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Manny Machado agrees to record $300M deal with Padres, reports say

Manny Machado, one of major league baseball’s most coveted free agents this offseason, has agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres, multiple sources reported Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news 

Machado's deal is the biggest free-agent contract in baseball history, surpassing the the 10-year, $275 million deal Alex Rodriguez signed with the New York Yankees after the 2007 season, KNSD reported.

While Ron Fowler, the Padres’ executive chairman, told The San Diego Union-Tribune Tuesday morning that “we do not have a deal with any free agent,” two sources who did not want to be identified confirmed the agreement to the newspaper. The deal will allow the third baseman to opt out of the agreement after five years.

Machado is a four-time All-Star and has won two Gold Glove Awards. He made $16 million last season, ESPN reported, splitting time between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Baltimore Orioles,

Machado, 26, batted .297 in 2018 with 37 home runs and 107 RBI. In his seven-year career, Machado has a lifetime .282 average with 175 homers and 513 RBI. He has hit 30 or more home runs in each of the last four seasons.

Cop calms kids down after emergency call by playing with dolls

One Virginia police officer not only serves and protects his community, he also plays with the younger members of the town.

Cpl. C.B. Fleming was answering a call of a gas leak at an apartment complex in South Hill, Virginia, last week, WTVR reported.

As emergency crews checked out the area, Fleming noticed kids playing outside. Once he got the all-clear that there was no threat, he wanted to make sure the girls were not scared because of the emergency, so he got on the ground and played dolls with them, according to WTVR

The video has since gone viral after being posted on Facebook.

>> Read more trending news 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Iesha Roper-Boswell said Fleming is a superhero to her daughter and the other children who live at Mecklenburg Manor apartments.

Fleming told WTVR it’s not out of the ordinary to connect with kids. 

“It’s something I’ve always tried to do,” the 15-year veteran of the force told the television station. “When I got into this job, I knew there was something different, other than just writing tickets and being the bad person all the time. I figured if I could be that bright spot in someone’s day then that’s all that mattered.”

The neighborhood now has their own personal superhero they can go directly to, instead of being afraid to talk to a police officer.

“For him to make my child feel like she’s safe, she doesn’t even have to call 911, she just has to call C.B. if she’s in trouble. I’m glad he made this part of his job. He’s changed my daughter and nieces lives,” Roper-Boswell told WTVR.

Woman sues landlord, claims cat was poisoned with antifreeze

An Oregon woman it is suing her landlord, claiming her cat was poisoned with antifreeze.

The Oregonian reported Sarah Horton, of Portland, filed a lawsuit last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court, in which she says landlord Gerard LaMaita poisoned her Persian mix cat, Mylo, with antifreeze.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the suit, Mylo died Feb. 17, 2018. Days before, the suit said, LaMaita entered Horton’s apartment multiple times without giving the required 24-hour notice. The suit says video taken from Horton’s apartment shows LaMaita and a woman, Rebecca Mairs, were seen going into the apartment when Horton wasn’t there.

The lawsuit says Horton moved into the unit in January 2018. LaMaita had been complaining about the smell of cat urine, and continued to do so after Horton said Mylo was neutered and in good health.

Mylo died at 11 months old, the suit said. After his death, the suit said, Horton found antifreeze in the basement of the apartment.

“Despite the significant layer (of) dust, a fresh hand print was on the bottle, to indicate recent use,” the suit said, adding that Mairs was in the basement and LaMaita was in Horton’s apartment two days before Mylo died.

In a YouTube video description posted by Horton, she claims LaMaita entered the apartment with poised cat food and left it in the food dish.

Horton, who has since moved out of the apartment, is suing for thousands of dollars in damages and attorney’s fees.

LaMaita would not respond to requests for comment from The Oregonian.

The lawsuit, obtained by the publication, can be read here.

Man accused of slapping, threatening 12-year-old boy who bullied his stepdaughter

A Texas man is facing charges after police said he slapped a 12-year-old boy who he accused of bullying his stepdaughter, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Deer Park police on Monday arrested James Peace, 37, on one count of injuring a child under the age of 15, according to the Star-Telegram

Authorities arrested Peace four days after the incident allegedly took place on a trail in Deer Park, the newspaper reported.

Peace’s wife, who was not identified by name, told KTRK-TV his emotions got the better of him after her daughter called to ask for a ride home on Valentine’s Day. The girl said that while walking home she had been bullied by a classmate who was “saying that her body was ugly, said that she was a transvestite, started throwing ice cream at her,” Peace’s wife told KTRK-TV.

Deer Park police Lt. Chris Brown told the news station Peace and his stepdaughter saw the alleged bully as they were driving home.

"That's when the stepdad decided to stop and confront the kid," Brown said.

According to police records obtained by the Star-Telegram, the alleged bully stood stunned and silent with another boy after Peace got out of the car and started to yell at him.

“(Peace) struck (the boy) on the left side of his face with an open right palm,” police said in a complaint obtained by the Star-Telegram. “And then the man stated that if (the boy) tells anyone else what happened, he will beat them up too.”

The incident wasn’t reported to police until the next day, after the boy told a teacher he feared seeing Peace’s stepdaughter at lunch, KHOU reported. He told his teacher what had happened with Peace, prompting a call to authorities, according to KHOU.

“I do not agree with what he did,” Peace’s wife told KTRK-TV. “He took it too far, he did.”

Police told KHOU that Peace initially denied any involvement in the situation, but that he confessed after police told him they had obtained video footage of the incident from a local surveillance camera, KHOU reported.

After his arrest, Peace was released on a $15,000 bond.

Oops: New Houston-area street sign has typo

A new street sign in a Texas city has caused some red faces among Harris County officials.

>> Read more trending news 

The sign, near the Houston-area city of Cypress, is supposed to read “Hempstead,” KHOU reported. However, the letters “s” and “t” are transposed, so the sign reads as “Hemptsead,” the television station reported.

>> Sacramento street sign baffles residents 

Harris County officials said they are aware of the typographical glitch and are working to fix the problem, KHOU reported.

Texas girl is first child in U.S. to receive heart implant

A 4-year-old Texas girl became the first child in the United States -- and second in the world -- to receive an implant that will keep her heart pumping, KHOU reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Kateyln Hickman received the Jarvik 2015 Ventricular Assistant Device, tailored specifically for children 4 and younger suffering from heart failure, the television station reported.

“The only real therapy we have for a patient like her is to do a transplant, but we have to be able to get her there safely,” Jeff Dreyer, medical director of heart failure, cardiomyopathy and cardiac transplantation at Texas Children's Hospital, told KHOU.

The implant, which uses an AA battery, pumps oxygenated blood out of the heart. Iki Adachi, who also works at the Texas Children’s Hospital, has called results of the implant “so dramatic.”

“These patients are really, really sick before operation,” Adachi told KHOU. “I was particularly happy, because the family was super happy, seeing their kids doing really well.”

Virginia suspends 2 dentists for allegedly trading drugs for dental work

The licenses of two Virginia dentists were suspended by the Virginia Board of Dentistry for alleged drug infractions in exchange for dental work, WTKR reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Gary Hartman and Arnold Joseph Berger, of Virginia Beach, were ordered to stop practicing dentistry, the television station reported. Hartman’s license was suspended Dec. 20, 2018, while Berger’s license was suspended Feb. 1. 

According to the summary of suspension, Hartman is accused of prescribing more than 46,000 hydrocodone pills, more than 20,000 Soma pills and nearly 8,000 oxycodone pills to patients he had not seen or who did not need the large dosages they were prescribed. Hartman is also accused of prescribing doses of Vicodin, tramadol, sleeping pills and anxiety medications to patients, according to the Board of Dentistry.

One patient reported to the Drug Enforcement Agency that Hartman traded dental work for pain pills, fixing teeth or giving treatment without insurance in exchange for filling a prescription the dentist wrote and turning the pills over to him.

Investigators said Berger not only filled prescriptions for Hartman, but also illegally prescribed opioids to his patients and his wife, according to Board of Dentistry documents.

The Board of Dentistry said Hartman’s hearing for the suspension of his license is set for May, WTKR reported. Berger’s was scheduled for March but will be continued, the television station reported.

What is the USGS and what does it do?

Unless there is a major earthquake, you may not pay much attention to the United States Geological Survey.

>> Read more trending news 

But when the earth shakes, it’s the USGS that provides important initial information on where the damage occurred and how big the quake was. 

However, while that is a very important function of the agency, it's only part of the mission of the USGS, or the Survey, as it is commonly called.

The agency, a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, also provides “reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life,” according to the agency’s website.

To study and catalog the country’s resources, the USGS employs a broad array of sciences, including biology, geography, geology and hydrology. 

Created on March 3, 1879, the USGS’s original mission was "classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.” The Survey was immediately tasked with the exploration and inventory of new lands the U.S. government had acquired through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the Mexican–American War in 1848. 

The agency also produces various publications in which its research is reported and runs the United States Geological Survey Library. The USGS employs more than 8,600 people across the United States.

Related stories:

15 things you may not know about earthquakes

What is the strongest earthquake to hit the US?

What should you do if you are caught in an earthquake?

What are the 10 deadliest earthquakes in recorded history?

How likely will the ‘big one’ occur in our lifetime? 

New earthquake simulations show how the 'big one' could shake the Pacific Northwest

Building an emergency disaster kit can be easy and cheap, here's how

Florida statue commemorating iconic WWII victory vandalized with '#MeToo' graffiti

An iconic statue depicting the moment a sailor kissed a nurse at the end of World War II was vandalized less than two days after the sailor in the famous photo died at age 95.

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department got a call of someone spraying "#MeToo" on the Unconditional Surrender Statue. The statue shows the moment George Mendonsa kissed Greta Zimmer Friedman in Times Square on V-J Day.

Officers found "#MeToo" in red on the left leg of the nurse.

>> Read more trending news 

Officers were unable to find any cans of spray paint or any surveillance images of the incident.

>>Read: ‘Kissing Sailor' from iconic Life magazine photo dies

The vandalism caused $1,000 in damages due to the large area the graffiti covers.

The city tweeted hours later that the graffiti had been removed.

The incident comes only two days after Mendonsa died two days shy of his 96th birthday. Friedman died in 2016.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg returns to Supreme Court bench for first time since cancer surgery

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has returned to her bench eight weeks after undergoing lung cancer surgery.

>> Read more trending news 

NPR reported that the 85-year-old underwent a pulmonary lobectomy Dec. 21 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The surgery removed two malignant growths on her left lung, according to court officials.

No further evidence of cancer was found on her lungs.

Related: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospital after cancer surgery

The Associated Press reported Ginsberg returned to the Supreme Court building Friday for the justices’ private conference. She came back to the bench for the first time Tuesday, wearing her black robe and ornamental collar.

CNBC reported that Ginsberg participated in the court’s cases while she was away, unprecedented for a justice. NPR reported she was also walking more than a mile a day and working with her trainer twice a week, according to friends.

Offroaders use their driving skills to get first responders to work during storms

They’re used to driving in almost any conditions, and their vehicles are equipped to do the job, now an offroad Jeep club is switching gears and is coming to the aid of those who are normally there to help.

Midwest Krawlers, based in Kansas City, Missouri, are helping medical professionals and other first responders get to work as snow moves into the city, KMBC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

They’re offering the rides to police officers, firefighters, nurses and doctors for free when there is ice and snow coating roads, according to KMBC.

One driver, Katie Abraham, said two of her copilots on one trip -- both NICU nurses -- were a little scared about the condition of the roads.

“The one girl grabbed onto the net inside the car and I was like, ‘It’s fine. We’ll get traction again in just a second,’” Abraham told KMBC.

Abraham said her four-wheel drive Toyota 4Runner has tires that are made for the weather, with a 5 out of 5 rating for snow. It is also equipped with the gear needed to get out of any terrain, the television station reported

Dallas man admits to pushing victim into train, says ‘I don’t regret a thing’

A Dallas man has admitted to pushing another man underneath a train, injuring him. He told one media outlet he doesn’t regret his actions, but appeared to express regret in other interviews.

>> Read more trending news 

Anthony Davis, 27, is charged with aggravated assault from the incident on Monday, Feb. 11, at a Dallas Area Rapid Transit station.

“I don't regret a thing," Davis told WFAA-TV in a recent interview.

However, Davis told KTVT-TV that he’s sorry for his actions and hopes the victim can forgive him.

Juan Carlos Suarez Diaz said he was hit from behind and knocked to the trackswhile waiting for a train, KTVT-TV reported. Diaz became trapped under a railcar. He survived but broke both his legs and suffered internal injuries.

Davis said he hit Diaz because he was arguing with a DART employee. However, other witnesses said it was Davis who was arguing with the employee, media outlets reported.

“I saw a guy who was arguing with a female DART attendant and then basically I hit the guy and he fell under the train and I ran,” Davis told KTVT-TV. “I just seen him arguing with a woman and that’s how the whole occasion started.”

Davis admitted to being under the influence of marijuana and alcohol when the incident happened.

"It caused me to have that rage," Davis told WFAA-TV of the drugs and alcohol.

The victim is still hospitalized and is recovering from his injuries, WFAA-TV reported.

Petitioners favor sale of Montana to Canada to reduce national debt

With the U.S. national debt soaring above $22 trillion for the first time, one group has come up with a solution to ease the burden.

>> Read more trending news 

Sell Montana to Canada. Price tag? A cool $1 trillion, NBC Montana reported.

A group called “Christian moms against public education”  started a petition on Change.org for the United States to sell Montana to Canada.

According to the listing on Change.org, “We have too much debt and Montana is useless. Just tell them it has beavers or something."

More than 7,600 people have signed the petition, which originally had a goal of 7,500 signatures but has since been revised to 10,000.

The note about the petition was originally posted to Reddit, and the person who started it was “just surprised that so many people have ‘backed’ my cause,” according to an update.

Montana, nicknamed the Treasure State, was admitted to the Union as the 41st state on Nov. 8, 1889. 

There are two national parks located in the state: Yellowstone National Park, which it shares with Wyoming and Idaho; and Glacier National Park.

It also contains the site of Custer’s Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

New York human rights law places ban on race discrimination on basis of hair

The New York City Commission on Human Rights announced Monday that individuals who have been harassed, fired or otherwise punished in public spaces because of their hair or hairstyle will have legal recourse. The announcement clarifies the New York City Human Rights Law.

The New York Times reported the law applies to anyone in the city, but particularly black people, as such laws disproportionately affect them.

>> Read more trending news 

“While a range of hair textures are common among people of African descent, natural hair texture that is tightly-coiled or tightly-curled as well as hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, and Afros are those most closely associated with Black people,” the commission said. “The decision to wear one’s hair in a particular style is highly personal, and reasons behind that decision may differ for each individual.”

According to the guidelines, the law now explicitly states such bans on hairstyles are illegal and discriminatory. Requirements that employees chemically relax their hair or straighten it fall in that category, for example, as well as other public spaces.

“It is no justification to prohibit natural hair or hairstyles because they are perceived to be a distraction or because of speculative health or safety concerns,” the guidelines said. “These protections extend to all users of public accommodations, including businesses such as restaurants, fitness clubs, stores, and nightclubs, and other public spaces, like parks, libraries, healthcare providers, and cultural institutions.”

Carmelyn P. Malalis, the commission chairwoman, told The Wall Street Journal the commission could seek a range of remedies for such discrimination, including up to $250,000 for willful violation of the law.

Judge orders Roger Stone to court after Instagram post

A judge in Washington has set a hearing for political consultant Roger Stone to allow him to explain why he shouldn’t have the conditions of his bond modified -- or even revoked -- after he posted a photo on social media that showed the judge next to what appeared to be a rifle’s crosshair.

>> Read more trending news

In a notice filed Monday in court, Stone apologized to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson "for the improper photograph and comment posted on Instagram."

>> Mueller investigation: Judge issues gag order in Roger Stone case

He had earlier in the day posted the image to Instagram along with his repeated objections to having his case assigned to Jackson, Vox.com reported. The judge is also tasked with overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s case against 12 Russian intelligence agents who have been accused of hacking  the Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.

>> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Roger Stone ordered to explain posted photo of federal judge

In a court filing Tuesday, Jackson ordered Stone to appear in court at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Jackson last week put restrictions on prosecutors and on Stone’s attorneys to keep either party from making statements near the courthouse to either members of the media or the public. She also ordered Stone to refrain from making public comments on the case within the vicinity of the courthouse.

>> Who is Roger Stone, what links him to Trump?

In Jackson’s ruling, Stone was allowed to continue expressing his opinions via social  media, which he is known for, though Jackson reserved the right to adjust the order in the future.

Stone, who served as a campaign manager for Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, faces charges brough by Mueller’s team of obstruction, giving false statements and witness tampering.

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation

Since his arrest Jan. 25 at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Stone has been outspoken in proclaiming his innocence and criticizing Mueller’s team, which he has accused of targeting him because of his politics.

Stone is the sixth Trump aide to be charged in connection with Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to Trump campaign officials.

139 barrels of crude oil stolen from New Mexico oilfield, police say

Officials in New Mexico are investigating the theft of 139 barrels of crude oil from an oilfield in Eddy County, the Carlsbad Current Argus reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Eddy County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Matt Hutchinson told the newspaper the barrels disappeared from Conchos Resources, most likely between September and December. 

