A new year brings a new team for Ben Carson, and his recently promoted campaign chairman said on Monday he has reservations about allowing openly gay troops to serve and letting women go into combat.
Retired Army Major Gen. Robert F. Dees told CNN's Jake Tapper that "the military is designed to provide for the common defense of our nation," and "everyone is not good at everything." While "some women" are able to perform "certain tasks" in combat, "most" would not, for example, have the strength to carry a male soldier off a battlefield. "There are just certain realities where men can do certain things better, women can do certain things better," he said. "We don't need to throw everybody into every position as an experiment just because we're trying to appear to be fair to everyone."
When it comes to gays and lesbians in the military, "The first priority again is cohesion, and the second priority would be that the commander-in-chief listen to the best military advice," Dees said. "The administration has said, 'Do this, do this, do this,' apart from military and defense considerations." Carson told Tapper he would be willing to consider closing combat roles to women and gay troops. "One of the things that I learned in a long medical career is that you make decisions based on evidence, and not on ideology," he said. Catherine Garcia
Take heart if you harbor princess aspirations — "tiaras are no longer the sole province of royalty," says Dana Thomas at The Wall Street Journal. The Georgian diamond floral tiara ($210,000) shown here helped trigger the craze when Downton Abbey's Lady Mary Crawley wore it for her 2012 wedding, but just in the past 12 months, fashion houses, including Saint Laurent and Gucci, have introduced glittering diadems into their collections. You could, of course, shop for affordable options, along with other "mere mortals." But London's Bentley & Skinner, jeweler to the queen, is offering 10 antique diamond and pearl tiaras starting at $39,000, including Lady Mary’s 45-carat diamond garland. Until it's purchased, it can be rented for $2,100 a day.
A California man who rescued a family from an overturned vehicle has been billed $143 by paramedics for making sure he was OK, The Washington Times reports. First responders gave Derrick Deanda a bottle of water and checked his pulse after he smashed a window and freed four trapped passengers last fall. "A couple of months later I get a bill," Deanda said. "Makes you wonder why people don't want to stop to help at an accident scene."
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed Friday that it had suspended the laboratory assigned to handle drug testing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The decision, which comes just six weeks ahead of the opening ceremony, was based on a "'noncomformity' with international standards," The New York Times reports. The suspension took effect Wednesday, and the lab has 21 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.
However, this isn't the first time the Rio lab has been suspended by the WADA. It last happened in 2013, a year prior to Brazil hosting the World Cup. While the WADA decided to reinstate the lab last year, after nearly $60 million was invested in its facilities and an additional 90 technicians were trained, it has deemed the lab still not up to snuff for the Olympic Games.
The lab will not be allowed to test blood and urine samples during its suspension. So, for now, drug tests are being sent to a lab outside of Brazil to be analyzed. The New York Times reports that it "was unclear Friday if the issue would be resolved — and the suspension lifted — in time for the Rio Games." Becca Stanek
A prominent gun-rights activist is calling on bars to limit alcohol sales so that customers can safely carry guns, The Huffington Post reports. "Control the amount of booze you sell, but don't make them sitting ducks," said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a group that criticizes the NRA for being too soft. "That's what gun-free zones do."
Five people seeking to "unleash the power within!" ended up in the emergency room following motivational speaker Tony Robbins' hot coal-walk exercise in Dallas on Thursday. Dozens more were treated for burns on site, CBS News reports.
Robbins encourages his followers to "turn fear into power" by "storm[ing] across a hot bed of coals." "Once you start doing what you thought was impossible, you conquer the other fires of your life with ease," TonyRobbins.com explains.
At first hundreds of people were thought to have been burned when someone "not familiar with the fire walk observed the event and called 911 erroneously," Robbins Research International said in a statement. "While we are grateful to the quick and robust response from Dallas emergency services, only 5 of 7,000 participants requested any examination beyond what was readily available on site."
The head trainer for the Robbins' organization, Tad Schinke, agreed that five hospitalizations isn't so bad. "I've been doing events with Tony for 23 years," he said, "and while it may not look like that way, this was a successful event." Jeva Lange
Megyn Kelly reminded CNN on Thursday night that its newest hire, former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, hasn't always been so nice to the folks who are now his coworkers. Lewandowski, Kelly pointed out during an episode of her Fox News show, "has had some very ugly language attributed to him when it comes to women and now he will be getting paid by Donald Trump one day and by CNN the next." (It was announced Thursday that Lewandowski had been signed by CNN as a salaried political commentator.)
Kelly also reminded viewers of a past incident between Lewandowski and CNN's Noah Gray. Last November, Lewandowski "threatened" Gray during a campaign event to "get back in the pen or he's f------ blacklisted." "Think about the CNN reporter, the one who he threatened," Kelly said. "I hope they don't bump into each other in the green room. That's going to be awkward. It's really remarkable."
Watch Kelly's full takedown — with additional remarks from media critic Howard Kurtz — below. Becca Stanek
President Obama on Friday signed a proclamation to designate New York's Stonewall Inn as a national monument, the first such monument to LGBT rights. The iconic building is the place where, on June 28, 1969, LGBT protesters defied a police raid in a seminal struggle for gay rights. "The riots became protests. The protests became a movement. The movement ultimately became an integral part of America," Obama said in a video announcing the designation: