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News from all over the world (388)

ORLANDO, Fla. — A 19-year-old University of Central Florida (UCF) student was found dead in an on-campus apartment Tuesday morning, officials said, report Wesh2 in its web site.
Emergency responders found Alyssa Michelle Lewis, a 19-year-old student from Jacksonville in her fourth semester, dead in her room in the Lake Claire apartments, UCF police said.
Police said that family members who had been unable to reach Lewis called 911 around 10:35 a.m. Tuesday after they went into her apartment and found her.
UCF police said they are investigating with support from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Investigators said they don’t believe the death is suspicious and there is no threat to the campus community.
Classes for the fall semester concluded Saturday, Dec. 9, and the residence halls closed for most students on Sunday, Dec. 10.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-President Donald Trump wants to send astronauts where no man has gone before, says a press release published by WESH2 quoting CNN as the source of the news.
During a signing ceremony in the Oval Office on Monday, Trump will authorize the acting NASA administrator Robert M. Lightfoot Jr. to "lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars."
"The President listened to the National Space Council's recommendations and he will change our nation's human spaceflight policy to help America become the driving force for the space industry, gain new knowledge from the cosmos, and spur incredible technology," deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said Monday.
The directive, Gidley said, will push NASA to "refocus ... on its core mission of space exploration" and if Trump does send astronauts back to the moon, they would be the first to visit the lunar landscape since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
Trump's pick for NASA administrator — Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma — has yet to be confirmed. He has come under withering criticism from Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, who wields considerable power over the space program.
Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have made it clear since the 2016 campaign that they would like to send astronauts back to the moon.
During a 2016 campaign event near NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Trump pledged to "free NASA from the restriction of serving primarily as a logistical agency for low Earth-orbit activities" and "instead refocus on space exploration."
"Under a Trump administration, Florida and America will lead the way into the stars," he said.
Pence, during the first meeting of the National Space Council in October, said the Trump administration "will return American astronauts to the moon, not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond."
"The moon will be a stepping-stone, a training ground, a venue to strengthen our commercial and international partnerships as we refocus America's space program toward human space exploration," Pence said.
Other Republicans, namely former former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have expressed interest in going back to the moon.
During his 2012 presidential bid, Gingrich advocated for forming colonies on the moon.
Red more:
The Trump White House is apparently where self-awareness goes to die. After Candidate Trump attacked President Barack Obama relentlessly for golfing, President Trump has golfed more than Obama, says an analysis written by Aaron Blake and published in The Washington Post this Friday.
After Candidate Trump ran the most bare-knuckle campaign in modern history, his family has complained about the “viciousness” of politics. After Trump attacked Hillary Clinton with gusto for using a private email server as secretary of state, numerous White House aides have used private email.
We can now add one more to the list.
At Thursday's White House media briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders bid reporters adieu but then decided she wanted to address one more question: About Trump's health. Toward the end of his speech Wednesday on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, you see, Trump began slurring and mispronouncing his words.

But before she answered (she said Trump's mouth was dry, again), Sanders had a bone to pick. “I know that there were a lot of questions on that,” she began, “frankly, ridiculous questions.”
Yes, because questioning someone's health based upon anecdote is a really bad thing to do — except of course when you're Trump and the person you're talking about is Hillary Clinton.

The quickbook university

‘Nothing more or less than a recognition of reality’ 
President Donald J. Trump made headlines around the world yesterday by announcing the United States will officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The President also directed the State Department to begin preparations to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“When I came into office, I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking,” the President said. “Old challenges demand new approaches.”
The decision drew praise even from frequent critics of the Administration. National Review’s David French called it one of President Trump’s “best, most moral, and important decisions” that “strikes a blow against international anti-Semitism.”
“This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality,” President Trump said.
“It is also the right thing to do.”

