What to Know
- Trump tweeted he will not travel to London because he disagrees with the Obama administration's sale of the U.S. Embassy there for "peanuts"
- The number of influenza cases has risen sharply across New York as the state reported its first child death from the flu this season
- James Franco has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women, including four former students and one mentee
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No Trip to London Because of Embassy Choice, Trump Says
President Trump has canceled a trip to London where he had been expected to open the new $1 billion U.S. embassy, avoiding protests promised by political opponents. Some British lawmakers questioned whether Trump would be welcome after he re-tweeted videos from a far-right British group and criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan following a terror attack last year. But Trump said his decision, announced in a late-night tweet, was due to the president's concerns about the embassy's move from the tony Mayfair district to a far less fashionable area of London. The move, which ended a 200-year U.S. association with London's Grosvenor Square, was part of American efforts to secure diplomatic staff in compounds — a push tied to terror concerns after al-Qaida bombings at two U.S. embassies in East Africa a decade ago. "Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for 'peanuts,' only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!" Trump tweeted. The move was announced in 2008, before President Barack Obama was elected.
Trump Scheduled for First Medical Check-Up as President
President Trump will be the patient, not the commander in chief offering comfort, when he visits the Walter Reed military hospital. Trump is headed to the medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, for his first medical check-up as president. But what has been a fairly routine exam for previous officeholders has taken on outsized importance in the age of Trump, given the tone of some of his tweets, comments attributed to some of his close advisers and Trump's recent slurring of words on national TV. Some of the comments were published in a new book about Trump's first year, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, which White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has denounced as "complete fantasy" for portraying her 71-year-old boss as undisciplined and in over his head as president. Trump himself has pushed back hard against any suggestion that he's mentally unfit, declaring himself "a very stable genius."
“America Is Better Than This”: Lawmakers React to Trump's Vulgarity
Republican and Democratic lawmakers fired back at President Donald Trump, who reportedly referred to Haiti and African countries as "s--thole countries" during a meeting on immigration. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Trump's remarks "smack of blatant racism" that's "masquerading poorly as immigration policy." "If these comments are accurate, they are disappointing. I would not talk about nations like this, because I believe the people of those countries are made in the image of God and have worth and human dignity," Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said. "America is better than this and our president should be too," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said. Trump made the remark in a meeting as he was being briefed by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on changes to the visa lottery program, according to an aide with knowledge of the meeting. White House spokesman Raj Shad defended the president but did not directly deny his remarks.
Child Dies From Flu as Cases Skyrocket Across New York
The number of influenza cases has risen sharply across New York as the state reported its first child death from the flu this season. Cases of the flu rose by 37 percent over the past week and new cases were reported in 61 of the state’s 62 counties, a doctor said. The state’s public health laboratory, the Wadsworth Center, confirmed the first child death from the flu this season. The Health Department would say little about the case, only confirming that the child was from the downstate region encompassing the New York City metro and Long Island. As of Jan. 6, there have been 11,280 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu reported and 3,606 people have been hospitalized in the state this season, according to the Health Department. Last year, eight children died in New York State from the flu. There were 12,912 flu-related hospitalizations.
Cough Syrup With Codeine or Hydrocodone Dangerous for Kids, FDA Says
Cough medications that contain opioids like codeine should not ever be taken by kids and they’ll now need to be labeled to make that clear, the Food and Drug Administration said. The FDA will also carry bigger warning about their dangers to adults, NBC News reported. The FDA will remind parents that most coughs and colds don’t need any treatment at all. Most upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses, and with the exception of influenza, there aren’t any drugs that work against viral respiratory infections. “Given the epidemic of opioid addiction, we’re concerned about unnecessary exposure to opioids, especially in young children,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
James Franco Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Five Women
James Franco has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women, including four former students and one mentee. The Los Angeles Times published the allegations. Franco's attorney Michael Plonsker has denied the women's allegations. In addition to being an actor, Franco has worked as a teacher. He taught at Playhouse West in North Hollywood and then opened his own film school Studio 4, which is no longer in operation. One of the women to come forward is Hilary Dusome, who studied under Franco at Playhouse West in 2012. Dusome told The Los Angeles times she initially viewed Franco as a "really generous spirit" and agreed to be in one of his "art films" with other women. However, she claimed the actor walked off set when the actresses refused to take off their shirts for a scene. Natalie Chmiel, another Playhouse West alumna, also claimed Franco became "visibly angry" when the actresses denied his topless request.
Bill Cosby's Next Trial Will Carry Weight of #MeToo Movement
Jurors couldn't agree the first time around whether to accept a woman's story that "America's Dad," Bill Cosby, sexually assaulted her over a decade ago. Now he faces a retrial in less than 90 days in a vastly different cultural climate, one in which powerful men from Hollywood to the U.S. Senate are being toppled by allegations of sexual misconduct. The jury in Cosby's case was hopelessly deadlocked on charges he drugged and molested a woman in 2004, and the judge declared a mistrial in June. But that was before the revelations about movie producer Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement burst into the public sphere. The shift is clearly on Cosby's mind. He quipped to a reporter after shaking her hand outside of a restaurant: "Please don't put me on MeToo." Legal experts say the seismic change in believing and supporting victims of sexual harassment and assault — and the near-immediate ramifications for so many famous men — will surely trickle into the Cosby retrial, slated to begin April 2.