Donald Trump

Happening Today: Stephon Clark, Coffee Warning Labels, Ben Affleck, Sarah Jessica Parker

What to Know

  • A standing-room-only crowd packed into a church to celebrate the life of a 22-year-old black man who was shot to death by Sacramento police
  • A judge ruled California law requires coffee companies to carry a cancer warning because of a chemical produced in the roasting process
  • Ben Affleck has finally made his first public comments regarding his rather infamous back tattoo that social media has been buzzing about

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Protesters Rally After Emotional Stephon Clark Funeral

A standing-room-only crowd packed into a church to celebrate the life of a 22-year-old black man who was shot to death by Sacramento police, prompting angry protests and a resolve to force changes in police departments around the country. The musical and scriptural celebration of Stephon Clark was interrupted by his emotional brother Stevante, who hugged and kissed the casket, led the crowd in chants of his brother's name and interrupted speakers. The Rev. Al Sharpton hugged and consoled him and told the crowd not to judge how families grieve. Later, about 100 protesters blocked downtown streets for the third day in a row during rush hour but did not prevent fans from entering a Sacramento Kings NBA game at a downtown arena as they had during two previous games. Stevante Clark had asked protesters not to block the game. Clark was killed March 18 by two Sacramento police officers responding to a report of someone breaking car windows. Someone screamed “gun, gun, gun” but it turned out it was only a cellphone.

Syria Bomb Kills 2 Coalition Troops, Wounds 5, U.S. Military Says

The U.S. military said two coalition personnel have been killed and five were wounded by a roadside bombing in Syria in a rare such attack since the U.S-led coalition sent troops into the war-torn country. The military did not say where the incident occurred but it came hours after a local Syrian official said that a roadside bomb has exploded in the tense, mixed Arab-Kurdish town of Manbij that is not far from the border with Turkey. The U.S. military statement said the incident occurred and that the wounded personnel were being evacuated for further medical treatment. The coalition statement said details pertaining to the incident were being withheld pending further investigation. It did not identify the casualties as American soldiers, only coalition personnel members.

Trump Loses a Trusted Aide, White House Anxiety Lingers

With a handshake and a presidential kiss on the cheek, Hope Hicks bid farewell to the White House, the press-shy communications director taking a rare moment in the spotlight on her final day in Donald Trump's administration. The exit of the president's most trusted aide, coming one day after yet another Cabinet departure, highlights continuing uncertainty among Trump aides and White House staff about who might be the next to go. Hicks departed the administration on her own terms and was given a gracious goodbye by Trump outside the Oval Office in view of reporters. That stands in stark contrast to the White House treatment of David Shulkin, the Veterans Affairs secretary who was fired amid ethics questions and replaced by a White House physician who has no experience running a bureaucracy or working with veterans. As Trump allies defended the choice of Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, scrutiny quickly shifted to a number of other Cabinet members facing ethics questions and with strained relationships with the president, as well as a White House chief of staff who has found his influence diminished. Trump aides and outside advisers suggested that other changes weren't imminent, but no one could say how long that would last.

Coffee Needs Cancer Warnings, Judge Says

A Los Angeles judge ruled California law requires coffee companies to carry an ominous cancer warning label because of a chemical produced in the roasting process. Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle wrote in a proposed ruling that Starbucks and other coffee companies failed to show that the threat from the chemical was insignificant. The Council for Education and Research on Toxics, a nonprofit group, sued Starbucks and about 90 other companies, including grocery stores and retail shops, under a state law that requires warnings on a wide range of chemicals that can cause cancer. One of those chemicals is acrylamide, a carcinogen present in coffee. The coffee industry claimed the chemical was present at harmless levels and should be exempt from the law because it results naturally from the cooking process necessary to make the beans flavorful. Lawyers for Starbucks, the lead defendant, and the National Coffee Association industry group did not immediately return phone messages or emails seeking comment. The ruling came despite eased concerns in recent years about the possible dangers of coffee, with some studies finding health benefits.

Ben Affleck Finally Comments on Infamous Back Tattoo

Hey New Yorker... back off! "Justice League" star Ben Affleck has finally made his first public comments regarding his rather infamous back tattoo (a large, multicolored phoenix rising from the ashes) that much of social media has been buzzing about for weeks. When the back tat first appeared in 2016 Affleck dismissed it at the time as fake for a film. But it appears that was not the case. Following an article in The New Yorker titled "The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck," where the star is described as "the kind of middle-aged-white-male sadness that the Internet loves to mock," Affleck finally commented about the widely ridiculed tattoo. Affleck's Hollywood pal Matt Damon, who he won an Oscar with in 1998 for penning the script "Good Will Hunting," also came to his defense... sort of.

Sarah Jessica Parker Endorses Cynthia Nixon's Run for NY Governor

Miranda just got Carrie's vote. More to the point, Sarah Jessica Parker took to social media to throw her support behind former "Sex and the City" co-star Cynthia Nixon in her bid to become New York's next governor. "A mother. An activist. An advocate. A fighter. A NY'er. A dear friend. Running for Governor of our great state. My sister on and off screen, you have my love, support and vote," Parker wrote. The endorsement is the latest Nixon has received from her former co-stars. Recently Kim Cattrall offered a subdued vote of support for Nixon.

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