Michael Sam's thank you letter to Missouri: 'You gave me a chance to live my truth without judgment'
Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who is poised to become the first openly gay player in the NFL, thanked his alma mater for the "love and acceptance" it gave him in a letter published Thursday in the Columbia Missourian.
"From my first recruiting trip to the University of Missouri, I felt something extraordinary and special — something I didn't feel anyplace else," Sam wrote. "I didn't have a name for it then; I do now. It's called family."
"And to me that family is defined by unconditional love," he added.
President Trump claimed in a speech Friday that brutal gang-related murders in Long Island are "turning peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields," a term typically reserved for genocide. "They kidnap, they extort, they rape, and they rob," Trump said as he discussed MS-13 while standing before uniformed law enforcement officers. "They prey on children. They shouldn't be here. They stomp on their victims. They beat them with gloves. They slash them with machetes and they stab them with knives."
Later in the speech Trump added that people are "burned to death," "beaten to death" and "stuffed in barrels" by undocumented immigrants.
Trump promised to rid America of these "animals." "We are liberating our American towns," Trump said, marveling that the whole situation is like "a scene in a movie." "It's like the Old Wild West," he added.
Catch a snippet of Trump's graphic speech below. Becca Stanek
Trump on MS-13: "They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into blood-stained killing fields." pic.twitter.com/cOTl8QotVE
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 28, 2017
Put away your old magazines and make room for the world's ultimate coffee table book. La Cappella Sistina ($13,800) is the product of five years' work during which the Italian art publisher Scripta Maneant partnered with the Vatican Museums to digitize every inch of the Sistine Chapel — from Michelangelo's ceiling frescoes to the mosaic floor. The three-volume set weighs about 60 pounds and contains 270,000 photos that reproduce the chapel's artwork on a 1:1 scale. Though the collection was created mostly for art historians and restorers, 1,999 copies will be sold to individual buyers, each of whom will be granted a private tour of the chapel.
Imagine, for a second, if you could fly aboard Air Force One. History has been made on that plane, from former President George W. Bush circling the American skies in the hours after the Sept. 11 attacks to Hillary Clinton's ride last summer with former President Barack Obama as the first presidential candidate who was not a sitting vice president. What knowledge and prestige you'd be privy to! What an honor!
Now imagine, for one more second, if you could fly aboard Air Force One today:
This is gonna be an awkward flight (via pool) pic.twitter.com/3oQghbBJwf
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) July 28, 2017
— Fin Gomez (@finnygo) July 28, 2017
FBI agents claim former Putin official was murdered the night before he was supposed to meet with the DOJ
The U.S. government last fall ruled the death of Mikhail Lesin, Russian President Vladimir Putin's former media czar, an "accident," but two FBI agents and a U.S. intelligence agency official say he was actually beaten to death, BuzzFeed News reported Friday. The three agents were not "directly involved" in the investigation of Lesin's November 2015 death in a Washington, D.C., hotel room, but they said they "learned about it from colleagues who were."
The FBI agents also revealed yet another previously unreported bit of information: Lesin was in D.C. to talk to Department of Justice officials about "the inner workings of RT, the Kremlin-funded network that Lesin founded," BuzzFeed reported. He was apparently slated to meet with the DOJ the day after he was killed in the hotel room, which the DOJ had reportedly paid for.
"There seems to be an effort here to cover up that fact for reasons I can't get into. What I can tell you is that there isn't a single person inside the bureau who believes this guy got drunk, fell down, and died," one of the FBI agents told BuzzFeed, dismissing the official explanation for Lesin's death. "Everyone thinks he was whacked and that Putin or the Kremlin were behind it."
The agents claimed that the FBI "has obtained evidence and conducted witness interviews that indicate Lesin was murdered," apparently with a baseball bat. Read the full story at BuzzFeed News. Becca Stanek
North Korea has launched what appears to be a ballistic missile, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said Friday. The missile, launched shortly before midnight local time in Japan, is apparently headed for Japanese waters. It could land in Japan's "exclusive economic zone," Reuters reported, citing Japan's public broadcaster NHK.
This is a breaking news story that will be updated as more details become available.
It's unclear which people Fox News' Jesse Watters has been talking to, but he claims "a lot" of them "wish President Trump was a dictator." Watters explained Thursday on The Five that if Trump were a dictator then "maybe we could repeal ObamaCare." "It would be a lot easier that way," he said, hours before the ObamaCare "skinny repeal" died on the Senate floor.
Watters made the remark as the panel discussed a recent quote from Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn.), comparing Trump to King George III. Ellison said Trump's efforts to "intimidate people, to pack the courts, to intimidate the press" are all part of his plan to "just run everything himself." "We fought a war of independence against somebody — King George — who was trying to do that," Ellison said.
But Watters seems to think that, for the sake of repealing the health-care law that insures more than 20 million Americans, it wouldn't be so bad for Trump to be a little more like the man who sparked the Revolutionary War. Watch Watters make the case below. Becca Stanek
Frustrated with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, President Trump is reportedly already considering whom he wants to replace him with, The New York Times reported Thursday:
[...] Mr. Trump has openly told people that he has lost faith in Mr. Priebus. He has said he wants "a general" as chief of staff, and has focused on John F. Kelly, the retired four-star Marine now serving as homeland security secretary. Many of his advisers, however, consider that a bad idea. [The New York Times]
Even if Trump's advisers manage to talk him out of tapping Kelly, the chances of Priebus sticking around are looking pretty low. The New York Times reported that Trump has lately taken to bringing up the time Priebus suggested that Trump drop out of the presidential election after the infamous Access Hollywood tape of Trump talking about grabbing women by the genitals surfaced. Trump reportedly goes around asking his associates, "'Do you remember when Reince did that?'"