The theft was reported to authorities Jan. 31 by Ramiro Martinez, Concho Resources’ supervisor, the Current Argus reported.

The loss is estimated loss at nearly $7,000, the newspaper said.

It is not the first time barrels of crude oil have been stolen, Hutchinson said.

“Every time it happens, we're kind of at a loss for trying to figure out why that much crude oil is going to get taken. It’s not the easiest thing to sell,” Hutchinson told the Current Argus. “There’s a limited amount of people that want to use it, other than the people working in the oilfield.”

Migrant man dies in Border Patrol custody in Texas

A 45-year-old Mexican man who was in the custody of Border Patrol agents died Monday at a medical facility in McAllen, Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

>> Read more trending news

The man, whose name hasn’t been released, crossed the Mexico-Texas border illegally on Feb. 2 and was arrested by the Roma, Texas, police department, CBP said in a statement. He requested medical attention and was taken to Mission Regional Medical Center in Mission, Texas, according to CBP.

The medical center cleared the man for travel, and he returned to the Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station, the statement said.

On Feb. 3, the man again requested medical attention and was taken to McAllen Medical Center, CBP said. He was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and congestive heart failure. The man remained at McAllen Medical Center until he died shortly after 9 a.m. Monday.

The man’s official cause of death is not known, CBP said.

“This loss of life is tragic. Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones. CBP remains committed to ensuring the safe and humane treatment of those within the care of our custody,” the statement said.

The man is the third person to die in CBP custody in recent months. On Dec. 8, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin died in a hospital two days after she was taken to a Border Patrol station, CNN reported. On Christmas Eve, 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo died after he was taken to a hospital, released, then returned to the hospital, CNN reported. Both children were from Guatemala.

Man hospitalized after falling 150 feet from cliff in Minneapolis

A Minnesota man was hospitalized after falling 150 feet off a cliff near the Mississippi River, KARE reported.

>> Read more trending news 

According to Minneapolis Assistant Fire Chief Kathleen Mullen, a man called 911 around 7 a.m. Monday and said he was lying in the snow by a riverbank, unable to move, the television station reported.

Mullen said the man had landed on an ice shelf on the banks of the river.

A rescue crew and medical personnel were lowered from the cliff to the victim and were able to put the man on a board so he could be lifted to safety, KARE reported.

Mullen estimated the man had been on the bank for at least three hours after falling, the television station reported.

"Pretty obviously he had been down there for hours, so he was very cold, unable to help us with standing or manipulating any kind of equipment," Dean Anderson, who was part of the rescue team, told KARE.

The man has not been identified yet, the television station reported.

President Donald Trump faces lawsuits over emergency declaration 

When he declared a national emergency Friday to secure funds to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, President Donald Trump said he expected to be sued. Since then, a handful of lawsuits have been filed and others have been planned, according to multiple reports. 

>> Read more trending news 

Take a look at the lawsuits that are currently pending or will soon be filed:

Attorneys general of 16 states

A 16-state coalition led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed suit Monday to stop the emergency declaration from proceeding.

>> National emergency likely to be blocked by courts, DOJ tells White House: reports

In a statement announcing the suit, California Gov. Gavin Newsom accused Trump of “manufacturing a crisis and declaring a made-up 'national emergency' in order to seize power and undermine the Constitution.”

“President Trump treats the rule of law with utter contempt,” Becerra said. “We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states.”

The attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia joined Becerra in filing the lawsuit.

>> Read the lawsuit

“We’re confident there are at least 8 billion ways that we can prove harm,” Becerra said on ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday. “Whether it’s (taking money from) emergency response services, or whether it’s fires or mudslides in California, or maybe tornadoes and floods in other parts of the country, or whether it’s our military men and women and their families who live on military installations that might ... have money taken away from them, or whether it’s money taken away from drug interdiction efforts in places like California -- a number of states, and certainly Americans, will be harmed. And we’re all going to be prepared,” 

>> Trump's border wall: What is a national emergency?

A spokesperson for Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told KDVR he joined Becerra’s suit after determining the state would be hurt if money is transferred from military installations to the wall.

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Biological Diversity is an environmental group. It claims the president did not identify a legal authority to declare the emergency. The group said the wall will block wildlife from its natural habitat “and could result in the extirpation of jaguars, ocelots and other endangered species within the United States,” according to The Washington Post.

