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Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 @ 7:45 AM
Updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 @ 7:45 AM
OJAI, Calif. — A California dad's heartwarming reaction after his son asked for a doll at the toy store has gone viral.
According to ABC News, Mikki Willis of Ojai recently took his 4-year-old son, Azai, to a toy store to return a duplicate birthday gift. When Willis asked Azai what he wanted in exchange, the youngster picked out a "Little Mermaid" doll.
"Now, how do you think a dad feels when his son wants to get this?" Willis asks while holding the doll in a video posted to Facebook on Friday.
"Yeah!" Willis and Azai enthusiastically shout in response.
"That's how I feel. ... I let my boys choose their life," Willis adds, referring to Azai and his 1 1/2-year-old brother, Zuri.
"Choose your expression. Choose what you're into. Choose your sexuality. Choose whatever."
The clip ends with a lot of happy shrieks as Willis promises to always love and support his sons.
The footage has gone viral, with more than 13.5 million views by early Tuesday.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 4:17 PM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 4:36 PM
WASHINGTON — Republicans tried to make Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the face of the government shutdown. Now, he’s becoming the face of the Democratic retreat.
For two days, Schumer, perhaps the most powerful Democrat in Washington, succeeded in keeping his party unified in a bid to use the government funding fight to push for protections for some 700,000 young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But as the shutdown moved into its third day, the New York Democrat and his party buckled as several Democrats backed a deal to end the shutdown in exchange for a Republican pledge to address the immigration debate in the near future.
Schumer quickly became a punching bag for the right and left.
“It’s official: Chuck Schumer is the worst negotiator in Washington — even worse than Trump,” said Murshed Zaheed, political director for the liberal group CREDO.
“Schumer caved,” tweeted former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an ally to President Donald Trump. He added, “Lessons learned — Schumer burned.”
Schumer had little margin for error in this first major test of his muscle and maneuvering as leader.
The pragmatist was balancing the demands of a liberal base eager for a fight with the president and the political realities of red-state senators anxious about their re-election prospects this fall.
As liberals embraced the fight, some vulnerable senators met with Schumer on Sunday morning and urged a compromise to end the shutdown.
“The question is, how do we get out of here in a way that reflects what the majority of the body wants to do,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who is among the Democrats on the ballot in November. She added: “It is critically important that we get this done today.”
The Senate voted Monday to advance a bill that would extend government funding through Feb. 8. In a bid to win over a few Democratic holdouts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also pledged to take up legislation on immigration and other top Democratic priorities if they weren’t already addressed by the time that spending bill would expire.
McConnell’s pledge was enough to sway the handful of Democrats he needed to pass the spending bill.
Democratic aides said that while Schumer, who spent the weekend calling members on his flip phone, initially appeared to be holding the party together, the desire to end the shutdown won out.
Liberal leaders across the country hosted a conference call before Monday’s vote to encourage Schumer and other Democrats to oppose any deal that excludes protections for the young immigrants.
“To anyone considering such a move, let me be clear: Promises won’t protect anyone from deportation,” said Greisa Martinez Rosas, a so-called “Dreamer” and the advocacy director for the liberal group United We Dream. “Delay means deportation for us.”
Despite controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress, Republicans pinned the blame for the shutdown squarely on Schumer, accusing him of being captive to liberals and advocacy groups which opposed any spending package that didn’t result in a solution for the young immigrants. The White House and GOP officials branded the funding gap the “Schumer Shutdown,” spreading the phrase as a hashtag on social media.
Immigration advocates hoped Schumer would see that as badge of honor, but there was anxiety about his resolve.
“He went to the mats,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of the immigration advocacy group America’s Voice. “He had the backbone to lead his caucus into a high-stakes, high risk battle. It thrilled progressives.”
Should Democrats blink first, he predicted, “The era of good feeling quickly will be replaced by anger and disappointment.”
Schumer isn’t the most natural fit for the role of champion of the left.
The energetic, four-term senator is viewed as more of a pragmatist than an ideologue. He has long faced skepticism from some liberals, thanks, in part, to his Wall Street ties. He frustrated many Democrats with his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal championed by President Barack Obama.
In 2013, Schumer was part of a bipartisan group of senators who worked on a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s fractured immigration laws. The package, which would have created a pathway to citizenship for millions of people in the U.S. illegally, was narrowly approved in the Senate but never taken up by the House
Just last month, immigration advocates, including members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were furious with Schumer and Democratic leaders for not forcing a fight over the young immigrants. Democratic aides said despite the pressure from some of his party’s most energized forces, Schumer knew his caucus would not hold together at that point. Indeed, 18 Democratic senators ultimately voted for the short-term spending bill that kicked both the budget battle and the immigration fight into the new year.
