State Highlights: Workers At N.C. Assisted Living Home Charged With Setting Up Fights Between Patients With Dementia; Tests Of Calif. Water Find Widespread Contamination From Toxic Chemicals

Media outlets report on news from North Carolina, California, Tennessee, Minnesota, Mississippi, Arizona, Missouri, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Louisiana, New York and Iowa.
Kaiser Health News

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Impeachment Investigators Question George Kent, State Dept. Ukraine Expert

Mr. Kent raised concerns to colleagues early this year about the pressure being directed at Ukraine by President Trump and his private lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.
NYT > U.S. > Politics

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State Highlights: Foster Children Return To Oregon Following Charges Of Abuse From Caretakers; Missouri’s Planned Parenthood Lawyers Seek Answers About License Denial

Media outlets report on news from Oregon, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina, California, Iowa, Georgia and Hawaii.
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Ohio State beats Alabama, Auburn recruiting battle for 4-star DT Jacolbe Cowan

Jacolbe Cowan committed to Ohio State, officially picking the Buckeyes ahead of most of the nation’s top college football programs, including Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State and South Carolina.

Cowan announced his decision on a corner of the Providence Day School (Charlotte, N.C.) football field after Providence’s 14-13 heartbreaking loss to Arden (N.C.) Christ School. After, Cowan was certainly not afraid to project bright things for Florida’s future.

“Coach J is the goat. Not to take anything away from the other schools, they were all great to me,” Cowan told 247Sports. “But Ohio State was the most consistent throughout the entire process with coach (Urban) Meyer and still with coach (Ryan) Day.  Ohio State just feels like home.  Thank you for welcoming me with open arms.”

The 6-foot-5, four-star defensive tackle is ranked as a top-15 prospect at his position and top-10 overall prospect in North Carolina. His addition should help Ohio State bolster its No. 3 national recruiting ranking. He is the 23rd commitment to the Buckeyes’ Class of 2020.

Now Cowan gets to return to what he does best, anchoring Providence Day School’s offensive line while he awaits the day when he’ll he able to officially sign on as a member of Ohio State’s recruiting class.

USA TODAY High School Sports

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State Dept. Veteran On Trump White House: There Are No Adults In The Room | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

The 11th Hour with Brian Williams | MSNBC

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Messages Detail Alarm From State Department Official Over Policy Toward Ukraine | MTP Daily | MSNBC

MTP Daily with Chuck Todd | MSNBC

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1 killed in shooting at Washington state apartment building

A man opened fire Thursday in the lobby of a building for senior residents, killing a man and wounding two women and then barricading himself inside his apartment before surrendering, police said
ABC News: US

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Tenn. Block Grant Experiment Would Boost Federal Funding, State Medicaid Chief Says

Tennessee wants to be the first state to test a radical approach for federal financing of Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for low-income people.

The proposal, Tennessee Medicaid Director Gabe Roberts said, would increase the federal government’s contributions by millions of dollars and allow Tennessee to improve care for enrollees, perhaps offering additional services such as limited dental care for some people. But critics fear the plan will harm the poor.

Tennessee, controlled by a Republican governor and legislature, has not expanded its Medicaid program as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

The federal government pays each state a percentage of the cost of caring for anyone eligible for Medicaid ― varying from 50% to 77%. And all who qualify get covered.

Tennessee has proposed altering its federal funding (66% of its total Medicaid budget) into an annual lump sum. (Drug expenses would be excluded from the new program.) The state said the change would give it more flexibility to run the program ― which serves 1.4 million people ― and would save money.

Conservatives have pursued Medicaid block grants for decades to give states more power over the program. But Democrats oppose such efforts, arguing block grants could result in less coverage and limit enrollment. They also stress that states, over time, could see significant drops in federal Medicaid funding because it would not be based specifically on the number of enrollees.

Tennessee’s plan, which was submitted last week to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, would not change benefits or eligibility levels.

KHN senior correspondent Phil Galewitz sat down with Roberts last week to talk about the issue. His answers have been edited for clarity and length.

Q: Why are you seeking to turn Medicaid into a block grant now, especially as your state has been experiencing a budget surplus?

This isn’t a traditional block grant. We are calling it a modified approach. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has been a fan of the block grant idea for a while but also cares deeply about making sure that any approach isn’t going to reduce enrollment or services or people that we serve.

A state law passed this year instructing our administration to file a block grant waiver that would have a floor for federal dollars coming. So if enrollment fell, the money wouldn’t decrease. But if enrollment increased, the amount of federal payments would be indexed to account for that.

Gabe Roberts, Tennessee Medicaid director(Courtesy of Tennessee Medicaid)

Q: Can you discuss the shared-savings element that Tennessee is proposing?

Any savings from this program would be split in half with the federal government.

We have routinely underspent what the federal government projects for our costs by billions of dollars. So what this proposal does is to ask CMS to reimagine the state-federal funding mechanism as a value-based one, so that states that operate well and serve their populations well ― but also contain costs ― are rewarded with additional federal dollars to invest in that population without the requirement to come up with a state match. Right now, we don’t keep any of the money we save.

Q: As one of the poorer states, are you willing to risk getting less money from the federal government for Medicaid?

We believe the way the waiver is designed mitigates any concerns around a traditional block grant program. We do not believe this will result in fewer federal dollars coming to the state. This is an opportunity to bring more federal dollars to spend to enhance services or perhaps to provide services to additional people we are not serving today.

Q: Some experts question the legality of the Trump administration approving a type of Medicaid block grant without congressional authority. Why do you believe this is legal?

There are a variety of ways we can reach a mutually agreeable solution with CMS on this that clearly comports to federal law.

Q: Why is turning Medicaid financing into a block grant a better idea for the poor than expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which would provide coverage to nearly additional 300,000 residents? The federal government pays 90% of the cost of these new enrollees, bringing billions of additional federal funding into the state.

These are two different and not mutually exclusive goals. This is an approach that rewards Tennessee for a well-run program, providing high-quality care to members with high member satisfaction and underspending CMS projections. This allows us to get access to some of those federal savings. Medicaid expansion requires a significant amount of money that the state has to come up with on an ongoing basis. I don’t know that it’s fair to pit the two approaches against each other.

The Health Law – Kaiser Health News

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Tax Law’s Cap on State and Local Deductions Is Upheld by Court

A federal judge rejected a suit by four states, including New York, over a part of the 2017 tax overhaul that they said penalized Democratic states.
NYT > Business > Economy

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Alicia Keys brings ‘Empire State of Mind’ to Global Citizen Festival

The state of mind at this year’s Global Citizen Festival, held on Saturday, took a very local spin thanks to hometown girl Alicia Keys. When you’re in the heart of New York City — in the middle of the Great Lawn of Central Park, on the perfect Indian summer evening — it’s going to be…
Entertainment | New York Post

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How Woody Harrelson’s ‘SNL’ Monologue Comments on the State of Comedy (Watch)

Before “Saturday Night Live” debuted its 45th season, it was already making major headlines with its decision to hire Shane Gillis, a comedian and podcaster who, just months before booking this high profile gig, had been using racial slurs online. Just days after he was hired, he was fired from the late-night NBC sketch comedy […]
Variety

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‘Mystery’ New York state DMV fees, explained

Dear John: I’ve worked for the Department of Motor Vehicles for 30 years. In regards to the Sept. 21 article on DMV charges, the extra $ 70 in fees breaks down as follows: the MCTD (mass commuter transit district) fee is charged to counties that have a commuter train from New York City. It is charged…
Business | New York Post

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Nebraska vs. Ohio State: Make bread with Cornhuskers

It’s business as usual for Ohio State, even with a new coach and new quarterback. The post-Urban Meyer era could not be off to a better start. With Ryan Day calling the shots and Justin Fields executing nearly flawlessly, the Buckeyes have blasted four far-inferior opponents — Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati, Indiana and Miami (Ohio) —…
Sports | New York Post

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Given the State of the World, Is It Irresponsible to Have Kids?

