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Alligator 'ate toes off' homeless Florida man bathing in retention pond

A homeless man was bathing in a Port Charlotte, Florida, retention pond Monday when a 9-foot-long alligator attacked him.

>> Watch the news report here

According to WFTX, the man, later identified as 68-year-old Fredric Iman, sustained injuries to his left foot, left leg, left hand and groin. Following the attack, he went to a nearby surgery center where an employee notified police.

>> Alligator halts traffic to cross Florida road

“It looks like his, his pants are torn,” the employee said during the 911 call, Fox News reported. “It ate his toes off.”

>> Alligator attacks man wading in river with daughters

Iman was then airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, and his condition has improved from serious to stable since then. Many who live near the pond were shocked to hear what had happened to him, with one woman even saying she had always looked forward to seeing the alligator, which she had named Charlie.

“I’m a little upset because the gator is probably going to be euthanized,” Lisa Posten told WWSB. “People that live in Florida, they know not to go in these waters, this is where these gators live.”

>> Read more trending news

The alligator was removed from the scene and reportedly will be euthanized.

Roomba robot vacuum cleaner could collect data about users' homes

The maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum, iRobot, could collect data about the floor plans of customers’ homes.

iRobot’s chief executive, Colin Angle, told Reuters that iRobot may begin selling floor plans of customers' homes to Google, Amazon or Apple. The information would be sold to tech companies in a push to create “smart homes” controlled by internet-enabled devices, Reuters reported.

>> Read more trending news

The robotic vacuums can collect data about the dimensions of rooms and information about the distances between tables, furniture and home furnishings.

“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” Angle told Reuters.

Read more.

Police shoot, kill man while serving warrant at wrong home

WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee, has uncovered new details in the Southaven, Mississippi, police shooting death of Ismael Lopez. Lopez was shot after police served a warrant at the wrong home.

>> Watch the news report here

A search warrant WHBQ obtained out of Tate County, Mississippi, showed the address on the warrant was across the street from Lopez’s home.

Police came to the neighborhood for Samuel Pearman, who is wanted in Tate County and lived at 5878 Surry Lane. Deputies said an arrest warrant was issued for Pearman on a domestic aggravated assault charge after he allegedly choked a woman Sunday in front of her 4-year-old child at a Tate County gas station. 

Neighbor Kimberly Shelby told WHBQ that Lopez’s death is on the hands of the Southaven Police Department after they served a warrant at the wrong home.

"You would think they would be over here trying to find him at the right address,” Shelby said.

Shelby said police have been to Pearman’s home before. 

>> Read more trending news

"I've called the police before ... so they have dealt with him before,” Shelby said.

Lopez’s family said they have been advised by their lawyers to not make any more comments about the case on camera.

Neighbors said they hope the law will hold the officers accountable for this deadly mistake.

Donald Trump's Boy Scouts of America speech sparks social media firestorm

On Monday, President Donald Trump ventured to West Virginia to speak at the annual Boy Scout Jamboree, which drew tens of thousands of scouts.

>> Read the transcript of President Trump’s speech to the 2017 Boy Scout Jamboree

During his speech, Trump bashed the media and former President Barack Obama and boasted about his election victory, calling Nov. 8, 2016, “a beautiful date.” At one point, Trump mentioned meeting New York developer William Levitt at a cocktail party.

>> Watch the clip here 

Trump seemed to win the support of the crowd from the beginning. He arrived to riotous applause and got the scouts to boo Obama when he asked, “Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?” Obama never spoke at a jamboree while he was president, but he did record a video message for the scouts on one occasion.

>> On Rare.us: A surprisingly small percentage of Americans think President Trump will 'definitely' finish his first term

The Boy Scouts of America Facebook page was flooded with comments by parents who blasted Trump’s appearance, even on posts unrelated to the rally. One woman wrote, “Done with scouts after you felt the need to have my kid listen to a liar stroke his ego on our time.” Another said, “I can’t believe the Boy Scouts booed a living American president.” There were a number of comments calling the speech “propaganda,” and some even made comparisons to Adolf Hitler’s infamous rallies in Nuremberg.

