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BuzzFeed says it still remains confident in its story, one day after Mueller disputed it

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(CNN) — “If true” are two of the most dangerous words in journalism. They were spoken hundreds of times in the coverage of BuzzFeed’s potentially explosive report.

On Thursday night BuzzFeed rocked the worlds of politics, media and law with its story, attributed to two sources, that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.

But now there’s been a shift from “if true” to “what’s untrue.” The office of special counsel Robert Mueller said Friday evening the story contained information that is “not accurate.”

Now there is an extraordinary dispute between BuzzFeed and Mueller.

The special counsel took the extremely rare step of issuing a statement and purposefully casting doubt on BuzzFeed’s story. But BuzzFeed says the special counsel should explain what, exactly, is inaccurate.

“We really urge the special counsel to make it clear what he’s disputing,” editor in chief Ben Smith said on CNN’s “AC360” Friday night.

That’s unlikely to happen. In the meantime, BuzzFeed is exuding confidence about its original story, even as journalists at other newsrooms express doubts.

On Saturday a spokesman for the news division said, “As we’ve re-confirmed our reporting, we’ve seen no indication that any specific aspect of our story is inaccurate. We remain confident in what we’ve reported, and will share more as we are able.”

The story is still displayed prominently on the BuzzFeed News homepage: “President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project.”

The subheadline says “Trump received 10 personal updates from Michael Cohen and encouraged a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin.”

BuzzFeed added a line on Friday evening noting that the special counsel’s office had “disputed aspects of” the story.

No other major news outlet has been able to match BuzzFeed’s reporting, which was attributed to “two federal law enforcement officials.”

This has spurred skepticism about the validity of the report. CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz tweeted Friday, “If Mueller has evidence that Cohen lied at the direction of the Trump, you’d think it would have come out.”

Writing in The Hill, Jonathan Turley criticized the “boom and bust pattern” of stories that sparked “imminent prosecution and impeachment” talk, “only to be followed by mitigating or conflicting evidence on each allegation.”

But Smith, speaking on “AC360,” pointed out that reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier have previously been “way out in front” on stories about Trump Tower Moscow that were later confirmed.

Smith said he knows the identities of the two sources in Thursday’s story. “We’re really confident in these specific sources,” he said.

So now BuzzFeed is going back to the sources to try to glean more information. The news outlet’s credibility is on the line in a big way, and some journalists are predicting that this episode will not end well.

BuzzFeed has its defenders too, however. Many observers see this as an unsolved mystery.

“My best guess is, in the long run, the BuzzFeed piece will prove to be right ballpark, wrong inning,” veteran investigative reporter David Cay Johnston told CNN Business.

President Trump and allies are using the controversy to tar not just BuzzFeed, but the national news media as a whole.

Toronto Star fact-checker Daniel Dale pointed out that Trump told reporters on Saturday morning that “mainstream media has truly lost its credibility,” but “then, two sentences later, lied for the 13th time that the New York Times issued a post-election apology for its coverage. The Times never apologized.”

On social media, some Trump supporters celebrated the BuzzFeed controversy by calling it “BuzzFraud.” Fox News went with “Buzzkill” in a headline. The Drudge Report went with “Buzzbleed!”

This, in turn, sparked some strong defenses.

“Those trying to tar all media today aren’t interested in improving journalism but protecting themselves,” NBC’s Chuck Todd tweeted. “There’s a lot more accountability in media these days than in our politics. We know we live in a glass house, we hope the folks we cover are as self aware.”

CNN legal and national security analyst Susan Hennessey pointed out that Cohen will have a chance to resolve the mystery sooner rather than later.

On Twitter, Hennessey predicted that “the very first question Michael Cohen will be asked in his congressional testimony is ‘Did the President ever instruct or encourage you to lie to Congress or federal investigators?'”

The Cohen hearing is scheduled to take place on February 7.

Baby Shark has taken over the world, here’s who’s responsible

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(CNN) — When humans of the far future study the culture of their ancient ancestors from the year 2019, it’s going to be pretty hard to avoid the topic of “Baby Shark.”

“Baby Shark,” that wholesome children’s song that’s somehow become an anthem for toddlers, families, marquee celebrities and groups of complete strangers from Indonesia to Indiana. “Baby Shark,” that viral earworm/mom group in-joke/meme/marketing craze circling the globe in innumerable, unlimited permutations.

“Baby Shark,” doo doo doo doo doo doo.

