CLOSINGS AND DELAYS:

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Mar-a-Lago dumped, more event cancellations after Trump’s Charlottesville remarks

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 11:01 AM

5 Things to Know About Mar-a-Lago

The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and an ovarian cancer group are the latest nonprofits to cancel charity events at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.

The Preservation Foundation, which celebrates and protects the architectural and cultural heritage of Palm Beach, planned to host a dance in March at the club, which has long been an oasis for charities and their patrons during Palm Beach’s winter charity season.

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The Preservation Foundation posted a statement on Facebook and Twitter Saturday announcing it had cancelled the dance at Mar-a-Lago. 

“Given the current environment surrounding Mar-a-Lago, we have made the decision to move our annual dinner dance,” organization officials said.

The event has been rescheduled at a private residence on March 9, Preservation Foundation Executive Director Amanda Skier said. 

Later Saturday, the group Hearing the Ovarian Cancer Whisper, or H.O.W., posted a statement on its Facebook page announcing the cancellation of its event at Mar-a-Lago. 

“After careful consideration, H.O.W., ‘Hearing the Ovarian Cancer Whisper,’ has changed its venue for our annual ‘Time is of the Essence Luncheon’ from Mar-a-Lago with a return to our roots at the historically beautiful Flagler Museum.

“For us, this event is about raising money for research, educational programs, and financial assistance for women undergoing treatment. We are committed to our mission therefore, this is not a political statement made by H.O.W.”

The move by the two organizations Saturday brings to 10 the number of nonprofits that have cancelled planned events at Mar-a-Lago since the president’s controversial news conference Tuesday at Trump Tower on the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend.

On Friday, five additional philanthropic organizations — Susan G. Komen, the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Autism Association of Palm Beach County and Big Dog Ranch — moved events from Mar-a-Lago.

The Cleveland Clinic, American Cancer Society and the American Friends of Magen David Adom, an organization supporting Israel disaster relief programs, also have changed venues for their events.

>> Related: Here’s a list of who’s leaving Mar a Lago

The Raymond F. Kravis Center board is planning next week to discuss possibly moving the Palm Beach Wine Auction from Mar-a-Lago.

“We have received concerns about this event being at Mar-a-Lago,” Judith Mitchell, the Kravis CEO, said in an email to The Palm Beach Post. 

“We have a process to address such issues and we are currently engaged in that process. We are contacting our board leadership and anticipate our organization making a decision about the location of this event in the next few business days.”

Deployed troops will be able to watch NFL playoff games

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 8:42 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 10:03 AM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

UPDATE, 10:03 a.m. 1/21/2018: Despite the shutdown of the United States government early Saturday, the NFL announced Sunday morning that the Armed Forces Network will  air the AFC and NFC Championship games.

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The NFL also said it is providing free access to the games via NFL Game Pass to all USO centers.

Meanwhile, Congress is back at work Sunday, attempting to create a deal to end the shutdown. 

ORIGINAL STORY: As a result of lawmakers failing to resolve a standoff over immigration and spending, the United States government has been shut down indefinitely – meaning everyone has been affected, including troops overseas.

>> Watch the news report here

There is a lot of fallout from the shutdown. From government employees who aren't being paid, including the Defense Department, to the Armed Forces Network being taken off the air, the effects of a standstill government can be felt across the board.

Since the AFN has been taken off the air, that means many of our troops overseas won't be able to watch the NFL playoffs Sunday

Surely it's not the biggest issue surrounding a government shutdown, but it's a big morale issue. 

>> Trump campaign ad calls Democrats 'complicit' in killings by undocumented immigrants

Watching the Patriots on the Armed Forces Network has been a comforting piece of home for army Sgt. Matt Connolly, who's serving in South Korea.

"It's kind of the only thing we can do for fun over here," Connolly told WFXT.

For the first time since he's been stationed in Korea, his family came to visit him for the AFC Championship game.

"I'm actually on leave right now. My family from Boston is here right now and we were looking forward to watching the game," Connolly said.

With no one to run it, AFN is off the air. 

