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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Suicide bombers attack Pakistan church, killing at least 9, officials say

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Two suicide bombers attacked a church in Pakistan where hundreds of worshippers were attending service ahead of Christmas, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens of others, officials said.

One of the suicide bombers was shot dead outside Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, but the other assailant made it to the church’s entrance hall as Sunday services opened, said Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister for the southwestern Baluchistan province. The gunman — who didn’t gain access to the main building — opened fire at the churchgoers before detonating his explosive vest.

“There were nearly 400 people inside the church, but the attackers couldn’t get inside the services,” provincial police chief Moazzam Jah told Reuters. “We killed one of them, and the other one exploded himself after police wounded him,” he said.

A man helps an injured woman and a child following an attack on a church in Quetta, Pakistan, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. Two suicide bombers attacked the church when hundreds of worshippers were attending services ahead of Christmas. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

At least 45 people were injured in the attack at the church in Quetta, Pakistan.  (AP)

The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying two “plungers” from their group had stormed the church, without providing further details.

The death toll in the deadly attack rose to nine people, including two women, by Sunday afternoon. Five women and two children were among the 57 people hurt. Seven people were listed in critical condition, said Wasim Baig, a spokesman for Quetta’s main hospital.

Aqil Anjum, who was shot in his right arm, told The Associated Press he heard a blast in the middle of the service, followed by heavy gunfire.

“It was chaos. Bullets were hitting people inside the closed hall,” Anjum said.

Authorities were hunting for two suspected accomplices who escaped the scene, Quetta police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said.

Policemen guide people after gunmen attacked the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, Pakistan December 17, 2017. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed - RC11A7104CD0

Policemen guide people after gunmen attacked the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, Pakistan.  (Reuters)

The church was placed on high alert for a possible attack because Christian places of worship are often targeted by Islamist extremists during Christmas time, Reuters reported.

Baluchistan Police Chief Moazzam Ansari credited the security forces guarding the church for taking down one of the attackers.

“Otherwise the loss of lives could have been much higher,” he told reporters.

It was the first time the Islamic State group has claimed an attack on a church in Pakistan, though Muslim extremists have claimed church attacks in the past. The deadliest example was in September 2013, when twin suicide bomb blasts killed 85 people in a Peshawar church. In March 2015, two suicide bombers attacked two churches in the eastern city of Lahore, killing 15 people.

Pakistan’s president and other senior officials condemned the attack.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Worker caught in waste grinder at Ohio meat processing plant dies

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A worker at a meat processing plant in Ohio died Saturday after he got his leg caught in a waste grinder, officials said.

The Stark County Coroner’s Office said 62-year-old Samuel Martinez stepped into a chute and got caught in a waste grinder at the Fresh Mark plant in Canton, located about 60 miles south of Cleveland.

Canton Police told FOX 8 Cleveland the incident happened shortly after 5 p.m.

Authorities said the Guatemalan national died at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday, according to FOX 8.

According to its website, Fresh Mark, Inc., has been producing American-made bacon, ham, hot dogs and deli meats for nearly 100 years. The company serves grocery stores, restaurants, and food service companies in the United States and internationally.

Fresh Mark said in a statement Saturday that company officials are working with authorities to determine what happened.

In 2011, worker at the plant was electrocuted when he tried to plug in a fan while standing in water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Mario Batali's 'cinnamon roll' apology gets slammed on Twitter

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Mario Batali has been accused of sexual harassment by several women recently. Since the allegations, the celebrity chef has been removed from the television show “The Chew,” as well as been asked to step down from “day to day operations” at his restaurants.

Now, the restauranteur has issued another apology, this time via email statement to his newsletter subscribers, but fans are not pleased.

In the emailed statement, Batali acknowledged his “past behavior.”

MARIO BATALI’S UPCOMING FOOD NETWORK SERIES PUT ‘ON HOLD’ AMID ALLEGATIONS

“As many of you know, this week there has been some news coverage about some of my past behavior,” he wrote. “I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team. My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility. Sharing the joys of Italian food, tradition and hospitality with all of you, each week, is an honor and privilege. Without the support of all of you — my fans — I would never have a forum in which to expound on this.”

The apology seems to end with a sincere pledge, “I will work every day to regain your respect and trust. –mb”

However, after the signature, Batali added an awkward post script that has left the internet confused and upset.

“ps. in case you’re searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite,” he wrote with a link for the recipe.

Twitter was quick to pounce on the strange apology, calling it meaningless and tone-deaf.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FOX LIFESTYLE NEWS

“Mario Batali’s apology to the people who might stop spending money on his brand including a cinnamon bun recipe was worse than tone deaf. It was insulting to his victims,” one person tweeted.

Another user found the recipe inclusion so bizarre that he thought it was a gag by the Onion – a satirical news site.

One woman even “fixed” the apology by crossing out the cinnamon roll recipe and replacing the word “victims” over those he apologized to.

Senator-elect Doug Jones talks victory in Alabama

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This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday,” December 17, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” HOST: I’m Chris Wallace.

Republicans release their latest tax plan. Will Congress send it to President Trump to sign before Christmas?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is real relief. This relief gives people a simpler system and a fairer tax code.

WALLACE: As GOP leaders push their measure to overhaul the tax code, we’ll discuss the bill’s prospects and what it means for you with Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

Then, Democrat Doug Jones wins in Alabama, putting even more pressure on the GOP to pass tax reform before he gets to the Senate.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-NY, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: It would be wrong for Senate Republicans to jam through this tax bill without giving the newly elected senator from Alabama the opportunity to cast his vote.

WALLACE: We’ll sit down with the senator-elect in his first appearance on Fox News since the start of the campaign.

Plus, lawmakers question whether political bias has taken over special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

REP. STEVE CHABOT, R-OHIO: How with a straight face can you say that this group of Democrat partisans are unbiased and will give President Trump a fair shake?

ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: We recognize we have employees with political opinions. It’s our responsibility to make sure those opinions do not influence their actions.

WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel about new documents the White House says show extreme bias against Mr. Trump.

And our power player of the week. A photojournalist who has risked her life to show what’s happening in the world’s most dangerous places.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were about to execute us, and we’re literally at one point, I looked over and I saw each of my colleagues literally begging for their lives.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Republicans appear ready this week to pass the most sweeping overhaul of the tax code in three decades. Opposition among GOP holdouts has melted away, and party leaders in Congress are looking to hand President Trump his first major legislative victory.

In a few minutes, we’ll discuss what the plan means for American families and businesses with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

But, first, to correspondent Peter Doocy live on Capitol Hill with a preview of both the tax vote and the effort to avoid a government shutdown before Christmas — Peter.

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.

The next movement on this tax bill comes Tuesday when House lawmakers hope to pass the bill and send it to the Senate, where the math gets a little tougher. The account there is expected to be so close that the Vice President Mike Pence has delayed a long planned trip to the Middle East just to be available to cast a tie-breaking vote if necessary.

But President Trump is confident that it gets done by the end of this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a tremendous spirit for the tax reform. This is going to be one of the great Christmas gifts to middle income people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOOCY: There are still seven tax brackets under the new plan, but the rates are lower until 2025. The new top rate for top earners dropped from 39.6 percent to 37 percent. The child tax credit doubled to $2,000 per child and the standard deduction nearly doubled as well, to $12,000 for single filers, which means that fewer people are expected to itemize their deductions.

There is a new $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes. The mortgage interest deduction will be capped at $750,000 and Obamacare is fine for people who don’t want insurance under the individual mandate disappears. So, the first half of this week, Republicans will try to transform the tax code and the second half of the week, they are going to have to try to keep the government funded.

There will be a government shutdown next weekend if they can’t figure out how to do that by Friday night — Chris.

WALLACE: Peter Doocy reporting from Capitol Hill — Peter, thank you. Joining me now is the Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. And welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”

STEVEN MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: Great to be here with you. Thank you.

WALLACE: Can you say flatly that Congress will pass this tax plan this week and send it to the president to sign before Christmas?

MNUCHIN: I can. It’s a historic moment and we’re excited to be here.

WALLACE: And you have no doubts that Congress will pass it this week?

MNUCHIN: I have no doubt. This is been a terrific process with the House and Senate working together in conference, and there is a terrific bill that’s going to get to the president to sign.

WALLACE: All right. Let’s run through several aspects of this terrific bill, as you put it. And the first one I want to deal with is fairness.

Here’s what Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer had to say about it this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHUMER: God bless wealthy people, I’m glad we have them. But they don’t need a tax break.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Let me pick up on that because critics note the tax rate for top earners dropped from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, the corporate tax rate is cut from 35 percent to 21 percent and the owners of so-called pass-through companies get a 20 percent deduction. The Tax Policy Center analyzed the earlier Senate bill, which did not even have all of those provisions and said the top tenth of 1 percent of taxpayers would get 42 percent of the benefits.

Question, Mr. Secretary, do wealthy Americans need all of those tax breaks?

MNUCHIN: Well, Chris, first of all, the reason why we’re lowering the top rate is because we’re getting rid of lots and lots of deductions. And there’s a big part of the country that has state and local taxes that we’re getting rid of. As a matter of fact, Schumer has been complaining about taxes going up on rich people in New York. So, it’s just not the case that there’s all those taxes going to rich people.

WALLACE: And what about all the other aspects of it and the analysis from the Tax Policy Center, 42 percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent?

MNUCHIN: Well, I don’t agree with those numbers. What this is all about is middle income tax cuts. Matter of fact, I researched, you grew up in Chicago, the median person/family that makes $50,000 is going to get extra money back, close to $2,000. And a family making $150,000 in Illinois is going to get over $4,000 back. That’s very meaningful, and people are going to see these tax cuts starting in February because we have the IRS already working on new tax tables.

WALLACE: But, again, just to push this question of fairness, and I take your point that because of the fact that you are doing away with most of the state and local deductions that’s going to be a tax increase for people in high tax states like New York or California. But still, we are talking about a family that makes over $600,000 a year.

Do they need to have their taxes cut from 39.6 percent to 37 percent? And in the so-called pass-throughs, because of the deduction that you’re going to give to them, you’re going to get a situation where a lot of the employees who work for those companies will be taxed at a higher rate than their bosses.

MNUCHIN: Well, let me just say pass-throughs are the engine of growth in this country. This is about creating the lowest tax rate for pass-throughs since the 1930s. That is going to be massive, massive economic growth.

And it’s about fixing a broken business tax system. We’ve had one of the highest corporate rates in the world, with companies leaving trillions of dollars offshore to — so that they don’t have to pay taxes. This is a historic event to fix a broken tax system.

WALLACE: But what about the point I just made, that you could end up with employees of these pass-throughs — and these are companies that are not formal corporations, and they end up, the owners of them, end up paying our taxes through the individual tax rate, not the corporate tax rate — the idea that you could have employees paying a higher tax rate than the owners of those companies?

MNUCHIN: Chris, you know, it’s a very complicated tax system and this is about simplifying (ph) it. So, the reason why we have the pass-through tax break is because we believe there will be about $4,500 in wage growth that will go back to workers. So, this is — this is all about creating a tax system that’s good for workers, good for working families.

WALLACE: Let’s talk about the point you just brought up because that was one of the other aspects that was a big selling point, that you were going to be making the tax code simpler, and in fact there was an event that I want to show where President Trump met with top congressional leaders and talked about this is going to be so simple, you will be able to file your tax return on a postcard. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Great job. Thank you. I didn’t know I was going to be given a prop.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: But analysts say that in fact, the GOP tax plan, you didn’t end up cutting out all of those deductions makes the tax system more complicated for millions of Americans, especially those involved in these pass-through companies who are going to have an even more complicated tax system to deal with and are not going to have any chance of looking at filing on a postcard.

