July 12, 2014
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for lululemon athletica

Here's a new one: Father Padraig O'Baoill, a Catholic priest in Gweedore, Ireland, warned his flock against the dangers of "unsavoury" yoga in a parish newsletter, reports BBC News.

"As followers of Jesus Christ, we shouldn't be taking part in any activities that are in conflict with our faith," O'Baoill wrote. "Therefore, don't take any part in yoga classes, tai chi or reiki. Do not endanger your souls for the sake of such unsavoury activities."

Requests to the Diocese of Raphoe for explanation of the remarks have gone unanswered, but a local reporter described parishioners as "baffled and bemused" by the newsletter. Sarah Eberspacher

6:42 a.m. ET
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr., President Trump's eldest son and the acting head of the family real estate and branding company, has decided to voluntarily drop his Secret Service detail, telling friends he wants more privacy, several people familiar with the decision tell The Washington Post and USA Today. The Secret Service stopped protecting the younger Trump last week, The New York Times reports, though it's not clear if his wife and five children are still being protected. The Secret Service said it does not comment on who it is protecting out of safety considerations.

The Secret Service is obligated to protect the president and his family, but not top aides, and senior counselor Kellyanne Conway's detail is being dropped, too, the Times report. Conway was originally placed under Secret Service protection because she received threats early on in her tenure, but "that threat assessment has since changed," the Times says, citing a senior administration official. Protecting at least two fewer people should ease the financial and human strain on the Secret Service, especially since Don Trump Jr. travels extensively for business and leisure. The Secret Service will continue to protect the president and his other children and grandchildren, several top aides, and Trump Tower, his primary residence. Peter Weber

6:04 a.m. ET
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images/Toys 'R' Us

On Monday night, Toys 'R' Us announced that it is following Kay Bee Toys and FAO Schwartz into bankruptcy court, but said that unlike its onetime rivals, it hopes to emerge intact. The company, struggling with $5 billion in long-term debt and competition from online retailers like Amazon and discount stores like Walmart, filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. federal court, plus the Canadian equivalent for its Canadian operations. It emphasized that all of its brick-and-mortar and online stores will remain open through the crucial holiday shopping seasons, and said its 810 stores and 255 licensed outlets outside North America will be unaffected by the bankruptcy reorganization.

"The company's approximately 1,600 Toys 'R' Us and Babies R Us stores around the world — the vast majority of which are profitable — are continuing to operate as usual," Toys 'R' Us said in a statement. It did not say what will happen to its 65,000 employees worldwide or its retail stores, but some of its 885 U.S. locations are expected to be closed in the reorganization. Peter Weber

5:29 a.m. ET
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump will make his maiden address before the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Tuesday, and the speech, drafted by hard-line policy aide Stephen Miller, is expected to focus on North Korea, Iran, and other shared perceived threats. After urging broad U.N. reforms with the U.S. as a partner on Monday, Trump's address Tuesday will be partly an attempt to align Trump's "America First" Foreign policy with the need for global cooperation on terrorism and other collective problems.

Trump's speech to world leaders will be a "clear-eyed" look at global challenges, and a call for other countries to bear more of the burden of maintaining peace and prosperity, a senior White House official tells The Washington Post. Trump will focus on "outcomes, not ideology," the official said, and he won't tell other nations "how to live" or "what system of government to have. He will ask countries to respect the sovereignty of other nations. That's the rationale for the basis of cooperation." During the presidential campaign, Trump was a fierce critic of the U.N. Peter Weber

3:24 a.m. ET

President Trump hasn't accomplished many of his goals yet, but the man steering his next big push, tax reform, is Treasury Secretary "and mildly satisfied LensCrafters customer" Steven Mnuchin, Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show. He started his Mnuchin "profile in tremendousness" by explaining how a Goldman Sachs alumnus turned Hollywood producer and Democratic donor ended up on Trump's team. (Casually.) "Mnuchin may not have a a particularly impressive political resume, but you should see his IMDB page," Noah said. Only now he's less interested in producing Batman movies and more geared up to produce tax cuts for rich people like himself.

But you probably haven't heard Mnuchin's name mentioned in regards to tax cuts so much as his request for taxpayers to plunk down $25,000 an hour for a government jet to whisk him and his third wife, Louise Linton, off to their honeymoon in Europe, Noah said, running through that flap and an earlier one involving Linton and a government jet. "Seriously, these two are both so out of touch, it's almost beautiful," he said. "I'm so glad that they found each other. I just wish Mnuchin hadn't also found this guy," Trump, "because if you think these two are going to take care of everyday Americans, I've got one word for you: LOL." That didn't sound quite right, so he called out The Daily Show's "mean girl translator" to do it right. Watch below. Peter Weber

2:49 a.m. ET
Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon

On Monday, conservative political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes sued Fox News, 21st Century Fox, Fox Business Network host Charles Payne, and two Fox News executives for a host of allegations tied to rape, gender discrimination, and retaliation. In the lawsuit, Hughes said that Payne "pressured" his way into her hotel room in 2013, raped her, then coerced her into a sexual relationship in return for career advancement, including frequent guest appearances at Fox News and Fox Business and a never-offered contributor contract.