John McLaughlin, who led the CIA under George Bush, tweeted that the jamboree “had the feel of a third world authoritarian’s youth rally.” CNN’s Chris Cillizza published a list of “The 29 most cringe-worthy lines from Donald Trump’s hyper-political speech to the Boy Scouts.” The piece included included statements such as “You know we have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College — popular vote is much easier” and “I went to Maine four times, because it’s one vote, and we won. But we won — one vote. I went there because I kept hearing we’re at 269.” New York Magazine published a similar list, though they only included 14 “inappropriate moments.”

>> Read more trending news

However, Trump’s supporters backed the president’s appearance and branded the backlash as another attack by the mainstream media and “leftists.”

The Boy Scouts released the following statement after the backlash to Trump’s speech:

“The Boy Scouts of America is wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies.”

Police department's Facebook photo of panhandler's money sparks controversy

For as long as there have been panhandlers, there has been an argument about whether we should give them money. A front-page story in the Washington Post on Sunday chronicled the struggles of a young man who has to drive 30 miles to beg for money to support his ailing mother after he had been run out of his town.

>> Read more trending news

The Cheyenne Police Department in Wyoming is the latest to join this argument. On Sunday, police shared a picture on Facebook of money collected by a homeless man, writing, “We arrested a transient for public intoxication. ... We want to illustrate that there are better ways to help the transient population than to give them money for panhandling.” The post continued, “Rather than feeding someone’s alcohol addiction, you can donate directly to local charities.”

>> See the post here

The post has been shared more than 31,000 times and received at least 5,600 comments. A number of people were angered by the post, including one user who wrote, “I’m sure you guys are going to take every dollar he had, and not give it back to him. The way I see it, the people gave it to him. That’s his money.”

Another man wrote, “I will give my money to whoever I please. ... Because of this post, I’m going, right now, to each exit where they usually hang out and each one is getting $20.”

>> On Rare.us: Fake street signs are warning Minnesota residents of 'easily startled' police

There were comments supporting the department, such as, “Am I missing something? How are the Police bad guys all the sudden?? All they did was arrest a guy for public intoxication which is against the law!!”

The department responded on Facebook, saying:

"It is great to see that this topic is important to our community. It should since it is a community issue and not just a problem for the police to solve. This is why CPD launched Operation Change in March. Our officers always offer social services first; if they make an arrest for intoxication, we have addiction counselors contact the person while in jail to offer help. Several have taken us up on the offer and are currently in programs. We will never give up on our mission to help those in need. Get involved to help!"

>> See the post here

The department later posted some clarifications, including that the money was not seized from the panhandler but “inventoried along with his property” and “held for safekeeping until he is released.”

>> Read the post here

Middle school teacher riles up border patrol by refusing to say if she’s American

A San Diego middle school teacher recorded a recent encounter with several U.S. Border Patrol agents that has since gone viral. Shane Parmely was stopped at an immigration checkpoint and asked if she was an American citizen. As she wasn’t crossing a border between countries, Parmely didn’t think that there was any need to answer the question.

>> Read more trending news

“Are we crossing a border? I’ve never been asked if I’m a citizen before when I’m traveling down the road,” Parmely is heard telling an agent.

>> RELATED: Republicans no longer have the votes to repeal Obamacare

The two then get into a back and forth in which Parmely implies that if she were Mexican, she would be detained without cause. Ultimately Parmely is detained and naps in her car while the agents wait her out. In a series of videos posted to her Facebook page, Parmely details the experience.

“Basically, make sure you have a full tank of gas to keep your air conditioner running, some water and some snacks. I also recommend a pillow cuz this was a great place to take a nap,” Parmely wrote on Facebook.

“And they do have bathrooms in the cells where they hold people when they pull them out of their cars (my son got to use it).”

Parmely later added that the border patrol agents showed fascist tendencies.

“And what’s up with this dude’s straight up nationalist propaganda?” she said of one of the officers.

“The philosophy governing our southern border (cuz there ain’t none of this (expletive) along the northern border or eastern or western) can be reduced to: Fascism > Terrorism.”

In a statement to the media, the U.S. Border Patrol defended its agents’ actions.

At a Border Patrol checkpoint, an agent may question a vehicle’s occupants about their citizenship, place of birth, and request document proof of immigration status, how legal status was obtained and make quick observations of what is in plain view in the interior of the vehicle. During the course of the immigration inspection, if an occupant refuses to answer an agent’s questions, the agent may detain the driver for a reasonable amount of time until he or she can make a determination regarding the occupant’s immigration status.

Police: Impaired driver arrested in car with no windshield, no doors, ax sticking out of roof

Jared Price, 21, was arrested on Monday after reports came in of him riding in a “suspicious vehicle.” But, the term “suspicious” doesn’t even begin to describe the car that Price was operating. When police in New York pulled him over, they realized that the car had no doors, no windshield and no license plates, and an ax was sticking out of the roof.

>> Read more trending news 

WIVB reports that when Wethersfield police pulled over the vehicle, they administered tests to Price and realized that he was “impaired by multiple drugs.” He was arrested for the following crimes:

  • DWAI-drugs
  • DWAI by the Combined Influence of Drugs
  • No License Plates
  • Unregistered Motor Vehicle
  • Operating Without Insurance
  • No Front Windshield
  • No Safety Glass

His bail was set at $10,000 and he will appear in court again on Aug. 1. Spectrum News reported that the vehicle was towed. There are no reports of what became of the doors and why the ax was there.

3-year-old Alabama girl injured when pig attacks her in yard

A neighbor’s pet pig is at a county animal shelter after it attacked a 3-year-old girl in Rogersville, Alabama.

WHNT reported that Bella White was in her family’s yard with her two brothers when a neighbor’s pet pig came into the yard and attacked her.

>> Read more trending news

“My boys came running in, saying the pig was attacking Bella. I came running out,” Bella’s mother, Amber White, said. “The pig had her arm in his mouth. She was on the ground. It was shaking. I ran over there and was kicking the pig, pushing the pig, it finally let go.”

White told AL.com that when she got Bella’s shirt off, there were bite marks down to her bone.

“There was blood everywhere,” White said. “There was tissue everywhere. The bone was even showing.”

Bella was airlifted to a hospital and received three layers of stitches. Her mother told AL.com it took more than two hours for Bella’s wounds to be closed. 

WAAY reported that there have been multiple calls to animal control about the 350-pound pig, which has gotten out before.

“Everybody in the area knows the pig because it's always loose,” White told AL.com. “Animal Control is called out here all the time telling the owners they have to put the pig up. By now, the owners should have done something.”

The pig is at Florence-Lauderdale County Animal Shelter and will be euthanized. State health officials told WHNT the pig will be tested for rabies.

“I am kind of relieved,” said White. “I wish it could have turned out differently for the pig, but at least it can’t hurt anybody else.”

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said his office took a police report, but charges had not been filed.

Website ranks Florida as worst state in America

One website really doesn’t like Florida, and it isn’t afraid to let its readers know it.

>> Read more trending news

The folks at Thrillist put together a list that ranks each state based on it’s “contributions to America,” which include such factors as physical beauty, inventions and food and drink.

Florida finished dead last.

Although at least one of the two writers of the article has cousins in Florida, the writers still decided that Florida is the worst state in America.

The authors cite “Florida’s awfulness resume,” which is mostly based on the weird crimes that occur in the state, as the deciding factor against it.

States also ranked at the bottom of the pack were Delaware, at 49, Ohio, at 48; and Arizona at 47.

The list ranks Michigan as the best state in the country, followed by Maine, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Louisiana, in that order. 

Man released from jail after ‘unprovoked’ gym attack, punching woman 39 times

A New Hampshire man arrested for allegedly punching a Planet Fitness employee nearly 40 times in June was released Tuesday on his own recognizance. 

Erin McCarthy, 18, was leaving her job at the Rochester, New Hampshire, Planet Fitness around 10 p.m. on June 12 when police said Jordan Lamonde, 22, of Portsmouth, attacked her from behind, punching her 39 times.