MNUCHIN: Chris, that’s just not the case. I couldn’t be happier overseeing the IRS. Over 90 percent of Americans are going to fill out taxes on that postcard or a virtual electronic postcard. This is about simplifying taxes and simplifying the business system.

So, there will always be people who complain that they’re losing tax breaks, but this is about making it simple for the American public.

WALLACE: I want to press on that because that’s a new number. I’d heard that originally but I — you’re still saying, over 90 percent of Americans will be able to file on a postcard?

MNUCHIN: Absolutely. They’ll take the standard deduction and that’s what they’ll file with. And we’re in the process already of designing new forms so that Americans don’t have thousands of pages of tax forms.

WALLACE: Let’s turn to the deficit. Your Treasury Department issued a one-page statement this week that was pretty controversial. You said the combination of tax cuts, rollback of regulations, infrastructure and welfare reform will not only pay for tax reform, but reduce the debt net by
$300 billion over ten years.

Good for the economy, fair to working-class Americans?

DONNA EDWARDS, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, I think, clearly, it’s a boon for corporations and the super wealthy. I mean, this tax bill really gives them a huge benefit. But for the middle class families, I mean, I urge people to do what I did and simply, you know, put your income in a calculator and start running some of these changes to the tax code.

And I think a lot of middle-class families are actually going to find that it’s either going to be a wash for them or they’re actually going to end up paying more taxes depending on where they live.

WALLACE: What specifically do you worry about in this bill?

EDWARDS: So, I worry about a trade-off for the standard deduction, even though the standard deduction goes up.

WALLACE: Almost double.

EDWARDS: That’s right. But there are other things that people lose if you itemize your state and local income taxes, your property taxes. Those things really hurt you. If you are a family that has — you know, where you get the individual mandate now is in place and it’s taken away.

For many families, that means that their health care premiums are actually going to increase which then affects their quality of life. And so, you know, this really I think — you know, it’s not a reform of the tax code. Anybody who thinks they will be able to put their taxes on a postcard, I’ve got something else I want to sell you because that’s not true. That’s what was promised and this is not going to be a fair benefit for middle-class families.

WALLACE: Brian, I want you to join the debate on the merits, but also, let’s talk about the politics, because assuming that this does pass as Secretary Mnuchin said, as everybody is saying, this will be the first big legislative victory for Donald Trump. Is it enough to go to the voters in 2018 and will it help them?

BRIAN KILMEADE, “FOX & FRIENDS” CO-ANCHOR: It’s going to be fascinating because we are actually going to have a legitimate report card in 2018. It’s not who was the best slogan, who has the best message, who’s better on the stump. It’s going to say, I’m not sure immigration is not going to get on the 2018 either, but let’s say this is the only piece of major legislation. We’re going to feel it in February.

And if you are right, Congresswoman, and people are paying more and it’s not working out and most of the American people say this is terrible, he’s going to pay the price. But if things begin to improve and the growth rate does go over four and everything is on the right track right now, then that’s all you can ask for if you are President Trump and if you are a Republican, say, grade me on what I did.

Now, when I watch Marco Rubio and I watch Senator Lee and I watch Senator Johnson all lobby hard to get what they want in this bill, I ask you, where are the five or six Democrats in conservative districts and states that could have done the same thing? If Joe Manchin put his hand up and said, you get me to 24, I’m in. Jon Tester, Heidi Heitkamp, why didn’t they try to get in this debate? This was all a one-party debate and it didn’t have to be.

WALLACE: Juan?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: This is all about politics, and it’s all about the midterms. It’s all about saying that Republicans, in the first year of the Trump administration, with a Republican House, Republican Senate, Republican control of the White House got something done. They didn’t get Obamacare done, they haven’t gotten immigration plan down, they got something done.

So, let’s look at the polls. Let’s get away from all of this and say, what are the American people this Sunday morning think about this plan? The majority — not a plurality — a majority, more than 50 percent say it’s a bad plan for themselves and for their families.

Mike Bloomberg says this is a trillion dollar blunder. The Joint Center on Taxation, Goldman Sachs say this is a bad plan for the economy. So, this is not a political judgment, these are people, Goldman Sachs is in the moneymaking business and they don’t see this as good for them or for America.

Instead, I think what you have is Republican donors, the donor class saying, yes, this is what we want from Republicans. We want tax cuts. And they’re delivering on the tax cuts.

RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW: It’s not as though Republicans just came up with this idea of corporate tax form out of the blue yesterday because they need to pass something. President Barack Obama talked about the importance of corporate tax reform. Bill Clinton talked about the importance of corporate tax reform, because our system was out of whack with the rest of the world and was hurting us.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: But I think that if you talk about tax form, Rich, you got to keep in mind that the actual rate that these corporations is paying is much lower because of deductions and the like.

LOWRY: It’s such a complicated system and that makes no sense. That’s why you want to lower the actual rate and knock out some of those special interest provisions. And this —

(CROSSTALK)

EDWARDS: This is actually — let’s be clear, this is not a tax reform package, it doesn’t reform the tax code. What it does is it continues many of those special interest breaks. It gives additional special interest treatment to certain kinds of corporations and income, pass-through income being one of those things. And on top of that, it adds a trillion dollars to the deficit. And that’s by the Joint Center on Taxation (ph).

WALLACE: Let me bring in the point to both you, Congresswoman Edwards, and to you, Juan, as critics of this plan. The Trump economy is doing pretty well. We got 3 percent growth, 4 percent unemployment, record highs every week in the stock market. If this brings further stimulus to the economy, isn’t that going to be a pretty powerful message going into 2018?

EDWARDS: It’s a big if. I mean, the fact is — I mean, almost no economy tells you that the growth rates that are being projected by the congressional Republicans is actually in line with Trump himself is actually going to create in this — in this economy. And so, it really is– I mean, it really is a mistake to call this sort of adding to the growth rate.

It’s corporations wanting to put more money in the economy, they’ve got all the capital in the world to do that right now. There’s nothing in this tax reform bill that incentivizes it.

KILMEADE: I would say this, if you’re running a major corporation, you’re probably a very bright man or woman, and you know this is a window of opportunity where you finally got the tax deduction that you said was keeping your money offshore and your investment away. Now, this is a window. Now, if you don’t take it manage of that window, if you just buy back your stock or keep it overseas, you’re never going to get this opportunity. You’re going to have a liberal Democrat in the office and your life will never be as bad economically.

And I will say this, the markets have already weighed in. The prospect of having this passed boomed (ph) the market and it continues to rise. So, Mike Bloomberg, who wants to take your guns and take away the combustion engines —

WILLIAMS: Oh, stop.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: The minute you jump the broom there and start talking about guns, I understand that you’re in losing position, Brian.

KILMEADE: No, but you understand, he wants to hurt Donald Trump any way he can.

WILLIAMS: That’s — look, let’s just talk about taxes. Let’s forget the, you know, politics, the sport aspects of this and talk about the reality. The reality is we have a very good economy right now, stock market booming, low unemployment. Good GDP that’s growing, we’re still struggling with wages and workforce participation.

But the reality is that there is high income inequality in this country, Americans don’t want what Paul Ryan is talking about, a huge deficit, then says, we’re going to shrink the government and we’re going to cut Social Security and Medicare next year — wow.

(CROSSTALK)

KILMEADE: — standard deduction, don’t you see some of the things built into this plan already — built into this plan already that’s going to help the working class and help the —

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: What helps the working class?

WALLACE: Gentlemen —

(CROSSTALK)

LOWRY: Higher growth helps the working class. It helps everyone.

WALLACE: Take it outside.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

WALLACE: We’ve got another segment and we’ll have you back later in the show. Thank you.

Up next, Senator-elect Doug Jones, we don’t want to miss him. His first appearance on Fox News since the start of the campaign and what he wants to do in Congress after his upset victory in Alabama.

That was great.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: Coming up, GOP Senate candidate, Judge Roy Moore, still refuses to concede in Alabama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROY MOORE, R-ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: We are indeed in a struggle to preserve our republic, our civilization and our religion, and to set free a suffering humanity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Senator elect Doug Jones joins us live, next, on “Fox News Sunday.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: Doug Jones pulled off a stunning upset this week, becoming the first Democrat elected to the Senate in deep red Alabama since 1992. While his opponent, Judge Roy Moore, vows to fight on, President Trump called Doug Jones to congratulate him. The senator-elect joins us now live.

Mr. Jones, congratulations and welcome to “Fox News Sunday.”

DOUG JONES, D-ALA., U.S. SENATOR-ELECT: Thanks, Chris. I appreciate the opportunity.

WALLACE: Let’s start with what you see as your role in the Senate starting early next year. Here’s what you said on election night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: We’ve tried to make sure that this campaign was about finding common ground and reaching across and actually getting things done for the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Given the fact that Republicans control the House and the Senate, and the White House, where do you see an opportunity to find common ground and work with President Trump?

JONES: Well, you know, Chris, I think there’s an opportunity at every turn. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, there’s always the opportunity to find common ground. You know, and I hope to have that voice. I said on election night that I hope this is a message not to just Republicans that we’ve got a Democrat who’s willing to reach across the aisle. I hope it’s a message to Democrats to try to find that common ground. You know, it’s one of those things where you’ve got to reach across, you’ve got to try.

But it’s a two-way street. I mean people have got to respond backwards. And that’s why I’m hoping that we’ll be able to do that with this new voice and a new — and I think sense of enthusiasm coming out of the state of Alabama.

WALLACE: Well, let’s talk some specifics. It looks like the Senate and Congress is going to pass the tax bill before you get to town. But if you were here this week, if you had a chance, would you vote for this bill or against it?

JONES: Well, I’ve got to be honest with you, Chris, that’s a 500 page bill for just landed on people’s desks just the other day. So I haven’t had a real chance to look at that and study it, as has a lot of people have not, which is one of my biggest concerns about the way things are going up there right now. This seems to be done, plopped into a vote too quickly.

There’s — obviously what I’m seeing and hearing and just reading about, there’s things that I like about it, cutting corporate tax rates, cutting some things for the middle class and increasing the standard deduction.

But my biggest concerns are the process and also the fact that it’s going to increase the deficit by over a trillion dollars. That causes me great concern. And I’m just very surprised that that’s going to go.

I don’t buy into the fact that it’s going to grow the economy such that that trillion dollars debt will get wiped out. I think that’s a major problem.

So we’ll wait and see how it goes. We’re going to start looking at it just in case I’m up there ahead of time. But it’s a complicated bill. This is not the simplification process that we were all told about early on. Five hundred pages is a pretty complicated bill.

WALLACE: Well, let’s talk about another one, and this is one that you may get a chance to vote on, immigration. Would you support a deal that fixes DACA, that protects the so-called dreamers, but on the other hand has tougher border enforcement and includes some money for continuing to build President Trump’s wall?

JONES: We’ll, I’d have to look. I — you know, I have said before that I opposed the building of a wall. I think that’s an expense that the taxpayers just don’t have to incur because I do think you can increase border security without having to go to the incredible expense of building that wall, at least the figures that I’ve seen.

I do support the DACA program and would love to see that extended. I hope there can be some bipartisan efforts reached to do that.

Immigration has been one of the toughest political football’s going on up there right now and we’ve had bills in the past that just fell by the wayside because of politics. If there’s comprehensive immigration, I think it’s going to be very complicated. And — but it’s something that I would love to look at. I know it’s been important to my state, although I’m not as sure it’s as important as health care and some other things right now.

WALLACE: But — but I mean this is a good kind of case study. And we’re talking theoretically because, obviously, there’s not a specific piece of legislation. There are things you want. You want the DACA fix. Are you — would you be willing, even though you’re not crazy about the idea, to include some funding for the wall, which is something the president and Republicans want, if you get your half of the load (ph)?

JONES: Well, let’s see how that shakes out. It’s hard to talk in hypotheticals because right now you haven’t seen anybody really kind of trying to reach those compromises. It’s a — you know, draw — you know, what I’m seeing up there is you draw a line in the sand and you haven’t had an opportunity to reach.

I’m going to consider anything, Chris. I mean, look, I’m up here to try to– as I’ve said before, to try to find that common ground. I know it sounds like a broken record. I also know that it sounds like it’s just pure pie- in-the-sky.

But the fact is, we’ve got to try and look and try to do those things for the American public. So rather than just talking in hypotheticals, I’ll leave all the options on the table with regard to that and try to come up with the right way to approach immigration or any other issue.

WALLACE: President Trump called you the other day and invited you when you come to Washington to come visit him at the White House. But during the campaign he said that you, if you were elected, would be a puppet of Democratic Leaders Pelosi and — Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Here — here is some clips from all of that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, Jones. I’ve looked at his record, it’s terrible on crime. It’s terrible on the border. It’s terrible in the military.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He likes Doug Jones and looks forward to meeting him in person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: So, which Trump do you believe, the one before the election or the one after?

JONES: I’m going to believe the one after. You know, you say a lot of things during the — in the heat of a campaign and we were expecting to — you know, that kind of checklist of things.

But his call to me was very gracious. It truly was. We had a very good talk, no substance, but just kind of a personal call. I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m looking forward to getting up there and trying to find those issues that we can work together on for both the country and the state of Alabama.

WALLACE: You know, the line of questioning that I’ve been engaged in, and I think that a lot of reporters since your victory is answering the big question here in Washington, which is, which kind of a Democrat will you be? You talk a lot about your mentor when you worked here in Washington in the Senate, Howell Heflin, who stepped down as Alabama’s last Democratic senator 20 years ago. We have a picture up right now at a committee meeting and there’s Heflin and there is a much younger Doug Jones right next to him.

Heflin was ranked as the Democrat with the most consistent record of support of any Democrat during his time in office for Ronald Reagan. Do you see yourself as the same kind of moderate, or even conservative, Alabama Democrat?

JONES: You know, Chris, I’m just going to be candid about this. I have resisted trying to put labels on myself. People are going to do that left and right. I’ve tried to resist that. I’m going to continue to resist that.

I’m going to be a Doug Jones Democrat for sure. I’m going to be looking at issues on both sides. I’m going to do what I believe is in the best interest of both the country and my state.

Other people will label me. I think the world has changed a little bit and I think politics has changed and all I can do is to try to go forward with what I believe is the best thing to do. And that’s the only thing I can do.

So we’ll see how that shakes out in the next year or two to see what kind of labels you guys in the media want to put on me.

WALLACE: Well — and we will.

JONES: I know.

WALLACE: Two more questions I want to — I want to get in.

One, your opponent, Judge Moore, continues to refuse to concede, says that this race is not over and this week issued this video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOORE: Today, will no longer recognize the universal truth that God is the author of our life and liberty. Abortion, sodomy and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: What’s your reaction to that and do you think that Roy Moore is hurting Alabama by continuing this contest, continuing this fight?

JONES: Well, I just have quit trying to figure out what Judge Moore means when he says things like that. It just — I find — I don’t find it in the mainstream of America. I don’t — certainly don’t even find it in the mainstream of Alabama.

I think it’s time to move on. And I think he is hurting the people of this state. I have told folks and I want to try to represent everyone. I’m not going to be a senator in which people are going to agree with a hundred percent of the time, but I am going to be the kind of senator the people can talk to, that we can reason with. I want to get an education from them. I want to educate the people.

So I do think he’s (ph) hurt and I think it’s time to move on and let’s get– get beyond this divisive kind of rage the war rhetoric that you hear from him from others.

WALLACE: Final question. You’re not up for reelection until 2020, but I want to ask you about the 2018 midterms because some folks say that your victory, as well as the victory of the Democrat in the governor’s race in Virginia, put out a kind of blueprint, a game plan for how Democrats should proceed in 2018. I want to put up some numbers on your victory. You won the black vote 93 percent to six, the younger vote 62 percent to 36, women 55 percent to 43, and independents, 55 to 42.

Question, how do other Democrats energize those pillars of the traditional party base for the 2018 midterms?

JONES: Well, you know, Chris, I think that anybody that runs for office ought to talk to those people. I think that was one of the things that we did early on in our campaign. We went straight on issues.

Roy Moore didn’t talk about issues that we had in common. He talked about issues that divide us. And I think when you talk about those issues that you have in common, among all of those groups you just rattled off, every one of them have the same issues in common about health care, education, jobs, the economy, trying to raise to a living wage. Those are the issues that people responded to and I think that whether it’s Democrats or Republicans, I think people now have to start focusing on those issues and not just depend on whether or not there are going to be some kind of straight ticket voting.

WALLACE: Senator-elect Jones, thank you. Thanks for your time this weekend. And we’ll see you up here in Washington pretty soon.

JONES: Thanks, Chris. I look forward to it. And thanks for having me this morning.

WALLACE: When we come back, the FBI under fire. The president launches tough new criticism of the agency.

Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about allegations of political bias in the FBI? Just go to FaceBook or Twitter @foxnewssunday and we may use your question on the air.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI, but it is very sad when you look at those documents and how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful. And you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: President Trump taking aim at the FBI after the release of anti- Trump text messages between two senior officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were involved in the special counsel investigation until last July.

And we’re back now with the panel.

Well, Brian, The Washington Post had a story this week — and I don’t know if you saw it — that said that these texts back and forth between Strzok and Page were really an effort to cover up the fact –Right.

WALLACE: That they were having an extramarital affair. And the question I have is, does that clear it all up for you?

KILMEADE: Yes. Thanks. We have some time left in this segment, so I’ll fill it.

No, I — absolutely not. You’ve got to be kidding me. They were — the one thing that stood out on the text messages more than anything else was the fact is they were building in a plan just in case on August 15th — and I think you even referred to it earlier in the show — on August 15th they were going back and forth on a text messages that talked about a plan just in case Donald Trump won. And he went on to say, just like having an insurance policy (INAUDIBLE).

WALLACE: Well, let me — let me — let me put this up. And let’s put it up on the screen if you — if we can, guys, and this was a text that Peter Strzok sent to Lisa Page on August 15, 2016. And it says, I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — we think “Andy” was Andrew McCabe, the number two official in the FBI — the path you threw out in Andy’s office, that there’s no way he — Trump — gets elected. But I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before your 40.

Continue.

KILMEADE: What I’m trying to say is, for any Republican who was worried or on the fence that there might have been some bias amongst the top level of the FBI when it come to the investigation and against his candidacy that is proof positive. Unless they’re referring to Andy Griffith, who starred in Matlock, as well as his own black and white TV series, who had a lot of success. But I could see that —

WALLACE: Proof positive of what?

KILMEADE: Proof positive that there was an anti-Trump bias at the top and Peter Strzok was all around this investigation, enough to make you want to probe, and that’s what Jim Jordan indicated that Bob Goodlatte is going to be doing when we get back from Christmas break.

WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel and we got this as a tweet from John H. Converse who writes, we demand the military be apolitical on duty, even though we allow them to have political ideology. Is it too much to demand the same of the FBI, IRS, DOJ — Department of Justice?

Juan, how do you answer John and Brian?

WILLIAMS: Well, just as the military has political opinions, you know, so do people work are jurors, who are lawyers, who are judges, who are FBI agents. We’re human beings.

WALLACE: But if a — if a judge had — if we had read statements that were blatantly favoring one side against the other, they would be forced to recuse themselves.

WILLIAMS: No, but that’s not the point. The point is what — not —

WALLACE: Well, it’s not your point. It’s my point.

WILLIAMS: No, no, I was making — I’m speaking to your point. The fact that you write them down. I — my point is that you have these opinions. It’s no question that people have opinions. The question is, their integrity. Can they perform their job in an impartial way despite their opinions?

And what we know is, that according to the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, and the FBI director, Christopher Wray, just this week all have said the FBI is performing its jobs very well.

WALLACE: Yes, but wait — wait, they weren’t saying that about Lisa Page in Peter Strzok.

WILLIAMS: That’s — this is a total distraction. Let me just say, this whole discussion is so interesting to me because it’s all part of the Trump legal team assault on the integrity of law enforcement in this country intended to distract people —

KILMEADE: It’s not the rank and file.

WILLIAMS: Distract people from the potential — the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and its officials and Russian interference. And this is all a setup potentially to fire Bob Mueller.

WALLACE: Deputy — well, will get to that in a minute.

WILLIAMS: They’re not doing it.

WALLACE: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified before Congress this week and he took some heavy fire from Republicans on just this issue.
Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE CHABOT, R-OHIO CONGRESSMAN: How, with a straight face, can you say that this group of Democrat partisans are unbiased and will give President Trump a fair shake?

ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: We recognize we have employees with political opinions, and it’s our responsibility to make sure those opinions do not influence their actions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: And we hope that he’ll be able to clear the frog (ph) out of his throat.

But, congresswoman, look, nobody is talking. Let — this is a red herring. Nobody is talking about the FBI in general. Everybody agrees that it’s a good, solid agency. We’re talking but individual actors here.

When you read those texts where they just trash Trump, they say that he’s loathsome, that he’s an idiot, and then specifically this August 2016 one where they talk about, you know, we’ve got to have an insurance policy in case he gets elected, you don’t find that troubling?

EDWARDS: And so what. I mean, you know, the fact is that you have two employees who were having an affair. They were taken off the investigation in July last year. And now you have a series of indictments that have come from the Mueller team. And this line of questioning, attacking Mueller, attacking the investigation based on a couple of employees who had an affair and were covering that up and writing stupid emails, so what. I mean —

LOWRY: And, look, a lot of texts, they are stupid, they are embarrassing. They’re not necessarily sinister. The sinister one is the insurance policy text. And we need —

WALLACE: The one we’ve been talking about.

LOWRY: Right. And we need to hear from Strozk under oath about what he meant by that.

I also think there’s enough now to be worried by this investigation. I think Bob Mueller, for his own good, should dismiss Andrew Wiseman (ph), who’s a Democratic partisan, who’s a top deputy, also sent an anti-Trump e- mail. And Jeff Sessions should bring in an outside district attorney who has some independence to look into the entirety of how DOJ and the FBI handled 2016 and to get to the bottom of it.

But — but if Donald Trump takes from all this a permission slip to fire Bob Mueller, it would be a catastrophic mistake. And the irony is here, as far as we know, it looks like Mueller is not turning up evidence of collusion. So I think if Trump could just sit tight, Mueller probably will vindicate him at the end of the day and firing him will do more damage to Trump than just sitting this out.

KILMEADE: I talked to three different White House officials and that is — what Congresswoman Speier said is total fiction. There is no interest in firing Mueller. It —

WALLACE: Yes, we should point out. What did she say?