>> Trump signs funding bill to avoid government shutdown, declares emergency to build border wall

Public Citizen

Public Citizen is an advocacy group that filed a suit Friday after the president’s Rose Garden announcement. The group is filing on behalf of three Texas landowners and an environmental group to block the emergency decree. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the Post reported.

>> Can Congress repeal the national emergency declaration?

Border Network for Human Rights and El Paso County, Texas

Officials representing Texas's El Paso County and the Border Network for Human Rights are suing Trump with help from a pair of nonprofits, KFOX reported Friday.

“America is governed by the rule of law and the separation of powers. President Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency would violate both of these,” Kristie De Pena, director of immigration and senior counsel for the Niskanen Center, said Friday in a statement. Attorneys for the Center and for Project Democracy are assisting in the suit.

“Our lawsuit would aim to stop the dangerous precedent this would establish for the presidency and the immediate harm it would inflict on communities along the border,” De Pena said.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said the declaration would add to the damage the president has already caused to El Paso’s reputation.

“President Trump has already made many negative and false statements about our community in the attempt to justify his border wall,” he said. “He has never reached out to the leadership of our community to determine if this is actually an emergency.”

During his State of the Union address earlier this month, Trump pointed to El Paso as an example of a city that was once “considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities.”

“Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities,” he claimed.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

A lawsuit filed Friday by ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington aims to make government documents that could determine whether the president has the legal authority to invoke emergency powers to fund his promised border wall public. The group didn’t file suit against Trump but instead sued the Justice Department.

In a statement, CREW officials said the group filed a Freedom of Information Act request in January to get legal opinions and other documentation surrounding what was then Trump’s proposal to declare a national emergency to fund the border wall.

“President Trump’s threatened declaration of a national emergency for these purposes raised some serious questions among the public and Congress that the president was considering actions of doubtful legality based on misstated facts and outright falsehoods to make an end-run round Congress’ constitutional authority to make laws and appropriate funds,” attorneys for CREW said in the lawsuit.

>> Read the lawsuit filled by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington 

“Americans deserve to know the true basis for President Trump’s unprecedented decision to enact emergency powers to pay for a border wall,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.

American Civil Liberties Union

The American Civil Liberties Union has not yet filed but is preparing a suit against Trump, arguing he can’t redirect money paid by taxpayers unless it’s for construction that directly supports the military, the Post reported. ACLU officials said the suit will be filed early this week.

“There is no emergency,” the groups said. “Members of Congress from both parties, security experts, and Americans who live at the border have all said so. What the president is doing is yet another illegal and dangerous power grab in the service of his anti-immigrant agenda.”

 

The group called the declaration an “abuse of power” and says it “violates the constitutional checks and balances that protect us.”

>> Read the latest from our Washington Insider Jamie Dupree

The ACLU is using the president’s own words against him from when he said, “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.”

Remote Russian archipelago lifts state of emergency after polar bears invaded region

A state of emergency has been lifted in a remote Russian archipelago after at least 52 polar bears invaded Novaya Zemlya.

The Guardian reported that environmental authorities in Russia sent a team of specialists to the region to sedate and remove the bears from the archipelago of about 3,000 people.

>> Read more trending news 

“There’s never been such a mass invasion of polar bears,” local administration head Zhigansha Musin, said. “They have literally been chasing people.”

Polar bears were seen roaming halls of an apartment and wandering in landfills in the area.

Shooting polar bears is against the law in Russia, as they are an endangered species. Some residents have tried to scare the bears off by honking car horns and using dogs to no avail, according to TASS Russian News Agency.

Musin told TASS  “round-the-clock patrolling and monitoring, as well as control over the dump sites” were measures taken to thin out the bears in the region. Scientists and experts were airlifted to the archipelago Thursday.

“No bears have been spotted in Belushya Guba or around it for the past 24 hours,” an unnamed source from the Arkhangelsk regional department of the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources told TASS. “Their numbers have thinned out near the other settlements compared to the previous week.”

The state of emergency was declared Feb. 9 and lifted Tuesday.

NBC News reported that waning sea ice may be to blame for the bears invading the region.

“Compared to previous years, they come ashore in the southern part of the archipelago, where the ice is changing. They migrate through Novaya Zemlya heading north, where the ice is solid,” Ilya Mordvintsev, a lead researcher at the Severtsev Institute of Ecology and Evolution, told TASS. “It is migration from the south to the north. They are staying in that location (near Belushya Guba) because there is some alternative food. They could have gone past but for the food. But as there are bins with edible waste, they stop to flock.”

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