New Jersey

Happening Today: Obama, Immigration Deal, Flu, Chloe Kim, ‘Peter Rabbit'

What to Know

  • President Trump is touting his proposal on immigration as it faces an uphill battle in Congress
  • A little girl died of the flu, marking NYC's fourth such pediatric death this season while a NJ kindergartner's death is being invesigated
  • "Peter Rabbit" filmmakers and the studio behind it are apologizing for insensitively depicting a character's allergy in the film

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“Last Chance” as Leaders Discuss Immigration Deal, President Says

President Trump is touting his proposal on immigration as it faces an uphill battle in Congress. In a tweet, Trump asserts that Democrats and Republicans must act now to provide legal protections to young "Dreamer" immigrants in the U.S. illegally. He writes: "This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th." Trump was referring to deadline after which he has said a program protecting young immigrants from deportation would end. In fact, a recent court ruling has rendered that deadline meaningless. The Senate's Republican and Democratic leaders say it's going to be tough to broker a successful deal on immigration policy, including $25 billion Trump wants for a border wall with Mexico. McConnell expressed his support for a wide-ranging Trump that the Senate is expected to vote on this week. It would pave a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million young "Dreamer" immigrants in the U.S. illegally, a lure for Democrats that many Republicans oppose.

‘That’s Pretty Sharp’ Obama Says of Portrait Unveiling

When Barack Obama speaks, people listen. At least they did when he was in the White House. But that kind of authority didn't hold much sway when it came time for his presidential portrait. At a ceremony to unveil portraits of him and former first lady Michelle Obama, the former president said artist Kehinde Wiley cheerfully ignored almost all of his suggestions. The final product depicts Obama sitting in a straight-backed chair, leaning forward and looking serious while surrounded by greenery and flowers. "That's pretty sharp," Obama said after seeing his portrait unveiled. Michelle Obama's portrait, painted by Amy Sherald, shows her in a black and white dress looking thoughtful with her hand on her chin. Both artists were personally chosen by the Obamas.

“Up to” Congress to Act on Plan to Rebuild Roads, Trump Says

President Trump sent Congress a sweeping plan to rebuild the nation's depleted roads and bridges — then immediately raised doubts about how committed he was to delivering on that campaign promise. "If you want it badly, you're going to get it," Trump told state and local officials during a meeting at the White House. "And if you don't want it, that's OK with me too." Trump suggested that his proposal — aimed at spurring $1.5 trillion in spending over a decade — was not as important to him as other recent administration efforts to cut taxes and boost military spending. "If for any reason, they don't want to support to it, hey, that's going to be up to them," Trump said of the Republican-controlled Congress. "What was very important to me was the military, what was very important to me was the tax cuts, and what was very important to me was regulation." The administration's plan is centered on using $200 billion in federal money to leverage more than $1 trillion in local and state tax dollars to fix America's infrastructure, such as roads, highways, ports and airports. The administration released a 55-page "legislative outline" for lawmakers who will write the legislation.

4th NYC Child Dies of Flu While NJ Child's Death Suspected to Be Virus-Related

A 5-year-old girl died of the flu over the weekend, marking New York City's fourth such pediatric death this season, health officials confirm, while a New Jersey kindergartner's death is being investigated as flu-related, officials there say. In the case of the New York City girl, her panicked mother reached out to her neighbors for help when she found the child unconscious in their Canarsie home around 8 p.m. Saturday, emergency responders and witnesses had said. One neighbor ran in to give the girl CPR while another called 911. Neighbors said the family complained about the child having a fever prior to her death. It wasn't clear if the child had received a flu shot. The New Jersey child was a kindergartner at Lincoln School in North Bergen, where she attended class Friday and was not sick, officials said. She died at a local hospital. However, the New Jersey Department of Health, however, said it had not received any reports of a second pediatric flu death in the state. This year’s flu season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic back in 2009.

What Chloe Kim’s Dad Texted Her Before the Olympic Halfpipe Final

Chloe Kim’s dad repeated one word as his daughter stood at the top of the Olympic halfpipe for her victory lap, gold medal already assured. “Imugi!Jong-Jin Kim yelled, standing well behind the finish corral. “Imugi!” Earlier, Jong texted his 17-year-old daughter, a first generation Korean-American, before the biggest contest of her life. “Today is the day imugi turns to dragon,” Jong said he messaged her. “She said hahahahaha, thank you very much.” It’s a story that Kim has heard over and over again. “She was born in year of dragon,” Jong continued Tuesday morning. “To be a dragon in Korean tradition is to wait 1,000 years. Before [you are] a simple snake, like an anaconda. But they wait about 1,000 years, and then they turn to dragon. Go to the sky, and they make a big dragon with a gold pearl. She’s got a gold pearl in her mouth. I texted her this morning that this is the time to be dragon.” Kim did just that. Her dad predicted from the bottom that she was nervous, but Kim put down a pair of 90-plus point runs, including the first back-to-back 1080s in Olympic women’s competition.

“Peter Rabbit” Team Apologizes for Making Light of Allergies

"Peter Rabbit" filmmakers and the studio behind it are apologizing for insensitively depicting a character's allergy in the film that has prompted backlash online. Sony Pictures says in a joint statement with the filmmakers that "food allergies and are a serious issue" and the film "should not have made light" of a character being allergic to blackberries "even in a cartoonish, slapstick way." In "Peter Rabbit" which was released this weekend, the character of Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries. The rabbits fling the fruit at him in a scene and he is forced to use an EpiPen. The charity group Kids with Food Allergies posted a warning about the scene on its Facebook page prompting some on Twitter to start using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit. The group said that allergy jokes are harmful to their community and that making light of the condition "encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously." The studio and filmmakers say that they, "Sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize."

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