Hughes, 37, alleges that when she ended the sexual relationship, Fox News stopped booking her, and when she reported Payne's alleged sexual assault to the legal team investigating sexual misconduct at Fox News, the company leaked her name to The National Enquirer along with a statement from Payne in which he acknowledged and apologized for a "romantic affair," suggesting it was consensual. Both Hughes and Payne are married. Hughes further says she was told that Fox News blacklisted her in early 2017 because she "had an affair with someone at Fox," leading to a sharp decline in cable news bookings — she was also a paid contributor at CNN in 2017, as a surrogate for candidate Donald Trump — and her name being withdrawn from consideration for a job in the Trump administration.

Fox Business took Payne off the air in July but reinstated him earlier this month after an investigation. Payne vehemently denied the allegations through a lawyer, and Fox News said in a statement that Hughes' suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, is a "downright shameful" and meritless "publicity stunt," adding, that Hughes' lawyer, Doug Wigdor, is the third she has hired "to raise some variation of these claims which concern events from four years ago, since it apparently took some time to find someone willing to file this bogus case."

"In July of 2013, I was raped by Charles Payne," Hughes told The New York Times. "In July of 2017, I was raped again by Fox News. Since then, I have been living an absolute hell." Peter Weber

1:55 a.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is a hard no on Graham-Cassidy, the last-ditch Senate Republican plan to gut the Affordable Care Act, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is leaning no, but every other iffy Senate Republican appears on the fence, and GOP leaders emerged from a Monday night meeting cautiously optimistic. The 140-page bill, introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), faces a Sept. 30 deadline if Republicans want to pass it with 50 votes, without Democrats.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said it will have a preliminary analysis on the bill's fiscal impact next week, but won't have an estimate on how Graham-Cassidy would affect coverage numbers, premiums, or the federal deficit for "at least several weeks." Previous CBO scores of similar bills estimated that millions of Americans would lose coverage. "The odds are improving," Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said Monday night. "I told Bill Cassidy he's the grave robber. This thing was 6 feet under. And I think he's revived it to the point that there's a lot of positive buzz and forward momentum."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who voted no when the last ObamaCare repeal vote fell short, said he wants to see a bipartisan bill debated in "a regular process rather than, 'Hey I've got an idea, let's run this through the Senate and give them an up-or-down vote.'" He's considered a maybe, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) announced that the Senate Finance Committee will hold one hearing on Graham-Cassidy on Monday, a move derided by the committee's raking Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), as "a sham process that makes a mockery of regular order."  

Also opposing the bill is Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee‏, who reminded Cassidy that his namesake legislation "uniquely and disproportionately hurts Louisiana." The bill would end ObamaCare's Medicare expansion and subsidies, transferring much of those funds to states that did not expand Medicaid; Louisiana expanded Medicaid last year. The legislation would also give states wide latitude to end protections on people with pre-existing conditions and allow skimpier plans.

There's no guarantee the House would pass the bill, which it couldn't modify, but House Republicans would be under enormous pressure to do so. Meanwhile, a bipartisan health-care effort is being negotiated between Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Peter Weber

September 18, 2017

Hurricane Maria, which was a tropical storm on Sunday, whipped into a dangerous Category 5 hurricane by Monday night and made a direct hit on the island of Dominica. On Facebook, Dominica's prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, recounted his harrowing experience live, starting with: "The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God." A few minutes later, he said that galvanized steel roofs were flying in the wind outside, then half an hour later: "My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding." He was rescued seven minutes later. In 2015, Tropical Storm Erika killed 31 people and destroyed 370 homes on Dominica.

Maria is expected to cause severe flooding on nearby Guadeloupe overnight, before heading toward Puerto Rico, which escaped a direct hit from Hurricane Irma but is in the likely path of Maria. Hurricane warnings were also in effect for a series of other islands battered by Irma, including the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Forecasters are concerned that Maria may become even stronger, based on the small size of its eye.

"You have to evacuate," warned Puerto Rico's public safety commissioner, Hector Pesquera. "Otherwise you're going to die." Some 70,000 people in the U.S. territory are still without power from Irma, and as the island braces for 12 to 24 hours of strong winds and heavy rains, Puerto Rico is rationing water, milk, batteries, canned goods, baby formula, and other supplies. Peter Weber

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