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The Latest: Another Wells Fargo CEO faces an angry Congress

Published: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 11:06 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

The Latest on Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan's testimony before Congress (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Some U.S. Senators questioning Wells Fargo's CEO say an auto insurance scandal is an example of how the bank's culture hasn't changed.

Wells Fargo acknowledged earlier this year that it signed up tens of thousands of auto loan customers up for insurance they did not need, and some of those customers who could not afford the auto insurance had their cars repossessed.

That came after a scandal over millions of accounts created without customer knowledge as bank employees tried to meet aggressive sales targets.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, said "it was amazing" for Wells Fargo to claim it puts customers first when people's cars were repossessed.

And Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Dakota, expressed anger about the auto insurance scandal as well as the sales practices scandal. She said bank executives promise to look into situations and promise they care about customers. But she said, "I do not hear a level of cultural change that satisfies me today."

11 a.m.

A year later, it appears Congress remains united on at least one thing: its anger at Wells Fargo over a sales practices scandal.

Senators on both sides of the aisle expressed their continuing disappointment Tuesday as CEO Tim Sloan appeared before them, wondering whether one of the nation's largest consumer banks has truly changed its culture a year after the sales practices were exposed.

Wells Fargo has said that 3.5 million accounts were potentially opened without customers' permission between 2009 and 2016, as employees tried to meet ambitious sales targets. Sloan's predecessor, John Stumpf, testified twice in front of Congress last fall and the scandal cost him his job.

Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, said, "We are irritated at Wells Fargo. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a vocal critic of Wells Fargo, called for Sloan's firing. She said, "At best you were incompetent, at worst you were complicit," in the sales practices.

1 a.m.

Wells Fargo's chief executive will face Congress saying the bank remains "deeply sorry" for its previous sales practices, and that in the year since the scandal over them exploded it has substantially changed for the better.

The prepared comments from Tim Sloan come ahead of his scheduled appearance in front of the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, about a year since his predecessor did the same and was grilled about the sales practices.

Wells Fargo has said that 3.5 million accounts were potentially opened without customers' permission between 2009 and 2016, as employees tried to meet ambitious sales targets. The scandal was the biggest in Wells Fargo's history. Sloan's predecessor, John Stumpf, testified twice in front of Congress last fall.

Gender-neutral birth certificate approved in California

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 10:31 AM

California First State to Allow Gender-Neutral Birth Certificate

California has become the first state to allow another gender designation on birth certificates: non-binary. 

Governor Jerry Brown’s signed the bill that will take effect next year, The Sacramento Bee reported.

SB 179 also allows adults to use a gender marker other than “F” or “M” on their driver’s license. California is now only the second state to allow gender-neutral licenses. Oregon is the only other state to allow it, while Washington, D.C. has permitted non-gender specific licenses, WRC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Non-binary will be listed on drivers licenses starting in 2019, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Non-binary is an “umbrella term for people with gender identities that fall somewhere outside of the traditional conceptions of strictly either female or male,” and includes people who are transgender or born with intersex traits, The Bee reported.

Five people in the country have decided so far to use the designation non-binary as their legal gender. But according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 31 percent of the more than 27,000 people who took part identified themselves as non-binary.

The new law will make it easier for changes to official documents. Currently, anyone who wants to change their gender on their identification has to have a medical certification, but now that rule will be abolished, The Times reported.

Holiday spirit takes on whole new meaning with these ornaments

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 9:55 AM

FILE PHOTO - A woman looks through a glass of whiskey.
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO - A woman looks through a glass of whiskey.
(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Cheers to the holidays.

A UK-based distillery has just the decorations you need to get through the tough days of Christmas with the family: liquor-filled ornaments.

>> Read more trending news

Lakes Distillery is offering clear glass ornaments filled with either whisky, gin or vodka.

The baubles, as they are called, run about $26 each or you can get a six-pack for about $46.

The ornaments are only available in the UK, but for those who are more DIY-minded, Insider suggests finding ornaments that can be filled and a liquor of choice to fill the tree with the spirits of Christmas.


National Pasta Day 2017: Deals on pasta from Olive Garden, Maggiano's and more

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

Olive Garden’s ‘Never Ending Pasta Pass’ Is Back

For the pasta lover in your life, today is a special day.

National Pasta Day has dawned across the nation and several Italian restaurants are ready to fill your noodle needs. Which, as it turns out, is a good thing because the National Pasta Association says that Americans eat about 20 pounds of the stuff each year. 

Here are some deals to help you celebrate.

Trump denies telling widow of fallen soldier that her husband 'knew what he signed up for'

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 11:41 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 7:49 AM

Reports: President Trump to Widow of Fallen Soldier, He Knew "What He Signed Up For"

UPDATE, 7:38 a.m. ET Wednesday: President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to deny reports that he told a fallen soldier’s widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”

“Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” Trump tweeted.

>> See the tweet here

The tweet was referring to U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., who said she heard Trump say the words when he offered his condolences to Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson.

Wilson stood by her remarks. 

"I don't know what kind of proof he's talking about. I'm not the only person that was in the car," Wilson told CNN. "I have proof, too. This man is a sick man and he feels no pity for no one."

ORIGINAL STORY: President Donald Trump reportedly told the pregnant widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson that “he knew what he signed up for...” in a call Tuesday afternoon according to WPLG.

>> Read more trending news

Johnson’s body, one of the four Army servicemen killed in action in Niger on Oct. 4, returned to the United States Tuesday. The flight bearing Johnson’s remains landed at Miami International Airport, according to WPLG.

The plane was met by Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, who is pregnant with the couple’s third child. Also present was an honor guard and local politicians.

Trump called Johnson to offer his condolences, telling her that her fallen husband “knew what he signed up for,” adding that “when it happens it hurts anyway,” a congresswoman who said she was present for the call said.

That response is generating some controversy, with some saying the president was unnecessarily callous and blunt. U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., said she heard the call with Trump and couldn’t believe her ears.

“It’s so insensitive. He should have not have said that. He shouldn’t have said it,” she said.

Also killed in action on Oct. 4 were Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and four soldiers from Niger, according to the New York Daily News. Two other Americans were wounded.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.