“Walking through life with curiosity and a sense of investment and joy in no way requires having a child,” writes one of our new advice columnists.
NYT > T Magazine

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State AG sues Dunkin’ over response to app cyberattacks

The New York attorney general is suing Dunkin’ for the company’s handling of a cyber-security lapse in its phone app, which compromised the finances of tens of thousands of customers, officials announced Thursday. The first breach began in 2015, when nearly 20,000 customers with smartphone app accounts for managing their “DD cards” were hacked and…
Business | New York Post

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NBA Cares Finals Legacy Project: Golden State Warriors

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Full transcript: The toasts of President Trump and Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the state dinner for Australia

The dinner was the second for the Trump administration.
Reliable Source

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‘Storm Area 51’ fizzles, with 1 event canceled; but alien ‘believers’ still revel in ‘primal state’

The day after the official “storming” of Area 51, one event in the Nevada desert was canceled Saturday due to low attendance while revelers at a second festival continued to party-on with fellow alien “believers.”
FOX News

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Rudy Giuliani Wildly Speculates Trump Whistleblower Is Part Of ‘Deep State’ | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

The 11th Hour with Brian Williams | MSNBC

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New Mexico Announces Plan for Free College for State Residents

Under the plan, tuition to all state colleges would be free for students regardless of family income.
NYT > Education

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Four-star swingman Eugene Brown commits to Ohio State

Ohio State landed its first basketball pledge of the Class of 2020, and he’s a potential game changer.

Eugene Brown committed to the Buckeyes ahead of in-state Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Texas A&M. The Decatur (Ga.) Southwest High School star visited Ohio State over the weekend them promptly cancelled the remainder of his scheduled visits and committed to coach Chris Holtmann.

“They were a great fit because as I was hanging around the players I noticed that they were all like-minded people who wanted to get better and play as a team,” Brown told 247Sports. “There is an amazing opportunity for me to come in and play big minutes due to the fact that they have no one like me in their roster — a long, athletic, scoring, shooting wing.”

It’s clear that opportunity and Holtmann’s staff both played a major role in Brown’s commitment. Now the 6-foot-6, 185-pounder is primed for a senior season free from the distractions of recruiting, with the goal of further developing an elite scoring touch that could put him in contention to make a true impact as a college freshman.

USA TODAY High School Sports

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State Highlights: DOJ Outlines Efforts To Address Rural Safety Crisis In Alaska; Activists File Lawsuit Over New Hampshire’s Treatment Of Mental Health Patients In ERs

Media outlets report on news fro Alaska, New Hampshire, California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Virginia, Minnesota, Florida, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, and Maryland.
Kaiser Health News

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Washington State coach Mike Leach: Texas Friday’s are for high school football

College football coaching legend Mike Leach brings his Washington State Cougars to Texas to take on Houston on Friday night. If he had his druthers, he wouldn’t play anyone on Fridays.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, Leach’s rise ran through Texas, where he almost reached a national title game with Texas Tech. He may now coach across the country from Texas, but he’s still siding with high school football coaches in the Lone Star State.

“I’m sort of with Texas on this, Texas has always kind of reserved Friday night games because they think it impinges on high school games,” Leach, the head coach at Washington State who spent nearly a decade at Texas Tech, told the Chronicle. “Their thought is, ‘College, you have Saturdays, so why are you playing on Fridays, and high schools deserve Fridays.’ They have a point there that I respect to a certain degree.”

The decision to play a college game, any game, at a neutral, NFL location has a more direct impact on the high school game in Texas than on any colleges. Houston is receiving a @2 million guarantee for playing the game at NRG Stadium instead of their TDECU Stadium, but it’s also infringing on the sanctity of high school football in the Lone Star State.

That doesn’t sit well with new Houston coach Dana Holgerson, who made it clear that Houston’s game at NRG wasn’t his decision.

“I’d rather this game be on Saturday and be in our stadium, but there’s nothing I can do about it,” Holgorsen told the Chronicle.

USA TODAY High School Sports

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New State Law Requires New York Schools To Take Moment Of Silence For 9/11

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that honors the lives of those who were killed during the tragic attacks on U.S. soil on Sept. 11, 2001.
U.S. News – Breaking News and Latest Headlines

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The State of Scary TV: ‘The Returned’ and ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ Join ‘The Walking Dead’ in Offering High-Quality Horror

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, which is traditionally the least-watched night for television. Perhaps this is fitting. In 2015, TV can be many things that are appropriate to the holiday: shocking, horrifying, sticky-sweet, overcommercialized, and deeply, deeply gross. But one thing it still struggles with is fear.5 Don’t believe me? Take a moment to consider: What’s the last regular TV show that was actually full-stop scary? I don’t mean frightful in bits and pieces, like one of Leatherface’s victims. I mean a show that is scary from top to bottom, from beginning to end. And I mean a show other than, say, Dads.

This isn’t a criticism so much as it’s a fact of life. Movies, with their contained running times, are especially good at sustaining mood. When you take your seat for a horror film, you’re essentially agreeing to be on the edge of it for 90 to 120 minutes. TV, by its very nature, demands a diversity of tone and pitch. Viewers simply can’t be asked to hold their breath for eight, 10, or even 22 hours a season. Try it and they’ll be dead even sooner than your show. Instead, TV traditionally has had to play in the margins of horror, building entire series out of the offcuts and scraps usually undervalued by the Fangoria crowd: the slow, agonizing buildup; the stolid, yeomanlike investigation; the long, sorrowful denouement. (Or, as is the case with Fox’s smarmy Scream Queens, the idea that a sneer can wound more deeply than a knife.) A scary movie is a turn through a haunted house. A scary TV show is more of a haunted time-share. There have to be at least occasional feints toward amenities like comfort and humor because, let’s be honest, you’re going to be there awhile.

If anyone were going to crack the horror code on TV, I would have expected it to be a pay service like HBO or Netflix, with their unlimited makeup budgets and freedom to micro-target audiences with the precision of a serial killer. But the two most successful series to challenge the primacy of scary cinema both hail from the diabolical Jigsaws in basic cable. FX’s American Horror Story, still slaying the ratings in its fifth iteration, is likely the closest TV has ever come to the specificity and sustained craziness of film. Part of this is due to the show’s creative casting and unquenchable thirst for extremity. But let’s be honest: The most noteworthy aspect of AHS isn’t the bearded lady, it’s the length of each season. By limiting each cycle to 13 hours and a single story, the show’s one, discordant note can ring out like a symphony. One doesn’t watch AHS so much as one commits to it.6

AMC’s The Walking Dead is even more noteworthy. Not only is it far and away television’s most popular show among the highly coveted 18-to-34-year-old demographic, it has almost single-handedly refuted every one of the ideas laid out in my opening paragraph. Where most serialized dramas create a world and, over time, spread out into it, adding characters, nuance, and layers, The Walking Dead has a guillotine where the story engine should be. It has no interest in saving the world or curing the zombie outbreak. Instead, it sets up base camp in the crushing moment when most dystopic movies end, sinking into the heartbreak, violence, and loss. “Everything is fucked,” isn’t a traditional TV starting place, but, then again, The Walking Dead isn’t a traditional series. Its remarkable proficiency in areas often considered ancillary — sound design, visual effects, editing, and casting — has helped sustain it, even when the plot veers decidedly into a sort of sadistic nihilism. And, in a perverse way, the bleak consistency of The Walking Dead — no matter what else is going on, someone’s getting bitten every week — is precisely what saves it as a TV show. At this point, the constant, gruesome suffering has become as dependable as a laugh track.