>> Read more trending news

“This was a vicious, unprovoked attack that shocked our community, and I am proud to report that the suspect has been identified and apprehended,” Rochester Police Chief Paul Toussaint said.

Lamonde waived his arraignment, which was scheduled for Tuesday, and his lawyer worked out a deal so he could be released while he awaits trial. His lawyer entered a plea of not guilty. 

Related: Man arrested for allegedly punching teen 39 times outside NH gym

Police believe that the attack is connected to an incident involving the victim’s now-ex-boyfriend and his older brother. Court documents released Tuesday reveal that a tipster told police Lamonde was “ripped off of $30,000 by someone.” Police are investigating whether Lamonde targeted McCarthy because her ex was related to “the one Jordan accused of stealing his safe that contained thousands of dollars.”

McCarthy did not suffer any major injuries as a result of the attack.

“I'm really glad he’s been arrested now. I feel like it took forever,” she said on Tuesday. 

Lamonde lives with his grandparents in Portsmouth. He will be released under strict conditions, including GPS monitoring. His attorney, John Durkin, said that he has no prior convictions.

This is what a solar eclipse looks like from space

We are just under one month away from the first total solar eclipse to cross the country coast to coast in nearly 100 years.

>> Read more trending news

On Aug. 21, people everywhere will gaze up toward the moon to view a monumental celestial spectacle.

But what if we could see the eclipse from above instead?

This five-second, time-lapsed video, produced, shows just that -- what a total solar eclipse looks like from space.

During the afternoon of March 9, 2016, a total solar eclipse passed over Indonesia. A partial eclipse was visible in parts of Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.

A Japanese weather satellite known as Himawari-8 captured it all high above the Pacific Ocean. 

An eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between Earth and the sun. When the moon's shadow falls on Earth, observers within that shadow see the moon block a portion of the sun's light.

NASA explains what you see on the video:

The Sun rises to the right and sets to the left, illuminating the half of Earth that is most directly below. A reflected image of the Sun -- a Sun glint -- is visible as a bright spot that moves from right to left.

More unusual, though, is the dark spot that moves from the lower left to upper right That is the shadow of the Moon, and it can only appear when the Moon goes directly between the Earth and the Sun.

Last year, on the day these images were taken, the most deeply shadowed region experiencedtotal eclipse of the Sun. Next month a similarly dark shadow will sweep right across the country. 

New 'E-DUI' law would allow police to pull you over for holding electronic device in Washington state

A new law went into effect Sunday in Washington state that prohibits drivers from holding electronic devices – including phones, tablets and other electronic gadgets – while behind the wheel.

>> Read more trending news

That means no reading incoming text messages while driving, or watching a quick video while sitting at a red light.

The Electronics DUI offense, prohibits people from holding any electronic device in their hand while driving, stopped in traffic or stopped at a light.

Officers who see drivers holding an electronic device in their hand will be able to pull the driver over as a primary offense.

A driver is allowed to hold their phone to contact emergency services or if they are parked or pulled over and safely stopped out of the way of traffic.

People caught holding a personal electronic device while driving or on the road will be fined $136. If a driver receives a second E-DUI ticket within five years, the fine will be $234.

Under the measure, “the minimal use of a finger” to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of a personal electronic device while driving will still be allowed.

Answers to common questions about this new law can be found here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rising country music star killed in UTV accident after weekend performance 

It should have been a Sunday of fun for up and coming country singer Abby Nicole Ueker, but it ended in tragedy when Ueker, 25, was injured in an accident following her Saturday night performance at the Thayer County Speedway in Nebraska. She died early the next morning.

>> Read more trending news

According to the Norfolk Daily News, Ueker, who went by the name Abby Nicole professionally, was a passenger in a utility transport vehicle when she was injured in an accident early Sunday morning. She was taken to a medical facility in Hebron, Nebraska and passed away at 5:30 a.m.

No further details were available about the accident as the investigation continues.

Ueker’s drummer, Char Barnhill, shared a heartbroken message to his friend, following her death.