For the second week in a row the most popular rendition of the song, produced by Korean entertainment brand Pinkfong, is sitting pretty in the Top 40 of the Billboard Top 100.

It’s not the first viral internet hit to do so, and Billboard wasn’t its first conquest — the song has already hit the UK Top 40, and was only the third song produced by a Korean artist to do so, after international mega-hitmakers Psy and BTS.

It’s been a while since we have seen a cultural moment so global, so richly interdisciplinary as this, the era of “Baby Shark.” In this moment, a multitude of psychologies, theories and human truths unfold. But not a single one of them can properly explain why “Baby Shark” has become the megalodon it is.

If we examine them together, however, maybe they can get us close to a working theory. We owe it to future generations to try.

Truth #1: Virality is unpredictable

The story of “Baby Shark” begins, as most legends do, with a cosmic mystery: The mystery of internet virality. No matter what social media marketing companies or online influencers tell you, internet virality is a mercurial animal that knows no coaxing, boosting or strategizing. It just is.

Pinkfong’s US CEO Bin Jeong knows this intimately. Pinkfong, a brand of the Korean company SmartStudy, produces what can only be described as a metric ton of online content, mainly in the form of brightly colored, well-produced YouTube videos that attract millions of views from children all over the world. Its YouTube channel has more than 1,100 video uploads that account for more than 7 BILLION views.

So when Pinkfong posted a dance version of “Baby Shark” in 2016, set to the company’s signature brand of energizing K-pop beats, everyone knew it would probably do well.

They just had no idea how well.

“We instantly saw that Baby Shark starting performing, even compared to our other best-performing videos on the channel.” Jeong tells CNN. “We saw it was going to be special.”

Sensing its potential, Jeong says the company tried to bridle the viral animal.

“We put more marketing behind it, but that’s not how or why it became so viral,” she says. “To be honest, no matter what you do, the ones that make it, make it on their own.”

Instead, the wild beast broke free. In 2017, the #BabySharkChallenge captivated social media users in Indonesia, much in the same vein as the Harlem Shake and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The meme made the song even more popular, and Korean artists like Red Velvet and BlackPink filmed themselves singing and dancing along.

All the while, the views on Pinkfong’s video ticked upward; past a billion views, and then another. The original video has nearly 2.2 billion views now, making it one of the most-watched videos in Youtube’s history.

Pinkfong had nothing to do with any of this, Jeong says. It just was.

Truth #2: ‘Baby Shark’ is kid catnip

To be fair, while internet virality and the whims of a global public are fairly mysterious concepts, the music tastes of the average toddler are not.

And boy, does “Baby Shark” hit all of their buttons.

Author and pediatrician Claudia Gold says simple songs with easy melodies, repetition, and wholesome themes help kids keep order in a new and confusing world.

“When you’re 6 months old, or 2 or 5 years old, so many things are going on that you try to make sense of,” she says. “A song can kind of harness that experience and be comforting in its repetition.”

Oh, and repeat they do. Ask any parent with young children about “Baby Shark” and their eyes glaze over, haunted by months of constant backseat singalongs and Saturday morning “Baby Shark” marathons so tedious they should be outlawed under the Geneva Convention.

“Even before children can speak, they know how to communicate for a certain melody to be played over and over again,” Gold says. “It’s a way of calming and organizing young brains.”

Still, “Baby Shark” has flourished in part because adults, no matter how reluctantly, have embraced it too.

Jeong, Pinkfong’s US CEO, says that was according to plan. A lot of Pinkfong’s content creators are parents, she explains, so they have not only a good idea of what kids like, but of what they personally can tolerate.

“When our content creators create songs, they know the pain of watching it over and over again,” she says. “They are moms, so they wanted to really create something that can be enjoyed by the entire family.”

Susan Morley, a parenting coach in Atlanta, says parents know that when it comes to childhood obsessions, their kids could do a lot worse than “Baby Shark.”

“These nursery rhymes prepare children for language,” she says. “They’re fun and they create a world-to-lyric connection, where kids can recognize real-life themes like family.”

Plus, it’s easier to stomach than more complicated obsessions like “Fortnite.” Or, God forbid, Barney.

“Even parents who hate ‘Baby Shark,’ hate it less than they hated Barney,” Morley says.

Truth #3: It takes something special to unite younger and older audiences

So kids love “Baby Shark.” That still doesn’t explain why the song, in all of its repetitive chomping glory, has showed up on late night talk shows and “The X Factor” and various social media apps.

