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Happening Today: Mitt Romney, Shutdown, Paul Whelan, Dieting, Pete Davidson, Chrissy Teigen

What to Know

  • Mitt Romney broadly criticized Trump's policies and character and argued the president "has not risen to the mantle of the office"
  • If you're planning to try to lose weight in 2019, you're sure to find debate online and among friends and family about how best to do it
  • Pete Davidson did a stand-up comedy show in Boston and poked fun at his relationship history as well as some fellow comedians

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Mitt Romney Criticizes Trump's 'Character' in Scathing Op-Ed

Days away from joining the Senate's Republican majority, Sen.-elect Mitt Romney broadly criticized President Trump's policies and character and argued that the president "has not risen to the mantle of the office." "With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable," the Utah Republican and 2012 presidential nominee wrote in a Washington Post op-ed posted online. "And it is in this province where the incumbent's shortfall has been most glaring." Romney's biting public assessment came as Trump and Senate Republicans faced a new governing dynamic. Republicans will cede control of the House to Democrats, who were prepared to oppose Trump on a number of policies and promised a slew of investigations into his actions and those of his aides and campaign officials, particularly with regard to Russia's election meddling. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, had criticized Trump before.

Hill Leaders to Attend White House Briefing on Border

Democratic and Republican congressional leaders are expected to attend a briefing on border security at the White House as the government remains partially shut down and President Trump asks in a tweet, "Let's make a deal?" The partial government shutdown began on Dec. 22. Funding for Trump's pet project, a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, has been the sticking point in passing budgets for several government departments. The briefing is scheduled for 3 p.m., the day before Democrats are to assume control of the House and end the Republican monopoly on government. The exact agenda, however, was not immediately clear, according to a person with knowledge of the briefing who was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

American Held in Russia Was There for a Wedding, Brother Says

Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine arrested in Russia on espionage charges, was visiting Moscow over the holidays to attend a wedding when he suddenly disappeared, his brother said. Whelan, 48, who is head of global security for a Michigan-based auto parts supplier, was arrested. In announcing the arrest three days later, the Russian Federal Security Service said he was caught "during an espionage operation," but gave no details. "We are deeply concerned for his safety and well-being," his family said in a statement that his brother David Whelan posted on Twitter. "His innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected." The Russian spying charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years. David Whelan said in an interview that his brother had been to Russia several times previously, so when a fellow former Marine was planning a wedding in Moscow with a Russian woman he was asked to come along to help out.

Low Carb? Low Fat? What The Latest Dieting Studies Tell Us

Bacon and black coffee for breakfast, or oatmeal and bananas? If you're planning to try to lose weight in 2019, you're sure to find a fierce debate online and among friends and family about how best to do it. It seems like everyone has an opinion, and new fads emerge every year. Two major studies last year provided more fuel for a particularly polarizing topic — the role carbs play in making us fat. The studies gave scientists some clues, but, like other nutrition studies, they can't say which diet — if any — is best for everyone. That's not going to satisfy people who want black-and-white answers, but nutrition research is extremely difficult and even the most respected studies come with big caveats. People are so different that it's all but impossible to conduct studies that show what really works over long periods of time.

Pete Davidson Jokes About Breakup, Louis CK in Stand-Up Show

Pete Davidson is starting off the new year with some laughs. The 25-year-old did a stand-up comedy show in Boston and poked fun at his relationship history as well as some fellow comedians. A source inside the show told E! News that Davidson spoke about his ex-fiancee Ariana Grande at some length. He also discussed Louis C.K., who was accused of sexual harassment in November 2017 and made a less-than-popular return to the stage a few months ago. C.K. drew ire after making jokes about the Parkland shooting survivors and calling Gen Z kids "f--king boring." Before Davidson went on, fellow comedians Jordan Rock, Dave Cyrus, Joey Gay and Ricky Valez performed their own sets.

Watch Chrissy Teigen's Awkward Umbrella Moment on NYE

It can only go up from here, right? For those celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square, conditions weren't exactly ideal with freezing cold temperatures and rain. Right before counting down for the annual ball drop, Chrissy Teigen and Leslie Jones found themselves in a hilarious situation on NBC's special broadcast. As it turns out, umbrellas are more dangerous than we first thought. In the video clip going viral, the supermodel tries to hug the Saturday Night Live star. But in the process, Leslie's umbrella hits Chrissy right in the face. "I'm okay!" Chrissy joked on Twitter. "Heading back out to Time's Square to find my eyeball."

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