Read: Full transcript of Donald Trump's National Prayer Breakfast speech

Published: Thursday, February 02, 2017 @ 10:27 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 02, 2017 @ 1:14 PM


            WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 02: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Every U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower has addressed the annual event. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump delivered a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. 

Here's the full text: 

"Thank you, Mark. So nice. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. It's a great honor to be here this morning. So many faith leaders, very, very important people from across our magnificent nation. So many leaders from all across the globe. Today, we continue a tradition begun by President Eisenhower some 64 years ago. This gathering is a testament to the power of faith and is one of the great customs of our nation, and I hope to be here seven more times with you. 

"I want very much to thank our cochair, Sen. Boozeman and Sen. Coons and all of the congressional leadership. They're all over the place. We have a lot of very distinguished guests, and we have one guest who was sworn in last night -- Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State. Going to do a great job. Some people didn't like Rex because he got along with leaders of the world. I said, 'No, I think you have to understand that's a good thing, not a bad thing.' He's respected all over the world, and I think he will go down as one of our great, great secretaries. We appreciate it. Thank you, Rex.

"Thank you as well to Senate Chaplain Barry Black and his moving words. I don't know Chaplain whether that's an appointed position. Is that an appointed position? I don't even know if you're a Democrat or a Republican, but I'm appointing you for another year. To hell with it. And I think it's not even my appointment. It's the Senate's appointment. But we'll talk to them. Your son is here. Your job is very very secure, OK? Thank you, Barry. Appreciate it very much.

"I also want to thank my great friends. Roma, where's Roma? The beautiful Roma Downey. The voice of an angel. She's got the voice -- every time I hear that voice. It's is so beautiful. Everything is so beautiful about Roma, including her husband because he's a special, special friend. Mark Burnett (thank you) for the wonderful introduction. So true. So true. I said to the agent, 'I'm sorry.' The only thing wrong -- I actually got on the phone and fired him myself because he said 'You don't want to do it. It'll never work. It'll never, ever work. You don't want to do it.' 

"But I really fired him after it became the No. 1 show. It became so successful, and he wanted a commission, and he didn't want to do the show. That's what I really said. But we had tremendous success on 'The Apprentice.' When I ran for president, I had to leave the show. That's when I knew for sure I was doing it. They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place. And we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It's been a total disaster, and Mark will never, ever bet against Trump again. And I want to just pray for Arnold if we can for those ratings. But we've had an amazing life together the last 14, 15 years. An outstanding man. Thank you for introducing me. Appreciated. It's a great honor.

"I also want to thank my dear friend, Vice President, Mike Pence. He's been incredible and incredible wife, Karen. And every time I was in a little trouble with something where they were questioning me they'd say, 'But he picked Mike Pence, so he has to know what he's doing.' And it's true. On a scale of 0-10, I rate him a 12. OK? So I want to thank you. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

"But most importantly, I want to thank the American people. Your faith and prayers have sustained me and inspired me through some very, very tough times. All around America I have met amazing people whose words of worship and encouragement has a constant source of strength. What I hear most often as I travel the country are five words that never, ever fail to touch my heart. That's 'I am praying for you.' I hear it so often. 'I am praying for you, Mr. President.' No one has inspired me more in my travels than the families of the United States military. Men and women who put their lives on the line every day for their country and their countrymen.

"I just came back yesterday from Dover Air Force Base to join the family of Chief William Ryan Owens as America's fallen hero was returned home. Very, very sad, but very, very beautiful. Very, very beautiful. His family was there. Incredible family. Loved him so much. So devastated. He was so devastated. But the ceremony was amazing. He died in defense of our nation. He gave his life in defense of our people. Our debt to him and our debt to his family is eternal and everlasting. Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. We will never forget the men and women who wear the uniform. Believe me. 

"From generation to generation, their vigilance has kept our liberty alive. Our freedom is won by their sacrifice and our security has been earned with their sweat and blood and tears. God has blessed this land to give us such incredible heroes and patriots. They are very, very special, and we are going to take care of them. Our soldiers understand that what matters is not party or ideology or creed, but the bonds of loyalty that link us all together as one. America is a nation of believers. In towns all across our land it is plain to see what we easily forget -- so easily we forget this -- that the quality of our lives is not defined by our material success, but our spiritual success. I will tell you that. And I tell you that from somebody that has had material success and knows tremendous numbers of people with great material success -- the most material success. Many of those people are very, very miserable, unhappy people. And I know a lot of people without that, but they have great families. They have great faith. They don't have money -- at least not nearly to the extent -- and they are happy. Those, to me, are the successful people, I have to tell you.

"I was blessed to be raised in a churched home. My mother and father taught me that to whom much is given, much is expected. I was sworn in on the very bible from which my mother would teach as young children. And that faith lives on in my heart every single day. The people in this room come from many, many backgrounds. You represent so many religions and so many views. But we are all united by our faith in our creator and our firm knowledge that we are all equal in His eyes. We are not just flesh and bone and blood. We are human beings with souls. Our republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God.

"It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said the God who gave us life gave us liberty. Jefferson asked, 'Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?' Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that. Remember.

