What to Know
- Addressing a deeply divided nation, President Trump summoned the country to a "new American moment" of unity in his first State of the Union
- A 4-year-old girl from New Jersey has died from the flu, health officials say, the first flu-related death in the Garden State this season
- Mark Salling, who played bad-boy Noah "Puck" Puckerman in the hit musical-comedy "Glee," has died of an apparent suicide
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Trump Calls for Optimism in Spite of Warnings of Danger
Addressing a deeply divided nation, President Trump summoned the country to a "new American moment" of unity in his first State of the Union, challenging Congress to make good on long-standing promises to fix a fractured immigration system and warning darkly of evil forces seeking to undermine America's way of life. Trump's address blended self-congratulation and calls for optimism amid a growing economy with ominous warnings about deadly gangs, the scourge of drugs and violent immigrants living in the United States illegally. He cast the debate over immigration — an issue that has long animated his most ardent supporters — as a battle between heroes and villains, leaning heavily on the personal stories of White House guests in the crowd. He praised a law enforcement agent who arrested more than 100 gang members, and he recognized the families of two alleged gang victims. He also spoke forebodingly of catastrophic dangers from abroad, warning that North Korea would "very soon" threaten the United States with nuclear-tipped missiles.
Hawaii Worker Who Sent False Alert Had Problems But Kept Job
Hawaii emergency management officials knew for years that an employee had problems performing his job. Then, he sent a false alert warning of an imminent missile attack earlier this month. The worker had mistakenly believed drills for tsunami and fire warnings were actual events, and colleagues were not comfortable working with him, the state said. His supervisors counseled him but kept him for a decade in a position that had to be renewed each year. The problems in the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency went beyond one troubled employee. The agency had a vague checklist for missile alerts, allowing workers to interpret the steps they should follow differently. Managers didn't require a second person to sign off on alerts before they were sent, and the agency lacked any preparation on how to correct a false warning. Those details emerged in federal and state reports investigating how the agency mistakenly blasted cellphones and broadcast stations Jan. 13 with a warning that led hundreds of thousands of people to believe they were about to die in a nuclear attack. It took nearly 40 minutes to retract it.
Blue Moon, Supermoon, Total Lunar Eclipse All Rolled Into One
On Wednesday, much of the world got to see not only a blue moon and a supermoon, but also a total lunar eclipse, all rolled into one. There hasn't been a triple lineup like this since 1982 and the next won't occur until 2037. The eclipse was visible best in the western half of the U.S. and Canada before the moon set, and across the Pacific into Asia as the moon rose. The U.S. East Coast was mainly out of luck as the moon set just as the eclipse got started. Europe and most of Africa and South America also pretty much missed the show. A blue moon was the second full moon in a month. A supermoon was a particularly close full or new moon, appearing somewhat brighter and bigger. A total lunar eclipse — or blood moon for its reddish tinge — had the moon completely bathed in Earth's shadow. While a supermoon is considered less serious and scientific than an eclipse, it represents a chance to encourage people to start looking at the moon.
Arizona Man Says He Sold Ammunition to Las Vegas Shooter
An Arizona man named in court documents as a "person of interest" during the investigation of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history said he had met the shooter one time and sold ammunition to him. Douglas Haig told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had been contacted earlier by investigators in the case. Speaking at his suburban home in Mesa, Haig said he planned to hold a news conference later this week to answer questions about his name surfacing in the investigation. A law enforcement official told the AP in October that Paddock bought 1,000 rounds of tracer ammunition from a private seller he met at a Phoenix gun show.
Girl Dies in New Jersey's First Flu-Related Death This Season, Officials Say
A 4-year-old girl from New Jersey has died from the flu, health officials say. The girl’s death is the Garden State’s fist flu-related death this season. Health officials did not release the name of the girl or where in New Jersey she lived. Health officials said the girl died in December and that she was not vaccinated. New Jersey has had more than 4,000 reported cases of the virus so far this season. Meanwhile, in New York, Sen. Charles Schumer recently called on federal health officials to dispatch a flu surveillance team to New York as the number of cases increases.
Ex-'Glee' Actor Mark Salling Dead at 35 in Possible Suicide
Mark Salling, who played bad-boy Noah "Puck" Puckerman in the hit musical-comedy "Glee," died of an apparent suicide, weeks after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. He was 35. Salling pleaded guilty in December after authorities said a search of his computer and a thumb drive found more than 50,000 images of child porn. He was scheduled to be sentenced in March, and prosecutors planned to ask a judge to send him to prison for four to seven years. A law enforcement official not authorized to speak publicly said Salling was found hanging in a riverbed area in the Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles. The official said the actor's death is being investigated as a suicide.
Amid Publicity Tour, Porn Actress Denies Affair With Trump
Adult film star Stormy Daniels, in the midst of a publicity tour fueled by past allegations of a 2006 sexual relationship with a then-married Donald Trump, said in a statement the alleged affair never occurred. Keith Davidson, a lawyer for Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, confirmed the statement was authentic but didn't offer any further details. The statement came at a curious time for Clifford, who appeared after the president's State of the Union address on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" In recent weeks she has changed production companies, given a television interview and promoted strip club appearances with a risque play on Trump's "Make America Great Again," campaign slogan. Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, has denied there was any affair. On Kimmel's show, Clifford ducked most of his questions about the alleged affair by either remaining silent or cracking jokes.