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January 7, 2016
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A new CNN/ORC poll finds that 67 percent of Americans say they are in favor of President Obama's executive actions on guns issued this week.

The actions are designed to expand background checks for purchases made online or at gun shows and to make it easier for the FBI to complete background checks efficiently. Out of those who support the changes, 57 percent believe they would reduce the number of gun-related deaths in the U.S., while 75 percent of gun owners say they do not think the changes would make a difference. The poll also finds that 38 percent said the president has gone too far in changing gun laws, while 30 percent think he hasn't gone far enough, and 54 percent — 22 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of Republicans, and 61 percent of independents — said they oppose his use of executive actions rather than working with Congress.

The poll was conducted Jan. 5 and 6, among a random national sample of 1,027 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points. Catherine Garcia

8:50 a.m. ET

CNN's Chris Cuomo laughed nervously at the "frightening" parallels between the way his 15-year-old and the president of the United States use their cell phones on New Day on Tuesday.

"President Trump is using his personal cell phone more than he had been in the past year," Alisyn Camerota began, citing a CNN report that suggests Trump is back on his less-secure device when talking to outside advisers. Cuomo then jumped in with some well-rehearsed fatherly scolding: Trump is on the phone "when he's supposed to be studying," Cuomo said. "This is a very teachable moment. You have to say to him in this moment if you're [Chief of Staff] John Kelly, 'Look, we let you use this phone, it's a privilege. It's not a right. And if you don't use it the right way, we're going to take it from you until we know that you can use it responsibly.'"

"And you're going to be grounded!" pitched in Camerota.

Cuomo observed that "this is the exact conversation I have, and lose, with my 15-year-old on a regular basis." Watch the humorous comparison below. Jeva Lange

7:19 a.m. ET
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Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), a leading candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), tells The Wall Street Journal that she was sexually abused by a track coach during her senior year in high school, and that the experience helped shape her life choices. McSally, 52, said that had taken up running to "escape from the grief of losing my dad" in middle school, and at St. Mary Academy-Bay View, an all-girl Catholic high school in Rhode Island, she placed her trust in a male coach who pressured her into having sex with him.

"It took a while for me to come to a place where I understood what the hell I had been through," McSally told the Journal. "I now understand — like many girls and boys who are abused by people in authority over them — there's a lot of fear and manipulation and shame." The sexual relationship wasn't physically coerced, she added, but "it certainly was an emotional manipulation." McSally said she ramped up her running to shut down her menstrual cycle, because "I was freaking out that he would get me pregnant."

McSally said she chose to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado in part "to get away from him," and she pushed herself in other ways because of the ordeal. She told her family 10 years after the experience, and Rich Robinson, who volunteered at an Arizona Air Force base chapel when McSally was stationed there, told the Journal that she had told him about the alleged abuse by her coach, "and others," in 1994. (McSally also told the Journal she had "similar, awful experiences in the military on the spectrum of abuse of power and sexual assault.") The Journal identified the coach in question, who denied ever having sex with McSally. You can read more at The Wall Street Journal. Peter Weber

6:21 a.m. ET

On Thursday, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice opens in Montgomery, Alabama, along with its accompanying Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. The two sites will be the nation's first "comprehensive memorial dedicated to racial terror lynchings of African Americans and the legacy of slavery and racial inequality in America," according to the organization behind it, the Equal Justice Initiative. The memorial features 800 brown metal slabs inscribed with the names of 4,400 African Americans lynched or otherwise killed in "racial terror" incidents from 1977 to 1950. Each 6-foot-tall slab represents one of the 800 U.S. counties where the lynchings occurred.

Bryan Stevenson, who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, said Monday that his legal advocacy group wanted to create a place for Americans to confront and "deal honestly with this history," like South Africa and Germany did to face their legacies of Apartheid and the Holocaust, respectively. "We don't have many places in America where we have urged people to look at the history of racial inequality, to look at the history of slavery, of lynching, of segregation," he said, adding that he expects some people to be "uncomfortable" visiting the memorial and museum.

The Legacy Museum starts with the enslavement of Africans and continues through today's criminal justice system. First thing you read in the museum is: "You are standing on a site where people were warehoused" — a reference to the site being a former Montgomery slave depot. And along with the slabs, the memorial includes a sculpture of six slaves in chains. "I think there is a better America still waiting, there is a more just America waiting," Stevenson told The Associated Press. "There's a kind of community that we haven't achieved yet. but we can't achieve it if we are unwilling to tell the truth about our past." Peter Weber

5:26 a.m. ET

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) now favors legalized marijuana, but that's nothing compared to former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) jumping aboard the weed train, Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "News like this is certain to have an effect on pot culture, so I figured I'd check in with two experts in the field," Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong.