"Freedom of religion is a sacred right, but also a right under threat all around us and the world is under serious, serious threat in so many different ways. And I've never seen it so much and so openly since I took the position of president. The world is in trouble, but we are going to straighten it out. OK? That's what I do. I fix things. We are going to straighten it out. Believe me. When you hear about the tough telephone calls I'm having, don't worry about it. Just don't worry about it. They're tough. We have to be tough. It's time we're going to be a little tough, folks.

"We're taken advantage of by every nation in the world, virtually. It's not going to happen anymore. It's not going to happen anymore. We have seen unimaginable violence carried out in the name of religion. Acts of wanton slaughter against religious minorities, horrors on a scale that defy description. Terrorism is a fundamental threat to religious freedom. It must be stopped, and it will be stopped. It may not be pretty for a little while. It will be stopped. We have seen ... And by the way, General, as you know, James 'Mad Dog' -- shouldn't say it in this room -- Mattis. Now there's a reason they call him Mad Dog Mattis. Never lost a battle. Always wins them and always wins them fast. He's our new secretary of defense. Will be working with Rex. He's right now in South Korea going to Japan going to some other spots. I've gotten to know him really well. He is the real deal. We have somebody who is the real deal working for us, and that is what we need. You watch. You just watch. Things will be different. We have seen peaceloving Muslims brutalized, victimized, murdered and oppressed by ISIS killers. We have seen threats of extermination against the Jewish people. We have seen a campaign of ISIS and genocide against Christians where they cut off heads. Not since the Middle Ages have we seen that. We haven't seen that. The cutting off of heads. Now they cut off the heads. They drown people in steel cages. I haven't seen this -- nobody's seen this -- for many, many years.

"All nations have a moral obligation to speak out against such violence. All nations have a duty to work together to confront it, viciously, if we have to. So I want to express clearly today to the American people that my administration will do everything in its power to defend and protect religious liberty in our land. America must forever remain tolerant society where all faiths are respect and where all of our citizens can feel safe and secure. We have to feel safe and secure. In recent days, we have begun to take necessary action to achieve the goal. Our nation has the most generous immigration system in the world. But these are those and there are those that would exploit that generosity to undermine the values that we hold so dear. We need security. There are those who would seek to enter the country for the purpose of spreading violence or oppressing other people based upon their faith or their lifestyle. Not right.

"We will not allow a beachhead of intolerance to spread in our nation. You look all over the world and you see what's happening. So in the coming days, we will develop a system to help ensure that those admitted into our country fully embrace our values of religious and personal liberty. And that they reject any form of oppression and discrimination. We want people to come into our nation. But we want people to love us and to love our values. Not to hate us and to hate our values. We will be a safe country. We will be a free country and we will be a country where all citizens can practice their beliefs without fear of hostility or fear of violence.

"America will flourish as long as our liberty and in particular our religious liberty is allowed to flourish. America will succeed as long as our most vulnerable citizens -- and we have some that are so vulnerable -- have a path to success. And America will thrive as long as we continue to have faith in each other and faith in God. That faith in God has inspired men and women to sacrifice for the needy, to deploy to wars overseas and to lock arms at home to ensure equal rights for every man, woman and child in our land. It is that faith that sent the pilgrims across oceans, the pioneers across the plains and the young people all across America to chase their dreams. They are chasing their dreams. We are going to bring those dreams back.

"As long as we have God, we are never, ever alone. Whether it is soldier on the night watch or the single parent on the night shift, God will always give us solace and strength and comfort. We need to carry on and to keep carrying on. For us here in Washington, we must never, ever stop asking God for the wisdom to serve the public according to His will. That is why President Eisenhower and Sen. Carlson had the wisdom to gather together 64 years ago to begin this truly great tradition. But that is not all they did together. Let me tell you the rest of the story. Just one year later, Sen. Carlson was among the members of Congress to send to the president's desk a joint resolution that added 'Under God' to our Pledge of Allegiance. It's a great thing. Because that is what we are and that is what we will always be and that is what our people want -- one beautiful nation under God. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you."

>> Read: Full transcript of Donald Trump's speech on Black History Month

Man reels in, returns stranger's camera after it was lost five years

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 11:00 PM

Some rods and reels. (Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images for Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis)
Sergi Alexander

Alex Mansur was paddleboarding with family when he lost his camera on a trip to the Tennessee River in 2012. Mansur and his family were meeting relatives in Chattanooga and paddleboarding together for the first time, according to the St. Augustine Record.

The camera's lanyard slid off his wrist.

“I felt it falling down my legs and down the board. I jumped in after it, but it just slipped away,” Mansur told the Record.

That was that, he told WTVC. “All my family members were really upset as well.”

Fast forward five years.

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Nate Wilson and Matthew Schubert of Chattanooga Cycleboats hit the Tennessee River to record footage for an upcoming travel show. As they demonstrated casting into the water from a Cycleboat, they hit a snag. The story, as Wilson tells it, is that they were really just trying to save a “pretty expensive” lure.

But the snag broke, and they reeled it in. What they got was an Olympus camera that had been down there for quite some time, it seemed.