Walkers - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Gene Page/AMC

This Sunday’s controversial episode actually further cemented The Walking Dead’s connection to the rest of TV. In the Jon Snow era, beloved shows have far outstripped the boundaries of their time slots. Fandom is a full-contact sport that runs around the clock, seasons be damned. That showrunner Scott M. Gimple had to qualify a major death — and thus step on his own dramatic narrative mere minutes after setting it in motion — was further proof that winking gamesmanship no longer works in a world where everyone is playing on such a high level. On The Walking Dead, humans may just be oversize chum for the zombie masses. But in reality, these characters are intimates, welcomed into our homes every week. A modern showrunner can, and should, rough them up. But he needs to remember to respect them.

Despite this misstep, my main takeaway from “Thank You” was admiration. Though there remain plenty of nits to pick about The Walking Dead, I’m thoroughly impressed by the show’s ability to harness tricky, fast-burning emotions like anguish, stress, and desperation and corral them within the confines of a weekly series. The panicked, almost druggy fugue state that Nicholas fell into as an impossible horde of zombies surrounded him was contagious. I’m not saying I can relate to the choice he made in that moment — but, god, who could blame him? Again and again, I’m finding the sheer scale of this season of The Walking Dead deeply unsettling; death has long been ever-present but rarely so monumental or, seemingly, inevitable. This relentlessness is radical for television, and in particular for Sunday-night television, which has long been the warming hearth of the country’s viewing week. It’s a pivot that has helped The Walking Dead become TV’s most horrific show in more than a literal sense; it ravages emotions now, not just entrails.

On Saturday night, right about the time most kids will be home counting their candy, two chilling, off-kilter series will premiere, each seeking to keep the jack-o’-lantern lights on well into November. Though SundanceTV’s The Returned is back for a second season — I loved the first — it’s Starz’s Ash vs Evil Dead that’s actually the more familiar of the pair. That’s because it picks up a baggy story that first began in 1978, when two frustrated Midwestern drama dorks named Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell filmed a bloody short called Within the Woods. From that splattery snippet came a cult empire: a trilogy of beloved movies, plus a host of video games, comic books, and unlimited opportunities for cosplay. The only connective tissue between all of it: Raimi’s inimitable tongue-in-cheek/ax-in-hand aesthetic and Campbell’s performance as Ashley “Ash” Williams, a one-handed Everyguy in possession of a spirit-summoning Necronomicon. When ghouls come calling, Ash is generally there to dispatch them with a fusillade of one-liners and shotgun shells. With no more mountains to climb on the big screen (a cinematic reboot fizzled in 2013) and no more Spider-Man dance-offs to choreograph, the two have taken their trademark chain saw to the one frontier remaining to them: the small screen.

Here’s the thing about Ash vs Evil Dead: It’s good. Better, it’s fun in a goofy, infectious way that’s the polar opposite of The Walking Dead’s po-faced frown. You don’t need to have any familiarity with the franchise’s history or humor before tuning in. I’d say that the opening montage of the now-57-year-old Campbell attempting to squeeze into a girdle is a pretty good introduction, as is the scene in which a Michigan detective (Jill Marie Jones) is attacked by a neck-twisting poltergeist whose head ultimately explodes with the force and liquid velocity of one of Gallagher’s overripe melons. What’s great about Ash vs Evil Dead isn’t that it doesn’t take itself seriously — though, come on, it totally doesn’t. It’s that it picks and chooses very carefully the details it ought to take seriously. So Campbell — still the Iberico de Bellota of B movie hams — gives as much thought to Ash’s Chaplinesque pratfalls as he does the chain-saw-swinging swagger. And Raimi, who directed the first hour and cowrote or produced the remaining nine, imbues every high-jumping, skittering demon with both gravity and wit. With its severed limbs and references to Shabbos dinner, this isn’t your father’s horror show. It’s your wacky uncle’s. And thank god for it.

On the complete other end of the spectrum is The Returned. If Ash vs Evil Dead is a spouting artery of gleeful gore, the French series is rigor mortis itself. In the first season, the residents of a remote mountain town were undone when their dead relatives suddenly returned to life, seemingly unscathed and frozen at the age they were when they expired. So: A teenage girl is suddenly reconnected to her barely adolescent twin, a young mother is visited by the fiancé who killed himself while she was pregnant, a bar owner who happily buried his murderous brother years ago must find a way to accept him back into his orbit. It’s a bold premise, to be sure, and a lesser show would have balked at the pressure to provide answers. But the beauty of The Returned was the uncomfortable manner in which it asked its heavy questions, the way it allowed its impossible dream of a premise to curdle, subtly and slowly, into a sour nightmare.

In Season 2, The Returned remains as discomfiting and elliptical as ever. Few shows are as starkly beautiful; its palate of ghostly grays and harsh, metallic light suggests the work of an impressionist T-1000. And the music, once again composed by the Scottish noise poets Mogwai, is subtle and devastating. A flood has cleared out the town, and the dead have set up their own society in the mountains. The imminent arrival of Adèle’s (Clotilde Hesme) baby — she was impregnated last season by the very much deceased Simon (Pierre Perrier) — is what drives the plot, but, the truth is, plot seems almost secondary in such an eerie landscape. Indeed, The Returned doesn’t scare so much as it haunts. On a show like this, it’s the living who slowly drop their masks to reveal the scarred monsters lurking underneath. The supernatural is really just a mirror for the frightening possibilities of human nature. It’s this psychological dismemberment, not the bloodier, more literal kind, in which television has historically excelled. That’s because, when a movie ends, you can walk quickly out of the theater and retreat to the quiet safety of home. On TV, the scariest sights are always coming from inside the house.

Hollywood Prospectus – Grantland

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AP: Women facing restrictions seek abortions out of state

As some states have been making it harder to get abortions, an Associated Press analysis shows that thousands of women leave their home state to have the procedure
ABC News: Health

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State Of Emergency For Hurricane Dorian Extended To All Florida Counties

The storm is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 this weekend.
Environment

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Texas pastor whose daughter was killed in mass shooting is running for state Senate

A Texas pastor whose teenage daughter was among those killed during a mass shooting inside his church in 2017 says he’ll run for the state Senate next year. 
FOX News

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Toronto Raptors Fans Trash-Talking The Golden State Warriors Is So Pure

Jimmy Kimmel asked Raptors fans to do their worst — but it didn’t go to plan.
Comedy

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Large Telecoms, State Enforcers Make Pact to Combat Robocalls

Large telecom companies and attorneys general from every state unveiled a new pact for combating robocalls, the latest step toward cutting off such calls before they reach a consumer’s phone.
WSJ.com: WSJD

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James Corden Delivers Blistering Summary Of Donald Trump’s State Visit To The UK

“It’s madness, all of it.”
Comedy

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS


Jimmy Kimmel Pulled The Cruelest Prank On These Golden State Warriors Fans

They missed crucial parts of the NBA Finals because of the late night comedian.
Comedy

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS


Toronto Raptors Fans Get Tricked Into Betraying Team For Golden State Warriors

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” prank caused a bit of a commotion on the street in Toronto.
Comedy

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS


Candidates Biden, Bullock speak at Iowa State Fair

Associated Press

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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How Michigan State Got Outplayed in $500 Million Nassar Deal

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

Adapted from the new book The Girls: An All-American Town, a Predatory Doctor, and the Untold Story of the Gymnasts Who Brought Him Down by Abigail Pesta

Attorney James White knew the Nassar case would be huge.