"So, gentlemen, marijuana has become mainstream now — that's great news, right?" Colbert asked. "Actually, Stephen, we think this news sucks," Cheech said. "I mean, pot used to be rebellious." "Now, crusty old Republicans like John Boehner are into it, man — pot's over, man," Chong added. "Which is why we're here to announce Cheech & Chong are no longer doing stoner comedy." Colbert seemed surprised they were quitting comedy, but Cheech corrected him: "No way, man, we're just moving on to edgier territory, stuff that's still illegal." Yeah, Chong said, "like now we're into unpasteurized dairy products." There were other illicit subjects, too, and you can watch below. Peter Weber

4:37 a.m. ET

President Trump had a very busy weekend, at least on Twitter. "I never thought I'd say this, but he should golf more," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. The topic that seemed to pique Trump's interest the most was a New York Times article pondering if lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen would flip, in part because Trump has treated him horribly for years. "Yes, Trump treats his friends 'like garbage' — as opposed to Trump's wives, who go in the recycling bin," Colbert joked.

"So what Trump is saying here," he recapped, "is: 'Cohen's a good guy, and this is all a witch hunt, unless he flips, in which case he's a liar and I've never met him.'" Trump also tweeted about James Comey's newly leaked memos, one of which caught Colbert's eyes. Trump had never officially met Vladimir Putin when he reportedly said Putin told him that Russia has "some of the most beautiful hookers in the world," but Putin had said that on TV. "Mr. President, just because somebody is talking on your TV, it doesn't mean they're talking to you — unless it's Fox & Friends, or me right now," Colbert said. He ended with "Trump's weirdest tweet of the weekend," about Sylvester Stallone, Jack Johnson, and pardoning a 100-year-old miscarriage of justice.

Colbert turned to happier news, the birth of a new British royal baby. "The palace announced the baby weighs just over 8.5 pounds — which is $12 in American money," he joked. And the birth was announced by a quasi-royal crier. "He's easy to mistake for royalty — he's got a stupid hat and he doesn't have a real job," Colbert said. "He's real to us, and we believe him, because England is just weird. But he's just a guy who wanders London in a costume you can take your photo with — it would be like if we let the Times Square Elmo announce our Supreme Court decisions." Watch below. Peter Weber

3:39 a.m. ET

On Monday, doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore announced that they successfully completed the first full penis and scrotum transplant. The patient, a U.S. service member whose lower legs and genitals were blown off by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, "is expected to be discharged from the hospital this week, and we are optimistic that he will regain near-normal urinary and sexual functions following full recovery," said Dr. Andrew Lee, chairman of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University.

A team of nine plastic surgeons and two urological surgeons preformed the surgery over 14 hours in March, after five years of preparatory research and practice. The unidentified patient said in a statement that losing your genitals is "a real mind-boggling injury to suffer; it is not an easy one to accept," and "when I first woke up, I felt finally more normal." The doctors said that the patient will likely be able to urinate by the times he leaves the hospital but it will take about six months for the nerves to regrow enough for sexual function and sensation. The medical team did not transplant the donor's testes, due to ethical concerns about the patient being able to father the late donor's children.

Johns Hopkins released a mildly graphic illustrated re-enactment of the surgery, if you are interested:

More than 1,300 male veterans sustained genital injuries in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2001 and 2013, according to a 2017 study in the Journal of Urology. Lee said the "hidden" genital injuries have a "devastating impact" on the identity, self-esteem, and relationships of afflicted veterans. This wasn't the first penis transplant — there was an apparently successful one in South Africa in 2015 and an unsuccessful one in China, and a 2016 penis transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital has left the patient, Thomas Manning, doing fine but without full sexual function, USA Today reports. Peter Weber

2:01 a.m. ET

When Dana Carvey did his famous George H.W. Bush impression on Saturday Night Live, it was a hit with audiences and the man himself, who called the comedian to let him know he was a fan.

On Monday night's Conan, Carvey spoke about his 25-year friendship with Bush and his late wife, Barbara, who died last week at 92. The Bushes invited Carvey and his wife to the White House, and once Bush was out of office, the former president would often go to charity events with Carvey, popping up onstage in the middle of an impression. "Barbara was so funny," Carvey recalled, and the Bushes, with their "effortless" marriage, had "so much fun together."

Bush would send Carvey notes, he said, and he even called to chat with him on Election Day 2004, when his son, George W. Bush, was waiting to find out if he'd been re-elected. They became friends during a "different time," Carvey said. "It wasn't scorched earth, angry politics." Carvey's impression of Bush was equal parts silly and sweet, Conan O'Brien said, adding that the Bushes had a "real grace" when it came to comedians. Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

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