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May 15, 2019

Nearly a year after the controversy, director James Gunn is opening up about his firing — and eventual rehiring — for the first time.

Gunn, who was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in July 2018 over resurfaced offensive tweets but rehired in March 2019, broke his silence in a new interview with Deadline. He describes the day he was booted off the project as being the "most intense of my entire life," saying it "felt as if my career was over." As the story engulfed social media, Gunn says he disconnected from it all, although he was "feeling the shrapnel constantly" through calls and texts.

This included calls from the Guardians cast — with Sylvester Stallone even FaceTime-ing him — and Gunn said the outpouring of support he experienced was "absolutely overwhelming." For that reason, he says that "a part of that day was the worst of my life, and a part of it was the greatest day of my life."

Gunn's rehiring in March was a stunning development, as it was thought the door had long closed on his return. Apparently, he felt the same way, explaining that by the time he moved on to another project, The Suicide Squad, he "thought of Guardians 3 as being long gone." But then he began to have conversations with Walt Disney Studios Chief Creative Officer Alan Horn, initially just to "be comfortable saying goodbye and splitting up." This eventually led to Horn deciding to bring him back on, and Gunn says he was "touched by his compassion."

Now, Gunn is excited to continue the Marvel franchise in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, reflecting back on the saga as demonstrating that "people have to be able to learn from mistakes" because "if we take away the possibility for someone to learn and become a better person, I'm not sure what we are left with." Read the full interview at Deadline. Brendan Morrow

2:00 a.m.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was greeted by throngs of cheering supporters when she arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday night.

It's been a rocky week for Omar, starting with President Trump telling her and three other Democratic women of color to "go back" to their home countries. On Wednesday night, Trump brought her up during a rally in North Carolina, and accused her of being anti-Semitic. The crowd started chanting, "Send her back!" Trump did not say anything during the rally, but on Thursday claimed that he was "not happy" about it and tried to stop the chanting.

Omar heard different cheers on Thursday night, as supporters welcomed her back. Before heading to a town hall, Omar — one of Trump's most vocal critics — told supporters she would "continued to be a nightmare to this president, because his policies are a nightmare to us. We are not deterred, we are not frightened, we are ready. We are in the ring. We are in the people's house, and we are going to continue to fight it until we have the America we know we all deserve."

Linda Garrett-Johnson told The Star Tribune she came to the airport to show Omar that "Minnesota is standing with her." Garrett-Johnson said she was horrified by Trump's comments, adding that she "heard things like that growing up a person of color. I didn't ever think that I would ever live to hear it from the president of the United States." Catherine Garcia

1:35 a.m.

Every night at 8 p.m. on the dot, sisters Zaria and Hailey Willard grab a few books, turn on their computer, and get settled in for a story time accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Zaria, 13, and Hailey, 8, live in Dover, Delaware, and love to read — their mother, Victoria Willard, told Good Morning America their home is filled with books, and she read to her daughters before they were even born. Knowing that not everyone has the luxury of a large library or someone to read to them, the sisters decided they would step in, using Facebook Live to host a bedtime story session every night. "Reading is good for you," Hailey said.

On Sundays, they head to the library and check out the books for the week, making sure to select stories about "characters who look like us," Zaria said. The girls take turns reading, and their mother monitors everything. Their father is in the Navy, and the sisters are working on their next big project: writing and illustrating a series of books about military families. Catherine Garcia

1:01 a.m.

While California is definitely a blue state, there are deep red pockets throughout, and President Trump's supporters in those areas are opening up their wallets.

California residents have donated more money to Trump's re-election campaign than to most of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, The Guardian reports. The nonprofit CalMatters found that since January 1, Trump has raised $3.2 million in the state. Just two Democrats have brought in more: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who has raised $7.5 million, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has raised $5.1 million.

Trump has received hefty donations from people in Beverly Hills and San Diego, but 92.8 percent of contributions have come from donors giving less than $100, with most living in the more conservative central part of the state. He has an edge over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has raised $2.2 million in California, 89.6 percent of which came from contributors donating less than $100. All together, the Democratic candidates have raised more than $26 million in the state. Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

President Trump was in his element Wednesday night, Seth Meyers said on Thursday's Late Night, as he whipped the crowd at his North Carolina rally into a "racist frenzy" by going after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

Meyers said Trump has spent the last few days slandering Omar, who came to the U.S. as a Somali refugee and is a naturalized citizen, and stood by as the audience began chanting, "Send her back!" This was "one of the most vile spectacles in modern political history," Meyers declared, "a defining moment for our country, and any Republican who doesn't immediately condemn it should imagine how it will look in a history textbook years from now, because there will absolutely be a section on this and it will absolutely name everyone complicit in it and they will absolutely use the worst photo of you they can possibly find."

To prove it, Meyers put up a graphic showing a photo of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that made it appear as though his face was melting into a puddle of chins, and another of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) looking like a hissing bobcat out for revenge.

When asked by reporters on Thursday about the chant, Trump said he tried to shut it down, but Meyers was prepared with a clip showing Trump just standing there, looking around the arena. "That's not how you stop a chant," he said. "That's how you wait in line at the deli for them to call your number." This was an "obvious lie," but that's the "con at the heart of Trump's politics. He whips his base into a racist frenzy and claims Omar is the one who looks down on hard-working Americans, when in reality he's the one plundering the government, doling out trillions in tax cuts to his rich buddies, and partying it up all night because he doesn't work on Thursdays." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

President Trump's North Carolina rally was panned by two people close to him: his wife, first lady Melania Trump, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump.

Both women, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, told Trump they didn't like how the crowd started chanting "Send her back!" after he attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), people with knowledge of the matter told CBS News on Thursday. Omar, a naturalized citizen who was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. as a young refugee, was one of the four Democratic congresswomen of color he tweeted needed to "go back" to their original countries.

Trump didn't try to stop the chanting, which lasted for about 13 seconds, or admonish the crowd. When asked about the incident on Thursday, Trump told reporters he "felt a little bad about it," and insisted he "started speaking very quickly" in order to get the crowd under control.

Earlier in the day, Trump discussed the chant with his inner circle, CBS News reports, and shared his concerns that if he backed down, his supporters would be upset. Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

Capitol Police arrested 70 people on Thursday during protests against the Trump administration's immigration policies.

The protesters were arrested inside the Russell Senate Office Building, with Capitol Police saying they were unlawfully demonstrating in the rotunda. Thursday was the Catholic Day of Action to oppose immigration policies like detaining migrants in overcrowded facilities without adequate necessities. The Sisters of Mercy traveled from Chicago to Washington, D.C., for the protests, and one nun, 90-year-old Sister Pat Murphy, was arrested.

The situation in immigrant detention centers is "immoral," Murphy told ABC News during a phone interview. "These are our brothers and sisters and they are part of the human family," she said, adding, "I mean, any person with any human compassion would reach out. What is going on is, it's just abominable. It's a horrific situation that's happening right now." Murphy, who has been with Sisters of Mercy for 71 years, said it's not fair that people are "being punished because our immigration system is broken, it's shattered, it doesn't exist." Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

President Trump will most likely nominate attorney Eugene Scalia to be the next Labor secretary, three people familiar with the matter told Politico.

Scalia is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and is a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In 2006, he represented Walmart in the retail giant's fight against a Maryland law that would have forced the company to spend more money on employee health care.

Last week, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta stepped down following outrage over a 2008 plea deal he arranged with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in Florida. Acosta's deputy, Patrick Pizzella, will step into the role on Friday. Catherine Garcia

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