When the allegations of abuse hit the news in 2016, he started gathering the troops at his law firm in Lansing, Michigan. He knew that sexual predators don’t stop with just one or two victims. He knew the minds of predators—he had defended some of them at his practice. And he knew Michigan State, where Nassar had served as a doctor; White had gone to both college and law school there. Indeed, hundreds of women soon came forward to accuse Nassar of abuse at the university and elsewhere. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Golden State Warriors Revolutionized the NBA. Now They Plan to Keep the Dynasty Dream Alive

When Stephen Curry ran off a DeMarcus Cousins screen in the closing seconds of Game 6 of the NBA Finals last Thursday night, caught a Draymond Green pass, and launched a shot that could have won the game for Golden State — and extend the series to a deciding Game 7 on Sunday in Toronto — Warriors coach Steve Kerr felt certain he’d be working on Father’s Day. “I always think every shot Steph takes is going in,” says Kerr. But Curry’s shot, which was expertly contested by Toronto power forward Serge Ibaka, bounced off the back of the rim, effectively ending Golden State’s hopes for a three-peat. Kerr, Curry and Green, the three men who, minus Klay Thompson (who left the game early with a freakish and unfortunate ACL injury) were most responsible for Golden State’s run of near unprecedented excellence over the past five years, converged near the sideline, and reacted to this stunning turn of events in the most Golden State Warriors way possible.

They smiled.

For years, the Warriors have had more fun winning big games and world championships than any other sports team on the planet. Since he took over as coach of the team in 2014, Kerr has touted the benefits of taking a joyous approach to basketball. The effervescent Curry, who revels in the success of both his own impossible shooting streaks and those of his teammates, has served as the embodiment of this happy-go-lucky approach. Those smiles, sheepish and secure, speak to the team’s continued adherence to the Warrior way, even in the face of defeat.

We lost two Hall of Famers — Durant and Thompson — to injuries in back-to-back games in these finals. Still, the best shooter in NBA history had a chance to keep us alive. He missed, but it’s just a basketball game. What the hell are you going to do?

If the Raptors brought Golden State’s era of excellence to a close on June 13 — the Warriors were the first team since the 1960s Boston Celtics to reach five straight Finals — it sure didn’t feel like it. The atmosphere at Oracle Arena, the 53-year-old spherical structure that sits in an Oakland parking lot off the interstate, next to a drab baseball/football stadium that hosts the A’s and Raiders (for now), was far from funereal. Kerr and Co. grinned. The Warriors coaches kicked back one last time, over Modelos, at Oracle; Kerr told his staff there wasn’t one person in that room he doesn’t love seeing everyday. As the Raptors chugged champagne, Curry joined his family and friends in the stands to take some final pictures in the old barn. Next season, the Warriors are departing for their new digs in San Francisco: the $ 1.4 billion Chase Center. Curry had a drink in hand.

If the Warriors were just putting off fretting about their uncertain future, could anyone blame them? Sure, Golden State still has plenty going for it. A flashy new building can help attract free agents, and Curry is still Curry. An impossible string of bad luck descended upon the franchise in the these Finals, and the undermanned team was still just one shot away from forcing a game seven.

Still, nervous days await. Durant, who fortified the Warriors dynasty when he signed with the team in the summer of 2016 (after the Warriors had already set the all-time record for regular season wins), may leave in free agency. But his torn Achilles clouds his future, and it’s unclear whether he’ll stay in San Francisco or bolt to, say, New York, out of Curry’s shadow. Golden State will likely re-sign Thompson, but the shooting guard’s knee injury will cost him at least a chunk of next season. Meanwhile, LeBron James just found a new running mate: the Los Angeles Lakers finally traded for Anthony Davis, a top echelon NBA talent, potentially mowing the path to another Western Conference championship squarely though Southern California.

Even if this incarnation of the Warriors is done lifting championship trophies, however, the franchise’s legacy should never be forgotten. Golden State is arguably the most consequential sports team of this decade. The Warriors have revolutionized pro basketball, as teams around the league have tried to emulate Golden State’s reliance on aesthetically pleasing ball-sharing and home run shots from the three-point range. It’s no coincidence that, in these Finals, the selfless Raptors seemed to be beating Golden State at their own game.

Beyond basketball, the Warriors found a singular voice willing to take on social issues outside of sports. Curry and Kerr have been outspoken critics of President Trump, and the Warriors were one of the first teams to contemplate skipping the customary White House visit to celebrate a championship (Trump later rescinded the invitation). Green has argued that the word “owner” be culled from the sports vernacular, given its connotations to slavery. Kerr has spoken out on several issues, like gun control (Kerr’s father, the former president of the American University in Beruit, was assassinated outside of his school office in 1984). After a mass shooter killed 12 people in Virginia Beach on May 31, Kerr wore a “Vote For Our Lives” t-shirt to a press conference before Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

“To me, [the Warriors] speak not just to the modern NBA, but to the unique place that sports can have in society,” says NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “And it’s not just the spirit they bring to the game on the floor. But I think the spirit they bring as citizens, and to their participation in their community. They are to a man involved in basketball programs and other educational programs in the Bay Area. They speak out on important societal and political issues, when they have a point of view. That goes obviously for their coach as well … They are multi-dimensional people who are redefining what an athlete is in society.”

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Yong Teck Lim—Getty ImagesKevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors dunks the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on April 4, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

During the 2013-2014 season, then-Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson invited his childhood friend from New York City, ex-NBA point guard and current TNT studio analyst Kenny Smith, to address his team. Jackson told Smith that his starting backcourt, of Curry and Thompson, was the best in the world. When Smith got in front of the players, Jackson announced that they’d be visiting the White House on a regular basis. The Warriors were coming off a season in which they won a single playoff series: an opening round defeat of the Denver Nuggets, the franchise’s second series win in the prior 19 years. “And I looked around the room and I’m like, no way,” says Smith. “No way! I said it in my mind. No way, man. Come on, Mark. They were so unproven.”

Jackson was on to something, though he wouldn’t see his vision through: after clashing with others in the organization, Jackson — a former ESPN analyst who had never been a head coach before getting the Warriors job — was let go after that season, which ended in a first round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. To replace Jackson, the Warriors reached out to Kerr, a TNT broadcaster with no pervious head coaching experience.

“Imagine the conversations we were having,” says Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts, who worked with Kerr in Phoenix, where Welts was president when Kerr was general manager from 2007-2010. “Ok, so, let’s play this out from the public’s perspective, if we make this change. So in Mark Jackson, you hire a coach who got you to the playoffs, who was a former player and broadcaster who had never coached a game before. So you’re going to part ways with Mark, and then you’re going to go out and hire a former player who’s a broadcaster who’s never coached a game before. People may see that as a little illogical. Seems like if you didn’t think that was working, why are you doing this back over again, right?”

