October 30, 2018

The "hero of the Hudson" is back, and this time he wants to be a hero of democracy.

Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger steered a 154-passenger flight to a safe emergency landing in the Hudson River back in 2009. But he wasn't about to let a Tom Hanks-led retelling of his story cap off his career, so he authored an op-ed in The Washington Post encouraging Americans to fight back against the "cowardly, complicit enablers" currently leading the country.

In the op-ed, published Monday, Sullenberger described the "efforts of many" who "rose to the occasion" to safely rescue everyone from the flight that went down. But "ultimately," Sullenberger says he was responsible for "projecting" calmness and courage while ensuring everyone survived.

Many of today's leaders, though, don't accept that same responsibility, Sullenberger wrote. Those in power are "acting against the interests of the United States, our allies, and democracy ... and threatening the livability of our planet," he said. And even though he was a Republican for "the first 85 percent of my adult life," Sullenberger says he's "always voted as an American" and will continue to do so this year "by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values."

Sullenberger knows he gained "sudden fame" in 2009, and used his new platform to advocate for transportation safety. This year, he's using it to be "a defender of our democracy" — and he hopes all Americans will too. Read Sullivan's op-ed at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:18 p.m.

Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 while in New York City's Central Park and claimed an "African-American man" was threatening her life, was charged on Monday with filing a false report.

The incident took place on Memorial Day after Christian Cooper, a Black man who was birdwatching, asked Amy Cooper to leash her dog. She refused to do so, instead telling Christian Cooper she would call the police and tell them "there's an African-American man threatening my life." Christian Cooper, a board member of the New York City Audubon Society, filmed the encounter, which has been viewed 40 million times online and sparked a national discussion.

Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said on Monday that his office is "strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable." Amy Cooper was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, a misdemeanor; if found guilty, she could face up to a year in jail. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 14.

After the incident, Amy Cooper was fired from her job. In a statement, her lawyer, Robert Barnes, said his client will be found not guilty, adding, "She lost her job, her home, and her public life. Now some demand her freedom? How many lives are we going to destroy over misunderstood 60-second videos on social media?" When asked for comment, Christian Cooper told The New York Times he had "zero involvement" in the district attorney's case. Catherine Garcia

7:57 p.m.

Mary Trump's tell-all book about her family is hitting bookstores sooner than expected.

Simon & Schuster announced on Monday that Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man will be published on July 14, two weeks earlier than scheduled, due to "high demand and extraordinary interest."

Mary Trump, the daughter of President Trump's eldest brother, Fred Trump Jr., is a clinical psychologist. Too Much and Never Enough paints her uncle as a "damaged man" with "lethal flaws," Simon & Schuster said, and is already the No. 1 best-selling book on Amazon, CNN reports.

The president's younger brother, Robert Trump, sought a restraining order in an attempt to block the book's release. Last week, he won an injunction against Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster, but a New York state appeals court lifted the temporary restraining order against the publisher, saying the company is not bound by a nondisclosure agreement Mary Trump signed in 2001.

Mary Trump's spokesperson, Chris Bastardi, said on Monday that Trump's attempt to "muzzle a private citizen is just the latest in a series of disturbing behaviors which have already destabilized a fractured nation in the face of a global pandemic. If Mary cannot comment, one can only help buy wonder: What is Donald Trump so afraid of?" Catherine Garcia

7:00 p.m.

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has won the state's Republican gubernatorial primary, defeating former Gov. Jon Huntsman.

The primary was held last Tuesday, and the race was called on Monday afternoon by The Associated Press. Cox has 36 percent of the vote, followed by Huntsman with 35 percent. In third place is former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, with 21 percent.

Huntsman was elected governor of Utah in 2004 and 2008, and later served as U.S. ambassador to China during the Obama administration. Most recently, he was President Trump's ambassador to Russia.

Cox, who has been lieutenant governor since 2013, received the endorsement of outgoing Gov. Gary Herbert (R). In November, Cox will face off against Democratic nominee Chris Peterson, an attorney and consumer advocate. Catherine Garcia

6:30 p.m.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Monday afternoon revealed that she has tested positive for COVID-19.

