7 things to know now: Trump on wiretapping; March Madness begins; Trudeau, Ivanka go to a show

Published: Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 7:08 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 7:13 AM


            FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2017, file photo, Kansas coach Bill Self carries his 13th Big 12 championship trophy following the team's NCAA college basketball game against TCU in Lawrence, Kan. In the most damaging instance of legal trouble at Kansas this season, police investigated a reported rape at the dorm that houses the basketball team. No charges have been filed. From there, more headlines kept piling up involving no fewer than four players. Self said he's proud his team has rallied despite the steady stream of issues. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Travel ban on hold: A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the second version of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration Wednesday, questioning whether the administration was motivated by national security concerns when it issued the order. The ban was to go into effect Thursday. Trump called the ruling, 'unprecedented judicial overreach.'

2. Let the ‘madness’ begin: The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins Thursday with a full slate of games. In the day’s opening rounds, you can catch Wisconsin and Virginia Tech; Florida State and Florida Gulf Coast and one of the surprise teams in the tournament – Northwestern – playing Vanderbilt.

3. “Things” coming to committee: President Trump told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that his administration would soon be “submitting things” to the House Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the alleged wiretapping of Trump Towers in Manhattan. He told Carlson he will be “perhaps speaking publically about this next week.” Trump has accused former president Barack Obama of wiretapping his campaign during his 2016 presidential run.

4. Budget plan to be released: The White House will release details Thursday of its plan to cut the federal budget. The "America First" budget outline is said to contain deep cuts at the State Department, including a 38 percent reduction in foreign aid spending. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Environmental Protection Agency are said to be facing similar budget cuts. The Defense Department will see a boost in spending.

5. Fed raises rates: The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates on Wednesday by a quarter of a percentage point, a move that had been expected due to the strengthening of the economy in the past few months. It is the third time the Fed has raised rates since December of 2015.

And one more

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with his guest, Ivanka Trump, took in a show on Wednesday night in New York City. The new musical shines a light on the compassion of Canadians following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. “Come From Away” highlights the stories of those in the Newfoundland town of Gander who took in travelers after flights to the United States were canceled following the 9/11 attacks.

In case you missed it

Muslims in America, by the numbers

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. In fact, if current trends continue, Muslims will surpass Christians as the world’s largest religious group in the second half of this century, according to the Pew Research Center.

As of 2010, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making up the majority of the population in 49 countries.

» RELATED: 5 things you should know about Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting

And only 0.2 percent of the global Muslim population reportedly lived in North America.

In the U.S., the latest Pew numbers from 2015 show the country is home to an estimated 3.3 million Muslims of all ages — about 1 percent of the total U.S. population.

But by 2050, Pew researchers estimate Islam will supplant Judaism as the second-most popular religion in the U.S. with Muslims ultimately making up 2.1 percent of the future population.

Why is the group growing so fast?

According to researchers, it’s primarily about simple demographics.

» RELATED: Mahershala Ali makes history as first Muslim to win an Academy Award

Muslim women on average have more children than women of the seven other major religious groups analyzed in Pew’s global landscape study.

Between 2010 and 2015, 31 percent of all babies born around the world were born to Muslims.

Muslims also have the youngest average age of all the major religious groups, Pew researches noted. In 2015, the median age of Muslims around the globe was 24 whereas the median age of non-Muslims was 32.

Those factors coupled together have led to the population projections in the second half of this century.

» RELATED: 5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay

How many Muslim immigrants have come to the U.S.?

Between 1992 and 2012, approximately 1.7 million Muslims entered the U.S. as legal permanent residents, jumping from about 50,000 in 1992 to 100,000 in 2012, Pew research found.

The data shows most Muslims that immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1990s came from countries in Asia and the Pacific or Middle East/North Africa.

By 2012, most Muslim immigrants to the U.S. came from Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh and Iraq.

» RELATED: Photos of famous Muslim Americans

Where do Muslims in America live?

The state-by-state map above shows the percentage of adult populations identifying as Muslims, according to Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study.

Of all adult populations in the 50 states and District of Columbia, New Jersey reported the highest percentage of Muslim residents at 3 percent.

Data for the report came from telephone interviews with more than 35,000 Americans from all 50 states.

More information about Muslims in America at Pew Research Center.

Related

Hillary Clinton's Wellesley commencement speech 2017: Read the full text

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 1:42 PM

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers the commencement address at Wellesley College, Friday, May 26, 2017 in Wellesley, Mass. Clinton graduated from the school in 1969. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)
Josh Reynolds/AP

Hillary Clinton addressed the graduating class of her alma mater, Wellesley College on Friday.

Here is the text of her speech.