“But those of us who knew Steve, had no idea, I guess, what kind of a coach he would be,” Welts continues. “But we had an idea of exactly who he was as a human being, and how he approached life. And how this genuine, what you see is what you get, self-deprecating way dealing with other human beings was just his DNA. I think everyone believed that could translate tremendously into what an NBA coach has to be. It’s not about him. It’s never about him. He only has one way of accepting praise, and that’s to deflect it to others. I defy you to find a moment in his life when that hasn’t been the way that he’s operated. And he always looks to build everyone he works with up. And build their confidence and have their backs. I experienced it, being in an organization with him. Just imagining how that would translate into an NBA locker room seemed like a pretty cool formula. It’s real. It’s not like something he learned in business school. It’s who he is.”

After getting the Warriors job, Kerr visited Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll — fresh off a 43-8 obliteration of Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII — at his team’s training camp. “He didn’t really know how he wanted to run his program,” says Carroll. “So he was just listening. He hung for a few days. He was so humble about it. Here he is coaching in the NBA, and he’s sitting here watching our walkthroughs and our practices. He was just wide open and receptive and taking notes and grabbing things and talking to people.” After the visit, Kerr came up with four principles to define the Golden State culture: joy, mindfulness, compassion, and competition. He waited a few months to unveil them to the team, however: he wanted to win their trust before hitting them with stuff that can be construed as motivational mumbo-jumbo.

When he finally did talk about joy, Curry skipped around the court afterwards, saying something along the lines of “look, coach, I have joy! I have joy!” The mocking counted as a breakthrough.

Ribbing, in fact, became an essential part of the Golden State program. In his upcoming memoir, The Sixth Man, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala recalls a team-building exercise in which players were asked to recall the moments in a game during which they felt the highest. “When Klay’s turn came, we all assumed he was going to say that his highest moment was the the day he scored 37 points in a quarter against Sacramento,” Iguodala writes. “I mean, that was an NBA record! But he didn’t. Instead he said, ‘My best moment was one night I caught a pass and I was like fifty feet from the basket and I was about to shoot it. And all of a sudden, I hear Andre being like, ‘What the fuck, Klay? You’re fifty feet out.’ And I thought about it for a second and shot it anyway. It went in, and I was like, ‘Yeah, Andre, fuck you.’ We all had a good laugh about that. I was like, ‘Wow, really dog? That was your best moment?’”

The loose environment persisted even after the Warriors blew a 3-1 NBA Finals lead to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. That summer, former Cavs and LA Lakers head coach Mike Brown joined Kerr’s staff as an assistant. He recalls attending a summer league practice in Las Vegas soon after he took the Warriors job. “The next thing I know, the freaking music comes on,” says Brown. “And it’s like blasting. Ok, ok, maybe they’re going to play some music I guess while they’re getting dressed. So they get dressed, they start warming up and the music’s still on. Dead serious, in my mind I’m like, ‘what the fuck is going on?’” He turned to his son Cameron, who was in college at the time. “I’m like, ‘do you believe this shit? They’re starting practice and they’ve got this music playing?’” The tunes blasted for most of the session. “I think I listened to more music that practice than I did the whole month before I got to summer league,” says Brown. “I was floored. I didn’t know who to talk to.”

The Warriors have brought in a sleep researcher and a Navy SEAL psychologist to work with the team. They’ve incorporated machine learning into scouting reports. “We’re not afraid to try anything,” says assistant general manager Kirk Lacob. Experts like psychologist Dachter Keltner, co-founder of the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center — which “studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well being and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society” — have become informal advisers to the franchise. “Andre Iguodala read my book on power, and he had a critique that I didn’t take on race enough,” says Keltner, author of The Power Paradox: How We Can and Lose Influence. “He was right.”

In an April 2016 New York Times Magazine profile, Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob received his fair share of ridicule around the NBA for saying “we’re light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things.” Some saw Golden State’s 2016 Finals loss, after the Warriors finished the regular season with a 73-9 record, the best of all time, as a proper comeuppance. During an interview in an Oracle Arena back room before Game 6 of the Finals, I asked Lacob if he regretted that comment. He said he wishes he didn’t say it.

But does he believe it?

Lacob smiles. “I’ll let others be the judge,” he responds.

Well, the results — three titles in four years at the time, three titles in five years now, but still — speak for themselves.

“You said just that,” Lacob responds. “I didn’t say it.”

“I mean, look, I’m a confident guy,” Lacob says. “I do believe in a lot of the things that we practice and do. I believe in the strategy that we have. I believe in our management team, which I think is the best in the business. I believe in the culture of our players which is built around Steph Curry — he’s a unique individual person, never mind basketball player. And so you know I meant it in a bit of hyperbole. I didn’t mean it to put down other teams. So if you ask me the question do I believe it? Yes. But I say that not to put down other teams. I didn’t mean it to come out that way.”

“By the way, all my friends in the business world, they were like, ‘great article!’” says Lacob. “‘Great story!’ And all the sports guys were like, ‘what an egomaniac.’ So you learn from that.”

Golden State Warriors
Ezra Shaw—Getty ImagesStephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with Klay Thompson #11 after Thompson made the clinching basket with four second left of their game against the Houston Rockets in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 8, 2019 in Oakland, California.

Kerr will sometimes start his practices talking about current events rather than the day’s game plan. Welts keeps a “Steve Kerr For President” sticker on his corner office door. “I think our country is in a really unstable place right now,” Kerr says in an interview in his Oracle Arena office the day before Game 6 of the Finals. “I think it’s important for citizens to speak out.” A 2003 letter from legendary UCLA coach John Wooden hangs on Kerr’s wall. “It has always pleased me to see the game played without excessive showmanship and with exemplary conduct both on and off the court,” Wooden wrote in neat cursive. “And you are in that same category along with David Robinson, Tim Duncan, John Stockton, Jerry West and, of course, many others.”

So what’s his message these days? According to Kerr, nothing less than the fate of the republic is at risk. “I think there are so many issues that are just being washed over right now,” says Kerr. “Our administration and the erosion of our checks and balances, and having so many people being complicit — it’s literally the beginning stages of our democracy crumbling if our checks and balances don’t stand up. What that leads to, you look at President Trump’s policies, we’re going backwards on energy stuff. We face this global warming disaster in the next few decades where stuff is already happening climate-wise. In California we deal with wildfires, used to be pretty much September and October, now it can be year-round. Hurricanes, flooding, you look at the flooding in the Midwest. We have this President and a Republican Senate who are complicit and going backwards in terms of the benefit of our welfare and our children’s welfare. Deficit climbing higher then ever that our kids will inherit. The insanity of it all … These patterns are forming that historically have been corrosive towards democracy and towards human advancement. And everything that Trump is doing right now, we need to be doing the exact opposite. And that’s really scary.”

Kerr’s response to fans who feel he needs to just stick to sports: “I don’t have one. I don’t care.”

Not even 48 hours earlier, Kerr watched in disbelief from the sideline in Toronto as Durant, who rehabbed for five weeks in order to make his return to the playoffs from a calf injury, went down in Game 5, this time with a torn Achilles. Durant had scored 11 points, on 3-3 shooting from long range, during his 12 minutes on the floor. “My initial thought was he re-injured the calf,” says Kerr. “That was our concern going in. I thought, oh God, poor guy, he re-injured the calf, he’s done for the series. He’s playing so well, we look like ourselves. So now he’s gotta do another six weeks of rehab. So there goes the rest of the series. But he’ll be fine.”

At halftime, Kerr heard that Durant may have actually torn his Achilles. His mood immediately darkened. “It’s like ‘oh, holy shit,’” says Kerr. “This is a totally different deal. Something we hadn’t anticipated at all. Had we thought there was any chance his Achilles would be injured, we wouldn’t have thrown him out there. So a combination of devastation for him, and for our team, and dread for the way it all unfolded. It’s just one of those things. You gather all the information you can, you check all the boxes, and you try to make the best decision. And then you do, then this happens, like, my God. Ugh. So I feel partly responsible, even though our process was sound. And it’s a reminder that there are no guarantees in the medical world. You can never be sure of anything.” Kerr, who’s had to miss games over the years due to unexpected complications from back surgery, would know.

Kerr admits to feeling some guilt about Durant’s injury. “Absolutely, even though I felt good about the process,” Kerr says. “Because it was a collaborative process. It included our team doctors, even outside doctors, second opinions. Everybody cleared him to play. And nobody thought that the Achilles was vulnerable. Obviously, we don’t make any decisions medically on our own. We’re not doctors. So we gathered all the information we could and collaboratively made that decision. But after the fact, it’s like, I should have just told him he’s not playing.”

“It’s too late,” says Kerr. “But I wish I could go back. I’d do that.”

Halftime at Game 5 was a somber scene. “Every guy was going up and shaking his hand,” says Kerr. “Just I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” The Warriors, on the strength of three three-pointers by Curry and Thompson down the stretch, managed to eke out a 106-105 win to keep the series alive, but Thompson’s freakish injury in Game 6 was too much to overcome. Thompson had 30 points in Game 6, but landed awkwardly on a dunk attempt near the end of the third quarter. The Warriors hung tight in the final quarter, but Curry’s last-ditch attempt to send the series to a deciding seventh game ended with those bemused grins.

“What I’ve witnessed as their coach over the last five years is just an incredible combination of talent and character and commitment to each other,” Kerr says. “This just doesn’t happen. A group of guys like this doesn’t come around together and do what they did over the last five years.”

Warriors Dynasty
Ezra Shaw—Getty ImagesStephen Curry #30 and the Golden State Warriors celebrate after receiving their 2017-2018 Championship rings prior to their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at ORACLE Arena on October 16, 2018 in Oakland, California.

Now the scene shifts from Oakland to San Francisco. The team’s move has rankled many people in the East Bay. Mildred Taylor, an Oakland resident who’s been an usher at Oracle Arena for the past 22 years, said the finality of the move finally struck her the day before Game 6, the last Warriors game at Oracle. “I felt a feeling of rejection,” says Taylor. Bill Benson, a BART train operator who lives in San Leandro, just south of Oakland, believes San Francisco will price out fans such as himself. “This is where the Warriors belong,” Benson says at halftime of Game 4 at Oracle. “Oakland needs these guys. The new arena is going to have a lot of techies. The blue collar guy is not going to be going to the Chase Center.”

“People, they are angry,” Oakland City Council President Larry Reid tells TIME. “But the anger is overshadowed by the joy that the Warriors have brought to the city.” In a TV interview the morning of Game 6, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf shared her mixed emotions. “As an Oakland native, even during the times when I could never have afforded a ticket to one of those games, just driving by the 880 and knowing that our Golden State Warriors played in Oakland, were our team, just gave me such a sense of pride,” Schaaf told KTVU. “And it is, it’s sad. It’s sad that they’re leaving Oakland. I feel like this team in particular has that Oakland ethos, that grit, that grind, that hustle and that humility, that teamwork. And I just hope when the team moves to San Francisco, they keep a little bit of that Oakland in them.”

Welts emphasizes that the Warriors aren’t abandoning Oakland. The team’s foundation will be headquartered in the city, and the team’s current office space will also house Oakland non-profits that provide services like college and career counseling and health and wellness programs for underprivileged kids. The practice court will host camps and clinics. “We’re leaving a building,” says Welts. “We’re not leaving a city.”

What’s the owner’s message to the people of Oakland? “I’m not nostalgic like a lot of people,” says Joe Lacob, who bought the team in 2010. “I understand why they are. This team’s been here for a long, long time and they consider it something that makes them proud to be in the community. But I also know that a lot of fans, actually the reality is live all over the Bay Area. Half of them are on the West Bay. Half of them are on the East Bay. And in fact, they come from Monterey, and from Marin, and all over the Bay Area. We have fans everywhere. I have been coming here since the 80s, and I live on the peninsula. Along with many other of my friends.

“For nine years I’ve been commuting,” adds Lacob, who lives in Atherton, a Silicon Valley enclave. “It’s been a brutal commute. It took me two hours today. I guess my point to you is, I do feel for those that feel it’s a sense of loss for the community, they have a sense of pride certainly for having this team. I understand that. I feel compassion for it. But life has to move on. And you know we built a new arena, which the great news is, BART really does generally go through the East Bay and connect into the city. And you can go right to the front door of this arena.”

Most crucially, the Warriors anticipate that the team-owned Chase Center — an arena built entirely with private funding, a rare feat in modern sports — gives them a chance to sustain their success. Revenue from other Chase Center events, like concerts, can help pay for expensive star free agents. Plus, players like Durant, Iguodala and Curry have used their Bay Area connections to invest in tech companies and grow their own businesses beyond basketball. Now, future Warriors will be able to do the same Silicon Valley networking, but in a $ 1.4 billion building.

“It seems to me the advantages that we already had are magnified,” says Welts. “Right? The advantage of being in the Bay Area. If you’re a twenty-something person in touch with where the world is going, this is a really good place to be. Because the companies that you care most about, and who are charting the future of the world, are located right here. And because you’re a basketball player in the NBA, you have unlimited access to those people and those companies. We already have that. We already have three banners hanging over five years. And now you have facilities that I think are the best available anywhere. The main underlying business reason for this is to set the financial foundation for the team for decades to come. Here we have the environmental advantage. And I think we now have the economic wherewithal to know we’re going to be able to compete for free agents, and the best player talent, to try to win some more championships.”

The Bay Area pitches begin this summer. The future of a now-storied franchise, and all of basketball, is at stake.

— with reporting by Katy Steinmetz/Oakland

Sports – TIME

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Trump is Wall Street’s favorite in 2020, but his reelection prospects look bad in state polls

But a look at state-by-state data clarifies the scale of Trump's challenge. As the president tries to rally supporters at a 2020 kickoff rally in Orlando on Tuesday, he is fighting from behind.
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Ivanka and Melania Trump Channel Disney Villains and Bond Girls in State Visit Game of Dress-Up

Chris Jackson

On her second day in London, Ivanka Trump treated the UK’s government headquarters as if it were an Infinity Room, taking time to meticulously document her entire visit on Instagram.

Ivanka has emerged the most egregious clout chaser in a family that seemingly feeds off attention. On Tuesday, she posted ten pictures taken inside 10 Downing Street, in what is becoming the worst “What I Did This Summer” photo essay ever written.

While ignoring boos from protesters this afternoon, Ivanka entered “a business roundtable for industry leaders” in a $ 3098 Dalmatian-print ensemble by Burberry.

