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Published: Wednesday, December 30, 2016 @ 8:21 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2016 @ 8:44 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The little hard plastic beads found in shampoo, toothpaste and facial wash will soon be a thing of the past.
President Obama recently signed a law that bans microbeads from items sold in the U.S.
The beads have polluted some New York state bodies of water, WTEN reported.
Environmental scientists estimate that 808 trillion beads are flushed down the drain every day.
The small plastic beads are too small to be caught in the filters of wastewater treatment plants and the beads settle in the sludge which is used as fertilizer. Runoff causes the beads to be introduced into the water supply, Popular Science reported.
Fish and wildlife can ingest the beads, The Associated Press reported.
Manufacturers are required to phase out the plastic microbeads starting in 2017, with the prohibition of the manufacture of plastic microbead products going into effect July 1, 2017, The AP reported.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 6:09 PM
Waving off a push by Democrats to force action this week on a compromise over the future of illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” Republicans in Congress said they wanted to wait for further negotiations on DACA, as House GOP leaders unveiled a short term funding plan that would keep the federal government running into mid-February, but that plan faced immediate resistance from some more conservative Republicans.
“There is no reason why Congress should hold government funding hostage over the issues of illegal immigration,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said a resolution on DACA could wait until February or March.
But even without DACA in the mix, a new temporary funding plan unveiled by House Republican leaders last night got a tepid embrace from GOP lawmakers, frustrated by the lack of an overall budget agreement for 2018.
The biggest red flag came from more conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus, who argue the GOP should forge ahead with a plan to fully fund the military for 2018, while leaving all other government operations on a stop gap budget.
After a meeting Tuesday night, Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) made it clear that the group was not ready to endorse the GOP funding plan, which would keep the government running through February 19.
The goal is to use that extra time to reach a broader budget deal with Democrats, allowing the Congress to then approve a larger “Omnibus” funding plan for the 2018 budget year – which began back on October 1, 2017.
It was a replay of a familiar scenario on Capitol Hill, where House Republican infighting might lead to a shutdown at the end of the week.
“It’s a possibility, yes,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), when asked about the chances of a shutdown.
“But I don’t think it’s really going to happen,” Inhofe told reporters. “Nobody really wants it on either side.”
The new GOP stopgap budget unveiled on Tuesday evening included a few sweeteners, as leaders added to the funding plan a provision that reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2023.
“Without immediate action to fund CHIP, millions of low-income children will receive notices in the coming weeks that they might lose their health coverage,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Mike Burgess (R-TX) in a statement.
While the CHIP extension had been expected, the GOP stopgap budget included something else that was a big surprise – as the bill would suspend three different taxes from the Obama health law.
While Republicans try to find the votes to support that plan, a bipartisan group of Senators will unveil the final details of their DACA compromise on Wednesday, in hopes of stirring more support.
“I don’t know how this movie ends,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who very publicly said he thought the President had signed on to the compromise DACA plan last Thursday, but then had his mind changed by immigration hard liners in the White House, and the Senate.
One of those opponents is Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who bluntly told the DACA group of six Senators not to even try to push ahead with their plan.
“Might as well roll it straight into the trash can,” Cotton said of the DACA deal, which he has labeled a mass amnesty.
Meanwhile, Democrats were hoping for a budget impasse, as they argue that a resolution on DACA could still be added into the mix this week.
Many Republicans say they also want action on DACA, but they understand in the current environment – after the blow up over what the President said – or did not say – last week, that no agreement can happen right now.
“Unfortunately, about every time we get close to putting our toes in the water, something happens,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).
The tentative plan is for the House to try to vote on a stop gap budget on Thursday. The Senate could then pass the same measure before a Friday night shutdown deadline.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:56 PM
WEBSTER, Mass. — A Massachusetts man has been accused of taking manhole covers from roads across the town.
Police in Webster said he was kind enough, however, to cover the empty holes -- which measure from 4 to 12 feet deep -- with traffic cones so no one would run over them in their cars, The Worcester, Massachusetts, Telegram reported.
Darrin Lavallee now faces larceny charges, the paper reported.