On Twitter, Bottoms said that COVID-19 has "literally hit home. I have had NO symptoms and have tested positive." Later, she appeared on MSNBC, and told anchor Joy Reid that her husband has also tested positive for the virus, and she has "no idea when and where we were exposed."

Bottoms said her family has taken "all of the precautions you could possibly take," including wearing masks and frequently washing their hands. This was her third coronavirus test, with Bottoms telling Reid she has been routinely tested because of her public job. Catherine Garcia

5:50 p.m.

The United Nations is calling for enhanced global environmental protections efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic in the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the event in the future.

A report conducted by the U.N.'s Environment Program and the International Livestock Research Institute warned that without such measures zoonotic viruses — that is, pathogens that jump from animals to humans like the most recent coronavirus — will occur with greater and greater frequency. "The science is clear that if we keep exploiting wildlife and destroying our ecosystems, then we can expect a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the years ahead," said Inger Andersen, under-secretary general and executive director of the UNEP.

Many of the viruses that have caused pandemics and epidemics throughout history have been zoonotic, including Ebola, West Nile, and SARS, and more recently, a new swine flu was discovered that scientists say has the potential to make the jump to humans, while a herdsman in China's Inner Mongolia region recently tested positive for bubonic plague. Read more about the U.N.'s report here. Tim O'Donnell

5:45 p.m.

The Small Business Association handed out more than $500 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released by the agency on Monday. Here are six notable businesses that received loans over $150,000 from the government.

1. Kanye West's Yeezy LLC. West's fashion brand received a loan of between $2 million and $5 million. West manages the LLC, which reportedly made $1.5 billion last year.

2. The Americans for Tax Reform Foundation. Grover Norquist, a major opponent of government spending and taxes, heads this advocacy group that received between $150,000 and $350,000.

3. The Ayn Rand Institute. The nonprofit pushes its namesake author's resistance to government aid and got a loan of between $350,000 and $1 million.

4. Kushner family companies. Observer Holdings LLC, which heads Observer Media, received between $350,000 and $1 million. President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner used to own Observer Media, and it's still in the family, per The Daily Beast.

5. Devin Nunes' winery. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) owns a stake in Phase 2 Cellars, which got between $1 million and $2 million in PPP loans.

6. A whole bunch of Washington, D.C. political strategy firms. Beacon Global Strategies boasts Obama administration alumni among its top advisers and got between $350,000 and $1 million, as did other firms run by former Obama aides. Jamestown Associates, a GOP firm working for the Trump campaign received between $350,000 and $1 million.

It's important to note there appear to be some errors in the data. Scooter rental company Bird, for example, was listed in the SBA's data but said it only started an application for a loan and never actually applied for or got one. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:50 p.m.

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, fresh off the franchise's first Super Bowl victory in 50 years, just agreed to a massive 10-year, $450-million contract extension, ESPN reports. It's a historic deal, but it's not the first time a quarterback has inked a decade-plus extension.

On its face, that list doesn't look reassuring for Chiefs fans. McNabb had some great years for Philadelphia and helped them win the NFC Championship during the 2004-5 season, but he was ultimately traded well before his contract finished after battling injuries. Bledsoe famously got hurt in the second week of the season after signing his then-record deal, was replaced by a kid named Tom Brady, and was then traded to the Buffalo Bills the next year. Vick's deal also didn't pan out — after some electrifying seasons, he was suspended indefinitely and spent 21 months in prison for his involvement in a dog fighting ring. Favre is an NFL legend and continued to put up big numbers for Green Bay after his extension, though he earned his deal after an already-lengthy career.

However, with the possible exception of Favre, none of the quarterbacks were considered to be at Mahomes' level. Many believe the 24-year-old has the chance to be one of the best signal-callers ever despite playing only two seasons as a starter.

Several other Hall-of-Fame-worthy quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Brady (until recently) also stayed with one team for well over a decade and continued to produce while getting paid handsomely. The only difference is they signed multiple shorter contracts, rather than one long one like Mahomes. There's no reason Chiefs fans shouldn't be celebrating. Tim O'Donnell

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