Barnhill wrote, “I drove home today and wanted you in my passenger seat. Feet on the dash. Wrapped up in your blanket. Singing our favorite songs. You weren’t there, but I still felt you.”

>> Related: NASCAR remembers the tragic death of one of its own 

Ueker had embraced a second chance to share her music with the world after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014. The tumor was located in the left part of the brain that controls speech and memory, but following surgery, she was able to continue her college education in Nebraska and pursue her musical career.

The singer recorded her first EP recently in Nashville and released her debut single, “Cool,” this spring.

She spent time in Music Row where she immersed herself in the city’s rich songwriting community.

>> Related: A Texas country band is involved in fatal accident en route to show

The singer opened shows for fellow country stars, including Kip Moore, Casey Donahew, Chase Bryant and Kane Brown.

Michael Kors purchases Jimmy Choo for $1.35 billion

Fashion brand Michael Kors announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire footwear and accessories brand Jimmy Choo for $1.35 billion.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo, according to a company statement. Founded in 1996 by former British Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon and Malaysian fashion designer Jimmy Choo, the company has more than 150 stores worldwide.

>> Read more trending news

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Jimmy Choo, an iconic brand with a rich history as a leading global luxury house. Jimmy Choo is known worldwide for its glamorous and fashion-forward footwear,” John Idol, chairman and chief executive officer of Michael Kors, said in a statement, Vogue Paris reported. “The company is a leader in setting fashion trends. Its innovative designs and exceptional craftsmanship resonate with trendsetters globally. We believe that Jimmy Choo is poised for meaningful growth in the future and our company is committed to supporting the strong brand equity that Jimmy Choo has built over the last 20 years.”

Forbes reported that a pair of Jimmy Choo stilletos typically cost more than $1,000. Famous fans of the  brand include Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez.

The Associated Press reported that Michael Kors announced in May that it would close up to 125 stores because of weak sales.

“Jimmy Choo is poised for meaningful growth in the future and we are committed to supporting the strong brand equity that Jimmy Choo has built,” he said.

Michael Kors said the acquisition is expected to deliver a number of benefits for Jimmy Choo, including the opportunity to grow its sales to $1 billion.

The AP reported that Jimmy Choo shares were up 17 percent Tuesday and Michael Kors was down 2.5 percent.

Couple's quest to visit every Cracker Barrel in America nears end

An Indiana couple have nearly completed their decades-long quest to visit every one of the 665 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations across the United States, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Ray and Wilma Yoder, both 80, have only one location left to visit: a Cracker Barrel in Tualatin, Oregon, The Lebanon Democrat and the “Today” show reported.

Ray Yoder told the newspaper he embarked on his mission to visit each Cracker Barrel 40 years ago, while he was working a job that saw him traveling the country to deliver recreational vehicles.

“It took the boredom out of being on the road,” Ray Yoder told the Democrat. “It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly. It’s like being at home.”

His trips were initially made without his wife, who stayed home with their four children, according to a 2015 report from The News Herald in Morganton, North Carolina. Wilma Yoder eventually joined her husband.

In the 1980s, Ray Yoder said the couple thought, “Well, now why don’t we try to go to all of them?”

“It’s not like a McDonald’s place, where they have 26 or 30 thousand of them,” Ray Yoder told The News Herald. “It was something we wanted to do, so we are trying to hit all of them.”

The Yoders have since traveled more than 5 million miles in their quest, which once included trips to eight Cracker Barrel locations in a single day, according to the Democrat.

In all their visits in the last 40 years, Ray Yoder said, they never had a bad experience.

“It’s the same good service and great people wherever you go,” he told the Democrat.

Man tries abducting 7-year-old girl outside Florida store using a puppy

A Central Florida man was arrested on Sunday after he attempted to lure a 7-year-old girl into his motor home with a puppy, police said. 

>> Read more trending news

Dale Collins, 63, allegedly approached the girl outside of a Publix supermarket in Haines City, near Lakeland. He asked her, “Where is your dad at?” and added she could see his puppy inside his camper, according to WFTS

Adults noticed Collins talking to the girl, who was at the store for a fundraiser. Collins then fled, but officers stopped him on a highway, WFTS reported. 

