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national govt & politics

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1 killed when train carrying GOP lawmakers strikes garbage truck

At least one person was killed and several others injured Wednesday after a train carrying Republican lawmakers to a GOP retreat in West Virginia struck a garbage truck near Crozet, Virginia, lawmakers and officials said.

READ MORE: What is The Greenbrier, the resort GOP members were headed to when their train hit a truck?MORE

CDC director resigns in wake of report she bought shares in tobacco company

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resigned Wednesday in the wake of a report that she traded stock in a tobacco company after taking her position.

>> Read more trending news

 Politico reported Tuesday that CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald bought shares in a tobacco company one month into her role.

State of the Union: 7 highlights from Trump's address

President Donald Trump vowed during his first State of the Union address that he would spend his next year in office attempting to unite the country around issues of infrastructure, immigration and national security.

>> STATE OF THE UNION: Full transcriptPhotosDem response | Stormy Daniels’ post-SOTU TV interview

Trump spent his time at the podium as many predecessors have: touting achievements such as the nation’s recent economic growth and a newly-passed tax bill and laying out his agenda for the year ahead – an agenda that he said would create a “safe, strong and proud America.”

“Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve," he said.

Here are some of the highlights from Trump's speech:

National anthem controversy

Even in vowing to unite, Trump couldn’t resist a jab or two. Honoring a 12-year-old boy who plants flags at the graves of veterans, Trump inserted a subtle reminder of his distaste for NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem to protest racism.

“Preston’s reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance and why we proudly stand for the national anthem,” he said, to raucous cheers from Republicans in the chamber.

Immigration

Immigration, too, was a fraught topic. Trump — who sparred sharply with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over a recent attempt to prevent the deportation of those brought here illegally as children — said such “loopholes” allowed for the proliferation of the gang MS-13, singling out in the chamber the parents of two teens murdered in 2016 by MS-13 members.

“My highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities,” he said. “I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise … my duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans.”

Some Democrats on the House floor were visibly unhappy, booing when he called for an end to “chain migration,” which allows immigrants to bring relatives into the country.

Infrastructure

Trump was on less polarizing ground on infrastructure, where he called for “safe, reliable and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.” Specifically, he wants Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for new investment into roads and bridges. 

Opioid epidemic

Trump also renewed calls to address the opioid epidemic, vowing to “get tougher” on drug dealers and committing to “helping get treatment for those in need.”

North Korea

Trump vowed to get tougher on ISIS and North Korea, singling out the parents of Ohio native Otto Warmbier – who was imprisoned in North Korea and sent home days before his death – as an example of the brutality of North Korea's regime. Watching in the chamber were Fred and Cindy Warmbier, who Trump called “powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world.” The White House did not announce the Warmbiers' presence in the chamber until midway through the speech.

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: Trump honors Ohio man held in North Korea

Tax plan

Trump highlighted tax cuts passed by Congress as a crowning achievement. "There has never been a better time to start living the American dream," he said.

Democratic reaction

After Trump’s speech, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., gave the Democratic response, indirectly calling Trump a bully.

>> Read more trending news 

“Bullies may land a punch,” he said in excerpts released before his speech. “They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future.”

Stormy Daniels appears on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live,' dodges questions about alleged Trump affair

Adult film star Stormy Daniels mostly evaded questions Tuesday from late-night host Jimmy Kimmel about her alleged 2006 affair with President Donald Trump.

>> Watch the full interview here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

Daniels' appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" came after Trump's first State of the Union speech and hours after her publicist released a statement denying the affair allegations.

>> STATE OF THE UNION: Full transcript | Photos | Dem response

Kimmel pointed out that Daniels' signature on the most recent statement did not appear to match other signed statements and photos. 

"That doesn't look like my signature, does it?" she replied.

"It doesn't look like your signature," Kimmel said. "So you're saying perhaps this letter was written and released without your approval."

>> Read more trending news 

Daniels laughed, adding later that she didn't know where the statement came from.

'Putin list': U.S. releases names of Russian politicians, oligarchs

The U.S. Treasury Department released an unclassified list Monday night of more than 200 Russian oligarchs and political figures seen as allies of the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

>> House Intelligence Committee votes to release controversial Nunes memo

>> Click here or scroll down for more

>> Read more trending news 

California bill suggests fine, jail for giving plastic straws to restaurant patrons unless asked

A California lawmaker’s proposed bill that would greatly affect the food industry is facing heavy criticism.

