10 things you need to know today: January 16, 2018
Republicans focus on a stopgap spending bill as shutdown looms, MLK's children criticize Trump for disparaging poor nations, and more
GOP pushes stopgap spending measure as shutdown looms
Republican lawmakers concluded Monday that they could not muster enough votes to pass a long-term deal to fund the federal government before a Friday deadline, leaving them focused on passing another stopgap spending measure and raising the odds of a government shutdown. Hope for a deal diminished due to mistrust stoked in a White House meeting on immigration last week, when President Trump, according to Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin (Ill.), described Haiti and African nations as "shithole countries." Trump tweeted Monday that "Dicky Durbin" had "totally misrepresented" what he said, saying the Democrat had torpedoed chances of a deal to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. Two Republican senators who disputed Durbin's account reportedly told the White House they heard Trump say "shithouse" rather than "shithole."
MLK children call out Trump for insulting African nations and Haiti
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s children honored their father on what would have been his 89th birthday, using the occasion to call out President Trump for his recent disparaging comments about immigrants from Haiti and African nations. "When a president insists that our nation needs more citizens from white states like Norway, I don't even think we need to spend any time even talking about what it says and what it is," said the slain civil rights leader's eldest son, Martin Luther King III, in Washington. "We got to find a way to work on this man's heart." The Rev. Bernice King said at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where her father once served as a pastor, that Americans "cannot allow the nations of the world to embrace the words that come from our president as a reflection of the true spirit of America."
Trump goes to golf club on MLK Day as Haitian-Americans protest
President Trump spent part of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Trump International Golf Course. On the way, Trump's motorcade was greeted in West Palm Beach by hundreds of Haitian-American protesters demanding he apologize for his alleged remarks calling Haiti and African nations "shitholes." It was Trump's third day in a row at the club, and his 95th at one of his golf courses since his inauguration. The president had no public events planned to mark the holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. The White House released a statement saying King's "principles of nonviolence in pursuit of equality and justice continue to serve as an example for all the world."
Gold medalist Simone Biles says she was among athletes abused by team doctor
Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles said Monday that she was among the athletes sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who is due to be sentenced in a Michigan court this week on seven sexual assault charges. He already has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for possessing child pornography. Biles, 20, is the latest of about 140 women who have accused Nassar of abusing them when he was supposed to be giving them medical care. Among the other accusers are Biles' Olympic teammates, including gymnastic stars Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and McKayla Maroney. Nassar's "behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust," Biles wrote in social media posts.
South Africa calls meeting with U.S. ambassador over Trump comments
South Africa on Monday called acting U.S. Ambassador Jessye Lapenn to a meeting in Pretoria in protest against President Trump's remarks allegedly describing African nations and Haiti, among other places, as "shithole countries." Trump was asking why the U.S. had to accept immigrants from these places instead of taking more people from such nations as Norway. South Africa called Trump's remarks, reported by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), "disturbing." Trump has acknowledged using strong language but accused Durbin of misrepresenting what he said. South African officials said they hoped Lapenn could clear the air. "Relations between South Africa and the United States, and between the rest of Africa and the United States, must be based on mutual respect and understanding," officials said in a statement.
Pope Francis faces pressure in Chile over sexual abuse scandal
Pope Francis will meet with Chile's president, Michelle Bachelet, on Tuesday in his first full day in the South American country, where he also will face protests over the church's handling of allegations of sexual abuse by priests. Many Chileans are angry over Francis' 2015 decision to appoint a bishop, Juan Barros, who was close to a priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, found guilty by the Vatican several years earlier of abusing dozens of children over decades. Barros has always denied he knew what Karadima was doing. Most Chileans identify as Catholic, but they gave the pope, a native of neighboring Argentina, the lowest approval among 18 Latin American nations in a recent survey.
California couple arrested after 13 kids found held captive
Authorities in Perris, California, on Monday arrested a husband and wife who allegedly kept their 13 kids, ranging in age from 2 to 29, captive inside their home. Some were shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks, and all of them were malnourished. Early Sunday, a 17-year-old girl escaped from the house and called 911. Police reported that they found the chained children in "dark and foul-smelling surroundings," and that the parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were "unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner." Both were ordered held in lieu of $9 million bail. Neighbors said they were "devastated" and had no idea what was happening inside the house.
Bannon to testify to House committee investigating Russian election meddling
Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is scheduled to meet behind closed doors Tuesday with a House committee investigating alleged Russian election meddling. The interview with the House Intelligence Committee comes after the release of a book by Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury, in which Bannon was quoted as saying a meeting with a Russian lawyer, attended by Donald Trump Jr. and the president's son-in-law and senior aide Jared Kushner, was "treasonous" and "unpatriotic." Bannon's comments in the book provoked a public break between him and Trump, who said his former strategist had "lost his mind." Russia denies meddling in last year's presidential election, and Trump says there was never any collusion between his team and Moscow.
CVS bans use of manipulated photos in marketing of its makeup brand
CVS Health said Monday that it would ban the use of manipulated photos in the marketing of its store-brand makeup. The nation's largest pharmacy chain also said it would require other beauty brands that sell products in its stores to commit to phasing out retouched or otherwise manipulated images by 2020. CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes said the decision reflected the company's recognition that "unrealistic body images" are "a significant driver of health issues," especially among women, who account for 80 percent of CVS customers. "To try to hold ourselves up to be like those women is impossible because even those women don't look like how they appear in those photographs," Foulkes said. The change could have a huge impact, as CVS is one of the largest sellers of beauty products in the U.S.
Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dies at 46
Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the Irish alternative band The Cranberries, died suddenly in London on Monday, Lindsey Holmes, her publicist, said in a brief statement. O'Riordan was 46. No more details were released. "Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time," the statement said. O'Riordan and her bandmates were in London for a recording session. O'Riordan wrote lyrics and music for some of the group's 1990s hits, including "Linger" and "Dreams." She also wrote the angry "Zombie" in response to a 1993 Irish Republican Army terrorist bombing. "To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians, and the performing arts her death will be a big loss," President of Ireland Michael Higgins said in a statement.