Remembering the second worst attack on American soil
Today marks the 76th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that claimed 2,403 American lives on a single day in 1941. The President’s latest video tells the story of that fateful event that plunged America into World War II.
“We remember the lives that were lost, the families torn from loved ones, and the heroes who rose to America’s defense,” the President said. “As the smoke billowed that day from our sinking ships, our entire nation rose up to show our enemies America’s unbending strength, might, and resolve.”
‘What it means to have hope’
Continuing to celebrate December’s spirit of giving, First Lady Melania Trump and Second Lady Karen Pence visited hurricane-damaged areas of Texas yesterday to meet first responders, visit families in the process of rebuilding, and assist volunteers with their ongoing efforts to help victims. One family in particular, the Zamoranos, offers all of us a stirring example of courage this holiday season.
“I am so impressed by your positive attitudes and resilient spirit,” the First Lady said. “Your family is an example of what it means to have hope.”
WHITE HOUSE — President Donald Trump says the U.S. is officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and beginning the process of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, a development that is drawing a negative reaction from much of the world.
“Jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions, but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world," Trump said in a speech Wednesday. "Over the past seven decades, the Israeli People have built a country where Jews, Muslims, Christians, and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and beliefs.”
WATCH: Trump on why he made the decision
He stressed that the U.S. "remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both "Israel and the Palestinians.” "I intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement,” Trump said.
Arab and Muslim states are warning that the controversial decision could enflame tensions in the region and destroy U.S. efforts to reach an Arab-Israeli peace agreement.
Palestinians are calling for three "Days of Rage" to protest President Trump's plan.
Pope Francis expressed "profound concern" about the move, while Turkey called for a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to coordinate a response. Iran called the move "wrong, illegitimate, provocative and very dangerous."
The Trump administration has staunchly defended the move, saying the president is merely recognizing what it calls a historic and modern reality. The move would also make good on a campaign promise which was backed by some of his evangelical Christian and Jewish supporters.
Palestinian demonstrators burn representations of Israeli and American flags during a protest against the possible U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in Gaza City, Dec. 6, 2017.
Palestinian demonstrators burn representations of Israeli and American flags during a protest against the possible U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in Gaza City, Dec. 6, 2017.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the U.S. still thinks there is "a very good opportunity for peace" between Israel and the Palestinians.
Speaking in Brussels, Tillerson said Trump "is very committed to the Middle East peace process. He has a team he put into place. That team has been working very diligently." The top U.S. diplomat urged people to "listen carefully to the entirety" of Trump's speech.
The officials say the president will order the State Department to start making plans to move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. They say the process will take years to find a site, secure funding, and construct a new building. Until then, Trump will sign the usual waiver postponing the relocation.
Trump telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and at least three other regional leaders Tuesday to explain his move. A White House statement said Trump had reaffirmed his commitment to advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the importance of supporting those talks.
FILE - In this March 17, 2003 file photo, an Israeli border policemen guards the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
FILE - In this March 17, 2003 file photo, an Israeli border policemen guards the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Transfer plans
Under a law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, the embassy must be relocated to Jerusalem unless the president signs a waiver every six months stating that moving the embassy would threaten U.S. national security. Every president since Clinton has signed the waiver, including Trump.
"The United States does lease an area of land in West Jerusalem for a dollar a year," Randolph-Macon College history professor Michael Fischbach told VOA. "One thing would be, there’s a massive amount not only of construction that would have to occur, but then moving people and facilities from Tel Aviv."
Dennis Ross was the U.S. point man on the Middle East peace process under three presidents and worked with Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement. He said Tuesday Trump appears to be leaving a lot of room for both Israelis and Arabs to maneuver in the newly changed environment.
WATCH: Trump Administration Maintains Commitment to Middle East Peace Amid Criticism of Jerusalem Decision
"It’s very important for the president to create a lot of 'handles' or 'hooks' for our friends to say, fundamentally, this does not change the ability of Palestinians, the Arabs who tend to see Jerusalem not just (as) a Palestinian issue but a regional issue, that their position, their concern, their claim still has to be part of the negotiation process and that hasn’t been pre-empted," Ross said. "That seems to me to be the key to this."
Some officials in Washington have expressed concern about the potential for a violent backlash against Israel and American interests in the region.
The U.S. Consulate General is restricting American government workers and their families from personal travel Wednesday in Jerusalem's Old City and West Bank, including Bethlehem and Jericho, amid widespread calls for demonstrations.
U.S. embassies worldwide also have been ordered to increase security.
State Department correspondent Cindy Saine and Victor Beattie in Washington contributed to this report.
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Debbie Wesson Gibson was in her attic hauling out boxes of Christmas decorations last week when she noticed a storage bin she said she had forgotten about. Inside was a scrapbook from her senior year of high school, and taped to a page titled “Those Who Inspire” was a graduation card. This story is published by The Washington Post.
“Happy graduation Debbie,” it read in slanted cursive handwriting. “I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you’ll be a success in anything you do. Roy.”
letterThe inscription, Gibson said, was written by Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee for U.S. Senate who in recent days has repeatedly denied the accounts of five women who told The Washington Post that he pursued them when they were teenagers and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. Since those allegations were published last month, four more women have come forward to allege that Moore made unwanted sexual advances. The accounts in The Post included those of Leigh Corfman, who said she was 14 when Moore touched her sexually, and Gibson, who said that she publicly dated Moore when she was 17 and he was 34, a relationship she said she “wore like a badge of honor” until she began reevaluating it in light of the accounts of other women, and now, Moore’s own denials.
Read more of this story written by Stephanie McCrummen

The quickbook university

After six months of work, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has indicted two advisers to President Trump and accepted guilty pleas from two others in exchange for their cooperation with his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election — a sign of mounting legal peril for the White House.
With the guilty plea Friday by former national security adviser Michael Flynn — one of Trump’s closest and most valued aides — the investigation has swept up an array of figures with intimate knowledge of the campaign, the transition and the White House.
It appears to have swiftly expanded beyond Russia’s interference in the campaign to encompass a range of activities, including contacts with Russian officials during the transition and alleged money laundering that took place long before Trump ran for office.
And Flynn’s agreement to fully cooperate with investigators suggests that Mueller is not done yet.
Both Flynn and George Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, acknowledged lying to the FBI about their contacts with the Russians. Now, both are cooperating with Mueller, according to prosecutors, potentially providing evidence against other Trump aides.
Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty on Dec. 1 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)
“Mueller has proceeded with professionalism, deliberation and without delay to build a case with a wall of substance,” said Richard Ben-Veniste, who was a lead member of the Watergate special prosecution team. “This plea today is another brick in that wall."
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/muellers-swift-moves-signal-mounting-legal-peril-for-the-white-house/2017/12/01/36962e9a-d6b4-11e7-b62d-d9345ced896d_story.html?utm_term=.e2c037f7cf5d&wpisrc=nl_az_most&wpmk=1