California State Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, sought to address pollution by focusing on plastic – specifically, plastic straws, KGTV reported.

>> On Rare.us: Organizers arrested in California for allegedly feeding the homeless

According to Calderon’s bill, a server who offered a plastic straw to a restaurant patron without first being asked would face a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

“We need to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways and oceans,” Calderon argued in a press release. “AB 1884 is not ban on plastic straws. It is a small step towards curbing our reliance on these convenience products, which will hopefully contribute to a change in consumer attitudes and usage.”

>> Read more trending news 

The bill reportedly would apply only to waiters in sit-down restaurants, not bars or fast food establishments. Calderon also expressed his intention to dump the bill’s harsh penalties, according to Reason.

Despite the reasoning, several have criticized the proposed legislation as an example of government overreach.

Some even offered their own suggestions.

Others have accused the bill of being inspired by unreliable data on the number of plastic straws the public uses.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe stepping down: reports

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who spent three months last year as acting director of the agency, stepped down from his position Monday, sources told multiple news outlets.

>> Read more trending news

McCabe, who served as the second-highest official in the FBI, will stay on the FBI payroll until mid-March, when he’s eligible to retire with full benefits, NBC News reported.

Trump says he's not a feminist: 'I'm for everyone'

President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t go so far as to call himself a “feminist” during an interview with Piers Morgan, the news host revealed Saturday.

>> On Rare.us: Trump fires back at report that he tried to fire Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller

Morgan sent out quotes on Twitter ahead of the interview, which aired Sunday night on Britain’s ITV, writing: “President Trump has declared he is NOT a feminist.”

The British television host went on to quote Trump, writing, “He tells me: ‘No, I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist. I mean, I think that would be, maybe, going too far. I’m for women, I’m for men, I’m for everyone.'”

The news comes during a worldwide conversation about sexual assault and women's rights.

Trump has been criticized for his treatment of women and has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct. Trump has denied the allegations.

>> State of the Union 2018: What time, what channel, livestream, protests

On Friday, Morgan posted another quote from Trump, this time about a post the president had retweeted by Britain First, a far-right group: "I don’t want to be involved with these people. If you’re telling me they’re horrible racist people. I certainly apologize."

Morgan also asked Trump about British Prime Minister Theresa May’s handling of Brexit. Trump replied, “Would it be the way I negotiate? No, I wouldn’t negotiate it the way it’s [being] negotiated … I would have had a different attitude.”

>> Read more trending news 

When Morgan asked him what he meant, Trump replied, “I would have said that the European Union is not cracked up to what it’s supposed to be. I would have taken a tougher stand in getting out.”

Marco Rubio fires chief of staff for ‘improper conduct’

Sen. Marco Rubio fired his chief of staff Saturday after allegations arose of “improper conduct” with employees in the senator’s office, USA Today reported Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

Chief of Staff Clint Reed was dismissed, Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement late Saturday, because the staffer “had violated office policies regarding proper relations between a supervisor and their subordinates. I further concluded that this led to actions which in my judgment amounted to threats to withhold employment benefits.”

Reed is not mentioned by name in the statement, but a spokeswoman for Rubio confirmed that he was fired, USA Today reported.

“We have taken steps to ensure that those impacted by this conduct have access to any services they may require now or in the future,” Rubio said in the statement. “Pursuant to the wishes of those victimized by this conduct, we will not be disclosing any further details about the incidents which occurred. We will be formally notifying the appropriate congressional and Senate administrative offices of this matter when they return to work Monday morning.”

Reed has been Rubio’s chief of staff since January 2017, USA Today reported.

Steve Wynn resigns as RNC finance chairman amid sexual misconduct allegations

Casino mogul Steve Wynn has resigned as the finance chairman for the Republican National Committee.

>> Read more trending news 

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel issued a brief statement confirming the Politico report that surfaced Saturday afternoon: "Today, I accepted Steve Wynn's resignation as Republican National Committee Finance chair."

Wynn, 76, has come under fire this week after a Wall Street Journal story was published in which dozens of women accused the mogul of sexual misconduct. Wynn has adamantly denied the allegations, calling them “preposterous.”

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