Is it the dance component? That’s a big inter-generational draw.

“That part is so important,” says Gold, of the simple hand motions that accompany the song. “Children are making sense of the physical experience and managing big feeling and controlling themselves, according to their abilities, in a way that they can feel good about.”

For older children and young adults, it means hip hop versions, internet memes and recurring social media moments like the #BabySharkChallenge, which most recently showed up on TikTok, a video sharing app that’s still relatively new in the US and didn’t even exist when Pinkfong’s fated video published in June 2016.

If you think about it, that trajectory is really amazing. After all, it’s not like “Baby Shark” started with Pinkfong. Anecdotally, the song has been around for at least 15 years and has floated about in the folkloric way most nursery rhymes do — with slightly different endings and slightly different origins.

A video of a woman singing the German version of the song, Kleiner Hai, went viral in Europe in 2010 for many of the same reasons we’re still weathering “Baby Shark” today: It was cute. It was catchy. It was ripe for mimicry and reinvention.

Truth #4: The way we listen, watch and play is changing

The YouTube of 2010 may have inspired some important viral moments, but the YouTube of 2019 is a massive all-encompassing entertainment hub. That’s exactly why “Baby Shark” landed on the Billboard Hot 100 next to Imagine Dragons and Cardi B. It’s simple math, really: In 2013, Billboard charts began to factor YouTube views into its equations, in addition to streaming data. There are literally thousands of “Baby Shark” videos on YouTube, primed and ready for searching little fingers to find. A charting breakthrough was only a matter of time.

It’s a little terrifying to consider, if you’re a parent. Those thousands of “Baby Shark” videos are shocking in both their breadth and specificity, in their deft algorithmic delivery of a bored toddler’s every hunt-and-peck wish. There’s Baby Shark featuring Elsa from “Frozen.” Baby Shark Christmas carols. Live-action Baby Shark. CGI Baby Shark. All of them, over and over again, in a kaleidoscope of colors, characters and creators. If a child were at the helm, searching for whatever ideas pop into their impressionable minds, they could fall into an eternal “Baby Shark” viewing hole and never come out.

While some parents don’t want to admit it, that’s exactly what happens sometimes.

“As soon as a child is old enough to be on any device, they’re going to be searching,” says Morley. “Toddlers are free searching. They may not know exactly what they’re doing, but they’re pushing buttons all over and sometimes parents are too busy and distracted and disconnected to look over their shoulders. It’s uncharted territory for a lot of parents, and they find it hard to keep up.”

And it’s no secret that the more kids search, watch and replay, the more creators see the demand for that kind of content, and the more they produce.

Maybe using a nursery rhyme to examine humanity’s changing relationship with technology is treading too close to the abyss, but in the vast “Baby Shark” discourse, there’s one moment that Gold says really caught her eye. In October 2018, an adorable video of a little girl asking her Amazon Echo to play “Baby Shark” captured hearts around the world (it also, according to Google trends, coincided with a significant spike in “Baby Shark” searches).

“It’s amazing to watch,” Gold says. “What is it like for a toddler; how do they understand that you ask this box with lights on it to play a song? I don’t think any of us know how children are processing that fact.”

“And yet, there’s an interesting moment when she’s talking to the device, and she realizes it can’t understand her,” Gold continues. “And the little girl looks at her mother because she knows that her mother will be able to make it work. She’s not alone with the Echo. She can see beyond it.”

That human connection, Gold says, is how we maintain healthy relationships with the cloying, grasping powers of internet content. While billions of YouTube views and complex Billboard metrics may be the solid evidence of “Baby Shark’s” success, that human interaction — the dancing, the jokes, the remixes, the fun — is the true heartbeat of this viral animal.

If Pinkfong has anything to say about it, “Baby Shark” won’t be going away anytime soon. In December, the company launched a line of “Baby Shark”-inspired plush toys on Amazon. Within days, Jeong says, they were sold out. Now, the company is working with American manufacturers to expand their product line.

Even with all of that strategizing and growth, Jeong still recognizes that mysterious spark of magic that made all of this happen.

“If you really think about it, it’s surreal,” she says.

Yeah, we agree. We really do, doo doo doo doo doo doo.

How an engineer and a crack dealer teamed up to sell scores of unlicensed guns

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(CNN) — They were an unlikely duo: An aerospace engineer with a government security clearance and a house in the suburbs, and a gun-toting crack dealer whose purported motto was “always be ready to shoot.”

But together, according to court documents, Leonard J. Laraway and Bobby Perkins, Jr. created a pipeline of illegal guns running from suburban Virginia to cities across the mid-Atlantic region.

Scores of guns linked to the men have been recovered by police in recent years, most of them from Washington, D.C., according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia. Guns sold by Perkins have been “tied to three different homicides,” including the slaying of his own cousin, federal prosecutors allege.

Other weapons were recovered from an alleged cocaine dealer, along with a bulletproof vest; from a carjacking suspect accused of committing two armed robberies in a single night; and from the glove compartment of a car — just beyond the reach of a man who lunged for it while fighting with police, according to a CNN review of court records, police reports, and interviews.

One gun, a Taurus 9 mm, ended up in the hands of 22-year-old Marcus Bryant. Bryant was convicted of using the gun to rob a Metro PCS store in northwest DC in November 2015. He can be seen wielding the weapon in a surveillance video taken from inside the store.

Unseen is the lingering trauma more than three years later for store manager Veronica Bermudez, who was two months pregnant on the day of the robbery and remains so fearful that she’s unwilling to work outside her home.

“To this day, this is a nightmare for me,” Bermudez told CNN. “I feel totally unsafe. I’ll live with that for the rest of my life.”

The prosecutions of Laraway and Perkins offer a glimpse into the world of unlicensed gun dealing, a common source of weapons used by criminals, officials say, but one that is frustratingly difficult to police. Unlicensed dealers sell weapons without conducting background checks on prospective buyers, making them a go-to source for people unable to pass those checks. The no-questions-asked nature of such sales can make the future path of the weapon difficult to predict.

Like many unlicensed dealers, Laraway seemed an unlikely suspect when he came under scrutiny by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, better known as ATF.

He earned a six-figure salary as an engineer with the Defense Contract Management Agency and was pursuing a second master’s degree at the prestigious U.S. Naval War College.

He also ran a thriving side business as a black-market gun dealer, according to authorities.

Laraway bought guns at licensed stores, snapped pictures of them, then posted them on gun sales websites with a brief description — and an inflated price.

He told authorities he would get phone calls from prospective buyers, then meet them in person to conduct a private sale in cash — without official paperwork.

He sold dozens of guns this way before finding his most reliable customer: Perkins, a young former Marine who would later admit in court to running a drug dealing conspiracy out of an apartment complex across the street from an elementary school.

Perkins sold marijuana, crack, powder cocaine, and heroin. He was known to customers and associates as “The Plug,” slang for a major drug source. Perkins was always armed, often with more than one gun at a time, prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum in which they also cited his reputed slogan about always being ready to shoot.

Laraway and Perkins first met after Perkins responded to an online ad Laraway posted for a Glock pistol.

It was the beginning of a business relationship in which he would sell Perkins an estimated 200 guns over a span of a few months in 2015, according to court records.

They met in person roughly two dozen times and Laraway eventually began “fronting” Perkins guns in anticipation of future payment. To facilitate this arrangement, Laraway provided Perkins with his checking account number. In the span of a few weeks in July and August of 2015, Perkins made eight deposits into Laraway’s account totaling $37,000.

Laraway would later tell federal agents Perkins was only interested in buying handguns and that he always paid cash. He also said he knew Perkins was reselling the weapons.

As of last March, ATF agents had traced about 130 guns recovered by police for which Laraway was found to be the original purchaser, according to an affidavit by special agent Ashleigh C. Hall. According to the affidavit, Laraway said he sold approximately 106 of those guns to Perkins before they were recovered by law enforcement.

In the summer of 2015, federal authorities observed that Laraway had purchased more than 300 guns in less than two years and opened an investigation. Laraway was indicted in February 2016 for selling more than 400 firearms without a license. He pleaded guilty two months later and began cooperating against Perkins in exchange for what he hoped would be a lighter sentence than he might otherwise get.

Laraway’s wife, Yali Yin, wrote to the judge at the time seeking leniency for her husband’s “one-time mistake.”

Laraway’s defense attorney noted his client’s “highly decorated career serving the United States of America” and his genuine remorse for his conduct.

“Since his arrest, Mr. Laraway has done everything he possibly could in order to address his wrongdoing,” the lawyer wrote.

Laraway was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and continued to cooperate against Perkins.

It would be nearly two years before Perkins was charged with drug trafficking and dealing firearms without a license.

According to prosecutors, Perkins sold more than 200 handguns, “including to people he knew were convicted felons.”

“The magnitude of Perkins’ gun running is difficult to overstate,” wrote Asst. U.S. Atty. Alexander E. Blanchard.

And the number of recovered weapons was continuing to climb, Blanchard noted at Perkins’ sentencing hearing in August. He told the judge that yet another gun had been recovered in a search executed just a day earlier, according to a transcript of the proceeding.

In court papers filed by his defense attorney, Perkins was described as a hard-working, “loving husband and father” who overcame being expelled from high school to earn his GED, join the Marines, and become a skilled electrician.

“Bobby is a good man…” his mother, a reverend, wrote in a letter to the judge. “He made some mistakes, but still he would work very hard to take care of his family.”

Perkins spoke briefly at his sentencing hearing. He told the judge he accepted responsibility for the mistakes he made, but denied being a violent person.

“I’m not a violent person,” Perkins said. “I don’t like to deal in violence.”

The judge, T.S. Ellis III, challenged that assertion before imposing his sentence. He noted the more than 200 guns he’d sold and the fact that some “were recovered in the possession of felons and were used in other crimes.”

“Maybe you didn’t shoot somebody and maybe you didn’t attack somebody, but you clearly were surrounded by instruments of violence,” Ellis said. It’s important, the judge added, “that any sentence I impose on you must stand as a beacon, as a warning to others not to engage in this conduct.”

With that, he sentenced Perkins to 12 years in federal prison.

Laraway has served his time and is already out.

In an interview with CNN, Laraway’s lawyer, Edwin Brooks, said Laraway began selling guns because he wasn’t making enough money to support his upper middle-class lifestyle. “Just like everybody else,” Brooks said, “there’s a lot of indebtedness: loans, credit cards. It was basically a financial thing.”

Though Laraway is no longer behind bars, Brooks said there is lasting damage from his conviction, including the loss of his government security clearance which prevents him from working in his chosen field. As of last fall, he was the manager of a gas station.

“The collateral consequences have been devastating,” Brooks said.

Brooks said Laraway was blindsided by the result of selling guns to Perkins.

“There’s no way for him to foresee this was going to happen,” the lawyer said.

Sportscast January 19, 2019

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The first ever IWCOA Girls State Wrestling Tournament was held at Waverly-Shell Rock High School. Sisters Tateum and Sydney Park each won State Gold.  Bettendorf's Ella Schmit was a state runner up.

Orion wins the team title at the Bob Mitton Wrestling Invitational.

 

MTI Score Standout

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Vote for this weeks Midwest Technical Institute Score Standout

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Moline man buys 30 pizzas for QC International Airport employees

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MOLINE, Illinois  --   Paul Michaels walked in to the Little Caesar' Pizza, off 41st street in Moline, on a mission.

"Well, everybody loves pizza," Michaels said. " I just decided a few days ago to do this."

Michaels decided to buy lunch for TSA employees at the Quad Cities International Airport who have not been paid due to the government shutdown.

"I'm unemployed right now," Michaels said."I'm just trying to do a good deed for people who aren't getting paid."

He reached out to Moline's Little Caesar's owner, Chuck Keown, about matching his donations.

"I got a call on Tuesday from Paul," Keown said. "He wanted to know if we would be willing to match his donations for the airport workers. so we decided yes because it is a good cause."

Together, the two loaded up 30 pizzas,crazy bread, and sauces, and headed to the airport.

"It's a boost in the morale," TSA employee Bill Rambo said. "To see that people do care, they have compassion, and they have empathy. It's hard without a paycheck.”

Michaels says he plans on bringing breakfast to the TSA workers sometime next week.

"I'm just doing it as a good cause," Michaels said. "I want to help others before I help myself.”

Clinton firefighter moved out of ICU

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CLINTON, Iowa- Adam Cain, the Clinton firefighter who sustained life threatening injuries fighting a fire in grain-silo fire is out of the ICU.

Today US Representative Dave Loebsack visited Cain and his family to wish them well.

Cain has been in the hospital recovering since January 5. He recently had surgery and is breathing on his own.

Cain was injured in the same fire that took the life of Lieutenant Eric Hosette.

Cain’s family is asking people to the the community and Adam in their thoughts and prayers.

 

Police investigating suspected car bomb in Northern Ireland

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(CNN) — Police in Northern Ireland said they were investigating a suspected car bombing late Saturday in Londonderry.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland tweeted: “Police are in attendance at the scene of an incident in Derry/Londonderry city centre. We would ask for patience and co-operation of the public and the business community as we carry out our initial investigations.”

Police urged residents via Twitter to stay away from the area.

Authorities did not name any suspects.

For many years, Northern Ireland has been split over the question of whether it should remain part of the United Kingdom or become part of Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s history has been marked by sectarian violence, although in recent years, its political parties have been working toward compromise and the two sides now make up a power-sharing government.

Londonderry, also known as Derry, has a population of about 240,000 in its metro area. It’s about 112 kilometers (70 miles) west of Belfast.

Bitter cold weather brings perfect temperatures for the 7th annual Icetravaganza

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DAVENPORT, Iowa – Icetravaganza celebrated it’s seventh year of ice sculptures and winter fun in Davenport on Saturday.  This year’s theme is the Great American Road-Trip.

“This is perfect,” says Matthew Meadows, a local ice sculptor for the event. “Sunshine and 15-degree weather is perfect.”

Pure joy is exactly what Meadows is feeling as he puts the final touches on his masterpiece – a surfing dog representing California.

Bringing that California vibe to the Midwest weather for his sixth Icetravaganza.

“If it was sunshine and 30-degree weather these would actually crack,” Meadows says.

“Past couple years has been a challenge because of the weather trying to coordinate the right days and everything, so yeah it’s an adventure for us,” Meadows explains.

But getting the chance to inspect these pieces of art up close is enough to get art admirers to brave the temperatures.

“Especially kids they aren’t that scared of cold weather, so they’ll drag their parents,” Meadows comments.

Kids like Caroline Corcoran, who’s double guessing her ice inspecting outfit.

“I tried to dress kind of warm, but it’s kind of chilly outside still,” Corcoran says. “Probably shouldn’t have work Crocs.”

But it’s that cold weather and people like Meadows with a passion for art that keeps this event growing.

“We started out with six blocks of ice the first year and now it’s 80 blocks of ice, so now we are actually carving 24,000 pound of ice in three days,” Meadows says.

Bitter cold and ice art – the perfect combination for pure joy.

The Icetravaganza After-Party will be right outside the Freight House Farmers Market until 8PM tonight.  It costs $15 to get in on the festivities.

Trump offers the nation his shutdown deal

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UPDATE: Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a prepared statement prior to the president’s address, indicating his proposal would not pass through the House of Representatives. Pelosi said the deal was only a compilation of “previously rejected initiatives” which “do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives.” She laid out Democrat’s solutions for border security, which include increased infrastructure, drug detection technology, more customs personnel, and more immigration judges.

WASHINGTON DC- President Trump delivered an address  Saturday to offer his proposed fix to the government shutdown. Trump proposed extending DACA protection in order for full border wall funding.

Trump began his address by outlining

In full detail, Trump asked for:

-$800 million for humanitarian aid

-$805 million for drug detection at ports of entry

-Over 2,750 new border agents

-75 new immigration judges

-$5.7 billion for a “strategic deployment of physical barriers.”

In turn, Trump offered Democrats three years of legislative protection for DACA participants, which would allow them to acquire work visas and prevent any deportation. He would also extend the same protection for 300,000 immigrants currently with a temporary protected status.

After his speech, Trump left without taking questions from reporters.

If accepted, this deal would immediately reopen the government. However, it doesn’t seem likely to go through. Earlier in the day Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued a statement via Twitter outlining his stance on the deal. Durbin wrote he can’t support the deal as reported and probably won’t pass the Senate. He instead called on Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately reopen the government. Durbin stayed in line with most Democrats by saying the government must be reopened before negotiations on a border wall can commence.

Restaurant sign approved after concerns it was offensive

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KEENE, N.H. (AP) — Officials in a New Hampshire city have approved a restaurant sign that initially was removed over concerns that it sounded like profanity.

The name of the Vietnamese restaurant in a public building next to City Hall in Keene is a play on words. It calls itself by the name of a soup, which is spelled P-H-O, but is pronounced “fuh,” followed by the words “Keene Great.” It’s scheduled to open March 1.

City Manager Elizabeth Dragon said in an email the sign was approved Friday and is in compliance. She said no one had submitted written permission to put up any sign until Jan. 4.

Dragon said officials decided to let the community “decide what they think of the sign and how they interpret it.”

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