January 16, 2016
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Democrats close to Hillary Clinton, the party's presidential frontrunner, believe she underestimated opponent Bernie Sanders early on, advisers and friends of hers told The New York Times:

They argued that Mrs. Clinton and her advisers should have competed against him more aggressively, in debates and on the campaign trail, rather than appear so sharply negative with their recent attacks, which have given the campaign a jumbled feeling heading into the first voting states. Even Chelsea Clinton jabbed at Mr. Sanders, an unusual move given that relatives are traditionally used in campaigns to soften a politician's image. [The New York Times]

Clinton holds only a narrow lead over Sanders in Iowa, according to recent polling, and the Vermont senator is on top in New Hampshire.

"I always say, 'If I've got an opponent that's breathing, I'm going to take that opponent very seriously,'" said Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

Naturally, Clinton's campaign told the Times everything is going just fine. Read the full report here. Julie Kliegman

12:49 a.m. ET

While volunteering at a children's hospital, Blake Rockwell and the kids would talk about sports and watch games together, an experience that inspired Rockwell to start Special Spectators, a nonprofit that gets seriously ill children out of the hospital and onto the field.

Rockwell launched the nonprofit in 2002, and since then, more than 10,000 kids and their families have received VIP treatment at college athletic games. Special Spectators works with children's hospitals and universities to set up the visits, with each one unique, but the kids typically meet the coaches and players, get to try on gear, attend a tailgate, sit in the best seats in the house, and go on the field, where they are greeted with cheers. "A lot of these kids, they're in it for the long haul," Rockwell told CNN. "Their treatment protocol might be three years. And their tanks start to run low. Days like this restore the spirit in these kids to continue to fight."

This is a matter close to Rockwell's heart; his older brother, Chuckie, was born with a congenital heart defect, and he wasn't able to play sports, but the kids in their neighborhood made sure he was involved, making him the referee during every game. Chuckie died at 10 years old, right before Blake was born, but he said he always remembered the kindness the other kids showed his brother, and that's why he decided to start volunteering at the children's hospital that treated Chuckie. Catherine Garcia

October 18, 2017

On Tuesday, anonymous White House officials, reportedly including Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, reached out to numerous news organizations to inform them that former President Barack Obama had not called White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in 2010 after his son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan. They did this because on Tuesday morning, President Trump had suggested to Fox News Radio, without being asked, that reporters "ask General Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?" Maybe nobody took him up on the offer.

Trump's decision to invoke Kelly's son was seen by some commentators as lacking in taste and decorum, since Kelly himself has made an evident effort to keep Robert Kelly's death out of the realm of political debate. On Wednesday, Sanders said she believes that "General Kelly is disgusted by the way that this has been politicized and that the focus has become on the process and not the fact that American lives were lost. I think he's disgusted and frustrated by that. If he has any anger, it's toward that."

Sanders said she's not sure if Kelly "knew of that specific comment" about his son beforehand, but that he and Trump "had certainly spoken about it, and he's aware. And they've spoken several times since then." Peter Weber

October 18, 2017
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His champagne wishes were replaced with sparkling wine reality, and now, he's suing.

Daniel Macduff of Quebec booked a flight on Sunwing Airlines to Cuba, going with the airline because it advertised a complimentary champagne toast for passengers, BBC News reports. What he was served wasn't champagne from the French region it's named after, but rather sparkling wine, Macduff said, and even that was provided only on the outbound flight. Macduff's attorney, Sebastien Paquette, says this is a classic case of misleading marketing. "It's not about the pettiness of champagne versus sparkling wine," he told the BBC. "It's the consumer message behind it."

Sunwing's marketing materials clearly showed authentic champagne, Paquette said, but Sunwing, which calls the lawsuit "frivolous and without merit," argues the terms "champagne vacations" and "champagne service" were used to "denote a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package," not to describe beverages passengers would receive. The company has made some changes, no longer referring to champagne in its marketing materials and clearly stating online to expect sparkling wine only on southern routes, but that hasn't stopped 1,600 other plaintiffs from joining the class action lawsuit, Paquette said. They are seeking compensation for the difference in price between a glass of champagne and a glass of sparkling wine, in addition to punitive damages. Catherine Garcia

October 18, 2017
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President Trump has been criticized for saying nothing following the deadly ambush earlier this month that killed four U.S. soldiers in Niger, but just one day after the attack, National Security Council staffers drafted a statement for Trump expressing his condolences, Politico reports. For some reason, it was never released.

On Wednesday, Politico saw a copy of the statement, which read in part: "Melania and I are heartbroken at the news that three U.S. service members were killed in Niger on Oct. 4 while providing guidance and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these brave American soldiers and patriots. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers." (After the statement was drafted, the body of a fourth soldier killed in the ambush was discovered.) An NSC staffer emailed the statement out at 10:01 a.m. on Oct. 5, and NSC and Pentagon officials read it, Politico reports, but it's unclear why the message was never released. When a Politico reporter called the NSC employee who wrote the statement to ask about it, that person hung up, and the council's spokesman declined to comment.

On Oct. 5, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration's "thoughts and prayers" were with the families of the fallen, but Trump remained mum until Monday, when a reporter asked him why he had been silent about the matter. Trump tried to deflect by falsely claiming that former President Barack Obama rarely if ever called the families of soldiers who had died, and the issue took on a new complexity on Tuesday, when a congresswoman accused Trump of making "insensitive" remarks to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, telling her Johnson knew what he was signing up for. Trump, on Twitter, suggested he hadn't said that. Catherine Garcia

October 18, 2017
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A 37-year-old man suspected of killing three coworkers in Maryland earlier in the day was captured Wednesday evening in Delaware, police said.

Authorities said Radee Labeeb Prince walked into Advanced Granite Solutions in Edgewood, Maryland, shortly before 9 a.m. on Wednesday and shot five people before fleeing. Three were killed, and two remain in serious condition at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The owner of Advanced Granite Solutions said Prince had worked there for four months as a machine operator. After the shooting, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler told reporters the incident was "one of the most heinous acts we've ever seen in our county."

Prince is suspected of shooting an additional person less than two hours later in Wilmington, Delaware. Police there said Prince "had beefs" with the victim, who was shot twice and is expected to survive. Prince has an extensive criminal record, with 15 felony and four misdemeanor convictions in Delaware, ABC News reports. Catherine Garcia

October 18, 2017
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President Trump's decision to add Chad to the list of countries on his latest travel ban came as a surprise to people inside the U.S. government, and it turns out a primary reason for Chad's inclusion was a lack of office supplies.

The Department of Homeland Security asked Chad and every other country to submit samples of passport paper so the department could take a close look and see how secure they are, several U.S. officials told The Associated Press. Chad ran out of passport paper and asked if it could send a sample already made up of the same type of passport, but DHS denied its request for an exemption.

A DHS spokesman confirmed that Chad did not send in a recent sample of its passport paper, but said there are other reasons the country made it on the list, primarily that it "does not share public safety and terrorism-related information." Recently, Chad temporarily stopped issuing passports, so that might be the reason it didn't have any paper hanging around, but it still seemed like an odd reason to put Chad on the list alongside countries like Syria and Libya. Chad is known for its counterterrorism efforts against Boko Haram, and when national security agencies learned that the Department of Homeland Security and the White House wanted to put Chad on the list, without much input from the State Department or Defense Department, they objected but were overruled, officials told AP. Catherine Garcia

October 18, 2017
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The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a one-time treatment for lymphoma in adults, only the second time a gene therapy for blood cancer has been given the okay in the United States.

This is the first gene therapy approved for adults, and it involves removing a patient's T cells, reprogramming them to find and kill cancer cells, then putting the cells back into the patient, The Associated Press reports. The treatment uses the same technology as a gene therapy recently approved in the U.S. for childhood leukemia, and will cost $373,000 per patient, its manufacturer said. Catherine Garcia

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