.5 million grant from a philanthropy founded by the man behind Facebook and his wife to create a way to search millions of scientific research articles.

The grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to UMass’s Center for Data Science will create the Computable Knowledge project using a form of artificial intelligence. The initiative was founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

The goal is to build a navigable map of 60 million articles to help scientists find previously unknown connections between findings in genetics, diseases, drugs and treatments.

Once complete, the service will be accessible for free to help scientists track important discoveries, uncover patterns and deliver insights via an up-to-date collection of published scientific texts.

Sheriff: Florida man slain by deputies carried assault rifle


Authorities say a Florida man with an assault rifle was fatally shot by officers after he attacked his wife and daughter.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said 46-year-old Shannon Jason Cables was killed by deputies responding to a domestic violence call at his home on Saturday.

It says Cables attacked his wife and 19-year-old daughter with a large diaper pin, a pool cue and Mace. The women took refuge at a neighbor’s home.

Deputies searched nearby woods with police dogs, then spotted Cables carrying an assault rifle.

The sheriff’s office says they ordered Cables, a white man, to drop the weapon, but he pointed it at deputies instead, so they shot him. The deputies’ races were not released.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the sheriff’s office are investigating.

Preview: Magic try to add to Celtics' recent slump with visit to Boston


TV: FOX Sports Florida

Time: Pregame coverage begins at 12:30 p.m.


BOSTON — There is a second pro sporting event in the Boston area Sunday.

Two hours before the New England Patriots, seeking the sixth championship of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady Era, host the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC title game, the Boston Celtics host the floundering Orlando Magic at TD Garden.

The Celtics, in danger of suffering a third straight loss — all at home — for the first time all season, face a team that has lost eight of its last nine and 17 of its last 19.

The Magic (13-32) were coming off a big home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, rallying from 23 points down at Cleveland on Thursday night, only to suffer a last-second defeat.

“I’m disappointed for our guys,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. “I felt like they deserved the victory. We didn’t get the breaks down the stretch.”

Orlando Magic on FOX Sports Florida

On the same night, the Celtics, playing without Kyrie Irving, had their worst offensive game of the season and fell to the Philadelphia 76ers on the parquet court.

“We were very sloppy, dribble didn’t take us anywhere, not moving the ball, not getting to spots,” coach Brad Stevens said. “And when Kyrie’s out, you’ve got to be even better at those things.”

Boston guard Marcus Smart called the loss “unacceptable.”

The Celtics won the first two games of the season series with Orlando and has captured six straight over the Magic. More importantly for Sunday, Boston has won 14 straight and 17 of the last 18 against the Magic at TD Garden.

There was no word on whether Irving, who runs the Boston offense, will return for this game, the last before the Celtics head out for a four-game western trip. Irving, however, did practice Saturday, and Stevens said positive things. Irving said he was “ready to go out there and play.”

The Celtics, who have been struggling on the offensive end — even with Irving — this month, added shooting small forward Jarell Eddie to a 10-day contract. Eddie has played in 31 NBA games with the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns.

Stevens said Eddie, who had a brief two-day stay with the Celtics three years ago, was added for the trip because of injury and illness (Aron Baynes was out sick Saturday) on his roster.

“Obviously, as we went through this past week, as the flu has gone through our team, Kyrie and his shoulder,” Stevens said, “we wanted to make sure as we get ready to head west that we had a full complement of guys.”

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo will miss the second game of his two-game suspension for throwing a punch at Minnesota’s Nemaja Bjelica.

The loss Thursday night came on a controversial foul call on Shelvin Mack against Isaiah Thomas. The NBA ruled that the call was correct and Thomas hit two free throws with 11.2 seconds left for the winning points.

The Magic’s rebounding problems, which have been worse the past 11 games without the injured Nikola Vucevic, remains a season-long struggle for a struggling team.

“I still think there’s a lot of room for improvement on the defensive glass,” Vogel told the Orlando Sentinel. “We continue to hit the guys over the head with the concept of wiping out crashers (opponents who try to collect offensive rebounds) and making them like an offensive lineman, trying to clear a path for a running back. That’s got to be the goal. We too often watch the ball when we’re under the rim and let the opposing teams get a running jump to the glass. So we’re still improving there.”