The dynamic shifted in January. Democrats began the year hopeful that Trump, who has expressed sympathy for the young immigrants, would be willing to make a big deal. When those plans collapsed, Schumer found more enthusiasm even among moderate Democrat senators to withhold support for a spending bill that didn’t address immigration, even if it meant forcing a shutdown.
He was helped along, according to multiple Democratic aides, by revelations that Trump had told lawmakers during a private meeting that he wanted less immigration from “shithole” countries in Africa and more from places like Norway.
Schumer experienced a sea change after the remarks, according to one aide, who like other Democrats and Trump advisers, insisted on anonymity in order to describe private deliberations.
Some liberals fear the sea change is over.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 3:57 PM
SEATTLE — More than a year after it introduced the concept, Amazon opened its artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store in Seattle Monday.
The store on the bottom floor of Amazon’s headquarters billed itself as grocery shopping for the future. It has no registers and no cashiers.
Shoppers have to download the Amazon Go app to scan to get in the door. Once they are inside, the store tracks what they buy through cameras and shelf sensors.
Anything a shopper takes off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything put back is taken out of the cart.
Once shopping in finished, you just walk out the door. You will get a receipt in your app about five minutes later.
The system works by combining computer vision and machine-learning algorithms and sensors.
The Associated Press reported there are people there making food, stocking shelves and helping customers. The store offers ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, as well as some grocery staples like bread, milk, cheese and chocolates. It'll also have Amazon Meal Kits.
KIRO spoke to some of the shoppers who were among the first to experience the store and they seemed to like what they saw.
“It will make it a lot quicker. The biggest reason you don’t want to go to the store is waiting in line so it’s pretty great," Betty Paschke, who lives in Seattle, said.
Tech expert Todd Bishop with Geekwire said the success of the store is yet to be seen and depends on how much the public is willing to let the business track their spending and accounts virtually.
“It basically treats people walking around a physical space exactly like people are tracked online currently,” Bishop saud.
Amazon Go had been open only to Amazon employees since December 2016 to test out the technology.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 3:58 PM
DELEON SPRINGS, Fla. — A cigarette butt left at a home that was burglarized during Hurricane Irma led to the arrest of a Florida woman and her alleged accomplice, sheriff officials said.
Cassandra Taylor, 32, was arrested after deputies said she burglarized and ransacked a DeLeon Springs home on Billings Avenue in Volusia County last Sept. during the emergency evacuation caused by Hurricane Irma.
The victim told deputies they’d evacuated their home ahead of Irma on Sept. 9 and when he returned home he found couches in the living room overturned and sliced open, his bedroom drawers opened and several items missing from the house.
Among the stolen items were six purses, 31 pairs of jeans, six pairs of sneakers, 50 chair covers, a DVD player and a piggy bank full of money.
Deputies couldn't figure out who committed the burglary until investigators received information during a different burglary investigation that Taylor and another possible suspect may have burglarized the home.
Investigators recently received DNA results from a cigarette butt found on the bedroom floor, which matched Taylor.
Sheriff officials said Taylor confessed to the burglary.
Because the incident occurred during a state of emergency, Taylor faces an enhanced charge of burglary to a dwelling during a state of emergency, as well as a charge of grand theft.
Deputies said Oscar Bravo, 25, was arrested Sunday evening and was also charged with burglary.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:33 AM
— The story of an Ohio woman who allegedly died during a trip to Graceland has taken another surprising twist.
Phillip Snider, the husband at the center of the investigation, told investigators in Benton County, Tennessee that he dumped his wife’s body in the Tennessee River, according to WBBJ.
Phillip and his wife, Roberta, left their Ohio home to visit Graceland, but she never came home. He told police his wife was in poor health and this was supposed to be their last trip.
Phillip Snider originally told police his wife died of natural causes in a hotel parking lot across from Graceland. He said they found an ambulance nearby and emergency workers told him they were taking her to a hospital.
However, there is no record of her body in Tennessee, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Phillip didn’t know the name of the ambulance company or the hospital. As he returned home to Ohio, his story was brought into question.
Investigators in both Tennessee and Ohio have been trying to piece together the mystery.
In an interview with WBBJ, Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher revealed a conversation between Phillip Snider and investigators.
“He says he put her body in plastic and disposed of her body over this bridge,” Christopher told the Jackson-based TV station.
The sheriff said Phillip claims his wife had cancer and died “somewhere in Kentucky.” He allegedly continued to Memphis, stayed the night and dumped her body in the Tennessee River on the way home.
Roberta Snider’s body has not been recovered.