Happening Today: State of Union, Flour Recall, Bryan Singer
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Trump Says He’ll Give State of the Union After Shutdown Ends
President Trump said he is postponing his State of the Union address until the partial government shutdown ends, yielding after a weeklong showdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Following a high-stakes game of dare and double-dare, Trump conceded “no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber” and he was not looking for an alternate option after Pelosi served notice he won’t be allowed to deliver the address to a joint session of Congress next week. Pelosi had taken the step after Trump said he planned to show up in spite of Democratic objections to the speech taking place with large swaths of the government shut down. Denied that grand venue, Trump promised to come up with some sort of alternative event. The White House scrambled to find a site matching the gravitas of the traditional address from the rostrum of the House to lawmakers from both parties, Supreme Court justices, invited guests and a television audience of millions. Fireworks over the speech shot back and forth between the Capitol and the White House as the monthlong partial government shutdown showed no signs of ending and about 800,000 federal workers faced the prospect of going without their second paycheck in a row.
Showdown in Venezuela as US Backs Maduro Rival’s Power Claim
Venezuelans headed into uncharted political waters, with the young leader of a newly united and combative opposition claiming to hold the presidency and socialist President Nicolas Maduro digging in for a fight with the Trump administration. Violence flared again during big anti-government demonstrations across Venezuela, and at least seven protesters were reported killed in the escalating confrontation with Maduro, who has been increasingly accused of undemocratic behavior by the United States and many other nations in the region. Juan Guaido, the new leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, turned up the heat by declaring himself interim president before a mass of demonstrators in Caracas. He said it is the only way to end the Maduro “dictatorship” in Venezuela, which has seen millions flee in recent years to escape sky-high inflation and food shortages. In a united and seemingly coordinated front, the U.S., Canada and another dozen mostly Latin American countries, including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, quickly announced that they supported Guaido’s claim to the presidency.
5 Shot Dead in Florida Bank, Suspect in Custody, Authorities Say
A former prison guard trainee who recently moved to Florida from Indiana killed five people during a standoff at a small town bank before surrendering to a SWAT team that stormed the building, police said. Investigators said Zephen Xaver, 21, called police from inside the SunTrust Bank branch to report he had opened fire. He barricaded himself inside and when negotiations failed, the SWAT team burst in, capturing Xaver and discovering the bodies, police said. Investigators did not offer a possible motive, and a police spokesman said he did not know if the attack began as a robbery. The victims were not immediately identified. Florida Department of Corrections records show that Xaver was hired as a trainee prison guard at Avon Park Correctional Institution on Nov. 2 and resigned Jan. 9. No disciplinary issues were reported.
General Mills Recalls Some Flour Due to Salmonella Concerns
General Mills announced it was recalling some 5-pound bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached Flour. The company said the voluntary recall was being issued “for the potential presence of salmonella which was discovered during sampling of the five-pound bag product.” “This recall is being issued out of an abundance of care as General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product,” the company said in a statement. The bags being recalled have a better if used by date of April 20, 2020. Consumers are asked to throw out bags affected by the recall.
Bryan Singer Faces New Allegations of Sex With Underage Boys
Bryan Singer, the director of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” is facing new allegations published in The Atlantic that he engaged in sexual misconduct with underage boys. In the report, four men allege Singer had sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers in the late 1990s. One of the men, Victor Valdovinos, says he was a 1 3-year-old extra on the set of “Apt Pupil” when Singer fondled his genitals. The three other accusers are identified in the story by pseudonyms. One, identified in the story as Andy, says that he had sex with Singer when he was 15. Another man, identified as Eric, says he was 17 when he began having sex with the director. Singer would have been 31 at the time. The third man, Ben, alleges that he and Singer had oral sex when he was 17 or 18. Singer’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, denied to the magazine that Singer had ever had sex with underage boys, and disputed various details of the accusers’ accounts.
Kate Hudson Latest Celeb to Embrace Genderless Child Rearing
Actress Kate Hudson doesn’t plan to treat her 3-month-old daughter, Rani, any differently than her two sons. Rani is Hudson’s first child with boyfriend Danny Fujikawa. Her sons Bingham Bellamy, 7, and Ryder Robinson, 15, were born from previous relationships. In an interview with AOL, Hudson revealed having a daughter does not mean she’ll change her approach to parenting, although she admitted “there’s definitely a difference.” “I think you just raise your kids individually regardless – like a genderless [approach],” Hudson said. “We still don’t know what she’s going to identify as.” Hudson isn’t the first celebrity parent to forgo gender norms when raising their child. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt helped their daughter Shiloh break gender norm when she was as young as 4-years-old and wanted her hair cut short. Shiloh, now 12, often sports suits and traditionally boyish clothing down the red carpet.
Photo Credit: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP