Della Reese, the vocal powerhouse who later starred as heaven-sent Tess on the television series Touched By an Angel, died Sunday evening at age 86. ... [S]he signed a deal with Jubilee Records in 1953, releasing six albums largely composed of jazz standards. National fame would come in 1957 with the release of "And That Reminds Me," a Top 20 hit and her first global seller. ... In the late '60s she began to expand her career from a jazz nightclub act to all-around entertainer by breaking into television. She became a familiar face on the small screen, securing guest spots on a host of shows, including The Mod Squad, The Love Boat, Sanford and Son, MacGyver, Night Court, and The Young and the Restless. read more
Donald Trump has an inflated view of his assets. The president's family business is worth about one-tenth of the value he has claimed, according to an analysis of the latest figures he has filed with the federal government. Some of the discrepancy is due to a downturn in business, but the rest is credited to an overheated imagination, according to Crain's New York Business reporter Aaron Elstein, who examined the numbers. Elstein told NPR he feels a bit like he was played. In 2016 the Trump Organization reported nearly $9.5 billion in sales. But recent public filings by the president indicate that the company's actual revenue that year was only as much as $700 million, Crain's said. Crain's determined Trump has been reporting inflated revenue since at least 2010. After examining the latest figures Trump has filed, Crain's this month bounced the Trump Organization from the No. 3 spot on its list of largest privately held New York City companies down to No. 40. read more
Special counsel Robert Mueller asked the Justice Department within the past month to turn over a wide array of documents as part of its ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, ABC News reported Sunday. His team is particularly interested in materials that relate to Trump's dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe earlier this year, a source who was told about the request informed ABC News. This will be Mueller's first records request to the Justice Department, the very agency that is overseeing the probe. Trump has repeatedly slammed Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation and for Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's subsequent decision to appoint Mueller. Both Sessions and Rosenstein were integral to the decision to remove Comey. read more
Eight women have told The Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas. The women were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the Charlie Rose show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011. They ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters. Rose, 75, whose show airs on PBS and Bloomberg TV, also co-hosts CBS This Morning and is a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes. read more
Fox News host and TV judge Jeanine Pirro is heading to court herself after being ticketed for excessive speeding Sunday in upstate New York. State Police say Pirro was clocked driving 119 mph in a 65 mph zone when she was stopped by a trooper at about 1:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon in the Town of Nichols in Tioga County. ... According to the DMV website, a conviction of going more than 40 mph above the speed limit could result in 11 points on a person's driver's license. When a driver reaches 11 points their license will be suspended. read more
Stan Callendar: If it's enacted, the GOP tax cut now working its way through Congress will be the start of a decades-long economic policy disaster unlike any other that has occurred in American history. There's no economic justification whatsoever for a tax cut at this time. U.S. GDP is growing, unemployment is close to 4 percent (below what is commonly considered "full employment"), corporate profits are at record levels and stock markets are soaring. It makes no sense to add any federal government-induced stimulus to all this private sector-caused economic activity, let alone a tax cut as big as this one. read more
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster mocked President Trump's intelligence at a private dinner with a powerful tech CEO, according to five sources with knowledge of the conversation. Over a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz -- who has been mentioned as a candidate for several potential administration jobs -- McMaster bluntly trashed his boss, said the sources, four of whom told BuzzFeed News they heard about the exchange directly from Catz. The top national security official dismissed the president variously as an "idiot" and a "dope" with the intelligence of a "kindergartner," the sources said. A sixth source who was not familiar with the details of the dinner told BuzzFeed News that McMaster had made similarly derogatory comments about Trump's intelligence to him in private, including that the president lacked the necessary brainpower to understand the matters before the National Security Council. read more
Charles Manson, the '60s cult leader behind one of the most notorious killings in American history, died Sunday in California after a prolonged illness, officials said. He was 83. Manson -- housed at Corcoran State Prison since 1989 -- died at 8:13 p.m. local time at Kern County Hospital, the California Department of Corrections said in a press release early Monday. He'd been in failing health for months and was first hospitalized back in January, reportedly with serious gastrointestinal problems. read more
Last week, they arrived -- two brothers, their wives and their four children -- and plopped onto newly bought bunk beds. The family is one small part of a sudden exodus of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans racing to Florida after Hurricane Maria, a migration so large it rivals those from New Orleans to Houston after Hurricane Katrina and from Cuba to Miami during the Mariel boatlift. ... More than 168,000 people have flown or sailed out of Puerto Rico to Florida since the hurricane, landing at airports in Orlando, Miami and Tampa, and the port in Fort Lauderdale. Nearly half are arriving in Orlando, where they are tapping their networks of family and friends. An additional 100,000 are booked on flights to Orlando through Dec. 31, county officials said. Large numbers are also settling in the Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas. read more
President Trump's Twitter habits in the White House could be costing him a key demographic of voters ahead of elections in 2018 and 2020, according to an online focus group convened by former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. The group was comprised of voters from Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania who had voted for both former President Barack Obama as well as President Trump in November. "The white Obama-Non-Clinton voters we surveyed were clear: If the economy does not improve measurably, they are not going to give Trump a second chance -- and they already have a clear reason to explain his failure: Twitter," Messina explains in a Politico op-ed.
Barbie's breaking barriers! Ibtihaj Muhammad was the first-ever U.S. Olympic athlete to compete wearing a hijab at the 2016 Rio Olympic games. And now she has her very own Barbie -- the first to ever wear a hijab in the brand's 58-year history. A one-of-a-kind doll made in her likeness was unveiled at Glamour's Women of the Year Live Summit Monday, as the latest doll in Barbie's "Shero" line (that would be female heroes), a program that celebrates boundary-breaking women intended to inspire the next generation.
Jay-Z: This month Meek Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating his probation. #FreeMeek hashtags have sprung up, and hundreds of his fans rallied near City Hall in Philadelphia to protest the ruling. On the surface, this may look like the story of yet another criminal rapper who didn't smarten up and is back where he started. But consider this: Meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession, and he served an eight-month sentence. Now he's 30, so he has been on probation for basically his entire adult life. For about a decade, he's been stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside. read more
US congressman Greg Gianforte misled police after his assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in May, falsely stating that Jacobs had initiated physical contact and that the "liberal media ... is trying to make a story", according to the police incident report. The records, made public on Friday, provide new details on the violent altercation that occurred on the eve of a special election to fill Montana's sole seat in the US House of Representatives. Jacobs had approached the then candidate at his Bozeman campaign headquarters to ask a question about the Republican healthcare bill when Gianforte threw him to the ground and punched him.
The scientists behind a study published in the Oct. 20 issue of the journal Science didn't set out to reveal a human influence on bird evolution. But when they compared the DNA of Dutch and British great tits (Parus major) they found clues of just that. The key genetic differences between these great tit populations lay in their beaks. As a result, the British birds' beaks were roughly one millimeter longer than the Dutch birds' beaks, a change that appears to have taken place in just a few decades. The scientists studying the great tits suspect a change in human behavior might be behind this dramatic evolution. Backyard bird feeding started becoming popular in Britain in the 1960s. Now, an estimated half of all British households put food out for the birds, says Kate Plummer, a research ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology, who was not part of the research team. "It's an enormous pastime for people in [Britain]." British birds born with longer beaks may have been better able to access the plentiful food source provided by backyard bird feeders, improving their likelihood of surviving to reproduce.