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Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 2:53 PM
— Three UCLA basketball players apologized on Wednesday and thanked authorities and President Donald Trump for the work done to get them home from China after they were accused of shoplifting.
LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were questioned and arrested by police after they were accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store next to their hotel in Hangzhou, China. If convicted, the trio would have faced 10-year sentences in China’s prison system.
Ball, Riley and Hill apologized to their team members, friends and family Wednesday at a news conference.
UCLA's Jalen Hill thanks everyone involved in helping him and his teammates return from China, including President Trump. pic.twitter.com/nUqobXtX2t— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 15, 2017
“I’d like to start off by saying sorry for stealing from the store from China. I didn’t exercise my best judgement, and I was wrong for that,” Ball said. “I also apologize to the people of China for causing them so much trouble. I’m a young man, however, that’s not an excuse for making a stupid decision.”
The trio also thanked their fellow teammates, school officials and the U.S. government for the work done to bring them back to the United States.
"To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf," Riley said. "We really appreciate you helping us out."
"To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf," UCLA basketball player Cody Riley says https://t.co/MCkbQFPeJ6 pic.twitter.com/1IPa9nUhaV— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 15, 2017
Trump on Wednesday morning asked his followers on Twitter whether they thought the trio would thank him for his intervention.
“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” he wrote.
Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2017
Ball, Riley and Hill were released and allowed to return to the United States on Tuesday after Trump said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on their behalf.
“The basketball players, by the way — I know a lot of people are asking — I will tell you, when I heard about it two days ago, I had a great conversation with President Xi,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post. “What they did was unfortunate. You know, you’re talking about very long prison sentences. (The Chinese) do not play games.”
UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford said on Wednesday that Ball, Riley and Hill will be “suspended indefinitely.”
"These are good young men who exercised an inexcusable lack of judgment," Alford said. “At some point, they may be permitted to join team workouts, practices and meetings, but that timeline has yet to be determined. They will have to earn their way back."
Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 12:00 AM
After watching lawmakers agree to two bills this week dealing with guns and school safety in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Democrats say the gun violence marches around the nation on Saturday have the chance to change the political dynamic on gun control in the Congress.
“Their hope gives me hope,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and others who have joined in calling for action on gun violence.
“Their determination gives me determination,” Nelson said at a U.S. Capitol news conference, even as he and other Democrats again acknowledged that they are far from having the votes to press ahead with gun control plans.
Among the plans that Democrats have focused on in recent weeks include:
+ The Manchin-Toomey ‘universal background checks’ bill, which would require checks for almost all private gun sales.
+ A federal law raising the minimum age to purchase a weapon to 21, mirrored on a law just passed by the state of Florida.
+ A ban on the sale of weapons like the AR-15.
+ Limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
“We have an important role to play in insuring that no students should ever be afraid to walk down the hallway of their school,” said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), whose district includes Parkland, Florida.
“It is our job, and everyone working in that building behind us, to pass laws, to keep our communities safe,” Deutch said at a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol.
But the last five weeks were also a reminder of the difficulty of acting on any gun-related legislation – no matter how minor it might be.
The “Fix NICS” bill approved this week as part of a giant spending bill was bipartisan, yet it also had some sharp opposition from Republicans in the House.
And that makes the idea of the ‘Buy 21’ bill, or any ban on assault weapons, difficult to see getting through the Congress, unless there is major change in the makeup of the U.S. House and Senate.
“You know the politics, but you got to start somewhere,” said Nelson. “This is the first step at the federal level.”
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:24 PM
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police say a mother intentionally crashed her SUV into a pole to prove to her two small children that God is real.
Investigators say Bakari Warren, 25, told officers after the crash that she did it on purpose to show her kids that if they believe, God would protect them.
The crash and the 5- and 7-year-old kids’ explanation were all caught on camera.
Police say Warren was driving northbound on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard when she crossed into the southbound lanes and drove head on into a concrete pole.
Sitting in a police car, her children explained what happened before the crash.
“You think she did it on purpose?” the officer asked.
“Yeah because she turned. Her eyes was closed and she was saying, blah, blah, blah, ‘I love God,’” one daughter said. “She didn’t want us to just have a car accident. She wanted us to know that God is real."
Police said Warren told her children to buckle up their seat belts just before she accelerated into the pole. Warren was frisked and handcuffed right after she got out of the SUV.
“When the officers asked the driver of the vehicle what had happened her first statement was to check her Facebook, and it would explain what happened,” Norcross police Sgt. Eric Butynski said.
Nothing was found directly referencing the incident on what appeared to be her Facebook page, but police say she later gave the same reasons as her kids -- to prove that God will protect them.
No one was hurt in the accident, but officers say it could have been much worse.
“It could have been a lot worse. It could have been heavier traffic at the time, she could have hit the pole at such an angle that she did more damage to the car,” Butynski said.
Warren remains in jail on $22,000 bond. She is charged with two counts of child cruelty.
The children are now with their grandparents.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 10:25 PM
WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice announced a proposal Friday to ban bump stocks, device that essentially convert semiautomatic weapons into machine guns. The announcement came just a day ahead of the “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington.
Thousands of young people are expected to converge on the nation’s capital to demand gun control following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month that left 17 people dead.
President Donald Trump announced the new proposal on Twitter. “We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns,” the president tweeted.
Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement on the proposed ban, referring to the Las Vegas massacre in October that left 58 people dead. The shooter used bump stocks on a number of weapons to increase their firepower.
“After the senseless attack in Las Vegas, this proposed rule is a critical step in our effort to reduce the threat of gun violence,” Sessions said.
Attorney General Sessions Announces Regulation Effectively Banning Bump Stocks https://t.co/WFdxNSLmyq— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) March 23, 2018
On Feb. 20, Trump issued a memorandum instructing Session to ban bump stocks. The proposal announced on Friday is a response to that memorandum.
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:58 PM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Rick Scott is signing off on a measure that would let Florida stay on daylight saving time all year long.
Scott on Friday signed 74 bills into law, including the "Sunshine Protection Act." The measure won't take effect unless Congress also changes federal law.
But if Congress were to go along, Floridians would no longer set back their clock an hour each November.
That would translate into later sunrises and sunsets from November to March.
Scott in a statement said he supported the move because it would help the state's tourism industry. He said it would allow residents and visitors to "enjoy everything our beautiful state has to offer later in the day."