KILMEADE: And what she came out and said that there’s word is — and rumor on The Hill that before Christmas he’s going to make a major speech and say Mueller’s fired, investigation over. They said, we haven’t even discussed that. In private conversations it has not come up.

Three different people who work at the White House, just to make sure that I had the right information for you because I know you demanded it absolutely —

WALLACE: Now, don’t go single source on me.

KILMEADE: I know, because (INAUDIBLE) —

WALLACE: This is like Watergate here. Boy, (INAUDIBLE).

KILMEADE: And I know I’ve two great people here to debate with, so that’s not going to happen. But what happens, they are — Trump wants this to end. He wants to see what it’s like to have a presidency without this hanging over its head.

EDWARDS: Well, then he needs to stop attacking the special counsel.

KILMEADE: This is real, though. This is sub —

EDWARDS: He needs to stop attacking Mueller.

KILMEADE: This is substance.

EDWARDS: And he needs to let the — he needs to let the investigation play out.

KILMEADE: But he has. You notice he has not — comes from (INAUDIBLE). It is not specifically left to Mueller.

EDWARDS: Well, it hasn’t stopped — it hasn’t stopped his allies on The Hill from attacking Mueller —

KILMEADE: Because they are finally understanding the — there’s something to attack.

(CROSS TALK)

LOWRY: When in D.C. — when in Washington, D.C., has there ever been an independent counsel, special counsel investigation of a president that hasn’t engendered a partisan reaction? I — we all recall the 1990s and the Democrats were not very nice to Ken Starr, if I remember correctly.

WILLIAMS: Yes, fine, but this is — this takes it to a new level, Rich. I think — you know, people talk about Colin Kaepernick, Black Lives Matter undermining trust in our police. They did nothing as comparable to what this president has done to the FBI at this moment.

LOWRY: Well, the FBI has also hurt its own credibility.

WALLACE: All right.

You know what I liked about this panel, I had to do very little work.

Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.

Up next, our “Power Player of the Week,” the remarkable woman who took these powerful pictures from the front lines.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: If you ever read The New York Times or National Geographic or TIME magazine, chances are you’ve seen her work. Riveting photographs that bring the savagery of the front lines into your home. Here’s our “Power Player of the Week.”

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LYNSEY ADDARIO, PHOTOJOURNALIST: I never consider myself brave. I just consider myself very sort of committed to the story. And that takes me to places that are dangerous.

WALLACE (voice-over): Lynsey Addario is one of the great photojournalists of the last two decades. Just listen to where she has worked since 9/11.

ADDARIO: I’ve covered Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Darfur, Congo, South Sudan, Somalia.

WALLACE (on camera): Question, why?

ADDARIO: There are great injustices that go on in war zones and its fundamental for someone to be there to document that.

WALLACE (voice-over): Darfur, 2004.

ADDARIO: There were skeletons across the desert. People fleeing for their lives. We witnessed villages that had been burned to the ground.

WALLACE: With U.S. troops in Afghanistan’s Korangal Valley in 2007.

ADDARIO: And I woke up, I put on my night vision, took this picture and fell back asleep.

WALLACE: In Pakistan’s no-man’s-land trial area with the Taliban in 2009, for a story that won the Pulitzer Prize.

ADDARIO: If they invite you to their home, they will not kill you. They will protect you with their lives. So we knew that — or we hope that once we got there, because we had been, invited they would not kill us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The New York Times says four of its journalist reporting on the conflict in Libya are now missing.

WALLACE: But Addario’s luck almost ran out when she and three colleagues were taken prisoner by Gadhafi’s forces in 2011.

ADDARIO: They were about to execute us and we’re literally — at one point I looked over and I saw each one of my colleagues literally begging for their lives. And I remember I could barely speak and I just said, please. And at that moment a commander came over and said, you can’t kill them, they’re American.

WALLACE: Addario and the others were beaten and held for six days, but then finally released. Two months later, she went back to work, not on the front lines, but still in Gaza and Afghanistan and Senegal. And by now, she was pregnant.

WALLACE (on camera): Did your family, did your friends, did you question what the heck you were doing?

ADDARIO: The fact is, I was pregnant and I was surrounded by pregnant women and, oh, my God, it was the most natural thing.

I always feel like I’m in the wrong place. When I’m here, I want to be there. When I’m there, I want to be home.

WALLACE (voice-over): Addario’s son Lucas is now almost six. When she comes home, he sits on her lap while she edits her pictures, sometimes of war refugees.

ADDARIO: And he asks about war. And I say, it’s fighting and some people get killed. And he said, well, then, mommy, can’t you get killed? And to me that’s like, how do I answer that? Because I can’t just lie to him. And so I just say, I’ll be fine.

WALLACE: So why does she do it? Why has she risked her life these last two decades? Why does she keep risking her life with Lucas waiting for her back home?

ADDARIO: I don’t need to take pretty pictures anymore. It’s not at all about the, you know, just being there to travel and take a picture. It’s really about the storytelling, about journalism, about truth, about telling people stories about making people care about things that they wouldn’t necessarily care about.

You know, I just keep working. I think that this, for me, is my calling and my mission and that’s what I believe in.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: Lynsey Addario wrote a memoir which is now in development as a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence. Her story is called, “It’s What I Do.”

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

END

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Hundreds attend funeral of 'abandoned' Vietnam veteran, Purple Heart recipient

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A military hero with no known family was honored Saturday by several hundred strangers at a church in Indianapolis in a show of support.

Glenn Shelton, 68, died Nov. 26 and earned a Purple Heart while serving with the Marines during the Vietnam War, according to his obituary.

Shelton had no known family and is formerly of Louisville, Ky., according to Indiana Funeral Care. It’s unknown how he got to Indiana.

Indiana Funeral Care organized Saturday’s funeral service by spreading the word on social media, which grew so popular the ceremony had to be moved to a bigger venue.

“We don’t know anything about him, so it’s just rewarding that they can still find time to come out and pay their respects,” Sara Thompson, Indiana Funeral Care General Manager, told FOX59.

“Glenn might have been abandoned in life, but he will not be abandoned in death,” she added.

Those who attended the ceremony event also received a dog tag with Shelton’s name engraved.

Indy Funeral

Hundreds came together to pay respects at an Indiana church to a veteran who died without a family.  (FOX59)

“It’s just absolutely wonderful,” Russell Pryor, commander for the VFW District 11, told FOX59. “It shows me that no matter when you served, who you served with or where you served, we’re here to support you.”

Shelton was later buried at Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Madison, located about 48 miles northeast of Louisville, according to Indiana Funeral Care.

Besides the hundreds who attended the ceremony Saturday to pay their respects, Shelton’s online obituary also contained comments from people thanking him for his service and paying their respects.

“Thank you for your service Mr. Shelton,” Kathy Garza-Behr wrote. “You won’t be alone anymore, everyone in heaven is family. Rest easy.”

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Jones supports DACA, says it’s time for GOP opponent Roy Moore to ‘move on’

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Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones gave qualified support Sunday to liberal-backed issues like continued protections for young illegal immigrants and not using taxpayer money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, but suggested he wants to wait until being sworn in next month before taking on such “complicated” issues.

“Immigration is one of the toughest political footballs in the Senate,” Jones, a Democrat, told “Fox News Sunday.” “If there is comprehensive immigration, it will be complicated. But I will love to take a look at it.”

Jones on Tuesday narrowly won the Republican-held seat left open when Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general, despite President Trump warning conservative-leaning Alabama voters that Jones, if elected, would be a “puppet” for the liberal agenda of Congress’ top Democrats: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Calif.

Despite saying comprehensive immigration reform is complicated, Jones said he supports the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump is ending in March, and that he “hopes to see it extended.”

Trump earlier this month canceled a White House meeting with Pelosi and Schumer about end-of-year legislation, suggesting they had predetermined that extending so-called “DACA” protections had to be included.

Jones, a former federal prosecutor in Alabama, said Sunday that Trump called to congratulate him on his victory over Republican Roy Moore, whom Trump backed and whose campaign was derailed by allegations of past sexual misconduct.

“You say a lot of things during the heat of the campaign,” Jones said. “His call to me was very good. I’m looking forward to meeting him.”

“There is always the opportunity to find common ground,” Jones also said. “I hope it’s a message to Democrats and Republicans to find common ground.”

He declined to say how he would vote on the GOP-controlled Congress’ tax-reform plan, if Republicans waited until after he was seated in early January to cast a final vote.

“It’ a 500-page bill that just landed on people’s desks just the other day,” Jones said, with the final Capitol Hill votes expected this week. “So I haven’t had a real chance to look at that and study it. … That’s one of my biggest concerns about how things are going up there.”

Jones said he likes some aspects of the $1.46 trillion bill, including corporate and middle-class tax cuts.

” . . . I’ll leave all of the options on the table.”

– Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones

“But my biggest concern is the process and that it’s going to increase the deficit by over a trillion dollars,” he said. “I don’t buy into the fact it will help grow the economy.”

Jones also suggested that Moore should stop disputing the outcome of the race.

“I think it’s time to move on,” Jones said. “I think he’s hurting the people of Alabama.”

Jones said he’s already made clear that he opposes building a wall because “I don’t think that’s an expense taxpayers should have to incur.”

However, he declined to say whether he’d vote to fund the wall in exchange for extending DACA protections.

“Let’s see how that shakes out,” he said. “It’s hard to talk in hypotheticals. … I’ll leave all of the options on the table.”

An airline lounge denied this woman access because she was wearing Uggs

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Wearing the wrong shoes can get you banned from entering an airlines’ airport lounge, even if you’re a celebrity.

That was the case for Joanne Catherall, vocalist from The Human League, who was denied entry from Qantas’ frequent-flyer lounge at the Melbourne Airport for wearing UGG boots

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The singer was on tour with the band in Australia and was flying out of Melbourne when she tried to enter the lounge and was told she would not be able to due to her shoes.

Catherall posted about the incident on Twitter, stating that she had never had issues wearing the boots at other airlines’ lounges in the past.

Qantas responded to Catherall’s post, stating, “Hi Joanne, we endeavor to remain consistent and uphold our Lounge’s dress guidelines to all our guests.”

Though the boots make for a cozy airport outfit, they’re one of the items that Qantas considered sleepwear and therefore bans travelers trying to enter their lounges from wearing.

This includes access to any domestic Qantas Clubs and Business Lounges across Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, and Sydney, with slippers also falling under the barred sleepwear category.

Airlines have varying dress code policies when it comes to what passengers can and cannot wear when trying to access lounges or traveling under an airline’s pass traveler category, which allows airline employees and their family and friends to travel for free or at a highly discounted rate. Travelers under the pass traveler category, for example, can be denied on different airlines if wearing items like leggings or spandex tops.  

Hertfordshire, United Kingdom - December 14, 2011: Studio shot of a pair of Ugg Boots in their popular Kensington style with box

Qantas Airline considers Uggs to be sleepwear, which is not allowed to be worn in the airport lounge.  (iStock)

“We completely understand that no one likes being declined at the door but we’ve always had smart casual dress standards for our lounges, which are similar for those in place for most clubs and restaurants,” Qantas representatives said in a statement to The Independent regarding Catherall’s circumstance. 

“Over the past couple of years we have had clear feedback from lounge members that they wanted these existing guidelines to be applied more rigorously,” airline representatives added.

Man accidentally drops wife's wedding ring in Salvation Army kettle

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An Oklahoma woman was reunited with her wedding ring after her husband accidentally dropped it into a Salvation Army kettle while donating some coins.

The woman told FOX23 on Friday the debacle began when she gave her husband her wedding ring before she went into the operating room for surgery. Her husband placed it in his pocket, but didn’t realize he included the ring in the handful of coins he threw into a donation kettle in Tulsa.

“I had outpatient surgery at St. John’s and I forgot to take [the rings] off. So at the last minute, I gave them to him and he put them in his pocket,” the wife said.

WWII VET DANCES TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AND HIS 95TH BIRTHDAY

The husband didn’t realize the wedding ring was gone until he got home. The woman quickly called the Salvation Army of Metro Tulsa and asked if they found the ring in their kettles, which were locked until the money was counted at the warehouse the next morning. 

“So we count the kettles the next morning, find her ring, gave it to her and she gave us a $100 donation,” Captain Ken Chapman, of the Salvation Army of Metro Tulsa, told FOX23.

The woman said she hasn’t taken off her wedding ring since it was returned.

Chapman said the Salvation Army finds a slew of “weird things” once they open the kettles to count the money donated.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

UPDATED: Gold Alert CANCELLED for Milford man last seen in Rehoboth

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UPDATED – 12-17-17  10:15am – Delaware State Police report that Aaron Jenkins of Milford has been located.  The Gold Alert is cancelled

============================================

A Milford man has gone missing in Rehoboth. Delaware State Police have issued a Gold Alert for Aaron Jenkins, who was last seen around 6 PM last night around Old Landing Road and Route 1 near Rehoboth. Police say attempts to contact Jenkins have failed, and there is real safety and concern for his welfare. Jenkins is described as a black male, 5 foot 6 inches tall, last seen wearing a Carhartt jacket and blue jeans.  Anyone with information about his locationa re asked to contact state police.

Texas man admits to beheading wife in front of children

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A Texas man was sentenced to 52 years in prison on Friday after he admitted to decapitating his wife in front of her children. 

David Dauzat, 24, pleaded guilty to the 2016 death of his wife, Natasha Dauzet, 21, who was found with dozens of stab wounds. Dauzat agreed to the plea deal after Natasha’s family requested it to prevent the children from reliving the horrifying incident if the case went to trial, KWTX reported.

“They didn’t want to put the children through a trial and have them relive those memories,” McLennan County Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett said.

Police went to the couple’s mobile home in Bellmead, a town just northwest of Waco, in August 2016 after a concerned relative requested a welfare check. Police officers spoke to David and Natasha Dauzet outside their trailer, who appeared “calm and expressed their curiosity why the police were there.”

But two hours later, the relative called police again, saying he received a call from David Dauzet who told him he “killed his girlfriend,” according to KWTX.

Police found Dauzet with blood on his clothing at the trailer. Dauzet had beheaded his wife while the two children, ages 1 and 2, were in the trailer. He then placed her head in the freezer.

The children were not injured in the incident.

Police said the woman died from “sharp-force injuries, including decapitation.”

Dauzat must serve at least 26 years of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Egypt reopens ancient library in Sinai after renovations

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Egypt reopened on Saturday an ancient library which holds thousands of centuries-old religious and historical manuscripts at the famed St. Catherine Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in South Sinai.

The inauguration ceremony, attended by Egyptian and western officials, comes after three years of restoration work on the eastern side of the library that houses the world’s second largest collection of early codices and manuscripts, outnumbered only by the Vatican Library, according to Monk Damyanos, the monastery’s archbishop.

“The library is now open to the public and scholars,” said Tony Kazamias, an adviser to the archbishop, adding that restoration work is still underway without specifying a completion date.

The ancient library holds around 3,300 manuscripts of mainly Christian texts in Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Georgian, and Slavonic among other languages. It also contains thousands of books and scrolls dating to the 4th century.

At least 160 of the manuscripts include faint scratches and ink tints beneath more recent writing, according to Kazamias, who believes the palimpsests were likely  scraped out by the monastery’s monks and reused sometime between the 8th- 12th centuries.

During the library’s renovation, archaeologists apparently found some of Hippocrates’ centuries-old medical recipes. The ancient Greek physician is widely regarded as the “father of western medicine.”

“The most valuable manuscript in the library is the Codex Sinaiticus, (which) dates back to the fourth century,” said the Rev. Justin, an American monk working as the monastery’s librarian. “This is the most precious manuscript in the world,” referring to the ancient, handwritten copy of the New Testament.

The library also held some ancient paintings which are currently on display in the monastery’s museum.

“There are beautiful paintings in the manuscripts. When you turn the (pages) there is a flash of gold and colors. It is a living work of art,” said Justin.

The officials also inaugurated the Mosaic of the Transfiguration situated in the eastern apse of the monastery’s great basilica. It mosaic covers 46 square meters and features a rich chromatic range of glass paste, glass, stone, gold and silver tesserae. Jesus Christ is depicted in its center between the prophets Elias and Moses. The 6th century mosaic was created at the behest of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who also requested building the monastery.

St. Catherine’s, where the monastery is located, is an area revered by followers of the Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Like the Old City of Jerusalem, it has become a popular destination and an attraction not only for pilgrims but also tourists from the world over. The 6th century monastery, one of the oldest Christian Orthodox ones, is home to a small number of monks who observe prayers and daily rituals unchanged for centuries. Its well-preserved walls and buildings are of great significance to the studies Byzantine architecture. It’s situated at the foot of Mount Sinai, also known as Jebel Musa or Mount Horeb, where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments.

Top Marijuana Stocks to Buy in 2018

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Investing in marijuana stocks seems practically stuffy in comparison with buying bitcoin. But at least with some marijuana stocks, your investment buys part of a business that is growing, both plants and sales, and isn’t at serious risk of losing half of its value overnight.

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Which marijuana stocks are the best on the market? I’d rule out the tiny penny stocks. And with uncertainty about what might happen with federal enforcement of U.S. marijuana laws, my inclination is to stay clear of stocks focused on the U.S. market for now. Even with these stocks thrown out, several options remain. In my view, Canopy Growth (NASDAQOTH: TWMJF), MedReleaf (NASDAQOTH: MEDFF), and Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH: ACBFF) look like the best marijuana stocks to buy in 2018. Here’s why these three rank at the top of the list.

1. Canopy Growth

I view Canopy Growth as the top marijuana stock to buy in 2018 for two primary reasons. First, it’s currently the biggest marijuana grower in Canada in terms of production capacity and sales. By my estimation, Canopy Growth currently has a market share of around 20% of the Canadian medical-marijuana market. (Disclaimer: The rapid growth of the Canadian market makes it tricky to accurately pin down market share for any company, so this estimate is a rough one.)

What would a 20% market share of the recreational-marijuana market mean for Canopy Growth? The Canadian Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) projects a market size between $4.2 billion and $6.2 billion annually. Professional services firm Deloitte estimates the market will be between $4.9 billion and $8.7 billion annually. If we use the average of the midpoints of these two ranges, Canada would have a market size of $6 billion. Canopy Growth’s slice of that market, assuming it wins a 20% market share, is $1.2 billion. Should Canopy Growth come even close to that level of sales, the stock should soar more than it already has. And, by the way, at least one estimate predicts a much bigger market than the PBO and Deloitte expect.

What’s the second reason I like Canopy Growth? The company’s partnership with big alcoholic-beverage maker Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ). It’s not just that Constellation’s $245 million stake in Canopy gave the marijuana grower an endorsement like no other marijuana stock has received so far. Constellation wants to develop a cannabis-infused beer. While that’s not my cup of tea (or beer), I suspect such a product would be a huge hit — and even anticipation of the beer could drive Canopy stock even higher.

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2. MedReleaf

MedReleaf ranks behind Canopy Growth in current sales. I view the marijuana stock as a good pick for 2018 largely for the same reasons that I think Canopy will go higher next year.

Production capacity is likely to be paramount in 2018, assuming legalization of recreational marijuana goes as planned. I suspect that every marijuana grower in Canada will be able to sell as much as they can produce. Since April, MedReleaf has boosted its capacity by 80%. MedReleaf’s production costs are also quite low, which means a nice chunk of increased revenue will flow right to the bottom line.

MedReleaf recently raised more cash through a stock offering. Acquisitions of smaller marijuana growers seem likely, in my opinion. I also think that MedReleaf could catch the eye of some of Constellation Brands’ peers. The company has already identified beer and other beverages as part of its growth strategy. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if MedReleaf snags a big deal in 2018 along the lines of the Constellation-Canopy partnership.

3. Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis takes the third spot on the list, but it has a good shot at becoming the second-largest marijuana grower in Canada. Right now, that’s not the case. Aurora’s sales lag well behind those of Canopy Growth and MedReleaf. That could change, though.

Last month, Aurora launched a takeover attempt of CanniMed Therapeutics. CanniMed is smaller than Aurora but still generates roughly 60% of the sales that Aurora does. A combination of the two companies would jump ahead of MedReleaf in production capacity and sales, trailing only Canopy Growth.

Closing the deal with CanniMed isn’t a certainty yet. CanniMed is fighting tooth and nail to hold Aurora at bay, including adopting a “poison pill” as well as calling for government intervention to prevent a takeover. Still, Aurora has locked up support of shareholders holding around 38% of CanniMed’s outstanding shares. It’s also unlikely that the province of Saskatchewan will take any action. If the acquisition goes through, Aurora Cannabis will be in even better shape to profit from the coming recreational-marijuana boom in Canada.

What about others?

Quite frankly, I expect most Canadian marijuana stocks to surge in 2018. That includes Aphria, even though the company is scrambling to leave the U.S. medical-marijuana market under threat of potential delisting from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

What about marijuana-focused biotech stocks? I think GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH) could have a big year as well. My bet is that the company’s cannabidiol product, Epidiolex, wins FDA approval in 2018. I also think Insys Pharmaceuticals could enjoy a nice rebound next year. But the prospects in Canada are simply too great for either of these biotechs to take a spot in the top three marijuana stocks for next year.

There are risks for the stocks mentioned, of course. Should Canada’s efforts to legalize recreational marijuana be delayed or derailed, it’s a totally different ballgame. Investors could also begin to be wary of some of these stocks’ valuations.

However, I think Canada will move along as planned with its legalization efforts. And if the premium prices for Canopy Growth, MedReleaf, and Aurora Cannabis haven’t scared away investors yet, I don’t see it happening in 2018. Should the Canadian marijuana market explode like some think it will, some of these marijuana stocks’ current prices might even be viewed as bargains at some point. We’ll see.

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3 Social Security Mistakes to Avoid in 2018

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Countless seniors rely on Social Security to pay the bills in retirement. But if you’re not careful, you could end up losing out on some of the money you’d otherwise be entitled to. As we prepare to start a new year, here are three glaring Social Security mistakes you should pledge to avoid at all costs.

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1. Jumping the gun on benefits

If you’re turning 62 in 2018, you may be tempted to file for Social Security right away and get your hands on the cash you’re eligible for. But before you rush to claim benefits, you should be aware that if you file before reaching full retirement age, you’ll reduce the amount you get to collect each month.

How much of a hit are we talking about? Say your full retirement age is 67, at which point you’d be entitled to $1,600 a month based on your personal earnings history. If you claim benefits at 62, you’ll lower each payment to just $1,120.

Now if you’re not really counting on Social Security to pay the bills in retirement, but rather just want the money sooner to use mostly for leisure purposes, then claiming benefits at 62 isn’t such a bad idea. But if your savings level is poor and you need those benefits to stay afloat financially in retirement, then be sure to think twice before filing early and slashing your payments for life.

