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Published: Friday, February 02, 2018 @ 1:54 PM
— The reference is easily missed, but one of Coke’s new Super Bowl 2018 commercials briefly highlights a person who doesn’t identify with traditional gender definitions.
The ad, which is scheduled to air during the Super Bowl’s fourth quarter, refers to the person as “them.”
It may be the first time Coke knowingly referred to a person in a major commercial with that pronoun. A spokeswoman didn’t immediately know of another, but she’s checking.
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 3:55 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 3:55 PM
— At least three women were injured Friday after an SUV jumped a curb in downtown Portland and struck them before speeding away, according to multiple reports.
Portland Fire & Rescue officials confirmed authorities were responding to the incident near the intersection of SW 6th Avenue and SW Hall Street around 10:20 a.m. local time.
Update 3:55 p.m. EDT: A suspect was in custody Friday after a blue SUV struck at least three women Friday in downtown Portland, KPTV reported.
#BREAKING: SUV matching description of vehicle involved in downtown Portland hit-and-run cornered by police at NE 16th & Glisan. Driver taken into custody. Visible damage on front of SUV seen from AIR 12. #FOX12 pic.twitter.com/EeZud7rRr4— Tyler Dumont FOX 12 (@TylerDumontNews) May 25, 2018
Police earlier asked for help locating the SUV. By 12:45 p.m. local time, authorities said the vehicle had been located.
UPDATE: SW 6 Ave/SW Montgomery St. The blue Mazda Tribute has been located by police. Based on information learned at this time, the Police Bureau does not believe there is a danger to the community connected with this incident.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) May 25, 2018
Update 2:25 p.m. EDT: Portland police confirmed that three women were injured Friday in a hit-in-run reported in downtown Portland.
Police said the injuries appeared to be serious and two of the women’s injuries appeared to be life-threatening.
Authorities said a fourth person might have also been injured but left the scene before police arrived.
Officials did not rule out the possibility that the crash could be connected to terrorism, though police said it was too early to tell Friday afternoon.
Update 1:53 p.m. EDT: Police described Friday’s crash as a “hit and run,” according to KATU.
A witness, who said he was nearly run over, told The Oregonian that it was clear that the driver of the car acted intentionally before Friday’s crash.
"When he got right before me he gunned it,” said the man, who was not identified. He estimated that the vehicle was traveling at about 45 mph when it collided with several other pedestrians.
Witness said driver almost hit him, “gunned the motor” trying to hit him after hitting three people. Three hospitalized, officer said. pic.twitter.com/u9TIF9nn7z— Fedor Zarkhin (@FedorZarkhin) May 25, 2018
Original report: The Oregonian reported that at least three people were injured, citing an officer at the scene.
Officer at scene downtown Portland said car drove onto sidewalk, 3 people taken to hospital. Area cordoned off with tape. @Oregonian— Fedor Zarkhin (@FedorZarkhin) May 25, 2018
Matt Ritzi told the newspaper that he was walking to Portland State University when he saw the aftermath of the accident, which left three or four people on the ground. He said he saw more than a dozen people trying to help them. "
I heard a lot of moaning and crying," he told The Oregonian. "I didn't see much movement."
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:45 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 3:00 PM
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday warmly welcomed North Korea’s promising response to his abrupt withdrawal from the potentially historic Singapore summit and said “we’re talking to them now” about putting it back on track.
“Everybody plays games,” said Trump, who often boasts about his own negotiating tactics and skill.
The president, commenting as he left the White House for a commencement speech, said it was even possible the summit could take place on the originally planned June 12 date.
“They very much want to do it, we’d like to do it,” he said.
Earlier Friday, in a tweet, he had called the North’s reaction to his letter canceling the summit “warm and productive.” That was far different from his letter Thursday to North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, blaming “tremendous anger and open hostility” by Pyongyang for the U.S. withdrawal.
The tone from both sides was warmer on Friday. First, North Korea issued a statement saying it was still “willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities” to reconsider talks “at any time, at any format.”
Ohio leaders react
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, was in Dayton Friday and said he was not surprised President Trump called off the summit with North Korea, but was hopeful direct negotiation would happen to cause the regime to disarm its nuclear capability.
“I’ve been one of those people calling for direct negotiations with North Korea, not because they are a country that we should reward or that we can trust, but because we should have direct negotiations with any country that has this nuclear weapons capability,” said Portman, R-Ohio.
He said global sanctions imposed on North Korea were a “good news” story that worked.
“It’s a good example of where if you can get the international community (together) on something, and it really is a diplomatic effort, you can put enough pressure on a regime, even a regime as evil as this one where they say, ‘OK, we want to come to the table and talk,’” said Portman, who also noted North Korea’s recent release of three American detainees.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he was “disappointed” that the talks would not take place in June, but is hopeful groundwork can be laid for a future summit.
“We all agree a denuclearized North Korea must be our goal,” he said.
