Happening Today: Parkland, Robert Mueller, Brendan Fraser

What to Know

  • The school resource officer who was at the Parkland school but "never went in" where 17 people were shot dead has resigned and retired
  • Twenty more people died from the flu in CT over the past week, marking the biggest increase in flu-related deaths in the state this season
  • Actor Brendan Fraser accused the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association of sexually assaulting him in 2003

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Officer Who “Never Went in” School Shooting Resigns

The school resource officer who was at the Parkland school but "never went in" where 17 people were shot dead has retired after Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the official had been suspended without pay. Israel said school resource officer Scot Peterson took a position outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as the onslaught occurred, citing security footage. Israel said Peterson was "absolutely on campus," adding that he was armed and in uniform during the shooting. "After seeing video and witness statements, and Peterson's own statement, I decided this morning ... to suspend Scot Peterson without pay pending an internal investigation," Israel said, adding that Peterson chose to then resign and retire. When asked what Peterson should have done during the shooting, Israel said he should have "went in, addressed the killer and killed" him.

New Charges Brought Against Ex-Trump Campaign Associates

Dramatically escalating the pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges against President Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate. The filing adds allegations of tax evasion and bank fraud and significantly increases the legal jeopardy facing Paul Manafort, who managed Trump's campaign for several months in 2016, and longtime associate Rick Gates. Both had already faced the prospect of at least a decade in prison if convicted at trial. The two men were initially charged in a 12-count indictment in October that accused them of a multimillion-dollar money-laundering conspiracy tied to lobbying work for a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party. Manafort and Gates, who also worked on Trump's campaign, both pleaded not guilty after that indictment. The new charges, contained in a 32-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Virginia, allege that Manafort and Gates doctored financial documents, lied to tax preparers and defrauded banks — using money they cycled through offshore accounts to spend lavishly, including on real estate, interior decorating and other luxury goods.

Connecticut Sees Biggest Flu Death Spike of Season, Data Shows

Twenty more people died from the flu in Connecticut over the past week, marking the biggest increase in flu-related deaths in the state this flu season, health data shows. The new deaths raise the total number of statewide flu victims this season to 97, according to the Connecticut Department of Health. Connecticut hasn’t seen such a deadly week since the seven days ending on Jan. 27, when 20 new deaths were also reported. The majority of deaths have been people over the age of 65 years old (78 deaths), but two of them have been children, including a 6-year-old Norwalk girl who died last week. In its latest flu report, the Health Department said the flu is showing signs of peaking in Connecticut, but that it remains widespread. It said emergency room visits for the virus have remained at 14 percent or greater – the highest weekly levels observed in the state since the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

Brains of “Superagers” Offer Clues to Keeping Sharp

It's pretty extraordinary for people in their 80s and 90s to keep the same sharp memory as someone several decades younger, and now scientists are peeking into the brains of these "superagers" to uncover their secret. The work is the flip side of the disappointing hunt for new drugs to fight or prevent Alzheimer's disease. Instead, "why don't we figure out what it is we might need to do to maximize our memory?" said neuroscientist Emily Rogalski, who leads the SuperAging study at Northwestern University in Chicago. Parts of the brain shrink with age, one of the reasons why most people experience a gradual slowing of at least some types of memory late in life, even if they avoid diseases like Alzheimer's. But it turns out that superagers' brains aren't shrinking nearly as fast as their peers'. And autopsies of the first superagers to die during the study show they harbor a lot more of a special kind of nerve cell in a deep brain region that's important for attention.

Brendan Fraser Accuses Hollywood Foreign Press Association President of Sexual Assault

Actor Brendan Fraser accused the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association of sexually assaulting him in 2003, the latest in a string of people to speak out in the #MeToo and Times Up movements. Fraser described in an interview with GQ the moment that "overcame him with panic and fear." According to Fraser, former HFPA President Phillip Berk assaulted him following a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel. "His left-hand reaches around grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around,” Fraser told GQ. Fraser said the alleged assault left him feeling "ill," "like a little kid," and "like someone had thrown invisible paint on me." He says he didn't have the courage to speak out about it earlier because of the "risk of humiliation, or damage to my career.” He said he asked for a written apology and the HFPA set an agreement to never allow Fraser or Berk to be together in the same room again. Berk says he had written a letter to Fraser about the incident claiming that he had done no wrong.

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