2. Delaying benefits when your health is poor

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We just talked about the fact that filing for Social Security early is a move that can backfire in the long run. On the other hand, if you’re diagnosed with a medical condition next year that shortens your life expectancy, and you’re at least 62 at that point, then it actually pays to file for benefits rather than wait until the age you might’ve previously planned on.

Though Social Security is technically designed to pay you the same amount in lifetime benefits regardless of when you first file, that formula only works if you live an average life expectancy. If you have reason to believe that you’ll pass away sooner than the average person your age, then it pays to jump on those benefits immediately.

Here’s an example. Say you’re 63 with a full retirement age of 66, at which point you’d be eligible for $1,600 in monthly benefits. A few months down the line, you’re diagnosed with a health issue that shortens your life expectancy to 73. If you wait until 66 to get at those benefits and do indeed pass away at 73, you’ll end up with $134,400 in total lifetime payments. If you file at age 63, you’ll reduce each monthly payment to $1,280, but you’ll collect 10 years’ worth of benefits for a total of $153,600, which means you’ll come out nearly $20,000 ahead.

3. Ignoring missing payments

If you’re already collecting Social Security and suddenly have a payment go missing next year, don’t wait to follow up on it. Thanks to the Equifax data breach that occurred earlier this year, countless Social Security numbers were left compromised, so if you don’t receive a payment as scheduled, it could be that a criminal has gotten your information and has managed to divert your benefits to a new address. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to get on top of that issue before more of your money goes missing.

What should you do in this sort of scenario? Your first move should be to contact the Social Security Administration and get the issue on record. From there, you should be given instructions on what you’ll need to do to verify your identity and prove that the criminal claiming to be you isn’t. This could mean providing copies of old tax records, pay stubs, or even Social Security documents you formerly received. Convincing the Social Security Administration that you’ve had your benefits stolen could be a lengthy process that takes time to correct, so don’t delay if you find that your payments suddenly stop.

Avoiding these huge Social Security mistakes can set the stage for not just a more prosperous 2018, but a healthier long-term financial outlook. So as the new year gets closer, pledge to read up on Social Security and familiarize yourself with how it works. Consider it a resolution you can easily keep.

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DART Schedule, Route & Time Changes – Effective Today (12/17)

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Beginning today – expect changes to DART’s service statewide!  The changes are based on customer feedback that’s been received online and through the public hearing process.  There are route and time changes for many routes in Kent and New Castle County.  In Sussex County – there will be new stops at Georgetown Probation and Parole – served by Routes 206, 901 and 902.  Georgetown Perdue will be served by Routes 206-, 303 and 901.  And the Lewes Transit Center will be served by Route 206.  There will also be time adjustments to most routes to improve on-time performance.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL DART SCHEDULE


 

Mnuchin says 'no doubt' Congress will pass tax reform bill this week

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin predicted Sunday that the GOP-led Congress this week will pass its sweeping tax-reform bill, calling the plan “terrific” and its passage a “historic moment” for the country.

“I have no doubt,” Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday.” “This is a terrific bill that’s going to get to the president to sign. … People said we couldn’t do it. We will do it. And I can’t be more excited for the president to sign it.”

The House and Senate passing a compromise version of their separate bills this week would be a big moment for President Trump, who is still looking for a major legislative win. And it would significantly help congressional Republicans looking for a platform going into next year’s midterm elections after failing to deliver on 2016 campaign promises to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Trump pushed congressional Republicans since they took up the tax overhaul plan earlier this fall to pass the measure by Christmas.

The timing allows the tax cuts for corporations and individual taxpayers to begin in 2018 and show up on spring 2019 filings — enough time for Trump to tout the potential benefits to voters in an expected 2020 re-election bid.

The House is expected to pass the bill on Tuesday with no problems. However, Republicans will need 51 “yes” votes in the Senate to pass the bill, while having just a 52-48 majority.

Republican congressional leaders and Trump administration officials say they have the votes, but their majority drops to 51-49 in early January when Alabama Senate-elect Doug Jones, a Democrat, is seated in the Senate.

“This is going to be one of the greatest Christmas gifts to the middle-class people,” Trump said Saturday before departing from the White House for a weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat.

The bill is the largest tax-code overhaul in roughly three decades.

Mnuchin on Sunday also disputed Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation report that the bill will add $1 trillion to the federal deficit, arguing the nonpartisan group’s projected numbers on economic growth as a result of the tax cuts are “just too low.”

He also defended against criticism that he and other Washington Republicans misled taxpayers early in the bill-crafting process that they could file their returns on an IRS form the size of a postcard.

“Over 90 percent of Americans are going to fill out their taxes on that postcard or on a virtual tax,” Mnuchin told Fox News. “They will take the standard deduction and that’s what they’ll file with.” 

Georgetown Police Trying to Identify Shoplift Suspect

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Images courtesy Georgetown PD

Images courtesy Georgetown PD

Georgetown Police need your help to identify a suspect who tried to shoplift from the Walmart in Georgetown Saturday afternoon around 4:30.  Police say he tried take numerous items from the store, but dropped them and ran when he was confronted by store employees.  He got into a white Honda Accord and left.  If you have information – contact Georgetown Police – 302-856-6613 or Crime Stoppers 800-TIP-3333.


 

Last-minute gifts for beer, wine and cocktail lovers

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Christmas is fast-approaching. If you’re in full-on present panic, here are some quick gift go-tos that are sure to please the beer aficionado, oenophile or cocktail lover in your group.

Beer of the Month Club

monthly club

Hook your friend up with a beer subscription for new brews each month.  (Beer of the Month Club)

Get your friend out of their beer rut by letting the Beer of the Month Club pick the brews. There’s a wide selection for every pint-discerning palate, like the Hop-Heads collection for the IPA lovers, or the Rare Beer collection for those who are a little more selective about their suds.

Subscriptions from $27.95 per month: Beer Month Club.

Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Beer Making Kit

beer making kit

Have your friend turn their kitchen into a brewery with these grain-based beer kits.  (Brooklyn Brew Shop)

When the beer snobs in your life can’t decide which craft beer to get, let them make their own. Each all-grain kit makes a gallon of beer, and is designed to be used on a regular kitchen stove. Pick up the popular Everyday IPA for a pleasingly well-balanced and citrusy drink.

Kits from $30: Brooklyn Brew Shop.

THE BEST HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR CHEFS, BAKERS AND FOODIES

Infinite Monkey Theorem Rosé Cans

canned rose

The ultimate stocking stuffer for the wine drinker in your life.  (Infinite Monkey Theorem)

Stockings are better when they’re stuffed with wine. Infinite Monkey Theorem’s canned rosé delivers the fruity sweetness expected of the trendy pink-hued wine, but in a portable can that pairs well with a cheesy Christmas breakfasts and Instagram selfies.

Available $15: Infinite Monkey Theorem.

ONEHOPE California Brut Sparkling Wine Gold Shimmer Edition

This light-bodied bubbly is crisp and refreshing. But it’s the glittery golden bottle that makes it the perfect gift at a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party. If the disco ball-esque bottle isn’t enough to put you in a merry spirit, the fact that every bottle sold provides five meals for children in need should.

Available $49: One Hope Wine.

Hornitos Cristalino Tequila

hornitos tequila

This tequila is aged, triple-distilled and smooth.  (Hornitos Tequila)

For your loved one who loves a stiff drink. The 100-percent blue agave is triple-distilled and aged for at least a year, giving this añejo a smooth floral finish that is unlike other tequilas. Tell your loved ones to pour a double and just sip it — and maybe convince them to pour you one too.

Available $29.99: Hornitos Tequila.

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New Amsterdam 80-Proof Vodka

New amsterdam

Make your holidays more adult with New Amsterdam’s award-winning vodka.  (New Amsterdam)

Nothing says holidays like egg nog and hot apple cider. And nothing says holiday party like spiked versions of the classic warming drinks. The 80-proof, five-times distilled vodka lets you punch up the Christmas spirit without overwhelming the flavor.

Available $16: New Amsterdam.

Liquor Lab Home-Bar Essentials Cocktail Kit

Liquor lab

A complete tool set for aspiring bartenders.  (Liquor Lab)

Gift this to your friend with mixologist aspirations. The kit comes equipped with strainer, shaker, muddler and bar spoon — along with cocktail cheat-sheet recipe cards. Let your friends shake and stir their way to becoming better bartenders, and maybe they’ll even ask for your services as a taste-tester.

Available $36: Liquor Lab.

US employers say CVS-Aetna deal would affect health-benefits decisions: Survey

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NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) – CVS Corp’s (CVS) proposed purchase of Aetna Inc (AET) will affect decision-making by a majority of large and mid-size U.S. corporations on employee health benefits, a survey by benefits consultant Aon Plc found.

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CVS, the second-largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager, on Dec. 3 said it agreed to buy No. 3 health insurer Aetna for $69 billion. Reuters reported earlier this month that the deal would change the way top U.S. employers contract health benefits, based on early feedback from benefits consultants.

The new Aon survey, which included responses from decision makers at 450 medium and large-size corporations, provided additional insight into how CVS and Aetna customers may view the deal.

Sixty-one percent of survey respondents, including ones that are not customers of CVS or Aetna, said the deal would affect their decision-making process on health benefits, with 23 percent saying it would accelerate a reassessment of healthcare strategy and 38 percent saying it would delay any such moves until the transactions impact could be understood.

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Thirty-nine percent expected no change to their overall healthcare strategy. The survey did not determine whether major employers expect the deal to change the cost of their health benefits, which could affect how antitrust regulators view it.

A majority of large employers contract with separate companies to provide prescription drug coverage and medical coverage, believing they can keep costs lower in that way. Combining CVS with Aetna would leave only one major pharmacy benefits company, Express Scripts Holding Co, operating as a standalone entity.

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CVS and Aetna argue they can offer bigger savings to customers by better managing prescription drug use and expanding lower-cost medical services offered at thousands of CVS pharmacies.

Jim Winkler, Aon senior vice president for health, said he was surprised that as many companies thought they might make a change in their overall healthcare strategy, whether immediately or down the road.

“This is on their radar screen in a bigger way than I would have anticipated,” Winkler said. “Typically employers tend to look at this type of news and think ‘it’s too big, and it’s too far off to matter to me yet.'”

The Aon survey was conducted during an online seminar with corporate decision makers on Thursday. Many participants focused their questions on what kinds of medical services CVS might introduce in its pharmacies, Winkler said. According to the survey, 71 percent of respondents expect moderate changes in where their employees access care, while 14 percent said they foresee significant changes.

Among a smaller group of 210 respondents, 52 percent surveyed by Aon said they planned to keep their pharmacy benefits separate from medical coverage. An additional 15 percent said they are considering separating those contracts.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Steve Orlofsky)

Boy, 9, locks himself in safe while playing hide-and-seek

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A 9-year-old boy in Germany thought he found a “safe” place to hide during a game of hide-and-seek, but he ended up being locked in the security vault.

The boy was at his grandfather’s house in Berlin on Friday and was playing the game with his little brother when stumbled upon the empty safe, Sky News reported. He crawled into the box, but the door closed and locked him inside.

Family members found the 9-year-old in the metal vault, but couldn’t unlock the door because they didn’t know the code. The grandfather, who was the only person who knew the six-digit number, was away from the home at the time, according to Sky News.

The family called firefighters, who typed in every possible combination to unlock the door. Firefighters pumped oxygen through a crack into the safe to help the boy.

