March 8, 2019

When residents of Fair Haven, Vermont, voted for mayor, they weren't kidding around. They chose a Nubian goat named Lincoln.

With 13 votes, Lincoln eked out a victory over Sammie the dog, who received 10 votes. As the town's first honorary pet mayor, Lincoln will attend events throughout the year and already has plans to march in a parade on Memorial Day. He will officially take office on Tuesday.

Fair Haven is home to 2,500 people and does not have a human mayor. Town Manager Joseph Gunter heard about a town in Michigan that voted for an honorary pet mayor, and he thought it would be fun to do the same thing in Fair Haven. For just $5, residents could enter their pets in the race, with every dollar going toward the building of a community playground. Not only was $100 raised, Gunter told The Associated Press, but it was also "a great way to introduce the elementary school kids to local government." Catherine Garcia

1:04 a.m.

At Fido's, your beer might come with a new best friend.

The Portland, Oregon, establishment is the world's first bar/dog rescue. The idea came to owner Scott Porter after he heard about cat cafes, and decided it was time for a dog bar. The dogs have their own space where they live, but they come down to the bar and mingle with patrons who are interested in adopting.

Porter has partnered with Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals (OFOSA), an organization that rescues dogs from high-kill shelters in central California. OFOSA representatives interview all potential dog owners to ensure they go to good homes, and there is a mandatory three-day waiting period before a dog can leave to make sure alcohol didn't fuel any decisions.

Since Fido's opened in early 2018, more than 70 dogs have been adopted, Today reports. Porter said he's learned a lot in the months since — from how to run a bar to how to work with charities — and seeing the rescue dogs bond with their new owners has been "extremely rewarding." Catherine Garcia

12:08 a.m.

Your move, Mayor Pete.

On Sunday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a 15-page document detailing her past corporate legal work, including cases she worked on as counsel, consultant, and expert witness. Some of the cases date back more than 30 years, and in total, she earned $1.9 million, Reuters reports. The document lists dozens of cases, and many were taken on pro bono. In April, Warren released 11 years of tax returns, and encouraged her fellow candidates to follow suit.

Warren came forward with the document on Sunday after her fellow Democratic presidential candidate, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, pressured her to share more about her corporate legal work. Warren has called out Buttigieg for not releasing any information about his time spent with the consultancy company McKinsey & Co.; she also said he should let the media cover his private donor events.

Kristen Orthman, Warren's communications director, got in a dig at Buttigieg on Sunday night, saying in a statement that "any candidate who refuses to provide basic details about his or her own record and refuses to allow voters or the press to understand who is buying access to their time and what they are getting in return will be seen by voters as part of the same business-as-usual politics that voters have consistently rejected." Catherine Garcia

December 8, 2019

Whakaari/White Island, New Zealand's most active cone volcano, erupted on Monday, injuring as many as 20 people, authorities said.

The volcano is in the Bay of Plenty, and the island is a popular tourist attraction. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it is believed that "100 people were on or around the island" when the volcano erupted, and some are unaccounted for. The government does not yet know if there have been any deaths.

Radio New Zealand said there are five helicopters, an ambulance crew, and a mobile triage unit on the way to the island, which is about 30 miles off the northeast coast of New Zealand. Catherine Garcia

December 8, 2019

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) believes the Democrats have a "solid" case for the impeachment of President Trump, he declared on CNN's State of the Union Sunday.

In fact, the case is so strong he's convinced if presented to a jury, it "would be a guilty verdict in about three minutes flat," Nadler said. There is "considerable direct evidence," he continued, and it "ill behooves the president or his partisans to say you don't have enough direct evidence when the reason we don't have even more direct evidence is the president has ordered everybody in the executive branch not to cooperate with Congress in the impeachment inquiry, something that is unprecedented in American history and is a contempt of Congress by itself."

On Monday, the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing where evidence gathered by the Intelligence Committee will be presented. Nadler said the scope and nature of the articles of impeachment are still being considered, and won't be decided until after the hearing. "We'll bring articles of impeachment, presumably, before the committee at some point later in the week," he said on NBC's Meet the Press. The articles of impeachment are expected to center on abuse of presidential power in regards to Ukraine policy and obstruction of the impeachment probe. Catherine Garcia

December 8, 2019

The Saudi gunman who killed three people on Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida went on Twitter before the shooting and accused the United States of being anti-Muslim, a U.S. official told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Saudi Royal Air Force 2nd Lt. Mohammad Saeed Alshamrani also apparently tweeted his anger over U.S. support of Israel. The FBI confirmed it is operating on the assumption the shooting was an act of terrorism, with investigators working to determine whether Alshamrani, 21, acted alone or with others. Alshamrani was in the U.S. for flight training, and was killed by a sheriff’s deputy during the attack.

The official also told AP that investigators believe Alshamrani went to New York City a few days before the shooting, and they are trying to figure out the purpose of his trip. A second U.S. official told AP on Saturday that Alshamrani hosted a dinner party prior to the attack during which he and three others watched videos of mass shootings.

Rachel J. Rojas, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in Jacksonville, said a Glock 9 mm weapon that had been legally purchased in Florida was used to carry out the shooting. In response, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he is against a "federal loophole" that lets foreigners purchase guns in the United States, and while he supports the Second Amendment, it "does not apply to Saudi Arabians." Catherine Garcia

December 8, 2019

Caroll Spinney, the actor and puppeteer who made Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch come alive on Sesame Street, died Sunday. He was 85.

The Sesame Workshop said Spinney, who died at his home in Connecticut, lived with dystonia for many years. Spinney began working on Sesame Street in its earliest days in 1969, before retiring in 2018.

As Big Bird, Spinney traveled around the world, conducted symphony orchestras, danced with the Rockettes, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.

In a statement, Sesame Workshop said Spinney's "enormous talent and outsized heart were perfectly suited to playing the larger-than-life yellow bird who brought joy to generations of children and countless fans of all ages around the world, and his loveably cantankerous grouch gave us all permission to be cranky once in a while." Catherine Garcia

December 8, 2019

The shooting — which is now being considered an act of terrorism — that resulted in three deaths at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida, on Friday has placed the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia under a microscope.

The suspected shooter, identified as Saudi Royal Air Force 2nd Lt. Mohammad Saeed Alshamrani, was an aviation student at the base. The killing has led some people to question whether the partnership should continue, especially considering there have long been doubts about the alliance for a variety of reasons, most notably accusations of human rights abuses in Yemen and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But President Trump seems committed to U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, especially as his administration remains wary of Iran's influence in the Middle East. Trump said he spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman after the shooting, who offered his condolences to family and friends of the deceased. There didn't, however, seem to be much in the way of rethinking the alliance.

That doesn't mean others haven't. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who is aiming to challenge Trump as the next Democratic nominee, called the U.S. partnership with Saudi Arabia "unacceptable."

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a supporter of Trump, said he was assured by Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud that Saudi Arabia would not interfere with the investigation into the matter, unless requested. But he still said that Friday's shooting "has to inform" the U.S.-Saudi relationship. Tim O'Donnell

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