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This Failed Trump Golf Course Is Now a Dilapidated New York State Park

When Donald Trump bought 436 acres in upstate New York two decades ago, he envisioned adding two new championship golf courses to his collection.He bought the wet, overgrown, tree-tangled parcels that sit miles off a state parkway beginning in 1998 for less than the current price of a two-bedroom condo in Trump Tower.

But local leaders nixed the golf-course plans and his subsequent efforts to sell it to a homebuilding company faltered. So he gave it away.

“This is my way of trying to give back,” he said at the time.

Like most deals involving Trump, there was more to it than goodwill. He was unloading what experts say was useless land, but not before working local officials to see if they could reappraise it at more than five times the assessed value, according to documents seen by Bloomberg and interviews with people involved — and using a grossly inflated figure on later presidential campaign documents to show, falsely, the depth of his philanthropy.

Despite the purchase price of $ 2.75 million, and a county assessment of $ 5.5 million at the time of the donation, Trump’s 2016 campaign said in a list of charitable donations published by The Washington Post that the land was worth $ 26.1 million.

IRS Audits

It’s impossible to tell if Trump did anything improper, since he has never released his tax returns. And there’s no law against inflating the value of property on campaign press releases. But the law does require taxpayers to accurately report the value of all charitable donations for deduction purposes and Trump could face a penalty or fine from the IRS if he exaggerated the value of the land on his tax returns. The IRS routinely audits all modern U.S presidents and vice presidents annually, including Trump.

The donation took shape around the same time that Trump was struggling, ultimately in vain, to turn around his three struggling casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In March 2006, one month before his gift was announced, his casino empire — Trump Entertainment Resorts — lost $ 22.1 million in its fourth quarter.

An hour’s drive north of Manhattan, Donald J. Trump State Park is what New York euphemistically calls a “passive park,” meaning it has no trails, picnic tables or other amenities. The state stopped maintaining it in 2010, and the land lies covered in brambles, mud and rocks. A bill pending before the state legislature would change the name of the park to honor the folk singer Pete Seeger instead of the current president.

County Rejects Golf Courses

Trump bought the first parcel, 282 acres known as Indian Hill that straddle Westchester and Putnam counties, from an estate sale for $ 1.75 million in 1998. He also bought 154 acres in Westchester County known as French Hill, also part of an estate sale, for $ 750,000. In 2000, he bought 58 acres of a nearby “surplus” stretch of the Taconic State Parkway from the New York State Department of Transportation for $ 250,000.

But by 2002, local authorities had rejected his plans for two 18-hole championship golf courses on Indian Hill and French Hill on the grounds that the courses would drain the area’s water supply as well as affect the water supply of New York City downstream.

So in 2003, Trump tried to sell U.S. Home Corp. an option to build houses on the tracts. But the giant home-builder got cold feet about the costs of environmental and engineering challenges, according to a person familiar with the deal. The option agreement was terminated in April 2005, according to a memorandum filed in Putnam County.

Aaron Curtiss, a spokesman for Lennar Corp., which bought U.S. Home Corp. in 2000, declined to comment on the company’s dealing with Trump.

Tim Miller, an environmental consultant who worked on the plans, said Trump made no improvements to the land, so the value likely stayed the same. “What he paid was its value, that’s what I would expect,” he said.

Miller added that he billed the Trump Organization a seven-figure sum for his work on the land as well as his work on Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Trump’s company paid him all but $ 140,000, and after fighting for several months to get the balance, Miller said he finally accepted Trump’s personal offer of a discounted membership at the Briarcliff Manor club in lieu of payment.

“It was either accept it or go to court,” Miller said.

The Trump Organization didn’t respond to emails and phone calls seeking comments about any aspect of the park deal.

Maximizing Value

Once Trump decided to donate the lands, his aides worked hard to maximize their value. Apparently, Trump wanted a bigger write-off than what the county said the land was worth.

Henry DeCotis, then the assistant state attorney general, said Trump fixer Michael Cohen called him in 2005 to inquire about donating lands to the state. DeCotis said the official fair market value of $ 5.5 million “might be in the ballpark.”

A spokeswoman for Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis declined to comment, and declined to arrange an interview with Cohen, who is serving time in Otisville prison in New York for lying to Congress about Trump’s business and campaign dealings.

By early 2006, Hal Goldman, who until 2011 was a Trump Organization vice president for development, said that he was in talks with the New York state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation about donating the land — and branding it Trump.

‘Opinion’ Sought

The person familiar with the donation said he received a call from a Trump Organization employee — whose name he couldn’t remember — asking for a “zoning opinion” that would justify a $ 27.5 million value for the land. The person said he told the Trump Organization that that figure could not be justified.

Trump’s donation nevertheless was finalized and in April 2006, Republican Governor George Pataki held a ceremony at the park to announce the gift and naming, with Trump saying in an official statement issued by the governor’s office that “this is my way of trying to give back” and that he hoped the lands “will turn into one of the most beautiful parks anywhere in the world.”

The Internal Revenue Service requires filers claiming a charitable deduction worth more than $ 5,000 to attach to their returns a “qualified appraisal” of the contribution.

Goldman said he was “unaware” of Trump having conducted any independent appraisal of the parcels of land.

“Let me put it this way,” Goldman said. “Would you go out and get an appraisal, or would you declare what you wanted it to be worth” and then have someone justify it. “I think that’s your answer,” he said.

Michael Grace, a former town attorney for Yorktown, New York, where some of the land sits, said the tracts might not have been worth even the $ 2.75 million Trump paid for it.

“There’s a reason they remained undeveloped,” Grace said, noting the land’s hills, mud and rocks.

In 2016, the Trump campaign released to The Associated Press and the Post a 93-page list of his charitable contributions, listing “Land Donated to NY Office of Parks – Yorktown, N.Y. – 436 acres” at “$ 26,100,000.00.”

Appraisal Process

The only way to know if Trump actually claimed a deduction of $ 26.1 million would be if congressional committees get his federal tax returns they have subpoenaed from the Treasury Department.

Bernadette Castro, the former Parks commissioner who oversaw the donation and attended the ceremony, said through a spokesman, John Rice, that she “does not recall the exact appraisal process.” Castro appeared on Trump’s television show “The Apprentice” in 2005 and was “fired” by the future president.

Dan Keefe, a spokesman for the state Parks department, said the donation “happened a long time ago” and declined to state whether the agency had done its own appraisal. Former Putnam County clerk Dennis Sant referred Bloomberg to the documents involved in the sale and subsequent donation. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley declined repeated requests for comment.

Fred Koelsch, the director of realty investments at Camarda Realty Investments, said that if Trump took a $ 26.1 million deduction for the donation, “that’s an awfully large number.” Koelsch, who did some work for the Trump Organization while at his former law firm, Shamberg Marwell Hollis Andreycak & Laidlaw PC, explained that because both Trump and U.S. Home had failed to develop the lands, they had neither increased in value nor held much extra value on top of their purchase price. “This is back-of-the-napkin math, but the deduction should have been low.”

Still, Koelsch said it’s very difficult to put value on undeveloped land. As such, said, “we have the seller tell us what they think it’s worth.”

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The other ‘special relationship’? Xi heads to Russia for three-day state visit

Russia and China appear to be intent on strengthening their alliance and fostering deeper cooperation in the face of increased political and economic hostility from the U.S.
Top News & Analysis

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Nearly every US state is now suing OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma

California, Hawaii and Maine bring the total number of states suing OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to at least 48.
Health and Science

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Trump gets a banquet with the queen and the good china on state visit to U.K.