Police were called by several eyewitnesses, who said they saw a man in a PT Cruiser taking the manhole covers. Eventually police found a car that matched the vehicle’s description and found orange cones inside. Police told The Telegram that the covers had been in the car recently.
Lavallee apparently told police that the manhole covers ended up at a local salvage yard, where police said he sold them, The Telegram reported. Police were able to recover the pilfered covers.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 7:16 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 6:39 PM
WASHINGTON — The Navy says it is filing negligent homicide charges against the commanders of two ships involved in fatal collisions last year.
The USS John S. McCain collision resulted in the death of Champaign County sailor Jacob Drake. Drake was a Petty Officer 2nd class.
The charges are to be presented at what the military calls an Article 32 hearing, which will determine whether the accused are court-martialed.
The actions, including charges against several lower-ranking officers, were announced Tuesday by the Navy's chief spokesman, Capt. Greg Hicks.
Hicks says the decision to file charges was made by Adm. Frank Caldwell, head of the Navy's nuclear reactors program, who reviewed evidence of what caused the collisions. The USS Fitzgerald collided with a commercial ship in waters off Japan in June, killing seven sailors. Ten sailors were killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asia in August.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 5:16 PM
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is in excellent health and likely to finish his term in office without any medical issues, a presidential doctor said Tuesday at a news conference, four days after the president underwent a physical exam.
“The president's overall health is excellent," White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said Tuesday.
Here are six things to know about the results of the president’s physical:
Jackson: ‘He had great findings across the board’
Trump is in “very, very good health,” Jackson said Tuesday.
“(I have) no concerns for his heart health,” the presidential physician said. “There are many good things that came from his exam, I think he had great findings across the board. “
Jackson said Trump’s good health is likely to last through “the remainder of this tern, and even for the remainder of another term, if he’s elected.” He said he based his assessment on the president’s cardiac results.
“He falls into a category that portends years of event-free living,” Jackson said. “He has incredibly good genes, and that’s just the way God made him.”
White House doctor says despite President Trump's fast food habit and lack of exercise, he's in "excellent" condition; "He has incredibly good genes, and it's just the way God made him" https://t.co/fpNP3Hpnco pic.twitter.com/VGoTFSgp7C— CNN (@CNN) January 16, 2018
Cognitive screening showed no issues
Jackson said he conducted a cognitive screening on Trump at the president’s request, although he felt the test was unnecessary.
“I’ve spent almost every day in the president’s presence,” said Jackson, whose office is near Trump’s. “I’ve got to know him pretty well and I had absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability or neurological functions.”
He said that in all his conversations with Trump, the president has been “very articulate.”
“I’ve never known him to repeat himself around me,” Jackson said. “He says what he wants to say and speaks his mind.”
Infamous slurred speech incident might have been caused by medication
A December incident in which the president sounded as though he was slurring his speech while announcing a policy shift in Israel was probably due to a medication, Jackson said.
“We evaluated him, we checked everything out and everything was normal,” Jackson said, adding that the incident was likely caused because the president needed water.
He said prior to the Dec. 7 incident, he gave Trump Sudafed, which might have “inadvertently dried up his secretions.”
Trump working to lose 10-15 pounds
At 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds, the president has a body mass index of 29.9, just under the number that would designate him as obese, according to information released Tuesday.
“The president, he and I talked and... I think a reasonable goal over the next year or so is (to lose) 10 or 15 pounds,” Jackson said, adding that a nutritionist would be meeting with White House chefs in the coming weeks and that Trump would be put on an exercise routine.
“He’s more enthusiastic about the diet,” Jackson said.
Jackson not concerned about Trump’s stress levels
Despite concerns from the public and reports that have painted a chaotic White House, Jackson said that he has no concerns about the president’s stress levels.
“I talk to him sometimes about stress just because I think it’s my job as his physician to bring it up on occasion,” he said. “I’ve never seen the president stressed out too much. ... He has a unique ability to push the reset button and he just gets up and he starts a new day. (I think it’s) made him healthier from a stress standpoint.”
Jackson did not test Trump’s hearing