Three hours later, firefighters were about to break the safe open when someone finally cracked the code and freed the boy.

The child was “fine and well,” the Berlin Fire Department tweeted on Friday. Berlin firefighter Thomas Kirstein called the rescue an early Christmas present.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Suicide bombers attack Pakistan church, killing 8 people, officials say

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Eight people were killed and dozens of others were wounded on Sunday when two suicide bombers attacked a church in Pakistan where hundreds of worshippers were attending service ahead of Christmas, officials said.

One of the suicide bombers was shot dead outside Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, but the other assailant made it to the church’s entrance hall as Sunday services opened, said Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister for the southwestern Baluchistan province. The gunman — who didn’t gain access to the main building — opened fire at the churchgoers before detonating his explosive vest.

“There were nearly 400 people inside the church, but the attackers couldn’t get inside the services,” provincial police chief Moazzam Jah told Reuters. “We killed one of them, and the other one exploded himself after police wounded him,” he said.

Eight people, including two women, were killed in the attack. Five women and two children were among the 45 people hurt.

A man helps an injured woman and a child following an attack on a church in Quetta, Pakistan, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. Two suicide bombers attacked the church when hundreds of worshippers were attending services ahead of Christmas. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

At least 45 people were injured in the attack at the church in Quetta, Pakistan.  (AP)

Aqil Anjum, who was shot in his right arm, told The Associated Press he heard a blast in the middle of the service, followed by heavy gunfire.

“It was chaos. Bullets were hitting people inside the closed hall,” Anjum said.

Authorities were hunting for two suspected accomplices who escaped the scene, Quetta police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The church was placed on high alert for a possible attack because Christian places of worship are often targeted by Islamist extremists during Christmas time, Reuters reported.

Policemen guide people after gunmen attacked the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, Pakistan December 17, 2017. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed - RC11A7104CD0

Policemen guide people after gunmen attacked the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, Pakistan.  (Reuters)

Baluchistan Police Chief Moazzam Ansari credited the security forces guarding the church for taking down one of the attackers.

“Otherwise the loss of lives could have been much higher,” he told reporters.

Pakistan’s president and other senior officials condemned the attack.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Autopsies underway for Canadian billionaires found dead, family slams reports of murder-suicide as 'irresponsible'

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Investigators are awaiting the results of autopsies performed on a Canadian billionaire and his wife after they were found dead in their Toronto home Friday in what police called “suspicious” deaths, as family members on Saturday slammed reports of a possible murder-suicide as “irresponsible.”

Pharmaceuticals billionaire Barry Sherman, 75, founder of Apotex Inc., and his 70-year-old wife Honey were found dead in their north Toronto mansion on Friday. Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash said the deaths are suspicious based on what they know, but offered no other details. 

Multiple Canadian media outlets reported that police were investigating the deaths as a possible murder-suicide, citing unidentified police sources. The bodies were found hanging from a railing on the edge of a basement swimming pool, the Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, and CTV News reported, all citing police sources.

Investigators were working on the theory that Sherman killed his wife at some place in the mansion, hanged her body and then hanged himself at the pool’s edge. The Shermans recently put up their house for sale for $6.9 million ($5.4 million in U.S. dollars).

The immediate family in a statement released Saturday by Apotex admonished law enforcement sources for telling members of the media the deaths were from a murder-suicide before autopsy results were released. 

Police cars are parked outside the home of billionaire Barry Sherman on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2017 in Toronto. Sherman and his wife were found dead in the north Toronto mansion on Friday, Dec. 16. Police said they were investigating the deaths as suspicious. (AP Photo/Robert Gillies)

Police cars are parked outside the home of billionaire Barry Sherman on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2017 in Toronto.  (AP Photo/Robert Gillies)

“Our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and commitment to their family and community totally inconsistent with the rumors regrettably circulated in the media as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths,” the statement said. 

“We are shocked and think it’s irresponsible that police sources have reportedly advised the media of a theory which neither their family, their friends nor their colleagues believe to be true,” the statement continued. “We urge the Toronto Police Service to conduct a thorough, intensive and objective criminal investigation, and urge the media to refrain from further reporting as to the cause of these tragic deaths until the investigation is completed.”

POLICE INVESTIGATING CANADIAN BILLIONAIRE, WIFE’S DEATH AS POSSIBLE MURDER-SUICIDE, REPORTS SAY

Toronto Police said Saturday there were no signs of forced entry at the home, and there was no outstanding suspect they were going after. Law enforcement sources told the Toronto Sun authorities did not immediately find a suicide note, and a review of the home’s video surveillance system is underway.

Sarah Alvi, who lives across the street from the Sherman home and has known the couple for four years told The Globe and Mail they were the “best neighbors” 

One of two bodies is removed from the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren - RC15316AAE10

One of two bodies is removed from the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as “suspicious” in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, December 15, 2017.  (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s shocking,” Alvi said. “Knowing who they were, it wouldn’t come to your mind at all.”

The power couple were known particularly in Toronto’s Jewish community as two who took the “greatest pleasure and enjoyment” from helping others, friends told the Toronto Sun.

Conservative Canadian Sen. Linda Frum told the newspaper on Saturday she felt “devastated, tremendous sadness and some anger” when she found out the news about the couple’s death.

“These were two people who loved life and who enriched the lives of everyone who came into contact with them,” she told the paper, adding that Honey was “so full of humor, kindness and loving concern for everyone.”

Sherman founded Toronto-based Apotex Inc. in 1974 with two employees and turned it into the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company. Canadian Business magazine recently estimated his worth at $4.77 billion ($3.65 billion U.S.), making him the 15th richest person in the country.

Police tape surrounds the home of billionaire Barry Sherman on Saturday, Dec. 17 2017, in Toronto. Sherman and his wife were found dead in the north Toronto mansion on Friday, Dec. 16. Police are investigating the deaths as suspicious. (AP Photo/Robert Gillies)

Police tape surrounds the home of billionaire Barry Sherman on Saturday, Dec. 17 2017, in Toronto.  (AP Photo/Robert Gillies)

The Shermans were among Canada’s most generous philanthropists. The couple made numerous multimillion-dollar donations to hospitals, schools and charities and had buildings named in their honor.

They also hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a Liberal Party fundraiser in 2015. Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau issued a statement on Twitter.

“Sophie and I are saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman,” Trudeau said. “Our condolences to their family & friends, and to everyone touched by their vision & spirit.”

Apotex is a generic drug maker with 11,000 employees worldwide, including more than 6,000 in Canada. The company released a statement on Saturday paying tribute to its founder, praising both his philanthropic efforts and what it described as his vision for health care.

“Patients around the world live healthier and more fulfilled lives thanks to his life’s work, and his significant impact on health care and health care sustainability will have an enduring impact for many years to come,” the statement read. “As employees, we are proud of his tremendous accomplishments, honored to have known him, and vow to carry on with the Apotex purpose in his honor.”

A police forensics photographer works outside the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as "suspicious," in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC165B8786A0

A police forensics photographer works outside the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc., Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, who were found dead under circumstances that police described as “suspicious,” in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 16, 2017.  (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

Honey Sherman was a member of the board of the York University Foundation. She also served on the boards of Mount Sinai’s Women’s Auxiliary, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the International American Joint Distribution Committee.

But Barry Sherman was not without controversy. He faced legal action from family members alleging they had been cut out of the company over the years.

Several people also told the Toronto Sun he made many enemies since he created Canada’s largest generic pharmaceutical company in 1973.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Southern California's Thomas Fire forces new evacuations, threatens wealthy enclave

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One of the biggest wildfires in California’s history sparked new evacuation orders Saturday in Santa Barbara County, as residents in the wealthy enclave of Montecito hoped less powerful winds would keep the flames away from their homes.

Nearly 8,500 firefighters continue to battle the Thomas Fire in Southern California, which has burned since Dec. 4 and killed one firefighter, destroyed more than 1,000 structures and threatened 18,000 more. The blaze has scorched 267,500 acres so far, an area larger than New York City and roughly the size of the Hawaiian island of Maui.

“It is a beast,” Santa Barbara County Fire Department Division Chief Martin Johnson said at a news conference. “But we will kill it.”

The fire is now the third-largest in California history, and continued to move rapidly westward, cresting Montecito Peak on Saturday just north of Montecito. Known for its star power, the enclave boasts the mansions of Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and many other celebrities.

“It is a beast”

– Santa Barbara County Fire Department Division Chief Martin Johnson

Winfrey expressed her dismay on her Twitter account.

“Still praying for our little town. Winds picked up this morning creating a perfect storm of bad for firefighters,” Winfrey tweeted. It was not clear if the former talk show host was in Montecito.

Montecito residents piled into cars and fled on Saturday, turning downtown Santa Barbara into what one resident called “a ghost town.”

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department,fire engines provide structure protection at the historic San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. Santa Barbara County has issued new evacuation orders as a huge wildfire bears down on Montecito and other communities. The Office of Emergency Services announced the orders Saturday as Santa Ana winds pushed the fire close to the community. Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department,fire engines provide structure protection at the historic San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.  (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

There were mandatory evacuations around Montecito and neighboring Summerland came as firefighters sprayed water onto hot spots sparked by wind-blown embers.

Montecito resident Darren Caesar told the Los Angeles Times his wife, and two of his three daughters were planning to evacuate.

“Look at how many firefighting assets they have. I know what they’re doing. I trust that they can do everything they can to protect the structures,” he told the newspaper. “But it’s the wind. Nobody can fight the wind.”

In this image taken from video provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, a wind driven spot fire burns on the west side below Gibraltar Road as smoke from a wildfire fills the air in Santa Barbara, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. The Thomas Fire is now the third-largest in California history. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

In this image taken from video provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, a wind driven spot fire burns on the west side below Gibraltar Road as smoke from a wildfire fills the air in Santa Barbara, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.  (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

SANTA ANA WINDS: WHAT ARE THEY?

Cal Fire officials believe winds will ease Sunday with gusts of up to 35 mph, but lower intensity winds are still extremely dangerous.

The blaze, located about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, is now  40 percent contained despite hot Santa Ana winds that have kept firefighters busy trying to catch up with embers continuing to help its spread.

Firefighters from Kern County, Calif., work to put out hot spots during a wildfire Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Montecito, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Firefighters from Kern County, Calif., work to put out hot spots during a wildfire Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Montecito, Calif.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Despite the new evacuation orders, there was a spot of good news down the coast. Emergency officials announced evacuation orders for the city of Ventura were lifted, as the fire has shifted.

As the northerly “sundowner” wind was driving the fire south and west, firefighters could only hope it would calm down.

“When the sundowners surface in that area and the fire starts running down slopes, you are not going to stop it,” Mark Brown, of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told a news conference. “And we are not going to stand in front of it and put firefighters in untenable situations.”

In this image from video provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, a wind speed indicator held by a U.S. Forest Service fire fighter on Gibraltar Road at the W. Fork of Cold Spring Trail, shows just how fast and varied the speed of the wind is blowing down canyon. In this video it varied from 10-33 mph in Santa Barbara, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. Wind gusts of up to 52 mph have been recorded in the area using a hand held weather device. The Office of Emergency Services announced the orders Saturday as Santa Ana winds pushed the fire close to the community. The mandatory evacuation zone is now 17 miles long and up to 5 miles wide, extending from coastal mountains northwest of Los Angeles to the ocean. Winds in the foothill area are hitting around 30 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph. (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

In this image from video provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, a wind speed indicator held by a U.S. Forest Service fire fighter on Gibraltar Road at the W. Fork of Cold Spring Trail, shows just how fast and varied the speed of the wind is blowing down canyon. In this video it varied from 10-33 mph in Santa Barbara, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.  (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

THOMAS FIRE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA JOINS LIST OF DESTRUCTIVE BLAZES IN THE STATE

The firefighter who was killed, Cory Iverson, 32, died of burns and smoke inhalation, according to autopsy results announced Saturday.