“Thank you so much for that warm welcome. I am happy to be back here at Wellesley, especially for President Johnson's first commencement and to thank her, the trustees, families and friends, faculty, staff, and guests for understanding and perpetuating the importance of this college. What it stands for, what it has meant and what it will do in the years ahead. And most importantly, it's wonderful to be here with another green class to say congratulations to the class of 2017.

Now, I have some of my dear friends here from my class. A green class of 1969. And I assume or at least you can tell me later unlike us, you actually have a class cheer. 1969 Wellesley. Yet another year with no class cheer. But it is such an honor to join with the college and all who have come to celebrate this day with you and to recognize the amazing futures that await you. You know, four years ago maybe a little more or less for some of you.

Just a minute. I've got to get a lozenge. Thank you. I told the trustees I was sitting with after hearing Paula's speech I didn't think I could get through it. So we'll blame allergy instead of emotion.

But you know, you arrived at this campus, you arrived from all over. You joined students from 49 states and 58 countries. Now, maybe you felt like you belonged right away. I doubt it. But maybe some of you did and you've never wavered. But maybe you changed your major three times and your hair style twice as many as that. Or maybe after your first month of classes you made a frantic collect call—ask your parents what that was—back to Illinois to tell your mother and father you weren't smart enough to be here.

My father said okay, come home. My mother said you have to stick it out. That's what happened to me. But whatever your path, you dream big. You probably in true Wellesley fashion planned your academic and extracurricular schedule right down to the minute. So this day that you're been waiting for and maybe dreading a little is finally here. As President Johnson said, I spoke at my commencement 48 years ago. I came back 25 years ago to speak at another commencement. I couldn't think of any place I'd rather be this year than right here.

You may have heard that things didn't exactly go the way I planned. But you know what? I'm doing okay. I've gotten to spend time with my family, especially my amazing grandchildren. I was going to give the entire commencement speech about them but was talked out of it.

Long walks in the woods. Organizing my closets, right? I won't lie. Chardonnay helped a little too. Here's what helped most of all. Remembering who I am, where I come from, and what I believe. And that is what Wellesley means to me. This college gave me so much. It launched me on a life of service and provided friends that I still treasure. So wherever your life takes you, I hope that Wellesley serves as that kind of touchstone for you.

Now, if any of you are nervous about what you'll be walking into when you leave the campus, I know that feeling. I do remember my commencement. I've been asked by my classmates to speak. I stayed up all night with my friends, the third floor of Davis. Writing and editing the speech. By the time we gathered in the academic quad, I was exhausted. My hair was a wreck. The mortar board made it even worse. But I was pretty oblivious to all of that, because what my friend his asked me to do was to talk about our worries and about our ability and responsibility to do something about them. We didn't trust government, authority figures, or really anyone over 30.

In large part, thanks to years of heavy casualties and statements about Vietnam and deep differences over civil rights and poverty here at home. We were asking urgent questions about whether women, people of color, religious minorities, immigrants would ever be treated with dignity and respect. And by the way, we were furious about the past presidential election of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice. After firing the person running the investigation into him at the department of justice.

But here's what I want you to know. We got through that tumultuous time and once again we began to thrive as our society changed laws and opened the circle of opportunity and rights wider and wider for more Americans. We revved up the engines of imagination. We turned back a tide of intolerance and embraced inclusion. The we who did those things were more than those in power who wanted to change course. It was millions of ordinary citizens, especially young people who voted, marched and organized. Now, of course today has some important differences.

The advance of technology, the impact of the Internet, our fragmented media landscape, make it easier than ever to splinter ourselves into echo chambers. We can shut out contrary voices, avoid ever questioning our basic assumptions. Extreme views are given powerful microphones. Leaders willing to exploit fear and skepticism have tools at their disposal that were unimaginable when I graduated.

And here’s what that means to you, the class of 2017. You are graduating at a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason. Just log on to social media for ten seconds. It will hit you right in the face. People denying science, concocting elaborate, hurtful conspiracies theories about child abuse rings operating out of pizza parlors. Drumming up rampant fear about undocumented immigrants, Muslims, minorities, the poor. Turning neighbor against neighbor and sowing division at a time when we desperately need unity. Some are even denying things we see with our own eyes. Like the size of crowds.

And then defending themselves by talking about “alternative facts.” But this is serious business. Look at the budget that was just proposed in Washington. It is an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us, the youngest, the oldest, the poorest, and hardworking people who need a little help to gain or hang on to a decent middle-class life. It grossly underfunds public education, mental health, and efforts even to combat the opioid epidemic. And in reversing our commitment to fight climate change, it puts the future of our nation and our world at risk.