>> John Legend blames Trump for government shutdown, calls him racist

The NFL says it is providing free access to Sunday's Championships via the NFL Game Pass to all USO centers.

"No matter what, I'm going to watch them," Connolly said.

Sen. Ed Markey says he's in a holding pattern right now as he says he and most of his colleagues are preparing to negotiate through the night – but it's still unclear if that will be an option.

Immigration issues are at the center of the shutdown. Many Republicans don't want to negotiate on those issues until a spending bill is passed and the government re-opens.

However, those immigration issues – including the DREAMERS Act – are a priority for many Democrats. 

Markey told WFXT that he believes everyone needs to continue working to find some sort of compromise, and he wants President Donald Trump to take the lead.

"Bill Belichick is telling the New England Patriots for tomorrow, 'Do your job,' and we are saying to President Trump for tomorrow, 'Do your job, Mr. President. Make sure that the funding is there for our troops. Make sure that our defense is taken care of, but make sure that we also protect child health and the Dreamers,' but thus far he's been unwilling to do his job," Markey said.

Florida man dead after diving in underwater caves

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 3:32 PM

Underground cave.
Handout/Getty Images
Underground cave.(Handout/Getty Images)

A 50-year-old Florida man is dead after cave diving in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park this weekend, officials said.

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Davin Brannon, 53, of Dover, was diving in the Eagle’s Nest cave around noon Saturday when Hernando County Sheriff officials were called about a diver in distress.

By the time crews arrived at the Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, north of Tampa, Brannon was dead, officials said. 

"They weren't planning to explore any deeper than the first room of the cave when the incident occurred," sheriff’s office spokesman Michael Terry told WTSP. "We don't know if he simply drowned or if he had a heart attack, it's hard to tell at this point." 

The medical examiner has been called in to determine the exact cause of death.

Eagle’s Nest underwater caves is the site of other recent drownings: two divers drowned in 2016 and another in January 2017, according to WTSP. 

Shirtless flag-bearer from 2016 Olympics qualifies for 2018 Games

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 2:27 PM

Pita Taufatofua carried the flag for Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Pita Taufatofua carried the flag for Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics.(Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

The flag-bearer from Tonga who walked shirtless in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics will need to pack some warm shirts for the South Korean games.

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Saying that “a miracle happened,” Pita Taufatofua qualified for the Pyeongchang Olympics in cross-country skiing Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Taufatofua had failed in two previous attempts to qualify for the Winter Olympics, but on Saturday, he met the standards in five races to qualify, ESPN reported.

“I gave it absolutely everything,” he told the Journal. “I died at the end.”

Taufatofua qualified in taekwondo at the Rio de Janeiro Games, ESPN reported. He was eliminated in his first bout.

Hospital blames contraceptive app for accidental pregnancies

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 2:16 PM

Hospital Blames Contraceptive Phone App for Pregnancies

A phone app that claimed it was an effective digital contraceptive is now under fire after dozens of women who said they used the app became pregnant.

Natural Cycles was certified as a birth control method in the European Union last year.

It would help woman keep track of body temperature to predict when women could become pregnant when not using traditional forms of birth control, the Evening Standard reported. It was promoted as an alternative to birth control pills and researchers believed in the results after they found it was up to 99 percent effective, the newspaper reported last year.

>>Mobile app designed to prevent pregnancy approved in Europe

Now a Swedish hospital is casting doubts on the method after it has reported dozens of unwanted pregnancies from users over the past few months, The Daily Mail reported.

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The app is popular in Europe where users went from 5,000 in 2016 to 125,000 in 2017. 

And while there have been reports of unplanned pregnancies, the company markets Natural Cycles told the Daily Mail, “No contraception is 100 percent and unwanted pregnancies is an unfortunate risk with any contraception.”

Company officials said that the number that the hospital was reporting, 37 unplanned pregnancies out of 668 users, is within the 93 percent risk communicated to consumers, the Daily Mail reported.

The Evening Standard reported that the risk of unplanned pregnancy while using birth control pills is about 91 percent.