Wilson said finding the camera was exciting.

“When Captain Matt (Schubert) pulled that camera out of the river by the wrist strap the first thing I said was ‘Guys that memory card is going to work, and we are going to find the owner!’ I was pretty anxious and excited.”

They opened the camera with a screwdriver, recovered the SD card, slid it into a computer, and found a whole lot of photos. Hundreds, in fact. And Wilson was startled to see the .EXIF data indicating that the photos were shot between 2009 and 2012, meaning the camera had been sitting on the riverbed for years.

Wilson posted the photos on Facebook later that night, including a clear selfie from the camera. In 10 hours, a relative of Mansur’s had identified it and put them in touch.

The internet!

Mansur is, unsurprisingly, enormously grateful.

“Those videos of me hiking alone in the wilderness marked a pretty personal and challenging time in my life, and those experiences I had alone in Southwest Texas were some pivotal moments that led me to where I am today,” he said in a statement posted by Wilson of the account:

I would like to tremendously thank Nate Wilson and everyone for this unbelievable experience in returning mycamera I lost 5 years ago! I am still in disbelief over this amazing ordeal and how it has unfolded. He is a tremendous person for taking the time to reunite me with my camera and the many wonderful memories it held. My sincerest gratitude to Nate and everyone who helped!

Tim Tebow promoted by Mets

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 10:26 PM

Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets works out at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 19, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tim Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at the University of Florida, earned a promotion and will be moving on up in the New York Mets farm system.

Tebow will be moving on from Single-A Columbia and up to the Mets Advanced-A ball team, the St. Lucie Mets.

>> Read more trending news

“Tim brought an incredible amount of experience and leadership to our clubhouse,” Fireflies president John Katz said in a statement. “His contributions, both on the field and in our community, have made a tremendous impact on our team, the City of Columbia and the entire South Atlantic League. We wish Tim the best as he continues his journey to Citi Field.”

The New York Mets general manager, Sandy Alderson spoke to reporters about the move up for Tebow.

In 63 games, Tebow hit .222 with three home runs and 23 RBI. He also added 23 walks and was second on the team in doubles with 14. Given Tebow’s popularity, he was a huge draw for the Fireflies.

Tebow’s first game with the St. Lucie Mets will be on Tuesday, June 27 against the Palm Beach Cardinals. In May, Tebow signed a contract extension with ESPN, where he will continue to cover college football as an analyst for ESPN and the SEC Network.

Missing NC teen found safe in Georgia more than a year after she vanished

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 4:48 PM

Thousands of children go missing every year according to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, but for a North Carolina family, their prayers have been answered. Investigators found 17-year-old Hailey Burns alive at a home in Deluth, Georgia. She has now been reunited with her family. She disappeared last year from her Charlotte-area home.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A missing North Carolina teenager, who vanished last year, has turned up at a home in Georgia.

Hailey Burns, now 17, has been reunited with her family at an undisclosed location in Georgia, according to law enforcement sources.

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A FBI special agent in Charlotte learned of information that led investigators to a home in Duluth, Georgia, where they found Burns.

A man found at the home, Michael Ren Wysolovski, was taken into custody and is now facing a number of state charges, the FBI said.

The FBI in Charlotte and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will continue their investigation into Burns' disappearance and will work closely with the FBI Atlanta and the Gwinnett County Police Department. 

Burns  was last been seen at her Charlotte-area home on May 23, 2016.

Police said at the time they had information that she may have left of her own accord and they weren’t sure if she had help.

“You have to let go of the hope that she will just walk through the door, the teen’s mother, Shaunna Burns, said in a later interview.

“We are past that point. She is not just going to come home in the middle of the night. You have to hope that they still find her, wherever she is.”

>> Related: Body, likely missing Arkansas boy, found after 3 relatives discovered dead

“You have to distract yourself because you will drive yourself crazy wondering what you could have done, or could be doing,” her father, Anthony Burns, said after his daughter disappeared.

Celebrity chef injured in gas explosion at new Bahamas restaurant

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 9:26 PM

Chef Ralph Pagano. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®

A South Florida chef who starred in a cable TV reality cooking show suffered third-degree burns Thursday after a gas explosion at his new restaurant in the Bahamas, Local 10 News in Miami reports.

Ralph Pagano was airlifted to a Miami hospital after the blast at Resorts World Bimini. He was turning on the kitchen's gas burners when the oven blew up.

"My hands were on fire, my shirt was on fire, my pants were on fire," Pagano told Local 10 News from Jackson Memorial Hospital.

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The chef, who starred in the Lifetime show “All Mixed Up,” suffered burns on his face, legs and hands. "I thought I was going to die," he said. "Luckily, I stopped, dropped and rolled."

"I'm going to need skin grafts and about a month in the hospital, but I'm alive," Pagano said.

Pagano has made other TV appearances, including competing on “Hell's Kitchen” and “Iron Chef.”

He owns several South Florida restaurants: Naked Taco in Miami Beach, Naked Lunch in Miami and Naked Crab in Fort Lauderdale.

He was opening a new Naked Taco location when the accident occurred