Collins, whose last known address was in New York, was charged with attempting to lure/entice a child under the age of 12, according to WFTS.

Read John McCain’s speech on his return to the Senate after his cancer diagnosis

Sen. John McCain, (R-Arizona), returned to the Senate for the first time since he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer to cast a vote to start the debate on a bill that could repeal Obamacare.

McCain received a standing ovation when he entered the chamber to vote, and after he delivered his speech.

Here is the speech as prepared for delivery:

“Mr. President: “I’ve stood in this place many times and addressed as president many presiding officers. I have been so addressed when I have sat in that chair, as close as I will ever be to a presidency. “It is an honorific we’re almost indifferent to, isn’t it. In truth, presiding over the Senate can be a nuisance, a bit of a ceremonial bore, and it is usually relegated to the more junior members of the majority. “But as I stand here today – looking a little worse for wear I’m sure – I have a refreshed appreciation for the protocols and customs of this body, and for the other ninety-nine privileged souls who have been elected to this Senate. “I have been a member of the United States Senate for thirty years. I had another long, if not as long, career before I arrived here, another profession that was profoundly rewarding, and in which I had experiences and friendships that I revere. But make no mistake, my service here is the most important job I have had in my life. And I am so grateful to the people of Arizona for the privilege – for the honor – of serving here and the opportunities it gives me to play a small role in the history of the country I love. “I’ve known and admired men and women in the Senate who played much more than a small role in our history, true statesmen, giants of American politics. They came from both parties, and from various backgrounds. Their ambitions were frequently in conflict. They held different views on the issues of the day. And they often had very serious disagreements about how best to serve the national interest. “But they knew that however sharp and heartfelt their disputes, however keen their ambitions, they had an obligation to work collaboratively to ensure the Senate discharged its constitutional responsibilities effectively. Our responsibilities are important, vitally important, to the continued success of our Republic. And our arcane rules and customs are deliberately intended to require broad cooperation to function well at all. The most revered members of this institution accepted the necessity of compromise in order to make incremental progress on solving America’s problems and to defend her from her adversaries. “That principled mindset, and the service of our predecessors who possessed it, come to mind when I hear the Senate referred to as the world’s greatest deliberative body. I’m not sure we can claim that distinction with a straight face today. “I’m sure it wasn’t always deserved in previous eras either. But I’m sure there have been times when it was, and I was privileged to witness some of those occasions. “Our deliberations today – not just our debates, but the exercise of all our responsibilities – authorizing government policies, appropriating the funds to implement them, exercising our advice and consent role – are often lively and interesting. They can be sincere and principled. But they are more partisan, more tribal more of the time than any other time I remember. Our deliberations can still be important and useful, but I think we’d all agree they haven’t been overburdened by greatness lately. And right now they aren’t producing much for the American people. “Both sides have let this happen. Let’s leave the history of who shot first to the historians. I suspect they’ll find we all conspired in our decline – either by deliberate actions or neglect. We’ve all played some role in it. Certainly I have. Sometimes, I’ve let my passion rule my reason. Sometimes, I made it harder to find common ground because of something harsh I said to a colleague. Sometimes, I wanted to win more for the sake of winning than to achieve a contested policy. “Incremental progress, compromises that each side criticize but also accept, just plain muddling through to chip away at problems and keep our enemies from doing their worst isn’t glamorous or exciting. It doesn’t feel like a political triumph. But it’s usually the most we can expect from our system of government, operating in a country as diverse and quarrelsome and free as ours.  “Considering the injustice and cruelties inflicted by autocratic governments, and how corruptible human nature can be, the problem solving our system does make possible, the fitful progress it produces, and the liberty and justice it preserves, is a magnificent achievement. “Our system doesn’t depend on our nobility. It accounts for our imperfections, and gives an order to our individual strivings that has helped make ours the most powerful and prosperous society on earth. It is our responsibility to preserve that, even when it requires us to do something less satisfying than ‘winning.’ Even when we must give a little to get a little. Even when our efforts manage just three yards and a cloud of dust, while critics on both sides denounce us for timidity, for our failure to ‘triumph.’  “I hope we can again rely on humility, on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other to learn how to trust each other again and by so doing better serve the people who elected us. Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood. “Let’s trust each other. Let’s return to regular order. We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle. That’s an approach that’s been employed by both sides, mandating legislation from the top down, without any support from the other side, with all the parliamentary maneuvers that requires. “We’re getting nothing done. All we’ve really done this year is confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Our healthcare insurance system is a mess. We all know it, those who support Obamacare and those who oppose it. Something has to be done. We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven’t found it yet, and I’m not sure we will. All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid of it. “I voted for the motion to proceed to allow debate to continue and amendments to be offered. I will not vote for the bill as it is today. It’s a shell of a bill right now. We all know that. I have changes urged by my state’s governor that will have to be included to earn my support for final passage of any bill. I know many of you will have to see the bill changed substantially for you to support it. “We’ve tried to do this by coming up with a proposal behind closed doors in consultation with the administration, then springing it on skeptical members, trying to convince them it’s better than nothing, asking us to swallow our doubts and force it past a unified opposition. I don’t think that is going to work in the end. And it probably shouldn’t. “The Obama administration and congressional Democrats shouldn’t have forced through Congress without any opposition support a social and economic change as massive as Obamacare. And we shouldn’t do the same with ours. “Why don’t we try the old way of legislating in the Senate, the way our rules and customs encourage us to act. If this process ends in failure, which seem likely, then let’s return to regular order.  “Let the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee under Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray hold hearings, try to report a bill out of committee with contributions from both sides. Then bring it to the floor for amendment and debate, and see if we can pass something that will be imperfect, full of compromises, and not very pleasing to implacable partisans on either side, but that might provide workable solutions to problems Americans are struggling with today. “What have we to lose by trying to work together to find those solutions? We’re not getting much done apart. I don’t think any of us feels very proud of our incapacity. Merely preventing your political opponents from doing what they want isn’t the most inspiring work. There’s greater satisfaction in respecting our differences, but not letting them prevent agreements that don’t require abandonment of core principles, agreements made in good faith that help improve lives and protect the American people. “The Senate is capable of that. We know that. We’ve seen it before. I’ve seen it happen many times. And the times when I was involved even in a modest way with working out a bipartisan response to a national problem or threat are the proudest moments of my career, and by far the most satisfying. “This place is important. The work we do is important. Our strange rules and seemingly eccentric practices that slow our proceedings and insist on our cooperation are important. Our founders envisioned the Senate as the more deliberative, careful body that operates at a greater distance than the other body from the public passions of the hour. “We are an important check on the powers of the Executive. Our consent is necessary for the President to appoint jurists and powerful government officials and in many respects to conduct foreign policy. Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the President’s subordinates. We are his equal! “As his responsibilities are onerous, many and powerful, so are ours. And we play a vital role in shaping and directing the judiciary, the military, and the cabinet, in planning and supporting foreign and domestic policies. Our success in meeting all these awesome constitutional obligations depends on cooperation among ourselves.  “The success of the Senate is important to the continued success of America. This country – this big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, restless, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, good and magnificent country – needs us to help it thrive. That responsibility is more important than any of our personal interests or political affiliations. “We are the servants of a great nation, ‘a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.’ More people have lived free and prosperous lives here than in any other nation. We have acquired unprecedented wealth and power because of our governing principles, and because our government defended those principles. “America has made a greater contribution than any other nation to an international order that has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have been the greatest example, the greatest supporter and the greatest defender of that order. We aren’t afraid. “We don’t covet other people’s land and wealth. We don’t hide behind walls. We breach them. We are a blessing to humanity. “What greater cause could we hope to serve than helping keep America the strong, aspiring, inspirational beacon of liberty and defender of the dignity of all human beings and their right to freedom and equal justice? That is the cause that binds us and is so much more powerful and worthy than the small differences that divide us. “What a great honor and extraordinary opportunity it is to serve in this body. “It’s a privilege to serve with all of you. I mean it. Many of you have reached out in the last few days with your concern and your prayers, and it means a lot to me. It really does. I’ve had so many people say such nice things about me recently that I think some of you must have me confused with someone else. I appreciate it though, every word, even if much of it isn’t deserved.  “I’ll be here for a few days, I hope managing the floor debate on the defense authorization bill, which, I’m proud to say is again a product of bipartisan cooperation and trust among the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “After that, I’m going home for a while to treat my illness. I have every intention of returning here and giving many of you cause to regret all the nice things you said about me. And, I hope, to impress on you again that it is an honor to serve the American people in your company. “Thank you, fellow senators. “Mr. President, I yield the floor.”