And to top it off, it is shrouded in a trillion-dollar mathematical lie. Let's call it what it is. It's a con. They don't even try to hide it. Why does all this matter? It matters because if our leaders lie about the problems we face, we'll never solve them. It matters because it undermines confidence in government as a whole which in turn breeds more cynicism and anger. But it also matters because our country, like this college, was founded on the principles of the enlightenment. In particular, the belief that people, you and I, possess the capacity for reason and critical thinking. And that free and open debate is the life blood of a democracy.

Not only Wellesley, but the entire American university system, the envy of the world, was founded on those fundamental ideals. We should not abandon them. We should revere them. We should aspire to them every single day in everything we do.

And there's something else. As the history majors among you here today know all too well, when people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society.

That is not hyperbole. It is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done. They attempt to control reality. Not just our laws and our rights and our budgets, but our thoughts and beliefs. Right now some of you might wonder well, why am I telling you all this? You don't own a cable news network. You don't control the Facebook algorithm. You aren't a member of congress. Yet.

Because I believe with all my heart that the future of America, indeed the future of the world, depends on brave, thoughtful people like you insisting on truth and integrity right now every day. You didn't create these circumstances but you have the power to change them.

Vaclav Havel, the playwright, the first president of the Czech Republic, wrote an essay called "The Power of the Powerless." And in it he said, the moment someone breaks through in one place, when one person cries out, the emperor is naked. When a single person breaks the rules of the game thus exposing it as a game, everything suddenly appears in another light.

What he's telling us is if you feel powerless, don't. Don't let anyone tell you your voice doesn't matter. In the years to come, there will be trolls galore online and in person. Eager to tell you that you don't have anything worthwhile to say or anything meaningful to contribute. They may even call you a nasty woman. Some may take a slightly more sophisticated approach and say your elite education means you are out of teach with real people. In other words, sit down and shut up. Now, in my experience, that's the last thing you should ever tell a Wellesley graduate.

And here's the good news. What you've learned these four years is precisely what you need to face the challenges of this moment. First, you learned critical thinking. I can still remember the professors who challenged me to make decisions with good information, rigorous reasoning, real deliberation. I know we didn't have much of that in this past election, but we have to get back to it.

After all, in the words of my predecessor in the Senate, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. And your education gives you more than knowledge. It gives you the power to keep learning and apply what you know to improve your life and the lives of others. Because you are beginning your careers with one of the best educations in the world, I think you do have a special responsibility to give others the chance to learn and think for themselves and to learn from them so that we can have the kind of open fact-based debate necessary for our democracy to survive and flourish. And along the way, you may be convinced to change your mind from time to time. You know what? That's okay. Take it from me, the former president of the Wellesley College Young Republicans.

Second, you learn the value of an open mind and an open society. At their best, our colleges and universities are free marketplaces of ideas. Embracing a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds. That's our country at our best, too. An open, inclusive, diverse society is the opposite of an anecdote to a closed society where there is only one right way to think, believe, and act.

Here at Wellesley you've worked hard to turn this ideal into a reality. You've spoken out against racism and sexism and discrimination of all kinds and you've shared your own stories and at times that's taken courage. But the only way our society will ever become a place where everyone truly belongs is if all of us speak openly and honestly about who we are, what we're going through. So keep doing that. And let me add that your learning, listening and serving should include people who don't agree with you politically. A lot of our fellow Americans have lost faith in the existing economic, social, political, and cultural conditions of our country. Many feel left behind, left out, looked down on.

Their anger and alienation has proved a fertile ground for false promises and information. It must be addressed or they will continue to sign up to be foot soldiers in the ongoing conflict between us and them. The opportunity is here. Millions of people will be hurt by the policies, including this budget that is being considered. And many of those same people don't want dreamers deported or health care taken away. Many don't want to retreat on civil rights, women's rights and LGBT rights. So if your outreach is rebuffed, keep trying. Do the right thing anyway. We're going to share this future. Better do so with open hearts and outstretched hands than closed minds and clenched fists.

Here at Wellesley you learned the power of service. Because while free and fierce conversations in classrooms, dorm rooms, dining halls are vital. They only get us so far. You have to turn those ideas and those values into action. This college has always understood that. The motto which you've heard twice already not to be ministered unto but to minister is as true today as it ever was. You think about it, it's kind of an old-fashioned rendering of President Kennedy's great statement. Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.

Not long ago I got a note from a group of Wellesley alums and students who had supported me in the campaign. They worked their hearts out and like a lot of people they're wondering what do we do now? Well, I think there's only one answer. Keep going. Don't be afraid of your ambition, of your dreams, or even your anger. Those are powerful forces. But harness them to make a difference in the world. Stand up for truth and reason. Do it in private, in conversations with your family, your friends, your workplace, your neighborhoods, and do it in public. In media posts, on social media, or grab a sign and head to a protest. Make defending truth and a free society a core value of your life every single day.

So wherever you wind up next, the minute you get there, register to vote. And while you're at it, encourage others to do so. And then vote in every election. Not just the presidential ones. Bring others to vote. Fight every effort to restrict the right of law abiding citizens to be able to vote as well.

Get involved in a cause that matters to you. Pick one. Start somewhere. You don't have to do everything. But don't sit on the sidelines. And you know what? Get to know your elected officials. If you disagree with them, ask questions. Challenge them. Better yet, run for office yourself someday.

Now, that's not for everybody. I know. And it's certainly not for the faint of heart, but it's worth it. As they say in one of my favorite movies, A League of Their Own, it's supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it great.

As Paula said, the day after the election, I did want to speak, particularly to women and girls everywhere, especially young women. Because you are valuable. And powerful. And deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world. Not just your future, but our future depends on you believing that. We need your smarts, of course. But we also need your compassion. Your curiosity. Your stubbornness. And remember, you are even more powerful because you have so many people supporting you, cheering you on, standing with you through good times and bad.

You know, our culture often celebrates people who appear to go it alone. But the truth is that's not how life works. Anything worth doing takes a village. And you build that village by investing love and time into your relationships. And in those moments, for whatever reason, when it might feel bleak, think back to this place where women have the freedom to take risks, make mistakes, even fail in front of each other. Channel the strength of your Wellesley classmates and experiences. I guarantee you it will help you stand up a little straighter, feel a little braver, knowing that the things you joked about and even took for granted can be your secret weapons for your future. One of the things that gave me the most hope and joy after the election, when I really needed it, was meeting so many young people who told me that my defeat had not defeated them.

And I'm going to devote a lot of my future to helping you make your mark in the world. I created a new organization called onward together to help recruit and train future leaders, organize for real and lasting change. The work never ends. When I graduated and made that speech, I did say, and some of you might have pictures from that day with this on it, the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible. That was true then. It's truer today.

I never could have imagined where I would have been 48 years later. Certainly never that I would have run for the presidency of the United States or seen progress for women in all walks of life over the course of my lifetime. And yes, put millions of more cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling. Because just in those years, doors that once seemed sealed to women are now open. They're ready for you to walk through or charge through. To advance the struggle for equality, justice, and freedom. So whatever your dreams today, dream even bigger. Wherever you have set your sights, raise them even higher. And above all, keep going. Don't do it because I asked you to. Do it for yourselves. Do it for truth and reason. Do it because the history of Wellesley and this country tells us it's often during the darkest times when you can do the most good.

Double down on your passions. Be bold. Try. Fail. Try again and lean on each other. Hold on to your values. Never give up on those dreams. I'm have been optimistic about the future. Because I think after we've tried a lot of other things, we get back to the business of America. I believe in you with all my heart. I want you to believe in yourselves. So go forth. Be great. But first graduate. Congratulations!”

100-year-old twin sisters celebrate huge milestone in photo shoot 

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:52 PM

Twin sisters in Ibiraçu, Brazil, are celebrating their 100th birthday with their very big families.

Photographer Camila Lima told ABC News she saw a news story about Maria Pignaton Pontin and Paulina Pignaton Pandolfi and wanted to take photos of them in honor of the milestone.

>> Read more trending news

The sisters will celebrate their 100th year on May 24.

Lima, 28, said she takes photos of older couples regularly “as a way to inspire young couples.” When she approached the sisters with the idea, they immediately agreed.

RELATED: Grandfather shows off dance moves at 100th birthday, proving age is just a number 

The Gazeta Online reported they celebrated their birthday with 100 people Saturday.

Maria has five children, 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Paulina has six children, 19 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

The sisters also have five other brothers who are still alive, out of a total of 18.

See their photos below:

Official: Driver who drove over wet concrete to pay $10K in damages

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 1:03 PM



Jens_Lambert_Photography/Getty Images/iStockphoto

A driver in Nebraska who ignored traffic control devices Wednesday and proceeded to drive over wet concrete will pay heavily for their mistake, a city official said.

>> Read more trending news

Thomas Shafer, a Public Works spokesperson for the city of Lincoln told KETV that traffic was delayed while the vehicle was extricated from the wet concrete. The driver will be responsible for the cost of repairs to the damaged road, which Shafer said will total approximately $10,000, including labor, materials and cleanup from the incident.

Officials encourage drivers to obey traffic control devices such as barriers, along with construction signs, to prevent such incidents.