UPDATE: The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a statement banning U.S. airlines from flying to or from Tel Aviv for up to 24 hours, beginning Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. EST. The agency said the move was a response to a rocket strike Tuesday morning, which landed approximately one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport.
BREAKING: The FAA just issued a notice prohibiting U.S. airlines from flying to or from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel for up to 24 hours
— Mark Berman (@themarkberman) July 22, 2014
Citing security concerns around Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, several airlines have altered or suspended their service to Israel.
Delta Air Lines announced on its website Tuesday that is has suspended its service to Israel "until further notice" following reports of "a rocket or associated debris" near Ben Gurion International Airport. The airline also made the announcement on two of its Twitter accounts.
Meanwhile, American Airlines responded to a passenger's question on Twitter regarding flights to Israel, announcing that it canceled both its flight to Tel Aviv from Philadelphia and the reverse flight "in response to security concerns at TLV." It also posted an official "Israel Travel Policy" on its website, allowing passengers with ticketed flights to Tel Aviv through the end of July to adjust their flights until the end of August. (US Airways, which has merged with American Airlines, made a similar announcement on its still-separate Twitter page.)
United Airlines canceled its two flights between Tel Aviv and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, as well.
RNC Chair denies party anxiety about Trump winning the nomination: 'I'm not afraid of any of these folks'
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is fine with any of the current GOP candidates becoming president — even Donald Trump. In an interview Friday with CBS This Morning, Priebus denied rumors that the Republican establishment has been fretting about Trump possibly winning the nomination.
"I'm not afraid of any of these folks running for president," he said. "I think all of them can beat [Democratic presidential front-runner] Hillary Clinton, who is under investigation by the FBI, or a socialist from Vermont," he added about the Democratic competition, Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
As far as any rumors that may be going around about establishment anxiety, Priebus dismissed those as just part of the competition. "In a competition, sure, candidates say, 'I'm going to be the best choice, this person isn't going to be that great,'" Priebus said. "That happens all the time. After a while, when you have six serious competitors out there on the campaign stump every day, you hear all kinds of things." Becca Stanek
Donald Trump took to Twitter Friday morning to question whether fellow Republican candidate Ted Cruz is really a Christian. His tweet followed up on a post from Thursday night in which Trump said Cruz "is the worst liar, crazy or very dishonest. Perhaps all 3?"
How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2016
Both tweets come in response to Cruz's suggestion that Trump (along with Marco Rubio) shared "the talking points of Barack Obama" on gay marriage. Trump's actual record on the issue is more complicated than Cruz implied.
Most of his statements on the subject have been negative. In August, for instance, Trump said he is "against [same-sex unions] from the standpoint of Bible," and if he had a child who was gay he "wouldn’t speak to them at all about it." Back in 2000, however, Trump said he supported a robust domestic partnership law, because "I think it's important for gay couples who are committed to each other to not be hassled when it comes to...simple everyday rights." More recently, he said gay marriage should have been left to the states, but that post-Obergefell it is the law of the land. Bonnie Kristian
Ted Cruz is never one to miss the opportunity to take a swipe at Hillary Clinton over her email scandal, but his campaign took it to a hilarious new level on Friday with an ad that spoofs the printer-destroying scene in Office Space.
As a woman in a pantsuit and two male companions take bats, feet, and fists to a server in a field, a man raps, "Damn it feels good to be a Clinton":
A Clinton never needs to explain what, why it is, what they've done or with who
A real Clinton knows that they're entitled and you don't get to know what they do.
Watch the shenanigans below. Jeva Lange
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) February 12, 2016
It's been less than 24 hours since Kanye West debuted his new album, The Life of Pablo, in a splashy live show at Madison Square Garden — but true to form, the album is already stirring up controversy. Much of the backlash has stemmed from a couplet from the song "Famous," which seems to throw a cup of gasoline on the dying embers of West's long-standing feud with Taylor Swift: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that b---h famous."
In the hours that followed, several members of the Swift camp reacted; her brother Austin posted a video of himself throwing away a pair of shoes from West's Yeezy fashion line, and friend Jaime King deleted her initial, enthusiastic posts about West's show, declaring herself, "so sad right now & disappointed right now."
Kanye West, being Kanye West, responded to the controversy via his preferred medium: a typo-laden tweetstorm, in which he claimed (1) that he ran the lyric by wife Kim Kardashian first; (2) that he had an hour-long phone conversation with Swift, in which she said the line "was funny" and "gave her blessings"; (3) that the line originated with Swift anyway, who allegedly told a mutual friend that she couldn't be mad at Kanye because he "made [her] famous!"
Does that settle things? Probably not, since Swift's rep has already issued a statement claiming that Swift was totally unaware of the specifics of the lyric. Instead, the rep says, she declined a request from West to promote the song via her Twitter account, and "cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message." For now, it's he-said/she-said — until West starts tweeting again. Scott Meslow
Widely despised 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli strikes again and this time, he's after Kanye West's new album The Life of Pablo. As if hiking the price of a cancer and HIV drug by 5,000 percent wasn't bad enough, Shkreli now wants to ensure that no one but him can listen to West's new album.
On Thursday — the day West debuted his album alongside his latest fashion line, Yeezy Season 3, at a Madison Square Garden event — Shkreli offered on Twitter to buy it for $10 million. Shkreli assured West and his partners that they will find this offer "more attractive" than their "current course of action."
aiyo @kanyewest last minute can i buy your album out so it dont get released publicly
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) February 11, 2016
Then, Shkreli contends, if he can't get his way, he could at least delay the rest of the world hearing The Life of Pablo "by a few days."
Kanye and his label are legally required to take my offer letter to their Board of Directors. This should delay the album by a few days.
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) February 11, 2016
In his offer letter, Shkreli says that that he should own the album because he has "been a tremendous fan of [West's] music for many years." He cites West's album, The College Dropout, as integral to inspiring him to "succeed at a young age."
Barack and Michelle Obama are celebrating their last Valentine's Day in the White House this weekend, and to mark the occasion, they recited poems to each other on The Ellen Degeneres Show.
In the segment — which was taped Thursday but will air in full on Friday — Michelle Obama sends her husband a classic "roses are red, violets are blue" poem, which Degeneres prompts Obama to respond to on her show. Surrounded by rose petals, Obama gets creative: "Somebody call the Situation Room because things are about to get hot," he says, adding, "I Obamacare about you more than you even know!"
Watch the wooing, below. Jeva Lange
President Obama will designate three new national monuments in Southern California's desert Friday, expanding federal protection to 1.8 million acres and making the Southern California expanse the world's second largest wildlife preserve. The three new monuments, the Mojave Trails National Monument, Sand to Snow National Monument, and Castle Mountains National Monument, will connect three areas already under federal protection and 15 designated wilderness areas, The Hill reports.
Obama's designation of the land, which comes at the urging of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will double the amount of land he has set aside for conservation during his presidency. He has protected more acres of land and water than any other administration to date. "The effort to preserve the California desert has been a long one, and today is a major milestone," Feinstein said. "The California desert is a national treasure. This designation only reaffirms that fact."
Obama is traveling to Palm Springs, California, Friday to make an official announcement. Becca Stanek