Democratic Ohio House members, meanwhile, were more critical of Trump’s approach.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo said North Korea “is not an honest broker” and said that “rushed attempts to deter that nation from its decades-long tradition of brutal and unstable dictatorships will not be effective.”
“Validating Kim Jong Un with the direct involvement of the President may well be premature when dealing with an immature dictator,” she said, but urged Trump to continue to pursue high-level diplomatic talks.
North Korea, U.S. Defense leaders respond
Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump’s withdrawal “unexpected” and “very regrettable,” and said the cancellation of the talks showed “how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-U.S. relations is and how urgently a summit should be realized to improve ties.”
Then Trump, in his response to that response, said it was “very good news,” and “we will soon see where it will lead, hopefully to long and enduring prosperity and peace. Only time (and talent) will tell!”
At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the recent back-and-forth between Trump and North Korea the “usual give and take.”
The president’s surprise exit from the planned talks on Thursday had capped weeks of high-stakes brinkmanship between the two unpredictable leaders over nuclear negotiating terms for their unprecedented sit-down. The U.S. announcement came not long after Kim appeared to make good on his promise to demolish his country’s nuclear test site. But it also followed escalating frustration — and newly antagonistic rhetoric — from North Korea over comments from Trump aides about U.S. expectations for the North’s “denuclearization.”
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:55 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:59 PM
DAYTON — Veterans will have expanded private health care options under legislation passed by Congress, but some critics contend it could lead to more privatization of VA services.
The measure was part of a sweeping $51 billion VA bill that would institute reforms within the federal agency.
The Senate passed the measure in 92-5 vote this week, which continued funding of the VA Choice program due to be out of money as early as next week. President Donald Trump was expected to sign the bill before Memorial Day.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who backed the legislation, said in a Friday interview in Dayton with this news outlet he heard “spirited” complaints about VA health care in town halls throughout Ohio.
Veterans’ stories about VA health care have “gotten better” since then, but the senator still hears a common complaint.
“The problem I keep hearing about is, look I need to get a specialist in my community. I don’t want to drive from here to Cleveland or here to Cincinnati even. Why can’t I go to somebody here locally?”
The VA legislation will ease that issue with private health care options, he said.
“It says we’re going to help veterans get the care that they need where they want to get it at their convenience,” he said.
The legislation will eliminate the requirement veterans must wait at least 30 days or travel more than 40 miles to qualify for a private health care appointment, according to John W. Palmer, a spokesman with the Ohio Hospital Association in Columbus.
“We believe this is going to create stronger opportunities for access to care,” he said. “From a health care access standpoint, we definitely are equipped to handle patients that are coming in.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and a member of the Senate Veterans Committee, voted for the legislation, but said he opposes any privatization meaures.
“Privatization means putting profits ahead of those who served our country, and I will fight any effort to use America’s veterans to line the pockets of wealthy corporations,” he said in an email. “Instead, we must all work together to strengthen and improve VA to better serve veterans.”
The bill also includes provisions to strengthen the VA workforce and make it easier to hire and retain more medical professionals, said Brown spokeswoman Jenny Donohue. His office said the bill streamlines, but does not expand private health care choices.
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, voted for the legislation in the House.
“This bill preserves our commitment to quality of care of veterans at facilities like the Dayton VA, puts the needs of veterans first, and ensures our veterans’ service is honored,” he said in a statement.
The Dayton VA has spent $55 million on private health care for nearly 17,700 veterans authorizations in fiscal year 2018, according to spokesman Ted Froats.
Among changes, the legislation will expand caregiver benefits to veterans who served before Sept. 11, 2001; puts tighter practices on prescribing opioids to VA patients from private providers; and sets up a presidentially appointed commission to review under performing VA facilities for possible closure, among a list of changes. Dozens of veterans service groups, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, supported the bill.
The American Federal of Government Employees, which represents 260,000 federal VA employees, has had sweeping concerns with the wide-ranging bill.
The labor union says it could lead to outsourcing or the “amputation” of 36 health care specialties, such a primary care or mental health, outside the VA and force veterans into private health care if their VA facility is closed. The legislation would allow unrestricted use of private walk-in clinics and billions of dollars to be taken out of VA health care without federal data on how contractors spend the money, said Marilyn Park, an AFGE legislative assistant.
“We made a promise to veterans when they signed up to serve that they would be taken care of when they got home – not forced to wait in longer lines at private, walk-in clinics,” AFGE National VA Council President Alma Lee said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:53 PM
BATON ROUGE, La. — A bright 11-year-old was awarded a full-ride scholarship to college this week.
Elijah put a school cap on his head and a letterman jacket on over his shirt and bow tie before he academically signed with the university Friday at a meeting attended by his family and the school’s board of supervisors, according to The Advocate.
"It feels great," Elijah told The Advocate. "I thank God that all my hard work and all the pouring (into me) did not go in vain."
He will study physics and mechanical engineering through the honors college. When he was 8, he started taking biology, physics and business classes at the school, according to The Advocate.