He spent much of the day with Queen Elizabeth and the royal family.
Politics

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President Trump heads to the UK for official state visit

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IL may become 11th state to legalize marijuana

Newsy

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NY state barely cracks top 20 for jobs, NYC is even worse

As if you needed another reason to leave New York City. The US has seen notable job growth recently, with over 263,000 new jobs in April alone and the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969. However, not every city and state is enjoying a booming job market, which is why the finance nerds over at…
Business | New York Post

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Trump wraps up state visit in Japan

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The Best Flea Markets in Every State

For pennywise shoppers, perhaps nothing comes closer to paradise on earth than a flea market stocked with the secondhand wares you always wanted or never knew you needed. But where are the best of these bargain-priced bazaars? Scroll through to discover some of the finest flea markets in America, then drive to the one nearest to you to get your hands on some truly special keepsakes.
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3 dead, state capital battered as storms rake Missouri

An outbreak of nasty storms spawned tornadoes that razed homes, flattened trees and tossed cars across a dealership lot, injuring about two dozen people in Missouri’s capital city and killing least three others elsewhere in the state
ABC News: US

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Frenchman in vegetative state kept alive after appeal to UN

A last-ditch appeal to the United Nations has forced French doctors to resume life support for a man who has been in a vegetative state for years and whose case has drawn attention across Europe
ABC News: Health

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Washington now 1st state with long-term care program

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill that makes his state the first to create an insurance benefit to help offset the costs of long-term care.
ABC News: Health

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Washington state limits vaccine exemptions

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Warriors vs. Rockets: Take Kevin Durant-less Golden State

“Avengers”? “Game of Thrones”? Millions of viewers are watching those movie and cable TV franchises, but I find the Warriors-Rockets series to be the best entertainment option of all. This is true reality TV. Golden State won the first two episodes in the best-of-seven series at home but then lost the next two in Houston….
Sports | New York Post

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5.8.19 New insane debt collection rules; Paypal & Venmo scams proliferate; One state is making it easier to work

The CFPB has proposed new debt collection rules that are really, really bad for consumers; Watch out when using Paypal and Venmo because scammers are finding more ways to get access to your money via those apps; Arizona is making it easier for folks that move there to find work without government overreach. 

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Highly qualified staff at state preschools overcome private sector staffing advantage

Staff who are better qualified and trained maintain the quality of state-funded preschools, to some extent making up for the larger number of children per staff member in comparison to private and voluntary settings. A comparison of data before and after substantial UK policy change between 1999 and 2014, aimed at increasing uptake and improving the quality of early years education and care, suggests such changes could have powerful effects in improving preschool settings.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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LGBT groups and tech companies warn that a Texas bill could cost the state billions

The LGBTQ community and major employers say a bill passed by the Texas Senate is a license to discriminate, giving professionals the right to turn away people based on religious beliefs. Amazon, Dell, Apple and Facebook urged Texas to drop the bill.
Small Business

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Washington set to become first state to allow ‘human composting’

Washington is on the verge of becoming the first state to allow the environmentally-friendly practice of “human composting” — which turns dead bodies into soil within weeks. The state legislature passed a bill that would legalize the burial alternative, also known as “natural organic reduction,” and Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee will decide its fate. A…
Living | New York Post

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North Korea Test Fires ‘New-Type Tactical Guided Weapon,’ State Media Reports

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised and guided a test firing of a “new-type tactical guided weapon,” state media reported, in a move probably intended as a provocation after nuclear talks with U.S. President Donald Trump stalled.

The Korean Central News Agency’s report didn’t refer to the weapon as a ballistic missile or nuclear, so the test may not scuttle prospects for continuing negotiations with the Trump administration. Trump has long defended his decision to hold two high-profile summits with Kim by citing the North Korean’s decision to halt nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Kim’s move to undertake a new weapons test is likely to be interpreted as a bid for attention after the U.S. hardened its stance in negotiations with North Korea. Trump last week rejected a call for confidence-building joint economic projects between Seoul and Pyongyang, and his national security adviser said Wednesday that the U.S. would need to see more evidence that Kim was ready to give up nuclear weapons before scheduling a third summit.

“The president is fully prepared to have a third summit if he can get a real deal,” national security adviser John Bolton said in an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg News. The White House would need to see “a real indication from North Korea that they’ve made the strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons.”

The White House’s more skeptical tone comes after Trump walked out of a Feb. 28 summit with Kim, saying the North Korean leader was seeking significant sanctions relief without indicating a willingness to fully dismantle his nuclear program. Kim has escalated his rhetoric since the summit, asking top ruling party members to deal a “severe blow to hostile foreign forces” earlier this month.

Fortune

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North Korea test-fires new tactical guided weapons, state media reports

The test would mark the country’s first public weapons test since its failed summit with President Donald Trump.
ABC News: Top Stories

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Stricter US state gun laws linked to safer high schools

Adopting stricter state gun laws is linked to a safer school experience for students, a new study has found. Strengthening gun laws at state level was associated with teens being less likely to report being threatened or injured with a weapon at school, miss at least one day of school due to feeling unsafe, or to carry a weapon at any location.
Teen Health News — ScienceDaily

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Brett Kavanaugh: State laws blocking taxpayer-funded church repairs are ‘pure discrimination’

"At some point, this Court will need to decide whether governments that distribute historic preservation funds may deny funds to religious organizations simply because the organizations are religious," Kavanaugh wrote.
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Maduro Vows To Take Action Against US Sanctions On Venezuela State Oil Co.

In the latest effort by the Trump administration to ramp up pressure on the authoritarian regime led by President Nicolas Maduro, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company PDVSA.

The sanctions, pursuant to an Executive Order that President Donald Trump signed in November, bars Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) from selling oil to the United Stat
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15 Tips for Buying a Home Out of State

Successfully buying a home in a different state is doable—it happens all the time—but because you must take care of many details from afar, it’s a bit trickier than buying a home in your current town. Choosing a house, making an offer, and then closing, all while you’re living in another state, requires care and savvy. The following tips will help ensure that the deal goes smoothly and that you end up with a home you’re proud to own.
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2.8.19 State lemon laws vary widely; Clark Stinks

Lemon laws are different in every state. But new ratings are out detailing which states have the best ones; Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here

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In dissonant State of the Union speech, Trump seeks unity while depicting ruin

President calls on Congress to approve border wall funds, blasts ‘ridiculous’ probes.
Politics

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State of the Union 2019: Uncancelled — LIVE | The Daily Show

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

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Trump’s State of the Union will offer ‘bipartisan way forward on immigration,’ White House official says

In a preview of Tuesday's speech, a White House official said Trump would adopt a "unifying, bipartisan, and optimistic tone." The official declined to say whether the president would declare a national emergency to build a border wall.
Economy

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Iran State TV broadcaster Marzieh Hashemi to protest in Washington Friday after being released by FBI

The American-born Iran state TV broadcaster captured by the FBI for unknown reasons has been released after ten days in custody and will protest her “illegal detention” Friday in Washington, D.C., her family says.
FOX News

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Michigan State interim president resigns amid backlash

Engler said he would step down amid outrage over comments about sexual assault.
ABC News: Top Stories

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Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union address because of shutdown — or deliver it in writing

The request, citing security concerns, comes on the 26th day of a partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.
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