What to Know
It's looking increasingly like the partial government shutdown will be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year
The number of confirmed cases of the flu is rising across New York state, with more than 5,400 people coming down with the illness so far
Chris Brown has been charged with misdemeanors over his possession of an un-permitted capuchin monkey he kept at his home
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Shutdown Solution Seems Unlikely Before Dems Take House
It's looking increasingly like the partial government shutdown will be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year — the first big confrontation between President Trump and Democrats — as agreement eludes Washington in the waning days of the Republican monopoly on power. Now nearly a week old, the impasse is idling hundreds of thousands of federal workers and beginning to pinch citizens who count on varied public services. Gates are closed at some national parks, the government won't issue new federal flood insurance policies and in New York, the chief judge of Manhattan federal courts suspended work on civil cases involving U.S. government lawyers, including several civil lawsuits in which Trump himself is a defendant. Congress is closing out the week without a resolution in sight over the issue holding up an agreement — Trump's demand for money to build a border wall with Mexico and Democrats' refusal to give him what he wants. That sets up a struggle upfront when Democrats take control of the House on Jan. 3.
Trump's Reveal of SEAL Team Could Endanger Its Members
President Trump exposed the faces of members of U.S. Navy SEAL Team 5 during his surprise trip to Iraq, and one expert said it could possibly put them in danger, NBC News reported. During his post-Christmas visit to troops in Iraq, his first trip to a combat zone since he was sworn in last year, the president and First Lady Melania Trump entered the dining hall at the Al-Asad base west of Baghdad to greet about 100 troops. U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kyu Lee told Trump he is the chaplain for SEAL Team 5. Lee later said Trump told him, "Hey, in that case, let’s take a picture." Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Malcolm Nance is an intelligence consultant for U.S. special operations forces who said by email that the presence of SEAL Team 5 members should not have been revealed. The Office of the Secretary of Defense said in a statement no rules were violated by the ensuing photos and video.
Confirmed Cases of Flu Rising Across New York State
The Cuomo administration says the number of confirmed cases of influenza is rising across New York state, with more than 5,400 people coming down with the illness so far this season. The state Department of Health says as of Thursday new cases of flu have been reported in 58 counties, including the five boroughs of New York City. Only Wyoming, Yates, Seneca and Hamilton counties are not reporting any cases yet. Officials say the number of people hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu was 363 this past week, a 41 percent increase over the previous week. So far this season more than 1,300 people have been hospitalized with the flu. Gov. Cuomo is urging flu vaccinations for all New Yorkers six months of age and older.
Chris Brown Charged for Monkey-Related Misdemeanors
Chris Brown has been charged with misdemeanors over his possession of an un-permitted capuchin monkey he kept at his home. The Los Angeles city attorney's office confirms the 29-year-old singer was charged last week with two counts stemming from his possession of a pet capuchin monkey without a permit. Brown posted a picture to his 44 million Instagram followers in January showing his 3-year-old daughter, Royalty, cuddling with the monkey, named Fiji. California fish and wildlife agents took the monkey away soon after. Brown is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 6. An after-hours email seeking comment from his attorney Mark Geragos was not immediately returned. Brown has been in repeated legal trouble since pleading guilty to the felony assault in 2009 of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. He completed his probation in that case in 2015.
LeBron James Is AP Male Athlete of the Year for 3rd Time
LeBron James went to the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive year. He changed addresses again, leaving his Cleveland home for the second time to join the Los Angeles Lakers in the biggest move of free agency over the summer. He remained arguably the dominant player in basketball, adding even more glitz on a legacy that reached epic status long ago. It was, by any measure, a fantastic year for James. And even without a title, it may have been his most significant year. For the third time, James has been selected as The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year -- after 2018 saw him continue to excel on the court, open the "I Promise" school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and further use his voice as an activist who bristled at being told to "shut up and dribble."