The quickbook university

President Trump this week disseminated on social media three inflammatory and unverified ­anti-Muslim videos, took glee in the firing of a news anchor for sexual harassment allegations despite facing more than a dozen of his own accusers and used a ceremony honoring Navajo war heroes to malign a senator with a derogatory nickname, “Pocahontas.”
Again and again, Trump veered far past the guardrails of presidential behavior. But despite the now-routine condemnations, the president is acting emboldened, as if he were impervious to the uproar he causes, says Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker in a report published by The Washington Post report Thursday.
If there are consequences for his actions, Trump does not seem to feel their burden personally. The Republican tax bill appears on track for passage, putting the president on the cusp of his first major legislative achievement. Trump himself remains the ­highest-profile man accused of sexual improprieties to keep his job with no repercussions.
Trump has internalized the belief that he can largely operate with impunity, people close to him said. His political base cheers him on. Fellow Republican leaders largely stand by him. His staff scrambles to explain away his misbehavior — or even to laugh it off. And the White House disciplinarian, chief of staff John F. Kelly, has said it is not his job to control the president.
For years, Trump has fired off incendiary tweets and created self-sabotaging controversies. The pattern captures the musings of a man who traffics in conspiracy theories and alternate realities and who can’t resist inserting himself into any story line at any moment.
“In an intensely polarized world, you can’t burn down the same house twice,” said Alex Castellanos, a GOP campaign consultant. “What has Donald Trump got to lose at this point?”
Castellanos added that for many voters, and especially Trump’s base, there’s an “upside” to his bellicosity. “A strong daddy bear is what a lot of voters want,” he said. “Right or wrong, at least he’s fighting for us.”
Read more a The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-veers-past-guard-rails-feeling-impervious-to-the-uproar-he-causes/2017/11/29/f96244d2-d523-11e7-b62d-d9345ced896d_story.html?utm_term=.03d25a639af0&wpisrc=nl_az_most&wpmk=1

The quickbook university

Garrison Keillor, the former host of "A Prairie Home Companion," said Wednesday he has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of improper behavior, Chicago Tribune report Wednesday.
Keillor told The Associated Press of his firing in an email. In a follow-up statement, he said he was fired over "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard." He didn't give details of the allegationl, says Jeff Baenen in the Chicago Tribune report.
"It's some sort of poetic irony to be knocked off the air by a story, having told so many of them myself, but I'm 75 and don't have any interest in arguing about this. And I cannot in conscience bring danger to a great organization I've worked hard for since 1969," Keillor said.
"A person could not hope for more than what I was given," he said.
Minnesota Public Radio confirmed Keillor had been fired, saying it received a single allegation of "inappropriate behavior" and doesn't know of any other similar allegations. MPR said it was notified of the allegation last month and that it stemmed from Keillor's conduct when he was responsible for producing "A Prairie Home Companion."
Keillor retired as host of his long-running public radio variety show in 2016. His hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile, is in his second season as "Prairie Home" host. After Keillor retired from the show, he continued to work with MPR on other projects.
The firing Wednesday came shortly after Keillor, an avowed Democrat, wrote a syndicated column that ridiculed the idea that Sen. Al Franken should resign over allegations of sexual harassment.
MPR also said the name of the show, produced and distributed nationwide by American Public Media, would change. The show has been named "A Prairie Home Companion" for more than 40 years.
In addition, MPR said it will end distribution of "The Writer's Almanac," Keillor's daily reading of a poem and telling of literary events." It also will end rebroadcasts of "The Best of A Prairie Home Companion" hosted by Keillor.
Keillor started "A Prairie Home Companion" as a Saturday evening show in 1974, featuring tales of his fictional Minnesota hometown of Lake Wobegon "where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."
The show featured musical acts, folksy humor, parody ads for fake products such as Powdermilk Biscuits and the centerpiece, Keillor delivering a seemingly off-the-cuff monologue, "The News From Lake Wobegon," in his rich baritone voice. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-garrison-keillor-fired-20171129-story.html

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CLERMONT, Fla. — A body was found late Monday night near Clermont in the trunk of a smoldering car, deputies said, Wesh2 report Tuesday.
Officials with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to the area of North Bradshaw Road after receiving reports that a man was trying to flag down passing vehicles. 
The man, who was suffering from a gunshot wound, told deputies that he and his friend had been carjacked and that his friend was still in the trunk of the vehicle, which had been set on fire by the carjackers, investigators said.
Deputies said the vehicle was found smoldering nearby. A body was in the trunk of the car, deputies said.
Further details were not immediately available, Wesh2 says.
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