Since the fire began on Dec. 4, about 95,000 people have been placed under mandatory evacuation. The evacuation zone near Santa Barbara on Saturday was 17 miles long and up to 5 miles wide and the new expansion encompassed about 3,300 people.

The cause remains under investigation. So far, firefighting costs have surpassed $100 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

3 ways to start your year with a digital clean slate

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Here’s a New Year’s resolution for 2018: de-clutter your digital history. Your computer stores a huge amount of browsing data, and in places you might never think to look. This meticulous chronology makes you vulnerable to snoops and advertising trackers. The solution: eliminate it.

Here are three ways to cover your tracks, using two of the biggest services on the internet. You may be surprised how closely these companies follow you, but you may be even more surprised how much control you have over it. Later, at the end of this post, don’t miss how to erase your search history on your phone.

1. Erase your Google search history

Google’s mission is to know everything, so few are surprised that the world’s most famous search engine keeps close records of your browsing history. This might seem harmless at first — your

computer remembers the websites you visit, so it’s easier to access them later on, right? What’s the big deal?

But here’s another way to look at it: The tech giant knows everything you’ve ever searched. If you have a Google account, the corporation archives it — not just on your computer, but in its own databases. So you can’t just erase your search history from your browser and hope for the best. Google still knows all.

Speaking of tracking, many people are unaware that Google also tracks your physical location. You can see where you go and when you go there on a map. Click here to learn about the Google tracking feature you didn’t even know you switched on.

The good news is that you can delete all that data, and you don’t have to storm the Googleplex headquarters to do it. Instead, you can clear your history from the comfort of your personal computer, thanks to a little feature called “My Activity.”

Google has dozens of basic features, and most people would never notice this option. But if you click My Account in the upper right corner, you can hit My Activity >> Delete Activity By. A little box will appear, and you can change the Delete by Date field to All Time. Google takes pains to remind you how beneficial your search history is, but you now have the option to remove all this data for good.

Click here for a detailed description of these steps along with visual aids.

More on this…

2. Erase your Facebook search history

Would you believe that Facebook keeps the same kind of records as Google? If anything, Facebook’s data, such as clubs and pastimes, is even more personal, because of the tidbits we share with our social network.

Facebook also mines when you’ve looked up an ex or a neighbor. If someone accesses your account, even by accident, that information is fully available.

Facebook tracks where you’re logged in. You can erase that. Facebook also tracks you in photos. You can review all the photos tagged with you in them. To review these data points on your Facebook account, click here for the steps along with other hidden Facebook settings to check.

Fortunately, you can wipe away your Facebook search history with a few clicks. To clear past searches, log in to Facebook and go to the upside-down triangle in the top-right corner. Click on Activity Log. The Activity Log is where Facebook tracks your actions within the site.

In the left column of the Activity Log, under Photos, Likes and Comments, click on the More link. Then scroll down and click on

the Search link. Here you’ll see a list of every Facebook search you’ve ever made, organized by date. You can clear searches individually by clicking the crossed-circle icon on the right.

Then click Remove in the box that appears. To clear every search, click on the Clear Searches link located at the top-right of the list.

Click here for illustrated instructions.

3. Use a covert search engine

Google has hundreds of millions of users around the world, and the company’s name has become synonymous with “finding information.” But remember, you don’t have to use Google. As handy as the service is, there are other ways to navigate around the web.

DuckDuckGo has a mission to keep users’ information private and to prevent personalized search results. The search engine includes nifty calculators and other tricks, and you can customize its interface with search shortcuts and an Instant Answers feature.

You might be surprised by the quality of Instant Answers, which easily rivals Google’s Knowledge Graph. You can also make DuckDuckGo an extension of your browser and activate more privacy settings to keep your search history as protected as possible.

Click here to check out DuckDuckGo.

Ixquick, which calls itself the world’s most private search site, doesn’t record your IP address, browser information or search history. The real magic of Ixquick is its “search by proxy” feature. This means that websites have no idea what IP address you’re using. As a customer browsing their pages, you are basically invisible. This feature does have the potential to slow down your searches, but that will be a small price to pay for people who give their privacy top priority.

Click here to use Ixquick.

Bonus: Keep your browsing history private on your phone

Surfing the web on your computer can leave a lot of breadcrumbs, but many people are even more cavalier about their phones. So much correspondence, banking and social media flow through the typical smartphone, and much of that information is tracked.

Meanwhile, you’re collecting a vast array of cookies and temporary files, and these are reflected in the advertising that pops up on your phone. These ads say a lot about your browsing history, and they are visible to anyone who catches a glimpse of your phone.

So how do you clear your browsing history and secure your privacy going forward? That depends on the device you use. Below are the steps, but they might be a tad different for you, depending on the version of the browser you are using.

Apple

Apple’s default browser is Safari. You are not able to clear your browsing history directly with Safari; you need to do it through the gadget’s settings. Here is how to do it:

· Open Settings

· Tap Safari

· Scroll down and select Clear History and Website Data

· Tap Clear History and Data to confirm

Google Chrome

If you are not using Apple’s default browser, there’s a good chance you are using Google Chrome. Here are the steps to clearing Chrome’s history:

· Open Google Chrome

· Open Settings

· Tap Privacy > History

· Tap Clear on-device History

· Tap Clear on-device History to confirm

· Open Google Chrome

· Open Settings

· Tap Privacy

· Tap Clear Browsing Data

· Select what you want to clear and tap Clear Browsing Data (in red) at the bottom. Tap Clear Browsing Data again to confirm.

Firefox

To clear the history on Firefox, follow these steps:

· Tap the horizontal lines icon at the bottom of the page

· Tap Settings

· Go to Clear Private Data

· Select items you want to delete

· Tap Clear Private Data again – this will generate a pop-up menu warning that this action can’t be undone

· Tap OK to confirm

Opera

Opera is a lesser known web browser but some of you may be using it. Here are the steps to clear its history:

· Tap the red “O” at the bottom of the browser

· Tap Settings

· Go to Clear. You can clear specific items like cookies or saved passwords, or you can Clear All

· Tap Yes to confirm

What questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

Copyright 2017, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

2 Washington state police officers shot

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Two Washington state police officers were shot multiple times Sunday morning when a gunman opened fire on them, officials said.

A gunman, 53, fired “numerous shots” at the Bremerton police officers, officials tweeted just before 7 a.m. The officers fired back and struck the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not released.

The officers were hospitalized. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

No other information was provided.  

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Gregg Jarrett: Mueller's allegedly lawless acts have corrupted his probe and demand his removal

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller is accused of acting in complete disregard for the law and must be removed.  And so, too, must his entire team.  

There is devastating new evidence to suggest that Mueller and his staff of lawyers improperly, if not illegally, obtained tens of thousands of private documents belonging to President-elect Trump’s Presidential Transition Team (PTT).  The material includes emails, laptops and cell phones used by 13 PTT members.   

Critically, a “significant volume of privileged material” was taken by Mueller, according to the Trump transition lawyer, and then used by the special counsel team in its investigation. Mueller’s staff apparently admits this egregious violation, which the law strictly forbids.

Under the law, the only remedy is Mueller’s dismissal from the case.

The Records Are Private

The Presidential Transition Act states that all records of transition operations are private and confidential.  

On November 16, 2016, roughly ten days after Trump was elected president, the Chief Records Officer of the U.S. Government sent a letter to all federal agencies reminding them that “the materials that PTT members create or receive are not Federal or Presidential records, but are considered private materials.”

Yet Mueller seems to have ignored the law.  Without a warrant or subpoena, his team of lawyers brazenly demanded these private records from the General Services Administration (GSA) which held custody of the materials.  The GSA does this as a service to all incoming presidents out of courtesy, but it neither owns the documents nor is authorized to release them to anyone under any circumstances because they are deemed entirely private.

If true, Mueller’s conduct is not only unethical and improper, it constitutes lawlessness. On this basis, he must be removed and replaced.

Counsel for the Trump Transition Team has sent a letter to Congress alleging the Fourth Amendment was violated in “failing to obtain a warrant for the search or seizure of private property in which the owner has a reasonable expectation of privacy (Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443, 489).”  

Mueller might contest the claim of an unlawful seizure because the GSA willingly handed over the documents, but this disregards the fact that the GSA broke the law and Mueller surely knew it when he pressured the agency to do so.   

Privileged Material

The most serious charge against Mueller is that he obtained, reviewed and used material that is privileged

For months, Mueller allegedly failed to disclose to the transition team that he acquired these privileged documents.  Under the law, he and his lawyers are not entitled to possess or read any of them.  Even worse, the transition team says it warned the special counsel six months ago that it had no right to access the records without gaining permission from the PTT. 

Courts have clearly stated what prosecutors are supposed to do under these circumstances: “An attorney who receives privileged documents has an ethical duty to cease review of the documents, notify the privilege holder, and return the documents.”  (U.S. v. Taylor 764 Fed Sup 2nd, 230, 235)

Did Mueller do this?  Apparently not.  He never notified PTT when his staff of lawyers encountered the privileged documents and he compounded his violation of the law by possessing and accessing them for months.      

Only the owner of such materials can waive the privileged that protects them.  Since the GSA does not, under the law, own the records, only the transition team can make such a waiver.  It did not. 

Hence, if any illegally obtained documents have been used in the Trump-Russia case, then the results are tainted and invalid.  This is a well-established principle of law.    

Mueller Must Be Removed

The use by Mueller of even one privileged document can, and must, result in his disqualification from the case.  

The case of Finn v. Schiller, 72 F.3rd 1182, 1189 spells out the required remedy for this violation of the law: “Courts have frequently used their supervisory authority to disqualify prosecutors for obtaining materials protected by the attorney-client privilege.” 

Statutory law also demands Mueller’s removal.  Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. 2635.501, government employees, including prosecutors, are directed to “take appropriate steps to avoid an appearance of loss of impartiality in the performance of his or her official duties.”  

The lawyer for the Trump transition team states that the special counsel’s office admitted in a telephone conversation on Friday that it failed to use an “ethical wall” or “taint team” to segregate any privileged records.  This is often done to keep them isolated from lawyers and investigators involved in the case.  

Yet, Mueller did not adopt such precautionary measures.  Instead, he apparently allowed his team to utilize the documents while questioning witnesses in the Trump-Russia case.  

If true, Mueller’s conduct is not only unethical and improper, it constitutes lawlessness.  On this basis, he must be removed and replaced. 

Given the insular nature of the special counsel operation, it is reasonable to conclude that all the lawyers and investigators likely accessed the privileged documents.  Therefore, not just Mueller, but his entire team must be dismissed.  This would include Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the case. 

Either Congress should take aggressive action or the Presidential Transition Team (now Trump for America, Inc.) must petition a federal judge to order their removal.   

The integrity of the special counsel probe has been deeply compromised by numerous allegations of corrupt acts.  In its current composition, it seems beyond repair.

Gregg Jarrett joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2002 and is based in New York. He currently serves as legal analyst and offers commentary across both FNC and FOX Business Network (FBN).