Former House Speaker John Boehner calls hard right conservatives ‘knucklehead caucus’

Former House Speaker John Boehner assailed GOP House arch conservatives led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as the “knucklehead caucus,” calling them “anarchists” who stand “for nothing.”

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During a speech in Las Vegas, Boehner took aim at the conservatives who pushed him from office at the end of 2015. Jordan was among those who revolted against Boehner, even though Boehner was the first speaker from Ohio since Republican Nicholas Longworth in 1931.

The former speaker was asked to explain why House Republicans did not support House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to succeed Boehner as speaker.

“The knucklehead caucus decided they weren’t going to vote for him,” Boehner said.

“Now these are the guys in the Republican Party you could call right of right. They are anarachists. They’re for nothing,” he said.

>> Related: Boehner says Congress won’t repeal, replace Obamacare

The video of Boehner was obtained by the Washington Post. Although he did not mention Jordan by name, it was clear Boehner was referring to him.

Disney workers' union says $10 minimum wage doesn't make the magic happen

Citing an increasing cost of living and relatively stagnant pay, workers at Disney parks in Central Florida are working with the company to negotiate a higher minimum wage.

>> Read more trending news 

Travis Joyner is a driver at Animal Kingdom’s safari ride, one of the park’s most popular attractions.

He enjoys his job, but has a hard time making ends meet while being paid less than $12 an hour.

“My goal is to eventually make enough money that I don’t have to decide which bill gets paid this month and which one doesn’t,” Joyner said.

Joyner and 36,000 other Disney employees are represented by a union, which negotiated a minimum wage of $10 for cast members in 2014.

The contract allows for the union to reopen wage talks in 2017.

“It’s very difficult to make ends meet in a town where rent continues to go up and wages have stayed fairly stagnant,” union president Eric Clinton said.

The two sides have until October to come to an agreement, which the company said would be fair all around.

“We plan to put forth an overall employment package that is fair and equitable for the cast and the company,” Walt Disney World Resort Vice President Jacquee Wahler said in a media statement.

Employees such as Belinda Osorio, who works as a housekeeper for Disney, hope the new agreement will give them a financial boost that allows them to keep doing the jobs they love.

“We work so hard to make magic for all these people, and we need Disney to make magic for their cast members,” Osorio said.

Frank Sinatra's wife, Barbara Sinatra, dies at 90

Barbara Sinatra, Frank Sinatra’s fourth and final wife, died Tuesday, nearly 20 years after her husband’s death. She was 90 years old.

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According to a representative for the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation, she died at her home in California after her health had been on the decline for month.

“She died comfortably surrounded by family and friends at her home,” Children’s Center Director John Thoresen said.

RELATED: John Heard’s fellow “Home Alone” star shared an emotional tribute following the news of his sudden death

Barbara Sinatra married Frank Sinatra in 1976 and went on to stay married until his death 22 years later, making it the singer’s longest marriage. They do not share any children.

During her lifetime, Barbara Sinatra was an advocate for victims of child abuse and began her foundation in an effort to provide counseling and other services to victims.

“Barbara started raising funds for it in 1985 with Frank’s support,” said Thoresen. “It opened in 1986 and since that time, over 20,000 children have received beneficial therapy here. There are several child advocacy centers like it around the country, (but) this one is probably most recognized.”

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